Cermaq: Mistakes were made in Chile


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
August 10, 2011

One of the world’s largest salmon farmers on Thursday admitted that its activities in Chile were unsustainable leading up to the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) outbreak that crippled the country’s salmon-farming industry beginning in 2007.

Cermaq said it  has learned from its mistakes in Chile and has followed through with a number of “concrete” improvements.

“We are very pleased that this process concluded with constructive dialogue which both parties are set to continue,” said Bård Mikkelsen, chairman of the Cermaq board.

The “process” Mikkelsen is referring to is a complaint Friends of the Earth Norway and the Forum for Environment and Development (ForUM) filed against Cermaq in 2009, claiming the Norwegian company had violated Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines.

After two year of talks, the three parties have agreed on a joint statement that lays out how Cermaq will operate according to the precautionary principle, indigenous peoples’ rights, human rights, labor rights and reporting on sustainability. The statement also acknowledges that Cermaq, after the ISA crisis in Chile, has helped make the salmon-farming industry industry more sustainable.

“We see that Cermaq has undertaken positive changes in their routines to prevent fish disease both in Chile and in Cermaq’s global business,” said Lars Haltbrekken, chairman of Friends of the Earth Norway’s board.

Hans Petter Graver, Norway’s OECD representative and a University of Oslo professor, served as the mediator.

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