Aquaculture production in the Southeast Asia has markedly increased for the past several years. Supporting this upward direction entails the reliance of aquaculture on efficient and sustainable aqua feed production. Feed is the largest single cost item in aquaculture production and accounts for 50-60% of the total cost. Formulating aquaculture feeds requires the use of several ingredient combinations. Most feed-stuffs have been characterized to have significant nutrients and functional limitations and cannot be utilized independently at high inclusion levels in the diets of most aquaculture species. Applying local ingredient alternatives for the formulation of an aquaculture feed is a way forward for the industry to remain profitable. Feed formulation is necessary in the aquaculture industry and accurate formulation must be addressed before alternative aquaculture feed formulas can be completely optimized.
The creation of a database for available alternative feed ingredient in Southeast Asia is aimed for aquaculture feed producers, fish farmers and individuals interested in obtaining knowledge on the ingredient materials that are currently used in aquaculture of the region. The database would allow end users to understand different properties of a specific feed ingredient in aquaculture, that would eventually address the gaps and constraints of a sustainable aquaculture feed industry. The directory is composed of the locally available ingredients in the region, test animal (fish species), optimal inclusion level in the feed, nutrients composition, functional properties and the effects on fish performance parameters.
The Nutrition and Feed Development Section of the Southeast Asian Fisheries development Center, Aquaculture Department(SEAFDEC/AQD) has actively embarked on nutritional studies which involve applying fish nutrients substitutes (plant, terrestrial animals and fish by-products) in fish diets. Over the past decade, several results have shown prospect that it can be applied in a commercial scale without affecting fish growth and revenue from the farmed fish.
The database is a collaborative effort between SEAFDEC/AQD and SEAFDEC member countries through their respective focal persons (representatives) with funding support from the Government of Japan Trust Fund (GOJ-TF).