Marine Resources & Sustainability

The fishmeal and fish oil industry believes it is necessary that feed-grade (ie.industrial) fisheries continue to be controlled and managed by Government organisations based on scientific advice in order to maintain this resource in a manner that is biologically, economically and socially sound. To this end the fishmeal and fish oil industry is fully supportive of any official Government fishery policy which will achieve the above objectives.

In order to help producers demostrate their responsible raw material sourcing IFFO has developed its Global Standard for Responsible Supply.

Worldwide annual fishmeal and fish oil production has remained fairly stable for the last 20 years reflecting the overall stability of global pelagic fish landings except during El Nino years.

Fig. 1. Global fishmeal and fish oil production 1963 – 2009 in thousand tonnes

In 2009, the industry's estimated global fishmeal production was 4.83 million tonnes and the global production of fish oil is estimated at about 1.01 million tonnes. Now, with demand expected to increase, it is clearly important to ensure that fishing controls are sufficient to ensure that the marine fisheries on which fishmeal and fish oil depend remain responsible and are not over-exploited.

Location of fish stock for meal production

Fishmeal is usually made from a variety of species depending on the source of production (Table 1) and can also be produced from fish trimmings.

Table1: Sources of fishmeal produced globally and species used in its manufacture

Responsible Fisheries Management

All IFFO members support and implement the FAO code of conduct for responsible fisheries. Most of the species listed above are managed by national Government and/or regional organizations and have national/regional TACs, which are decided on an annual basis or more frequently as is deemed necessary.

Governments impose many management control measures, which are listed in the table below. One of the latest technologies to be applied is that of satellite monitoring, which ensures that closed seasons or closed areas are respected. In late 2003 the anchovy industry in Peru financed a fish discharge control programme to introduce 100% coverage of all landings of anchovies. The programme is run by a Swiss independent professional inspection body and inspects the quantities of landings, the percentage of juveniles caught and to a limited extent the level of by-catches. The programme includes specific suspension rules of fishing licenses when too many juveniles are found in the catch.

Table2: Fisheries Management Control Measures Used in Different Regions (IFFO Members)

Developed in conjunction with The Fishmeal Information Network (FIN) *P=purse seine; T=light weight trawl: MT=mid-water trawl

Follow link to obtain a copy of the paper "Fishmeal and Fish oil and their role in Sustainable Aquaculture" that was published in International Aquafeed, September 2012.