The Asian Reduction Fisheries Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) seeks to address the improvements required in Asian fisheries that supply raw material for the production of fishmeal and oil for use in aquaculture feeds and other products. These include directed fisheries (e.g., Indian oil sardine) and the multispecies/multi-gear fisheries found throughout Asia. These fisheries are highly complex, and generally undermanaged. There have recently been efforts made in India, Thailand, and Vietnam to launch fishery improvement projects (FIPs) for some fisheries that supply fishmeal (directly and through byproducts). However, there are fisheries with similar issues throughout the region (e.g., Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam) where similar initiatives are being explored.

An industry-led, multi-stakeholder Seafood Task Force was formed in 2014 to address environmental and social issues in Thailand’s seafood supply chain, including those identified in fisheries supplying fishmeal and oil. The work of the Task Force is aligned with the efforts of SFP’s Asian Reduction Fisheries Supply Chain Roundtable, as well as the Farmed Shrimp Supplier Roundtables, and vice versa. The Task Force currently has over 30 commercial members representing all parts of the seafood supply chain, plus 12 formal external stakeholders representing environmental and social NGOs, certification standards, and service providers. SFP is an active participant in the Task Force. 

In late 2018, IFFO RS launched a pilot project to trial a multispecies component to its standard. The pilot will allow qualifying marine ingredients companies to enroll in the IFFO RS Improvers Program, while allowing IFFO RS and stakeholders to test the methodology in active fisheries, with the goal of developing a set of criteria for these fisheries that could be added to the IFFO RS standard.

For more details on the sustainability status of the fisheries, progress of the FIPs, and improvement recommendations, please click here

The T75 sector report for reduction fisheries details the state of the sector. Currently, 7.4 million tonnes, or 41 percent of the global production in reduction fisheries, is considered sustainable or improving. The vast majority of this volume is under the Atlantic/Pacific reduction fishery sub-sector, which, if considered by itself, would have met the T75 goal already. Engagement in Asia is lower because of the complexity of the fisheries, a lack of transparency, and insufficient governance.

The Asian Reduction Fisheries SR addresses the improvements required in the typically tropical, multispecies/multi-gear fisheries in Asia. The specific fisheries of recent interest involve those supplying fishmeal in Thailand and Vietnam. There are fisheries with similar issues in the region (e.g., Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) where similar initiatives are being explored. 

Fisheries and/or FIPs covered:

The Supply Chain Roundtable tracks a number of mixed species fisheries used for reduction and human consumption in the region, but the current focus of field work is India, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

SFP’s FishSource database contains fishery profiles within the ASEAN region. However, these profiles only represent a fraction of the species involved, and most fisheries are data-deficient.

The following FIPs and/or scoping projects are supported and monitored:

Fisheries and/or FIPs covered:

The Supply Chain Roundtable tracks a number of mixed species fisheries used for reduction and human consumption in the region, but the current focus of field work is Thailand, Vietnam, and India. 

SFP’s FishSource database contains fishery profiles within the ASEAN region.  However, these profiles only represent a fraction of the species involved, and most fisheries are data deficient.

The following FIPs and/or scoping projects are supported and monitored:



  • Gulf of Thailand Multispecies Trawl
  • Andaman Sea Multispecies Trawl 


The SR welcomes additional participation of market-based buyers of fishmeal and oil for aquaculture feed production, especially those sourcing from fisheries in China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. 

Current Supply Chain Roundtable Participants include:

CP Foods
Fishin Co 

SFP acknowledges the following companies, which participated in earlier efforts to support improvements in Asian fisheries:

ALDI South Group
The Co-operative Food UK
Fleury Michon
Icelandic Group PLC
Lyons Seafood
Sainsbury's UK

An overview of past progress can be found here.

Improvement Needs & Recommendations: 

The Asia Reduction Fisheries Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) has sought to improve its current knowledge of the issues associated with the concerned fisheries.

