Peru: safe and sustainable fishmeal & oil of premium quality

01 februari 2016

In Peru almost all GMP+ FSA certified companies are involved in the fishmeal and oil sector. Peru is the biggest provider of fishmeal and fish oil with a market share of about 1/3 globally. About 70% of the fishmeal production plants are GMP+ FSA certified, mainly for delivery to the European market. Peru provides safe fishmeal and oil, produced in a sustainable way and with a premium quality.

Fishmeal is an important ingredient for aqua feed, although alternatives are used more and more. Aqua culture is dedicated to provide aqua produces which are safe and also produced in a sustainable way. The Peruvian fishmeal industry provides about one third of the global fishmeal and fish oil supply. Last ten years, the Peruvian sector has been modernized and it improved sustainability and quality substantially.

Improved processing

Last decade, the processing of anchovy fish into fishmeal and fish oil has improved drastically due to a combination of factors: GMP+ Feed Safety Assurance (FSA) certification, tightened regulatory requirements, and scaling-up of the production facilities.

The demand for GMP+ FSA certification was introduced in 2000 – 2002. Currently, about 70% of the fishmeal plants is GMP+ FSA certified. The need for GMP+ FSA certification is mainly due to export to Europe. Most GMP+ FSA certified companies are production facilities about fish meal & oil, and related storage & transhipment facilities as well as trading companies. The applicable GMP+ B standard contains requirements regarding risk management according HACCP, but also conditions for good manufacturing practises (prerequisite program), which resulted in increase of the hygiene status of the facilities, improvement of processes and higher efficiency.

The number of GMP+ FSA certificates decreased since 2013. This is partly due to temporary shutdown of processing plants because or less supply of anchovy fish. Partly, it is also due to scaling up the production facilities. Last years, in a process of up-scaling the plants by joining plants and deconstruction of older plants, the total number reduced with about 30%. The expectation is that the number of fish processing plants will decrease slowly.

As soon as Asian countries like China and Japan will also demand for feed safety assurance, the number of GMP+ FSA certificate will increase in the near future. There are about 90 fishmeal plants totally. In Asia, there is an increasing awareness about the relevance of food safety and sustainability and GMP+ FSA certification is also becoming well-known in that region.

Last decade, the Peruvian government introduced sanitary conditions and also carries out regular sanitary checks by taking samples of fishmeal and oil for analysing microbiological condition, heavy metals, etc. Main goal is to ensure export of fishmeal worldwide.

Responsible sourcing

The Peruvian fishery sector changed into a sustainable industry, last 20 years. In the 1960’s, harvesting of anchovy fish increased to 12 million metric tonnes. However, this fishery collapsed in the early 1970’s because of excessive fishing and processing capacity and El Nino events in 1972/73 and 1997/98. The fishery was able to recover quickly, because the Peruvian government took appropriate measures regarding fishing time and catch limits. 

The idea is that catch limits will impact positively on the industry, with better programming of fishing activity, longer fishing seasons, and a consequent reduction in environmental impact. These catch limits make sourcing if anchovy fish more sustainable because it can recover the population.

High quality fish meal and oil

Peruvian fishmeal has a high quality level nowadays. There are several aspects and reasons for it.

Firstly, the nutritional quality is high. This is due to the quality of the anchovy fish as well as the currently high level of efficient and hygienic processing of it into fishmeal. Hygienic processing avoids decay and loss of nutritional quality substantially. The final product has a low moisture content with a long shelf life and stable quality.

Secondly, the safety of fishmeal and oil is also high because of the low levels of contaminants and good microbiological status. Monitoring conducted by government as well as companies themselves proof that. It is about contaminants, like dioxin, PCB’s, heavy metals, pesticides, and biogenic amines. The low level of contaminants has several reasons. The water of the Pacific is clean and also the lifecycle of anchovy fish is very short (maximum 2.5 year and normally caught at 1 year age).The short live time avoid concentration of contaminants in the fish.

Final conclusion

A high level of hygiene during processing combined with good quality of seawater as well as of the anchovy fish enables the Peruvian industry to market premium quality fishmeal with a high nutritional quality and a low level of contaminants. In this way, it provides a sustainable ingredient for aqua feed as well as feeds for other animal species.

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