STTR Phase I: Developing Alternate Aquafeeds Utilizing Marine Invertebrates and Plants Cultured from Fish Fecal and Feed Waste

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
RAS Corporation
14 Industrial Parkway, Brunswick, ME, 04011-7358
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Taylor Pryor
(207) 406-2669
Business Contact:
Taylor Pryor
(207) 406-2669
Research Institution:
University of Maine CCAR
Taylor Pryor
33 Salmon Farm Road
Franklin, ME, 04634-
() -
Nonprofit college or university
This Small Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project seeks to develop an alternate aquafeed that does not rely on the inclusion of captured, oceanic forage fish such as menhaden and sardines for its omega-3 content and is suitable for culturing marine fish in land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RASs). Specifically, six alternate fish feeds will be formulated, pelletized and fed to California yellowtail (Seriola lalandi) in 18 saltwater, indoor tanks, containing 80 fish per tank in a size range starting at 20 grams up to 450 grams. A conventional, commercially available fish feed will be used as a control. Suitability will be measured by how well the growth and survival rates of the test group compare to the control group. The alternate feeds will utilize various substitutes for the absent fish meal, including microalgae, invertebrates such as sandworms and insect-derived meal. The ideal alternate feed will be price competitive, generally available and sourced from local processing wastes or cultured in the fecal and fed waste naturally generated from fish production in an aquafarm. The latter is feasible within RASs since the flow of nutrients can be directed beneficially from one crop to another in a web of interactive species. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to demonstrate that alternate aquafeeds are technically feasible. They can be price-competitive with conventional feeds. Companies selling conventional fish feed containing a substantial component of captured fish now advise customers to anticipate annual price raises as the growth of aquaculture combined with excessive fishing pressure impacts demand and supply respectively. Certainly the rise can be accommodated in the short term, but it behooves aquafarmers to develop alternatives since they can only raise prices to a point after which they become uncompetitive with fisheries catch while seafood customers turn to other protein. On the positive side, there is a growing concern by seafood distributors, chefs and consumers whether seafood is or is not ?sustainable?, that is whether it abuses or contributes to a healthy global ecosystem. Thus, a clear commercial opportunity is emerging, perhaps as a niche market at the outset, but almost certainly a very large market in time as aquaculture continues to grow.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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