Mowi is one of the world’s most recognized salmon aquaculture organizations. The operation has many different sites because of its large size. Salmon farming has had a controversial history specifically with nearshore pens located in fjords, but similar to the rest of aquaculture has seen many sustainable developments over the last 30 years. Mowi has publicized that its goal is to reach “100 percent ASC certification on all of its sites around the world”. This certification is based off of a model for environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Not only is the company held accountable for the environmental protection, but also focuses on ensuring that the company is beneficial to its employees and surrounding communities.
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council was first created in 2010 jointly by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative. The certification process itself includes a thorough audit by an independent assessor focusing on a wide array of sustainability metrics, such as water quality, fish escapes, feed sources, etc. In addition, there are standards set to ensure that the farm is following fair labor practices and engaging positively with the local community.
Prior to 2021, Mowi has been awarded ASC certifications on each of the freshwater rearing sites. These 2020 certifications were the first time any company in the world was awarded ASC certifications for freshwater lochs. In 2021, the certifications of the Loch Linnhe, Gorsten, Marulaig Bay, and Stulaigh rearing site were the first for the company. This expands their total certified sites to 8. Mowi plans to continue growth with sustainability in mind and hope to increase the total number of certified sites to a total of 21 by 2022.