Sturgeon existed in the Cretaceous Period 130 million years ago. It is even older than human beings and is one of the rare species called living fossils. At present, the known sturgeon family in the world has totally 28 breeds, all distributing in the north hemisphere and only spawning and growing in the rivers with fresh water (e.g. salmon).
As human society develops, many constructions such as dam, check dam and so on may cause inestimable effect on the sturgeon with the characteristic of migration, furthermore, overfishing and coyoting have severely offended their living space. Therefore, currently, all breeds without any exemption have been listed into the protected catalogue of CITES.
As a result, when the caviar or sturgeon (fish), etc. you want to have does not have the certificate of CITES, it will become illegal product or be deemed as being smuggled or illegal fished. So, do something for the earth and do not buy the product before you are sure it has the certificate.
In the global breeding history, sturgeon is a very new breed. In Taiwan, there were several farms introducing the paddlefish from the USA for breeding during the 1990s (at that time, sturgeon was not listed into the protected catalogue.). However, there was little information about sturgeon breeding at that time, and the breeding technology was low. The result was not so good. As a result, the breeding of sturgeon had interrupted many years until the end of 2001 where several breeding farmers went to Mainland China to learn some knowledge and then introduced the breeds from Mainland China. Finally, they lighted up their enthusiasm to breed sturgeon again.
However, as sturgeon had been listed into the protected catalogue, unless the certificate of CITES was available, any sturgeon was illegal. As every farm did not know or could not obtain zygotes or fries through legal channels, they had to be exploited by smugglers and felt indignant but not dare to speak out. In fact, they suffered losses to a great extent. Under the entrustment of some farmers and with the objective to make their breeding legal and explore the foreign market, as well as with the efforts of multiple parties to look for sturgeon sources and complete the long-winded application procedure, in 2001, we firstly and legally introduced the polyodonspathala from the USA and gradually introduced legally sturgeons of different breeds with the CITES certificate for the breeding in Taiwan. At present, we can introduce the polyodonspathala from the USA, the acipenser baerii from Mainland China, the paddlefish from the USA, the acipenser sturio from Canada, etc.; the business talk with other producers to introduce other breeds is ongoing and we hope to provide more choices for the breeding farms.
Although we do can not always get positive feedback, we believe that, as long as we are confident and consumers give us good cooperation, we can direct the farms to get rid of the bad habit of getting illegal sturgeon sources and thus provide consumers with reliable, safe, nutrient and healthy foods.
Sturgeon is the world-recognized healthy and nutrient natural food and can be used as medicine. The Compendium of Materia Medica records “Sturgeon is sweet, plain and toxic-free and can be used to supplement weakness and benefit Qi and thus make the body strong; also it can be used to supplement weakness and smoothen Qi and made into soup to treat bloody stranguria…”. Whether in China or in the western countries, in the ancient times, sturgeon was the noble fish only available for the royal people; if a civilian ate sturgeon, he/she would be sentenced to death; obviously, sturgeon was very rare. The caviar made of sturgeon spawns is very rare and becomes one of the three curiosities in the world: “caviar, goose liver paste and truffle” and is honored as black pearl and black gold. The people in Europe and America say that caviar is a big gift of the God to them. It contains more than 40 minerals and vitamins and with extremely low heat it is also named as aphrodisiac, sobering-up agent and liver protector. The ancient Persians used it as treatment medicine and it is very effective to supplement nutriment for and resume patients.
Sturgeon is boneless in the whole body except the head and the spinal cord as gristle tissue. Similar to shark, it contains chondroitin sulfate with the anti-cancer function. At present, many research institutes are actively researching and developing the anti-cancer medicine with sturgeon. In China, from ancient times to the present, there has been one saying that shark fin and trout bone can prolong life and nourish body and strengthen Yang, indicating the high nutrition value thereof. In addition, it is said that sturgeon has a remarkable effect on reducing cholesterol, preventing arteriosclerosis, cerebral thrombosis, hypertension, etc.. Actually, sturgeon contains rich colloid proteins, i.e. the popular collagen; its skin and gristle contain the richest collagen. Issue 88, National Health Insurance Bimonthly (November 2010) clearly points out that, as to the current collagen cosmetics, due to its large molecules, the collagen cannot penetrate through human skin and be absorbed by human body but stay on the surface of the skin; in another words, the use of collagen on skin is equal to nothing used; the collagen injected into dermis can remain 1 year at most; the oral taking of health foods (those extracted) will also be decomposed by gastric juice; therefore, the best method to take collagen is to eat natural foods and collagen can be regenerated by skin, namely, human body can synthesize collage, why to spend much money buying cosmetics? In fact, collagen largely exists in skin, bone, gristle, ligament, tendon, etc.; if you are afraid of the plenty of cholesterin in pig skin, chicken skin, pig ear, pig head skin, toe tendon, chicken foot, etc., you may choose a sturgeon that contains rich collagen in the whole body without cholesterin. In a word, it is the best natural nutrient, care and beauty product. Why not to try more?
- Complete Interpretation in Modern Chinese to Compendium of Materia Medica, Hsin Chuan Publishing Co., Ltd.
- Issue 88, National Health Insurance Bimonthly.
- Fresh Water Fish Breeding in Taiwan, Fisheries Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, the Executive Yuan.
- Status and Management of Atlantic Sturgeon in North America/South Carolina Department of Natural Resources/National Biological Service, USA/Environmental Biology of Fishes.