SPAROS released ficoEst | fish composition estimator, a new free web-based tool that estimates the body composition of farmed fish giving information about fish weight, water and/or ash content. ficoEst is aimed at researchers who carry out studies in fish nutrition and fish farmers who wish to expand the information collected in the field.
Estimating the body composition of fish is an important step in fish nutrition, as it is the basis to calculate nutrient utilization rates. One of the main goals of a fish nutritionist is to optimize nutrient utilization and ensure the production of healthy and tasty fish in an economical and sustainable way.
From the point of view of fish farmers, knowing the body composition of fish more regularly throughout the production cycle can help in the search for more effective feeding strategies and also have better quality control of their products.
ficoEst uses different mathematical models to estimate the body composition of fish, depending on the input data provided. Some models use only fish weight as an input, while others use fish weight, water and ash content. Providing more input data considerably improves the capacity of this tool to estimate the body composition of fish. However, knowing that the user does not always have access to all information, different estimation methods have been implemented to ensure a flexible and user-friendly tool that can be useful in a wide variety of situations. It is the user who chooses which model inputs to consider based on the best information available at the time.
Currently, ficoEst is available for gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and Meagre (Argyrosomus regius).
A manuscript describing the estimation methods behind ficoEst is currently being prepared for submission to a peer-review journal.
ficoEst is freely available at webtools.sparos.pt/ficoest.