Global Salmon Initiative’s annual report shows 48 percent decrease in antibiotics use since group’s founding

Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) has published its ninth annual sustainability report, highlighting a commitment to improve eco-efficiency of feed ingredients, raise better farmed salmon and reduce fish mortality.

The report, published Thursday, showed that GSI members saw a 48 percent decrease in the average use of antibiotics since the initiative was launched in 2013, citing the development of efficient vaccines and improved practices as driving that decline.

“As a global protein source, farmed salmon uses the least antibiotics of all animal proteins. However, we believe that a continued reduction in their use is hugely important, and are committed to ensuring the highest levels of fish health through a holistic approach to sustainable salmon farming,” the report stated.

The GSI said that it has made reducing the use of antibiotics as soon as possible one of its top priorities, seeking. “new and innovative ways” to do so, such as supporting pharmaceutical R&D to accelerate development of new vaccines and conducting a variety of joint projects and trials between initiative members.

“Through continued research and innovation, pooling of knowledge and resources, and ongoing cooperation, we feel we can make a significant impact on ensuring we’re using the most effective management strategies to support optimum fish health performance. There are two main challenges to fish health and disease management–sea lice control and reducing the use of antibiotics. As members of the GSI we have committed to working collaboratively to find new approaches to improve management of these challenges,” the group added in a press release.

Similarly, in its drive to create a more environmentally friendly industry, the report highlighted the years of work spend improving the eco-efficiency of feed ingredients, acknowledging the “need to find innovative ways of promoting responsible use” of the resources needed for farming salmon.

“One major component of current salmon feed comes from wild fish in the form of fish meal and fish oil. As the demand for protein grows, and in turn the salmon aquaculture industry grows to meet that demand, we know we cannot continue to use these resources to the same levels,” GSI said.

GSI is a collective of salmon farming companies that formed in 2013 with a shared vision to improve the environmental sustainability of farmed salmon.

“We want our sustainability report to be a signal of members’ shared commitment to raise a great product in the most responsible way. But, the proof is in our data and we know that good is never good enough. This report is our way of motivating progress, holding one another accountable and doubling down on areas where we need to improve and innovate faster,” Sophie Ryan, GSI’s CEO, said.

 

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