Many native marine fish species have been targeted to stimulate the Quebec fish farming sector. During previous projects, the need for a fish feed specially developed for Quebec native marine fish species nutrient requirements was highlighted. It is well known that quality fish feed is the base
for all successful growth and disease control. Currently, there is no specialised fish feed being produced in Quebec for those species. Therefore , feed developed for other species are currently used and may be linked to the reduction of egg quality and overall survival rates. This is suspected to be related to a deficiency of specific nutrients that would normally be found in natural prey.
Coincidentally, Quebec legislation is being planned to forbid all landfill of organic matter in the future. Each year , many metric tons of organic matter are
produced by marine production processing plants. Of those currently unused by-products , many have already been characterised and show great potential as fish meal alternative (crab, lobster, and shrimp meal). To further reduce the ecological impact of fish feed production, other by-products from other types of Quebec food production are also being studied. Thus, microbrewery grain by-products and maple syrup sugar by-product potentials as ecofriendly substitutes will also be explored during this project. Started at the end of summer 2021, the main goal of this project is to develop four different types of fish feed for Quebec marine carnivorous species. Those recipes would have to show different buoyancy profiles , maintain structural integrity during the time underwater, and show compatible nutritive contents.
To accomplish these objectives, two classes of students enrolled to become aquaculture technicians have been directly involved in the research process and physical testing. The first class was tasked to characterise the type of feed that would fulfill the biological and ecological needs of the targeted species.
The second class visited the research facility and participated in the feed manufacturing process and laboratory physical experiments .
Full biochemical and microbiological tests will be undertaken
during summer by the college’s intern and Merinov’s lab team. Ultimately, the food securit y and the nutritive content will be published to demonstrate the physical, chemical, and microbiological potential of those new ingredients.