‘Pescanova Blue’ Sustainability Programme

As defined in our Sustainability Policy, the ‘Pescanova Blue’ Sustainability Programme is the operational response of the Nueva Pescanova Group to the positioning of its CSR pillars (PLANET, PEOPLE, PRODUCT and COMMUNITIES).

We want to contribute to the promotion of a culture of corporate responsibility based on the creation of shared value for the society and other interested parties. For that, we work to preserve the natural environment everywhere we operate, to ensure the professional and personal development of our employees, to facilitate our consumers the access to seafood, and to contribute to the development of our partner communities.

The ‘Pescanova Blue’ Sustainability Programme promotes more sustainable operations and practices in their biological, environmental, technological, economic, commercial, and social aspects, through:

  • The definition of five sustainability principles on sustainable sourcing, labour responsibility, responsible operations, more prosperous communities, and ethical and upright behaviour aligned with our obligations and objectives of regulatory compliance.
  • A system to validate the evidence of sustainability of our seafood products in the environmental, social, and economic spheres.
  • An integrated plan of initiatives designed to guide and document the responsible and sustainable use of natural resources and energy in all activities of the Nueva Pescanova Group companies.

Sustainability evidence

The ‘Pescanova Blue’ label found on a PESCANOVA-brand packaging means that the fishing or aquaculture raw materials used in this seafood product were sourced in a sustainable way and have the corresponding documented and verifiable evidence of origin, complying with the sustainable sourcing principle of the ‘Pescanova Blue’ Sustainability Programme.

The ‘Pescanova Blue’ Sustainability Programme includes a system for the recognition of evidence of sustainability for the raw materials of PESCANOVA seafood products.

Sustainable raw materials are any that, according to our ‘Pescanova Blue’ Sustainability Programme, demonstrate compliance with any of the following:

Type I – Third party audit certificates from private fisheries or aquaculture sustainability schemes (ecolabels) that comply with the FAO responsible fishing principles as benchmarked by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).

Type II – Compliance with the requirements of the Nueva Pescanova Group’s Private Standard for Sustainable Fishing in the countries or species for which it is in force.

Type III – Complementary actions for fishery or aquaculture sustainability, such as fishery improvement projects (fishery improvement projects, FIP) or aquaculture’s (AIP) managed and documented in a transparent and appropriate way.

Type IV – Compliance with the evaluation criteria for fisheries performance following globally accepted sustainability measures according to the FishSource scientific profiles platform.

Our vision of sustainability

At the Nueva Pescanova Group we align our Sustainability Policy with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations (UN) as framed in their 2030 Agenda. We recognize the principles of sustainable development and the definition of sustainability offered by the UN’s World Commission on Environment and Development (the 1987’s Brundtland Report) as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Sustainable development and responsible action are indisputable and essential aspects of the Nueva Pescanova Group’s business culture, moreover because our activities are determined by the extraction and/or consumption of natural resources, whether through the fishing and aquaculture farming, or the processing and commercialization of seafood.

The intrinsic value of these natural resources must always be transferred to the final product offered to the consumer in a responsible manner, so as to guarantee the sustainability of those activities. Complementarily, the benefit generated by the Group’s activities fits into the social and economic spheres, through the creation of shared value, employment, knowledge, infrastructures, among others, generating tangible and intangible value for the benefit of society and of the stakeholders of the Nueva Pescanova Group.

The conservation of natural resources and the generation of social and economic benefits that result from our responsible action, for the benefit of both present and future generations, lay out the definition of Sustainability for the Nueva Pescanova Group.

Scope and sustainability principles


The goal is that 100% of the species that we fish, farm, or buy must have an evidence of sustainable origin and be processed responsibly, thus complying with the 1st principle of sustainability: “We fish, farm, and process seafood in a sustainable way by respecting the planet”.


The goal is that 100% of the staff of the Nueva Pescanova Group’s companies must benefit from legal, fair, and decent employment, formalized and verifiable by a valid employment contract that is in accordance with the applicable legislation, with the implementation of appropriate plans for talent management, diversity and equality, recruiting, occupational health and safety, and professional training and development, with the respective documented evidence, thus complying with the 2nd principle of sustainability: “Diversity, safety, and the personal and professional growth of our employees”.


The goal is that 100% of the products marketed under the PESCANOVA brand must have some beneficial effect on the health of the consumers, like the presence of healthy fatty acids (such as omega 3, EPA and DHA), proteins of high biological value, vitamins (e.g., B12, B3, D, E, or A), minerals (e.g., phosphorus, selenium, zinc, iron, copper, iodine, magnesium, potassium, or calcium), contain ingredients with known positive effects on human health, and, lastly, the continuous improvement of the formulations of our food products (e.g., low-fat, low-salt, gluten-free, lactose-free, etc.); all of these with strict compliance of the applicable legislation on quality and food safety to consumers, and standards on food safety and quality in food handling or processing, by means of an internationally recognized certificate, which may be referred to on the label and/or packaging, thus complying with the 3rd principle of sustainability: “Our products contribute positively to the health and well-being of our consumers”.


