Feeds used in fish farming have become more sustainable, with fish meal and fish oil replaced by alternatives for the main farmed species. More work is however needed to understand the impact of this on production, and in particular to optimise the digestion process so as to promote lean growth among farmed fish.
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Aquaculture or fish farms will soon be the main producers of seafood, overtaking traditional fishing. They have the potential to relieve the pressure on dwindling fish stocks, but the feed aquafeed often comprises smaller, wild species. More sustainable plant-based options are available, but the nutritional content is not the same, and can impact on fish production.
Knowledge of the digestive system in key fish species is still limited, and in particular in relation to processing nutrients. The WiseFeed project is developing models able to quantify digestion, absorption and retention efficiency for key macro nutrients. The team is also investigating the role and effects of specific amino acids and dietary supplements in enhancing metabolism, growth and the retention of nitrogen.
The WiseFeed team will then develop a software package to optimise feeding strategies.
Over the course of the project, staff exchanges will see researchers from five different countries participating in national research projects, bringing in international expertise and creating links between similar and related projects. The secondments will also build competence among the participating researchers.