Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Fish Farm Investors Want Change From Fish Farms - Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood

Famous economist, and Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman said this about the role of corporations in a capitalist society:

"Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible... "

And Kjersti Sandvik's new book, Under the Surface, investigates the history of fish farm corporations. While their spin says they help the underemployed in rural districts find jobs, she points out time and again that fish farm corporations are about making as much money as possible, and billions have been made - billions sent to shareholders. Just get her book from Glydendal in Norway and read it.

And now, there is a study out that shareholders want sustainable, environmentally sound fish farms. The SFP, and Aviva have called on investors to drive sustainable seafood supply.

So, sorry Milt, the big investors don't agree with you. They want the world's corporations to clean up their acts in the ocean or they won't invest in them.

"Investors must do more to push seafood companies to adopt progressive policies that enhance the sustainability of fishing and fish farming, and reduce the potential for environmental and human rights abuses, according to a report issued today by Aviva Investors and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP)"

Aviva Investors, Robeco, PGGM, BMO, Legal & General and Öhman are among the investors supporting the initiative. You will note that Bank of Montreal in this group, so big institutional investors and shareholders.

Fish farms use the ocean and should: "demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement and transparency, with ambitious targets for the future." Fish farm transparency is not up to snuff as was pointed out during the Cohen Commission when they argued for not releasing fish farm disease stats. When Cohen required them, they then turned and started trumpeting about how transparent they were. Then Cohen said individual records were required. Fish farms sent in their lawyers to argue he did not have the authority to do so. Cohen required them anyway. No peep from the untransparent fish farms.

The Aviva report calls for: "support well-managed fisheries and fish farms that are certified to credible standards." There are numerous standards, and awards but most are not credible, for example, the BAPs that are industry funded.

Investors should engage with companies to require environmentally sound practices or they won't invest: "During engagement, the business case for sustainable fisheries should be made from an environmental, social, governance and financial perspective," said Abigail Herron, head of responsible investment engagement at Aviva Investors. "Bribery, corruption and a rabbit hole of shell companies often go hand in hand with illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries."

Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood you need to clean up your act or the big money investors and shareholders won't invest.

For a copy of the report follow the link here:

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