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Japanese yellowtail join aqua stewardship scheme

Seriola farms run by Kurose Suisan and Global Ocean Works in Japan have become the first in the world to earn Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for the species.

Kurose Suisan, operated by the Nissui Group network, has been producing Seriola since 2004 under the brand, Kurose Yellowtail, from its farms sites located in Kushima, in the Miyazaki prefecture in the south of Japan. Global Ocean Works, based in Tarumizu City, Kagoshima Prefecture Japan, was established in 2009 with a focus on processing and sale of ‘hamachi' yellow tail.

Kurose Suisan achieved its certification on 16 December last year after an independent assessment, following the ASC multi-site approach, of three sites – Kushima, Uchinoura and Nobeoka Farms – by SCS Global Services. Global Ocean Works’ certification was announced one week later on 22 December, following an audit of the Fukuyama Fish Farm by Amita, the local independent CAB.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Kurose Suisan and Global Ocean Works to the growing family of ASC certified farms. I would like to offer my personal congratulations to all those involved in becoming the first Seriola producers to achieve the ASC standard,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC.

Yellowtail are the most widely farmed finfish in Japan
Yellowtail are the most widely farmed finfish in Japan

Koji Yamamoto, ASC’s General Manager for Japan said: "This is a significant milestone for the ASC. Domestic production of Seriola in Japan is a large proportion of the global total. It is the most farmed finfish species in Japan, and is an integral and historical part of many coastal communities. 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. I sincerely wish that this achievement will contribute positively to the future of these coastal communities and that through the market recognition for ASC labelled product this is reinforced. It is pleasing that this market interest is encouraging other Seriola farms to follow their example.” 

“WWF Japan would like to express our sincere respect and congratulations to Kurose Suisan and Global Ocean Works for their achievement on ASC certification,” said Aiko Yamauchi, the leader of Ocean and Seafood Group of WWF Japan. “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.”

Rob Fletcher

Rob Fletcher

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