The Central Fisheries Research Institute (SUMAE) in the northwestern Black Sea province of Trabzon wants to preserve the population of sturgeons with a project for developing breeding techniques.
While the sturgeon tadpoles care center is in SUMAE, the breeding center is located in special pools in the Camlihemsin district of another Black Sea province, Rize.
Sturgeons raised at the institute can reach a length of approximately 2 meters (6.5 feet) and weigh up to 80 kilograms (176 pounds).
Ercan Kucuk, head of SUMAE, told Anadolu Agency that it provides services across Turkey in all areas of aquaculture, such as fisheries management, aquaculture, genetics, fish diseases, food technology and resource management.
“As part of the project regarding endangered and protected sturgeons, we created a stock of three local species in our country’s waters,” he said.
Kucuk said the institute continued its work even during the coronavirus pandemic by taking necessary precautions.
“We tried to be in the field to serve the sector both on land and at sea with our research ship,” he said.
He went on to say that since 2014 the institution every year gets sturgeon roe from the natural species — diamond sturgeon — in Turkey.
“We release these tiddlers to the Black Sea and large rivers that are connected to the Black Sea in order to rehabilitate the endangered species stocks,” he said.
Tuna Ozcelep, a project leader at SUMAE, said that there are 27 species of sturgeon in nature worldwide, all of which are under protection.
He said that there were six sturgeon species found in Turkey in the past, while now there are only three species left.
“Fishing for sturgeons is prohibited in our country as in the world. Sturgeon breeding is quite advanced in some countries around the world. Much of its cultivation is done because of its famous and very valuable black caviar. In addition, many products such as meat, leather products, ornaments and high-quality glue are obtained from sturgeon,” Ozcelep added.