Thanks to new and developing harvesting approaches U.S. fish farmers and distributors are making caviar not only sustainable, but affordable.
Although you may or may not be a part of the cultural elite who consider themselves caviar connoisseurs, if you have interest in the environment and economy you may be able to appreciate the developments occurring in in the world Caviar market thanks to a number of U.S. based fisheries.
For hundreds of years caviar was harvested for the wealthy and affluent of the world in much the same way. Large fishing boats would hall in nets full of sturgeon during spawning season. For most vessels the operation was for deck hands to sort the fish, males would be deposited into a holding tank for market. Females would be cut open for their eggs to be harvested for caviar and the rest would be discarded or kept in another holding tank for the fish markets. It was this approach, yielding only one harvest per female fish, which helped contribute to caviar becoming such a high priced luxury for the affluent.
According to a recent press release from caviar distributor Petrossian Paris, this approach is beginning to change thanks to some U.S. based entrepreneurs , and turning an industry that once tailored only to those in the uppermost income bracket on its ear.
A number of new ventures have cropped up in the U.S. over the last few years, capitalizing on a new sustainable fish harvesting approach that has made American Caviar famous worldwide. These ventures are caviar farms.
At a caviar farm fish are raised in a series of large holding tanks and man made channels. On a regular basis workers humanely catch fish with small nets and draining tanks. From there workers harvest eggs only from mature spawning females. Petrossian says that this approach creates a much richer flavor in the caviar. The caviar is harvested in a humane fashion which is supposed to be cause very little discomfort for the female Sturgeon. The mature females are then once again returned to the breeding pool to spawn again. This approach is not only a more eco-friendly and sustainable approach to wholesale harvesting of the endangered fish, but it also allows a much higher volume of caviar to be harvested from one fish. More product available from farmers means lower prices, up to 1/3 the cost of traditionally produced caviar. American caviar is not only eco-friendly, but also economically friendly to your pocket book. The industry is beginning to see growth in the job sector as well.
Because of growing concern worldwide over sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to the old ways of industry, this approach is growing, with several new large farming operations popping up in the U.S. and in Europe annually. Increasing pressure from conservationist groups like Caviar Emptor and others worldwide may soon help to see the halt of the world trade in traditionally harvested Beluga caviar altogether, due to the fact that many species of Sturgeon are threatened with extinction in the wold due to over fishing.
Petrossian Paris was the first distributor to work with American caviar farms to get their sustainable alternatives to traditional caviar to market. Environmentally conscious websites like Caviar Emptor.org also promote American farmed caviar as a responsible sustainable alternative to the traditionally harvested and higher priced competitors.
If Petrossian and its suppliers have their way, soon we’ll be seeing caviar available in more places at much more affordable prices, making it a luxury that a much wider audience will be able to afford and appreciate. Perhaps for your upcoming holiday parties?
Personally I prefer cheese on my crackers.