‘Seafood Intelligence’… [Shell]Fish News caught with a Sustainability & Ethics angle

Of Salmon farming, Seafood & Ocean Stewardship…

Of Social, Environmental and Financial Transparency Trends, Ethics, Sustainability Reporting…

Of Accountability, Reputation, Trust, Risk Management…  and Acceptance…

PS: 2010-2017: The yearly Seafood Intelligence transparency benchmarks provide — thanks to a comprehensive and yearly-revised 100+ KPI-based methodology — a metric and transparency-based assessment of how responsible the most powerful — and impactful — seafood / salmon companies are. And how to they aim to address (if at all) the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)… Thanks to our detailed & yearly assessments we are now also able to measure progress & Pledges vs. Achievements for some of the sustainable seafood key performance indicators…



SeafoodIntelligence.com is a subscriber-based international economic & market intelligence news service & information portal operating since 2003 which aims to inform all stakeholders of the global seafood sector (fisheries/aquaculture, seafood retail chain; incl. a strong focus on issues pertaining to salmon farming and seafood ‘Sustainability’).

We are independent and not industry-backed; neither are we pro-Norwegian, pro-American, pro-Scottish or pro-Japanese… It seems futile to state the above; in fact we shouldn’t have to… but there is – too often – a distinct ‘national’ dimension/bias to the ‘sustainable seafood’ debate in the media, which goes way beyond the ‘buy local’ sustainability dimension…

In short, a great deal of thepast two decades’s global  sustainable seafood debate has resulted in quarrelling and mutual opposition over the very definition of what constitutes ‘seafood sustainability’. This has, to some extent, been counter-productive and benefitted mostly those who thrived on negativity.

The perception of what the sustainability issues are how they can be addressed is just that; a perception by one stakeholder of another stakeholder’s’ perception(s).

We believe the real challenge in finding ‘sustainable’ solutions lies in addressing and reconciling those perceptions. ‘Responsible’ is also a term which should be applied to the various players/stakeholders in addressing others’ concerns – including those who expose and communicate the issue to a greatest audience… Only then will a pathway to a globally sustainable seafood industry and sustainable oceans emerge…

This service was set-up to fill a perceived gap in highlighting objectively the multi-faceted & pluridisciplinary dimensions of the issues facing the seafood sector world-wide (from boat/fish farm to fork) and for the benefit of consumers, social media influencers, scientists, industries, institutions & decision-makers at large.

There is never just ‘two’ (never mind ‘one’) side(s) to any story… and we strive not to be ‘industry-centric’, as specialised media tend to be, and provide a ‘fish-eye’ view of the past-present-future issues of relevance to seafood stakeholders worldwide…

We have a keen interest in Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility (CSER) as applied to the seafood/aquaculture / salmon sector to define “Sustainability”. We are setting up a number of monitoring initiatives targeted at the largest players in the industry and strive to help forward-looking firms improve their perception & reporting on sustainable/responsible seafood production and sourcing issues.

It is Seafood Intelligence’s strong belief that the global seafood industry needs to demonstrate ocean stewardship and ‘sustainability’ leadership to gain its social licence to operate. We make the case that financial, social and environmental sustainability are intrinsically and holistically linked. Trust and transparency-based acceptance is not only needed at the local political and community level, but also in the global market spheres. Sustainability reporting and accountability contribute to acceptance…

We thus also believe – among other things – in the polluter-pays-principle, increased science-based knowledge, a reasoned application of the precautionary principle, ‘fair’ arguments, multi-stakeholder dialogue, increased transparency, sustainability reporting and seafood ethics (#SeafoodEthics).

“Knowledge is Power” – (Sir Francis Bacon, in Religious Meditations, Of Heresies, 1597); Advance knowledge, well… must be even more power… even better so when applied to the seafood & oceans sustainability cause…


FAO tweet to Salmoskius re. Vigo (Sept 18 2015)

January 31, 2017, Update: The 2nd edition of the ‘Top 100 Seafood Firms’ Transparency Benchmark’ is now out! Complete with an entirely revised methodology also making  the parallel with  corporate sustainability reporting / KPIs (including GRI G4 indicators) and  the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). See also the Testimonials here: http://www.seafoodintell.com/?page_id=18



The report – a hefty 1,580 pages (vs. ‘only’ 1,117 pages for the tentative 2015 edition) – comes in three volumes containing several hundreds of data-rich tables, matrices & comparative tables. It follows on the footsteps of the similar yearly (since 2011) benchmarking exercise which focuses on the world’s Salmon Farming Industry which has now become the industry’s ‘sustainability transparency’ reference.

This year sees the Top 5% ranked in the “Excellent!” Transparency category ([Corporate, Social and Environmental Reporting rating] CSERr > 70/100); 5 firms vs. 4 in 2015: +1); 11% in the “Very Good” Transparency category (CSERr [50-70[); 21% in the “Can do Better” Transparency category (CSERr [30-50/100[); 49% in the “Poor to Very poor!” Transparency Category (CSER [0.01-30[); and 14% in the “Absolutely Nil” Transparency Category (CSER = 0.00)… Overall, a lot of work needs doing if the seafood industry is to live up to consumers’ expectations when it comes to seafood sustainability and ‘ethics’.

