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Japanese farm receives first ASC certification for commercial cherry salmon

Japanese farm receives first ASC certification for commercial cherry salmon

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Aquaculture Magazine reports:

Japanese farm Izumisawa Suisan has become the first commercial farm to obtain Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for its cherry salmon production. The farm, which also produces coho salmon, is based in Kamaishi City in Iwate Prefecture along the Kamaishi Bay.

Cherry salmon, named for its pink cherry-coloured scales, boasts a refined, light flesh colour and delicate fat. Its name is derived from the fact that it is often harvested during the enchanting “sakura” or cherry blossom season in Japan.

Izumisawa Suisan’s President Hiroshi Izumisawa said: “We are very honored to have our achievements in environmentally friendly aquaculture recognized. This certification is trusted internationally, and we would like to utilize it in our future sales strategy.”

Izumisawa also aims to work towards exports to European countries with the acquisition of ASC certification.

Increasing environmental responsibility and social awareness

ASC General Manager in Japan, Koji Yamamoto commented: “We are delighted to recognize Izumisawa Suisan’s contribution to responsible commercial farming of cherry salmon. Through this certification, we are able to increase environmental responsibility and social awareness in the farming of cherry salmon and at the same time create an opportunity to promote this rare Japanese delicacy locally and globally.”

The company collaborated with the city and Iwate University to begin cherry salmon farming trials in November 2020. It then moved on to trial farming of coho salmon then launched a full-scale business last year.

Izumisawa Suisan is currently using four 40-metre-diameter circular fish cages and aims to ship 1,000 tons of cherry salmon and coho salmon yearly.

Certification ceremony

The certification ceremony was attended by about 30 participants, including representatives of ASC Japan, the Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) Amita, Iwate Prefecture and Kamaishi City, local processing manufacturers, and Iwate University. Guests sampled the cherry salmon and coho salmon sashimi and grilled dishes and evaluated their quality.

Izumisawa said, “Obtaining certification has been our goal since we started our aquaculture business. Through this certification, we hope to expand our sales channels, ensure a stable supply of raw materials, and work to improve the income and social status of our fishermen.”

The ASC certification of Izumisawa Suisan signifies an important contribution towards responsible aquaculture and the sustainable development of the local fishing industry.

Delivering high assurance throughout the supply chain

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) was launched in 2010 as an impact-driven NGO. They partnered with the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative IDH and WWF Netherlands to make aquaculture more sustainable. “We do this by setting strict standards for seafood and farms and deliver high assurance throughout the supply chain,” they say.

The rapid growth of aquaculture has led to badly managed fish farms, water pollution, damage to local environments and poor working conditions. A lot is at stake, given that seafood provides livelihoods and an affordable animal protein for billions of people, especially in developing countries.

According to them, that’s why their mission is to transform the industry towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

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