This reduces the volume of fish oil used in feed for salmon and trout, while retaining the high content of Omega 3 DHA – an ingredient both the fish and us as consumers need in adequate volumes. EPA and DHA are marine essential fatty acids not produced by the body but that have to be taken as food. EPA is of particular importance for the immune system and DHA for the brain.
Lerøy a pioneer
Wild salmon and trout eat a lot of fish, and the feed used for fish farming contains fish oil. Today, fish oil is the only natural source of the important EPA and DHA fatty acids, but fish oil supplies are expected to decrease in the future.
Lerøy is therefore pioneering efforts to find new methods of ensuring that farmed salmon and trout obtain a sufficient amount of EPA and DHA. This is achieved by replacing part of the fish oil used in the feed with a type of microalgae that also has a high content of Omega 3 DHA.
The use of these algae increases the ratio of Omega 3 DHA in seafood, provides for even more sustainable fish farming and reduces the use of wild caught fish.
Need for innovation
The new feed series has been developed in close cooperation with one of Lerøy's feed manufacturers and the actual manufacturer of the microalgae. Lerøy is the first fish farming company to utilise such large volumes of microalgae. This is a clear indication of Lerøy's commitment to sustainability, in terms of both management of the wild fish stocks utilised to produce fish oil and in relation to fish health and human health.
Improved fish feed
- Lerøy has developed a new and more sustainable fish feed in close cooperation with partners.
- The fish oil previously used is now being partly replaced by microalgae that has a high Omega 3 content.
- In 2017, the feed was used for production of salmon weighing more than one kilogram.
- Introducing this algae to feed has increased the volume of Omega 3 in seafood.
– We know that our customers worldwide are looking for healthy products that are produced sustainably. It is important for us to be at the forefront when it comes to new opportunities for sustainable ingredients, and we need new raw materials if we are to meet demand for healthy seafood, explains Henning Beltestad, CEO of Lerøy Seafood Group.
This measure also helps reduce the Group's reliance on marine ingredients for feed.
Cultivated on land
The algae in the new fish feed used by Lerøy is produced in São Paulo in Brazil. They are based on a species of algae discovered in the mangrove swamps in Florida. Although the species can be found in marine environments, it is now cultivated on land in closed fermentation tanks similar to those used to ferment beer.
Since September 2016, Lerøy's salmon have consumed more than 40,000 tonnes of feed containing the new microalgae. With effect from May 2017, the feed was implemented for all production of salmon weighing more than one kilogram.