"U.S. Farmed" is Only Yellowtail Recommended on Seafood Watch Sushi Card All Other Yellowtail Ranked "Avoid"
Kona Blue Water Farms today commended the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program's Sushi Card recommendation of U.S. farmed yellowtail as a "Good Alternative."
Released yesterday, the Sushi Card states that "Yellowtail is farmed in the U.S. in a more environmentally responsible way than in other regions of the world," and recommends consumers "Avoid" other farmed yellowtail from Japan and Australia due to concerns about environmental impact and a high reliance of wild-caught fish in feed.
Yellowtail, otherwise known as hamachi, kampachi or kanpachi, is a popular menu item in sushi restaurants. Currently, the sole product that this positive ranking applies to is Kona Kampachi, a Hawaiian yellowtail sustainably farmed in Hawaii by Kona Blue. Although Seafood Watch does not make recommendations about specific aquaculture producers, Kona Blue is the only yellowtail farm currently operating in the United States.
"We're grateful for our collaborative relationship with Seafood Watch, which has helped us improve our sustainability quotient over the past two years" said Neil Anthony Sims, President and Co-founder of Kona Blue Water Farms. "Their guidance is an invaluable help to us in our effort to pioneer environmentally friendly open-ocean aquaculture."
In its ranking, Seafood Watch states that U.S. farmed yellowtail's "good management and a shift toward feed alternatives with less reliance on wild fish are promising signs for the future of this industry."
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's peer-reviewed report on farmed yellowtail states, "Seafood Watch recognizes the voluntary transparency on the part of Kona Blue in making some of their proprietary farm data available, their efforts to improve the sustainability of their practices, and their willingness to exceed legal requirements."
"Sushi restaurants are very important customers for Kona Blue," said Mike Wink, CEO of Kona Blue, "and we've been lucky to have the support of the sushi trade since Kona Kampachi first came on the market in 2005. We aspire to sustainably farm a premium, sushi-grade fish. We're delighted that our efforts to fulfill our commitment have resulted in this ranking from the renowned Seafood Watch program."
U.S. farmed yellowtail is also equally ranked on two other sushi cards released yesterday by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Blue Ocean Institute.