A new competition, designed to accelerate the development and adoption of fishmeal and fish oil substitutes in feeds, is offering $100,000 to those competing in three categories – salmonid, shrimp, and other carnivorous species.
Each year, an estimated 16 million tonnes of wild fish are caught exclusively for use as fishmeal and fish oil. Salmon farms use over 20% of the fishmeal and 60% of the fish oil consumed by the aquaculture sector. Shrimp farming is another dominant consumer of the global fishmeal supply. A recent study found that if this practice is continued, forage fisheries will reach their ecological limits by 2037.
The competition named the F3 Challenge – Carnivore Edition, aims to make it unnecessary to use wild fish in feeds, so that they can remain in the environment. By protecting wild fish stocks, the aquaculture industry will become unconstrained from wild resource availability, assuring greater food security in the future.
The qualifying feeds for all prize categories must not contain any ingredients consisting of or derived from marine animals, including but not limited to, fish, squid, shrimp, or krill.
Who will be competing for the $100,000?
Six competitors are currently registered for the contest, and many are seeking partners. These include BGreen Technologies, a young startup based in India, which is competing in the “other carnivorous species” category with its Asian seabass feed.
US-based Chapul Farms has also registered for the competition and is seeking sales partners for the challenge. It produces functional proteins for food and feed ingredients by raising its soldier fly farm larvae on agricultural by-products, primarily for salmonid feed.
Empagran, an aquaculture company with 3,000 hectares (7,413 acres) of shrimp ponds in Ecuador, a packing plant, hatchery, and feed mill, is selling a fish-free feed for white shrimp in partnership with Veramaris. Empagran’s feed contains soybean meal and Veramaris’ algal oil, which is rich in both EPA and DHA.
The final three competitors registered so far are:
- Jiangsu Fuhai Biotech Co, which uses fermented dehulled full fat soybean as a raw material for use in feed for salmonid, shrimp, and other carnivorous species
- UK-based Remediiate grows microalgae at scale and is seeking product development partners to formulate a finished feed to compete for the shrimp category.
- Star Milling Co, whose feed contains a barley protein concentrate produced by its partner Scoular Company.