Abbas Rajaei, an advisor to Iran’s agriculture minister, said the export of Iranian caviar to the United States and Canada was banned for about 25 years.
“Fortunately, we managed to start re-exporting caviar to the United States,” the Iran daily newspaper quoted him as saying in a Farsi report.
Rajaei went on to say that last year 10 kg of caviar worth $13 million was exported to the US, adding that measures have been taken to decrease the smuggling of caviar.
He further noted that the export of wild sturgeon roe is forbidden.
“The price of per kilogramme of wild roe, depending on its type and quality, is between $1,700 and $2,600, and the average price of this type of caviar is about $2,000. While the price of per kg of farmed caviar is between 750 and 1,400 USD depending on the type and quality of fish.”
This Iranian official also noted that the first caviar and sturgeon exhibition is going to be held in Tehran in the near future.
Caspian Sea, in the north of Iran, is the world’s primary and largest habitat for the beluga, the most famous sturgeon, as well as four other sturgeon species.
The main export destinations for Iranian caviar are Germany, Italy, the US, Belgium, France, the UK, the UAE, Hong Kong, Spain, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Denmark, Canada and Kuwait.
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 tonnes in the fiscal year 2004-05.