Almaco jack (Kanpachi)
Submersible net pen
Almaco jack is also known as Hamachi, amberjack or yellowtail. Current production of almaco jack in submersible marine net pens is limited to one operation in Hawaii called Blue Ocean Mariculture. Production started in 2005 with the first net pen submersed 200 feet deep. Fish stay in the net pens for 10-12 months until their market size of about 2kg is reached. There are 4 pens in operation and the facility is planning on expanding production. Production has increased from 26 metric tonnes in 2005 to 500 metric tonnes in 2013. Minimal amounts of the product are exported out of the US.
Almaco jacks grow quickly and are in demand worldwide. Hawaiian production of almaco jack relies on wild broodstock of which about 10 individuals are taken from the wild per year. The wild population is not threatened or endangered. Data availability is moderate. Management monitors environmental impacts of the farm via regular testing. Results are published publically. Other regulations include siting permits and biomass limits.
The feed used in the culture of almaco jack is comprised of sustainable fish such as Peruvian anchovies and Gulf menhaden. However, the amount of fish protein required is quite high. This puts pressure on wild fisheries to support the cultured almaco jacks. The open system of the submersed net pens allows the possibility of escapes. Broodstock is sourced from the wild native population; therefore in the event of escapes, the fish would not change the genetic quality of the wild populations. Disease outbreaks are rare although open farms carry the risk of transferring parasites or pathogens to the wild population. As the cultured almaco jack are genetically related to the wild population, this facilitates potential disease transfer.
Open aquaculture systems generally risk impacts on the surrounding environment due to the uncontained nature of the operation. However, monitoring of the environment surrounding the submersible pens has shown that effluents do not negatively affect the ecosystem. Mitigation of effluent impacts is achieved through strict water quality regulations. In addition to water quality monitoring, benthic monitoring is also performed regularly. Ecosystem functions have not been observed to have been affected according to a 6 year research project which focused on the impacts of the almaco jack farm in Hawaii. Chemicals other than hydrogen peroxide, which degrades rapidly, are minimally used and strictly regulated.
Learn more about harvest methods
- Submersible net pen
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