Broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough recently called for everyone to protect oceans from “the deadly threat of plastic”. This rally cry has caused discussion worldwide, with some people trying to interpret it and be more specific about single industries.
At IFFO, we firmly believe that change can happen by gathering -and sharing- more knowledge. “Very few scientific works have investigated the ecological effects of microplastics at population or species assemblage level in aquatic environments and hence there is limited knowledge on the capacity of microplastics to alter ecological processes, nor direct evidence of trophic transfer of microplastics in wild populations.” (FAO, 2019). IFFO is aiming to have all scientific projects supporting one or more of the UNSDG’s and is about to launch a research project to understand better the implications of plastics for fisheries and aquaculture resources.
Science holds the key to our future and will help us shape the Marine Ingredients Industry in the coming years. Much focus has been given to additional novel ingredients in the industry media lately and how these ingredients will challenge the market. Market will decide but fishmeal and fish oil are, and will be, the nutritional benchmark for all additional raw material for aquafeed. As an example, scientists recently highlighted that a high volume of proteins and micro nutrients contained in fish oil protects and improves animal (fish) health. More specifically, as Nofima put it, “the barrier tissue of salmon is affected by zinc and omega-3”. And I am convinced that the importance of natural highly nutritional marine ingredients will only be more visible as the aquaculture production will have to grow to meet the need for healthy proteins.
Obviously, the use of marine ingredients has been evolving over the years. As stated by the FAO, “fishmeal and fish oil will be more frequently used as strategic ingredients to enhance growth at specific stages of fish or livestock production, as they are considered the most nutritious and most digestible ingredients for fish and livestock breeding” (Agricultural Outlook, 2019).
Beyond funding research works and sharing the outcomes, we are working closely with all stakeholders, in particular with IFFO RS, to make sure that best practice in Marine Ingredients are constantly championed.
Over the years the Marine Ingredients industry has been dramatically improving its sourcing of responsible raw materials and the sustainable use of natural resources. It is always in need for more information on how to improve its practices. Consequently, IFFO’s focus covers all three sustainability factors. I encourage you to explore our annual report, where we’ve analysed each research project’s contribution to all 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
91% of the small pelagic fish species that are predominantly used for fishmeal and fish oil production are now “reasonably well managed or better” according to the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) report on Reduction Fisheries published in 2018. This marks an 8% increase in performance compared to 2017. The 54.5% share of global annual supply being IFFO RS certified is a reflection of the high level of adoption of responsible sourcing and manufacturing practices. The success of Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), which are more and more recognized as having some marked influence on the performance of fisheries, depends on the continuous involvement of all the actors within the specific fishery, aligned and working together on the action plan for improvement.
As a key player, working with a wide range of stakeholders to coordinate relationships and knowledge sharing, IFFO is able to provide clear insights and inputs on international and national regulatory frameworks (see the cargo shipping of fishmeal recent changes for instance) as well as market and technical trends so that stakeholders can adjust their business plans and drive change.
Petter Martin Johannessen
Our Members’ Meeting in Madrid, followed by the IFFO workshop in Zhuhai (China), gave all our members and delegates a very detailed overview of the marine ingredients market and quality trends as well as deep insights on climate change impacts and the way to keep improving our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As of now 54.5 percent of the world’s fishmeal production is IFFO RS certified and the industry is actively working to increase that number: fishery improvement projects (FIPs) will be an important tool in driving this number even further upwards and IFFO is working hand in hand with IFFO RS in looking at ways to facilitate the process for fisheries to engage in FIPs. No other major natural feed ingredient can claim such a high level of certification! IFFO RS is also currently working on enhancing the IFFO RS standard and Improver Programme to take into account the challenges in the management of multi-species fisheries in which sometimes hundreds of species are regularly caught. This pioneering approach aims at providing a robust framework and clear guidance on expectations, in line with the recommendations which were made in the IFFO / GAA study on South East Asian fisheries.
Success rests on collaboration with all stakeholders and a better understanding of their expectations and the constraints they face. The workshop that IFFO held in China in May, open to journalists, NGOs, academics and representatives of the industry, is a very good example of what can be achieved to gain a better knowledge on emerging trends in this instance covering the importance of fishmeal quality and supply chain integrity.
The same consideration led me to take part in a panel at the 2019 IntraFish Seafood Investor Forum in New York City where we discussed the roles of the feed ingredient and aquafeed sectors in supporting the growth of the aquaculture industry. I am convinced that a continued contribution to these discussions will allow our stakeholders to capture the importance of fishmeal’s and fish oil’s contribution to aquaculture, a vital and sustainable segment of the global seafood market as the world’s population is growing.
Petter Martin Johannessen
As part of the Marine Ingredients Industry’s commitment to contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, I am proud to announce that IFFO and the Global Aquaculture Alliance have just released the findings of a project on the South East Asian fishmeal industry. Through this study and the author’s main recommendations, IFFO helps fill information gaps, in particular in Thailand and Vietnam, and supports the development of best practices in fisheries management.
The report highlights the fishery management plans set up by the government of Thailand. However, IFFO is keen to see some further positive change and firmly believe that Fishery improvement Projects (FIPs) should be encouraged as the key mechanism to support the implementation of management plans.
Collaboration and proactivity, rather than biased campaigns based on misinterpreted data, are essential to tackle the existing challenges in the responsible sourcing of material for fishmeal and fish oil production, although as a reflection of the total volume of supply, these are minor.
IFFO remains committed to facilitating the process for fisheries to engage in improvement processes, sharing knowledge with its Members and all the relevant stakeholders and developing further research to maintain an evidence-based approach.
Members will meet in Madrid on May 3-4. We reached another record with 163 delegates registered from 27 countries. I look forward to seeing all of you very soon!
Petter Martin Johannessen
As the World Water Day was celebrated around the world on March 22nd, there is a growing awareness of our ocean’s fundamental importance to all life on earth. Oceans are home to millions of species and are playing a specific role as global ecological regulator, in climate regulation and in food security.
Tangible commitments towards more sustainability were displayed during the events that took place recently in Bergen, Bangkok, Boston, and Wuzhen City. With novel ingredients entering the market, marine ingredients were presented as very well positioned for the long run as feed ingredients. With the industry’s responsibly sourced raw materials for fish meal and fish oil, the high level of certification and unmatched nutritional performance, fish meal and fish oil provide steady commercial raw material volumes to the feed industry and represent a strategic basis for growth in aquaculture.
A key phrase that was reported throughout the Global Feed and Food Congress in Bangkok was: “We can only manage what we can measure”. IFFO fully endorses this statement to drive forward change and the global food system is on the edge of a digital revolution, as we report from Bangkok. Let’s be inspired!