Aquaculture news round-up: Hatchery and RAS feed developments

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Boonyakiat Chaloemchavalid
© GettyImages/Boonyakiat Chaloemchavalid

Related tags shrimp BioMar hatcheries Aller Aqua Skretting

BioMar and Skretting reveal focus on hatchery feeds, while premix producer, VDS, and Aller Aqua team up on a range of feed products designed for use in a shrimp RAS system.

First up, we look at recent developments at BioMar. The Danish aqua feed group has announced the expansion of the Aquaculture Technology Centre (ATC) Hirtshals marine hatchery trial facilities in Denmark.

It said the investment will allow for a larger trial site, one with the capability of performing trials in semi-industrial conditions.

BioMar said the investment in the facility follows the continued success of its LARVIVA hatchery feeds across the main hatchery markets, together with the two capacity expansions at the production facility in France to cover the market demand.

Henrik Aarestrup, VP LATAM, shrimp and hatchery, BioMar, said the investment would unlock potential for growth in new markets and new species, and would further solidify the company's "leading position" in hatchery feeds.

“The expansion of the ATC Hirtshals facility aligns with BioMar’s strategic plan for the hatchery segment which is a key pillar for the development of marine fish and shrimp feeds."

The hatchery trial facilities serve as a hub for R&D activities, with the addition of six multinational R&D staff to the team of experts in marine hatchery operations. It will include units dedicated to larval rearing as well as live feed production, allowing for extensive research and testing of hatchery feeds for marine species.

“The core research team has been strengthened by leading larval rearing expertise from the Mediterranean region. The new facility will significantly strengthen our research capacity in this dynamic segment,” added Simon Wadsworth, global R&D director, BioMar.

The inauguration of the expanded ATC Hirtshals facility is expected to take place in September.

VDS and Aller Aqua collaborate on RAS shrimp feed

Another Danish aqua feed manufacturer, Aller Aqua, in partnership with VDS, a premix specialist, has developed a range of feed products designed for use in shrimp RAS systems. “These systems are becoming increasingly popular in Europe as they allow the production of high-quality, fresh shrimp products with short distances to market,” said the firm.

The success of on-farm trials conducted using the new feed products has generated significant interest among shrimp producers and the aquaculture industry, said the partners. “The new feed has proved to deliver faster growth and a more even size distribution of shrimp, improving the efficiency and profitability of shrimp farming operations,” they claimed.

“Shrimp farmed in RAS is a growing market and our feed concentrate solution in combination with Aller Aqua’s experience in feed manufacturing, raw material selection, and high standard for physical pellet quality, have led to a range of products that have already gained customer attention,” said Koen Blanchaert, CEO of VDS.

Resilience and water quality

Elevia is a new feed product from Skretting. The company, Nutreco's aqua feed arm, said it was engineered to provide nutritional input while also boosting water quality in shrimp hatcheries and nurseries.

The product is designed to improve larval performance, enhancing the ability of shrimp to handle challenges by providing them with nutrients that boost their immune system and overall resilience, while simplifying feed management and ensuring a cleaner system, said the producer. 

Formulated to mimic the natural feeding approach of shrimp larvae, Elevia incorporates raw materials such as algae-derived DHA and hydrolyzed marine proteins. The product is produced in France, with Ecuador as the launch country. Other markets are set to follow.

“Elevia provides shrimp with the necessary energetic reserve to improve resilience for the transport to the farm and acclimatation,” said Marita Montserrate, technical director at Skretting Ecuador.

Through Elevia's advanced formulation, physical properties and color, the need for multiple diets and flakes is significantly reduced, and this results in simplified operations and feed management, reported the developer. Due to the composition of Elevia and the encapsulation of omega-3 fatty acids, the leaching of lipids into the production system is prevented, ensuring cleaner and uncompromised water quality, it added.

“Consequently, intact feed particles remain stable for extended periods, minimizing the necessity for frequent replacements. This not only promotes optimal water conditions but also facilitates essential system maintenance, all while alleviating the strain on bio- and mechanical-filters.”

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