Eat like it matters – eat more fish


A new Nature Economy Report from World Economic Forum outlines the challenges we are facing when it comes to securing food for the growing population – read the whole article click here:

  • To feed 10 billion people in a healthy and sustainable way, we must rethink how we produce and consume food.
  • Regenerative farming is key to healing the planet and feeding the world with healthy food.
  • Consumers have the power to be part of this transition, by eating plant-rich and diverse diets, and slashing and repurposing waste.

If we are to feed 10 billion people in a healthy way within planetary boundaries, the way in which we produce and consume food needs to change.

Marine proteins and seafood, seaweed, mussels and fish, are probably the best way to feed the world according to a recent book by marine biologist and fisheries scientist Professor Dr. Ray Hilborn and Ulrike Hilborn – click here. From the OUPblog by Ray Hilborn:

Ocean fisheries don’t cause soil erosion, don’t blow away the topsoil, don’t use any significant freshwater, don’t use antibiotics and don’t have anything to do with nutrient releases, that devastating form of pollution that causes algal blooms in freshwater and dead zones in the ocean. After extensive studies, it turns out that some fish have the lowest green house gas footprint per unit of protein. Better even than plants. Sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies and farmed shellfish all have a lower GHG footprint than plants, and many other fisheries come close.

If you want to know more – watch Hilborn’s webinar about the environmental cost of dinner – click here.

FAO: New interactive presentation on sustaining our oceans and Strengthening the science-policy nexus


“Fisheries make a crucial and growing contribution to food, nutrition and livelihood security. Yet, despite significant successes in some regions the proportion of marine fish stocks fished within biologically sustainable levels continues to decline. What innovative fisheries policy and management interventions are needed to secure fisheries sustainability? How can sustainable fisheries contribute to securing the Sustainable Development Goals, especially the end of hunger and poverty? How do we ensure that nutritious aquatic foods reach those that need it most, now and in the future?”

On November 18-21, 2019 FAO (The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization) held a three-day symposium in Rome trying to answer just these questions. Besides producing an in-depth report with an outlook for the symposium, FAO has produced a very informative, interactive brush up of the key points from the International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability held last year in Rome. The eight sessions from the symposium have been condensed into the very key elements of each session.

1) The status of global and regional fisheries sustainability and its implications for policy and management.

2) Sustainable fisheries: linking biodiversity conservation and food security

3) Fish in food security and nutrition: from tide to table

4) Securing sustainable fisheries livelihoods

5) The economics of fisheries

6) Fisheries management in the face of a changing climate

7) Fisheries information systems and new technologies

8) Policy opportunities for fisheries in the twenty-first century 

The recommendations that have come out of the symposium are expected to be applicable in the medium to long term, but also to address times of crisis like the one we are living now with COVID-19. Now more than ever, it is critical that we build resilient and sustainable food systems that leave no one behind.

“Resilience in food systems is crucial for us as suppliers, and we therefore highly supports the work done by FAO,” says Anne Mette Bæk, managing director of European Fishmeal

Click here to see the interactive presentation

You can also find the full outlet of the symposium here

Coastal states set TAC for 2021


European Fishmeal was present as an observer during this year’s NEAFC negotiations (North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission) were the political negotiators are presented for the scientific advice for fisheries stocks in 2021 before they gather to set the TAC (Total Allowable Catch) for 2021.

The coastal states counts delegations from the European Union, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, the Russian Federation and, for the first time, the United Kingdom, who because of Brexit negotiated for themselves.

The following quotas were decided:

For blue whiting, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, the United Kingdom, and the European Union agreed to set the TAC for 2021 at 929,292 tonnes. This TAC is in line with ICES advice and represents a 20% decrease compared to 2020.

The coastal states did not, however, agree on how to divide the TAC to each state. EU maintains its claim at 41% as a starting point for the coming negotiates. The overfishing of blue whiting is hence expected to continue in 2021.

For Norweigan Spring Spawning herring (NSSH) the delegations agreed to set the TAC for 2021 at 651,033 tonnes. This TAC is also in line with the ICES advice and represents a 6% increase compared to 2020.

For mackerel, delegations agreed that the scientific advice provided by ICES, which is in line with the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) approach, forms a good basis for setting the TAC for 2021 (not set yet). The negotiators are expected to agree in setting TAC aligned with ICES’ advice on 852,284, which is an 8% reduction compared to the 2020 advice.

You can read more about the agreement here.

Advisory Councils: What are the impacts of marine wind energy?


The technological development that during the last decade has increased the profitability of especially offshore wind farms have rocketed the expansion of marine wind energy, and thus the marine activities that follow. With this in mind, the Pelagic Advisory Council, of which European Fishmeal is a member, the North Sea Advisory Council, and the North-Western Waters Advisory Council, ask for independent scientific advice on how marine wind energy affects commercial fish stocks.

The offshore wind energy industry has expanded rapidly during the last decade. In Denmark alone, the number of offshore wind turbines has grown from 314 in 2009 to 558 in 2019, an increase of 78%. Today there are 5,047 grid-connected offshore wind turbines across Europe with an average distance to shore of 59km and an average water depth of 33m, and with a total height of up to 260m.

