Reports & Whitepapers

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Category: Aquaculture


Aquaculture has been the fastest growing agricultural sector for more than a decade and has become a significant contributor to global fisheries production. In 1996 aquaculture supplied approximately 73% of freshwater fish, 57% of mollusc, 43% of diadromous fish, and 17% of crustacean production worldwide. Projected population growth and static landings of capture fisheries indicate a need for aquaculture production to double by 2025 from its 1996 output of approximately 26 mmt. Industry use of feed-based production technologies is anticipated to rapidly increase demand for manufactured aquafeeds. Production of manufactured aquafeeds grew in excess of 30% annually in recent years. Growth in manufactured aquafeeds has been particularly strong in China, where aquafeeds are forecast to increase to 20% of market share of 100 mmt of premixed animal feed production by 2005. It is expected that strong demand for feed resources by the aquaculture industries of Asia, and particularly China, will significantly impact future world commodity markets and feed prices. Soybean products have become the focus of protein substitution in aquafeeds for every fed aquaculture species. Soybeans have the best amino acid profile of all protein-rich plant feedstuffs for fish. Soybean production can be structured to meet demand, and soybean meal is considerably less expensive and more consistent in quality than traditionally used marine animal meals. Research has demonstrated that soybean products can supply a major portion of the feed protein for nearly every fed aquaculture species around the world. Inclusion rates of up to 50% in aquafeeds for freshwater fish are projected to stimulate a demand for more than 6 mmt of soybean meal in China alone by 2005. The use of soy products in aquaculture is projected to increase significantly. Aquaculture will benefit from genetic improvements in soybeans and advances in feed processing and related technologies. High lysine, methionine and phytase soybean varieties currently under research will allow greater inclusion levels of soybean meal in aquafeeds. Processing advances in the removal of anti-nutritional factors will improve soybean utilization by aqua species. Research on attractant additives and synthetic flavorings will broaden opportunities for soybean product use in aquafeeds. Collectively these advances will result in greater demand for soybean products in all sectors of the aquaculture industry.