US SUSPENDS IMPORT OF THREATENED BELUGA STURGEON CAVIAR AND MEAT
Import of threatened beluga sturgeon caviar and meat was ordered suspended by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) September 29, a move that will affect Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan, according to the International Information Programs of the US Department of State.
USFWS says none of the nations listed in its September 29 order submitted the needed information, and so the trade suspension will take effect September 30.
USFWS has considered all beluga sturgeon populations endangered since October 2004.
In March, the agency set conditions to allow limited foreign and domestic trade in sturgeon products, including caviar and some cosmetics. That special rule required the affected nations to submit explanations of the policies they would implement to preserve the species while still allowing some harvesting.
The ban applies to commercial shipments but also to вЂњpersonal effectsвЂќ from Caspian Sea countries. While international travelers have been able to carry up to 250 grams of caviar without permits in the past, such transport of the products now is forbidden.