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Environmental Stewardship in Aquaculture

Environmental Stewardship in Aquaculture

• Environmental stewardship is the responsibility of farm-raised fish and shellfish producers, and technological advances help increase sustainability. Soy-fed farmed fish are fundamentally efficient at converting their feed into muscle, and increasingly so, due to continuous improvements to feed formulations made possible through research and development.

• Just as humans need healthy food to grow, nutrient-rich feed fuels the development of fish and shellfish. Specially formulated feeds are rich in the proteins and nutrients that grow soy-fed fish efficiently while producing less waste, which ultimately benefits the environment.

• Because farmed fish do not have to hunt and swim long distances to find food, soy-fed farmed fish and shellfish are more efficient at converting food protein into muscle tissue, ultimately growing larger overall and to full size more quickly than their wild counterparts.

• While it takes an average of 10 lbs of wild forage fish to produce one pound of wild fish, and large carnivorous species like tuna can take up to 60 lbs of wild forage fish to produce one pound of wild tuna, it takes just 1.5 to 3 lbs of fishmeal to produce one lb of farmed carnivorous fish, such as salmon. That means that using soy in farmed fish diets uses up to 60 times less wild fish resources than wild-caught fish.

• Some fish – such as tilapia and catfish – eat mostly plant-based feeds. Trials with feeds based on soy-protein ingredients have yielded rapid fish growth and low-feed conversion ratios.

• Ongoing research and development into soy-based fish feeds that could produce even more efficient feed conversion ratios are underway at university research facilities as well as within private aquaculture companies around the world.

• Soy in aquafeed much more efficiently produces fish and seafood than other types of livestock, with 1 to 1.5 lbs of feed producing one lb of fish. In comparison, it takes up to 1.9 lbs of feed to produce one lb of poultry and 2.5 lbs of feed to produce one lb of pork.

• Not only is seafood one of the most efficient proteins to produce, it’s one of the healthiest - low in fat and high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.