RE: NANFA-L--Caviar Bytes

Subject: RE: NANFA-L--Caviar Bytes
From: Bob Sinclair (rjs at
Date: Wed Oct 06 2004 - 12:21:51 CDT

RE: NANFA-L--Caviar BytesJan:

Translating the per ounce prices into per pound prices emphasizes what is
the unfortunate poaching which has threatened to drive the Beluga sturgeon
of the
Caspian Sea to extinction. (See below) In addition to the types you listed,
there is
another type of caviar that is even more expensive...way more expensive.

White "Almas" Belugia caviar is listed by at $23,308
per kilo;
an astounding $666 per ounce!

Unfortunately, during my many years of business travel to Scandinavia I
a taste for caviar. At today's prices, though, I've been restricting my
purchases to the
domestically produced Paddlefish variety. And I don't even buy much of that.

Bob Sinclair
Santa Barbara CA
  -----Original Message-----
  From: owner-nanfa-l at
Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS
  Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 9:16 AM
  To: 'nanfa-l at'
  Subject: RE: NANFA-L--Caviar Bytes

  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 - $
125 $1728-$2,000 lb.
  Russian sturgeon (A. gueldenstaedtii) - osetra caviar $ 40 - $ 53
  Stellate sturgeon (A. stellatus) - sevruga caviar (small eggs) $ 34 - $
43 $544-$688
  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