In its first meeting in Madrid on 14th February, the working group on finfish of the Aquaculture Advisory Council elected its chair and vice-chair (Javier Ojeda (APROMAR) and Phil Brook (CiWF) respectively) and established four sub-working groups to discuss fish feed as well as animal health law, animal welfare, and Blue Growth/ a level playing field.
European aquaculture cannot be considered “sustainable” until the use of poorly managed and/or overexploited marine ingredients in the diets of European farmed fish is replaced by ecologically responsible marine and alternative non-marine ingredients. Seas At Risk stresses the need for urgent and longer term actions to be taken by the EU to ensure aquaculture feed ingredients are sustainable.
As a first step, Seas At Risk would like all aquaculture feed in Europe to be sourced from certified and responsible suppliers. In the long run, all feed fisheries should be independently certified by certification schemes such as the Marine Stewardship Council, that also include environmental and social criteria in their assessments. Furthermore, trimmings and other by-products from fish processing should be fully utilized as fish feed ingredients.
Seas At Risk calls upon the European aquaculture industry and European policy makers to set clear targets and commitments relating to the sourcing of responsible fishmeal and fish oil. Seas At Risk will contribute to this process by playing an active role in the Aquaculture Advisory Council.