Kingfish, yellowtail

Seriola lalandi

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Australia
Production method — Open net pen
Certification — Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification
Picture of Kingfish, yellowtail

Sustainability rating two info

Sustainability overview

Updated: June 2020.

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has developed production standards for environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture, including Seriola and cobia. ASC certified Seriola is good seafood choice as production standards ensure that the environmental impacts of production are minimised and the products can be easily identified by the consumer facing ASC label on pack.

This rating is based on full compliance with certification requirements. Commercial buyers should therefore ensure that full compliance has been achieved in order for this rating to be applicable.

Feed Resources

Criterion score: -2 info

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard for feed is under development and in 2016, it published an interim solution for the ASC Marine Feed Ingredients. Under the ASC Standard, non-marine ingredients do not need to be from sources certified by an ISEAL Member’s certification until 2023. The aquaculture feeds used by Dutch producers of S. lalandi are produced by suppliers that have a responsible feed sourcing policy, however the implementation of this cannot be verified. The majority of terrestrial inputs used in the formulation of these diets is traceable to the country of origin, however the responsible sourcing of these cannot be assured at this time. The Feed Fish Dependency Ratio for this species currently indicates that more fish protein is required in the diet than these fish produce, making them a net consumer of fish rather than a net producer.

Environmental Impacts

Criterion score: 1 info

The requirements of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard do much to mitigate against environmental impacts of production via specific, audited criteria. In the ASC standard, only fingerlings that are produced in hatcheries may be used for grow-out purposes. Marine net pen culture systems inevitably discharge fish wastes directly into the aquatic environment. The ASC standard has indicators to ensure all biological and non-biological waste produced by a farm is recycled, reused or disposed of properly and does not affect neighbouring communities. There is a potential problem with parasites and pathogenic disease outbreak but these do not appear to present any population-level threats to wild species in the region. The impact on wild species is limited by effective management and a Fish Health Management Plan (FHMP) is in place. Chemicals are used but the environmental impact of chemical use is effectively regulated by the ASC standard. Open net pens are vulnerable to larger escape events, as well as frequent trickle losses. The ASC Standard seeks to address farmed fish escapes by demanding a rigorous farm management system to minimise risk of escapes. Lethal control of predators is only used where worker safety is at immediate risk. 

Fish Health and Welfare

Criterion score: 0 info

The ASC standard has criteria to ensure animal welfare but does not include humane slaughter, however farms must provide evidence of compliance with the World Organisation for Animal Health, OIE Aquatic Animal Health Code (2019). The code addresses the welfare of farmed fish, intended for human consumption, during stunning and killing including transport and holding immediately prior to stunning.


Criterion score: 6 info

The ASC Seriola & Cobia Standard addresses the environmental impacts of Seriola aquaculture, which is further supported by country level regulations. While there is no requirement for certified farms to be subject to any strategic environmental planning, the State of South Australia incorporate strategic environmental planning at a regional level.

The ASC standards cover the main environmental and social impacts of aquaculture, including fish health, feed and fair employment conditions, by setting metric-based indicators. Farms are assessed annually by external auditors and results published. ASC products are traceable throughout the supply chain. ASC is the only ISEAL compliant aquaculture certification scheme.

Production method

Open net pen

Most Seriola sold in the UK are farmed in open net pens in the sea. These are floating cages suspended in the sea and held in place by moorings underneath the cages.


Seriola lalandi, often known by their common name yellowtail kingfish are carangids confined to the waters of the Southern hemisphere, growing to a maximum length of 2500mm, weighing 96.8kg. Length at first maturity is 925mm for males and 1275mm for females. Adults are benthopelagic in coastal and oceanic waters, found off kelp beds and rocky areas. Schools of juveniles are generally found in offshore waters, often near or beyond the continental shelf. Mature individuals tend to be solitary, but may be found in small groups near rocky shores, reefs and islands 


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