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Low Fishmeal Feed Finds Favour In Japan


JAPAN - This spring Skretting in Japan introduced a feed for yellowtail with the lowest fishmeal content to be offered in that market.

At 30 per cent, the fishmeal content of the new Sustain feed is close to half that of feeds conventionally used in Japan for this species and others such as red sea bream and is significantly lower than the original Sustain introduced in 2006.

Yuta Hamasaki, Product Development & Formulation Manager in Skretting Japan comments: “Compared with current salmon feeds in countries like Norway our New Sustain YT has a high fishmeal content but in Japan feeds usually have fishmeal contents over 50 per cent even up to 60 per cent.

"The original Sustain was an important step for the Japanese market, with fishmeal at 40 per cent. It has established a good position in the market and we believe 2010 can be a turning point for Japanese aquaculture, accepting that a feed with 30 per cent fishmeal can be just as productive as the conventional feeds. Many farmers now recognise we must bring down these high levels of fishmeal. If nothing else it will make them less vulnerable to high fishmeal prices such as we have so far this year.”

To prove it is possible for yellowtail to grow well on feeds with only 30 percent fishmeal, Skretting is conducting a trial on a commercial farm in the Nagasaki region, on North Kyushu Island. It started last November with yellowtail around 4 kg in weight. “The farmer already reported the fish are eating the feed well and growth looks good, comparable to fish being given a 50 per cent fishmeal diet,” says Ms Hamasaki. “We began sampling in April this year.

“To formulate this new Sustain feed we used recent findings from Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre, applying their AminoBalanceTM and MicroBalanceTM concepts to ensure the fish get all the amino acids and micro-ingredients they need for good health and growth and we added enzymes to enhance digestion.”