Aquaculture for all

Leaders announced in "fish-free" aquafeed contest

Salmonids Fish stocks Shrimp +13 more

Competitors in the F3 Challenge – Carnivore Edition have sold a combined total of over 3,141 tonnes of fish-free feed at the halfway point in the sales contest, which is designed to spark innovation in the aquafeed industry to find viable, cost-competitive replacements to fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture feed.

Japan's Dainichi Corporation has developed a line of fish-free feed for red sea bream

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

An estimated 84.6 million forage fish have been saved from being rendered into aquafeed since contestants began reporting sales, according to the F3 Feed Innovation Network’s forage fish savings calculator.

The goal of the F3 - Future of Fish Feed is 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 it against shocks to the supply chain.

The award is US$100,000 in each of three categories – salmonid, shrimp, and other carnivorous species. The F3 Challenge is a sales competition to award prize monies to the contestants that produce and sell the most “fish-free feed” within their designated category.

Eight qualifying F3 feeds were submitted by the six contestants competing toward the $300,000 in prizes available for the Carnivore Edition. Contestants began recording sales on or after 1 October 2020. The qualifying feeds must not contain any ingredients consisting of or derived from marine animals, including fish, squid, shrimp, or krill.

According to F3, a reliance on wild-caught resources threatens the ability to grow many aquacultured species because the supply of small fish fluctuates globally. Without any changes in technology, they 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,” said F3 in a press release.

All sales reported now need to be verified by the F3 Challenge judges, 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.

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