Marine Eco-Labels

The Nissui Group aims to preserve the bountiful sea and improve the sustainability of marine resources. One way in which we aim to do that is by acquiring ASC and MSC certification, and by using marine products that have marine eco-label certification.

First in the World to Receive ASC Certification for Buri Yellowtail

Kurose Suisan Co., Ltd. of the Nissui Group, as the largest operator of Buri Yellowtail aquaculture in Japan, has been engaged in the research of aquaculture technology, the development of feed, production and processing. The “Kurose Buri (Yellowtail),” the brand fish of Kurose Suisan is known for its firm flesh and provides a stable supply of fatty, high-quality Buri Yellowtail the year round thanks to the Nissui Group’s aquaculture technology.

On December 16, 2017, Kurose Suisan Co., Ltd. became the first in the world to acquire ASC certification for its Buri Yellowtail and on November 30, 2017, its processing plant received CoC certification for shipping ASC-certified farmed fish.

Japan accounts for nearly 90% of global yellowtail aquaculture production, and receiving certification for giving consideration to the environment is extremely significant in preserving the seas surrounding Japan. Additionally, it is hoped that by marketing “Kurose Buri (Yellowtail)” and other certified seafood, we will raise the awareness of the consumer and that environmentally-friendly marine products will become more widespread.

The Nissui Group is grateful for the bounty of the sea, and will continue to develop technologies in fishery and aquaculture that will enable the sustainable use of resources and pass on the environment and resources to the next generation.

system, 日本水産株式会社 CSR部CSR課, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 広報課

Acquires ASC Certification of Salmon/Trout

Salmones Antartica S.A. (SA) (Chile), the Nissui Group company, has been operating  Salmon and Trout farming since its foundation in 1982 and has subsequently built a processing plant, cold storage and a feed plant, developing an integrated business encompassing production of breed, farming, to harvesting and processing/shipment of farmed fish.
The Salmon/Trout and Coho Salmon produced by SA are distributed throughout the markets of the world through the Nissui Group sales network under the familiar brand name of “Five Star.”

On March 5, 2019, SA acquired ASC certification (Note 1) of its Salmon/Trout.  This is the second ASC certification received by a Nissui Group company since Kurose Suisan Co., Ltd. acquired ASC certification for its Buri Yellowtail in December 2017.
The certified farming site is Sector 1 of Bahia Acantilada, Aisen Region. On March 4, 2019, SA also received the CoC certification (Note 2) of its processing plant within its head office premise for the processing and shipment of ASC-certified farmed fish.

The Nissui Group believes that expanding supply through sustainable aquaculture while mitigating the impact on natural resources is essential for meeting the growing global demand for marine products.
SA considers this acquisition of ASC certification to be a stepping stone and is determined to ensure the sustainable use of resources and give consideration to the environment and to the community, and will continue to develop technology for sustainable aquaculture going forward.

【Picture】Five Star

(Note 1) ASC Certification:
This is to certify that the products are responsibly farmed fish and the aquaculture is operated in a sustainable manner paying adequate attention to the natural environment and the local community. The certificate is operated by Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) which was established by the support of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), a Dutch organization promoting sustainable trade.
This certification scheme is one of the social systems which complements the sustainable use of natural resources, reduces the environmental impact by aquaculture operations and supports the life of people in the local communities engaged in aquaculture business.
Certified species include 15 species such as Yellowtail, Sea Bream, Tilapia, Pangasius, Shrimp, Shell Fish, Abalone. 816 farming sites in 39 countries in the world have acquired this certification as of February 2019.
The certification system of natural fish is operated by MSC (Marine Stewardship Council).

(Note 2) CoC Certification:
This is the certification operated by Aquaculture Stewardship Council regarding Chain of Custody which represents the management of the supply chain of the products and certifies that certified farmed products are managed adequately without contamination of non-certified raw materials and false labeling in the course of production, processing and distribution of the products.

system, 日本水産株式会社 CSR部CSR課, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 広報課

Acquires BAP Certification of Salmon/Trout

Salmones Antartica S.A. (SA) (Chile), the Nissui Group company, has acquired BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) (Note 1) (Note 2) certification of Salmon/Trout at its Los Tambores fresh-water aquaculture farm (La Union, Los Rios Region) on August 9, 2019. The certification number is H10408.

