Two fifths of fish oil producers are sustainable

6 June 2018

Roughly 41% of global reduction fisheries can be classified as sustainable or improving, according to a report.

The report, from Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), said the key to further improvement at reduction fisheries – where fish oil and fishmeal are produced – lies largely in Southeast Asia.

SFP has a target that producers of 75% of the world’s seafood should be operating sustainably or improving toward sustainable production by the close of 2020.

“Reduction fisheries in South America and the North Atlantic have made steady progress but there is a real challenge in achieving improvements within Asian fishmeal fisheries and that's where efforts need to be concentrated,” said Blake Lee-Harwood, strategy director at SFP.

“Improving the sustainability of mixed species trawl fisheries is not going to be easy but it’s a journey that has to be taken.” 

The Atlantic and Pacific reduction fisheries mainly use small pelagic species such as anchoveta, sandeel, or sardine to produce fishmeal or oil.

Asian reduction fisheries are primarily used to provide feed for the Asian shrimp farming industry and to supply the market for surimi (ground fish) products.

 “Higher-volume multispecies trawl and small pelagic fisheries must be investigated to identify the most likely candidates to contribute to improvement in this sector,” said Lee-Harwood.

SFP recommends the use of industry bodies such as the European Sustainable Fishmeal, Latin American Reduction Fishery, and Southeast Asian Reduction Fishery roundtables.

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