Umami Sustainable Seafood Inc. is a holding company of fish farms, supplying sashimi grade bluefin tuna to the global market. Umami seeks to produce and distribute healthy seafood of unrivaled quality, satisfying the world's growing protein need in an economical, efficient and environmentally friendly manner.
The Company owns and operates two Northern bluefin tuna farms, in Croatia and Mexico.
Located near the millennial city of Zadar, Kali Tuna is a Croatian-based aquaculture operation raising Northern bluefin tuna in the unique surroundings of the Adriatic Sea.
Baja Aqua Farms operates three concessions of tuna farming cages in the marine area surrounding the burgeoning city of Ensenada, Mexico.
Umami intends to become the leader in the Northern bluefin tuna industry by acquisition and internal growth. The growth of the Company will be founded on the sustainable management of resources and economically sound practices, seeking opportunities resulting from market consolidation and scientific progress in the industry.
"Sustainability, in a broad sense, is the capacity to endure. In ecology, the term describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans, it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources." - Wikipedia
Bluefin tuna farming - Sustainable or not?
It has been argued that farming carnivorous species such as the Bluefin tuna can not be sustainable.
Umami argues that it is in fact very much so. The case for sustainability in the production of Bluefin rests on two very important questions:
- Are the resources for the production utilized in a sustainable manner?
- Can it be looked upon as sustainable to feed a carnivorous fish many times it's own bodyweight of other fish?
The two main resources for Bluefin tuna farming are live bluefin and small pelagic fish.
With the Atlantic bluefin tuna stock down 75% from its highest historical point, it is paramount that steps are taken to restore it to a secure level. As no commercially viable way of breeding has yet been developed, the bluefin tuna farms remain made up of live fish, caught in their proximity and towed to the cages.
The management of Umami is aware that the bluefin production could not become sustainable while fishermen in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean were over-fishing the stock. That was the case until 2010, when ICCAT's first Total Allowable Catch was lowered into a range, supported by scientists.
The other main resource, essential to bluefin farming is feed; small pelagic fish, such as mackerel, herring, anchovies and sardines. All feed used in the operations can be traced back to abundant stocks. Most of the feed used is fished in close proximity of the operations.
In regards to the second question it must be noted that for every kilo of bluefin, 14-20 kilos of small pelagic fish are used as feed. This might seem an outrageously unsustainable practice, were it not for two important facts.
- The bluefin also eats small pelagic fish in the wild.
- The growth rate of the bluefin is much higher in cages than in the wild. The reason for this is the extreme effort the fish uses to catch its prey in the wild.
- The mortality rate of Bluefin tuna is much lower in captivity than it is in the wild.
Hence, the food conversion ratio for fish in captivity should be lower than it is in nature.
Umami's farm only uses feed, caught from ample resources, therefore caught in a sustainable manner. UMAMI's R&D team continuously seeks to decrease the Food Conversion Ratio.
Furthermore, the management of Kali Tuna has made a considerable effort in past general meetings of ICCAT to lobby for lower quotas, and will continue to support the organization in every effort to control the catch.
Closing the Lifecycle
A great improvement in the sustainability of Umami's practices might be at hand in the near future.
Breeding the bluefin tuna is the future of sustainable practices in the farming of the species. The R&D team at Kali Tuna has worked vehemently at creating a commercially viable way to domesticate it. In the summer of 2009 a breakthrough discovery was made. The fish had spawned in captivity. Fertilized eggs were taken to a laboratory in Split, Croatia, where they hathced and were kept alive for days.
The research will continue in the summer of 2010. The commercial implications are yet to be seen, and years will pass until the Life-cycle will be closed. However, the fact remains that the cages of Umami's subsidiary have become a spawning ground for Bluefin tuna, as most of the fertilized eggs are discharged into nature.
Scientists in other parts of Europe, Australia and Japan are on the same quest and the R&D team at Kali Tuna will follow the research closely.
For the sake of sustainability and quality, Umami embraces traceability technologies in every aspect of the production cycle.
While traceability in itself does not guarantee safety, quality or sustainability, it is essential to pinpointing problems - should they occur - throughout the entire production chain. Not only limited to the production, the traceability encompasses suppliers, processors and distributors.
Umami's traceability tools are continuously being improved and extended into other operational fields.
The aim of UMAMI is to supply the world with seafood of the highest quality, produced with minimal impact on the eco system. Enhancing our breeding techniques always involves the goal to lessen the environmental impact of our operations. We introduce: Guilt-free bluefin for all.
For most people Tuna is just Tuna. Most people know the canned version of tuna, a household item in most parts of the world. Many enjoy tuna as a sushi topping or sashimi. However, few people know that there are more than one species of tuna. The fact is that there are several species of tuna swimming in the world's oceans.
