World first for ASC approved King Kampachi

The Kampachi Company has won ASC certification for its sustainable offshore farm near La Paz (photo: the Kampachi Company)

A KAMPACHI farm in Mexico has received Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification, a world first for the species.

The farm, 6km offshore in the Gulf of California, near La Paz, rears kampachi in submersible cages.

The fish – also known as yellowtail or almaco jack (Seriola rivoliana) -are grown in four 10,000 cubic metre pens, 30m in diameter and 17m deep, each independently submersible.

Pioneered by Neil Anthony Sims, co-founder of the Kampachi Company, the King Kampachi brand made its US debut at the Boston seafood expo in March.

The product is now available in the United States and Canada, and will soon be available in Europe and Japan.

Sims, interviewed in this month’s Fish Farmer magazine (https://issuu.com/fishfarmermagazine/docs/fish_farmer_june_2019), has been at the forefront of the campaign to open US federal waters to aquaculture.

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He has trialled ocean bound ‘Aquapods’ off Hawaii and has new plans involving submersible cage technology in the Gulf of Mexico, off Sarasota, Florida.

His Aquapod trial, the Velella Beta project off the coast of Kona, Hawaii, won one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of the Year in 2012, but it was difficult to scale up.

Sims said: ‘We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries but we also want to be able to produce fish at scale.’

Of the ASC certification, he said: ‘We believe it is not enough to claim we are doing this responsibly, we want to have third party validation of that. That is important to build consumer confidence in our products.’

The Kampachi Company has the capacity to produce 500-600 tonnes a year at its La Paz site and Sims expects to be harvesting more than 10 tonnes per week by the end of 2019.

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