~20% of all GSI member farms now ASC certified, as group makes progress towards ambitious sustainability goals 

London, United Kingdom – October 26, 11:00 CEST: The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) today announced that its members have achieved Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for 100 farms, the equivalent of ~20% of all GSI member farms. This is an important milestone as GSI ultimately strives to achieve 100% certification across all member farms, and demonstrates GSI members’ commitment to reaching the ASC standard’s challenging environmental and social indicators across all of their farming operations.

“The ASC standard is the world’s leading certification and labeling program for responsibly farmed seafood. Its challenging criteria are designed to promote the highest level of responsible aquaculture,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC. “The GSI members are leading the way with certifications, and today’s announcement sends a significant signal that they are committed on their journey towards improved sustainability.” 

The first GSI farm was awarded ASC certification in 2014, and since then huge progress has been made, with 10 farms certified in 2014, 45 farms in 2015, and now a further 45 farms certified so far in 2016. GSI members now have ASC certified farms across 6 farming regions, including 48 farms in Norway, 33 in Chile, 12 in Canada, 3 in Ireland, 2 in Scotland and 2 in the Faroe Islands, with a further 29 currently under assessment.

“With more and more farms becoming ASC certified, we now have a growing supply of responsibly sourced salmon on the market. We trust that this will trigger more retailers to offer ASC labeled salmon products, enabling consumers to make a sustainable seafood choice,” said Piers Hart, Global Lead for Aquaculture at WWF. “Considering the increasing demand for seafood and dwindling marine fish stocks, ASC certification is a key component of ensuring a sustainable food system for the future. The GSI is demonstrating that significant change can happen at scale when an industry works together towards a common sustainability goal.”

In order to achieve ASC certification, farms must meet the standard’s 152 criteria, which support responsible aquaculture practices that minimize environmental and social impact. Through achieving the ASC standard, certified farms deliver a cleaner seabed, cleaner water and healthier fish, while also ensuring social responsibility. 

“When we signed up to GSI and made our commitment to ASC certification, we knew it was going to be a very tough challenge, and we weren’t exactly sure how we were going to get there. However, through collective knowledge and shared problem solving, we are starting to see progress with more and more farms achieving certification,” said Alf-Helge Aarskog, CEO Marine Harvest ASA. “We have made good progress so far, but bigger challenges lie ahead of us as we look at regions where it will be tougher to achieve certification. But within GSI we support each other by sharing experience and advice, and now that we have the ball rolling we feel confident that the certifications will continue.”

In line with the ASC standard, the GSI publishes an annual Sustainability Report online, which allows the public to transparently review all member company data across key sustainability and environmental indicators. The Report also tracks GSI’s progress towards ASC certification, showing the latest number of ASC certified farms, as well as farms currently under ASC assessment. The Sustainability Report can be viewed here.

ABOUT GSI

The 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 12 companies, representing approximately 50% of the global salmon production industry, that are fully committed to realizing a shared goal of providing a highly sustainable source of healthy food to feed a growing global population, whilst minimizing our environmental footprint and continuing to improve our social contribution.

GSI member companies are Bakkafrost; Blumar; Cermaq; Compañía Pesquera Camanchaca; Empresas AquaChile; Grieg Seafood ASA; Huon Aquaculture;
Los Fiordos; Marine Harvest; Multiexport Foods SA; New Zealand King Salmon and Ventisqueros. GSI companies have a presence in Australia, Canada, Chile, the Faroe Islands, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK, and make significant contributions to the economies of these respective countries.

For further information on GSI, please visit or contact us at:

Media contacts:

Cameron Donald
AXON
+ 44 (0) 20 3595 2416
cdonald@axon-com.com

Sophie Ryan
AXON
+ 1 604 506 8414
sryan@axon-com.com