Raw material sourcing
The sustainable approach in the fishing industry
According to a FAO report in 2005, 75% of the main fish species are exploited at their maximum or over-exploited. In Europe, the fish industry is in decline due to a massive drop in catches for some species despite the setting-up of a EU Fishing Policy.
Facing this reality, some professionals, institutions, special-interest groups took the initiative to get an independent certification of a sustainable fishery. One general frame and 3 approaches can be named today.
The frame is the one defined by FAO through the "Code of conduct for responsible fisheries" (1995) and the "Guidelines for the ecolabelling of fish and fishery products from marine capture fisheries" (2005).
At least three fishery or fish product labels can be cited today :
- Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
- Friend of the Sea (FOS)
- A private recognition by a certifying organism of the respect of the FAO's Code of conduct : example of the Patagonian toothfish for Scapêche of the Intermarché group.
Some other interesting labels are being developed among which the ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) with WWF.
Origin and use of the marine products
Fish meals and fish oils mainly come from (around 85%1) of fisheries feeding on wild fish that are mainly not considered as edible for human beings (too small and bony). As an example of targeted species : Peruvian anchovy, north European blue whitings , Japanese anchovy... The remaining part is brought by fish trimmings.
On the overall, 6,5 millions metric tons of fish meal and 1 million Mt of fish oil are produced every year.
Aquaculture is nowadays quite commonly blamed for being part of the overexploitation of the marine resources or to angle the use of those fish to the fish meal industry instead of human feeding. But those fisheries are well managed if we consider the steadiness of the production for the past 20 years putting aside the climatic events such as El Niño. But, today, too many are officially certified by an independent organism, excepted the menhaden fishery in the Gulf of Mexico (FOS and MSC certifications).
In addition, the fish processing industry by-products are insufficiently used. The losses due to fish processing are held between 10% (gutting) and 70% (filleting) of the initial weight for some species.
The chart here below gives the average fish meal and fish oil processing yields2 for 100 kg of pelagic round fish such anchoveta from Peru. Those yields vary according to the species and the season. The yields for by-products are lower, in particular for the oil that fluctuates between 0.5 and 3% according to species.
|Processing yield for 100 kg of wild fish
|| 5 kg
|| 22,5 kg
LE GOUESSANT has set up an original partnership with the French group Adrien established in Peru through its company ARCOPA. This company is a pioneer in the anchoby based surimi production. The whole by-products generated is now transformed into fish meal and fish oil, sustainable raw materials that LE GOUESSANT uses in its fish feeds.
1 Schipp G., 2008 - Is the use of fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture diets sustainable ? - Northern Territory Government, Technote, N° 124.
2 Tacon A.G.J., Metian M., 2008 - Global overview on the use of fish mea land fish oil in industrially compounded aquafeeds : Trends and future prospects. Aquaculture vol. 285, pp 146-158.