Public Release: 

Sturgeons, CITES and the caviar trade

Presentation to be held at CITES 15th Meeting of the Conference of Parties

The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science

Sturgeons and paddlefishes are ancient fishes that are valued around the world for their precious roe, which is commercially sold as black caviar. Because of the high demand for black caviar, all species of sturgeon have been fished to the edge of extinction throughout the northern hemisphere. All species were listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 1997 - 25 species under Appendix II and two species under Appendix I. However, since that time, whenever there has been a change in the status of the remaining 27 sturgeon species, it's been for the worse with the exception of two species for which there has been no change.

This event, which will be held during the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties to CITES, is sponsored by the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science (IOCS) at Stony Brook University. Dr. Ellen Pikitch, IOCS Executive Director, and Dr. Phaedra Doukakis, IOCS Senior Research Scientist, will present their latest findings from a study of Caspian Sea beluga sturgeon recently published in the journal Conservation Biology, as well as an overview of the status and trends of global sturgeon fisheries. Presenters from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, will address caviar trade and labeling issues and the current status of sturgeon species.

What: "Sturgeons, CITES, and the Caviar Trade"

Who: Presenters include:

  • Dr. Kent E. Carpenter, Professor, Old Dominion University, USA; IUCN Global Marine Species Assessment Director
  • Dr. Volker Homes, Director, Species Conservation Section, WWF Germany and TRAFFIC
  • Dr. Ellen K. Pikitch, Executive Director, Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, Professor, Stony Brook University

When: Thurs., March 18, 2010
5:30 - 7 p.m. (17:30 - 19:00) Doha time

Where: Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel (974) 485-4444
Salwa Room #2
Al Corniche Street
Doha, Qatar


For questions or more information about this event, or to receive copies of presentations or other materials, please contact:

(USA) Cindy Yeast at +1.720.542.9455 or +, and at

(Doha, Qatar) Ellen Pikitch at +1.631.626.2090 and at

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