CHARM Characteristics

Why is sturgeon cultivation necessary?

  • The area around the Volga River suffers from dam construction, plant sewage and overfishing

  • Sturgeon are rapidly declining
    The collapse of the Soviet Union led to chaotic overfishing and poaching from countries surrounding the Caspian Sea

  • Because control of fishing is impossible, sturgeon are at the risk of extinction!

Sturgeon became regulated by CITES (Washington Convention)

The Volga River can flow again. The width of the river is now 3 km in places and can finally reach the world's largest inland sea, the Caspian Sea. The sturgeon fishing industry is now one of many industries actively operating in the area.

The decline of sturgeon

    • After World War II, there was a lot of heavy industrial development in the Soviet Union
    • Factories lined up around the river dumped large amounts of waste
    • In the 1970s the Caspian Sea suffered from a decrease in its water level
  • Sturgeon steadily declined

  • Sturgeon decline → excessive demand → Soviet Union collapses → poachers increase

  • Over the 1990s, the number of sturgeon inhabiting the Caspian Sea declined to 1/4.
    (Source: "The role of Japan in the conservation of Acipenseriformes" by Soyo Takahashi)

Countermeasures by the countries surrounding the Caspian Sea

Expansion of sturgeon hatcheries

During a boat party on the Volga River, fresh caviar was served and with its taste, we understood for the first time why caviar is considered one of the top three delicacies in the world.

Closed sturgeon fishing season

Measures to strengthen enforcement are taken

A commodity subject to the Washington Convention (CITES)

Caviar is a commodity subject to the Washington Convention (CITES), so import and export is regulated.

However, in nature it takes a sturgeon carrying eggs, 15 to 20 years to swim upstream where it can finally lay them.

There have been various efforts to protect sturgeon, but there is not yet a fundamental solution. What is important? Shouldn't people from those surrounding countries and also around the world understand how nature works and how to get along well with nature?

It's not just the construction of dirty factories or poachers and fishermen who overfish that are bad, but also us consumers who contribute to the decline of sturgeon.

When the 22nd century comes, we hope that the Caspian Sea continues to exist as the "Mother lake for sturgeon."

In front of the Volga River dam, Russian government workers investigate the capture of sturgeon.

In front of the Volga River dam, Russian government workers investigate the capture of sturgeon. The small boat in the photo is pulling up nearly 100 kg of sturgeon.

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