Skretting introduces a natural approach to feeding marine fish larvae

The company unveiled a new hatchery diet with ingredients inspired by nature to support improved palatability, simplicity to use and improve pellet structure and feed distribution. 

Skretting introduces a natural approach to feeding marine fish larvae
Leiner Lache, marketing manager for warm water species, Skretting.
October 1, 2021

Skretting introduced a groundbreaking new hatchery diet, GEMMA Neo, inspired by nature that reduces the dependence on traditional feed ingredients while also providing ideal nutrient composition, unprecedented production system performance and weaning flexibility.

“GEMMA Neo is inspired by what happens in nature. In the wild, marine larvae will feed on a mix of different food sources with different protein profiles. With this solution, we have replicated those instinctive feeding behaviors through diversification of beneficial raw materials, delivering an incredibly stable diet that the larvae find very appealing,” explained Eamonn O’Brien, global product manager LifeStart at Skretting.

Applying the latest technology, omega-3 fatty acids within the diet are contained to prevent leaching into the production system, a typical challenge with conventional fish oil-based larval diets. Cellular encapsulation also ensures feed particles remain intact for longer, which in turn facilitates maintenance and lessens the loads placed on systems.

“Thanks to this technology, using GEMMA Neo ensures that hatchery tanks remain very clean, and because the diet degrades very slowly, there are almost no negative effects on water quality,” added Eamonn. “In addition, GEMMA Neo spreads very quickly on the water’s surface and floats for longer before gradually starting to descend, making the diet much more available for juvenile fish.”

In making use of new raw material ingredients that the larvae naturally want to consume, GEMMA Neo presents hatcheries with the opportunity to introduce the diet at their own discretion, potentially accelerating the weaning or shortening co-feeding processes and taking the difficulties out of sourcing and delivering live foods.

GEMMA Neo is also ideally suited to recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) that are increasingly being introduced within hatcheries. It ensures that the water in these systems remains stable and geared towards improved performance. This has been achieved by making the diet much more stable and free-flowing with no tendency for clumping even in small particle sizes in automatic feeding devices.

“By introducing GEMMA Neo, we are meeting hatchery customers’ needs more sustainably, through a broader spectrum of beneficial ingredients. We are starting by launching the product for marine species in the Mediterranean and will continue the rollout in other countries and species,” said Leiner Lache, marketing manager for warm water species at Skretting.