AIP Profile

    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.

    Kumamoto Red Sea Bream AIP workplan will be implemented for one year from June 2020, and aim to achieve ASC certification by September 2021.

    The target farm for this AIP is Urata Suisan Co., Ltd., which is a member of the Kumamoto Seawater Culture Fisheries Cooperative Association. Two of the three aquaculture fishing grounds Urata Suisan operate in the Amakusa Islands waters will be part of the AIP and targeted for ASC certification. AIP madai smolt are raised for 1.5 years in net cages in the Hinoshima fishing ground, which are then transferred to net cages in the Maejima fishing ground where the fish are raised for another year or so until they reach shipment size of 2kg. 

    The AIP workplan includes improvements such as: monitoring fish farm impacts to surrounding habitats and ecosystems; analyzing sustainability of fish feed and smolt; management of fish diseases and parasites; and establishing company wide social responsibility policies and guidelines.

    Project Launch June 2020
    Expected Project Completion September 2021
    Location Amakusa Islands (Goshoura Island & Hinoshima Island), Kumamoto prefecture
    • Kumamoto Seawater Culture Fisheries Cooperative Association
    • Urata Suian Co., Ltd.
    • Seafood Legacy Co., Ltd.
    Species Red sea bream (Pagrus major)
    Gear Type Aquaculture, Net cage

    Approximately 320t

    (The farm reports annual production of about 160,000 red sea bream, or roughly 320 mt assuming each fish weighs about 2.0kg at time of shipping)

    Pre-assessment Urata Suisan ASC Pre-Assessment (Japanese)
    Workplan Kumamoto Red Sea Bream AIP Workplan (Japanese)


    • August 2019
      ASC Pre-Assessment
    • June 2020
      AIP Launch

    ASC Pre-Assessment

    Kumamoto Seawater Culture Fisheries Cooperative Association implemented ASC pre-assessment for Urata Suisan’s Red sea bream (Madai) aquaculture, conducted based on ASC Sea Bass, Sea Bream and Meagre Standard.

    AIP Launch

    Kumamoto Seawater Culture Fisheries Cooperative Association, Urata Suisan Co., Ltd. and Seafood Legacy launches Japan’s first red sea bream AIP.