Vietnam-based barramundi producer Australis Aquaculture has become the world’s first farmer to achieve certification against the ASC’s Tropical Marine Finfish (TMFF) standard. The certification covers its ocean-based farm in Vân Phong Bay, central Vietnam. The company’s farming system integrate seaweed cultivation and a purpose-built frozen supply chain that minimizes food waste and CO2 emissions.
Australis was established in 2004 by veteran aquaculturists Josh Goldman. He embarked on a three-year quest to identify a fish that could be farmed at globally meaningful scale in an environmentally sustainable way. After profiling over 30 fish species, he chose barramundi (Lates calcarifer) and set out to develop a vertically-integrated farming operation in the tropics from the ground up – establishing hatchery, nursery, grow-out, harvesting, processing, and packaging capabilities. Today, Australis produces a line of frozen barramundi products under The Better Fish and Clean Harvest brands. The TMFF standard was launched in 2019, and is one of the most wide-reaching ASC standards, covering nine separate genera of fish, including barramundi, groupers, snappers, pompano, and croaker. The standard was intended to meet growing demand and reflects the diversity of global aquaculture industry. In 2018, total farmed tropical marine finfish production accounted for almost 3.7 million tonnes, mostly centered around tropical and sub-tropical seas is Asia and Australia.