Seaweed supplement shown to improve growth and feed conversion in shrimp, tilapia and milkfish

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
8 October 2022, at 6:00am

A seaweed-based dietary supplement that could improve the profitability and sustainability of cultured aquatic animals has been developed by researchers in the Philippines.

a conical flask containing a green liquid
A sample of the UPV-CFOS seaweed-based feed supplement

A team from the Institute of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries and Ocean Science, UP Visayas (UPV-CFOS), led by Prof Rex Ferdinand Traifalgar, CFOS-IA director and an expert in nutritional immunology, has found that the eubiotic feed supplement developed from seaweed significantly improved the feed conversion efficiency (FCE), growth performance and gut health of farmed aquatic species such as tilapia, white shrimp, and milkfish.

The research revealed that growth rate and feed conversion ratio, two indicators that determine the profitability and success of an aquaculture business, were enhanced with the use of the developed seaweed-based eubiotic supplement.

Eubiotics are dietary supplements that improve gut health and enhance the physiological health and performance of an organism.

“Faster growth and better feed conversion translate to faster harvest time and better profit gain since feeds are efficiently converted into body tissues,” Prof Traifalgar said in a press release.

The eubiotic feed supplement improved the FCE by 30 to 50 percent, while a 40 to 60 percent improvement in growth performance was noted.

The use of the duly developed seaweed-based supplement also improved stress responses as well as increased the beneficial lactic acid bacteria count of said aquatic organisms.

“Application of this supplement can increase the economic gains of Filipinos venturing in aquaculture,” Prof Traifalgar stated.

The project was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) under the Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) program.