China makes bid for caviar market with sturgeon seedling giveaway
Beijing authorities are distributing free sturgeon seedlings in a bid to kick-start the sector in Beijing’s rural areas, which are better known for producing carp and lower-grade species for consumption in city restaurants and for sale in supermarket fish tanks.
The move appears to be part of a continued effort by China’s government to get farmers to cultivate more high-value species and matches similar sturgeon-breeding programs in northern and eastern China, which have seen a surge in Chinese caviar production, much to the ire of producers in Russia.
The scheme, run by the Beijing Aquatic Technology Extension Bureau – a government-funded agency offering training and advise to fish farmers – will see the seedlings distributed to farmers in the Fangshan, Pingu and Shunyi, all rural districts outlying China’s capital.
“This is the priority extension activity of our bureau to create superior species,” a statement from the bureau said. “These seeds have been welcomed by fish farmers.”