The Geneva-based UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has lifted a one-year an on exports of belga caviar, a luxury food item that can cost up to 600 euros per 100 grams.
The decision came after Caspian Sea states Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan agreed to limit catches in response to concerns over declining sturgeon populations.
‘The Caspian states have stepped up their efforts to control the caviar trade and to release millions of young fish into the sea, but the decline in populations cannot be allowed to continue,’ commented CITES secretary-general Willem Wijnstekers.
He added that the new ‘small quota’ should help reduce the depletion of sturgeon from the Caspian Sea, from which over 90 percent of the world’s caviar comes. He also called on restaurants, shops, airlines and consumers to buy beluga caviar solely from established sources.
Environmentalists estimate that legal and illegal overfishing has caused Caspian Sea sturgeon stocks to plunge by more than 90 percent since the late 1970s.
UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)