Huge growth potential in hatchery feed rationale behind new BioMar R&D facility

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Keshuai Li, scientist, at work at ATC Hirtshals hatchery © BioMar
Keshuai Li, scientist, at work at ATC Hirtshals hatchery © BioMar
Danish fish feed company, BioMar, says it has increased its research capabilities in hatchery with an expansion of its Aquaculture Technology Centre, ATC Hirtshals, in Denmark.

It has opened a marine fish larval trial unit that is said not only allows for larval rearing but also the production of live feed.    

The company said the new research site will enable it to continue to drive breakthrough innovation in the hatchery feed segment.

WEB_BioMar ATC Hirtshals hatchery trial unit
BioMar ATC Hirtshals trial unit © BioMar

Ole Christensen, VP of EMEA at BioMar, ​told FeedNavigator: “It is important to BioMar and our customers that we provide a full hatchery feed product range. Having a robust juvenile is not only good for a hatchery farmer but delivers benefits for our grow-out customers as well.

“In BioMar, we have seen the innovation development in hatchery farming technology like RAS [recirculation aquaculture systems​]; these systems require an optimized feed that addresses specific, specialized farming challenges associated with this technology​.”

BioMar said the ATC Hirtshals now houses 24 larval rearing trial units ranging from 50 to 100 liters, all operating under strict controlled conditions.

The new system allows for fine-tuning protocols for larval rearing as well as the production of live feed including Rotifers and Artemia. The company said it has complete control within the trial units including temperature, salinity, photoperiod and light-intensity allowing for strongly replicated trials and the ability to work on a range of marine species. 

Strategic plan for hatchery feed

The new hatchery research and development facilities is part of a phased strategic plan for the segment, said BioMar,

In May this year, we reported​ that the Danish company was looking to increase its production capacity of feed for juvenile fish and fish raised in RAS through the addition of a new line at its fish feed facility in Brande, Denmark.

BioMar said it set a budget of DKK 90 million (US$14.5m) for that fry and RAS feed capacity expansion project. Once up and running, the new line will bring capacity at that plant to 150,000 tons of feed per year. The line is expected to be on stream by Q2 2019. 

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