Planned open-ocean farm eyes California’s sushi market

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The aquaculture industry in the US and the entire world needs the involvement of people like Ms. Walton and her Cuna del Mar (CDM) initiative. The financial resources that CDM offers matched with the great technical expertise that Hubbs has to offer creates an excellent opportunity for aquaculture.

However, any successful aquaculture endeavor must take into account the true demand and market for the species they plan to grow. I have reviewed many aquaculture projects for clients and most make the mistake of focusing only on supply and forgetting about demand and competition. Just because a fish can be raised sustainability does not mean it can be sold at prices and volumes that can sustain the company over the long term.

The article states: “The first species that Rose Canyon is planning to raise is the native California yellowtail Seriola dorsalis, known as “Hamachi” in the sushi trade. The Hamachi used for sushi in California is already farmed, but it’s farmed in Japan explains Kent.”

The fact is that most of the “Hamachi” raised in Japan and imported to the US is Seriola quinqueradiata and though in the same family is not marketed as a high end sushi fish. In general, California yellowtail Seriola dorsalis is known as a value fish in the Southern California and Mexican markets. This species is or was being grown in Ensenada, Mexico partially funded by two significant So Cal seafood distributors and others. In spite of lower operating costs In Mexico to my understanding the company has reduced or stopped their production owing to the inherent low pricing of this species.

I hope CDM considers the market viability of the species they plan raise at RCF as a high profile project like this will effect other areas of the US and world aquaculture industry.

Joseph Sabbagh SaX Maritime more than 1 year ago