Promoting Aquaculture

Global seafood consumption has been increasing and demand is expected to continue growing in the future. In order to deliver safe, secure and delicious fish to its customers, the Nissui Group has been focusing on its aquaculture business both in and outside Japan. Outside of Japan, the Group is engaged in the aquaculture of salmon and trout, while in Japan the Group operates the aquaculture businesses of yellowtail, greater amberjack, tuna, coho salmon and mackerel, among others.
Furthermore, the Oita Marine Biological Technology Center of the Central Research Laboratory is conducting research and development specializing in aquaculture that translates into the sustainability of marine resources.

Map of the Nissui Group’s Aquaculture-related Business Locations and Aquaculture Sites

The Nissui Group's Aquaculture-Related

system, 日本水産株式会社 サステナビリティ推進部, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 コーポレートコミュニケーション部

Framework for Research and Management of Fish Health

Research Hub: Oita Marine Biological Technology Center, Central Research Laboratory

The Center contributes to the Nissui Group’s aquaculture business by conducting research on problems that threaten the stable growth of fish.

[Example of Topics Tackled by Oita Marine Biological Technology Center, Central Research Laboratory]

  • Fish health management
  • Research and development of aquaculture methods without relying on antimicrobials

Nissui Group’s Fish Health Management: N-AHMS

The Nissui Group has built a system to manage the health of fish in Japan named N-AHMS (NISSUI Aquaculture health management system). Under N-AHMS, standardization of inspection quality is pursued through the establishment of an in-house certification scheme for grade-A inspectors in charge of checking the health of fish, their instructors, etc. aimed at improving the accuracy and reliability of health checkups of fish.

Nissui Group’s Fish Health Management: N-AHMS

Number of persons who received in-house certification for health checkups of fish
  FY2020 (persons) FY2021 (persons)
Instructors (Note 1) 12 11
Grade-A inspectors (Note 2) 21 25

As of the end of March each year
Scope: Nissui Group’s all consolidated subsidiaries in Japan (aquaculture companies)

(Note 1) Instructors: Capable of training apprentice inspectors into grade-A inspectors.
(Note 2) Grade-A inspectors: Capable of arriving at the correct outcome by conducting health checkups of fish reared in fishing grounds.

Collaboration with Veterinarians

The Nissui Group has entered into a contract with veterinarians, under which they provide treatment based on the results of health checkups performed by inspectors, manage the use of fisheries medicine and give guidance on epidemic prevention and health management.

system, 日本水産株式会社 サステナビリティ推進部, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 コーポレートコミュニケーション部, 日本水産株式会社 人事部人事課

Reducing the Impact on the Marine Environment

Escaped fish

[Approach to Fish Escape Prevention]

The Nissui Group aims to reduce the escape of fish to zero with the understanding that fish escaping from farming sites has the risk of affecting the ecosystem. For this purpose, the Nissui Group will engage in the following initiatives.

  1. 1. Inspection of facilities
    Facilities will be inspected in day-to-day operations. At farming sites that are susceptible to the impact of typhoons, facilities will be inspected before and after the development of typhoons.
  2. 2. Identification of escaped fish
    If any fish has escaped, all such fish will be identified, recorded in books and tallied regardless of the scale of the escape.
  3. 3. Analysis of cause and prevention of recurrence
    If any fish has escaped, the analysis of the cause of the escape and measures to prevent its recurrence will be examined, the content of which will be put in writing each time fish has escaped.
  4. 4. Employee training
    Opportunities for training will be created for employees aimed at preventing fish from escaping (at least once a year)
Number of escaped fish
Region/country Fish species 2020 2021
Number of escape incidents Number of fish Number of escape incidents Number of fish
Japan Yellowtail 0 0 1 198
Greater amberjack 0 0 1 10
Bluefin tuna 2 14,139 0 0
Coho salmon 1 28,683 1 20,983
Chile Trout 0 0 0 0
Total   3 42,822 3 21,191

Scope: All consolidated companies of the Nissui Group in Japan (aquaculture companies olny)

Reducing the Impact of Fish Feed/Feeding on the Marine Environment

Ordinary feeding methods in aquaculture may cause deterioration in water quality at farming sites and their surrounding areas due to leftover feed. To address this, the Nissui Group is promoting the development of aquaculture technologies that alleviate the impact on the marine environment and minimize the effect on marine ecosystems, such as formula feed “EP feed,” which is highly digestible and not easily dissipated into the sea during feeding, and automatic feeding control system “Aqualingual®” which provides the appropriate amount of feed according to the appetite of the fish.


