WWF sounds warning on caviar

Nov 14, 2011
Poaching and illegal trade in sturgeon caviar persist in Romania and Bulgaria, environmental group WWF has warned, posing a serious risk to the highly threatened species of fish. A total of 52.5 kilos of illegal caviar, retailing for upwards of 6,000 euros ($8,200) per kilo, originating in the two countries were reported by European Union member states between 2000 and 2009, the report said.

Poaching and illegal trade in sturgeon caviar persist in Romania and Bulgaria, environmental group WWF warned on Monday, posing a serious risk to the highly threatened species of fish.

A total of 52.5 kilos (115.7 pounds) of illegal caviar, retailing for upwards of 6,000 euros ($8,200) per kilo, originating in the two countries were reported by European Union member states between 2000 and 2009, the report said.

"The real volume of illegal trade is likely to be considerably higher," the report's author Katalin Kecse-Nagy said in the statement.

"Any illegal trade poses an unacceptable risk to these highly threatened species."

The Black Sea is one of the most important fisheries in the world, second only to the . The Danube, as one of the major feeder rivers and estuaries of the Black Sea, is crucial for the fish.

According to the World Sturgeon , the Danube is the only large river system in Europe where protection of existing but dwindling sturgeon stocks is still possible.

Fishing and export of sturgeon and sturgeon products of wild origin was banned in Romania in 2006 for 10 years, while Bulgaria is currently under a one-year ban, the WWF said.

The WWF report recommended that Sofia and Bucharest strengthen their enforcement agencies, while also insisting for closer monitoring by the EU and more awareness among consumers and traders.

"The EU has a major responsibility to regulate the caviar trade because EU member states are the largest consumers of caviar from Romania and the second largest consumer of caviar from Bulgaria," WWF sturgeon expert Jutta Jahrl said.

"It is crucial that traders and consumers do not buy unlabelled caviar -- this simple act would strike a major blow against the ," the statement said.

"The EU must close every loophole in order to save sturgeons from extinction."

Giant sturgeons, an ancient fish which outlasted the dinosaurs, have been critically endangered by overfishing for their caviar -- uncooked roe or eggs -- and by cutting off their migration routes and altering their habitat.

Explore further: Japan to redesign Antarctic whale hunt after UN court ruling

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Caviar demand threatens U.S. sturgeon

Dec 31, 2005

A shortage of the prized beluga caviar from the Caspian Sea has increased sales for caviar from the sturgeon of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

Recommended for you

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

2 hours ago

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

India's ancient mammals survived multiple pressures

22 hours ago

Most of the mammals that lived in India 200,000 years ago still roam the subcontinent today, in spite of two ice ages, a volcanic super-eruption and the arrival of people, a study reveals.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

Venture investments jump to $9.5B in 1Q

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.