Recommended actions for the entire supply chain include: 

  • Promote development and implementation of fishery management plans and strategies oriented toward complex multi-species fisheries (rather than single-species models).   
  • Launch fishery improvement projects on key fisheries supplying fishmeal and oil for aquaculture feeds.
  • Support development of certifications schemes oriented to multi-species fisheries. When available, demand products that make use of fishmeal and oil from certified fisheries or fisheries engaged in credible improvement projects.
  • Ensure that appropriate data (landing statistics, fishing grounds, effort, catch species, and size composition) on marine fishes used for producing fishmeal and oil is publicly available and supports efforts for responsible fishery management.
  • Establish robust fishing vessel registers and licensing (including gear, species, and area). Ensure that suppliers of raw materials, as well as processors, act to address any labor/social issues that are identified and comply with all relevant labor laws.
  • Ensure full traceability of feed ingredients and feed lots throughout the supply chain.
  • For producers: Provide appropriate information about the species they source for producing fishmeal and fish feed (origin, catch, and size composition) as well as from where and how the fisheries operate (fishing grounds/vessel types/gears/landing ports).
  • For producers: Assist SFP in improving its understanding of the production and use of fishmeal and fish feed (processing process, labeling and packaging, traceability documentation, value, and commercial chain).

Project Contact

If you would like more information about the Supply Chain Roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.

Asian Reduction Fisheries SR Update – January to June 2019

This briefing provides an update on progress, activities, and news in the areas of interest to the SR. It also indicates any actions and further support needed. A full summary of past progress, including details from past quarterly updates, can be found here.

1.     Improvements in Target 75 Priority Fisheries

Please find an overview of fisheries identified in the T75 Sector Report, including those currently not necessarily prioritized by the SR, here.

Indian oil sardine:

Update: Omega Fishmeal, CP Foods India, and a number of fisher associations published information about their improvement work on a project website. In January 2019, the project was recognized as a Basic FIP on FishSource. 

Further support needed: Support progress and workplan implementation. Encourage other regions and fishmeal producers in India to join or launch FIPs. 


Update: In January, SFP and Fish Matter launched a project to develop a five-year strategy for the Indonesian fishmeal and feed sector. The strategy will include enhancing the sustainability of key fisheries providing raw material for marine ingredients, exploring supply chain logistics that may hinder effective use of fish processing byproducts, and an overview of sustainability factors for non-fish ingredients.  

Further support needed: Encourage feed manufactures and their suppliers to get involved in the project. 

Thailand TSFR:

Update: The IFFO RS multispecies pilot steering committee held a meeting with stakeholders in early June in Bangkok. SFP participated on a panel with IFFO RS, GAA, Cargill, the Thai Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable (TSFR), and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) to highlight and promote participation in IFFO RS’s current pilot trial of a multispecies fishery component to their standard through the IFFO RS Improvers Program.

Further support needed: SR participants to identify and support fisheries in their supply chain to enter the IFFO improver scheme. 

2. Support to Established FIPs and Improvement Efforts

Update: Omega/CPF Indian Oil FIP is now recognized on FishSource and is continuing to prepare its application to the IFFO RS IP. SFP has provided advice on FIP reporting.

Further support needed: The FIP should be expanded to include other regions in western India. Refer your supply chain to this FIP to participate. 

3. Support for Mitigation of Overarching Fishery/FIP Sustainability Issues

Relevant News: In January 2019, the EU formally removed the “yellow card” on Thailand. In May, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and IFFO, the Marine Ingredients Organisation, released a new report on Southeast Asian trawl fisheries. These fisheries supply seafood for human consumption (80 percent by volume according to the report) and also are used to produce fish meal and oil used in aquaculture feeds. This new fishmeal report, focused on Thailand and Vietnam, tracks the decline in fisheries health starting in the 1960s and highlights some of the critical challenges facing these fisheries today. These include poor management, weak enforcement, inadequate science, inappropriate fishing gear, and overfishing. A 2017 report published by Greenpeace identified similar challenges in China.

4. Expansion of the SR

SFP continues to seek opportunities to engage other regional and country-specific feed and fishmeal manufacturers. Please work with your supply chains to help get feed companies involved.