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Sturgeon Farming Pisani Dossi

The Azienda Agricola Pisani Dossi aquaculture plant is located in the Parco Agricolo Sud of the Province of Milan and occupies an area of approximately five hectares.

The fish farm consists of 15 basins with natural bottoms and an extension between 500 and 2.000 sqm, for a total of about 20.000 sqm, and more than 150 fibreglass and concrete tanks of different shapes and capacities, located outside and inside a greenhouse of about 3.200 sqm.

The water supply to the plant comes exclusively from the extraction of four wells at -32/36 m and from a natural resurgence. The temperature of the water from the wells is constant throughout the year at around 14°C, while the temperature of the resurgence varies, depending on the season, between 7°C and 21°C. This factor is very important for the maintenance of the breeding stock and the spontaneous maturation of their gonads.

In addition, the supply of water from sources that are not in communication with the surface hydrographic network, together with constant monitoring of the health status of the reared animals, allows the facility to maintain the highest category of health recognition in accordance with the regulations in force.

Inside the greenhouse, the plant has several systems for partial or total water recirculation, which is constantly filtered and purified using mechanical and biological technologies. In addition to saving and optimising the sources, this feature allows the water temperature to vary according to the needs of the species being grown and the conditioning of the breeding stock.

The Pisani Dossi farm has been operating since 1982 and for over 30 years has been dedicated to and specialised in the production of sturgeon, carrying out the entire breeding cycle from reproduction to processing, and packaging of the final product.

Our company philosophy promotes production oriented towards quality and attention to detail, thus distinguishing us from mass production systems. The intrinsic characteristics of our plant together with the constraints of land protection imposed by the Ente Parco Agricolo Sud of the Province of Milan and the agricultural vocation of the area offer all the opportunities necessary to achieve high levels of excellence.

The basic features that distinguish careful management of semi-intensive breeding are:

  • Water purity (guaranteed by constant checks on the potability of well water).
  • Semi-natural habitat with earthen basins.
  • Low density of fish per square metre in rearing pond area.
  • Dedicated high-quality feeds.
  • Balanced feeding.
  • Feed distribution through on-demand systems.
  • Attention paid to the welfare and health status of the animals.
  • Particular care and control devoted to the origin, traceability, genetic variability, and specific characteristics of the animals.


Sturgeon Farming Pisani Dossi

The fish farm of Azienda Agricola Pisani Dossi breeds exclusively sturgeons, which are reproduced on its premises using specially selected and safeguarded adult animals.

All stages of sturgeon reproduction are bloodless and can be found in broodmares over twenty years old that have successfully ovulated for more than five cycles.

Breeding stock of both genera are marked and microchipped for strict identification, kept in spring water, and housed in outdoor ponds to benefit from seasonal temperature fluctuations and natural photoperiod variations.

The sturgeon species present and regularly reproduced at the farm are:

  • Siberian SturgeonAcipenser baerii
  • Russian Sturgeon – (Osetra) – Acipenser gueldenstaedtii
  • Sterlet Sturgeon – (Albino and Wild varieties) – Acipenser ruthenus
  • White SturgeonAcipenser transmontanus
  • Starry Sturgeon – (Sevruga) – Acipenser stellatus
  • Giant Sturgeon – (Beluga) – Huso huso

Over the years, crossbreeding between different but genetically compatible species has also been attempted, leading to the production of some hybrids that are extremely interesting for zootechnical purposes due to their robustness and the quality of their meat and eggs. The following hybrids are currently being systematically cultivated:

  • Sturgeon “bagu”Acipenser baerii x A. gueldenstaedtii
  • Sturgeon “guba”Acipenser gueldenstaedtii x A. baerii

Azienda Agricola Pisani Dossi
also supplies other sturgeon farms located both nationally and internationally with products to order, including embryonated eggs, yolk sac larvae, and fry of different sizes.


Sturgeon Farming Pisani Dossi

The rearing process involves selecting and passing the animals from the hatchery tanks to the open-air earthen basins. All stages of initial rearing, from the larval stage to the juvenile stage of about 1 kg individual weight, are carried out inside the greenhouse in a thermally controlled environment protected from ichthyophagous predation. At the end of this growth period which usually takes 18 to 24 months, the young sturgeons are transferred to open-air earth ponds in a semi-natural habitat where they remain while they grow for the next two to three years.

At over four years of age, most sturgeons can be differentiated by gender and are subjected to ultrasound analysis. Selected females remain in the open ponds to reach full gonadal maturity while males are sent for marketing.

Our fish farm raises mainly Siberian Sturgeon and Russian Sturgeon, as well as the hybrids ‘bagu‘ and ‘guba‘ for meat and caviar production.

The females of the various farmed species reach maturity of the ovaries and the best condition for caviar production after about 7 years (for Siberian Sturgeon) and 10 years (for Russian Sturgeon and Hybrid Sturgeons).

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