Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. However, today we are seeing 30 percent of the world’s fish stocks overexploited. FAO estimates that total fish production is 179 million tonnes in 2018 and about 88% of the mentioned amount was utilized for human consumption directly and the rest (12%) was described as used for “non-food purposes” and “waste”. Reducing by-catch and discard is an important issue for fishery management. Not only ecological impacts on biodiversity but also economical losses are enormously tragedic problems worldwide. To reduce these effects, there are many studies carried out by fisheries engineers, especially on the selectivity of fishing gears. Although many of these studies have positive results, it can be said that the fishermen are not very successful in practice due to commercial concerns. More than 40 fish species are caught per operation in bottom-trawl fishing, especially in Mediterranean waters because of its multi-species fishery characteristics. Among these, species that are discarded for various reasons besides those that are evaluated commercially have a significant amount in the total catch. A large proportion of fisheries production (35 percent of the global harvest) is either lost or wasted. In this context, it has become necessary to produce strategic solutions related to the increasing world population and decreasing food resources. Reformed Common Fisheries Policy requires fisheries operating in the EU to bring all discarded individuals back to shore. For this, it is aimed to provide training on the possibilities of using discarded fishery products as pet food by bringing them to shore. MARIPET Project intends to create an awareness of to use discard products by captured-based fisheries in the pet food industry. Although fish meal and fish oil which are the most valuable feed ingredients in the fish feed industry have been produced by using discarded fish, it needs still a huge amount of investment to create economically valuable products. By contrast, most of the discarded fish can be used as “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food” (BARF). The barf diet is obtained by blending foods that are useful and nutritious for cats and dogs in certain proportions. It means biologically suitable raw foods which is a diet that has been formulated taking into account the diet of cats and dogs in their evolutionary process. As explained above, the content of MARIPET aims to plan to get different industries such as fisheries, animal nutrition, and pet food production together with the support of different professionals such as fisheries experts, veterinarians, seafood specialists, and pet food producers. MARIPET gives enough importance to valorizing discarded fish which has been increasing day by day. MARIPET was prepared because the transformation of discarded fish into a pet food ingredient is almost a new subject and it requires several professions as it is a multidisciplinary project. While discarded fish itself does mean “waste” only, the transformation of discarded fish into pet food or one of its ingredients points out an economical value chain. The first requirement is bringing different experts and institutions together to create a training program. The main theme of MARIPET includes more than one value chain step from the marine environment to the pet food plant and any single step can create a difference itself. The project activities with their valuable experts and institutions will deliver several courses to explain the whole process plan and an economical program of this new sector. Providing a sustainable business plan will need a platform; because both fisheries and the pet food industry develop rapidly. It will work in such a central harbor; so the project experts and trained participants will continue to use the updated information for their sectors.

Objectives With the implementation of the project, the possibilities of using discarded fish species that arise as a result of commercial fishing activities and cannot be evaluated in animal feeding will be revealed. It is an undeniable fact that with this goal to be achieved, effective solutions to some ecological problems created by climate changes will be brought. Sustainable food management is necessary to benefit more efficiently from the share allocated to human consumption due to the increasing world population and decreasing food resources. However, enabling the use of some of the wasted marine products in animal nutrition will once again reveal how important an ecosystem approach to fisheries policy is. By 2030, UNDP (United Nations Development Agency) aims to double the income of families engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry, while also reducing exploited stocks by half. All country leaders in the united nations have signed this goal in “Life Below Water”, which is the 14th title of the sustainable development goals. That is why it has become an extremely important mission to combat the pressure on food stocks caused by climate change and global warming. For this purpose, important duties fall on all professions related to food. With the implementation of practices created by MARIPET fisheries engineers on by-catch and discard management, nourishing marine products will be thrown back into the sea. In this way, it will be possible to gain maximum benefit from exploited stocks by bringing the discarded species that have died or are about to die to the economy. It is estimated that 85 million European households own at least one pet animal and 49% of them are dogs and cats. Annual sales of pet food products are 8.5 billion tonnes and the turnover of pet food products is EUR 21 billion. With the realization of the MARIPET project, it is desired that a sustainable and ecosystem-approached raw material (discarded fish) can be integrated into the European pet food industry, which grows by 2.6% annually. Veterinarians, food engineers, and other partners of the MARIPET project will provide added value to pet nutrition technology with the feed experts in the project. With the implementation of the project subject, which was created with a multidisciplinary perspective, the success of contributing to the ecological and economic sustainability of food stocks will be achieved. The most innovative aspect of the project is that it creates the first vocational training curriculum on the production of BARF for pet animals from discarded marine fish.

