Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Aberdeen, Idaho » Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #238662

Title: Fishmeal Replacement: Opportunities, Challenges and Possible Solutions

item Liu, Keshun

Submitted to: Soybean Research World Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2009
Publication Date: 8/10/2009
Citation: Liu, K. 2009. Fishmeal Replacement: Opportunities, Challenges and Possible Solutions. Soybean Research World Conference Proceedings, Biejing, China. August 10-15.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Aquaculture feeds, especially those for carnivorous species, have traditionally depended on fishmeal to meet their critical protein requirements. The global supply of fishmeal, however, has been and will likely remain static or may even decline because captured fisheries have reached maximum sustainable yields. Yet demand for fishery products continues to increase. This leads to considerable price volatility for fishmeal, as has been observed in recent years. Thus, one emerging area in the global feed industry is development of alternative feed ingredients for aquafeeds. There are three main sources of alternative proteins, animal by-products, meal or concentrate from oilseeds and cereals, and novel proteins. Among these, soy protein is the most commonly used due to its abundant availability, high protein content, and competitive price. The development of fishmeal alternatives presents a good opportunity to expand value-added utilization of plant proteins, especially of soy proteins. However, this work is not without challenges. All common alternative protein sources possess characteristics that make them inferior to fishmeal and, depending on fish species, limit their inclusion levels in feeds; compared to fishmeal, some ingredients have inferior amino acid profiles, while others either contain antinutritional factors or lack constituents that are required to support normal fish growth. Therefore, much research is needed to identify these constituents and to develop ways to remove antinutrients or supplement positive constituents at their optimal levels for fish growth. The Trout-Grain Project of U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Services seeks to identify cost effective replacements for fishmeal and trout strains that are better able to utilize plant-based feeds. The project is being carried out by a team of scientists with expertise in 1) plant genetics for modifying crop composition, 2) chemistry and processing of oilseeds and grains for developing alternative protein ingredients, 3) fish nutrition for formulating and processing aquafeed, 4) fish physiology for studying nutrient requirements and feeding performance, and 5) fish genetics for selecting and breeding stocks. This vertical integration approach serves as a possible solution to address challenges facing the aquaculture industry in finding fishmeal replacements.