Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Environment

Beluga caviar poised for a comeback - in Florida

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 - 02:30

March 8 - Facing extinction in the wild, the highly-prized beluga sturgeon may be about to make a comeback from a new base in the United States. A Florida company is breeding the fish to produce sought-after beluga caviar for profit, but must first demonstrate that it is helping the fish recover in the wild. Evelyn Gruber reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Caviar - one of the most expensive snacks on Earth. Fetching as much as 17 thousand dollars per kilo, the delicious briny eggs are synonymous with the lifestyles of the wealthy. Carviar is expensive because sturgeon, the fish that produce premium roe are on the brink of extinction….victims of overfishing and poaching. But in a small Florida town, thousands of miles from their native swimming grounds in the Caspian Sea, sturgeon species like sevruga, osetra and beluga are thriving. Back in 2003, Ukrainian Mark Zaslavsky started this aquafarm with the idea to save the endangered fish as well as revamp the caviar industry. Chris Hlubb runs operations at the aquafarm. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRISTOPHER HLUBB, VP SALES AND OPERATIONS STURGEON AQUAFARM, SAYING: "I'd say that approximately half of the goal of this facility Sturgeon Aquafarms is to, as its motto, is to preserve and protect sturgeon species. We are the only facility in the U.S. that houses these species of sturgeon and because of this and our interest to expand the species as well as protect and help in reproduction efforts, we have two agreements with what are called the littoral states to countries surrounding the Caspian Sea, who have been part of the trade for many years. Those agreements are based solely in scientific research to help with repopulation efforts." The other goal of the facility is to sell top shelf caviar. But there's a catch, sale of caviar produced by Beluga sturgeon has been banned in the United Stated since 2005 under the engendered species act. For the company to sell the eggs, they will need to prove that the farm is actively attempting to re-populate the species in the wild. Another hurdle the Aquafarm faces is Florida's warm climate. It takes 6-7 years for a sturgeon to reach maturity and biologists at the farm need to replicate the cool and dark Caspian under the harsh Florida sun. If granted permission to sell farmed beluga caviar in the U.S., Zaslavsky, could potentially have a monopoly in the market place. He estimates his domestic beluga could be worth bet $5 to $10 million annually, a business almost as tasty as the product he hopes to produce. Zaslavansky: "When you smell caviar, you should not smell anything except fresh salty air and then when you take it in your mouth and start popping them one by one, you have a very very pleasant, buttery taste. Caviar doesn't leave any after-taste. It's always fresh after taste. There's always a desire to take more. Then you have to just flush with a little bit of champagne." Zaslansky plans to raise a glass of bubbly when endangered fish like these are thriving back in wild.

Beluga caviar poised for a comeback - in Florida

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 - 02:30

Top News »

Investing 201 »

Arian Foster = BlackBerry? Arian Foster = BlackBerry?

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 - (3:16)

Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs

Thu, Oct 10, 2013 - (2:34)

Copycat currency trading Copycat currency trading

Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - (2:28)

When to dump a winner When to dump a winner

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - (1:55)

Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers

Thu, Sep 19, 2013 - (2:05)

Why savings interest rates won't budge Why savings interest rates won't budge

Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - (2:09)

Buy local? ETFs try the trend Buy local? ETFs try the trend

Thu, Sep 05, 2013 - (2:42)

The better bond funds The better bond funds

Wed, Aug 07, 2013 - (2:40)

Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks

Thu, Aug 01, 2013 - (2:24)

Invest like an activist Invest like an activist

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 - (2:49)

Money Clip »

3 things to do before disaster strikes 3 things to do before disaster strikes

Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - (1:39)

Your must-do money list Your must-do money list

Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - (1:24)

The worst "best" financial advice The worst "best" financial advice

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - (1:42)

Forget gold: The case for REITs Forget gold: The case for REITs

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 - (1:19)

3 rules for buying a house now 3 rules for buying a house now

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - (1:39)

“Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip “Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 - (2:50)

3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip 3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 - (1:33)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, Sep 05, 2014 - (2:05)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (1:00)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, Sep 01, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)