Where do fishmeal and fish oil products come from? An analysis of the conversion ratios in the global fishmeal industry

  • Péron G
  • François Mittaine J
  • Le Gallic B
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As a result of the stagnation of commercial fishery landings, aquaculture activities are expected to increase over the next decades to match the growing demand for marine protein. Overall, it is expected that the aquaculture sector could reduce some of the fishing pressure applied to wild stocks. However, this development is likely to be limited by the availability of key aquaculture inputs, specifically fishmeal and fish oil products (FMFOP). Aquaculture provided 60 % (fish meal) and 80 % (fish oil) of the world total consumption of these products in 2007. FMFOP are generally derived from small pelagic fish species, but can also be derived from other sources. Identifying the origin of FMFOP is crucial to understanding the effects of this new pressure on marine social-ecological systems. Two factors are of particular importance in the reduction sector transforming wild fish into fishmeal or fish oil: the two "conversion ratios" (i.e. the ratio between the quantity of wild fish harvested and the resulting quantity of FMFOP, and the ratio between the quantity of FMFOP and aquaculture production), and the type of raw material used by the reduction sector. Based on trade and production databases from FAO and the International Fishmeal and Fish oil Organisation (IFFO), this paper proposes an approach to identify the origin of FMFOP. It shows that whereas different countries use different pelagic resources to produce FMFOP, other countries use non-pelagic sources, and some countries use pelagic resources for human consumption. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aquaculture
  • Conversion ratios
  • Fish oil
  • Fishmeal
  • Pelagic fish
  • Sustainable growth

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  • Guillaume Péron

  • Jean François Mittaine

  • Bertrand Le Gallic

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