July 8, 2019
Skretting launches Protec functional diet for tilapia
Skretting has launched Protec, a new functional diet specially designed to help support tilapia and enhance their ability to cope during challenging situations, including hot summer seasons, the company announced early this month.
Protec is currently available in Egypt, while preparations are ongoing at Skretting Vietnam and Skretting Ecuador for its arrival in those regions.
"Tilapia is a truly global species, produced in more countries than any other farmed finfish, with a growing harvest already in excess of five million tonnes. Most tilapia farms are open to the natural environment and therefore exposed to many health challenges," Dr. Christian Delannoy, global health manager at Skretting, explained.
"At Skretting, we recognise the importance of tilapia as a protein source and as a provider of livelihoods for many millions of people, and the development of Protec is a definitive example of our commitment to helping the industry thrive."
Strengthened by the three Protec pillars of "Shield, Support and Balance," this new solution brings together core elements of Protec for other species, while focusing on the unique requirements of tilapia.
The concept has been shown to support tilapia in periods where the fish face devastating bacterial challenges. "We are happy to now be able to offer farmers a feed containing natural functional ingredients as a direct counterpoint to these challenges," Dr. Delannoy added.
In developing Protec for tilapia, the Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) called upon more than three decades of health-specific R&D. Skretting ARC is continually evaluating new functional ingredients to improve existing diets and to ensure that future industry needs are met.
"For this product, we conducted 15 experimental trials spanning pathogenic strains from three continents," said Dr. Polyana Silva, a researcher at Skretting ARC.
"Protec consistently sustained health parameters and survival rates. We have documented the optimal formulation and the preferred feeding strategy. Protec is the result of considerable dialogue and collaboration with tilapia producers; we have focused on the common issues that the sector faces to deliver a solution that can help it to continue to progress in a more sustainable and cost-effective manner," Dr. Silva said.
Skretting's long-term commitment to enable the tilapia sector to transition to a more integrated approach was recently boosted through a new three-year partnership agreement established between Skretting Africa and the Europe-based animal health company IctyoGroup.
The overriding aim of the partnership is to provide new levels of health and nutritional support to tilapia farmers across Africa, particularly through the pairing of Protec and vaccination to ensure heightened fish survival and wellbeing during the grow-out stages of production.
"Ictyogroup is delighted to partner with Skretting Africa," said IctyoGroup CEO Cedric Komar. "This new collaboration will provide synergies for both companies and our shared customers. For example, combining our vaccines with the immune-stimulating functional feeds of Skretting, thus enhancing the vaccination response and improving fish health, will allow both companies to better serve the growing tilapia industry in Africa."
This project is starting in Zambia and East Africa to improve the offering before rolling it out on a much broader scale.