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Russisa halves caviar production , bids to boost sturgeon stocks
Thursday, November 20, 2003

Agence France Presse (France)

Russia halved its production of black caviar in 2003 to 50 tonnes and reduced its exports of the delicacy from 30 tonnes last year to 20 tonnes this year, state fisheries officials said Thursday.

During the 2003 fishing season, 450 tonnes of sturgeon -- whose roe comprises caviar -- were caught in the delta of the Volga river, with 200 tonnes being supplied to fish farms to obtain spawn to be used in the artificial reproduction of sturgeon, the officials said, as quoted by the Interfax news agency.

In 2003, fish farms restocked the Caspian and Azov seas with about 60 million young sturgeon, the officials said.

Results of a recent joint expedition by teams from Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan, the countries that border the Caspian, showed that the stock of sturgeon is growing, they said.

Experts have urged the International Commission for Fishing in the Caspian Sea to increase sturgeon fishing quotas for the Caspian countries next year, Interfax said.


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