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Description, reproduction, behavior in nature and the value of beluga

One of the most amazing fish that attracts attention with its size and lifestyle is the beluga. A few decades ago, this individual was found in the waters of the Caspian and Azov Seas, in the Adriatic. To date, its habitat has decreased.

There is a fish in the Black Sea and in the Urals. In the Volga and Azov, there is a very similar, but different subspecies, which is artificially grown in 90% of cases.

Thanks to this, it is possible to maintain the population.

Beluga habitat decreases every year

Beluga fish is considered one of the largest and brightest representatives of the sturgeon family. Unlike other species, it has pronounced external signs:

  • obtuse small nose with a pointed end, slightly translucent due to the lack of bone shields;
  • wide mouth with a thickened lower lip;
  • very thick and plump cylindrical body;
  • small bug (thorn) on the dorsal row;
  • grayish-dark shade of a giant body, white belly.

The average weight of beluga is 90-120 kg

The largest beluga ever to catch was surprised by a weight of 1.5 tons and a body length of 4.2 meters. The trophy is kept in the Tatarstan Museum, where thousands of amateurs and professional anglers come to see this miracle every year. To catch a similar large copy in our time is impossible, since the catch is on a large industrial scale.

Today, the largest beluga caught in the Volga weighs no more than 450–500 kg. Maximum weight of unripe young stock – within 40 kg.

On average, the mass of fish going to spawn, is 100−120 kg (females) or 90 kg (males).

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The giant sturgeon lives for more than a hundred years, if it does not come across in the nets of ruthless fishermen. The population is under the protection of the Red Book, but extreme restrictions for fishing lovers have nothing to do with bans.

In Russia, catching the beluga is punishable by a large fine.

Beluga is listed in the Red Book

It is difficult to name the environment and the places where a huge sturgeon can dwell, because it is considered a passing species. It can be found both in the seas and in the rivers, where it has to swim in order to profit from tasty and affordable prey.

During spawning, the beluga goes to the Crimean coast or to freshwater places where it is able to quickly destroy the local inhabitants.

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Beluga looks frightening, and not in vain. She does not disdain any inhabitants of reservoirs.

Everyone who approaches the fish at the closest distance, instantly find themselves in a huge stomach. Omnivorous giants of the sea prefer in their diet:

  • sea ​​bulls;
  • herring;
  • hamsu;
  • all representatives of the carp family;
  • crucian carp;
  • rudd;
  • roach

Beluga is not squeamish and can eat everything that comes her way

In nature, there are cases when the beluga eats water rats and mice. At the autopsy of some individuals, even their own cubs, which only recently emerged from eggs, were found in the cavity of the stomach.

Growing up young can eat mollusks and various invertebrates, as well as sprat and roach.

The breeding characteristics of beluga on the Volga are explained by the presence in nature of its two different races (forms): spring and winter. One wave, winter, goes to spawn in the Volga or to the Black Sea coast in September-October. The second, spring, goes to spawn from March to mid-April.

Active movement of fish is observed when the water temperature in the river is 7−8 degrees, and the flood reaches a maximum.

Most of the beluga fry, barely hatched, swim away to the Caspian Sea with adults

For throwing caviar the beluga chooses places with a depth of more than 4 meters in the river’s fast currents, prefers a rocky bottom. One female has over 200 thousand eggs, but most often their number is from 5 to 8 million.

The diameter of one egg – 3-4 mm.

After spawning, the fish very quickly returns to the marine environment. The larvae appearing from the eggs do not stay long in the Volga and also follow adult individuals.

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Meat of huge sturgeon in Russian cuisine is considered a valuable delicacy. From it prepare surprisingly tasty, nutritious and healthy dishes. These masterpieces are obtained with any method of cooking fish:

  • frying;
  • drying;
  • smoked;
  • roasting;
  • steam cooking;
  • cooking on the grill.

Beluga kebab is especially appreciated by gourmets: an incredibly tender meat, baked with smoke, cannot leave indifferent even the most sophisticated connoisseur of fish dishes.

A large representative of sturgeon is valued not only for its unique taste, but also for its set of healthy properties. First, tender meat contains a large amount of easily digestible protein. with a low calorie dishes.

Delicacy nourishes the body with essential amino acids (they are not synthesized and can be obtained exclusively with certain foods).

Secondly, in the marine habitat, as in other seafood, there is fluoride, calcium and other trace elements necessary to maintain healthy bones, hair, nails and skin beauty. Potassium, which is part of the meat, supports the heart muscle, preventing heart attack and stroke.

Thanks to vitamin A, consuming valuable sturgeon improves visual acuity, and vitamin D prevents osteoporosis and rickets.

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Special attention is given to caviar, which is obtained from the huge inhabitants of the seas and rivers. Females are capable of throwing the largest eggs possible.

Black caviar is known to be an expensive, healthy delicacy that is recommended for both children and adults. Natural bioproduct has a positive effect on all organ systems.

The high price of black caviar due to the duration of the cultivation of adults

Cultivation of beluga in the field takes about 15 years to produce caviar. Under natural conditions, the catch of valuable copies is prohibited, so the cost of the finished product is impressive. For 100 grams of black caviar you have to pay from 10 to 15 thousand rubles, and the price of a kilogram in European markets often exceeds 10 thousand dollars.

Most products found on the market appear to be counterfeit.

Beluga refers to species of fish disappearing from the planet. Most individuals do not have time to grow to the maximum size., as they are caught by poachers and lovers of unusual sea trophies.

In addition to fishermen, industrial facilities also contributed to the decline in the population. Due to the active construction of hydroelectric power stations, the dams of which are located on the migration route of fish, create obstacles for their movement to spawn.

Due to the hydroconstructions and their dams, the beluga following in the rivers of Hungary, Slovakia, Austria is completely blocked.

The number of beluga is reduced annually

Another problem is the constantly deteriorating environment. Since the life span of a beluga is several years and reaches even a century, poisonous, harmful substances that accumulate in the environment as a result of human activity accumulate in it.

Pesticides, chemicals and hormones adversely affect the reproductive abilities of the giant fish.

To save the unique king-fish will have to make a lot of effort, otherwise the population will soon disappear completely from the planet. The unique look is not only a valuable delicacy, but also an important chain of food chains in the marine environment.

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