Veramaris® has become the first microalgae oil producer for feed to achieve certification to the joint ASC-MSC Seaweed (Algae) Standard. The company responsibly and sustainably produces EPA & DHA Omega-3 algae oil  for use in the aquaculture industry as fish feed and pet food and is the first American producer to achieve the ASC-MSC certification.
Veramaris’ certified sustainable facility, which is entirely land-based, adds an estimated 45% to the global supply of MSC certified EPA & DHA Omega-3  and covers approximately 15% of the global requirement for EPA & DHA in farmed salmon feeds.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), aquaculture is instrumental for meeting the increasing global demand for nutritional food while restoring the health of our oceans. To meet this growing demand sustainably, fish farms need responsibly-sourced fish feed – an ASC-certification requirement. This feed must contain the two key Omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA, which are vital for animal and human health and mostly come from wild-capture fish. One ton of Veramaris algae oil provides as much EPA & DHA as from 60 tons of forage fish.
The certification is good news for pet owners who want to provide their pets with optimal nutrition while reducing the environmental paw-print of their dogs and cats. Consumer research conducted for Veramaris has shown that 75% of pet owners are willing to pay more for pet food brands containing algae Omega-3. By including Veramaris algae oil in their products, pet food producers can offer customers a sustainable option for keeping their four-legged friends healthy and happy.
Patricia Bianchi, ASC-MSC Seaweed Account Manager said: “Congratulations to Veramaris on becoming the first producers of algae-derived Omega-3 to be certified against the ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard. This certification confirms that the operation minimizes the impacts on the environment, with good labor conditions and positive impacts for the community.
“Our oceans are under great pressure to supply fish both for direct human consumption and for feed in the aquaculture industry. We are hopeful that the sustainable and responsible production of Omega-3 from algae will help to relieve some of this pressure on wild stocks and help reduce the risk of overfishing.”
Karim Kurmaly, Veramaris CEO said: “This achievement is an imperative milestone on our journey to expand the world’s access to sustainable EPA & DHA Omega-3. We are committed to working with partners along the value chain to bring transparent and sustainable solutions to the industry that results in healthy fish, healthy food and healthy oceans for generations to come. I extend my gratitude to the global Veramaris team that has worked very hard to bring us to where we are today with this great achievement.”
Gaining the ASC-MSC certification required a rigorous audit process against dozens of requirements for good management practices. An in-depth audit over many days was carried out by an independent company, SAI Global that checked records, took measurements, and interviewed operators to assess whether the facility met every requirement in the standard. These requirements include responsible energy use, minimal impacts on biodiversity, fair treatment and pay for all staff and involves a public consultation period.
1. Long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
2. Source: MSC estimates based on 2021 quota forecasts of all certified forage fisheries