Use of wild fish and other aquatic organisms as feed in aquaculture; a review of practices and implications in the Asia Pacific

De Silva, Sena S. and Turchini, Giovanni M. 2009, Use of wild fish and other aquatic organisms as feed in aquaculture; a review of practices and implications in the Asia Pacific. In Hasan, Mohommad R. and Halwart, Matthias (ed), Fish as feed inputs for aquaculture : practices sustainability and implications, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy, pp.63-127.

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Title Use of wild fish and other aquatic organisms as feed in aquaculture; a review of practices and implications in the Asia Pacific
Author(s) De Silva, Sena S.ORCID iD for De Silva, Sena S.
Turchini, Giovanni M.ORCID iD for Turchini, Giovanni M.
Title of book Fish as feed inputs for aquaculture : practices sustainability and implications
Editor(s) Hasan, Mohommad R.
Halwart, Matthias
Publication date 2009
Chapter number 2
Total chapters 9
Start page 63
End page 127
Total pages 65
Publisher Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
Place of Publication Rome, Italy
Keyword(s) aquaculture
Summary Global and Asian aquaculture have witnessed a ten-fold increase in production from 1980 to 2004. However, the relative percent contribution to production of each of the major commodities has remained almost unchanged. For example, the contribution of freshwater finfish has declined from 71 to 66 percent in Asia but has remained unchanged globally over the last 20 to 30 years. This fact has dictated trends in the use of fish as a feed for cultured stocks. The growth in the sector has gone hand in hand with an increasing dependence on fish as feed, either directly or indirectly. In a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the aquaculture sector has surpassed the capture fisheries sector in its respective contributions to the gross domestic product (GDP). Aquaculture’s increased contribution to national GDPs can be taken as a clear indication of the contribution of the sector to food security and poverty alleviation. The use of finfish and other aquatic organisms as a feed source can be through direct utilization of whole or chopped raw fish in wet form, through fishmeal and fish oil in formulated feeds, and/or as live fish, although the latter is uncommon and the overall amounts used are relatively small. In the first two categories, the fish used are often termed “trash fish/low-value fish”. Although attempts have been made to define this term, all definitions have a certain degree of ambiguity and/or subjectivity. In this regional review, the amount of fish used as feed sources based on the above categories was estimated primarily from the production data, supported by assumptions on the inclusion levels of fishmeal in formulated feeds and observed feed conversion efficiencies for both formulated feeds and for stock fed trash fish/low-value fish directly. A scenario for the use of fish as feed was developed by starting from the levels of aquaculture production recorded in 2004 and assuming increases in production volumes of 10, 15 and 20 percent by 2010, respectively, for the three trajectories. In parallel, the pattern of wild fish use as feed was projected to change as fish and shrimp farmers increasingly replace farmmade feeds by incorporating trash fish/low-value fish with manufactured feeds that include fishmeal. Also, the fishmeal inclusion rates in manufactured feeds are falling slowly, and this has been incorporated into the projections. The regional review also deals with the production of fishmeal using trash fish/low-value fish in the Asia-Pacific region. Regional fishmeal production as a whole is relatively low when compared with that of major fishmeal-producing countries such as Chile, Iceland and Norway, amounting to approximately 1 million tonnes per year. However, there is a trend towards increasing the use of fish industry waste, such as from the tuna canning industry in Thailand. The fishmeal produced in the region is priced considerably lower than globally traded fishmeal, but its quality is poorer. Total fishmeal use in Asian aquaculture in 2004 was estimated as 2 388 million tonnes, the highest proportion of this being used for crustacean aquaculture (1 418 million tonnes). Based on growth predictions (to year 2010) in the sector and improvements to feed quality and management, it is expected that the quantity of fishmeal used in Asian aquaculture will be slightly less than at present. An estimated 240 000 tonnes of fish oil is used in Asian aquaculture, principally in shrimp feeds. Based on production estimates of commodities in 2004 that rely on trash fish/low-value fish as the main feed source, this regional review suggests that Asian aquaculture currently uses between 2 465 and 3 882 million tonnes, an amount that is predicted to decrease to between 1.890 and 2 795 million tonnes by 2010. The use of trash fish/low-value fish and fishmeal by the aquaculture sector has been repeatedly adjudicated as a non-sustainable practice, and globally the sector is seeking to reduce its dependence on fish as feed through improved feed management practices and development of better quality feeds and feed formulations using alternative ingredients. Over the next few years, decreases in the use of trash fish/low-value fish are also expected to be achieved through better conversion of raw materials into fishmeal and fish oil during the reduction processes. The “way forward” in addressing the issue of the use of fish as feed in aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region includes the need for a concerted regional research thrust to reduce the use of fish as feed sources in aquaculture, as has been achieved in the animal husbandry sector. Secondly, there is a need to increase farmer awareness on the use of trash fish as feed. This is achievable, considering the similar progress that has been made by the region’s shrimp farming sector, which almost exclusively involves small-scale practitioners who are often clustered in a given locality. The analysis also suggests that the use of trash fish/low-value fish in aquaculture may be compatible with improving food security and alleviating poverty. In Asia, trash fish/low-value fish is mostly landed in areas where there are other suitable fish commodities for human consumption. To make the trash fish/low-value fish suitable and available for human consumption would involve some degree of value-adding and transportation costs, which are likely to increase the price to beyond the means of the consumer, particularly in remote rural areas. Under such a scenario, the direct or indirect use of this perishable resource as a feed source to produce a consumable commodity appears to make economic sense and appears to be the most logical use for overall human benefit. In this manner, trash fish/low-value fish contributes to food security by increasing income generation opportunities and hence contributes to poverty alleviation. Another factor that needs to be taken into account is the large numbers of artisanal fishers who harvest this raw material. The continued use of trash fish/low-value fish, therefore, allows these fishers to maintain their livelihoods1. Admittedly, this is an area that warrants more detailed investigation, from resource use, livelihoods and economic viewpoints.
Notes FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper 518
ISBN 9251064199
ISSN 2070-7010
Language eng
Field of Research 070401 Aquaculture
Socio Economic Objective 830199 Fisheries - Aquaculture not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category B2.1 Book chapter in non-commercially published book
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, FAO
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