Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Special Delaware Has Special Atlantic Sturgeon
The Delaware River is unique and special in so very many ways -- in ways that many know, but also in many ways folks don't know.
Did you know that the Delaware River is home to a unique population of Atlantic Sturgeon? There is a population of Atlantic Sturgeon that lives it the Delaware River which is only found here, in our River -- they are genetically distinct from all other Atlantic Sturgeon on earth. Amazing.
At one time there were so many sturgeon in the Delaware River that they provided 75% of the caviar nationwide. But then, as people do, people took advantage and overharvested the sturgeon, to the point of decimation. By the early 1900s sturgeon fishers were pulling in only 6% of what they had pulled in just two decades before.
The Atlantic Sturgeon have such an extended life cycle, and reproductive cycle, that it has inhibited their recovery. Females don't sexually mature until around age 16; boys age 12.
But the real reason the Atlantic Sturgeon have not been able to recover is not because of their normal growth and reproductive cycle, it is because people continue to take advantage -- advantage of the sturgeon and the River they live in. Pollution, dredging, harvest as bycatch from other species, and more all continue to pound the Atlantic Sturgeon into decline.
By some estimates we have less than 100 Atlantic Sturgeon in the Delaware River -- LESS THAN 100!
The Delaware River Atlantic Sturgeon have a special, unique and irreplaceable place in our River and on this earth. They deserve our respect and care. Whether you appreciate them as another living member of our planet, or as a contributor of food, jobs and income to those who would harvest them and/or eat them -- swift action is needed to restore the Atlantic Sturgeon populations to the Delaware River.
You can help provide the Atlantic Sturgeon the protection they need -- go to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network website at www.delawareriverkeeper.org to learn how you can take action to have the Delaware River Atlantic Sturgeon identified as endangered and receive extra needed protection pursuant to federal law.
February 5, 2010 is the deadline.
Please don't wait to take your action.
We have less than 100 -- the Atlantic Sturgeon need your help now.