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An Armenian hatchery produces same-sex caviar
November 21, 2022 By Hatchery International staff
A family of Armenian fish farmers has discovered a way of producing rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) caviar, from which only female fish hatches. Their hatchery is now on the fast track to boosting production.
Hovsep Hovsepyan, the hatchery owner, said he spent 30 years developing this technology, which he shared only with his son. Hovsepyan noted that the formula is now a family secret.
“However, I am sure that the new technology will provide the whole country with hatching caviar,” said Hovsepyan, adding that his company already sells it and fish fry to other farmers. Same-sex caviar grows in the same way as normal caviar.
“If the water temperature is 10 degrees, the fry will start hatching in 34 days. And if, for example, the water temperature is one degree, then we will have to wait for the birth of the fry for 340 days,” said Hovsepyan.
There are dozens of farmers growing rainbow trout and Armenia and hundreds across the Caucasus region. They prefer female trout primarily due to bigger weight gain.
“In order for a female to become sexually mature, it takes two years, while males become sexually mature at the age of one year weighing only 400-500 grams. After that, their growth stops, and in business, weight and kilograms matter, “ said farmer Marat Hovsepyan.
In addition, local caviar is believed to be more resistant than imported to diseases that are typical for the Caucasus region. Hovsepyan expressed the opinion that the region where the trout was grown largely influences the health condition of its offspring.
The Hovsepyan family has already applied for a government grant to purchase new equipment to expand production capacity.
Currently, rainbow trout caviar is considered a delicacy with its price varying vastly across the region. The price of caviar is believed to be lowest in Kyrgyzstan, where one kg reaches only US$47. On the other hand, in Moscow, this figure reached $83.
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