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IFFO Glossary

In our industry we use a range of technical terms and acronyms and their meaning is often left out. So we've created a glossary below to explain each term. Click to expand to find the answer you are looking for. 

anchovy

The basics

Marine ingredients

Marine ingredients

Marine ingredients are nutritious natural products used mainly for aquafeed, land animal feed as well as for human consumption and are derived from marine organisms such as fish, krill, shellfish and algae.

Fishmeal

Fishmeal

Fishmeal is a nutrient dense and highly palatable feed ingredient made from the processing of fish proteins.

Fish Oil

Fish Oil

Fish oil is a lipid (fat) source made from the processing of fish fats, notable for containing high levels of the essential omega-3 fatty acids.

EPA

EPA

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid; 20:5n-3) is long-chain omega-3 fatty acids abundant in marine ingredients that has an important role as the substrate for several hormones.

DHA

DHA

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid; 22:6n-3), is long-chain omega-3 fatty acids abundant in marine ingredients that has an important role as the substrate for several hormones and as an important building block for brain, nerve and eye tissues.

Omega-3’s

Omega-3’s

A class of fatty acids, defined by the position of the first double (unsaturated) bond in the fatty acid being three carbons from the end of the chain. Found in both plant and fish sources in either short-chain or long-chain forms and provides a range of health benefits.

Omega-6’s

Omega-6’s

A class of fatty acids, defined by the position of the first double (unsaturated) bond in the fatty acid being six carbons from the end of the chain. Found in both plant and some animal sources in either short-chain or long-chain forms.

By-products

By-products

By-products are the trimmings of fish (heads, frames, skin and tails) from processing for direct human consumption and are a valuable and increasingly valued side-stream raw material which can then be turned into marine ingredients.

El Niño

El Niño

El Niño is a disruption of the ocean-atmosphere system in the Pacific Ocean, which has important consequences for weather and climate around the globe; during El Niño years fish can be driven deeper and away from the shorelines of South America, potentially reducing the final catches.

La Niña

La Niña

An oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon that is the colder counterpart of El Niño, as it brings cooler than normal sea-surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean; La Niña can also impact global weather patterns, although its impact on fish catches is limited, and some time even positive.

IUU

IUU

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) includes all fishing that breaks fisheries laws and regulations or occurs outside their reach.

Illegal fishing usually means without a licence, in an area where fishing is banned, with prohibited gear, over a quota, or for protected species. Very often it’s a vessel entering a nation’s water with no fishing licence, or fishing with a licence but catching more than is allowed.

fishing boats

Measurement terms

Biomass

Biomass

Or standing stock. The total weight of a group (or stock) of living organisms (e.g. fish, plankton) or of some defined fraction of it (e.g. spawners), in an area, at a particular time.

Production

Production

The total living matter (biomass) produced by a stock through growth and recruitment in a given unit of time (e.g. daily, annual production). The "net production" is the net amount of living matter added to the stock during the time period, after deduction of biomass losses through mortality.

Yield

Yield

Catch in weight. Catch and yield are often used interchangeably. Amount of production per unit area over a given time.

Catch

Catch

The total number (or weight) of fish caught by fishing operations. Catch should include all fish killed by the act of fishing, not just those landed.

FM/FO consumption

FM/FO consumption

Fishmeal or fish oil utilised to produce animal feed or for direct human consumption.

FM/FO apparent disappearance

FM/FO apparent disappearance

Total fishmeal or fish oil disappearance in a given country/region, calculated according to the following formula: INITIAL STOCK+DOMESTIC PRODUCTION+IMPORTS-EXPORTS-FINAL STOCK

FM/FO production

FM/FO production

How much fishmeal or fish oil has been produced (processed product) by a business, country, region or globally.

YoY

YoY

Abbreviation for Year-on-Year, a method of comparing measured events occurred during the same day or month of two consecutive years.

Raw material used for reduction

Raw material used for reduction

Amount of fish or by-products used to produce fishmeal and/fish oil

Cumulative production

Cumulative production

Total output over a specified period of time.

Landings or captures

Landings or captures

Catches of fish landed in foreign or domestics ports, regardless of how they will be handled afterwards (exports, consumption, transformation...).

FCR

FCR

Feed conversion ratio is the conventional measure of livestock production efficiency: the weight of feed intake divided by weight gained by the animal or fish.

FIFO

FIFO

Fish in: Fish out ratio is a measurement used to show how much fish is used to produce farmed fish.

eFIFO

eFIFO

The economic Fish in: Fish out ratio is a more advanced method used to calculate the FIFO ratio based on the principle of economic allocation to the materials used to make the fishmeal and fish oil.

FFDR

FFDR

The Forage Fish Dependency Ratio is a variant of the FIFO based on defining the quantity of wild fish used in feeds in relation to the quantity of farmed fish produced.

MSY

MSY

Maximum Sustainable Yield refers to the theoretical highest catch that a fish stock can support in the long-term, given that environmental conditions do not change much.

TAC

TAC

Total Allowable Catch is the annual fishing catch amount set by fisheries managers, allowing for fishing to remain sustainable within natural environmental fluctuations and the size of existing fish population.

seafood

Technical terms

ΑLNA (or ALA)

ΑLNA (or ALA)

α‐linolenic acid (18:3n-3) is a short-chain omega-3 fatty acids abundant in a variety of plant oils (e.g. flax, camelina, rapeseed) and has lower nutritional value than long-chain omega-3.

ARA

ARA

Arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) is a long-chain omega-6 fatty acids abundant in some fungal and algal oils (e.g. Mortierella alpina) and has an important role as the substrate for several hormones.

LOA

LOA

Linoleic acid (18:2n-6) is a short-chain omega-6 fatty acids abundant in a variety of plant oils (e.g. soybean, sunflower, rapeseed).

Hydrolysates

Hydrolysates

Hydrolysates are mixtures of small peptides and amino acids made from hydrolysed proteins (often marine ingredient sources) that stimulate palatability in animals.

Fish protein concentrate (FPC)

Fish protein concentrate (FPC)

Fish protein concentrates (FPC's) are products obtained from fish in which the protein is more concentrated than in the original raw material, usually from removal of excess bone and fat.

Novel ingredients

Novel ingredients

These are relatively new ingredients such as algae, single cell, and insect-derived materials. They are mostly still emerging in the market and at a much lower technology readiness level, being only available in smaller quantities compared with traditional ingredients.

LCA

LCA

Life cycle assessment or LCA is a methodology for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of the life cycle of a commercial product, process, or service.

Circular economy

Circular economy

The circular economy is an evolution of the way the world produces and consumes both goods and services, redefining the economy around principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible.

Fed aquaculture

Fed aquaculture

Fed aquaculture includes the production of species such as fish and crustaceans which are fed a compound manufactured diet (e.g. salmon, seabass, shrimp and tilapia), as opposed to non-fed aquaculture which includes fish, crustacean, and mollusk species (e.g. carps, crawfish, oysters, and mussels) that are raised extensively and are not fed a compound manufactured diet.

Capture fisheries

Capture fisheries

Fish species caught from natural resources like rivers and seas are referred to as capture fisheries

Farmed fisheries

Farmed fisheries

Fish species cultivated in natural or artificial farms are referred to as farmed fisheries

Functional feed

Functional feed

A feed that provides enhanced benefits, beyond basic nutrient supply, such as improved quality and health. Usually achieved through the incorporation of specialty ingredients that stimulate the immune system and/or certain growth traits.

Single cell protein (SCP

Single cell protein (SCP

Protein derived from the cells of microorganisms such as yeast, fungi, algae, and bacteria.