Thursday, April 8, 2010

Caviar Anyone?

The Beluga sturgeon has been placed on the Critically endangered list in the Caspian Sea. The Caspian Sea which is the biggest lake on Earth is bordered by Iran and Russia. The beluga sturgeon is fished for its unfertilized eggs that are used to make the World's best caviar. The high demand for the fish that creates the "best" black caviar is pushing the sturgeon to critically low numbers. The United States has banned the importation of the beluga sturgeon since 2005 as it is on the endangered species list. The decline in population numbers is seen in the other 27 species of sturgeon across the globe. In order to increase the population size of the sturgeon, scientists from the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science said focus should be placed on reducing the overfishing of the adult fish. Also, hatchery supplementation should not be relied upon to help increase the sturgeon population. Currently harvest rates are four to five times greater than the fishing levels that would maintain a stable population.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100318113241.htm

4 comments:

  1. I'm curious as to why they have to harvest the fish in order to get the eggs. I would think there would be a way to maybe just get the eggs from the water, or catch the fish, get the eggs and release them back into the wild.

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  2. This is really sad. I wish that humans had always had an awareness of how our decisions impacted the greater world. If so, maybe we could have prevented all of this. I hope conservation efforts will be able to restore their population.

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  3. Hopefully now that sturgeon are on the endengered species list their populations will rebound. I wonder what other species of fish are used for caviar?

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  4. I love seafood (especially sushi!), but I agree with Tom. There must be some way of getting the eggs without killing the fish. After all, the more fish you keep alive, the more caviar you can eat (because the surviving fish would make more eggs)! You think the fishers would at least consider that. Maybe none of the techniques they have so far are cost-effective.

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