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Microbial specialty feed for aquaculture

The aim is to create a new feed alternative for hatcheries
which will consist of a concentrated microalgae paste
enriched with selected bacteria which has a stimulating
growth effect and improves the health of organisms.

The aim of the MISFA project is to develop a natural feed based on live microalgae for fish, mollusc and shrimp hatcheries and nurseries. The set up of the project will be based on the great expertise that the two companies involved have in microalgae production technologies and bacteria stimulation for aquaculture. Background information and framework: The FAO document Recent Trends in Global Aquaculture Production: 1984-1995 says that the potential of aquaculture to meet the challenges of food security and to generate employment and foreign exchange is clearly demonstrated by the rapid expansion of this sector, which has grown at an average annual rate of almost 10% since 1984, compared with 3% for livestock meat and 1.6% for capture fisheries production. Several aquaculture species depend on the microalgae as found in at least one part of the production cycle. Sea bream (Sparus Aurata) production in Europe grew by 53% between 1984 and 1995. At the same increasing rate, the production in 1997 reached 57,000 tons of this fish, which can represent about 70 tons of microalgae dry weight based. Mollusc aquaculture is extremely dependent on microalgae; in 1994 the European oyster and clam aquaculture production was 231,468 tons, much of which came from hatcheries raised seed. The growth of the sector and the intensification of the aquaculture production processes lead to a need for more and better microalgae to be used as food. Nevertheless, there are some problems related with microalgae production in the hatcheries and nurseries. The necessity of having microalgae available at every time of the process leads to over-production; sometimes the cultures can crash and the producers tend to produce the algae in excess. From the other side the expertise of the fish and shellfish companies are related to the production of the animals rather than with microalgae. The process improvement and innovation are always related to the animals raised and the microalgae production techniques employed are misleading and in most cases obsolete and very expensive. Moreover, the microalgae needs in a hatchery are not enough to reach economic production scales. Microalgae production represents for most of the aquaculture companies a bottleneck in their development, being a tremendous time, space and money-consuming department of their activities. There are some products in the market which tend to replace the microalgae as food for fish and shellfish. Nevertheless, the bio-availability and conversion rates of those products are always compared with microalgae and none has yet reached the algae performances. During recent years the industrial microalgae production techniques have seen major improvement; there are some companies producing microalgae for fine chemicals and nutraceuticals (mainly dunaliella, spirulina and chlorella); in JAPAN one company has started to produce chlorella for aquaculture uses. To go one step further it is also desirable to include microbial organisms able to give the hatcheries protection against several diseases. The objectives of this project are to apply the industrial (microalgae) production techniques to the microalgae most used in aquaculture, such as nannochloropsis, isochrysis, chaetoceros and thalassosira, and develop a product based on microalgae paste, both fresh (alive) and pasteurised, to be used as a ready-to-use product, replacing the microalgae cultures at the fish and shellfish hatcheries and nurseries. The end product could also contain a stimulating effect from a bacterial mixture. The project will be structured into 5 different tasks: I. Production process II. Preservation III. Packaging IV. Market approaches V. Testing. Keywords: microalgae, aquaculture, hatchery.
Acronym: 
MISFA
Project ID: 
2 001
Start date: 
15-11-1998
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
900 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.