Selective breeding favours rainbow trout feed conversion ratio
2017-04-19 15:23:37   copyfrom:    hits:

Trout eggs (Photo: Fishboost)FINLANDTuesday, April 18, 2017,02:50 (GMT + 9)Recent studies show that excessive lipid

Trout eggs. (Photo: Fishboost)


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Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 02:50 (GMT + 9)


Recent studies show that excessive lipid deposition can be prevented in rainbow trout through selective breeding, improving not only the feed conversion ratio, but also the efficiency of protein retention.

These are some of the results achieved as part of the European Fishboost project, which has been coordinated by Norwegian-based NOFIMA.

The performed experiments have shown that favouring the rapid growth of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum) through the genetic improvement and limiting the lipid deposition, the feed conversion ratio can be boosted by 30 per cent.

An improved feed conversion ratio means that the same amount of feed yields more fish and, hence, more income. Fish material that utilizes feed more efficiently also benefits the environment, when an increasing share of feed nutrients is bound to the fish instead of ending up in waters.

Restricting lipid deposition through selective breeding also improves the efficiency of protein retention. It is important for the fish to use the expensive feed proteins in muscle growth and not in energy production. The carbohydrates and lipids contained in feed should be the primary source of energy for the fish.

The results of the Fishboot project indicate that a genetically efficient, rapidly growing fish with no excessive lipid deposition converses the protein in feed more efficiently to muscle growth instead of storing the protein as lipids. This is also the goal of the selection programme, where growth and lipids are targeted simultaneously.

By limiting the lipid deposition of the fish, the food quality of the fish is also improved, while the amount of processing waste from fish is reduced.

As the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) sees it, the selection programmes for rainbow trout and European whitefish constitute a benefit for the aquaculture industry.

“Assuming that the production volume in Finland of rainbow trout improved through selection is around 10 million kilos, the feed conversion ratio is 1.1 and the price of feed is EUR 1.25 per kilo, which means that a 20 per cent reduction in feed costs translates into an annual saving of EUR 2.75 million,” explains Antti Kause, Principal Researcher at Luke.

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