Caviar is treasured the world over as a gourmet's delight. it is made from the?
Caviar is treasured the world over as a gourmet's delight. it is made from the pressed, salted roe of the sturgeon. The Soviet Union has long produced the rich black-delicacy from rivers such as the Volga -- the longest river in European Russia.
But the Volga is not just important for those who like caviar.more than 30 types of edible fish live there and it is an important source of food for the Russians.
Apart from the sturgeon, the beluga and starlet are common. A new cross-breed between the beluga and starlet called bester has also made an appearance in the river recently.
Until the 1950s, sturgeon fishing on the Volga went on without restriction Since then the reproduction and utilisation of the fish has been carried on in a scientific fashion.
At the Volzhaskaya hydro-electric power station near Volgograd fish are caught for reproduction.
Each cast of the net brings in sturgeon -- which usually weigh between 40 and 60 kilograms (90 to 120 pounds) -- and beluga -- which average between 170 and 250 kilograms (370 and 550 pounds).
The catch is promptly delivered -- alive -- to a fish nursery. There semen taken from male fish while the females are killed and their eggs -- which of ten total at least a third of their weight -- are removed.
The eggs are rinsed, transferred to incubation boxes and sprinkled with the semen. Within a few days the eggs hatch and the fry are put into artificial ponds.
When they are more or less fully grown the fish are returned to the Volga to provide a plentiful source of food.
The establishment of dams on the river has led to different patterns of life and migration among the fish. This in turn has led to close scientific study and increasing sophistication in the selection of fish which are suitable for breeding.