IFFO's Monthly Update constitutes a key communications tool for the marine ingredients industry and its main players. This report is dedicated to the needs of IFFO's members, bringing together industry news and insights from our diverse network. 


February 2020

The main finding of an international project led by the University of Washington marks a good start of the year regarding oceans’ health. It can be read as a clear indication that positive changes can be initiated in reduction fisheries. This can be done by applying fishery science to the fisheries which don’t have appropriate forms of fisheries assessment, management, and enforcement.

On average, fish populations have been found to be in a better state than they were two decades ago, although it can vary depending on each species. The lead author, Ray Hilborn, a professor in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, has been compiling and analysing data from fisheries around the world for ten years and the results have just been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Interestingly, the study also provides “a brief history of commercial fishing and fishery science”. The turning point came in the 1990s, when governments were put under pressure to start taking action to protect their fish stocks from collapsing. This resulted in regulations being revised and improved both in the U.S. (1996) and the EU (2002). Consequently, fishing pressure decreased and abundance recovered, proving that fishery science and management works: if a fishery is assessed, proper decisions can be made on how to sustainably manage it.

This report reinforces IFFO in believing that critical need for improvements in some regions like South East Asia and Western Africa, including the social dimensions of reduction fisheries, can be addressed and that there is room for positive changes. Outstanding problems in some fisheries are not an unavoidable law of nature. It is possible to address them provided there is a willingness to collaborate through Fishery improvement projects (FIPs) or any relevant kind of social initiatives based on fishery science.

Petter M. Johannessen

To read all articles related to the February issue, please click on the following links below:

IFFO Members' Meeting in Miami, USA
IFFO to trial novel anti-oxidants for fishmeal
Key facts and figures about the industry
Looking at the European Green Deal
New Certification Body to be added to certify against the IFFO RS programme
Managing stocks in fisheries: how does this work?
Strengthening relationships with the Thailand stakeholders

January 2020

Amid the outcomes of the 25th COP (Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) judged by many as disappointing, the European Union unveiled last month its ambitious “green deal”. This ambition now needs to be reflected in the common fisheries policy, at a time when quotas in the Atlantic and the North Sea are being defined.

I am convinced that the role of the IFFO Members is to lead by example, by pushing for effective and progressive fisheries regulations and promoting best practices, all which are already in place in most countries with fisheries resources but may still be missing in some regions.

As announced in Shanghai at the IFFO Annual conference last year, we want to enter into dialogue with a much wider range of stakeholders in a way that ensures the raising of awareness about outstanding issues while also promoting the sustainability of marine ingredients and their essential contribution to feeding the world, through the use of evidence.

Here's to 2020 being a decisive year for the industry, not only to prove the true value of marine ingredients but also to drive positive changes through improvement projects and collaboration!

I wish you all a very happy New Year 2020! 

Petter M. Johannessen
Director General

To read all articles related to the January issue, please click on the following links below:

IFFO Members' Meeting in Miami, USA
IFFO RS welcomes two new FIPs to the Improver Programme
Communicating the true value of marine ingredients to a wide audience
A brighter future for fishing
Event Calendar


December 2019

The FAO's international symposium on Fisheries sustainability was held a few days ago. "Fish is an essential element in the future of sustainable food production," FAO Director-General Dongyu Qu said in his opening remarks, while stating that land-based food systems alone wouldn't feed the world in the future. People should eat aquatic products, and more parts of the fish.

The Marine ingredients industry has been involved in circular economy for decades. A significant proportion (one third) of fishmeal and fish oil annually is manufactured from fisheries byproducts. The potential for increasing the proportion of marine ingredients from these sources is substantial. More than half of a fish often becomes byproduct, and much of this is often wasted. There is also an increased trend towards processed fish in regions, such as in Asia, that have generally preferred to buy whole fish. As demand for farmed fish grows alongside the pressure to limit wild catches, these byproducts will increasingly be required.

The rise of vessels becoming equipped with fishmeal plant on board shows that the sectors (Fishing and Fishmeal sectors) recognise the importance of the material and are taking steps to use it. Additionally, a piece of work commissioned by IFFO with the University of Stirling highlighted that the available unutilised byproduct is found mostly in Asia (in terms of volume), where the market for live fish and the consumption of the whole fish are strong. Growth in the middle class in China and elsewhere in Asia may drive change as consumers' expectations regarding their processed seafood product may change. That then would create opportunities for centralised processing (and subsequent collection of byproduct from both fisheries and aquaculture).

Petter M. Johannessen

IFFO Director General

Our December 2019 newsletter's main topics are:

New data available on South East Asia
Report on FAO’s International Symposium
- Interview with Salmon Group’s CEO
IFFO’s fishmeal research trips in China 
Driving positive change through seafood certification schemes

November 2019

Once more, the whole industry gathered at the IFFO conference last week. Over 400 delegates travelled to Shanghai to share their market insights, listen to the latest trends and enjoy networking opportunities. The IFFO Conference 2019 has proved the importance of bringing the key stakeholders together to discuss solutions which can allow to tackle the challenges our world is facing. IFFO is committed to and plays a positive role in meeting SDGs and will to continue contributing to achieving them by 2030.

The fishmeal industry has a long history of working with others relating to issues of raw material sourcing and fishmeal and fish oil production. It is complex and requires both stakeholder management skills and long-term vision. 

Ambition and consistency are key to keep everyone onboard, and I was pleased to announce in Shanghai a new communication strategy featuring 3 key messages:

  • The industry is committed to transparent supply chains
  • Quality feed is quality food
  • The industry contributes to feeding a growing population, sustainably and responsibly.

We'll be happy that all IFFO members endorse and use them!

We look forward to meeting you in Lima for next year’s 60th Annual Conference, from 19 to 21 October!

Petter M. Johannessen

Our November 2019 newsletter's main topics are:

4 takeaways from IFFO’s 59th Annual Conference
IFFO announces incoming President and Vice President for 2020-2021
IFFO RS and the Sociedad Nacional de Pesquería (Peru), signed a memorandum of understanding
IFFO's statement after claims of irresponsible fishmeal and fish oil sourcing

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