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Global Marine Ingredients Roundtable hopes to improve sustainability in the aquafeed sector

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and IFFO have launched a new Global Roundtable to improve and increase the availability of sustainable marine ingredients and will begin its initial work in West Africa.

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
19 October 2021, at 8:27am

IFFO, The Marine Ingredients Organisation, and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) have unveiled the Global Marine Ingredients Roundtable, where companies from the entire marine ingredients value chain will drive environmental and social improvements in key fisheries globally.

Global Roundtable on Marine Ingredients logo

Árni M Mathiesen, former Assistant Director-General and Head of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department at the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome, and now Senior adviser at the Iceland Ocean Cluster in Reykjavík, Iceland, is the Independent Chair of the Global Roundtable.

He states: “The aim of the Global Roundtable for sustainable marine ingredients is to take action based around the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Roundtable is also established to provide a single value chain contact point to contribute to existing platforms aimed at ensuring sustainable management of fisheries providing marine ingredients. Food security should be considered both in terms of quantity and nutritional properties and encompass waste reduction. The work should in fact include resource management, the wider environmental impact as well as socio-economic concerns”.

The Roundtable will foster and support precompetitive efforts by members to:

  • Identify and agree on ways to further improve the availability of sustainable marine ingredient materials
  • Investigate the potential of new raw material sources, such as mesopelagic species and others
  • Catalyse and support existing and new fisheries improvement projects
  • Understand and address urgent social issues and enhance social responsibility in key fisheries and regions
  • Maintain a global overview of the state of the resources and industry

Petter Johannessen, IFFO’s Director General, explains: “IFFO believes in multi-stakeholder initiatives. Already established fishery improvement projects (FIPs) across the globe lead to improved fishery management and engagement with local communities. We expect this Global Roundtable to put forward a tangible action plan with key milestones involving the relevant stakeholders so that collective work towards the high standards expected by the industry carries on”.

First priority for the Roundtable is West Africa, where production of marine ingredients (both direct and through by-products) has grown dramatically over the last decade, and a number of economic and social challenges have been identified.

Southeast Asia is another geographic priority, where multispecies fisheries pose unique management challenges and some fisheries are tainted by human rights and labour abuses. The Roundtable will also address other important topics such as life cycle assessments and potential new raw material sources.

eye dropper of fish oil over a small pile of aquafeed
The aquafeed sector has been blighted by recurring sustainability and labour issues

© Nofima

The Global Roundtable builds on existing regional roundtables focused primarily on feed manufacturers. Using a whole value chain approach, it will engage* all users of marine ingredients and other stakeholders interested in working collaboratively to increase the availability of sustainable marine ingredients. These include livestock and pet feeds, nutraceuticals, certifications, trade associations, fishmeal, feed and aquaculture producers, scientists, and NGOs.

* Olvea, Biomar, Cargill's aqua nutrition business, Skretting, Aquaculture Stewardship Council and MarinTrust have already signed in.