Biomar reaches 1m tonne microalgae salmon feed milestone

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Feed producer BioMar has announced that the company has met one of its major sustainability milestones with the adoption of microalgae omega 3s into feed diets.

Microalgae have long been considered a promising alternative to fishmeal. Until now, however, limited availability and high prices have meant the industry has been slow to adopt the use of these ingredients.

Read more: New study to look at viability and impact of microalgae and GM crops in salmon health

But with ever more limited resources, the need to decouple aquaculture feed supply chains from directly competing with food for human consumption has become more and more apparent.

The first inclusion of microalgae into commercial salmon feeds took place in 2016. Since then, the adoption of the technology by the likes of Kvarøy Fiskeoppdrett with Blue Circle and Whole Foods and Scottish Sea Farms with Marks & Spencer, have lead to increasing commercial viability. Today, BioMar says, the inclusion of microalgae is becoming ever more common in salmon feeds.

“By including microalgae in aquaculture feed diets, we can bypass the wild fish stocks and go straight to the original source of essential omega 3s. This helps to relieve pressure on our oceans while ensuring that the fish are getting the optimal nutrition required”, said Vidar Gundersen, Global Sustainability Director, BioMar Group.

“To bring something this novel to market required the support from the entire value chain. We found this among several salmon farmers and retailers that were willing to take a chance on microalgae and today’s success is owed to them all. Also, to the numerous people in BioMar production sites that found solutions to some challenging technical issues that we experienced over the years”, said Paddy Campbell, VP Salmon Division, BioMar Group.

BioMar recently announced an ambitious target of 50 per cent circular and/or restorative ingredients in their aquaculture feed diets by 2030.