Sturgeon farming in Western Europe: recent developments and perspectives.
Aquatic Living Resources 14(6), November 2001:367-374. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0990-7440(01)01136-6
Sturgeon production in Western Europe originating from aquaculture in 1999 was approximately 1300 t revealing an increasing trend. Three species represent 95 % of the annual production: white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) 43 %, Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) 34 %, and Adriatic sturgeon (Acipenser naccarii) 18 %. The remainder is provided by various species including hybrids. The main countries in decreasing order of production are Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Poland. Fish are fed commercial formulated diet. The most significant changes in the sturgeon industry during recent years have been in the ownership of farms, in the emergence of the pond as a production system, and in the increasing caviar production from farmed sturgeon. In 1999, the production of farmed caviar from France and Italy, originating from Siberian and white sturgeon, respectively was close to 6 t. The number of active sturgeon farms in Western Europe is estimated to be approximately thirty, half of which are hatcheries. This paper presents different strategies and management approaches in sturgeon production and caviar processing. The potential caviar market and its dynamics are assessed and likely changes are discussed. Finally, some of the scientific investigations needed to improve and support this development are highlighted. Five different fields are distinguished: biological reserve, genetics, reproduction, farming, and quality of end products.