Fish meal and fish oil use

What we feed our fish and how we feed them has a direct impact on their health and wellbeing.

Our fish food needs to provide them enough energy to live and thrive and must also supply all the nutrients (proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals) to grow.

We know exactly what our fish have been fed, which means that when you purchase Huon Aquaculture salmon you know it has grown up on safe, sustainable and traceable feeds.

Huon has the only ongoing dedicated research trial farm program in Australia into salmon feed. We work in close partnership with our feed suppliers to understand and continually improve our feeds so they provide a balanced, healthy and tasty diet for our fish in the unique Tasmanian environment.

The diet has to:

  • provide the fish with enough energy to live and thrive
  • supply all the nutrients (proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals)
  • be sustainable.

After many years of research we understand that the relative amounts and balance of each nutrient needs respond to the environmental conditions. This generates a specification for our diets for each stage of the salmon’s growth, which our feed suppliers manufacture. There is some flexibility over which ingredients go into the recipe to deliver that specified feed, but all ingredients must go through rigorous quality checks before they can be used.

Our salmon feed is made up of a range of ingredients including:

  • Fish meal and fish oil, which is sourced from certified wild fisheries, and the off-cuts from other fish species. Salmon farmers world-wide have been working on a fish oil and fish meal substitute for many years and we have reduced our use from around 45% fishmeal to 15%. There are now diets that require no fishmeal, and instead use oils produced from algae. The only fish meal and oil in the diets in future will most likely only come from off-cuts that would otherwise be disposed of.
  • Vegetable ingredients such as wheat, soya derivatives, corn gluten and vegetable oils.
  • Vitamins and minerals and astaxanthin, which comes from natural algae and is a powerful antioxidant that salmon need for heathy muscle growth and egg production and which also provides the salmon the signature orange hue to the flesh.
  • Meat and chicken meal, blood meal, and poultry oil. By using land-animal by-products in our feed, we are helping to utilise ‘waste’ from other farming, which improves the sustainability of both land-based and sea-based aquaculture farming production.

Equally as important as what is in our feed, is what we leave out!

We do not currently use any ingredients derived from genetically modified crops in our fish feed. And we never feed our fish growth hormones or growth promoters.

Find out more about our actions to reduce antibiotic use in our fish.