The biggest Beluga in the world
Beluga is the largest fish of the sturgeon family, living in the Caspian, Black and Azov seas and enter for spawning in the nearby river. Under favorable conditions it may live more than 100 years and, unlike their Pacific relatives, not die after spawning. Accordingly, it all the time growing, and I think everyone will be interested to know what size reached the largest sturgeon in the world.
The largest Beluga is definitely a female, as males are almost two times less. Sexual maturity fish reaches 16 years, but more often after 20. Black caviar is about 20% of the entire body and contains between 500 thousand eggs (in a major —5-7 million). But spawning does not take place simultaneously, and during the 3 spring months. So for hunters of Beluga caviar always desired — and paid for that.
Now this fish is listed in the Red book because of its values — black caviar, the main delicacy. In the official market you will not find it, but on the black market in Russia, a kilogram of caviar costs $ 600, and abroad — of $ 7,000.
Even under the most favorable conditions, 90% of calves do not grow into adults. Plus people in the last century took care of that in some rivers, the Beluga has disappeared completely (so, before the construction of dams on the river it rose to Zaporozhye and some instances even catching near Kiev) and now the situation is everywhere more than sad. But Beluga has always been an indicator of the health of an ecosystem.
Poachers and hydroelectric power do not allow the fish to grow and the largest specimen caught in the last 50 years, was a big fish weighing 800 kg in 1970 and 960 kg in 1989. Stuffed the last length of 4.2 m and an age of about 70 years is now kept in the Astrakhan Museum. Fish caught by poachers, butchered the calf and anonymous call reported the trophy to be transported which needed a truck. To date, the biggest Beluga in the world and a video about this you can find on YouTube, where the show instance weighing about 500 kg.
In the book «Study of fisheries in Russia» it is reported that the largest white sturgeon caught in the Volga, has a length of about 9 meters and a weight of 90 pounds (1440 kg). This individual claims the title of largest freshwater fish on Earth, it is a pity that the photo the biggest white sturgeon has not been preserved to confirm the record, since this occurred in 1827.
In 1922 and 1924 near the mouth of the Volga and in the Caspian sea was caught the same fish — for 75 pounds (1224 kg), where about 700 kg weighing body, 300 kg head, and the rest is caviar. At the National Museum of Kazan saved a 4 meter long stuffed fish caught in the lower reaches of the Volga. Her age is 60-70 years.
It should be remembered that the biggest sturgeon in the world is the one that was caught and officially recorded. But the fishermen were instances that they did not have enough gear or power, and they died happily in their environment, giving rise to numerous legends about river monsters. Which, by the way, have a good reason, because in the stomachs of caught Caspian predators not once found seal pups (length — m)..