Sunday, March 25, 2018

26/03/2018: Fishmeal will stay current in global food chain

It is towards the end of the northern hemisphere winter, and a look out the window at swirling clouds of snow confirms we are in the middle of an unusual weather event
  
 

The media in the UK have done much to make this as dramatic a story as possible, and in amongst all the stories about people being snowbound in vehicles and trains, and the shutting of airports, there are stories emerging about a lack of some foods in UK shops. This is a reminder about how fragile food supply chains are, and how quickly they can be affected by a set of extraordinary circumstances.

For me, it brings to mind the importance of the fishmeal and fish oil industry, and where it rests in relation to protein systems and global food security. The fishmeal sector is itself the foundation of a significant proportion of the global protein supply chain.

Fishmeal is an essential component for feeds in fed aquaculture, for pig weaning diets and poultry starter diets. In aquaculture the list of fed species is growing, and the FAO cites more than 200 fed species, which is enormous in comparison to terrestrial farming. Fishmeal remains essential to the farming of the immediately recognisable aquaculture species such as Atlantic salmon and shrimps, and it is also an important constituent in diets of many of the minor species where the exact nutritional requirements may not yet be fully understood.

Providing diets manufactured with a high fishmeal inclusion allows the production of these new and lesser-known species with an incomplete nutritional knowledge base, as the energy dense nature of fishmeal and the rich micronutrient profile are adequate to provide nutritious feeds in the absence of scientific data.

In many ways it is testimony to the generally good management of stocks as well as the efficient recovery of processed by-product as raw material, that the global annual production of this important material is consistently around five million tonnes volume. Although that volume is comparatively small in relation to some of the other animal feed ingredients, its importance far exceeds any volume comparison. Clearly there are fluctuations over time, with the most obvious being the impact of El Niňo events, but largely that annual supply remains available for animal feed production year in, year out.


Read the full article, HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
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