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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Wels

Silurus glanis

Method

Farmed

Recirculating aquaculture systems

Location

Worldwide

Overall Rating

6.63 / 10

Summary

The Ocean Wise recommendation for this seafood variety comes from a global assessment of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) across species. This global report was possible because many aspects of RAS (i.e. the fundamental characteristics of the aquaculture method) are similar regardless of the species cultured. Should a species specific assessment exists for this aquaculture method, this report will take precedent for an Ocean Wise recommendation.


Note: All Ocean Wise recommendations for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) apply only to seafood products grown exclusively in RAS facilities through harvest at the end of grow out. It does not apply to seafood products that were raised in RAS hatcheries and transitioned to other production systems for the grow out period.


Escapes: RAS is a land based aquaculture method where production occurs in buildings and tanks. In addition, tank-based RAS utilize multiple screens and secondary capture devises. In combination, this setup ensures physical separation of the culture area from the natural environment minimizing the risk of escapes.


Disease: Disease transmission to the wild is low. RAS discharge limited volumes of water and have the ability to control and treat all discharges. Many facilities utilize ozonation and UV irradiation to disinfect water and maintain water quality.


Feed: Feed use and subsequent environmental impacts are highly species-specific, with some species requiring high levels of fishmeal and fish oil in their diets, which is often sourced from wild capture fisheries, while others can be grown commercially on a feed containing no animal ingredients. There are ongoing advancements in aquaculture feeds (particularly reductions in the use of fishmeal and fish oil) and their efficiency of use (i.e., the feed conversion ratio, FCR), making this an area of continued improvement for RAS operations.

Learn more about harvest methods

  • Recirculating aquaculture systems
Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Channel

Ictalurus punctatus

Method

Farmed

Recirculating aquaculture systems

Location

Worldwide

Overall Rating

6.73 / 10

Summary

The Ocean Wise recommendation for this seafood variety comes from a global assessment of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) across species. This global report was possible because many aspects of RAS (i.e. the fundamental characteristics of the aquaculture method) are similar regardless of the species cultured. Should a species specific assessment exists for this aquaculture method, this report will take precedent for an Ocean Wise recommendation.


Note: All Ocean Wise recommendations for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) apply only to seafood products grown exclusively in RAS facilities through harvest at the end of grow out. It does not apply to seafood products that were raised in RAS hatcheries and transitioned to other production systems for the grow out period.


Escapes: RAS is a land based aquaculture method where production occurs in buildings and tanks. In addition, tank-based RAS utilize multiple screens and secondary capture devises. In combination, this setup ensures physical separation of the culture area from the natural environment minimizing the risk of escapes.


Disease: Disease transmission to the wild is low. RAS discharge limited volumes of water and have the ability to control and treat all discharges. Many facilities utilize ozonation and UV irradiation to disinfect water and maintain water quality.


Feed: Feed use and subsequent environmental impacts are highly species-specific, with some species requiring high levels of fishmeal and fish oil in their diets, which is often sourced from wild capture fisheries, while others can be grown commercially on a feed containing no animal ingredients. There are ongoing advancements in aquaculture feeds (particularly reductions in the use of fishmeal and fish oil) and their efficiency of use (i.e., the feed conversion ratio, FCR), making this an area of continued improvement for RAS operations.

Learn more about harvest methods

  • Recirculating aquaculture systems
Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Sharptooth

Clarias gariepinus

Method

Farmed

Recirculating aquaculture systems

Location

Worldwide

Overall Rating

6.63 / 10

Summary

The Ocean Wise recommendation for this seafood variety comes from a global assessment of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) across species. This global report was possible because many aspects of RAS (i.e. the fundamental characteristics of the aquaculture method) are similar regardless of the species cultured. Should a species specific assessment exists for this aquaculture method, this report will take precedent for an Ocean Wise recommendation.


Note: All Ocean Wise recommendations for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) apply only to seafood products grown exclusively in RAS facilities through harvest at the end of grow out. It does not apply to seafood products that were raised in RAS hatcheries and transitioned to other production systems for the grow out period.


Escapes: RAS is a land based aquaculture method where production occurs in buildings and tanks. In addition, tank-based RAS utilize multiple screens and secondary capture devises. In combination, this setup ensures physical separation of the culture area from the natural environment minimizing the risk of escapes.


