A first in the United States and in the Pacific Rim, the Oceanic Institute is planning the construction of a feed research lab that enables research on aquaculture feed and terrestrial livestock feed production. The proposed Feeds Research Lab and Pilot Production Facility is to be constructed during 2004 on land belonging to the University of Hawai’i at Hilo in Panaewa, outside of Hilo, Hawai‘i.
“As a one-of-a-kind facility, the Feeds Research Lab and Pilot Production Facility will establish Hawai‘i as a leader in aquaculture feed production technology and will stimulate Hawai‘i’s economy through related development in aquaculture and agriculture,” said Dr. Thomas E. Farewell, President and CEO of the Oceanic Institute. “The Feeds Research Lab will also facilitate cooperative research and practical training in the process manufacturing of tropical aquatic and terrestrial animal feeds for University of Hawai’i faculty and students, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center scientists, Hawai‘i farmers, Asia-Pacific industry, and the Oceanic Institute.”
The Feeds Research Lab and Pilot Production Facility is part of the Oceanic Institute’s $24.2 million Center for Applied Aquaculture and Marine Biotechnology, with research and demonstration facilities on O‘ahu, Moloka‘i, and the Big Island. The new facilities allow the Institute to transfer science-based marine biotechnologies and essential services directly to those involved in aquaculture and related agricultural industries.
“The pilot-scale production facility will support U.S. industries by developing new markets via new feed formulations and new feed processing methods that are suitable for commercial development,” continued Dr. Farewell. “Additionally, because the facility will demonstrate U.S. feed products, production technology, and equipment to Asia-Pacific nations, which are heavily involved in aquaculture, the Feeds Research Lab will open the doors to new regional feeds markets.”
“Hawai‘i aquaculture and agriculture industries will benefit from research aimed at developing novel feeds for tropical aquaculture applications, such as open-ocean, submerged cage aquaculture,” said Dr. Reza Kamarei, Director of Nutrition for the Oceanic Institute. “The facility will also have the ability to make feeds for poultry, swine, dairy cows, and beef cattle and can be used to develop terrestrial animal feeds for improved animal performance under hot, tropical conditions.”
Agriculture industries in Hawai‘i and the Pacific islands will benefit from continued research on the use of indigenous agricultural and animal products and byproducts as feed ingredients. Products that are presently being discarded could become sources of income.
“Agriculture byproducts produced in Hawai’i and the Pacific islands, such as off-grade macadamia nuts, off-grade papaya and papaya waste, coffee pulp, dried copra, and even spent fruit fly media have the potential to become useful feed ingredients,” said Dr. Warren Dominy, Research Scientist in Feeds Science & Technology in the Nutrition Department of the Oceanic Institute. “These products contain nutrients and roughage that can be used in aquatic and terrestrial animal feed formulations.”
The Oceanic Institute, located at Makapu‘u Point on O‘ahu, was founded in 1960. The Institute is a not-for-profit, full-spectrum, applied research organization dedicated to the development and transfer of technology and applications in aquaculture, environmental science, and marine biotechnology.