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Aquafeed Companies Have No Clue About Nutrition, Says University of Miami Professor at USSEC Meeting

Leading aquaculture companies in Latin America and the Caribbean advised to make their own feed.

May 7, 2015

Daniel Benetti, Professor, Department of Marine Ecosystems and Society, University of Miami, a self-confessed critic of feed companies, accused the aquafeed industry of making a lot of money without having a clue about the nutritional needs of those species.

\"They\'re selling us a black box and everybody\'s buying it ... They are not specialized ... That\'s a major issue,\" he told attendees at the fourth Aquaculture Investment Workshop, organized by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC)’s Global Soy in Aquaculture Program and sponsored by the U.S. Soy Family and the Kansas Soybean Commission at the University of Miami last week.

According to Avani Nadkarni of Intrafish, which ran a live blog on the event, he advised the approximately 90 representatives of cutting-edge aquaculture companies in Latin America and the Caribbean participating in the two-day workshop that the best way was for farmers to develop their own feed.

The workshop which took place April 29-30 at University of Miami, gathered to discuss current challenges and opportunities related to growing the industry in the region.

“We’re investing in aquaculture because we think – we know – we know that this is going to be an industry that is going to be feeding soy to the fish,” USSEC Regional Director – Americas Francisco de la Torre told attendees. “You’re already marketing this product, you’re already buying this product. For those that market these seafood products, they have to see the advantages of buying products from aquaculture–there’s a lot more flexibility and there’s a lot more standardization in an aquaculture product than a product that’s harvested from the sea.”AQ1

Operators from established fish farms shared their success stories, and aspirational companies, who are just getting up and running, spoke of the technical and market particulars of their farmed species. Representatives from the investment, insurance and retail sectors also presented helpful information and advice for growing the burgeoning aquaculture industry.

According to USSEC, the invitation-only workshop has evolved over the past three events into one of the most productive and informative conferences in the seafood industry. Participants are recognized as important players representing most sectors of the field and the event is a powerful opportunity for steering industry development in the right direction.

Mr. de la Torre, who organized the event with USSEC aquaculture consultant Jairo Amezquita, remarked at the close of the event that the collaborative nature of the workshop would help to move the industry forward.

“When we first started this workshop, we couldn’t find an aquaculture company who wanted to share their story. They would attend to listen, but wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about their business. Now, there’s a clear understanding that we’re all in this together, so we’re willing to help each other. We need to have a critical mass of healthy, farmed seafood in the marketplace.”

Read the Intrafish blog.

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