The international ban on caviar export quotas from the Caspain sea has been lifted.
The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) has said an agreement has been reached with producers in the region.
Last month Cities lifted a temporary ban put in place last year to protect dwindling caviar stocks, although this relaxation excluded the world's most expensive caviar, Beluga.
However, following a new round of discussions states bordering the Caspian Sea have agreed to reduce the catch quota for Beluga caviar by 29% in 2007 (compared with 2005 the last year for which quotas were approved).
This means fisherman will have an export limit of 3,761 kg of the world's most valuable caviar this year.
Cites said the modest size of the quota was because sturgeon populations were continuing to fall.
Cites secretary general Willem Wijinstekers said: "The Caspian States have stepped up their efforts to control the caviar trade and release millions of young fish into the sea, but the decline in populations cannot be allowed to continue."
By Chris Druce
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