Kingfish, yellowtail

Seriola lalandi

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Netherlands
Production method — Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS)
Certification — Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification; Global Aquaculture Alliance Best Aquaculture Practices (GAA BAP) 2* certified
Picture of Kingfish, yellowtail

Sustainability rating one info

Sustainability overview

Updated: June 2020.

Unlike open net pen fish farming , Seriola can be farmed in enclosed land-based production systems that have little or no direct environmental impact. However, Seriola are a carnivorous species which require a high percentage of fishmeal and fish-oil in their diet, which makes them a net user of fish protein rather than a net provider. The wild fish on which they rely cannot, as yet, be assured to come from a sustainable supply.

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: 8 info

Seriola lalandi farmed in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) have little environmental impact. RASs can be built and operated anywhere and tend to utilize previously existing buildings, thereby avoiding sensitive habitats. When purpose-built, this is done on previously converted land and therefore there is no loss of habitat or loss of ecosystem functionality. As the system uses seawater, there is also no depletion of freshwater supplies. Pathogens are an ongoing challenge in RAS systems due to their rapid spread within the system. However, the inherent design of RAS systems means that there is physical isolation from the surrounding environment. This means that there is no risk of the spread of pathogens or parasites to wild species. This also means that there is no environmental impact from chemical usage. Chemicals are not widely used in Dutch RAS Seriola farming and any wastewater leaving the facility is treated and sterilized prior to discharge, indicating that the risk of active chemical compounds being released into the environment is very low. For waste produced, biofilters can also transform any uneaten food/animal waste into fish food, making it almost waste free. Juveniles used are hatchery produced and are not depleting wild stocks. As they are farmed in a closed system, there is no risk of escapes and no measures are needed to control predators. 

Fish Health and Welfare

Criterion score: 1 info

ASC certified farms are required to implement a Health Management Plan and site visits by a designated veterinarian is required at least four times a year, and by a fish health manager at least once a month. Humane slaughter is affirmed by the GAA BAP 2* requirement of the standards for certified farms at least once a month.


Criterion score: 5 info

The ASC Seriola & Cobia Standard addresses the environmental impacts of Seriola aquaculture, which is further supported by country level regulations.

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

Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS)

Seriola can be farmed in land-based, closed recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). These facilities often utilise existing buildings or previously converted land. They operate as indoor facilities closed off from the natural environment and reuse >90% of the systems water.


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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