Tuesday, April 17, 2018

18/04/2018: Focusing on aquaculture sustainability by combatting over-consumption

by James C. Sanderson, Managing Director, President, Indigo Seafood

For decades, the founders of Indigo Seafood have been studying and developing the practices which together comprise the practice of sustainable aquaculture.

The starting point for this discussion is the situation humanity finds itself in through the consumption and often over-consumption of the earth’s seafood supply. The oceans’ wild fisheries cannot meet the demands of seven billion people. Thankfully, much of the world has come to the realisation that we must not only wisely manage the wild populations of fish, but also responsibly produce more through sustainable aquaculture.

Indigo Seafood has set out not only to conduct its business in such a manner, but also to be the example to follow. Furthermore, Indigo’s business model incorporates local personnel and resources so that the economic development of the industry greatly benefits the citizens of Palau. We also want to create jobs, jobs, jobs!

Feed sourcing is an integral part of producing sustainable fish. In the wild, the feed conversion ratio (FCR) of a carnivorous fish can range from five – 20. That is, the fish must eat from five – 10 lbs. of fish to grow one lb. of meat on its own. With proper nutrition, and pure feeds, Indigo can produce one lb. of fish with only two lbs. of feed (FCR = 2)! This is a remarkable efficiency! We can grow the fish more efficiently with feed that is contaminant free AND responsibly sourced.

Indigo is also investigating alternative protein sources for its feed, such as insects, worms and algae. During the recent Fish 2.0 Sustainable Seafood Conference, the leaders of Indigo met with several such alternative protein source companies. As these developing technologies become financially feasible, our feed sustainability will increase even more.

One of the biggest challenges in producing alternative protein (other than fish meal) fish feed is the resulting taste of the fish. Some alternative protein sources can duplicate the appearance of a cultured fish, but duplicating the taste is another matter.

Wild fish taste so good because they feed on delicious protein sources (other fish, crustaceans, etc…) in the ocean. Replicating or at least approximating these tastes with which we have become accustomed is a remaining challenge. Therefore, the development of alternative protein sources, while maintaining the expected taste, and brought together in an economically feasible product is what Indigo is watching for.

To ensure environmental sustainability, Indigo chooses its ocean sites under exacting conditions, monitors the surrounding waters and sediment, and uses low stocking densities within its ocean cages. Not only does this protect the surrounding ecosystem, but it also maximises the health and growth rates of Indigo’s fish.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

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