10,000 kaluga sturgeons hatched. One hundred times the normal amount of this rare species.
A research group consisting of Hokkaido University Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences and other institutes artificially bred approx. ten thousand kaluga sturgeons. The kaluga sturgeon is a very rare fish that yields premier grade caviar. To date, the largest amount bred in a single incubation has been 100 kaluga sturgeons, but this incubation abruptly yielded one hundred times that. A source expressed eagerness that, “This should hopefully lead to the mass production of Hokkaido produced caviar.”
According to the Hokkaido University Nanae Fresh-Water Station (Nanae Town in southern Hokkaido), this is the first ever mass-hatching on a scale of 10,000 kaluga sturgeons in Hokkaido. In late May, the Station harvested 40,000 eggs from female kaluga sturgeons delivered from Wakkanai Noshappu Aquarium and artificially inseminated them with male kaluga sturgeons delivered by the Shibetsu Salmon Science Museum (Shibetsu Town in eastern Hokkaido). The Station incubated some of the fertilized eggs on-site, and also delivered some to two facilities in Hokkaido that have experience in raising baby fish in captivity. The incubated eggs started hatching successively from late June onward.
7,000 out of the 10,000 baby fish died. But as of August 8, a total of approximately 3,000 baby kaluga sturgeons of 5-12 centimeters are growing at the facilities. Kaluga sturgeons generally breed in Russia’s Amur River, and are also known to migrate to the Hokkaido coast. In recent years their numbers have decreased due to factors including excessive fishing. And in Hokkaido, only a total of 50 kaluga sturgeons are being raised at places like aquariums and research facilities.
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