Recap of the 8th International Sturgeon Conference

The 8th International Sturgeon conference was held on 23rd of November 2016 in Warsaw. The event gathered approximately 100 sturgeon farmers, caviar producers and experts from 11 countries.

Alan Jones then took the stage and talked about the history and current situation of sturgeon farming around the world. He explained the mission and actions of FEAP’s Sturgeon Working Group. The group works out possible solutions for sturgeon and the sturgeon products ban in the US, as well as resolving problems concerning CITES.

Jim Michaels touched upon the status of the 15 sturgeon species which are under import ban to the US. Legislation is underway to simplify farming of f.e. Acipenser baeri. This is a positive and crucial development for the sturgeon farmers.

The Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was the topic of the next two lectures, as it poses an important problem to the industry. Karol Wolnicki from the Polish Ministry for Environment explained the basis and conditions for the convention. The noble goal of protecting endangered species has in practice turned out to be a problem for representatives of many industry sectors, as it contains extremely time-consuming administrative procedures. From the point of views of sturgeon farmers and caviar producers, the CITES problem was highlighted by Mario Pazzaglia. He talked about the timing of the CITES certificate application. These procedures have a significant impact on both producers and the caviar market.  The products get delayed getting to the shops and is thus not as fresh as it should be when reaching the customers. Caviar is a valuable and fresh product, and should be sold as such. 

Paolo Bronzi elegantly presented the complicated topic of “Optimising egg incubation procedures for sturgeon” prepared by prof. Harald Rosenthal who unfortunately had to cancel last minute.

Sturgeon breeding is a risky and time-consuming business. It appears that live fish insurance is a challenge for most insurance companies. Cedric Audor presented conditions related to sturgeon farming insurance, the range of risks covered by the policies and the conditions for applying for compensation. 

After the official part of the conference participants gathered to dine, exchange ideas and experiences. During dinner they could admire the views of Warsaw airport and city from the top floor of the hotel in the Aviator Club. 

We would like to thank all participants and lecturers for their contribution to a successful and interesting event. We hope to see you all once again, in Warsaw the 3rd week of November 2018 for the 9th International Sturgeon Conference.