NIFES, the Norwegian National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research, has demonstrated the potential for insect meal as a suitable protein source for Atlantic salmon through the AquaFly project.
Insects are outstandingly powerful organisms that have the ability to upgrade less favourable organic resources to highly nutritious feed ingredients. AquaFly is developing novel insect meal and oil ingredients for Atlantic salmon diets as a possible safe, healthy and sustainable ingredient in future feeds.
A main aim of the project is to optimize the fatty acid composition of insect lipids to contribute omega-3 fatty acids towards the nutritional needs of Atlantic salmon.
Insect meal is currently produced from the larvae of black soldier fly, which has a protein composition that has been shown to be highly suitable for Atlantic salmon. AquaFly will evaluate whether black soldier fly can be produced on marine seaweed as a substrate. Another species, Kelp fly, which naturally grows on marine seaweed, will be investigated to produce safe and nutritious ingredients for fish feed.
AquaFly will also study in depth, the impact on environmental, social and economic sustainability of using insects as feed ingredients for farmed Atlantic salmon. In addition, it will seek to identify the potential risks of using insect raw materials for fish feed by documenting undesirable substances and pathogens throughout the production chain, from fly to salmon fillet.
Further information on the project is available here.