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.  Our 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.

Pelagic fish

Marine ingredients

While a large amount of by-products used to produce fishmeal and fish oil comes from wild capture fish processing for human consumption, an increasing amount comes from the by-products of aquaculture processing. Trimmings are collected from seafood processing plants, from processing at retailers, processing plants in aquaculture, processing on board fishing vessels and more.

In 2019, 27% of fishmeal and fish oil in Skretting originated from trimmings and by-products. The majority of these by-products came from wild fisheries, but we see an increase in by-products from processing of farmed species like salmon, tilapia and shrimp.

It is our ambition that all fishmeal and fish oil from trimmings must be able to be traced back to the origin of fishery and species of fish. These species must not be listed as endangered on the IUCN redlist.

Read our latest sustainability report to learn more

MicroBalance®: an innovation in aquafeed production

Aquaculture production will need to more than double between now and 2050 to meet the demands of a growing population. At the same time, we need to reduce the pressure put on the planet’s resources. How can we grow sustainably? Basically, we need to produce more from less. That’s where MicroBalance® enters the scene.

Using technology that is based upon our latest understanding of essential micronutrients and how they interact with fish and shrimp, MicroBalance® allows us to replace one feed raw material with another without impacting performance, welfare or end-product quality.

Crucially, this innovation, which is the result of several years' research conducted by the Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC), enables us to produce feeds with much lower fishmeal content across several major species.

Read more

Tree illustration, Tom Berry


Why choose farmed over wild fish?
Are farmed fish and shrimp healthy to eat?
Do salmon and trout feeds contain colouring?
What ingredients are in Skretting feed?
Are the raw materials that Skretting uses in its feeds responsibly sourced?
Do feeds contain chemicals or preservatives dangerous to human health?
Are the animal by-products used in aquaculture feeds dangerous to human health?
Do feeds contain growth hormones or antibiotics?
What are fish meal and fish oil, and why are they used in aquaculture feeds?
Is low fish meal/fish oil content in feeds harmful to fish and shrimp?
Does Skretting use novel ingredients in its feeds?
What is ethoxyquin and is it safe?
Are circular economy principles applied to aquaculture feeds?
Is aquaculture sustainable?
Is aquaculture controlled?
Why is aquaculture important?
Why do aquaculture species grow quickly?
Are farms healthy environments for producing fish and shrimp?
How much wild fish is needed to feed farmed fish?
Are Skretting feeds sustainable?
Is it safe to eat farmed fish and shrimp?
How is Skretting contributing to feeding a growing global population?
Is one feed sufficient for all aquaculture species?
How much feed is needed to grow a farmed fish?
Can efficient feed management help improve the sustainability of aquaculture?