With favorable coastal geography and oceanic conditions, Kumamoto prefecture has developed a robust aquaculture industry centered around Amakusa Ueshima, Shimoshima and Ashikita regions from 1965. Red sea bream (madai) farming is one of its most important aquaculture industries — Kumamoto is the second most prefecture for production of farmed madai in Japan — with roughly 10,000 tons produced annually, accounting for more than half of the prefecture’s aquaculture production volume. Madai has traditionally been considered a symbolic food item in Japan to mark celebrations for many centuries.
Kumamoto promotes a prefectural aquaculture best practices certification process for its aquaculture producers to ensure locally produced farmed fish meet quality and safety standards. This certification includes practices such as: use of domestically sourced smolt, record keeping of farm operations and setting strict rules for periodic inspections of chemical products used by farms.
In addition to implementing these practices, Urata Suisan, with support from Kumamoto Seawater Culture Fisheries Cooperative Association have decided to take steps to turn to a more sustainable and responsible production of their farmed madai, with the goal of obtaining ASC certification to further differentiate their products in the domestic and international markets.