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Farm-Raised Salmon Industry Moves Toward Sustainability

Dr. Jason Clay, senior vice president of market transformation for World Wildlife Fund (WWF), issued the following statement today regarding the Global Salmon Initiative’s major new commitment [PDF] to sustainability:

"This is a game-changer. The salmon sector is finally working together and embracing sustainability. This is going to radically change aquaculture—and have ripple effects in the entire global food industry.

“WWF helped launch the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogues nine years ago, and we’re happy to see that Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) is using the outcome of that comprehensive multi-stakeholder process—the ASC standard—as its global benchmark. This commitment shows that these companies see sustainability as a pre-competitive issue, one that they must work on together to make progress more quickly.

“The combined impact of these companies—representing 70% of global farmed salmon production– will drastically reduce the impact of salmon production on some of the world’s most ecologically important regions.

“Five years ago global aquaculture production surpassed wild caught as the primary source of seafood consumed by humans. Two years ago aquaculture production, by volume, surpassed global beef production. As demand for farmed seafood increases on a finite planet with limited resources, production systems will have to become more efficient and do more with less.

“As these companies progress on their sustainability journey, WWF will assist and support them as appropriate. This might include helping them assess their compliance with the ASC standard, develop systems of continuous improvement, measure performance and share lessons learned, technology and better practices.”

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