Krill as a source of aquafeeds

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Aquaculture is a rapidly expanding industry that is currently highly dependent on limited supplies of fishmeal and fish-oil. There is a pressing need for the aquaculture sector to find alternatives to fishmeal and fish-oil which are both cost-effective and maintain product quality.
There are currently two substantial krill fisheries but only one, the Antarctic fishery, offers scope for the expansion necessary to make a significant contribution to global fishmeal and fish-oil supplies.
The following aspects of krill make them a potentially significant source of aquafeeds:
• Krill are a massive resource and consist of high quality protein and oil
• Krill can be used directly, or processed into products, that are ideal for use in a broad range of aquafeeds
• Salmon and cod grow at least as well on krill diets compared with traditional fish-based diets
• Krill can be used as an feed attractant, making highly vegetable substituted diets more acceptable to fish
• Krill contain high concentration of astaxanthins making them particularly useful in finishing (grow-out) diets
• Salmon and cod fed krill are highly agreeable to consumers, in terms of taste, smell, texture and colour.
The Antarctic fishery for E. superba, currently operates at 1/40th of the total allowable catch and considerable expansion of the fishery is possible.
However, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed before krill fisheries can develop. These include:
• The extent to which technological innovation will reduce krill fishing costs in the harsh operating conditions that characterise Antarctic fishing grounds
• The potential ecological implications of an expanding fishery, particularly in combination with other threats such as climate change
• The extent to which future market price for fishmeal and oil, and vegetable and fuel oil will determine krill fishery viability
• Consumer acceptability of fish fed krill substituted diets
• The potential for change in EU legislation with regard to animal feedstocks, that currently limit krill inclusion in aquafeeds.
Economic models, that test a range of likely scenarios, are urgently required to predict under what conditions the krill fishery will expand to make a substantive contribution to global aquafeed supplies.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCrown Estate
Number of pages48
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007

Publication series

NameSAMS Internal reports


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