of the media only;
not an official document.
CITES authorizes sturgeon
export quotas for the Black Sea
Geneva, 7 September 2004 – The Secretariat of the Convention
on International Trade in Wild Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES)
has today published the 2004 export
quotas for three Black Sea countries that jointly manage the
sturgeon stocks that spawn every year in the Danube River.
The quotas permit Romania to export 3,410 kg of caviar; Bulgaria
to export 1,720 kg of caviar and Serbia and Montenegro to export
700 kg of caviar. These countries also plan to export a combined
total of 23,000 kg of sturgeon meat.
Black Sea caviar and sturgeon represent a small percentage of the
global trade in these valuable wildlife products, it is encouraging
that these sturgeon range States have collaborated successfully
in order to comply with the conservation requirements that governments
must now meet before they can obtain their annual quotas,”
said CITES Secretary-General Willem Wijnstekers.
“While several press stories in recent days erroneously
stated that CITES has placed a ban on caviar, these first new quotas
for 2004 demonstrate that the process in place for establishing
quotas is indeed working,” he added.
CITES responded to high levels of poaching and illegal trade in
the Caspian Sea – which accounts for some 90% of world caviar
– by halting the trade in Caspian caviar in 2001. It gave
the governments of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan
until the end of that year to conduct a scientific survey of stocks
and to start developing a common management plan. The fifth Caspian
State, Iran, was not subject to the caviar ban, but, commendably,
it too joined the regional effort.
This so-called ‘Paris Agreement’ established three
deadlines for taking steps that would lead to the resumption of
trade. Because the various anti-poaching and other actions specified
in the first two deadlines were met, CITES agreed to sturgeon and
caviar trade quotas for the Caspian States in 2002 and 2003.
Then, in November 2002, the member Governments of CITES developed
a list of conservation measures that now apply to all of
the world’s sturgeons. These measures were derived from the
obligations detailed in the Paris Agreement and were formalized
in Resolution Conf. 12.7.
To comply with the requirements of this Resolution, the Black
Sea countries developed common management plans. They are committed
to ensuring that all catch and export quotas are based on these
plans and on annual stock assessments.
Importantly, the CITES Secretariat cannot publish a country’s
annual quotas unless it is satisfied that this country as well as
the other States with which it shares stocks have complied fully
with the requirements of the Resolution.
The Secretariat looks forward to receiving the required information
from the world’s other shared sturgeon basins, including the
Caspian Sea, the Great Lakes of North America, the Azov Sea and
the Amour River so that it can publish additional 2004 sturgeon
and caviar export quotas.
Note to journalists: For more information see www.cites.org/eng/resources/quotas/sturgeon_intro.shtml
Or contact Juan-Carlos Vasquez at +41-22-917-8156 (office) or firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Michael Williams at +41-79-409-1528 (cell), +41-22-917-8242 (office),
previous press releases, go to Archives.