Global Salmon Initiative aims at promoting sustainable farming practices. (Photo Credit: Global Salmon Initiative)
New global initiative to promote salmon industry sustainability
Thursday, August 15, 2013, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Fifteen farmed salmon producers from different countries, representing 70 per cent of the world’s salmon industry, joined forces to create the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) with the aim to address the problems that the sector faces today as well as to promote further responsibility in commercial aquaculture operations.
To achieve these aims, GSI members will target three priority problems facing the industry: biosecurity, meeting industry standards and responsible and sustainable feed sourcing.
The new organization, which was presented on Wednesday in Trondheim as part of Aqua Nor exhibition, counts with the membership of salmon producers from Norway, Scotland, Canada and Chile, the main salmon producing countries.
The 15 firms forming part of GSI are: Bakkafrost, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood, Leroy, Marine Harvest, Norway Royal Salmon, Salmar, Scottish Sea Farms, The Scottish Salmon Company, Acuinova Chile, AquaChile, Blumar Seafoods, Camanchaca, Los Fiordos y Multiexport Foods.
“As an industry, we recognize that while we have made significant progress, there is still a lot to be done in terms of sustainability," said GSI vice president, Alf-Helge Aarskog, who is also Marine harvest CEO. "As a relatively young industry, we hope that through industry collaboration, research and sharing of knowledge, we can make the necessary changes to do better, and keep getting better”.
The initiative has been welcomed with open arms by WWF Scotland, which acknowledged that the salmon industry has a need for expansion in order to meet the increasing demand for protein by an ever-growing world population.
WWF Scotland Director, Lang Banks, pointed out: "It's good to hear that more salmon producers are pledging to operate more sustainably and reduce their impacts on the environment."
And he added: "This announcement now means that almost two-thirds of all Scottish and UK farmed salmon production is being put on a path to becoming more sustainable. Along with existing schemes highlighting responsibly caught wild fish, we hope more producers backing sustainability schemes, such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, will give consumers the confidence to make the best choices when buying farmed seafood."
About 60 per cent of the salmon consumed all over the world comes from farms with 1.6 million tonnes of farmed salmon in contrast with just 930,000 tonnes of wild salmon landed in 2011, the BBC reported.
The main consumers of salmon are the United States, the European Union and Japan.
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By Gabriela Raffaele