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Oz Fish Feed Swallowed up on Foreign Shores

AUSTRALIA - West Australian (WA) grain farmers are set to cash in on a booming aquaculture industry as overseas fish farms seek new protein sources to replace fishmeal or oil.

Australian researchers, who have developed a lupin-based fish feed being exported to Japan, Norway and Thailand, predict enormous growth in demand over the next decade, reports The West.

Department of Fisheries research scientist Brett Glencross said almost half the fish consumed globally came from fish farms, with the aquaculture industry growing 10 per cent a year.

The West believes that WA farmers, who produce much of the world’s lupins, were best placed to capitalise on demand.

It said that the traditional feed source of fish oil and fishmeal, generally sourced from smaller fish such as anchovies, was limited in growth so aquaculture needed sustainable alternative feed sources which were high in protein.

The new pellet, developed under the Aquaculture Feed Grains Program, is made of up to one-quarter lupin flour and while it contains fishmeal, the amount is less than half that of a traditional feed pellet.

Dr Glencross said the use of WA lupins had risen from very small tonnages in 2000 to 5000-10,000 tonnes in recent years for the domestic aquaculture sector, but the real growth area was the export market.