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Menhaden fishery. (Photo: Robert Brigham, NOAA)

SFP releases latest sustainability overview of fishmeal and fish oil

WORLDWIDE
Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 23:30 (GMT + 9)

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) this week unveiled its annual sustainability overview of fisheries used for fishmeal and fish oil. The overview (previously called the “Reduction Fisheries League Table”) covers the 28 main reduction fisheries around the Atlantic and South America rated according to the sustainability assessment presented on the FishSource Website.

The ratings are based on the most recent assessment period for which comparable data is available as of 14 May 2012.
 
Not all of the fisheries cited are currently used for fishmeal and oil, however, as how much of any given species and stock is utilized for these purposes fluctuates according to market demand and can thus change from year to year.

The briefing concludes the following points for Atlantic and South American reduction fisheries:

Fish meal factory. (Photo: K. Falch)
  • No fishery in the survey scores more than 8 across all FishSource criteria so as to fit into category A.
  • 62.4 per cent of the catch stems from fisheries that score above 6 in all criteria and the score for biomass (score 4) is 8 or above, such that biomass is at or above target levels (category B1: Gulf of Mexico menhaden, northeast Atlantic blue whiting and Atlantic herring – North Sea autumn spawners). These stocks are in very good shape, although may merit improvements in management.
  • 8.3 per cent of the catch comes from fisheries that score 6 or above across all criteria but do not score above 8 for biomass (category B2: Icelandic capelin). These fisheries are in good shape but would benefit from improvements in management.
  • 29.3 per cent of the catch comes from fisheries that score below 6 on at least one of the criteria. These fisheries have not been effectively managed and significant improvements are needed.
  • Only three fisheries, representing 6.7 per cent of the catch, score below 6 on biomass and thus require urgent improvements: Iberian European pilchard, Chilean anchoveta and Chilean jack mackerel.
  • Cumulatively, 70.7 per cent of the catch from these fisheries score 6 or above on all five criteria –broadly in line with the requirements of aquaculture feed sustainability standards.
  • No reduction fishery is currently managed within an ecosystem-based fisheries management regime, a situation which needs to change. Fisheries that have established a successful single species stock management regime should aim to evolve an ecosystem-based approach to ensure long-term sustainability.
  • Changes in fishery scores from 2009 to 2010 show a small drop in overall scores. There were reductions in the volumes of catch in categories A and B1 and an associated rise in volume of catch in categories B2 and C (category C includes southeast North Sea Lesser sandeel, northeast Atlantic western stock Atlantic horse mackerel and Iberian European pilchard). The sustainability status of reduction fisheries is unlikely to have improved.

These results will be vital for fishmeal and fish oil buyers as well as manufacturers of aquaculture and farm animal feeds who are interested in sustainable sourcing. The findings can also be used to help shape policies, SFP said.

Related article:

-
SFP assesses fishmeal and fish oil fisheries

By Natalia Real
[email protected]
www.fis.com

Photo Courtesy of FIS Member  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA/NMFS
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