In aquaculture, fish are daily exposed to different types of stressors that challenge the organism’s homeostasis, compromising animal health and survival and, ultimately, the producer’s income. Commonly observed stressors in fish farming include fish transference between cages, calibrations, vaccinations, high densities, environmental aggressions, low oxygen levels and even the presence of predators near the cages. The physiological response to a stressor, so-called stress, involves, firstly, endocrine alterations, particularly of catecholamine and corticosteroid levels (mainly cortisol), and, secondly, a hydromineral imbalance and changes in the animal’s metabolism and in the cardiovascular, respiratory and immunological functions.
As oxygen and energy are diverted to restore organism’s homeostasis, a stress condition compromises, to a greater or lesser extent (depending on the severity of the stressor and on the time of exposure to it), fish growth. Furthermore, fish susceptibility to disease increases since their ability to resist attacks from pathogens and parasites decreases. As such, fish farmers must pursue farming practices capable of controlling, minimizing and even foreseeing events that may cause stress to the animals. Actions promoting farmed fish well-being will certainly be reflected in economic success such as optimizing feeding rates and feed ranges. Aquasoja developed a wide variety of feed ranges to support fish throughout the whole farming process to support farmers under challenging situations.