FishFacts joins EFFOP as associated member
EFFOP is happy to welcome FishFacts as an associated member of our organization. FishFact is the worlds first digital platform for fisheries, connecting skippers and shipowners with service providers.
For more information about FishFacts click here
If you have any questions, feel free to contact email@example.com
Increasing fish yield reduces land and water use by up to half
A new article entitled “Environmental performance of blue foods” in the science journal Nature finds that fish and other aquatic foods (blue foods) present an opportunity for more sustainable diets with a low environmental impact.
Across all blue foods, farmed bivalves and seaweeds generate the lowest environmental impact. Capture fisheries predominantly generate greenhouse gas emissions, with small pelagic fishes generating lower emissions than all fed aquaculture fish, while farmed salmon and trout use the least land and water.
As a critical source of nutrition generating relatively low average environmental pressures, blue foods present an opportunity to improve nutrition with lower environmental burdens, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals to improve nutrition (Goal 2), ensure sustainable consumption and production (Goal 12), and sustainably use marine resources (Goal 14).
Blue foods, however, are underrepresented in food system environmental assessments and the stressors considered are limited. This article therefore examines the environmental performance across blue foods in a robust and methodological manner.
Improving feed conversion ratios reduces stressors across all fed groups, increasing fish yield reduces land and water use by up to half, and optimizing gears reduces capture fishery emissions by more than half for some groups.
To read the article click here
EFFOP Webinar on new developments in the ASC, MSC and MarinTrust standards
On 23 September, EFFOP hosted a webinar on new developments in the ASC, MSC and MarinTrust certification standards. The main focus of the webinar was the handling and certification of fish by-products for fishmeal and fish oil production.
The webinar was well attended and important for the EFFOP members in order for them to better understand the standards and their new developments.
The following presemtations where given at the webinar:
- “ASC – The need for sustainable marine ingredients” by Michiel Fransen, Director Standards and Science Department, ASC
- “The MSC program as tool for fishmeal-fishoil producers” by Camiel Derichs, Program Development Director, MSC
- “The MarinTrust Programme – standard development & recognition” by Libby Woodhatch, Executive Chair, MarinTrust Governing Body
EFFOP members can see the presentations on the members page in the Conference folder – click here
It is vital for the EFFOP members that all standards and certifications remain relevant, robust and fit for purpose.
European producers support the standards and recognize the need for full transparency, traceability and responsibility in fisheries and production of fishmeal and fish oil. However, especially in regard to Marin Trust, a further development of the standard must consider the regional diversity in fisheries and production. A one-size-fits-all is not a viable way forward as there are vast geographical differences in the regulatory environment of the fisheries and production facilities worldwide.
EFFOP strongly advice the use of a regional risk-based approach and due diligence in the Marin Trust Version 3 in line with the approach taken by ASC in their feed standard version 1 (15. June 2021) click here.
ASC has developed a standardized and stringent process for Due Diligence, and we recommend that Marin Trust aligns fully with this process. This is particularly important regarding the use of bycatch and byproducts where a similar low-risk methodology should be used in the MarinTrust standard V3.
In Europe, all fisheries are strictly regulated and subject to catch limitations at regional, national and vessel level. Control measures include access to waters, catch volumes, fishing effort, technical measures and the monitoring and registration of catches. Furthermore, all European producers are subject to strict legislations on employment, environment, and production and all production permits are based on full compliance with all relevant regulations.
The very low risk of fisheries and marine ingredients production not complying with legal, social and environmental standards must be reflected in the needs for documentation in the Marin Trust certification.
Webinar presentations by ASC, MSC and MarinTrust standards
On 23 September, EFFOP hosted a webinar on new developments in the ASC, MSC and MarinTrust certification standards.
The following presemtations where given at the webinar:
- “ASC – The need for sustainable marine ingredients” by Michiel Fransen, Director Standards and Science Department, ASC – click here
- “The MSC program as tool for fishmeal-fishoil producers” by Camiel Derichs, Program Development Director, MSC – click here
- “The MarinTrust Programme – standard development & recognition” by Libby Woodhatch, Executive Chair, MarinTrust Governing Body – click here
Fishmeal and fish oil production and trade in the EU
Each year the EU produces from 400.000 tonnes to above 600.000 tonnes fishmeal and from 120.000 tonnes to 200.000 tonnes of fish oil. This constitutes around 10-15% of the global production. Denmark is by far the largest producer in the EU, accounting for 40% to 50% of the total production.
The Danish production is mainly based on landings of small pelagic species like sprat, sandeel, blue whiting and herring. The fisheries destined to produce fishmeal and fish oil in the EU are limited by quotas and the demand for human consumption. The raw material from fisheries varies depending on quotas.
