As salmon farmers, we care deeply about acting as stewards of the ocean and supporters of the communities where our members live and work. Our members’ farms are located in some of the most remote regions of the world, so we fully acknowledge our role in not only providing employment, but also in contributing to a healthy and happy community spirit.
Our annual Sustainability Report provides an opportunity for us to look back and celebrate all the ways we helped contribute to that spirit – whether by hosting farm tours, supporting local sports events or investing in local infrastructure development. The 2021 community engagement stories feel extra special because for many of us, 2021 was a year of reopening and reengaging since the beginning of the pandemic. With safety measures in place and protocols well-established, we were once again able to continue our community programs, and in our excitement to get back out into society, we wanted to share some of the things we’ve been up to here.
It is important to us that our local communities know and understand how salmon is raised. We find that the best way to do this is to invite them out onto the farm with us or to bring the farm to them through engaging educational programs:
- Camanchaca continued its ‘Sustainable Schools’ program, which supports eight schools with educational programs, teacher trainings, environmental stewardship activities and guided company visits to Camanchaca’s sites in Chile.
- To support the next generation of salmon farming experts, Multi X, New Zealand King Salmon, Blumar and Cermaq Norway hosted educational training workshops and offered internships and apprenticeship programs to provide learning opportunities about salmon farming, supply chain management, food safety and sustainability practices.
- Tassal developed an educational media series called ‘Salmon Tails.’ Tassal distributed a survey to better understand the public’s knowledge of farmed salmon and challenge areas such as animal welfare, feed and transparency. Based on survey results, Tassal distributed a post card series across Tasmania with information on these topics.
- Cermaq Norway hosted ‘Girls and Technology,’ which invited female high school students to meet with female employees on-site at Cermaq farms, who encouraged the girls to consider a career path in technology.
GSI members also strive to promote social and economic development:
- Ventisqueros supported a traveling storytelling series, distributing books throughout the Chilean Quemchi Islands.
- Bakkafrost built and remodeled homes in an area of Scotland where there were previously no housing options.
- Salmones Austral supported growing infrastructure in Curaco by delivering building supplies to Chile’s indigenous community.
- Australis Seafoods, in collaboration with local technology companies, provided 500 computers with Internet access to those in need.
- Nova Sea sponsored projects designed to attract locals to stay or move back to their home communities.
- Grieg Seafood provided home deliveries of holiday dinners to two rural First Nations communities in Canada that normally would have to travel hours to the closest grocery store.
- Multi X donated materials to support rural connectivity projects, including a shipping container that was adapted as a healthcare center on Teuqulin Island and materials for coastal walkway projects on the Aysén River.
Economic and Tourism Development
GSI members also provided funding to help keep local businesses open during the pandemic:
- AquaChile offered a competitive funding program to increase access to goods and services following the pandemic, supporting 24 projects with 7,915 direct beneficiaries.
- Blumar collaborated with local indigenous communities in Puerto Aguirre to develop educational and tourism programs that helped raise awareness of the local indigenous culture.
- Autralis Seafoods implemented a health, economic and social action plan for the reopening of the ‘Etherh Aike’ Artisan Village, which was the first commercial center in the commune to open during the pandemic.
We know how important protecting and restoring our environment is, which is why many of our members shared their knowledge and motivation for sustainability by contributing to environmental efforts:
- Cermaq Canada provided infrastructure to First Nations-led community salmon enhancement facilities, which support wild salmon restoration and enhancement initiatives.
- Bakkafrost distributed native trees and bushes for employees to plant on the Faroe Islands on World Environment Day.
- AquaChile, in collaboration with the Chile Lagos Limpios Foundation, the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center and Innovex, developed a scientific research program utilizing its decommissioned farming concessions in lakes for environmental monitoring and modeling studies.
- Australis Seafoods continued its recycling program, ‘Australis Clean Point,’ which supports recycling efforts in the Los Lagos region. In 2021, it delivered recycling containers to Caicaen de Calbuco Municipal Park as part of its sustainability efforts.
- Blumar and Camanchaca distributed composters made from reused plastic buoys to community members, which helped turn food waste into soil for growing food.
- New Zealand King Salmon, Ventisqueros, Australis, Bakkafrost, Camanchaca, Grieg Seafood and Cermaq engaged community members and employees to remove debris from local shores.
Supporting Healthy Lifestyles
- Bakkafrost combined its support of the Isle of Skye Half Marathon with its local school programs by asking students to design sustainably made wooden medals, which were distributed at the race.
Whether by providing healthy, tasty and eco-friendly food or by helping support thriving communities, GSI members are committed to having a positive impact on the people around us. To read more, take a look at our annual Sustainability Report and follow along on social media for new community projects throughout the year.