International initiative launched to promote sustainable salmon fishing

INDUSTRY LEADERS from the global salmon farming sector yesterday (15TH August) launched a new international initiative to promote sustainable salmon fishing practices.


The new Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) brings together 15 of the world’s biggest salmon producers under a single commitment of industry cooperation and transparency within the supply chain, to drive sustainability progress.


The initiative also aims to male further strides in providing a sustainable source of farmed salmon to a growing population.


The group will focus on improving industry performance across three pillars of sustainability; reducing environmental impact, increasing social contribution and maintaining economic growth.


GSI today announced that they are focusing on areas where they can make ‘ambitious, yet achievable’ improvements within a realistic timeframe.


“As an industry, we recognize that while we have made significant progress, there is still a lot to be done in terms of sustainability. 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.” said GSI co-chair Alf-Helge Aarskog, CEO of Marine Harvest.


Keen to make substantial improvements, GSI is concentrating their efforts on three priority areas facing the industry: biosecurity, feed sourcing and meeting industry standards.


The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard for salmon aquaculture will provide a framework to guide and report on the progress GSI is making, and the initiative is adopting the ASC framework as its primary reference point for work and progress.


“This is a game-changer. The salmon sector working together and embracing sustainability is going to radically change aquaculture – and affect the food industry in a big way,” said Dr Jason Clay, Senior Vice President of Market Transformation for World Wildlife Fund (WWF). WWF launched the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogues nine years ago, the outcome of which was the ASC standard.

“This commitment shows that these companies see sustainability as a pre-competitive issue, one that they can work on together to make progress more quickly.” Clay added.