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How to Start Sturgeon Caviar Farm

Updated on October 18, 2019
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The question is why start a "sturgeon caviar" farm. The answer is why not. It is moderately challenging with huge financial reward. Other reasons are very few players, few regulations, good Incentives, high price of caviar.

The Fish

The fish is rugged, produce huge eggs have distinct characteristics are large and live long lives. There are 27 species of sturgeon in the Acipenseridae family. This ancient fish is traced to 250 years close to trisassic era.

Scientific classification is kingdom Animalia, Phylum-Chordata, Class-Actinotergii, Order Acipenseriformes and family-Acipenseridae.Their huge economic value have driven wild stock to the brink of extinction therefore aquatic culture is the best alternative.




This late maturing fish are long lived and grow large, average length is 24ft, weight, 1,550kg -2000kg with elongated body and face. They feature smooth or scaley-skin, heavily armored with spike-like body.

Other characteristics are boney skeleton five lateral rows of scutes, four barbels and flattened rostra. The armor are boney scales that run lateral to the body and the fish is native to lakes, sub artic or sub-tropical regions.

Lifecycle, habitat, uses and range

The average lifecycle is an astounding 55 years. They spawn only when climatic conditions are right at 16 years. The female lays from 100, 000 to 2.5million eggs which adhere to shallow rocks. The resultant larva fish or fry feed on crustaceans or insect larvae for one year. They are found in Pacific Ocean, Caspian seas, rivers in central Asia, Atlantic coast.

Uses of Sturgeon

The fish primary value is the caviar eggs it produces. However there are other uses in parchments, gelatin or classification of beer and wine.

How Rusian Caviar is Farmed


Caviar is salt-cured roe delicacy used as a spread or to garnish food. Highly perishable the product is treated, salted, pressed and requires refrigeration. However pasteurized caviar does not need refrigeration while pressed caviar is composed of different roes, fragile or damaged eggs.


Nutritional composition is 0.64g carbohydrate, 240mg Sodium and 12.18mg Zinc. Others are 42 calories of energy,2.86g fat content , 94mg cholesterol no fibers.

Types of Caviar

Types of Caviar are pasteurized or non-pasteurized roe of wild sturgeon, Sevruga, Carp, Whitefish. Others are Trout, Salmon, Ossetra, Beluga, Steelheah, Lumpfish. More varieties are Sevruga, American Ossetra, Kaluga hybrid, Sterlet. A premium and rare caviar is the Beluga with large soft eggs and a notable ones is Rusian Ossetra with a rich brown color.

Columbia River Caviar Might be Making a Comeback | Seattle Met

Columbia River Caviar Might be Making a Comeback | Seattle Met
Columbia River Caviar Might be Making a Comeback | Seattle Met

Fish Ideal for Caviar

Traditional caviar is harvested from wild sturgeon in the black or Caspian Sea. Popular caviar are Sevruga, Ossetra and Beluga.

  • wild sturgeon
  • Sevruga
  • Carp
  • Whitefish
  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Ossetra
  • Beluga
  • Steelheah
  • Lumpfish.

Top Producers

China producers over 60% of world caviar making them the top producers. Other notable countries are North America (70% US production), Moldova, Malaysia, Spain, and United Kingdom. Others are Uruguay, Italy with largest sturgeon farm that produces 25 tons of caviar, Saudi Arabia 30 tons and Iran.

  • China
  • North America
  • Moldova
  • Malaysia
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Italy
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Iran

Taking eggs from a female sturgeon could help save the species

Taking eggs from a female sturgeon could help save the species
Taking eggs from a female sturgeon could help save the species

Types of Sturgeon

There are some types of sturgeon ideal for caviar. They eat a variety of food found within their habitat. Common food are crustaceans, small fish, shells, specially formulated feed. Conservation challenges include habitat destruction, over feeding, pollution, annual migration to ancestral grounds.

Popular breeds are Zebra sturgeon a variant of Diamond back. Others are Diamond Back, Siberian, Stellate and KC Harlequin. More include Albino, Dexter a Beluga hybrid and California White.

  1. Zebra sturgeon
  2. Short nosed sturgeon
  3. Diamond back
  4. Siberian
  5. Stellate
  6. KC Harlequin
  7. Albino
  8. Dexter a Beluga hybrid
  9. California White

Stock Types

California White is a rare sturgeon that grows to 4m fully grown. Identification features are white under belly, body light brown or grey. We have the Beluga hybrid the Dexter that grows 1.2m fully grown.

They have distinct white marking are colored black /blue. A popular fish is the 1m fully grown Albino with white color and red eyes. They are the most common ones used for egg production.

Other notable ones are the KC Harlequin fully grown at 1m with platinum white/yellow or different white variations a rare hybrid fish with visible blue eyes. A popular favorite are the 2m sized diamond back, Siberian and striking looking Stellate and Zebra.

Sturgeon Types

Sturgeon Type
Diamond Back
Brown/ black color
Striking Markings, Black
KC Harlequin
White Variants, Blue eyes

Catching the Fish in a Lake

Catching the Fish in a Lake
Catching the Fish in a Lake

The Industry

An investor should buy stock only from licensed breeders. Look for a premier sturgeon caviar farm that have sturgeon hatchery. In the United Kingdom (Britain) a licensed producer is Kaceys Sturgean. If you are in Israel Kibbutz Dan, Qiandao Lake in Zhejiang China. Sturgeon is fish in the Caspian Sea, North Atlantic and Atlantic.

Things That Determine Price of Caviar

  1. Quality
  2. Rarity
  3. Texture
  4. Flavor
  5. Creaminess
  6. Firmness
  7. Freshness


The quality, rarity, texture, taste and flavor determine the price. Other factors in the price are creaminess, firmness, mode of capture or aquaculture. Albino sturgeon sold $800 an ounce, Caspian sea beluga sold $16,000 for 1 kilogram. 1kg of Iranian Alma sold for $34,500, Conventional Sturgeon sell at $100 28g.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 femi


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    • tony55 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 weeks ago from Nigeria

      There are lots of challenges however many countries dont have a single farm. You need startup cash, government license and good stock including quality ponds or a natural lake.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      7 weeks ago from UK

      This sounds like a potentially lucrative business venture.


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