Sustainable aquaculture

Breakthrough for animal nutrition to reduce impact on ocean resources and making it more sustainable: DSM and Evonik establish joint venture for omega-3 fatty acids from natural marine algae for animal nutrition

People enjoy eating fish, which is a healthy food, andparticularly salmon. But fish from wild capture canno longer meet rising demand worldwide, and most salmon is now farmed in aquaculture. 

Salmon, like humans, require two specific omega-3fatty acids for healthy growth; these are contained in fish oil, which is mixed into the salmon feed. But this fish oil in turn is produced from fish, of which stocks are limited. The threat of overfishing looms.

With limited availability of fish oil, salmon production also comes up against its limits. Butdemand for salmon is rising steadily as the world’s population grows.

Evonik and DSM have found a solution to this problem: Researchers have developed a process for obtaining omega-3 fatty acids from natural marine algae. These algae are the source in nature for the main fatty-acid components in fish oil, EPA and DHA. 

In humans these omega-3 fatty acids play a particularly important role in maintaining the health of the cardiovascular system, brain, and eyes. In household pets they support a wide range of metabolic functions.

Humans ingest EPA and DHA mainly through fish,which is why many of the world’s health organizations recommend one or two fish mealsevery week. 

To meet increasing demand for omega-3 fatty acids for animal nutrition in a sustainable manner, Evonik and DSM are now jointly constructing a production plant for algae oil. The companies are thus making an important contribution to sustainable salmon farming—and to our being able to continue consuming this healthy food with a clear conscience in the future.

Photo source: Atlantic salmon (salmo salar) in aquafarm © DSM