Filed under: Dining
The world's finest beluga caviar will be available once again following an agreement by five producer countries on export quotas for the luxe delicacy, the United Nations' watchdog on endangered species has announced. Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan agreed at a meeting in Tehran on new quotas which will be in effect through February 2011, the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species said in a statement. A temporary ban on wild caviar was imposed in 2001 due to a depletion of stocks amid high levels of poaching and illegal trade in the Caspian Sea. In 2002, countries sharing a stock of sturgeon automatically had zero quotas unless they reached a consensus on a sustainable level of exports. Trade in beluga was halted last year as the countries failed to agree on quotas. Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan still have zero quotas, but Iran can now produce 800 kg, Kazakhstan 1,500 kg, and Russia 700 kg. Expect it to cost a small fortune if you're lucky enough to get your hands on some.