British-Latvian cooperation in the field of aquaculture has been further strengthened with a new memorandum of understanding to collaborate on scientific, technological and commercial opportunities.
The three-year agreement was signed on 7 May between the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, UK (Cefas), Industrial Mechanics, Biological Complexes Scientific and Research Centre Ltd., Latvia (RMBKZPC) and MOTTRA Ltd.
The partnership aims to build on and combine the areas of knowledge and expertise of the three organisations. Cefas’ experience and expertise in the provision of technical and scientific support and advice in the areas of aquaculture, biosecurity, fish and shellfish disease, and project management will complement RMBKZPC research expertise in the area of finfish aquaculture and recirculation systems. MOTTRA Ltd has extensive know-how in developing and optimising their unique technology of large-scale closed-system recirculation fish farms, leading to new environmentally friendly and scientific approaches to providing ethical sturgeon caviar farming.
The Parties wish to build a collaborative relationship in the area of aquaculture research, particularly recirculation technologies, to promote common knowledge technology for production of sturgeon and other species of freshwater fish from Latvia and to share the knowledge with other European countries and worldwide.
On signing the agreement at the Latvian Embassy in London, the Ambassador of Latvia, H.E. Andris Teikmanis, said: “This agreement is a good example of bringing together science, technology and business for a common goal. In Latvia green technologies and environmentally friendly processes have always been important for our society. I am particularly proud, that Latvia can provide a significant contribution in terms of expertise, knowledge and know-how in aquaculture for mutual British-Latvian benefit”.
Cefas CEO Mike Waldock, said: “This partnership represents a real opportunity for Cefas to bring our leading edge aquaculture science and technology to a new UK-Latvian collaboration. Our combined efforts aim to drive forward scientific and commercial opportunities for the benefit of our organisations, countries and most importantly the well-being of our citizens in Europe and potentially world-wide.”
Mews42 Gallery had a private view of selected works by Damien Hurst, the founding member of the Young British Artists group and internationally renowned artistic and cultural figure. Hirst’s unique artworks were shown to the exclusive number of guests invited by a personal invitation only. The event was sponsored by MASERATI and MOTTRA Caviar.
What’s in, what’s out
Splash out with a clear conscience this Christmas. Farmed Latvian sturgeon are stripped of their eggs to collect Mottra caviar, then put back in the water (rather than culled). The quality of caviar improves with the age of fish, so it makes gastronomic as well as ecological sense. Reasonably priced at £64 for a 56g jar, with only salt added
by Alex Beckett Latvia’s only caviar brand, Mottra, is bringing what it claims is the only ethical caviar in the world to the UK.
The company allows its sturgeon to mature after removing the eggs – rather than following the tradi-tional practice of immedi-ately culling the fish once harvested. This more ethi-cal and sustainable method allows eggs to be gathered from the same fish for up to 40 years. The luxury brand, which is launching into the UK this month, ini-tially online, said this method gave it a unique sales proposition in caviar.
The volatile world econo-my made it a challenging time to launch a luxury product, Sergei Reviakin, director of Mottra, admit-ted to The Grocer. And with an rsp of £68 for a 56gjar or £1,200 for a kilo, the prod-uct is not suited to credit-crunch budgeting. But Reviakin was confident its ethical credentials would stand it in good stead against the competition. “I think that there will always be a place for luxury foods such as caviar,” he said. “What has changed is that people are becoming more discerning in their choice and will always choose the luxury product that is more sustainable and ethical. Our caviar is for those who enjoy delicacies but have a conscience.”
The Riga-based company keeps its fish in spring water sourced from 150m below the ground and then purified through a process of double filtration. This was in stark contrast to the polluted rivers and seas from which the majority of the world’s caviar was sourced, said Reviakin.
Mottra is in discussions with two major retailers with a view to securing its first listings in the UK.
“EGG-STRA SPECIAL. A caviar farm in Latvia is going all out to give its sturgeon a better life. The fish are kept in temperature-controlled pools, before being massaged to release their eggs, so they live to spawn another year. £64 for 56g; www.mottra.co.uk“