Sustainable Fisheries: A Shared Responsibility
In the last 20 years, BioMar has reduced the inclusion of marine ingredients in aquafeeds by more than 60%. This dramatic reduction resulted from supply/demand and a desire to decouple aquaculture growth from dependency on wild fisheries as a resource base.
Reducing our consumption of marine ingredients is a priority for BioMar, but we are equally committed to improving the sustainability of our source fisheries.
The State of Global Fisheries
The recent SOFIA report published by the FAO (2022) shows that global fisheries, while improving, are still in a critical condition. The fraction of fishery stocks within biologically sustainable levels decreased to 64.6% in 2019. However, 82.5% of the 2019 landings were from biologically sustainable stocks.
Effective fisheries management successfully rebuilds stocks and restores ecosystems to a state where wild fish can sustainably support food security, nutrition, economic growth, and the well-being of coastal communities.
Sustainable Fisheries Defined
The new ASC Feed Standard defines sustainable fisheries in the Marine Sustainability Ladder (MSL). The MSL distinguishes between improving fisheries (FIPs) and certified fisheries (MarinTrust and MSC). MSC is widely recognised as the highest level of certification for fisheries, with MarinTrust a close second.
The MSL ladder will challenge feed mills to continuously improve their source fisheries by demanding they move up one level every three years.
Level 0: Uncertified
Level 1: Basic FIP
Level 2: MarinTrust
Level 3: MSC FIP
Level 4: MSC
FIPs will become an increasingly vital tool to increase the number of fisheries under good management regimes.
The long-term goal of the ASC and other robust seafood certification schemes is to increase the number of fisheries under best-practice fisheries management, which will increase the fraction of fishery stocks within biologically sustainable levels in the SOFIA report in the coming years.
Sustainable Fisheries Ecosystem
The market demand for more sustainable seafood comes from fish buyers who pass sustainability criteria upstream in the supply chain – first to aquaculture producers, then to BioMar, and from BioMar back to the source fisheries.
The concept of sustainable fisheries is clearly defined by responsible seafood/feed production standards, such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), and Global GAP.
These standards agree that the highest level of certification for marine ingredients comprises ISEAL- certified marine ingredients (MSC & MarinTrust), NGO requirements (FishSource scores & IUCN Red List), or credible Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) making good progress.
BioMar’s Engagements in Sustainable Fisheries
BioMar is engaged in multiple stakeholder platforms and individual projects to improve global fisheries management within our supply chain. These include the Global Marine Roundtable on Marine Ingredients, the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group, and the Ecuador Small Pelagics FIP.
For more information on our involvement in these engagements, please see the Engagements section in this report.
*Marine ingredient producers and feed producers also operate according to number quality, food safety, and sustainability certifications and standards.