Recent findings from the Centre for Aquaculture Competence (CAC) show that it is possible to farm salmon of the same high nutritional and culinary quality using less marine raw materials in the feed.
In this way farmed salmon provide more marine protein than it consumes in feed, thus becoming a net fish protein producer.
CAC is a large-scale research station located in Norway, and jointly owned by AKVA Group, Skretting and Marine Harvest. The objective of this research is to further enhance the sustainability of salmon production. Trials are still in progress and will be concluded by the end of the year. However, recent evidence from 800 000 salmons produced at CAC show that it is possible for salmon raised in farms to yield more fish protein than used to produce their feed, without reducing the omega-3 level and the culinary quality of the flesh.
Increased level of alternative raw materials
In the research project, the salmon were divided into three groups which were fed separate diets. One group was fed an ordinary feed with slightly higher vegetable oil content. The other two groups were fed a feed with a higher ratio of vegetable raw material to marine protein raw material. It is these two latter groups that have been yielding more fish protein than has been used in the production of the feed.
Finding replacements for marine raw materials is a prerequisite for future growth in the salmon industry; a concern raised by both environmental NGO’s and the industry in debates about the sustainability of the salmon farming activity. At the same time it is necessary to maintain the health benefits of the salmon to the consumer, as well as ensuring the health and welfare of the salmon. These findings point out a path taking all these demands into consideration.