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Sturgeon Farming: How to Start Sturgeon Caviar Farming

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Sturgeon Caviar farming is challenging and capital intensive. It requires specialized equipment, licensing, certification and technical knowledge of the industry. Sturgeons have longevity, late-maturing and rugged.

Traced over 280 million years this ancient fish have about 27 species of sturgeon.  They have elongated features are large with scales – less smooth bodies. A special adaptation is the use of electroceptors for migration, mating and feeding.

Sturgeon Caviar Farming

What is Sturgeon Caviar?

Caviar is a highly perishable salted roe eaten as a garnish or spread. They are pasteurized or non-pasteurized, pressed, salted or refrigerated. Nutritional value is 2.86g, 94mg, 12.18mg zinc, sodium 240mg, carbohydrate 0.64g cholesterol 94mg.

Top Industrial Players

To farm sturgeon for caviar special license and permit is needed. Top producers are China, United Kingdom and China. The fish is farmed in Qiandao lake china, Kibbutz Dan in Israel, Kacey’s Sturgeon farm UK. Other producers are Malaysia, Spain, Uruguay, North America, Moldova, Italy, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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Types of Caviar

Caviar depends on the type of fish that produce them. It is pasteurized or non-pasteurized depending on the market. The eggs are produced by carp, salmon, wild sturgeon, whitefish. Others are lumpfish, American Ossetra, Russian Ossetra, beluga, sevruga and Kaluga hybrid.

  • Carp
  • Salmon
  • Wild sturgeon
  • Farmed Sturgeon
  • Whitefish
  • Lumpfish
  • American Ossetra
  • Russian Ossetra
  • Beluga
  • Sevruga
  • Kaluga hybrid

Types of sturgeon

Here are different types of sturgeon farmed for eggs. Popular types are Dexter, California, KC Harlequin, Short-nose, Zebra, Albino, Stellate and Siberian.

  • Dexter
  • California
  • KC Harlequin
  • Short nose
  • Zebra
  • Albino
  • Stellate
  • Siberian

Features

There are 27 species with 7 types of sturgeon farmed across the world. We have the KC Harlequin, Stellate, Dexter, Siberian, diamondback, California white and albino. Average size fully grown range from 0.8 m -4m.

Albino are and highly sort in the caviar industry. Features of albino are red eyes, white color while Dexter are beluga hybrid. Others are diamondback with brown color, stellate with striking markings and dark color.

  • Albino – red eyes, white color
  • Dexter – beluga hybrid
  • Diamondback – brown color
  • Stellate – striking markings, dark color

Lifecycle of Sturgeon Fish

Sturgeon fish grow in the Atlantic coast, Caspian Sea, Pacific Ocean. Egg production range from 100, 000 -2 million while adults live up to 40 years.

Characteristics are body armor, boney scales, 4 barbels, 5 rows of scutes. Elongated face, streamlined elongated body, large size, flat rostra. Heavily armored and scaly skin grow 20-24 ft. weigh 1,500kg.

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Economic value

Hunted to near extinction for its precious eggs the fish has huge economic value. The eggs attract premium price worldwide. They are graded by taste, color, texture and flavor. Other parameters include mode of farming, firmness, branding and creaminess. Sturgeon eggs sell $100 for 28g however beluga sold $16,000 per kg.

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Grading Caviar Eggs

  • Beluga – high price
  • Albino- Good Price
  • Taste
  • Color
  • Texture
  • Flavor
  • Firmness
  • Branding
  • creaminess

Conservation efforts

Some species of the fish are extinct while overfishing is depleting wild stock. Late-maturing and reproductive cycle adds to the vulnerability of the fish. A top player in conservative efforts of the species is the world sturgeon conservation society.

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