Royal Oscetra CaviarEAT

 

The Iranian (A. persicus) and Russian (A. guldenstaedti) sturgeon are the main species of acipenseridae caught in the Caspian Sea and have the most desirable caviar. This study was conducted to investigate the fatty acid profile of caviar (FA) in spring and autumn of Iranian (A. persicus) and Russian (A. guldenstaedti) sturgeon and its changes during frozen storage (-18 ° C ). Identified FAs of Iranian spring sturgeon caviar were lauric (C12: 0), myristic (C14: 0), palmitic (C16: 0), stearic (C18: 0), arachid (C20: 0) saturated fatty acids (SFA) , mono unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), Palmitoleic (C16: 1), Oleic (C18: 1), Erucic (C 22: 1 (n-9)), PUFA Linoleic C18: 2 (n-6), Linolenic (C18 : 3 (n-3)) acids and C16 isomers. But only C16: 0, C18: 0, C18: 1, C18: 2 (n-6), C 22: 1 (n-9) and C14: 0 were found in Iranian sturgeon caviar in the fall. Furthermore, the FAs in Russian Iranian sturgeon caviar were C12: 0, C14: 0, C16: 0, C18: 0, C20: 0, C16: 1, C18: 1, C 22: 1 (n-9), C18 : 2 (n-6), C18: 3 (n-3) and C16 isomers. With the exception of C16: 0 and C18: 2, all mentioned FAs were observed in Russian sturgeon caviar in autumn. The shelf life of the AFs and the quality of the caviar decreased during the storage period and it is recommended that the caviar keep for up to 2 months.

Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Brandt, 1833 Russian sturgeon
Ossetra
Order: ACIPENSERIFORMES Family: ACIPENSERIDAE
SUMMARY
The Russian sturgeon
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii can live up to 48 years and weigh around 100 kg. The
the species matures sexually between 8 and 16 years and most of the breeding females in the wild are between 13 and 23 years of age.
Spawning occurs every 2-3 years. A. gueldenstaedtii has a wide distribution, present in
the Caspian Sea ,
Black and Azov seas, and originally in many of the tributaries of these seas. In any case, the
the construction of dams on almost all of these rivers has significantly reduced the breeding area. The Urals

The river is one of the few large spawning rivers that has not been dammed. In addition to habitat loss, A.
gueldenstaedtii was overfished and egg production was stopped due to
environmental pollution. In the early 1990s, about 30% of the population in the Caspian Sea is almost
all stock in the Sea of ​​Azov came from restocking programs. However, the restocking of the
The Volga River of Russian hatcheries declined from 1991-1995 levels by nearly a third during 1996

Conversely, the number of fry released by Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Iran has generally increased
increased since 1995. Only Iran controls the success of its restocking program. The species is
Widely bred in captivity to produce meat and fry for both domestic and international trade. There is not
record of caviar production in captive farms.

When the commercial capture of sturgeon in the Caspian peaked in 1997, A. gueldenstaedtii included nearly
80% of the total catch and still provides an important part of the world production of caviar. Since,
recorded annual catches of the species decreased in all range states. In the Caspian Sea them
it decreased from 21,550 tons (t) in 1977 to less than 1,000 t in 1999 and in the Danube River annually
Catches decreased from 24t in the 1950s to early 1980s to less than 11t in 1999. Caspian Sea
the annual catch quotas are established by the Intergovernmental Commission for Living Resources of the Caspian,
composed of representatives of all the states of the Caspian chain. The catch quotas of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and
Ukraine have all been down recently. Domestic markets for sturgeon products are unknown in
The Russian Federation and Iran have estimated that its domestic consumption is 5% of the country's total caviar
production and 65% of its production of sturgeon meat. In 1998, the state exports of A. gueldenstaedtii
wild caviar was 95.3 t, with the Russian Federation (46 t) and Iran (40 t) the main
exporters. This can represent a minimum catch (male and female) of 1,361-1,588t, using a standard
rate of 6-7% by weight of caviar on the total catch. Apparently Iran has surpassed its caviar export quota by 10
t (but the caviar exports of A. gueldenstaedtii and A. persicus may have been combined in the Iranian CITES
Annual report for 1998). The total export quota for caviar for 2000 has decreased compared to the quota for 1999
119.5 t to 95.9 t, but it increased significantly for meat, from 53.5 t to 204 t.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE SPECIES
Vlasenko et al. (1989) argue that A. gueldenstaedtii is indistinguishable from A. persicus Persian
Sturgeon, where their ranges overlap in the southern and southeastern Caspians. Indeed, the capture of the
two species are combined in Azerbaijan's catch statistics. However, Dr. M. Pourkazemi (in letter a
IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program, September 2000) notes that A. gueldenstaedtii can be distinguished
from A. persicus in the Iranian coasts on the basis of 22 morphological differences (Nazari Chari, 1993,
quoted in Dr M. Pourkazemi in litt. at the IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program, September 2000). These two
the species can also be differentiated on the basis of immuno-biochemical characteristics.
DISTRIBUTION AND POPULATION
The CITES database lists the current distribution of A. gueldenstaedtii as: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan,
Russia, Turkmenistan (Ann., 2000a). However, the information gathered during this review suggests
that the species occurs or occurs naturally in Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.
A. gueldenstaedtii is classified as Endangered by the IUCN (1996):

IT A2d Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Iran, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Russia,
Turkey ?, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Yugoslavia
Caspian Sea Stocks: EN A2d Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan
Stock of the Azov Sea: EN A1acde + 2d Russia [Mediterranean and Black Sea]
Black Sea Stocks: EN A1acde Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Yugoslavia [Mediterranean and Black Sea].
There are two forms of the species. The anadromous shape of this sturgeon inhabits the Caspian Sea, the Black
Sea and Sea of ​​Azov (Vlasenko et al., 1989). The sturgeons inhabiting the Caspian Sea migrate mainly to
the Volga and Ural rivers for spawning. Breeding populations in rivers other than the Volga are now
minimum (Khodorevskaya et al., 1997; Levin, 1997; Vlasenko, 1990; Vlasenko et al., 1989). In the Caspian
It is estimated that the reservoir, A. gueldenstaedtii has lost about 70% of its breeding grounds

(Barranikova et al., 1995). The populations of the Caspian and the Black Sea contain both a spring and a winter
breeding breed (Vlasenko et al., 1989). A non-migratory form also exists in the Danube and the Volga River
basins and formerly in the Ural River (Hensel and Holcik, 1997; Holcik, 1995; Manea, 1966; Vlasenko et
al., 1989), although Birstein (1993) believes that the non-migratory form is extinct.
Azerbaijan: A. gueldenstaedtii is found in the Kura River, up to the Vavarin reservoir, the Lenkoranka River
(Azerbaijan, Georgia) and the Astara River (Azerbaijan, Iran) (Vlasenko et al., 1989). In the waters of the mid-western Caspian Sea along the Azerbaijani coast, A. gueldenstaedtii swims in coastal areas in spring and
summer and migrates to deep open sea waters as the temperature decreases (CITES management
Authority of Azerbaijan, in lett. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 18, 2000).
Bulgaria: Part of the Black Sea population migrates to the Danube River to spawn. The breeding
the seasons are in spring (early April when the first catches of the year are recorded) and autumn (late September) (CITES Management Authority of Bulgaria, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, 15 September 2000). A.
gueldenstaedtii is also found along the Black Sea coast. However, it is considered "rare" (Pr N. Bacalbasa Dobrovici, in litt. to IUCN / SSC, September 2000) due to overfishing and reduced reproductive capacity
(Karapetkova et al., 1995).
Georgia: the southeastern coast of the Black Sea is an important feeding and wintering area for sturgeon (Huso
huso, A. stellatus, A. nudiventris, A. persicus colchicus and A. sturio) migrating upstream to a number of
rivers for spawning. The main rivers involved are the Supsa, the Inguri, the Chorokhi and in particular the Rioni. A.
persicus colchicus is still the most abundant sturgeon species in Georgian waters (Zarkua and Tsuladze,
1999). A. gueldenstaedtii was also recorded from the Lenkoranka River (Azerbaijan, Georgia) (Vlasenko
et al., 1989).
Hungary: Some believe the species is extinct in Hungary, the last catch being in 1970
(Pinter, 1991). However, it can still occur in the Tisza River (Tiszafüred) (CITES Management Authority of
Hungary, in lett. to TRAFFIC Europe, 13 September 2000).
Iran: Dr. M. Pourkazemi (in letters IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program, September 2000) notes that the
The Sefidrud River and the Gorganrud River on the Iranian shores of the Caspian Sea are used for spawning
(Laluyee, 1996; Ramin, 1998, quoted in Dr M. Pourkazemi, in litt. To IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program,
September 2000). However, Dr. J. Holcik (lit. to IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program, September
2000) claims that access to the Sefidrud breeding grounds was prevented by Mangil
Dam construction, water extraction and pollution. According to Dr. M. Pourkazemi (in lit. to IUCN / SSC
Wildlife Trade Program, September 25, 2000), between the Mangil Dam and other dams built on
the river Sefidrud, remains a distance of 45 km from the dam closest to the estuary, and
the sturgeon is still observed entering the river to lay its eggs.
Kazakhstan: The species enters the Ural River for spawning, one of the few spawning rivers that is not
dammed (Vlasenko et al., 1989).
Moldova: The Moldovan chain on the Danube River is 811 m and the sturgeon is also found in the Prut River, a
tributary of the Danube (crossroads at km 137) (Anon., 2000c)

