“There has been an overall improvement in the sustainability status of the fisheries covered in the report compared to previous years,” stated Blake Lee-Harwood, Strategy Director at SFP. “The fishmeal and fish oil industry in Europe and Latin America is building an impressive track record of responsible sourcing, although there is inevitably still room for improvement.”
The report, which analyzed 26 reduction fishery stocks worldwide, found that 91 percent of the total catch volume came from stocks that scored 6 or better on all five criteria outlined by SFP’s FishSource database. This marks an eight-percent increase in performance compared to last year.
“The positive trend in this year's report demonstrates the power of the multi-stakeholder approach to "greening" value chains through responsible sourcing,” said Erik Olav Gracey, Sustainability Specialist at Biomar. “We will continue to actively support SFP through collaboration and support of fisheries improvement projects worldwide.”
“This SFP report shows that there has been a further general improvement of key forage fisheries, which supports our efforts to source our feed raw materials for aquaculture from sustainable supply chains and demonstrate this transparently to our customers and the end consumer of the sustainable seafood we nourish," stated Dr. Dave Robb, CQN Sustainability Manager with Cargill Aqua Nutrition.
Of the stocks listed in “very good condition,” the report once again singled out the Antarctic krill fishery in the Atlantic Southern Ocean as being particularly well-managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The collective fishery is made up of fishing fleets that have had MSC certification since 2010, and a new fleet has joined the MSC program and is currently under assessment.
“It is important to note, however, that this does not mean that ecosystem monitoring should be ignored,” the report’s authors wrote. “Future ecosystem effects (such as warming of the Antarctic by anthropogenic climate change) and the relationship to fishery management are not taken into account in this overview.”
Nine percent (0.8 million tonnes) of the total catch for reduction purposes comes from poorly managed fisheries, a drop from 16 percent last year. The volume coming from poorly managed fisheries has been decreasing since 2016, and is currently the lowest percentage since the annual overview began publication in 2011.
Progress toward improvements and certification continues, in particular for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific reduction fisheries. Out of the Atlantic and Pacific stocks covered in the overview, 11 have fisheries that are already covered by the MSC program, 18 have fisheries that are covered by the IFFO Responsible Sourcing program (either as approved whole raw material or by-product), and two are covered by fishery improvement projects (FIPs) that are making good progress.
"Great strides have been made by the aquaculture industry to improve its responsible practices in recent years, with substantial efforts particularly focused on encouraging marine ingredient suppliers to ensure that they source raw materials from well-managed, sustainable fisheries,” commented Trygve Berg Lea, Sustainability Manager for the Skretting Group. “We are pleased to see that one is able to document that there has been an overall improvement in the sustainability status of the most important fisheries used for the production of marine ingredients. We also acknowledge the great effort the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership has made by providing transparent factual information in their annual report covering the most important reduction fisheries in the world."
Click here to download the report.