Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams
Marky’s Unveils U.S. Caspian Sturgeon Caviar Aquafarms
By Hope Gainer
Leave it to Marky’s, a leading gourmet food importer/ exporter and distributor founded in 1983 in Miami to transform the caviar industry and protect the endangered species of Beluga sturgeon.
Marky’s Caviar has done this by creating Sturgeon AquaFarms, the first and only in the U.S. to breed a domestic stock of Caspian Beluga sturgeon. “Farming Beluga sturgeon in the U.S. is the best way to protect the species and continue providing customers with the highest quality and authentic flavor of Russian caviar that they crave,” said Mark Zaslavsky, President of Marky’s Caviar. Sturgeon is highly valued for its caviar (unfertilized eggs), a kilogram of which can be sold for up to $2,000 in the Western markets. Aquaculture plays an important role in relieving the pressure on the world population of sturgeon, supplementing the wild catch with farmed caviar.
Marky’s started the AquaFarms’ successful breeding of Beluga sturgeon by bringing in stock in 2003 from the Caspian Sea to Florida on a specially designed flight to Farm 0001, as designated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. It was the first, last and only farm in the U.S. to be registered for import of the endangered Caspian Beluga sturgeon. The farm is sustained by a natural aquifer owing to its location. Beluga sturgeon is currently listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and importation into the United States has been banned since 2005. Thus, Sturgeon AquaFarms remains the only hope to achieve nationally available Beluga caviar, which in turn will aid the repopulation of the species.
The larvae produced in Florida will be sent to Russian fisheries located around the Caspian Sea and Sea of Azov, which will be reintroducing the species into the wild starting this year. The first and second breeding have been successful with the Beluga growing exponentially in a time due to the warm conditions of Florida and the controlled pristine conditions of the farm, which uses a local aquifer to supply water to the tanks. Sturgeon AquaFarms aims to work closely with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services as any export of live Beluga is subject to their approval.
To find out more, visit www.markys.com or www.sturgeonaquafarms.com