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Improving Commercial Fish Meal Free Aquaculture Diets
Title: Senior Research Scientist
Phone: (276) 496-4732
The current emphasis in fish nutrition is fish meal replacement with a variety of alternative protein sources including plant-based, terrestrial and marine proteins. We propose to focus specifically upon the protein quality of these alternate protein sources and its potential impacts on marine fish production. Animal byproduct meals created through the rendering industry are widely utilized as intact protein sources in the aquafeed and pet food industries. This process produces fairly consistent protein feedstuffs, but the rendering process exposes these proteins to high heat and other factors that can detrimentally impact the quality of the final product. We have data suggesting that fish meals and alternative animal protein meals, both of which undergo rendering, can detrimentally impact marine fish performance under laboratory conditions. Our work suggests that rendering of protein sources destroys or modifies essential micronutrients resulting in poorer growth performance under commercial aquaculture conditions. LSI will focus on characterizing the essential micronutrients in chicken and fish meals exposed to different rendering processes, formulating and manufacturing fish meal free production diets and conducting extensive feeding trials with cobia and Florida pompano, thereby correlating the presence of absence of these nutrients back to production performance in marine fish.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *