New fish-in, fish-out ratios (FIFOs) calculated by the marine ingredients trade organization for 2015 find that, for the first time, the FIFO for salmonids was below 1.
Calculated with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) data, FIFOs have been used by as a way of reviewing the consumption of wild-caught fish by the sector since the 1990s. Salmonid farming in particular has drawn attention on this subject in the past, and have been criticized previously for its use of fishmeal and fish oil. However, the 2015 calculation by the Marine Ingredients Organisation (IFFO) confirmed that the sector produced more fish protein than it consumed.
The FIFO for salmon and trout in 2015 was 0.82, compared with 1.38 in 2010 and 2.57 in 2000.
Indeed, the 2015 figures continue the trend of reducing FIFOs seen between 2000 and 2010 for all species except crustaceans, including farmed shrimp, which at 0.46 were fractionally higher than in 2010.
Overall, fed aquaculture FIFOs have declined from 0.63 to 0.33 to 0.22 over the period. Essentially, this means that for every kilogram of wild fish consumed by the aquaculture industry as feed, a total of 4.55 kilograms of farmed fish was produced in 2015.
As aquafeed volume has continued to increase against a background of finite fishmeal and fish oil supply, IFFO said that for 2017, the figure could be expected to be higher.
“The fishmeal industry supports the production of a significantly greater volume of protein for humanity than would be supplied merely through the direct consumption of the fish used as raw material in the production process. This represents a significant contribution to global food security,” said Neil Auchterlonie, IFFO’s technical director, who calculated the 2015 figures.