Inhabits shallow waters of continental shelf. Adults are highly migratory while at sea (Ref. 57533). At the sea, it occurs in coastal and estuarine areas on soft bottom. In freshwaters, it is found in estuaries and large rivers. Forages mainly in brackish waters (Ref. 59043). Ascends coastal rivers to spawn. Juveniles may remain in fresh or brackish water until 3-5 years of age or 76-91.5 cm long (Ref. 4639). Females take 8 to 30 years to reach sexual maturity and spawn only every 3-4 years. Exact time of spawning depends on temperature (Ref. 26938). Eggs demersal, measuring 2.55 mm in diameter and hatching in 1 week at 17.8°C (Ref. 9980). Used smoked and fresh (Ref. 37032). Near threatened globally, but extirpated in Europe due to massive overfishing, damming, river regulation and pollution (Ref. 59043).