Beluga

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Green
Second choice
Avoid
Bycatch

Beluga

Huso huso
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Origin

Mediterranean (FAO 37)

Cultivation- / Catchmethod

Net pens/ Cages

Source usage
Impact on the environment
Management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

There are large impacts of the direct environment of aquaculture in cages and open net pens, without proper measures and enforcement thereof. These impacts include escapes, irresponsible use of drugs and chemicals and eutrophication of the surrounding water with waste from the aquaculture. There is also risk of the spread of diseases and parasites to the wild population of the critically endangered beluga sturgeon.

There are good regulations to protect the ecosystem and the wild populations of sturgeon against the negative impacts of aquaculture in the Black Sea. Multiple incidents show that the enforcement of these regulations is not sufficient. 

 

General

Beluga

The beluga or European sturgeon naturally occurs in the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. This species can become up to 150 years old and reach a maximum length of over 8 meters! The European sturgeon is a carnivorous fish lives the majority of their life cycle in salt water bodies. Adults migrate upstream rivers to spawn and after their first summer in fresh water, juveniles migrate back to salt water habitats. Unfortunately, this incredible species is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN due to overfishing. Fishing on the European sturgeon is mainly targeting her eggs, which are sold as highly valuable caviar. Nowadays, there is also caviar on the markets that comes from European sturgeon grown in aquaculture farms.