Joint initiative targets feed supply sustainability –

Joint initiative targets feed supply sustainability Published:  14 May, 2007

Helge Korsager

MAJOR players in the sourcing, certification, processing and production of fishmeal and fish oil have come together in Edinburgh to voice their joint commitment to achieving raw material sustainability.

The vision of producing fishmeal and fish oil from independently certified and fully sustainable resources was the focus of Skretting UK & Ireland’s Sustainability Workshop, held prior to Aquaculture Today 2007.

Joining Skretting at the event were the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association (SPFA), United Fish Industries (UFI) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The workshop audience included leading producers and industry specialists.

“The demand for fish to be drawn from sustainable sources is primarily consumer and retailer led; a demand which we must address as rapidly as possible,” said workshop chairman, Dr Graeme Dear, Skretting UK & Ireland’s former Managing Director. “That means all of us working together.”

Having Skretting, SPFA, UFI and MSC on the same sustainability platform in Edinburgh was, in itself, a valuable public display of how the four bodies are already striving to achieve a common objective.

Camiel Derichs, MSC’s North European Fisheries manager, commented: “The pressure on world fish stocks has never been greater. Fish feed producers need to be responsible and this is something the market is increasingly demanding. To achieve this they need good, sustainable sourcing options and the MSC process provides a credible independent system to bring about this change.”

Derek Duthie, SPFA’s Chief Executive, agreed: “We all share the same challenges. For SPFA, that means looking beyond just catching fish to wider environmental issues. We’re therefore standing up and being counted on this issue and are committed to ensuring that we have sustainability under control.”

Helge Korsager, UFI’s Chief Executive, whose wide industry knowledge and contacts were crucial in helping to create the joint focus, gave the initiative his full support, set against the background of UFI’s track record as owners of the first factory to become Soil Association approved (2001) and the first to become FEMAS accredited (2002).

Looking forward, the four participants each pledged to play a full part in delivering future sustainability:

· SPFA – committed to securing MSC certification by 2008 for its North Sea herring and Western mackerel fisheries in an industry initiative led by the newly formed Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group.

· MSC – focused on maintaining a credible, independent certification process and keen to add to the 22 fisheries which have already been certified.

· UFI – exploring the sustainability potential of species such as anchovy, jack mackerel, sand eels, capelin and blue whiting.

· Skretting – already working on a joint project with MSC and committed to sustainable diets as a priority focus.

“We clearly have challenges to face and solutions to discover in relation to sustainability,” said John Roberts, Product Development Manager for Skretting. “Everyone, however, from fishermen, certifiers, customers, retailers and consumers must be part of such a process.

“Reaching our objectives will take time, of course, subject to how rapidly each part of the production chain can achieve its own sustainability goals. What we can already say, however, is that we believe the correct steps are being taken, that we’re moving forward on a joint basis, and that we can deliver the right results.” is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.