RASTECH Magazine

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New York RAS farm earns BAP certification



A land-based farm raising coho salmon in Auburn, New York was recently awarded the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certificate by the Global Aquaculture Alliance.

More than 700 BAP-certified facilities can be found in Asia, Latin America and other parts of the world. However, Finger Lakes Fish Inc. is the first coho salmon RAS facility to receive a BAP certification, according to GAA.

GAA is an international organization that aims to promote responsible aquaculture practices through education and advocacy.

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Finger Lakes Fish is raising coho salmon in a 43,000-square-foot land-based farm in Auburn, a city in Cayuga County, located at the north end of Owasco Lake, which is one of the Finger Lakes.

The farm is new. The company hatched its first cohort of eggs in April 2018. The company sold its first batch of coho salmon in September 2019.

The farm has a production capacity of approximately 400 metric tons.

The coho is being sold as whole fish to foodservice outlets in the region and will be sold as fillets to both foodservice and retail.

The fish are marketed under the LocalCoho brand.

“LocalCoho is striving to sustainably and ethically provide coho salmon for the growing demands,” said Ed Heslop, chief executive officer of Finger Lakes Fish. “To accomplish this, LocalCoho is focused on local, sustainable, and 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.”

The Best Aquaculture Practices program is an international certification system that verifies environmentally and socially responsible processes under which farmed shrimp, salmon, tilapia, Pangasius, mussels, and other finfish and crustacean species are produced.

Seafood facilities that participate in BAP certification apply standardized best management practices in every phase of their operations to ensure food safety, environmental integrity, social responsibility, animal welfare, and traceability.