Feed resources can be utilised better

Some types of by-products from livestock farming may be permitted as feed for aquaculture, meaning valuable sources of protein, now used for combustion and soil improvement, can be used to produce food.

This article was last updated more than two years ago.

After the Mad Cow Disease epidemic in 2001, the use of animal by-products in feeds for the production of other animals, including fish, was stopped in the EU. For several types of animal by-products, for example from chickens, there was scarcely any real danger, but these were covered by the ban to be on the safe side.

"The EU has been working long and hard to ensure sufficiently good control routines and we believe there will be a change to EU regulations in the near future," says Bjarne Hatlen, Scientist in feed and nutrition at Nofima Marin.

Raw materials, such as poultry meal and meat meal and bone meal from pigs, are reasonably priced raw materials that are rich in protein. Unlike many plant raw materials, these raw materials are free of so-called antinutrients, the plants’ natural defence mechanism against parasites, which salmon has a low level of tolerance for.

"As such, they have advantages which make them good and safe alternatives to fishmeal and we believe we cannot afford to not utilise such resources," says Hatlen.

Today’s situation

Today, the majority of the raw materials are used for feeds for fur-bearing animals and cat and dog foods, but some are also used for combustion and soil improvements. Equivalent products are used on a large scale in Chile, where it has always been permitted for use in feeds for aquaculture. "Such fish have probably been exported to Europe, which is a paradox," says Hatlen.

More at the Biomarine Industry Seminar

Hatlen is holding a lecture on the utilisation of animal by-products in fish feeds at the Biomarine Industry Seminar, which is being arranged by Nofima in Bergen on December 1-2. Keywords for the seminar are sustainability, climate and the use of genetically modified ingredients in products such as feeds.

Nofima will present several other lectures on the theme "utilisation of feed resources", including by Bente Ruyter and Torbjørn Åsgård, who will discuss "Undesirable components in feed oils: effect on growth, health and quality" and "Sustainable utilisation of marine oils and proteins in fish feeds" respectively.

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