Canadian and U.S. Closed Containment Farmers lead the way in Ocean-friendly Seafood Solutions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 8, 2013

Vancouver, BC and Halifax, NSToday SeaChoice and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program celebrate the release of six new seafood recommendations that highlight the benefits of closed containment aquaculture.

Given that many wild fish stocks are overfished, sustainable aquaculture provides a viable solution for providing healthy seafood for an ever growing population. However some conventional aquaculture operations such as open net-pen operations can have negative environmental effects on our marine ecosystems. Land-based closed containment provides a solution by producing an ocean-friendly seafood option. Five of the new SeaChoice recommendations rank as a “Best Choice” or “Green” due to their high environmental performance.

”This is an exciting announcement from coast to coast,” said Kelly Roebuck, SeaChoice representative from the Living Oceans Society. “Chefs, retailers and shoppers can have confidence that they are making a smart choice for the health of the oceans with these closed containment farmed seafood options.”

The new seafood recommendations include the following:

Species Method/Location SeaChoice Ranking
White Sturgeon Farmed in recirculating systems/Canada Green
Nile Tilapia 100% recirculating/Canada Green
Gilthead Sea Bream 100% recirculated/Canada Green
European Sea Bass 100% recirculated/Canada Green
Yellow Perch Recirculated/US Green
Atlantic Halibut Recirculating system/Canada Yellow

“These systems separate production from the natural environment, which minimizes the risk of escapes and disease transfer to wild fish. Water is purified to remove potential pathogens, eliminating or greatly reducing the need for antibiotics and chemicals, and then recirculated to reduce discharge,” stated Bill Wareham, SeaChoice representative from the David Suzuki Foundation. “Effluent from the systems can also be treated before being released to mitigate negative impacts, and in many systems, waste products can be used as fertilizers,” concluded Wareham.

Justin Henry, farmer for the white sturgeon closed containment operation, Northern Divine, stated “Our commitment to sustainable farming practices for our sturgeon and caviar have been in practice for a number of years, and today we are extremely proud that we have been recognized as a “Green” “Best Choice” by SeaChoice.” Overall, the closed containment white sturgeon farm received high green rankings for nearly all criteria due to their distinguished sustainability performance in waste control, and no use of antibiotics or chemicals.  “Sustainability is essential to our business and our customers.” concluded Henry.

“We are pleased to see the aquaculture industry implementing environmentally responsible practices,” said Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, Director of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program. “Such innovation is critical to ensuring ocean health, especially as more of our seafood supply comes from farmed sources.”

To view the new assessments, please visit: www.SeaChoice.org

SeaChoice 

Formed in 2006, SeaChoice is a national program that provides science-based sustainability assessments of seafood and helps Canadian businesses and consumers make sustainable seafood choices. SeaChoice is a joint initiative of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society BC, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, Living Oceans Society and Sierra Club of BC. Working in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s acclaimed Seafood Watch program, SeaChoice undertakes science-based assessments, provides informative resources for consumers, and supports businesses through collaborative partnerships.

For more information contact:

Lana Gunnlaugson, National SeaChoice Manager

info@SeaChoice.org

778-833-2954