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How poultry byproducts can help reduce aquaculture’s environmental footprint

18 July 2019, at 8:54am

Using poultry-based ingredients instead of fish meal ad fish oil in aquafeeds could help to substantially lower the aquaculture sector’s environmental footprint, according to new research.

The environmental impact of using ingredients such as hydrolyzed feather meal, poultry byproduct meal and poultry fat in aquafeeds has been assessed in a new study by Aquasoja.

Aquasoja focuses on the development, production and marketing of integrated feed solutions for aquaculture
Aquasoja focuses on the development, production and marketing of integrated feed solutions for aquaculture

The Portuguese firm explains that, while these ingredients may be excellent protein and lipid sources, as well as being readily available and relatively low priced, it is important to conduct an environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of them. And their study analysed four impact categories: global warming, abiotic depletion, acidification and eutrophication.

Summarising their results the researchers said: “Overall, the production of feed ingredients from poultry byproducts has relatively low impacts for the categories analyzed, and they could therefore be used as environmentally sustainable ingredients in animal feeds, particularly in the aquafeed industry. Furthermore, our study showed that the impact of these ingredients is much lower than traditional fishmeal and fish oil, indicating that using them as replacers would decrease substantially the environmental impacts of aquafeed production in the impact categories considered.”

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The feed research specialist will be sponsoring session PS17 Nutrition: Animal ingredients in aquafeed, at AE2019 in October, where these results will be presented in more detail.