Fish feed seems to be growing in importance as researchers focus on creating and discovering several innovations to the health and development aquaculture fish. One of these innovative feeds reduces environmental contaminants in farmed salmon, another discovers the benefit of cetoleic acid as ingredient, and still another reduces the use fishmeal.
New salmon feed reduces contaminants…
An innovative farmed-fish feed that conserves marine resources and reduces environmental contaminants in farmed salmon has been created by Norwegian fish farmers Kvarøy and Selsøyvik, working together with Blue Circle Foods, BioMar and Whole Foods Market.
Called In the Blue, the new feed is made with trimmings from wild-caught fish that are already bound for human consumption. It is unlike conventional feeds, which are produced with fish caught solely for feed. It requires less than one pound of food to create a pound of fish, making it more environmentally friendly.
 "We knew we'd have to make a significant investment of time and budget to create this custom feed for only two farms, but the risk was definitely worth it when we saw the difference this process could make for consumers, the industry and our planet", said Vidar Gundersen, group sustainability manager for BioMar.
Carrie Brownstein, seafood quality standards coordinator for Whole Foods Market, said, "We developed ambitious yet achievable standards to create a model of more sustainable aquaculture, and we are thrilled to see In the Blue bring that to life with better farmed salmon for our shoppers, and a better example for the industry at large".
The companies involved in the project hope similar feeds can be formulated for other species.
…Feed with herring oil gives salmon more omega-3 fatty acids…
Scientists at the Norwegian food research institute Nofima have discovered that herring contains a naturally high level of cetoleic acid, a fatty acid whose importance as ingredient in feed for farmed salmon was previously unknown. 
Senior scientist Bente Ruyter and her colleagues at Nofima have carried out experiments showing that cetoleic acid stimulates cells to convert short omega-3 fatty acids into the healthy, longer marine omega-3 fatty acids.
The experiments used human liver cells and liver cells from salmon. Both showed that pure cetoleic acid stimulates increased formation of the healthy, longer marine omega-3 fatty acids. The results were confirmed in salmon that have been given feed with herring oil that had a high content of cetoleic acid. Fish oil is an extremely important ingredient in the feed given to farmed salmon, but it is not the dominating one.
The researchers found that cetoleic acid added to feed causes the salmon to store 10% more marine omega fatty acids (EPA and DHA) in the body than they do otherwise.
"It's too early to say how large an effect cetoleic acid has in humans, but the experiments in cells in culture suggest that it influences how much healthy, marine omega fatty acids we store after eating herring", Ruyter said.
The results of the feeding experiments show that salmon fed with herring oil, which is rich in cetoleic acid, acquire higher deposits of EPA and DHA in the body than fish fed with South American sardine oil.
Further, the scientists saw lower levels of the condition known as "fatty liver" in farmed fish that had been given herring oil in the feed.
"Salmon that had been given herring oil had less fat in the liver, which suggests that they had a higher level of fat metabolism. This is good for the salmon," says Ruyter.
The research has been financed by the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF).
…New fish feed ingredient reduces fishmeal
A new fish feed ingredient that reduces the use fishmeal has been developed by US food and energy security firm Calysta under a grant made to its UK subsidiary from the UK Exceptional Regional Growth Fund (eRGF).
The ingredient, called FeedKind™ protein is a natural, safe and non-GMO approved for sale in the European Union.
FeedKind is made using a natural process similar to the production of yeast-extract sandwich spreads. Studies have confirmed the nutritional value of the feed, based on growth performance and animal health, among others.
Calysta is marketing FeedKind Aqua to the global salmon farming industry. It said that for the first time, FeedKind Aqua provides the aquaculture industry with the opportunity to further improve its sustainability profile as it grows to meet increasing global demand for fish protein.
In the UK alone, the salmon farming industry is expected to grow by 50% by 2020.
By replacing fishmeal with a nutritious naturally occurring protein, the industry can reduce its impact on the environment and on wild fisheries, while offering consumers a more sustainable product, Calysta said.
Dr. Alan Shaw, Calysta president and CEO said: "The eRGF grant is a major vote of confidence for us from the UK government. After looking at potential sites around Europe, we look forward to building Calysta's first plant in Teesside".

Bangladesh boosts black tiger shrimp export to US
To boost sagging sales, the Bangladeshi government will take the country's black tiger shrimp to where the world's top seafood buyers will gather early next month: the Seafood Expo North America (SENA).
A delegation led by Senior Commerce Secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamoon will visit SENA, North America's largest seafood trade exposition catering to seafood buyers in every market category including retail, restaurant, catering, food service and processing, which will be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston, USA, on March 6-8, hoping to   attract buyers in order to increase export.
Despite its succulent taste, demand for black tigers in the US has decreased while that for the lower-priced vannamei shrimp has increased.
Bangladesh will have a booth where exporters could display shrimps to attract buyers.
It will also meet with the National Fisheries Institute (NFI), the largest organisation dealing with shrimp export in hopes of increasing export to the American market.

