Sourcing Marine Ingredients from West Africa
We have recently received enquiries regarding the fish oil carrier, Key Sund, carrying product from West Africa destined to European markets. We confirm that no product on this ship is destined to any BioMar facility.
BioMar does not support the sourcing of uncertified marine ingredients from West Africa and do not source from Gambia and Senegal. We only purchase from Mauritania under the MarinTrust Mauritanian Fishery Improver Project. We choose to participate in this FIP due to its focus on around 20,000 artisanal fishermen, fisheries stock management and ensuring a percentage of the catch goes to building resilient Mauritanian communities.
The goal of these FIP projects is to infuse the best science into fisheries management, while improving communication between fisheries stakeholders and fisheries managers. There are several challenges associated with sourcing marine ingredients in West Africa, but we believe that our presence, through the FIP, will lead to positive change that will benefit the region in the long-term.
Significant improvements are already being seen with the publishing of a decree by the Mauritanian Ministry of Fisheries to the National Fisheries Plan. It will no longer be permitted for important keystone West African species vital for food security be used for fishmeal or fish oil production. These are Horse Mackerel, Round Sardinella (Sardinella aurita), Yellow Mullet or Meagre (Agyrosomus regius). It is now the law that 20% of all catch must be destined for regional human consumption supply chains and must be identified and quantities reported to ensure traceability.
Mauritania established a progressive zoning scheme to ensure that artisanal fishermen have year-round access to fishing grounds. Currently the Small Pelagics Fishery is enforcing a closure until the end of July 2021 for industrial vessels to allow fish stocks to recover. Artisanal fishermen, who harvest strictly for human consumption, are still allowed to fish. During the time, FM&FO factories are investing in infrastructure (ice machines, freezing capacity, etc.) to improve their ability to harvest and sell small pelagic species to regional seafood markets. This will aid regional food security, which generally lacks the infrastructure necessary to scale up seafood production.