Land-based fish farmer Andfjord Salmon and feed business Skretting are working with a specialist supplier to develop a novel feed based on zooplankton.
Zooca, based in Sortland, Norway, produces a feed ingredient based on Calanus (Calanus finmarchicus) a zooplankton species that has not previously been used in salmon feed.
In February this year, Andfjord Salmon entered into a strategic feed supply agreement with Skretting, the aquaculture business line of global leader in animal nutrition and aquafeed, Nutreco.
Under this agreement, Skretting has developed a feed that is specifically tailored to Andfjord Salmon’s flow-through technology to ensure optimal water quality, fish welfare and growth conditions in the land-based pool. This will also ensure the production of a premium quality salmon, the companies say.
The feed has been named “Calanus® Plus by Andfjord Salmon”. It consists of feed ingredients that have a proven track record from land-based salmon farming. However, the feed composition is specifically tailored to Andfjord Salmon’s flow-through system and location at Andøya.
Calanus® Plus by Andfjord Salmon is the first salmon feed that utilises the zooplankton Calanus finmarchicus as raw material ingredient. The feed also contains algae oil as an alternative to marine fish oil.
Zooca (Calanus AS) processes Calanus finmarchicus at its facility at Sortland in Vesterålen, close to Andfjord Salmon’s site at Kvalnes.
Mads Martinsen, Director of Product Development and Sustainability at Skretting, said: “Calanus finmarchicus is nature’s own ‘starter’ feed. It is a natural prey that is biologically adapted to provide optimal nutrition for fish. Adding Zooca® Hydrolysate made from Calanus finmarchicus to the feed will be very useful to stimulate the fish’s appetite in the transition to seawater. We look forward to cooperating with Zooca® (Calanus AS) and Andfjord Salmon to realise the vast untapped potential that Calanus finmarchicus represents.”
Martin Rasmussen, CEO of Andfjord Salmon, said: “Our ambition is to develop the world’s most fish friendly and sustainable aquaculture facility of its kind. Having our own specially designed feed, with unique ingredients from a local supplier, is another important building block towards realising this ambition.”
Andfjord operates an innovative flow-through system which, the company says, replicates the environment salmon need to thrive in the wild. The first smolts were released into the facility in June.
Calanus finmarchicus is one of the most numerous animal species on the planet, with approximately 300 million tonnes in biomass each year, and it is Norway’s largest harvestable and renewable marine resource. Today Zooca only harvests approximately 0.0005 percent of the total volume annually.
Hogne Abrahamsen, International Account Director at Zooca, said: “By sustainably harnessing high-performing, high-quality nutrients from Calanus finmarchicus, there is a large potential to improve long-term human health and ensure superior animal nutrition around the globe. We are delighted to secure this commercial breakthrough within salmon feed together with Andfjord Salmon and Skretting.”