Some days ago, Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) celebrated the achievement of publishing 10 years’ worth of open access data in its annual Sustainability Report. The 10th report provides a unique and transparent insight into global salmon farming operations. Documenting over 20,00 independently audited data points, GSI members showcase how they stand up against 15 consistent environmental and social indicators.
“10 years of data is a significant milestone for GSI, but now our work must focus on what we can learn from these numbers. Where should we direct our focus, and where can we learn from each other to further improve the environmental footprint of salmon farming,” stated Sophie Ryan, CEO of GSI.
In its tenth edition, the GSI report highlights where GSI’s pre-competitive collaboration platform has supported the salmon farming sector in achieving measurable progress in its environmental footprint, and strengthened farmed salmon’s role within a responsible and sustainable food system.
For her part, Sady Delgado, CEO of AquaChile and GSI co-chair, noted that “10 years ago, transparent reporting in the salmon farming industry simply did not exist. GSI aims to be at the forefront of positive change and although there is a long way to go, being able to provide 10-years’ worth of open access data, proves how far we have come. GSI members commit to stringent certifications so that they can be confident in farming sustainably and hope to set a precedent for the remaining 60% of the industry.”
Achieving measurable progress
Among other data, GSI explain that over half (55%) of GSI members’ production was Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified in 2022 (as average of total production), resulting in greater access to salmon farmed to the most stringent environmental and social standards.
Sustainability Report also highlight that GSI members drove a 67% decrease in the average use of antibiotics across operations since GSI’s founding in 2013. This is due to a commitment to the highest levels of antibiotic stewardship for optimal fish health and sharing best practices on holistic approaches to fish welfare.
As well, continuing their focus on diversifying approaches to fish health management, GSI members have demonstrated a 56% reduction in combined average in-bath and in-feed medicinal treatments for sea lice since 2013.
Regarding to improvements in the sustainable sourcing of feed, GSI members continued to improve the eco-efficiency of feed ingredients, including continuing to use only certified marine ingredients, utilizing sustainable byproducts and assessing the role of novel ingredients, this has resulted in an average 20% reduction in marine ingredients since 2013.
Seek advancements for a more sustainable future
As GSI approaches its 10th anniversary later this year, members continue to look to the future and where they use GSI’s model to drive further industry advancements in sustainability. Using the progress highlighted in the report, members take the data to develop frameworks for continued efforts, and seek advancements for a more sustainable future for salmon farming.
Aino Olaisen, chair of the Board of Directors of Nova Sea AS, and GSI co-chair, assured: “While there are lots of positive stories to tell about salmon farming, from healthy food to climate-friendly sources of protein, there is further improvement to be made. The numbers we see for environmental performance and welfare are not where we want them to be, the benchmarking and reporting is vital for us to understand where and how we can improve. We will continue to work hard to ensure salmon is raised and farmed in the most ethical and sustainable ways possible.”
Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) is a leadership initiative established in 2013 by global farmed salmon producers focused on making significant progress on industry sustainability. Today, GSI comprises 23: Australis Seafoods S.A.; Bakkafrost; Blumar; Cermaq; Salmones Camanchaca SA; Empresas AquaChile; Grieg Seafood ASA; Huon Aquaculture, Multiexport Foods S.A.; New Zealand King Salmon; Nova Sea AS; Salmones Austral; Salmones Aysen; Tassal; and Ventisqueros. GSI companies have a resence in Australia, Canada, Chile, Faroe Islands, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom.
GSI also has a number of supply chain Associate Members in both the pharmaceutical and feed industries, including Benchmark Holdings plc; BioMar; Cargill; Elanco; Merck, Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) Animal Health; PHARMAQ; Salmofood; and Skretting.
“Global Salmon Initiative’s annual Sustainability Report demonstrates how a sector can work together to identify its biggest impacts, share global sustainability performance information in a common database, and identify what practices work best under what conditions, to reduce those impacts,” said Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, Markets at World Wildlife Fund (WWF).