A clear message was given from the attendees of the recent international conference on fishmeal and fish oil: there is a big potential for a further development of the sector. Fishmeal and fish oil are valuable marine ingredients with unique characteristics that contribute positively to the health of both animals and humans. However, there is a need for further development of the industry and its products.
On the 29th and 30th of August, EUfishmeal and Nordic Marine Think Tank hosted a conference on the perspectives of fishmeal and fish oil at the North Sea Center in Hirtshals, Denmark. The conference gathered participants from the fishmeal industry, NGO’s, fishermen, scientists, the feed-industry and civil servants. The objective of the conference was to create a direct dialogue between the participants, and gain new perspectives on the huge potential of industry.
The first panel discussion of the conference addressed the issue of the biological foundation for a sustainable fishery for forage fish, while the second panel discussion of the day touched upon the socioeconomic aspects of the fishery for protein fish and addressed the role of the consumer, certifications, standards, and food security.
On the second day of the conference the focus shifted from management of the fishery to the role of fishmeal and feed in the value chain. The latest research in fishmeal and fish oil was presented and the need for even more research within the composition of feed and the unique characteristics of fishmeal and fish oil was identified by different stakeholders in the audience. It is known, that the meal and oil contains more valuable ingredients than we can yet substantiate.
There was specific commitment from the fishmeal industry and the Norwegian Research Institute of fisheries, aquaculture and food, Nofima in cooperating to gain more knowledge about fishmeal and fish oil. It was clear from the the debates, that fishmeal and fish oil are key parts of the future of feed for both aquaculture, agriculture and the human diet.