Romania: A. gueldenstaedtii is recorded from the Danube River and the Black Sea coast
the population density and catches of A. gueldenstaedtii decreased dramatically after the damming of the

Danube from the Djerdap I and II power plants (Bacalbasa-Dobrovici, 1997). The species was previously captured
in the lower reaches of the Prut, Jiu and Mures rivers (Hensel and Holcik, 1997).
Russian Federation: In the Caspian region, the population entering the Volga River to spawn in 1996 was
estimated at 120,000-150,000 individuals (Levin, 1997), a decrease from 500,000-600,000 individuals
in the previous years. Levin (1997) estimated that the age group of the majority of the population was between 8 and 25 years
years, with individuals over the age of 28 extremely rare.
In the Sea of ​​Azov some natural breeding sites are no longer accessible due to the construction of dams
on the Don and Kuban rivers (Anon., 2000b). In the mid-1980s, Volovik et al. (1993) estimated the total
biomass of the A. gueldenstaedtii stock equal to 44.8 t. In 1990, 55,000 sturgeons were found dead on the
shores of the Azov Sea. Since then, no population estimates have been made.
Slovakia: The winter race was present in the Danube until 1967, when the last specimen is likely
was captured (Holcik, 1995). Three or four individuals of the resident form are captured annually in
Danube River (Dr J. Holcik, in lit. IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program, September 2000). The species'
the future is threatened and the species is critically endangered (Holcik, 1989).
Turkey: The Coruh River is used for spawning. Unidentified sturgeon species have been reported in small sizes
numbers in the Sakarya and Mert rivers (Edwards and Doroshov, 1989). In the late 80s, local fishermen
estimated that only five to six pregnant female sturgeons could be taken from the Yesilirmak to supply a
hatchery and up to 20 from the Kizilirmak (Edwards and Doroshov, 1989).
Ukraine: from the Sea of ​​Azov, A. gueldenstaedtii migrates to the Don River, where it reproduces in the lower part
segment, downstream of the Tsimlyansk hydroelectric power plant. According to Pavlov (1980), A.
gueldenstaedtii is also occasionally known by the rivers Dnestr, Dnepr and Bug.
Former Yugoslavia: Population density has dropped dramatically in the Danube since
construction of the Djerdap I and II power stations. There are not enough adults to maintain fry production
in the Kladow hatchery (Pr N. Bacalbasa-Dobrovici, in letter to IUCN / SSC, September 2000). Was
classified as Endangered by Simonovic and Nikolic (1996).
Introduced populations: in the estuaries of the Baltic Sea river, east of Rostock (Germany), and further upstream,
Specimens of A. gueldenstaedtii and hybrid sturgeon were captured. They probably come from
upstream aquaculture farms and / or private aquariums (specimens that have become too large to be kept in
aquarium) (Jörn Gessner, scientist at the Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, comm.
to TRAFFIC Europe, March 15, 2000).
HABITAT AND ECOLOGY
A. gueldenstaedtii reaches 2.2-2.4 m in length and 65-115 kg in weight. In the past, specimens were known
reach the age of 48; life expectancy has now been reduced to 38 years due to overfishing
(Vlasenko et al., 1989). The species sexually matures between the ages of 8 and 16 and most of the egg-producing females
the wild are between 13 and 23 years old. The average size of females at first spawning is 1.2m and 9kg e
spawning occurs every 2-3 years (Hochleithner and Gessner, 1999). The diet changes according to the food
availability but mainly consists of benthic molluscs, larvae and, in some areas, small fish. Migration a
river breeding areas occur in two periods: from early spring to late autumn, with a peak
summer; and during the winter, when the fish hibernate in rivers and reproduce the following year.
The young migrate downstream to feeding places. In the Caspian Sea the main feeding area is in the
to the north, but a winter migration to the central and southern areas of the Caspian has been observed
(Barannikova et al., 1995).
Based on the catch and caviar production in the late 1970s, the weight rate of caviar / total catch was
estimated at 7% for the three main commercial species of the Northern Caspian Sea, H. huso, A.
gueldenstaedtii and A. stellatus (Doroshov and Binkowski, 1985, cited in Williot and Bourguignon, 1991).

Studies indicate that the sexual maturity of A. gueldenstaedtii in Iranian waters differs from that given by Levin
(1997); an average age of 15 years in females (min. 9 and max. 19 years) and an average age of 14 years
in males (min. 8 and max. 17 years) (International Sturgeon Research Institute, 1998, quoted in Dr M.

Pourkazemi, in lett. at the IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program, September 2000).
Kazakhstan: Until 1993, the mouth of the Ural River was dredged every year to allow ships to travel
upstream of the port of Atyrau (formerly Gur'yev). Since 1993, this annual management of the river channel
it was not carried out and constitutes an obstacle to the migration of sturgeons (Anon., 2000c).
THREATS TO SURVIVAL AND DOMESTIC USE
In the Caspian Sea, construction of hydroelectric power plants and dams on most of the rivers that enter them
the sea reduced the available breeding habitat by up to 70% of that available in the 1950s. Winter
migration was more severely affected by this construction than summer migration because the
the distance traveled upstream in winter is generally greater (Barannikova et al., 1995). The only river with a
the unregulated flow is the Ural. The bad environmental conditions in the period 1986-1990 caused
degeneration of the female reproductive system in fish caught in the lower Volga River in 1990 (Shagaeva
et al., 1993).
In the Black Sea and Azov Sea basins, the flow of water has been altered by construction and irrigation
practically all the rivers that enter these seas. The pollution and eutrophication of coastal waters caused a mass
death of fish. Food sources were exhausted by an introduced ctenophore Mnemiopsis leydyi. However,
It has recently been reported that a second invasive ctenophore Beroe ovata in the Black Sea could prey on
the first and therefore to restore the ecological balance (Schrope, 2000).
High levels of pollution posed a serious threat to sturgeons in both the Caspian and Black Sea basins.
Studies have shown that high levels of toxins, from oil and other industrial wastes, have altered hormones
balance, disturbed metabolism and an increase in the number of hermaphrodite fish. However, from the break
in the Soviet Union, heavy industry and the resulting discharges decreased allowing for water quality
improve (Levin, 1997).
The caviar of A. gueldenstaesdtii is commercially known as "Ossetra", as well as the caviar of many others
species such as Ship Sturgeon A. nudiventris and Amur Sturgeon A. schrenckii, and is the second
highly sought after caviar, after that of Beluga H. huso. Commercial sturgeon catches in the Caspian
The sea basin peaked at 27,300 t in 1977, with A. gueldenstaedtii being the most abundant species (79%,
21,550 t), followed by A. stellatus (17%, 4,650 t) (Levin, 1997), with the remaining 4% (0.11 t)
shared between H. huso and A. nudiventris. The catch of A. gueldenstaedtii dropped to 16,300 tonnes in 1978
(Khodorevskaya et al., 1997) and about 965 t in 1997. In the middle Danube River, the average
the annual catch of the species from 1958 to 1981 was 24.9 t (Hensel and Holcik, 1997). The registered
landings from the lower Danube in Romania and Bulgaria did not exceed 11 t in 1999.
Strict legislation on sturgeon fishing was in place in the former Soviet Union and Iran
decades until the emergence of three new independent states in the Caspian basin in 1992 (Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) (De Meulenaer and Raymakers, 1996). Current information suggests this
changes to previous regulations and / or the adoption of new regulations are now in effect in most of the new ranges
States in the Caspian Sea as well as in the basins of the Black Sea (including the Danube River) and the Azov Sea. In the
second, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine are the most important countries for sturgeon fishing. However, the execution
measures appear to be lacking and numerous experts and government officials have reported a
the growing pressure from illegal fishing practices and criminal activities surrounding the caviar trade in most of the
the range (Anon., 2000b; Dobbs, 1992; Doward, 2000; Evtouchenko, 1997; King, 1998; Ward, 2000a;
2000b)
Azerbaijan: The waters of this region represent important winter feeding areas, but lakes of oil deposited
and the pollutants lie on the shores of the Caspian and the number of these pollutants the sea is predicted
increase with sea level rise (Dumont, 1995). Along the northern and southern coast of Azerbaijan,
within the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone, A. gueldenstaedtii is caught as bycatch in stationary

