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Last Updated: Friday, 8 October, 2004, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Caviar producers cut export quota
Caviar on sale
Christmas shoppers will have to dig deeper into their pockets
Major caviar producers have agreed to slash exports this year, a move almost certain to drive up prices of the luxury sturgeon roe delicacy.

Caspian Sea states Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Russia agreed to cut their combined exports to 113,554 kg (250,200 lb) from 146,210 kg.

Exports of beluga, the most expensive variety, will be halved to 4,425 kg.

The Caspian provides about 90% of the world's caviar but stocks have slumped because of poaching and pollution.

Hatchery programmes

The export cut was agreed at a meeting of producers in Bangkok on Friday.

Quotas are set towards the end of each year ahead of the Christmas period, when sales traditionally rise sharply.

"They have achieved these reductions through adjustments to the total harvest of sturgeons and through an increase in the amount of harvested sturgeons devoted to hatchery conservation programmes," said Jim Armstrong, deputy secretary general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

"The new approach agreed here gives the governments a strong economic stake in tackling illegal fishing.

"As the illegal trade declines, legal exports and thus government earnings, will rise accordingly in future years."


SEE ALSO:
Three-month delay on caviar rules
19 Mar 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Wakefield to be caviar capital
06 Dec 03  |  West Yorkshire


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