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Chongming center to aid endangered Chinese sturgeon

SHANGHAI next month will start building a center in Chongming Island to study and help support the recovery of the endangered Chinese sturgeon, a giant fish that has been decimated by pollution, shipping traffic and other causes, officials announced today.

Construction of the 56,000-square-meter center will start on May 15, authorities of the Shanghai Agricultural Commission said.

The center will include a workshop for rescuing and temporarily rearing Chinese sturgeons, a laboratory building and other support facilities, said authorities.

Staff will rescue, raise and breed the sturgeons and other endangered species, as well as conducting studies and spreading scientific knowledge among the public.

Chinese sturgeons can grow to enormous proportions, with large specimens topping 5 meters and 450 kilograms, according to the National Geographic Society. “These prehistoric-looking giants have a sharklike form, with large pectoral fins, a rounded snout, and rows of pronounced ridges running the length of their spine and flank,” the society’s website said.

The announcement was made during a release of 70 Chinese sturgeons, whose lengths were between 1.5 and 2 meters, and 42,100 Chinese high fin banded sharks, which are not true sharks and which also have declined due to such causes as overfishing, pollution and collection for the aquarium trade.


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