IFFO is an international trade organisation that represents and promotes the marine ingredients industry, such as fishmeal, fish oil and other related industries.
Marine ingredients are nutritious products used mainly for aquafeed, land animal feed as well as for human consumption and are derived from marine organisms such as fish, krill, shellfish and algae. IFFO's members reside in more than 50 countries, account for over 50% of world production and 75% of the fishmeal and fish oil traded worldwide. IFFO is an accredited Observer to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The Technical Session of the Members’ Meeting in Miami commenced with an overview of current work by Dr Neil Auchterlonie, Technical Director. Neil outlined a whole series of current and planned projects that will inform the evidence-based approach of IFFO as an organisation that engages actively with many policy makers and regulators around the globe. The invited presenter, Prof. Dominique Bureau, from the University of Guelph in Canada, gave a fascinating presentation on his fish nutrition research in a career that spans over 30 years. In his “take-home” message Dom indicated that diets can be formulated with low fishmeal levels, but with this approach the other ingredients must be of very high quality to compensate for the low fishmeal inclusions. A short presentation by Allan LeBlanc of Calysta covered the technical production of a methanotroph that has the potential to supplement fishmeal in aquafeeds.
Researchers have found that by-products in Scottish salmon farming are generally well utilised, but total by-product value output could be improved by 803% (£23.7 million), based on 2015 figures, adding 5.5% value to the salmon industry. Led by Julien Stevens, researchers from the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture and University of Massachusetts at Boston have recently published research funded by IFFO, The Marine Ingredients Organisation. The research investigated how value could be added to aquaculture through better utilisation of by-products, by maximising edible yields and better separation at the processing stage, looking at the Scottish salmon farming industry as a case study.
A project to improve the understanding of fisheries of South East Asia supplying raw material for fishmeal production has completed the first six months of data gathering and has made contact with government agencies and businesses. Jointly funded by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and IFFO, the Marine Ingredients Organisation, the project lead Duncan Leadbitter (Fish Matter Pty) has produced a series of draft internal reports for the two funding bodies with the aim to have a public report ready by the end of the year. After six months of data gathering, using both publically available information and in-country sources, such as the Thai Fish Meal Association and a Vietnamese consulting company, Kim Delta.
One of the reasons IFFO is a successful organisation is our tradition of sharing information – everyone benefits by contributing the single pixel view from their window and allowing IFFO to stitch them together to show the wider picture (although still fuzzy in places). Most of the time, this works well and I was hugely impressed by a Chinese feed company member whose policy was to make research and development information public, knowing that if they gave away their older secrets, they were forced to discover some new ones.
Following an article published this week in National Geographic, I would like to address a few points on behalf of IFFO, The Marine Ingredients Organisation. The article titled ‘Why Salmon Eating Insects Instead of Fish Is Better for Environment’, published on 5th February 2018, discusses fishmeal and fish oil replacement in salmon feed by a Netherlands based company but quotes information that is both out-of-date and incorrect. Although we agree with the need for additional feed options in aquaculture to ensure the growth of this vital industry, the total replacement of fishmeal and fish oil, as called for in this article, is unjustified and damaging to the fish farming industry.