London, Jan 3, IRNA-International trade in caviar and other products made from the wild sturgeon fish has been banned, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
"We were unable to approve the export quotas for this year," said a spokesman for CITES -- the convention for trade in endangered species.
The ban, he said, was imposed for scientific reasons and to bring an end to illegal poaching in the Caspian Sea, where around 110-150 tons of caviar have been exported each year under a quota system.
In a statement CITES spoke of serious population decline in many sturgeon species in countries bordering the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea/lower Danube River, and the Heilongjiang/Amur River on the Sino- Russian border, BBC News reported.
The Secretariat of the Geneva-based Convention, which represents 169 member countries, said sturgeon exporting countries should adopt a common management plan.
"Countries wishing to export sturgeon products from shared stocks must demonstrate that their proposed catch and export quotas reflect current population trends and are sustainable," CITES Secretary General Willem Wijnstekers said.
He said that to achieve this 'they must also make full allowance for the amount of fish caught illegally'.
Importers such as the European Union also have important obligations, CITES said.
"They must ensure that all imports are from legal sources, and they must establish registration systems for their domestic processing and repackaging plants and rules for the labelling of repackaged caviar," it said.
The World Wildlife Fund for Nature warned in December that Caspian Sea sturgeon, who produce the prized fish eggs, are on the brink of extinction because of over-fishing.
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