Economy, Domestic Economy

Caviar Export Value Rises Despite Environmental Odds

Caviar Export Value Rises Despite Environmental OddsCaviar Export Value Rises Despite Environmental Odds

Close to 1.5 tons of caviar were produced in Iran in the last Iranian year (ended March 19, 2016), over 65% of which—worth $1.7 million—had been exported to Japan, Germany, the UAE, Britain, Italy, Belgium, South Korea and Norway.

The export value indicates a 183.3% rise compared to the previous year, mainly because of the 95.1% price hike, ISNA reported.

Last year, Iranian caviar was sold at $1,652 per kilogram in the international market.

The export comes against a backdrop of the Caspian Sea, the main breeding ground for sturgeons, slowly losing its diversity of fish stocks, sturgeons in particular, which declined to its lowest level in history.  This has increasingly given rise to the farming of the caviar-producing fish.

As a case in point, sturgeons are now being bred in the Iranian desert city of Aran-Bidgol in Isfahan Province.

“We started the business in 2011 with the aim of creating jobs for the local people and securing the influx of foreign capital into the region. Sturgeon reserves in the Caspian Sea, which is their natural habitat, is depleting and we felt the need to make up for this deficiency,” said Mehdi Azadpour, the project’s executive manager.

He added that at present the artificial ponds of the farm hold close to 200 sturgeons weighing from 4 to 35 kilograms.

“Sturgeons go through sonography and the male ones are separated and sold for their meat,” he said.

Azadpour noted that last year nearly 6 tons of high quality trout were also produced in the farm.

“Considering the scarcity of water resources in the desert, we have designed a system that circulates the water in the ponds back into the wells where it is treated and used again,” he said.