Live from Friend of the Sea Day

By

April Forristall, SeafoodSource.com assistant editor

Published on
April 27, 2009

Friend of the Sea on Monday held a conference at the Sheraton Brussels Hotel covering all aspects of making the seafood industry sustainable. Here's what happened in the first half of the Friend of the Sea Day.

10 a.m. - Paolo Bray, director of Friend of the Sea (FOS), opened the conference by providing background on FOS's principles, achievements and objectives. The NGO is the only sustainability scheme that certifies both wild and farmed seafood, as well as fish oil, fishmeal and fish feed.

10:30 - Alistar Lane, executive director of the European Aquaculture Society (EAS), discussed the international nonprofit's role in supporting sustainable aquaculture development.

Lane said EAS's main focus is to bridge the gap between the science and business aspects of sustainability of the aquaculture industry. The nonprofit's objectives are to promote contact, facilitate dissemination of information, enhance cooperation on aquaculture related matters and promote aquaculture research.

He also explained how the organization developed indicators for development of European aquaculture into its 25 best practice indicators, as well as its 30 benchmark indicators.

10:50 - After a video on open-ocean aquaculture, which discussed the amount of wild caught fish needed to feed aquaculture species, Andrew Jackson, technical director of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization, talked about what the fishmeal and fish oil industry is doing to engage in sustainable production.

Jackson said precautionary quota setting and rights-based fisheries management are production trends that are contributing to increased sustainability in the industry. In addition, he said that 24 percent of fishmeal now comes from byproducts. The majority of the remainder is made from short-lived pelagic species that support the general trend toward environmentally friend production.

He added that the fish-in-to-fish-out ratio, once taken in to account the amount of byproduct used in production, is at 1.7 to 1.

11:10 - Jim Stuart, senior director of quality control for Omega Protein, gave a presentation on his company and the menhaden fishery.

Stuart discussed the reasons for the success of sustainability of the menhaden fishery, including the fact that the females lay more than 25 million eggs apiece, the entire fish is rendered so there is no byproduct and a reduction in the number of vessels due to efficiency. National Marine Fisheries Service statistics show that the fishery's bycatch is less than 1 percent.

12 p.m. - Natacha Andre, SGS Brussels' climate change program manager, gave a presentation on the carbon footprint of the seafood industry. Andre explained the role fuel efficiency and carbon footprints play in the criteria for a fishery to be certified as sustainable.

She also discussed different approaches companies can take to calculate their carbon footprints and how to offset greenhouse gas emissions.

Andre said that carbon footprint calculation is not a simple task, and concrete guidance is essential to get comparable values across the industry.

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