July 18, 2023


Aquaculture Advisory Council presents circular fish feed recommendation to European Commission




The Belgium-based Aquaculture Advisory Council has proposed recommendations to the European Commission to support and facilitate the adoption of circular feed practices.


The recommendations include designing a political framework that prioritises the use of bioeconomy resources as feed for food-producing animals, selecting indicators to measure feed circularity within sustainability development frameworks, establishing specific requirements for operations to ensure feed safety, identifying and addressing bottlenecks that hinder circularity and supporting research into circular feed definitions and methodologies.


European policymakers are also encouraged to promote aquaculture production systems based on circular feed among citizens and consumers.


The council also urges operators in the aquaculture chain to integrate circular feed thinking into their activities. Operators should aim to reduce the environmental impact of feed production, minimise nutrient losses during feed use and set sector-level feed circularity targets. Procedures should be implemented to mitigate fraud risks associated with circular feed practices.


Additionally, feed ingredient suppliers are advised to prioritise feed as the destination for nutrient resources, ensuring feed safety and quality. Operators in the circular feed chain must also maintain transparency in operations and meet safety standards. Feed manufacturers should optimise nutrient efficiency and minimise environmental losses.


Furthermore, fish farming operators should prioritise the use of circular feed and consider fish species adapted to lower nutrient concentrations. Downstream participants must account for potential additional feeding costs resulting from increased feed circularity.


Implementing the recommendations outlined by the Aquaculture Advisory Council for policymakers and operators can reduce environmental impact, enhance feed security and contribute to a more sustainable food system, according to the European Fishmeal and Fish Oil Producers organisation.


By embracing circularity principles in fishmeal production and utilisation, waste can be minimised and resource utilisation can be optimised. By recognising the valuable potential of by-products as a source for fishmeal production, the industry can contribute to a more sustainable and efficient future for the aquaculture sector.


While other circular sources, such as single-cell proteins or insects, may have growth potential in the tens of thousands of tonnes, the fishmeal sector has the capacity to increase growth on the scale of millions of tonnes, the European Fishmeal and Fish Oil Producers noted. This indicates the vast opportunities for sustainable growth and resource optimisation that can be realised through circularity practices in fishmeal production.

- European Fishmeal and Fish Oil Producers

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