BioMar Australia to supply algal-oil based feeds

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fish farm in Macquarie Harbour, Strahan, Tasmania, Australia © GettyImages/CW03070
Fish farm in Macquarie Harbour, Strahan, Tasmania, Australia © GettyImages/CW03070

Related tags: BioMar, Salmon, Fish oil, algal oil, Australia

BioMar Australia says it has recently commissioned a new dedicated algal oil facility at its Wesley Vale factory in north west Tasmania, with the aim of reducing the amount of fish oil in its salmon feed.

The algal oil is AlgaPrime DHA. That ingredient’s manufacturer, Corbion, and BioMar have been jointly collaborating on the development of that fish oil replacement product.

Local salmon producer, Huon Aquaculture, began using the product in its feed in August last year. 

BioMar alagal prime 1 (002).jpeg
From left to right: Drew McGowan, factory manager, and Tom Fox-Smith, technical director, BioMar © BioMar

Its CEO, Philip Wiese, said the company has been pleased with the results. “The addition of algal oil has not impacted the nutritional composition of Huon salmon nor affected fish health.”

Huon said that it and other salmon farmers have been working to reduce dietary dependency on both fish oil and fishmeal. The inclusion of AlgaPrime will generate further reductions, another positive step towards improving the sustainability of operations, added the Tasmanian firm.

BioMar Australia said the new unit means the wider Tasmanian salmon industry along with the Australian and New Zealand aquaculture sectors can now gain access to feed comprising the fish oil alternative. The project was completed using local, Tasmanian contractors. 

Early adopters

R&D work on algal-based ingredients in the BioMar Group dates back to 2013, with the aquafeed producer conducting extensive internal and external research projects.

BioMar first produced commercial feeds containing AlgaPrime in 2016. Early adopters were Kvarøy Fiskeoppdrett along with Blue Circle, Whole Foods, Scottish Sea Farms and Marks & Spencer. Ventisqueros and Lerøy followed suit.

Research initiative

Corbion’s AlgaPrime is one of two ingredients that are being evaluated under the Millennial Salmon Project​, which was launched last autumn with the aim of advancing the development of sustainable feed ingredients for farmed salmon diets. The other ingredient being assessed is BSF derived insect meal from French company, InnovaFeed, called ProtiNova.

That project is set to last four years. With a €1.3m budget, it is primarily funded by the Research Council of Norway and involves both academia and industry. Besides Corbion and InnovaFeed, also involved, on the industry side, are  Cargill and retailer, Auchan. Nofima and SINTEF Ocean are the project’s lead research organizations.

The idea is the ingredients have strong circular economy and carbon footprint credentials. Evidence-based studies will assess the levels that are required to optimize the physical and nutritional needs of salmon, discover the practical and functional properties of both alternatives, as well as demonstrate the environmental and societal aspects of the suggested innovations.   

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