The growing demand for recirculation systems and alternative raw materials has led feed giant Skretting to commit £5.2 million to expand its Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) at Lerang in Norway and to open a new facility at Pargua in Chile.
Announcing the projects, Skretting observed that recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) are becoming increasingly popular for other species in addition to salmon.
A spokeswoman said: “Today, companies in all of the world’s main production regions are increasingly looking to extend the use of RAS beyond the hatchery and early life stages to cover entire production cycles.
“Skretting ARC’s upgrade to its facility at Lerang in Norway will primarily be focused on the process of recirculation – examining and optimising the whole system while taking into consideration inputs and outputs.
“At the same time, another major change taking place across the entire aquaculture industry is the expanding raw material base.”
Alex Obach, Skretting ARC managing director, added: “Things have changed rapidly, from the early days of diets with only fishmeal and fish oil to now where Skretting has achieved full flexibility with regard to fishmeal with our FLX diets [which proved that equal health, growth and performance could be achieved using zero fishmeal in carefully formulated feeds]. We expect similar results in the near future from our investigations into fish oil alternatives.”
Obach added: “Chile has the second largest salmon farming industry in the world. It is also able to use a different set of raw materials in its salmon feeds than Europe does, including land animal proteins. So it makes sense for Skretting to invest in research facilities in this region.”
The Chilean facility will cover the entire production cycle, and focus on raw materials and challenges that directly affect the local industry.
Skretting has other research facilities elsewhere in Norway, as well as China, Italy, Japan, Australia, Egypt and Ecuador.
Published: 14/03/2017 at 8:00 am