US - The development of fish nutrition has come a long way over the last few years but more research needs to be conducted into trace element nutrition, the use of single cell proteins and the vitamin requirements under different aquaculture systems, said Professor Simon Davies, Harper Adams University, speaking to TheFishSite at Aquaculture 2016 in Las Vegas, USA.
Aquaculture nutrition has greatly moved forward in the last few years, and is now on par with some of the other food animal sectors.
Speaking with Nigel Balmforth for TheFishSite, Professor Davies explained how the consumer demand for food that is produced in a sustainable way is being addressed by the aquaculture industry, especially through research into more sustainable fish feeds.
One main area of concern for the aquaculture industry is its dependency on fish meal and fish oil. This is now being addressed through research into alternative ingredients such as plant based products and single cell proteins.
In terms of where future research should lie, Professor Davies explained that more understanding is needed into how plant based products effect the gut health and production of carnivorous fish.
He also stated that single cell proteins, such as algae and yeasts, have lots of potential, with more research needed into getting the balancing of the diet correct.
Other gaps in fish nutrition research also include the vitamin requirements of fish depending on the aquaculture system they are produced in and the re-defining of trace element nutrition including how to better extract trace elements from plant products so they can be better used by the fish.