Any sturgeon species’ long-term viability is teetering on the precipice of extinction.
I’m a sturgeon angler who lives in the California Delta, which is a sturgeon angler’s dream come true. I used to target White Sturgeon for both catch and release and harvest until this year. I fished for them six months out of the year as a private boater. As a deckhand, I’ve worked on charter sportfishing boats that specialized in catching and releasing White Sturgeon.
When it comes to Beluga Sturgeon, the Caspian Sea is where you’ll find the majority of them. The neighboring nations agreed to an international fishing prohibition on wild sturgeon in certain seas beginning in 2016. The prohibition is expected to last 20 to 25 years. The wild Beluga Sturgeon is on the verge of extinction.
I’ve attempted to get to the Caspian to sportfish Beluga (catch and release). I’ve booked flights to Azerbaijan and set up shop in Baku as a tour guide. I’ve been instructed not to go in each case because of “tribe conflicts.” I’m hoping to have a chance to go after those fish…. That light is diminishing as I get older.
So, where does all this Beluga Caviar originate? Beluga Farms is a farm in Beluga, Alaska. The Beluga Sturgeon is raised by a number of significant corporations. These sturgeon are currently being farmed and butchered for all of their components, including their roe (Caviar). These businesses are springing up all over the place where the Beluga formerly swam. Throughout fact, they’re now being grown in Asia and North America as well! Instead of capturing young Beluga, several farms are releasing them back into their natural habitat. All of this is beneficial; may the fish and fisherman thrive! Keep in mind that a wild sturgeon might take up to 20 years to develop and reproduce. As a result, the work that is being done now may reap advantages in 20 years.
Iran is the only country where wild sturgeon can be harvested. I’m not sure why, but if scientists and governments agree, then my opinion is irrelevant. Wild Beluga items are still prohibited in the United States.
20 years to prepare Beluga Caviar… hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm What’s more, guess what? People that want to make money off of Caviar won’t wait 20 years for the eggs to develop. The farmed sturgeon being harvested swim in ponds with salinity levels that are optimal for maturation. To encourage growth and development, they consume food pellets containing highly concentrated proteins and hormones.
Is that caviar as nice as sturgeon caviar from the wild? Personally, I do not believe this is the case. What, on the other hand, is the alternative for the masses who adore it?
For me, caviar and sturgeon fillets are still favorites. I’m only permitted one sturgeon every day/3 sturgeon per year under the law. I caught and released numerous legal sturgeon this year. I haven’t yet harvested any. I just don’t feel like killing a sturgeon right now. I’m not going to pay $70 an ounce for caviar, either.
Is Beluga Caviar a Long-Term Investment? It isn’t right now, but it may be in the future.
(EDIT: I failed to mention that in 2016, a new technology for obtaining roe from sturgeon was discovered.) The aquaculturist essentially “massages” the roe from the skein, preventing the sturgeon from dying. That’s fantastic. It’s all very PC. In fact, it nearly makes sense from a commercial standpoint. But what do you do with a 70-pound fish that can’t breed for seven or eight years and grows indefinitely? You can’t even release it ethically because it has no knowledge how to forage and has no notion what “genuine” food tastes like. Even though it is PC, it may not agree with the lowest bidder. My advice is to nurse them back to health before donating them to an aquarium. At the very least, they’d be Tax-free.
It wasn’t until lately.
I recently watched a TV show where a technique for “milking” fish eggs was demonstrated. Until then, the eggs had to be harvested by killing the fish. The fish can now be kept alive and produce multiple batches, according to reports.