Sustainable fisheries: Letter to coastal state negotiators and national experts
Dear coastal state negotiators and national experts,
The European fishmeal and fish oil industry sources more than 3,000,000 tons of raw material yearly in the form of fish landed directly to the factories and trimmings and rest raw material from the processing industry. A very large part of these fish, either directly or indirectly supplied, are caught in the North East Atlantic.
In November 2018 we sent a letter urging all coastal-state representatives to consider the implications of a continuous lack of binding agreements on the quota allocations of the shared fish stocks in the North East Atlantic.
EUfishmeal is the association of European fishmeal and fish oil producers and represents producers from EU as well as non-EU countries, and includes members from Denmark, Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Spain and United Kingdom.
All members of EUfishmeal aim to have a production based on a sustainable exploitation of resources and consequently the sector seeks to meet the international standards and certifications applying to raw materials, production and traceability.
As a direct result of the lack of agreement on long-term management strategies and quota shares several of the North East Atlantic stocks are now in immediate risk of losing their MSC and IFFO RS certifications. This will have major implications not only for the fishing industry but also for the processing industry and the economic value of the fish resources.
Our customers are demanding sustainable and certified sourced marine ingredients in order to supply a growing demand for eco-labeled fish products. Thus, our plead for binding international agreements in the North East Atlantic has now been echoed by significant feed and food conglomerates, serving to illustrate the importance of sustainability and that, in the end, it is driven by consumer demands.
EUfishmeal would like to urge all coastal states negotiators to commit to and establish binding fisheries management strategies and to honor sustainable quota shares for the shared stocks in the Northeast Atlantic.
Anne Mette Bæk,
Managing director of EUfishmeal
Download a pdf-version of the letter here:
New research: Trout prefer feeds rich in omega-3
Rainbow trout favour feeds that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
This is the conclusion from a new research paper claiming that the replacement of fishmeal and fish oil by a completely plant-based diet drastically decreases the survival and growth of fish. The new study has examined the feed preference of rainbow trout and found that the fish could discriminate between the plant-based diets and the aqua-feed ingredients. The conclusion was clear: the fish showed an obvious preference for the marine-feed ingredients.
The paper also refers to numerous other studies which have found a connection between plant-based diets and reductions in feed intake, growth performance, or a combination of lower feed intake and feed efficiency. It is believed that these reductions are primarily related to the absence of marine ingredients, fishmeal and especially fish oil.
Read the full study “Rainbow trout prefer diets rich in omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids DHA and EPA” here.
The Farm to Fork Strategy
As one of the key parts of the European Green Deal the Commission has presented its From Farm to Fork Strategy for sustainable food. This strategy sets out to ensure that European food remains safe, nutritious and of high quality while it must simultaneously be produced with a minimum impact on nature. Fishermen and farmers are acknowledged as key players in this transition. The strategy will contribute to achieving a circular economy in all aspects from production to consumption and thereby it will help reduce the impact of food production and waste.
Read more about the From Farm to Fork strategy here.
Read more about the European Green Deal here.
New fund will support the blue economy
The BlueInvest Fund is a new European fund that will provide financing to underlying equity funds which target and support the innovative blue economy, i.e. the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs.
The BlueInvest Fund has been launched by the European Commission and the European Investment Fund as an acknowledgement that the blue economy sector is essential in reaching a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
This goal is the aim of the European Green Deal which is a set of ambitious policy initiatives.
Oceans and the marine industries are described as holding many solutions to tackle climate change by the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans & Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius. At EUfishmeal, we welcome the new fund and the possibilities for new investments in the European ocean economy.
Read more about the launch of the BlueInvest Fund here.
Video: Sustainable fishing
Fishing should be sustainable in all parts of the ocean.
Use of fishmeal and fish oil reduces carbon footprint of farmed fish
Substituting plant-based feed ingredients in fish feed with marine ingredients, such as fishmeal and fish oil, can reduce the carbon footprint from farmed fish.
This is highlighted in a new study from the Norwegian independent research institute SINTEF, which has recently analyzed and compared greenhouse gas emissions of different types of seafood and land based food in Norway.
The significant land use, transport and production requirements of plant-based ingredients lead to increasing greenhouse gas emissions for farmed fish when the feed is increasingly based on plant ingredients.
– During the last 10 years there has been a change in the diet of farmed fish towards a feed consisting of almost 70 percent plant-based. That is a development that is not necessarily great from a climate perspective, if it means replacing marine ingredients with Brazilian soy. Changing the composition of the ingredients in the feed has the largest potential to reduce the carbon footprint of farmed salon, says Ulf Winther, special advisor from SINTEF.
As follows from the figure below, farmed salmon is producing the lowest green house gas emissions together with chicken, while pork has around 50% higher emissions and beef 5 times the relative amount. The wild caught fish have the lowest footprints, and especially the pelagic fish, constituting the base for fishmeal and oil, have a very low relative emission level. The more marine ingredients in the feed for the farmed salmon the lower the footprint.
These conclusions are very relevant and feed well into the ongoing discussion of replacing marine ingredients in fishfeed with plant based ingredients .
We believe that combining these results with other studies showing an increase in animal welfare, fitness, survival and quality in the farmed fish when using a larger share of marine ingredients in feed prove that the trend of not using marine ingredients in fish feed should be stopped.
In the wild, fish eat fish and it is only natural that their feed should contain marine ingredients.
On top of being beneficial for the fish, their welfare and health, the nutritional value of the fish reaching the consumer, now also has a reduced carbon footprint compared to a plant-based diet.
You can read the full report from SINTEF here (in Norweigan)