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SUSTAINABILITY LIBRARY 2023 Biodiversity Biodiversity

Biodiversity

Minimize our negative impact on marine ecosystems, support its recovery  and help secure biodiversity.

Challenges 

The world’s growing population will need an ever-increasing amount of food to survive. Different types of food production will always leave a footprint, so also for fisheries and fish farming.  

Impacts:   

If Lerøy's operations are not sound, this can directly affect species diversity. In the extreme, this could give our company financial fines, reduced income and a lack of capital. If we do not operate responsibly, there will be a risk that our operations may affect species diversity both in the various species we fish and in the bottom conditions where we have our farming operations. In the extreme, this can lead to reduced jobs due to a lack of fish that can be caught and locations that have to be moved or closed down.

Lerøy`s ambitions in this area

Our ambition is to create the world’s most efficient and sustainable value chain for seafood by 2025, and aim to avoid harmful impacts on species caused by intervention in the natural environment and in fjord systems, including sedimentation/seabed’s.  

We aim to fish and produce food without negatively affecting biodiversity.   

How we work in the area

Throughout the year, we have meetings, email correspondence and conversations with various stakeholders where we have presentations and discussions related to the areas where we have or can have a potential impact. We also attend conferences and meetings where we meet and discuss. Through this form of dialogue, we gain insight into what stakeholders are concerned with and feedback on what they think about the way we work, measures we have initiated and what they think we should focus on going forward. Through various forms of benchmark surveys, we also receive feedback on what stakeholders think about our measures and their implementation.

Farming 

Part of our efforts to minimise infection pressure and environmental impact is to have a period of minimum two months every second year during which an individual facility is fallow, cleaned and disinfected. The facilities are divided into zones to allow for coordination of fallow periods. In 2022, each facility was in fallow for 236 days on average. 

Feed control is a major part of the efforts to prevent overload. Each cage is fitted with two cameras to monitor the feeding process, so that feeding is stopped when the fish are no longer eating. Dedicated and specialised operators monitor this process continuously. Operators also monitor the number of fish, growth and feed factor to ensure full knowledge at all times of how much the fish in a cage are expected to consume. 

In Norway,  4,6% of the totalt marine area is protected, around 97 403 square km. Lerøy does not operate, lease or manage any farm locations in protected areas or areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas.

Read more: Marine protection Atlas

Fishing 

Each year, quotas are allocated for various species that are caught. We mainly fish cod, pollock, haddock and prawns. Everything caught must be brought ashore for inspection. In this way, we ensure that we do not overfish allocated quotas, thereby maintaining the species. We may experience unintentional by-catches. These are managed, recorded, reported and delivered to shore. 

Trawling takes place in separate areas to ensure species diversity in the best possible way. The equipment used is also adapted to the operation so that the fishing can be carried out as optimally as possible. Development work is constantly carried out to further develop the fishing tools.  

Lost fishing gear left on the seabed spoils the sea and destroys seafood caught in it. For the most part lost fishing gear or "ghost fishing" is represented by gill-nets, a fishing gear not used by the Lerøy Havfisk fleet. Marine fisheries, including Lerøy Havfisk, are required by the Exercise Regulations to report lost gear to the Norwegian Coast Guard- 

With a regulation, which entered into force on 1 September 2011, Norway takes the lead among fishing states as 800 000 km2 of deep ocean is closed for regular bottom fishing. As a comparison the Norwegian mainland covers an area of approximately 324 000 km2. An additional 440 000 km2 was protected in 2019 as the coverage of this OECM was extended northwards in the areas around Svalbard.

How we measure our impact

Farming
  • MOM B and MOM C assessment   

  • Share of facilities in coordinated fallow zone (%) 

  • Average fallow period (number of days) 

  • Escapes ( number)

Fishing
  • Percentage of certified marine species caught 

  • Compliance with quotas 

 

Action taken due to results

On the basis of results from the MOM B surveys, measures are implemented where this is necessary. There may be reduced production for a period, fallowing, relocation of a site, etc. 

The Group carries out targeted efforts to shorten production time in the sea by producing large smolt using RAS technology.  

In 2013, Ocean Forest was founded together with the environmental organisation, Bellona.  Ocean Forest follows a strategy to achieve more efficient recycling of the unexploited resources in the environments surrounding fish farms. This involves utilisation of waste products from fish production to produce species at a lower level in the food chain.  

Macroalgae and microalgae require nutrient salts to grow, and nutrient salts are a waste product from e.g., fish farming. Shells live off microalgae and other particles in the sea. This allows for more efficient recycling of unexploited resources in the environments surrounding fish farms while at the same time increasing our marine biomass production without having to add more feed or fertiliser and while keeping our seas cleaner.