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Webinar Takeaways: Searching for Unknown Growth Factors in Fishmeal

2022.8.23

In Focus Webinar – Searching for unknown growth factors in fishmeal

On the 10th of August, two experts with 25 years of experience each in the feed sector, discussed their knowledge on fishmeal and feed in order to identify the unknowns and gaps of knowledge that are still to be explored.

The evolution of feed from 30 years ago has been great, from fishmeal inclusion rates of 50-70% to now where levels are greatly reduced to fishmeal being used as a strategic and functional ingredient, and no longer a major ingredient in terms of their inclusion levels. There are studies published constantly on fishmeal replacement but as Bureau noted “it’s not about replacement but effective inclusion, about knowing what the animal requires. Fishmeal is no longer a dominant ingredient and other replacement ingredients are often more expensive and less sustainable.”

Another common point of confusion is seeing fishmeal, or any other ingredient, as a single product. There is huge variability between differently sourced fishmeals, allowing their strategic use to be identified and tailored. Glencross noted that “research papers often fail to mention the grade of fishmeal used, we need to understand the diversification of the product. Marine ingredients industry is becoming a bespoke sector selling a specialist strategic ingredient.”

Looking at reducing fishmeal inclusion rates in feed, Bureau referenced a previous study with rainbow trout, which showed that reducing fishmeal reduced growth rates, and without animal proteins at all, the fish were simply not growing as fast, and they performed considerably lower than commercially grown fish. Without fishmeal the full growth potential of the animal was not reached.

You can read more about it and listen to the full webinar here.