Bad news for wealthy gourmets: By the end of this year, beluga caviar, the king of pricey delicacies, could be illegal fare in the United States. Earlier this week, the government proposed protecting the beluga sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act, following legal action against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The sturgeon, which is found in the Caspian and Black Seas, is in danger of extinction from overfishing, illegal harvesting, and loss of natural habitat. The U.S. consumes the vast majority (80 percent) of beluga caviar, which can sell for a whopping $500 per pound. Ellen Pikitch, director of marine programs for the World Conservation Society, praised the proposal to protect the beluga sturgeon, adding, “There are no quick fixes that could remedy this dire situation.”