Salmon farmers kick off at “inaccurate” report on salmon feed

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Scottish Salmon Farms and SSPO say Changing Markets Foundation report that salmon supply chains lead to the destruction of wild fish stocks is “misleading”.

In the Fishing For Catastrophe report, championed by celebrity River Cottage chef Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, the Danish-based foundation writes that its undercover investigations have presented “damning evidence that the production of fishmeal and fish oil (FMFO) for use in the growing global aquaculture industry is destroying fish stocks, marine ecosystems and traditional livelihoods as well as undermining the food security of vulnerable communities”.

SalmonBusiness was contacted by the SSPO yesterday evening after it was told a publication was going to run a story on the report. We did not get a response from Changing Markets Foundation when we asked for a copy of Fishing For Catastrophe. However, it was published on Tuesday morning.

The report criticised the IFFO/Marine Ingredients Organisation (the international trade organisation that represents and promotes the marine ingredients industry) as a whole and levelled its criticism at prawn farming also.

A spokesperson for Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) wrote:

“We are aware of a report being issued under embargo for publication tomorrow (Oct 15) by the Changing Markets Foundation which questions the sustainability of the fish meal and fish oil used in global aquaculture.

“Companies providing feed for Scottish farm-raised salmon have confirmed that none of them uses ingredients from the Gambia, Vietnam or India or from reef fishing – the main thrust of the criticism highlighted in the report. Any claim or suggestion that Scottish feed suppliers are sourcing from these fisheries would be wrong, misleading and inaccurate.

“Scotland’s feed suppliers will continue to ensure their ingredients are sourced from responsible and sustainable fisheries, allowing Scotland’s salmon farmers to achieve the best feed conversion ratios of any livestock, thus ensuring best use of marine resources.”

Scottish Salmon Farms – who are owned 50/50 by Lerøy and SalMar – attacked the Herald’s coverage on social media and its “Demand for farmed salmon is ‘causing an ecological disaster’ headline.

“Devastatingly inaccurate reporting. Scottish salmon is fed via certified sustainable sources only (wild fisheries and plant-based), NOT India, the Gambia or Vietnam, as was made 100% clear to @heraldscotland yesterday”.