Member AUM
$70 trillion
Engagement Header - Aquaculture

Sustainable Aquaculture Engagement

Biodiversity Risks in Farmed Salmon Feed Sourcing



While the salmon aquaculture industry’s reliance on wild-caught fish for feed has reduced considerably since the 1980s, the pace of improvement has stagnated since the start of this engagement in 2021. FAIRR assessments have found that companies do not have a robust, long-term strategy to further reduce their reliance on wild-caught fish used as feed for farmed salmon.  

In 2024/25, FAIRR will continue to engage with seven of the largest salmon producers to reduce their reliance on fish meal and fish oil (FMFO), mitigate their wider biodiversity risks and identify potential opportunities.  

This third phase of FAIRR’s Sustainable Aquaculture engagement is strengthened by the recent release of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure (TNFD) draft Sector Guidance on Aquaculture, designed to help companies report and manage their nature-related dependencies and impacts. Specifically, this engagement aims to push large salmon producers to conduct meaningful risk assessments, in alignment with the TNFD guidance, examining how forage fish availability could constrain salmon production growth in the future. Furthermore, companies will be encouraged to disclose a timely target to reduce their exposure to forage fish, supported by a clear strategy detailing the role of each potential mitigation actions (e.g. using an increased quantity of trimmings or alternative ingredients). Companies will be asked to report on their performance relating to reducing the quantity of wild-caught fish used in their salmon feed. Finally, companies will also be encouraged to increase the amount of Research & Development (R&D) spent on researching alternative ingredients (e.g. algal oil) which can be used in salmon feed. 


Material Risks

Globally, 70% of salmon are now farmed, making salmon aquaculture the fastest growing food production system in the world. Salmon require a high-protein diet, which is commonly delivered by including fish meal and fish oil (sourced from wild fish) alongside plant-based proteins (such as soy) in their feed. As a result, the industry is acutely exposed to the climate and biodiversity-related risks associated with obtaining these ingredients.  

In fact, Scope 3 emissions can account for over 80% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of salmon farming companies, and feed alone accounts for approximately 40% of Scope 3 emissions. In addition to the feed’s high carbon footprint, salmon farming companies still rely on wild-caught fish to be fed to farmed salmon, thus creating acute biodiversity risks. Seeing that over 90% of wild fisheries are classified as overfished or currently harvested at maximal capacity, it is crucial for companies to find alternative feed ingredients, thereby reducing the risk to the industry’s long-term growth created by this exposure to biodiversity risks. 


Investors Signed On

Phase 3 of this engagement is now open for sign-on here. Phase 2 of the engagement was supported by 76 investors, representing US $16 trillion in combined assets, an increase of US $11 trillion from Phase 1. Our latest progress report, entitled Oceans and Biodiversity Impact Report, was published in November 2022. In September 2023, FAIRR published the results of a stakeholder consultation on the topics of alternative ingredients and certifications in aquaculture. 


investors signed up to this engagement.

US $16 trillion

in combined investor assets.

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