Transparency driving change in the aquaculture industry
Farmed salmon continues to be one of the most eco-efficient forms of animal protein production states new sustainability report
Farmed salmon continues to be one of the most eco-efficient forms of animal protein production – with the lowest carbon footprint, lowest feed conversion ratio, and lowest land use – states a new sustainability report released in Italy yesterday.
In analysing 6 years of data for 14 of the world’s leading salmon farming companies, the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) 2018 Sustainability Report also states that it has noted a 50% decrease in the use of sea lice treatments, coupled with a 120% increase in use of non-medicinal methods.
“The technological advancements and best-practice sharing have facilitated this move to a more holistic approach to sea lice management,” the report said.
It also found that the amount of fishmeal and fish oil in feed reduced by 17% and 9% respectively, resulting in an overall 11% decrease in the use of marine ingredients in feed – due to innovations in the sourcing of feed ingredients.
The GSI was launched in August 2013. Now with 16 members, with operations covering 8 countries – Australia, Canada, Chile, Faroe Islands, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom, the group represents approximately 50% of the global farmed salmon sector.
Its annual Sustainability Report, provides 6 years’ of data across 14 key indicators – 9 environmental and 5 social – for 14 of the world’s leading salmon farming companies.
“The GSI model puts companies’ environmental efforts into a pre-competitive space, collectively setting very ambitious goals, committing to radical transparency and freely sharing solutions between them,” said GSI Convener, Avrim Lazar. (pictured)
“Current food models need deep and rapid change, and this will not be achieved if we only work as individual companies, one issue at a time. What we need is systemic change across entire sectors. This kind of change at speed and scale is being achieved by the Global Salmon Initiative,” he said.
“Transparency is a key component in driving change. By being transparent we are saying we are here for the long-term. We acknowledge improvements are still needed, and through transparency we are being open and truthful with ourselves and our stakeholders about our continuous journey in ensuring farmed salmon is a healthy and sustainable protein option for the future,” added Lazar.
“What we have learned from the GSI is that through greater transparency and by being open to collaboration, when it comes to environmental performance we were able to identify areas where innovation is most urgently needed. Then through the collective power of the group, we have the means to mobilise and initiate the further advancement of novel ideas – something we have observed has real impact when it comes to disease management and improving feed efficiencies, both areas where the report shows significant progress.”
“As consumers start to make more informed choices on what to eat, farmed salmon not only offers a healthy choice, but also cements itself as one of the most eco-efficient and responsible protein options available,” noted Lazar. “The task now is how we continue to maintain this profile as the industry grows. Ongoing transparency and collaboration will undoubtedly play crucial roles.”
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