Al­gae oil in­tro­duced into shrimp feed but do farm­ers want it?

Fish Farmer - - News -

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

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