Inside America’s Only Beluga Caviar Farm

We visited the only caviar farm in the United States legally allowed to breed beluga sturgeon. Russian immigrant Mark Zaslavsky 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 the World Wildlife Fund.

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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Inside America’s Only Beluga Caviar Farm

Seals, caviar and oil: Caspian Sea under threat from pollution

Bordered by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, the 1,000-kilometre-long Caspian is the world’s largest inland body of water. It is home to a range of native species — from the seals to Caspian turtles and the famed beluga sturgeon — and also to vast energy reserves, estimated at 50 billion barrels of oil. But pollution from the extraction of that oil and gas, along with declining water-levels due to climate change, has left many species under threat and the future of the sea itself at risk.

Russian Buddhists celebrate new lunar year in Siberia

Braving freezing temperatures of around minus 40 degrees, Russian Buddhists kick off Lunar New Year celebration with prayers and wishes in the Siberian region of Buryatia near the Mongolian border. While the majority of Russia’s population identifies as Orthodox Christian, there are some 900,000 Buddhists living in the border region, as well as further west in the region of Kalmykia on the Caspian Sea. Buddhists, like other religious groups, suffered persecution from the Soviet authorities, but the post-Soviet years have seen a revival, with teachers of Tibetan Buddhism from other countries playing a major role.

Kazakh leader touts port on China’s ‘Silk Road’

Speaking at the Caspian port of Kuryk, Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev hails a newly modernised Caspian Sea port which the ex-Soviet country hopes will link up to China’s massive “Belt and Road” infrastructure project.

RAW: Russian supersonic missile destroys ships in Caspian Sea during drills (MoD footage)

Courtesy: Russian MoD

According to Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD), Su-34 effectively destroyed a group of ships by using supersonic missile Kh-31 in Caspian Sea during training, Monday. MoD stated that 10 ships as well as 40 aircrafts including bombers Su-24 and Su-34, jet aircrafts Su-25, fighter aircrafts Su-30, took part in the drills.

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‘Sustainable Security & Power’: Iran holds five-day naval drill in Caspian Sea

The Iranian military has sent its newest warships, missile systems and commando units to the Caspian Sea for a massive five-day naval exercise dubbed ‘Sustainable Security and Power’ that began on Sunday, IRNA news agency reported.

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