We’re located in Golden Bay, at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s a beautiful part of the world, and we respect and care for both the land and the sea. Our commitment to marine sustainability goes much further than just our local environment; we want to ensure our local area, and the wider world, is protected for future generations.
Why is marine sustainability important to us?
When we launched our Better Choices Promise in 2017, we made a commitment to help remove the guesswork when looking for a truly natural and healthy product. This means that every product we stock must not only meet strict standards when it comes to what’s on the ingredients list, but environmental and ethical standards too. Our Marine Sustainability Policy is part of this promise. We care about our environment and the world around us, and we understand that overfishing is a global concern. As the demand for the health benefits of omegas increases, the need for sustainable sourced materials grows. We’re committed to respecting our oceans and ensuring that the raw materials sourced to produce the omega products we sell are sustainable for future generations. This is a complex and ever-changing picture, however, and we decided we needed some expert help in understanding the current state of our fisheries and their relative sustainability, as well as the value and limitations of various sustainability certifiers.
We’ve recently put a spotlight on marine-based supplements to learn more about their sustainability. Alongside our own research, we engaged an external Marine Sustainability Expert to analyse the state of the industry, assess the various certifiers, and tell us which fisheries are the most sustainable. All of our marine-based products are certified sustainable by a reputable organisation, but we wanted to know what the various standards are, how they are upheld, and which certifiers are having the most positive environmental impact.
This 60-page research report confirmed that krill is seen to be one of the most highly regulated fisheries with catch rates set well below the level for what is considered sustainable. Catch limits are currently set at 1% of the population of krill, but only 0.3% is currently being caught. Krill fishing is closely monitored by independent scientists who form part of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). While krill compares well against some more developed and over-exploited fisheries, the sensitivity of the environment in which it is harvested and the effects of climate change mean this is a complex and changeable picture. Along with the vast majority of krill fisheries, we are fully in support of greatly extended network of ocean sanctuaries in the Antarctic, and will continue to keep abreast of research in this area.
In an effort to minimise overfishing, fishing on a global scale is managed by the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) who have set criteria for the certification of sustainability. Fish can be certified sustainable at different stages of processing, such as an entire fishery, a factory that processes fish, as well as the end product produced.
New Zealand fisheries are governed by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) who have clear guidelines for both recreational and commercial fishing. The Quota Management System supports sustainable fishing in New Zealand.
We only stock fish or krill products that are certified by suppliers who guarantee commitment to marine sustainability. This policy ensures that these marine products are certified by one of the organisations below, who apply credible environmental standards to help protect the future of our oceans. While all certification schemes have their limitations, they are a step in the right direction. For a thorough analysis of the value and the challenges of sustainability certification, please check out the report and let us know what you think.
International Marine Sustainability Groups:
- Friends of the Sea (FOS)
- Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
- The Global Standard for Responsible Supply (IFFO RS)
Supporting certified sustainable fisheries makes sense to combat overfishing and help protect our marine life for future generations. We’ll continue to monitor the research as things evolve, and will continue to assess the impact and sustainability of fish and krill derived products to ensure it fits our criteria.
The benefits of the fatty acids from fish
Omega 3 is made up of a few individual fatty acids - predominantly EPA and DHA (also known as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid). Popularity of Omega 3 has grown because of the huge amount of research into the benefits it can provide key parts of the body:
- Brain health: DHA is important for healthy brains. It’s essential for growing brains too, so taking it through pregnancy and giving it to children can assist neural development and focus.
- Mental health: Mood can be impacted by inflammation in the brain as well as an insufficient intake of fatty acids. EPA & DHA help to support our mental health and emotional wellbeing.
- Heart health: Shown in research to support healthy triglyceride levels and blood pressure, an omega product high in EPA can support heart health over our lifetime.
- Joint health: As we age, joints can lose the natural lubrication within the joint capsule. Omega 3 fatty acids support comfortable joints with good mobility.
Looking for an omega 3 supplement? Look for the Sustainable Omega 3 Specialty icon online to shop marine or plant based omega 3 products that are sourced with environmental and sustainable practices.