Disease: Disease transmission to the wild is low. RAS discharge limited volumes of water and have the ability to control and treat all discharges. Many facilities utilize ozonation and UV irradiation to disinfect water and maintain water quality.


Feed: Feed use and subsequent environmental impacts are highly species-specific, with some species requiring high levels of fishmeal and fish oil in their diets, which is often sourced from wild capture fisheries, while others can be grown commercially on a feed containing no animal ingredients. There are ongoing advancements in aquaculture feeds (particularly reductions in the use of fishmeal and fish oil) and their efficiency of use (i.e., the feed conversion ratio, FCR), making this an area of continued improvement for RAS operations.

Learn more about harvest methods

  • Recirculating aquaculture systems
Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Channel

Ictalurus punctatus

Method

Farmed

Ponds

Location

U.S.

Overall Rating

7.62 / 10

Summary

Habitat: U.S. catfish farms are usually sited on old agricultural lands in shallow ponds, and they can have beneficial effects by functioning as artificial wetlands.


Effluent: Ponds are drained infrequently, and there are no cumulative environmental impacts when draining occurs.


Chemicals: Use is well regulated and safe, and the incidence of disease among farmed catfish has declined over the last two decades.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Blue

Ictalurus furcatus

Method

Wild

Gillnets and entangling nets

Location

U.S. - Northwest Atlantic Ocean: Chesapeake Bay

Overall Rating

3.376 / 5

Summary

Abundance: Blue catfish are invasive in the Chesapeake Bay area and are detrimentally affecting native species through predation and resource competition. As a result, managers are focusing on ways to reduce and prevent further spread of the blue catfish population.

 

Bycatch: Bycatch rates are low but can incidentally capture species of conservation concern including Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, Diamondback terrapins, alewife, and shad.

 

Management: There is currently no bay-wide management plan for blue catfish, but one is in the process of being developed and the stated intent is to mitigate the spread and minimize the impacts of invasive catfish species on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Blue

Ictalurus furcatus

Method

Wild

Pots and/or traps and/or trap nets

Location

U.S. - Northwest Atlantic Ocean: Chesapeake Bay

Overall Rating

3.376 / 5

Summary

Abundance: Blue catfish are invasive in the Chesapeake Bay area and are detrimentally affecting native species through predation and resource competition. As a result, managers are focusing on ways to reduce and prevent further spread of the blue catfish population.

 

Bycatch: Bycatch rates are low but can incidentally capture species of conservation concern including Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, Diamondback terrapins, alewife, and shad.

 

Management: There is currently no bay-wide management plan for blue catfish, but one is in the process of being developed and the stated intent is to mitigate the spread and minimize the impacts of invasive catfish species on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Blue

Ictalurus furcatus

Method

Wild

Beach seines

Location

U.S. - Northwest Atlantic Ocean: Chesapeake Bay

Overall Rating

3.376 / 5

Summary

Abundance: Blue catfish are invasive in the Chesapeake Bay area and are detrimentally affecting native species through predation and resource competition. As a result, managers are focusing on ways to reduce and prevent further spread of the blue catfish population.

 

Bycatch: Bycatch rates are low but can incidentally capture species of conservation concern including Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, Diamondback terrapins, alewife, and shad.

 

Management: There is currently no bay-wide management plan for blue catfish, but one is in the process of being developed and the stated intent is to mitigate the spread and minimize the impacts of invasive catfish species on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Blue

Ictalurus furcatus

Method

Wild

Barriers, fences, weirs, corrals, etc.

Location

U.S. - Northwest Atlantic Ocean: Chesapeake Bay

Overall Rating

3.376 / 5

Summary

Abundance: Blue catfish are invasive in the Chesapeake Bay area and are detrimentally affecting native species through predation and resource competition. As a result, managers are focusing on ways to reduce and prevent further spread of the blue catfish population.

 

Bycatch: Bycatch rates are low but can incidentally capture species of conservation concern including Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, Diamondback terrapins, alewife, and shad.

