An Australian company has launched what it claims to be the world’s first commercial fish industry feed containing no wild caught fishmeal.
Ridley’s NoCatchTM diet has been made available to prawn farmers for the first time this year at what it says represents no extra cost relative to its other premium prawn diets.
Fishmeal is a limited resource and is becoming not only a sustainability issue, but also an increasingly expensive commodity as an aquaculture feed ingredient.
It is designed to avoid the price volatility to which other diets are subjected, relying as they do on wild caught fish meal which has seasonal availability and variable catches.
NoCatchTM diets for barramundi and salmon have also been successfully developed and tested by Ridley.
Group technical and R&D manager at Ridley Aquafeed, Dr Richard Smullen, said: ‘It is critical that we feed prawns a balanced and nutritious diet that helps bring out the best qualities of this Australian favourite seafood, while maintaining quality, sustainability and affordability.
‘Using a broad range of high quality, responsibly sourced ingredients, we’ve learnt how to optimise our feeds to help deliver the biggest, healthiest and tastiest prawns and fish, and done it without relying on fishmeal.
‘No one else in the world has been able to deliver this commercially.’
The new feed is the culmination of more than a decade of research by Smullen and his team.
Huw Thomas, fisheries and aquaculture manager for UK supermarket Morrisons, was among a group of international speakers in Australia recently to attend the inaugural Ridley Salmon Seminar.
He said: ‘We’re moving away from calling foods sustainable or not, but rather focusing on whether their production is responsible.
‘Sustainability is typically thought of as the environmental footprint of food production only, but we need to really focus on the triple bottom line of environmental, social and economic responsibility.’