Miyagi Onagawa Coho Salmon now available at Tokyo Seiyu GK stores
The product of Japan’s first aquaculture improvement project (AIP), Miyagi Onagawa Coho Salmon, is now available at more than 50 Tokyo-area Seiyu GK retail stores.
The AIP was launched in the fall of 2017 by project partners Ocean Outcomes, Fisherman Japan, Marukin Co., Ltd., Seafood Legacy and Seiyu. Seiyu GK operates supermarkets, shopping centers and department stores, and is owned by Arkansas, U.S.A.-based Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Onagawa is where Japan’s first successful commercial coho salmon farming businesses were developed. Marukin Co., Ltd., the owner and operator of a coho salmon farm in Onagawa for over 30 years, had its operations completely destroyed in 2011, when Japan experienced devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami. Since then, regional recovery efforts have revitalized and rebuilt Onagawa’s aquaculture industry. Marukin now produces roughly 465 metric tons of coho salmon annually under their brand “Gin-Ou" (Silver King).
Steps in the project carried out by Ocean Outcomes included facilitating an Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) pre-assessment to identify priority areas for environmental monitoring and opportunities for improvement in aquaculture practices; developing and implementing an AIP work plan to address deficiencies found during the ASC pre-assessment, including monitoring the farm’s impacts on surrounding ecosystems, evaluating sustainability of the feed, and developing farm policies relating to social responsibility; and convening project stakeholders to generate support, participation, and attention for sustainable seafood and aquaculture improvement efforts in the Onagawa region.
Securing long-term commitments from stakeholders throughout the marketing channel is considered to be an important point in conducting an AIP, as it gives a strong incentive and a promise of financial support for the project. Thus, Seiyu’s commitment to sell and promote the project is a key to success.