Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cruelty-Free Caviar, Anyone?

Given that captive-bred caviar is widely touted as the one saving its wild cousin from extinction, should captive-bred caviar be cruelty-free too? 

By: Ringo Bones

In a perfect world, a true-blue cruelty-free captive-raised / captive-bred caviar should only get the cruelty-free stamp of approval if the “captive” environment it was raised in mimics that of its home waters – including wide open spaces for swimming – 100%. Sadly, in the real world, this is hardly the case – but can an enterprising company that produces captive-bred caviar also get a true-blue cruelty-free stamp of approval while still maintaining economic viability? 

One company that has raised concern over the cruelty issue of raising sturgeons in captivity for caviar production in order to save their wild brethren is Abu Dhabi’s The Royal Caviar Company. Abu Awad, manager of The Royal Caviar Company says they are reducing pressure of the depletion of the wild sturgeon stock by raising them in captivity, while at the same time the company also reduced the inherent cruelty of raising sturgeon in captivity for caviar production by constructing fish ponds that closely mimic the naturally prevailing conditions of the fish’s home waters. Will captive-bred caviar prove to be a more environmentally sustainable substitute over their wild brethren?