How much wild fish is used to feed a farmed fish?

The use of fishmeal and fish oil in aquafeeds is one of, if not the most important issue for the feed industry. This is because feeds traditionally contained high levels of fishmeal and fish oil, sourced from finite supplies of wild-caught forage fish.

Forage fish can be classified as wild-caught, small bony fish, not usually desired by humans for eating, but are commonly converted into fishmeal and fish oil ingredients and used in other industries.

The main forage fish species that are caught for use as fishmeal and fish oil in Skretting Australia feeds are Anchovy from Peru. These fisheries are responsible for supplying a large proportion of the world’s supply of fishmeal and fish oil.

Sustainability: a focus for Skretting

Retailers and consumers have also become increasingly interested in sustainability metrics, including the ratio of wild-caught forage fish inputs to farmed fish outputs.

The quantity of fishmeal and fish oil (from forage fish) used in feeds to grow a quantity of farmed fish can be calculated using the Fish in:Fish out ratio.

When the FI:FO is lower than 1, it means that it takes one kilogram of forage fish to supply the fishmeal and fish oil required to produce one kilogram of farmed fish. This makes fish farming a net producer of protein.

To find out how much forage fish is required to grow 1kg of farmed Atlantic salmon click here

To find out why fish are fish more efficient at converting feed into human food than terrestrial livestock click here