Cermaq reports 95 percent survival rate in 2021, missed zero-escape target

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Norwegian salmon producer Cermaq reported a 95-percent survival rate for its salmon in 2021 but it missed its zero-escape target, with 5,609 fish escaping out of 90 million in its operations worldwide.

These were among the key figures in the company’s 2021 Sustainability Report released on Wednesday, an initiative it launched 13 years ago to illustrate management approach to sustainability on various performance indicators.

The company acknowledged the potential for further improvement of the survival rate and further reduce escapes in 2022 through better monitoring technology and improvement of work procedures.

Cermaq’s commitment is to cut GHG emissions for its entire value chain by 35 percent in 2030.

“The challenge is huge: Cermaq’s own GHG emissions constituted only 10 percent of the emissions in our value chain, the big challenge lies in fish feed production and the transport to market. Cooperating with suppliers and customers is hence a key part of this commitment,” said CEO Steven Rafferty.

There was good news, however.

In 2021, the farmed salmon industry succeeded in getting the soy suppliers in Brazil to commit to not having any soy from deforested areas in their entire supply chain. This is necessary to help stop ongoing deforestation in Brazil.

Rafferty is optimistic about the market. “The strong rise in home consumption that began in 2020 remains high also as covid restrictions are being lifted. Consumers seem to have embraced salmon as a convenient and healthy food for home preparation. This is encouraging as increased consumption of seafood is in line with dietary advice.

“With limited growth opportunities in production, prices have been strong. Our operational performance has improved fundamentally in Chile and remains strong in Norway and Canada,” he said.