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HAVBRUK2-Stort program for havbruksforskning

OmegaTrout – Optimizing use of omega-3 for production of robust rainbow trout

Alternative title: OmegaTrout - bedre utnyttelse av omega-3 i oppdrett av regnbueørret

Awarded: NOK 6.0 mill.

The continued growth of aquaculture is dependent upon the availability and development of nutritious, healthy, cost-effective, and sustainable feed for fish. Nutritional imbalances may be one of the factors explaining fish mortalities throughout the production cycle, which for rainbow trout accounted for 16% in 2020. Recent research with Atlantic salmon has led to increased awareness in the Norwegian salmon industry around the potential benefit of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in feed for salmonids produced in challenging sea cage environment. However, no information exists on the effects of increased dietary EPA+DHA on rainbow trout reared under challenging commercial conditions. The project will lay the foundation for production of a robust rainbow trout able to withstand the fluctuating and challenging conditions that farmed fish are exposed to. A long-term feeding trial will be performed to compare effects of dietary EPA+DHA in typical commercial range with an elevated level. The potential benefits of elevated EPA+DHA in the feed on performance, health, and welfare as well as product quality of trout produced in sea cages under challenging commercial conditions will be evaluated for weighing against the economic feasibility of using higher EPA+DHA diets. Additionally, a comparative study between rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon in indoor tanks will explore differences in metabolism and utilization of omega-3. These differences are well worth exploring since differences in EPA and DHA requirements could have considerable economic implications for the industry. Overall, this project will contribute to the production of a more robust and sustainable rainbow trout creating the knowledge needed to efficiently utilize currently limited EPA+DHA sources.

The continued growth of aquaculture is dependent upon the availability and development of nutritious, healthy, cost-effective, and sustainable feed for fish. Nutritional imbalances may be one of the factors explaining fish mortalities throughout the production cycle, which for rainbow trout accounted for 16% in 2020. Recent research with Atlantic salmon has led to increased awareness in the Norwegian salmon industry around the potential benefit of elevated EPA and DHA in feed for salmonids produced in challenging sea cage environment. However, no information exists on the effects of increased dietary EPA+DHA on rainbow trout reared under challenging commercial conditions. The project will lay the foundation for production of a robust rainbow trout able to withstand the fluctuating and challenging conditions that farmed fish are exposed to. A long-term feeding trial will be performed to compare effects of dietary EPA+DHA in typical commercial range with an elevated level. The potential benefits of elevated EPA+DHA in the feed on performance, health, and welfare as well as product quality of trout produced in sea cages under challenging commercial conditions will be evaluated for weighing against the economic feasibility of using higher EPA+DHA diets. Additionally, a comparative study between rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon in indoor tanks will explore differences in metabolism and utilization of omega-3. These differences are well worth exploring since differences in EPA and DHA requirements could have considerable economic implications for the industry. Overall, this project will contribute to the production of a more robust and sustainable rainbow trout creating the knowledge needed to efficiently utilize currently limited EPA+DHA sources.

Funding scheme:

HAVBRUK2-Stort program for havbruksforskning