In an independent assessment of the Norwegian harvesters of Antarctic krill, the firm scored highly on sustainability, specifically the minimum amount of bycatch and 100% observer coverage on its vessels.
Aker BioMarine were also recognised for its efforts in raising fishery standards and education with the creation of active partnerships with NGOs and scientific institutes that include Acasti Pharma and the World Economic Forum (WEF).
“MSC is the gold standard for fisheries certifications globally,” explains Pål Einar Skogrand, director of Antarctic affairs at Aker BioMarine.
“Through our 10-year partnership they have always pushed us towards new sustainability targets. We are extremely proud of the entire Aker BioMarine team, our partners and our customers, for supporting and reinforcing our sustainability approach.
MSC has now validated our efforts with their stamp of approval for the next five years and we will make sure our sustainability work keeps moving forward.”
Lloyd’s Register comments
Focusing on the firm’s fishery the public certification report remarks on positive areas that includes operating at a catch level well below what would generally be regarded as a precautionary upper level relative to the best estimates available of stock size.
Lloyd’s Register, the assessment body tasked with assessing Aker BioMarine’s facilities also reports that bycatch is negligible, with virtually no interaction with species other than the target krill or minimal retained species.
“Direct effects or interactions between the fishery and Endangered, Threatened, Protected Species (ETP) species are nil,” the report says.
“The gear can only impact the habitat in the case of gear loss, which has happened extremely rarely.”
The report also commented on Aker BioMarine’s “well-established and well-functioning management regime and enforcement system for the fishery,” that includes requirements of 100% observer coverage and catch reports after each haul.
“The fishery is managed within a precautionary and ecosystem approach,” the report concludes.
“Aker BioMarine’s Antarctic krill fishery remains committed to the highest sustainability standards,” says Linnea Engström, MSC program director for Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region.
“With their precautionary approach to catch levels, as well as a sound and well-functioning management of the operation, the company is ensuring it has no significant impact to the food chain and future of krill in the Antarctic.”
Aker BioMarine are also commended for working actively with, and providing material support to, NGOs and scientific institutes, contributing to knowledge production beyond that provided by Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and participating states.
Aker and WEF
Last year, the firm and the World Economic Forum (WEF) established the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Norway (C4IR Norway),
The Centre looks to harness technology to preserve the ocean and improve the environmental footprint of ocean industries.
Through public-private partnerships, the Centre will develop governance frameworks and solutions for a sustainable and profitable ocean economy, using digital technology ranging from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Blockchain.
Aker BioMarine followed that up with a partnership with biopharmaceutical firm Acasti Pharma, in which Aker BioMarine will supply krill oil as a core ingredient for a new hypertriglyceridemia drug, CaPre.
“We are excited to partner with Acasti to support the commercialisation of the first ever, krill oil-based, prescription drug product, which we believe has genuine potential to become the best-in-class omega-3 therapeutic for the management of cardiometabolic disorders,” said Tim de Haas, EVP human health & nutrition at Aker BioMarine.
“We look forward to continue working with their team on supply initiatives to support this product’s path to market.”
Pierre Lemieux, Acasti’s COO/CSO said, “This supply agreement secures a reliable source of high-quality starting material for CaPre, which we expect will meet our near-term commercial growth aspirations.
“In addition, we have plans to leverage Aker BioMarine’s expertise and look forward to collaborating on future projects together."