WORLDWIDE: The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and IFFO, the Marine Ingredients Organisation, have today released the findings from a joint-funded project which improves the understanding of the fisheries of South East Asia which supply raw material for fishmeal production. The report was produced by Duncan Leadbitter (Fish Matter Pty Ltd) after approximately 10 months of data gathering, using both publicly available information and in-country sources.
Petter Johannessen, IFFO Director General, said: “It is the first overarching study to look at the fishmeal industry, and its main sources of raw material supply, across Thailand and Vietnam. Through this study, IFFO, as a global organisation, has a significant contribution to make to help fill information gaps and support the development of best practices in fisheries management.”
The fishmeal and fish oil sector in South East Asia has grown significantly over the past fifty years but fisheries management practices remain variable in the region.
Duncan Leadbitter, project lead, said: “Although fishmeal and fish oil are a key feed ingredient for the region, information is generally lacking in terms of both fisheries and fisheries production. Asian nations are aware of the current situation and are actively moving to implement the reforms required to get their fisheries onto a responsible footing.”
Recommendations to ensure a pathway for responsible supply
The combination of there being large numbers of species in the catches coupled with previous requirements for using management techniques better suited to cold water fisheries means that effective management has been a technical challenge.
The global markets’ drive for certification of seafood product provides an opportunity for improved fishery management practices, and especially through the application of a Fishery Improvement Plan (FIP) approach. There are clear opportunities for FIPs in the region, but success is dependent on industry and government working together.
Andrew Mallison, Executive Director, GAA, said: “The aquaculture industry has an increasing responsibility in the future of global food security. Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification ensures that seafood products come from facilities that are managed in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible manner.”
An integrated approach that engages industry, national governments and international organizations, is more likely to be successful in delivering positive impacts given the diverse and dispersed nature of the fisheries sector in countries across South East Asia.
The report makes a number of recommendations in encouraging the attainment of IFFO RS via the Improver Programme and maintaining an understanding of the developments in fisheries management in the region.