05 Nov 2020

Say “Aloha” To Blue Ocean Mariculture’s Hawaiian Kanpachi

Quick Fish Facts

  • Hawaiian Kanpachi is a native Hawaiian fish similar to yellowtail
  • Responsibly raised in the USA’s only open ocean mariculture facility 
  • Yellow Rated/“Good Alternative” by Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch
  • USA product available fresh 52 weeks/year
  • Raised without hormones or antibiotics

Deep in the pristine, blue waters off the coast of Kona, Hawaii, you’ll find thousands of beautiful Hawaiian Kanpachi, also known as Almaco jack, swimming in meticulously cared for submersed sea pens. It is here that the grow-out begins for the fish in Blue Ocean Mariculture’s fully integrated mariculture facility; the only open ocean aquaculture facility in the United States
Founded in 2009, Blue Ocean’s mission was to pursue the farming of local Hawaiian marine finfish and set the foundation for domestically produced aquaculture. Marine aquaculture, or farming in the sea, is a promising option for producing a responsible protein to feed our growing population without compromising the health of the planet.

One of the most sophisticated production facilities for marine finfish in the United States, Blue Ocean operates a fully integrated facility, optimizing the life cycle of Hawaiian Kanpachi from hatch to harvest. This means that all of their production begins with fertilized eggs from local brood fish, so there is no capture pressure imposed on wild fish populations. When they’re ready, juvenile fish from Blue Ocean Mariculture’s hatchery facility are carefully transferred offshore to open ocean net pens in the lee of Mauna Kea and Hualalai, some of Hawaii’s grandest mountains.

A look at Blue Ocean Mariculture’s open ocean sea farms from afar.

These net pens are located in areas of high water exchange, where fish get the most oxygen, and feed events are closely observed to reduce the risk of waste and any benthic buildup. Water with a lot of movement like this is actually harder for the Blue Ocean team to work in, but healthier for the fish. The net’s anchoring systems are designed to minimize the benthic footprint of the farm and the net moorings are designed specifically to eliminate the risk of wildlife entanglement. 
Blue Ocean clearly goes to great lengths to ensure that their facility disrupts ocean life as little as possible. Their farming practices have been reviewed and rated as Yellow/“Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program. The fish are raised without antibiotics or hormones, and the feed is non-GMO. It is also available fresh 52 weeks a year, and has been able to remain continuously harvested even during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent hurricanes. This year-round, season-proof availability make Hawaiian Kanpachi a very reliable menu or seafood case item.

Pan seared Hawaiian Kanpachi

You have to wonder if part of the reason Kanpachi tastes as delicious as it does has anything to do with the way it is thoughtfully cared for, fed and harvested by Blue Ocean Mariculture — we think it certainly must. 

The fish itself is beautiful – it has a dark, bluish-green upper body, lavender-tinted belly and elongated fins. They are harvested twice a week in Kona, and are available as whole fish or as hand cut fillets. Kanpachi has a fatty, firm texture and is white to pink-ish white in color. Commonly, it is prepared and served raw – and for good reason – it makes for an elegant crudo or amazing sashimi bite. But Hawaiian Kanpachi is also extremely versatile, lending itself to a wide variety of starter and entrée presentations when seared, grilled or cured. 

Seattle Fish Company is proud to partner with Blue Ocean Mariculture to bring Hawaiian Kanpachi to the communities and customers we serve, and further the availability and consumption of responsible seafood.  

Please contact your Seattle Fish Company Sales Representative to find out additional information or pricing on whole fish and fillets. You can also visit Blue Ocean Mariculture’s website here.

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