UN relaxes ban on Caspian caviar exports

The United Nations has lifted a year-old embargo on exports of most types of caviar from the Caspian Sea, the main source of the delicacy, despite the fact that stocks are continuing to decline.
Exports of caviar were banned in 2006 because the main producers — Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan — failed to meet requirements, such as providing stock levels. A decision on whether to lift a ban on beluga, the most expensive caviar, was put off for a further month.

The United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) said it authorised the sale of nearly 96 tonnes of caviar in 2007, some 15% below the quotas set in 2005.

CITES said that the five producer states had agreed among themselves to cut the combined catch quotas for sturgeon by 20% from 2005 levels, with some species seeing a fall of over 30%.