Omega Protein Awarded Friend of the Sea Recertification for Sustainable Gulf Menhaden Fishery

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Omega Protein is being lauded for its sustainability by international sustainability certification program Friend of the Sea. The award recertifies the Company’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico producing fish meal and fish oil as sustainable, and follows the recent release of the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which details Omega Protein’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility through its products and community service.

Sustainability is a core value at Omega Protein and this practice has allowed us to prosper for over a century. We are pleased that both of our Gulf and Atlantic menhaden fisheries have been recognized as sustainable by Friend of the Sea.

Omega Protein’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico producing fish meal and fish oil have been recertified as sustainable by Friend of the Sea, an international sustainability certification program dedicated to the conservation of marine resources. Omega Protein, a nutritional product company and a leading integrated producer of omega-3 fish oil and specialty protein products, also holds the certification for sustainable Atlantic menhaden and has previously been certified for sustainable Gulf menhaden. Since 2008, Omega Protein’s Gulf of Mexico menhaden fishery has been certified “sustainable” by Friend of the Sea. Yesterday’s announcement marks the Company’s second recertification for its Gulf of Mexico operations.

This recertification once again affirms that Omega Protein’s procedures and products in the Gulf of Mexico meet Friend of the Sea’s strict criteria for sustainability. Friend of the Sea specifically recognized the Company’s use of selective fishing methods and sourcing from non-overexploited stocks, among other initiatives. According to a press release issued yesterday by Friend of the Sea, Omega Protein’s Gulf of Mexico operations boast a zero percent discard rate and very little bycatch, “thanks to a system aboard its vessels that allows larger, non-targeted fish to easily escape during the loading phase.”

“Sustainability is a core value at Omega Protein and this practice has allowed us to prosper for over a century. We are pleased that both of our Gulf and Atlantic menhaden fisheries have been recognized as sustainable by Friend of the Sea,” said Omega Protein President and CEO Bret Scholtes. “Friend of the Sea’s certification further emphasizes Omega Protein’s marine conservation and environmental protection efforts,” added Scholtes.

Omega Protein uses traceable practices to track its products derived from menhaden from the initial fishing to the finished product. This system of full traceability is used throughout the Company-owned, vertical supply chain and ensures the highest standards of quality control and sustainable sourcing.

Friend of the Sea’s recertification adds to a growing list of recent recognition for Omega Protein initiatives focused on product innovation and a commitment to the communities in which it operates. The Company’s recently released, inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility Report overviews Omega Protein’s century-long tradition of striving for the highest standards of sustainable sourcing, product manufacturing, and community service.

About Omega Protein Corporation
Omega Protein Corporation (NYSE:OME) is a century old nutritional company that develops, produces and delivers healthy products throughout the world to improve the nutritional integrity of functional foods, dietary supplements and animal feeds. Omega Protein’s mission is to help people lead healthier lives with better nutrition through sustainably sourced ingredients such as highly-refined omega-3 rich fish oil, specialty proteins and nutraceuticals.

About Friend of the Sea

Friend of the Sea is an international certification program for products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Over 400 companies in more than 50 countries have relied on Friend of the Sea to assess the sustainability of their seafood origins. Audits, based on best and most updated available scientific data, are run by accredited independent certification bodies.

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Ben Landry
Omega Protein
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