Beluga Sturgeon. [CR] The beluga is the largest European freshwater fish. The beluga is a huge and late-maturing fish that can live for 118 years. Over harvesting of Beluga caviar, which is the eggs of the sturgeon, has caused a 90% decline in beluga sturgeon populations. Unfortunately the fish must be killed in order to retrieve the eggs. The trade in beluga caviar is worth some 100 million annually. The U.S. is the biggest consumer of these precious salted sturgeon eggs.
It used to be possible to find Beluga sturgeon in and around the Black and Caspian Seas. But those giants are gone, and the small ones still around are threatened by people who harvest their valuable eggs.