Organic Aquaculture in the EU 2022 Report


EU Taxonomy regulation – platform on Sustainable Finance


In July 2020, the EU has published and implemented a taxonomy regulation with the aim to establish a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. By doing so, it could play an important role helping the EU scale up sustainable investment and implement the European Green Deal. One of the key factors that will determine its success is the building and maintenance of close cooperation and partnership between diverse stakeholders amongst the public and private sector.

This is the goal of the Platform on Sustainable Finance, which brings together expertise on sustainability from different sectors and industries. In March 2022, this Platform published a report with recommendations on technical screening criteria, which amongst others presented guidelines on the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources.

The report was published with a call for feedbacks to which the international non-profit organisation Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) promptly answered. They published a contribution to the call for feedbacks with general remarks and a preliminary analysis on how the Technical Screening criteria for fisheries would apply to EU fisheries. A main criticism made by MSC is that the expert group behind the report was composed of processing sector’s representatives as well as a few environmental NGOs, but no other stakeholder or fisheries experts. According to them, the report also lack transparency on the procedure followed for developing the technical screening criteria. This led to “criteria that are incomplete, unworkable, unverifiable and incoherent with EU scientific advice and fisheries legislation“. EFFOP supports the remarks made by MSC regarding the report.

These remarks will be examined on Monday, 23 May 2022 (14:30 – 18:00 CEST) during a Market Advisory Council Working Group which will take place both physically at Martin’s Brussels EU Hotel and on Zoom. You can register here to participate in the meeting.

IFFO 2022 Members’ Meeting in Miami


On the 5th of April, EFFOP was in Miami to participate in the annual IFFO members’ meeting. This was IFFO’s first in person event since the start of the pandemic. EFFOP was represented by its managing director, Anne Mette Bæk, who held a presentation with updates of the European marine ingredients industry.

Market forum

The event started with the market forum which focused on discussing the crucial role that marine ingredients play in the blue food industry, and more generally the importance that aquaculture will play in the future to feed the world’s population in a sustainable way. Blue foods are indeed good nutritional sources that have low CO2 emissions which can ensure that the world’s nutritional needs are met without overexploiting earth’s resources. Another important aspect of the blue food industry is the increasing use of  byproducts; through aquaculture, marine ingredients have a multiplier effect by which 1kg marine raw material gives 5kg farmed fish across global production systems while reducing waste. On top of that the fish oil being extracted from this process is very useful for both human and pet consumption to maintain a healthy diet and has known a continuous growth in demand.

Supply perspectives were also discussed during the market forum. EFFOP’s managing director, Anne Mette Bæk, held a presentation on the current state of the European production while IFFO’s China Director, Maggie Xu, presented the latest news regarding the Chinese Market. Regarding the European perspective, 2021 has seen a slight decrease in fishmeal and fishoil production in comparison to the last five years. It has also been impacted by the Brexit negotiations and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As for the Chinese market, it has been strongly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic over the last two years and is finally starting to see recovery signs, with the aquaculture sector enjoying an overall high demand and strong prices, and thus encouraging production.

Technical forum

The market forum was followed by the technical forum. It focused on discussing the impact of new national and regional regulations, such as the legal status of the food preservative ethoxyquin in Europe versus the United States and China, as well as the impact that the end of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act’s five-year exemption period meant for the industry. It also focused on new measurement tools that help assess the diverse environmental impact of the blue food industry.

A key aspect that was discussed during the technical forum was indeed the importance of measuring the environmental footprints of the different production lines linked to the Blue Food industry. This insures transparency while giving users a clearer understanding of the claims, with fairer competition among suppliers. This aims to be done with the Global Feed Lifecycle Assessment Institute database which entails the feed ingredients and their processing, through to the on-farm production, to processing, distribution, consumption and waste disposal. Another important measuring tool that was discussed during the forum was the eFIFO which helps solve the double counting issue encountered in the marine ingredients industry by using an approach commonly used in life cycle assessment. This enables a correct measurement of the Fish in: Fish out ratio.

Finally, the topic of standardization within the industry was discussed with a presentation from Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s Dave Martin arguing for an industry-wide approach. While there has been some improvements in that field, there is still a lot to do to improve tracking and transparency; and an industry wide approach would be helpful to tackle those challenges that are too big to deal with one company or one supply chain at a time.

You can read more about IFFO 2022 Members’ Meeting on IFFO’s website; here and here.

Fed by Blue – Hope is in the Water


Fed by Blue is an initiative which aim is to broaden access to responsible seafood (referred to as “blue food”) by increasing transparency, expanding education, and improving policies.  By encouraging restorative water farming practices, their goal is to relieve pressure on nature while fixing our relationship with seafood and meeting the nutritional needs of a growing world population.

Their strategy centers around four main goals:

  1. Increase blue food transparency
  2. Broaden access to responsible blue food
  3. Educate the next generation
  4. Support pioneering ideas and policies


Their awareness raising efforts revolve also around art, music et mass media. In 2023 they will participate in the launch of a docuseries called “Eating Up the Oceans: How Do We Save Our Seas?” which will focus on showcasing the numerous and diverse innovative opportunities that exist to help us restore our world’s oceans while responsibly producing food. We at EFFOP welcome the initiative and share the ambition of increasing transparency and responsible sourcing.


MAC Advice: Sustainable Food System Framework Initiative