Fishmeal for the future
02 Sep 2016
There is a significant potential for further development of the fishmeal and fish oil sector.
A clear message was given from the attendees of the recent international conference on fishmeal and fish oil that there is a significant potential for further development of the sector.
Fishmeal and fish oil are valuable marine ingredients with unique characteristics that contribute positively to the health of both animals and humans. However, there is a need for further development of the industry and its products.
The North Sea Centre in Hirtshals provided the backdrop for an international conference examining future perspectives for fishmeal and fish oil, hosted by EUfishmeal and the Nordic Marine Think-Tank. With the The objective of creating a direct dialogue between participants, and gain new perspectives on the huge potential of industry, the conference was attended by representatives of the fishmeal industry, NGOs, fishermen, scientists, the feed industry and civil servants.
“One of the key conclusions was that if this potential is to be fulfilled, there is a need for a stable supply of raw materials,” commented a spokesman for Marine Ingredients Denmark.
Panel discussions addressed the issue of the biological basis of a sustainable fishery for forage fish, with debate resulting in the call for increased direct co-operation between scientists and fishermen in the collection of data used as the basis of quota recommendations, and a following panel touched upon the socio-economic aspects of the fishery for protein fish, addressing the role of the consumer, certifications, standards, and food security.
Mention was also made of the huge potential that lies within the fishery for mesopelagic species; a fishery that remains unexploited due to the very limited knowledge about this resource – this calls for more data and science also in this field.
The focus shifted on the second day of the conference from fishery management to the role of fishmeal and feed in the value chain. The latest research in fishmeal and fish oil was presented, with the need for even more research within the composition of feed and the unique characteristics of fishmeal and fish oil identified by different stakeholders in the audience.
It is known, that the meal and oil contains more valuable ingredients than we can yet substantiate. There was specific commitment from the fishmeal industry and the Norwegian Research Institute of fisheries, aquaculture and food, Nofima, in co-operating to gain more knowledge about fishmeal and fish oil. It was clear from the the debates, that fishmeal and fish oil are key parts of the future of feed for both aquaculture, agriculture and the human diet.
The most important take away point from the conference was the common wish to enhance and integrate all parts of the value chain even better than today. This can only happen with involvement from both the industry, NGO’s and scientists.
“EUfishmeal and Nordic Marin Think-Tank would like to sincerely thank the North Sea Centre for the excellent setting, the participants for support and active involvement in the debates, and especially the speakers, panelists and moderators for their interesting presentations and visions,” Marine Ingredients Denmark’s spokesman said.
“We look forward to seeing which specific outcomes and projects the conference will produce in the future.”