Sealord invests USD 6 million in carbon offset project; Arbiom releases results of pilot project with Mowi, Waitrose

Doug Paulin

SeafoodSource is closely following the sustainable seafood movement and is compiling a regular round-up of sector updates pertaining to sustainability initiatives.

- Nelson, New Zealand-based seafood company Sealord Group has invested approximately USD 6 million (EUR 5.5 million) in a forest carbon offset project, working with Maori landowners.

The investment vessel, developed by Te Arawa fisheries and New Zealand Carbon Farming (NZCF), is converting underutilized land to native forest in New Zealand. Sealord CEO Doug Paulin said the carbon offset project backs the company’s sustainability initiatives.

“Sealord is committed to sustainability and playing our role in helping to address climate change impacts on future generations. We’ve already reduced our total emissions by 23.7 percent since we started measuring our carbon footprint in 2019, through investment in new vessels, fuel optimization, focused maintenance, and reducing fossil fuel use in our land-based operations," Paulin said. “Now that we’ve made some significant changes, the challenge is hitting our science-based carbon emission targets as there are limited options for further big gains within our operations. This long-term plan helps us further mitigate climate change through off-setting as a final option.” 

The investment supports New Zealand's national goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, according to Paulin.

“With fuel burned by our vessels representing over 90 percent of our scope 1 emissions, we can only reduce to a certain point with our current fleet," he said. “We are actively monitoring development of engine technology and new fuel sources, but this may be decades away from becoming viable in our fleet. While we wait for this, we have made the decision that we must invest now to enable Sealord to have options in the future so we can meet our carbon commitments.”

 - On 4 September, the U.N. FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean announced a call for proposals for its MedFish4Ever awards. The awards are designed to promote innovation and creativity of sustainability in the fisheries and aquaculture and will be presented at the organization's annual conference, which will open on 3 October and will feature panels on fishing technology, aquaculture, and preventing illegal unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU).

“Five years away from reaching the targets set by the Malta MedFish4Ever Declaration, and in the wake of recent crises that have called for greater adaptation and the need to boost progress, the GFCM High-Level Conference on MedFish4Ever initiatives: Transformative actions to address new challenges aims to take stock of advances and inspire reinforced ambition towards sustainable Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries and aquaculture,” the Commission said in a release. 

- Paris, France-based biotechnology firm Arbiom, which has pioneered the development of a yeast-based aquafeed ingredient, announced the results of a joint project it completed with Mowi, Aquascot, and Waitrose to develop a salmon value chain using its SylPro feed.

At the end of the project, 80 U.K. Waitrose customers were invited to test fillets of Atlantic salmon farmed in Scotland and fed Sylpro feed. Of those, two thirds said they would buy the salmon if it were available to them, according to Arbiom.

"It illustrates that the sensory properties of SylPro translate as well in processed fish products," the company said. "In addition, inclusion of SylPro in aquafeeds does not significantly change the appearance, odor, or aftertaste on both raw and cooked salmon. Moreover, consumers prefer the mouthfeel of salmons fed with SylPro compared to standard salmon. Fewer respondents are disinclined to purchase salmon fed SylPro diet than standard salmon. It is then possible to appeal to more consumers to buy salmons filets when there are fed a diet which included SylPro."

Arbiom said internal studies have shown 68 percent of U.K.-based consumers are open to purchasing salmon fed with SylPro, and that the French market also holds potential for the company, as a a 2022 study from Protéines France association showed 25 percent of French citizens changed their food habits to include non-animal sources of proteins in their diets in 2022, "slowly shifting towards a more sustainable and healthy food system."

"European consumer perception for yeast-based protein foods within the project is very positive, from fish feed incorporation to the inclusion of SylPro in final food products," the company said. "This predicts a great future forecast for the alternative protein market as more and more people are interested in sustainable foods. 

- On 5 September, research firm Coherent Market Insights released its 2023 Sustainable Seafood Market Report, providing market analysis of the global sustainable seafood market. The report outlines key factors impacting the sector and identifies trends and major players.

“It is a complete study on the global sustainable seafood market that can be used as a set of effective guidelines for ensuring strong growth in the coming years," Coherent Market Insights said in a release.

Photo courtesy of Doug Paulin/LinkedIn


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