I’ve mentioned a Scottish proposal to raise salmon on the world’s largest onshore (tanked) fish farm. This new megafarm would, I assume, raise Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) as offshore (caged) farms do.
The plan would be to feed these salmon on pellets made from ‘ragworms, algae and amino acids’. What are those? We know the ragworm (Nereis diversicolor). Wild N. diversicolor is widespread and abundant on the shores of Western Europe. It’s a popular live bait for sea angling. It can also be raised in tanks, although ragworm farming in Britain hasn’t always gone swimmingly. Carnivorous fish such as S. salar might like pellets made of ragworms.
I like the idea of aquaculture moving away from pellets made from wild seafish to more sustainable feeds. There’s research underway in the Netherlands to make ragworm pellets using farmed ragworms. Those Dutch scientists are working with Nereis virens instead of N. diversicolor.
Meanwhile there’s research underway in Nordic countries to make pellets from ‘microalgae, seaweed and mussel meal’. I don’t know much about the microalgae used in the Nordic research but maybe that’s a good idea for a fish food ingredient.
As for amino acids, if the proposed Scottish megafarm would require those, I’d like to know where they’d come from. All proteins are made of amino acids and all organisms are made of a lot of different molecules, including proteins. I’d like to know which organism would be the source of amino acids for the megafarm’s feed pellets. But there’s no obvious reason why that shouldn’t be done sustainably. Perhaps waste from meat or fish processing could be recycled into a fish food ingredient. Perhaps that’s where the mussel meal idea comes in.
For now the salmon megafarm is only a proposal. If I find out that it’s been approved and built, I’ll let you know.