UK MACKEREL industry urges British Frozen Food Federation supports; Farmed salmon feed implications (June 2013)

First posted 13.06.2013

Representatives of the UK pelagic (mostly mackerel and herring) industry, worth almost £500 million to the UK economy, have written to the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) asking it to bar Faroese seafood companies from its membership “in light of the Faroese decision to award itself a huge share of the mackerel and herring fisheries.”

The call comes following last week’s news that Faroe Seafood – part of Oslo Børs-listed Bakkafrost, the largest producer of farmed salmon in the Faroe Isles – had re-joined BFFF.

An “alarmed’ Ian McFadden, Chairman of the Scottish Pelagic Processors Association (SPPA) stated Wednesday (June 12): “[…] Farmed salmon produced in the Faroe Isles is fed on fish meal produced from Mackerel, Herring and trimmings from processing these fish which means that, through BFFF’s new member, Faroese mackerel and herring will enter the UK food chain. Surely that should be avoided.

The SPPA’s veiled boycott call/argument is a double edged sword as – despite the various political/industry/economic spins at play – it remains that Scotland de facto contributes to the ~50% overfishing of the NE Atlantic mackerel stocks. The ‘mackerel war’ (ongoing for 4 years+) results from all parties (EU, Norway, Iceland, Faroes) failing to reach mutual agreement on the quota-sharing of those migratory & climate change-sensitive mackerel stocks; making the decisions/actions of all those parties… ‘unilateral’.

A fact highlighted by the suspension of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ‘coveted blue ecolabel’ for all seven NE Atlantic mackerel fisheries involved, since 2012. If partly fed on mackerel, Faroese salmon could thus be just as ‘un-sustainable’ than Scotland’s, Ireland’s and Norway’s…An assumption which will not please Mr McFadden’s (including Scottish) aquaculture colleagues and clients…

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