Growth traits of two sturgeon species, Acipenser gueldenstaedtii and Acipenser nudiventris, in the Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea

Shima Bakhshalizadeh, Ali Bani1 and Shahram Abdolmalaki

aqua International Journal of Ichthyology,  pp. 154-164, Volume 21 issue 4, 15 October 2015


The life history traits of the Russian sturgeon, Acipenser gueldenstaedtii, and ship sturgeon, Acipenser nudiventris, obtained from Iranian coastal waters of the Caspian Sea, were studied through analysis of the pectoral fin spine section. The specimens were obtained from commercial fisheries between October 2008 and June 2010.The interpretation of growth bands in the pectoral fin spine sections was carried out objectively using the direct reading of thin sections and by image analysis. The maximum age recorded for the specimens of Russian sturgeon and ship sturgeon were 27 and 32 years respectively. The estimates of asymptotic length (L∞) and the growth coefficient (K) of Russian sturgeon were 180.95 cm and 0.07 per year respectively. Ship sturgeon had an asymptotic length of 190.67 cm and a growth coefficient of 0.15 per year. The total mortality coefficient (Z) for Russian sturgeon and ship sturgeon were estimated to be 1.14 and 0.79 per year respectively. Annual mortality rates were calculated at 68 percent for Russian sturgeon and 55 percent for ship sturgeon. This study revealed high mortality, low survive rate of studied species that is due to fishing pressure and degradation of environmental conditions. The knowledge of life history of Russian sturgeon and the ship sturgeon in the Iranian Waters of the Caspian Sea have implication in management of the sympatric Russian sturgeon and the ship sturgeon stocks.

PDF (571 KB)


BAKHSHALİZADEH, S., BANİ, A. & ABDOLMALAKİ, S. 2013. Comparative morphology of the pectoral bony ray of the Persian sturgeon Acipenser persicus, the Russian sturgeon Acipenser gueldenstaedtii and the Starry sturgeon Acipenser stellatus in Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea. Acta Zoologica 94: 471-477.

BAUCHOT, M. L. A. 1987. Poissons osseux. Fiches FAO d’identification pour les besoins de la pêche. (rev. 1). Méditerranée Mer Noire Zone pêche 37: 891-1421.

BAROT, S., HEİNO, M., MORGAN, M. J. & DİECKMANN, U. 2005. Maturation of Newfoundland American plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides): long-term trends in maturation reaction norms despite low fishing mortality? ICES Journal of Marine Science 62: 56-64.

BEAMISH, R. J. & FOURNIER, D. A. 1981. A method for comparing the precision of a set of age determinations. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 38: 982-983.

BEM S, W. E., FİNDEİS, E. K. & GRANDE, L. 1997. An overview of acipenseriformes. In: Sturgeon biodiversity and conservation. (Eds. V. J. Birstein, J. R. Waldman & E. Bemis), 25-71. Springer, Netherlands.

BİLLARD, R. & LECOİNTRE, G. 2001. Biology and conservation of sturgeon and paddlefish. Review of Fish Biology and Fishery 10: 355-392.

BRENNAN, J. S. & CAİLLİET, G. M. 1989. Comparative age-determination techniques for white sturgeon in California. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 118: 296-310.

BRENNAN, J. S. & CAİLLİET, G. M. 1991. Age determination and validation studies of white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, in California. In: Acipenser. Actes du premier colloque international sur l’esturgeon, Bordeaux (3-6 Octobre 1989) (Ed. P. Williot): 209-234. Cemagref Press.

CHANG, W. Y. B. 1982. A statistical method for evaluating the reproducibility of age determination. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 39: 1208-1210.

CHEBANOV, M., ROSENTHAL, H., GESSNER, J., VAN ANROOY, R., DOUKAKİS, P., POURKAZEMİ, M. & WİLLİOT, P. 2011. Sturgeon hatchery practices and management for release Guidelines. Food and agriculture Organization of the United Nation, Ankara.

CHEN, Y. D., JACKSON, D. A. & HARVEY, H. H. 1992. A comparison of von Bertalanffy and polynomial functions in modelling fish growth data. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 49: 1228-1235.

CITES (Covention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). 2004. Sturgeon and paddlefish. AC24. Doc, 5-6.

DUNLOP, E. S., SHUTER, B. J. & RİDGWAY, M. S. 2005.Isolating the influence of growth rate on maturation patternsin the small mouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 62: 844-853.

