Air Date: Week of December 15, 2000
Living On Earth’s Maggie Villiger reports on how holiday tastes for caviar are pushing sturgeon from the Caspian Sea towards extinction.
VILLIGER: While you're stocking up your holiday larder, think twice before dining on caviar. Trade in this delicacy may be forcing some sturgeon closer to extinction. Female sturgeon are killed for their unfertilized eggs, which are salted and sold as caviar at prices up to thousands of dollars per pound. The majority of the world's caviar comes from the Caspian Sea, where sturgeon face poachers and polluted waters. Sturgeon are also losing habitat. Like salmon, they migrate upriver to spawn, but now face obstacles like dams or diverted streams. If you insist on caviar for the holidays, there are sound aquacultured sources. Some producers perform caesarians, extract the eggs, and send the sturgeon back to their pens. Or try a substitute. Word is, eggplant makes a workable alternative. That's this week's animal update. I'm Maggie Villiger.
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