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COMMERCIAL COPEPOD PRODUCTION - a World first

T

by Björn Ronge, Marketing Director, C-Feed, Norway

he market for copepods is enormous. All marine fish and crustaceans eat copepods as the natural prey during their first live stages in the wild and therefore get the nutritional components they need. The high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA) in the copepods strengthen the larvae to survive the highly stressful and sensible first live phase. C-Feed is the world’s first commercial producer of live copepods and copepod eggs. Started in 2014, but with over 15 years of background research from the Norwegian university of science and technology and SINTEF Sealab, C-Feed opened the doors to the first industrial scale production plant for copepods in 2016. Based in Trondheim, the center of aquaculture in Norway, there was a lot of great competence and experience available for realising this milestone. To this date, we are the only producer in the world capable of producing large enough quantities to supply the global aquaculture industry. C-feed can produce over 10 billion copepod eggs every month already and will most likely times this by 10 come 2018. In marine aquaculture today there are no good substitutes to this natural feed for the larvae. They get fed either with micro-pellets or fish-oil enriched microorganisms like rotifers and artemia. One big problem with these feeds, other than a lack in nutritional quality, is the high amounts of “free” organic material that is put in the larvae tanks. The fish oil and dissolving pellets produce perfect growing conditions for opportunistic bacteria and other pathogens. The bad water quality in these tanks can additionally stress the fish and lead to high mortality. In sustainable aquaculture we cannot accept mortality rates of over 50 percent as normality in many marine species due to bad larvae nutrition. In the last year we have performed a number of large scale feeding trials with some of Europe’s biggest producers of marine fish, specifically Sea Bream, Turbot and Ballan Wrasse, and the results speak for themselves. The fish farmers have seen a great reduction in mortality, faster growth rates and reduction in

C-Feed is the world’s first commercial producer of live copepods and copepod eggs. Started in 2014, but with over 15 years of background research from the Norwegian university of science and technology and SINTEF Sealab, C-Feed opened the doors to the first industrial scale production plant for copepods in 2016.

A sterile and controlled work environment is essential to producing copepods and guarantees a bio-secure feed product

18 | May 2017 - International Aquafeed

Image courtesy of ©Tora Bardal

FEATURE

MAY 2017 - International Aquafeed magazine  
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