Russian sturgeons produce one of the most expensive and sought-after caviar and it’s almost always imported from Russia and Europe. You usually don’t find it homegrown in the US at all, but Marshallberg Farms is producing top-quality caviar in North Carolina using sustainable aquaculture to raise this species – decreasing the demand on wild populations for this most profitable and highly sought-after delicacy.
The whole process takes 7 years from start to finish. Out of a whole tank of female sturgeons at 7 years, Marshallberg Farms only harvest 10 or 20 percent that have the quality and the standard that they want for their caviar products. The rest of the female sturgeons will go into another cycle and will be harvested the next year. The farm believes that farming sturgeon species can help wild populations survive by countering the demand for them.
The interesting thing is, you can’t tell if a sturgeon is a male or female from the outside. The folks at Marshallberg Farms do this through ultrasound. Every single fish is screened and tagged one by one – a tedious process, but well worth it.
The female sturgeons are taken out of their tanks and transferred into a smaller tank that has a light electrical current running through it to calm them down. They then begin the ultrasound to see if they are ready for harvest.
Watch the full video here to see how Russian sturgeons are farm-grown and harvested to give you the best caviar experience.