Rethinking Feed for Aquaculture
Aquaculture has its own unique sustainability challenges. The most direct concern is the feed used in aquaculture, which accounts for 40-70% of production costs and places heavy demands on wild fisheries, a primary source of current feeds. This can deplete natural fishery populations and is an expensive component of establishing, operating, and growing an aquaculture farm. By incentivising the creation of replacements for wild fish in feed, aquaculture could become significantly more sustainable, nutritious, and profitable. Moreover, by reducing the price of sustainable feed it would allow smaller farmers to enter the market.
Create highly nutritional aquaculture feed replacements that match or improve on the cost and nutritional performance of existing feedstock while reducing the burden on the natural environment. New feed replacements should eliminate or dramatically minimise their impact on wild fish stocks and other environmental systems and not use agricultural products used for human consumption. Feed replacements should have equal or greater nutritional value per dollar compared to commercially available fishmeal.
Feed replacements should eliminate or dramatically minimise their impact on wild fish stocks. Feed replacements should not have any measurable increase in the use of antibiotics. The solutions will include clear mitigation plans for feed replacement that involves any potential trade offs in deforestation or excess demand on existing food and agriculture systems (i.e. corn, grain, etc.). Feed replacements must not deplete wild fishery stocks or offset other human-nutritional products (e.g. agricultural products currently used for direct human consumption). Replacement feed stocks for aquaculture that can also serve as substitutes for other types of feed will be favored.
Cost & Performance Criteria
These criteria include improved performance on a species’ traditional feed conversion ratio, the expected profitability or the marginal costs and revenue for the feed replacement at scale, and the feasibility for scalability of the feed replacement to multiple identified geographies (i.e. market growth). The price point for the feed replacement should be US $1,500 tonne/meal and US$750/tonne to manufacture or lower. The feed replacement should have equal or greater nutritional value per dollar compared to benchmarked feed for protein (protein performance should be better than or as good as commercially available fishmeal), micronutrients, and Omega 3. As applicable, the feed replacement should demonstrate energy, material, and resource efficiency advantages.
- Replacement fish feed from micro or macro algae or other nontraditional feed sources that minimise the number of trophic levels.
- Feed replacements that can be generated in a closed-loop system that minimise direct or indirect environmental damage.