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An answer worth millions

NORWAY - Farmed salmon are dependent on fishmeal to grow and develop normally. But which substances in the meal does it have to have? The answer is worth millions for the Norwegian aquaculture industry.

An answer worth millions - NORWAY - Farmed salmon are dependent on fishmeal to grow and develop normally. But which substances in the meal does it have to have? The answer is worth millions for the Norwegian aquaculture industry.


Scientists at Fiskeriforskning are working to reveal the secrets of fishmeal.
Salmon have been getting increasingly more "green" feed from agriculture. But the feed must contain around 30 % fishmeal in order for the fish to grow.

At least for now, because new knowledge can help reduce the need for fishmeal. Accordingly, more vegetable products that are found today in unlimited amounts can be used.

This will make it possible to increase the production of feed, which again will make it possible to produce far more salmon in the future.

Revealing the secrets

Scientists at Fiskeriforskning's department in Bergen are working to reveal the secrets of fishmeal. The research will provide answers about which substances in the meal the salmon needs to grow and develop normally.

"The answer can mean a halving of the amount of fishmeal in the feed", says Senior Scientist Anders Aksnes.

This will be very important for feed manufacturers and the aquaculture industry. Fishmeal is an expensive ingredient, and the prices are rising in step with increasing demands. The fishing quotas also set limits for how much meal it is possible to manufacture.

Many positive effects


Senior Scientist Anders Aksnes.
"When we understand which substances the salmon requires, then we can adapt the production such that we preserve as many of these substances in the meal as possible. We can utilise the fishing resources more effectively and get out more of the valuable components that the salmon needs, says Aksnes."

"This also means that the feed can be tailored to the needs of the salmon. This is knowledge with many positive effects."

New sources

When we know which substances the salmon needs, it will also be possible to take raw materials from other sources.

"This can be fish offal, plants or animals in the sea. Everything from starfish to sea cucumbers and seaweed can be potential sources for raw materials", says Aksnes.

"Feeds and marine raw materials are going to become increasingly important. This is therefore a priority area at Fiskeriforskning's department in Bergen", says Department Director Ola Flesland.

"For the aquaculture industry, more knowledge in this area will be very important. This concerns both increased production and improved products."

Source: Fiskeriforskning - 20th June 2006

the Fish Site Editor

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