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Study finds Schizochytrium oil can replace fish oil in salmon and trout

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

A study by Dalhousie University found that farmed salmon and trout do just as well, if not better, on a diet of feed containing locally-produced marine oil compared to one that uses oil from wild-caught fish.

Stefanie Colombo, an assistant professor in Dal’s Department of Animal Science and Aquaculture and a Canada Research Chair, tested oil from marine algae Schizochytrium sp. in the diets of farmed rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon. Researchers did several feeding trials using varying amounts of microalgae oil, including one that completely replaced the fish oil with the new marine microalgae oil. They found that both trout and salmon grew as well or better than fish that were fed oil from the wild fish. Salmon and trout also stored more DHA in their fillets.

“The findings, outlined in two separate studies, are significant for the lucrative aquaculture industry, which now has a more sustainable option for supplying omega-3s in their fish feeds. One of the challenges for the business is finding feeds that don’t rely too heavily on wild-caught fish for the oil, which is a critical part of the feed. The research also highlights the synergies in Atlantic Canada, regarding the production of local, sustainable materials for the growing aquaculture industry,” researchers said.

Check out Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout studies.

Photo caption: Bailey Hart (left) and Angelisa Osmond (right), M.Sc. students, weighing rainbow trout as part of experimental activities in the lab. Photo credit: Stefanie Colombo, assistant professor in Dalhousie’s Department of Animal Science and Aquaculture and a Canada Research Chair.

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