Studies indicate that the sexual maturity of A. gueldenstaedtii in Iranian waters differs from that given by Levin
(1997); an average age of 15 years in females (min. 9 and max. 19 years) and an average age of 14 years

in males (min. 8 and max. 17 years) (International Sturgeon Research Institute, 1998, quoted in Dr M.
Pourkazemi, in lett. at the IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program, September 2000).
Kazakhstan: Until 1993, the mouth of the Ural River was dredged every year to allow ships to travel
upstream of the port of Atyrau (formerly Gur'yev). Since 1993, this annual management of the river channel
it was not carried out and constitutes an obstacle to the migration of sturgeons (Anon., 2000c).
THREATS TO SURVIVAL AND DOMESTIC USE
In the Caspian Sea, construction of hydroelectric power plants and dams on most of the rivers that enter them
the sea reduced the available breeding habitat by up to 70% of that available in the 1950s. Winter
migration was more severely affected by this construction than summer migration because the
the distance traveled upstream in winter is generally greater (Barannikova et al., 1995). The only river with a
the unregulated flow is the Ural. The bad environmental conditions in the period 1986-1990 caused
degeneration of the female reproductive system in fish caught in the lower Volga River in 1990 (Shagaeva
et al., 1993).
In the Black Sea and Azov Sea basins, the flow of water has been altered by construction and irrigation
practically all the rivers that enter these seas. The pollution and eutrophication of coastal waters caused a mass
death of fish. Food sources were exhausted by an introduced ctenophore Mnemiopsis leydyi. However,
It has recently been reported that a second invasive ctenophore Beroe ovata in the Black Sea could prey on
the first and therefore to restore the ecological balance (Schrope, 2000).
High levels of pollution posed a serious threat to sturgeons in both the Caspian and Black Sea basins.
Studies have shown that high levels of toxins, from oil and other industrial wastes, have altered hormones
balance, disturbed metabolism and an increase in the number of hermaphrodite fish. However, from the break
in the Soviet Union, heavy industry and the resulting discharges decreased allowing for water quality
improve (Levin, 1997).
The caviar of A. gueldenstaesdtii is commercially known as "Ossetra", as well as the caviar of many others
species such as Ship Sturgeon A. nudiventris and Amur Sturgeon A. schrenckii, and is the second
highly sought after caviar, after that of Beluga H. huso. Commercial sturgeon catches in the Caspian
The sea basin peaked at 27,300 t in 1977, with A. gueldenstaedtii being the most abundant species (79%,
21,550 t), followed by A. stellatus (17%, 4,650 t) (Levin, 1997), with the remaining 4% (0.11 t)
shared between H. huso and A. nudiventris. The catch of A. gueldenstaedtii dropped to 16,300 tonnes in 1978
(Khodorevskaya et al., 1997) and about 965 t in 1997. In the middle Danube River, the average
the annual catch of the species from 1958 to 1981 was 24.9 t (Hensel and Holcik, 1997). The registered
landings from the lower Danube in Romania and Bulgaria did not exceed 11 t in 1999.
Strict legislation on sturgeon fishing was in place in the former Soviet Union and Iran
decades until the emergence of three new independent states in the Caspian basin in 1992 (Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) (De Meulenaer and Raymakers, 1996). Current information suggests this
changes to previous regulations and / or the adoption of new regulations are now in effect in most of the new ranges
States in the Caspian Sea as well as in the basins of the Black Sea (including the Danube River) and the Azov Sea. In the
second, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine are the most important countries for sturgeon fishing. However, the execution
measures appear to be lacking and numerous experts and government officials have reported a
the growing pressure from illegal fishing practices and criminal activities surrounding the caviar trade in most of the
the range (Anon., 2000b; Dobbs, 1992; Doward, 2000; Evtouchenko, 1997; King, 1998; Ward, 2000a;
2000b)
Azerbaijan: The waters of this region represent important winter feeding areas, but lakes of oil deposited
and the pollutants lie on the shores of the Caspian and the number of these pollutants the sea is predicted
increase with sea level rise (Dumont, 1995). Along the northern and southern coast of Azerbaijan,
within the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone, A. gueldenstaedtii is caught as bycatch in stationary

kilka (Clupeidae) fishing nets and devices (CITES Management Authority of Azerbaijan, in letters to TRAFFIC
Europe, September 18, 2000). Young and adult fish are caught by inshore fishing at the time of theirs
migration, as the water temperature changes. Young fish constitute up to 17.7% of by-catches.
Species composition of catches and by-catches of sturgeon species in the late 1990s
A. persicus & A.
gueldenstaedtii
A. stellatus H. huso A. nudiventris
Capture 63.47% 30.77% 5.76%
By-catches 78.50% 16.80% 3.70% 1%
Source: CITES Management Authority of Azerbaijan, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 18, 2000
Annual recorded landings (catches and by-catches) of A. gueldenstaedtii and A. persicus (in tonnes)
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
A. gueldenstaedtii
& A. perch
26.00 40.20 37.00 72.60 100.30 101.20 51.30 79.20 48.60 55.00
Total 74.00 88.20 111.00 240.10 201.20 162.50 120.30 128.60 82.40 108.90
Source: CITES Management Authority of Azerbaijan, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 18, 2000
In the late 1990s, for the first time in the history of kilka fisheries, the by-catch of A. gueldenstaedtii was
dropped almost to zero. For example, 364 specimens were caught in 1992, while incidental catches were
reduced to a few anecdotal specimens in more recent years.
Bulgaria: Wild sturgeon populations have been threatened by decreasing spawn numbers
land on the Danube River due to human development, especially hydroelectric plants. The
unregulated long-term fishing has disrupted the age composition of populations due to selectivity
the capture of sexually mature fish and the by-catch of juveniles during their migration to the sea. Water pollution has
it also influenced fish metabolism (CITES Management Authority of Bulgaria, in litt. to TRAFFIC
Europe, September 15, 2000).
Annual catch of A. gueldenstaedtii (in tonnes)
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
A. gueldenstaedtii 0.9 2.4 5.4 7.5 6.0
Total catch of sturgeons 14.7 32.5 49.8 55.9 50.5
no. of qualifications issued 0 0 122 155 169
Source: CITES Management Authority of Bulgaria, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 15, 2000
Domestic consumption of caviar in Bulgaria is limited to 7-10% of the total Bulgarian caviar production.
Bulgaria's entire sturgeon meat production is consumed within the country.
Georgia: During the fishing seasons, especially the coastal anchovy fishing, numerous young sturgeons
are caught as by-catches. Estimated catch of all sturgeon species decreased from 77,000 individuals to
1977, to 57,000 in 1980 and 27,000 in 1986. During the 1990s, illegal fishing in Georgia expanded
quickly due to poor control (Zarkua and Tsuladze, 1999).
Hungary: Threats to A. gueldenstaedtii are not documented due to a general lack of documents. The species
is protected and domestic use is prohibited (CITES Management Authority of Hungary, in litt. to
TRAFFIC Europe, 13 September 2000).
Iran: the breeding grounds of the Sefidrud river have been lost due to the construction of the Mangil dam in
1961 (Dr J. Holcik, litt. IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program, September 2000). Over the past 5 years,
the Iranian domestic market for caviar and sturgeon meat is estimated at 5% and 65% of the national market
respectively the production (CITES Management Authority of Iran, in letter to TRAFFIC Europe, 24 September
2000)

Annual catches of A. gueldenstaedtii and A. persicus (in tonnes)
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
A. persicus 538.3 601.1 559.6 415.0 408.9 386.5 488.3 448.2 547.3 439.9 153.6
A. gueldenst. 384.7 422.7 363.1 212.7 142.1 114.3 130.9 86.3 75.3 56.7 11.2
Total 2,296.3 2,315.1 2,058.0 1,462.1 1,380.9 1,216.3 1,310.0 1,043.5 1,127.9 923.3 182.4

Capture only in the spring of 2000.
Source: CITES Management Authority of Iran, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 24, 2000
Production of A. gueldenstaedtii and A. persicus in 1992 and 1999 (in tonnes)
1992 1999
% of meat *% of caviar *% of meat *% of caviar *
A. persicus 451.9 28.2 62.6 23.9 355.5 48.7 50.8 51.2
A.
gueldenstaedtii
279.7 17.4 38.6 14.7 43.6 6.1 5.8 6.0
Total 1,604.2 262.3 730.2 99.3 The percentages refer to the share of A. gueldenstaedtii products in the total Iranian sturgeon fishery.
Source: Dr. M. Pourkazemi, in litt. at the IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program, September 2000
The tables above indicate that the total tonnage of A. gueldenstaedtii meat and caviar produced in Iran
in 1992 and 1999 it represented 87% of the country's annual catch by weight. This rate was 92% for A.
perch.
Note on A. persicus: The best results of the restocking program of five sturgeon species have been obtained
for A. persicus. This species is considered endemic to the southern Caspian Sea basin and rarely
migrates towards the center and north of the sea. The results of the monitoring of catches and stocks of
A. persicus suggest that the wild population does not follow the same commercial trends as others
captured sturgeon. The state of the population appears to be improving while the stocks of A.
gueldenstaedtii, A. stellatus, A. nudiventris and H. huso appear to decrease. In the near future, the
the state of the A. persicus stock should be greater than that of other species. In the past the A.
persicus accounted for 20% of the annual catch of Iranian sturgeons, while it currently comprises more than
55-60%. While the status of A. persicus appears to improve in Iranian waters and includes beyond
50% of the Iranian catch, the status of A. gueldenstaedtii continues to decline (CITES management
Authority of Iran, in lett. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 24, 2000).
Kazakhstan: Oil fields can affect breeding and feeding grounds in the northern Caspian area
(Sagers, 1994). The central area is threatened by the radioactive contamination of a nuclear reactor
(Dumont, 1995).
Annual catch of A. gueldenstaedtii (in tonnes)
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

