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Jul 3, 2001 10:21 AM

jaques pepin on overfishing sturgeon in today's NYT OP ED

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in the op ed page section of today's NYT Jacques Pepin implores those of us who are caviar lovers to rethink our habits and give the beluga sturgeon a break, at least until the end of 2001.

as we know this fish is in danger of being overfished and becoming extinct. his point to lay off for a few years to give it some room to replenish it's families is one we should all take very seriously.

he mentions the availability of quality farm raised american sturgeon which we could all enjoy during this "cooling off" period, should we have a jones for the scrumptious little roe.

in my personal experience it is rare the average person can tell the difference between servruga, osetra or beluga and many people are wowed by tobiko and salmon roe. let us take chef pepin's challenge to heart. a few years of discretion on our part may indeed save a species.

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  1. Overfishing of Caspian sturgeon is indeed a huge danger. Lets just hope the shortage doesn't increase demand (i.e."sturgeons will be extinct soon-better eat all the caviar I can while its still available" type attitude). I for one have sworn off my favorite fishy food and have explored using American sturgeon (the quality keeps getting better and better) and even started using American whitefish roe (the golden stuff) as a garnish-pretty tasty even on a blini (though no comparison to Beluga, tastey none-the-less).
    As chowhounds, consumers, and human beings co-habitating the planet, we should all take heed to Pepins (and Rochelles) warning concerning this matter.

    Thanks for the post Rochelle! Bravo!

    Peace and Grub

    1. Was reading through the food section of the SJMercury and came upon the mention of an alliance to help inform people of the latest info about overfishing and what folks can do. Several local restaurants are involved
      ( Hayes St. Grill, Jardiniere, etc...)
      Here's the URL...


      1 Reply
      1. re: gordon wing

        Thanks! Great resource.

        I generally carry with me a downloaded, pocket-sized "booklet" of OK, semi-OK, and Not OK species from the Monterey Bay Aquarium site.

        Those of us who eschew meat & fatty poultry for health reasons (the wise ones for prevention, the rest to ward off more harm!) feel extra-frustrated by this human-caused problem but try to put the health of the planet ahead of our own comfort. Does make it hard to go out for dinner, though.