The goal is that 100% of the communities where we operate must benefit from projects involving knowledge transfer, job creation and job stability, investment in assets or infrastructure, or social work, with the corresponding documentation in the form of an annual report or the equivalent, thus complying with the 4th principle of sustainability: “We improve the quality of life of the communities in which we live and work”.


The goal is full compliance with the legislation that is applicable to each place in which our activities take place and the provisions in our Corporate Governance and Compliance Requirements System, observing the 5th principle of sustainability: “We comply with all ethical and legal requirements”.

Sustainable sourcing

MSC certification of the Namibian cape Hake fishery (Merluccius capensis and Merluccius paradoxus).

After a long process, the MSC certification of the Cape hake fishing industry in Namibia was achieved in December 2020. With it, new markets and business opportunities have been opened.

Knowing that hake is well managed, because it is a sustainable fishery and that the impact on the environment is minimized, gives us, as a business group, the confidence to invest in the sector, since it requires a strong biomass of hake.

All our hard work (through the Namibia Hake Association) has paid off and the TAC in Namibia remains at sustainable levels of 154,000 tonnes per year. This is a very important fish population for Namibia and Africa, and it is also sought after worldwide.

With this certification, Namibia gains more credibility through external verification of sustainable and legal fishing operations. Furthermore, this is a major boost for the fishing industry and seafood processing sectors in Namibia. The certification of our hake catch is fundamental to our business development and an opportunity to supply new and more international markets that demand certified sustainable seafood.

Our Private Standard for Sustainable Fisheries

There, where fisheries certification schemes do not reach, we have developed a sustainable fishing standard based on the FAO’s principles for responsible fishing. We have applied this private standard to the Cape hake fishery (Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus) in Namibia since 2013, and it is verified annually by Bureau Veritas. This recognition attests the responsible and sustainable origin of our Namibian hake products.

The standard verifies our commitment to fisheries sustainability, sustainable development, conservation of marine ecosystems and respect for the environment, governance of the fishing activities, and labour and social responsibility.

Mahi-mahi Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in Peru

We promote and participate in the mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) fishery improvement project in Peru. The Peruvian fishery for mahi-mahi, or common dolphinfish, includes more than 4,200 fishermen and is one of the most important artisanal fisheries in the country.

A critical issue that challenges this fishery is the highly migratory nature of the species.

The collaboration between FIP stakeholders, such as IMARPE (Instituto Peruano del Mar) and FIP participants, drives improvements against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard.

More details here: FIP mahi-mahi (Perú).

Red shrimp Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in Argentina

We promote and participate in the red shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri) fishery improvement project in Argentina.

The Argentinean red shrimp fishery is the main crustacean fishery in Argentina and one of the most important marine resources in the southwestern Atlantic.

More details here: FIP Argentine red shrimp (Argentina).

The ‘Pescanova Blue’ conformity marking (label)

The ‘Pescanova Blue’ label found on a PESCANOVA-brand packaging means that the fishing or aquaculture raw materials used in this seafood product were sourced in a sustainable way and have the corresponding documented and verifiable evidence of origin, complying with the sustainable sourcing principle of the ‘Pescanova Blue’ Sustainability Programme.

Aquaculture sustainable feed

We recognize the important and growing role of aquaculture in providing animal protein for human consumption, and in helping to reduce the pressure of fishing on wild fishing grounds. We are aware that farming fish and crustaceans carries the responsibility of selecting feed made from ingredients obtained responsibly and sustainably.

The formulation of these feeds is aligned with the requirements and preferences of each species and their development stage. Fishmeal is a key raw material of high nutritional value in the diet of farmed species, basically due to its protein composition, fatty acids, vitamins, and other nutrients.

These feeds supplied to farmed animals are largely made from fish meal and oil originated from wild fish captures. In this sense, it is necessary to ensure that these ingredients’ sourcing is done in a responsible way, considering environmental protection and social development, respecting human and labour rights of all those involved in the value chain, and in a sustainable way, considering the principles and measures of fisheries management of the sought species. The growing demand for marine animal protein and the availability of biomass from well-managed sources may determine further the use of alternative sources, such as those of ingredients of terrestrial plant origin. Here it is essential to continue observing responsible and sustainable production and trade processes.


