Hooked on Sustainability with Maya Fish

When deciding what ingredients are best for our guests, we go straight to the source. Sometimes that means taking an 11-foot fishing boat 20 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula to get there! Maya Fish ended up being the perfect match for our fish dishes, and we were hooked on their dedication to responsibly-sourced fish farming. We had such an amazing time during our trip to Mexico that we wanted to share what it was like to witness cutting edge aquaculture (a.k.a. underwater agriculture) in action.

Responsibly-Sourced from Land to Sea

Redfish Swimming in Schools

A School of Redfish

We started out our adventure on land in Campeche, 20 miles away from where the redfish farm was located in the Gulf of Mexico. In meeting with the farmers, we saw that the redfish farm raises the animals from birth through harvest. The fish eggs are hatched from biologically unique parent fish, and at an onshore fish hatchery, the fish are raised in in progressive environments reflecting a natural life cycle.

Further unique to this farm is the fact they also raise much of their own fish food (from algae to microscopic crustaceans to small fish) to feed the redfish as they grow to maturity. This is one of the factors that makes the farm 100 percent environmentally-friendly and sustainable – and a great fit for our guests! Even better? They are never fed land animal by-products, hormones, antibiotics or added preservatives, so you never have to worry about what is and isn’t in your food.

As the fish outgrow their homes on land, they are moved to pens offshore from the hatchery, which are then towed by boat a full 20 miles offshore. At their new homes in the deep sea, they are able to grow and thrive in a safe environment where water quality is monitored closely to prevent pollution – not only for the fish, but for the surrounding ecosystems as well. Knowing that our partner is THIS dedicated makes us all the more proud to put their product on the plate!

Commitment to Transparency

Inland Seafood Fishing Boat

Our teeny 11-foot fishing boat!

After spending time with the land lubbers, we hopped in our tiny fishing boat (scary, yet exhilarating!) and went 20 miles into the middle of the ocean to get an up-close-and-personal look into the redfish habitat. We journeyed to the deep sea farm, changed into our scuba diving gear and dove into the water. Swimming with thousands of schools of fish, we were able to see these animals in the most natural way possible –  an incredible experience that we’re never going to forget.

Once we got a breath of fresh air, we learned that the fish have a small group of caretakers who live on a boat docked at the deep sea farm for six days at a time. (That’s how you know your fish are raised right!) They are fed partially by what lives in the ocean and partially fed by the farm-grown feed. When they reach the desired weight, the fish are harvested and sent back to the coast.

As if Maya Fish didn’t think of everything already, they tag each fish with a label that allows you to learn more about the fish via our website. This includes information about when it was harvested, the quality of the feed, and the fact that it’s free of toxins and heavy metals. This transparency allows us to monitor the quality of food in a way like never before, and our dedication to serving responsibly-sourced, Southern fare is all about educating our guests on where their food comes from. There ain’t nothing fishy about that, y’all!