TEHRAN: More than 557 kilograms of caviar worth over $1.37 million were exported from Iran during the seven months to Oct. 22, registering a 9% and 6.6% decline in weight and value respectively compared with the similar period of last year, figures released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration showed.
The main export destinations for Iranian caviar during the period were Germany, Italy, the US, Belgium, France, the UK, the UAE, Hong Kong, Spain, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Denmark, Canada and Kuwait.
Hassan Salehi, the head of Iran Fisheries Organization, said last year (March 2016-17) about 2 tons of farmed caviar were produced in the country, adding that the figure is expected to exceed 3 tons this year.
The official noted that plans are to increase farmed caviar production to 10 tons by 2022. Caspian Sea, in the north of Iran, is the world’s primary and largest habitat of the beluga, the most famous sturgeon species, as well as four other sturgeon species.
However, the deteriorating condition of Caspian Sea has long been threatening this fish with extinction. The declining sturgeon population and the ban on their fishing have also caused a downtrend in Iran’s caviar exports.
Iran’s caviar exports stood at a high of 38 tons in the fiscal 2004-05.