PORTLAND, Maine — Federal regulators are proposing new protections for the Gulf of Maine sturgeon population until a decision is made whether to list the fish as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday it is proposing banning the taking of any sturgeon except for scientific research, assisting stranded fish and salvage purposes while officials consider a proposal listing the population as threatened. A decision on the listing proposal is expected in the fall.
The slowly reproducing fish were once abundant along the East Coast and sought for their salty eggs. They were driven nearly to extinction by the caviar industry at the end of the 19th century.