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Sunday, December 11, 2016

12/12/2016: Marine ingredients as a foundation for global fed aquaculture production

by Dr Neil Auchterlonie, Technical Director, IFFO The Marine Ingredients Organisation

Fed aquaculture developed in the 1960s at a time when the global supply of fishmeal and fish oil had previously been directed towards terrestrial protein production systems, and direct human consumption (e.g. hydrogenated fish oils), as well as other uses such as crop fertiliser (fishmeal), leather dressing and lighting (fish oil).

That destination for global annual fishmeal and fish oil supply has since changed, associated with the growth of aquaculture from the late 1960s onwards.
 


This has resulted in aquaculture taking an increasing share of both ingredients over that period, to the point where approximately 70 percent of fishmeal and 73 percent of fish oil was directed to aquaculture in 2015 (IFFO estimates).

With a “normal” year’s annual production of fishmeal and fish oil around or slightly below 5 million tonnes and 1 million tonnes respectively, the marine ingredients industry is small in comparison to other animal feed ingredients such as soya and wheat.

It is, nonetheless, very important in relation to the nutritional qualities that it provides to farmed fish and crustacean species, and remains the base of fed aquaculture to this day.

It is also the basis for global pig and poultry production systems, but here our focus is on aquaculture.

Despite the current fad for headlines and articles that criticize the inclusion of marine ingredients in aquafeed, it is important to remember that fishmeal and fish oil are the nutritional foundations upon which the modern aquaculture industry is based.

Without the nutritional quality of these ingredients in facilitating the development of fed aquaculture, the reality is that there just wouldn’t be a global aquaculture industry that supports a large and growing proportion of consumed seafood.


Read the full article HERE.

The Aquaculturists
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