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DSM aims to reduce reliance on marine resources

Thursday, June 24, 2021

DSM launched a new sustainability platform, reducing reliance on marine resources and addressing the urgent need for sustainable aquaculture. This sustainability platform launched as part of DSM Animal Nutrition and Health’s global initiative, We Make It Possible, which is leading a transformation in sustainable animal protein production. The initiative is aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and its six sustainability platforms are addressing the major challenges facing the animal farming industry, including our reliance on marine resources.

Key facts

  • Seafood is currently humanity’s largest source of animal protein. It is estimated that to feed our growing population, a further 30-40 million tons of seafood will be needed by 2030 according to the FAO.
  • Thirty-three percent of fisheries are currently overfished, and 66% are fished to their maximum sustainable yield.
  • Currently, 20% of the fish caught are used to feed other fish. 
  • Until recently, 75% of the world’s fish oil was used to feed farmed salmon.
  • The aquaculture industry has been reducing its use of finite fishmeal supplies by replacing it with vegetable proteins such as soy protein concentrate, gluten meals and guar meal. However, vegetable proteins are limited in their use due to their nutritional profile. 

What is DSM Animal Nutrition and Health doing to help?

DSM Animal Nutrition and Health launched a new sustainability platform, Reducing our reliance on marine resources, to address this issue. This platform is one of six sustainability platforms that underpin the We Make It Possible strategic initiative, which sets out to transform the industry and make animal farming more sustainable.

DSM, in partnership with Evonik, has pioneered a ground-breaking solution to this challenge: Veramaris.

  • Veramaris derives omega-3 fatty acids from natural marine algae, rather than from fish. This will enable the aquaculture industry to reduce its reliance on fishmeal and fish oil, without compromising on fish health or protein quality. 
  • One ton of algal oil could preserve 60 tons of wild fish in the oceans. 
  • This could save 1.2 million tons of fish a year. For context, the entire annual catch of the Mediterranean Sea is 0.8 million tons.
  • Veramaris could produce enough EPA and DHA to cover 15% of the global salmon industry’s annual demand. This would be enough to transform the salmon industry into a net producer, rather than consumer, of fish stocks. 
  • Due to the algae’s purity, it is also devoid of marine contaminants such as PCBs and dioxins, making salmon produced by the industry safer.
  • Veramaris also enables the industry to reduce its Forage Fish Dependency Ration below 1.0, making aquaculture far more sustainable. 

DSM’s feed enzymes improve the digestibility and nutritional value of alternative raw materials for fishmeal. This would allow a reduction in the use of fishmeal, a finite resource that is already under intense pressure due to its use in the fishing industry. Through feed enzymes, alternatives like plant and insect proteins could be substituted.

More information can be found at www.dsm.com/wemakeitpossible.

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