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Stories from

Earlier this summer, more than 60 aquaculture industry members from 16 countries attended 2016 BIOMIN Aqua Days in Austria. This year, the typically busy schedule included a series of conference sessions focusing on the key topics effecting today’s aquaculture industry, an overview of the BIOMIN’s R&D activities; as well as on-site tours of the BIOMIN Research Center in Tulln.

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MOVING AWAY FROM FISHMEAL TO INGREDIENT-BASED DIETS

re farmed fish weaker than in the past? - That’s the question Dr Alessio Bonaldo, Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences at the University of Bologna, asked delegates attending the 2016 Biomin Aqua Days held in late August in Austria. His answer was “Yes, for two main reasons. “First, less fishmeal and fish oil in diets and second the intensification of aquaculture have led to weakened immune systems. “Part of the solution involves meeting the nutritional requirements of farmed species. “Functional feeds can be good tools to increase the health and performance of your fish,” he explained. He also highlighted the benefits of nutritional solutions. “Used carefully and correctly, in the end it’s better to use functional feeds—even if the cost is higher,” he said.

Nutritional focus

“Shrimp feed formulation is moving from an ingredient- to a nutrient-based approach,” remarked Dr Alberto Nunes, Associate Professor at Labomar, the Institute of Marine Sciences of the Federal University of Ceará in Brazil. He went on to note the advances in supplementation, formulation and understanding of nutritional requirements made in recent years. “It is possible to completely replace fishmeal in shrimp feeds, provided that you have correct supplementation,” he added. And producers have adapted to these developments.

“In many countries, farmers no longer care about the fishmeal content of shrimp feeds,” he stated. “Rather, farmers want to see performance in the pond.” Carina Schieder, Product Manager Phytogenics at Biomin says, “Supplementation with phytogenic feed additives has been shown time and again to offer consistent performance improvement in fish and shrimp.”

Pond management

Good quality feeds, though beneficial, are not without some drawbacks. “Only 30-35 percent of nutrients in feed are retained in animals. As a result, around 70 percent of those nutrients remain in the pond,” says Anwar Hasan, Technical Manager Aquaculture. “In combination with excreta and organic matter, undesirable pond conditions can quickly develop. Poor water quality increases stress and susceptibility of shrimp to pathogens,” he added. Bioremediation strategies can stabilise pond sediment and improve farm profitability.

Pathogen control

The use of Biotronic® Top3, an organic acid-based feed additive, can support animal health. “When aquafeeds are treated with Biotronic® Top3, animals tend to be more resistant to pathogens—which means lower mortality and higher growth performance,” stated Dr Antonia Tacconi, Product Manager Acidifiers at Biomin. “These results stem from better feed hygiene and a direct antimicrobial effect that reduces the bacterial load in the gastrointestinal tract,” she explained.

18 | September | October 2016 - International Aquafeed

SEP | OCT 2016 - International Aquafeed