Aquaculture in open net pens in the sea entails a release of nutrients and organic matter. The production is adapted to local conditions, so that one does not go over the carrying capacity of the individual site. At a national level, the environmental status in the fjords is generally very good, but eutrophication can still be a challenge locally, especially in fjord systems with low exchange of water.
The company is complying with all rules and regulations for handling of fish, fish feed and waste and has an internal control system that helps us ensure this. The company is also certified to the Global GAP standard for aquaculture. All our fish farms carry out trend over-the- top environmental conditions at the site according to Norsk Standard 9410. The investigation monitors the bottom conditions under and near the aquaculture plant and measures the impact from the farming activities on the seabed. The investigation is conducted by a competent body, which can document professional competence, and which is independent of us.
The investigation is performed with a grabber on site and gives a qualitative description of the bottom sediments with a score from ("very good" to "very poor" (1-4), in which score 4 is considered an overload.
The investigation shall be conducted at fixed intervals based on the results of the previous investigation and is risk-based in the way that a low score leads to more frequent surveys. Some sites have lower carrying capacities, with others have a very high carrying capacity. When the environmental investigation shows that the seabed under the farm is impacted, time is normally the best medicine and after some months without farming the seabed condition is normally restored back to normal.
As a precautionary action we have chosen not to use copper based anti-fouling on our nets. Copper is a metal with a long degradation time in nature and may therefore potentially have negative consequences for the seabed under our farm. In order to achieve this goal, we have had to invest in additional capacity for cleaning the nets more frequently as the water based anti-fouling are less effective.
Eide is also part of the project Marin Monitoring carried out by Blue Planet, which monitors water quality in the fjord areas of Hordaland. The purpose is to ensure that farming activity in the region does not exceed the carrying capacity of the areas. The project documents water quality, bottom conditions and macroalge biotope (seaweed and kelp) throughout the year at a large number of sites in the region.
In 2020 we had a total of eleven different sites, of which eight environmental status had very good, two had good and one site had status as overloaded according to the latest investigation. This is an improvement from 2019. There has not been used copper based anti-fouling on our nets in 2020.
The site that is currently overloaded will not be used until the conditions are improved. We have for a long time tried to access one or more new sites and have also at times had to lease vacant sites from other farmers.
We believe that these measures will have a positive impact and are optimistic about reaching the target of 100% of our sites with score good or very good by 2022.
The company is subject to audits and inspections by the Environmental Protection Department of the Directorate of Fisheries and has not violated any environmental regulations in 2020.
Wild salmon has been here in Norway since the last ice- age and has for as long been of great importance to us people who have lived here. Atlantic wild salmon is the only wild species of salmon in Europe, and about 1/3 of the population is in Norway.
We care about protecting the wild salmon and we try to minimize our negative impact on it. There are many factors that affect the wild salmon, but when it comes to impacts from aquaculture the two main factors are escape of farmed salmon and the spread of sea lice from farmed salmon to wild salmon.
The escape of farmed fish is a challenge for the industry both because of the negative impact escaped fish can have on wild salmon and its spawning grounds, but also due to the economic loss for the companies due to escaped fish.
We work systematically with risk assessment of operations, training and preventative maintenance and inspection of our equipment to prevent escapes. All our facilities follow the applicable technical standards.
Eide Fjordbruk is an active part of a number of different research programs for wild salmon and sea trout to help to increase the knowledge on impacts from salmon farming on wild salmon.
We also have contingency plans to minimize the damages of escapes if it occurs. We have emergency storage of recapture nets and agreements with local fishermen that will ensure that we recapture as many escaped fish as possible. We are also member of the fish farming industry's association for the recapture of escaped farmed fish. The association aims to reduce the risk of genetic influence from aquaculture on wild populations of salmon fish by implementing measures in rivers where the impact of escaped fish is unacceptable. Measures shall be considered where the notice is at least 4% and measures shall be implemented where the input is at least 10%.
Eide Fjordbruk has not had any incidents resulting in escaped fish in 2020.
The salmon farmers of production area 3 and 4 has joined forces to create an incubator for knowledge about the development in wild salmon populations, migration patterns and premature return of wild salmon and trout in our region.
SalmonTracking observes migration patterns and population development to wild salmon and sea trout using cameras, computer chip and radio marking, antennas in waterways and detection buoys in the fjord and coastal environments. SalmonTracking records population developments and monitors migration patterns in ten rivers in the region and records premature migration in 40 rivers. Both wild salmon and sea trout are monitored. Some of the rivers involved are: Eio, Granvin, Mundheim, Dragsvik, Omvikedal, Uskedal, Os, Lærdal, Yttredal, Ervik, Eid, Stryn, Gaula and Nausta.
