The VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL), NIOZ, Wageningen University & Research, Danvos and Hortimare are all working together on the ZEEVIVO project. The aim of the research project is to find out whether protein from seaweed can be used in fish food. At this point, the aquaculture sector still relies heavily on fish meal and soy for protein in fish food. However, fish meal is made from wild fish, and soy plantations compete with other crops and the rainforests. The dependency on these two products limits sustainable growth in the aquaculture sector. ZEEVIVO investigates whether protein from seaweed can be a proper alternative to fish meal and soy.
The research will first focus on the effect of a nitrogen source and nitrogen concentration on the growth speed and protein level in the seaweed species Saccharina Latissima (sea belt) and Ulva Lactuca (sea lettuce). Subsequently, the optimal way of processing the sea weed will be explored. Membrane filtration will separate, purify and concentrate the substances to produce the highest possible protein content. These protein concentrates will be used to produce experimental fish foods, which will be tested in several food trials with tilapia. It will be investigated whether the fish remain just as healthy and grow just as steadily as they do with their regular food. Finally, the optimum level of seaweed protein in fish food will be determined.
When the ZEEVIVO project is concluded we will know whether seaweed protein can be used as a suitable alternative to soy in fish food; the result may have a worldwide impact on fish farming. This way, we will work on a sustainable aquaculture sector together.
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You can also stay up to date via the ZEEVIVO LinkedIn Group, or download (one of) the posters Biorefinery optimalisation and Effect of nitrate concentration on protein level and growth (pdf-files).