March 2020 Update
The UK government has just announced that it would be bringing forward, by five years to 2035, the date by which combustion engines would be banned from cars. Like in many other countries, this announcement is meant to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
We can only applaud such a proactive mindset. However, electric vehicles may be better for the air we breathe but, in terms of CO2 emissions, they can only reflect the way the electric power itself is generated and stored.
All environmental impacts associated with all the stages of the life-cycle of a commercial product, process, or service should be assessed before drawing any conclusions regarding the sustainability of a product or its continuity of supply.
What is true for cars is also valid in terms of diets. As meat-free and fish-free diets increasingly make the headlines, we should try to understand the complexity of land and water management.
A new study from the Norwegian independent research institute SINTEF feeds well into this discussion. Based on an in-depth analysis of greenhouse gas emissions of different types of seafood and land-based food in Norway, the study concludes that substituting plant-based feed ingredients in fish feed with marine ingredients, such as fishmeal and fish oil, could reduce the carbon footprint from farmed fish.
Fishmeal and fish oil, as the foundation of formulated feed, pass on their nutritional benefits to humans and carry with them several decades of data and information about raw material supply, production, nutrient profile and other detail. They are a known factor in the feed industry and should be used strategically to combine health and nutrition requirements with continuity of supply.
Not only are marine ingredients more sustainable in terms of carbon footprint, they have all the essential nutrients to ensure good animal welfare, growth rate and fillet quality.
Petter M. Johannessen
IFFO Director General