Farmer sells first al­gal oil fed salmon

Fish Farmer - - News -

NOR­WE­GIAN salmon farmer Lin­galaks has be­gun com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion of salmon fed on al­ter­na­tive fish oil, pro­duced from al­gae.

Since last Oc­to­ber, the pro­ducer, based in Har­dan­ger fjord, has been feed­ing 50 per cent of its salmon a diet de­vel­oped by Skret­ting, con­tain­ing omega-3 EPA + DHA al­gal oil cre­ated by Vera­maris.

The Ger­man re­tail chain Kau­fland (part of the same group as Lidl) will be the first to put the salmon on its shelves.

‘Omega-3 EPA + DHA from nat­u­ral marine al­gae al­lows us to pro­duce health­ier and bet­ter salmon,’ said Lin­galaks owner Er­lend Hau­gar­voll.

‘It also gives us the unique op­por­tu­nity to dif­fer­en­ti­ate our com­pany within a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket.

‘Our courage to pi­o­neer a new and more sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion method us­ing al­gal oil res­onated well with our phi­los­o­phy.

‘By be­ing the early adopter of this new tech­nol­ogy, we found part­ners along the seafood value chain who sup­ported us in re­al­is­ing our vi­sion of su­pe­rior, sus­tain­able salmon qual­ity and find­ing new out­lets for it.’

Vera­maris is a Dutch based joint ven­ture be­tween DSM and Evonik, and said it has driven the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the pro­ducer and re­tailer.

‘Our omega-3 al­gal oil, rich in both fatty acids EPA and DHA, is a novel in­gre­di­ent for bet­ter and more sus­tain­able salmon farm­ing, but some­times it takes a lot of courage and the right mind­set to take the first step to adopt a break­through in­no­va­tion,’ said Vera­maris CEO Karim Kur­maly.

‘We quickly re­alised that tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing and sales ap­proaches would likely be to no avail and we had to bring key stake­hold­ers around one ta­ble. Only by col­lab­o­rat­ing were we able to make this change to cur­rent prac­tice.’

The re­tailer Kau­fland said it saw great po­ten­tial in the col­lab­o­ra­tion with Lin­galaks and Vera­maris. The com­pany is pur­su­ing a com­pre­hen­sive cor­po­rate re­spon­si­bil­ity strat­egy, of which the seafood port­fo­lio, par­tic­u­larly salmon, is an in­te­gral el­e­ment, re­flect­ing con­sumer de­mands.

‘Our cus­tomers have high de­mands on qual­ity and com­pe­tence of the as­sort­ment,’ said An­dreas Schop­per, head of pur­chas­ing at Kau­fland.

‘The al­gal oil-fed salmon is an in­no­va­tive and high qual­ity prod­uct that lives up to our cus­tomers’ high de­mands for good taste and healthy nu­tri­tion, and that meets the in­creas­ing sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity for con­scious con­sump­tion of re­sources. We are con­vinced that this co­op­er­a­tion is a for­ward look­ing de­ci­sion.’

Vera­maris al­gal oil is pro­duced on land by fer­men­ta­tion of nat­u­ral marine al­gae. The al­gal oil is of a high pu­rity, free from sea-born con­tam­i­nants, sta­bilised with nat­u­ral an­tiox­i­dants, ex­clud­ing Ethoxyquin.

Skret­ting direc­tor of prod­uct devel­op­ment Mads Martin­sen said: ‘As an in­dus­try leader with the knowl­edge to pro­duce 100 per cent fish-free feeds on a com­mer­cial scale, Skret­ting is very happy to sup­port Lin­galaks in tak­ing this in­no­va­tive step.

‘It’s not as sim­ple as just sub­sti­tu­tion, and many years of re­search have al­lowed this break­through.’

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