Ocean Harvest Technology, based in Galway on the Atlantic coast of Ireland is about to start commercial production of a new salmon feed ingredient that could revolutionise the €6 Billion global salmon farming industry.
The industry has been beset by concerns over environmental impact, animal welfare and food safety concerns but all of those issues will be addressed by OceanFeed™, a wholly sustainable, seaweed-based salmon feed ingredient that not only replaces all synthetic chemical additives and colorants currently used in salmon fish feed – but also has been shown to significantly improve the health environment in which the fish are reared.
OceanFeed™ is a macro algae-based ingredient which is 100 per cent natural and wholly sustainable within the ocean environment.
Recently completed European sea trials with EWOS in Scotland have shown that the thousands of fish used in the trial have been healthier and displayed better weight gain, taste and appearance results when compared to fish fed on the current market leading feed.
Astaxanthin levels in fish fed on the OceanFeed diet were only 20 per cent of those in the control diet fed fish while OceanFeed™contained higher levels of natural pigments, notably Lutein, and of Omega 3 PUFA’s.
The feed ingredients are designed to reduce stress, enhance the immune system and minimize autoimmune problems, At the same time, the fish eating OceanFeed™ have significantly improved flesh quality and flavour — the ‘taste of the sea’ compared to a control test group.
The feed reduces many of the environmental issues associated with current aquaculture practices. Many of these have related to the use of synthetic, petroleum-based additives that represent about 20 per cent of the cost and 15 per cent of the weight of farmed salmon fish feed.
The market for additives used in the manufacture of salmon feed was worth more than US$615 million in 2007.
OceanFeed™ is the first commercial product to emerge from several years’ worth of research and development into the application of macro-algae and seaweed based products conducted by the team at Ocean Harvest Technology.