Today, we launched our brand-new Salmon Welfare Scorecard which evaluates eight salmon producers' public policies against a set of key welfare parameters.
The Scorecard is designed to incentivise salmon producers to improve their practices by providing a transparent and objective assessment of salmon welfare across their business.
The Scorecard has evaluated the performance of eight salmon producers (AquaChile, Bakkafrost, Cermaq, Cooke, Grieg Seafood, Leroy, Mowi, Salmar) on their reporting of key welfare issues, which together represent more than 50% of worldwide salmon production.
Holistic welfare assessment
Assessments were based on publicly available company information, rated across 13 welfare parameters including stocking density, humane slaughter, sea lice infestations and mortality. Each parameter is marked independently with the resultant comparison table being based on a 5-colour scale, from red to green.
All the producers included were consulted about the Scorecard’s original findings in March 2023 and had the opportunity to improve their scores by updating any publicly available information prior to publication. They were also offered private, dedicated meetings with Compassion’s Food Business team to discuss how to make welfare improvements.
MOWI and CERMAQ attained good scores for the Key Welfare Indicator section and for their policies on humane slaughter. These are two essential aspects of salmon welfare, and it is good to see these producers performing well in these areas.
Only one producer, Bakkafrost, scored well for predator management. This is an important issue, as predators can cause significant stress and injury to farmed salmon. It is encouraging to see that Bakkafrost is taking this issue seriously, and we hope that other producers will follow their lead.
However, it is concerning to see a general trend for poor reporting around transfer and transport, stocking density, enclosure, humane slaughter, and sea lice. These are all important welfare issues, and it is essential that producers are transparent about their policies and practices in these areas.
Compassion in World Farming’s Global CEO, Philip Lymbery, said: “The Salmon Welfare Scorecard is a valuable tool for encouraging greater awareness, transparency and investment in higher salmon welfare production. I look forward to seeing increasing progress on fish welfare as a result of engagement with this Scorecard initiative, an approach that we intend to also apply to the farming of other fish species.”
The Scorecard will be updated again next year to allow for deeper engagement over the coming months with producers and Compassion is planning to publish the next iteration in November 2024 which will include more producers. After this second edition the Salmon Welfare Scorecard will be published every two years.
The Scorecard will enable producers, and retailers by extension, to report authoritatively on salmon welfare and provide a basis for rewarding better policy and practice; all with the aim of improving the welfare of farmed salmon.