Attaining a FIFO of under 1:1 has been the holy grail of marine fish feed research
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) on Thursday unveiled what’s it’s calling a “major breakthrough” in sustainable aquaculture — producing farmed marine fish with a fish in/fish out (FIFO) ratio of less than 1:1.
Over the past five years, U.S. soybean farmers have sponsored a series of feed trials for farmed marine fish to test the use of soy ingredients as a replacement for fishmeal and fish oil. Recent trials conducted by Kampachi Farms in Hawaii, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska, have produced farmed carnivorous fish with a FIFO ratio of 0.89:1.
An eight-month feed trial in 2011 tested an experimental diet of 40 percent soy protein concentrate (SPC) and a 50:50 blend of fish oil and high omega-3 soy oil against a standard commercial feed traditionally used to raise kampachi, a sashimi-grade Hawaiian yellowtail. With taurine, a non-essential amino acid, added to the SPC diet, the kampachi showed improved growth rates. Also, in controlled taste tests, consumers could not detect any difference from fish raised on a conventional diet, according to USSEC.
“Attaining a FIFO of under 1:1 has been the holy grail of marine fish feed research for some time,” said Neil Anthony Sims, president of Kampachi Farms. “We show here that we can produce premium, sashimi-grade fish with a net increase in marine proteins — that is, we produce more fish than our fish eat. This represents a significant step forward for the economics and the ecological efficiencies of marine fish culture.”
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