All of the krill, fish oil and fish meal used in the dry SPECIFIC diets are certified by either Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) , IFFO RS Standard or Friends of the Sea. We regularly review our top ten ingredients, assessing the risk of scarcity and putting in place plans if we feel there is a growing risk. We have recently started to use algae, in our new sardine cat food, this ingredient is a rich source of omega-3 and has a number of benefits:
- Commercial algae production takes place on shore, so has no impact on the marine environment;
- It uses a highly controlled process that takes very little land and does not use valuable drinking water or arable soil and,
- Directly using algae as an ingredient helps preserve fish stocks.
As well as ensuring the provenance of our ingredients we are also interested in how these ingredients are produced. The sardine used in our new cat food are caught, in MSC certified fisheries, using a low impact ring netting system. With trawl netting the nets are towed through the water. With ring netting, a net is used to encircle a shoal of fish forming a deep curtain of netting suspended vertically through the water, the net is then drawn in. There are a number of advantages to ring netting, and they are:
- By-catch is reduced because if the wrong species are in the net, the whole catch can be released unharmed;
- Less seabed impact as the net does not come into contact with the seabed; and
- Lower fuel consumption as the ring net is not towed through the water and the vessels used are small inshore vessels.