The shrimp feed industry commonly requires fish meal as a key ingredient and wild harvest fisheries remain one of the main sources of fish for fish meal (the other sources being fish processing wastes from aquaculture). Fish sourced from wild harvest fisheries may be used directly as whole fish or indirectly as the by product from fish processing.
The reliability of fish supplies depends on how well the fishery is managed. If management is poor then stocks will decline and the supply of raw material will be put at risk. Therefore the aqua feed industry has a direct interest in successful fishery management.
A Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) is a mechanism whereby the feed industry creates a forum for encouraging fishermen regulators, scientists and others to get together and put in place a plan that will ensure that fish stocks can supply suitable quantities of raw material over long periods of time.
A key driving force for the development of FIP has become the requirement for the feed standards operated by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council(ASC). For aqua feeds to meet these standards, wild caught fish have to be sourced from responsible/sustainable fisheries or from fisheries that have entered into a FIP.