Aquaculture for all
The Fish Site presents: The Vienna Sessions - Conversations about aquaculture. 9 video interviews with aquaculture thought leaders. Watch here.

Cermaq Settles Complaint & Pledges Sustainability

Sustainability Post-harvest +2 more

NORWAY - Friends of the Earth Norway, Forum for Environment and Development (ForUM) and Cermaq ASA have agreed on a Joint Statement on the foundation for sustainable aquaculture. The statement concludes a more than two years old complaint on Norwegian fish farming activities in Chile and Canada.

Friends of the Earth Norway and ForUM filed a complaint against Cermaq in 2009, claiming the company had acted in violation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) guidelines. Cermaq rejected these claims.

The parties have now agreed on a joint statement highlighting the importance of sustainable use of natural resources for the future of aquaculture, the company’s social responsibility in the time to come and the future contact between the NGOs and the company.

Learning from Chile

"We acknowledge that aquaculture in Chile, including Cermaq’s farming activities, was not sustainable in the manner it was done prior to the fish health crisis in 2007. We have learned from the Chilean collapse, and followed through on a number of concrete improvements," says Bård Mikkelsen, Chair of the Cermaq Board.

"We see that Cermaq has undertaken positive changes in their routines to prevent fish disease both in Chile and in Cermaq’s global business," says Lars Haltbrekken, Chair of Friends of the Earth Norway’s board.

The Joint Statement describes, amongst others, how Cermaq will operate according to the precautionary principle, indigenous peoples’ rights, human rights, labour rights and reporting on sustainability. The Joint Statement also acknowledges that Cermaq, after the crisis in fish health in Chile, has contributed to knowledge development to make the industry more sustainable.

The parties agree there are accusations in the complaint that have been refuted. The parties also agree that contact shall be based on mutual trust and clarification of facts.


The OECD’s guidelines are recommendations for how enterprises involved in multinational trade and production should deal with, among other things human rights and environmental issues.

In the complaint against Cermaq the complainants wanted the attitude and policies of the head office to change in order to impact the operations abroad in a consistent manner.