Wednesday, March 2

The illegal trade in black caviar

this was a most fascinating and detailed study of how the trade in caviar works in the grey/black market. And because we in Europe are the main consumer, we are actively encouraging the devastation of the species. So whilst the common user of caviar will be shocked at the destruction of the rhino or the elephant for their horns/tusks, they are willing to keep on eating this very expensive fish roe. Sad...

The trade in caviar has a rich and colorful history, influenced over thousands of years by many cultures, societies and in the last decades by regulation. The value of caviar is historically discovered in the context of social change, political relationships and environmental change. The role of organized crime is described, as the scarcity of caviar has offered the unique opportunity to fish illegally, smuggle and trade contraband to mainly European countries with millions in profits. This study highlights that these criminal networks manifest themselves at all levels of the trade: from the poaching areas where organized criminal groups cooperate with law enforcers and possess top-notch equipment to major smuggling operations in the hands of sophisticated criminal networks. Although due to overexploitation ‘wild caviar’ is increasingly difficult to obtain, the demand in the context of exclusivity and scarcity remains intact by the upper class society desire for edible gold.

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