Measures to prevent seal deaths on salmon farms
This is an issue which affects all major food retailers.
Waitrose requires all its farmed salmon suppliers to take rigorous non-lethal measures to deter predators, including seals. These measures focus on physical exclusion, including the proper use of acoustic devices, tensioned and weighted nets and the efficient removal of dead fish, which can attract seals.
Having said that, predators sometimes get through all the non-lethal barriers our suppliers can put in place. This can result in vicious attacks on the fish, causing serious welfare problems. Only at this point, and in a very small number of cases, are other methods of predator control considered and we are working with our suppliers to minimise this.
Watch our fresh line-caught tuna being caught in the Maldives
Waitrose salmon comes from a small group of carefully selected farms based in the Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands and the Western Isles of Scotland. Each site is carefully located in high energy sites with strong tidal flows to ensure the highest welfare and minimise the impact on the environment. Strong tidal sites keep the seabed clean and also help encourage lean and fit fish, resulting in firmer flesh.
We have long-term working partnerships with our farmers. This allows for long-term planning and early adoption of practices that lead to improved quality and sustainability of the farming operation. To ensure the farm is having limited impact on the environment, submerged cameras are used to watch the fish feeding. This allows the farmer to ensure minimal, if any, feed is falling on to the seabed as this can cause pollution. The farmer can stop feeding the fish when he can see that feeding is slowing up. The latest feeder designs include features that prevent any food from falling on the seabed. On a six monthly basis the farmer will arrange for a survey to be carried out on the seabed around the site to assess the richness of the environment.
Cod and haddock
All of our fresh and frozen cod and haddock comes from Iceland and Norway and is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.
Waitrose fully supports the Greenpeace campaign to end the sale of tuna caught with the use of fish aggregation devices used in conjunction with purse seining. Waitrose will not introduce any own label or branded tuna products produced from tuna caught in such a way.
All Waitrose own label skipjack tuna is pole and line caught from Fish Aggregation Device free fisheries in the Maldives. Since April 2013 all the skipjack tuna used in our business, both canned and in salads and sandwiches, has been certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.