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Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) backs UN sustainability goals

Rob Fletcher
Rob Fletcher
09 June 2017, at 12:00am

The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) has registered its commitment to support the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 this week.

SDG 14 aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources. By aligning its work with SDG 14 – a decision made on World Oceans Day at the United Nation’s Ocean Conference in New York – GSI aims to ensure it is driving the farmed salmon sector towards continuous improvements in sustainability, implementing real and measurable change to support the future biodiversity of our oceans, and to help safeguard the planet.

At the 2015 UN Forum, Former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “Now is the time to mobilize the global business community as never before. The case is clear. Realizing the SDGs will improve the environment for doing business and building markets. There are huge opportunities for responsible companies to deliver solutions.”

“Responsibility and accountability are very important for us,” said Gerardo Balbontin, Co-Chair of the GSI and CEO of Blumar SA. “By aligning with the SDGs, we are able to identify, and effectively incorporate, the important actions we can be working on to support the SDGs, and then transparently report on the progress we are making.”

Recognizing the critical need for progress towards the SDGs, and in particular the importance of the aquaculture industry in guaranteeing the sustainable use of marine resources, the members of the GSI have committed to the following:

• Utilizing the GSI model of pre-competitive collaboration to facilitate knowledge transfer and the sharing of best practices to promote accelerated improvements
• Transparently reporting on environmental and social performance via an annual industry-wide Sustainability Report
• Driving innovation through continued partnerships and sharing of expertise
• Supporting knowledge transfer from salmon aquaculture to developing aquaculture sectors to drive accelerated improvements across the wider industry

Having identified that acting individually will not generate the progress needed to protect the world’s oceans at the scale or speed needed, the GSI members have committed to working pre-competitively, with their partners and other industry groups, to promote accelerated progress.

“About 70% of the planet is water and yet it provides less than 5% of our food,” said Per Grieg, Co-Chair of the GSI and Chairman of Grieg Seafood ASA.

“Considering the population growth and its increased economic development demand for food, the oceans will offer a huge potential solution in feeding the future 9 billion people – this makes it even more important that we make every effort to ensure we balance growth with conservation. The farmed salmon sector has already made significant improvements in reducing the amount of marine ingredients used in the feed, reducing the feed conversion ratio from 2:1 in the 1980s to 1.15–1.3:1 now, and through continued innovation we hope to improve this further. Sustainable aquaculture can play a very important role in feeding the world, and responsible use of marine resources can protect them for future generations,” he added.