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UN Agency Blocks 2006 Caviar Exports

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The United Nations says it will not approve this year's export quotas for caviar and other sturgeon products until exporting countries provide more information on stock levels.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora issued a statement Tuesday saying it is concerned proposed quotas may not reflect the drop in stocks, or make allowance for illegal fishing.  The U.N. agency singles out the Caspian Sea area, the lower Danube River and the Amur-Heilongjiang River between Russia and China.  In effect, it bans foreign sales of caviar from these areas.

The organization's secretary-general says countries that want to export sturgeon products must demonstrate that proposed quotas reflect current population trends, taking into account illegal fishing.

The 169-member U.N. agency seeks to ensure that international trade in species of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.

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