The many types of Tuna
Most common is Skipjack Tuna, mostly used for canning. Skipjack accounts for about 60% of all Tuna caught each year. Yellowfin is the second largest at about 24%. Bigeye Tuna is at about 10% and Albacore 5%.
Sashimi grade Tuna
The species most commonly used for Sashimi and Sushi are Yellowfin, Bigeye and Albacore tuna.
The remaining 1% is Blue Fin Tuna; the giant of the Tuna family. It is the world's most sought after and the most delicious Tuna for sashimi and sushi. It is traditionally consumed raw for sashimi or sushi but is a fantastic tasting and healthy as seared steak.
Two major species of Blue Fin Tuna exist, Southern Blue Fin Tuna, found in oceans in the Southern hemisphere and Northern Blue Fin Tuna, found in the Northern hemisphere.
Blue Fin Tuna is especially sought after by the Japanese who traditionally consume over 80 - 90% of all supply.
Northern Blue Fin Tuna (NBT)
The northern bluefin tuna is an important commercial species, especially for sushi and sashimi. This commercial importance has led to significant ranching of the fish.
This fish provides the finest sushi topping there is available in the world, but in order to fetch the best price, the fish must be in optimal condition.
We are a leader in long term farming of Northern Bluefin Tuna in the Mediterranean with farming facilities located in Kali, Croatia, along with a processing plant, freezing storage and wharf. We cultivate our tuna with special reliance on technology and experience to grow the tuna for two to three years following their capture in the wild.
Our operations include farming, feeding and harvesting Northern Bluefin Tuna that was caught in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea.The fishing process is outsourced to an affiliated party. During the past three years, we have been increasing our carry-over stock of tuna to increase output quantities each year. We will seek to expand our operations by acquiring additional licenses, vessels and/or companies in the years to come both in the Mediterranean and other regions suitable for sustainable catching and farming methods.
Our objective is to create a self sustaining farm environment where tuna fish spawn, and the resultant eggs are hatched, in captivity without having to rely on the capture of fish in the open seas thereby depleting the natural stock of Bluefin Tuna.
We have marketed our products mainly in Japan through our parent company, Atlantis Group hf (herein sometimes referred to as Atlantis). In addition, during the past year, we have increased sales of fresh tuna to Europe and the U.S. We intend to increase our total production worldwide to 5,000 metric tons per year which will be marketed into Japan, US and EU.
Recently, Atlantis has entered into an agreement with Daito Gyouri of Japan (the "Daito Agreement") for the sale and delivery of at least 500 metric tons of frozen Northern Bluefin Tuna annually. Immediately following the completion of the offering contemplated hereby, we will enter into an agency agreement with Atlantis providing for the sale of Bluefin Tuna by Atlantis to Daito Gyouri on our behalf. As a result, up to 500 metric tons of tuna to be delivered under the Daito Agreement by Atlantis will be filled by fish that was farmed by us. We have agreed to pay Atlantis an agency commission of 2% of all sales to be made under this agency agreement.
For more investors information regarding Umami Seafood please contact our head office
Umami's subsidiaries are recognized for the best farmed northern bluefin tuna in the world with an excellent recognition in our main export market, Japan over the past 14 years.
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Umami Sustainable Seafood Confirms Natural Bluefin Tuna Spawning at its Farm in Croatia
| | Umami Sustainable Seafood Confirms Natural Bluefin Tuna Spawning at its Farm in Croatia
Umami Sustainable Se (OTCBB:UMAM)
Intraday Stock Chart
Today : Wednesday 3 August 2011
SAN DIEGO, August 3, 2011
SAN DIEGO, August 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- Important Step Achieved in Closing the Life Cycle of Bluefin Tuna Farming in a Commercially Viable Way
- Substantial Enhancement of Umami's Sustainable Tuna Farming Model
Umami Sustainable Seafood Inc. (OTCBB:UMAM) ("Umami" or "the Company"), a holding company of fish farming operations supplying sashimi-grade Northern Bluefin Tuna to the global market, has obtained DNA evidence confirming natural spawning of Bluefin Tuna at its Kali Tuna facility in Croatia.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20110803/472203-a ) (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20110803/472203-b )
Larvae hatched from eggs, collected from Kali Tuna's holding pens on July 19-21 were analyzed by Genomics Laboratory Macrogen Inc. They were confirmed to be Bluefin Tuna. Further tests conducted on the larvae's mitochondrial DNA determined that they matched their gene base, establishing that natural spawning activity had taken place within Kali's brood stock holding pens. This is the third consecutive year that natural spawning activities have taken place in Umami's Croatian commercial tuna farming facility, Kali Tuna.
