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Farming sturgeon is a commitment to raise the fish with no impact on wild stocks. This is done in a controlled environment where all inputs such as feed, water quality, and other factors are strictly monitored and accomplished in a sustainable manner. In the controlled environment of our farms, using pure well water and fed a nutritionally balanced daily diet, our sturgeon do not need to forage for food as they do in the wild. Thus, we ensure that the fish are being raised in optimum conditions for both growth as well as for the health and well being of the sturgeon. There is no use of hormones to raise the fish and the use of any medication is strictly regulated and enforced by the Food and Drug Administration as well as other inspecting agencies.
Our whole production cycle is under our control and does not use any outside resources such as fish from the wild. Our production cycle begins with spawning our own fish and incubating the eggs for a week before the baby sturgeon, known as fry, are hatched. We grow the fish to about three years of age, by which time they are about 20-25 pounds in size each. At this point, using ultrasound technology, we identify which select females we want to keep for another five to ten years to produce caviar. The females selected at three years of age continue to grow until at least seven years of age, at which point a relatively small percentage of them are ripe and are processed into caviar. Those whose eggs are determined to be of the proper quality in order to produce premium quality caviar worthy of the Sterling Caviar brand name are separated and processed into caviar. The remainders of those females continue to grow and are checked each year thereafter if they are mature and processed into caviar.