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Weekly Overview: Focus on Feed to Reduce Costs and Boost Performance

Nutrition Husbandry Breeding & genetics +6 more

ANALYSIS - Australian abalone farmers in Australia are set to save millions through new feeding strategies developed by SARDI scientists.

Lucy Towers thumbnail

The new strategy, which should save farmers A$2.5 million a year, better meets the nutritional needs of abalone and promises to lift productivity by 10 per cent.

SARDI nutrition and feed scientist Dr David Stone said nutrition had long been suspected as a major obstacle in the growing potential for abalone. Traditionally abalone had been fed a diet that did not change throughout their 2.5 year production cycle, he said

Mississippi State University scientists in the US are also looking at ways to help catfish farmers produce high quality catfish whilst keeping costs low.

The researchers found that catfish can thrive for the first six weeks after hatching by feeding on naturally occurring zooplankton, which are high in protein and other nutrients and are abundant in ponds and other bodies of water.

“This work shows fry thrive on natural pond productivity during the first four to six weeks of growth,” said David Wise, coordinator for the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Centre in Stoneville and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

“Reducing or eliminating fry feedings during this time can reduce some of the cost of fish production. Implementing this practice can save fingerling farmers at least $236 per acre on initial feed costs.”

The natural spawning of silver pompani has been achieved in the Philippines by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). The successful spawning of this fish will help promote its future in the aquaculture sector as a high-value marine finfish which is easy to farm.

In the US, retail giant Wal-Mart has stated that it will no longer stock wild caught Alaskan salmon which is not sustainably certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

In her weekly column, Laine Welch stated that the US National Park Service is also requiring that all food vendors at its parks and monuments, etc. can only serve seafood endorsed by private enterprises.

Alaska State Governor, Sean Parnell, sent a letter last week to Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke expressing “great disappointment,” and saying that while he commends Wal-Mart’s desire to source its products responsibly, he believes the decision was based on “incomplete information.”