Caspian Countries Extended Moratorium on Commercial Fishing for Sturgeon

Moscow / 26.12.19 / Turan: Five Caspian littoral states agreed to extend the moratorium on the commercial catch of sturgeon species. The decision is enshrined in the protocol of the third meeting of the Commission for the Conservation and Rational Use of Aquatic Biological Resources of the Caspian Sea, which was held in Tehran from December 23 to 25. It was attended by delegations from Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, according to a press release from the Federal Agency for Fisheries of Russia.

According to the agenda of the meeting, the parties exchanged information on the development of catch quotas, reproduction and protection of aquatic biological resources for 2018, and reviewed the results of studies on the status of stocks.

Representatives of the Caspian littoral states agreed on recommendations on the volume of catch of aquatic biological resources for 2020 and extended the ban on commercial catch of sturgeon in the Caspian Sea.

The Commission for the Conservation and Rational Use of Aquatic Biological Resources of the Caspian Sea was established by the littoral countries in 2014.

Despite the prohibitions introduced, sturgeon poaching does not stop. Today, black caviar and sturgeon fish can be purchased in all markets of coastal countries. In particular, sturgeons are sold at a price of 50-60 AZN per kilogram in Baku, and black caviar is sold at 1,000-1,500 manats (depending on the quality and variety of fish).

The maximum sturgeon catches in the Caspian basin were recorded at the beginning of the 20th century - 39.4 thousand tons, and also at the end of the 1970s - 27.4 thousand tons. A sharp reduction in the number of sturgeons began in 1991. At present, the future stocks of these species of fish depend on the effectiveness of measures to ensure natural and artificial reproduction, as well as on combating illegal fishing in the Caspian basin and trade in poaching products.

Russia has banned the industrial catch of beluga in the Volga-Caspian basin since 2000, and sturgeon and stellate sturgeon since 2005. A moratorium on industrial sturgeon fishing has been introduced in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan.  -02D-


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