Potential for soybean meal in aquafeed

24-04-2008 | |

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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