GSI launched with commitment to sustainable salmon farming

Published on: Aug 15, 2013

Leaders of the global farmed salmon industry launched Aug. 15 a major industry-led sustainability initiative. The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) unites 15 global farmed salmon producers committed to greater industry cooperation and transparency, in order to achieve significant and continuous progress in industry sustainability.

The initiative aims to make significant strides in providing a sustainable source of protein (farmed salmon) to feed a growing population.

Companies involved in GSI 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," GSI co-chair Alf-Helge Aarskog, chief executive officer of Marine Harvest, said.

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

Jose Ramon Gutierrez, co-chair of GSI and executive director of Multiexport Foods SA, commented, "Each of our focus areas are critical and integral to the success of our industry, and with commitment across regions to work together for the first time, we have the opportunity for real and beneficial change."

The GSI members are committed to significant improvements in the sustainability of their operations. The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard for salmon aquaculture provides 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. It is recognized that while salmon farmers have already been making progress toward greater sustainability and have met the requirements of other demanding standards, they acknowledge that more needs to be done.

GSI member companies include Acuinova Chile, Bakkafrost, Blumar, Cermaq, Compania Pesquera Camanchaca, Empresas AquaChile, Grieg Seafood, Leroy Seafood Group, Los Fiordos, Marine Harvest, Norway Royal Salmon, SalMar, Multiexport Foods SA, The Scottish Salmon Co. and Scottish Sea Farms. GSI companies have presence in Chile, Canada, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Scotland, and make significant contributions to the economies of these respective countries.