In keeping with our mission of locating quality growth companies in niche markets, today i've decided to discuss Umami Sustainable Seafood. www.umamiseafood.com
Many of you are now familiar with the plight of the worlds oceans, and more importantly the issues surrounding the Blue Fin Tuna. Umami, which trades in the United States under the ticker symbol UMAM.ob is one of the largest Blue Fin Tuna companies in the world. The largest issue facing the Blue Fin tuna is whether or not they can be successfully breed in captivity at a commercially viable level. Umami believes that over the next few years, they will be the company to answer this question.
Bluefin tuna farming – Sustainable or not?
It has been argued that farming carnivorous species such as the Bluefin tuna can not be sustainable.
Umami argues that it is in fact very much so. The case for sustainability in the production of Bluefin rests on two very important questions:
Are the resources for the production utilized in a sustainable manner?
Can it be looked upon as sustainable to feed a carnivorous fish many times it’s own bodyweight of other fish?
The two main resources for Bluefin tuna farming are live bluefin and small pelagic fish. With the Atlantic bluefin tuna stock down 75% from its highest historical point, it is paramount that steps are taken to restore it to a secure level. As no commercially viable way of breeding has yet been developed, the bluefin tuna farms remain made up of live fish, caught in their proximity and towed to the cages.
The management of Umami is aware that the bluefin production could not become sustainable while fishermen in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean were over-fishing the stock. That was the case until 2010, when ICCAT’s first Total Allowable Catch was lowered into a range, supported by scientists.
The other main resource, essential to bluefin farming is feed; small pelagic fish, such as mackerel, herring, anchovies and sardines. All feed used in the operations can be traced back to abundant stocks. Most of the feed used is fished in close proximity of the operations.
In regards to the second question it must be noted that for every kilo of bluefin, 14-20 kilos of small pelagic fish are used as feed. This might seem an outrageously unsustainable practice, were it not for two important facts.
The bluefin also eats small pelagic fish in the wild.
The growth rate of the bluefin is much higher in cages than in the wild. The reason for this is the extreme effort the fish uses to catch its prey in the wild.
The mortality rate of Bluefin tuna is much lower in captivity than it is in the wild.
Hence, the food conversion ratio for fish in captivity should be lower than it is in nature.
Umami’s farm only uses feed, caught from ample resources, therefore caught in a sustainable manner. UMAMI’s R&D team continuously seeks to decrease the Food Conversion Ratio.
Furthermore, the management of Kali Tuna has made a considerable effort in past general meetings of ICCAT to lobby for lower quotas, and will continue to support the organization in every effort to control the catch.
Closing the Lifecycle
A great improvement in the sustainability of Umami’s practices might be at hand in the near future.
Breeding the bluefin tuna is the future of sustainable practices in the farming of the species. The R&D team at Kali Tuna has worked vehemently at creating a commercially viable way to domesticate it. In the summer of 2009 a breakthrough discovery was made. The fish had spawned in captivity. Fertilized eggs were taken to a laboratory in Split, Croatia, where they hathced and were kept alive for days.
The research will continue in the summer of 2010. The commercial implications are yet to be seen, and years will pass until the Life-cycle will be closed. However, the fact remains that the cages of Umami’s subsidiary have become a spawning ground for Bluefin tuna, as most of the fertilized eggs are discharged into nature.
Scientists in other parts of Europe, Australia and Japan are on the same quest and the R&D team at Kali Tuna will follow the research closely.
For the sake of sustainability and quality, Umami embraces traceability technologies in every aspect of the production cycle.
While traceability in itself does not guarantee safety, quality or sustainability, it is essential to pinpointing problems – should they occur – throughout the entire production chain. Not only limited to the production, the traceability encompasses suppliers, processors and distributors.
Umami’s traceability tools are continuously being improved and extended into other operational fields.
The aim of UMAMI is to supply the world with seafood of the highest quality, produced with minimal impact on the eco system. Enhancing our breeding techniques always involves the goal to lessen the environmental impact of our operations. We introduce: Guilt-free bluefin for all.
For more information on Umami Sustainable Seafood, Umami Sustainable Seafood
Pure Growth Capital is a paid consultant for UMAM. http://www.puregrowthcapital.com/Disclaimer.html
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