How to Harvest Beluga Caviar


Beluga caviar has long been considered the best caviar. Caviar is fish roe, generally sturgeon. Beluga sturgeon live in the Caspian sea and are listed as endangered species. The U.S. banned export of Beluga caviar in 2007 to help protect the fish. Sturgeon are large fish, growing up to 2,500 pounds and 15 feet long. The females are harvested to remove their eggs or roe. This has a two-fold consequence. The females are killed and no longer contribute to their reproductive cycles; the roe is no longer available to make baby sturgeon.

Things You'll Need

  • Rod and Reel
  • Bait
  • Gaff
  • Sharp Knife
  • Colander
  • Bowl
  • Scale
  • Salt
  • Measuring spoons
  • Beluga sturgeon are only found in the Caspian Sea and Russia is a traditional harvester of Beluga caviar. Onboard a Russian boat, use a baited rod and reel until you catch a sturgeon, which are very large, strong fish.

  • Bring the sturgeon in with the gaff and lay it in the boat's bottom. It will need to be killed with a sharp knife. Afterward, vertically slit the abdomen up the belly, through the skin and layers of fat. Toward the tail the roe should be visible, if it is a female. Shave the roe from the ovaries and place it in a colander. Rinse the roe gently with fresh water.

  • Drain the roe and place it in the bowl. Set a tare on the scale for the bowl's weight and weigh the roe. The eggs' weight will dictate how much salt to add. Measure the salt and gently mix. Let it sit in the salt in a chilled environment for 24 hours and drain again. The roe is now caviar.

  • Can the roe to preserve the caviar. Sealing caviar into tins is the usual method to seal the product and keep it from spoiling. It should go into refrigeration for at least a month, more if you wish to develop the flavor. You will need to enjoy it in Russia, it cannot be imported.

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  • Photo Credit Trinette Reed/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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