In The Hague at the CITES Conference:
Julia Roberson [email protected]

In the United States:
Shannon Crownover [email protected]

New Home-grown Caviar Sampler Offers Environment-Friendly Choice for the Holidays

(November 10, 2003) -- This holiday season, caviar lovers can explore a variety of excellent caviars produced in the United States without worrying about eating the eggs of a rapidly declining species.

Several suppliers of the best in American caviar have teamed up to offer the first-ever American Caviar Trio gift basket for connoisseurs who want to celebrate the holidays in style. The caviars in the holiday sampler were chosen for their great taste and for their role as a sustainable alternative to caviars from Caspian Sea sturgeon, whose population plummeted in recent decades.

“Caviar lovers have an increasing number of versatile American products to explore this holiday season, and by choosing these varieties, consumers can give beleaguered Caspian sturgeon the break the fish needs to start the road to recovery,” said Vikki Spruill, president of the ocean conservation organization SeaWeb and co-founder of the Caviar Emptor campaign.

Traditionally, most of the world’s caviar has come from countries such as Russia and Iran of the Caspian Sea region, but overfishing and illegal trade have caused steep declines in the population of Caspian sturgeon. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has proposed that beluga sturgeon be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Caviar Emptor - a partnership of SeaWeb, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Pew Institute for Ocean Science at the University of Miami - seeks to protect Caspian Sea sturgeon and to point consumers to better caviar choices. The campaign recommends that consumers avoid beluga and other Caspian caviars and instead choose ocean-friendly American caviars from farm-raised white sturgeon, paddlefish or rainbow trout.

Consumers interested in ordering the sampler gift basket should go to or call 800-673-3051. The American Caviar Trio gift basket is $99.95, and includes one ounce each of fresh white sturgeon, paddlefish and trout caviars and overnight shipping. Supplies and availability are subject to change. Shipping begins the day after Thanksgiving. Cut-off day for Christmas and New Year’s Eve delivery is December 22nd.

The companies participating in American Caviar Trio are Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar (, L’Osage Paddlefish Caviar and Sunburst Trout Caviar (


Note: In October 2003, WCS' role in the partnership was transferred to the new Pew Institute for Ocean Science at the University of Miami, due to the appointment of Caviar Emptor's lead scientist, Dr. Ellen Pikitch, as the Institute's executive director.

For more information or for a high-resolution image of the gift basket, the media should contact Sunny Wu of Caviar Emptor at 202-483-9570 or [email protected]. To place an order, visit, or call 800-673-3051.


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