Does Verlasso salmon taste the same as wild caught salmon?

Verlasso salmon has a firm texture and a rich fat content that falls between traditionally farmed and wild caught salmon. It’s a lean, moist fish that is ideal for cooking and enjoying sashimi-style.

Are farmed fish as nutritious as wild fish? Do they have the same amount of omegas?

Yes. Farmed fish have the same Omega-3’s as wild when properly raised. We use a natural algae in the salmon’s diet to ensure they have proper nutrition. The result is a farmed fish with the same Omega-3’s and healthy fats as a wild caught fish.

Does Verlasso use any antibiotics or other chemicals?

No preventative antibiotics are ever used and our salmon are not treated with antibiotics at harvest.

Does Verlasso use any hormones?

We never use hormones to grow our fish. Instead, we harvest them at a naturally smaller size to ensure the health of the population.

Are the fish treated humanely?

At Verlasso, we believe in being the best stewards of animal husbandry as we possibly can be. The fish are gently handled throughout their life and at harvest. There are only three fish for every cubic ton of water ensuring the fish have plenty of room to swim and grow. In fact, this is a lower density than salmon in the wild!

What does Verlasso feed its salmon? Is it of marine origin?

Following nearly a decade of ingenuity, Verlasso has developed and is now utilizing a proprietary feed, which only uses the trimmings sourced from fish caught from certified sustainable fisheries.

Verlasso’s Feed Model Commitment:

  • Verlasso will no longer use whole wild feeder fish (herring, anchovies, sardines) in its feed.

  • Verlasso’s proprietary feed contains only non-salmon fish trimmings, natural algae, vitamins, and oils rich in Omega-3.

Is the water where the salmon are raised clean? Do you monitor the effluence?

The fish are raised in clean, pure water from currents that run through the Antarctic. Sites are specifically selected by the Chilean government for the characteristics that they have in an effort to be the best sites in the world to raise Atlantic salmon.  By law, the PH and oxygen levels of the water are checked weekly.

After harvest, the sites are fallowed for 3-6 months.  This allows the area to replenish itself before we return to farm. The most responsible land farmers use the same practice to give the soil a break where they raise crops and animals.

Do any of the Verlasso salmon escape their pens and enter the wild environment? Do any wild fish enter the pens where Verlasso salmon are raised?

Verlasso has never had escapes.

We’ve developed an industry leading netting system free of  copper anti-foulant.

The fish are protected by a system of three nets. The first encloses the fish in the water. A second net surrounds the perimeter of the site to prevent escapes and protect the fish from predators like sea lions. The third, located above the pens, deters predatory birds. There is also an emergency system in place for catastrophic incidents (like strong storms) to counteract net collapse.

We utilize technology to prevent algae growth on the pens, instead of harmful exposed copper wire. Our “vacuum” cleans the nets on an ongoing basis to maintain their quality and efficacy.

Do Verlasso salmon carry any parasites or diseases?

The region where Verlasso is farming has exceptionally cold water, which limits disease and parasites. If the pen is ever in need of being treated, the fish are tested to ensure they are 100% antibiotic free prior to harvest. Verlasso follows  strict requirements by Seafood Watch and will not treat prophylactically.

How does the Verlasso farm affect the natural environment surrounding it and other marine life?

After each harvest, Verlasso allows the fjords where it farms to stand fallow for a minimum of 3-6 months during which the area is thoroughly tested. Nets are removed, giving the water a chance to flow and rejuvenate. This promotes the health of the surrounding environment. We only establish another farm site when it’s determined the area has returned to its natural state.

According to the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) aquaculture is needed to meet the gap in seafood supply and demand and it must be done responsibly. Farmed product takes the pressure off of wild stocks to feed the world’s growing population. Aquaculture production is projected to grow from 47.2 million metric tons in 2006 to 93.6 million metric tons by 2030 to meet demands.

It’s been said that fish farming increases global demand for seafood, which would then drive more fishing and hurt wild fish populations. And, it’s been reported that wild salmon stocks are high. Is it necessary to farm raise fish? How does Verlasso’s mission fit into this concern?

What are Verlasso’s sustainable practices?

Verlasso salmon is on a mission to be the most sustainably raised salmon in the world.

