British Columbia’s aquaculture sector is the most heavily regulated globally. This reflects the Canadian public’s expectation for protection of the natural environment via regular third-party monitoring, the humane raising of our salmon and filing of extensive data around our fish health practices. We report to six regulatory agencies federally and provincially, all with a responsibility to monitor various aspects of the industry. More than 500 mandated reports are filed annually with much of our reports available to the public at Fisheries and Oceans Canada https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/stats-eng.html as well as Grieg’s own website at https://www.griegseafoodcanada.com/our-environment/.
Farmed salmon is one of the most eco-efficient and sustainable forms of protein available. The coastal waters of B.C. naturally provide the temperature, salinity and other conditions for farming healthy salmon.
Salmon farming is among the most environmentally-friendly forms of animal husbandry.
- Fish can be farmed with only 2.9 kg of carbon equivalent per kg of edible product.
- Pork requires 5.9 kg of carbon equivalent per edible kg of pork and beef requires 30.0 kg per edible kg of beef (SINTEF, 2009).
Canadian salmon farmers use less than 1.2 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of fish. Salmon farming is among the most climate-friendly forms of animal husbandry, and our industry is committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility. We work under stringent regulations from a number of government bodies, such as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Ministry of Environment.
We also commit to having our farms audited by third-party, independent bodies like Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). Third-party certification is an important aspect of being accountable to consumers, communities, government bodies and Indigenous partners. It means independent experts have audited and certified that our farms are operating to best practice standards. Through certification by third party bodies, partners and consumers can be confident that Grieg Seafood is committed to the environment, social integrity, the health of our salmon and the consumer.
ASC: Our goal is to have our farms 100% ASC certified by 2021. Currently our farms in Nootka Sound and the Sunshine Coast have received this certification this year, with Esperanza Inlet next to be audited. ASC certification is the aquaculture equivalent of the well-known Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for commercial fisheries and is the world’s leading standard for aquaculture.
BAP: Grieg Seafood has been awarded the Best Aquaculture Practices certification by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, the leading standards-setting organization for aquaculture seafood. The Best Aquaculture Practices standards are developed by a committee of diverse stakeholders including leading progressive environmental organizations. The review process involved an audit of Grieg’s social responsibility, food safety, animal welfare and traceability processes and systems, as well as audits at its farms.
To read more on our certification goals, as well as see what sites are currently certified or under assessment, visit our Certification page by clicking here.
You can also check the location, certification status, data reporting (sea lice) of each Grieg BC farm here.
Sustainability along the value chain
In July 2020, Grieg Seafood ASA excluded Cargill Aqua Nutrition from the proceeds of its NOK 1 billion ($103 million/$92 million) green bond until its parent company Cargill significantly reduces its soy-related deforestation risk in Brazil.
As a company with Brazilian soy in our value chain, we are deeply concerned about the current developments in Brazil. Deforestation needs to be halted because we are in a climate crisis, and also because we must protect the biodiversity of these forests.
Earlier this year, we launched the Cerrado Funding Coalition alongside Tesco and Nutreco in an attempt to halt deforestation in Brazil’s Cerrado. This initiative provides financial incentives to farmers to transition away from clearing the Cerrado to grow soy. Rather, this initiative will encourage these soy farmers to plant harvests on already cleared agricultural land.
We are in dialogue with Cargill on the issue and they are signaling progress so we hope that this deforestation risk will be resolved. What we need for that to happen is action.
GRIEG SEAFOOD EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Launched in 2019, the Grieg Seafood Excellence (GSE) Program is an integrated management system that incorporates the best practices in safety, environment and social licence. All Grieg BC’s sites are being held accountable to this higher internal standard to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable operations.
The GSE program also incorporates elements of the BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices), ASC and OSSE (Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence) certification standards that will assist our sites in achieving or maintaining these certifications.
Through the GSE program, Grieg BC is currently seeking ASC certification for all of our farms by 2021. This is the world’s leading standard for aquaculture.
To read more about Grieg BC’s ASC certification goals, click here.
Grieg BC getting greener
Grieg Seafood BC has begun decreasing its purchase of and reliance on single-use plastics for its office and sea site accommodations, including bottled water, plastic bags and plastic straws. Grieg will also limit its purchasing of company T-shirts and other wearable apparel, as we believe in reducing our impact on the growing microplastics problem in our oceans:
Polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers — all of which are forms of plastic — are now about 60 percent of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide. Synthetic plastic fibers are cheap and extremely versatile, providing for stretch and breathability in athleisure, and warmth and sturdiness in winter clothes.
These fibers contribute to ocean plastic pollution in a subtle but pervasive way: The fabrics they make — along with synthetic-natural blends — leach into the environment just by being washed. Estimates vary, but it’s possible that a single load of laundry could release hundreds of thousands of fibers from our clothes into the water supply.
And these tiny fibers — less than 5 millimeters in length, with diameters measured in micrometers (one-thousandth of a millimeter) — can eventually reach the ocean. There, they’re adding to the microplastic pollution that’s accumulating in the food chain and being ingested by all sorts of marine wildlife, and even us. Most of the plastic that’s in the ocean, in terms of number of pieces, is not in the form of whole products like cups or straws, but instead broken-down shreds of plastic.– Brian Resnick, Vox