Seafish has published its annual dossier on the status and management of the ten feed grade fish stocks used to produce fishmeal and fish oil for the UK market.
Feed companies in the UK need the assurance that the fisheries involved in the supply of fishmeal to the UK are subject to government controls to conserve stocks and prevent over-fishing, and that all stocks used to supply fishmeal to the UK are subject to total annual catch limits, set by Governments on a yearly basis.
"This dossier provides that assurance and adds a little more into the mix," said Karen Green, Seafish Industry Environmental Communications. "Whilst there are independent documentary assessments of the ten feed grade fish stocks used in UK fishmeal production these are from diverse sources. This annual review brings this information together in one place, and also provides a general overview of the controls observed by the principal suppliers and the management measures in place for these stocks."
With the growth of the aquaculture sector the need to provide fish as feed for other fish is seen as a challenge to the growth of the aquaculture sector. The use of whole fish in the production of fishmeal and fish oil is almost exclusively from small, bony species of pelagic fish (generally living in the surface waters or middle depths of the sea) which the UN FAO states are "presently unmarketable in large quantities as human food".
"UK fishmeal consumption was around 135,000 tonnes in 2010, sourced predominantly from Europe or South America, with an increasing majority used in aquaculture feeds. This review focuses on the latest scientific assessments of the North Sea, North East Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and South American stocks. This is combined with a summary of the key reports published in the last year and more general information on the fishmeal and fish oil market," said Karen.
This dossier will be the subject of a presentation at the World Fisheries Congress in Edinburgh on May 9, 2012, within the Aquaculture and Sustainable Feed Supply session.
Download the full report from the link below (PDF).