The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI)


Tool Type

Risk assessments | Improvements

Risk Type

Climate change | Environmental

Feed Ingredients

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Animal proteins (LAP/PAP)

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Aquaculture trimmings

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Oil palm

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Single-cell proteins (SCP)

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Vitamins & minerals

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Wild capture fisheries

What is it?

Representing approximately 40% of the global farmed salmon sector, the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) is a leadership initiative established by leading farmed salmon CEOs from around the world who share a vision of providing a healthy and sustainable source of protein to feed a growing population, while minimizing their environmental footprint, and continuing to improve their social and economic contribution.

Through global collaboration and research, pooling of resources, and sharing of knowledge, the GSI aims to make significant improvements across the industry in terms of social responsibility, environmental impact, and social contributions. 

Focus areas are:

  • ASC certification;
  • Carbon footprint;
  • Sustainable feed;
  • Biosecurity;
  • Social responsibility; and,
  • The future of aquaculture.

Improvements – Sustainable feed

Through partnerships with its Associate Members –  BioMar, Cargill, Skretting, and Salmofood, and their work with the ASC, the GSI hopes to accelerate the development of new solutions and approaches to improving the sustainability of feed ingredients, while maintaining its position as an industry leader in environmental performance.

Under their sustainable feed focus, GSI members are focusing on the sustainable sourcing of krill, innovation in feed ingredients, improvements in forage fish dependency ratios (FFDR) and feed conversion rates (FCR), optimizing the use of by-products, finding alternative sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, and support the ASC feed standard

As part of the GSI mission to achieve 100% ASC certification, its members will incorporate this additional standard into their responsible sourcing practices.

Note that ASC-certified farms have until October 2025 to transition to ASC-compliant feed produced under the ASC Feed Standard to continue to meet the ASC Farm Standards.

Their members and associate feed companies will use this standard as a framework to promote greater transparency in the supply chain and ensure that all ingredients are responsibly sourced.

Sourcing of feed ingredients

GSI member companies, alongside their feed associate members, are committed to:

  • Ensuring all krill are harvested responsibly to preserve stocks, under strict supervision in line with regulated catch limits set by The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Any instance of bycatch is unacceptable and should result in immediate changes to processes and best practices by certification bodies to prevent another incident and to ensure responsible practices are not compromised.
  • Sourcing only MarinTrust or MSC-certified Antarctic krill.
  • Supporting the creation of marine protected areas, including no-fishing areas in the Antarctic.
  • Continuing to evaluate alternative ingredients to replicate the nutritional benefits krill provide, such as algae.
  • Working with the ASC feed standard to ensure all feed ingredients are sourced from only responsible feed companies.

GSI members and feed companies also support and participate in several policies and initiatives at both a company and industry level to ensure sustainable, and responsible sourcing of soy.

This includes:

  • Sourcing soy from deforestation-free soybeans and palm products and purchasing Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), ProTerra, or equivalently certified products
  • Many GSI members are partnered with third-party projects including Cerrado Manifesto, and the Round Table of Responsible Soy.
  • Several GSI members have stated their unequivocal support for the Amazon Soy Moratorium (ASM) in Brazil. 
  • Some members have also joined forces with ProTerra and Brazilian soy producers to show their commitment to responsible soy production. The ‘Aquaculture Dialogue on Sustainable Soy Sourcing from Brazil’ group discusses improvements in traceability, transparency, supplier code of conduct, and deforestation. 
  • Members also have their projects and initiatives, including internal education, geo-mapping, and risk assessments to identify the sources of the soybeans they use and the risks of deforestation in those areas
  • The ASC has developed a new ASC Feed Standard which includes guidance and reporting on feed ingredients, including soy. As part of the GSI mission to achieve 100% ASC certification, its members will incorporate this additional standard into their responsible sourcing practices.

Climate Change

Members of the GSI are also committed to reducing their carbon footprint across their operations and supply chains. They are working with the WWF to establish a standardized GHG accounting framework for the salmon farming sector, and applying it to the broader aquaculture sector. 

Through standardized accounting and aligned data collection, they will identify opportunities for mitigation and then use the GSI pre-competitive model to share better practices and lessons learned to accelerate the reductions.

They use the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) as their accounting framework.

They also partner with IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and are piloting data collection through the IDH Aquaculture Working Group on Environmental Footprint tool designed to support data gathering according to this framework.