Seriola (Yellow tail Kingfish / Great Amberjack / Hiramasa) are fish with a fantastic market potential. It is an outstanding fish for consumption, not just as one of the most favored fish for sashimu/sushi consumption, but for seafood cuisine in general.


Production is first of all limited by access of juveniles, and suitable sites for farming.


Applying copepod technology in the hatchery production, is a proven method  for the producing of a prime grade of  juveniles of these fish.

Further with the RAS2020 technology  for RAS production we have the technology to overcome the ubstacles normally experienced in farming for Seriola to market size.


 Bent Urup has in the past been behind design and technology supply of seveal hatchery installation around the globe in which juvenile production of Kingfish now is taking place. Facilities with technology which originates from the development which original took place at Maximus for production of turbut. 


The link is easy to recognise due to the very similar design applied in these facilities and the original setup at Maximus.



Kingfish, broodstock tank: C-kingfish-2




 Kingfish broodstock tanks have been build to the same setup and dimensioning in 4 of the 5 other hatcheries, where Bent Urup has been involved in the design. The Maximus broodstock facility, Aquianor in Chile, NPC in Saudi and Futuna Blue in Spain, where as the Clean seas facility in Australia applies a differents set of dimensions.


Billede kingfish (B2a2)  900 gram, April 2011, Eggs spawned December 2010, Acuinor




Kingfish are growoing very fast with the right temperature regime and water quality, the individual on the picture does not reprecent the average, but indicates the potential of the fish when being farmed in RAS, with a weight of approx. 900 gram 5 months post hatch. 


Video Kingfish juveniles Aquinor


 Hiramachi (Kingfish/Seriola) is next to tuna the most appreciated type of fish for Sashimi/Sushi. Unfortunately there is very little access to Kingfish in the European markets. The majority of available products are consumed in Japan, more than 300.000 ton per year.


 Outside Japan the biggest hatcheries for production of Kingfish juveniles exist in Australia(cleans Seas), Chile(Aquinor) and Saudi (NPC), three hatcheries which all have a direct link back to Maximus A/S, as Bent Urup has been involved in the design of all these hatcheries.


The broodstocks are spawning well in closed RAS systems, and also the larvae rearing phase is performing well, given competent management is in place.


Video Broodstock Aquinor  


The hatchery in Chile and the hatchery in Saudi are structured very much like the Maximus. Also at the Futuna  Hatchery which is the hatchery most similar to Maximus, kingfish have been produced, demonstrating the force of implementing copepods in the production even the kingfish juveniles can be produced exclusively on Rotifers and Artemia during the early feeding stages.


0810-Acuinor002Billede FF Acianor tanks,(B2a4)


 Above fish larvae rearing tanks at Aquinor in Chile, setup with 12 tanks like at Maximus, same outlet system and feeding system.


Billede FF tanks, Maximus (E-maximus-2)E-Maximus-3


Fish larvae rearing tanks at Maximus, for live feed feeding, with the original setup of 12 tanks, which was later  applied in several other hatcheries with equipment delivery from UNI-Aqua, for production of Kingfish, barramundi and tuna, in Spain, Chile, Malaysia and Saudi.



King fish are less costly to produce in closed RAS systems compared to cage farming.  This is due to two principal reasons:


     1) The growth performance of Seriola is very much depending on temperatures, and if the temperature is dropping a few degrees below optimal, then the growth will almost stop, and the feed conversion will become very poor. The fish might even potentially loose weight.


Then the amount of feed required for producing a kilo of fish, can be almost twice if the fish are produced in cages with variable temperatures, compared to when farming Kingfish in closed RAS systems, with constant optimal temperature, where the feed conversion will be close to 1-1,1 kilo of feed per kilo of fish produced.


The RAS technology is the ultimate most competitive way of farming especially the yellowtail kingfish.


     2) Kingfish are very exposed to ecto-parasites, which is generating massive problems when farming kingfish in cages. Either all the nets have to be removed and cleaned with a few weeks intervals which is a very expensive operation, or the fish in the cages will have to be treated with chemicals, which will cause a massive impact on the marine fauna surrounding the cages. and then banded in countries where the marine environment is given high priority like in Australia, where net cleaning then is the only, but costly option. When farming Kingfish in a closed RAS system, the fish will not be exposed to these parasites.




 In short:


       •Brood stocks are not established in Europe.


       •Farming will in Europe likely only be permitted in RAS facilities. (Seriola dumeri is the alternative European specie to  produce in cages).


       •Cage farming not competitive with RAS farming.


       •Yield (fillet) in farming +60%, compared wild fish of only 40%.


       •From Fry to harvest in 12 month. (10 gram - 4,5 kilo.)


       •The biggest hatcheries at present  exists in Australia and Chile, both based on designs developed by Dr. Bent Urup.


       •Can be farmed at very high densities, plus 100 kg/m3 in RAS.


       •Growth performance tested in RAS facilities (RAS design by Dr. Bent Urup).


       •Growth performance expected to improve further during domestication/genetic selection –  expected 35% increase in coming three generations.


       •Variation on temperature has a negative influence on growth and feed conversion (can be avoided in RAS systems).