WASHINGTON (CN) - Acting on a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council to list the Atlantic sturgeon as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, the National Marine Fisheries Service has determined that there is sufficient evidence to warrant an in depth status review of the species.
According to the petition, overfishing during the 19th century decimated the sturgeon stock and, despite a coast-wide fishing ban put in place in 1998, the population has not recovered.
The petition cites bycatch, degraded water quality, dams, dredging, and ship strikes as the most important factors contributing to the continued decline of the species.
The petition also cites global warming as a factor that exacerbates harmfully low dissolved oxygen concentrations, making it difficult for the sturgeon to get enough oxygen to breathe.
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