MARINALGAE4aqua is an innovative research project that targets the development of strategies to increase efficiency of important European farmed fish species (Atlantic salmon and European sea bass) and reduce the environmental impact using micro- & macro-algal biomass as feed ingredients by:
I. Culturing marine algae under optimized technological processes to remove organic compounds and minerals from fish farm effluents, and producing high value products for aquafeeds while recycling nutrients; thus, improving the water body quality and reducing the environmental impact.
II. Identifying novel feed additives to improve fish digestive capacity and nutrient metabolism upon using the selected algae.
III. Improving fish growth and end product quality, reducing time to slaughter and providing a
safe and healthy food item with wide consumer acceptance.
MARINALGAE4aqua aims to tackle the sustainability challenges of the aquafeed industry by developing cost-effective and resource-efficient alternatives to FM and FO by providing: a) efficient new processes to valorise selected marine algae that could reduce EU imports of protein and lipid sources and minimize over-exploitation of wild fish stocks, loss of biodiversity and environmental burden and b) high sensory quality, acceptable fish products that meet food safety standards and dietary needs for a healthy life.
IMBBC-HCMR will be involved in growth trials with European sea bass utilizing the microalgae biomass produced by the other partners investigating its potential use as a fish-feed ingredient. The selected microalgae species will be analyzed in IMBBC-HCMR for proximate composition (crude protein, fat, moisture and ash), pigments, amino acids and fatty acids profiles in order to investigate the potential use as an ingredient in the feeds of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) substituting dietary fish meal. Growth trials will be performed and zootechnical parameters (specific growth rate, food conversion ratio, daily feed consumption) will be recorded and tissue samples will be collected for further analysis. The in vivo apparent digestibility coefficients (ADC) of nutrients of the tested diets will then be evaluated adopting the indirect method utilizing an external indigestible marker according to NRC.