Nutrition Business Journal has recognized Aker BioMarine for its role in building the krill fishery infrastructure. For these efforts, the company has been given NBJ's 2012 award for Investing in the Future.
Aker BioMarine has invested significantly in creating a controlled krill supply chain in the Antarctic, with a long-term focus on sustainable harvesting. Sustainability has been at the core of Aker BioMarine's business since its inception. From its cooperation with World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF)-Norway to its certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to its collaboration with the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resource's (CCAMLR), Aker continues to do its part to ensure the future of the company as well as the krill fishery at large.
"With a sensible approach to krill fishery governance by external management, and taking the responsibility for our own harvesting activities seriously, we have always believed this to be a win-win relationship; otherwise there would be no reason to invest," said Webjørn Eikrem, EVP, Upstream Operations, Aker BioMarine.
Aker BioMarine now has two vessels, the Saga Sea and the Antarctic Sea, as well as dedicated manufacturing. Plans have also been finalized for a second production/extraction facility.
Despite two years of declining total krill volumes harvested globally, the company has managed to increase its share of the harvest each year. In 2012, Aker claimed 60 percent of the total krill catch, harvested in the most sustainable fashion.
"2012 was a tremendous year for us because we achieved many of our strategic initiatives," Eikrem continued. "We are very proud of this award because it is recognition by our peers of our long-term commitment to creating a sustainable infrastructure. Based on the strong foundation we've built, we are now in a secure position to expand our volumes as needed to service future growth."
Aker BioMarine is the only krill harvester certified by the MSC, an international nonprofit organization with an independent certifying body and a public assessment process. MSC focuses on the health of ocean stocks and how they are managed, in addition to assessing the effect of the fishery on the wider ecosystem, which includes a range of marine mammals, birds, and fish. As a result of MSC certification, Aker's products can carry the MSC eco-label, providing consumers with a guarantee of sustainability, effective fisheries management, and full traceability from sea to shelf. In order to maintain MSC Certification, Aker undergoes annual auditing during which it must maintain certain benchmarks and conditions.
Further, as part of an established commitment to substantiating krill's health benefits, Aker BioMarine continues to sponsor in vitro, in vivo, and human clinical trials with phospholipid omega-3s from krill, consistently demonstrating a higher uptake of these fatty acids, improved blood lipid profiles, and increased uptake of DHA in brain tissue.