CHENGDU, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Officials and conservationists on Tuesday released over 80,000 adult Dabry's sturgeon and fry into the Yangtze River in southwest China's Sichuan Province to help restore the wild population of the endangered species.
The release in the city of Yibin also marked the start of an awareness campaign that will see volunteers and experts sail along the country's longest river in a 23-day tour to promote marine species protection with visits, exhibitions and seminars in riverside cities and towns.
The campaign was jointly launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Transport and the World Wildlife Fund.
Dabry's sturgeon, also known as the Yangtze sturgeon, has lost its natural ability to breed since 800 due to dam construction, overfishing and crowded rivers. It was classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2010.
In recent years, China has stepped up efforts to rescue Dabry's sturgeon and other endangered endemic species in the river, such as Chinese sturgeon, by targeting illegal fishing, closing polluting factories and releasing captive-bred fry into the wild.