Chile’s coastline is one of the longest and most spectacular in the world. These waters and coastal fjords, channels, and islands are home to numerous species, including sea lions, dolphins, whales, and hundreds of unique birds.

Southern Chile’s pristine waters also support one of the largest farmed-salmon production hubs, supplying almost a third of all farmed salmon globally. The salmon industry in Chile employs more than 70,000 people with annual exports of more than $4 billion USD.

Seafood farming, or aquaculture, is one solution to help meet growing consumer demand for seafood products as 93% of wild fish stocks are fished to capacity or overfished and no longer able to support higher catches. Aquaculture may help alleviate pressure on wild fisheries, but farming practices can pose threats – like sea lice, microbial infections, antibiotic discharge, and other diseases – to delicately-balanced surrounding environments if operations are not managed responsibly.

The good news is that by implementing best practices seafood farming can be done more safely and with less impact on the environment and on local communities and workers. WWF is working with companies like Royal Caribbean to support responsible production of farmed fish, so that the aquaculture industry, which will continue to operate and provide food for people around the world, minimizes the environmental and social impacts of fish farming in our waters and on our lands.

Here’s what that work together looks like:

© Yawar Motion Films / WWF-US

“At Royal Caribbean, we rely on healthy oceans as the foundation to our business,” said Vina Jumpp, Director – Food & Beverage Procurement, North America, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Our partnership with World Wildlife Fund brings in the expertise that we need to provide our guests with an environmental and sustainable experience.”

To ensure that farms are managed responsibly, WWF supports the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard as the most credible, robust certification currently available for labeling responsibly farmed seafood.

In partnership with WWF, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has publicly committed, by 2020, to:

  • source 75 percent of its farmed seafood by volume from ASC-certified farms, farms undergoing full assessment for ASC certification, and/or aquaculture improvement projects;
  • source 90% of its global wild-caught seafood volume from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, fisheries undergoing full MSC assessment, comprehensive fishery improvement projects (FIPs), and/or tuna products sourced from the International Seafood Sustainability Association member companies; and
  • obtain MSC and ASC Chain of Custody certification for its global fleet of ships in order to assure that seafood marked as MSC or ASC certified is traceable to a certified fishery or farm.

© Yawar Motion Films / WWF-US

“Royal Caribbean’s commitment to transition its supply chains to sustainable, responsible sources helps protect critical ecosystems including in places like Southern Chile and beyond, as well as the communities that rely on these resources for their livelihood,” said Caroline Tippett, Senior Director of Seafood Engagement at WWF. “Working alongside our corporate partners, local government, and surrounding communities, we can support an industry that produces an important protein for the world while working to limit its impact on the marine environment.”

To learn more or to partner with WWF, please visit Seafoodsustainability.org.

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