BioMar looking to make Chinese fish farming greener

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Long Yang Xia trout farm, China
Long Yang Xia trout farm, China
Danish feed group, BioMar, said it is involved in lowering the environmental footprint of trout production in China as the Chinese government rolls out new guidance to accelerate the sustainable development of its aquaculture industry.

Following a series of trials over the past two years, BioMar said has signed a contract with Minze Long Yang Xia, the largest trout farmer in China, to supply high performance, sustainable fish feed. 

The BioMar BioFarm teams, located in both China and Denmark, have been collaborating closely with Long Yang Xia on technical onsite trials. The Danish company said its extensive knowledge on nutritional requirements of trout as well as a strict selection of raw materials according to their characteristics and contribution to sustainability impacts, has resulted in more environmentally optimal feed formulation. 

It did not disclose any of the ingredients in this particular formulation. It just reported that by developing a low impact feed recipe by varying the ingredients, it can play a crucial role in reducing a farmer’s overall environmental footprint. 

“During the trials, the BioMar feed formulation was tested against local feed recipes and the reduction in environmental footprint is mainly seen by the high reduction of discharge of nitrogen and phosphorous into the ecosystem when the trout were given the BioMar feed,” ​ a spokesperson for BioMar told us.

The formulation was also designed to ensure optimal trout growth performance and fish welfare, said the group. It is very much tailored to Chinese production:

“The feed trials were undertaken on the farm in China, and took into consideration the specific farming techniques and environmental conditions in the area. This is not only limited to the feed recipes but also includes the feeding strategy," ​added the spokesperson.

Long Yang Xia is a green pioneer in China, said BioMar. The Chinese producer has also invested in modern aquaculture technologies. 

The Danish feed company said it expects other fish farmers in the Chinese market to look to more sustainable feed solutions as the Chinese government implements its new policy​ to improve the ecological profile of the aquaculture sector.  

Smarter farming 

The majority of aquaculture operations in China are in freshwater or in brackish freshwater but the availability and quality of the water there has been impacted by both natural and anthropogenic activities, leading to poor water quality and reduced productivity in aquatic ecosystems. 

Speaking to this publication in January this year, former BioMar executive, Neil Alsted, said fish farming in China has to become smarter.

“There are Chinese companies that understand this, but the farmers need to understand this and legislation has to support it. 

“Fish farming in China is still very traditional, small family units. The way of farming has to change.”

The water quality is the limiting factor in Chinese aquaculture production today, he stressed.

“They [the regulators] are taking measures on air quality. [The same] will happen in relation to water quality, in fact, it is happening, but, of course, it is a big transition for the Chinese, it will take some time.”  

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