Norway is one of the top ten aquaculture producers and the industry goes to great lengths to secure feed for farmed fish.
It has even sent factory ships to the other end of the earth to vacuum krill, tiny crustaceans eaten by penguins and whales from Antarctic waters.
But a couple of Norwegian companies are looking a little closer to home.
An institute of marine research team believes insects are the perfect candidate to replace traditional fish meal.
Insects are so great because they can actually eat what we can’t eat, right?
So you can use organic side streams out of the food industry, for example, things that can’t be used for animal feed directly or it can’t be used for human consumption, you can feed them to insects, and they eat it and convert it into protein, fat, like really high quality products.
Mealworms are never happier than when munching their way through the kind of food that would make most people wrench.
The aquaculture project team also turned to the ocean for ingredients.
You fed kelp to the insects and we saw that by using kelp to grow insects.
We could have higher amounts of omega-3 in the larvae as well as vitamin E, iodine, all these good things that come from the marine environment in the product, and then we use this further into fish feeds.
The startup CO2BIO is also looking at an aquatic plant as fish feed.
It’s using carbon dioxide captured from the nation’s largest oil refinery to nourish the growth of algae in a greenhouse.
We take in this oil tube from the refinery.
We are at the test center, and use that for a production of algae biomass to produce a mega tree acid for the fish industry, and that should be good for the fish and later on for their people.
The transparent tubes filled with warm seawater provide ideal conditions for algae to turn the gas into food, using the same process of photosynthesis as other plants.
The algae is harvested, dried and processed, and like mealworms, algae can also grow with a diet of waste products.
For example, on the leftover products from aquaculture as the poo of the fish or fish blood and as well for municipality waste organic liquids.
Yeah, that’s making it a lot more sustainable of humanity actually to replace the pure chemicals that we need with those waste streams as nutrients.
The alternative feedstocks could reduce the amount of wild caught fish needed to make fish feed, transforming an industry with a vital role in feeding the world’s growing population.
I’m Faith Lapidus.