WWF and Aker BioMarine expand partnership

Aker BioMarine is expanding its partnership with the environmental organization WWF-Norway. Sustainable harvesting of marine resources continues to be the overarching priority.

Aker, Aker BioMarine, and Aker Seafoods have worked with WWF-Norway since 2006. The common goal is sustainable management of fish and krill, and combating illegal harvesting. Now, this partnership is being expanded.

In the period 2009 through 2011, joint activities will include promoting environmental labeling and ensuring traceability throughout the fisheries value chain, from harvesting through to products purchased by consumers. WWF-Norway will play the role as a critical sparring partner.

“Exchanging opinions and expertise provides valuable input for the development of more environmentally appropriate solutions. WWF is a vital source of inspiration in our efforts to strengthen global fish and krill resources. Challenges propel Aker — including dialogue with environmental activists and their organizations,” says Geir Arne Drangeid, Aker Senior Partner & EVP.

WWF-Norway’s marine programme will receive about NOK 1 million annually during 2009 – 2011 as a result of the partnership agreement with Aker.

“For the past three years, WWF has had an open and direct dialogue with Aker. Together we have achieved important results, particularly in the areas of environmental labeling of fish caught in Norwegian waters and combating the illegal fishing in the Barents Sea,” says WWF-Norway’s Secretary General Rasmus Hansson. “We look forward to continuing our cooperation with Aker; our experience is that the company is sincerely committed to securing sustainable management of species and ecosystems.”

Health-promoting ingredients from krill Aker BioMarine is using a unique method for harvesting krill, called Eco Harvesting. Eco Harvesting results in minimal environmental impact, while providing optimal krill resources for processing into health-promoting dietary supplements, nutraceuticals, and food ingredients.

The biotechnology company is well on the way to becoming the first to provide products from environmentally certified Southern Ocean krill harvests. To date, MSC has conducted a pre-assessment that reported favorable feedback. WWF-Norway is actively participating in the project. Environmental certification is a precondition for Aker BioMarine to apply MSC’s environmental labeling to its krill products. MSC labelling assures customers that products are sustainable and that traceability has been maintained throughout the entire production value chain.

“The Antarctic is an incredibly rich yet vulnerable ecosystem. Aker BioMarine considers it absolutely essential that krill harvesting is done in a responsible and sustainable manner,” says the company’s CEO, Kjell Inge Røkke. “We do not intend to be a high-volume krill harvester. Our approach is to use ultra-modern technology in order to obtain maximum resource utilization and minimal environmental impact.”

For further information, please contact:
Geir Arne Drangeid, Senior Partner & EVP, Aker ASA, tel: +47 913 10 458
Rasmus Hansson, Secretary General WWF-Norway, tel: +47 906 86 313

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