Aquaculture for all

F3 Fish Oil Challenge prize money doubles

Marine protection Marine fish

Veramaris remains in lead at halfway point of global aquaculture feed competition

The F3 Challenge prize has doubled thanks to a generous donation of $100,000 from the sustainable aquaculture investment fund Cuna del Mar. The competitor who sells the most “fish-free” fish oil for aquaculture that meets the challenge criteria will win the $200,000 grand prize.

The F3 Fish Oil Challenge is an incentive prize designed to help accelerate commercial-scale ingredients for aquaculture feed that meet the nutritional requirements of fish to produce healthy seafood for consumers without utilising wild-caught fish.

“Finding alternatives to wild-caught fish is essential for the future of aquaculture,” said Christy Walton, founder of Cuna del Mar. “We are excited to be part of this global effort by industry leaders to make fish-free animal feed a reality.”

As of the second sales reporting period, the four competitors have collectively sold 210,265 kilograms of F3 oil during the contest. Veramaris remains in the lead with the most oil sold.

The four global competitors include China-based Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co Ltd, China-based Shen Zhen Alpha Feed Co Ltd, Netherlands-based Veramaris and the UK/US-based team Aquaculture Innovation/Qualitas Health.

Aquaculture, or fish farming, supplies one of the world’s most efficient sources of animal protein. However, the industry is being held back by the availability of one key ingredient: fish oil, which provides important omega fatty acids necessary for animal and human nutrition.

Each year, an estimated 16 million metric tons of wild fish are caught exclusively for use in fish oil and fishmeal. Wild-caught fish are currently the major source of Omega-3 known and contains DHA, EPA and ARA—essential fatty acids needed to grow farmed-raised fish. Without alternative marine animal-free oil sources, the world’s oceans will not be able to keep up with the demand for seafood to feed the growing world population, which could result in major supply chain disruptions in the multi-billion dollar aquaculture industry as well as ecological collapse.

The University of Arizona, University of Massachusetts Boston, Synbiobeta, Anthropocene Institute, Dawson Family Fund, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, The Campbell Foundation, Tides Foundation and The National Renderers Association are sponsors of the crowdfunded prize, today joined by the generous gift from Cuna del Mar.

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