Composing local feeds

How can we utilize local raw materials in the production of fish feeds for aquaculture? The Nordic countries are getting together to find an answer
March 29, 2012

Scientists and commercial companies from Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are cooperating on surveying natural resources such as seaweed, mussels and microalgae; unexploited marine resources that they hope can be brought into use as raw materials for fish feed.

“I believe that this has great potential,” says NIFES scientist Ann Cecilie Hansen, who will be studying the nutrient content and possible traces of environmental toxins in these raw materials, which will be the first and a decisive stage of the research project.

More extensive use of local marine raw materials will make feed producers less dependent on fish meal and fish oil, as well as reducing the need to transport large quantities of these materials, thus helping to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“Another advantage of using marine resources is that the result is more similar to feeds based on fish meal than those developed from plant materials. This makes it easier to compose a feed that is good for the fish and that they like the taste of, which means that they eat more of it,” says Hansen.

The project, which will run until 2014, is financially supported by the Nordic Marine Innovation Programme, which is run by the Nordic Council of Ministers and is aimed at stimulating innovation and trade across Nordic national borders. The total budget of the project is NOK 9 million.