 

Management: There is currently no bay-wide management plan for blue catfish, but one is in the process of being developed and the stated intent is to mitigate the spread and minimize the impacts of invasive catfish species on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Channel

Ictalurus punctatus

Method

Farmed

Recirculating aquaculture systems

Location

Worldwide

Overall Rating

6.91 / 10

Summary

The Ocean Wise recommendation for this seafood variety comes from a global assessment of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) across species. This global report was possible because many aspects of RAS (i.e. the fundamental characteristics of the aquaculture method) are similar regardless of the species cultured. Should a species specific assessment exists for this aquaculture method, this report will take precedent for an Ocean Wise recommendation.


Note: All Ocean Wise recommendations for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) apply only to seafood products grown exclusively in RAS facilities through harvest at the end of grow out. It does not apply to seafood products that were raised in RAS hatcheries and transitioned to other production systems for the grow out period.


Escapes: RAS is a land based aquaculture method where production occurs in buildings and tanks. In addition, tank-based RAS utilize multiple screens and secondary capture devises. In combination, this setup ensures physical separation of the culture area from the natural environment minimizing the risk of escapes.


Disease: Disease transmission to the wild is low. RAS discharge limited volumes of water and have the ability to control and treat all discharges. Many facilities utilize ozonation and UV irradiation to disinfect water and maintain water quality.


Feed: Feed use and subsequent environmental impacts are highly species-specific, with some species requiring high levels of fishmeal and fish oil in their diets, which is often sourced from wild capture fisheries, while others can be grown commercially on a feed containing no animal ingredients. There are ongoing advancements in aquaculture feeds (particularly reductions in the use of fishmeal and fish oil) and their efficiency of use (i.e., the feed conversion ratio, FCR), making this an area of continued improvement for RAS operations.

Learn more about harvest methods

  • Recirculating aquaculture systems
Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Wels

Silurus glanis

Method

Farmed

Recirculating aquaculture systems

Location

Worldwide

Overall Rating

6.91 / 10

Summary

The Ocean Wise recommendation for this seafood variety comes from a global assessment of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) across species. This global report was possible because many aspects of RAS (i.e. the fundamental characteristics of the aquaculture method) are similar regardless of the species cultured. Should a species specific assessment exists for this aquaculture method, this report will take precedent for an Ocean Wise recommendation.


Note: All Ocean Wise recommendations for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) apply only to seafood products grown exclusively in RAS facilities through harvest at the end of grow out. It does not apply to seafood products that were raised in RAS hatcheries and transitioned to other production systems for the grow out period.


Escapes: RAS is a land based aquaculture method where production occurs in buildings and tanks. In addition, tank-based RAS utilize multiple screens and secondary capture devises. In combination, this setup ensures physical separation of the culture area from the natural environment minimizing the risk of escapes.


Disease: Disease transmission to the wild is low. RAS discharge limited volumes of water and have the ability to control and treat all discharges. Many facilities utilize ozonation and UV irradiation to disinfect water and maintain water quality.


Feed: Feed use and subsequent environmental impacts are highly species-specific, with some species requiring high levels of fishmeal and fish oil in their diets, which is often sourced from wild capture fisheries, while others can be grown commercially on a feed containing no animal ingredients. There are ongoing advancements in aquaculture feeds (particularly reductions in the use of fishmeal and fish oil) and their efficiency of use (i.e., the feed conversion ratio, FCR), making this an area of continued improvement for RAS operations.

Learn more about harvest methods

  • Recirculating aquaculture systems
Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Channel

Ictalurus punctatus

Method

Farmed

Recirculating aquaculture systems

Location

Worldwide

Overall Rating

6.63 / 10

Summary

The Ocean Wise recommendation for this seafood variety comes from a global assessment of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) across species. This global report was possible because many aspects of RAS (i.e. the fundamental characteristics of the aquaculture method) are similar regardless of the species cultured. Should a species specific assessment exists for this aquaculture method, this report will take precedent for an Ocean Wise recommendation.


Note: All Ocean Wise recommendations for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) apply only to seafood products grown exclusively in RAS facilities through harvest at the end of grow out. It does not apply to seafood products that were raised in RAS hatcheries and transitioned to other production systems for the grow out period.


Escapes: RAS is a land based aquaculture method where production occurs in buildings and tanks. In addition, tank-based RAS utilize multiple screens and secondary capture devises. In combination, this setup ensures physical separation of the culture area from the natural environment minimizing the risk of escapes.


