The company, which is behind Krill Oil brand Rimforst, says products from the fishery will now be able to carry the blue MSC eco-label.
Olympic Seafood said achieving the MSC certification demonstrates that its Antarctic krill fishery is operating to the highest standards of environmental sustainability in order to protect the unique ecosystems and species in the Southern Ocean. It is the second major krill player to attain MSC certification after Aker BioMarine was recently recertified.
“We are very pleased to receive recognition of our hard work in Antarctica” commented Olympic Seafood AS managing director Bjørnar Kleiven. “Environmentally sustainable management of krill resources is vital to our success. We see it as our duty to preserve the ecosystem and do this by using advanced and modern fishing methods.”
“Our use of technology, knowledge and the newest vessel in the krill fishing fleet, mean that we are extremely well equipped to be innovators in sustainable fishing.”
Indeed, Olympic said that its work to eliminate by-catch means that ‘negligible’ levels of unwanted species are landed by the fleet, and there is no effect or interaction between the fishery and endangered, threatened and protected species.
”Consumers may not always make the link between Omega 3 supplements and the sea and species from which they originate,” commented Camiel Derichs, European director at the Marine Stewardship Council. “This certification will increase consumer awareness and challenge the wider Omega 3 industry on their sustainability credentials.
“This is welcomed and needed to drive improved environmental practices. Olympic Seafood is clearly one of the pioneers in this respect,” she added.
Olympic Seafood noted that the management of the fishery is closely regulated by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) – an organisation that is widely regarded as the most precautionary of all organisations managing high seas fishing when setting quotas for the amount of krill which can be caught.
According to the firm, the total krill catch allowed in the fishery area (CCAMLR Area 48) represents just 1% (620,000 tonnes) of the population of krill (estimated at 62 million tonnes).
Actual catch from Olympic Seafood currently stands at around 3% (15,000 tonnes) of the 620,000 tonnes catch limit set by CCAMLR.
“There are trigger levels set so that fishing cannot be too concentrated in one area. At these low rates fishing has a very minimal impact on predators and other species in the food chain,” Olympic said in a statement.