Whole Foods Market, Blue Circle and BioMar introduce cleaner, greener farmed salmon

New salmon feed reduces wild-caught fish inputs to earn ‘Good Alternative’ rating from Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
January 28, 2016

Norwegian fish farmers Kvarøy and Selsøyvik have worked together with importer Blue Circle Foods, feed company BioMar and Whole Foods Market, to create In the Blue, an innovative farmed fish feed that conserves marine resources and reduces environmental contaminants in farmed salmon.

The new feed has led to the first farmed salmon with a fish-in, fish-out ratio below 1:1, earning it a “Good Alternative” rating from Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, a rare mark for farmed salmon. 

In the Blue is made with trimmings from processed wild-caught fish. These are pressed into oil that is cleaned to reduce environmental contaminants like heavy metals and PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls). 

The salmon is sold at Whole Foods Market, which launched its rigorous farmed salmon standards in 2007 and has continued to strengthen the requirements every year since, creating  a model of more sustainable aquaculture for the industry. Blue Circle Foods, BioMar and the fish farmers worked to exceed these standards with In the Blue feed.

“We knew we’d have to make a significant investment of time and budget to create this custom feed for only two farms, but the risk was definitely worth it when we saw the difference this process could make for consumers, the industry and our planet,” said Vidar Gundersen, Group Sustainability Manager for BioMar. “This kind of innovation is only possible because of the inspiration and partnership with Blue Circle Foods, and the purchasing commitment from Whole Foods Market. Together, we believe this farmed seafood approach will help feed the world sustainably, safely and, of course, deliciously.”

“This new process for fish feed is so exciting because it’s exactly the kind of industry-leading solution that we hoped would result from Whole Foods Market’s Responsibly Farmed standards,” said Carrie Brownstein, seafood quality standards coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “We developed ambitious yet achievable standards to create a model of more sustainable aquaculture, and we are thrilled to see In the Blue bring that to life with better farmed salmon for our shoppers, and a better example for the industry at large.”

The copanies invovled, hope the model created for farmed salmon feed can become common practice, and eventually expand to other species.