The rapid and exponential expansion of offshore wind turbines means that the need for sound, reliable and independent research on the environmental impact has increased correspondingly.

Fisheries and offshore wind energy developments coexisting is vital for both food and energy production in the future. However, the understanding of interactions and impacts of these rapidly expanding offshore wind developments on fisheries remains limited.

What the joint advisory councils call for is, that research and knowledge on the impacts of offshore wind farms on the marine environment keep up with the rapid development. Because if we do not know how this expansion affects the marine life and the ecosystem, we can end up doing irrevocable damage” says Søren Anker Pedersen, Chief Biologist at European Fishmeal.

The NWWAC, NSAC and PELAC have joined forces in a joint Focus Group on impacts from offshore wind farms, to formulate the specific research needs and advice deliverables for a non-recurrent request to from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

All three AC’s would benefit from ICES advice on the following general research questions: The full advice from the advisory councils can be read here. 

  • What is the impact of habitat change on larval, juvenile, and adult stages of fish and invertebrate species in a variety of ways of habitat changes associated with offshore wind energy facility construction and operation,( for example loss of hard bottom and sand wave habitats due to sedimentation and scouring, addition of high-relief habitat around turbines, redistribution/displacement of important spawning, nursery, and foraging habitats?
  • What are the impacts of changes in sea surface and seafloor circulation patterns associated with the development of offshore wind energy facilities on patterns of larval drift and settlement, for example in cod, as well as the cumulative impacts of several wind parks situated closely together and of all marine activity in the geographical vicinity considered together?
  • What are the impacts of changes on upwelling events and productivity cycles that drive fish production, turbidity and sedimentation processes that influence species assemblage structure and trophic interactions?
  • What are the behavioural and physical effects related to construction activities of offshore wind energy developments, for example high impulse activities such as pile-driving and seismic exploration, on larval/adult life stages of commercially exploited fish and invertebrate species?
  • What is the impact of electromagnetic energy leaking from offshore wind installation, including transmission cables on the seafloor, on elasmobranch species, which use electromagnetic fields to navigate and hunt for food?
  • Is there an increased risk regarding the introduction of invasive species both during both development and construction phase of offshore wind energy developments?
  • Does increased noise and vibration associated with the operation of windfarm developments and increased boat traffic result in increased larval mortality for commercially exploited fish and invertebrate species, displacement of or interruption to migration patterns and reproductive behaviours, alteration of species distributions, and injury or mortality of fish?
  • To what extent have accumulations of offshore wind farm developments and other noise sources been taken into consideration in existing research, and within EIAs? When considering existing environmental impact assessments (EIAs) carried out prior to offshore wind farm developments, what parameters are not addressed that would be relevant to be included to determine the impact of the surveys on (the major) commercially exploited stocks within an ecosystem context for example via model-based approaches as identified by ICES WGODF?
  • What are the adverse responses (life cycle, biological functions) of larval, juvenile, and adult stages of fish and invertebrate species to potential pollution from wind turbine developments (for example structures, paints, sacrificial anodes)? Are there any recommendations to avoid and reduce these potential impacts?
  • What are the cumulate impacts relating to both the upscaling of existing wind farms and the colocation of several wind farms in the same geographical area on the environment and natural resources, and specifically on spawning grounds?
  • What are the impacts on lobster and crab populations in shallower waters close inshore where cable laying, including associated seismic surveys related to offshore wind farms, takes place?

EFFOP GA: New and old faces on the board


The annual General Assembly of European Fishmeal was held November 12th 2020 as an online session.

Johannes Palsson from Danish FF Skagen was reelected as president and Frank Trearty from the UK division of Pelagia as vice president.

There were some changes to the board as Toomas Kevvai from Estonian Eesti Kalatootjate Keskühistu and Roberto Casas Abeijón from the Spanish Auxiliar Conservera (AUCOSA) entered the board as new members of the European Fishmeal and Fish Oil Producers association while Christian Bisgaard from Biovecal left the board.

. The board is now as follows:

  • Kyrre Dale, Norway
  • Frank Trearty, Ireland (Vice president)
  • Johannes Palsson, Denmark (president)
  • Johann Petur Andersen, Iceland
  • Odd Eliasson, Faroe Islands
  • Toby Parker, UK
  • Toomas Kevvai, Estonia
  • Roberto Casas Abeijón, Spain

The general assembly also welcomed the new associated member, 3A Antioxidants.

The General assembly was followed by a presentation by Mark Payne, PhD, Senior Researcher, DTU Aqua on Blue whiting – prediction of stock development (recruitment).

Next year’s General Assembly will take place 27 of August as part of the biennial members’ conference in Skagen.

European Fishmeal General Assembly 2020


The recorded General Assembly for European Fishmeal, which took place online on November 12, 2020.

The agenda was
1) Adoption of agenda and election of chair
2) President report
3) Accounts 2019
4) Budget 2021
5) Approval membership fee 2021
6) Adoption of revised statutes
7) Executive Board appointment
8) Strategy and Action plan 2021
9) BREF revision update
10) Certifications update
11) Industry Standard for draining and weighing of unsorted pelagic bulk landings
12) Misc.