Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Sturgeon

© Monterey Bay Aquarium
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Sturgeon Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. White, Beluga, Siberian, Russian & Stellate Sturgeon U.S. Farmed
Sturgeon Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. White, Beluga, Siberian, Russian & Stellate Sturgeon Imported Wild
Sturgeon, Green Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. White, Beluga, Siberian, Russian & Stellate Sturgeon U.S. Wild
Sturgeon, Shovelnose Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Sand Sturgeon, Hackleback, Switchtail, Flathead Mississippi River Wild
Sturgeon, White Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Columbia, Sacramento, Oregon & Pacific Sturgeon Lower Columbia River Wild
Sturgeon, White Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Columbia, Oregon, Pacific & Sacramento Sturgeon Canadian Pacific Farmed in Tank Systems


Sturgeon, Farmed, U.S.

Sturgeon farmed in the U.S. is a "Good Alternative" to most wild sturgeon, whose populations have seriously declined due to overfishing for sturgeon eggs (caviar).

Summary

Sturgeon is prized for its eggs, known as caviar. There are 26 species of sturgeon in the world and all populations have been depleted by overfishing; several are threatened with extinction. As a result, sturgeon was one of the first fish to be farmed and the industry continues working to refine the process.

In the U.S., five species of sturgeon are farmed; a number of these are non-native, but fortunately escapes have been minimal.

U.S. sturgeon is farmed in semi-closed and closed recirculating systems, with minimal impact on the environment. Semi-closed farms create some risk of disease transfer to wild populations, but this has not been documented.

The major environmental concern with farming of sturgeon is the high level of wild-caught fish used in their farm-fed diet. Until this is reduced, the recommendation for U.S. farmed sturgeon is a "Good Alternative" to most wild-caught options.


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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat