PORT MCNEILL—The ‘Namgis First Nation-owned, closed-containment Kuterra fish farm achieved the world’s top sustainability ranking for its land-raised Atlantic salmon last week.
Kuterra salmon, which entered the marketplace in April this year, is Canada’s first land-raised Atlantic salmon.
It received the highest ranking issued by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, which gives the salmon a Seafood Watch “Best Choice” recommendation. The recommendation also makes the product Ocean Wise.
“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.”
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s assessment examined three land-based facilities currently operating globally — Kuterra in British Columbia, along with facilities in Denmark and West Virginia — where The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute (TCFFI) works in partnership with the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) in growing Atlantic salmon on land.
The Seafood Watch report stated, “These three farms are considered to be representative of current practices and therefore the assessment and recommendation is applicable globally to additional farms as they develop unless there is a demonstrable difference in production practices.”
The farms’ final scores ranged from 7.14 to 8.02 out of a possible 10.
The announcement was made during the same time period as the Aquaculture Innovation Workshop in Vancouver, which assessed the technical, biological, and economic feasibility of closed-containment aquaculture. During the workshop, ‘Namgis Chief Bill Cranmer presented on the performance of the Kuterra project.
“The timing of this sustainability ranking couldn’t be better as we work to raise the profile of the environmental benefits of growing farmed Atlantic salmon on land,” said Jonathan Carr, ASF’s Executive Director of Research and Environment while attending the conference in Vancouver. “The bar has been set very high for other farming operations. Atlantic salmon grown on land are produced without the need for antibiotics or harsh, environmentally harmful chemicals to control disease and parasites. The waste is recycled and the risk of disease is minimal, with no escapes jeopardizing wild salmon restoration and conservation efforts.”