Champagne Without the Caviar

by Julian Ku

I want to follow up on Chris’s great post summing up our past year, but there’s a lot there. So in the meantime, I thought I’d point out one definitely non-top 25 IL event for 2005 or 2006. The NYT reports that the secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has suspended the export of caviar from 10 of the largest caviar-producing nations. To be precise, the secretariat has refused to release export quotas for sturgeon for 2006 until he gets more information of sturgeon stocks, thereby making export of caviar from 10 nations an international legal violation. Whether this “suspension” has any teeth is very hard to say. Much of the caviar trade is already illegal under domestic and international law. Moreover, the U.S. has already banned import of most caviar, but it is not the only or even the major caviar-importing country. The E.U. may actually be more important to the long-term effectiveness of this action, as the secretariat himself pointed out in his announcement. So we’ll see. In any case, no caviar for us here in the States, and probably for you folks in Europe as well. It will be tough, but somehow we will all have to get by.

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