Iran exported some 70 tons of caviar in the last Iranian year which ended on March 21, the managing director of the country's fisheries company Mohammad Reza Hosseini said on Thursday.
The exports fetched the Islamic Republic 100 million marks, he said, adding that 80 percent of the product went to Europe, 10 percent to Japan and the rest to other countries, reported the official Iranian news agency (IRNA).
The country's total sturgeon catch in the period reached 800 tons, which produced 90 tons of caviar, Hosseini said.
Iran's Fisheries Organization, he said, has projected to export 80 tons of caviar by the end of March, 2001.
According to the official, Iran also exports some 100-200 tons of sturgeon annually, which earns the country $two to three million.
Iran, along with Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, account for 90 percent of world trade in black caviar, which fetches them 100 million dollars annually.
They are the five littoral states of the Caspian Sea and major producers of black caviar.
The four latter states pledged in June not to fish sturgeon this year, after the standing committee CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species warned that the Caspian Sea poaching had reached the scale of organized crime and amounted to 13 times the legal catch, putting the sturgeon population on the brink of extinction.
The committee exempted Iran from censure since it has in place a functioning management system, said IRNA – Albawaba.com
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