Contest aims to accelerate commercial-scale fish-free fish feed

Published on
June 6, 2018

The Future of Fish Feed Fish Oil Challenge recently announced that there are 10 global companies currently registered to participate. 

Sponsored by F3 – Future of Fish Feed, the contest – dubbed the F3 Fish Oil Challenge – aims to promote fish-free fish oil solutions. The winner of the sales contest will win a USD 100,000 (EUR 85,340) prize, which has been sponsored by The University of Arizona, University of Massachusetts Boston, Synbiobeta, Anthropocene Institute, and The World Bank.

“Aquaculture, or fish farming, supplies one of the world's most efficient sources of animal proteins. However, the industry is being held back by the availability of one key ingredient: Fish oil, which provides important omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids necessary for animal and human nutrition,” states the release. 

The vast majority of fish feed used in commercial aquaculture applications comes from wild-caught fish. An estimated 16 million tons of fish are caught every year, just to be used in fish oil and fishmeal. 

“Without alternative oil sources, the world’s oceans will not be able to keep up with the demands from the growing world population, which could result in major supply chain disruptions in the aquaculture industry,” the release said. 

Finding the best solution to a fish-free fish oil product is an ongoing challenge. A key component of fish oil, omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, are essential to animal (and human) nutrition. Research into those omega-3s is ongoing, and multiple companies are working on an economical fish-free solution.  

Those companies include the 10 that have registered to participate in the challenge: Aquaculture Innovation, based in the U.K.; Evolutionary MFG., Ltd., based in the U.S.; Global Algae Innovations, based in the U.S.; Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co., Ltd., based in China;Merchant’s Garden AgroTech Inc., based in the U.S.; Shen Zhen Alpha Feed Co. Ltd., based in China; Two By Sea, based in the U.S.; Veramaris, based in the Netherlands; Wintershine, based in Singapore; and ZeaChem, based in the U.S.

GuangDong may be a favorite to win the competition, as they won the previous F3 fish-free challenge for their tilapia feed in 2017, taking home USD 200,100 (EUR 170,854). 

Regardless of the winner, the contest will inevitably help promote the creation of fish-free fish products. 

“These innovative companies are disrupting the industry to ensure consumers get the same positive health benefits from fish in the future without further depleting our oceans,” said Kevin Fitzsimmons, a F3 Challenge judge and professor at the University of Arizona.

Interested companies are still able to enter the contest by partnering with one of the 10 existing contestants. The deadline to register additional partners is 30 November. 

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