By Suzi Dominy*
Feed industry could do better, says SOFIA report
Recently published is the FAO’s State of World Fisheries & Aquaculture (SOFIA) report 2016, the biennial global review that has become the ubiquitous source for tables, charts and data for the industry. Formulation issues, and in particular the provision of species-specific feeds that meet the nutritional requirements of different life stages of the farmed species, remain important topics for both commercial and farm-made feed production sectors, it says. In extensive and semi-intensive production systems, the report states there is a need to establish the qualitative and quantitative relationships between natural pond productivity and the impact of supplemental and farm-made feeds on nutrient cycling and retention in the farmed species. “Developing a better understanding of these dynamics is central to optimizing feed formulations and reducing feed costs. The implications of feed type, formulation and feed management practices on the environmental footprint and economics of the farming operation are important issues that farmers need to consider when planning their activities. If farmers understand and can quantify the economic inter-relationships between feed type and costs, performance and feed management, they can significantly improve their profitability. Economic tools for this purpose to assist farmers need to be developed”.
The report also cites poor regulatory control and a lack of standards throughout the aquafeed value chain as constraints to feed supply, quality and use. It says appropriate aquafeed policy, regulatory frameworks, and feed standards need to be developed in those countries where they are lacking, and institutional capacity needs strengthening in agencies responsible for aquaculture management, monitoring and compliance. Other issues highlighted are training and the dissemination of information to farmers, particularly small-scale farmers with limited access to the latest technological and management developments. It recommends consideration be given to promoting programs that use local media to provide farmers with extension messages, including, among others: up-to-date feed ingredient availability; quality, price and supplier information; and feed formulation and ingredient inclusion rates.
Hatchery feed development
For early life stages, the development of manufactured hatchery feeds is growing apace, and becoming increasingly sophisticated. Recently we have seen a number of new products designed for specific purposes coming to market. We featured some of these in our recently published Hatcheryfeed Magazine (which you can download from the Resources section of Hatcheryfeed.com).
One of these is a targeted feed to meet the needs of the growing number of salmon recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) in Canada, Chile, Norway and Scotland. This new concept feed by Cargill Aquaculture Nutrition (CQN) EWOS, uses a holistic approach to feed design for RAS salmon husbandry in freshwater, based on nutrient mass balance, bioenergetics budget and RAS engineering principle, taking into account the many factors that impact the optimum running of these systems, and the varying parameters that need to be met by different RAS designs.
Sea lice are a major problem for salmon farmers, for which cleaner fish are proving a highly successful and effective biological solution. In 2016 it is estimated that Norway alone will need some 50,000,000 cleaner fish. Ballan Wrasse (Labrus bergylta) were initially used but are now starting to give way to lumpfish (or lumpsuckers) (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) The lumpfish is easier to raise than the wrasse, because it grows quickly and is less fussy about what it eats. It continues to eat even when it is cold, which means it can be used as a cleaner-fish all year around. But lumpfish are not without health issues, which have necessitated the quite recent development if vaccines. Lumpfish are vaccinated at about 8 g and must then stay in tanks on land for between 40 and 50 days before going to sea. During this critical time, they are susceptible to bacteria and disease and they also grow at such a fast rate, they can become too big for purpose and therefore, to some degree, ineffective in the cages. For the producers, this creates another problem: since lumpfish can double in weight every 15 days (at 12ºC), the total bio-mass can overwhelm the grow out land-based facilities before the fish can be sent to the cages, and that creates a bottleneck in production. Pacific Trading Aquaculture, based in Dublin, Ireland, has worked with Marubeni Nisshin Feed Co., Ltd. (MNF) of Japan, to become the first company to develop and offer a diet specifically targeted at post-vaccination lumpfish: a new formula Otohime EP. The product is very high in the essential vitamins and minerals (including B-Glucan) so fish health is very high, immune system is boosted and with a reduced level of protein and fat, it will control or slow down the rapid growth rate post vaccination. As Paul Coyne, Director, PT Aquaculture told me, “It is somewhat of an anomaly to be producing a feed to get fish to grow more slowly but in this instance that is what the market needs .... slow growing but healthy fish”.
