Scottish export market to be boosted by sustainable salmon feed innovations

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre announced its sponsorship of two new projects designed to improve salmon feed formulas at a member event attended by industry, academia and the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity.

The Centre’s target innovation field of feed quality and nutrition were identified as priorities due to the industry’s need. To this end, Heather Jones noted that “SAIC is proud to support projects which achieve this through sustainable practices and, in turn, boost the productivity of the aquaculture industry in Scotland.”

The projects, which will see SAIC invest 140,000 GBP, will focus on two different innovations to improve the feeding of salmon. The first of the two will be led by BioMar in conjunction with Morrisons, and will aim to explore the use of avian sourced protein (from chickens) in feeds. The second project will be conducted by nutrition specialist Alltech as well as NOFIMA, Marine Harvest and the University of Glasgow to explore why salmon suffer inefficient digestion, a significant factor in the problem of poor salmon growth.

It is commonly known that intestinal microbes are largely responsible for the manner in which fish metabolise and gain energy from feed. Considering this It is expected that the team will also develop SalmoSim, a tool that will allow the investigation of the link between feed digestion and gut microbial communities. Once completed, the tool will become an invaluable resource tool for the scientific community and agriculture companies across the world.

For his part, Dr. Martin Llewellyn of the University of Glasgow reiterated that the SalmoSim system would “be a significant resource and research tool for the salmonid aquaculture industry in Scotland and Europe.”

Overall, the projects will not only benefit the wider scientific community, but will serve to benefit the economy as a whole through jobs and improved sustainability.

Contributor: Daisy Reece

September 1, 2016