The international ban on caviar export quotas from the Caspian Sea has been partially lifted, despite the continuing decline of stocks.
This is 15% below the quotas for 2005 and takes into account the 2006 agreement of the states bordering the Caspian Sea - Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan - to reduce their combined quotas for the six sturgeon species by 20%.
CITES Secretary-General Willem Wijnstekers said: "Ensuring that sturgeon stocks recover to safe levels will take decades of careful fisheries management and an unrelenting struggle against poaching and illegal trade.
"The income earned from the sale of sturgeon products in 2007 should provide both an incentive and the means to pursue the long-term recovery of this commercially and ecologically valuable natural resource," he added.
A quota for Beluga has not yet been set but is expected in the next month.
By Emily Manson
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