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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 June, 2004, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Sturgeon heads for new home
The sturgeon will be stored while police investigations continue
The sturgeon will be stored while police investigations continue
A sturgeon at the centre of a police investigation into its alleged illegal sale is due to arrive at the Natural History Museum.

The fish was donated to the museum after police stopped its sale.

The 264lb sturgeon was caught by Llanelli fisherman Robert Davies in Swansea Bay last week.

But Devon and Cornwall Police prevented its sale in Plymouth because sturgeon is a protected species.

The giant fish is usually found in the Caspian Sea and is rarely caught in UK waters.

It is such a great story. It will probably be part of one of our behind-the-scenes events in the next few months
Natural History Museum spokeswoman

Its eggs are used to make the delicacy caviar.

Mr Davies, 27, caught the fish last Wednesday off the south Wales coast.

He originally offered the sturgeon, classed along with dolphin and porpoise as a royal fish, to the Queen.

Sale halted

After receiving a fax from Buckingham Palace saying he could "dispose of it as he saw fit", he travelled to Plymouth to sell it at auction.

But police were alerted by officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and halted the sale.

Robert Davies
Fisherman Robert Davies caught the sturgeon in Swansea Bay

Officers moved in following the sale of the fish for 650 to a local wholesaler at Plymouth's fish market on Thursday.

The 9ft-long sturgeon briefly vanished, but was later found and is now being donated to the London museum.

It is expected to reach the Natural History Museum on Tuesday and will initially be stored in a freezer in case police need it as evidence, a museum spokeswoman said.

The fish, whose eggs are sold as caviar, could be more than 100 years old and will eventually be held as part of Britain's national fish collection.

The spokeswoman said the sturgeon would be available for scientists to examine, but would probably not be on full public display.

She added: "It is such a great story. It will probably be part of one of our behind-the-scenes events in the next few months."




SEE ALSO:
Three-month delay on caviar rules
19 Mar 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Farmed sturgeon 'only hope for caviar'
02 Dec 02  |  Science/Nature
Who eats caviar?
05 Dec 00  |  UK News


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