Good Fish Guide
Bass, seabass (Farmed)
Method of production - Farmed
Production country - Europe
Production method - Open net pens
Fish type - White round fish
Turkey and Greece are the biggest producers of sea bass in Europe followed by France, Spain and Italy. Seabass farmed in open net pens causes some environmental concerns. These concerns include pollution from both nutrients and organic matters that lead to environmental changes; escaped farmed fish; use of chemicals in production; interaction with local wildlife sometimes including lethal predator control and some concerns regarding regulatory controls. Seabass are carnivorous fish that require more fish in their diet that they actually produce, leading to a net loss of marine proteins and oils, the fish used to make their feed cannot be assured to be sourced from a sustainable supply.
Bass or seabass belongs to a family of spiny-finned fish called Moronidae, which are closely related to groupers. Bass breed from March to mid-June, mostly in April, in British coastal and offshore waters. From January to March in the Bay of Biscay and from February to May in the English Channel and eastern Celtic Sea. It is a long-lived and slow growing species - up to 30 years of age, and can achieve a length of up to 1m with a weight of 12kg. Male bass mature at 31-35cm (aged 3-6 years) and females mature at 40-45cm (aged 5-8 years). Once mature, bass may migrate within UK coastal waters and occasionally further offshore. Increases in sea water temperature in recent decades has likely led to a more northerly distribution of seabass as it is now found further north into the North Sea. Climate warming may also have lengthened the time adult seabass spend in the summer feeding areas. After spawning, seabass tend to return to the same coastal sites each year.
We are just updating our information please check back soon.
Open net pens
Seabass are farmed in open net pens allows which allows for interaction with the surrounding environment and therefore has to be managed in such a way as to minimise negative environmental and ecological impacts. Negative impacts associated with open net pen aquaculture can include: escapes; nutrient and organic pollution and impacts on local wildlife.
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.
FAO Information on Sea Bass in the Mediterranean: http://www.fao.org/fishery/culturedspecies/Dicentrarchus_labrax/en
Nutreco (2010) Sustainable Procurement Policy for Marine products- Version 2010
Skretting Pers Comms (2017)- Tolga Sepetoglu (General Manager)
Tacon AGJ, Metian M (2015) Feed Matters: Satisfying the Feed Demand of Aquaculture. Rev Fish Sci Aquac 23:1-10
Rigos, G., and G.M. Troisi. 2005. Antibacterial agents in Mediterranean finfish farming: a synopsis of drug pharmacokinetics in important euryhaline fish species and possible environmental implications. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 15: 53-73.
Dempster, T. and P. Sanchez-Jerez. 2008. Aquaculture and Coastal Space Management in Europe: An Ecological Perspective. Pages 87-116 in M. Holmer, K. Black, C. M. Duarte, N. Marb, I. Karakassis, T. Dempster, and P. Sanchez-Jerez, editors. Aquaculture in the Ecosystem. Springer Netherlands.
Vendramin N, Zrncic S, Padrs F, Oraic D, Breton A Le, Zarza C, Olesen NJ (2016) Fish health in Mediterranean Aquaculture, past mistakes and future challenges. Bull Eur Assoc Fish Pathol 36:38-45
Jackson D, Drumm A, McEvoy S, Jensen, Mendiola D, Gabia G, Borg JA, Papageorgiou N, Karakassis Y, Black KD (2015) A pan-European valuation of the extent, causes and cost of escape events from sea cage fish farming. Aquaculture 436:21-26
Sign up to get all the latest marine related news from MCS
The UK charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife.