Wednesday, March 28, 2018

29/03/2018: Alternative aquafeeds to improve fishery performance

by Ben Pinniger, Founder, BP Milling, UK

BP Milling produce fish feed supplements for the still water sport fishery market, producing an affordable fishmeal-free food source aimed to improve fish health and improve fishery performance. 

Image credit: BP Milling UK
Unlike most conventional fish feeds which are developed for maximum feed conversion, our feeds are designed as an affordable food source to function as a tool for healthy fishery development.

The market
The carp angling market has grown enormously in the past 40 years, with social media fuelling opportunities for big companies to showcase new tackle innovations and technology, transforming the old traditional pastime into a trendy modern day fashion enjoyed by millions. The growth has attracted new fishery developments and fish suppliers, all in a race to profit from this new demand.

Unfortunately with this demand comes competition and desperation from fishery owners who arrive new to livestock management. Inexperienced fishery owners immediately look to re-stocking new fish as the only solution to improve fishery performance and attract new business; this lack of livestock understanding is a costly learning curve for many!

We work closely with these still-water sport fisheries all over the UK to introduce them to management techniques that improve performance, save money and develop the business safely.

Educating fisheries that there’s no ‘quick-fix’ to creating a profitable and sustainable fishery business. It can be a frustrating battle for us, but unfortunately healthy development takes time.

Feeding is the most obvious tool for healthy stock development, supplementing the fishes natural diet is a relatively new prospect to most of our clients, so the results are quick to materialise when they begin.

Unlike conventional fishmeal feeds, our feed supplements are not purposely designed to achieve the best growth response achievable, instead we encourage clients to feed for fish welfare and improved fishery performance, the growth comes as a result of this.

Capitalise on free sources of nutrition
Although our feeds are ‘nutritionally incomplete’, we do also use them successfully for fish production by sensibly managing our ponds to create a fertile environment where all that is needed is a simple feed supplement. Unlike a filtered tank system an earth-pond has its own ecosystem, with nutritional value to the substrate, weed/algae and invertebrate life.

This natural food chain provides an abundance of free nutrition to our fish, we optimise these sources of nutrition with:

• Manure – Establish an algal bloom encouraging plankton and the following food chain.
• Chalk - Regular calcium carbonate treatment will neutralise pH and allow bacterial action deeper in the silt, this breakdown of organic matter converts acidic silt layers into healthy forms of nitrate that fertilise the pond.
• Light and air - Maximising light and air exposure is key to pond productivity, not only for oxygen transfer but also for healthy algal blooms which are the vital trigger for a thriving food chain.

Read the full article, HERE.

Visit the BP Milling UK website, HERE.

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