We visited the only caviar farm in the United States legally allowed to breed beluga sturgeon. Sturgeon AquaFarms cofounder Mark Zaslavsky, a Russian immigrant, brought live beluga into the country in 2003, just before the US government banned imports of the species in 2005. Beluga sturgeon are native to the Caspian Sea, and are classified as critically endangered by International Union for Conservation of Nature. The farm breeds five different types of sturgeon, some of which don't take as long to mature as beluga, which allows the company to harvest their eggs for caviar and take them them to market. Zaslavsky has pledged, as part of his agreement with the US government, to donate fertilized beluga eggs in the hopes that they will eventually strengthen the population of beluga in the wild.
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