How much wild fish is needed to feed farmed fish?
Fish are the most efficient animal to produce, as the feed conversion ratio (FCR) is so low. FCR is the amount of feed an animal needs to gain one kilogram of body weight.
Due to many years of research into the specific nutritional requirements, Atlantic salmon is now the most efficient animal to produce, with the lowest FCR. Typically Atlantic salmon needs 1.15 kg feed to gain 1 kg body weight. Pigs need more than twice as much food as salmon to gain 1 kg, while sheep need to eat almost six times as much.
Fish also has a high harvest yield in comparison with other farmed animals. Harvest yield is the percentage of the animal left after inedible parts have been removed. For example, Atlantic salmon has a yield of an entire 86%. Chicken in comparison has a harvest yield of just 47%.
Skretting’s consistent and ever-evolving R&D efforts ensure that we are also minimising our use of finite raw materials, such as fish meal and fish oil. In fact, in 2017, Skretting launched MicroBalance Infinity – a concept proving that a salmon can be grown from 1kg to harvest using zero fish meal or fish oil. The MicroBalance concept was launched in 2010 when Skretting was first able to reduce fish meal in our feeds without negatively impacting the health and performance of the fish, and continues to be pivotal in expanding our knowledge in other species.
The consumer market is demanding the highest level of sustainable seafood. Our customers are the producers of this seafood and in turn we supply our customers with the nutritional feed solutions to grow the fish.
We can only develop sustainable nutritional solutions if we are a part of a responsible and continuously improving supply chain. As a minimum, we require our suppliers of ingredients to demonstrate responsible production practices. For fishmeal and fish oils in aquaculture feeds specifically, there is clear market demand for those ingredients to be defined as “sustainable” through meeting the full requirements of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
Skretting plays an important role in a number of fisheries improvement projects (FIPs) - one example of how Skretting has shown true leadership towards the sustainability of the aquaculture industry.