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International worldwide caviar ban announced

January 03, 2006


Environmentalists commend trade officials for move to protect wild sturgeon

Caviar Emptor applauds the UN's Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species for its decision today to ban the international trade of wild sturgeon caviar worldwide. The ban is good news for sturgeon that are on the brink of extinction, especially the Caspian Sea beluga sturgeon, which has lost 90% of its population in just 20 years due to overfishing for beluga caviar.

Caviar Emptor, a coalition of the University of Miami's Pew Institute for Ocean Science, SeaWeb and the Natural Resources Defense Council, is pleased with the tough stance CITES has taken today. Caspian nations must develop a recovery plan for sturgeon if the species is to be saved. For the most imperiled species, such as beluga sturgeon, a long-term trade ban and fishing moratorium is the only hope. We salute the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its decision to ban beluga caviar imports four months ago, which led the way in saving this magnificent species before it was too late.

Dr. Ellen Pikitch, Pew Institute for Ocean Science

Lisa Speer, Natural Resources Defense Council

Dawn Martin, SeaWeb

Related article in BBC news
NEW YORK TIMES article by C.J. Chivers

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