In 2021, Pacific Seafood became the first company eligible to offer four-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) steelhead trout with the certification of our hatcheries.
The journey began in April 2013 when Pacific Seafood’s steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) farm on the Columbia River became the United States’ first steelhead trout or salmon farm to attain BAP certification. The farm is located in Nespelem, Wash., in partnership with the Colville Confederated Tribes. Here, our Columbia River Steelhead are raised with a continuous flow of clean fresh water from the Canadian Rockies.
Since then, Pacific Seafood’s processing plant in Warrenton, Ore., and our feed have earned BAP certification. With the recent certification of our hatchery, all four stages of the aquaculture production chain are BAP certified, making Pacific Seafood’s Columbia River Steelhead trout BAP four star certified. Our feed mimics that of the steelheads’ diet in the wild. Our proprietary blend is soy free and any fish proteins used are rendered from fish bones, skin, shells. This allows us to maximize the resource while preventing waste.
When Pacific Seafood purchased the farm site in 2008, we partnered with the tribe and invested millions of dollars to rebuild the entire infrastructure on the water including new, modern net pens, new moorings, and a state-of-the-art camera monitoring system.
Today, Pacific Seafood employs trained dive teams to monitor pen structures and fish health along with 24-hour underwater video surveillance. Pacific Seafood has not experienced any net pen escapes since we began operating our farm in Nespelem, Wa. Prior to entry into the river, all fingerlings are vaccinated, protecting them, as well as the wild fish, from disease. We partner with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as several universities on our vaccine programs to ensure we are using the most effective methods. This in turn helps protect wild populations by eliminating any potential for further transmission We ensure fish health through regular blood tests by working closely with Washington Department of Wildlife and other partners on best practices. Pacific Seafood never uses hormones, pesticides, herbicides, or prophylactic antibiotics and raises only sterile (triploid) fish that are incapable of breeding in the wild.
Pacific Seafood has a strong relationship with the Colville Confederated Tribes including tribal member preference in hiring. Currently about 50% of our employees are Tribal members. We also give back by supporting the Tribes’ annual Earth Day Celebration and during the holiday season, we donate to the local foodbanks. We are proud and honored to be welcomed to operate on their land.