Project aims to produce ‘farmed salmon of the future’ by improving feed
By Liza Mayer
Nofima has launched a four-year initiative to identify innovations that will lead to the next generation of farmed salmon – one that’s “sustainably sourced, fed, produced and distributed.”
To achieve this, Nofima believes work needs to begin with improving the sustainability of feed because it is reliant on constrained resources and because feed production is the highest source of greenhouse emissions in aquaculture.
“Much of the innovation in the ‘farmed salmon of the future’ comes down to feed and finding new alternatives to soy, fish meal and fish oil, which use finite land and marine resources,” says Katerina Kousoulaki, senior researcher in fish nutrition at Nofima.
For this reason, the study will explore the potential of two novel feed ingredients – one derived from algae-based Omega-3s, and another derived from protein-rich, insect-based meal – to provide the industry with the next generation of farmed salmon diets. Nutrition specialists InnovaFeed, Corbion, Algae Ingredients, Cargill, SINTEF Ocean and Auchan are part of the project.
“Our aim with the study of these two new ingredients will test the levels that are required to optimize physical and nutritional needs of salmon, discover the practical and functional properties of both alternatives, as well as demonstrate the environmental and societal aspects of the suggested innovations,” says Kousoulaki.
She noted that the aquaculture industry is growing rapidly but innovation and new solutions that address changing consumer behavior can often lag. “There is a critical need to accelerate the global momentum around sourcing, scaling, and developing sustainable, alternative solutions for aquaculture and to address changing consumer behavior.
“While keeping in mind the need to profitably produce healthy seafood, new raw feed ingredients used in feed formulations must work in feed factories, on farm feeding systems and inside the digestive system of the fish.”