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More food for salmon

by the Fish Site Editor
02 May 2006, at 1:00am

NORWAY - Krill from the Norwegian Sea can become salmon food. A shortage of raw materials for fish feed is leading to increased research on new resources in the sea.

More food for salmon - NORWAY - Krill from the Norwegian Sea can become salmon food. A shortage of raw materials for fish feed is leading to increased research on new resources in the sea.

Fiskeriforskning is one of several research institutions taking part in a 4-year project on the use of krill as a raw material for fish feed.

The project's background is a steadily increasing production of farmed salmon, and thus a greater need for raw materials for production of fishmeal and fish oil.

Shortage of goods

"The prognoses indicate a shortage of fish oil within a few years, and of fishmeal within a decade", says Senior Scientist Eyolf Langmyhr, one of several scientists at Fiskeriforskning's Department in Bergen working with research around raw materials and ingredients for fish feed.

Krill from the Norwegian Sea.
Fishmeal and fish oil are essential ingredients for making feed for farmed salmon and other marine species.

The project will study the possibilities of utilising the populations of krill found in the Norwegian Sea. Today, krill is found in the Southern Ocean in Antarctica. The vessels produce krill meal on board while they are in the field. But many of the nutrients in krill are water soluble and disappear with the water in the production process.

In order to retain as many nutrients as possible, the krill meal must be produced in factories on land. This can be feasible with the krill resources in the Norwegian Sea.

A big challenge

"Taking care of the raw materials and transporting them to land is a big challenge because they dissolve quickly. Our previous tests show that they last 5-6 days at a temperature of 0 degrees celsius, which is not long enough to realise a profitable fishery. We must therefore study the possibilities for chemical conservation such that we can extend the shelf life, says Langmyhr.

Production of krill meal on land makes it possible to retain more of the proteins, fat and the pigment astaxanthin, which gives salmon and trout their red fish flesh.

The Institute of Marine Research (IMR) is leading the project which, amongst other things, is financed by the Research Council of Norway.

Source: Fiskeriforskning - 2nd May 2006

the Fish Site Editor