Kona Blue's reformulated feed earns Kona Kampachi positive rating by Seafood Watch
Kona Kampachi, a Hawaiian yellowtail grown in the open ocean off the coast of Kona, Hawaii by Kona Blue Water Farms, has become the first ocean net pen aquaculture marine fish to be rated as a “Good Alternative” by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.
Kona Blue, the only U.S. producer of yellowtail, has worked closely with the Seafood Watch program to meet stringent criteria on environmental impacts and feed efficiencies.
“We’re very pleased to be rated as a “Good Alternative” by Seafood Watch, the leader in fisheries and aquaculture sustainability evaluation,” said Michael Wink, CEO of Kona Blue. “Our aspiration, however, is to be the first marine net pen farm to be rated as a ‘Best Choice.’ Our work with the Monterey Bay Aquarium has given us a clearer understanding of how we can improve on our sustainability standards to achieve our goal of a ‘Green’ rating.”
Founded by two marine biologists who previously worked in wild fisheries management, the company has pioneered U.S. open ocean aquaculture, raising Kona Kampachi in their natural ecosystem with no significant environmental impact.
In consultation with Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Environmental Defense Fund, Kona Blue has recently reformulated its feed to further reduce the reliance on wild-caught fishmeal and fish oil, thereby further improving the operation’s sustainability ‘quotient.’
Corey Peet, Aquaculture Research Manager of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, stated, “I am very impressed by Kona Blue’s efforts to improve the sustainability of its fish feed. Shifting away from a reliance on wild-caught fishmeal and fish oil is a pioneering move, and a huge step forward for the aquaculture industry. Perhaps most importantly, it also demonstrates Kona Blue’s clear recognition that – to be truly sustainable – aquaculture has to address the potential impact of its food sources on the overall health of global fisheries. It’s a perspective we’d like to see more companies recognize and act upon.”
In the past year, Kona Kampachi has been receiving rave reviews from prominent chefs nationwide for its rich, buttery flavor and culinary attributes, as well as generating quite a buzz with the online “foodie” community and consumers.
“We’re delighted to see the Seafood Watch program recognize our hard work towards fulfillment of our commitment to not just grow more fish, but to grow more fish better,” said Neil Anthony Sims, President and co-founder of Kona Blue. “We understand the power that such a ranking has among environmentally conscious consumers, and appreciate that this will help further our credibility amongst consumers and chefs who want to support sustainable seafood.”