SARF077: Title

Start Date: 015/11/2010
End Date: 30/05/2011
Main Contractor(s): Epsilon Resource Management Ltd
Other Sponsor(s): Marks and Spencer 


To provide a comprehensive review of the current and potential use of micro and macroalgae as sources of raw material for aquaculture diets.

Provide an assessment of yields, the scale of available resources and their cost effectiveness.

Identify specific knowledge gaps, technical, commercial and marketing constraints and opportunities.

Make a critical assessment of the future potential to develop commercially viable supplies of novel or currently niche feed raw materials from these sources.



Algae contain the basic nutritional building blocks for carnivorous finfish species such as salmon, and the sector is already well advanced with the use of non-marine and non-traditional ingredients in diet formulation. If algal-originated products are developed and come on to the market at the right price, there is no doubt the aquaculture finfish feeds sector would use them. However, this study has found no obvious current opportunities to use algal materials in aquaculture finfish diets for species such as salmon – or rather, none that are mainstream in terms of percentage inclusion or that have been somehow overlooked.

The study has identified areas where such products could potentially become available in the future, and some of these are covered in this report’s final recommendations. In particular:

  • Microalgae (or related organisms) grown primarily for a future commercially viable bio-fuels sector offer good prospects – although most experts agree that this is a challenging area, and success is likely to be some way in the future
  • If microalgae could be cost-effectively grown to supply the bio-fuel sector, it is certain that they could be specifically grown cost-effectively to produce animal feeds, including feeds for finfish such as salmon
  • If that were the case, judicious choices of species might offer the prospect of supplies of both n-3 HUFA rich lipids and high quality proteins.