Disease: Disease transmission to the wild is low. RAS discharge limited volumes of water and have the ability to control and treat all discharges. Many facilities utilize ozonation and UV irradiation to disinfect water and maintain water quality.


Feed: Feed use and subsequent environmental impacts are highly species-specific, with some species requiring high levels of fishmeal and fish oil in their diets, which is often sourced from wild capture fisheries, while others can be grown commercially on a feed containing no animal ingredients. There are ongoing advancements in aquaculture feeds (particularly reductions in the use of fishmeal and fish oil) and their efficiency of use (i.e., the feed conversion ratio, FCR), making this an area of continued improvement for RAS operations.

Learn more about harvest methods

  • Recirculating aquaculture systems
Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Sharptooth

Clarias gariepinus

Method

Farmed

Recirculating aquaculture systems

Location

Worldwide

Overall Rating

6.91 / 10

Summary

The Ocean Wise recommendation for this seafood variety comes from a global assessment of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) across species. This global report was possible because many aspects of RAS (i.e. the fundamental characteristics of the aquaculture method) are similar regardless of the species cultured. Should a species specific assessment exists for this aquaculture method, this report will take precedent for an Ocean Wise recommendation.


Note: All Ocean Wise recommendations for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) apply only to seafood products grown exclusively in RAS facilities through harvest at the end of grow out. It does not apply to seafood products that were raised in RAS hatcheries and transitioned to other production systems for the grow out period.


Escapes: RAS is a land based aquaculture method where production occurs in buildings and tanks. In addition, tank-based RAS utilize multiple screens and secondary capture devises. In combination, this setup ensures physical separation of the culture area from the natural environment minimizing the risk of escapes.


Disease: Disease transmission to the wild is low. RAS discharge limited volumes of water and have the ability to control and treat all discharges. Many facilities utilize ozonation and UV irradiation to disinfect water and maintain water quality.


Feed: Feed use and subsequent environmental impacts are highly species-specific, with some species requiring high levels of fishmeal and fish oil in their diets, which is often sourced from wild capture fisheries, while others can be grown commercially on a feed containing no animal ingredients. There are ongoing advancements in aquaculture feeds (particularly reductions in the use of fishmeal and fish oil) and their efficiency of use (i.e., the feed conversion ratio, FCR), making this an area of continued improvement for RAS operations.

Learn more about harvest methods

  • Recirculating aquaculture systems
Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Catfish, Blue

Ictalurus furcatus

Method

Wild

Pots and/or traps and/or trap nets

Location

U.S. - Northwest Atlantic Ocean: Chesapeake Bay

Overall Rating

3.376 / 5

Summary

Abundance: Blue catfish are invasive in the Chesapeake Bay area and are detrimentally affecting native species through predation and resource competition. As a result, managers are focusing on ways to reduce and prevent further spread of the blue catfish population.

 

Bycatch: Bycatch rates are low but can incidentally capture species of conservation concern including Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, Diamondback terrapins, alewife, and shad.

 

Management: There is currently no bay-wide management plan for blue catfish, but one is in the process of being developed and the stated intent is to mitigate the spread and minimize the impacts of invasive catfish species on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)

Variety

Catfish, Sutchi

Pangasianodon hypophthalmus

Method

Farmed

All production methods

Location

Eco-Certification

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)

Summary

Rationale: Ocean Wise recommends some, but not all Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Certified Aquaculture. Click to learn more about how ASC Standards for Aquaculture were benchmarked to Ocean Wise.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)

Variety

Catfish, Sutchi

Pangasius bocourti

Method

Farmed

All production methods

Location

Eco-Certification

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)

Summary

Rationale: Ocean Wise recommends some, but not all Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Certified Aquaculture. Click to learn more about how ASC Standards for Aquaculture were benchmarked to Ocean Wise.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Naturland

Variety

Catfish, Sutchi

Pangasianodon hypophthalmus

Method

Farmed

Ponds

Location

Eco-Certification

Naturland

Summary

Rationale: Ocean Wise recommends some, but not all Naturland Certified Aquaculture. Click to learn more about how the Naturland Standards for Organic Aquaculture were benchmarked to Ocean Wise.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Naturland

Variety

Catfish, Sutchi

Pangasianodon hypophthalmus

Method

Farmed

Net pens

Location

Eco-Certification

Naturland

Summary

Rationale: Ocean Wise recommends some, but not all Naturland Certified Aquaculture. Click to learn more about how the Naturland Standards for Organic Aquaculture were benchmarked to Ocean Wise.

