Dispatches from EuroTier 2016

How is Coppens reducing the fish in, fish out ratio?

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags North america Aquaculture United states

At EuroTier 2016, we hear about innovation at fish feed producer, Coppens, five months after global nutrition company, Alltech, acquired it. 

The CEO, Patrick Charlton, said the integration of the Dutch fish feed producer has being progressing well.  

Alltech and Coppens working on technology to lower fishmeal and fish oil inclusion levels even further © istock

And he told us about the work being done on additive technology for farmed fish diets as the industry reduces its dependence on marine ingredient feed inputs.

“One of the reasons Coppens was an attractive acquisition for Alltech was they already had a focus on reducing the reliance on fishmeal and fish oil, and they have done that with a number of different technologies.

“So, the marriage of the work they were doing at the Coppens research center and also commercially with their customers along with what we [Alltech] are doing on algae and fish oil has worked really well. Alltech’s algae products have been incorporated into some of those diets to reduce that fish in fish out ratio and we expect to see continuous improvements in those areas.

“There is still a significant amount of fishmeal used in fish feed diets today, and there is a general desire, from a sustainability perspective to look at trying to reduce that further. So, we are looking at some of our other protein technologies to understand how they can be included in fish diets,” ​explained Charlton.

Smolt diets 

He said another attractive aspect of Coppens was the broad range of fish species it was focused on.

Charlton said, potentially, the research facilities at Coppens could be expanded to allow for exploration of more saltwater and marine species, specialist smolt diets in salmon, for example.   

The Dutch fish feed maker has a footprint in 60 countries worldwide, Alltech in 120 countries.

But Charlton acknowledges that it is challenging to ship feed long distances from Coppens plant in Nettetal in Germany. However, he reckons Coppens can leverage manufacturing footprints such as Alltech’s own feed production capabilities in North America and its established alliances with external feed producers to spread the Coppens products throughout Africa, and into North America and Latin America, and, also, ultimately into Asia.

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