Jun 30, 2018 09:24 UTC

Welcome to another episode of the series titled “Iranian Market”. This program takes a brief look at the most important goods produced in the precious land of Islamic Iran in the fields of agriculture, science and industry.

In this episode we discuss one of the most precious and delicious marine foods in the world, the caviar of Iran.

Caviar is an energetic marine food which has wonderful taste and flavor. This marine food refers to roe from wild sturgeon and is one of the most expensive foods in the world.

Caviar can range in color including red, black and golden. Among these types, the black one is of high value.

Sturgeon is actually the common name for the 27 species of fish belonging to the family of Acipenseridae which is among the most precious trade fish in the world.

Sturgeon have been referred to as “primitive fish” because their characteristics have remained relatively unchanged since the earliest fossil record.

Some believe these types of fish are as old as Jurassic period.

When there was a large number of vertebrates like dinosaurs or fish, Acipenseridae existed in the waters of northern hemisphere; however, after passage of time and occurrence of different developments including clime change and excessive fishing, the sturgeons’ place of living became restricted.

Nowadays some species of Acipenseridae exist in Caspian Sea, Azov Sea, Aral Sea and Black sea. However, there is also a limited number of them in Europe.

But actually these types of fish are largely found in the biggest lake in the world, the Caspian Sea.

According to figures, Caspian Sea is home to 93 percent of the world sturgeon.

It is said because of the distinguished position of the Caspian Sea, about 90 percent of sturgeon's fishing is done in this lake.

The family of sturgeon fish subdivides into more than twenty species. Among these species some are the most important including, Beluga sturgeon, Persian Sturgeon, Ship Sturgeon and Stellate Sturgeon that live in the Caspian Sea.

Sturgeons are also interesting in shape. They have long body which narrows toward the tail. Sturgeons are usually between one to two meters long but there are also species that are as long as six meters.

Some species of sturgeons weight more than 1000 kilograms.

Sturgeons are long- lived, late maturing fishes. Their average lifespan is 50 to 60 years and their first spawn does not occur until they are around 15 to 20 years old.

Sturgeons do not spawn every year because they require specific conditions.

A single female may release 100, 000 to 3 million eggs but not at will be fertilized.