The production of fish fodder made of Baltic herring and sprat began in 2016. In addition, several food products made from wild fish have been brought to the market. The use of wild fish for human nutrition will also be promoted under the programme of measures 2022–2027 through the measure “Encouraging sustainable fishing and the consumption of wild Finnish fish (TPO2022-REHEV2)”.
Nutrient loading from fish farming originates from fish fodder used as feeds. Raw materials used in Finland are mostly imported from outside the catchment area of the Baltic Sea. Even though the fodder has been significantly improved during the past 20 years, part of the nutrition in fish farming in sea basins is leached into the surrounding sea. By using fish from the Baltic Sea region as raw material for the fodder, the amount of nutrition from outside the Baltic Sea can be reduced.
The aim of the measure is to produce the fodder used in fish farming fully or at least mainly from fish from the Baltic Sea and from vegetarian raw materials produced in the Baltic Sea region. These goals have been specified, among others, in the national Aquaculture Strategy and a national spatial planning for aquaculture, and the main goal of the measure is to contribute to the achievement of the goal. The measure examines the development and production of fodder, markets and the willingness and economic capacity of the companies to switch totally or partly to using fish fodder made from raw materials produced in the Baltic Sea.
The main raw material would probably be cyprinid fish, but possibilities to use other species too are examined. The use of cyprinids has traditionally been small-scale, and cyprinids are often unwanted catch. The measure aims even at examining and promoting the use of cyprinid fish as raw material for fish fodder.
The aim of the measure is also to promote the use of cyprinids as human nutrition as part of the commitment to sustainable development regarding underused fish resources. Despite various experiments, the use of cyprinids in food industry has been small-scale during the past decades. Even though the use of cyprinid mass has increased during the past years, there are still many challenges in the development of operations.
Additional research is also needed into the effects of cyprinid fishing. Experiments should be done to evaluate the impact on fishing, nutrient cycling, and ecosystems and to secure sustainable fishing of cyprinids.
Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry