Skretting wins major RAS feed contract

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages
© GettyImages

Related tags RAS Salmon

Skretting has won the contract to supply leading land-based salmon farmer, Atlantic Sapphire, with the majority of its feed.

The deal got underway this month and covers the salmon producer’s feed needs in both Denmark and the US.

Atlantic Sapphire is looking to develop its Atlantic salmon recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), in Florida, from a target of 10,000 metric tons per year from Q3 2020 to 220,000 Mt per year by 2031, while also growing its fish in Langsand, Denmark.

Skretting is a pioneer in diets specifically designed for RAS systems. It launched the first global RAS feed in 2009 and holds two proprietary solutions crucial to optimizing feed for RAS.

The feed manufacturer’s RecircReady concept includes support on feed quality, monitoring, feeding, and technical expertise for optimal success and RAS feed efficiency, said Evy Vikene, commercial director, Skretting.

Skretting also announced that, over the coming months, it will roll out its RCX concept for Atlantic salmon grown in RAS.

While the RecircReady concept reduces the impact of indirect waste into RAS by improving fecal stability, the next generation - RCX - takes this one step further by ensuring consistent structural integrity through certified factory auditing, said Saravanan Subramanian, a global product manager at Skretting. 

He spoke to this publication last December about the principles behind RAS production, and the factors to consider in designing a RAS diet.

RAS or closed containment farmed fish production, as it can also be termed, reuses water by running it through a filtration system so it can be used again. When it comes to RAS, it is all about control, in terms of fish production and biosecurity, he said.

“That level of control is one of its biggest advantages. RAS also provides a lot of flexibility in terms of where you want to produce salmon or other fish; you can farm anywhere, regardless of location, another key advantage, and you can produce more, in a smaller space, in a more efficient way," ​said Subramanian.

Essentials in RAS feed formulation

“When it comes to RAS feeds, there are three aspects. The digestibility of the raw material nutrients is key. We have a robust in-house NIR system to predict the digestibility of the nutrients. You need to have as digestible a feed as possible.

“The next aspect is the physical quality of the feed. You need a highly water-stable pellet and, of course, you do not want dust and you do not want fat leakage, as that could collapse your mechanical filtration.

“The third aspect is the quality of the nutrients and their impact on feces form. You want to ensure you have firm, stable feces, so that they can be efficiently removed by the mechanical filters.  We have an in-house, patented solution to make the feces more stable, so they are easy to remove, thereby, reducing the load on the bio-filter and ensuring much better water quality - that will reflect also in the health and welfare of the fish.”

It is about creating consistent, stable feed products, with batch-to-batch variation minimized, he stressed. 

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