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Pheromone-based Feed Attractants - Could they Be the Real Deal?

After initial laboratory tests, the first commercial trials in the use of pheromone-based fish feeding attractants have shown very encouraging results.

April 24, 2007

Pheromone-based Feed Attractants - Could they Be the Real Deal?

 

After initial laboratory tests, the first commercial trials in the use of pheromone-based fish feeding attractants have shown very encouraging results.

 

These findings, which will be outlined at the upcoming Aquafeed Horizons Conference in Utrecht, the Netherlands, by CEFAS head of salmon and freshwater fisheries Dr. Andrew Moore, could result in both significant commercial benefits to participating farmers and also equally important environmental benefits.

 

The trials were carried out under the supervision of U.K. Government Agency CEFAS (the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science), in partnership with Kiotech International and in collaboration with local aquaculture and fish institutes in China and Thailand.

 

“These results give much encouragement and demonstrate the effectiveness of our pheromone-based technology,” said Dr. Moore.  “This gives us the impetus to press on with the development of products tailored to other commercially important species and to commence work on commercializing these current products.”

 

The trials on Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) were conducted in Zhouhai, China over a six month period. The application of the Tilapia Aquatice product produced a 17% increase in the average weight of the Tilapia compared to the control pond. Aquatice also increased the growth rate of the Tilapia allowing the farmer to start harvesting three weeks earlier than the control pond. In addition, it was noted that in the Aquatice treated pond the fish appeared healthier, the water quality was better and the secondary crop of White Shrimp was significantly higher with less incidence of disease. Overall, the farmer received a 50% higher income from the Aquatice treated pond than the control.

 

In White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), the trial was conducted in Tradt, south east Thailand over a three month period. The White Shrimp Aquatice product was applied coated to the commercial shrimp feed. The application of feed coated with Aquatice produced Shrimp which were 30% larger on average than the control Shrimp and had a significantly faster growth. In addition, less feed was required in the Aquatice pond probably due to increased feeding by the Shrimp, which was reflected in an improved Food Conversion Rate (FCR) at harvest than the control pond.

 

On the environmental side, the use of pheromone based attractants will lead to a reduction in the amount of waste from uneaten feed and in the longer term it is anticipated that the pheromone-based technology will be used to permit the use of more sustainable forms of proteins within feeds, which are not based on fish oils or proteins. This approach will further conserve and protect wild fish populations and provide a sustainable base for the large-scale expansion of the aquaculture sector.

 

 

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Aquafeed Horizons will take place along side Victam International 2007 at the Jaarbeurs, Utrecht, the Netherlands, May 9-10, 2007.

 

More information, including program details, can be found on the conference website: www.aquafeed.info or email: editor@aquafeed.com

 

Aquafeed Horizons is organized and presented by Aquafeed.com, the aquafeed industry information gateway and Fiskeriforskning, the Norwegian Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture Research.

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