The price level of European fishmeal and fish oil follows to large degree the global prices, which depend highly on the production in South America (Peru). Over the past 12 years, European fish oil prices on average have increased by 85% and fishmeal prices on average have increased by 37%.
The EU consumption of fishmeal decreased by around 40% from 2009 to 2020, to around 450.000 tonnes.
The imports of fishmeal from non-EU27 suppliers decreased by 54% from 2009 to 2020. The difference between imports and exports is shrinking but the EU is still a net importer of fishmeal. Imports from Peru decreased by nearly 90% in the period, to reach more than 42.000 tonnes in 2020; and the import share of imports from Peru on total EU27 imports decreased from 64% to 18%.
EU27 exports of fishmeal decreased by 36% in the same period which compensates for the decrease in imports (Peru). EU27’s imports of fish oil decreased by 19% to 217.000 tonnes from 2009 to 2020 and exports increased by 15% to 174.000 tonnes. In 2020, around 72% of the exports of fish oil from the EU27 was exported to Norway.
Fishing for the production of fishmeal and fish oil is called forage fisheries, industrial fisheries or protein fisheries. In Europe, it is fishing for sprat, sandeel, blue whiting and Norway pout. Herring from the Baltic Sea is also used mainly for fishmeal and fish oil. The main reason for this is that herring from the Baltic Sea contains environmental toxins that make it less suitable for food.
Report of an Industry workshop in the MEESO project
EFFOP is partner of the MEESO project: “Ecologically and economically sustainable mesopelagic fisheries (MEESO)” funded by the EU Horizon 2020 (Blue Growth), 2019-2023
A recent MEESO industry workshop on the technical and economic aspects of fishing the mesopelagic zone resulted in the following list of questions about mesopelagic fishing and handling of mesopelagic species. Some preliminary answers and suggestions are made where possible. The report is available here.
- How efficient is the fishery in terms of the expected catch size (or catch per unit effort)?
- Will it be possible to increase catch rates in future?
- What is the market niche for the fish oil and fish meal at EU level?
- What oil content or yield would make mesopelagic species interesting as input for fishmeal and oil processors?
- Are there seasonal differences in the size composition of mesopelagic catches?
- How can mesopelagic fish be stored and chilled aboard fishing vessels, and how long is this effective?
a. The fish can be stored for a maximum of 4 days in RSW tanks without chilling but with the addition of acetic acid as a preservative
b. Experience in trial fisheries suggests that adding fresh water to storage can extend the time before spoilage
c. There is an indication that it can be stored for roughly a week. It depends on the type of fish, autolytic activity, and how low a temperature you can achieve. There is some data available (NOFIMA)
d. A sub-chilling system is also available
- Due to challenges of storing and preserving the fish at sea, is there any study to determine if the ensilage process can be a solution whereby formic acid is added to preserve the fish prior to processing?
- What are the main onboard challenges relative to conventional catching, processing and fishing gear?
- What is the seasonal variability of the potential mesopelagic biomass?
- Has anyone come up with a gear that works well?
a. For lantern fish, it appears that no one succeeded in fishing it at commercial scales.
- Can we get the drawings of the trawls that were shown in the slides from LIE Gruppen?
a. See Appendix in the report.
- What could be the cost of development of new processing systems?
a. It depends on scale, but this is something that can be discussed with equipment manufacturers
b. It is first necessary to assess if can process whole fish on land; if so, how many fish per minute? It could be that the costs become too high
- How much do vessels need to modify at an early stage to engage in this fish?
a. Some nets could be slightly modified at the lead end to cod end. They would need tailor-made cod ends and need a pacific leader to the cod end. Learning what would be needed beyond that would only really start with testing at that stage.
b. For a pelagic vessel (e.g., one that fishes for mackerel) there does not need to be too much modification if they will land the fish to be processed. However, if a chilling system is needed, more changes to the vessel will be needed. This is because the fish are very small, which may necessitate alterations to the chilling system and pumps
- What is the maximum number of days that the mesopelagic resource can be conserved onboard just in boxes with ice?
a. Not sure precisely, but ice slurry might be useful for this because it has a higher cooling capacity
- How much energy is required for processing a kilo of mesopelagic fish?
- If it is of sufficient quality, will fish meal from mesopelagic fish get a better price than other “less sustainable” fish meal?
- How much more fuel would be used fishing for mesopelagic fish, considering the smaller mesh size?
a. The fuel use is expected to be similar to pelagic fishing. Whether or not this is profitable depends on the catches.
b. Iceland 16.4mm – Ireland 16mm (cod end lower sections). If you go smaller you get flow problems, and if you go bigger you get problems with pumping on the side of the vessel. Trawl length is 70m-90m – necessary due to small mesh.
- What is the public perception? How are these developments being socialised?
Read about the MEESO project at the website here