SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [] — November 15, 2013 — The Aquaculture Steward Council, Global Aquaculture Alliance and Global G.A.P. have agreed on a minimum set of standards that defines sustainably sourced fish meal and fish oil (FMFO) made up of elements common to the existing standards across the three certifying bodies.  This is an important accomplishment that sets a minimum threshold for sustainable fish feed that should quickly get global acceptance.

The groups agreed on some common sense sustainability criteria for fishmeal and fish oil used in feed.

They include:

-Traceability to the species and, at least, to the country of origin.
-No use of material sourced from endangered species based on IUCN´s red list.
-Avoidance of fish sourced from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).
-Preference for feed manufacturers with publicly available evidence of responsible sourcing, such as third-party certified sourcing of FMFO derived from fisheries and aquaculture, including FMFO derived from fish by-products.

The standards stem from an April agreement struck among the Council, Alliance and GlobalGAP to devise some basic criteria that companies can follow to streamline sustainability production processes regardless of which program is chosen for certification.

"This will better promote the responsible sourcing of FMFO, for the benefit of the environment and the future sustainability of the fisheries and other FMFO-sources utilized by the aqua feed and livestock feed sectors," the group said in a joint statement.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 23rd April 2013 by the three standard setting organizations that identified a number of topics where collaborative action would create efficiencies and promote the uptake of our respective programs.

An early priority identified was to review how the standards address the sourcing of fishmeal and fish oil (FMFO). These raw materials are important to the production of feed used for the farming of fish, crustaceans, pigs and poultry. Unfortunately, when sourced from fisheries that do not follow responsible management practices significant negative environmental impacts occur.

The following chart summarizes the current FMFO sourcing requirements of the three parties. It identifies the crosscutting elements that are covered in all 3 programs and from which feed manufacturers can choose to expand in order to meet one or more of these programs.

This story originally appeared on, a subscription site. It is reprinted with permission.