A. gueldenstaedtii 123.0 154.0 136.0 115.0 47.0 31.6 42.1 39.5 135.0 60.0 34.6
Total 1,963.0 1,767.0 1,437.3 1,109.0 556.0 573.0 367.8 389.5 490.0 279.0 230.5 Spring capture
Source: CITES Management Authority of Kazakhstan, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, 21 September 2000
Romania: Threats include overfishing, poaching, pollution and dams of the Danube by Djerdap I and
Djerdap II (Bacalbasa-Dobrovici, 1997).
Annual catch of A. gueldenstaedtii (kilograms)
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Capture 748 639 398 2,528 2,820 3,273 4,382 1,732 4,314
Source: Dr. N. Patriche, in lett. to the IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program, 5 September 2000
These data include catches in the Danube River and the delta, as well as in the Black Sea. From 1991 to 1999,
about 17% of the total Romanian sturgeon catch included A. gueldenstaedtii

Russian Federation: Caspian region: the Volgograd dam has reduced spawning areas in the main part
breeding river, the Volga, at 430 hectares by 3,600 hectares. Likewise, the breeding grounds available in the Terek
and the Sulak rivers have been reduced to 132 ha and 202 ha respectively. The flow of the Ural River remains
unregulated and provides a natural breeding area of ​​1,400 hectares.
Black Sea and Azov Sea Region: the regulation of the flow of the Kuban River led to the loss of approx
140,000 hectares of fertile land and the construction of the Tsymlyansk reservoir on the Don River in 1952 ha

removed about 68,000 hectares of breeding land (Volovik et al., 1993). Environmental deterioration
conditions in this area killed 55,000 fish in 1990.
Annual catch of A. gueldenstaedtii in the Caspian Sea (in tonnes)
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Capture 4,446 2,259 1,490 1,113 510 759
Source: Caspian Fisheries Research Institute (KaspNIRKh), cited in Anon., 2000b
From 1992 to 1997, about 50% of the total Russian Federation sturgeon catches in the Caspian
Sea included A. gueldenstaedtii (Anon., 2000b).
The level of domestic consumption of sturgeon products in the Russian Federation is unknown, but it is said to be
the main outlet for illegal sturgeon fishing (Mr. Roman V. Ivakhnenko, State Fisheries Committee, pers. comm.
to TRAFFIC Europe-Russia, September 2000). Based on the number of illegal fishing tackle sets
registered by the law enforcement agencies of the Caspian and Azov seas, the illegal capture of sturgeon was
rated 6 to 10 times the legal capture (Anon., 2000b). In 1997, the estimated volume of Moscow
sturgeon meat market was three times the annual catch quotas for all sturgeon species (Anon., 1998).
Slovakia: No catches have been reported from the construction of the Gabcíkovo river dam system in
1992 (Dr J. Holcik, in lett. IUCN / SSC Wild Animal Trade Program, 2000). The future of the species is
threatened and the species is in danger of extinction (Holcik, 1989).
Turkey: From 1969 to 1979, the annual landings of Turkish sturgeons ranged from 310 t to 10 t, with a
average of 112 t (Edwards and Doroshov, 1989). In 1989 in Samsun, a Turkish landing site on the Black Sea,
a caviar processor claimed that his business had dropped from 8 t a year of caviar between the 1940s and
1970s, to 200 kg per year by the end of the 1980s. In 1989, the sturgeon was caught as a by-catch
trawlers that legally operated along the Turkish coast at a distance greater than three nautical miles from
land, but also illegally within the three nautical mile limit. This represented the main fishing pressure on
sturgeon. In April 1989, A. stellatus, A. gueldenstaedtii, H. huso and A. sturio were observed in Samsun. The
investigators were told that A. nudiventris had also landed in Samsun (Edwards and Doroshov, 1989).
Turkmenistan: Sturgeon fishing and processing is a state monopoly in Turkmenistan (Anon., 2000c).
Ukraine: No information provided.
Yugoslavia: The breeding grounds of the Danube River are no longer accessible due to the construction of the
Djerdap dams. The catch of A. gueldenstaedtii in the Yugoslav part of the Danube River has decreased dramatically
before (588 km) and after (17.8 km of seabed from the dam to the border; see “Conservation
Measures ") the construction of the Djerdap II dam in 1984. The following catches by A. gueldenstaedtii
were reported: total annual catches of 14,636 kg in 1983 and 1,636 kg in 1985, with an average annual catch
of 10,354 kg for the period 1978-1983 and 1,789 kg for the period 1985-1990 (Jankovic, 1993 and 1996).
INTERNATIONAL TRADING
The list of A. gueldenstaedtii in CITES Appendix II entered into force on April 1, 1998. Data for this
the species were therefore limited to nine months of trade (April-December 1998).
Gross exports and the comparative table of trade in A. gueldenstaedtii are given in the appendix.
According to CITES data from 1998, gross exports of A. gueldenstaedtii caviar from the breeding states amounted to
95.392 kg, the second largest volume of all sturgeon species after A. stellatus. Five parties exported

Russian Federation: Caspian region: the Volgograd dam has reduced spawning areas in the main part
breeding river, the Volga, at 430 hectares by 3,600 hectares. Likewise, the breeding grounds available in the Terek
and the Sulak rivers have been reduced to 132 ha and 202 ha respectively. The flow of the Ural River remains
unregulated and provides a natural breeding area of ​​1,400 hectares.
Black Sea and Azov Sea Region: the regulation of the flow of the Kuban River led to the loss of approx
140,000 hectares of fertile land and the construction of the Tsymlyansk reservoir on the Don River in 1952 ha
about 68,000 hectares of breeding land released (Volovik et al., 1993). Environmental deterioration
conditions in this area killed 55,000 fish in 1990.
Annual catch of A. gueldenstaedtii in the Caspian Sea (in tonnes)
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Capture 4,446 2,259 1,490 1,113 510 759

Source: Caspian Fisheries Research Institute (KaspNIRKh), cited in Anon., 2000b
From 1992 to 1997, about 50% of the total Russian Federation sturgeon catches in the Caspian
Sea included A. gueldenstaedtii (Anon., 2000b).
The level of domestic consumption of history-based products in the Russian Federation is unknown, but it is said to be
the main outlet for illegal sturgeon fishing (Mr. Roman V. Ivakhnenko, State Fisheries Committee, pers. comm.
a TRAFFIC Europe-Russia, September 2000). Based on the number of illegal fishing tackle sets
registered by the law enforcement agencies of the Caspian and Azov seas, the illegal capture of sturgeon was
rated 6 to 10 times the legal capture (Anon., 2000b). In 1997, the volume Lo Estimate of Moscow
sturgeon meat market was three times the annual catch quotas for all sturgeon species (Anon., 1998).
Slovakia: No catches have been reported from the construction of the Gabcíkovo river dam system in
1992 (Dr. J. Holcik, in lett. IUCN / SSC Wild Animal Trade Program, 2000). The future of the species is
threatened and the species is in danger of extinction (Holcik, 1989).
Turkey: From 1969 to 1979, the annual landings of Turkish sturgeons ranged from 310 t to 10 t, with a
average of 112 t (Edwards and Doroshov, 1989). In 1989 in Samsun, a Turkish landing site on the Black Sea,
unre of caviar claimed that its business had dropped from 8 t a year of caviar between the 1940s and
70s, a 200 kg per year by the end of the 80s. In 1989, the sturgeon was caught as a by-catch
trawlers that legally operated along the Turkish coast at a distance greater than three nautical miles from
land, but also illegally within the three nautical mile limit. This represents the main fishing pressure on
sturgeon. In April 1989, A. stellatus, A. gueldenstaedtii, H. huso and A. sturio were observed in Samsun. The
investigators were told that A. nudiventris had also landed in Samsun (Edwards and Doroshov, 1989).
Turkmenistan: Sturgeon fishing and processing is a state monopoly in Turkmenistan (Anon., 2000c).
Ukraine: No information provided.
Yugoslavia: The breeding grounds of the Danube River are no longer accessible due to the construction of the
Djerdap dams. The catch of A. gueldenstaedtii in the Yugoslav part of the Danube River has decreased dramatically
before (588 km) and after (17.8 km of seabed from the dam to the border; see “Conservation
Measures ") the construction of the Djerdap II dam in 1984. The following catches by A. gueldenstaedtii
were reported: total annual catches of 14,636 kg in 1983 and 1,636 kg in 1985, with an average annual catch
of 10,354 kg for the period 1978-1983 and 1,789 kg for the period 1985-1990 (Jankovic, 1993 and 1996).
INTERNATIONAL TRADING
The list of A. gueldenstaedtii in CITES Appendix II came into effect April 1, 1998. Data for this
the species were therefore limited to nine months of trade (April-December 1998).
The sir operations and the comparative table of exchanges in A. gueldenstaedtii are given in the appendix.
According to CITES data from 1998, gross exports of A. gueldenstaedtii caviar from the breeding states amounted to
95.392 kg, the second largest volume of all sturgeon species after A. stellatus. Five exported parties.

