CASPIAN GOLD: CAVIAR AS IT IS
The Caspian Sea
to recover what was lost

The Caspian caviar treasury paid tribute from the Astrakhan Khaganate to Ivan the Terrible as well as financed the Russian fleet of Peter the Great. In the beginning of the third millennium the whole world has realized the Caspian Sea needs rest to restore its potential

Thus, from the royal monopoly on caviar export after the inclusion of the Caspian region into the Russian Empire to the environmental rehabilitation measures under the USSR, the sturgeon of the Caspian Sea was protected as a national asset.

In 1930s and 1940s
The peak of harvesting happened in the beginning of the 20th century

Before the Great War, fishers of the lower Volga and the Caspian Sea annually procured up to 40 tons of sturgeon.

The following dramatic historical events – the Russian Revolution and the Civil War – led to such a reduction in fishing that the sturgeon population significantly grew. In 1938, the Soviet Union imposed strict limits on rare fish capture. Yet another war broke out. Furthermore, in 1940, according to the mutual agreement of the two states, Iran was granted the right of fishing the Caspian.

The 1960s
In early 1960s, the USSR renewed the practice of strict control of sturgeon population

The undertaken measures led to a new growth of the natural reserves, but the situation was influenced by dirty tricks of the big oil and... geopolitics.

The growing hydrocarbon production on the Caspian shelf imposed its toll on the aquatic environment. Worse, sturgeons feed near the bottom, where the harmful contaminants accumulate. The Caspian Sea grew warmer and shallower. The contamination destroyed more than a few spawning grounds dramatically reducing the reproduction rates.

After the collapse of the USSR, the simultaneous fishing was commenced by the five newly formed shore states – the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. Smuggling, overfishing, unlimited harvesting – all that put the sturgeon on a brink of extinction.

In 1991, the shore territory controlled by Russia shrank by a factor of three.

The 1990s
By 2000, the Russian Federation produced no more than 40 tons of black caviar per year: forty times less than in 1990

In a decade, Russia exported as little as 10 tons of the sturgeon roe, 14 times less than in 1989.

In previous years, the Caspian Sea produced about 98% of the world total harvest of the black caviar. For the next 15 years, according to Russian Fishing Agency, the sturgeon population in the Volga estuary near the Caspian Sea dropped by shocking 99%.

2000-2010
Since 1998, the global trade volume of sturgeon has been regulated by the CITES Convention, the terms of which grew systematically more stringent up to 2009

Its policies refer to 25 of 27 species of sturgeon. Apart from acceding to the Convention, the Russian Federation has enforced, in 2013, the strict liability for illegal fishing, keeping, purchase, storing, transportation, transfer, and selling of outstanding rare animals and aquatic biological resources among the species included in the Red Book of Russian Federation and/or regulated under the international treaties as well as their parts and derived materials. The export of caviar from the Caspian region was almost totally frozen.

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)

At the moment, the law in Russia allows selling of the sturgeon roe produced in aquacultures. So the caviar found a new home.

The Russian Association of Sturgeon Producers in a close cooperation with government agencies is constantly monitoring the manufacturing of the legal product at every stage of the process.

All products of the Caspian Gold is extracted, processed and transferred to clients in strict adherence to the standards and rules of CITES

Far-sighted businessmen from Russia, Switzerland, Germany, France, and other countries set about to invest into development of aquacultures, although it is not an easy task to extract the highest quality roe from the specially picked population of sturgeons. Nevertheless, the most prominent chefs as well as passengers of the first class airplanes consider the black caviar from the aquacultures to be the reference of taste.

How the cold helps us

You may call it a cold calculation – for months and years to come. Strictly controlled water temperature combined with the most ecological techniques of water purification allow us to receive roe from eight years old she-sturgeons without turning to artificial methods of stimulation.

For a few months we lower the temperature in the giant reservoirs – that is how the fish gets ready to spawning in their natural habitat in winter and gets rid of excessive fat, so improving the taste and aroma of the caviar. The ultrasonic diagnostics allow us to determine the measure of roe maturation.

TECHNOLOGIES
How do we extract the roe? Dispassionately and practically painlessly

In Russia, the traditional method of extraction of the most savory black caviar immediately while splitting the fish was called the slaughtering.

Foreign specialists are delicately referring to the process as the sacrifice. A sturgeon is covered with ice slabs to put it into anabiosis in order to avoid the situation when the stress affects the taste of the delicacy.

Packed caviar is kept, transferred and served chilled and only chilled

The supply chain is deliberately shortened to do justice to the duly served on ice The Caspian Gold black caviar.

We take special pride in thinking that responsible reproduction of nearly extinct sturgeon would help to restore the natural wealth of the Caspian Sea.

And allow the future generations to inherit it.