EghtesadOnline: For the first time in 25 years, about 10 kilograms of Iranian farmed caviar worth 600 million rials ($13,000) were exported to the United States in the last fiscal year (March 2016-17), an adviser to agriculture minister said.
Abbas Rajaei, who is also the CEO of Agriculture Services Specialized Holding Company, added that the company received the license for caviar exports from the United States’ Department of Agriculture, adding that Iranian caviar farmers can export their products to the US in coordination with the company, Mehr News Agency reported.
Rajaei noted that in order to curb the smuggling of the product and prevent other countries from taking advantage of high-quality Iranian caviar, Iranian officials are taking measures to internationally register the Iranian caviar brand.
Latest statistics released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show a total of more than 557 kilograms of farmed caviar worth over $1.37 million were exported from Iran during the seven months to Oct. 22, 2017, to register a 9% and 6.6% decline in weight and value respectively compared with the similar period of last year, Financial Tribune reported.
The main export destinations for Iranian caviar during the seven-month period were Germany, Italy, the US, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, the UAE, Hong Kong, Spain, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Denmark, Canada and Kuwait.
Hassan Salehi, the head of Iran Fisheries Organization, said last year that 2 tons of farmed caviar were produced in Iran, adding that the figure is expected to exceed 3 tons this year.
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 the sea has long been threatening this fish with extinction. The declining sturgeon population and the ban on their fishing to spur breeding have also caused a downtrend in Iran’s caviar exports.
Iran’s caviar exports stood at 38 tons in the fiscal 2004-05.