BioMar hits major sustainability milestone

Company reaches 1 million tons of salmon feed with microalgae

This month, BioMar hit a major sustainability milestone with the adoption of microalgae omega 3s into feed diets. Marine ingredients are a finite resource and including microalgae in aquaculture diets can help stabilize the pressure on fish stocks.

“By including microalgae in aquaculture feed diets, we can bypass the wild fish stocks and go straight to the original source of essential omega 3s. This helps to relieve pressure on our oceans while ensuring that the fish are getting the optimal nutrition required,” said Vidar Gundersen, global sustainability director, BioMar Group.

The innovation process began back in 2013 with the first microalgae, AlgaPrime, in commercial salmon feeds realized during 2016. The first movers were Kvarøy Fiskeoppdrett with Blue Circle and Whole Foods and Scottish Sea Farms with Marks & Spencer. Not long after, Ventisqueros in their coho Silverside and Lerøy in their salmon adopted microalgae in their diets. These higher volumes help it achieve commercial viability and, today, the inclusion of microalgae is becoming more common in BioMar salmon feeds.

“To bring something this novel to market required the support from the entire value chain. We found this among several salmon farmers and retailers that were willing to take a chance on microalgae and today’s success is owed to them all. Also, to the numerous people in BioMar production sites that found solutions to some challenging technical issues that we experienced over the years,” said Paddy Campbell, vice president, salmon division, BioMar Group.

Microalgae is one of several novel ingredients in the BioMar innovation pipeline. With limited planetary resources, the need to decouple aquaculture feed supply chains from directly competing with food for human consumption will increase. BioMar recently announced an ambitious target of 50% circular and/or restorative ingredients in its aquaculture feed diets by 2030.

BioMar continues innovation toward securing raw material flexibility and low impact feed solutions with several trials underway at various BioMar Aquaculture Technology centers. These trials continue to deliver valuable insights that will help drive the aquaculture industry even further towards a more sustainable future.