Fishy Business – Campaign Update
For an industry supposedly committed to transparency we are disappointed by the low level of engagement
Last month we launched our Fishy Business campaign highlighting that the Scottish salmon industry relies heavily on wild-caught fish sourced from European, South American and West Africa waters, alongside other ingredients such as soya and vegetable oils. The Scottish industry has a large appetite for expansion – aiming to double in size by 2030. This expansion would require a massive 310,000 tonnes of extra wild fish a year. For context, the current quantity of wild fish fed to farmed Scottish salmon, 460,000 tonnes, is roughly equivalent to the amount purchased by the entire UK population, and to fulfil growth ambitions this amount would need to increase by around two thirds. Where and how this wild fish will be sustainably sourced is one big unanswered question.
The president of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation (IFFO) has defended the industry stressing that using marine ingredients in feed does not make salmon unsustainable. Furthermore, Skretting – one of the largest aquaculture feed producers – has claimed that ‘Both fishmeal and fish oil still remain relatively abundant’. This is in contrast with research showing that the ecological limits of the small forage fish used to produce fish oil and fishmeal could be surpassed in less than 20 years. Recent reports suggest that feed requirements of the aquaculture industry are impacting on eco-systems, with Baltic cod numbers dropping as the sprat they consume are being gobbled up by the Norwegian farmed salmon industry.
We, along with hundreds of our supporters, called on the six big companies farming salmon in Scotland to provide detailed information regarding the feed they use. Only three have decided to engage with us and our supporters so far: Mowi, Grieg Seafood and Loch Duart. This is disappointing considering Hamish Macdonell, director of strategic engagement for the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, has remarked “The Scottish salmon farming sector operates to a level of transparency that is unparalleled in other food production sectors.”
Let’s give a chance to rethink their approach – will you join us in emailing the CEOs of Scotland’s salmon farming industry to ask them how they will make sure their salmon is fed sustainably, without irresponsible plunder of our wild oceans.