Implementation The most important argument of the MARIPET project activities is to increase the awareness of the waste of food stocks caused by the fishery discard, which is unknown to a significant part of the society. In this context, it will be the most important movement for the chain effect to begin if the commercial fishing fleets, which are at the root of the problem, learn that there are opportunities to reduce their economic losses. The process, which will start with retaining the discarded fish while keeping the cold chain, will allow this valuable nutrient resource to be utilized as a raw material. In this way, target groups in the project center such as fisheries engineers, veterinarians, food engineers, and of course pet food producers will be enabled to take a role in sustainable food management. As a result, the MARIPET project will ensure the economic development of the target groups whose awareness is increased through educational activities, while transforming the fishery discard, which is an ecological tragedy and wasted, into healthy food for our animal friends will achieve the planned results. MARIPET aims to create sector professionals to develop the cooperation between fisheries and pet food. Although the transformation of discarded fish into a pet food ingredient looks like a simple process, in reality, management of each step initiating from the fishing vessel finalizing in the digestive tract of the pet requires a very good profession. MARIPET, providing a full package of the training program, will train the fishermen who will focus on the valorization of discarded fish which is an additional making money model and keeping cold chain to the harbor where their job has just completed; but fisheries experts, veterinarians, and pet food producers have just initiated. Transportation of fresh meat without microbiological damage, its analysis, the transformation of discarded fish into an ingredient and its nutritional analysis, preparation of pet food formulation and pet food production methods are all a complete package that MARIPET will provide professional information and service to the participants. The dataset of all steps will be new for most of the project partners and training participants; so creating a dynamic share platform will support the sustainability of the created process model and it will be updated by the MARIPET professionals. The dissemination kit and the main tool used to disseminate MARIPET results will be social networking sites (Instagram, Linkedin, Youtube), local, national press, TV channels, workshops with stakeholders, meetings with target groups, organizations, meetings with fishermen, representatives of the animal food sector and municipalities. University teams will also encourage students to use the project website and learn about the management of fishery discards, reduction of food waste, and usage of discarded fish for healthy animal food. They also focus on communicating results to all stakeholders in the field of fisheries management and healthy animal food, environmental, ecological, ecological, and sustainable food resources. -The MARIPET web portal and visual identity will be launched in the first four months of the project. -Face-to-face meetings (workshops, seminars, conferences) -Promotional material (brochures, leaflets, newsletters) will be disseminated during agricultural fairs, workshops, seminars, conferences, and regional advisory centers and similar institutions, both in the form of public information material and information on their websites; advertisements and articles on the MARIPET project in fishery, agricultural and popular magazines. -There are regional, national/international TV channels and newspapers that have very good relations with the municipalities of İZMİR and BALIKESİR. These partners will continue to pursue television program objectives and evaluate these opportunities as much as they can.

Results Discards in fishery create an important time-wasting, a huge economical source loss, and also ecological tragedy. The first outcome of MARIPET is to increase awareness about this negative impact and push sectoral professionals to spend their effort to reduce it. There are many studies carried out by fisheries engineers, especially on the selectivity of fishing gears. Although many of these studies have positive results, it can be said that the fishermen are not very successful in practice due to commercial concerns. Because the efforts to reduce discard are also partially reducing the catch of commercial species. Unfortunately, commercial concerns that this fact creates on fishermen often make fisheries engineers discard reduction solutions out of the way. In reality, most of the scientific studies stress that reducing discard in the fishery is not such an easy process and today’s captured-based fisheries techniques do not manage to remove it successfully. Although it cannot be prevented completely, using logical solutions, discarded fish can be transformed into different sources that become economical products for different sectors. MARIPET accepts that fish, even economical for human nutrition or discarded, have a high nutritional value. This idea created the major result that discarded fish can be used as an ingredient for the pet food industry. The second targeted result of the project is to exhibit the transformation steps and procedure by using a training module for sectoral professionals consisting of fishermen to pet food producers. While the training program is delivered by the project professionals, an economical business model will be also exhibited. MARIPET aims to create a training program and establish a sustainable transformation chain as an economical policy for fisheries and pet food production. One of the other important results is to build a sharing platform for the project experts, training participants, and related sector representatives. As the project underlined several times, fisheries and pet food sectors are developing very rapidly and the experience that will be obtained from the project activities has a big potential to get old rapidly, too. The platform will keep the project subject quite dynamic providing updated information that will come from the MARIPET professionals and the plenary dynamic action has a big potential to take this transformation sector to industry.

The main results of the MARIPET will be: Innovative curriculum including 5 modules with training courses A virtual dedicated environment with an online education kit Establishment of discard fisheries and pet food trainers/experts platform – European Discard Fisheries and Pet Food Production Guidebook/e-book Training workshops Multiplier events in five countries Quality Management and dissemination reports.