Stop Cutting Fish Open While Still Alive

Target: Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York

Goal: Ban the sale of all caviar in the state of New York.

Caviar is a dish made from the unfertilized eggs of fish. Typically eaten as a garnish or spread, caviar is considered a delicacy and traditionally refers only to the eggs of Beluga sturgeon from the Caspian sea. Beluga sturgeon–the largest freshwater fish in the world–take anywhere from 10-15 years to produce these eggs, and killing females before the eggs even get the chance to be fertilized has had devastating effects on sturgeon populations. Beluga sturgeon caviar has been illegal in parts of the U.S. since 2005, due to efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to save this species from total extinction. In fact, due to overexploitation for caviar purposes and other conservation threats such as water pollution and habitat loss, sturgeon are probably the most endangered species on earth. More than 63% of the 28 sturgeon species alive today are listed as critically endangered.

As of recently, caviar has again been legalized in the U.S.. For about $11,500 per pound, caviar can be purchased from Beluga sturgeon factory-like farms. However, this “delicacy” comes at a cost. The switch to industrialized aquaculture farms–though beneficial for the revitalization of wild sturgeon populations–causes others to suffer, as they are trapped in enclosures and forced to swim among their own filth. Sturgeons are often injected with hormones to induce labor, so that more eggs can be harvested.

These fish have their stomachs cut open so that eggs might be stolen directly from her ovaries, sometimes while they are still alive and conscious. Some farms don’t kill their sturgeon–claiming it to be “ethical” caviar–but, the truth is, no caviar is really ethical. Fish are still cut open and experience extreme levels of stress and pain before they are stitched up and released so that they can produce more eggs in the future.

Stop exploiting female fish for status. Sign this petition to demand that the state of New York ban caviar once again.


Dear Governor Hochul,

Caviar–considered a “delicacy” to many wealthy and elite Americans–has recently been relegalized throughout the U.S., due to an increase in industrialized aquaculture farms breeding Beluga sturgeon. However, sturgeon at these farms suffer immensely. Just as on any other farm, these animals are forced to live among their own filth, are confined to small tanks for their entire lives and are forcibly injected with hormones to increase their production of eggs and induce labor. Even worse, in order to retrieve the eggs, sturgeon are brutally cut open–sometimes, while still alive–and eggs are forced out of their ovaries. At “ethical” no-kill farms, these fish are always still conscious during this process. Afterwards, these fish are stitched up–leaving their open wounds vulnerable to infection and disease–so that they can produce more eggs to supply our greed for status.

Sturgeon in the wild have been hunted to near extinction, with nearly 63% of all 28 species listed as critically endangered. This is a sorry excuse for their conservation. No animal should have to suffer for a “delicacy.” We are asking you, Governor Hochul, to please ban caviar in the state of New York and stop supporting this exploitative practice.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nom d’util

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