gueldenstaedtii caviar: Russian Federation (46 t), Iran (40 t), Kazakhstan (7.5 t), Azerbaijan (0.867 t)
and Romania (0.233 t). The largest importers of A. gueldenstaedtii caviar were Switzerland (19 t), the
USA (17 t), France (16 t) and Germany (15 t).
Exports of other specimens of A. gueldenstaedtii reported by CITES parties for 1998 are: 329,417 alive

fish, mostly bred in captivity or from "F" (first generation) origin from Hungary and Poland, and 686 kg of
meat almost entirely from Iran. Live A. gueldenstaedtii trade is by far the highest of all sturgeons
species. The main exporters are the countries of central Europe, where fish farms and hatcheries are freshwater
have been successful since the 1960s.
Exports of A. gueldenstaedtii from Hungary in 1999 (number of fry)
Germany Belgium United Kingdom France Italy Netherlands Austria
Inhabiting fry
25,000 25,000 25,000 15,000 5,000 7,500 4,500
Source: CITES Management Authority of Hungary, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, 13 September 2000
Exports of A. gueldenstaedtii from Russia in 1999 (kilograms)
Quantity (kg)
Description Importer Number of permits
A. gueldenstaedtii 37.30 Live eggs GR, DE, SY, AM, HU 12 Export
28.017.68 Caviar USA, DE, DK, NL, FR, GB, BE 63 Ex. + 9 Re es.
8,696.50 Meat US 4 Export
Hybrids:
A. baerii x A.
guelda.
3.50 Live eggs PL, DE 2 Export
A. guelda. X A.
baeri
37.50 Live eggs CN, SY 3 Export
Source: CITES Management Authority of the Russian Federation, in lett. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 18th
2000
Export quotas for A. gueldenstaedtii (kilograms)
1998 1999 2000
Caviar Caviar Meat Caviar Meat Fert. egg
Azerbaijan 5,900 50.00
Kazakhstan 5,500 4,200 49,000
Romania 1,250 3,500 1,800 20,000
Rus. Powered. 69,000 40,000 Caspian 25,090 75,000 60
Azov 8,500 17,000
A. gueldenstaedtii x A.
Ruthenian
90
Source: CITES Notification No. 1998 / 35-36-61, 1999 / 21-47-53-68 and 2000 / 053-056
In 1999, new specimens appeared in the Annual Reports, such as 35 kg of swim bladder exported from
Iran. Sturgeon swim bladders are exported for processing into the best quality isinglass and isinglass. The glue

it has a wide range of uses, including antique furniture and restoration of paintings, and once diluted, to clarify
beer, wine and champagne.

Illegal trade: In 1998, US Customs confiscated A. gueldenstaedtii caviar of unknown origin upon import.
A total of 1,215 kg seized, of which 693 kg re-exported from Turkey and 522 kg re-exported
from the United Arab Emirates. Discrepancies between the trade statistics of importing and exporting countries
caviar can indicate illegal activity. Such discrepancies were found for example in 1995 and 1996
Turkey (exports of caviar declared to customs 21 t and 80 t respectively) and EU member states
(6 t and 20 t respectively) (Raymakers, 1999). Furthermore, Turkish caviar exports in 1996 amounted to 121 t
(Raymakers, 1999), while sturgeon fishing in the country has been limited to a few bycatches
since the late 1980s (Edwards and Doroshov, 1989).
Poaching and smuggling are closely related and have been widely reported in the media in both areas
Importing states and countries (Evtouchenko, 1997; McDonald, 2000; Snyder, 2000). However, much of the
illegally caught sturgeon is destined for the internal market, in particular for meat (Anon., 1998).
Several EU member states are also detailed in CITES data as re-exporters of A.
gueldenstaedtii caviar of unknown origin. According to CITES annual reports, these shipments were not
confiscated on import.
CONSERVATION MEASURES
A. gueldenstaedtii is not fully protected in any of its distribution states. However, a license is required for
fishing in most countries and in Iran private fishing for sturgeon is prohibited. There is no specific
monitoring program for this species in any range state. They have fish lifts and artificial breeding grounds
been introduced in some regions of the Caspian.
As for juvenile restocking efforts, despite the Russian's large-scale aquaculture programs
Federation and Iran, the stocks of A. gueldenstaedtii have continued to decline (Dr. M. Pourkazemi, in litt. To
IUCN / SSC Wild Animal Trade Program, September 2000).
Azerbaijan: The Intergovernmental Commission for Caspian Biological Resources, composed of
representatives of all states in the distribution area, has set annual catch quotas (CITES managing authority of
Azerbaijan, under letters to TRAFFIC Europe, September 18, 2000).
Annual catch quotas for Azerbaijan (tonnes)
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
A. guelden. 70 225 225 ? ? ? ? ? ? 54.8
Total 200 308 510 480 360 182 160.5 160.5 160.5 108.67 108.35
Source: CITES Management Authority of Azerbaijan, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 18, 2000
Three hatcheries were built in the lower Kura River by the authorities of the former Soviet Union in
60's. A World Bank feasibility study reports that the total capacity of the hatcheries was originally
12 million, but that this capacity had decreased significantly over the years (T. Turner, World Bank
consultant, in lett. to TRAFFIC Europe, 6 October 2000). Funds from the World Bank have been earmarked for the
construction of a new hatchery and sturgeon farm which will have a capacity of 15 million fry per year
and should be operational in the next few years. Concerns have been raised about the availability of adults
sturgeon to be the breeder of the farm.
Estimated combined number of fry released from three hatcheries (millions of fry)
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
A. guelda. 13.370 5.330 2.130 1.230 0.750 0.940 3.030 3.770 4.490 10.186 8.869
Total 17,523 9,082 2,980 1,838 1,142 1,242 4,070 6,065 6,220 20,290 16,965
Source: CITES Management Authority of Azerbaijan, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 18, 2000
In Azerbaijan, the state institution responsible for fishing and processing of sturgeon is the “State
Azerbalyg concern ”. Commercial fishing for sturgeon is prohibited in the open sea. No fishing license for

sturgeon was needed until 2000. The only fishing gear allowed for catching sturgeon in the Kura River is
“Sweeping nets” with meshes of 35-55 mm. The minimum size limit set for the capture of A. gueldenstaedtii is 105 cm
(Ann., 2000c).
Bulgaria: The national measures described below are necessary, but must be linked to coordinated actions of all countries in the Black Sea region. Fishing for sturgeon is prohibited in Bulgaria.
30 days, from April 20 to May 20 of each year, which corresponds to the peak of the breeding season.

