A group called Caviar Emptor is pushing for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to protect beluga sturgeon, whose population has declined by 90 percent in the past 20 years, under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
A listing as endangered would result in a ban on beluga caviar imports to the United States, the world's largest market for the delicacy. As an alternative, the group suggests that consumers should look for caviar varieties produced from sturgeon and paddlefish farmed in the United States, which they say "offer excellent taste and are environmentally sustainable: a win-win situation for culinary professionals and consumers who are concerned about the sharp decline of sturgeon populations in the Caspian Sea. Unique roes from farmed trout and wild Alaska salmon are also better choices".
Caviar Emptor' is operated by the environmental groups, Sea Web. Natural Sources Defence Council and Pew Institute for Ocean Science. Located at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, the Pew Institute for Ocean Science is a $3 million collaborative effort with The Pew Charitable Trusts - the organization behind the recent report of dioxins in salmon feed and a vocal anti-aquaculture lobbyist.
For more information about caviar and the activities of Caviar Emptor, visit:
Caviar Emptor website: http://www.caviaremptor.org/
USF&W Endangered Species Program: http://endangered.fws.gov/