DEVRİES, D. R. & FRİE, R. V. 1996. Determination of ageand growth. In: Fisheries techniques. (Eds. B. R. Murphy & D. W. Willis), 483-512. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

ERBULEKOV, A. S. 2000. Data to specify some hatchery and biology indices of Azov population ship sturgeon rearing. Caspian fisheries study, Results of year 1999 researches, Astrakhan.

FAO. 2011. FishStat.Fishery Statistics. FAO, Rome.

FROESE, R. & PAULY, D. 2013. FishBase.World Wide Web electronic publication., version (04/2013)

GHASEMI, A., POURKAZEMI, M. & KALBASSI, M. R. 2005. Comparison of genetic variation of ship sturgeon (Acipencer nudiventris) in the southern Caspian Sea and Oral River using PCR-RFLP. Iranian Scıentıfıc Fisheries Journal 14: 151-164.

GULL, J. A. 1983. Fish stock assessment:a manual of basic methods. FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) Wiley, New York.

IUCN. 2011. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (accessed on 09.02.12).

IVANOV, V. P., VLASENKO, A. D., KHODORESKAYA, R. & RASPOPOV, P. 1999. Contemporary status of the Caspian sturgeons (Acipenseridae) and the problem of conservation. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 15: 106-113.

KHODOREVSKAYA, R. P., DOVGOPOL, G. F., ZHURAVLEVA, L. & VLASENKO, A. D. 1997. Present status of commercial stocks of sturgeons in the Caspian Sea basin.Environmental Biology of Fishes 48: 209-219.

KİNG, M. 2007. Fisheries biology, assessment and management. John Wiley & Sons, Australia.

KHODOREVSKAYA, R. P., RUBAN, G. I. & PAVLOV, D.S. 2009. Behaviour, migrations, distribution and stocks of sturgeons in the Volga-Caspian basin. Books on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt, Germany.

KOHLHORST, D.W., BOTSFORD, L., BRENNAN, J. S. & CAİLLİET, G. M. 1991. Aspects of the structure and dynamics of an exploited central California population of white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus). In: Acipenser. Actes du premier colloque international sur l’esturgeon, Bordeaux (3-6 Octobre 1989) (Ed. P. Williot): 277-293. Cemagref Publ.

KSHATRİYA, M., & ASHLEY, S.H. 2011. Model predictions of socio-economic impacts of enhancing connectivity in major rivers. Caspian enviroment programme.

LAGUTOV, V. & LAGUTOV, V. 2008.The Ural River Sturgeons: Population Dynamics, Catch, Reasons for Decline and Restoration Strategies. In: Rescue of Sturgeon Species in the Ural River Basin. (Ed. V. Lagutov): 193-276. Springer, Netherlands.

MOGHİM, M. 2003. Investigation of stocks and population structure of Russiansturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii) in Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea. Iranıan Scıentıfıc Fısherıes Journal 12: 173-192.

MOGHİM, M. 2004. Investigation of stocks and population structure of ship sturgeon (Acipenser nudiventris) in Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea. Iranıan Scıentıfıc Fısherıes Journal 13: 171-190.

MUSİCK, J. A. 1999. Criteria to define extinction risk in marine fishes. Fisheries 24: 6-14.

OLSEN, E. M., LİLLY, G. R., HEİNO, M., MORGAN, M. J., BRATTEY, J. & DİECKMANN, U. 2005. Assessing changes in age and size at maturation in collapsing populations of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 62: 811-823.

PAULY, D. & MUNRO, J. 1984. Once more on the comparison of growth in fish and invertebrates. Fish byte 2: 1-21.

PİKİTCH, E. K., DOUKAKİS, P., LAUCK, L., CHAKRABARTY, & ERİCKSON, D. L. 2005. Status, trends and management of sturgeon and paddlefish fisheries. Fish and Fisheries 6: 233-265.

POURKAZEMİ, M., SKIBINSKI, D. O. F. & BEARDMORE, J. 1999. Application of mtDNA d loop region for the study of Russian sturgeon population structure from Iranian coastline of the Caspian Sea. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 15: 23-28.

POURKAZEMİ, M. 2006. Caspian Sea sturgeon conservation and fisheries: past present and future. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 22: 12-16.

