50 years have passed since a small group of entrepreneurial Danish fish farmers started Dansk Ørredfoder, which later became BioMar. This was celebrated at the AQUA 2012 Aquaculture Conference in Prague, where BioMar invited the more than 2000 researchers, fish farmers and other stakeholders from the aquaculture industry present at the conference to share a giant birthday cake. On the serious side, the conference which had BioMar as main sponsor included more than 440 technical presentations and various workshops.
Addressing the audience at the Industry Forum in the AQUA 2012 Conference Torben Svejgaard, CEO of the BioMar Group, underlined the growing importance of aquaculture in world food supply. He also used the occasion to point out some of the critical issues to be resolved in order for aquaculture to continue to grow. Most importantly he focused on the raw material situation, but he also mentioned fish health and the need to protect our water resources as important issues.
"We have to make difficult choices", he said, referring to the need for changing habits when it comes to the choice of raw materials to be used in the fish diets. The decreasing availability of non-GM crops and marine raw materials and the general increases and fluctuations in raw material prices result in serious challenges to the aquaculture industry at the moment. However, as many of the other speakers in the AQUA 2012 Conference he concluded that the scarcity actually can become an advantage for aquaculture. As fish are more efficient than land animals when it comes to converting vegetable proteins into animal protein aquaculture will be the most sustainable alternative in covering the growing demand for animal protein.
Torben Svejgaard was optimistic when he addressed the need to protect our water resources. He mentioned several examples of existing technologies, which applied at a wider scale globally, could resolve many of the issues related to the protection of our water resources.
BioMar has for more than 25 years presented environmental declarations on feed and BioMar has been a pioneer in developing still more efficient and eco-friendly diets for aquaculture. When all the nutrients are used by the fish for growth rather than lost through the faeces it benefits both farming economy and the aquatic environment. One of the latest big developments in this area was the introduction of the ORBIT feed line in 2011 for fish farming in recirculation systems.
Researchers from BioMar presented some of their research projects at AQUA 2012. Subjects included very specific topics such as protein and energy ratios in tilapia diets, uptake of nutrients in rainbow trout, and the effect of probiotics on deformities in sea bass and sea bream larvae as well as more general topics within fish nutrition including how to develop more efficient diets for new species in aquaculture.