Beluga (caviar)

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice

Beluga (caviar)

Huso huso
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Black Sea (FAO 37.4)

Cultivation- / Catchmethod

Net pens/ Cages

Source usage
Impact on the environment
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

There is not much information on farmed beluga sturgeon, as there is a lack of transparency and a lot of cases regarding illegal fisheries and trading.

By farming the fish in cages, it indirectly affects the ecosystem via a concentrated waste stream originating from the cages. This fishery also has a well-known problem with escapees. If these escapees mix with fish from wild populations, reproductive successes may decrease. This species is also susceptible for disease, which could then spread considerably fast.

There are good regulations to protect the ecosystem and the wild populations of sturgeon against the negative impacts of aquaculture in the Black Sea. Although multiple incidents show that the enforcement of these regulations is not sufficient.

Fish in season 

This is an assessment on farmed fish. Therefore season is not relevant.


Beluga (caviar)

The beluga or European sturgeon naturally occurs in the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. This species can become up to 150 years old and reach a maximum length of over 8 meters! The European sturgeon is a carnivorous fish lives the majority of their life cycle in salt water bodies. Adults migrate upstream rivers to spawn and after their first summer in fresh water, juveniles migrate back to salt water habitats. Unfortunately, this incredible species is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN due to overfishing. Fishing on the European sturgeon is mainly targeting her eggs, which are sold as highly valuable caviar. Nowadays, there is also caviar on the markets that comes from European sturgeon grown in aquaculture farms.