Verlasso salmon was the first ocean raised salmon to receive the coveted “Yellow, a Good Alternative” recommendation from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch ® program.

Since its inception in 2010, Verlasso has been known as a leader in responsible aquaculture with its ongoing sustainability commitments including:

  • No Hormones

  • No Preventative Antibiotics

  • Feed only utilizing non-salmon fish trimmings and zero whole wild feeder fish

  • Traceability from egg to harvest to distributor with QR coded gill tags

  • Pollutant-free waters of the Patagonia

  • Spacious Pens (2 fish for every cubic ton of water)

  • Nets and enclosures free of copper antifoulants and organophosphates

  • Gentle Handling

  • Humane Harvesting

  • 3-6 month fallowing period after each harvest allowing for environmental rejuvenation

  • Relocating to the colder waters and stronger currents of the remote Region XII

Verlasso is certified for sustainable aquaculture practices by Det Norske Veritas, an independent organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment and is four star best aquaculture practices certified.

Verlasso salmon was the first ocean raised salmon to receive the coveted “Yellow, a Good Alternative” recommendation from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch ® program.

Verlasso is also Four Star BAP Certified. The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program is the world’s most trusted, comprehensive and proven third-party aquaculture certification program with achievable, science-based and continuously improved global performance standards addressing environmental responsibility, social responsibility, food safety, animal welfare and traceability. BAP certification ensures seafood products come from facilities that are managed in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible manner. It’s the world’s only third-party certification program encompassing the entire aquaculture production chain: farms, processing plants, hatcheries and feed mills.

What third-party sustainability certifications does Verlasso have?

Verlasso has several sites in the process of being ASC certified and expects to have all sites certified by 2020.

Is Verlasso certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or is it aiming to be?

Atlantic Salmon is a non-native species to Patagonia. How does the population of non-native farmed Verlasso salmon affect the ecosystem?

There is no effect. With proper site management and oversight at every level it is the perfect place to farm as there is no wild salmon population to interact with. In fact, farmers live on houseboats next to the pens 24 hours a day to ensure their care and well being!

Verlasso utilizes existing routes on passenger planes. The fact that the routes are already being flown means that Verlasso has an even carbon footprint for the transportation of the fish to the U.S.

How does Verlasso salmon get to the U.S. in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way?

Verlasso salmon is harvested to order, which ensures stock is not sitting idle or aging in the U.S.  Once ordered it is cleaned and prepared as whole fish, fillets, or portions. It is then packed and sealed in traceable Verlasso boxes that are only opened once delivered to you or a distributor. The fish arrives at its destination on average within 2-3 days out of the water.

Is the salmon fresh if it’s traveling to the U.S. from Patagonia?

Verlasso salmon can be found in stores, restaurants, and resorts throughout the U.S. To locate the nearest grocer, visit the Where to Buy link on the Verlasso website.

Where can I find Verlasso salmon?

Salmon is seasonal. Depending upon the time of the wild salmon season, Verlasso is about 20% more or 50% less than wild.

Is farmed Verlasso salmon affordable compared to wild caught?

Verlasso has always worked under a mandate of continuous improvement. Beginning with our ground breaking feed, pen densities and much more! Our current salmon pens reside in an area of Patagonian Chile known as Region XI of Aysen. This area has provided us with so many learnings as we grew over the last eight years. Though this region is remote and has a sparse population, Region XII of Magallanes, is even more isolated and pristine allowing us to improve our already sustainable farming practices that much further. Far from environmental pollutants, the Magallanes region is also called the Chilean Antarctic and is the southernmost part of the country. Due to the strong currents and lower water temperatures in this area, the waters of Magallanes provide a natural and continuous filtration system. Needless to say, this region’s cold, immaculate waters are ideal for raising quality fish.

If you want more information about this, visit our blog.

What is Region XII and why is it so important for salmon aquaculture?

At Verlasso, we have always reached out to thought leaders and chefs for guidance and to provide their perspective on issues pertaining to the industry. Andrew Zimmern is not only a champion for the future of food and for sustainability, but a consummate storyteller. His interest in learning more about sustainable aquaculture will fuel his adventure as he follows and captures Verlasso’s process of raising salmon sustainably at every level, leading our industry into the future.

Why is Andrew Zimmern making a documentary about Verlasso?