ASC bestows certification on Japanese seriola aquaculture operations

Published on
February 1, 2018

Two Japanese farms have become the first seriola producers to earn Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification, potentially drawing more buyers to the most farmed finfish species in Japan.

Kurose Suisan, operated by the Nissui Group network, and Global Ocean Works earned ASC certification by meeting the organization’s seriola and cobia standard for responsible aquaculture.

"This is a significant milestone for the ASC. Domestic production of seriola in Japan is a large proportion of the global total,” Koji Yamamoto, ASC’s general manager for Japan, said in a press release. “The arrival of certified seriola products into the market is a highly anticipated and a significant addition to the ASC line of products from domestic aquaculture.”

Kurose Susan produces seriola under Kurose Yellowtail brand, from its farms sites in Kushima, in the Miyazaki Prefecture in the south of Japan. Global Oceans Works, based in Tarumizu City, Kagoshima Prefecture Japan, processes “hamachi” yellowtail.

“WWF Japan fully understands that producer improvements based on ASC certification were challenging and represent an outstanding accomplishment. We expect this new ASC-certified yellowtail will encourage the Japanese market and consumers to support responsible aquaculture broadly.” said Aiko Yamauchi, the leader of WWF Japan’s Ocean and Seafood Group.

ASC’s seriola and cobia standard, launched a little over a year ago, addresses environmental and social impacts associated with seriola aquaculture. Seriola is also known by other common names, including amberjack, yellowtail, kampachi, hamachi, and hiramasa. The ASC  standard was developed for both seriola and cobia because production methods for the two species are similar and the knowledge and expertise necessary to create a standard are the same. Farms must meet rigorous social requirements, as well as requirements on preservation of local habitats and biodiversity, minimizing fish escapes, conservation of water and water quality, minimal use of therapeutics and antibiotics, and responsible sourcing of feed ingredients.

ASC’s social requirements are based on the core principles of the International Labor Organization (ILO), including prohibiting the use of child labor or any form of forced labor. 

“All certified farms are safe and equitable working environments where employees earn a decent wage and have regulated working hours,” ASC said in a statement.

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