With prices of commercial fish feed escalating due to depleting fish meal, the local aquaculture industry is constantly faced with the challenge of getting economical fish feed of good quality to boost farm productivity. To find cheaper and more sustainable feed alternatives, local aquaculture farms have been recycling food wastes to use as fish feed.
As part of its strategy to enhance the sustainability of food supply chain through research and development, AVA has been working on recycling food waste to aid aquaculture productivity. Collaborating with Ngee-Ann Polytechnic's Environmental and Water Technology Centre of Innovation (NP-EWTCOI), we embarked on a research project to turn soy manufacturing by-products (Okara) and fish processing trimmings into economical, nutritious, and safe fish feed.
The project, co-funded by AVA and SPRING Singapore, also involves the participation of three local farms – namely 2 Jays Pte Ltd, Apollo Aquarium Pte Ltd, and Metropolitan Fishery Group Ptd Ltd.
The alternative fish feed was evaluated by the three participating farms over a nine-week test period. Following these trials, the project team tested the efficacy of alternative fish feed in supplement with commercial feed. This combination achieved the desirable cost efficiency as well as feed conversion ratio (FCR), which is a measure of an animal's efficiency in converting feed mass into increased body mass. The Metropolitan Fishery Group Pte Ltd is currently adopting this novel fish feed concept comprising of okara and fish trimmings.
Mr Malcolm Ong of Metropolitan Fishery Group Pte Ltd said: "The results of the research done by Ngee Ann was encouraging. It shows that it is possible to feed fishes with fish shavings and okara. At this moment, we are doing more trials to test on more species over a longer period of time. We are hopeful that this will result in the ability to provide an equal amount of nutrition to fishes at a lower feed cost."