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Investment needed before algae oil can meet aquaculture demands says GOED chair

Investment is needed to scale up algae oil production to meet the demand from aquaculture, according to Leslie van der Meulen, chair of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s.

October 14, 2015

Investment is needed to scale up algae oil production to meet the demand from aquaculture, according to Leslie van der Meulen, chair of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED).

Global production of algal Omega 3 in 2014 was over 1,400 metric tonnes (MT), up from 1,380 MT two years earlier, but is nothing compared to the fish oil volumes produced by Peru, with production expected to reach 650,000 MT in 2015.

So far, practically all Omega 3 oil produced from algae is for human consumption, as production for aquaculture requires a significant investment to take off, according to van der Meulen.

\"Right now, algae processors are focused on human nutrition in order to generate steady revenues, and from there they will go into other markets, but collaboration is needed in order to get algae into aquaculture.”

\"Aquaculture players are willing to understand that in the beginning, algae oil will be more expensive than they would like, they have to go through that process, but with investment, production will scale ultimately,\" he said.

He surmised that things could accelerate through technological development and also suggested that algae could be bought by aquaculture companies as a small component or specialty diet, in which case, algae processors would not have to produce large volumes.

\"When you grow algae, about 20% to 25% of the biomass is oil, and the other 75% is like a protein meal, so still you have to find value for that in order to sell the oil competitively. That\'s something that will take a little bit more of time and skill,” he said.

Source: Undercurrent News. Read the full article here.

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