Under the umbrella of AquaExcel 3.0 Transnational Access Project ID 22768, this research endeavored to assess the viability of incorporating the Polychaetes Nereis virens biomass as an alternative ingredient in formulated aquaculture feeds for juvenile meagre (Argyrosomus major). Driven by the dwindling availability of traditional feed components, our study delved into evaluating the nutritional profile, consumption indices, and growth rates of meagre fed with varying Nereis virens concentrations.
Polychaetes, recognized for their rich protein and fatty acid content, stand as promising candidates to mitigate the reliance on fishmeal and fish oil, two essential yet increasingly scarce feed components. Introducing polychaetes as alternative ingredients presents a compelling opportunity to formulate a more sustainable and high-quality feed, addressing industry challenges head-on.
Our findings revealed comparable growth rates for meagre fed diets with up to 20% Nereis virens inclusion. Furthermore, the study underscored favorable digestibility indices for both proteins and lipids, demonstrating the remarkable potential of these formulated feeds.
This research aligns seamlessly with the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform’s (EATIP) Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, specifically targeting the “Sustainable Feed Production” thematic area. Ultimately, this project aims to contribute to the broader objective of achieving more sustainable aquaculture production practices, fostering a more ecologically responsible and resilient aquaculture industry.