In an Australian first, BioMar has recently commissioned a new dedicated algae oil facility at its Wesley Vale factory in northwest Tasmania, reducing the amount of fish oil used and paving the way for the future of fish farming with a sustainable healthy alternative.
After successful trials last year, BioMar commissioned its AlgaPrime system earlier this month and has already seen an increase in demand from farmers. AlgaPrime DHA by Corbion is the result of a collaboration between Corbion and BioMar. The research and development on algal-based ingredients in BioMar date back to 2013, with extensive internal and external research projects conducted before producing commercial feeds with microalgae.
BioMar’s technical director, Tom Fox-Smith, said that AlgaPrime DHA served as a substitute for fish oil in BioMar’s feed, relieving pressure on wild fish stocks by going straight to the original source of omega-3 in the oceans, the algae. “The fact that the algae used in AlgaPrime are grown on sugar cane waste is a circular win-win too,” Fox-Smith said.
BioMar’s managing director, David Whyte, said the development was key for the future of aquafeed production. “We are increasing the amount of fish that can be farmed without increasing pressure on marine resources,” Whyte said. “We measure this as the Fish In:Fish Out (FIFO) ratio. Reducing the amount of marine ingredients used while maintaining the desired amount of omega-3 in the piece of fish you buy has been a juggle until now.”
While Tasmanian salmon farming already has a FIFO ratio of less than one, AlgaPrime DHA will lower this number even further and ensure the industry can continue to grow sustainably.
Huon Aquaculture CEO, Philip Wiese, congratulated BioMar on its investment in this innovative feed ingredient. “Huon began utilizing AlgaPrime in our feed in August 2021 and we have been pleased with the results. The addition of algae oil has not impacted the nutritional composition of Huon Salmon nor affected fish health, so we are confident it will remain an important sustainable component in the diet of Tasmanian salmon for years to come,” Wiese said.
The system, which was completed earlier this month, will help BioMar Australia make AlgaPrime DHA more readily available for the Tasmanian salmon and the wider Australian and New Zealand aquaculture industries. The project was completed using all local, Tasmanian contractors.