Ocean Stewards blast “distorted attack” on sustainable aquafeeds by extremist group

“Soy-fed fish are an essential part of the solution to that which ails the ocean”
July 12, 2012

The Ocean Stewards Institute issued the following statement in response to the recent report by Food & Water Watch that criticizes the use of soy in aquafeeds, which the Stewards claim is rife with misinformation and distortions. 

“The latest, deliberately distorted attack from the extremist anti-aquaculture group Food & Water Watch reflects their growing desperation to denigrate open ocean aquaculture, with little regard for facts or the future of the oceans,” said Neil Anthony Sims, President of the Ocean Stewards Institute. 

“Open ocean-grown fish, fed with soy-based diets, are an essential part of the solution to that which ails the oceans. Open ocean aquaculture has, over the last 10 years, been proven to be environmentally sound, with no significant impact on water quality and the benthic environment, while producing high-quality, healthful marine fish that are much in demand. 

In 2011, Conservation International published a study declaring that responsible aquaculture has less environmental impact than any other form of animal protein production on the planet.  The World Bank’s Global Partnership for the Oceans that came out of the Rio+20 meetings includes leading eNGOs as partners, including Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and Oceana, among others. One of the seven key issues of this partnership is the assertion that responsible aquaculture is an important part of wise ocean management.

“A key element of responsible, sustainable aquaculture is reducing our industry’s reliance on fishmeal and fish oil from forage fisheries. Sustainable, scalable sources of proteins and oils – such as US-grown soybeans – are an integral component for feeding a growing planet. 

“The U.S. soy industry has been supporting research and development of sustainable aquafeeds over the last decade to replace fishmeal and fish oil with soy products, without any significant effects on fish health, farm effluents, product quality or taste. This research is well-documented -- to claim otherwise is simply untrue.

“Both the U.S. soy industry and aquaculture advocates are committed to building responsible, sustainable and scalable sources of healthy seafood for a growing population.”