November 1, 2022
Chile's Camanchaca seeks for lower FCR in salmon operations by 2030
Chile-based Salmones Camanchaca is aiming to hit a feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 0.6 across its entire salmon-farming operations by 2030, the company's vice president, Ricardo García, said at the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil (IFFO) conference in Lima, Peru, last month.
"Over the last 15 years, we've seen a conversion factor that has come down from over 1.6 to 1.7 to very close to one today," he said during his presentation, "Present and future trends of the salmon sector." Considering the jump of over 30% in feed prices since the first quarter of 2021, improving the fish-in, fish-out ratio would drive efficiency and save on costs, he added.
García also stated that aquaculture holds promise to deliver on feeding the world's growing population, which is predicted to reach 10 billion by 2050, with the main population growth coming from poorer, developing regions such as Africa. Throughout the world, many people are underfed, García said, while land is overdeveloped: 93% of food is produced on just 10% of the earth's surface. Land is 50 times more utilised than the ocean, he noted, while yields from wild fishing have flattened.
García said that a shift in how food production is perceived by the public is necessary. "We need a culture change. [Considering] options for the future, salmon is one of the winners when it comes to seafood, edible yield and conversion factor," he remarked.
García added that Chile's salmon industry creates socio-economic development, with total yearly exports of US$5.5 billion, representing 36% of the country's total food exports and 84% of its seafood exports. The industry works with more than 4,500 small- and medium-sized enterprises and employs over 150,000 people.
Banks and other financial institutions increasingly favor sustainable food production in their money-lending practices, García said, highlighting Camanchaca landing the first sustainability-linked loan in Chile's salmon industry.