Friend of the Sea certifies Calanus AS harvesting for omega-3 oil and protein

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

Calanus finmarchicus is reportedly the most abundant crustacean in the North Atlantic Ocean.  Image © 3dsam79 / Getty Images
Calanus finmarchicus is reportedly the most abundant crustacean in the North Atlantic Ocean. Image © 3dsam79 / Getty Images

Related tags: Calanus, Sustainability

Norway’s Calanus AS has been certified by Friend of the Sea for its harvesting of the zooplankton Calanus finmarchicus and the products derived from this marine resource.

The certification means that Calanus AS can now display the Friend of the Sea eco-friendly label on their omega-3 oil and protein derivates.

“This certification demonstrates and verifies that harvesting of zooplankton is done according to internationally accepted sustainability principles and follows a best-practice approach,” ​said Dr. Ole Petter Pedersen, Head of Technology and Sustainability in Calanus AS. “We strive every day to be on the leading edge of responsibility and to provide world class health from the ocean with our products. The common denominator to all we do and all we are is sustainability.”

Friend of the Sea is a project of the World Sustainability Organization for the certification and promotion of seafood from sustainable fisheries and sustainable aquaculture. It is the only certification scheme that certifies both wild and farmed seafood.

“Sustainability and traceability is not just a marketing tool for us,” ​added Jan Erik Olsen, head of sales and marketing at Calanus AS. “We are pioneering the utilization of this vast resource that represents a new and sustainable source of nutrients to the people of the world. We take the responsibility that comes with being the first seriously and we are very proud to lead the way in this development”.

Sourced from copepods

Calanus oil is extracted from the copepods of the same name Calanus finmarchicus. ​According to Salma et al. (Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids​, 2016, Vol. 108, pp. 13-21), Calanus finmarchicus​ is “the most abundant crustacean in the North Atlantic Ocean with annual production of several hundred million tonnes.

“The total annual harvest amounts to less than 0.01% of the annual growth in accordance with regulations by Norwegian fisheries management.”

Calanus oil contains the omega-3s EPA and DHA predominantly in the wax ester form (the oil is slightly viscous). The oil also contains astaxanthin, which gives its ruby color.

Wax esters are historically associated with penguin, seal, and whale oil, but are being produced by Norwegian company Calanus AS from C. finmarchicus.

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