Aker BioMarine has received Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) recertification for the sustainability and 100 percent traceability of its krill products, including krill oil. MSC's standards are considered some of the strongest in the world for environmentally sustainable fishing.
"We are reassured that the scientific panel, after an in-depth review of the fishery, has concluded that Aker BioMarine's krill fishery does not negatively impact the krill population, does not negatively affect the ecosystem, and that the fishery is well-managed," said Sigve Nordrum, sustainability director, Aker BioMarine. "We appreciate that our clients and their customers take sustainability seriously, and that they demand MSC certification from their suppliers."
The recertification process started in 2013 and took approximately 18 months complete. Aker BioMarine's new MSC certificate will apply to the fishery for the next five years (2015 to 2020). The company first went through the MSC certification process in 2009 and has since undergone annual audits. To date, Aker BioMarine is the first and only krill harvesting company with MSC certification.
Camiel Derichs, regional director at MSC, said: "Aker BioMarine's Antarctic krill fishery has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to ensuring the sustainability of its fishing practices. Its precautionary approach to catch levels, investments in science and research, and actions to reduce bycatch mean that it is now one of the best performing fisheries in the MSC program. Passing reassessment with no conditions or reconditions is a testament to this."
Nina Jensen, CEO of World Wildlife Fund-Norway (WWF-Norway), also commented on this significant achievement: "As part of its environmental commitment, Aker BioMarine has made a significant effort to reach out to the rest of the industry to communicate the importance of sustainability," she said. "Aker BioMarine also partners with various scientific entities to carry out important Antarctic ecosystem research. When buying krill oil, we encourage retailers and consumers to ensure that the products they buy and sell are certified by a credible independent third party, such as the MSC."
The recertification process
Aker's recertification was renewed without any objection, no conditions, and with very high scores including:
- Target Species - 90/100
- Ecosystem - 93/100
- Management System - 93.1/100
The four conditions set for certification included:
- Estimate target reference point (determine the risk for the krill stock associated with the krill harvest)
- Determine the fish larvae by-catch
- Effects of the fishery on the ecosystem/krill predators
- Map krill predator interaction
Aker BioMarine further developed the fishery and the documentation, so that these four conditions were closed two years ahead of schedule.
Comprehensive interviews were carried out as part of the reassessment process, complemented by a full and thorough review of relevant literature and data sources. Key stakeholders in the fishery—including skippers, scientists, fishery protection officers, NGOs (nongovernment organizations), fishery managers and technical support staff—were crucial to the development of this report. Some of the specific stakeholders included WWF-Norway, Greenpeace and the British Antarctic Survey.
"Recently, the Antarctic krill fishery has been under significant scrutiny due to major misconceptions surrounding sustainability. Therefore, this recertification comes at the perfect time," said Marte Haabeth Grindaker, sustainability manager, Aker BioMarine. "By working with regulatory authorities, stakeholders and other organizations dedicated to the health of the krill biomass, collectively we can help demystify misconceptions and show that Aker operates one of the most sustainable fisheries in the world."