Don't miss



#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more


Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more


French education with a difference: Teachers who think outside the box

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more


Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more


Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more


Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more


DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more


DAVOS 2017: Summit overshadowed by geopolitical changes

Read more

Caviar smuggling in Dagestan

Latest update : 2008-07-17

Along the coast of Dagestan, a small republic in southern Russia, frontier guards are busy chasing caviar smugglers. With caviar fetching record prices on Western markets, sturgeon stocks in the Caspian Sea have dropped dramatically.

Most of the world's sturgeon population lives in the Caspian Sea but their numbers have fallen 40 times over the last 15 years, and the smuggling is threatening the species.

One fish can contain up to 10 kg of caviar, worth 50,000 euros in a Parisian shop. But the smugglers of Dagestan only see a very small amount of the profits made from trafficking.

On improvised markets in the coast's villages, the banned fish is hidden in plastic bags and costs 5.50 euros per kilo.

The price of the caviar itself is negotiated out of sight around the back of the buildings. One can costs about 300 euros. That's 4000 euros less than in any european capital, but a small fortune for the fishermen from Dagestan.

At that price, the smugglers are willing to take risks and play cat and mouse with the touchy and sometimes threatening frontier guards.

Date created : 2008-07-17