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Global Salmon Initiative Shows Advancements in Sustainable Farming Practices

Innovation and collaboration in the sector drive environmental improvements across the food system and produce farmed salmon that’s raised to be better.
  • Coalition representing 40% of global farmed salmon industry releases data across 14 sustainability metrics
  • Farm-raised salmon is a nutrient-dense and environmentally conscious choice for protein, contributing a lower carbon footprint, requiring less land, and using feed resources more efficiently
  • The Global Salmon Initiative is accelerating innovations in fish farming that help support healthier diets and more resilient global food systems

London, UK: May 19, 2021, 10:00 BST: The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI), an industry-leading coalition representing 40% of the salmon farming sector, released its 2020 Sustainability Report today. This annual report demonstrates the environmental and nutritional benefits of farm raised salmon, and shows progress against key sustainability metrics for each of GSI’s 13 salmon farming member companies.

GSI is a unique private sector model that unites salmon farming companies alongside companies across the supply chain. All members are committed to showing measurable progress in the sustainability of their operations through greater collaboration, transparency and innovation. Now in its 8th iteration, GSI’s independently audited Sustainability Report is a clear signal of members’ continued commitment to transparency and accountability for the environmental and societal contributions of responsibly farmed salmon.

The 2020 Sustainability Report demonstrates how GSI members produce farmed salmon that is raised to be better for:

  • People: Farmed salmon is nutrient-dense, containing protein, healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals and is recommended in dietary guidelines around the world. GSI members’ commitment to producing Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)-certified salmon means people globally have improved access to responsibly farmed salmon.
  • Planet: Farmed salmon is an environmentally conscious protein choice as it has a low carbon footprint and is a highly efficient user of raw ingredients. GSI members continue to innovate across the supply chain to further improve these measures.
The question we have to ask ourselves today is how we can develop a food system that provides the amount of healthy food we need while not destroying our planet. Salmon farming alone will not be the answer, but done right, it is definitely part of the solution. Our job now is to get it right. Within GSI we have created a framework to drive the necessary improvements industry-wide at speed and scale – and this report shows us where and how. The findings are not just for our stakeholders, but for our own members as we hold each other accountable and identify where we collectively need to work harder.

Sophie Ryan, CEO, Global Salmon Initiative

GSI’s work is targeted at driving improvements in farming practices to minimize environmental impact and increase the availability of responsibly farmed salmon for consumers around the world. The latest Sustainability Report documents how GSI’s industry-transforming model is resulting in demonstratable environmental progress across member companies:

  • Produced 420,000 tons of ASC-certified farmed salmon in 2020, up from zero in 2013. GSI members have driven the rapid adoption of this standard.
  • Reduced the use of marine ingredients in fish feed, made possible through GSI’s leadership in supporting the accelerated development and incorporation of novel ingredients (such as algae oils), continued improvements in feed conversion ratios and feed formulations, and reducing lost resources through the use of industry by-products.
  • Identified and applied innovative and holistic approaches to promote optimal fish welfare. Since 2013, average antibiotic use among GSI members dropped by 60% and in some cases has reached zero. GSI members continue to share knowledge on the latest best practices to further ensure optimal fish health and welfare.
What makes GSI stand out is that they brought together company CEOs and empowered technical staff to work together and do the hard work of addressing the sector’s critical challenges – feed, welfare and impact. Through information-sharing to find solutions and motivate environmental improvements, they flattened the learning curve for everybody on how to make the industry more sustainable. The model has proven to be successful and deliver results, and now we need other sectors to follow suit.

Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, Markets & Executive Director, Markets Institute, World Wildlife Fund

2021 Priorities & Partnerships

Beyond the salmon farming sector, new models of production and improvement are necessary across the global food system to meet current and future environmental and nutritional needs. GSI’s model has proven to yield results, driven by four key elements applicable across other sectors: greater transparency, global action, supply chain engagement, and local capacity to implement. GSI is already leveraging these learnings and environmental advancements, not only to help improve aquaculture, but also to create ripple effects across the global food system. GSI is working with global organizations and initiatives to extend this momentum, including:

  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Building on a nearly decade-long partnership, GSI and WWF are working to develop an industry-wide reporting framework to measure greenhouse gas emissions for the aquaculture sector and identify ways to further mitigate climate impact.
  • United Nations Food Systems Summit (UN FSS): As a member of the UN FSS Champions Network and recent co-host of a Food Systems Summit Dialogue, GSI is applying its proven change model and platform to help identify and activate game-changing solutions for food systems transformation.

To learn more about how GSI members’ farmed salmon is raised to be better, visit, where resources – including infographics and case studies on GSI’s ability to help catalyze action for sustainable food systems transformation – are now available.


The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) is a leadership effort established by global farmed salmon CEOs committed to helping feed the world in a healthier, more sustainable way through advancements in responsible salmon farming. Representing 40% of the global farmed salmon industry, GSI members’ farmed salmon is raised to be better. We recognize our ability – and responsibility – to drive positive change at speed and scale.

GSI is committed to propelling advancements in aquaculture that drive healthier, more sustainable diets and global food systems – for now and for generations to come. Members’ pioneering efforts help ensure that farmed salmon is raised to be better for people and planet.

GSI member companies are Australis Seafoods S.A.; Bakkafrost (including Scottish Salmon Company); Blumar; Cermaq; Salmones Camanchaca SA; Empresas AquaChile; Grieg Seafood ASA; Multiexport Foods S.A.; New Zealand King Salmon; Nova Sea AS; Salmones Austral; Tassal; 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.

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.

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

Website –
Twitter – @GSI_Salmon
LinkedIn – Global Salmon Initiative
Instagram – @GSI_Salmon

Media contacts:

Sophie Ryan
+44 7425722656

Elizabeth Reilly
+1 717 887 9385