July 1, 2020


Red sea bream project launched in Japan's Kumamoto Prefecture



Japan has witnessed the launch of its first red sea bream Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP) on June 30, Perishable News reported.


The AIP -- launched by Seafood Legacy Co., Ltd., Kumamoto Seawater Culture Fisheries Cooperative and Urata Suisan Co., Ltd. -- will encompass two red sea bream farms owned and operated by Urata Suisan in the Amakusa area of Kumamoto Prefecture.


Kumamoto has developed a robust aquaculture industry centered around Amakusa Ueshima, Shimoshima and Ashikita regions. It also boasts the second highest production volume of volume of farmed red sea bream in Japan, with with around 10,000 tonnes produced annually. The volume makes up for more than half of the prefecture's farmed fish production volume.


The prefectural government also promotes an aquaculture best practices certification process for its aquaculture producers to ensure locally produced farmed fish meet high quality and safety standards.


Kumamoto Seawater Culture Fisheries Cooperative Association and Urata Suisan have decided to take steps to turn to a more sustainable and responsible production of their farmed red sea bream. By launching AIP, they aim to obtain relevant certification next year to make their products more distinct in the domestic and international markets.


Kumamoto Seawater Culture Fisheries Cooperative Association conducted an ASC pre-assessment with Urata Suisan's red sea bream farms in 2019. Seafood Legacy developed an AIP workplan based on the pre-assessment results, leading to the launch of the collaborative effort to improve Urata Suisan's red sea bream aquaculture to reach ASC certification by 2021. Improvements to be implemented through the AIP include monitoring of environmental impacts of net cages to the surrounding ecosystem and habitats, ensuring sustainability of fish feeds and smolt, management of diseases and parasites, and development of social responsibility policies and guidelines.


"We operate our farms in the warm waters of the Yatsushiro inland sea off the coast of Goshoura Island in Amakusa, Kumamoto prefecture. By raising our fish from smolt using complete pelleted feed, we provide farmed fish with stable quality and management year-round," said Masaki Urata, CEO of Urata Suisan Co., Ltd. "By improving on environmental sustainability, social responsibility and traceability through this project, our goal is to raise the possibility of aquacultures and help further develop the industry for the future."


"We believe that the establishment of Japan's first red sea bream AIP with the goal of acquiring ASC certification - its standards internationally recognised as a rigorous guideline for responsible aquacultures - will not only heighten the domestic and international market competitiveness for the project's participants, but will also contribute to the local economy as well as add to the growing efforts being implemented to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals," said Shunji Murakami, vice president and COO of Seafood Legacy, Co., Ltd. "We strive for this project to be a positive model that will lead to prosperity for the participants and its region, and contribute to the growth strategy for the domestic aquaculture industry in Japan."


- Perishable News