Demographics of great sturgeon (Huso huso) in Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea (2008–2010)

Shima Bakhshalizadeh, Ali Bani, Shahram Abdolmalaki, Jesus T. Ponce Palafox

Paper category: Original research paper
Corresponding author: Shima Bakhshalizadeh (
DOI: 10.2478/oandhs-2021-0027
Received: 21/12/2020
Accepted: 12/02/2021
Full text: here

Citation: Bakhshalizadeh,S.,Bani,A.,Abdolmalaki,S. & Ponce Palafox,J.(2021).Demographics of great sturgeon (Huso huso) in Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea (2008–2010). Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies,50(3) 325-332.


Demographic data of the great sturgeon, Huso huso, from the Iranian coastal waters of the Caspian Sea were derived from measurements of individuals with a fork length ranging from 84 to 255 cm, obtained from commercial fisheries. The maximum age of fish caught in the south Caspian Sea was 30 years. The estimates of the asymptotic length L∞ and the growth coefficient (K) were 265.255 cm and 0.062 per year for males and 275.78 cm and 0.08 per year for females, respectively. Total mortality rates obtained by Gulland’s method were larger for males (0.64) than for females (0.46). Annual mortality rates were calculated as 47% for males and 37% for females. Data obtained in this study and their comparison with data from previous studies indicate that the great sturgeon stock is definitely exploited in an unsustainable manner.


The age range of the fish caught was 5 to 30 years, with the highest proportion of age classes being 17 to 25 years – 70% and 83% for females and males, respectively. The annual mortality rates were calculated at 47% for males and 37% for females. The data obtained in this study and their comparison with previous studies indicate that the great sturgeon stock is exploited in an unsustainable manner. Overfishing and several environmental disturbances, such as pollution and modification of hydrological conditions, may have led to the severe depletion of the great sturgeon stock.


The authors thank R. Nahrevar, R. Rastin, H. Dadari, A. Alinejad, M. Ataee, A. Qavidel, F. Shakori, A. Kor and G. Salehi for their technical assistance. Sampling authorization was given by the Madar Khaviari sector of the Iranian fisheries organization. We greatly appreciate the constructive comments and suggestions provided by G. Cailliet.


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