Beluga Sturgeon Huso huso
The beluga is both the largest species of sturgeon and the largest European fish to enter fresh water. Stouter and heavier than the European sturgeon, the beluga sturgeon has a more triangular snout with a very wide mouth. Four long barbels hang from the underside of the snout, reaching almost to the mouth. Like all sturgeon, the beluga has an asymmetrical, sharklike tail with the backbone extending into the large upper lobe. Reputed to be the most expensive fish in the world, it also produces the most prized caviar, with large fish containing 220–440 lb (100–200 kg). The beluga sturgeon is endangered due to poaching and damming of its spawning rivers.
- Order Acipenseriformes
- Length 16 ft (5 m)
- Weight Up to 4,400 lb (2,000 kg)
- Depth 230–590 ft (70–180 m)
- Distribution Northern Mediterranean, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and associated rivers