2018 - Technical achievements


The IFFO technical project portfolio is continually expanding and in Washington, a suite of new projects was signed off by the IFFO board to generate more evidence and inform business decisions for IFFO and its members.

The information being delivered through IFFO’s technical projects continues to support the industry in the face of continual regulatory change around the world. It is also central to providing information on the sustainability of raw material supply and the nutritional quality of its products.

IFFO Technical has been very active in relation to regulations around the world. Key activities include working with EU regulations on feed additives (antioxidants), and the legal requirements for fish oil for direct human consumption.

In China work on fish oil standards has been important, as was the delivery of a technical workshop on fishmeal supply chain integrity in Changsha. Work through Codex included the nutrient reference value for EPA and DHA, comments on proposals for MCDPEs and GEs in refined oils, and the further development of the fish oil standard.


Read more on 3 technical projects:

Driving change in South East Asian trawl fisheries, fishmeal supply and aquafeed

At the end of 2018, Duncan Leadbitter delivered the draft final report of the first overarching study that looks at the SE Asian fishmeal industry, and its main sources of raw material supply, particularly across Thailand and Vietnam. Through this study which was co-funded with IFFO by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, IFFO, as a global organisation, has made a significant contribution to help fill information gaps and support the development of best practice in regional fisheries management. The report makes a number of recommendations in encouraging the attainment of IFFO RS via the Improver Programme, the role of FIPs (Fisheries Improvement Programmes) in general, and maintaining an understanding of the developments in fisheries management in the region. It highlights the importance of collaboration in making positive change.

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Bulk Fishmeal Stability Trial: Providing data to amend the IMSBC code for bulk shipping

In 2018, IFFO has successfully provided information that has helped to amend specific clauses in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code, relevant to packaged goods. This provided information for the stabilization of fishmeal using tocopherol-based antioxidants (250 ppm of residual levels at the time of consignment) and reduced levels of ethoxyquin (50 ppm instead of 100 ppm) at the of consignment, may be used on a voluntary basis from the 1st January 2019, and comes into the IMDG Code from 1st January 2020. This project takes that work further forward to look at the stabilisation of bulk cargoes with the same antioxidant specifications, and is hoped to deliver a report to the IMO for review at the September 2019 meeting.

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When does fishing forage species affect their predators?

Prof. Ray Hilborn delivered a paper from within this project entitled “When does fishing forage species affect their predators?”, underlining that high-density locations of forage fish may be more important to predators than total population biomass. The authors also found that there is no strong link between larger forage fish populations and increases in predator populations and state that previous studies of forage fish impacts on predators ignore the unpredictable nature of forage fish. The study also shows that fisheries and predators target different size forage fish. This is going to be important information for fisheries management, and will inform the evidence base for discussions on stock quotas in the future. There will be more papers to come from Ray Hilborn and his team over 2019 and 2020. This work is potentially important in providing more accurate harvest models for forage fish stocks.

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