According to FAO estimates, aquaculture will double in the next 18 years. But to farm fish, you need to feed them – and today’s fish feed relies heavily on fisheries to obtain protein and oil ingredients, although there is a strong drive to replace these with high-value plant resources such as soy.
Producing sufficient soy to replace fishmeal-derived protein would require vast scales of production that are not sustainable. Furthermore, both soy and fishery products are of human-food quality, creating a tension between human food security and fish feed production.
Proteins from microbes are a natural food for all fish in every life stage, and thus, could represent a novel, environmentally-friendly feed raw material. A further advantage of this microbe–fish association is that, during evolution, fish retained all the enzyme systems needed for getting maximal nutrition from bacteria, yeast, and other microbes; whereas, mammals have lost these enzymes and must therefore allow the microbial protein tofirst become a fish before we can eat it and derive maximal nutritional benefit.
We study how waste residues and by-products from food production can be converted by particular consortia of microbes to produce protein raw material for the fish-feed industry.
Researchers: Matilda Olstorpe, Volkmar Passoth, SLU
In collaboration with Anders Kiessling, Dept of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies