Fourteen salmon farmers - representing half the global industry - have delivered their first report on sustainability. As Hayley Platt reports the Global Salmon Initiative was set up two years ago to safeguard the environmental and financial health of the industry.
A floating salmon farm off the coast of Norway. Just one example of a rapidly growing industry. Farming salmon may have only begun 40 years ago but demand for foods rich in protein has turned it into a $5 billion a year business. In 2013, 14 companies representing around half the world's farmed salmon, joined forces to form the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI). Its aim - to try an improve practices and bring transparency to the industry. The group has just delivered its first report, highlighting the improvements in sustainability. Jon Hindar is its co-chairman. SOUNDBITE: Jon Hindar, Co-Chairman, Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) and CEO Cermaq saying (English): "I think there is significant improvements being made in the salmon feed sector where all the ingredients for the feed, we try to source from sustainable sources. And also to have the technology and practices in farming which are sustainable so we don't leave any environmental or ecological footprint to speak of behind." Run badly, the farms produce waste and spread disease, hurting the local ecosystem. The Global Salmon Initiative aims to fix the mistakes of the past, and make the industry more open to environmental scrutiny as well as looking after its financial well being for future generations. SOUNDBITE: Jon Hindar, Co-Chairman, Global Salmon Initiative, saying (English): "If you don't pay a lot of attention to dealing with the pathogens and parasites you will have elevated mortality and huge financial loss, that is one thing, so we also have a financial incentive to do the best we can when it comes to fish health and preventive fish health." The global salmon farming industry produces $10 billion worth of the oily fish each year. Just a drop in the ocean compared to 7 billion people who live on the planet. And with that figure expected to rise by 2 billion over the next three decades, food sustainability is even more crucial.