The future of food from the sea


“The future of food from the sea” is the title of an important article recently published in the scientific Journal Nature by Costello et al. 2020 (read the article click here). The article describes the need for improved fishery management and a mariculture reform as ways to produce as much animal protein from the sea as possible.

, Sustainable Fisheries UW, has written an explainer on the article that covers the science behind the article, the context of global food production, and what policy could look like by 2050. Read the explainer click here.

Because fishmeal and fish oil are limited resources, the development of technology to supplement fish meal and oil is a big variable in how much food can be produced from the ocean. Researchers ran scenarios reducing fishmeal and fish oil requirements by 50% or 95% from current levels—those technological breakthroughs would increase food supply by 17.2 billion kg and 174.5 billion kg respectively. Fed mariculture currently produces 6.8 billion kg of food per year.

Another round of the BREF-negotiations – Key takeaways


In the EU all industries with emissions to the surroundings are regulated by the so-called BREFs. The fishmeal sector is part of the BREF for Slaughterhouses and animal byproducts. This BREF is now under revision.  The aim is to find the best available technique and set emission levels corresponding to this. During this process representatives from European members states’ national authorities and industry representatives, such as ourselves, partake to ensure that everyone gets a say in the process.

Earlier this week, September 29, another round of the BREF-negotiations concluded after two days of discussion. The meeting, which due to covid-19 was held online, was a data assessment workshop, where member states and industry representatives were invited to comment on the data assembled.

Our goal during the workshop was to inform the EIPPCB of the specific aspects related to the production of fishmeal and fish oil, and how these processes influence the assembled data. This work will continue until the final version of the BREF. The meeting went well, and European Fishmeal, who was represented by no less than four people, got its most crucial points through to the EIPPCB.

The next important dates in the BREF process are

  • 30 October 2020: Deadline for updating questionnaires
  • 30 October 2020: Deadline for commenting on the data assessment
  • November 2020: The secretariat in Seville launch the new data extracting with the updated data
  • Q1/Q2 2021 (tentative): The first draft of the BREF is anticipated to be complete