“The global population is increasing and, in order to maintain at least the current level of per-capita consumption of aquatic foods, the world will require an additional 23 million tonnes thereof by 2020” FAO, 2012
With limited availability of arable land and fresh water, the opportunity for agriculture is limited. Seafood is one of the healthiest sources of nutrition available, and offers one very viable solution in helping answer the increasing demand for protein in the coming years.
Wild fisheries are already heavily over fished and exploited, and in order to protect stocks for the future, we will need to look to aquaculture as a means for meeting the increasing demand for seafood. Almost half of all seafood currently eaten comes from aquaculture farms, and if the sector is to continue to support the growing demand for protein sources, the industry itself will need to grow too.
While all food production has an environmental impact, aquaculture has many benefits over agriculture and meat production in terms of its environmental performance, including:
- Less demand on arable land
- Low emissions of CO2, phosphorus, and nitrogen
- Low and efficient use of fresh water
- One of the most efficient feed to food conversion ratios
In order for the farmed salmon industry to meet the growing demand for protein, we must ensure we continue to reduce our environmental impact, and ensure the sustainable future of the sector.
The GSI sees sustainability to include three main pillars: environmental impact, social responsibility, and economic sustainability. As an industry, we recognize that if we are to protect the long-term future of the salmon fish farming sector, and provide a healthy and sustainable product, we must make every effort to understand the long-term consequences of our actions, and abide by each pillar of the sustainability mantra.
As members of the GSI, we know our strength comes from our collaboration and co-operation, and we are committed to collaborating when it comes to the environment. Together with the involvement of our stakeholders, we aim to put sustainability at the forefront of all our operations.
The GSI is committed to:
- Minimizing the environmental impact of our operations
- Sourcing sustainable feed
- Continuing to improve the social impact of our operations
- Managing our operations in a manner to support economic growth and stability
- Producing a healthy and nutritious product farmed in a sustainable way
There is no quick way to achieving sustainability, but we know it is our responsibility to make the necessary improvements to safeguard our industry and the waters we operate in. If we make the right decisions now, we can ensure we have a healthy environment for the future.