After nine years of suspending their export of black eggs from sturgeon because of the Caspian Sea fish was facing extinction, Russia has turned to fish farming to reclaim its position at the top of the world’s caviar market.
A factory opened about two years ago and located approximately 200km from Moscow is farming precious fish – sturgeon, the fish that produces caviar. All it takes is one small cut to extract the eggs from the fish, which means the fish is able to stay alive. According to Anatoly Poznyakov, a fish farmer at the factor, once the eggs have been obtained, they are able to return the fish back into the water for a new cycle.
Extracting caviar and keeping the fish alive is a new and much more efficient technique because it means that each sturgeon can produce caviar several times in its lifetime.
Despite these technological advancements, factory director Vladimir Kalashnikov says that recovery of the sturgeon population in the Caspian Sea may take a long time. In fact, he guesses it may take several decades, which means there isn’t much competition for his factory. Other countries, such as France and China have also been farming caviar for several years, but Russia is confident it has the brand identity to outperform anyone else.
Over the past three years, around 12 farms have been opening in Russia, which is not only good for business, but also for the Caspian sturgeon.
After nine years of being out of the caviar game, Russia is counting on the new factories to help it regain its reputation for market leader.