Thursday, May 17, 2018

17/05/2018: Establishing credibility for engagement

by Neil Auchterlonie

April was an important month for IFFO, as one of our two important annual meetings occurs then. Colleagues have recently returned from our 2018 Members Meeting, held this year in Miami over April 9-11.
 

With an attendance of 150 IFFO members, it is somewhat smaller than the annual conference which usually sees approximately 400 delegates, but the programme for the event is equally comprehensive. Information exchange is at the heart of both the Meeting and the Conference, and, as always, a series of presentations covers the prospects for the volume of supply and demand in the market for the coming year.

The Technical Session, held on the Tuesday afternoon, provided the attendees with an opportunity for an update of the ever-lengthening list of IFFO technical project work. The investment in science by IFFO, guided in priority and direction by the IFFO board, is crucial in establishing credibility for engagement with the many international and national organisations that are IFFO’s stakeholders, and is fundamental to the evidence-based nature of our work. An overview of a very diverse programme of projects was provided, spanning subjects including fishery management, raw material supply, antioxidants, and production of fishmeal and fish oil.

The highlight of the afternoon for many was the keynote presentation given by Prof Dominique Bureau of the University of Guelph in Canada. I am sure that readers of International Aquafeed will be very familiar with Prof Bureau’s expertise in fish nutrition, and the IFFO technical audience were treated to a summary of more than 30 years of scientific research describing the reality of fishmeal replacement in aquafeeds. Dom’s work covers a whole range of aquatic species in both temperate and tropical waters, including shrimp as well as fish.

The take-home message was that fishmeal replacement is far from easy or straightforward mostly due to the complexity of aquatic animal nutritional requirements, and the ease with which they are met by fishmeal. Low fishmeal inclusion diets (5%-15%) are possible but they are reliant on a partial substitution of fishmeal with high quality ingredients, to minimise any nutritional impacts that may occur through the loss of some of the vital micronutrients supplied by fishmeal. Those substitutions carry additional expense to feed formulations, and in practical terms fishmeal is still very much needed in fish feeds in order to provide a cost-effective nutritional balance for farmed fish and shrimp.


Read the full article, HERE.

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