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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Official Bemoan Caviar 'Catastrophe'

Stocks of caviar-producing sturgeon in the Caspian Sea are falling "catastrophically," victims of overfishing, poaching and pollution, Russian officials said.

Russia's quota for sturgeon catches in the Caspian is expected to fall next year to 700 metric tons from 1,200 tons this year, Interfax quoted the State Fishing Committee as saying Friday.

Quotas for three other littoral states - Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan - were expected to fall by similar ratios, committee chief Vladimir Izmailov was quoted as saying. Definitive quotas will be fixed at the beginning of next year.

Iran, the fifth littoral state, has caught more than 2,000 tons annually over the last three years, Interfax quoted the committee as saying.

"Stocks of sturgeon are falling catastrophically," Vadim Brukhis, a senior official at the Agriculture Ministry said.