Due to illegal fishing and habitat degradation, sturgeon stocks are heavily depleted. To maintain the sustainability of sturgeon products and to ensure the survival of the species, all sturgeon species have been listed by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) since 1998.
Not surprisingly, then, the global caviar market is currently undergoing changes as there has been a significant shortage in the supply of pure caviar. The main reason for the shortage, particularly noticeable in the early 2000s was the CITES announcement prohibiting the trade in caviar whose origin is in sturgeon from the Caspian Sea. Subsequently, due to some stabilization in the situation, countries with shared sturgeon stocks agree among themselves on catch and export quotas based on scientific surveys of the stocks, under CITES regulations.
In 2009, the lack of agreement between the five Caspian countries resulted in a suspension of wild caviar imports from those countries. Reduced supplies of caviar from the wild have led to the establishment of aquaculture facilities for sturgeon in many countries. There is, however, a thriving trade in illegal caviar, particularly in the EU. To combat this, CITES parties have agreed on labeling requirements for all caviar containers.
Current aquaculture of sturgeon, like the breeding process used at our farm, is an economically viable means of sustainable, commercial caviar production. The farm, with its supply of clear, pure, oxygen-rich water has succeeded in creating meticulous breeding environment that enhances the conditions of the sturgeons’ natural habitat. As a result, our Karat Caviar is an excellent example of the superb quality and taste achieved by breeding Russian Osetra sturgeon in the Caviar Galilee Farm.