Calanus Plus by Andfjord Salmon is the first salmon feed that utilizes the zooplankton, Calanus finmarchicus, as raw material ingredient. The feed also contains algae oil as an alternative to marine fish oil.
“Our ambition is to develop the world’s most fish friendly and sustainable aquaculture facility of its kind. Having our own specially designed feed, with unique ingredients from a local supplier, is another important building block towards realizing this ambition,” said Martin Rasmussen, CEO of Andfjord Salmon.
Skretting's parent company, Nutreco, ploughed 20m NOK (US$1.94m) into Andfjord Salmon in February this year, with the salmon farmer also securing additional funds from another investor.
Located at Kvalnes on the island of Andøya on the Arctic Archipelago of Vesterålen, Norway, Andfjord Salmon has developed what it calls an innovative and sustainable aquaculture concept for land-based farming of Atlantic salmon, based on a flow-through technology solution.
The feed had to be customized by Skretting to adapt to that system.
“Calanus finmarchicus is nature's own ‘starter’ feed. It is a natural prey that is biologically adapted to provide optimal nutrition for fish. Adding Zooca Hydrolysate made from Calanus finmarchicus to the feed will be very useful to stimulate the fish's appetite in the transition to seawater. We look forward to cooperating with Zooca and Andfjord Salmon to realize the vast untapped potential that Calanus finmarchicus represents,” said Mads Martinsen, director of product development and sustainability, Skretting.
Harvesting of the plankton
Norwegian company Zooca, previously known as Calanus AS, processes Calanus finmarchicus at its facility at Sortland in Vesterålen, close to Andfjord Salmon’s site at Kvalnes.
It has been pioneering the harvesting and use of that crustacean in food and feed applications.
The firm holds the patents to a unique harvesting technique in relation to the zooplankton, and it collaborated closely with the Norwegian authorities and the country’s Institute of Marine Research to determine how to ensure the sustainable harvesting of the plank
Calanus finmarchicus, it claims, is Norway's largest harvestable and renewable marine resource. The company said it only harvests around 0.0005% of the total volume annually.
Skretting, in its bid to use ingredients in fish feed that do not compete with food for human consumption, started testing the plankton in trials back in 2018.