No, Scottish salmon farming is not depleting the oceans of wild fish stocks. Scottish salmon farmers are committed to ensuring that ingredients derived from wild fish, used in our fish feed, comes from certified producers sourcing from responsibly managed fisheries – we don’t currently use feed ingredients sourced from West African fisheries.
Our sector has committed to achieving full traceability of all of its feed ingredients, along with major investments in feed and monitoring technologies to maximise the efficient use of feed to minimise any wastage and potential impact.
The global annual availability of fishmeal and fish oil each year hovers at around 6 million metric tonnes – the majority of which goes into producing feeds for pets, land-based livestock and a diverse array of aquaculture. Currently, Scottish salmon production uses just 0.75% of the total available global volume of these two high quality, nutritious ingredients.
Did You Know? Almost a third of the marine ingredients used in Scottish salmon feed are actually a by-product from trimmings of fish being processed for human consumption.
Our current Fish In Fish Out (FIFO) ratio sector benchmark for Scottish salmon is around 0.81 and this is based on a Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR), of 1.23:1. This means that it currently takes 1.23kg of pelletised feed to produce 1kg of salmon and, of that 1.23kg, approx. 24.9% is fishmeal. Of that fishmeal, approx. 26.3% is fishmeal derived from trimmings and by-products from seafood in the human food chain. This translates to a FIFO ratio of around 0.81 for Scottish salmon but this comes with the proviso that different producers feed their fish on different diets and these diets may vary in the volumes of ingredients that they use.
With a FIFO ratio of 0.81, that makes us a net producer of fish – in simple terms the Scottish salmon sector produces more fish than we use.