LUNENBURG, NS, March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – High Liner Foods Inc. (TSX: HLF) (TSX: HLF.A), the leading value-added seafood supplier in North America, announced today that it has made significant progress since the company announced its sustainability commitment in late 2010, when it set a goal of sourcing all of its seafood from certified sustainable or responsible fisheries and aquaculture farms by the end of 2013. “It's very encouraging to see the progress High Liner has made in such a short time,” said Jim Cannon, CEO of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, High Liner's NGO partner. “High Liner's commitment to sustainability and efforts to help encourage the rebuilding of fisheries are examples of how a major seafood buyer can achieve a win-win for the environment and their business.” In 2011, High Liner achieved the following toward its sustainability commitment: Procurement of raw material High Liner nearly doubled the amount of certified sustainable raw materials it purchases, both wild caught and aquaculture farm-raised, from 27 percent in 2010 to 52 percent at the end of 2011. These figures do not include products of the recently-acquired Icelandic Seafood, and High Liner is reviewing the sustainability status of Icelandic Seafood brand raw materials. Fishery Improvement Projects Working with SFP and other organizations, High Liner provided assistance in a Russian pollock Fishery Improvement Project (FIP). The Russian Pollock Catchers Association is working hard to achieve MSC certification. High Liner joined an effort overseen by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to help drive the 3Ps Atlantic cod fishery of Newfoundland toward entering the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment process. NGO community relations High Liner extended its partnership with SFP for another two years (through the end of 2013). SFP and High Liner are working together to develop programs and strategies to ensure High Liner Foods' customers of the sustainability of their products. The company continued to work closely with staff at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, WWF and Ocean Wise, a conservation program of the Vancouver Aquarium, on sustainability initiatives. Participation in industry-wide initiatives High Liner was the principal sponsor of the Seafood Summit 2011, in Vancouver, B.C. Bill DiMento, Corporate Director of Sustainability for High Liner Foods, testified in December 2011 to a U.S. Senate panel in support of the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act, which would prevent fishing vessels from offloading illegally caught seafood in U.S. ports. High Liner worked with the National Fisheries Institute's Traceability Team to drive improvements in traceability systems that would not add significant costs to the seafood supply chain. “Reaching our goal of being 100 percent sustainable by the end of next year is by no means a finish line, but another major step forward to meeting our sustainability commitment,” said Henry Demone, President and CEO of High Liner Foods. “It will be an important milestone to achieve, and while we still have a long road ahead of us, we are right on track to get there.” “We recognize that we have the responsibility to ensure that our oceans are healthy now and for future generations, at the same time maintaining exceptional value and quality for our customers,” DiMento said. “No company can do this alone, but by working closely with our suppliers and our customers, we're seeing progress happening.” For more information about the High Liner Foods' commitment to sustainability, visit www.highlinersustainability.com.