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Variety

Catfish, Channel

Ictalurus punctatus

Method

Farmed

Net pens

Location

China

Overall Rating

2.43 / 10

Summary

Ocean Wise recognizes efforts by the Chinese government to comply with global standards for environmental protection and food safety. Financial investments, new legislation, increased inspection, licensing, monitoring, and educational assistance have been initiated. But evidence suggests that initiatives begun by the central government do not easily translate to regulatory action at the provincial and local levels.

 

Escapes: This species is non-native in China. It has been reported that catfish have escaped into natural waters, adapted to the natural environment, bred, and become invasive. It is anticipated that they compete with native populations for food and habitat, however, data are unavailable to quantify the impacts of escapes (and possible recapture) from pond and pen culture in China.

 

Effluent: The amount of effluent discharged into the environment is a critical concern.

 

Chemicals: Critical concern due to use of unsafe levels of authorized and unauthorized antibiotics and documented evidence of the ongoing use of banned chemicals.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Catfish, Sutchi

Pangasianodon hypophthalmus

Method

Farmed

Ponds

Location

Viet Nam

Overall Rating

4.31 / 10

Summary

Pangasius farming in Vietnam has been described as the most intensive and productive food production system on Earth with fish often stocked in extremely high densities. Ocean Wise recognizes the efforts underway in Vietnam to improve the management of production through industry development, regulation, farmer training, international development projects, and farm-level certification at national and international levels, however, significant environmental concerns remain at this time. Farm-level eco-certification is also increasing in Viet Nam. Look for Ocean Wise recommendations for catfish (aka pangasius) that has been certified by ASC and Naturland.

 

Effluent: Production generates large amounts waste which can be discharged through daily exchange of pond water and disposal of concentrated pond sludge. This sludge discharge continues to be a high concern with documented illegal dumping of wastes directly into rivers or canals adjoining the farms. While the daily discharge of pond water appears unlikely to contribute substantially to nutrient loads in the river as a whole, illegal sludge dumping contributes to cumulative pollution and deteriorating water quality in tributaries and canals.

 

Chemicals: Data on chemical use is not available, but there is evidence that it is very high and includes the use of antibiotics that are critically important to human health.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Catfish, Channel

Ictalurus punctatus

Method

Farmed

Ponds

Location

China

Overall Rating

2.43 / 10

Summary

Ocean Wise recognizes efforts by the Chinese government to comply with global standards for environmental protection and food safety. Financial investments, new legislation, increased inspection, licensing, monitoring, and educational assistance have been initiated. But evidence suggests that initiatives begun by the central government do not easily translate to regulatory action at the provincial and local levels.

 

Escapes: This species is non-native in China. It has been reported that catfish have escaped into natural waters, adapted to the natural environment, bred, and become invasive. It is anticipated that they compete with native populations for food and habitat, however, data are unavailable to quantify the impacts of escapes (and possible recapture) from pond and pen culture in China.

 

Effluent:  The amount of effluent discharged into the environment is a critical concern.

 

Chemicals: Critical concern due to use of unsafe levels of authorized and unauthorized antibiotics and documented evidence of the ongoing use of banned chemicals.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Catfish, Sutchi

Pangasianodon hypophthalmus

Method

Farmed

All production methods

Location

Eco-Certification

Global Aquaculture Alliance

Summary

Rationale: Ocean Wise recommends some, but not all Global Aquaculture Alliance BAP (GAA) certified Aquaculture. Click to learn more about how GAA Standards for Aquaculture were benchmarked to Ocean Wise.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Catfish

Pangasius spp.

Method

Farmed

All production methods

Location

Eco-Certification

Global Aquaculture Alliance

Summary

Rationale: Ocean Wise recommends some, but not all Global Aquaculture Alliance BAP (GAA) certified Aquaculture. Click to learn more about how GAA Standards for Aquaculture were benchmarked to Ocean Wise.

Learn more about harvest methods