Shark finning is a massive, multi million dollar industry. But there’s another fish that’s more endangered (in fact, the IUCN once described this as one of the most endangered species on earth) that’s also being killed illegally for one small component of its body. Above is the beluga, or Huso huso. Not the whale, but the sturgeon. Growing up to some massive sizes of 1500 kilos and 7.2 meters long (as one specimen caught in 1827) and living for up to 100 years it is also the oldest living family of bony fish. It is hunted for its roe. Beluga caviar is one of the most exclusive and sought after types of caviar, and severe overfishing has caused this beautiful fish to be classified as critically endangered by the IUCN.
Beluga caviar can sell for as much as 10,000$ per kilo depending on the quality, with a special sort (harvested exclusively from females at least a 100 years of age) going for some 25,000$ per kilo.
Much like the shark, the beluga is an apex predator in its environment, and it would be a shame to see such a beautiful fish disappear.