Aquaculture Systems Assessed to Increase Soy Protein Use in Aquaculture Feeds

The Soy Aquaculture Alliance (SAA) recently released results from a 2018 study with Prairie AquaTech LLC on how combined ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) technologies in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) can increase soy protein use in aquaculture feeds. During the study, two separate feeding trials were conducted using tank-based RAS and rainbow trout.

Information source: Soy Aquaculture Alliance / Press release

“Our hope when working with Prairie AquaTech on this research was to understand how various system changes can impact diet reactions in farm-raised fish,” Andy Tauer, SAA Executive Director said. “We know there are lots of new technologies out there and if we can find a way to increase soybean meal based on a system change, then our research funds are well spent.”

Trial one assessed fish at increasing densities using conventional water technologies with a diet of 13% fishmeal and no soybean meal. Trial two utilized UF/RO systems with a diet of very high soybean meal concentration (40%). Results collected showed that when paired with UF/RO systems, soybean inclusion diets increased trialed fish body weight and reduced mortalities. In future trials, diets containing 20% soybean meal are hypothesized to yield more consistent average body weight compared to fishmeal. 

“Prairie AquaTech was happy with these results and we believe there is value to trial varying inclusion rates and see an even greater return on investment,” Tauer added.

SAA works to create new opportunities for soybean farmers within a growing domestic market: aquaculture. SAA funds programs and research that increases the utilization of U.S. soybeans in the diets of fish and shrimp through affiliations with academic and private researchers and industry leaders.

A technical brief on the research can be found on the SAA website: Soybean farmers and aquaculture industry members with additional questions are encouraged to reach out to the SAA board of directors.

The Soy Aquaculture Alliance is committed to building partnerships for abundant, healthy, homegrown seafood by connecting industry stakeholders and supporting practical industry research. SAA is governed by a volunteer board representing U.S. soybean farmers and industry members. Membership is open to Qualified State Soybean Boards and public and private entities in the soy, aquaculture and seafood industries.

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