Developing new or improved techniques for mass production and processing of novel feed ingredients from lower trophic organisms is necessary to accommodate the aquafeed requirements for an expanding aquaculture industry. Polychaetes and macroalgae (seaweed) like kelp are promising candidates for a new value chain for the production of novel, sustainable feed ingredients that can supplement or replace protein concentrates from imported soy.
Polychaetes comprise a highly-nutritious biomass rich in marine lipids, essential amino acids and micro- and macronutrients for fish, and recent research on the life cycle and feeding of these organisms indicate that the farming of these organisms should be further developed and eventually scaled up for industrial production.
For this, a suitable and sustainable feed for the polychaetes is needed. It is not known to what extent sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) can be used as feed for polychaetes when aiming for a future use as a protein source in feed for Atlantic salmon, but the potential for extremely large access to farmed sugar kelp makes it an obvious raw material for use in the feed ingredient production chain, meeting the needs from the expanding salmon farming industry.
Research on this topic is both timely and strongly needed. SINTEF Ocean is thus starting the project POLYKELP together with the companies Seaweed Solutions (SES) and Marine Bio Solutions AS to study the use of sugar kelp as a diet for polychaetes aimed for salmon feed. The project will run in 2021 and receives funding from Regionalt Forskningsfond Trøndelag.