Finger Lakes Fish has become the world’s first recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) coho salmon farm to be awarded Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification.
The Auburn, New York, U.S.A.-based company markets its fish under the LocalCoho brand. It recently opened a 43,000-square-foot land-based farm, hatching its first salmon eggs in April 2018 and bringing its first batch of coho to market – selling whole fish to regional foodservice outlets – in September 2019, according to a press release. The company eventually plans to ramp up production to the facility’s capacity of 400 metric tons and expand into selling fillets to a wider market across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
“LocalCoho is striving to sustainably and ethically provide coho salmon for the growing demands. To accomplish this, LocalCoho is focused on local, sustainable, fresh production in a healthy and safe environment for our coho,” Finger Lakes Fish CEO Ed Heslop said in a press release. “Going through the BAP process and achieving the first RAS coho salmon BAP certification is important in that it demonstrates our commitment to our fish, our environment and our customers.”
The Global Aquaculture Alliance administers the BAP program, which provides third-party aquaculture certification to standards encompassing environmental responsibility, social responsibility, food safety, animal health and welfare, and traceability.
“As an individual member of GAA, I have advocated for its Best Aquaculture Practices for years,” said Phil Gibson, a Finger Lakes Fish board member. “[BAP certification] is a verification that our RAS operation is committed to doing our best for our industry and our environment.”
The BAP program now encompasses more than 2,260 BAP-certified farms, processing plants, hatcheries and feed mills in 36 countries worldwide.
Photo courtesy of Finger Lakes Fish