TASMANIAN fish feed producer BioMar has developed a new algal oil facility reducing the amount of fish oil used and paving the way for the future of fish farming with a sustainable healthy alternative.
The use of AlgaPrimeDHA is an Australian first and is being used at BioMar’s Wesley Vale factory in North West Tasmania, reducing the amount of wild fish needed to produce farmed salmon.
AlgaPrimeDHA is the result of collaboration between Corbion, a global leader in algae-based food ingredients, and BioMar, a leading innovator in sustainable aquafeeds.
After successful trials last year, BioMar commissioned its AlgaPrime system earlier this month and has already seen an increase in demand from farmers.
The research and development on algal-based ingredients in BioMar dates back to 2013, with extensive internal and external research projects conducted before producing commercial feeds with microalgae.
BioMar’s Technical Director Tom Fox-Smith said AlgaPrimeDHA served as a substitute for fish oil in BioMar’s feed, relieving pressure on wild fish stocks by going straight to the original source of omega-3 in the oceans, the algae.
“The fact that the algae used by BioMar in AlgaPrime is grown on sugar cane waste is a circular win-win too,” Mr Fox-Smith said.
BioMar’s Managing Director David Whyte said the development was key for the future of aquafeed production.
“We are increasing the amount of fish that can be farmed without increasing pressure on marine resources,” Mr Whyte said.
“We measure this as the fishin-fish-out (FIFO) ratio.
“Reducing the amount of marine ingredients used while maintaining the desired amount of omega-3 in the piece of fish you buy has been a juggle until now.
“This is a real game changer.”
While Tasmanian salmon farming already has a FIFO ratio of less than one – making the industry net protein producers – BioMar says the AlgaPrimeDHA will lower this number even further.
“AlgaPrime has allowed us to successfully break the link between omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil derived from wild fish stocks,” Mr Fox-Smith said.
“This means we can continue to support Australia’s growing aquaculture sector sustainably by decreasing the amount of wild fish ingredients present in our feeds”.
Huon Aquaculture CEO, Philip Wiese congratulated BioMar on its investment in this innovative feed ingredient.
“Huon began utilising AlgaPrime in our feed in August 2021 and we have been pleased with the results,” he said.
The system, which was completed earlier this month, will help BioMar Australia make AlgaPrimeDHA more readily available for the Tasmanian salmon and the wider Australian and New Zealand aquaculture industries.
The project was completed using all local, Tasmanian contractors.
Kolmark of Westbury provided the tank structure; Specialised Welding of Devonport, the pipework; RBD of Devonport, the electrical systems; and Cromarty of Devonport, the process control system.