A NEW web tool has been developed to provide seafood buyers with information about the most important farmed fish and shellfish species on the UK market.
The easy-to-use online tool, launched by industry body Seafish, profiles nine species, which will increase to 14 over the coming months.
The profiles offer information on production location and methods, nutrients, feed, disease and medicines, escapes, as well as sustainability certifications.
Information on global, third party certification schemes has been pulled together in the same resource, making it easier for buyers to see what is being done to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of aquaculture.
Aquaculture is the fastest growing food supply sector in the world and now accounts for half of all fish for human consumption, Seafish pointed out. It is also recognised as one of the most resource efficient ways to produce protein.
Lee Cocker, aquaculture manager at Seafish, said: ‘Seafood buyers have to look hard to find balanced and up-to-date information on aquaculture and we believe this can impact on the purchasing decisions when retailers or wholesalers are deciding which farmed products they want to make available to customers.
‘Our hope is that the profiles on this tool will provide anybody interested in aquaculture the information they need to make informed decisions and help dispel some of the common myths about farmed seafood.’
The tool, which was showcased at the Brussels Seafood Expo last month, has been widely praised by industry and business, said Seafish, as a vital pre-competitive resource that will boost the reputation of the aquaculture industry.
Mike Berthet, market development manager EU, at the Global Aquaculture Alliance, said: ‘This is a brilliant example of Seafish helping to educate and inform all those involved in the purchasing and consumption of farmed seafood.
‘It is an excellent resource which helps to simplify the complexities of farmed seafood and dispel the misinformation surrounding aquaculture.’
The aquaculture profile tool complements the Risk Assessment for Sourcing Seafood (RASS) tool which was developed by Seafish four years ago and focuses on wild capture species.
Unlike the aquaculture tool, RASS provides seafood buyers with a risk score based on a range of factors, such as stock and bycatch.