The authorities can approve a 15-day extension of the closing season pending the natural conditions of the
year. Explosives, poisons, trawl and drag, as well as stun substances and devices are
prohibited fishing methods. The minimum size limit for A. gueldenstaedtii is 80 cm. Export quotas are set
based on the catch data, trends and biological characteristics of the species (CITES management
Authority of Bulgaria, in lett. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 15, 2000). A system has been established for
distribution of export quotas among export companies which are obliged to supply the Danube River
sturgeon fry before being allowed to export sturgeon specimens. For example, for a particular year,
for every kilogram of caviar exported, the farm must release 30 young sturgeons (Anon., 2000c).
The restocking program is controlled by the relevant government agencies.
Number of fry released through the restocking program (number of fry)
1998 sizes 1999 sizes 2000 sizes
A. gueldenstaedtii 1.000 200 g each. 27,400 20-120 g each 20.400 25 g-1.8 kg each
Source: CITES Management Authority of Bulgaria, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 15, 2000
Due to budget constraints, Bulgaria has not monitored the wild sturgeon population in recent years, either
the success of its restocking program (e.g. through labeling of released fry). However, the plans have it
prepared for these activities. A special ban was adopted on the use of "ami unbaited" for
capture of sturgeon (Anon., 2000c).
Hungary: A. gueldenstaedtii is protected in Hungary (Pinter, 1991). Pursuant to Decree no. 1/1982
(III.15.) On protected and strictly protected species of flora and fauna, value of their specimens,
Determination of the area of ​​protected and strictly protected caves and exemptions from restrictions
and Prohibitions set for some protected animal species, subject to authorization by the National Park
Direction is required for: capture; kill; possession; breeding in captivity; introduction of specimens
from exotic population; artificial exchange of genetic matter between populations; exchange; sale e
purchase of A. gueldenstaedtii (CITES Management Authority of Hungary, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, 13
September 2000).
Iran: Biometric measurements are carried out for each species at all sturgeon catching stations. The age,
the length, sex and weight of the fish landed are recorded. The population structure is estimated based on age
groups. As a result of these studies carried out over the past 10 years, the number of capture stations was
decreased by 50%, changes were made to the methods of trapping sturgeon and lower export quotas were set
the last five years. Export quotas are established on the basis of the results of the research and annual programs
inventory monitoring. These activities include the following parameters and activities: Maximum Sustainable
Total yield and capture, stock restoration, management and sustainable exploitation through restriction
illegal catching and overfishing. The monitoring of fishing efforts and the regulation of the time (date) of the catches are
also carried out on the basis of research results (CITES Management Authority of Iran, in litt. to TRAFFIC
Europe, September 24, 2000).
Annual release of A. gueldenstaedtii and A. persicus fry (millions of fry)
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
A. persicus 4.06 5.92 2.93 3.57 4.66 8.05 11.02 18.75 22.59 17.30
A.gueldenstaedtii
0.04 0.30 0.52 0.67 0.92 0.42 0.96
Total 4.56 6.60 3.45 4.17 5.91 9.13 12.35 21.63 24.56 19.10
Source: CITES Management Authority of Iran, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 24, 2000

A labeling system is in place, in which each jar of caviar bears a mark or mark indicating at least the date
and place of capture, the name of the capture station, the name of the processor and the species.
Iranian fishing regulations specify a minimum catch limit of 1m. A. gueldenstaedtii is artificially bred
and bred. More than 10 million juveniles of this species have been released into the rivers leading to
the sea in recent years. Additional conservation measures have been taken for all southern sturgeons
Caspian coasts, for example banning the use of gillnets was very effective in
conservation of this species. The autumn breeding population of this species is used for breeding
operations in Iran (Dr. M. Pourkazemi, in litt. IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program, September 2000).

Kazakhstan: However, commercial capture of sturgeon is only allowed in the tributaries of the Caspian Sea
scientific fishing is allowed in the open sea with an annual quota of 20 t (Anon., 2000c).
Fishing for sturgeon is regulated by law. There are two fishing seasons, one during spring and spawning
the other during the winter migration. The exact dates of the fishing seasons vary with the climate and are
therefore fixed annually by authorized scientific bodies. As in most former Soviet republics, “sweep
nets ”(bottom nets that are pulled several times a day) with minimum mesh and marked
with the owner's name and address are the only legal fishing gear for sturgeon. Any fisherman can
set up only one network at a time. A fishing license is required. The fishing areas for sturgeon (called "tonia") are
limited: there are 12 on the Ural River and 8 on the Kigach River. The minimum size limit for A.
gueldenstaedtii is 105 cm. The ratio of captured males to females is neither regulated nor monitored. The
the purchase price at the landing site is based on a fixed legal rate of the weight of the caviar extracted per female; A.
gueldenstaedtii is set at 18.6% of the total body weight. The annual commercial catch quotas are
awarded to Kazakhstan by the Intergovernmental Commission for Caspian Living Resources which
meets every year in Astrakhan (CITES Management Authority of Kazakhstan, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, 21
September 2000).
Commercial annual catch quotas allocated to Kazakhstan (tonnes)
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
A. gueldenstaedtii 135 80 52
Total 375 480 460 405 371
Source: CITES Management Authority of Kazakhstan, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, 21 September 2000
There are two hatcheries in Kazakhstan; Uralo-Atyrau and Atyurau. These have been operational since 1998.
Annual release of fry A. gueldenstaedtii (number of fry)
1998 1999 2000
A.gueldenstaedtii
647,200 1,492,800 1,266,300
Total 1,706,193 5,318,471 5,507,160
Source: CITES Management Authority of Kazakhstan, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, 21 September 2000
Moldova: the capture of A. gueldenstaedtii is prohibited as the species was listed in the Red Data Book in 1995
(Ann., 2000c).
Romania: The type of gear for sturgeon fishing is strictly regulated by Romanian law. The fishing season is fixed
every year by Ministerial Decree. A fishing license is required to catch sturgeon in Romanian waters. The
the minimum size limit for A. gueldenstaedtii is 140 cm. The catch quota for A. gueldenstaedtii for 1998 e
1999 was set at 12.5 t / year. Catch quotas are calculated by independent scientific institutes, such as the
Danube Delta Institute in Tulcea and the "Center for Conservation, Fish Farming, Fishing and Fisheries
Industrialization ”in Galati (Anon., 2000c).
Release of fry of A. gueldenstaedtii and A. stellatus into the Danube river (number of fry)
1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
A. gueldenst. 10,000 8,250

A. stellatus 1,000 4,000 10,000 11,600 10,000 6,750
Source: Center for Conservation, Fish Farming, Fishing and Processing, Galati, cited in Anon., 2000c
Russian Federation: the former Soviet republics set annual catch quotas for the people of the Caspian Sea
agreement with Iran. The catch quotas for sturgeons have been established by the Intergovernmental Commission
for the biological resources of the Caspian for many years. The annual share of the sturgeon catches of each starter
The Caspian State of the Soviet Union adopted by the Commission since 1993 is as follows: Russian
Federation, 70%, Kazakhstan 17.6%, Azerbaijan 6.1% and Turkmenistan 6.3%. There are two fishing

seasons in the waters of the Caspian Sea: from the melting of the ice to June 5 and from September 1 until ice time
training. A license is required to catch sturgeon in Russian waters. The minimum size limit for A.
gueldenstaedtii captured in the Russian waters of the Caspian is found 105 cm along the coast and 86 cm north
Caspian Sea. Currently, Russian catch quotas are declared by the federal government following the
State Fisheries Committee recommendations, made in consultation with an independent council of
experts (Anon., 2000b).
Release of A. gueldenstaedtii in the Volga River and the Azov Sea (number of fry)
1979-1980 1981-1985 1986-1990 1991-1995 1996-1998
Volga River 25,000,000 35,000,000 40,800,000 42,000,000 28,000,000
Sea of ​​Azov 22,050,000 15,360,000 67,300,000 13,800,000 18,233,333
Source: Azov and Caspian Fisheries Research Institute (Az- and KaspNIRKh), cited in Anon., 2000b
From 1979 to 1998, approximately 54.2% 45.4% of all fry released from Russian hatcheries into the Volga River
and the Sea of ​​Azov included A. gueldenstaedtii respectively (Anon., 2000b).
The export quotas established by the CITES Management Authority of the Russian Federation consist of 90%.
the total production of caviar, which is based on the catch quotas set for each species of sturgeon (Mr. Roman
V. Ivakhnenko, State Fisheries Commission, pers. com. to TRAFFIC Europe-Russia, September 2000). The
is based on annual catch quotas or total allowable catches (TACs) assigned by the state fisheries committee
on the recommendations of scientific agencies such as the Russian Federal Fisheries Research Institute
and Oceanography ("VNIRO") and the Pacific Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography ("TINRO").
The TAC includes commercial capture, scientific capture and the capture of mature males and females
intended for artificial reproduction.
Recent data on catch monitoring by species, including composition by size and sex ratio of fish
captured, are not available. Domestic consumption of sturgeon products in the Russian Federation, mainly
meat and caviar, is unknown (Mr. Roman V. Ivakhnenko, State Fisheries Committee, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC
Europe-Russia, September 2000).
Turkey: In 1979, with the exception of H. huso of over 140 cm in length, the sturgeon fishing was
prohibited in Turkish waters (Edwards and Doroshov, 1989). Circular 34/1, in force from 2000 to 2002,
prohibits the collection of Acipenseriformes (CITES Management Authority of Turkey, in litt. to TRAFFIC
Europe, September 20, 2000).
Turkmenistan: Within the country's coastal commercial waters, fishing for sturgeon is permitted for scientific purposes
research only, with an annual catch limit of 20 t. The Turkmenistan State Fisheries Committee issues a
annual license for commercial catching of sturgeon to the state enterprise Balkanbalyk. No other company,
Turkmen or foreigners, has the right to engage in commercial fishing for sturgeon in Turkmen inland waters. A
the annual catch quota for A. gueldenstaedtii in Turkmenistan is set by the Intergovernmental Commission for
Biological resources of the Caspian. There is no gender ratio set for sturgeon landings. Information on any existing
the minimum size limits per species or annual catch quota data set for Turkmenistan in the 1990s are
unknown. (Year., 2000b.)
Ukraine: Fishing for sturgeon in the Danube River is allowed all year round except from March 16 to 15
April. By-catches of sturgeon are regulated. For example, for trawling for sprat a tolerance of two sturgeons
can be caught per ton of sprat. The mesh size of the nets used to catch sturgeon should be at least
120 mm and a maximum of 150 mm. Only fishermen who have been allocated an annual quota for sturgeon
the State Fisheries Committee is authorized to catch sturgeon. The minimum size limits for A

gueldenstaedtii are 110 cm for those caught in the Black Sea and Danube River and 90 cm for those
captured in the Sea of ​​Azov (Anon., 2000b.).
Annual catch quotas for A. gueldenstaedtii from 1997 to 1999 (in tonnes)
1996 1997 1998 1999
Total 505 424 210 225
A. gueldenstaedtii Sea of ​​Azov and adjacent waters
Black Sea and Danube 24 20 12
Source: State Fisheries Committee, quoted in Anon., 2000b
There is currently no repopulation program for sturgeon fry in Ukraine.
Yugoslavia: closed fishing season in the Danube for H. huso, A. gueldenstaedtii and A.

