Tuesday, January 03, 2006

By what authority?

The AP reports:
U.N. Panel Orders Halt to Caviar Exports

A U.N. panel ordered a temporary halt to caviar exports by the world's major producers Tuesday, buying time for experts to find ways to reverse dwindling populations of threatened sturgeon — whose eggs provide the culinary delicacy.

Many sturgeon species are suffering "serious population declines," said the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES....

The ban covers exports from the major sturgeon-exporting countries, said CITES, which regulates legal caviar exports through an international system of permits.

The Caspian Sea produces the sturgeons said to be the world's highest quality. The countries bordering the Caspian Sea account for 80 percent of the global caviar trade.

The U.N. body said the restrictions on world caviar trade were temporary to permit exporting nations to show they are not driving the species to extinction and are taking steps to preserve the source of the delicacy.

Countries wishing to export sturgeon products "must demonstrate that their proposed catch and export quotas reflect current population trends and are sustainable," said Willem Wijnstekers, secretary-general of CITES.

"Governments need to fully implement the measures that they have agreed to ensure that the exploitation of sturgeon stocks is commercially and environmentally sustainable over the long term," Wijnstekers added.

CITES said it "remains hopeful" the exporting countries will take the measues may allow international trade to resume....

Countries around the Caspian Sea — the main source of caviar — must develop a recovery plan for sturgeon if the species is to be saved, said the U.S.-based environmental coalition Caviar Emptor.

A long-term trade ban and fishing moratorium is needed for the most imperiled species, such as beluga sturgeon, which has lost 90 percent of its population in 20 years because of overfishing, according to Caviar Emptor.

Since beluga sturgeon take 15 years to reach maturity, they reproduce slowly and their population is more vulnerable to overfishing.
By what authority can the UN forbid people (let alone entire nations) to export anything? By what authority can they declare a species endangered and deprive people of their livelihood?

If Russia and Iran continue to export beluga caviar, what will the UN do...issue sanctions? That's a laugh. So by what threat of force does CITES intend to enforce its edict?

Whether or not its will is enforceable, that the UN continually imposes its provincial internationalism across the globe is the very reason a nation, if it believes in its own sovereignty, should immediately terminate its membership. You would be correct to surmise that I don't believe the United States should have ever been part of that corrupt, socialist-founded, socialist-dominated organization that calls for "peace," "equality" and "justice," none of which bear even the most superficial resemblance to the genuine article.

Spock's arguably best line was at the end of "Star Trek VI": "If I were human, I believe my response would be, 'Go to hell.' If I were human." If I were a beluga caviar exporter, that's what I would tell CITES. The only true way to resume international trade in caviar is for exporters and importers to ignore the ban.

If CITES truly wanted to save beluga sturgeon, it would leave the fishermen alone. By creating an artificial scarcity, it has artificially driven up prices. High prices encourage fishermen to fish and sell more, whether "legally" or on the black market. Left to the free market, prices would moderate, prompting fishermen to sell modestly. After all, they would take care to continue their livelihood (kill the golden goose, so to speak). The attempts at "conservation" and trade bans, however, only encourage them to "overfish" the sturgeon. It's not just because of artificially higher prices, but because some fishermen had better rush to catch and sell what they can before sturgeon fishing is outlawed entirely.


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