EP feed


Aqualingual® Feeding System in Otsuchi-cho, Iwate Prefecture

Compared to minced fish meat or powdered feed, the advantages of EP feed are that:

  • They are less likely to pollute the water
  • Their well-balanced nutrients are easily
  • They are easily digested
  • They are well-suited to automatic feeding
On-land Farming Attempts to Minimize the Impact on the Marine Environment
Fish species Region/country Initiatives
Vannamei (white) shrimp Japan (Kagoshima prefecture) 「Research (i.e., feasibility study) is conducted on on-land farming based on the “closed biofloc method.” This reduces the amount of water used to the bare minimum required for raising shrimp and uses aggregates of microorganisms (i.e., bioflocs) in the rearing tank for water treatment.
Chub mackerel Japan (Tottori prefecture) The Nissui Group and Hitachi Zosen Corporation are engaged in the joint development of land-based recirculating aquaculture technology for chub mackerel. The environment is optimally controlled in terms of water temperature and water quality with the use of underground seawater and a recirculating water treatment system. As it does not use seawater sourced from the open sea, it reduces the risks of parasites such as anisakis.
Atlantic salmon Denmark In April 2020, Nippon Suisan (Europe) B.V., together with Marubeni Corporation, acquired a capital stake in Danish Salmon A/S, a company engaged in the business of farming salmon using recirculating aquaculture systems (“RAS”) in Denmark. It plans to complete expansion work in 2022 to increase its production scale from the current harvest volume of 1,000 tons to 2,700 tons.

Countermeasures against Marine Plastics

Marine Plastics

system, 日本水産株式会社 サステナビリティ推進部, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 コーポレートコミュニケーション部, 日本水産株式会社 人事部人事課

Improvement of Health and Welfare of Fish

Fish Disease Management

[Skin Parasites]

One of the diseases that pose a problem in the ocean farming of yellowtail, etc. is skin parasites, namely, capsalids, which parasitize the surface of the body of fish. Jointly with a veterinary pharmaceutical company, the Oita Marine Biological Technology Center has developed and put to practical use a method of removing skin parasites (capsalids) by bathing fish in a low-concentration hydrogen peroxide solution (1/3 of the concentration in normal use) in consideration of the safety of fish as well as the environment.

[Sea Lice]

The spread of sea lice is a major challenge for the vast majority of businesses in the salmon farming industry worldwide. In Chile, where Nissui Group company Salmones Antártica S.A. (“SA”) runs an aquaculture business, a nationwide monitoring and control program is implemented by the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) to prevent the spread of sea lice infections through farming sites.
SA participates in the government’s control program and takes countermeasures against sea lice. In addition, SA is working on the following strategies to further improve the countermeasures against sea lice going forward:

  • Evaluation of medicinal benefits of naturally-derived ingredients; and
  • Joint research and development of alternative technologies with a Chilean university.

Killing and Prior Stunning of Fish According to Animal Welfare Standards

In Nissui Group’s aquaculture operations, 100% of the total harvest volume (t) of all fish species is killed by brain-spiking in a short time which minimizes stress on fish. Furthermore, with respect to 96% of the total harvest volume (t), stunning (Note) is successfully executed in advance, or the execution of stunning is promoted by looking into improvements in the work procedures. In salmon farming, stunning is executed before killing the fish with respect to 100% of the total harvest volume (t).

(Note) Stunning: Desensitizing the fish by rendering it unconscious before killing it to prevent it from getting stressed.

Utilization of AI and IoT Technology for Animal Welfare

In collaboration with NEC, which possesses cutting-edge artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technology, Nissui Group has developed an automated farmed fish measuring solution. Simply by uploading images of the farmed fish as they swim about their tank, the technology is able to calculate the fish’s size and lengths and report that information. In aquaculture, there is a need for such solutions to constantly manage the growth status of the fish. This solution alleviates the risk of stress or disease that comes from people physically handling fish. It also reduces labor and inconvenience, and improves measurement accuracy, thereby boosting productivity. The Nissui Group will continue to deliver safe, secure and delicious farmed fish by expanding the scope of AI and IoT utilization.

Image showing AI detection of yellowtail

Image Showing AI Detection of Yellowtail

system, 日本水産株式会社 サステナビリティ推進部, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 コーポレートコミュニケーション部, 日本水産株式会社 人事部人事課

Use of Medicinal Products

Approach to Use of Medicinal Products

When using antimicrobials, an appropriate medicinal product is administered under the supervision of a veterinarian/specialist after the diagnosis of the fish disease.

Initiative to Review the Use of Antimicrobials through SeaBOS

As a member of the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS; an initiative aiming at sustainable fishery business), the Nissui Group is working on reducing the use of antimicrobials in aquaculture.

Support for SeaBOS

Antimicrobial Usage in Salmon Farming
Fish species Region/Country Antimicrobials (g)/Harvest volume (t)
2020 2021
Coho salmon Japan 0 0
Chile 53 8
Total 53 8
Trout Chile 565 306
Total 565 306
Aggregate total  439 229

Scope: Farming of coho salmon and trout by Nissui Group’s consolidated subsidiaries in and outside Japan (accounting for 68% of harvest from all aquaculture operations in terms of weight (2021))

system, 日本水産株式会社 サステナビリティ推進部, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 コーポレートコミュニケーション部, 日本水産株式会社 人事部人事課