There's plenty of sturgeon in the Caspian Sea.
Unfortunately, there's also plenty of sturgeon poaching.
One time, for reasons, I was on a quest to find out who was poaching the sturgeon. I met Kamil, the chief of the fish
police in a small port in Dagestan, an autonomous region of Russia
on the west coast
of the Caspian.
He took me out in a primitive skiff into choppy, six-foot waves, toward Chechen Island... on the way, we happened upon a motorboat that was adrift. The crew hailed the fish
police chief. They had run out of gas. They also had two big sturgeon in their boat
. That was a no-no, because they were not licensed to catch sturgeon.
Kamil demanded that they hand over the fish, and tossed them a can of gas.
Back at the dock
, he ordered his men
to put one of the fish in my driver's car. They decided to "hide" it under the back seat, which folded up to make a sturgeon-sized compartment.
I was shocked. "The last thing I want is for someone to catch me
with a poached sturgeon." But Kamil was not having it. So we drove off with the sturgeon under the seat.
Over a hill, about 500 meters from the port, a policeman waved us over and said he wanted to search our car.
Shalap, the driver, who, I forget to mention, carried a revolver in a side holster, opened the car. I was sure I was going to fish jail.
The cop never opened the seat and let us go. Once we were out of sight, I ordered Shalap to stop the car and dump the sturgeon over the side of the road, into a swampy ditch.
Shalap never forgave me. Like you, Nagambie, he was really hoping for some sturgeon.
Apparently, you can legally buy it in Astrakhan, on the Volga delta
. If you can get to Iran, it is sold
there. I don't know if you can get to Turkmenistan, but I've seen sturgeon in the markets of Turkmenbashi. I have heard you can get it in Aktau, Kazakhstan, but I have never been there.
(Somewhere I have a picture of one of the smugglers tossing a beheaded sturgeon from his skiff to Kamil's. I can find it if anyone wants to see it.)