Sturgeons are considered “living fossils”, sharing many morphological and biological features with ancestral fish. Furthermore, sturgeons are of the utmost interest from an economic perspective, not only for the caviar but for the flesh. However, the wild populations of the majority of the species are at serious risk of extinction all over the world. So, it is urgent to develop strategies for both farming culture and conservation and recovery in natural habitats.
This book provides a comprehensive view of the biology and sustainable development of sturgeons putting emphasis on the Southern Europe autochthonous species such as Acipenser nacarii and Acipenser sturio that share geographical distribution. Other relevant species (such as Huso huso, A. oxyrhinchus, A. ruthenus, A. stellatus) and areas (Germany, Russia, North America) are also considered. The contents are organised in three sections: Taxonomy and Biogeography (including the morphological and genetic analyses that clarify the taxonomy and phylogeny of sturgeons, focused on those from Southern Europe), Biology and Aquaculture (where several aspects of the developmental biology, feeding, and reproduction are considered in relation to the improvement of sturgeon farming), and Recovery and Conservation (that collates and analyses different recovery research actions, the ecology of the rivers for restoration as well as the problems related to the trade of caviar).