The Fishin’ Company, Gorton’s partner with ForSea Solutions on sustainability initiative in Russian salmon fisheries

Published on
May 21, 2021

North American seafood companies including The Fishin’ Company and Gorton’s have partnered with ForSea Solutions to promote continued improvement in Russia’s Far East salmon fisheries.

A sustainability and technical consultancy for the seafood industry, ForSea Solutions was formed in 2016 “to provide technical guidance to Russian salmon fishermen to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification,” according to founder and president Natasha Novikova. It has provided technical guidance and leadership support to more than 30 Russian salmon companies, helping several to achieve MSC certification; five are currently in various stages of their sustainability efforts, ForSea said.

In this latest endeavor, ForSea will collaborate with its supplier partners to increase the amount of wild salmon from the Kamchatka, Sakhalin, and Khabarovsk regions that meets the companies’ “high standards for sustainable sourcing before import to North America,” it said.

“We are excited that The Fishin’ Company and Gorton's have similar goals to advance the sustainability efforts of these fisheries. These efforts include fishery improvement projects, MSC certification, and much more,” Novikova said.

Russia harvests approximately four million metric tons (MT) of seafood annually, making it the fifth-largest producer of seafood in the world. The country is responsible for 45 percent of wild-caught salmon globally, with the Kamchatka, Sakhalin Island, and Khabarovsk regions, generating 80 percent of its wild salmon harvest.

The Fishin’ Company Director of Sustainability Justin Baugh said the Munhall, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.-based firm, which first linked up with ForSea Solutions four years ago, has long recognized Russia’s critical role in meeting U.S. demand for salmon.

“Since 2012, when it became obvious the demand for salmon outpaced the supply from Alaska, The Fishin’ Co. began working to identify new MSC-certified sources for its supply of salmon and the Russian Far East region became essential for meeting the demand for salmon in the United States,” Baugh said. “In 2017, ForSea Solutions emerged as a strategic partner for The Fishin’ Co. We are excited to continue our work with ForSea Solutions and are pleased that Gorton’s also supports ForSea Solutions and their valuable work with Russian fishermen to move the dial on sustainability.”

Stu Hudson, Gorton’s senior manager of seafood procurement, said the Gloucester, Massachusetts-based company is similarly enthusiastic about participating in the sustainable advancement of a what he called a "crucial salmon supply source."

“We are excited for this opportunity to work with ForSea Solutions to drive meaningful improvement in Russia’s Far East salmon fisheries,” Hudson said. “These fisheries are tremendously important to the global wild salmon supply and supporting them on their path towards certification helps ensure the health of this resource for generations to come.”

Photo courtesy of Konstantin Baidin/Shutterstock

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