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    Large batch of illicit sturgeon catch seized in southern Russia

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    MAKHACHKALA, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Security services seized a large batch of illegal sturgeon catch in the southern republic of Daghestan in Russia's North Caucasus, the republican branch of the Federal Security Service said Sunday.

    Russia's Daghestan is located on the coast of the Caspian Sea, which is home to sturgeon fishes.

    The security service detained a truck Saturday and found an estimated 9-10 metric tons of sturgeon hidden under four metric tons of apples.

    The population of sturgeon in the Caspian Sea has dwindled almost forty-fold in the last 15 years because of poachers in the region who harvest the fish for their expensive black caviar.

    An investigation is under way, the local security service said.

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