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Huso huso

Sea of Azov-Beluga sturgeon

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Osteichthyes
Classis: Actinopterygii
Subclassis: Chondrostei
Ordo: Acipenseriformes
Familia: Acipenseridae
Subfamilia: Acipenserinae
Genus: Huso
Species: Huso huso

Vernacular Name
Azərbaycan: Ağ balıq
Български: Моруна
Česky: Vyza velká
Српски / Srpski: Моруна
Deutsch: Europäischer Hausen (Belugastör)
Eesti: Beluuga
English: Beluga (or European) sturgeon
Español: Esturión beluga
Esperanto: beluga huzo
فارسی: فیل‌ماهی
Français: Béluga européen
Italiano: Storione beluga
Қазақша: Құртпа балық
Lietuvių: Didysis eršketas
Magyar: Viza
Nederlands: Belugasteur (Europese steur)
Polski: Bieługa, wyz
Português: Esturjão branco
Русский: Белуга
Svenska: Hus
Tiếng Việt: Cá tầm Beluga
Українська: Білуга

The beluga /bəˈluːɡə/ or European sturgeon (Huso huso) is a species of anadromous fish in the sturgeon family (Acipenseridae) of order Acipenseriformes. It is found primarily in the Caspian and Black Sea basins, and occasionally in the Adriatic Sea. Heavily fished for the female's valuable roe—known as beluga caviar— the beluga is a huge and late-maturing fish that can live for 118 years.[2] The species' numbers have been greatly reduced by overfishing and poaching, prompting many governments to enact restrictions on its trade. The most similar to the Huso huso Beluga is the Huso dauricus Kaluga, also referred to as the "River Beluga".

The common name for the sturgeon, as for the unrelated beluga whale, is derived from the Russian word белый (belyy), meaning "white".
1000 kg and 4.17 m long Beluga fish from Volga river (National museum of Tatarstan, Kazan, Russia).


The beluga is a large predator which feeds on other fish.

As do many sturgeons, the beluga travels upstream in rivers to spawn. Accordingly, sturgeons are sometimes likened to sea fish; however most scientists consider them to be river fish.


The largest generally accepted record is of a female taken in 1827 in the Volga estuary at 1,476 kg (3,250 lb) and 7.2 m (24 ft),[3] making the beluga the largest freshwater fish in the world; larger even than the Mekong giant catfish or the Arapaima. Nevertheless, some scientists still consider the Mekong giant catfish to be the largest freshwater fish, owing to sturgeons' ability to survive in seawater.

Beluga of such great sizes are always very old (continuing to grow throughout life) and have become increasingly rare in recent decades due to the heavy fishing of this species. Today, Belugas that are caught are generally 142–328 cm (4.66–10.76 ft) long and weigh 19–264 kg (42–580 lb). The female beluga is typically 20% larger than the male.[4]


Beluga caviar is considered a delicacy worldwide. The meat of the beluga, on the other hand, is not particularly renowned. Beluga caviar has long been scarce and expensive. The endangered status of the fish has made its caviar more expensive than before. (See beluga caviar.)


IUCN classifies the beluga as critically endangered. It is a protected species listed in appendix III of the Bern Convention and its trade is restricted under CITES appendix II. The Mediterranean population is strongly protected under appendix II of the Bern Convention, prohibiting any intentional killing of these fish.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has banned imports of Beluga Caviar and other beluga products from the Caspian Sea since October 6, 2005.

The United States banned import of beluga caviar in 2006 after listing beluga sturgeon under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.[5]


^ Sturgeon Specialist Group (1996). "Huso huso". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
^ Huso huso. Fishbase.com. Accessed on 11 January 2008
^ Wood, The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats. Sterling Pub Co Inc (1983), ISBN 978-0851122359
^ http://www.caspianenvironment.org/biodb/eng/fishes/Huso%20huso/main.htm
^ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080304093748.htm

"Huso huso". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 24 January 2006.
Annex II of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Naturaabitats. Revised 1 March 2002.

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Source: Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License