Andrew Cole

Programs Director, Marine Life Conservation Society

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Where applicable,substitute insect proteins for otherwise marketable fishery based proteins in modern aquaculture systems.

This idea would help reduce the "net loss in usable proteins" idea and to my knowledge of the subject be not only a more sustainable source of protein, but be the natural one for many species of fishes. Tilapia for instance are vegetarian fishes, in the sense that they eat algae and aufwuchs found naturally in their environment and gain their proteins mainly from incidental consumption of invertebrates, both aquatic and terrestrial. So I propose that feeds, such as the flake and pellet feeds given to aquacultured fishes like Tilapia spp. and Trout spp. use inset based proteins instead of fish based proteins.

I have done some research on this and do know that there is now a study underway in Spain studying the efficacy of such an idea. I am also aware that due to the various mad cow scares over the years, the only animal proteins allowed in any feeds for animals destined to be consumed by humans as stipulated by the FDA (and their equivalents in many countries) are to be animal proteins derived only from fishes.

Anyways just a thought of how we could reduce at least one reduction fishery and possibly produce better tasting, more sustainable, and hopefully more cost effective farmed fish.

Please let me know what you think and help me trouble-shoot this idea. I have been testing it on my own in aquaria, but not for very long.

  • Aug 31 2011: Hey Andrew,

    This sounds like it may be the type of challenge that would be considered here: http://www.innocentive.com/

    Perhaps someone can help.
  • Aug 31 2011: The problem is raising a large amount of insects that fish would eat. I suggest termites. They only need wood to live. A source of waste wood in a large terrarium would produce tons of termites that can be easily farmed to feed the fish.
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      Sep 1 2011: This is certainly a topic that would take some deliberation and termites may be a great choice. However I would suggest that making use of the plethora of insects already cultivated for feed for aquarium fishes and reptiles would be more apt to a commercial level application. I would just want to put in my research to make sure the insect of choice supplied the fishes with the appropriate ammino acids to increase yield.
      • Sep 1 2011: I think insects are a great choice for fish pellets. They are a good source of minerals and protein. You can always mix the insects with waste soy or whey or any other farm or food industry by product.
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      Sep 1 2011: Yes, I did read that article and while it has become trendy for HUMANS to consume insect the transition as feed for aquacultured fishes (which naturally eat them) has yet to have happened. Part of this is the fact that though oked for human consumption, insects are not cleared as animal protein in any feeds for animals to be consumed by humans.

      You are right, 80% of the world (myself included) have consumed insects. I simply hope for this similar trend to convey into aquaculture.