New York Aquarium receives five endangered fish to educate public about extinction

CONEY ISLAND, New York (WABC) -- The New York Aquarium has received five endangered sturgeon and has been designated a satellite research facility to educate visitors on the importance of these fish.

The aquarium will give New Yorkers an opportunity to see these gigantic Atlantic sturgeon nose-to-nose, highlighting how the species has played a central role in New York State history and how conservationists are working to prevent their extinction.

"The Atlantic sturgeon is an amazing fish that was once central to the identity of the Hudson and Delaware rivers," said Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium. "In past centuries, the species was a big part of New York State's regional trade in sturgeon meat and caviar. Of course, things have changed, and conservationists in New York and elsewhere are now committed to saving this imperiled species."

They are now the latest inhabitants of the New York Aquarium's Ocean Wonders: Sharks!

The new additions were previously in the care of researchers at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory in Oxford, Maryland, since 2005 as part of a breed-and-release program. In 2012, the species was listed on the Endangered Species Act, with the population in the New York Bight considered Endangered.

There are 27 known species of sturgeon worldwide. Consequently, more than half are listed as "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN's Red List, and four species may in fact be extinct.

In partnership with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, WCS scientists used satellite tags to study the movements of adult sturgeon in the Hudson River and along the East Coast in 2006 and 2007.

The data collected was used to help protect the species in their native habitats.

The exhibit, which opened summer 2018, is designed to connect New Yorkers to the wild marine habitats that surround the City and neighboring communities while educating visitors on the importance of sharks and other marine species to the health of the world's oceans.

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