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Fishmeal bags. (Photo Credit: Luis Eustaquio/Copyright FIS)

Aquaculture organisations identify requirements for responsible fishmeal sourcing

Monday, November 18, 2013, 01:30 (GMT + 9)

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and GlobalG.A.P. have identified common requirements for sourcing fishmeal and fish oil as the first step towards their mutual goal of working to improve global aquaculture practices.

The three standard organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in late April 2013, which identified a number of topics where collaborative action would create efficiencies and promote the uptake of their respective programmes.

An early priority identified was to review how the standards address the sourcing of fishmeal and fish oil (FMFO).

These raw materials are important to the production of feed used for the farming of fish, crustaceans, pigs and poultry, and the groups highlight that unfortunately, when sourced from fisheries that do not follow responsible management practices significant negative environmental impacts occur.

The organisations identified the crosscutting elements that are covered in all three programmes and from which feed manufacturers can choose to expand in order to meet one or more of these programmes.

The identified common criteria are:

  • Traceability to the species and, at least, to the country of origin;
  • No use of material sourced from endangered species based on IUCN ́s red list;
  • Avoidance of fish sourced from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU);
  • Preference for feed manufacturers with publicly available evidence of responsible sourcing, such as third-party certified sourcing of FMFO derived from fisheries and aquaculture, including FMFO derived from fish by-products.

Regardless of the certification programme chosen and implemented, the aqua feed and livestock feed sector should apply the above common criteria as a minimum set of requirements when sourcing FMFO ingredients.

The three aquaculture organisations say this will better promote the responsible sourcing of FMFO, for the benefit of the environment and the future sustainability of the fisheries and other FMFO-sources utilized by the aqua feed and livestock feed sectors.

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