More than 700 artificially-bred Chinese sturgeon were released into the Yangtze River on Friday to help restore the species' wild population. The fish were released in Wuhan, capital city of central China's Hubei Province.
Nicknamed "aquatic pandas," Chinese sturgeon have existed for over 140 million years. It is among the most ancient vertebrate species on earth and is under Class-A protection in China.
"We attach great importance to the protection of Chinese sturgeon in the wild," said Qian Zhengyi, deputy secretary-general of Hubei Yangtze River Ecological Protection Foundation, "We need to increase its population through artificial breeding followed by release into natural environment. We believe that Chinese sturgeon can be effectively saved in this way."
However, the population of the species in the Yangtze plummeted in the late 20th century due to intrusive human activities.
For ecological conservation and green development, a 10-year fishing ban took effect in pivotal waters of the Yangtze on Jan. 1, 2021.