Update October 2019
As the FAO’s Code of Conduct, adopted by FAO member states to promote sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, we can only rejoice that it has certainly been a major inspiration in the reform process of many countries’ regulations. 91% of the small pelagic fish species that are predominantly used for fishmeal and fish oil production are now “reasonably well managed or better” (Sustainable Fisheries Partnership report – 2018).
However, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is still a major concern: it threatens our oceans’ health and the marine ingredients industry in the long run. That is one of the reasons behind the creation of the IFFO Responsible Standard 10 years ago. Certification and guidelines on fisheries have enabled international organisations, together with local governments and the industry to be a positive force for change.
This combination of purpose and tangible actions is a good illustration of how Sustainability and Responsibility complement each other. While Sustainability relates to long term ambitions – balancing resource usage and supplies over time (“Our Common Future”, 1987)- Responsibility defines the way to attain the long-term purpose by balancing all stakeholders’ interests.
With this in mind, I am convinced that it is IFFO’s role to raise awareness on the ever-present need for more collaboration not just with marine ingredients themselves but throughout the whole value chain.
Petter M. Johannessen