Associated Press reports that an ambitious project on the shores of the Caspian Sea hopes to produce caviar, boosting Iran’s economy as sanctions ease.
Iran sold more than 40 tons of sturgeon eggs in 2000, but xports fell to just 1 ton last year due to dwindling fish stocks and trade sanctions.
“We hope that as a result of the government’s interaction with the world, the path will be opened for us to export our products abroad,” Ishaq Islami, the manager of the private Ghareh Boron Caviar Fish Farm in the coastal village of Goldasht, 190 miles north of Tehran, told Associated Press.
He began the $100m project in 2005, but it takes at least 12 years for sturgeon to mature and produce caviar.
The farm aims to export 30 tons of salt-cured caviar and 2,000 tons of sturgeon meat in three years, earning $90m a year based on an average price of $3,000 a kilogram (about $1,360 a pound) for caviar.
The US, Europe and Japan have traditionally been the biggest markets.