Four contestants have officially joined the race to replace the “fish” in fish oil. The global competitor who sells the most “fish-free” fish oil for aquaculture that meets the challenge criteria by August 31, 2019 will win the US$100,000 grand prize.
The competitors include China-based Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co. Ltd., China-based Shen Zhen Alpha Feed Co. Ltd., Netherlands-based Veramaris and the UK/U.S.-based team Aquaculture Innovation/Qualitas Health. A combined total of 77,535 kilograms of F3 oil was sold by the contestants during the first sales period, which ran from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018. Veramaris is currently in the lead with the most oil sold.
“We are excited by the global reach of the contestants in the F3 fish oil race,” said Kevin Fitzsimmons, F3 Challenge judge and professor at the University of Arizona. “These top-notch competitors will help move the industry toward more sustainable ingredients in fish feed.”
The F3 Fish Oil Challenge is an incentive prize designed to help accelerate commercial-scale ingredients for aquaculture feed that meet the nutritional requirements of fish to produce healthy seafood for consumers without utilizing wild-caught fish.
Aquaculture supplies one of the world\'s most efficient sources of animal protein. However, the industry is being held back by the availability of one key ingredient: fish oil, which provides important omega fatty acids necessary for animal and human nutrition.
Each year, an estimated 16 million metric tons of wild fish are caught exclusively for use in fish oil and fishmeal. Wild-caught fish are currently the major source of Omega-3 known and contains DHA, EPA and ARA—essential fatty acids needed to grow farmed-raised fish. Without alternative marine animal-free oil sources, the world’s oceans will not be able to keep up with the demand for fish to feed the growing world population, which could result in major supply chain disruptions in the multi-billion dollar aquaculture industry.
The University of Arizona, University of Massachusetts Boston, Synbiobeta, Anthropocene Institute, Dawson Family Fund, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, The Campbell Foundation, Tides Foundation and The National Renderers Association are sponsors of the crowdfunded prize.
Aquaculture Innovation/Qualitas Health
UK-based Aquaculture Innovation has a history of bringing innovation to the aquaculture market, with a track record of successfully commercializing novel feed control systems and biotechnology. The company has now turned its interest to new fish feed ingredients that will facilitate sustainable growth of the aquaculture sector. Aquaculture Innovation has a material that provides a high level of digestible protein as well as omega-3, with the ratio between the two being controllable, and the production technology being highly scalable.
Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co., Ltd.
China-based Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry established in 1995, is a corporate enterprise integrated in seedling breeding, feed production and marketing, micro ecological preparation and health products, import and export trade. There are 32 subsidiaries belong to Evergreen, which are located in many different provinces, such as Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Fujian, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hubei, Jilin and even some Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam. The domestic sales of Evergreen’s special aquatic feed have been the top sales for many years.
Shen Zhen Alpha Feed Co. Ltd.
China-based Alpha Feed established in 1998 is an international high-tech company specializing in high-end feed research and development, production and sales. At the same time, the services Alpha Feed provides include integrated solutions for animal nutrition, breeding environment purification and breeding mode consultation
Veramaris is a 50:50 joint venture of DSM and Evonik to produce the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from natural marine algae. Located in Delft, the Netherlands, Veramaris was launched in 2018, because its parent companies shared a vision: to conserve marine life by using a resource the ocean provides – natural marine microalgae. Producing an algal oil rich in the two essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA through large-scale fermentation at its facility in Blair, Nebraska, USA, Veramaris enables partners along the value chain to become independent from wild-caught fish and meet the growing demand for animal protein responsibly. Veramaris’ omega-3 from microalgae is a high-quality alternative to fish-based ingredients for sustainable animal nutrition. Feeding Veramaris omega-3 oil directly to animals helps protect marine habitats and conserve the biodiversity of our oceans.