Shrimp growth breakthrough in Latin America
Aligning the right nutrition with precise feed management procedures could bring a new golden era for shrimp farmers in Ecuador and across Latin America. In controlling both feed quality and feed intake, Skretting has detailed evidence that confirms so far it has been able to reduce the feed conversion ratio of 1.8 by around 50 %, that it has doubled the growth to 2 grams per week and that it has also increased the survival from 50 % to 85 %.
“Not only does this alignment between feed quality and feeding schedule provide the ideal nutrition for the needs of shrimp, Skretting has also found the best ways to control the performance of our feeds in the ponds so that all pellets are consumed. Together, these findings will maximize the genetic growth potential of these animals,” explained Angela Gutierrez del Alamo Oms, Skretting’s Technical Manager for Ecuador.
“This innovative feeding breakthrough could revolutionize shrimp production in many production regions,” she added.
Traditionally, commercially grown shrimp in Ecuador are fed an average of 1.5 times per day, which is not sufficient to leave them fully satiated nor to optimize their growth, said Gutierrez del Alamo Oms. Because of their limited digestive capacity, shrimp stop feeding before fully meeting their dietary requirement, although they could consume more later in the day. However, it becomes very hard for shrimp to locate and consume feeds after two hours of the feed pellets being delivered to the ponds, which means the nutrition within those pellets are wasted and the water quality in the shrimp grow-out environment could deteriorate.
Commenting on the breakthrough, Carlos Miranda, General Manager of Skretting Ecuador, said the results from this new protocol had been spectacular, with fully-documented commercial trials showing unprecedented levels of growth, health and survival.
Increase in by-product materials for marine
Scientists at the University of Stirling have used models of current and future fisheries and aquaculture production, based on FAO data, to provide estimates for the future availability of raw material for marine ingredients.
The model shows an increasing availability of raw material from by-product derived from aquaculture as that sector continues to grow, but also confirms an under-utilization of by-product from both fisheries and aquaculture at the current time.
As the total volume of raw material, and fishmeal and fish oil production increases, by-product is predicted to provide an increasing proportion of the total. This work was commissioned by IFFO in order to quantify the potential volume of future global raw material supply.
Europe currently uses proportionately more by-product for fishmeal and fish oil production than other regions. Asia, and China in particular, shows the most potential for future marine ingredient supply from under-utilized resources in both fisheries and aquaculture. Fish oil is predicted to grow more slowly than fishmeal, as future contributions from aquaculture are likely to include increasing proportions of low-oil yield farmed freshwater species. Logistical and practical difficulties account for the current under-utilization of by-product in marine ingredient production. Read the full report (PDF) on the IFFO website.
“Models such as this are useful in providing an overview of future scenarios for the industry, and are important in managing the security of supply of marine ingredients within global food supply chains,” stated Dr Neil Auchterlonie, Technical Director of IFFO. “The Stirling University team has provided some excellent predictions of future supply of these vital ingredients into aquatic and terrestrial protein production systems.”
Suzi Dominy is the founding editor and publisher of aquafeed.com. She brings 25 years of experience in professional feed industry journalism and publishing. Before starting this company, she was co-publisher of the agri-food division of a major UK-based company, and editor of their major international feed magazine for 13 years.
Recent news from around the globe by Aquafeed.com Going with the grainBy Suzi Dominy
These are some of the highlights of the past few weeks at Aquafeed.com
By Suzi Dominy*
Suzi Domini is the founding editor and publisher of aquafeed.com. She brings 25 years of experience in professional feed industry journalism and publishing to Aquafeed.
Before starting this company, she was co-publisher of the agri-food division of a major U.K.-based Business-to-Business publishing and exhibitions company, and editor of their major international feed magazine for 13 years. While there she founded and edited several animal feed and aquafeed print publications that are still in existence today.