Since Loch Duart was founded in 1999, the company has searched for a way to secure the highest quality feed ingredients for its salmon. Whether it was unilaterally banning blue whiting or launching a fishmeal selection process based on internationally-recognised sustainability data, Loch Duart has always recognised feed ingredients as being central to sustainability and critical to producing delicious and healthy fish.
The natural diet of a salmon is fish and Loch Duart believes that fish must form the major part of its salmon diet. The critical nature of this belief means that it has had to ensure that fish sources were sustainable.
“The ideal fish for us, as it is high up the trophic scale, feeding on large plankton and small shrimps, and short-lived, is Icelandic capelin,” said managing director Alban Denton.
One advantage of Icelandic capelin is that the fishery is for human consumption, particularly of the roe, but does not use all of the fish. Thus the meal available for Loch Duart would be waste from the roe fishery for human consumption. This resource is the perfect solution for a company that wants to feed fish to fish and produce a tasty, healthy salmon in the most sustainable way.
“Imagine our delight when our feed company, EWOS (Scotland), contacted us to say that Isfelag, an Icelandic fishing company based in the Westman Islands, was able to produce a fishmeal for us that ticks every box we could want. The meal, produced exclusively from capelin and exclusively for Loch Duart, will be called ‘Royal’,” said Denton.
Isfelag has a large proportion of the capelin quota, processes the roe for human consumption in Japan, Russia and some European countries, and has been looking for a better use for the carcasses.
CEO Stefan Fridriksson, believes that the partnership will show how relationships between salmon farmers and fishmeal providers can strengthen the sustainability of both industries.
“The ‘Royal’ meal is the very best we can produce. Fished for only within quota, held in chilled boats for the shortest of time, it is extremely fresh when processed because a proportion goes for human consumption. We are proud to add to our reputation for delivering delicious food by producing the Royal meal - using every part of this wonderful fish and delighted to find a customer like Loch Duart,” said Fridriksson.