Eggs were collected from one of several brood stock cages containing eighty-four mature five-year-old fish. The fish were not treated with hormones but, over the years, have been closely managed by Kali's scientists. This is the largest documented spawning in Kali Tuna's cages to date. The eggs were placed into an incubator and hatched. The larvae are being used for further research and development.
Kali Tuna has made a significant investment growing over 1,000 young tuna into mature brood stock at its aqua farms in both Mexico and Croatia to help replenish the Bluefin tuna population. This is likely the world's largest brood stock holding, with the goal being to release hundreds of millions of fertilized eggs and fry back into the wild every year.
This spawning event is a major step forward for the Company's hatchery project. Having a reliable and predictable supply of eggs is essential to the success of the Company's propagation programs. Earlier this year, Kali Tuna started work on building the world's first mobile tuna hatchery, one that will incorporate the latest equipment and technologies while being cost effective.
Oli Valur Steindorsson, Umami's Chairman and CEO said, "This event marks a major milestone in our company's ultimate goal of building a commercially viable closed life cycle Bluefin Tuna farming operation. For three consecutive years at our Croatian facility, we have spawned Bluefin tuna in captivity in a natural way. Although we still have a lot of work left to do in achieving our ultimate goal of developing economically viable processes of raising fish from the fry, these results prove that our experience, and our understanding of the species, is paying off. I am now more confident than ever that we will be able to dramatically increase the world's access to this highly valued food source, without any degradation in quality, while, at the same time, decreasing the pressure on the world's wild populations."
About Umami Sustainable Seafood Inc.
The Company owns and operates Kali Tuna, which is an established Croatian based aquaculture operation raising Northern Bluefin Tuna in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea and, since November 30, 2010, Baja Aqua Farms, which is an established Mexico based aquaculture operation raising Northern Bluefin Tuna in the Pacific. The Company intends to become the leader in aquaculture for northern Bluefin tuna by acquisition and internal growth. The goal of the Company is the sustainable management of resources and economically sound practices, seeking opportunities resulting from market consolidation and scientific progress in the industry. The Company also intends to continue its research into closed cycle farming technology for Bluefin tuna, which has produced encouraging results.
For more information, please visit http://www.umamiseafood.com.
Zacks Initiates Coverage on Umami Sustainable Seafood Inc.
Zacks Initiates Coverage on Umami Sustainable Seafood Inc.
Ian Gilson, CFA
- Headquartered in San Diego, California, Umami Sustainable Seafood Inc. (UMAM.OB $2.50) is the global leader of high quality bluefin tuna for the high end Japanese sushi and sashimi market. The Bluefin Tuna market is estimated to exceed $1 billion with the Japanese market consuming 80% of the total.
- The company aquafarms tuna at two locations, Ugljan Islands, Croatia (Northern Tuna) in the Adriatic Sea and Coronado Islands, Baja, Mexico (Pacific Tuna) in the eastern pacific, with a combined capacity of over 15 million pounds (7000 metric tons).
- There are quota restrictions on catching Atlantic Tuna and these are being reduced each year. The farmed tuna grow faster than do the wild tuna (since more food is available), gain weight quicker (and so command a higher market price). Farmed tuna is replacing wild caught fish.
- The tuna are kept and fed for about 3 1/2 years. A 10 Kg tuna will grow to over 100 Kg during this period.
- The Kali facility has a successful breeding program that has released tuna eggs and larvae into the Adriatic sea each year over the last three years.
- Umami has positive EBITDA and positive cash flow on an annual basis. This will allow the company to pay down debt and potentially acquire facilities and/or fishing licenses.
When the tuna are captured they are undernourished so they double their weight in the first 6 months and then every 12 months afterward. When the fish are over 60 kg they are harvested, frozen and sent to Japan in specially made freezer ships.
Current breakeven revenue is about $55 million a year. At that run rate all operating expenses and the current level of interest expenses are covered. The company has a gross profit margin of over 50% so that pretax income will build rapidly as revenue increases. The Baja operations have a lower cost structure (bait fish are more plentiful) so as Baja grows gross margins will expand.
We are rating the stock as OUTPERFORM with a price target of $60.00 a share.
|Market Value1 ||$122,006,863 ||a/o Dec 27, 2012 |
|Shares Outstanding ||59,515,543 ||a/o Nov 09, 2012 |
|Float ||Not Available |
|Authorized Shares ||Not Available |
|Par Value ||No Par Value |
|Shareholders of Record ||95 ||a/o Oct 12, 2012 |