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Open Blue becomes first cobia company in world to achieve ASC certification

Original Publication: Seafood Source
Jan 3, 2018

Open Blue is pleased to announce that following a successful audit in September 2017 by SCS Global Services, it has achieved Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification. This is a major accomplishment for Open Blue as it becomes the first cobia farming company in the world to achieve recognition under this responsibly farmed standard.

As the world population grows, so does the demand for fish as a healthy source of protein, low in fat and nutritionally rich. With depleted wild stocks, more than half of the demand for fish consumed globally is now supplied by aquaculture, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In alignment with the ASC mission to transform aquaculture, Open Blue is committed to responsible farming practices to meet the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility.

Guy Pizzuti, Seafood Director of Publix Super Markets, Inc. says, “As we move forward with aquaculture as the future of seafood, promoting the sustainability of aquaculture is a critical component to gaining customer acceptance.  Publix applauds and congratulates Open Blue for achieving ASC certification and leading the way in sustainable aquaculture.  We look forward to continuing our work with Open Blue.”

“Achieving these key certifications marks a major milestone for us and for our customers for 2018,” said Chris Perry CEO of Open Blue.  “Our innovative approach is to raise and harvest fish miles offshore in their natural ocean habitat in a responsible and sustainable way that honors and protects our sensitive ocean ecosystems and respects the workers and the communities around us.”

“As our independent assessment confirms, Open Blue is deeply committed to responsible aquaculture practices and minimizing impacts on marine ecosystems,” said Juan Aguirre, SCS Project Manager of Sustainable Seafood. “Congratulations to Open Blue on being the first to demonstrate conformance with ASC’s stringent cobia standard.”

“I would like to congratulate Open Blue on their achievement to become the first cobia farm certified against the ASC standard. Welcoming the first cobia producer to our programme marks an important milestone for the ASC,” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO. “Open Blue’s certification shows leadership in responsible aquaculture and sets an example for cobia farmers around the world on how to care for the environment, workers and local communities.”

Open Blue has achieved certification to several key standards, successfully completing audits for Global Gap, Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), British Retail Consortium (BRC), ISO 9001 (2015) and Friend of the Sea in 2016.  

About Open Blue:
Open Blue’s cobia are carefully cultivated in the deep, open waters of the Caribbean Sea twelve kilometers off the coast of Panama in proprietary SeaStations™ fully submerged at depths of up to 100 feet. This results in a healthy fish that is naturally high in protein, and that provides 2.500 mg of total Omega 3 content at levels higher than farmed Atlantic salmon. Based in Panama City and with offices in Miami, Los Angeles, Nova Scotia and throughout Europe, Open Blue is dedicated to making a difference in the communities within which it works.

For more information, visit:  www.openblue.com. Contact Bernie Leger at 1.902.223.3252 or email bleger@openblue.com

About The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC):
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council is an independent, international non-profit organization that manages the world’s leading certification and labelling program for responsible aquaculture. For more information about ASC cobia standard check here:
https://www.asc-aqua.org/what-we-do/our-standards/farm-standards/the-seriola-and-cobia-standard/

About SCS Global Services (SCS):
SCS is a global leader in third-party quality, environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development, and a leader in fishery certification worldwide. SCS is a chartered benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. For more information on ASC certification visit here:
https://www.scsglobalservices.com/aquaculture-stewardship-council-asc  

Nikki Helms | Marketing Project Manager, Natural Resources nhelms@scsglobalservices.com 510.452.8009