Did you know that 79% of the Top 100 seafood firms did not communicate on the [human] fatalities ‘registered’ (or not) in their operations in 2015-2016; and that fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet? Similar comments can be made re. many ethical and human rights issues, at a time when those concerns are catching the attention of the media, retailers, consumers… More than ‘simply’ having economic and environmental footprints, seafood products which end up in our plates can and do have social (including on ethnic minorities in some of the world’s remote areas, which oft-“coincide” with fisheries and aquaculture activities) and human impacts… What are those footprints? Those assessments start with registering, monitoring and reporting data…

Among many other things, the Seafood Intelligence Benchmarking Report provides a valuable source of information re. the disclosures and non-disclosures from the various seafood / fisheries / aquaculture corporations and industry organisations. The long-term aim being to assess the level of transparency displayed by the global seafood industry, as we firmly believe that the industry (including all ‘keystone’ actor)’s sustainability, its social license to operate, and the transparency it displays are intrinsically linked…

The ‘Top 100’ 2016 report which features 35 Asian firms (25 of which headquartered in Japan), 20 North American firms (17 from the USA), 17 from the EU, 11 from Norway, 6 from South America, etc… is the second edition of an annual comparative benchmark of the global seafood industry’s transparency; rating them against a set of 135 key performance indicators (KPIs) linked to ‘sustainability reporting’ in the seafood realm, thus constituting a ‘transparency audit’ of sorts for each company. Assessments and comparisons are made by sector [Aquaculture; Wild Catch Fisheries; Fish Feed/Meal/oil; Seafood Processing/Trade], country of headquarter, continents/regions, type of company (stock listed: 51/100; Private: 48; Government-owned: 1); type of reporting (GRI-G4 indexed-reporting, Annual/Integrated), Main species Tuna / Salmon, etc…


August 2016 Update:  The 6th edition of  Benchmarking of the world’s Top 35 Salmonid Farmers + Top  Salmon Feed firms’ Sustainability reporting – is now out. NB: This year’s report’s title changes to ‘The Seafood Intelligence Salmon Industry Transparency Benchmarking Report 2016′.

Salmon Report cover 2016 - Vol.2

The scope of the Seafood Intelligence benchmarking (with a methodology entirely revisited) has been widened in 2016 to 10 of the world’s Top Salmonid Feed firms; and includes also a comprehensive review/benchmarking of the Sustainability data/Transparency level displayed by the 15 international & national salmon producers organisations worldwide.

The massive amount of data & information collected and the comparative analysis provided will again prove a must-read for anybody with an interest in the salmon farming industry & its ‘social licence to operate’, the seafood sustainability debate, and those thinking [& strongly encouraged] to adopt yearly  (or ‘better’…) GRI-indexed Sustainability Reporting.

The companies assessed in the 2016 Salmon Industry benchmarking report are:

Aller Aqua, Alsaker Fjordbruk, AquaChile, Australis Seafoods, Bakkafrost, BioMar (Schouw & Co.), Blumar Seafoods, Bolaks, Bremnes Seashore, Camanchaca (Salmones), Cermaq (stand-alone), Cooke Aquaculture, Ellingsen Seafood, EWOS (Cargill Aqua Nutrition), Grieg Seafood, Huon Aquaculture, Invermar, Leroy Seafood, Los Fiordos, Marine Harvest Group, Marine Farms (GMT), Midt Norsk, MultiExports, New Zealand King Salmon, Nordlaks, Northern Harvest, Norway Royal Salmon, Nova Sea, Petuna, Polar Feed, Ridley Corp., Salmar, SalmoFeed, Salmones Antartica (Nissui), Salmones Austral, Salmones Aysen, Scottish Sea Farms, Sinkaberg-Hansen, Skretting (Nutreco), Tassal, The Scottish Salmon Company, Ventisqueros.

The regional & international salmon farming representative organisations benchmarked include:

  • SalmonChile,
  • Sjomat Norge (the Norwegian Seafood Federation, formerly known as FHL),
  • The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO)
  • The British Columbia Salmon Farmers’ Association (BCSFA)
  • The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA)
  • The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA)
  • The Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association (TSGA)
  • The New Zealand Salmon Farmers Association Inc. (NZSFA)/ Aquaculture New Zealand
  • The Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA)
  • The Irish Salmon Growers Association / IFA Aquaculture
  • The Faroe Fish Farmers Association (FFFA)
  • The Iceland Aquaculture Association (IAA)
  • The Maine Aquaculture Association (MAA, USA)
  • The Washington Fish Growers’ Association (WFGA)
  • The International Salmon Farmers Association (ISFA)
  • The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI).

More details about the benchmarking reports here: http://www.seafoodintell.com/?page_id=16


Read more in theAbout Us‘, ‘Consultancy‘, CSR, Ethics and Sustainability Benchmarking‘, and  ‘Testimonials‘ sections.

In order to subscribe, you must first contact us by email (subscriptions – at – seafoodintelligence.dot.com) and we’ll let you know how to proceed. You can find out more about our annual subscription rates here: http://www.seafoodintell.com/?page_id=374

Once a subscriber, you will have access to all the news headlines/content, receive our daily newsletters, etc… Browsing through the archives has also been made simple thanks to a very detailed News Archiving system (by region, species, topic, industry sector, dates, etc. [hundreds of keywords]). Once logged-in, the standard non-subscriber messages “The content you are trying to access is only available to paying subscribers. Sorry…” and/or  “Nothing found – It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.” disappear and ‘all is revealed…

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