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News 1634 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Microalgae as fish oil replacement in salmon feed

Are the fatty acids in certain microalgae suitable to replace fish oil in feed for salmonids? Master student Chuyuan Zhang from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada is looking for answers at the Aquaculture Protein Centre in Norway.

In Norway, Zhang is producing feed at APC* and performing a digestibility trial on Atlantic salmon in sea water at Nofima’s research station at Sunndalsøra. There she will feed the fish, observe them, take samples of feed and faeces, and analyze.
 
She will follow up with lab work and discussions with her co-supervisor and other fish nutritionists at APC.
 
Norway-Canada cooperation
APC has close collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan on this industry funded project. Back in Canada, Zhang is doing similar experiments with digestibility and growth on Rainbow trout.
 
“I am particularly interested in finding out how well the fatty acids of the algae are digested, and if they affect the fatty acid profile of the fish compared to salmon that is fed fish oil”, says Zhang. She also looks at other aspects such as energy and protein digestibility.
 
“We assume algae could be a very feasible product for fish oil replacement in feed for salmonids”, says Zhang.
 
Zhang, who is from China, is in Norway for three months. “At home I learned a lot about tropical fish such as carp, and I got curious on other species. It was then very interesting to go to Canada and see large scale aquaculture production of salmon, and now in Norway. I really like working with fish”, she says.
 
Zhang is supervised by Dr. Murray Drew of the University of Saskatchewan and Dr. Margareth Øverland at APC. Drew was a guest researcher at APC in 2010.
 
Caption "Measuring": Chuyuan Zhang is measuring algae meal for the feed she is using in a digestibility trial with Atlantic salmon.

*APC is a Centre of Excellence appointed by the Research Council of Norway. It was established in 2002 by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, the Norwegian School of Veterinary Sciences, and Nofima.

Dick Ziggers

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