Aquaculture firms will trial fish-free feed created in F3 Challenge
Marine Harvest, Alpha Feed, Guangdong Yuehai Feed Group and Dainichi have all committed to trials of fish-free aquafeeds being developed through the F3 (Fish-Free Feed) Challenge.
Supported through crowdfunding and sponsorship from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the New England Aquarium, the University of Arizona and the World Bank, the F3 challenge is a contest designed to spur innovation in the aquafeed industry, with a first prize of USD 200,000 (EUR 189,000) awarded to the first team to produce and sell 100,000 metric tons of aquafeed that does not contain marine animal meal or oil by 15 September, 2017.
The announcement that several of the world’s leading fishfeed and aquaculture companies have committed to trails of the fish-free products being developed through the contest is a major boost to the contestants, according to University of Arizona Professor Kevin Fitzsimmons, the former president of the World Aquaculture Society and lead spokesperson for the F3 Challenge.
“This is the first time that so many large established companies have committed to offering fish-free feed trials, which signals a turning point toward viable and cost-effective alternatives to fishmeal and fish oil,” Fitzsimmons said.
Norway-based Marine Harvest, the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon, has committed to offering a trial to the winner of the F3 Challenge, as long as it’s appropriate for Atlantic salmon. The free trial includes a pilot-scale feed trial at the company’s research facility and 50 hours of researcher time, according to the announcement. Japan-based Dainichi has also said wants to the test fish-free feed developed by the winner or a participant of the challenge “in an effort to shift toward more economically viable aquafeeds.”
In addition, China-based aquafeed manufacturers Alpha Feed and Guangdong Yuehai Feed Group Co., Ltd. have committed to run digestibility and grow-out trials for the winner or a finalist that has feeds for their species of interest.
The Chinese companies issued a joint statement stating their commitment is intended to underscore the need to create fish-free feed to “protect the environment and depleting wild fisheries, increase the resilience of the aquafeed industry to the fluctuation of fishmeal production and price, and to make feeds more competitive in terms of cost.”
“The F3 contest will become a milestone in the development of innovative and sustainable aquaculture,” Alpha Feed Chief Technical Officer Deng Deng said.
Contestants from Thailand, Indonesia, China, South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, Myanmar (Burma), the Netherlands and the U.S. have advanced to the second sales reporting stage.The second sale submission deadline in April 15, 2017.