Caring for our environment is crucial to our salmon’s well-being and to protecting our community’s natural resources for the future.
We follow operational best practise and monitor and measure our progress to ensure we take the best possible care of our environment.
Respect for the springs
Nurtured in the pristine waters flowing from Te Waikoropupu Springs in Takaka, Golden Bay, our King salmon are raised in protected isolation. The water from the springs is natural and pure with a constant temperature.
We work closely with the Department of Conservation (DoC) and the local community in order to maintain this stunning natural resource. Over the past decade, we have planted approximately 10,000 native trees around the site in order to regenerate the native environment whilst also ensuring our facility remains discreet from the Te Waikoropupu Springs visitor walkway.
To manage the risks associated with our sea farm activities, we continue to develop and implement a range of management plans across our farming operations. These plans are established in consultation with local council, independent science providers and often local iwi. The plans cover a wide range of topics such as wildlife interactions, oil spills and biosecurity.
Marine wildlife interactions
We have management controls and plans in place to guide appropriate interaction with marine wildlife, with our main focus being seals, bird life, and other marine mammals such as dolphins and sharks.
The New Zealand fur seal is a persistent visitor to our farms, attracted to the source of food. Predator nets are in place, and our farm teams take daily action to ensure the safety of the seals and our salmon.
A permit is required to handle them, with all seal interactions managed by the Department of Conservation under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978.
Shark interactions are minimal due to the predator nets we have in place, some sharks are protected, and all sharks are covered by our Marine Mammal and Shark Management Plan.
We take all interactions with mammals and seabirds seriously and report incidents within 30 days of occurrence.
Marine mammal and seabird notifications
The New Zealand King Shag (Leucocarbo carunculatus) is one of the rarest seabirds in the world and is endemic to the Marlborough Sounds. Low numbers and a very small distribution area are a continuous concern for the survival of this species.
We are a member of Marlborough’s Marine Farmers Association King Shag working group, an initiative involving local industry, council and iwi, along with MPI, DoC, community, ornithologists and others to learn more about this unique species and how we can better protect it.
We are aware of interactions with King Shags on our farms and are actively trying to manage these. We have a King Shag Management Plan and each year undertake a census to establish the population of this nationally endangered species.
Wildlife identification guide
We monitor the abundant wildlife activity around our seafarms and report sightings of certain species. This helps to identify patterns and trends and improves the science-based knowledge around these species and their behaviours. Our Marlborough Sounds Wildlife Identification Guide can be found below.
Reducing our impact
Managing every step of our supply chain enables us to control our impact on the environment. As well as thoughtful packaging design, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint by continuously reviewing all methods of transport for products to market.
We aim for best practice energy and water management across all our facilities, through increased monthly reporting and a dedicated team developing priority energy-saving projects.
Maximising what we have
We are always looking for ways to reduce waste and better utilise our remaining raw materials. In 2015, we introduced a new division to our company; Omega Innovations solely focuses on reviewing our traditional ‘waste’ components and turning them into high-value products and brands. Such as Omega Plus, our naturally nutritious pet food range that contains King salmon as the number one ingredient.
Verifying our practices
We have chosen third-party certifications as we believe they are vital to ensuring our industry operates responsibly and to the highest standards possible. That is why we have committed to achieving some of the most stringent and widely respected standards in aquaculture. These certifications and recommendations are achieved through regular independent audits.
BAP is a globally trusted, comprehensive and proven third-party aquaculture certification program which certifies each step in the production chain. BAP have been improving the environmental, social and economic performance of the aquaculture supply chain and growing the global supply of responsibly farmed seafood since 2002.
ASC is an independent, international non-profit organisation that manages the world leading certification and labelling programme for responsible aquaculture. Their certification process focuses on environmental, social welfare and animal health and welfare. Click here to see our ASC reporting data.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program helps consumers and businesses make responsible choices for a healthy ocean. ‘Best Choice’ recommendations are well-managed and fished or farmed in ways that have less impact on the environment.
Ocean Wise seafood is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation programme aimed at educating and empowering consumers to make sustainable seafood choices that ensure the health of our oceans for generations to come. Sustainable seafood can be defined as species that are caught or farmed in a way that ensures the long-term health and stability of that species, as well as the greater marine ecosystem.
Representing marine farmers in the Top of the South Island, the MFA Environmental Certification Programme is designed to recognise and record active participation in and agreement to the objectives of the MFA Environment Programme, including adherence to the Industry Standard Operating Procedures and Codes of Practice.
A+ is a world class sustainable management framework which enables the New Zealand aquaculture industry to better engage with communities and continuously improve environmental practises while strengthening global demand for seafood.
All our fresh King salmon products are independently certified as Kosher, in addition to the majority of our smoked variants. They have been inspected by the Orthodox Rabbinate of New Zealand and our associated processing systems are under Rabbinical supervision.
All our fresh King salmon products are independently certified as Halal, in addition to the majority of our smoked variants and our salmon feed.
Salmon farming is one of the most efficient and sustainable ways to produce animal protein, and with global demand for protein expected to double by 2050, we have the opportunity to contribute to this demand with minimal environmental impact.
We believe we can develop a world-leading aquaculture industry that is the greenest primary industry in the country. Ocean farming is part of this future vision, providing the best conditions to produce quality protein on a greater scale with next to no environmental footprint.