Huge caviar farm opens in the Gulf

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The Independent Online

In a city whose residents are noted for their expensive tastes, it may seem appropriate that the desert city of Abu Dhabi is the newest location for a vast caviar farm that dwarfs its global competitors.

A huge complex operated by Royal Caviar Co is the artificial home to thousands of sturgeon, the fish that produces the coveted black roe, and is ideally placed to tap into a growing appetite for caviar in the Gulf.

The Bin Salem group, which has teamed up with Germany's United Food Technologies, hopes to start selling its caviar from next year. By 2015, the sturgeon should be producing as much as 35 tons annually, far outstripping Saudi Arabia's Caviar Court, the other big caviar venture in the region.

The world's finest caviar comes from the Caspian Sea, natural habitat of the prized beluga sturgeon. Wild caviar, though, has soared in price, not least because of stringent controls to stop overfishing.