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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Caspian Nations Pledge $150M to Save Sturgeon

The five nations bordering the Caspian Sea have agreed on a $150-million program for fish farms to save the caviar-producing sturgeon from extinction, a Russian news agency said Thursday.

Interfax said Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan may also ask oil companies now operating in the Caspian's rich offshore fields to earmark funds to help save the sturgeon.

Caspian sturgeon are threatened with extinction because of overfishing -- especially by gangs that traffic in caviar -- and pollution.

Interfax said Russia will set up 10 new fish farms and renovate eight existing ones on the Volga River. It also said Kazakhstan has a new farm on the Ural River, and Iran will open one this year.