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Sunday, October 24, 2004
Business in Romania blog
Romania is the world biggest exporter of beluga caviar.
The Associated Press

CONSTANTA, Romania (AP) - Romania will be the world's biggest exporter of beluga caviar after having taken steps to protect its sturgeon population, officials said Thursday.

Exports of beluga caviar are regulated through an international system of permits run by the Switzerland-based Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

This year, Romania will be the world's largest exporter of beluga caviar, with 3,410 (7,500 pounds) kilograms of caviar. The Balkan country is followed by Kazakhstan with 2,360 kilograms (5,190 pounds), according to figures released Thursday by the group, which has issued export quotas for September and October.

Export quotas for Romania were increased in 2004 after the country took measures to protect the white sturgeon population, including tough penalties for poaching. Last year, about 1,000 people were prosecuted for poaching fish, said Virgil Munteanu, governor of Romania's Danube Delta reservation.

Countries in the Caspian Sea region have agreed to reduce their exports by 50 percent this year to compensate for illegal harvests of sturgeon, John Sellar, an enforcement officer with the Convention, said by telephone from Switzerland.

He said the exporters also agreed at a recent conference in Bangkok, Thailand, to regulate exports more strictly. The 2004 quotas will have to be exported by the end of March 2005.

Illegal exports of beluga caviar, which is the black variety, are estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, with a kilogram of caviar costing about US$500 (euro400) per kilogram (2.2 pounds) wholesale, Sellar said.

On the Net:
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora,
Romanian sturgeons,

Posted by Cristian C. Francu : 10/24/2004 10:38:00 pm Romania - the world biggest exporter of beluga caviar.
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