Standardizing Research Approaches in the Evaluation of Plant Feedstuffs in Carnivorous Fish Diets

Limited attendance open for Plant Products in Aquafeed (PPA) Working Group workshop at Aquaculture 2007, San Antonio, Texas
January 18, 2007

Standardizing Research Approaches in the Evaluation of Plant Feedstuffs in Carnivorous Fish Diets


Tuesday, Feb 27, 5:30 -10 p.m. Room 207B


Advancement in the utilization of plant proteins in aquafeeds is of vital interest to the aquafeed industry. However, despite considerable research efforts, there are still unidentified biologically active compounds that limit the amount of soybean meal and other plant feedstuffs that can be used in diets of carnivorous species, including most marine species of present and potential commercial importance.


The Plant Products in Aquafeed (PPA) Working Group developed a strategic plan to provide a roadmap for the research needed to increase the use of renewable and sustainable plant feeds to fulfill the demand not only of the aquaculture and feed industries, but of the consumer for a supply of nutritious seafood.


The plan identifies opportunities to use all available technologies and expertise to tackle the areas of research which are most likely to lead to breakthroughs.


Standardizing research approaches in the evaluation of plant feedstuffs in carnivorous fish diets is the first goal of the strategic plan and the subject of a workshop to be held during Aquaculture 2007.


Studies involving utilization of formulated diets in which fishmeal has been replaced with plant feedstuffs rely heavily on monitoring physical parameters such as overall weight gain, feed efficiency, and survival. Interpretation of results can be confusing and contradictory.

Results are often difficult to interpret as ingredient sources, physiological stage of the fish and other experimental conditions may differ greatly among experiments. From the literature it is apparent that evaluation of nutritional quality of a feedstuff may give quite different results even when tested within one fish species.


Yet, given the demand for alternative diets by the aquaculture industry, significant resources are currently used to evaluate the nutritional quality and possible health implications of these diets. Hence, the need for requirement studies and evaluation of feedstuff nutritional quality continues to increase despite the fact that these studies are resource demanding and time consuming.  


If better standardized protocols and appropriate statistical testing tools were developed and used:

  • The need for unnecessary duplication of experiments would be allayed;
  • A network of databases of information on characteristics of feed ingredients could be established;
  • Physiological response to diet could more readily be correlated to gene expression; and
  • Developing predictive models that could then be applied to other species of fish, other diets, and other culture conditions would become more feasible.

The purpose of this workshop is to begin to focus on the challenges outlined above and in Goal 1 (ESTABLISH STANDARDIZED RESEARCH APPROACHES AND PROTOCOLS FOR SYSTEMATIC EVALUATION OF PLANT FEEDSTUFFS ACROSS CARNIVOROUS FISH SPECIES) of the Plant Products in Aquafeed (PPA) Strategic Research Plan. The product of the workshop will be a description of specific steps including research needed to meet the objects of this Performance Measure, including timelines and estimated budgets.


Participation in this workshop is limited. If you are interested in attending, please contact Diane Bellis as soon as possible.