GAIN Summer School: online from August 30th to September 3rd

The GAIN journey is nearly over and we would like to share results and lessons learnt with motivated young researchers and operators, eager to contribute to the ecological transition of the aquaculture sector.

The GAIN Summer School “Ecological Transition in Aquaculture” will provide key concepts and tools concerning: precision aquaculture, circular economy, sustainability assessment, policies and markets. Students will get an up-to-date knowledge of key ideas in these areas and then will be led through the GAIN innovations, thus discovering how the main challenges in aquaculture field can be dealt with by adopting the GAIN approach to the ecological intensification of this sector.

Talks delivered by GAIN experts will be complemented by contributions from other EU projects, focused on aquaculture ecological transition, and worldwide recognized authorities. Students will be engaged in demonstration sessions, using virtual tools, e.g., mentimeter, and encouraged to interact within focus group.

The Summer School will be held Online from August 30th to September 3rd, 2021.

Five morning sessions, from 9:30 to 13:30 CEST, will be complemented by two afternoon sessions, from 14:30 to 16:30 CEST, for a total of 24 hours of training. The participation is completely free of charge.

Official language of the school is English. The School will admit up to 40 students. The admission is based on a CV and a motivation letter. Deadline for application is August 6th.

More info and application here.

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Novel Aquafeeds workshop

A new workshop on the novel concepts and solutions for more eco-efficient aquafeeds with GAIN partners is coming up in September 21 and 22.

Hosted by GAIN with the support from H2020 projects PerformFISH, AquaIMPACT, MEDAID, AQUAVITAE, NewTechAqua; and project SUSHIN (Italy)

The purpose of this Workshop is to present and discuss new developments of knowledge on novel fish feeds that support eco-intensification of the aquaculture industry, providing training to professionals on this topic, including aspects of value creation and sustainable use of by-products and side streams from aquaculture, fisheries and agro-industries.

If you are a professional in the aquafeed value chain (e.g., Junior and Senior staff involved in R&D, formulation and technical support), or part of the research institutions (e.g., Lecturers, Researchers, PhD students, post-docs) across the enlarged European Union and other countries, this is for you.

Check out the program:

Day 1 (21 September 2021, Online, 9.30 – 12.30 CEST)

Part 1: Introduction – what are sustainable aquafeeds?

Part 2: Novel ingredients – Strengths and Weaknesses
Yeast and bacterial proteins, PAPs from agroindustry by-products, By-products from aquaculture, Micro and macro-algae, Mineral and Vitamin sources, Challenges for a sustainable supply

Day 2 (22 September 2021, Online, 9.30 – 12.30 CEST)

Part 3: Alternative fish feed formulations – Results for the industry
Results from GAIN, PerformFISH, AquaIMPACT, MEDAID and SUSHIN

Part 4: Novel tools to assess feed performance – Where are we and how to progress
Molecular Biomarkers, Microbiome analysis, Simulation models

𝗥𝗲𝗴𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿 here 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗽.

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Costs and benefits of innovative Eco-sustainable aquaculture practices

Authors: Cornelia Kreiß & Simone Brüning

The latest GAIN project developments on the impacts of eco-intensification innovations, found that novel feeds with commercially available emerging ingredients, could lead to farm profitability losses in most cases. This was especially true for diets combining different emerging ingredients, and in diets with smaller amounts of processed animal proteins (PAP) in addition to these new ingredients.

The most pronounced losses were found for seabream production. This was partly due to the decreased feed conversion rates when using novel feeds. The already high feed costs per kg of fish produced, when compared with trout and salmon, was also a factor in profitability losses. PAP feeds, however, were more promising from an economic point of view, especially for Atlantic salmon production.

What would you pay for high quality produced fish originating from European waters GAIN aims to work on eco-intensified production for seabream and salmon amongst others?

These results illustrate the demand for more affordable alternative ingredients, such as the upcoming GAIN-developed by-products. Consumer willingness-to-pay for more sustainable grown fish might also play a significant role in order for producers to stay profitable or to reach break-even.

Salmon farm in Norway.

Room for improvement was also identified for the valorisation of fish and shellfish by-products, especially for species with lower production volume and market-share of processed products, such as carp. The costs and benefits of the next generation of novel GAIN feeds, focused in adding value to by-products and side streams will be addressed in the upcoming work within the project.

VALORIZATION OF AQUACULTURE BY-PRODUCTS: BEYOND OF FISH MEAL PRODUCTION

By: Xosé Antón Vázquez Álvarez

Industrially implemented in northern Europe (mainly Iceland and Scandinavia) a century ago to manage herring fishery wastes, the production of fish meal and fish oils were – and still are – traditional ways of valorizing by-products generated by the fishing industry. Extensible also to the co-products produced in the de-heading, gutting and filleting of the heads, viscera and frames of farmed fish (salmon, trout or sea bass), fish meal plays a fundamental role in the productive system of the aquaculture industry as final receptors (managers) of their wastes, and producers of the aforementioned compounds. The market value of fish meal is a function of its level of protein, and fish oils are more valued the higher the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both products are essential ingredients in aquaculture feed formulations.

However, other alternatives and processes of valorization can be applied to these substrates: the production of fish protein hydrolysates (FPHs) and marine peptones generated from all wastes, the recovery of collagen and gelatin from the skins or hydroxyapatites of the fish bones. Within the framework of the GAIN project, the Marine Research Institute (IIM-CSIC, Vigo, Spain) is developing and optimizing these alternatives, initially on a lab scale, and scaling some of them in the pilot plant available in the IIM-CSIC. The raw materials studied are heads, trimmings, frames and viscera from rainbow trout, salmon, turbot and carp.

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In the first case, the production of FPHs consists in the application of proteases, mainly exogenous, to the mixing of the crushed wastes with water working under optimal experimental conditions (pH, T, enzyme concentration, etc.) for the adequate enzymatic hydrolysis of the substrates. The solid hydrolysates generated after the separation of the bones and oils present in the initial substrates and the drying process are a highly digestible protein-rich material, with a varied set of peptides of different sizes, in some cases with certain bioactive properties and better nutritional characteristics than the fish meal used as ingredient in aquaculture feed. It is in this direction where the application of the FPHs produced in the IIM-CSIC will be focused: the preparation by SPAROS of new formulations for aquaculture feed based, among other ingredients, on FPH’s. Additionally, hydrolysates from individuals of blue whiting discarded by European fishing fleets and which must be landed to the ports following the new EU fishing policy (Landing Obligation) will also be evaluated in salmonids feed.

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The second of the examples consists in the production of marine peptones from the FPHs after stages of autoclaving and centrifugation. These fluids rich in protein material should be a source of organic nitrogen of great potential in the formulation of nutritive media for the cultivation of bacteria with important technological applications (probiotics, dairy starters, producers of bacteriocins and lactic acid, etc.). On the other hand, collagen and gelatins that can be recovered from fish skins, combining different chemical, enzymatic and thermal purification/extraction steps, could be biomaterials of interest in pharmacological, nutraceutical and food sectors. Finally, thermally processed clean bones of muscular debris, should have a composition rich in calcium phosphates with possibilities of application as a food supplement, incorporated into fertilizers or as bioapatites for bone regeneration.

We hope that the processes that will be developed within GAIN will lead to other alternatives, economically more profitable, for the management of aquaculture by-products beyond the well-established production of fish meal.