The Atlantic sturgeon is a species of fish that has been with us since the last ice age. It’s what most scientists would call prehistoric looking. The sturgeon can live for sixty years, grow to 14 feet, and weigh 800 pounds. Despite its historical longevity, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) yesterday declared the sturgeon an endangered species. The sturgeon, as like other species, can’t seem to escape man’s voracious appetite to consume this fish. NOAA announced that four subpopulations or distinct population segments of Atlantic sturgeon, which are treated as individual species under the law, will be listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act: the New York Bight, the Chesapeake Bay, the Carolina, and the South Atlantic. The northernmost distinct population segment, the Gulf of Maine, will be listed as threatened. Atlantic sturgeon are large, slow-growing, late-maturing, long-lived, estuary-dependent fish that live the majority of their lives in salt water, but hatch and spawn in freshwater. Historical catch records indicate that these fish were once abundant, supporting important colonial fisheries. In the late 19th century, demand grew for sturgeon caviar and the first major U.S. commercial fishery for them developed. This lasted from about 1870 until the 1950s with landings peaking in 1890. In the Delaware River before 1890, there were an estimated 180,000 adult females spawning, and now the total spawning adults in that river is believed to number fewer than 300. NOAA’s action was the result of a petition filed by the National Resources Defense Council.