The Norwegian firm Biomar has joined NIFES' salmon feed project. (Photo: Biomar/FIS)
NIFES researches salmon feed throughout the fish life cycle
Thursday, March 22, 2012, 02:10 (GMT + 9)
As a member of a major international project, the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) is to study how salmon can be guaranteed healthy food throughout their life.
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member Biomar Limited
For the next five years, NIFES will be collaborating with 21 partners from 12 European countries in ARRAINA, a European Union (EU) integrated project that aims to solve some of the greatest challenges that aquaculture will have to deal with in the future: how can we develop a fish feed with high nutritional value, based on raw materials derived from plants, that will guarantee farmed fish a good standard of health?
What is new about ARRAINA is that scientists will study nutrition throughout the entire life cycle of the fish.
“It will be particularly important to map the nutritional requirements of farmed fish throughout their life cycle. We will also be looking at how feeding in any given generation influences the following generation. Until now, most research has concentrated on shorter phases,” says NIFES Director of Research Gro-Ingunn Hemre.
The EU project will survey the nutritional requirements of a number of fish species that are farmed in different parts of Europe. NIFES is responsible for salmon together with the University of Stirling. Other Norwegian partners are GIFAS and Biomar.
Until recently, farmed salmon has largely been fed marine raw materials in the form of fishmeal and fish oil. However, marine resources will not be sufficient to keep up with the expected rate of growth of the aquaculture industry, so fish feed will need to be based much more on plant-based raw materials in the future, which will change the nutritional composition of the feed.
An essential task just now is to determine how this will affect the fish and how we can design new feeds that will provide a nutritious and healthy diet.
ARRAINA, which is coordinated by France (INRA), has a total budget of EUR 8 million.