|Start date||June 2017|
|Scheduled end date||June 2019|
|Location||Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture|
|Participants||Marukin Co., Ltd., Fisherman Japan, Seafood Legacy Co., Ltd.|
|Target species||Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)|
|Fishing equipment||Aquaculture, open-net pens|
The first company to successfully obtain ASC certification for coho salmon in Japan! Marukin Co., Ltd. has successfully become the first company in Japan to be ASC-certified for coho salmon after participating in the “Miyagi Onagawa Coho Salmon AIP” from 2017 alongside the Japan branch of the international NGO Ocean Outcomes (presently, “Seafood Legacy Co., Ltd.”) and Fisherman Japan.
Onagawa is located along the Sanriku coast in the north-central part of Miyagi Prefecture. The deep waters around Onagawa are situated at the intersection of major ocean currents, making them one of the best fishing grounds in Japan with a thriving aquaculture industry that produces oysters, scallops, and seaweed. Marukin Co., Ltd., which oversees this program, had successfully established Japan’s first commercial coho salmon aquaculture business back in 1977 and has since been involved in everything from the production to processing of coho salmon. Unfortunately, the company was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred on March 11th, 2011. Although Marukin has revived its production of coho salmon under the brand “Gin-O (Silver King)” to the current level of around 465 mt per year, it participated in this project with the goal of further amplifying its brand presence, revitalizing the regional economy, and establishing itself as a world-class sustainable coho salmon aquaculture business.
We launched Japan’s very first aquaculture improvement project (AIP) in June 2017 based on a 2-year action plan with the aim of obtaining ASC certification by 2020. Based on this action plan, we implemented changes including the monitoring of information on aquaculture production and its impact on surrounding ecosystems, evaluating the sustainability of the feed, and formulating social responsibility guidelines for the aquaculture industry. At the same time, Seiyu has started carrying the products of this project at its stores in the Tohoku and Kanto areas. Seiyu has also generously sponsored part of the expenses for this project.
- April 2017: ASC Pre-assessment
This was the first time the coho salmon fishing industry underwent a pre-assessment to determine compliance with the ASC standards.
- June 2017: AIP Launched
Determined and implemented an activity plan for improving the issues identified in the ASC pre-assessment. Measures determined included monitoring and countermeasures for impacts of the farms on the surrounding ecosystem, evaluation and improvement of feed sustainability, and corporate policies related to aquaculture industry social responsibility.
- October 2017: Launched Product Sales at Seiyu GK Stores
Sales launched at Seiyu store locations in the Tohoku and Kanto regions.
- April 2018: Started Monitoring Related to Ecosystem Impacts
In cooperation with Tohoku University, monitored the impact of aquaculture on the surrounding ecosystem through observations of benthic organisms, the amount of dissolved oxygen, and other data.
- June 2018: Began Discussions with Feed Companies
Started discussion with feed companies in preparation for improvements and evidence related to ASC certified feed.
- March 2019: Acquired CoC Certification
Obtained the CoC (Chain of Custody: management of processing and distribution processes) certification required for the handling of certified marine products.
- August 2019: Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Volume Calculation
Started GHG calculation activities for the production cycle of farmed coho salmon.
- November 2019: Began Use of ASC Certified Feed
Started using feed which meets ASC standards in AIP target cages.
- February 2020: ASC Official Assessment
In preparation for the first coho salmon ASC certification in Japan, an official assessment was conducted by outside inspectors.
- June 2020: Acquired ASC Certification
Achieved the first ever ASC certification for coho salmon in Japan.