Polychaete Upcycling of Aquaculture Wastes (RD052)


This project aims to develop a commercially viable, sustainable method of production across the fisheries and aquaculture supply chain, by mitigating environmental impacts of operations through the re-direction of protein rich by-products from fisheries processing into the aquaculture feed supply chain.

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Sustainable Feeds Ltd in collaboration with Pennotec (Pennog Ltd) have been highly successful in processing aquaculture wastes and fish processing by-products using chitosan-based flocculants to create feeds suitable in form, size and content for the growth of ragworms/marine polychaetes.

Chitosan-recovered feeds proved to be attractive and resulted in good growth of marine polychaetes. There was some evidence of accumulation of nutrients (including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) present in the recovered feed in marine polychaetes fed on the processed wastes and by-products. There were some nutrients that were accumulated from the feed or produced in the culture system, with notable levels of some pigments and levels of prostaglandins compared with the levels present in the given feeds.  The attractability of marine polychaetes, both fresh and when incorporated into a feed, was evident in rigorously controlled feeding trials with fish (Salmonids) and crustaceans (Decapoda).

Sustainable Feeds Ltd and Pennotec (Pennog Ltd) are in the process of developing and designing systems that upcycle wastes. This innovation has the potential to make contributions to reduce the carbon impact of wastewater treatment and disposal, the need to take fish from our oceans and the costly importation of ingredients to supply the aquaculture industry. There are significant opportunities to create new supply chains delivering these new aquafeeds into domestic and export aquaculture as well as pet and animal feed markets. Commercial use of chitosan-recovered feeds from wastes in the large-scale cultivation of polychaetes is currently being explored.

STATUS: Completed

Project Lead

Sustainable Feeds