Congratulations to Finger Lakes Fish Inc., the world’s first recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) coho salmon farm to be awarded Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification, the Global Aquaculture Alliance announced in early October.
Finger Lakes Fish is raising coho salmon in a 43,000-square-foot land-based farm in Auburn, New York. The farm is new, hatching its first cohort of eggs in April 2018 and selling its first batch of fish in September 2019. The farm has a production capacity of approximately 400 metric tons. Currently, the coho are being sold as whole fish to foodservice outlets in the region and will be sold as fillets to both foodservice and retail in the coming months. The fish are marketed under the LocalCoho brand.
“As an individual member of GAA, I have advocated for its Best Aquaculture Practices for years,” said Phil Gibson, a Finger Lakes Fish board member. “The organization has been a prime mover in the dramatic improvements that the aquaculture industry has achieved over the last two decades. It’s step-by-step approach to helping producers at each level achieve best practices for their operations is by far the most effective method I’ve seen to foster sustainability in the industry. BAP certification is a verification that our RAS operation is committed to doing our best for our industry and our environment.”
Added Finger Lakes Fish CEO Ed Heslop, “LocalCoho is striving to sustainably and ethically provide coho salmon for the growing demands. To accomplish this, LocalCoho is focused on local, sustainable, fresh production in a healthy and safe environment for our coho. Going through the BAP process and achieving the first RAS coho salmon BAP certification is important in that it demonstrates our commitment to our fish, our environment and our customers.”
Administered by GAA, BAP is the world’s most comprehensive third-party aquaculture certification program, with standards encompassing environmental responsibility, social responsibility, food safety, animal health and welfare, and traceability. The BAP program covers the entire aquaculture production chain — processing plants, hatcheries, farms and feed mills. Additionally, the program is compliant with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) and Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).
Through the end of September, there were 2,267 BAP-certified farms, processing plants, hatcheries and feed mills in 36 countries worldwide. Additionally, the BAP program has more than 150 retail and foodservice endorsers committed to sourcing seafood from BAP-certified facilities.
A division of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved performance standards for the entire aquaculture supply chain — farms, hatcheries, processing plants and feed mills — that assure healthful foods produced through environmentally and socially responsible means. BAP certification is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the BAP standards developed by GAA.
About Finger Lakes Fish / LocalCoho
LocalCoho is a producer of responsibly-raised, sushi-grade coho salmon. LocalCoho’s first facility operates in upstate New York and brings fresh, healthy, and sustainable coho to local markets.