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Oil companies may be obliged to invest into beluga sturgeon breeding projects at the Caspian: Environment Minister Nurgali Ashim

16 june 2011, 14:54
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A sturgeon and its unborn spawn.  © AFP
A sturgeon and its unborn spawn. © AFP
Oil companies working in Kazakhstan may be obliged to invest into beluga sturgeon breeding projects at the Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan’s Environment Minister Nurgali Ashim said, Profinance.kz reports.

“To recover the beluga population, oil companies should invest into beluga breeding projects, including melioration of spawning grounds (…)”, the Minister said June 16 at an oil and gas conference focused on the Caspian shelf.

The Minister did not specify the amount of funds needed for the initiative. “Let the oil companies finance the projects voluntarily or within special environment programs”, Interfax – Kazakhstan quoted him as saying.

Populations of beluga sturgeon have declined by nearly 90% in recent decades due to the high demand for black caviar, inadequate management, and habitat degradation. Black caviar, the unfertilized roe (eggs) of the beluga sturgeon, is the most valuable of all caviar, and can be sold for as much as $8,000 for one kilogram (2.2 pounds).

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