Local Fish Feed Ingredients for Competitive and Sustainable Production of High-quality Aquaculture Feed

2012 - 2015 Closed

This project will focus on utilization of microalgae, seaweed and mussel meal in fish feed.

The main objectives of the project are to test new and local raw materials for aquaculture feed and their implementation into the production chain. This will result in the following:

  • Moving the Nordic aquaculture industry towards a more competitive and sustainable production, with focus on efficient and responsible use of local feed sources.
  • Identifying novel fish feed ingredients and optimizing their use as feed raw materials.
  • Creating added value of local feed sources like seaweed, microalgae and mussel meal.
  • Decreasing dependency on fishmeal and fish oil as fish feed ingredients.
  • Lowering carbon footprint of aquaculture production

Due to failure of funding from Canada, evaluation of the carbon footprint of the different raw materials tested has not yet been subject to Live Cycle Assessment (LCA) but all the objectives of the project have been met.


Mussel meal production was developed in pilot industrial scale ready for upscaling.

The nutritive value of mussel meal, different seaweed meals and different types of microalgae was determined through different chemical analyzes. The raw materials were then used in formulation of feed for fish and the formulas tested in feeding trials on three different types of fish, Rainbow trout, Arctic charr and Tilapia.

Concrete results and conclusions

The pilot processing of blue mussel proofed to be successful for the production of good quality meal that according to test results could replace fishmeal almost 100 % in diet for Rainbow trout. Extra advantage with the mussel meal was that it stimulated pink color in the flesh of the fish.

Two types of Seaweed meals incorporated as 15% substitution of fishmeal in diets for Tilapia and Arctic charr neither affected growth nor feed utilization in the fish. However, analyzes of the seaweeds revealed that both the total content of Arsenic and the content of inorganic Arsenic was on the borderline or higher than accepted by EU regulations for feed stuffs. On the other hand, different inclusion in diets did not affect the content of inorganic Arsenic in filet of Arctic charr.

The available microalgae varied considerably in chemical composition and only three of them could be formulated into starter diets for Tilapia. A comparison with fishmeal and fish oil is currently being analysed, but preliminary results indicate that at least one of the tested microalgae species is suitable as raw material into fish feed.

The project has created new knowledge available for the fish feed industry as well as for present and future industries interested in the production of the three types of raw materials tested.


The results from the project still need analyzes for environmental footprint as originally intended through the use of LCA analyses in the project. It is the hope of the partners that some Nordic fund can support such a project to fill out the entire picture.

Furthermore, investors should evaluate the economic potential of the new raw materials tested in the project.

Project owner

Sveinn Margeirsson
Matis ohf, IS

Project leader

Jon Arnason
Matis ohf, IS

Project members

Sjöfn Sigurgisladóttir
Matorka ehf, IS
Björn Thrandur Björnsson
Gothenburg University, SE
Alfred Jokumsen,
Bodil K Larsen
DTU-akva, DK
Ann Cecilie Hansen
Odd Lindahl
Bergsveinn Reynisson
Nesskel, IS
Wolfgang Koppe
Skretting, NO
Andre Dumas
Coastal Zones Research Institute, CA