Salmon farmers top eco-efficient animal protein charts: report

Salmon farmers

Salmon farmers’ commitment to transparency is evidence that they are committed to building a sustainable future, says World Wildlife Federation (WWF)

By Fabian Dawson

SeaWestNews

Farmed salmon continues to be one of the most eco-efficient forms of protein production – with the lowest carbon footprint, and lowest feed conversion ratio, says a new report released in Europe.

The report by the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI)  launched during the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels also states that due to an increase in the use of non-medicinal approaches and sharing of best-practices in sea lice management, GSI members have reduced the use of medicinal sea lice treatments by 40 per cent, over the last five years.

The GSI was launched in August 2013. Now with 17 members, with operations covering 8 countries – Australia, Canada, Chile, Faroe Islands, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom the group represents over 50% of the global farmed salmon sector.

It also stressed that over 40 per cent of GSI production is now certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification, clarifying that five years ago there were no farms certified to this high standard – progress has been impressive in all regions.

B.C. salmon farmers are amongst the world leaders in adopting Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certifications developed by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF).

The ASC is an independent organization . It operates a third party certification and labelling programme for aquaculture around the globe. It receives no money from the certification process at any time.

The ASC believes a fish farm cannot be said to be acting responsibly if the community in which it is situated is negatively impacted by its actions. It also requires that each farm maintains a level of transparency and accountability previously unseen in the aquaculture industry.

The latest GSI Sustainability Report, its fifth set of transparent sustainability data, is available via its online reporting platform so as to continue on its pathway to a more sustainable future for aquaculture.

It includes five years’ worth of data presented per company and per region, and covers 14 key sustainability indicators – nine environmental and five social.

“As GSI members we are acting on our commitment to improve our social and environmental performance, and we know that transparency is an essential element of responsibility and in getting us to where we want to be in the future,” said Gerardo Balbontin, GSI Co-Chair and CEO of Blumar.

“Our sustainability reporting is fundamental in building and retaining trust among the people and communities involved in our work, and in holding ourselves accountable to each other.”

Highlights from this report include:

  1. Farmed salmon continues to be one of the most eco-efficient forms of protein production – with the lowest carbon footprint, and lowest feed conversion ratio
  2. Over 40% of GSI production is now certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification; five years ago there were no farms certified to this high standard – progress has been impressive in all regions;
  3. Due to an increase in the use of non-medicinal approaches and sharing of best-practices in sea lice management, over the 5-year period GSI members have reduced the use of medicinal sea lice treatments by 40%;
  4. By continued innovations in the sourcing and efficiency of feed ingredients, GSI members have reduced their use of fish oil and fishmeal by, respectively, 16% and 15% (calculated per forage fish dependency ratio)
  5. Reports from GSI members on a wide variety of community projects which highlight their significant contribution to local and often remote communities.

“All aspects of food production come with their challenges,” added Aaron McNevin, WWF´s Global Aquaculture Lead.

“It is imperative that we all take the responsibility to bend the curve on biodiversity loss. When it comes to aquaculture, one of the fastest growing methods of producing food in the world, this means further reducing its environmental impacts, in this case, of global salmon farming.,” he said.

“The GSI’s commitment to transparency is evidence that they are committed to building a sustainable future. With five years of environmental data, it is promising to see positive trends emerging. We look forward to the industry continuing to move forward as well as increasing ASC certification to 100 per cent,” McNevin.

To view the GSI Sustainability Report please click here.

To learn more about the GSI’s Pathways to the Future please click here.

 

Related Links:

Another BC fish farm get ASC certified.

 

RELATED STORIES

Johns Hopkins University study establishes farming Atlantic salmon as a sustainable and resilient food system for the world.

 

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