The Top 25: Pacifico Aquaculture Q&A
Pacifico Aquaculture is featured in The Top 25: Sustainability & Conservation list, published by SeafoodSource on 24 September, 2020.
SeafoodSource: What kind of trends have informed Pacifico Aquaculture’s latest sustainability/conservation efforts?
Pacifico: Pacifico Aquaculture (PAQ) knows very well that aquaculture is the fastest growing food production sector in the world. The most seen “trends” in the industry that inform Pacifico are the following: Ensuring food security long-term, followed by the looming threat of climate change, as well as economic and social pressures. As global human populations grow, so too does the need to produce food on a large scale. Aquaculture products such as those from Pacifico can fill this need. However, due to these and other trends, aquaculture companies such as PAQ must seek out sustainable solutions to meet client demands and stay afloat as a business. Development must be on a sustained basis, and one of the biggest trends that PAQ follows is the United Nations Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the objective of guiding our aquaculture company towards inclusive and sustainable development. Several SDGs apply directly to aquaculture, a couple explicitly with fish farming – SDG 14, Life Below Water, and SDG 2, Zero Hunger. For example: A very important trend in the industry that is coming from the market and our clients is a sustainable feed for our fish, reducing the dependence on wild fisheries for our feed formulations. We work very closely with our trusted feed providers on sustainable feeds utilizing innovative formulations and raw material basket sourcing, and have very low Fish In: Fish Out (FIFO) scores for our production, which makes our operation extremely efficient and sustainable. All these trends, in addition to the numerous national and international certifications that Pacifico Aquaculture must adhere to, lead our sustainability and conservation efforts.
SeafoodSource: What key features serve to set Pacifico Aquaculture’s sustainable seafood offerings apart in the market?
Pacifico: Pacifico is the first and only farmer of striped bass (Marone Saxatilis). Our mission is to provide premium striped bass while being good stewards to our water and the Baja community. In Ensenada, where we farm, we are the largest employer from the local university. We are able to create jobs for displaced people from the fishing industry. As a company, one of our missions is to provide assistance to the community by donating products to those in need. We take great efforts to source only the best and most sustainable ingredients for our feed. We strive to make sure our protein sources are sustainable and derived from as much by-product of other food production as possible. This effort has an amazing result. We are proud that our fish is consider by many to taste better than its wild counterpart. Creating a fish that is as good or better than the wild gives us the ability to support the wild fishery and create an alternative to overfishing.
SeafoodSource: How does sustainability factor into your overall mission and strategy as a business?
Pacifico: PAQ is committed to sustainable aquaculture practices and our goal to be an environmentally/commercially viable business practicing the most responsible form of aquaculture possible. PAQ’s mission statement is that we are a team dedicated to the highest quality aquaculture products in harmony with the environment and with our community. Pacifico has the goal of long-term sustainability by caring for our fish, ocean, and community at every step and with every choice. We operate and manage our business strategies by adhering to our internal pillars of sustainability, to continue to push the boundaries of sustainable aquaculture with innovative practices, advanced technology and be a restorative force in a world where the future of aquaculture depends on sustainability. We have created a best in class RAS system in our hatchery. This amazing system gives us the ability to use very little water. We have state of the art filtration systems. When we started the hatchery, we realized that water usage would be a major issue if we did not invest in a system to minimize waste.
SeafoodSource: How does Pacifico Aquaculture approach sustainable, responsible development?
Pacifico: PAQ approaches the ever-changing dynamics of the industry by constant research, investigation, and development of technology, protocols, and strategies to be more sustainable. We constantly are looking for ways to continue improving and being a success story of sustainable aquaculture. We have a team of dedicated and passionate staff who are committed to ensuring long term sustainability. We listen to our client and market demands on sustainability and develop ideas that are implemented into our production. Our goal is to create long lasting partnerships with our customers, to plan production and growth to maximize our use of the fish, and allow us to grow without compromising our mission.