The work in SalmonTracking is organized with a board of representatives from industry and academia and an separate Research Group. Well known Norwegian academic institutions such as UiB, UiS, UiT, NTNU, NMBU are part of the project.
SalmonTracking has a total budget of NOK 150 million up to 2030 and has already contributed with new knowledge of the wild salmon. We think it is inspiring to see new technology and collaboration across both industry and academia. You can read more about the project on www.salmontracking.no
Large amounts of sea lice can have negative impact on wild salmon and sea trout. The traffic light system shall act as an indicator of whether the impact from sea lice in fish farms on the wild fish is acceptable or not acceptable.
Eide Fjordbruk works systematically to keep the sea lice levels on a low level by using a wide range of measures, (see more on this in the section on sea lice management for details) from preventive measures such as investing in capacity for larger smolts and applying tarpaulin skirts, to cleaner fish, non-medical treatment and medical treatments.
The challenge is that all the available measures has their pros and cons. Medical treatments may increase the lice’s resistance to the drugs, while the non-medical may stress or be harmful to the fish. Cleaner fish is nature’s own treatment, but it is hard to provide good conditions for the cleaner fish in the cages.
We therefore believe that cooperation, new technology and big data will be key in solving this complex challenge. To achieve this, we actively test a range of new products and solutions and take part in several large research programs directed towards gaining more knowledge about, and control of the salmon lice.
We operate in two production areas, where one area (PO3) has a yellow light (moderate, acceptable impact) and one area (PO4) has a red light (high, unacceptable impact). At the same time Eide Fjordbruk has already met the strict criteria for sustainable growth independent of the status of the area for two of our sites in this area. We are proud of this achievement. Going forward it is our goal to meet these criteria for all our sites.
The average level of adult female lice on our sites has been low in 2020, and lower than in previous years. We contribute this decrease to the combination of increased preventive measures and non-medical treatment.
Today the human population use more resources than the planet has available. This is a big challenge. A more circular economy will be necessary in solving this issue.
Food production accounts for a significant share of the global carbon emissions and agriculture occupy a large share of the land are on the planet. This again increase the pressure on both biodiversity, soil and our freshwater resources. Carbon footprint from salmon farming today is also significant, although far lower than from production of red meat. It is therefore important to measure and report emissions to improve and cut emissions.
We can divide our measures into four categories; Measures to reduce direct scope 1 emissions, indirect scope 2 emissions, scope 3 emissions and compensating measures to reduce or offset remaining emissions that we are not yet able to eliminate ourself.
In 2020 we achieved a carbon footprint of 2.95 kg CO2e per kg salmon produced, before compensating measures. This corresponds to a reduction of 1.27 kg CO2e per kg salmon, or a 30% reduction compared to 2018-levels. In total we have reduces our emissions by 9,812 tonnes CO2e yearly.
We also create our own greenhouse gas accounts after the GHG Corporate Standard. Here our may read more about our different measures, the emissions from our production, how they are calculated and how we offset our emissions.
Eide Fjordbruk is a part of Climate Futures, a center for research driven innovation working to produce better methods and practice to manage climate risk.
Climate Futures is led by Norce and is based on the Bjerknes center for climate research. Other research partners include the University of Bergen, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, the Norwegian Computing Centre and MET Norway.
Read more here: www.climatefutures.no
By working together with independent experts on carbon finance, Natural Capital Partners, Eide has taken a step further by offsetting our remaining and currently unavoidable emissions through supporting carbon finance projects that in a positive way contributes to cut emissions, strengthen communities and preserve nature.
All the projects are subject to independent expert review to ensure that the projects meet the highest standards (ICROA approved) and result in verifiable and permanent emission reductions.
We have compensated for the unavoidable emissions in our companies. This corresponds to all emissions in scope 1 and 2, as well as the scope 3 emissions from our own operations such as waste and business travels. The offsetting is done according to the Carbon Neutral Protocol, the global standard for carbon neutral programs and in September 2020 Eide achieved certification as a carbon neutral company.
We currently support two projects.
Through the combination of forest protection and the distribution of clean cookstoves, the project is using carbon finance to deliver significant emissions reductions, protect an important area of biodiversity value, and address the health risks of indoor air pollution.
This award-winning project has created almost 420 acres of new wetlands, established an environmental education center and generates electricity from landfill gas (LFG) to power 18,000 homes.
We believe that the food production of the future must be carbon neutral and that our customers will want to buy and eat healthy food without a carbon footprint.
We would therefore like to offer our customers the world’s first carbon neutral salmon.
When you buy a carbon neutral salmon from us, we have already offset not only our own, but every carbon emission in the production cycle of the salmon from roe to finished product according to the requirements in the Carbon Neutral Protocol.
Read more about Salmon Zero and how we create our carbon neutral salmon at http://en.salmonzero.no/