MIAMI, July 7, 2003: This week, Marky's,
a leading gourmet foods importer based in South Florida, announced
the arrival of an additional ten Caspian beluga sturgeon to
Miami. This transport continues Marky's conservation efforts
as the first company to transport live beluga sturgeon, the
source of the world's finest caviar, to the U.S.
The recently arrived Caspian beluga sturgeon will join the
others to total 20, forming the initial brood stock for Sturgeon
AquaFarms, LLC, an aquaculture facility to be built in Central
Florida. Within the next three years, Marky's Caviar anticipates
producing 500,000 beluga fry at the facility. Until the aqua
farm is built, the beluga sturgeon will remain in a holding
facility outside of Orlando, Fla.
These efforts, however, may be threatened by a pending U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service decision to list Caspian beluga
sturgeon as an endangered species. Should the beluga sturgeon
be listed as an endangered species, the research, trade and
culture of beluga sturgeon and the caviar it produces would
likely be prohibited in the U.S.
Over the past two decades, the Caspian's beluga sturgeon
population has dropped significantly due to environmental
degradation, invasion of exotic species and over fishing.
This decline has prompted companies like Marky's to take steps
toward relieving the pressure on the world population of sturgeon,
supplementing the wild catch with farmed caviar.
"At Marky's, our goal is to lead change in the caviar
industry. Bringing beluga sturgeon to the U.S. for farming
is the best way to protect the species and continue providing
customers with the high-quality caviar they expect."
stated Mark Zaslavsky, Marky's president.
The importation of live beluga sturgeon and the construction
of an aquaculture facility to farm this native Caspian stock
is only part of Marky's work to change the face of the caviar
industry and aid sturgeon conservation efforts. In March 2003,
Marky's signed a landmark agreement with Raskat, a Russian
caviar producer, to purchase beluga, osetra and sevruga caviar
produced without killing adult female sturgeon. This agreement
also ensures there is a compensatory release of sturgeon fry
into the Caspian Sea in order to replenish the declining stocks
In addition, under the agreement with Raskat, Marky's also
became the first company to require DNA batch tests for each
species of caviar, which are verified by the CITES (Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species) Scientific Authority
of the Russian Federation. This DNA analysis of the roe of
beluga, osetra and sevruga caviar enables Marky's to ensure
the origin and quality of its product to customers.
About Optimus Inc.
Optimus Inc., d.b.a. Marky's, is a leading gourmet foods importer
and distributor that was founded in 1983 in Miami, Florida.
Marky's has been importing and exporting more than 600 varieties
of gourmet foods for over 18 years, including Russian caviar,
French foie gras, smoked salmon, angulas, truffles, saffron,
dry peppercorns, escargots, specialty meats, cheeses and wild
mushrooms. The company's specialties are Black Sea and Caspian
caviar and French foie gras. Please visit www.markys.com,
for more information.