AAC Recommendations on the circularity of fish feed

The Aquaculture Advisory Council, the consultative body established by the EU Commission as part of its action plan to develop EU aquaculture in the EU and of which FEFAC is an active member, adopted a set of recommendations to the attention of public authorities and operators of different parts of the aquaculture chain. The drafting of this document was delegated to an AAC subgroup chaired by Ole Christensen, Chairman of the FEFAC Fish Feed Committee. The paper refers to a large extent to the concept of feed circularity as displayed by FEFAC in its publication on circular feed of 2022 and converges with FEFAC’s vision on many essential concepts such as the prevalence of feed use over any other destination, in particular bioenergy, in line with the waste hierarchy concept, or the need to identify the legal bottlenecks to the use of certain resources and their justification, for example, the recovery of nutrients from waste streams (a case study on recovery of phosphorous from urban wastewater was presented at the last FEFAC congress). The AAC document also recommends to public authorities invest in research in new feed resources and in the development of a reference methodology to measure the circularity of feed products with a view to developing an ad-hoc indicator to be integrated into the future dashboard to measure improvement in sustainability. As regards aquaculture chain operators, AAC recommends integrating circularity thinking in their daily activity and defining sector objectives. Suppliers of feed ingredients are recommended to prioritise feed use over any other destination and to preserve the safety and quality of the resource. Concerning fish feed manufacturers, the paper recommends keeping as key objectives nutrient efficiency and minimizing losses and emissions.