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Iran to export 44 tons of Persian sturgeon this year

TEHRAN, Apr. 16 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran is the only country among other Caspian Sea littoral states that has been able to export over 87 percent of its Caviar export quota set for 2006, noted director of the International Sturgeon Research Institute of Iran, Mohammad Purkazemi.

Iran's share of the export of the four species of sturgeon fish from the Caspian Sea including Beluga and Persian sturgeon was set at about 50 tons, however, 44 tons of the quota was given to the Persian sturgeon, said the official who is also Iran's representative to CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The CITES approved exports of up 44 tons of caviar from Iran, the Persian service of Iranian Students News Agency ISNA quoted him as saying here on Sunday.

In order to impose a catch quota on the fish for 2006, a meeting was held by representatives from Iran and Turkmenistan, he said adding, during the meeting it was decided that exports of the Persian sturgeon be solely given to Iran.

As we are at the beginning of the year (Iranian year began March 21) it is too soon to predict the production level, the official said when commenting on this year's caviar production.

Every year, the CITES asks caviar producing countries for a quota for the following year's catch. Currently, 169 countries are members to the international organization.

The Caspian littoral states Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan produce 90 percent of the world caviar, with Iran accounting for 60 percent of their output.

Being home to 87 species of microphytes and many species of green algae, the Caspian is the source of 90 percent of the world's caviar. The sturgeon fish resources in the sea is at its lowest ever levels.

... Payvand News - 4/18/06 ... --

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