Open Blue, the largest supplier of cobia to the US market and the largest deep water open-ocean farm in the world, continues to demonstrate a company-wide commitment to responsible mariculture by achieving two major certifications at the beginning of 2016.

Open Blue achieved the GLOBALG.A.P. Aquaculture Standard for the second year, following a comprehensive assessment of their business by Quality Certification Services (QCS), an independently accredited certification body and GLOBALG.A.P. member. Open Blue also complied with the four criteria defined in the Friend of the Sea GLOBALG.A.P. Add-on. Certified cobia under the Open Blue brand can now display the Friend of the Sea logo in combination with the GLOBALG.A.P. Number.

“Achieving the GLOBALG.A.P. Aquaculture Standard is a significant milestone for our rapidly growing company,” said Dave Plumer, CEO of Open Blue. Our innovative approach is to raise and harvest fish miles offshore in their natural ocean habitat in a responsible and sustainable way that honors and protects our sensitive ocean ecosystems. Our auditor was impressed with the strides our company has made in such a short time period to achieve these results. It requires a commitment and contribution of staff at all levels of the company and we are delighted with this GLOBALG.A.P. Certification.”

Plumer added that the company is “equally delighted to receive certification from Friend of the Sea, whose mission is the conservation of the marine habitat and making seafood sustainability a reality. Open Blue is fully aligned with these objectives through our vision to feed current and future generations in harmony with the ocean. Consumers want their seafood to be great tasting, healthy and raised in an environmentally sustainable way. Earning this distinguished consumer eco label from Friend of the Sea will provide us with an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment directly to the consumers who choose our fish.” said Plumer.

Brian O’Hanlon, Open Blue Founder said: “Setting our company up for success by meeting the requirements of these important standards is in line with our strategy to provide our customers with healthy and safe quality products from Panama. Our operations are based on meeting a high standard and we are committed across our hatchery, farm and processing operations to focus on responsible practices to support environmental and social responsibility across every aspect of our business.” 

Open Blue is a pioneer and leader in deep water, open-ocean raised fish. Open Blue cobia are carefully cultivated in the pristine ocean waters of the Caribbean Sea near Panama, far offshore and away from sensitive ecosystems. Their fish have plenty of room to grow in large, stress-free, deep-water enclosures, and they produce a reliable, sustainable source of premium fish. Open Blue is the single largest supplier of fresh cobia to the US and the largest deep-water, open-ocean farm in the world. Their offshore operations are the culmination of a decade of cutting-edge investigative research on deep ocean aquaculture, in collaboration with the world’s leading scientific laboratories and universities.

Open Blue: GGN 4052852629690
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GLOBALG.A.P. Aquaculture Certification
Caring for Consumers - Responsible Sourcing at All Stages of Production

The GLOBALG.A.P. Aquaculture Standard covers the entire production chain, from broodstock, seedlings, farming & harvesting, feed and the Chain of Custody tool to keep the GLOBALG.A.P. certified claim up to the point of sale for final consumer. It acts as a practical manual for any aquaculture producer, ensuring food safety, minimal environmental impact with consideration for biodiversity, and compliance with animal welfare and workers’ health and safety requirements. For Version 5, a risk assessment on social practices becomes a mandatory requirement.

Learn more about how GLOBALG.A.P. Aquaculture Certification can benefit your business at


Friend of the Sea Add-On Module
A Consumer Label for GLOBALG.A.P. Certified Aquaculture Producers

What began as a voluntary add-on module for the GLOBALG.A.P. Aquaculture Standard Version 4 is now an integral part of Version 5 of the Integrated Farm Assurance Standard (IFA), which was published in July 2015. The four criteria defined in the Friend of the Sea Add-on cover the impact on water body sediment, the effect on the local community regarding both access to drinking water and fishing areas, and social criteria requirements covered by GRASP – the GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice.

Aquaculture producers who achieve IFA V5 Certification and GLOBALG.A.P. Chain of Custody certificate holders handling farmed origin products in compliance with IFA V5 will be allowed to use a special consumer label, consisting of both the Friend of the Sea consumer label and the GLOBALG.A.P. Number (GGN). Once they achieve certification, they simply have to register with Friends of The Sea to obtain their label.

The FOS Add-on is still being offered to Aquaculture Version 4 certified producers who wish to benefit today from the consumer label advantage. 

For more information about Friend of the Sea, visit or