Tuna by-product-based aquafeed tested on seabass in Malta

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Tuna by-product-based aquafeed tested on seabass in Malta

AquaBioTech Group staff just concluded the first trial planned as part of PROFIUS where fish meal produced from tuna by product was included at different rates in the aquafeed. 

The use of tuna by-products as alternative source of protein in aquafeed for species of commercial interest is one of the main goals of the project PROFIUS.  

The composition of fishmeal produced using by-products of tuna farmed in Malta was characterized and compared with traditional fishmeal. The results of the analysis led to design an experiment where the traditional fishmeal was replaced up to 50% by the novel source of protein. A total of 3 experimental diets were formulated targeting the nutritional requirements of European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax. The performance of the fish fed with these diets was compared with fish fed with a traditional aquafeed. 

The experimental feed was manufactured by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, in Greece. The trial was carried out in one of the AquaBioTech Group’s Recirculating Aquaculture Systems, in Malta, and it focused on the evaluation of growth performance and health indicators. At the end of the experiment, biometric and morphometric parameters were assessed, and the preliminary analysis of the results is very promising. There are no significant differences between parameters in fish fed with the inclusion of the tuna by-products in the aquafeed and fish fed with traditional aquafeed.  

The next step for the researchers of AquaBioTech Group will be testing tuna by-product-based diet on white leg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. This species is of great interest in aquaculture and achieving a more sustainable diet to farm shrimp is a challenge that needs to be tackled.