Dutch yellowtail producer scores green!

Veenendaal 6 April 2018 –

Today is the official opening of Kingfish Zeeland, a new aquaculture producer in the Netherlands. At this farm no efforts have been spared to breed yellowtail kingfish in a responsible way. Kingfish is the first producer in Europe to grow yellowtail. Worldwide, yellowtail is predominantly cultured in open seacages. This production method can have direct negative impacts on the environment because of uneaten feed and faeces. Kingfish Zeeland addressed this problem with  a closed recirculation system where the effluent water is biologically filtered. The fish cannot escape and diseases are prevented from entering the system. Environmental organisation Good Fish Foundation scores this fish green on the Dutch Fish Guide.

Where aquaculture production is increasing worldwide, aquaculture production in the EU has leveled off. Good Fish Foundation (GFF) would like to see sustainable production of seafood grow in Europe. For this reason GFF embraces this initiative. ‘We see Kingfish Zeeland as a leader when it comes to sustainable fish production, provided that they also implement all the promises they have made’, says Margreet van Vilsteren – director at GFF.

The production of kingfish in a recirculation system does not lead to negative effects on the environment. Waste, such as faeces or excess feed, is filtered out before the water is returned to the sea. Kingfish Zeeland puts a lot of effort into improving the welfare of the fish. By preventing disease outbreaks, no antibiotics are needed during production. The fish receive organic feed from sustainable and fully traceable marine and vegetable ingredients. The farm also runs entirely on green energy.

The sustainability ambitions of this farm have not halted. Kingfish Zeeland intends to develop a humane killing method for their fish, improve the efficiency of the feed and test the farm against the standards of an independent certification scheme such as ASC. In addition, they plan to the faeces for the cultivation of halophytic vegetables (aquaponics) in the near future. ‘In the coming years we will continue to monitor whether these intentions are put into practice so that the Netherlands can be even more proud of this sustainable fish farmer,’ says van Vilsteren. Kingfish has to compete with fish from countries outside Europe that usually have less stringent laws and regulations. The environmental organisation sees chances for chefs to prefer yellowtail over, for example, endangered tuna species.

Kingfish Zeeland scores green on the VISwijzer, following a producer specific assessment. The assessment was carried out by the Good Fish Foundation and is supported by the World Wildlife Fund Netherlands. A producer-specific method assesses a seafood product at individual producer level and rewards it for taking additional sustainability measures. For more information check the free VISwijzer app or www.goedevis.nl