News last update:6 Aug 2012

Potential for soybean meal in aquafeed

Aquaculture represents great potential for soybean meal, because aquaculture is the fastest-growing animal-food-producing sector, consuming soybean meal from over 250 million bushels of soybeans.

The United Soybean Board (USB) and the soybean checkoff continue developing new uses and new demand for soybeans in all lands of the world, and even the ocean holds great potential for soy.

Soybean meal has increasingly become a key ingredient in fish feeds as the aquaculture industry strives to meet global demand for its products thanks in part to checkoff research and marketing efforts.

"Fish meal is getting scarce and more costly, creating a market opportunity for more soybean meal to be used as a protein source in fish and shrimp diets," says Bill Coppess, USB director and a soybean farmer from Ansonia, OH. "Soy diets can also decrease the mercury levels in seafood, helping to alleviate some health concerns."

In the United States, each person eats about 16.5 pounds (7.5 kg) of fish and shellfish each year, including about 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of shrimp. The U.S. consumes about 1.4 billion pounds (634,000 tonnes) of shrimp annually.

"Crustaceans represent about 4 percent of aquaculture products worldwide, but represent about 20 percent of the value," says Karen Fear, USB director and a soybean farmer from Montpelier, IN.

"That's why the soybean checkoff is working with shrimp farmers around the world to find ways for more soy to be used in shrimp diets."

The soybean checkoff also works to incorporate soy into all species of farmed fish.


Ocean capture fisheries, which have long provided the majority of edible fish products for the world, have reached maximum sustainable yields.
This means that any expansion will have to come from aquaculture, and using soy as an aquafeed will be a big part of that expansion.


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