From Restaurants to Grocery Shelves, Discover How ASC’s Sea Green Label Is Elevating Responsibly Farmed Seafood
October 3, 2023
Farmed Seafood Perspectives Evolve for National Seafood Month
Today, more than half of all seafood consumed in the United States is farm-raised through a practice known as aquaculture. That figure is only growing and offers real benefits when your farmed seafood is certified to high standards.
October’s National Seafood Month is an exciting time to bring friends and family together for a new meal or two, like the blackened shrimp tacos and honey mustard crunch salmon dishes linked below. It’s also a good time to learn more about where your seafood comes from, how it was raised and how it got to you.
This is not your grandparents’ farmed seafood.
The aquaculture industry has made incredible strides over the last few decades. As seafood eaters seek more farmed products that are fresh, flavorful and high in quality, increasingly responsible farming practices can help to deliver environmental benefits such as cleaner water, limits on antibiotics and improving the ingredients fish eat. The stronger the certification and standards, the greater the benefits. But not all farmed seafood is equal and neither are the certifications you see on its packaging.
For more than a decade, global nonprofit the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has created and enforced the world’s strictest standards for seafood farming. ASC’s sea green label can only be used on products that have met the organization’s strict requirements for farm performance, verification and increased traceability. The result is a farm-to-fork dining experience.
It’s a movement some of the nation’s leading seafood grocers and chefs are getting behind.
Sushi Maki has been the premier, award-winning name in sustainable sushi throughout South Florida since 2000. It proudly serves premium ASC-certified seafood at 24 locations, including full-service restaurants and sushi market stations at popular grocery stores, major universities, stadiums and the Miami airport.
“About 2/3 of our seafood offerings are raised on farms, which reflects both growing supply and demand,” said Abe Ng, CEO of Sushi Maki. “There’s a much broader customer understanding and appreciation of aquaculture than, say, 10 years ago. However, not all farmed seafood is equal in terms of quality, environmental sustainability and social responsibility. That’s a huge reason Sushi Maki prioritizes sourcing farmed seafood that’s been certified as responsible by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.”
Santa Monica Seafood is the largest wholesale, seafood-only distributor in the Southwest, running two iconic Market and Café locations in Santa Monica and Costa Mesa, Calif., visited by some of the most discerning seafood customers in the nation.
“Whether your seafood is wild-caught or farmed, what matters to today’s shoppers is that it’s high-quality, flavorful and was fished or farmed in a responsible way that’s good for you and the planet,” added Roger O’Brien, president and CEO of Santa Monica Seafood. “Farm-raised seafood that’s been responsibly certified by the ASC delivers on the assurance that the seafood you’re buying is what it claims to be, which is a key commitment we make to our customers.”
With a trusted certification like ASC, home cooks can confidently prep and enjoy responsible seafood recipes without sacrificing taste or sustainability. Here are a few favorites to try this season:
Find more information about the meaning behind ASC’s sea green label here.