Freshwater Institute research scientist John Davidson sampling a large Atlantic salmon for a recent Cargill-Freshwater Institute project. Photo: Freshwater Institute.

Cargill extends partnership to develop RAS salmon feed

Feed producer Cargill has extended cooperation with a leading United States on-land fish farming institution, The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute, to develop feed for land-raised salmon.

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The multi-year agreement to develop, evaluate and enhance feeds for the growing land-based aquaculture industry builds on recent efforts between the two that validated the effectiveness of Cargill’s new diet for Atlantic salmon grown in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).

The partners started working together in 2018, and the new agreement solidifies the collaboration through 2023 and beyond.

Access to capabilities

Dr Marc Turano, nutrition and technology lead for Cargill Aqua Nutrition in North America, said: “Our customers want the best nutrition possible. Partnering with the Freshwater Institute has provided key access to capabilities but more importantly to renowned thought leaders in land-based aquaculture production and thus, important to the advancement of science in this strategic growth area.”

A large tank of Atlantic salmon in the semi-commercial RAS at the Freshwater Institute. Photo: Freshwater Institute.

The Institute, located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, provides Cargill nutritionists and researchers with access to fish, systems, research facilities, and a world-class team of scientists, engineers, and fish culturists with decades of RAS experience, the partners said in a joint press release.

In addition, Cargill provides leading-edge diet development and aquaculture feeds to optimise fish performance. Together, the partners hope to further improve land-based aquaculture’s environmental and economic performance through feeds developed and tested specifically for RAS.

Settleable solids

Freshwater Institute research scientist Dr John Davidson, who is collaborating closely with Cargill, said: “Diets developed for use in RAS should support optimal fish health and performance while facilitating good water quality and system operation.

“For example, feeds like Cargill’s recently developed EWOS Clear for land-based salmon farming produced settleable solids in recent research trials that were effectively removed from the recirculating flow, thereby improving the fish culture environment and overall RAS operation.”