Soy feed for aquaculture. (Photo: soyaqua.org)
Projects in place to make aquaculture sustainable through soy feeds
Monday, April 04, 2011, 00:30 (GMT + 9)
US seafood producers and US soybean farmers continue to join in efforts to improve the national aquaculture industry as a sustainable source of finfish and shellfish.
The United Soybean Board (USB) is investing in projects meant to benefit domestic aquaculture producers. The majority of the projects entail one of two categories.
The first entails research to improve fish farming output. This includes researching new soybean traits to boost soybean meal characteristics for diets fed to farmed fish, and upgrading the efficiency of aquaculture production by using best practices and standard operating procedures at critical control points.
The second category entails working through the National Aquaculture Association (NAA) to help promote the benefits of the country’s aquaculture in terms of health, economic and environmental benefits. This includes communicating these benefits to consumers, the food industry and health care professionals; running workshops to teach farmers how to better their product marketing and help enhance public perception locally; maintaining a website to serve as database of aquaculture information; and attracting positive media exposure.
USB administers US soybean farmers’ checkoff investments and state soybean checkoff boards. The soybean checkoff supports the domestic aquaculture sectors - a leading buyer of US soybeans.
Recently, the Board devised a project to keep driving demand up for US soy through the aquaculture market. According to checkoff-funded research, this growing industry could eventually use millions of bushels of soy.
USB touts protein-rich soybean meal as a sustainable replacement for the traditional, fish-based diets given to farmed fish.
“US soybean farmers support the interests of all US animal farmers, including aquaculture producers, in order to help protect our number one market for our crop,” stated soybean farmer and USB Director David Wilson. “We’re interested in making US soybean meal as good as it can possibly be for our customers.”
Health experts at the American Heart Association (AHA) and other groups, USB said, advise that people eat finfish or shellfish twice weekly. Because the United Nations (UN) says the globe’s wild fish stocks are being depleted and thus will not be able to meet this demand, US aquaculture producers can help fill this need.
- Soy and aquaculture industries work together to increase demand
By Natalia Real