Aquaculture for all

Retaining Health Benefits In Sustainably Farmed Fish

Nutrition Education & academia

GLOBAL - Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre is joining an EU-funded project to maximise the retention of marine omega-3 fatty acids in farmed fish given feeds with improved sustainability.

One way of raising the sustainability of fish feeds is to reduce the content of the marine raw materials fishmeal and fish oil.

This is being achieved through the use of vegetable alternatives. However that can also reduce the amount of the marine fatty acids EPA and DHA in the diet of the fish.

These fatty acids are responsible for some key health benefits of fish for the consumer. The four-year project, starting January 2012, will identify ways of maximising the retention by the fish of the marine fatty acids that are present in these diets.

Researcher Ingunn Stubhaug explains: We will explore ways of producing fish on diets that, across the full growth phase, have a lower content of marine oils. This can be achieved by identifying suitable antioxidants to protect the highly unsaturated fatty acids from oxidation, and optimising their inclusion levels."

"Another approach is to phase the levels of marine oils in the feed across the growth stage, without compromising the health and welfare of the fish. We will also explore the influence of water temperature and the molecular structures of the triglycerides holding the omega-3 fatty acids in the fish flesh.

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