Types of caviar

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Types of sturgeon caviar

On my page I will tell only about those species of sturgeon  that live in the Russian Federation.

Russian sturgeon
Among sturgeon, the Russian occupies the main place in the number. Distinctive features of it is a short blunt snout and antennae without bangs, sitting closer to the edge. The fish grows to 2.3 m, reaches a weight of 100 kg. Has difficultly differentiated varieties of spring and winter forms that go to spawn in different periods. They have different sizes, rates of growth, duration of stay in fresh water. Caspian representatives of the Russian sturgeon reach sexual maturity in 12-13 years – males, and in 15-16 females. Azov grows up earlier – in 8-11 and 11-15 years respectively. Like other sturgeon species of fish, the Russian is very prolific: one female can produce up to 880 thousand eggs. Most of the fry goes to the sea, and some can stay in the river for 1-2 years. The favorite food of this species is shellfish. The fish also feed on shrimps, crabs, Nereis.

Atlantic sturgeon
This is a large through sturgeon, reaching 3 m in length and weighing more than 200 kg. He has massive bugs on the body with a striated radial surface, and in the pectoral fin there is a powerful bone ray. Unfortunately, the once large population now numbers about 1 thousand individuals that live in the Black Sea basin.
Males reach reproductive age in 7-9 years, and females – from 8 to 14. Fertility is estimated at 5.7 million eggs. Not delaying after spawning, the fish leaves quickly in the sea, where its main diet is hamsa. All types of sturgeon fishes are of commercial value.


The largest representative of sturgeon, whose length can reach 5 meters and weighing more than 1 ton, lives the longest – up to 100 years. Archaeological finds of medieval beluga are known, the size of which exceeded 6 m. Fishermen of that time often died when such a giant caught in their gear.
A distinction is made between the Black Sea and Azov subspecies, which, like all other species, also have winter and spring forms, which predominate, depending on the river in which the population spawns.
Maturity is reached earlier Azov individuals – females at 12-14 years, and males – at 16-18. The remaining species much later – 14-23 and 17-26 years respectively. Beluga is the most prolific fish. The largest females are raising eggs to 7.7 million pieces.



Among other sturgeons, it is distinguished by the earliest onset of puberty: males spawn for the first time at the age of 4-5 years, females – 7-8 years. Fecundity 4 thousand – 140 thousand eggs. It spawns in May, usually in the upper reaches of rivers. Adhesive caviar is deposited on stony-pebbly soil. It develops about 4-5 days.

Adults usually reach a length of 40–60 cm and a mass of 0.5–2 kg, sometimes there are specimens weighing 6–7 kg and even up to 16 kg.

A study of the contents of the gastrointestinal tract of sterlet caught in the Danube River has shown that the fish feed mainly on mosquito larvae, specimens and cadflies. Large specimens also eat mollusks, leeches and fish. It is assumed that the diet of males and females of sterlet differ, because males live in open water, and females live on the bottom. Females catch small-chained worms in the sediment, and males – invertebrates in fast water.

In autumn, in September, it gathers in deep sections of rivers (pits), where it spends the whole winter in a sedentary state, without feeding. River regulation usually improves the conditions for feeding sterlet, but worsens the conditions for its reproduction.

The age limit of sterlet is about 30 years.

Valuable commercial fish. The object of pond and lake breeding.

By crossing this species with the beluga, a valuable fishery hybrid called bester was obtained.

Stellate sturgeon.
Distributed in the basins of the Caspian, Black and Azov Seas. It is singularly found in the Adriatic Sea, the Aegean Sea (included in the Maritsa River). Since 1933, Caspian sturgeon stalk began to be infused into the Aral Sea, however, naturalization did not occur. From the Northern Caspian enters the Volga, but does not rise high (although there have been cases of catching stellate sturgeon from Rybinsk). The main spawning grounds were located up to Volgograd.
Passing bottom fish. The sturgeon feeds on invertebrates (crustaceans, worms) and fish (gobies, herring, and sprat). In the Northern Caspian, the ration of juveniles up to 10 cm long consists mainly of scuds; with a length of 10 to 29 cm from nektobentos (mysids); with a length of 30-40 cm from the fish. In the Middle Caspian, the basis of the diet, regardless of age, is crustaceans (amphipods, cumene and mysids); fingerlings up to 20 cm long feed exclusively on amphipods; at the age of 4 years, stellate sturgeon begin to eat fish. The diet of adult individuals includes crustaceans (crabs, mollusks, polychaete worms) and fish.
Spawning in rivers. The timing of the stellate sturgeon in the Volga, Ural, Terek is about the same. In Kuru, stellate sturgeon enters all year round, in cold winters and in hot summers in smaller quantities. Spawning in the same places where the sturgeon spawns, moreover, in the turfy areas of the coast temporarily flooded with flood waters. The beginning of spawning in May at a water temperature of +15 ° C, a peak at +18 – +20 ° C.


Selection of quality sturgeon caviar:

1 In order to choose caviar , find out which type  it belongs to

(Acipenser baerii, Acipenser guldenstadti Brandt, Acipenseridae Huso Huso.

2 Find out the habitat of this fish.

3 Comparate the fish habitat wiht location of the producer. If they match the probability that you choose a quality product is 80 %.

So when you buy caviar from Country X and this type of caviar refers to Acipenser baerii, which is common in the rivers of Siberia, you buy an analog of caviar.

Siberian sturgeon – a large belly is simple in breeding (in comparison with the Caspian sturgeon). When registering with CITES, all the breeding stock are registered. The Caspian sturgeon – less than the belly is more complicated in breeding. When registering with CITES, each individual is registered. Beluga caviar is the oldest representative of sturgeon, large eggs 5-7 mm royal caviar (caviar of Russian Tsars – Emperors)





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