Acipenser sturio

Habitat & Distribution

A very rare fish in British waters. Very little is known about the distribution of this fish but it has been recorded, at various times, all around the British coastline. There are in excess of 28 records for Cornwall during the period 1820-2001. They are caught mainly at sea in trawls, or more commonly these days, in nets. A demersal species, which tolerates a wide range of salinities, most of its life is spent at sea close to the coast, entering rivers to spawn in the spring (although not in British rivers). The only surviving breeding population is believed to be that in the Gironde, France.


The sturgeon is classified by the IUCN as Critically Endangered and is protected under CITES, Appendix 1, Annexes IIa & Iva of the EC Habitats Directive, App.III of the Bern Convention, Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981) from 1992 and is on the UK and OSPAR Lists of Priority Species.