New Zealand’s salmon farming industry has become the first country sector recognised among the world’s most sustainable seafood producers by the globally respected consumer guide Seafood Watch.

Seafood Watch is produced by the independent conservation organisation Monterey Bay Aquarium and is the authoritative consumer guide on sustainable seafood in North America.

After a thorough year-long assessment process, the guide released recommendations today rating both New Zealand’s sea farmed and fresh water salmon as a green light, best choice, option.

“Overall, the New Zealand salmon farming industry is characterized by its small scale of production and the culture of a historically established species that is currently unaffected by disease or parasite outbreaks. Effluent and habitat impacts have been well-studied and shown to be minor, chemical use is minimal, and with deliberate government stocking of Chinook salmon in New Zealand, escapes from salmon farms also have a low risk of significant impact.,” the assessment concluded.

Across the globe salmon farming is being increasingly recognised for its light environmental touch, and this highlights New Zealand is out in front leading the way with best practice. These ratings are arguably the strongest possible endorsement of the New Zealand industry’s green credentials and shows the local industry offers a tremendous opportunity to provide sustainable growth and create more green jobs.

Aquaculture New Zealand Chief Executive Gary Hooper, who has been encouraging Monterey Bay to assess the industry against their strict criteria since 2010, said the ratings were welcomed recognition of the industry’s commitment to environmentally sustainable practices. “New Zealand’s waters are special to all Kiwis – including our salmon farmers,” Mr Hooper said. “This is their back yard. They live, work and play on the water and it’s their job to protect it. “New Zealand is the first ‘country sector’ to receive this recognition from Monterey Bay and it shows the collective industry is leading the world with its environmental management practices. “This is huge kudos for the industry. Seafood Watch is the gold standard of global consumer guides and endorsement does not come easy. It’s proof that seafood lovers can feel good about eating New Zealand farmed salmon, knowing they are supporting fish for future generations.”

The ratings were also welcomed by New Zealand salmon farmers. New Zealand King Salmon CEO Grant Rosewarne said: “Salmon farming in New Zealand is one of the most sustainable ways of producing animal protein known to man. The Monterey Bay Seafood Watch program recognises and endorses New Zealand salmon farmers’ sustainable practices and proves that the industry provides green jobs in local communities.”

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Chief Operating Officer Janine Tulloch said: “New Zealand’s salmon farming industry is dedicated to farming as sustainably as possible and it is extremely pleasing to see this recognised by Monterey Bay Seafood Watch. This rating is a world-first for King Salmon farming and supports our existing environmental certifications and what our customers already know.”


AQNZ Media Advisor – Adam Hicks, 021 244 5166.