A key aspect of the sustainability of salmon aquaculture is the amount of fishmeal and fish oil contained within industry feed supplies, both of which are finite resources. The availability of these resources depends upon available quotas and the level of direct human consumption.
Salmon farming has grown from a few thousand tonnes in the early 70’s to over 1.6 million tonnes in 2011. During the same period, the global production of fishmeal has been stable. As a result of consumer demand, pressure on these valuable resources is set to increase in future years from a number of industries, the GSI see the sustainability of feed sources as an emerging industry challenge. Working together, and in partnership with the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), we aim to research and develop new projects to support the sustainable management of available resources, and to review the potential of alternative resources.
It is a clear ambition of the GSI to reduce our dependency on marine raw materials, and over the past 20 years, salmon farmers have been gradually substituting marine raw materials with vegetable raw materials, while sustaining the health benefits and high quality of farmed salmon.
We are also working closely with a number of feed companies; EWOS, Skretting and BioMar, to ensure farmed salmon retains its high levels of nutrients and fatty acids, while working to reduce the pressure on the raw materials. Despite decreasing the use of fish oil over recent years farmed salmon remains one of the best sources of Omega 3 and provides a number of health benefits to the consumer.