Is low fishmeal/fish oil content in feeds harmful to fish and shrimp?

No.  The latest feed formulations are specifically designed to give aquaculture species all of the nutrients that they need in order to optimise their health and growth performance, and to ensure end-product quality. These new feeds are also helping to ease the demands put on finite marine raw materials resources, particularly fish meal and fish oil. Fish and shrimp need nutrients, not ingredients. Our knowledge enables us to formulate based on nutritional composition. This is similar to humans meeting nutritional requirements as vegetarians or other specific dietary needs.

Today’s low fishmeal and fish oil formulations for carnivorous species are the result of more than 20 years of scientific studies and research into the area. Moreover, the welfare of farmed fish depends on a whole host of interconnected factors. Nutrition is certainly one of these, but there are many others besides – linked mainly to farm management – which have a significant bearing on welfare. 

From a business perspective, formulating feed that was harmful to fish would be counter-productive. It is in the interests of the feed producer to provide quality products that meet the market’s needs. 

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Frequent questions on feed ingredients

What ingredients are in our feed?

Aquaculture feeds contain essential nutrients that should be delivered in the right quantities to keep fish and shrimp growing well and healthily.  These nutrients come from a variety of different sources. In addition to fish meal and fish oil, they often contain other vegetable-based meals and oils, fish trimmings and processed by-products from land animals.

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Are the raw materials that we use in our feeds responsibly sourced?

Yes. At Skretting, we maintain that one of the most positive sustainability impacts that we can have is to ensure that we manufacture our feeds from responsibly sourced raw materials.

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Are the animal by-products used in aquaculture feeds dangerous to human health?

No. The safety of animal by-products has been proven by numerous scientific studies. Utilising these raw materials that would otherwise go to waste also helps to dramatically reduce the amount of fish meal and fish oil used by the industry. 

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Do salmon and trout feeds contain colouring?

In the wild, the flesh of salmon and trout can be a red/pink colour, due to an antioxidant called astaxanthin.  Astaxanthin is produced in natural waterways by algae, yeast and bacteria, all of which are in the food chain of salmonids. Astaxanthin is an essential nutrient for salmon. It is required to remain healthy and disease free.

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Do feeds contain growth hormones or antibiotics?

No. Skretting feeds do not contain any growth-promoting hormones. In some markets, antibiotics are added to Skretting feed upon customer request and per veterinary prescription, in accordance with specific rules established by law. 

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Do feeds contain chemicals or preservatives dangerous to human health?

No. Aquaculture feeds are subject to strict checks to ensure that they do not pose any threat to human health. Any preservatives used must comply with laws and regulations governing their use.  

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What is ethoxyquin and is it safe?

Ethoxyquin is an antioxidant that protects and maintains the quality of the omega-3 fatty acids in fish meal, particularly during transport and storage.

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What are fish meal and fish oil, and why are they used in aquaculture feeds?

Fish meal is a powder obtained after cooking, pressing, drying and milling fresh raw fish, while fish oil is a liquid pressed from the cooked fish. Both are produced from harvesting short-lived, fast-growing stocks of small, bony and oily fish for which there is little or no demand for human consumption. 

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How much wild fish is needed to feed farmed fish?

Skretting now has the knowledge and R&D to produce Atlantic salmon feeds requiring zero fish meal, and zero fish oil. We invest in R&D that provides full flexibility.  

Learn more about wild fish inclusion

Do we use novel ingredients in our feeds?

Yes. Skretting is in full support of the development of novel ingredients and we have been using some of these in our diets with the support of those customers.

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