Sustainability is imperative, innovation is a means to an end.

Giving up marine ingredients because they are a well-known factor in the aquaculture sector is not forward-looking nor a proof of sustainability in either environmental or economic terms.

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It is not a flaw to be well-established.

Conversely, availability of peer-reviewed data ensures that knowledge has been gathered, evidence have been scientifically demonstrated and industrial scale has been reached.

Marine ingredients are the undisputed nutritional benchmark in the feed sector following decades of innovation with the aims being to provide the best nutritional products and increase yield at a cost that creates commercial value in the whole value chain.

It is not a flaw to be well-established.

To date, fishmeal and fish oil provide nutrition for the growth and health of fish in a single package that is not found in any other individual ingredients.

The marine ingredients industry keeps optimizing its processes and, whilst maintaining a high-quality end product, uses increasing volumes of byproducts that otherwise would have been discarded. There is potential for more byproducts to be used.

Innovation must deliver progress for farmed animals, consumers, and the environment. The challenge of feeding a growing population sustainably cannot escape from economic reality: without the required scale and an affordable price point, no food industry can claim to be viable.

Innovation is a key factor for future growth and should be warmly embraced. But meeting the global challenges of ensuring the nutritional requirements of the world's population is a moral, social and economic imperative.

Petter M. Johannessen is director general of IFFO , The Marine Ingredients Organisation.

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