Enabling sustainable growth
Today, more and more people are interested in the origin of their food. Consumers expect transparency about production methods and want to know if the animals were treated well. They also care for the environment and demand food from sustainable sources.
As consumers become increasingly health conscious, many look to include more fish in their diet. Oily fish, especially salmon, is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
Since 1961, consumption of fish has grown about 3.2% on average per year, which is twice as fast as the world’s population. Overfishing has placed extreme pressure on wild fish stocks – the main cause for biodiversity loss in our oceans.
In 2016, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) noted that more than 30% of fish stocks assessed were being caught at unsustainable levels.
The aquaculture industry has expanded in response to the growing demand for fish. In 2015, the industry reached a milestone, producing as much farmed fish as fish caught in the oceans.
While aquaculture nutrition and technology have improved, one dilemma remains unsolved: almost 20% of the global fish catch is processed into fish oil and fishmeal to feed farmed fish. This is because wild-caught fish has historically been the sole source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Without a change in nutritional practices, the growing demand for omega-3 will outstrip natural marine resources. There simply will not be enough fish to catch – a limit to the growth of the industry.
To enable aquaculture to keep providing nutritious food to a growing world population, we must close the supply-demand gap for omega-3.
At Veramaris, engineers and scientists from its parent companies DSM and Evonik have together pioneered a solution: to make natural marine algae a high-quality source of omega-3 for aquafeed and a complete replacement for EPA and DHA from wild-caught fish.
Algal oil by Veramaris is highly concentrated and helps to resolve the global omega-3 shortage, enabling aquaculture to continue producing healthy seafood.
Promoting human and animal health
Nutritional science has deepened our understanding of the health benefits of omega-3 across all life stages – from boosting our immune systems to improving heart health, eyesight and even psychological wellbeing. A diet rich in seafood, such as salmon, is the best source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Just like humans, fish need omega-3 to grow and live healthily. The more omega-3 salmon consume, the more omega-3 becomes available to human nutrition. And remember, you are what you eat.
Our contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by UN member states in September 2015. It lays down 17 binding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for creating a world where “consumption and production patterns and use of all natural resources ‒ from air to land, from rivers, lakes and aquifers to oceans and seas ‒ are sustainable.” Reaching these goals will be an ambitious endeavor.
At Veramaris, we’re accepting this challenge. Five of the UN SDGs are directly related to our business activities and serve as a guiding framework for our sustainability efforts.
Zero Hunger: Human population growth and globally rising living standards increase the demand for animal protein, including farmed fish. This places greater pressure on wild fish stocks and bycatch caught for the production of marine ingredients. Algal oil containing EPA and DHA can help to meet increased demand and close the supply-demand gap.
Good health and well-being: The inclusion of algal oil containing EPA and DHA ‒ essential omega-3 fatty acids ‒ in fish feed contributes to improving the wellbeing of people. Beneficial for brain, heart and eye health, omega-3 fatty acids are often lacking in the daily diet of consumers across the planet.
Responsible consumption and production: By including algal oil containing EPA and DHA in fish feed, we help to conserve wild fish stocks by reducing the need to overfish the oceans for this essential nutrient.
Life below water: Providing fish such as salmon with diets containing optimum levels of omega-3 helps satisfy their nutritional needs. Using algae to meet the demand for EPA and DHA has the potential to reduce the fish-in-fish-out (FIFO) ratio to zero. This decreases the need to catch wild fish stocks and protects marine populations and biodiversity.
Partnerships for the goals: With relationships based on trust and respect, Veramaris aims to engage with all stakeholders who are committed to conserving the natural resources of our planet.