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It’s More Sustainable For Farmed Salmon To Eat Insects Instead Of Fish Meal

Source: National Geographic/Heather Brady - February 13, 2018 in Environment

It’s More Sustainable For Farmed Salmon To Eat Insects Instead Of Fish Meal
Photo: Simo Rasanen/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Researchers in the Netherlands have come up with a new, more sustainable way to feed salmon that are grown in aquaculture environments: insects.

Most of the salmon that consumers eat is raised in pens, where they are fed a specific diet that helps them grow. In the past, much of that diet has been based on fish meal, a protein and nutrient-rich mixture made from fish that were caught expressly for the purpose of feeding them to other fish.

That practice has drawn criticism from conservationists, however, who point out that it’s an inefficient process that contributes to overfishing and the bycatch of sensitive marine organisms like whales and sea turtles.

Seeking an alternative, the Netherlands-based company Protix developed a fish meal that’s based on insects. Researchers came up with the idea for the insect-based feed when they noticed animals like chickens, when they’re young, eating insect larvae to gain protein.

“Salmon are one of the more demanding fish species to grow,” says Tarique Arsiwalla, chief commercial officer of Protix.

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