Navigation Links
CITES caviar export quotas remain steady for beluga sturgeon despite threat of extinction
Date:3/4/2008

NEW YORK CITY- The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) announced trade quotas governing the export of wild sturgeon and their prized caviar eggs from the Caspian Sea. The Pew Institute for Ocean Science has analyzed the quotas, which are re-set each year, and has determined that beluga caviar quotas are virtually unchanged from 2007 and do little to halt continued population declines.

Most sturgeon species are endangered, having been overfished nearly to extinction in pursuit of their caviar. Caviar is a prized delicacy that can fetch more than $100 an ounce, and the Caspian Sea is home to beluga sturgeon (Huso huso), whose eggs are considered to be among the finest in the world. Despite evidence that beluga sturgeon stocks have declined by a staggering 90 percent in the past 20 years, CITES 2008 export quotas again permit the fish and their eggs to be harvested. The sturgeon quota system was established to ensure that trade in sturgeon products would only be permitted from sustainable fisheries, but much evidence indicates the quotas do not reflect the urgent need for protection and the rampant illegal harvest and trade.

The United States banned import of beluga caviar in 2006 after listing beluga sturgeon under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Once again, the range States have agreed upon beluga export quotas that are too permissive and that will jeopardize sturgeon survival in the wild, said Dr. Ellen Pikitch, Executive Director of the Pew Institute for Ocean Science, a leader in the effort to safeguard sturgeon. We cannot recommend purchasing any wild-caught caviar given the sorry state of sturgeon fisheries management.

Sturgeon can grow up to 2,500 pounds and 15 feet long. They can take 15 years to reach reproductive age, and females of many sturgeon species reproduce only once every three to four years. The fish must be killed to harvest caviar, and global demand for its eggs has prompted overfishing and rampant illegal trade. As a result, sturgeons are vulnerable to overfishing and unable to recover quickly. In 2007, quotas for beluga caviar were 3,761 kg and this year, the export quota is 3,700 kg. (This slight decrease reflects the absence of a quota for Turkmenistan, which is not a Party to CITES but in past years has been allocated an export quota through neighboring Kazakhstan). Since the beluga population in the Caspian Sea has certainly not increased or stabilized since 2007, the quotas should be reduced to reflect this.

Caviar export quotas also decreased slightly for Russian sturgeon, from 27,630 kg in 2007 to 27,430 kg in 2008; and for sevruga sturgeon, which went from 20,337 kg to 18,200 kg, again reflecting the absence of quotas for Turkmenistan. Quotas for Persian sturgeon caviar dropped from 38,000 kg to 37,000 kg, and represent the only case in which a quota was voluntarily lowered. We need to start setting quotas based on sound scientific evidence, said Dr. Phaedra Doukakis, a research scientist with the Pew Institute. For the quota system to be effective at conserving sturgeons in the wild, it must be justified by accurate information about wild populations.

This year marks the first time that sturgeon and caviar quotas are governed by new regulations and review mechanisms established at a CITES conference last June. Interested parties are now empowered to request access to the scientific evidence that led to establishment of the quotas, and Dr. Doukakis said the Pew Institute will submit such a request to CITES regarding the 2008 Caspian Sea States sturgeon quotas.

In addition, the CITES Animals Committee will convene in April and hold its first meeting of international experts to review Caspian states scientific surveys of sturgeon populations. The Committee, which gained authority last June to conduct this assessment every three years, will examine whether the quota setting system is justifiable. The Pew Institute will look to the upcoming meeting (slated for April 19-24 in Geneva) to seek improvements in the stock assessment and quota setting process.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathryn Cervino
kcervino@miami.edu
212-756-0042
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Cold treatment opens doors for citrus exports to Japan
2. Challenges remain in reintroducing American chestnut
3. Americans remain pessimistic about the environment, Stanford-AP survey finds
4. Human embryonic stem cells remain embryonic because of epigenetic factors
5. Freshwater supplies threatened in central Pacific
6. Homeland Security awards 2 grants to Rutgers for nuclear threat detection
7. Smithsonian scientists working to save microscopic threatened species
8. Research shows loggerhead sea turtles threatened by small-scale fishing operations
9. Life-threatening gene defect located by UT-Houston researchers
10. Indigenous water frogs under threat
11. Women with AIDS face cervical cancer threat
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Das ... Nepal hat ein 44 ... geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, ... Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte ... Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Calif. , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by ... LMD3251MT  3D medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , ... multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex ... any combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. ... SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM ), ... through the development of innovative products and services, announced ... United States denied its petition to review ... Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") are not ... the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 ... ... a mission to bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare ... development and implementation of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...   Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism ... today awarded as one of the World Economic ... most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology ... world in the nutrition, health and consumer goods ... customers including Fortune 500 companies to design microbes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and ... and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension ... light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed ...
Breaking Biology Technology: