Standards organizations identify common criteria for sourcing fishmeal and oil

Three standards-setting organizations - Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and GLOBALG.A.P. have laid down the common sourcing requirements for fishmeal and fish oil
November 21, 2013

Three standards-setting organizations - Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and GLOBALG.A.P. have laid down the common sourcing requirements for fishmeal and fish oil.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on April 23, 2013 by the three standard setting organizations that identified a number of topics where collaborative action would create efficiencies and promote the uptake of our respective programs.

An early priority identified was to review how the standards address the sourcing of fishmeal and fish oil (FMFO). These raw materials are important to the production of feed used for the farming of fish, crustaceans, pigs and poultry. Unfortunately, when sourced from fisheries that do not follow responsible management practices significant negative environmental impacts occur.


The following chart summarizes the current FMFO sourcing requirements of the three parties. It identifies the crosscutting elements that are covered in all three programs and from which feed manufacturers can choose to expand in order to meet one or more of these programs.


The identified common criteria are:

·         Traceability to the species and, at least, to the country of origin.

·         No use of material sourced from endangered species based on IUCN ́s red list.

·         Avoidance of fish sourced from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).

·         Preference for feed manufacturers with publicly available evidence of responsible sourcing, such as third-party certified sourcing of FMFO derived from fisheries and aquaculture, including FMFO derived from fish by-products.


Regardless of the certification program chosen and implemented, the aquafeed and livestock feed sector should apply the above common criteria as a minimum set of requirements when sourcing FMFO ingredients. This will better promote the responsible sourcing of FMFO, for the benefit of the environment and the future sustainability of the fisheries and other FMFO-sources utilized by the aqua feed and livestock feed sectors.


GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED: ASC: Aquaculture Stewardship Council (


BAP: Best Aquaculture Practices Program (


CITES: CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. (


Endangered species (IUCN red list): Endangered (EN) and Critically Endangered (CR) species refers to plants and animals assessed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM which provides taxonomic, conservation status and distribution information. The system is designed to determine the relative risk of extinction and to catalogue and highlight those plants and animals that are facing a higher risk of global extinction.


FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ( FAO CCRF: Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries of FAO (


Fishsource: FishSourceTM is a resource about the status of fish stocks and fisheries. Its aim is to provide major seafood buyers with up-to-date, impartial, actionable information on the sustainability of fisheries and the improvements these need to make to become sustainable. (


FMFO: Fish Meal and Fish Oil


GAA: Global Aquaculture Alliance (


GLOBALG.A.P.: Global standard for safe and responsible agricultural practice worldwide (


IFFO: International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization (


IFFO RS: IFFO Global Standard for Responsible Supply


IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature (; URL to Redlist:


IUU: Illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing


ISEAL Alliance: Non-governmental organization whose mission is to strengthen sustainability standards systems for the benefit of people and the environment (


MSC: Marine Stewardship Council (