A New Brunswick caviar company that has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal and provincial grants and loans is trying to stay afloat.

Jonathan Barry

Breviro Caviar president Jonathan Barry: working hard to "keep the business going."

Breviro Caviar Inc. of Pennfield hoped to be a global player in the business.

It offers a rare caviar from a species of St. John River shortnose sturgeon that are raised on land, in tanks.

Reached by phone, Breviro Caviar president Jonathan Barry said he could not comment on the company's situation.

"We're working hard to find the best solution we can, obviously to keep the business going," said Barry.

Since 2011 the company has received a total of $300,000 from ACOA, a $500,000 investment from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, and $135,000 from the province.

A company newsletter lists the New Brunswick Investment Management Corporation, a provincial government agency, as a "major shareholder."

The amount invested by the NBIMC is not identified, but under the "Investment Criteria" heading on the NBIMC website the "Preferred Minimum" investment is listed at $2 million.

NBIMC president and CEO, John Sinclair, referred questions about the Breviro investment to Breviro management.

Breviro Caviar plant

There were only two cars at the Breviro Caviar Inc. plant on Wednesday. (Connell Smith)

Two cars were parked at the company's headquarters and tank farm in Pennfield Wednesday.

An employee inside indicated the company is operating. "We still have fish," she said.

'We still have fish.' - Breviro employee

Breviro Caviar Inc. was shut out of the key U.S. seafood market. Shortnose sturgeon is considered an endangered species in the United States, and there is a prohibition of any product from the fish being marketed in the country.

The rule does not distinguish between wild fish and farm-raised fish.

The company tried to have that restriction lifted arguing the St. John River variety being raised by Breviro is a unique population that is both healthy and stable.

Breviro Caviar

Breviro markets a rare variety of caviar from St John River shortnose sturgeon.

A spokesperson for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told CBC Wednesday the organization reviewed the petition to delist the St. John River sturgeon, but determined it is not a unique population.

 The restriction on the sale of caviar from shortnose sturgeon remains in effect. The ruling was delivered October 26, 2015.