BAKKAFROST chief executive Regin Jacobsen is to become co-chairman of the Global Salmon Initiative, working alongside Gerardo Balbontin, head of the Chilean aquaculture and fishing company Blumar Seafoods.
The announcement was made by the GSI in London this week. Jacobsen, who master-minded Bakkafrost’s purchase of the Scottish Salmon Company last year, said the GSI was described by the World Wildlife Fund as a leading example of industry transformation and it was now the organisation’s job to build on that reputation through continuous improvement. He added:
‘The progress made to date under the GSI leadership is unprecedented, but now is not the time to rest on our laurels. We are all facing the huge challenges which continue to emerge on climate, biodiversity and food security. But by continuing to work together to address these challenges and share innovation, salmon farming can be part of the solution by providing healthy and sustainable food.’
However, the appointment of such a high profile supporter of sustainable fish farming was overshadowed by the news that Mowi, the world’s largest salmon producer, has decided to resign from the GSI. Gerardo Balbontin said Mowi had given no specific reason for leaving except to say it has decided that it is time for them to take their own independent path. He added:
‘Mowi has contributed a great deal to GSI, and we are confident that they will continue on the course that GSI set for the industry towards greater sustainability and transparency. At the same time, it is important that the GSI moves forward with ever more ambitious goals and that is what we are announcing today. We have identified the areas where we see the greatest need for industry action, and where we believe our model of working will drive the greatest progress.’
Meanwhile, the GSI has also strengthened climate commitments by announcing new ambitious targets as part of an advanced vision for the future. It plans to reach beyond initial Aquaculture Stewardship (ASC) certification ambitions to establish salmon farming as the leading provider of sustainable and climate friendly food.
The GSI is a leadership initiative established in 2013 by a number of global farmed salmon producers focused on making significant progress on industry sustainability. Member companies include Bakkafrost , Blumar, Cermaq, Compañía Pesquera Camanchaca, Empresas AquaChile, Grieg Seafood, Huon Aquaculture, Lerøy Seafood Group, Los Fiordos, Multiexport Foods, New Zealand King Salmon, Norway Royal Salmon, SalMar, Scottish Sea Farms and Ventisqueros.