Better nutrition in aquaculture targets disease reduction

Better nutrition in aquaculture targets disease reduction

Andrea Frommel

August 2022 – Andrea Frommel, Chair in Sustainable Aquaculture, (right) is working with industry and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on a new project to improve nutrition in farmed fish with the goal of reducing disease in the long-term.

As aquaculture expands there is an increasing push to reduce reliance on antibiotics and other chemicals to prevent or treat disease. The research collaborators are investigating the use of fulvic acids – compounds of soil debris present in natural aquatic environments – as a natural and environmentally sustainable method of disease prevention when incorporated as a feed supplement in juvenile aquaculture species. They will see if fulvic acids provide immune stimulation in juveniles of four local aquaculture species: chinook salmon, steelhead, sablefish and arctic char.

Juvenile fish

The project’s lead investigator is Ian Forster, Research Scientist at DFO, and includes Assistant Professor Frommel, Taplow Feeds (feed producer), and Creative Salmon, Wild West Steelhead, Golden Eagle Sablefish and DelicaSea (fish producers). The two-year project is funded by the Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program.