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Why Beluga Caviar Is Almost Impossible To Find In The US
Beluga caviar, AKA salt-cured freshwater Beluga sturgeon eggs, is very scarce, leading to its exuberantly high price of $15,000 per pound or more. Overfishing, damming, and habitat degradation gave the Beluga sturgeon critically endangered status in 2010, taking its eggs beyond just expensive and into legally gray territory.
The importation of Beluga caviar to the U.S. became illegal in 2005, but in 2017, Sturgeon Aquafarms in Bascom, Florida got a special permit to harvest caviar from sturgeon raised on its own fish farm. Sturgeon Aquafarms is the only place authorized to farm Beluga caviar in America, making this caviar still incredibly hard to find.
Fish farm owners Mark Zaslavsky and Mark Gelman also founded Marky's Caviar, the one place in the States where you can buy Beluga caviar, which sells for $830 an ounce. Sturgeon Aquafarms is also contributing heavily to Beluga sturgeon repopulation efforts in the Caspian Sea, having donated over 160,000 fertilized eggs.