Land Based Farmed Salmon Gets Monterey Bay Aquarium Green Rating
October 27, 2014, 8:31 pm
Atlantic salmon farmed in recirculating aquaculture systems is now a “best choice” for consumers, according to an update from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
This is the first time a farmed salmon has got a green rating, after Verlasso salmon from AquaChile was rated a “good alternative” in August last year and is a boost to operators farming in this way, such as Atlantic Sapphire, Kuterra and The Conservation Fund (TCF) and the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF).
The Monterey Bay Aquarium assessment examined three land-based facilities currently operating globally, Kuterra in British Columbia, TCF and ASF in West Virginia and Atlantic Sapphire in Denmark.
All three received the top, green ranking. The three farms are considered representative of current practices in land-based closed-containment aquaculture globally, which makes the ranking applicable to other similar land-based Atlantic salmon farms as they develop.
All other farmed salmon, from Norway, Scotland, Canada or Chile, is rated as “avoid” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
“These on-land production systems separate the fish from the surrounding environment and the risk of environmental impacts from pollution, escapes, and diseases are all low,” states Monterey Bay Aquarium.
This is the first time farm raised Atlantic salmon has been recognized with a green ranking thanks to new, environmentally friendly aquaculture technology.
“We have had a desire to develop sustainable farming methods that benefit the environment since we created Villa Organic, Norway’s first organic Atlantic salmon farm. Now that the Danish pilot has proven to be successful, we have started the development of a full scale farm in continental United States,” Johan Andreassen, President of Atlantic Sapphire, said.
Atlantic Sapphire fish are grown in a closed containment system known as Oceanus where strong currents of recycled, purified water recreate powerful ocean currents.
“Atlantic Sapphire salmon school and swim in these strong current as they would in the wild and develop the same lean and firm texture as their wild counterpart. Top chefs describe the taste as delicate and complex, closely resembling the taste of wild Atlantic salmon,” the company said.
This also means Canada’s first land-raised Atlantic salmon, dubbed Kuterra, has achieved the top sustainability ranking.
We are delighted that the third-party assessment conducted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium has validated Kuterra operations as one of the most sustainable Atlantic salmon aquaculture operations globally,” says Garry Ullstrom, Kuterra CEO. “Environmental sustainability is the goal at the heart of Kuterra’s mission, and this ranking shows we’re achieving that.”
Guy Dean, Vice-president, and chief sustainability officer for Albion Fisheries, Kuterra’s marketing partner, also expressed his pleasure at the news.
“The exceptional market demand for Kuterra salmon shows that consumers have been waiting for a sustainable Atlantic salmon option that’s good for them and good for the environment,” he said. “We are proud to be among the first in the world to offer this green “Best Choice” seafood option to consumers.”
Kuterra salmon was launched in the market in April of this year. It is currently available for sale in British Columbia and Alberta, and is appearing on the menus of a growing number of restaurants.