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Addressing food security through the lens of marine ingredients

Global Roundtable on Marine Ingredients provided an update at the North Atlantic Seafood Forum held in Bergen, Norway, on the work undertaken by its members.

Addressing food security through the lens of marine ingredients
June 30, 2022

Árni M. Mathiesen, independent chair of the Global Roundtable on Marine Ingredients, provided an update at the North Atlantic Seafood Forum held in Bergen, Norway, on the work undertaken by its members in three directions: West Africa, South/Southeast Asia and life cycle assessment analyses. He also announced that a new member had joined the pre-competitive platform: the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). 

West Africa: Supporting efforts aimed at ensuring food security 

Members of the Global Roundtable on Marine Ingredients are adamant that the fishmeal and fish oil industry shouldn’t undermine food security. The Mauritania Small Pelagics Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) is a tangible and long-term commitment by the seafood supply chain to drive positive changes in the small pelagic fisheries, which members believe has the potential to create an enabling environment in which regulators feel confident to act. 

The Global Roundtable supports further research in the region and has been working in connection with the FAO which released a report in early 2022, Socio-economic and biological impacts of the fish-based feed industry for sub-Saharan Africa. The roundtable is currently expanding regional due diligence efforts to better understand how member and related supply chains fit into the overall situation in West Africa, and what opportunities there are for roundtable members to best support improvements including refocusing supply chains for human consumption while maintaining high-quality byproducts for marine ingredients.   

South/Southeast Asia: Several ongoing projects in India, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand 

Dave Martin, program director at Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), provided an update on the FAO Gulf of Thailand Fish project which SFP has been assisting since 2019. The aims are to promote the Blue Economy and strengthen Fisheries Governance of the Gulf of Thailand through an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries.  

One interesting aspect of this project is the focus on multispecies fisheries, which is also a priority for MarinTrust’s work in Asia according to Libby Woodhatch, executive chair at MarinTrust. Two fishery improvement projects (FIP) have already been accepted into the Improver Programme as part of MarinTrust’s multispecies pilot project, she explained: the Gulf of Thailand mixed-trawl fishery and the Vung Tau multispecies fishery, in Vietnam. As for India, the Indian Oil Sardine FIP (Goa and Maharashtra) fishery was accepted into the Improver Programme in October 2019 as the first accepted Fishery Improvement project (FIP) in Asia under the MarinTrust Improver Programme.  

Furthermore, the roundtable has started a specific work plan in India, which is led by Global Seafood Alliance’s Steve Hart, vice president. Interested parties are convened with roundtable members to encourage support for Indian project(s) to establish whether the market will help support the further development of FIPs and encourage the development of processing byproduct marine ingredient sources in regions where processing waste is underutilized.  

Assessing environmental impacts through life cycle assessment analyses 

The overall aim of the life cycle assessment is to provide a comprehensive assessment of the full (global) impact of feed-production and avoid trade-offs or cross-subsidizations of sectors through incomplete sustainability accounting. IFFO – The Marine Ingredients Organisation is leading this work stream with the support of the Global Feed Life cycle assessment Institute (GFLI), Brett Glencross, IFFO’s technical director, explained. 

Petter Johannessen, IFFO’s director general, concluded by inviting stakeholders throughout the value chain to join the platform.   

The Global Roundtable on Marine Ingredients was launched by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) and IFFO, The Marine Ingredients Organisation in October 2021, with two objectives increasing the availability of sustainable marine ingredients and driving environmental and social improvements in key reduction fisheries globally. Current members are Olvea, Biomar, Cargill, Skretting, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, MarinTrust, Global Seafood Alliance, Nestlé and the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers.

Recordings of the conference are available here.