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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Exports of Caviar Set to Drop 60%

Russia, one of the world’s largest caviar producers, will export 60 percent less black caviar this year than in 1999, the State Fisheries Committee said Monday.

At most, 40 metric tons of black caviar will be exported this year, said the committee’s spokesman, Sergei Smirnov. Fishermen harvested less than 400 metric tons of beluga and sturgeon in the Volga River this year, he said. That was 160 metric tons less than in 1999.

Environmental decline in the Caspian and Azov Sea basins, where most of Russia’s caviar originates, and extensive poaching have severely cut into fish stocks, Smirnov said.

The committee’s deputy chairman, Vladimir Izmailov, said the shortage would result in a drastic increase in world prices.

Russia is the second-largest exporter of caviar, after Iran.