stellatus, is from May 15th to June 15th. Some types of fishing gear are prohibited for catching sturgeon and an
The agreement between Romania and Yugoslavia on the prohibition of equipment that causes high was signed
mortality of non-target fish. Any fishing activity, including all commercial and sport fishing, requires a
license in Yugoslav waters. Licenses are issued for district and sturgeon fishing
the land is limited to 17.8 km downstream of the Djerdap II Dam and the mouth of the Timok River. The
the minimum size for A. gueldenstaedtii is 80 cm and the catch quota for the species from 1996 to 2000
it was set at 3,000 kg per year. A restocking program is underway by the Fisheries Center
Reproduction of the “Djerdap Fishing Company” in the city of Malla Vrbica (Anon., 2000b).
BREEDING IN CAPTIVITY
The reduction of the area of ​​natural spawning areas due to the regulation of the flow of rivers has caused populations
to reject. To maintain the natural stock, hatchery-reared fish were then introduced. In the
in the early 1990s about 30% of the Caspian strain came from hatcheries (Barannikova,
1995), while almost all generations (80-95%) of A. gueldenstaedtii in the Sea of ​​Azov would have derived
from aquaculture (Volovik et al., 1993). The current state of restocking in the Azov Sea is unclear.
The species has been successfully bred in aquaculture facilities in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary,
Netherlands, Poland and Romania. It has been hybridized with various species such as the Siberian
Sturgeon A. baerii and Sterlet A. ruthenus.
Azerbaijan: Three hatcheries were built in the 1960s and contributed to the former Soviet Union
sturgeon restocking program ever since. Their combined annual production was 12 million fry, but this
it has significantly decreased due to the rising level of the Caspian Sea and the lack of funds for the hatchery
maintenance (T. Turner, consultant to the World Bank, in letter to TRAFFIC Europe, 6 October 2000).
Bulgaria: In 1997, a fish farm was established in the village of Boliartzi (Plovdiv region). It is the only one in existence
hatchery. All young people released into the Danube River in Bulgaria from 1998 to 2000 were produced there.
The hatchery has a total capacity of 60,000 youngsters and the company is currently stocked with 3.5 years
H. huso and A. gueldenstaedtii weighing 11-14 kg. In 1998, the fry were released in
Ovcharitza dam reservoir: 200 young A. gueldenstaedtii of 200 g of average weight and 200 hybrids of A.
gueldenstaedtii and A. baerii of 200 g of average weight. Since 1999, attempts have been made to reproduce
sturgeon in artificial water basins near Sofia (CITES Management Authority of Bulgaria, in litt. to TRAFFIC
Europe, September 15, 2000).
Hungary: there are no breeders of the species in Hungary. Fertilized eggs are imported from Russia and
the fry are re-exported. There is no caviar production on Hungarian farms (CITES Management
Authority of Hungary, in lett. to TRAFFIC Europe, 13 September 2000)

Iran: More than 500 A. gueldenstaedtii between the ages of 9 and 11 are currently kept in captivity
reproduction in earth ponds in Iran (Dr. M. Pourkazemi, in litt. IUCN / SSC Wildlife Trade Program,
September 2000). The hatcheries have been in operation for 20 years.
Italy: A. gueldenstaedtii larvae were imported six or seven years ago and are present on farms for
juvenile production and hybridization. For females of A. gueldenstaedtii of 6-7 years, 1 kg eggs
corresponds to an average of 45,000 eggs. The 1998 production of one of the aquaculture facilities was
3,000 fry (from 60,000 eggs and 20,000 young) of A. gueldenstaedtii. This indicates a 5%
hatch survival rate (Azienda Agricola e Agroittica Lombarda, Italian sturgeonists, in litt.
TRAFFIC Europe-Italy, 1999).

Kazakhstan: There are two hatcheries in Kazakhstan, Uralo-Atyrau and Atyurau, which have been operational
since 1998 (CITES Management Authority of Kazakhstan, in litt. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 2000).
Poland: CITES has confirmed the presence of fish farms and sturgeon hatcheries in Poland
Managing Authority of Poland (Dr. Z. Krzeminski, Deputy Director, in letter to TRAFFIC Europe, 31 August
2000). The following sturgeon species are bred in captivity: Acipenser baerii, A. gueldenstaedtii, A.
ruthenus, A. stellatus, H. huso, Polyodon spathula and hybrids of some species. In most cases, hybrids are
Live specimens of generation F1 (fertilized eggs) imported from Poland by the distribution states, in particular from
Russian Federation. Some farms keep specimens of the F2 generation that were bred in Poland and are used as
breeding stock, also for the production of juveniles to be sold on national and international markets. Various
hybridizations of A. gueldenstaedtii have been performed and appear commercially promising.
Russia: As described above in the conservation measures, aquaculture has been ongoing since the 1960s.
United States of America: Sturgeon is in a preliminary stage of culture in Hawaii (CITES Management
United States Authority, in lett. to TRAFFIC Europe, September 2000).
According to FAO Fishstat, annual world production of farmed sturgeon and paddlefish (mainly for
meat market) increased rapidly, from 160 t in 1987 to 2,576 t in 1998. Species specific data are not
available in the FAO database, but according to commercial data there is currently a significant production of A.
young gueldenstaedtii in commercial farms (see appendix).
REFERENCES
Anon. (1996). A guide to interpreting the results of the CITES WCMC commercial database, produced by
World Conservation Monitoring Center, Cambridge UK. pp. 16.
Anon. (1998). Catching and trading of sturgeons in the Russian part of the Caspian Sea. TRAFFIC Europe-Russia,
Field investigations. Unpublished report, pp. 21.
Anon. (2000a). http://www.cites.org/eng/dbase/fauna Anon. (2000b). Estimation of sturgeon stocks in the Russian Federation and monitoring of the interior
Trade in sturgeon products. TRAFFIC Europe-Russia, Field investigations. Unpublished report, pp. 23.
Anon. (2000c). Management of the sturgeon fishery and trade control measures in the Caspian and Black Seas
States of the chain of the Sea / Sea of ​​Azov. TRAFFIC Europe field investigations, December 1999-January 2000. Unpublished.
Bacalbasa-Dobrovici, N. (1997). Endangered migratory sturgeons of the lower Danube and its delta.
Environmental Biology of Fish 48: 201 207.
Barannikova, IA, Burtsev, IA, Vlasenko, AD Gershanovich, AD, Markarov, EV and Chebanov, MS
(1995). Sturgeon fishing in Russia. Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on
Sturgeons, September 6-11, 1993. Moscow-Kostroma-Moscow. VNIRO publications. pp. 124-130.
Birstein, VJ (1993). Sturgon and Paddlefishes: Threatened fish in need of conservation. against Biol.
7 (4): 773-787.
De Meulenaer, T. and Raymakers, C. (1996). Caspian Sea sturgeons and international trade
caviar. TRAFFIC International, iv + 71 pp

Dobbs, M. (1992). The impending caviar crisis: overfishing, endangered sturgeon pollution. The Washington
Post, May 30, 1992.
Doward, J. (2000). The anger of the roe deer as the rules of piracy. The Guardian, May 21, 2000.
Dumont, H. (1995). Ecocide in the Caspian Sea. Nature 377: 673-674.
Edwards, D. and Doroshov, S. (1989). Evaluation of the sturgeon and Seatrout fisheries and proposals for
a rehabilitation program. FAO document FI.TCP / TUR / 8853. pp. 38;
Evtouchenko, A. (1997). Au Dagestan une explosion fait 54 dead. Accusations: the caviar gangs. Courier
International, No. 323 (January 9-15, 1997) [in French].

