Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Caviar, White Sturgeon

© Monterey Bay Aquarium
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Caviar, Paddlefish Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Caviar U.S. Wild
Caviar, Shovelnose 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. Beluga, Hackleback, Osetra & Sevruga Caviar, Sturgeon Roe Mississippi River Wild
Caviar, 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. Beluga, Osetra & Sevruga Caviar, Sturgeon Roe U.S. Farmed
Caviar, 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. Beluga, Osetra & Sevruga Caviar, Sturgeon Roe Imported Wild
Caviar, White Sturgeon Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Beluga, Osetra & Sevruga Caviar, Sturgeon Roe British Columbia, Canada Farmed in Tank Systems


White Sturgeon, Farmed in Tank Systems, Canadian Pacific

White sturgeon and white sturgeon caviar farmed in Canada in closed, recirculating systems is a "Best Choice."

Summary

The white sturgeon is native to the Eastern Pacific from Alaska to Monterey, California. They can grow to 18 feet in length and live up to 100 years. Females come to reproductive age at about 18 years. These slow-growing, long-lived characteristics have made white sturgeon particularly vulnerable to overfishing. Declining populations, with increasing demand for sturgeon meat and caviar drove the advancements in sturgeon aquaculture technology.

White sturgeon in Canada is raised in land-based farms that are "closed" from the surrounding environment, and therefore limit the impact the operation can have on local ecosystems. Risk of disease spreading, or escape of fish from the farm is minimized. Water and effluent can be treated, and with minimum use of chemicals, and water that is recirculated, the outputs from the farm can be minimized.

By using feed ingredients that are not solely reliant on wild fish, there is also less impact to the environment.


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