March 29, 2010
Early in March appeared the news about a russian firm investing in an already existing and abandoned fish farm in the Argentine La Rioja province in order to raise sturgeon for its precious eggs.
It would take at least another 6-8 years before we see any caviar made in Argentina. And having the current market situation with increasing competition and crumbling prices in mind, I’m not sure whether this undertaking is bold or just something else…Fortunately for ZwyerCaviar, there is almost no branded high quality and ethically farmed caviar in sight.
Anyhow, here you can read the original article.
March 27, 2010
Just stumbled over a pretty old newsflash about the burmese government looking for vietnamese fundings in order to build sturgeon aquafarms (besides salmon) in such possible locations like Putao, Myitkyina and Kanpaiktee.
After the strong market impact from Chinese sturgeon farms selling caviar, Burma could become another potential producer market, putting the price crumbling for caviar under continuing pressure.
Click here to read original article published in January 2010.
December 2, 2009
The event is a milestone in perseverance and a great merit for aquaculture researcher from the University of Los Lagos, Dr. Juan Carlos Uribe who has been working for years in the project with resources from Chile’s Development and Promotion Office.
The research and tests begun in 1996 with the purpose of developing an industrial technology to enable the industrial production of sturgeon and the much coveted caviar which is extracted from the fish’s eggs.
“After fifteen years of investigation we had these specimens here and finally they managed to reproduce”, said Uribe from Parral where the experimental farms are located.
“That was the missing step. The project is most interesting for Chile given the price of caviar, and of sturgeon fillets, and even more interesting since it’s a species in extinction process”.
Sturgeon is a considered a living fossil: they have survived since the time of the Dinosaurs having conserved their prehistoric aspect. Fossilized remains have been found in rocks dating back 54 and 40 million years, according to Dr. Uribe
Chilean researchers believe that sturgeon could repeat the “king salmon” experience for Chile. “Now we can move into the commercial stage” said Uribe (…)
Read full story here
October 13, 2009
Could 2009 become the year when farmed caviar gets wide acceptance as being actually better then wild caviar from the Caspian Sea? It just might. Foodies around the globe keep repeating increasingly the same story: forget the good old, go for the better new!
The other day I found a very interesting read about the ‘caviar in crisis’ (meaning the absence of wild caviar on the market) on the Newsweek website that I want to share with you.
Click here to read the story!
September 7, 2009
August 24, 2009
Back in September 2008 I posted an article about the sturgeon breeding programm at the University of Maryland.
But there are others. Last week news spread across the net regarding the University of Georgia and its sturgeon breeding programm. Their first caviar is ready for sale. According to Doug Peterson, associate professor of fisheries and aquaculture at UGA, the aim is to help protecting the wild sturgeon populations and maybe even create a lucrative commodity for the state.
Its quite interesting to know, that there are as many as 4 sturgeon species that are native to the state. But Petersons caviar comes from Siberian sturgeons only. And their habitat is – obviously – nowhere near the US.
Anyhow, Peterson has spent about eight years developing a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable method of farming. And with success, so it seems. According to Michel Emery, director of sales for Petrossian, the color and consistency were spot on. And “the flavor,” Emery added, “was impeccable.”
Their caviar can be found at Inland Seafood of Atlanta. The caviar costs $58 for 30 grams (just over 1 ounce) or $235 for 125 grams (about 4.4 ounces), said Bill Demmond, the chief operating officer.
A rather funny side note regarding their marketing: The product was given the slogan, “They have Gatorade … we have caviar,” in reference to the University of Florida, whose researchers invented the sports drink Gatorade.
August 5, 2009
The Barceló La Bombadilla Hotel in Andalusia, Spain, offers a unique tour to its guests. On a guided tour at the nearby sturgeon farm in Rio Frio they can get an insight into the secrets of caviar production. Included are the ultrasound checks regarding maturity of the roe and visits to the processing lab.
Even if I dislike the idea of converting sturgeon farms into a kind of Disneyland (call me paranoid, but industrial espionage exists), I welcome this idea. It helps to raise the public awareness behind this sophisticated art of breeding sturgeon and producing caviar. It has absolutely nothing to do with the ‘wild’ (easy) way. It is a highly knowledge-driven and sensitive endeavour which requires a lot of patience and critical decisions.
And everybody who willingly embarks on this journey receives my respect.
