Aquaculture for all

Milestones marked by salmon initiative

Salmonids Sustainability

Over a quarter of the sites farmed by the 12 companies that are part of the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) were Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified by the end of 2016 a 60% increase compared to the previous year.

GSI published its latest Sustainability Report today and it features 4 years’ worth of data from all the initiative’s member companies. Using the ASC Salmon Standard as a framework, the report documents members’ environmental and social performance across 14 key sustainability indicators, and highlights improvements in responsible business practices. Continuing to raise the bar in industry transparency, this year’s report is also the first to include data verified by independent auditors, providing additional credibility and reassurance for stakeholders.

Other highlights from the latest report include:
• The preferential environmental performance of farmed salmon when compared to other livestock sectors on indicators such as carbon footprint, energy retention and protein retention.
• The continuing improvements in the responsible use of feed ingredients by GSI members, with the average feed conversion ratio for farmed salmon now at 1.3:1.
• GSI members employ almost 20,000 people across small and rural communities globally.
• There is a focus on ongoing positive social impact through meaningful interactions with local communities.
• A move towards greater use of innovative and holistic approaches to disease management is notable.

Piers Hart, Global Head of Aquaculture at WWF, commented: "We have closely followed the work of the GSI for a number of years now, and are pleased to see further significant progress towards the initiative´s goal of achieving 100% ASC certified farmed salmon by 2020. Setting ambitious sustainability goals remains a crucial factor for every individual company. However, sector-wide transformation can only happen through collective sustainability initiatives such as the GSI, which represents almost 50% of the global salmon industry. That´s why we call upon all farmed salmon producers to become ASC certified, either individually or through GSI membership. We also hope it will be an incentive for retailers worldwide to continue to offer their consumers ASC certified salmon”.

The report also demonstrates the preferable environmental performance of farmed salmon when compared to other protein sectors – such as chicken, beef and pork – including its low, and decreasing, feed conversion ratio and low carbon footprint.

“We want to use our combined knowledge and global reach to raise the bar when it comes to environmental and social performance not only in the farmed sector, but across the food industry as a whole,” said Per Grieg, GSI Co-Chair and Chairman of Grieg Seafood ASA. “We want to lead by example, and demonstrate to other companies, and other sectors, that improving sustainability is a pre-competitive issue. What the GSI Sustainability Report demonstrates is that, through greater transparency and greater cooperation, it is possible to achieve change at scale which is good for the environment, and good for business”.