Black River Caviar (aka Esturiones del Rio Negro) launched thirty years ago when Walter Alcalde pursued his dream of farming Russian Oscietra sturgeon in Uruguay’s Río Negro River to become the first Southern Hemisphere caviar producer in the world.
Walter’s business was provisioning Atlantic fishing boats on the Rio Negro. Working closely with the fishing industry over many years, he got to know a few Russian sailors, who introduced him to caviar. He saw an opportunity in the 1980s, when global caviar production shifted from wild-caught to farmed caviar because of overfishing in the Caspian Sea: He would bring sturgeon farming to the Rio Negro. Walter dove into consulting and researching, finally he determined that the river’s average low water temperatures, high volumes of pristine water unimpacted by industry, and the Rio Negro’s moderate climate offered the exceptional natural conditions needed for sturgeon aquaculture.
He was right.
From the beginning, Black River implemented sustainable farming practices respecting the natural environment and leaving zero waste. The farm maintains the breeding program Walter started with authentic Russian Oscietra (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii) breed stock originating from the Caspian Sea, and producing the fish feed made from largely local, sustainable sources.