Download our guide to Seafood Sustainability, our Update on Progress report and Sustainability reports from previous years.
A strong business case for sustainability
The seafood industry must be socially and environmentally sustainable to be profitable over the long term. A deep understanding of this elementary truth and its implications, by all stakeholders, is a prerequisite for environmentally responsible conduct as well as the successful development and profitable growth of our industry.
The world needs more seafood, and aquaculture must grow its production to meet demand. This growth must however be sustainable from all perspectives: environmental, social and economic.
History teaches that there are structural and economic traits of fisheries and the fish farming industry that must be addressed to avoid unsustainable business practices. Where fish farming and wild catch industries are fragmented the need for collective action may become manifest. The incentive to achieve short-range, high profitability can override the proper consideration of longer-term consequences. At the same time, competition for open access resources can easily cause conflicts with other stakeholders.
The seafood industry has experienced all these consequences, in the form of depletion of wild fish stocks, regional biological collapses in fish farming and entrenched conflicts with stakeholders. The negative consequences not only affect the environment and confidence of local communities, but also reduce profitability and limit growth opportunities over the longer term.
The present Marine Harvest Group is a result of four decades of consolidation in our industry. The management and owners of Marine Harvest have continuously worked to build a larger and more co-ordinated company with the financial strength and resources necessary to take a leading role in the sustainable development of our industry. We believe this strategy will prove to be highly profitable going forward.
Our long-term approach is rooted in four guiding principles, implemented through our global quality system and followed up on all management levels through business reviews of key performance indicators. This governance system drives development and implementation of global best practices, to secure sustainable development.
However, in the seafood industry, no single stakeholder defines sustainability, and regardless of size or resources, one company alone cannot solve all sustainability challenges. This is why communication must play a key role in the sustainable development of our industry.
Sustainability communications should take place globally, involve multiple stakeholders and promote open and honest dialogue. At Marine Harvest we seek out healthy exchanges with the scientific community to understand and develop fresh solutions. With politicians and regulatory bodies, close and open dialogue can bring a continuous improvement of regulatory mechanisms. In addition, the involvement of non-governmental organisations can help reach a common understanding of environmentally and socially responsible practices, motivate change and improvements.
Our ambition with our Sustainability Guide and our reports is that they should improve and inform our dialogues, and so can contribute to a sustainable development of the seafood industry, and ensure that we take good care of the environment.
There is only one earth, and we have a moral obligation to take care of it.