Half of tested caviar products from Europe are illegal, and some aren't even caviar
Regulation & Compliances
Market & Price Trends
Published Nov 21, 2023
A study conducted by sturgeon experts has found that half of the caviar products sampled from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine are illegal, and some do not even contain any trace of sturgeon. These findings indicate that regulations aimed at protecting sturgeon populations and preventing illegal trade are being actively broken. The researchers emphasize the urgent need to improve the control of caviar and sturgeon trade in order to ensure the future of Danube sturgeon populations.
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However, by conducting genetic and isotope analyses on caviar samples from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine—nations bordering the remaining wild sturgeon populations—a team of sturgeon experts found evidence that these regulations are actively being broken. Their results, published on November 20 in the journal Current Biology, show that half of the commercial caviar products they sampled are illegal, and some don't even contain any trace of sturgeon. "The conservation status of the Danube sturgeon populations renders each individual important for their survival, and the observed intensity of poaching undermines any conservation effort," write the researchers, led by Arne Ludwig of the Leibniz-Institute for Zoo & Wildlife Research. In Europe, there are four remaining sturgeon species, including Beluga, Russian, stellate, and sterlet, that are capable of producing caviar. The last remaining wild populations of these species in the European Union can be found in the Danube ...