The Aquaculture Advisory Council has released recommendations to the EU Commission to support and facilitate the adoption of circular feed practices. These recommendations include designing a political framework that prioritizes the use of bioeconomy resources as feed for food-producing animals, selecting indicators to measure feed circularity within sustainability development frameworks, establishing specific requirements for operations to ensure feed safety, identifying and addressing bottlenecks that hinder circularity, and supporting research into circular feed definitions and methodologies. Policymakers are also encouraged to promote aquaculture production systems based on circular feed among citizens and consumers.
The council urges operators in the aquaculture chain to integrate circular feed thinking into their activities. Operators should aim to reduce the environmental impact of feed production, minimize nutrient losses during feed use, and set sector-level feed circularity targets. Procedures should be implemented to mitigate fraud risks associated with circular feed practices.
The recommendations also state that feed ingredient suppliers are advised to prioritize feed as the destination for nutrient resources, ensuring feed safety and quality. Operators in the circular feed chain must maintain transparency in operations and meet safety standards. Feed manufacturers should optimize nutrient efficiency and minimize environmental losses. Fish farming operators should prioritize the use of circular feed and consider fish species adapted to lower nutrient concentrations. Downstream participants must account for potential additional feeding costs resulting from increased feed circularity
By implementing the recommendations for policymakers and operators, the Aquaculture Advisory Council said that the environmental impact can be reduced, feed security can be enhanced, and the industry can contribute to a more sustainable food system.
The European Fishmeal and Fish Oil Producers (EFFOP) highlighted the valuable potential of by-products as a source for fishmeal production to contribute to a more sustainable and efficient future for the aquaculture sector. “While other circular sources, such as single-cell proteins or insects, may have growth potential in the tens of thousands of tonnes, the fishmeal sector has the capacity to increase growth on the scale of millions of tonnes. This indicates the vast opportunities for sustainable growth and resource optimization that can be realized through circularity practices in fishmeal production,” EFFOP said.