Something fishy in South Japan

Japan wants to be the world’s next caviar powerhouse, when the high-end caviar market is currently dominated by Russia and Iran. It will soon start shipping the eggs prized as a delicacy across the globe. This roe is the result of an aquaculture experiment that began with sturgeon imported from the Soviet Union three decades ago.

Japan’s Miyazaki, already a big producer of beef and pork, began studying sturgeon farming in 1983 using fish sent from the former Soviet Union. While those breeding efforts failed, the prefecture eventually found success with white sturgeon imported from North America. Miyazaki’s government-run research institute mass produced fry from eggs in 2011, and commercial harvesting began in 2013. Domestic caviar already is being served at Michelin-star French restaurants in Tokyo and sold at high-end department stores in the swanky Ginza shopping district, including Mitsukoshi. But the big payoff is the export market.

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