Kefalonia Organic Branzino
Kefalonia Fisheries, located in the Gulf of Argostoli in the Ionian Sea, is a pioneer in the cultivation of Mediterranean fish and was the first farm in Europe dedicated to the production of branzino and dorade.
Branzino (also known by the names European sea bass and loup de mer) is an icon throughout its native range, and has graced tables in finer restaurants throughout Europe for centuries. Its popularity, however, has come at a cost. Today, wild populations throughout the Mediterranean and beyond are either fully exploited or overfished, and catches have failed for decades to meet demand.
Luckily, advances in understanding the branzino’s lifecycle allowed for the first cultivation of the species half a century ago, and in the 21st century, branzino has become a global fish. Farmed organic Kefalonia Bronzino offers a reliable — and reliably clean — option. No pesticides, prophylactic antibiotics, hormones or any other chemicals are ever used in production.
Kefalonia Fisheries was founded in 1981 by Marinos Yeroulanos, a fourth generation Kefalonian, and descendent of generations of fishers. Faced with shrinking fish populations and a lack of opportunities for fishermen, Marinos started the business to preserve the island’s communities through aquaculture.
One of the first certified organic aquaculture operations in the Mediterranean, Kefalonia prides itself on melding tradition with innovation. Production is vertically integrated. Fish are raised in marine pens in the Bay of Livadi with a stocking density that’s an industry low (99% water, 1% fish). Feed standards are rigorous, with all fish meal and fish oil sourced exclusively from processing trimmings from existing wild fisheries, and all vegetable-based ingredients are certified organic.
Additionally, Kefalonia fisheries has voluntarily participated in the longest running environmental impact study ever performed in Europe. Ten years of voluminous data have revealed no long-term negative impacts on the surrounding waters and environment.
in the kitchen
In the US market, branzino is almost synonymous with whole fish presentations. However, the yield from whole round fish is slightly above 40%, making branzino a more than acceptable fillet fish (and indeed it is typically filleted in European kitchens). Fillets are pale pink and cook to pearl white. Being a true bass, the branzino has delicate flesh with a slightly buttery flake.
Certifications, Ratings and Awards
Friend of the Sea, Global GAP, Naturland Organic Certification, EU Organic Certification, ISO 14001