IFFO reappraises fishmeal efficiency

The International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization at the Seafood Choices Alliance Seafood Summit earlier this month presented up-to-date fish feed to farmed salmon ratios.

At the "Feeding the Aquaculture Industry: Supply, Demand and Sustainability" workshop, IFFO said the current assertion that it takes 5 to 10 kilograms of wild fish feed to produce 1 kilo of farmed salmon is erroneous and damaging to the perceived eco-efficiency of aquaculture and its use of fishmeal and fish oil.

IFFO said the accurate fish in-fish out (FIFO) ratio for salmon is 1.7:1 and falling.

The new ratio is a result of two improvements to the calculation method. First, the new formula assumes that excess fishmeal and fish oil are not being wasted and takes into account that around 22 percent of fishmeal production now originates from fish by-products rather than whole fish feed. Adding these two factors reduces the FIFO ratio in salmon and all farmed fish.

"Eco-conversion on a fish in-fish out basis had been drastically under calculated," said IFFO's Andrew Jackson at the Seafood Summit. "Now that these headline figures have been corrected, we hope all interested parties can proceed with a more informed discussion on the many and complex aspects of economic, environmental and social sustainability."

Three other fishmeal issues were addressed during the workshop. Dr. Hector Soldi described the science-based management of the world's biggest feed fish stock, Peruvian anchovy; Juan C. Ferrer of Pesquera San José SA, Chile, explained production of fishmeal and fish oil was not detrimental to the human food supply; and Jackson refuted the myth that shortage of fishmeal and fish oil would restrain aquaculture's growth.


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