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Allowing the Sale of Farmed True Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) in New Jersey

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association February 2018 Newsletter)
Prime Time Seafood
Who we are:

Prime Time Seafood and Pacifico Aquaculture partnered to produce delicious, fresh striped bass with year round availability. Our team consists of biologists and seafood industry veterans that set out to farm striped bass in the Pacific Ocean in order to provide a fine product while reducing commercial fishing pressure on the wild stock. Our stripers are ocean raised - true, not hybrid - striped bass and have the highest aquaculture sustainability certification available, 4 Star BAP. Further, our rearing practices have no extractive impact on the East Coast striper population. This unique product offers New Jersians access to a sustainable source of a culturally and culinarily important species that is currently prohibited from being offered at restaurants and retailers within New Jersey.

To be clear, we are not proposing to farm stripers anywhere along the Eastern Seaboard.

Selling our Fish in New Jersey

We would like to be able to sell our farmed stripers in New Jersey, but to do so requires that NJ Statute 23:5-45.3 be amended. This statute prohibits the sale of true striped bass (even our farmed stripers), but specifically allows for the sale of farmed hybrid striped bass. We believe our product conforms to the intent of the statute, which is the preservation of the Atlantic stock of striped bass.

We recognize that recreational anglers are committed to conservation. Our team’s efforts to provide a sustainable alternative to the commercial fishery aligns with the JCAA’s desire to preserve striped bass for generations of anglers to come. Given this shared aim, we hope you are willing to consider that the law be amended such that striped bass farmed in the Pacific be allowed to be sold in New Jersey.

100% Egg to Plate Traceability

During processing, each fish is individually tagged with a perforated tag that specifies our fish as being farm raised in Baja California. The perforation allows the tag to split in two and each side of the tag can then be associated with the corresponding fillets. Serial numbers on each side of the tag can also be used to retrace the fish’s entire life; all the way back to spawning. Fish are transported in clearly labeled boxes with accompanying paperwork. For NJ DEP enforcement officers, the fact that we are the only farm in the world capable of producing true striped bass in ocean pens means that verifying a striper came from our farm is as simple as reaching out to Prime Time Seafood via phone or email.

Potential Benefits to allowing farmed (true) striped bass to be sold in NJ

  1. Cultural benefit: Offers access to a sustainable source of a prized fish that is currently not available
  2. Economic benefit: Offers NJ wholesalers, restaurants and retailers access to a sought after item
  3. Environmental benefit: Reduces commercial fishing pressure on the Atlantic wild stock
  4. Nutritional benefit: Healthy, lean protein for consumers
  5. Supply chain benefit: Egg to plate traceability (one supplier in the world = transparent traceability)
  6. Academic benefit: Scientific advancements

We’d appreciate hearing from you

Prime Time Seafood would appreciate the chance to address any questions or concerns you may have as quickly as able. Please submit your questions to the JCAA for consolidation.

Mike Aldonas 213-747-4212 (office) 703-606-8290 (cell) mike@primetimeseafoodinc.com
 
 
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