Home > CSIRO develops world’s first fish-free prawn food

CSIRO develops world’s first fish-free prawn food

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A team of scientists at Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO have developed the world’s first fish-free prawn food.

According to CSIRO researcher, Dr Nigel Preston, the product known as Novaq is set to solve one of the farmed prawn industry’s biggest problems – the reliance on wild fisheries as a core ingredient in prawn food.

"It is absolutely a critical issue for the global aquaculture industry. There's no more room to get more wild harvest fish, so we've got to find alternatives," Preston told ABC News.

"A justifiable criticism about aquaculture is the continuation of catching wild fish, grinding them up and feeding to farm fish," he said 

"It's the first really viable solution to not having to use wild harvest fish meal."

The formula of Novaq has not been released for intellectual property reasons, however it is said to be based on microscopic marine organisms.

In addition to the fish-free composition of the prawn food, scientists are also noting that prawns are growing up to 40 percent faster on a diet of Novaq.

"If you think of that in terrestrial terms, it's very rare to see," Preston told ABC News.

"If you've got a chicken growing 40 per cent faster you'd think something was wrong. It was a surprise.

"This is really a game-changer, there's nothing like this that I've seen in my career, and I may see nothing like this again."

Ridley, Australia’s only prawn food producer, currently holds the licence of Novaq and hopes to have it on the market by the end of 2015.

Image: fish.gov.au

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