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November 25 2015

United States

Arizona—Competition for Fishmeal-Free Aquaculture Feed

 

The Fish-Free Feed Challenge (F-3) will award over $100,000 to any company able to produce and sell 100,000 metric tons of fish-free aquaculture feed.

 

F-3, lead by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the University of Arizona and the New England Aquarium, challenges companies to produce and sell 100,000 metric tons of fish-free aquaculture feed using new formulations “in order to reduce pressure on the world’s fish populations and increase industry sustainability”, according to the competition’s website.

 

According to the University of Arizona’s Kevin Fitzsimmons, who announced the competition at this year’s Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL meeting in October, there will likely be a relatively high number of competitors as initial interest has been strong.  “There’s quite a bit of interest, we’ve talked to a couple of USA-based feed companies, a couple from China, one from Thailand; there’s a lot of interest,” he said.

 

Interest in the competition has been so strong that the anonymous donor who put up the $100,000 prize money has said he is considering funding another competition.

 

Fitzsimmons said that the main goal of this competition is to encourage innovation and help push forward the production of alternative feed quickly.  “[We want companies to] look at single-celled protein, algae extracts, animal byproducts, soy concentrates, insect meals; there’s lots and lots of these alternative ingredients out there,” he said.  Fitzsimmons said that the competition has given some companies the nudge they needed from being almost fish-free, to completely fish free.  “Some of these companies had already had almost fishmeal-free diets that they’ve been testing, so they’re keen now to go ahead and tweak their formulation to make it,” he said.  “This prize is there to further encourage and accelerate this migration that’s already been happening.  Environmental groups have a reputation for just using the stick and hammering the aquaculture industry, now we have people that are putting the carrot out there [by putting] their money where their mouth is,” he said.  “We’ve got environmentalists who are willing to be very proactive and work hand in hand with the industry to be successful.”

 

The competition also serves as an effort to better relations between environmental groups and the aquaculture industry, and to encourage them to work together on important issues, which to a large degree hasn’t been the case.

 

Source: Undercurrent News [eight free news reads every month].  Editor, Tom Seaman (undercurrent@undercurrentnews.com).  Possibility of Another $100,000 Fish Feed Competition High.  Ola Wietecha (ola.wietecha@undercurrentnews.com).  November 20, 2015.

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