« October 2008 Table of Contents
Editor's Note: Feed issue runs deep
By Fiona Robinson, Editor in Chief
October 01, 2008
When it comes to higher commodity prices and the economy, no
one has been left unscathed, including aquaculture companies.
Feeding fish is not just a
"drop-pellets-in-the-water-and-watch-it-boil" affair. Fish
farmers, long the darling of the retail and restaurant
industries that have been able to plan buying programs far in
advance, are facing increased pressures to raise prices.
Assistant Editor James Wright peels back the complexity of
the subject in this issue's Top Story, Feeding Frenzy, on p.
24. Any reader who deals with farmed seafood will be interested
in learning about the many variables aquaculture producers are
facing when it comes to feed, not the least of which is
skyrocketing fishmeal prices.
This is the seafood industry, after all, so you can't escape
watchful NGO eyes. Non-governmental organizations are
pressuring fish farmers to reduce fishmeal concentrations in
some feeds, which they claim reduce s pressure on subsistence
fisheries like anchovies. The story also touches on the growing
fish-oil supplement market, which is siphoning more and more
fish oil once destined for the fish-feed market.
As this issue went to press, overseas headlines detailed
that some fish feeds in South Korea were contaminated with
melamine, a plastic byproduct that can be used to increase the
protein content of food but can be lethal if consumed in large
amounts. Chinese officials were quick to point out that the
fish feed ingredients, contaminated squid powder, did not come
from China - yet another reason fish farmers are on edge. The
fish-feed dilemma is complex, and considering the aquaculture
industry's rapid growth, one that will be in the spotlight for
years to come.