Go on a sturgeon safari with New Brunswick’s King of Caviar
Help save an endangered species with an unforgettable day of fishing, food and fun in beautiful New Brunswick.
Sturgeon have been around since the time of the dinosaurs.
They are big and ugly but their meat – and their roe – are highly sought after.
So much so that in many parts of the world the species has been pushed to the very edge of extinction.
New Brunswick’s self-proclaimed King of Caviar, Cornel Ceapa, is determined to make sure they stick around a bit longer.
As a PhD student in his native Romania, Cornel had seen first-hand the impact of overfishing in the Danube River.
When Cornel started his new life – and new business – in New Brunswick in Canada he was determined to create a responsible and sustainable caviar industry.
With Acadian Sturgeon, based on the banks of the pristine Saint John River, he has done exactly that.
Cornel also plays an important part in preserving New Brunswick’s wild sturgeon population.
The sturgeon that live in St John River are regarded by many as the healthiest wild population of the species in the world.
Every July Cornel organises sturgeon safaris to show visitors how the wild sturgeon are being monitored and maintained.
It’s very much a hands-on experience, with those on the safari encouraged to muck in and help.
Your day starts at dawn, roaring up the calm waterways in a flat-bottomed Carolina skiff. You’ll check nets with local fishermen, pulling any fish caught into the boat to be measured and scanned for tags.
Females are checked with a special instrument to see if they are carrying any roe. The individual data of each fish is collected and collated.
The few fish that meet the very strict criteria of the annual quota are kept as the catch.
The others are returned safely to the water to continue on with life.
On returning to shore you’ll see how the catch is processed – again, taking part of you wish.
You’ll tour Cornel’s aquaculture facility where sturgeon are bred and farmed and see the fish that are earmarked for export around the world to help replenish dwindling stocks where overfishing is rife.
The day ends with a bonfire and barbeque beside the beautiful Saint John River. Here you’ll enjoy a multi-course feast that incorporates every part of this versatile fish.
There’s a starter of incredibly fresh caviar served on blini as well as melt-in-your-mouth sturgeon carpaccio and sashimi. Then a flavoursome bouillabaisse created from stock made from the bones. And finally, thick, juicy marinated sturgeon steaks, cooked on the grill as the sun sets over the river.
It’s a satisfying end to a satisfying day where you can feel rest assured that you’ve done your bit to help maintain the healthy population of wild sturgeon in the St John River.
And taken part in one of the most unique and authentic experiences you can have in New Brunswick, Canada.
For more information about Cornel and to book your spot on a Sturgeon Safari, visit acadian-sturgeon.com
Main image: Happy guests returning home from a sturgeon safari on the Saint John River in New Brunswick (©acadian-sturgeon.com)