Fish fat study earns prize for aquaculture student
A PhD student from Spain has won the student prize at Aquaculture Europe 2023 for his presentation on work to study the combined effects of fat level and emulsifier supplementation on farmed gilthead bream in the Mediterranean during the extremely hot summer of 2022.
Ricardo Domingo-Bretón, part of the Nutrigenomics and Fish Growth Endocrinology Group at the Institute of Aquaculture Torre de la Sal, Castellón, won an audience vote after presentations by three aquaculture students shortlisted for the final.
The other finalists were Marina Pampín Iglesias, who was part of a team using genetics to identify disease-resistant cockles, and Daniela Resende, who investigated the potential added growth benefits of using extracts of cooking water from the sardine canning industry in aquafeed.
One extract was seen to promote appetite although the effect on weight gain was not as good as hoped.
Each of the students was awarded €300 for reaching the final, with Domingo-Bretón receiving a further €300.
70m more to feed every year
Before the student award, József Popp, of Szent István University, Hungary, gave a plenary address underlining the necessity of aquaculture in a world where there little, if any, room to expand terrestrial food production.
Popp said there were 8.1 billion on the planet and there are 70 million more every year, as the 135 million births annually more than doubles the 65 million deaths.
“In 1960, two people were fed per hectare, in 2020 it was five people per hectare and soon it will be six,” said Popp, who stressed the importance on a circular economy and the importance of the Earth’s water supply.
“Eight billion today have to share the same quantity of water as 300 million in Roman times.”
He said that while 78% of water for agriculture comes from rainfall, more was coming from irrigation than in the past – and there was no more left.
Talking about marine ingredients in feed, he said aquaculture was transitioning from linear to circular models involving valorisation of a wide range of resources from the marine environment.
Around 2,000 people are expected to attend Aquaculture Europe 2023, which runs from today until Thursday in Vienna, Austria.