Strong growth in demand for seafood from aquaculture is driving farmed fish production and therefore demand for feed. The consequences of this were the subject of much discussion at the recent North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Oslo, Norway. Kjell Bjordal, COO EWOS, offered reassurance:"We have the resources to cover expected growth in a sustainable manner."
Kjell explored whether there will be enough raw materials available for feed, to enable the doubling of aquaculture by 2030. "Doubling is a modest prediction!" he exclaimed. "Market forces will allocate resources to aquaculture, because fish is healthier and more sustainable than other animal protein sources and this gives aquaculture a strong tail wind."
But, feed demand for fed carnivore fish will probably continue to be lower than demand for non-carnivore fish, in line with past developments. And the extreme shifts in terrestrial raw material costs that we observed in the past decade, largely because of biofuel, are not expected to be repeated in the coming decade. Prices for marine ingredients like fishmeal and fish oil however, may continue to be volatile because of imbalances between supply and demand.
"But there is still huge potential to improve utilization of marine resources like discards and by-products that are tragically wasted today" continued Kjell. “Only 3% of our food is seafood, there is still a huge unexploited resource.”
EWOS believes that it is the right thing to continue to make the most efficient use of these valuable marine nutrients through aquaculture, producing healthy food for people for so long as it remains economically viable to do so. On the other hand, we are also well prepared to deliver feed with a much lower marine inclusion rate when that time comes.
"Doubling of fish farming is not likely to trigger a big disturbance in raw material costs" concluded Kjell. "We have the resources to cover expected growth in a sustainable manner."
FAO predicts aquaculture to double from 60 million to 120 million tons per year in 20 years time. Impact on raw material?
Kjell Bjordal, COO EWOS, 7th NSAF “Outlook for global salmon supply, trade and prices” Oslo, 07. March 2012