Finalist, Seafood Champion Awards for Innovation
Skretting is a world leader in the manufacture and supply of aquaculture feeds, making them an essential link in the feed-to-food chain. Skretting has 19 operating companies spread over five continents, with headquarters located in Norway. Skretting applies its knowledge of ingredients and nutritional needs to develop innovations that achieve optimum nutritional value, sustainable production and economic performance as they seek to fulfill a company-wide mission of ‘Feeding the Future’.
Nearly two decades of R&D work undertaken by Skretting has resulted in the nutritional knowledge to formulate salmon diets that do not require fishmeal. Skretting has implemented this nutritional knowledge into commercial solutions available to salmon farmers. This has enabled the salmon industry to grow and provide more fish to the human population without increasing the pressure on wild fish stocks. Skretting is extending this knowledge also to other aquaculture species. So this innovation has been, and will continue to be, a significant contribution to enable aquaculture to complement wild fisheries in order to meet future demand for responsible seafood.
How well does this nominee and his or her work demonstrate the qualities of the category?
A sustainable aquaculture industry holds the key to meeting many global challenges; not least, feeding a population that is expected to exceed 9 billion people by 2050. While it is widely accepted that the scope for capture fisheries to increase their harvests is negligible, aquaculture is much better positioned to meet growing demand. Skretting recognize that they are ideally situated to contribute towards greater sustainable output in the feed-to-food chain because of their global presence, a focus on innovation, technical expertise and a commitment to the highest standards of quality and safety. They have long held a comprehensive sustainability vision, which is based on clear ambitions regarding people, planet and profit. These ambitions are realized through the delivery of highly innovative and sustainable nutritional solutions.
In what ways has this nominee positively affected, or mitigated negative impacts of, the seafood industry?
Skretting has been first to market with salmon feeds that can be formulated completely free of fishmeal while delivering equal performance in terms of fish growth and health. These breakthrough products, called MicroBalance FLX, have been made possible through progressive and extensive research, and are backed up by detailed evidence from Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC). All of the new MicroBalance FLX products have no requirement for fishmeal inclusion. The extended outcomes for this innovation are significant: it means Skretting can be increasingly flexible with raw material inclusions, enabling the available responsibly sourced fishmeal resource to go much further than in the past, and thereby increasing the sustainability credentials of salmon production globally. Through MicroBalance FLX, it is now possible to replace traditional marine-based salmon feed components such as fishmeal with alternative ingredients while ensuring fish retain the eating and nutritional qualities that consumers expect.
In what way do you feel this nominee’s story could inspire others and communicate successes achieved in sustainable seafood?
Skretting is an associated member of the Global Salmon Initative (GSI). Through involvement in this organization they have improved communication and engagement to other parts of the aquaculture industry. Thanks to ongoing innovations in salmon aquaculture over the past 20 years, the feed industry has reduced the amount of fish meal from 65% to 18%, and fish oil from 24% to 11%, and reduced FCR from 2.4:1 to 1.15:1, while maintaining optimal diets for the salmon. As a fairly young industry, this is a significant development in a short space of time and Skretting plan to continue these innovations to further reduce their impact on marine resources. In addition, through partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), Skretting aim to transfer this knowledge to other developing aquaculture sectors, and to promote improved sustainability across the sector as a whole.
How would the work serve as a replicable model for others who want to have a similar impact?
The current nutritional solutions enabling aquaculture diets with no, or very low levels of, fishmeal have been developed and verified for salmon and trout. Skretting will build on the basic nutritional work that has been undertaken over two decades and extend this knowledge to new species like shrimp and marine species like sea bass, sea bream and seriola, as examples. Skretting are providing a groundbreaking algae oil containing long chain omega-3 fatty acids through a joint development collaboration, thereby giving the aquaculture industry the capability to interchange between traditional fish oil and algae oil. Via these two unique technologies, Skretting are enabling the aquaculture industry to grow without putting pressure on wild stocks of fish.