The world of sustainable seafood has seen a great many innovations to supply product that is both healthy and eco-friendly. Verlasso is one such company that has its sight set on raising salmon. According to their mission statement, they want “to provide premium quality fish while continually improving farming, for our health and the environment’s health.” Sounds pretty reasonable. So how do they do this?
Starting with the eggs, the Atlantic salmon are raised and harvested entirely on site. They tanks use only 1 percent of the water used by traditional flow-through systems to produce the same amount of fish. As the water is continuously re-circulated, it captures wastes and ensures freshness.
Once the fish develops in salt-water, the company says that it has plenty of room to move around in the tanks. Naturally, no antibiotics or growth hormones are used. They also harvest the fish earlier, so that they further reduce the chance for disease associated with older fish. Once harvested, the fish are filleted and shipped within 24 hours to ensure peak freshness.
The company recently launched their product at Zupan’s Markets, Portland’s leading family owned and operated grocery concept. The supermarket is known for its for its fresh, hand-picked, high-quality grocery items so sourcing from Verlasso is a no-brainer for them.
There are several factors that sets Verlasso salmon apart. One of their most significant innovation is the use of 75 percent fewer feeder fish to produce healthy salmon rich in Omega-3s. Usually farmed salmon get their Omega-3s from their diets which come from wild-caught feeder fish which puts a strain on the oceans. However working with AquaChile and Dupont, Verlasso has created a new diet that only requires one kilogram of wild fish per kilogram of salmon.
The salmon farm is located in the waters of Southern Patagonia that are cold and away from industrial development, thereby making the meat free from PCBs and heavy metals. Verlasso salmon are allowed to swim freely, thereby resulting in a leaner fish. As the pens are not overcrowded, impact on the local eco-system is also reduced. Finally, Verlasso is able to account for every stage of the salmon’s life thereby ensuring integrity and adequate quality control.
Verlasso wants to be a driving force is sustainable aquaculture, which is why they are following a model that is “in balance with Nature.” Their standards are guided by WWF to ensure maximum sustainability. The salmon is currently available in New York and now with the introduction in Portland, the availability is said to grow. Salmon is one of the most popular seafood items and with many restaurants trying to become more sustainable, this may be the company to look out for. With talks of introducing GM-salmon on the rise, encouraging sustainable aquaculture is even more important and Verlasso may well be one of those companies leading the way.