Rare fish caught in Oslo fjord
The fisherman thought he had a pike in the net, but in reality it was a sturgeon. The fish has hardly been observed in Norwegian waters since 1940.
Per Arne Johansen from Fredrikstad caught the rare fish in a net in the Oslo Fjord just outside Son. The length of the fish is about 1.7 meters.
Sturgeon is one of the most endangered fish species in Europe and has been protected by a number of conventions on endangered species. It stands as critically endangered on the International Red List.
But Johansen initially thought it was a completely different type of fish he had hooked.
“I thought it was a big pike, because I got it in the dark in the morning. I just put it away, and it was left there until I was to deliver it in the afternoon,” he told NRK.no.
At Fjord Fishing headquarters in Son, it was determined that the fish was a sturgeon.
“I thought it was fun for once to get something that is not so common. I have taken pictures of it, so it is perpetuated. It will be fun to have that picture as a memory, for I will never experience that again here,” he says.
The catch was greeted with both joy and surprise by the general manager at Fjord Fishing, Kurt Allan Hansen.
“There are no new fish, it is a very old species that has survived two ice ages as far as I know. Sturgeon have hardly been observed in Norway at all since 1940, so it is a very rare fish we have brought onto dry land here,” he said to NRK.
The North German sturgeon was, according to Hansen, extinct around 1940. But there are several other species that still live, including the Spanish and Russian.
Sturgeon is known as the fish that put egg to what is described as real caviar.
“The Russians overfish sturgeon, because of the black caviar. It is very popular in what we might call the luxury market.”
But Hansen could not promise workers at Fjord Fishing a caviar party after the catch.
“The Sea Research Institute will be involved here first. They want to find out why this fellow has strayed into the fjord here.”
“I have no theory about how it has come here, but we hope that the North German species that was wiped out is on the way back,” says Hansen.
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