Entrepreneurs: Fishing for Black Gold

AFTER BATTLING BUREAUCRATS OVER BELUGA CAVIAR, A GROUP OF ENTREPRENEURS MAY FINALLY NET THEIR TASTY TREASURE

Mark Zaslavsky sleeps with the fishes. No, he's not the victim of a Godfather-style rubout. But when Sturgeon Aquafarms imported its first live belugas after a seven-year slog of red tape, he slept next to the tank holding the five 50-lb. creatures on the flight from Germany to protect his investment. (He had trucked them to Germany from Russia.) Zaslavsky hopes to produce the first American-grown beluga sturgeon and caviar, in 36 tanks on the 1,700-acre farm of his partner Gene Evans just outside Pierson, Fla. To fish farmers, beluga is the Holy Grail: a species whose eggs can be worth...

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