In response to concerns that trade of sturgeon products might be detrimental to the species’ survival, twenty-three species were entered into the “Appendices of C.I.T.E.S.”, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the International Regulatory Body of worldwide endangered Species. The Appendices of C.I.T.E.S. represents an agreement between governments whose members mirror those of the United Nations (UN). The STURGEON and with it CAVIAR, was entered, listed and came into force as an endangered and thus protected Species as of the 1st of April 1998.
The Sturgeon’s C.I.T.E.S. listing aims to reduce and eventually completely eliminate the illegal trade of caviar on the world market. All Acipenseriformes Species are controlled by various regulatory and enforcement means, such as Quota Control, Permits, Traceability and Coded Labelling. It is hoped that these implementation and enforcement Structures will strongly contribute towards the conservation of sturgeon stocks, but in particular will aid the survival of remaining wild sturgeon stocks in the Caspian Sea. It is also the World’s largest landlocked Sea and home to Six Sturgeon species which collectively used to provide in excess of 90% of the world’s annual caviar yields.
It all began, with the Beluga Sturgeon as catalyst, being isolated as the Caspian Sea’s most affected and endangered Species. This triggered during the following years a number of temporary Import and Export Bans by both Bodies, i.e. the ‘US Fish and Wildlife Services’ and also C.I.T.E.S..
However, the continual decline of wild sturgeon clearly became untenable. This resulted in C.I.T.E.S. taking the unprecedented step in January 2006 in suspending trading of all wild Sturgeon Fish and Caviar, in particular, Beluga Sturgeon Caviar from the Caspian Sea Basin, the Black Sea, the lower Danube River basin, and the Amur River basin in China. A year later, despite applied relaxation quotas to a number of species, the suspension forged profound implications to Connoisseurs and Vendors’ perspective on the ethics of Wild Caviar and its Sustainability.
Aquaculture, the extraordinary present and future
Evolution of Sturgeon
In Developing, Taming and Progressing this Technique over the past 50 Years, Aquaculture has now proved to be a most sustainable, mature and feasible route for a number of sturgeon species. Princesse d’Isenbourg et Cie has been a forefront contributor in supporting the development of productive aquaculture and its refinement activities. The Association with world leading sturgeon aquaculture facilities has singled out and empowered Princesse d’Isenbourg et Cie as the Authoritative Purveyor of the finest caviar in recent years.