Preserving the Diversity of the Oceans

Preserving the Diversity of the Oceans

Out of respect for the environment and to protect species, we use fish from sustainable fishing and organic production. The MSC seal and others help to preserve marine fish stocks for future generations.

What does “sustainable fishing” mean?

In order to protect the ecosystem, it is necessary to take action along the entire supply chain. This starts with fishing methods. These must not interfere too much with the population of the species, so that the reproductive capacity of the species is not endangered.

It also depends on the way in which fishing is carried out. For example, the seabed must not be affected (remember that the animal are living there). It is therefore understandable that Greenpeace is therefore calling for a ban of fishing methods such as bottom trawls, miles of fishing lines and the use of dynamite.

Another problem is bycatch, i.e. fish that are not of the species that should actually be fished. The bycatch is normally thrown back into the sea, whether the animals are dead or injured. It is not comprehensible how high the share is or how many tons of fish is treated like this. It is obvious, that we prefer selective fishing methods using hand lines or baskets as they are more sustainable.

Sustainable fish products can come from sea fishing, inland fishing, angling and aquaculture.

Where do we stand today?

Our ocean biodiversity is threatened by overfishing, illegal fishing and destructive fishing.

At present, some 31% of the live stock are overfished. This means that there are too few adult fish to maintain the population. Illegal fishing is also a problem, which means that fishing quotas are being violated or fishing is taking place in areas that are not approved for it.

Destructive fishing means that cyanide is used to stun the fish, or explosives are used to simply collect the dead fish at the surface. The MSC program categorically prohibits the use of cyanide and explosives.

The MSC standards

In order to implement sustainability throughout the entire supply chain, the MSC has developed two comprehensive sets of criteria:

  1. The environmental standard applies to fisheries and it assesses whether these fisheries operate sustainably, i.e. whether they leave an intact ecosystem behind. It includes the following criteria:
    – The fish stock is in good condition
    – The marine habitat is protected
    – The management is effective
  • The traceability standard applies to processors and trading companies and ensures that catches from MSC certified fisheries remain identifiable throughout the (global) supply chain and are not mixed with conventional products.

Organic aquaculture is also sustainable

We source salmon from Naturland-certified organic aquaculture. The subject of aquaculture has fallen into disrepute, but here “Naturland” sets high standards for organic farming – stricter guidelines than the EU Organic Regulation:

  • The net enclosures in the sea are flushed with seawater.
  • Attention is paid to the stocking density so that the fish still have enough room to swim out.
  • The use of antibiotics is reduced to a medically necessary level.
  • Copper-containing agents for the protection of the nets and against algae growth are expressly avoided.
  • Seamless control and certification procedures give the consumer the certainty that the  demanding guidelines are adhered to by all companies along the supply chain.
  • High social and ethical standards prevail in the mostly smaller cooperatively organised farms. Our supplier pays attention to this.

As described above, the ocean ecosystem is exposed to many threats from humans, in addition to environmental disasters (which are mostly caused by humans). Therefore, we cannot exclude supply bottlenecks in certain raw material areas and have decided to declare organic salmon on the labels as “salmon” or “fish” in order to avoid false statements in any case. However, in accordance with our philosophy, we strive to produce organic products every day.

Much remains to be done for the future

The MSC’s criteria for sustainable fishing are important points on the way to a sustainable future, but in some cases they do not go far enough for the WWF and Greenpeace, and there is also criticism of the processes for awarding certification.

With the Naturland seal, aquaculture can also follow high ecological guidelines and contribute to the sustainable conservation of the ocean habitat. It is therefore important and right to look out for the MSC seal, the ASC seal for sustainable aquaculture and the Naturland seal in order not to buy uncertified fish from illegal fishing.