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Aquafeed prize saves 88 million fish and counting

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
5 August 2022, at 8:44am

Contestants competing in the F3 Challenge – Carnivore Edition have sold a combined total of over 3,185 metric tonnes of fish-free feed.

The F3 Challenge - Carnivore Edition aims to improve food security by reducing the aquaculture industry’s reliance on fishmeal and fish oil

An estimated 88 million forage fish have been saved from being fish food since contestants began reporting sales, according to the F3 Feed Innovation Network’s forage fish savings calculator. The sales contest is designed to spark innovation in the aquafeed industry in order to find viable, cost-competitive replacements to fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture feed. The initiative includes US$100,000 in prizes in each of three categories – salmonid, shrimp, and other carnivorous species.

Dainichi Corporation remains in the lead in the other carnivorous species category for its “fish-free” feed for red sea bream. The contestants Star Milling Co. (salmonid category) and Empagran/Veramaris (shrimp category) maintain their leads in their respective categories.

The F3 Challenge - Carnivore Edition aims to assure greater global food security by reducing the aquaculture industry’s reliance on fishmeal and fish oil derived from small forage fish such as menhaden and sardines and to future-proof the industry against shocks to the supply chain.

Eight qualifying F3 feeds were submitted by the contestants, who began recording sales as of Oct. 1, 2020 or after submitting their feed. The qualifying F3 feeds for all prize categories must not contain any ingredients consisting of or derived from marine animals, including but not limited to: fish, squid, shrimp, or krill.

According to the F3 organisers reliance on wild-caught resources threatens the ability to grow many aquacultured species because the supply of small fish fluctuates globally and without any changes in technology, stocks are slated to reach ecological limits by 2037. Reliance on wild-caught resources also threatens wild-caught commercial fisheries, such as tuna, salmon and cod, since these larger fish depend on smaller fish for their sustenance. Since aquacultured and wild-caught seafood comprises the entire supply of seafood, finding nutritionally equivalent alternatives to small fish is important for maintaining the supply of seafood globally.

All sales reported by companies remain unverified. F3 Challenge judges will verify F3 feed sales prior to announcing the winners per the contest rules.

Sponsors of the F3 Challenge include the University of Arizona, The Campbell Foundation, Synbiobeta, The Nature Conservancy, University of Massachusetts-Boston, Anthropocene Institute, Dawson Family Fund, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, Tides Foundation, Cuna Del Mar, the National Renderers Association and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.