Pass the Caviar--in Missouri

1 decade 1 year 5 months ago December 30, 2005 Dec 30, 2005 Friday, December 30 2005 Friday, December 30, 2005 8:02:00 PM CST in News

Osage Catfisheries has been breeding fish for 50 years. But, it will be the only company in the U.S. harvesting caviar when its first crop of paddlefish matures in two years. Missouri's record paddlefish weighs 135 pounds, and each female can produce up to 15 pounds of eggs. 

There's been a global shortage of caviar harvested from sturgeon for the past several years. So, Steve Kahrs and his family's company developed a way to produce the delicacy from paddlefish, without  reducing the population.

"It's a sustainable population of fish," explained Kahrs. "We have our own DNA marker, our own bloodline. We can produce the fish, millions of the fish."

Osage is the only U.S. company with a federal permit to breed paddlefish, not only for eggs but also for  meat and medical research.

"But it's going to mean millions of dollars to the state," added Kahrs. "It's going to be new jobs, and it's just a great way to put Missouri aquaculture on the map for the whole world."

And Osage's business is swimming already, with orders for a ton of caviar although it's still years away from harvesting the first crop of eggs for caviar.

Paddlefish can weigh up to 85 pounds and produce up to 15 pounds of eggs.

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