US - Marky's, leading importer/exporter and distributor in the multimillion dollar caviar industry, announced the ground-breaking successful breeding of its beluga sturgeon stock at Sturgeon AquaFarms.
The initial shipment in 2003 marked the first time live second generation farm-raised beluga sturgeon, the source of the world's finest caviar, had been transported to the US.
A sustainable and gentle extraction procedure was utilized to delicately remove a small number of eggs from one of the female sturgeon. The fertilized eggs were then hatched and the beluga sturgeon larvae are now healthily growing at the aquaculture facility in Bascom, Florida.
Over the past few decades, the Caspian's beluga sturgeon population has dropped significantly due to environmental degradation, invasion of exotic species, and over fishing. Beluga sturgeon is currently listed as a threatened species under the US Endangered Species Act and importation into the United States has been banned since 2005. This has prompted Marky's to take steps toward relieving the pressure on the world population of sturgeon by purchasing and producing only sustainably farmed caviar.
"Farming beluga sturgeon in the US is the best way to protect the species and continue providing customers with the high-quality and authentic flavor of Russian caviar that they crave," said Mark Zaslavsky, president of Marky's Caviar.
Conservation efforts geared towards preventing population extinction, preserving genetic diversity, and developing sturgeon aquaculture to decrease market pressure on wild populations are of utmost priority at Marky's. Sturgeon AquaFarms uses Floridan aquifer water to raise its fish to ensure they are free of pollution and harmful substances. The sustainable roe extraction process involves performing a cesarean section, which allows the life of the fish to continue unharmed.
Until now, American aqua farms have primarily produced paddlefish roe or California white sturgeon varieties of caviar; however, in using Caspian sturgeon, Marky's will bring an authentic product and unmatched domestic quality to the market..