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Aquafarming highly depends on the marine wild catch for fish meal and oil as feed and nearly 17-18% of the global catch fish is converted into fish meal and oil to feed the farmed fish and other animals. According to the FAO, 70% of the fish meal and 73% of the fish oil is consumed by the aquaculture industry, and the fishmeal production declined by 2.4% during the period from 2005 to 2015 mainly due to shift in demand from aquaculture industry. The increasing need for protein and the high cost of fish meal & oil in recent years has created the need for alternatives in the aquafarming. The presence of a wide range of physiological and biochemical characteristics, microalgae is identified as a sustainable alternative for the needs of aquaculture as feed.
On the flip side, the higher price of microalgae feed products may hinder the market’s rise to an extent. Due to the high cost, the aquafeed additives derived from microalgae falls under the category of specialty products. Industry key players are involved in various trials to increase the operational efficiency to make microalgae-derived feed products as low-cost alternatives to fish meal and oil.
Several companies in the industry have started producing aquaculture feeds using Chlorella and Spirulina, or a mixture thereof. Companies such as ADM, DSM, Evonik, and Corbion are involved in producing microalgae-based feed products as alternatives to fish meal and oil.
Fish oil and meal were the most significant protein supplements in the aquafarming but increased use of these protein ingredients in swine and poultry diets in recent decades have led to the imbalance of supply of these ingredients. Higher demand from the feed industry led to the escalation of prices of the fish oil and meal ingredients and the same resulted in the disruption of the economy of scale of aquafarming.
Microalgae are microscopic unicellular organisms and are a rich source of carbohydrates, protein, enzymes, and fiber. The wide range of application areas of microalgae includes animal feed, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and in the production of biofuel. Chlorella vulgaris, Cyanobacteria Spirulina maxima, and Haematococcus pluvialis are the dominant species of microalgae that are commercialized and widely used as nutritional supplements for humans and as feed additives for livestock.
Some of the key companies that are present in the global microalgae-based aquafeed market are Cargill, DSM, Algatechnologies ltd., Cellana Inc, CP Kelco, Corbion, Cyanotech Corporation, and other players.
· Other Species
By Aquatic Animal
· Larval Fish
· Other Aquatic Animals
By Cultivation Technique
· Open Systems
· Closed Systems
· North America (USA, Canada, and Mexico)
· Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K., Russia, and Rest of Europe)
· Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Rest of Asia Pacific)
· South America (Brazil, Argentina, and Rest of South America)
· Middle East & Africa (South Africa, UAE, and Rest of ME&A)
Spirulina, Chlorella, Tetraselmis, Isochrysis, and Pavlova are the key species of microalgae popularly used in as aquafeed ingredients. Spirulina species is found abundant use trend in the aquaculture industry. Microalgae cultivation area can be segmented as open systems and closed systems based on cultivation technique. Majorly open systems are preferred in cultivating the microalgae used in feed applications for livestock.
Asia Pacific region followed by North America are the two large markets for global microalgae-based aquafeed at present, and they are expected to account for a significant proportion of the market share in the forecast period as well. China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand are the key countries that hold a significant share of the global aquafarming units.