Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes
Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes is one of the threats to pallid sturgeon identified in the listing determination (55 FR 36641-36647). Given the endangered status of pallid sturgeon, use for scientific or educational purposes is regulated under section 6 cooperative agreements or under section 10 of the Act. All recreational and commercial harvest of pallid sturgeon is prohibited by Section 9 of the Act as well as State regulations throughout its range.
While these regulations effectively protect pallid sturgeon from recreational harvest and overutilization for scientific and educational purposes, they do not prevent lethal take of pallid sturgeon as a result of species misidentification associated with commercial shovelnose sturgeon fishing. To address this threat, shovelnose sturgeon are treated as threatened where the two sturgeon species coexist, under the similarity of appearance provisions of the Endangered Species Act (75 FR 53598-53606). This rule extends take prohibitions to shovelnose sturgeon,shovelnose-pallid sturgeon hybrids, and their roe when associated with a commercial fishing activity in areas where pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon commonly coexist.
Factor B Summary
Current State regulations and protections afforded under the Endangered Species Act, including the similarity of appearance rule, coupled with adequate enforcement, appear sufficient to manage, to the maximum extent practicable, the threat from overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes. However, absent protections under the Endangered Species Act, adequate State harvest regulations and enforcement will be necessary to protect the species from overharvest.