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WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 - The United States Fish and Wildlife Service will begin banning imports of beluga caviar and other beluga products from the Caspian Sea on Friday, after caviar-exporting countries in the region failed to provide details of their plans to conserve the fish, which is listed internationally as a species threatened with extinction.
The United States consumes 60 percent of the world exports of beluga caviar, a $200-an-ounce delicacy that is considered the king of caviars. While osetra and sevruga caviars are consumed in far greater amounts in this country, beluga has long had unrivaled international cachet and commanded unrivaled prices.
Its desirability has led to decades of overfishing, and stocks have dwindled dramatically, particularly in the Caspian Sea, where stocks have declined by 90 percent n the past 20 years.
New York Times