News 670 views last update:6 Aug 2012

How low can you go with fishmeal?

Global fish feed company Skretting has introduced a feed for Japanese yellowtail with the lowest fishmeal content to be offered in that market.

The fishmeal content in Skretting’s new Sustain feed is only 30% and close to half of feeds conventionally used in Japan for this species and others such as red sea bream.
“Compared with current salmon feeds in countries like Norway our New Sustain YT has a high fishmeal content but in Japan feeds usually have fishmeal contents over 50% even up to 60%,” explains Yuta Hamasaki, Product Development & Formulation Manager in Skretting Japan.
Sustain feed was introduced in Japan in 2006 with fishmeal at 40%. “It has established a good position in the market and we believe 2010 can be a turning point for Japanese aquaculture, accepting that a feed with 30% fishmeal can be just as productive as the conventional feeds,” Hamasaki said.
“Many farmers now recognise we must bring down these high levels of fishmeal. If nothing else it will make them less vulnerable to high fishmeal prices such as we have so far this year.”
Trial in Nagasaki
To prove it is possible for yellowtail to grow well on feeds with only 30% fishmeal, Skretting is conducting a trial on a commercial farm in the Nagasaki region. It started last November with yellowtail around 4 kg in weight.
“The farmer already reported the fish are eating the feed well and growth looks good, comparable to fish being given a 50% fishmeal diet,” says Hamasaki. “We began sampling in April this year.
“To formulate this new Sustain feed we used recent findings from Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre, applying their AminoBalance and MicroBalance concepts to ensure the fish get all the amino acids and micro-ingredients they need for good health and growth and we added enzymes to enhance digestion.”

Dick Ziggers

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