Sturgeons are found only in the northern hemisphere. Like the paddlefish, sturgeon are without bones and the processed roe (caviar) is highly valued. Of the 26 sturgeon species found in the world, the main sources of caviar for global demand are only from four sturgeon species from the Caspian Sea:
a) beluga (Huso huso)
b) Russian sturgeon or osetra (Acipenser gueldenstaedti)
c) stellate or sevruga (A. stellatus)
d) ship (A. nudiventris)
Reports have shown that there is a major decline in sturgeon stocks within the Caspian Sea. Farming technologies have been established for some commercially valuable species. Sevruga and Russian sturgeons are being farm-raised in ponds in Europe.
In the United States, white sturgeon have been farmed-raised on one farm in California which has recently begun to market meat and caviar. The farming system uses a recirculating system requiring feeding prepared diets, intensive management, and high capital and operating costs, especially for mature females for production of caviar.
Shovelnose sturgeon, found in the Mississippi drainage, have recently drawn much attention as a domestic caviar in the United States. The use of Russian sturgeon that can be farm-raised in ponds and co-exist with other fish species should be evaluated in Kentucky.
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