Norwegian scientists probe fishmeal properties – Fishupdate.com

Norwegian scientists probe fishmeal properties Published:  20 June, 2006

SCIENTISTS at Fiskeriforskning in Bergen, Norway are working to reveal the secrets of fishmeal. The research will provide answers regarding which substances in the meal farmed salmon need to grow and develop normally.

Salmon feed has been getting increasingly “greener”. But the feed must contain around 30 % fishmeal in order for the fish to grow. It is hoped that new knowledge will help reduce the need for fishmeal.

Accordingly, more vegetable products that are found today in unlimited amounts can be used instead. This will make it possible to increase the production of feed, which the scientists say will make it possible to produce far more salmon in the future.

“The answer can mean a halving of the amount of fishmeal in the feed”, says Senior Scientist Anders Aksnes.

This will be very important for feed manufacturers and the aquaculture industry. Fishmeal is an expensive ingredient, and prices are rising in step with increasing demands. The fishing quotas also set limits for how much meal it is possible to manufacture.

“When we understand which substances the salmon requires, then we can adapt the production such that we preserve as many of these substances in the meal as possible,” says Aksnes.

“We can utilise the fishing resources more effectively and get out more of the valuable components that the salmon needs.

“This also means that the feed can be tailored to the needs of the salmon. This is knowledge with many positive effects.”

Once it has been established which substances salmon need, it will be possible to supplement the feed with raw materials from other sources.

“This can be fish offal, plants or animals in the sea. Everything from starfish to sea cucumbers and seaweed can be potential sources for raw materials,” says Aksnes.

“Feeds and marine raw materials are going to become increasingly important. This is therefore a priority area at Fiskeriforskning’s department in Bergen”, says Department Director Ola Flesland.

“For the aquaculture industry, more knowledge in this area will be very important. This concerns both increased production and improved products.”

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