SA has acquired three BAP certifications in the past at its fish feed plant (Los Àngeles, Bio Bio Region) in August 2018, its processing plant (Isela de Chiloé, Los Lagos Region) in January 2019, and its farming site (seawater farming site in Sector 1, Bahia Acantilada, Aisen Region) in March 2019. With its recent acquisition of certification at the fresh-water aquaculture farm, it has acquired certification in all processes (hatchery (fresh-water aquaculture farm), fish feed production plant, farming site, and processing plant) and has earned the highest-ranking “4-star” status.


(Note 1) BAP certification:
BAP certification, which started to be operated in 2002 by GAA (Global Aquaculture Alliance established in 1997), a nonprofit organization, is a third-party certification program that confirms environment, social responsibility, and animal welfare issues have been given consideration and that food safety has been secured at each stage of the aquaculture supply chain from hatchery to feed production plant, farming site and processing plant. BAP was approved as a first certification program in the aquaculture category by a nonprofit organization GSSI (Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative), which confirmed that the certification system and the criteria of the certification program are in line with international standard FAO’s “Code of Conduct of Responsible Fisheries” and “Guidelines of the Marine Eco Label”.
BAP is distinct from other certification programs in that it gives certification to each process of the aquaculture supply chain; and upon certifying each process of hatchery, feed production plant, farming site and processing plant, indicates the status through the number of stars earned through the combination of the processes.
It is mainly recognized in North America and is said to be a necessary requirement for the sale of aquaculture products in North America.

(Note 2) Type of certification:
BAP Finfish, Crustacean and Mollusk Hatcheries and Nurseries Standard Issue 1.0

system, 日本水産株式会社 CSR部CSR課, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 広報課

Marine Eco-Labels (MSC-certified products)

The MSC (Note) is one of the foremost certification agencies. Its role is to verify fishing that is sustainable and that protects the ocean’s natural environment and resources.
Marine products caught using MSC-certified fishing methods can be traced to their global source-traceability that encourages good marine resource management. MSC certification is recognized as trustworthy and rigorous, and is approved by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), a third-party benchmarking agency. Nissui has now received MSC certification for several fish grounds and species, including Alaska Pollock.

In a 2017 resource status survey, 37% of the wild-caught fish used by the Nissui Group was caught by fisheries with MSC or other certification.
To more widely promote products approved by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), we supply Alaska Pollock, Scallops, Yellowtail and other certified fish species as high-quality marine products, using the same technologies we have developed in manufacturing “surimi“ products and in aquaculture.

In the future, we will continue to work to manufacture and sell marine products demanded by the market and processed goods derived from them, which conform to our procurement policy on marine products grounded in sustainability.


(Note) MSC Certification:
Marine Stewardship Council
There were 362 certified fish species in 36 countries, and total catch by certified fishery operations was approximately 12 million tons, accounting for approximately 15% of the total global catch of natural fish (As of March 2019).

Marine Eco-Labels (MSC-certified products)

system, 日本水産株式会社 CSR部CSR課, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 広報課

Hake Fishery in Chile Acquires MSC Certification

The bottom trawling and the mid-water trawling/longline fishery of Merluccius australis (Chilean Austral Hake) operated by Empresa de Desarrollo Pesquero de Chile S.A. (EMPEDES, Santiago, Chile), the Nissui Group company andthree other companies in the 10th, 11th, and 12th regions of Chile’s coastal waters acquired MSC certification (Fisheries Certification Requirement (FCR) Version 2.0), on September 24, 2019. With the acquisition of this MSC certification, Nissui promises to deliver safe and secure natural fish to even more people around the world and will continue to make efforts for the sustainable use of resources and sustainable fishery going forward.

In 1976, Nissui dispatched a fleet of large trawlers to conduct trial operations off the coast of Chile and the promising results of the operation led to the establishment of EMPEDES in 1978 to develop fishery of the untapped resources of the Chilean coast. Nissui developed Chile’s marine products industry by fishing for marine products that had not been caught in Chile before, such as Chilean Austral Hake, Hoki, Kingklip, Silver Warehou, Southern Blue Whiting, etc., and processing and freezing them at sea and exporting them overseas. Currently, they are being exported to countries in Europe, South America and to China, in addition to Japan.

Acquisition of Chain of Custody Certification

In June 2020, two vessels, the Unionsur and the Unzen, and logistics facilities that belong to EMDEPES, acquired certification for chain of custody (CoC), which concerns the management of processing and logistics processes, for Merluccius australis, for which it has MSC fishery certification. EMDEPES produces mainly dressed and fileted Merluccius australis and chiefly for the Spanish market, but with CoC certification it will be able to produce and sell them as MSC certified products. Going forward, the company is committed to providing safe natural fish that is caught and delivered with methods that place the utmost attention on the sustainable use of resources, the environment, and societal concerns, to the broader world.