QUİST, M. C., GUY, C. S., PEGG, M. A., BRAATEN, P. J., PİERCE, C. L. & TRAVNİCHEK, V. T. 2002. Potential influence of harvest on shovelnose sturgeon populations in the Missouri River System: a case for pro-active management. North American Journal of Fish Management 22: 537-549.

RİCKER, W. E. 1975. Computation and ınterpretation of biological statistics of fish population. Bulletin Fisheries Research Board of Canada 19: 1-382.

RIEN, T. A. & BEAMESDERFER, R. C. 1994. Accuracy and precision of white sturgeon age estimates from pectoral fin rays. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 123: 255-265.

RİJNSDORP, A. D. 1989. Maturation of male and female North Sea plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L). Journal du Conseil International pour l’Exploration de la Mer 46: 35-51.

ROBERTS, C. M. & HAWKİNS, J. P. 1999. Extinction risk in the sea. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 14: 241-246.

ROSENFELD, J. S. & HATFİELD, T. 2006. Information needs for assessing critical habitat of freshwater fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63: 683-698.

RUBAN, G. I. & KHODOREVSKAYA, R. P. 2011. Caspian Sea sturgeon fishery: a historic overview. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 27: 199-208.

SECOR, D. H., AREFJEV, V., NİLOLAEV, A., & SHAROV, A. 2000. Restoration of sturgeons: lessons from the Caspian Sea sturgeon ranching programme. Fish and Fisheries 1: 215-230.

SOKOLOV, L. I. & BERDİCHECKİİ, L. S. 1989. General introduction to fishes – Acipenseriformes. In: The freshwater fishes of Europe. (Ed. J. Holčík), 150-153. AULA-Verlag, Wiesbaden.

SOKOLOV, L. I. & VASİL’EV, V. P. 1989. General introduction to fishes – Acipenseriformes. In: The freshwater fishes of Europe. (Ed. J. Holčík), 206-226. AULA-Verlag, Wiesbaden.

SPEER, L., LAUCK, L., PİKİTCH, E., BOA, S., DROPKİN, L., & SUPRUİLL, V. 2000. The decline of sturgeon in the Caspian Sea and the road to recovery. (accessed Aug. 2006; verified 11 June 2007). Caviar Emptor.

STEARNS, S. C. 1992. The evolution of life histories. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

STEVENSON, J. T. & SECOR, D. H. 2000.Age determination and growth of Hudson River Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus). Fisheries Bulletin 98: 153-166.

TAGHAVİ MOTLAGH, S. A. 1996. Population dynamics of sturgeon in the southern part of the Caspian Sea. Ph.D thesis, Univesity of Wales Swansea, UK.

VECSEİ, P. 2001. Threatened Fishes of the World: Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Brandt and Ratzenburg, 1833 (Acipenseridae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 60: 362.

VECSEİ, P., ARTYUKHİN, E. & PETERSON, D. 2002. Threatened fishes of the world: Acipenser nudiventris Lovetsky, 1828 (Acipenseridae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 65: 455-456.

VECSEİ, P., CHARETTE, R. & HOCHLE THNER, M. 2004. Guide to the ıdentification of Sturgeon and Paddlefish species controlled under the convention on ınternational trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora. CITES, Ottawa.

VLASENKO, A. D., PAVLOV, A. V. & SOKOLOV, L. I. 1989. General introduction to fishes – Acipenseriformes. In: The freshwater fishes of Europe. (Ed. J. Holčík): 294-344. AULA-Verlag, Wiesbaden.

WİLLİOT, P., ARLATİ, G., CHEBANOV, M., GULYAS, T., KASİ-MOVOV, R., KİRSCHBAUM, F., PATRICHE, N., PAVLOV – SKAYA, L. P., POLIAKOVA, L., POURKAZEMİ, M., KIM, Y., ZHUANG, P. & ZHOLDASOVA, I. M.2002. Status and management of Eurasian sturgeon:an overview. International Review of Hydrobiology 87: 483-506.

YE, Y. & VALBO-JØRGESEN, J. 2012. Effects of IUU fishing and stock enhancement on and restoration strategies for the stellate sturgeon fishery in the Caspian Sea. Fisheries Research 131-133: 21-29.

Previous post

Volume 22, Issue 2 – 18 April 2016

Next post

Laimosemion mabura, a new killifish from the Essequibo River drainage, Guyana (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae)

The Author