February 9, 2012


Japanese researchers invent new fish feed made from flies



Japanese researchers have invented a new fish feed made from housefly pupae, as a cheaper alternative in comparison to common feeds.


According to reports, the feed was created by a team at the South Ehime Fisheries Research Centre of Ehime University. Researchers there hope to have it in the market within two to three years.


A drop in stocks of fish used to make fish meal and expanding fish farming in countries like China and Vietnam has pushed the price of fish meal to JPY200 (US$2.59) per kilogram or around twice what it was five years ago.


The researchers cut back the fish content of the feed by 25%, replacing a fourth of that with ground fly pupae. The rest was replaced with other ingredients. When the feed was given to sea bream, they showed improved colouring and resistance to disease.


The fly pupae are raised in pig dung by a company in Miyazaki Prefecture, after which they are ground up and pasteurised.


Professor Takeshi Miura, who worked on the research, estimates that at JPY74.5 (US$0.97), the new feed is JPY5.5 (US$0.07) per kilogram, cheaper than current feeds. "Aquaculture is increasing around the world, but in Japan, it is declining, and some businesses have been forced to close. I hope that with efficiently grown feed, we can improve the situation," he says.

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