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Feeding fish in a fish farm. (Photo: SSPO)

Implications for authorization of processed animal proteins in aquaculture

Click on the flag for more information about Spain SPAIN
Thursday, February 14, 2013, 23:40 (GMT + 9)

From next 1 June, the European Commission (EC) authorized farmed fish to be fed with processed animal protein (PAP), except with that coming from ruminants (sheep, goat or cow).

After hearing the decision, several organizations expressed their views regarding the impact that the initiative aimed at the prevention, control and eradication of certain transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) may have.

For example, the secretary general of the Spanish Interprofessional Organization of Inland Aquaculture (Aquapiscis), Raul Rodriguez, believes that the Regulation No. 56/2013 will facilitate a reduction in aquaculture feed costs, which in a year were up 18 per cent.

Rodriguez explained that the regulations make real a "longstanding goal" of fish farmers, EFE reports.

Likewise, Jorge de Saja, director of the Spainish confederation of compound feed manufacturers (Cesfac), argues that the new rule could indirectly impact on costs for farmers.

"Anything aimed at expanding the protein menu, however it is for only one species -- in this case aquaculture -- benefits the others, because it removes pressure" on the offer, de Saja stated.

For his part, the manager of the Business Association of Producers of Marine Farming (Apromar), Javier Ojeda, warns that the regulation "is neither a panacea nor a big solution."

The Spanish leader explains that aquaculture feeds are produced mainly with fish. These feeds are purchased from domestic companies or other EU countries, including France.

Cesfac noted that the obtaining of fish feed -- 158,537 tonnes by EUR 148 million -- represents a very small part of the animal food national production, which grew by 30.6 million tonnes, EUR 6.4 million, in 2012.

In Spain, there are 800 feed factories, only three out of which produce aquaculture products.

However, aquaculture is an emerging sector with great potential as a source of fish supply.

Both Apromar and Aquapiscis insist on that the controls are "very strict".

Cesfac says that since 1999 no chicken or pork meal is used for fish feed.

Furthermore, Alba Ardura, professor and member of the Department of Functional Biology, University of Oviedo, states that it is "standard practice" that "it doesn’t have to be a hazard for food safety," ABC reported.

However, "It neither was in the case of mad cow disease," the researcher added. "Given that there are carnivorous fish, that carries no greater problem, though it will be verified over time," she concluded.

While Celia Ojeda, head of Greenpeace Oceans and Fisheries, said: "Until now farmed fish, especially the sea bream and sea bass, which are carnivorous, were fed with feed containing other fish, such as mackerel or anchovy but the idea that they can be fed with chicken feed and pork is a bit shocking, frightening and bizarre.”

Related article:

- Authorized use of processed animal proteins in aquaculture

By Analia Murias
[email protected]
www.fis.com


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