Sturgeon & Caviar
Sturgeons first appeared on Earth approximately 250 million years ago by evolving and mutating from their ancestor, the shark. Fossil discoveries indicate that the current genus of sturgeon (Acipenser) dates from the Upper Cretaceous period, approximately 70 million years ago. Worldwide there are 27 species of sturgeon, all of which live in the Northern hemisphere and are either threatened or endangered. In the future, aquaculture can and will play an important role in saving them from extinction.
One of the recent record holding Beluga sturgeons comes from the Volga River in Astrakhan. It's total weight was 2,156 pounds and it's caviar weight was 242 pounds. If this sturgeon was to be sold on the retail market today, it would be worth $726,000! This sturgeon would have been able to produce approximately 3.5 million eggs, which could ultimately supply the stocking material for 100 medium size fish farms for one year.
Did you hear about the Champagne and Caviar Cure? Caviar, one of the healthiest gourmet foods, contains a large amount (3.3-4.4 g/100g) of polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3s) which improves cognitive function, reducing risk for mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer's. This delicious treat also contains a significant amount of vitamins (A, C, PP, B2, B6 and B12) as well as minerals (Zinc, Iron, Calcium) that are especially important for pregnant women, children and elderly people.
Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus) has one of the biggest growth rate of all the sturgeons; our broodstock is part of the Northern range of this species and according with the counter-gradient hypothesis has the best growth rate comparing with the populations from Southern areas.
Shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) is probably one of the best sturgeon aquaculture species - early maturing, large eggs (between beluga and osetra), good growth; although endangered in most it's areal, our well managed captive breeding program will promote it to its right place in world's aquaculture. We are registered as a Captive Breeding operation under CITES for the Appendix 1 listed shortnose sturgeon so we can sell all over the world both commercially and for scientific use!
“The sturgeon is like a religious experience…really…that good…It tastes like something that was swimming around a few hours ago, was plucked out of the sea….smoked and brought to your table. This is one of the best things I can possibly eat ...”