Best Fishmeal Research Links

In the future I’ll be posting up an article on why BioSystems Design (and now others) are placing their bets on a product substitute for fishmeal. In advance of this article, I’d like to put up what I view as the best links for researching fishmeal.

During my research, my goal was to determine supply, elasticity of demand, and other competitive substitutes. Keep this fact in mind… when I describe these as the ‘best’ fishmeal research links.

  1. FIS network’s ‘people with opinion’ section: This network is an aquaculture business hub. Complete with market reports, price trends, species directories and info by country. However, most useful for my research goals were the outstanding opinions written by expert environmentalists as well as classic business conservatives struggling with supply and sustainability.
  2. The FAO’s Food Outlook: Global Market Analysis. In stark contrast to the FIS network’s heavy-hitter opinions, the fish and fishery products section of the report is an excellent very general overview.
  3. The Fish InfoNetwork Market Report on Fishmeal. This market report covers the market price trends, production trends, and causes for both supply and price movements over the time period of a couple months. The link is to the specific fishmeal report, but also notice the aquaculture and species specific reports. Most data is in graphs, however, Excel formatted data can be obtained upon request from the authors of the report.
  4. FIN: The fishmeal Information Network. The link will take you directly to their facts and figures of World Fishmeal production, European production, and UK production. What more could you ask for…other than it being in one handy dandy pdf? (see the bottom of their page). Poke around the site for fishmeal related info that concerns you.
  5. Academic Paper: “Modeling demand for Fishmeal using a heterogeneous estimator for panel data”. This article, published by Tveteras, Teveteras, and Sissener is a great paper analyzing the cross price elasticities of demand for fishmeal, as well as comparisons to oil seeds, cereals, and cereal substitutes. This report also discusses competition for fishmeal between poultry, pig, and aquaculture production. It contributes the elasticities of demand over a long run for these markets as well. A warning, the economics are complex. The conclusions are pretty simple.
  6. Worldwatch.org soybean production trends. As far as substitute product research is concerned, this document published by world watch has a great assessment of soybean production trends. Its available by snail mail for USD $10.
  7. Woldwide Fish Meal Production Outlook and the Use of Alternative Protein Meals for Aquaculture. This report by Ronald W. Hardy examines most product substitutes for fishmeal and each of the problems accompanying the substitutes. His thoughts: if protein substitutes were equal or better in nutritional and economic terms, they’d already be widely used. They aren’t. Hint: he doesn’t examine insect based feed and simply brushes it off as historically not being cost competitive to fishmeal.
  8. Hammersmith Marketing Report by Wayne Bacon. Because Fishmeal prices cannot be found in the paper (or online in most cases), let alone analysis, this report is an excellent weekly update. The prices are listed for fishmeal and fish-oil, as well as their likely underlying reasons. An excellent and much appreciated service.

I’ll continue to develop this list as I see fit. Suggestions of other resources are welcome. Look forward to the strategy outline to come–why are bets being placed on insect based fishmeal: making aquaculture sustainable.

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