The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), a non-governmental organization committed to maintaining healthy ocean and aquatic ecosystems, today published a sustainability league table of the principal South American and Atlantic fisheries used for the production of fishmeal and fish oil. The league table follows on from the 2010 table published last year. SFP will publish an annual table from now on to track changes in these fisheries.

 The 25 fisheries have been assessed using the FishSource ( methodology devised by SFP which allows basic comparisons to be made against existing fishery sustainability indicators. The table is shown below (Table 1), and contained in a new briefing from SFP– The Reduction Fisheries League Table 2011 (click to download).  Some of the main findings from the league table include: 

  • 1.2% of the catch comes from fisheries that score more than 8 across all FishSource criteria (category A). The target stocks for these fisheries are in excellent condition.
  • 65.2% of the catch comes from fisheries that score above 6 in all criteria AND the score for biomass is at least 8 or more meaning biomass is above target levels (category B). These stocks are in very good shape although may merit some improvements in management regime.
  • 6.9% of the catch comes from fisheries that score above 6 across all criteria but not above 8 for biomass (category C). These fisheries are in good shape but would benefit from improvements in management regime.
  • 26.7% of the catch comes from fisheries that score below 6 on at least one criteria. These fisheries have not been effectively managed and significant improvements are required.
  • Cumulatively, 73.3% of the total catch from these fisheries score above 6 on all five criteria – this is broadly in line with the requirements of existing and proposed feed standards for most aquaculture certifications.
  • No reduction fishery is currently managed within an ecosystem based fisheries management regime. This situation needs to improve significantly. Fisheries that have established a successful single species stock management regime should now be looking to evolve an ecosystem based approach to ensure sustainability in the future.

 The results of the table will prove invaluable to fishmeal and oil buyers seeking guidance on sustainable sourcing as well as manufacturers of aquaculture and farm animal feeds. Buyers of aquaculture products and organisations developing aquaculture standards will also find the data useful in helping to shape policies. Commenting on the launch of the league table, Jim Cannon, CEO of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, said: “In releasing this information, we aim to encourage the world’s fishmeal and fish oil suppliers and forage fisheries to engage in improvement efforts, with a priority on improving those fisheries that currently fall short of current single-species best practices, and ensuring that all the fisheries move towards ecosystem-based management.”

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