We are committed to the use of aquaculture feeds made exclusively from raw materials that do not cause a negative impact on the natural environment they are obtained from, respecting food safety and quality criteria, as well as sustainability criteria, as adopted for the specific farming method and species.

We work to ensure the feeds we use are:

Sustainable Raw materials must comply with the requirements of responsible and sustainable origin, complying with our policies, and may not incorporate endangered species (according to the IUCN red list), originated from illegal, unreported, and unregulated catches (IUU fishing), or associated with harmful deforestation or conversion practices linked to agricultural production.
Responsible The value chain of raw materials must comply with principles of respect for the human rights and legal, decent, and fair work.
Certified In our aquaculture activities we will use duly certified feed.
Traceable In addition to being properly identified, the ingredients must have a traceability system of their origin and characteristics.



To promote sustainability in the supply chain for feed for animal nutrition in aquaculture farming of turbot and prawns, we have included in our Sectorial Policy for Aquaculture Responsibility the necessary measures to ensure that we source feed made from ingredients obtained in a responsible and sustainable way:

  • Complying with the Group’s Purchasing Policy, we urge feed suppliers to adopt the principles and standards of conduct set forth in our Supplier’s Social and Ethical Charter, ranging from ethical behaviour and regulatory compliance to environmental sustainability, quality, and transparency. All suppliers must accept and sign the Responsible Declaration of Our Supplier’s Ethical and Social Charter.
  • We work in collaboration with our feed suppliers (and producers) to guarantee full compliance with the nutritional needs of our farmed animals and the adoption of solutions that are as sustainable as possible, pursuing the most efficient results. Depending on the farming method (extensive or intensive systems), the development phase of the farmed species, among other factors, the composition of the feed may vary significantly.
  • We evaluate the origin and sustainability of the raw materials, of both marine and terrestrial origin, used in the production of these feeds.
  • We work with designated, authorized, and audited suppliers in processes such as traceability, sustainability, food safety, quality systems, and ethical and environmental policies.
  • We pay special attention to the control of the sustainability of raw materials of marine origin, such as fishmeal and fish oil, and choosing suppliers of recognized prestige who source from certified fisheries or participate in sustainability improvement programmes.
  • We integrate the most sustainable alternatives in line with the principles of the Nueva Pescanova Group’s Sustainability Policy.
  • We collaborate with feed producers to strive in reducing the use of fishmeal and fish oils from direct reduction fisheries, and alternatively value by-products from the fishing industry, encouraging circularity and optimization of the use of the fishing resources.

Our commitment to animal welfare in aquaculture

In our Sectorial Policy for Aquaculture Responsibility, we recognize the relationship between animal welfare, their health and the success of their development and growth. That is why the strategy and success of our aquaculture operations include a commitment to the well-being of farmed animals.

We are committed to guaranteeing respect for the “five freedoms” of farmed animals, universally recognized, defined as animals free from:

  • Hunger and malnutrition, offering an adequate diet to maintain health and vigour.
  • Extreme discomfort, physical discomfort, and pain, ensuring a suitable physical environment depending on the species.
  • Injuries and illnesses, through adequate prevention and rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  • Impediments to manifest a natural behaviour, ensuring sufficient space and suitable conditions depending on the species.
  • Fear and anguish, minimizing all sources of stress.

We consider that the deficiency or difficulty of having or providing any of the “five freedoms” is an indicator of “poor welfare” and that it may result in an unwanted loss of efficiency of our operation.

We consider essential that farmed animals are not exposed to extreme conditions that can generate physiological weaknesses, reducing the risk of suffering pathologies, by maintaining optimal cultivation conditions throughout the life cycle, and minimizing every source of stress. In this sense, our actions focus on:

  • The proper design of equipment and facilities to avoid physical damage and ensure minimal stress to the farmed animals.
  • The implementation of systematic and continuous surveillance measures of the optimal conditions depending on each phase of their development and farming method.
  • Daily visual control for proper monitoring of feeding conditions and physicochemical parameters of water quality.
  • Carrying out systematic controls for disinfection, disinsection, and deratization (DDD).
  • The regular execution of routine laboratory controls, systematic hygiene plans and disease surveillance.
  • The classification of individuals by size.
  • The periodic control of biomass.
  • Training of personnel in animal well-being and good management practices.
  • Minimizing the incidence of predators.
  • Observing all corresponding protocols/procedures in the transport of animals duly backed by veterinary certificates from the competent authority.
  • The assurance that culling and slaughter of farmed animals respects national standards, in particular the AENOR UNE 173300 standard (Guide to correct practices for slaughter in fish farming) and internationally suggested good practices (such as those included in the Sanitary Code for Aquatic Animals of the World Organization for Animal Health).