Norwegian Salmon: A Dive into Sustainability with Cermaq’s Sustainability Expert
January 4, 2024
Most of the salmon we eat in Europe is farmed, and about half of globally farmed salmon is produced in Norway. That’s why we can’t transform fish farming towards more sustainability without thinking about Norwegian salmon.
A passion for nature
To uncover the journey of Norwegian salmon from ocean to table we sat down with Silje Ramsvatn, the Sustainability Manager at Cermaq. Holding a PhD in marine biology and with extensive experience in the seafood industry, Silje offers an insightful perspective on sustainable aquaculture.
Growing up with the ocean at her doorstep sparked Silje’s passion for nature: “I grew up close to the ocean and spent every summer by the sea as child. When I was a teen, I heard that one could work as a marine biologist and I just thought, that’s what I will be then.”
Silje explains her take on sustainability: “To me, sustainability means not leaving a permanent footprint and making sure that the next generation can enjoy delicious fish and seafood as well.” She also emphasizes the importance of social issues and animal welfare as well as ethical practices along the value chain.
Sustainability is about continuous improvement
Her role at Cermaq, a leading Norwegian salmon farming company, reflects Siljes values and her commitment to sustainability. At Cermaq, sustainability is about continuous improvement. “Technology is improved step by step, also improving every generation of salmon we farm,” as Silje puts it.
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) plays a vital role in Cermaq’s sustainability journey. The ASC standards provide a long list of best practices for responsible fish farming. The requirements cover areas as diverse as fish welfare, environmental impacts, labor rights and relationships with surrounding communities. Silje proudly notes the progress made in reducing the use of copper-based anti-foulants and medicinal treatments for parasitic salmon lice, as well as enhancing transparency and community dialogue.
Still there are some misconceptions about Norwegian salmon. Silje clarifies that Norwegian salmon farming uses minimal antibiotics and is stringently regulated, contrary to common beliefs.
Simple tips for a more sustainable lifestyle
Silje also shares simple, yet impactful, tips for a more sustainable lifestyle: reduce food waste, opt for local produce, and think twice before buying more items. A proponent of reusing and recycling, she practices what she preaches, even if it can be challenging: “I am guilty of having a lot of sports equipment myself, but I would ask myself ‘Do I need more stuff?’ and rethink every purchase”
So, what’s the best way to enjoy Norwegian salmon? For Silje, nothing beats raw salmon sushi when dining out: “I never get tired of ordering salmon sushi!”. At home, she loves preparing “Fiskegrateng” (Fish au gratin) for her family. Made with fresh cod and served with potatoes and grated carrots.
Let’s embrace Norwegian salmon: fresh, sustainable, and farmed with care. Cermaq and ASC are at the forefront, ensuring that every bite is a step towards a more sustainable future.