Hensel, K. and Holcik, J. (1997). Past and present status of the sturgeon in the upper and middle Danube. In:
Birstein, VJ, Waldman, JR, and Bemis, WE (eds) (1997). Sturgeon Biodiversity e
Storage. Academic publications Kluwer, Dordrecht. pp. 185-200.
Hochleithner, M. and Gessner, J. (1999). The Sturgeon and Swordfish (Acipenseriformes) of the World:
Biology and Aquaculture. AquaTech publications, Kitzbühl. pp. 165.
Holcik, J. (1989). Návrh cerveného zoznamu ohrozených kruhoústych a rýb Slovenska. Pamiatky in príroda
20: 26-28
Holcik, J. (1995). 4.druh Acipenser (Acipenser) gueldenstaedti Brandt, 1833. In: V.Baruš and O.Oliva
(edited by) Mihulovci Petromyzontes a ryby Osteichthyes. 1. Fauna CR to SR 28/1. Academy, Prague. pp.
391-397.
IUCN. (1996). 1996. Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Jankovic, D. (1993). Populations of Acipenseridae before and after the construction of HEPS Djerdap I
and II. Acta Biologica Iugoslavica, Seria E. Ichthyology 25: 29-34
Jankovic, D. (1996). Ichthyofauna of the Danube in the Djerdap area after the construction of the Ferro
Gate I Hydroelectric Plant. Acta Universitatis Carolinae, Biologica 40 (1996): 123-131.
Karapetkova, M., Zhivkov, M. and Pchelarov, T. (1995). Ribite v B'lgariya. Geya Libris, Sofia. 247 pp.
Khodorevskaya, RP, Dovgopol, GF, Zhuraleva, OL and Vlasenko, AD (1997). Current state of
commercial stocks of sturgeons in the Caspian Sea basin. In: Birstein, VJ, Waldman, JR and
Bemis, WE (ed.) (1997). Biodiversity and conservation of the sturgeon. Kluwer academic publications,
Dordretto. pp. 209-219.
Re, R. (1998). [Por un puñado de caviar. El Mundo, December 13, 1998.] (in Spanish)
Laluyee, F. (1996). Sturgeon migration studies at Sefidrud, Tajen and Gorganrud River. Iranian fishing
Publications of the research and training organization.
Levin, AV (1997). The distribution and migration of the sturgeon in the Caspian Sea. In: Birstein, VJ,
Bauer, A. Kaiser-Pohlmann, A. (eds.) (1997). Sturgeon stock and caviar trade seminar. IUCN,
Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. pp. 13-19.
McDonald, L. (2000). The fish that laid the golden egg faces extinction. Daily Express (UK), July 26, 2000.
Manea, GH, (1966). Contributii in studiul sturionilor din apele Romiiniei si al playbackrii lor in lor cu
hydroenergetic construction eg DFunarea inferiara. 1.Une aspecte ale biological sturionilor. Buletinul
Institutului de Cercetari Piscicole 25: 62-86.
Nasri Chari, A. (1993). Comparative study on morphobiological parameters in Russian and Persian
sturgeon in the southern shores of the Caspian Sea to declare the Persian sturgeon as an
independent species. Publications of the University of Tehran.
Pavlov, PI, (1980). Ribi. Ukrainian fauna. 8/1. Naukova Dumka, Kiev. pp 336.
Pinter, K. (1991). Sturgeon in Hungary, past and present situation. In: P. Williot (edited by) Actes du premier
international interview on esturgeon. Bordeaux, 3-6 October 1989. pp. 173-178.
Ramin, M. (1998). Migratory studies in sturgeons and their limiting factors in the Sefidrud river. Gilan
Fisheries Research Center publications.
Raymakers, C. (1999). Sturgeon trade from the Caspian Sea. In: Williamson, DF, Benz, GW and
Hoover, C. (edited by) Proceedings of the Symposium on Northern Gathering, Trade, and Conservation
American Paddlefish and Sturgeon, May 7-8, 1998, Chattanooga, TN. TRAFFIC North
America / WWF, Washington, DC, United States. pp. 149-161.
Sagers, MJ (1994). The oil industry in the former southern Soviet republics. Post-Soviet geography,
35 (5): 267-298.
Shagaeva, VG, Nikolskaya, MP, Akimova, NV Markov, KP and Nikolskaya, NG (1993). A study by
the early ontogenesis of the Volga sturgeon (Acipenseridae) subject to human activity. J. Ittiolo.
33 (6): 23-41.
Schrope, M. (2000). Alien Invader: A hungry stowaway is saving the Black Sea. New scientist, 2255: 10

Simonovic, PD, and Nikolic, VP (1996). Freshwater fish of Serbia: a checklist noted with some
fauna and zoogeographic considerations. Bios (Macedonia, Greece), 4: 137-156.
Snyder, D. (2000). Md. Caviar Company admits smuggling. The Washington Post, July 22, 2000.
Vlasenko, AD (1990). Size of the sturgeon population in the Caspian Sea. Rybnoe Khozyaistvo, 7: 53-56.
Vlasenko, AD, Pavlov, AV, Sokolov, LI and Vasil'ev, VP (1989). Acipenser Gueldenstaedti Brandt,

In: Holcik J. (ed.). The freshwater fish of Europe. vol. I / II: General introduction of fish.
Acipenseriforms. Wiesbaden, AULA-Verlag. In: Document Doc. 10.89; Prop. 10.65. 1997. Proposal
to list all Acipenseriformes in Appendix II. Posted by Germany and the United States of America.
pp. 295-344.

Volovik, SP, Dubinina, VA and Semenova, AD (1993). Hydrobiology and dynamics of fisheries in
Sea of ​​Asov. Studies and reviews. General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean. No. 64. FAO,
Rome. pp. 1-58.
Ward, P. (2000a). Azov sturgeons cannot be touched. Crimean time, August 18, 2000.
Ward, P. (2000b). Makhachkala: the scale of poaching in the Caspian has reached enormous proportions.
Regions.Ru/Russia Regions, August 15, 2000.
Williot, P. and Bourguignon, G. (1991). Production of sturgeon and caviar, current status and prospects.
In: Williot, P. (edited by), Acipenser, Cemagref Publications, pp. 509-513.
Zarkua, Z. and Tsuladze, V. (1999). Initiative needed to increase the number of sturgeons. Eurofish 3/99: 40-41.

Gross exports * and export quotas for Acipenser gueldenstaedtii 1998
TAXON TERM UNIT Exporter 1998 Export quotas 1998
Eggs of Acipenser gueldenstaedtii AE 184

Eggs of Acipenser gueldenstaedtii CH 12
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii DE 118
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii FR 70
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii GB 330
Eggs of Acipenser gueldenstaedtii IR 1,500
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii LT 933
Eggs of Acipenser gueldenstaedtii RO 57
Eggs of Acipenser gueldenstaedtii RU 89
Eggs of Acipenser gueldenstaedtii SG 1
Eggs of Acipens gueldenstaedtii US 57
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii kg AE 5,124
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii kg AZ 867
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii kg BE 203
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii kg CH 8,627
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii kg DE 7.205
Eggs of Acipenser gueldenstaedtii kg DK 1.011
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii kg ES 21
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii kg FI 958
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii kg FR 609
Eggs Acipenser gueldenstaedtii kg GB 1.079
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii eggs kg GR 42
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Eggs kg IR 40.390 10.000 (A. gueldenstaedtii)
45,000 (A. persicus)
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Eggs kg KZ 7.543
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Eggs kg NL 1
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Eggs kg NZ 2
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Eggs kg PL 6.530
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Eggs kg RO 233
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Eggs kg RU 46.359 69.000 (incl. AZ and KZ)
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Eggs kg SG 81
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Eggs kg TR 4,655
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Eggs kg US 1.667
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Eggs kg XX 4
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Live CZ 1.500
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Live GB 335
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Live HU 169.500
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Live PL 155,000
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Live US 3.000
doc. AC.16.7.2 - p. 36
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Live XX 11
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Live kg DE 21
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Live kg RU 50
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Meat kg IR 669
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Meat kg RU 15
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Meat kg US 2
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Skins CH 8
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Skins IR 8
Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Not specified
RU 1

  • Definition: “Gross exports are the sum of all exports and re-exports reported in a particular commodity or
    especially in a given year or series of years. Gross trade is therefore a simple measure of the total number of
    articles registered in international trade. However, gross trade can be an overestimate of the total number of
    actual specimens on the market as they are re-exported are not deducted from the total ". (Year., 1996). This is
    particularly applicable to caviar whose shipments are often exported, repackaged and re-exported. For
    for example, in the mid-1990s, Germany re-exported up to 45% of its annual caviar imports (De
    Meulenaer and Raymakers, 1996)

Royal Oscietra Caviar - CaviarEat

Caviar-Royal-Oscietra-CaviarEat_800x.jpg (800 × 800) (shopify.com)

Shop now

You can use this element to add a quote, content ...