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Aker BioMarine to shed light on new raw materials for aquafeed through new research

In partnership with LetSea and Nofima, the company submitted its application to the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries to increase the share of krill and other raw materials used in fish feed formulations.


December 1, 2022

In partnership with LetSea and Nofima, Aker BioMarine submitted its application to the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries to conduct research on salmon farming and aquafeed. The goal is to increase the share of krill and other raw materials used in fish feed formulations today and shed light on new opportunities within the ingredients, aquafeed, and aquaculture industry.

Norway has an ambition to more than triple the production of salmon and trout by 2050, at the same time the government has set a target that all fish feed in Norway must be from sustainable sources by 2030. To achieve sustainable growth in seafood production, the Norwegian aquaculture industry must quickly ramp up the use of new raw materials in aquafeed. Currently, Aker BioMarine is one of a few global players that has successfully introduced and scaled a new raw material, Antarctic krill, from idea to more than 50,000 tonnes of ingredients produced annually.

Aker BioMarine aims to bring its knowledge and experience to a new, large-scale research trial, to be conducted in collaboration with LetSea, the experimental and research center for aquaculture, along with the research institution Nofima. Their joint project Raw Material Revolution signifies the urgent need for more sustainable ingredients in a rapidly growing aquaculture industry.

Together, the three companies plan to evaluate the performance of krill, as well as other, new raw material ingredients, when included in the fish feed. “If we receive approval, we plan to test seven new raw materials within seven years, with the goal of increasing the combination of new raw materials in fish feed from 0.4% to 25% by 2030,” said Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine.

The Raw Materials Pledge is a movement within the Norwegian seafood industry to stimulate greater diversity and sustainability in aquafeed raw materials. The companies that have pledged support include Aker BioMarine, Skretting, Lerøy and Sjømat Norway – headed by Bellona. The shared ambition is to increase knowledge and awareness about new raw materials. Together, the group presented their report on this topic to the Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy, Bjørnar Skjæran, during the Bellona event.

“The role of the raw material suppliers, including Aker BioMarine, has been passive until now, especially during large-scale trials conducted under real farming conditions, even when our own raw materials have been used in fish feed. This project differs from other studies in that we want to focus on the importance of raw materials in the final feed formulation and evaluate a combination of new raw materials. With this project, we are now taking a much more active role by running our own large-scale research,” added Johansen.

“The industry wants to use a greater amount of new, sustainable ingredients, and we need to move quickly to do so. Large-scale research is a necessary tool for success, and we have the knowledge and set-up required to contribute to the development of new raw materials for feed,” said Bente Torstensen, division director at Nofima.

The Raw Materials Pledge goals are:

  • Accelerate the identification, development, industrialization and phasing in new and sustainable raw materials for fish feed.
  • Enable increased production of seafood and reduce the overall climate and environmental footprint of the aquaculture industry.
  • Stimulate new innovation, industry and jobs in Norway.
  • Focus on sustainable raw materials with commercial potential, and which are nutritionally correct for the welfare and growth of the fish.

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