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Agriculture - 2021-09-01

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Revolutionizing the aquaculture industry using soy-based feed

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Revolutionizing the aquaculture industry using soy-based feed Foreword from USSEC Southeast Asia’s Lukas Manomaitis, USSEC Aquaculture Program Technical Contractor/Southeast Asia Aquaculture Technical Director: Asia is the largest producer of aquacultured products in the world, with almost a fifth of aquaculture products being produced in the Southeast Asia (SEA) region alone. At least since 2003 USSEC has had a very active regional program for aquaculture in SEA with initiatives ranging along the entire aquaculture production chain including work with hatcheries, feedmills, production operations, processors, and even up to the final consumer. By taking a comprehensive, holistic approach USSEC is hoping to see the feed-based aquaculture industry in SEA expand rapidly, and to transition to long-term sustainable approaches rather than the short-term ones that have been the normal approach before. The article below outlines some of the thoughts of the new Focus Area Director for USSEC, Ms.Courtney Knupp. USSEC has combined its approach for terrestrial and aquatic livestock to allow USSEC to bring more resources to the overall livestock industry. USSEC believes that there are common areas of knowledge that benefit all livestock, and this change will allow us to bring more value to the aquaculture industry specifically as we learn from the positive (and negative) examples of the terrestrial livestock industry. Aquaculture is a growing industry, we want to see that continue, and learn from others (particularly the industrial scale terrestrial livestock industry) how to do it correctly. As always, USSEC believes that sustainably produced, high quality U.S. soy has an important part to play in building a profitable and sustainable aquaculture industry in SEA and the world. Aquaculture is an industry that is going from strength to strength, with aquaculture for human consumption expected to exceed 100 million tonnes globally within the next five years. As one of the fastest growing sectors in food production and trade, it is seeing exponential growth. However, this growth has presented the industry with a unique problem: primarily, how to safely and sustainably feed a large volume of fish and marine creatures whilst remaining cost effective and ensuring the food produced is free of contaminates. Courtney Knupp of the U.S. Soybean Export Council spoke to Innovation News Network about how the organisation is working to meet the challenge of sustainable aquaculture through the use of U.S. soybeans as the base for an alternative high protein fish feed. To begin, can you give me an overview of the USSEC and how it is supporting the aquaculture industry? Representing the interests of U.S. soybean producers, commodity shippers, merchandisers, and allied agribusinesses and agricultural organisations, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) works to build demand and create a preference for U.S. Soy. USSEC is committed to continued investment in research on fish nutrition, the development of aquaculture technologies, and providing technical support to create soy-based feeds used in aquaculture industries throughout the world. USSEC works collaboratively with producers, feed manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, and other ancillary industry sectors to address all aspects of the production cycle for aquaculture. And, for more than 30 years, USSEC’s International Soy in Aquaculture Program has focused on developing, testing, and demonstrating the values of U.S. Soy products in aquafeeds for major farmed species globally. U.S. soybean farmers are investing in and helping to revolutionise aquaculture around the world by growing a high-quality, sustainable, consistent, and reliable crop. As global population and wealth increase, seafood and fish are in greater demand. Farmed fish comprises almost half of the global fish protein intake around the world and that percentage is growing compared to wild caught species. There are no viable alternatives to soy that can provide the volume of protein in the diet needed to keep up with increasing demand. Looking forward, USSEC is excited about the role that U.S. Soy will play in the growing global aquaculture industry and will continue to be a leading supplier for soy-based aquafeeds and supporter for all facets of the global value chain. Detailed information about USSEC can be found at www.ussec.org. Soy was introduced as an alternative to fishmeal in aquaculture. What are the advantages of using soy to feed farmed fish? The use of soy in diets provides a sustainable feed solution for aquaculture and is the most used protein source in aquaculture feeds worldwide. Soy has a high protein density, is highly digestible for most cultured fish and shrimp species, can replace high-cost animal proteins, and yields rapid fish growth. Soy is an environmentally sound solution to the growing global demand for nutritious seafood and is critical for aquaculture because it is an internationally traded product that is available year-round. A large majority of aquaculture diets now contain 25-30% soy as a key part of the formulation, and there are a variety of applications in which soy products can be used in aquaculture diets, including, soybean meal, soybean oil, soy protein concentrate, full fat soybean meal, fermented soy, soy lecithin, soy hulls, and soy isolates, among others. The quality of fishmeal can vary in availability, price, nutritional composition, and pathogens. Therefore, providing soybean meal as a protein source to replace fishmeal in aquafeeds is an innovative solution to overcoming health challenges in aquaculture. U.S. Soy provides a balanced fish diet that meets all the nutritional requirements of a specific species in different growing stages, which is the most important factor that contributes to the growing of a healthy fish. The use of soy- based aquafeeds also supports pond water quality by reducing nitrogenous wastes in water that impact fish health. Soybean meal costs significantly less than fish meal. Reducing feed cost is critical to improve efficiency and maintain sustainability in aquaculture business. What developments in soy-based aquafeeds have been made in recent years to better support fish health? USSEC has a long-term aim of the promoting of an increase in aquaculture production using high quality feeds. The In Pond Raceway System (IPRS) is an initiative that does both at once. IPRS allows farmers to use the same water volume in ponds to produce a significantly higher yield, and the technology favours complete, high quality feeds that are well-suited to feeds that use U.S. Soy products. With zero water exchange, the use of IPRS technology in fish farming positively supports the environment by minimising wastes in effluent to the water bodies, greatly enhanges water productivity, and helps to face water shortage issues that are becoming a very serious threat to the sustainability of freshwater aquaculture. Moreover, in IPRS all solid wastes are removed from the water and can be used as organic fertilisers for agriculture lands. What are some of the environmental issues associated with soy production around the world? Soy is a key ingredient to so many aspects of our lives: feed, food, fuel, and industrial applications. Because of growing consumer expectations and interest in sustainable products, we see companies increasing their demand for sustainable soy. Unlike some countries, the U.S. has a strong reputation for sustainable production practices, infrastructure that moves soy through the country with great efficiency and lower environmental impact, and protection of our natural resources. Soy-based feed formulations reduce the pressure on wild-caught fish for fishmeal, which makes these feeds more environmentally friendly. Formulated soy-based feeds are rich in proteins that produce less waste. U.S. Soy has a solid reputation for its consistent quality, intrinsic nutritional value (particularly the good digestibility of the essential amino acids), and reliable delivery because of infrastructure capability. U.S. Soy has been approved as one of the certified soybean

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