Portland, Maine, U.S.A.-based seafood supplier Bristol Seafood greeted customers on the morning of 1 April with the news that it had launched the first ever system for home-grown finfish.

Bristol’s new direct-to-consumer business is comprised of a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), which plugs into a standard household outlet, the company claimed in a press release and in an email to all customers.

The home farm system includes a hatchery “that can be erected in the backyard using only an allen wrench, a butterfly net to capture all of the insects you’ll need to feed the fish, and a copy of SQF Code Edition 9 to ensure that your home is audit-ready for food safety and quality,” Bristol said.

For a nominal fee, a countertop iPhone-controlled fillet machine is available for those who prefer a more automated processing experience, Bristol added.

“Most of our customers realized it was an April Fools’ joke and appreciated it,” Bristol Vice President of Marketing Irene Moon told SeafoodSource. “There is no better way to start your day than with a smile.”

Bristol’s requirement that families install loading docks and commit to surprise food safety audits “has been a hurdle to mass adoption,” but the supplier believes “this is the next big thing,” Bristol Seafood Vice President of Sales Michael Lodato said in the spoof press release.

“Everyone knows that through vertical integration, you can lower your cost of seafood. Clearly, this leaves at-home RAS as the only rational path to make seafood traceable, transparent, and cost-effective for the American consumer,” Lodato said.

“Consumers want to get closer to their seafood, and there is growing industry interest in recirculating aquaculture systems,” Moon said in the press release. “The only thing better than knowing your farmer is to be your own farmer. Why just take out the middleman when you can take out everyone? Now consumers are empowered to handle the entire process themselves with unparalleled levels of transparency and traceability.”

Bristol said the first kits would initially focus on Atlantic salmon, with subsequent launches “for more exciting predatory fish such as tuna and swordfish” upcoming.

Photo courtesy of Bristol Seafood  

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