July 27, 2009
“The perfect environment allows for a unique and matchless
We would like to describe in some detail the principals which set apart our one of a kind farming facilities and allow us to set the standard for a totally new concept: the WILD-RAISED production of caviar.
To date the consumer has known about only two sources of caviar:
1. the Caspian Sea area (Russia and Iran), where caviar is harvested from the wild sturgeon.
2. The other known source is newer and less appetizing: it involves sturgeon being Farm-Raised. This process involves a closed circuit of recirculated waters (99%) in artificial pools or tanks, which require the overused water be treated with filters and chemical products.
From its inception, Black River Caviar sought out the perfect environment within which we knew we could match the quality of wild caviar production.
We have therefore designed all our facilities on our farm in such a way that they are harmoniously adapted to the environment and best utilize the pristine natural habitat that is the Rio Negro – Uruguay.
Our guiding philosophical principal is the recreation of ‘life in the wild’ for the sturgeon: from day one until the moment of our caviar harvesting.
Our facilities are divided into three areas:
1. The Hatchery
2. Baygorria Lake
3. The Raceways System
The imported Russian sturgeon eggs are housed in the Hatchery: an environment which simulates the bottom of the river were Russian sturgeon naturally spawn.
Then, over the next six to nine months, we then do a natural classification – selecting the best young sturgeon to send to the lake. This environment corresponds very closely to that of the Caspian Sea with its slow and natural water streams. Here, in a stress-free environment, our fish are fed special organic feed and allowed to grow in the most healthy and natural way.
At this point all the females are tagged with a special microchip in order for us to literally follow their maturation process with the necessary detail required.
Once the females start to produce their first roe, we move them to the Raceways systems, which again is a perfect simulation of the river delta and its requisite rapids.
This unprecedented system moves about 50 million Gallons through the Raceways each day – constantly guaranteeing that the water is 100% fresh and free-flowing. We therefore have no need for any water recycling, or any kind of water treatments or filters.
The volume of water running through the system guarantees a totally unspoiled environment in which the water is naturally oxygenated when flowing through our cascade system. This system is comprised of 80 concrete raceways, each of 150 meters, and each which we handle individually.
Due to this design we can work with the sturgeon twenty-four hours a day and we are able to change the water speed, quantity and depth of each unit in order to simulate the females’ natural journey up the river.
The continuous exercise the Sturgeon get in this environment – constantly swimming against the fresh water streams – allows our fish to grow and mature in a fashion which ensures a quality akin to their wild counterparts.
Our entire operation is based on ensuring quality sturgeon by creating a uniquely planned environment that mimicks the natural environment allowing for a completely new classification of caviar: not wild and not farm-raised – ours is uniquely WILD-RAISED.”
July 24, 2009
The german company United Food Technologies AG (UFT) is a worldwide expert in building water closed circuits for aquafarms. They will cooperate with the irani government in order to build a caviar farm in the Gorgan Gulf, northern Golestan province and near the border of Turkmenistan. Teheran is eager to develop the cultivation of fish in general and more even regarding the sturgeon. Due to the recent and actual free fall of Acipenser landings in the Caspian Sea – due to poaching, overfishing and pollution – their plan fits into the current agenda of the caviar industry. Raising sturgeons is the only way in order to provide the gourmets around the world with caviar. Sad but true: Wild caviar is doomed.
An interesting question: will the Iranians be able to step into their own legacy and produce a top premium caviar inside their aquacultures? In my point of view they are starting relatively late with vision. And taking the painful mistakes into account that every farmer has to diggest, well, then it will still be a very long way until we see some iranian farmed caviar on the shelf. And start digging graves for the Almas caviar…
ZwyerCaviar LLC has nothing to fear, as its caviar producer – Esturiones del Rio Negro SA – is to date the one and only sturgeon farm so far, which has access to millions of fresh river water. And in stark contrast to UFT, the water is being used once of course – and never ever re-circulated. Any questions…?
Go to article
May 21, 2009
This is a good example of getting independency. If you are running a marine laboratory and its costly research costs are giving you a headache, then why not breeding sturgeons by yourself and selling their high-valued roe on the market in order to support the institutional costs?
And that’s what Mote, a marine laboratory based in Florida, is doing since 1997. Breeding sturgeon. And since 2006 selling caviar from the russian and siberian sturgeon. This seems to be a helping hand for this independently run and nonprofit lab. It is active in the field of aquacultural research and has an education programm and even an aquarium to offer.
For further infos, see:
- this video on youtube, and
- their official website