Friend of the Sea (FOS), the non-government organisation that certifies wild and farmed seafood, is backing the marine-sourced omega-3 supply with a commitment to publicise supplier efforts that meet its criteria.
It notes 32 “fish oil, fishmeal and omega-3” suppliers from 11 countries including Morocco, China and Australia have used FOE assessment to, “verify the sustainable origin of their products”.
"Friend of the Sea aims at promoting those omega-3 products which originate from sustainable and well managed fisheries," said Dr Paolo Bray, director of Friend of the Sea.
"For this reason we will participate to the International omega-3 tradeshow, VitaFoods Geneva, and we will also increase our communication to the omega-3 consumers.”
FOS sustainable criteria includes:
- target stock to be not overexploited
- fishery to generate maximum 8% discards
- no bycatch of endangered species
- no impact on the seabed
- compliance with regulations (TAC, IUU, FOC, minimum size, etc)
- social accountability
- gradual reduction of carbon footprint
FOS has approved 30 fisheries and deemed eight non-sustainable.
It has approved fisheries like Antarctic krill, the Atlantic menhaden and the Peruvian anchovy which covers the bulk of the marine-sourced omega-3 supply.
FOS-certified companies include Boehringer Ingelheim, Amundsen Omega3, BASF-Cognis, GlaxoSmithKline, Healthspan, Naturmega, Nordic Naturals, Omega Proteins, Swanson Health Products and Vifor Pharma.
The FOS website states: “Close to 90% of the world’s wild fishery catches come from oceans and seas, as opposed to inland waters. These marine catches have remained relatively stable since the mid-nineties ranging from 80,000,000–86,000,000 tonnes.”
“A small number of species support the majority of the world’s fisheries. These species include herring, cod, anchovy, tuna, flounder, mullet, squid, shrimp, salmon, crab, lobster, oyster and scallops. All except the last four provided a worldwide catch of well over 1,000,000 tonnes in 1999, with herring and sardines together providing a harvest of over 22,000,000 metric tons in 1999.”