Chinese shrimp traders outbid Vietnamese
Chinese traders are reportedly buying raw Vietnamese shrimp in the Mekong Delta at higher prices, competing with local buyers. These traders allegedly inject impurities to increase the size of the shrimp and then export them at high prices, a couple of Vietnamese trader have claimed, according to a report.
Vietnamese companies, which reportedly couldn't compete with the Chinese traders, end up grappling with shortage of raw shrimp.
"Several contracts for export to Japan and the US have been signed but enterprises do not have shrimp to process and deliver to their partners. My company has received many orders for export to Japan, but can hardly find material supply. They (Chinese traders) have bought it all, big shrimp, small shrimp, everything," Nguyen Van Kich, general director of Cafatex Corp. in Hau Giang province, was quoted as saying.
Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said farmers sell shrimp to whoever offers high prices.
Raw tiger prawn was priced as of mid-January at VND240,000-245,000 (US$10.85-$11.10) per kilo of 20 units and VND150,000-155,000 ($6.80-$7) per kilo of 30 units in Ca Mau province, Vietnam's largestexporter of shrimp.
A kilo of 15 units has hit a two-year high at VND310,000-320,000 ($14-$14.42), according to VASEP.
Thai shrimp production -- which has been hit hard by early mortality syndrome (EMS) -- is set to recover further in 2016, according to a panel at the recent Global Seafood Market Conference in Miami, Florida.
Thailand's recovery from EMS is such that production is forecast to hit 300,000t in 2016, up from around 260,000t in 2015 and 200,000t in 2014, according to the panel.

Honduras farmed shrimp production slumps
Honduras' farmed-shrimp production in 2015 fell 20-30% compared with the previous year, the National Aquaculture Association of Honduras (Andah) said, blaming climate change, which it said caused an increase in salinity levels. 
"Last year was somewhat atypical with little rain, causing an increase of salinity and temperature that altered the natural habitat of the shrimp," said Javier Amador, executive director of Andah.
In the nine months through September 2015, shrimp exports were valued at $114.4 million, or $52.1 million less (31.3%) than the same period in 2014, according to data from the Central Bank of Honduras.
The bank said the fall in export volume (20.8%) and price (13.2%) was due to the outbreak of a bacterial disease that decimated the shrimp population.
Honduras exported 67.5 million pounds of farmed shrimp, valued at $243.6 million in 2014, This was an all-time record.
The main markets for Honduran shrimp are the UK, Mexico and the US.


India shrimp sector addresses disease issues
In order to provide solutions to health-related issues in the aquaculture sector, Chennai-based, government-owned Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) signed recently a pact with the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI).
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two organisations aims to address issues like emerging disease problems and antibiotic residue with special focus on farmed shrimp production in India.
SEAI general secretary Elias Sait said that growth in the exports of aquaculture sector has reached $4.42 billion (Rs30,000 crore) in 2014-15. Shrimp farming in India has grown in the last 37 years and led the Indian seafood business.
He said that CIBA played an important role in helping the Indian government take a major step in introducing Pacific white shrimp in the country in 2009, which was a landmark in the Indian shrimp farming sector.
CIBA is an autonomous organisation formed under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to serve as the nodal agency for catering to the needs of the brackishwater aquaculture research in India.
SEAI, on the other hand, protects and promotes the interests of the companies engaged in the seafood business and develops the international seafood trade of India.
SEAI has its corporate base in Cochin in Kerala and maintains eight regional offices in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

Iran to help fill Russian demand for seafood
Iran said it could export up to 100,000 tonnes of seafood to Russia, where it noted a high demand for seafood.
Hassan Salehi, head of the Fisheries Organisation, told the Tasnim News Agency that Russia's demand for the import of seafood products was so high that it outstripped Iran's exports.
He noted that Iran's fishery industry was the first agricultural sector to send exports to Russia after a deal between Tehran and Moscow, saying the first batch included 20 tonnes of shrimps.
"There exists no problem for the export of Iran's seafood products to Russia," Salehi said, adding that Iranian exporters recently opened four offices in Russia.
Russia plans to tap Iran, Azerbaijan and Abkhazia for food as Moscow has imposed economic sanctions on Turkey after the Turkish military shot down a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border in November 2015.

Nutreco, African Century Foods to produce fish feed in Zambia
Nutreco and African Century Foods (ACF) have entered into a joint venture to produce, sell and distribute tilapia feed.
The new company, called Skretting Zambia, will operate the first dedicated fish feed plant in Zambia. Skretting is Nutreco's global brand for aqua feed.
The new plant will be located at Siavonga, Lake Kariba, close to major fish farms in Zambia and Zimbabwe, and will have an initial capacity of 25,000 tonnes of extruded fish feed.
A substantial part of the capacity will be used to supply the Zambian and Zimbabwean tilapia farms of ACF, Africa's largest fish producer. ACF has also a tilapia farm in Uganda.
Plant capacity will be expanded in a second phase with the aim of supplying the wider Southeast African region.
"This joint venture is a new step in our commitment to the African market, adding to recent fish feed investments in Egypt and Nigeria," said Harm de Wildt, managing director of Nutreco's operations in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).
For his part, Henry Pitman, CEO of ACF said, "This new feed mill will allow us to expand our operations from the current production levels of 10,000 tonnes and help to reduce our cost of production in line with our strategy to become the lowest cost producer of tilapia in the region".
Aquaculture in Zambia is developing at a rapid pace, and it is hoped to reduce dependency on imported fish. A lack of high quality fish feed is the key bottleneck in the further development of the regional aquaculture sector, where tilapia farming is dominant.
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