Overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction have severely depleted East Coast populations of once-plentiful Atlantic sturgeon, leading officials from the National Marine Fisheries Service to declare it an endangered species. Sturgeon has been in high demand for decades because of its prized caviar, and increased demand has significantly decreased populations. Now, sturgeon is at risk of extinction in the entire New York Bight, an area that covers the Chesapeake, Carolina, and South Atlantic populations, as well as the Delaware and Hudson rivers. Federal officials report that the number of female sturgeon spawning in the Delaware River has dropped from 180,000 in 1890 to an estimated 300 today.
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