Spain is one of the main farmed sea bream producers. (Photo: Stockfile)
Sea bream fed with vegetable feed
Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 05:10 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers from the School of Agricultural Engineering and Natural Environment of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, managed to feed sea breams in captivity with a mixture of protein vegetable ingredients -- wheat, soy or rapeseed gluten-- and krill meal.
This feed was found to be an attractive type of food for farmed sea bream, the scientists led by Professor Miguel Jover stated.
During the investigation, it was possible to succeed in making 150 gram specimens to reach an almost market weight of 400 grams, according to Las Provincias.
The next step is to obtain fish of up to 600 grams, which is the average weight for sale.
Currently, fishmeal is more expensive because the catches have been reduced from 7 to 4 million tonnes since 1990s.
"Fishmeal is also used to feed other livestock and aquaculture growth is so high that, at this rate, in a few years there will be no fish for the fish farming industry," Jover added.
"Hence the need to find alternative protein ingredients to achieve sustainable aquaculture," he added.
According to the investigator, "with a substitution of 25 per cent to 30 per cent fishmeal with individual ingredients and of up to 50 per cent of vegetable mixtures (without added amino acids), there is no difference in the growth of sea bream."
Vegetable protein sources do not cause any reduction of the nutrient, as the amino acids are used by the sea bream to build its own body proteins.
Therefore, "there is no difference, at least in the short term," ensured Jovet. Now, the group is performing trials with these diets to succeed in making fish reach a higher final weight.
Spain is the third largest producer of sea bream in the world, after Greece and Turkey, and it is the first country in the ranking of consumption of this fish, the agency Europa Press reported.
By Analia Murias