Managing Biodiversity & Climate Risks in Aquafeed

The global investor engagement on sustainable aquaculture aims to encourage the world’s largest salmon companies to develop a strategic, science-based approach to diversifying feed ingredient sources in order to better manage ESG risks associated with sourcing wild forage fish and soy.

The engagement targets eight global salmon companies, asking them to develop and disclose strategies for diversifying feed ingredients towards lower impact and more sustainable alternatives to enable production growth, reduce climate risk exposure and ensure that risks associated with sourcing fishmeal and fish oil (FMFO) and soy are adequately managed.

Please note that the sign-on period for Phase 2 has now closed. For more information, please contact Lily Stuart.

Phase 2 | Draft Letter

Latest Findings

The Phase 2 progress report is now available to download. Investors can sign on to Phase 3 of the Sustainable Aquaculture Engagement in 2023.

8 / 8 companies

met with investors for meaningful dialogues

3 companies

has so far actioned investor recommendations


Aquaculture is the fastest-growing food-production sector, accounting for more than half of all fish consumed by humans. The sector also has very ambitious targets for the growth of salmon aquaculture. The Norwegian government, for example, is aiming for a fivefold increase in the volume of salmon production between 2014 and 2050.

The downside, however, is that salmon feed remains reliant on the use of FMFO, which is sourced from wild forage fish. The supply of forage fish is expected to remain flat into the future, in line with minimal growth across all wild fisheries.

Contact: Lily Stuart, Research & Engagements Manager

Material Risks

Feed represents a material risk for the salmon-farming industry and accounts for 40% of its production costs. Its main components are FMFO and vegetable ingredients, such as soy, wheat or pea protein. The industry has made strides with respect to sourcing certified soy; however, the supply of fishmeal remains precarious. projected increases in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events caused by climate change are also likely to bring greater economic uncertainty, resulting in more price volatility.

Raw feed materials have already hit record-high prices, partly driven by weather-related incidents. The price of fish meal, which makes up 15-30% of aquafeed formulations, has increased by 118% since 2006. This is considerable given that feed alone accounts for around 50% of the cost of production. The continued reliance on marine resources, therefore, puts pressure on wild fish stocks and presents a growth constraint for salmon producers. Meanwhile, the use of vegetable alternatives has led to an increase in GHG emissions and greater exposure to reputational risk from deforestation. Assuming current approaches to feed formulation continue, the potential production in global finfish aquaculture will be unable to exceed 14.4 million tonnes compared to the seven million tonnes currently produced.