Backed by science
Expert review of controlled trials, documented in 150+ scientific papers resulted in guidelines for essential fatty acids in aquaculture diets
At Veramaris, we are committed to supporting the aquaculture industry in achieving optimum levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. Using the latest scientific data, we constructed an expert review of more than 150 published peer-reviewed scientific papers to develop our Optimum Omega Nutrition (OON) protocol. This protocol provides guidelines on the correct amount and type of essential fatty acids (EPA & DHA) to include in the diet at each stage of the farming process for several of the main aquaculture species. Most importantly, the guidelines are grounded in science.
The importance of essential fatty acids and their ratios in aquafeeds
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential component of aquafeed formulations because the biosynthetic pathways that produce EPA & DHA cannot meet the biological demands of most fish species. Science has demonstrated that EPA & DHA are required to support health and welfare and can enhance performance, improve product quality and reduce the marine footprint of the farmed fish.
Benefits of higher EPA & DHA by adding algal oil to aquafeed
Tested in controlled lab conditions and for a variety of responses
The ratio of EPA:DHA and the total requirement of Omega-3s varies throughout the life cycle and is crucial to support the health, welfare and normal development of the fish. In salmon, the requirement is elevated in the earlier life stages to safeguard the development of the nervous and ocular systems.
As the salmon grow, the required ratio of EPA:DHA changes to better support multiple biological systems, including the immune system. Ensuring that the requirements for EPA and DHA are met in the commercial environment will help to improve resistance to both stress and infectious diseases, therefore improving welfare of the animals and productivity of the farms.
One crucial stage in a salmons life cycle is smoltification, where the fish migrate from the freshwater to the marine environment. During this time, the fish go through a complete shift in the composition of their fatty acid profile with requirements for EPA & DHA peaking during this time. This change is crucial to support the fish through this intense physiological change as Omega-3s are involved in regulating the processes related to osmoregulation to ensure successful transfer and survival in the sea.
Optimum nutrition continues to be a priority throughout the seawater production phase, since higher EPA & DHA levels in feed are documented to help fish maintain growth, feed conversion, robustness, welfare and fillet quality.
The level of EPA & DHA found in the feed formulation directly correlates to what can be found in the fillet of fish at harvest. By specifying algal oil as a source of Omega-3 in feed, farmers can better control the level of EPA & DHA in the finished product.
Recent data has shown that with an optimised level of EPA & DHA (10% of total fatty acids) in the diet at a ratio of 1:1, salmon showed a better overall health status and a reduced number of wounds while other studies have confirmed that elevating EPA and DHA can also reduce melanin spots in salmon fillets reducing downgrades at harvest.
Sustainable supply growth
One of the main challenges for sustainable supply growth in the aquaculture industry today is the gap between supply and demand for essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. By specifying algal oil as a source of Omega-3, farmers can reduce their reliance on fish oil from wild caught fisheries while meeting the biological demands for EPA & DHA in farm-raised fish.
Data has shown that including Veramaris algal oil in aqua feed formulations can help to reduce the FFDRoil to <1, enabling the growth of aquaculture as a sustainable food system.