Sustainable Marine-Based Poultry Feed Alternative Secures Funding

A marine-based alternative to fishmeal is being funded as an alternative circular-produced protein for broilers.

In a significant stride towards sustainable poultry farming, Aquanzo Ltd has secured funding to explore a novel marine-based alternative to fishmeal, aimed at revolutionizing broiler protein sources. This pioneering initiative, funded by Innovate UK in collaboration with Agri-EPI Centre and the Scottish Rural College (SRUC), focuses on the cultivation of Artemia, a small marine shrimp similar to krill.

The two-year project aims to investigate the feasibility of utilizing various agricultural by-products in the production of Artemia. Scientists involved in the project will delve into the nutritional advantages of incorporating Artemia into broiler chick starter feed, with a specific focus on enhancing gut health, lifetime growth, and overall performance.

Marine proteins, including krill, have long been recognized as highly nutritious sources for both terrestrial and aquatic young farm animals. However, the unsustainable harvesting of marine ingredients from the wild has led to environmental concerns and escalated costs, limiting their application in commercial young animal feeding.

Aquanzo is spearheading efforts to address these challenges by developing sustainable and scalable techniques to farm Artemia on land. By combining the strengths of marine ingredients and farming practices, the company envisions the production capacity of thousands of metric tonnes of Artemia meal per year per industrial facility.

Remi Gratacap, CEO of Aquanzo, expressed optimism about the transformative potential of farming marine protein, stating, “Farming marine protein has the potential to revolutionize the animal feed sector by combining the best of marine ingredients (nutritional value, taste, and energy) and farming (scalable, controllable, sustainable precision platform).”

Recognizing the environmental impact of marine protein greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Gratacap highlighted the sector’s dependence on a delicate environmental balance, particularly in the face of climate change threats.

To quantify the sustainability of Artemia, Agri-EPI Centre will conduct a lifecycle analysis, evaluating its environmental impact at each developmental stage. Sustainability analyst Emily Laskin emphasized the scientific method used for quantifying sustainability, aiming to position Artemia as an environmentally sustainable protein source, offering a viable solution to the challenges confronting the aquaculture industry.

Dr. Jos Houdijk, Head of SRUC’s Monogastric Science Research Centre, emphasized the potential of Artemia in broiler diets, stating, “Following the establishment of its nutritional value, Artemeal provides a great opportunity to bring back into starter diets for broilers the nutritional and functional benefits traditionally derived from the use of fishmeal.” This project represents a significant step towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future for poultry farming.


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