Monday, June 16, 2003 - Updated at 9:04 a.m. Call it the Caviar Kingdom
By DOREEN HEMLOCK, Business Writer


Beluga caviar fresh from Orlando, anyone?

It's no Disney World fantasy. A Miami-based food importer, Marky's Caviar, is starting a fish farm in Central Florida to raise prized beluga sturgeon from the Caspian Sea for their gourmet eggs.

Why go through the hassle, when you can import the caviar directly?

Company President Mark Zaslavsky said he's worried about shrinking supplies from the Caspian Sea, partly because of overfishing there.

In March, he announced an accord with Russian caviar producer Raskat to buy beluga, osetra and sevruga without killing adult female sturgeon. It also required DNA batch tests for each species of caviar, verified by the Russian Federation's council on trade in endangered species.

Conservation groups are sure to toast Marky's Sturgeon Aquafarms. They've urged Americans to buy caviar only from farm-bred fish.