Algae oil introduced into shrimp feed but do farmers want it?
AN alternative feed ingredient containing algal oil has been fed to shrimp in a successful trial, conducted by Thai Union.
The company, which also recently trialled the alternative Feedkind protein at one of its shrimp farms, has a goal to bring more responsibly sourced and sustainably harvested shrimp to market.
In the latest project, shrimp were fed AlgaPrime DHA, an algae based source of long-chain omega-3s produced by Corbion.
Announcing the results of the trial at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Bangkok last month, Corbion global aquaculture lead Chris Haacke said: ‘Shrimp farming is one of the fastest growing sectors in the aquaculture industry, and AlgaPrime DHA has the potential to offer shrimp farmers assurance in traceability and sustainability of their feed, while also allowing them to add beneficial omega3s to their product.’
However, Darian McBain, Thai Union’s global director of sustainability, said later, during a panel discussion at the summit, that although the company had engaged in feed trials with both Feedkind and AlgaPrime, farmers, ‘by and large, don’t want it’.
‘If it doesn’t smell like fish, they don’t think it’s appropriate,’ she said, according to a report of the panel debate by the Global Aquaculture Advocate.
‘We put tuna by-products in the feed [normally]. If you’re replacing fishmeal and fish oil, farmers say they don’t want that product. Their concern is growth rate and getting a return on the shrimp they’ve seeded their ponds with.
‘We’ve proven the case. We got it to market,’ she added. ‘We need someone to buy it. We have a few end customers interested, nobody’s buying it yet.’
Corbion said shrimp farming currently consumes approximately 100,000 tonnes of fish oil annually, predominantly because fish oil contains DHA, a key ingredient in shrimp growth and development.
Above: Seafood panel during the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Bangkok