Jørgen Skeide, feed manager in Lerøy Seafood Group and Trond Ytre-Arne, purchasing director in Cargill Aqua Nutrition's North Sea region. Photo: Lerøy / Cargill

Cargill to use algal oil in all Norway fish feed

Feed producer Cargill is to include algae-derived omega 3 as part of the oil mix in all fish feed it sells in Norway from next month, it announced today.

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The move has been enabled by agreements giving Cargill access to larger volumes of algal oil.

Trond Ytre-Arne, purchasing director for Cargill Aqua Nutrition’s North Sea region, said: “A significant part of the fish oil is now replaced with algae oil. This makes Cargill less dependent on fish oil and contributes to more stable access to omega 3, which is essential for sustainable growth in the industry.”

All Cargill feed supplied to salmon farmers in Norway will contain some algal oil from April 2022. Photo: Cargill.

Only alternative

Fish oil is the only direct source of the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA that are essential for fish health, but access is increasingly limited. Cargill said algal oil, now available in commercial volumes, is currently the only practical alternative source of omega 3 for Norwegian aquaculture.

“Considerable investment has been made in the industry and good capacity has been built,” the company said in a press release which highlighted the work of Scottish Sea Farms’ co-owner Lerøy Seafood Group.

“This would not have been possible without good cooperation with the fish farmer who have broken the mould and used algal oil in feed. Here Lerøy took early responsibility and their pioneering work in integrating algae into the feed has been central in building up the algae industry.”

Available to all

Jørgen Skeide, feed manager at Lerøy Seafood Group, said: “Lerøy chose to work strategically with algae as a feed raw material early on to achieve our goals of fish health, human nutrition and delivery safety on marine omega 3 sources.

“We are pleased to see that our commitment and early inclusion of algae in our standard feed has contributed to the industrialisation of the supply chain and to create a market that brings price and volume to a level that makes sustainable EPA and DHA available to all fish farmers.”

Millennial Salmon

Cargill said the use of new raw materials such as algal oil is an example of the company’s goal to increase the use of alternative and sustainable raw materials. Among other things, it is part of the Millennial Salmon research project, which has the  goal of replacing large parts of the traditional raw materials with new sustainable raw materials.

Other partners in the project are Norwegian research institutes Nofima and SINTEF Ocean, insect-based protein producer InnovaFeed, algal oil producer Corbion Algae Ingredients and French supermarket chain Auchan, which sells trout fed with an alternative diet.