Sustainable aquafeeds for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) using plant-protein concentrates and exploiting genetic influences to maintain performance and quality
The need for alternatives to fish meal is driven by many forces including the dependence of the aquafeed industry on finite marine resources used to make fish meal, environmental demands to lower nutrient enrichment associated with marine fish farms, and consumer demands to have access to safe, healthful fish products. As global aquaculture production increases, demand for aquafeed also increases, making it inevitable that aquafeeds will contain less fish meal and more alternative protein ingredients in the near future.
Genetic selection of salmon for faster growth and other performance characteristics has been underway for over 50 years. Over this period, however, little research has focused on genotype by diet interaction. The question of whether the fastest growing salmon family fed traditional fish meal based feeds will also be fastest growing family of salmon when fed alternative protein-based feeds has not been answered. The goal of this project is to develop plant-protein-based feeds for Atlantic salmon that support high growth performance and excellent product quality, and determine if an exploitable genotype by diet interaction exists.
Reducing inputs from marine resources into proposed off-shore aquaculture systems is absolutely essential for the successful acceptance and development of off-shore aquaculture in the USA. Atlantic salmon are themselves a major aquaculture species, but they also serve as a surrogate species for other marine piscivorous fish species that are likely candidates for off-shore aquaculture development. Hence, the results of this project will be directly applicable to other high-value marine fish species being considered as candidate species for off-shore aquaculture. It is widely recognized that alternative protein sources to dietary fish meal are necessary for continued, sustainable expansion of aquaculture.