Aeon begins selling ASC-certified sea bream in Tokyo
Product from the second sea bream farming operation in Japan certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council standard will be on sale in Aeon stores, mainly in the Tokyo metropolis, from 19 to 22 November.
The supermarket chain has been a leader in Japan in featuring sustainable seafood and has plans to increase its certified seafood offerings from 15 percent to 20 percent of all its seafood products. As part of the company’s sustainable procurement policy, it’s working to have all stores obtain ASC and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody (CoC) certification, and to provide a sustainable private brand for all major fish species.
Kumamoto Prefecture Seawater Aquaculture Fisheries Cooperative and Urata Fisheries Co. – both of Amakusa City, Kumamoto, Japan – recently acquired the second ASC certification in Japan for red sea bream (Pagrus major), but it took time to grow out the fish after the certification.
The certification covers two farms in Goshoura Town in the Amakusa Islands of Kumamoto Prefecture. The fishery cooperative is listed by the ASC under its Japanese name of Kumamoto-ken Kaisui Yoshoku Gyogyo Kyodo Kumiai.
Kumamoto has the second-highest annual production of farmed red sea bream in Japan, with the species accounting for more than half of the prefecture’s farmed fish production – with yellowtail making up most of the other half. Red sea bream (madai in Japanese) is mainly served broiled whole at celebrations such as at the New Year, though it is also served as sashimi.
The company achieved certification by collaborating with Tokyo-based fishery sustainability consultancy UMITO Partners and multinational feed-maker Skretting in the Kumamoto Madai Aquaculture Improvement Project.
Skretting and its parent company, Nutreco, have subsidiaries based in Fukuoka, and Skretting Japan operates a plant in Imari City, Saga Prefecture, where it makes feed for yellowtail, sea bream, bluefin tuna, amberjack, striped jack, sea bass, and trout.
The AIP was announced by Seafood Legacy Co., Ltd on 30 June, 2020. UMITO Partners has since spun off from Seafood Legacy as an independent consultancy.
The first company to acquire ASC certification for sea bream in Japan did not go the AIP route. The ASC website lists Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture-based Dainichi Corporation subsidiary Uchiumi Suisan Co. as having been certified on 29 June, 2020.
Photo courtesy of UMITO Partners