エムデペス社 UNZEN


system, 日本水産株式会社 CSR部CSR課, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 広報課

Promoting the Acquisition of MEL Certification

MEL is a certification scheme to promote the initiatives by producers who proactively engage in sustainable use of marine resources and activities to protect the ecosystem, as well as the initiatives of processors and distributors who proactively handle the marine products of such producers; and to ensure the transparency of the handling of marine products at each stage including fishery, aquaculture, processing and distribution and to contribute to the selection by and the gaining of trust of related operators and consumers. This scheme is operated by Marine Eco-Label Japan, which was launched in December 2016, with three types of MEL certification: (1) Fisheries certification, (2) Aquaculture certification and (3) Chain of Custody (CoC) certification.
In 2019, “MEL V2,” was recognized by the GSSI (Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative), a benchmarking agency for international marine eco-labels, marking the first time an Asian marine eco-label scheme has received recognition . Marine eco-labels approved by GSSI (e.g. MSC and ASC) are, in effect, international standards, that are adopted as procurement standards by the world’s major retailers.


Acquires First MEL Certification for Bluefin Tuna

Kaneko Sangyo Co., Ltd., the Nissui Group company, on July 26, 2019, acquired Aquaculture Management Standard Ver. 1.0 certification of Marine Eco-Label Japan (MEL) for its Bluefin Tuna (Artificial seedlings, 4 fishing farms) and its Red Sea Bream (3 fishing farms) at its fishing farms in Nagasaki prefecture. The certification numbers are JFRCA10A7200011 and JFRCA10A7200021. Going forward, we also intend to acquire the Chain of Custody (CoC) certification and work to ship out sustainable processed products.

The bluefin tuna aquaculture business of Kaneko Sangyo has commenced the shipment of completely farmed Bluefin Tuna from fiscal 2019. Additionally, the Nissui Group is aiming for a sustainable aquaculture business by such means as increasing the use of the formula feed “T-sage,” developed by the Group, and “Moist Pellets” (accounting for 10 to 30 percent of the formula feed). We will continue to make efforts to become an enterprise that is always mindful of the earth environment by increasing the ratio of MEL-certified artificial seedlings and formula feed and deliver products that are even more trusted by our customers.

Domestic Coho Salmon Farming and Processed Coho Salmon Receive MEL Certification for the First Time

Yumigahama Suisan Co., Ltd., the Nissui Group company, acquired the Marine Eco-Label Japan (“MEL”) Coho Salmon Aquaculture Management Standard Ver. 1.0 certification for its proprietary and contracted freshwater farming sites and a portion of the fishponds in Miho Bay, Tottori Prefecture on April 17, 2019, and the MEL Chain of Custody Standard (CoC) Ver. 2.0 certification of its processed Coho Salmon on the same date. The certification numbers are JFRCA10A5800011 and JFRCA20C5800011.
This was the first time certification was awarded to domestic coho salmon farming and processed coho salmon, and the first time a Nissui Group company received this certification. Going forward, we are aiming to increase the number of Coho Salmon certified by MEL and deliver products that are even more trusted by our customers.

system, 日本水産株式会社 CSR部CSR課, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 広報課

Acquisition Status of Marine Eco-Labels

To enhance the sustainability of marine resources, the Nissui Group is making efforts to acquire and spread marine eco-labels.

Acquisition status of marine eco-labels

  FY2018 FY2019
Name of certification Number of products Total sales volume (tons/year) Number of products Total sales volume (tons/year)
MSC (Note 1) 20 2,189.8 25 2,699.0
ASC (Note 2) 1 18.9 4 10,932.3

(Note 1) Scope of data: Products for which applications were made by Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. (As of May of each year. As of November, for 2018)
(Note 2) Scope of data: Products for which applications were made by Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. and its Japanese group companies (As of February of each year)

system, 日本水産株式会社 CSR部CSR課, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 広報課, 日本水産株式会社 人事部人事課

Cooperation in the Sustainable Seafood Week

Each year the Marine Stewardship Council Japan Office holds the “Sustainable Seafood Week” campaign to promote the use of MSC-labeled and ASC-labeled foods.
Nissui supports the cause and cooperates in this campaign.

Website of Sustainable Seafood Week (in Japanese)

system, 日本水産株式会社 CSR部CSR課, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 広報課