Siberia’s black gold: Harvest and trade in Amur river sturgeons in the Russian Federation

Siberia’s black gold: Harvest and trade in Amur river sturgeons in the Russian Federation. - TRAFFIC Europe, 2006. - 31 pages

The report, Siberia’s black gold: Harvest and trade in Amur River sturgeons in the Russian Federation was released shortly after the Secretariat of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), published 2008 caviar export quotas for Amur River sturgeons, despite serious concerns over the levels of over-exploitation and illegal fishing. A report into Amur River sturgeons finds that “test fishing”, a system established with the aim of sturgeon population monitoring, is used as a cover for commercial fishing to circumvent an official ban on commercial fishing imposed in 1984.

The TRAFFIC and WWF investigation into the Amur River sturgeon caviar trade found evidence of corruption, illegal fishing and exploitation of the “test fishing” loophole.

As well as illegal harvest in Russia, the report also documents illegal trade in Amur Sturgeon caviar across the Amur River from Russia into China, from where it is believed to be exported to Japan and the USA. The authors urge the governments of these countries to work together to address the illegal trade in caviar originating in Russia.

Released at August 2008

Russian version is available

Electronic version of publication