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Although aquafeed manufacturers still can’t do completely without fishmeal and fish oil they are in the meantime much less dependent on marine ingredients and are increasingly using alternative raw materials to meet the protein and nutrient requirements of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Modern processing methods today enable the use of numerous new resources.
This article featured in EUROFISH Magazine 2 2020.
According to the FAO an additional 27 million tonnes of seafood will have to be produced by 2030 in order to maintain the current supply level. This will be impossible without expanding aquaculture production, however, and will lead to an increased demand for aquafeed. That, in turn, poses enormous problems for the feed industry because the supply of fishmeal and fish oil cannot be increased at will without jeopardising the sustainability of industrial fishing. Traditionally, fishmeal has been the preferred source of protein for aquafeed due to its high protein content, well-balanced amino acid profile, and good digestibility. Global fishmeal production has been stagnating for more than 30 years, however, and might now even be on a decline. On average, the fishmeal industry uses about 20 million tonnes of raw materials a year for the production of approximately 5 million tonnes of fishmeal and 1 million tonnes of fish oil. Three quarters of this is processed to feed for aquaculture. Because the available quantities are not sufficient to meet demand the feed industry has to resort to alternative raw materials.