RE: NANFA-L--Caviar Bytes

Subject: RE: NANFA-L--Caviar Bytes
From: Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (Jan.J.Hoover at
Date: Wed Oct 06 2004 - 11:15:41 CDT

Three brief items regarding caviar:

1. Noticed this this odd note in a 1908 paper by paddlefish biologist (and
caviar promoter), Charles Stockard: "The gar pike's eggs have often been
unsuccessfully tried for caviar." In this paper "gar pike" apparently
refers to the smaller gar species. This is the only time that I can recall
seeing any reference to "gar caviar." We can only wonder what the measure
of success might have been since gar eggs are known to be toxic to some

2. Recently (11 Sep) I did an internet search to compare retail prices of
caviar. Here is what I came up with:

Beluga sturgeon (Huso huso) - beluga caviar (large eggs) $ 108 - $
Russian sturgeon (A. gueldenstaedtii) - osetra caviar $ 40 - $ 53
Stellate sturgeon (A. stellatus) - sevruga caviar (small eggs) $ 34 - $ 43
White sturgeon (A. transmontanus) - farmed $ 30 - $ 55
Shovelnose sturgeon $ 14 - $ 31
Paddlefish $ 14 - $ 31
Bowfin ('cajun caviar') $ 6 - $ 14

Notice that our "premium" caviars compare favorably in price with "budget
grades" of European caviar. This is interesting in light of a recent
development (see next item).

3. CASPIAN CAVIAR EXPORTS HALTED: The United Nations has halted all exports
of caviar from the Caspian Sea until countries there cut down on rampant
poaching, reports the Washington Times, 9/16. Last year, Russia, Kazakhstan,
Turkmenistan, Iran and Azerbaijan were allowed to export, under the
Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and
Flora (CITES,) 340,000 pounds of beluga, sevruga and osetra caviar. The
delicacy sells for between $750 and $2,000 a pound in the United States, the
largest single importer. "Underpinning the CITES policy is the hope that
Caspian governments - notably in Russia and Kazakhstan, the main culprits -
will cut poaching in order to resume exports. But that will not be easy. In
both countries, fishermen, traders and local officials say poaching has
become a way of life since the collapse of the Soviet Union brought economic
upheaval and ubiquitous corruption."

GREENLines, Thursday, September 16, 2004, Issue 2193
A daily news digest from the Endangered Species Coalition about endangered
plants, and wildlife and the people working to stop extinction.
For more on what you can do, please visit:

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: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 11:27:39 CST