Live Algal Culture vs Freeze-Dried Algae
Increase production capacity, standardize and enhance nutritional value and avoid contamination.
Historically, where there was aquaculture there was live algal culture. This is due to the essential requirement of algae at some point in the food chain;
- Larval stages of shrimp require algae for the first few days of life
- Rotifer and Artemia used to feed juvenile species such as salmon feed on algae
- Filter feeding shellfish such as oysters survive on algae their entire life
Issues regarding Live-Algal Production
- Time and Expertise
- Be it shrimp in Vietnam or oysters in Scotland, the majority of expertise in an aquaculture unit will be focused on production of those species, not algae.
- Like any crop algae production requires specific expertise regarding propagation, pest, weed and contamination control.
- Production Capacity
- Producing live algae is a space consuming exercise; setting aside large volumes of water for algal production alone is a waste when the same volume could be used to grow the target aquaculture species.
- Contamination Risk
- Live algae is the principle vector for vibrio and protozoal infections in shrimp production. With no quality control process, live algae practices lead the farm susceptible to disease
- Cost of production and capital outlay
- Algae production comes at a cost to any aquaculture unit, both in terms of staffing and capital outlay
- Feeding plan dependent on algae production
- Like all crops, the output from an algae production unit is dependent on external factors that can be frequently out of the control of aquaculture units
- However, the cultured species requires feed constantly. Planning algae output to coincide with feeding regimes is a challenge.
- Inconsistent nutritional profile
- Live algae can be highly nutritious, however it is variable and dependent on multiple external factors which can frequently be out of the producer’s control.
- Live algae is also prone to weeds and “grazers” which reduce the nutritional value of the algae which is fed.
Solutions Provided by Freeze-Dried Algae
- Saving time and focusing expertise
- By switching to a freeze-dried algae feed which can be prepared in minutes allows aquaculture unit staff to focus on the task in hand – growing and managing their target species.
- Increase production capacity
- All space which is currently set aside for live algae production can now be used to produce the target species – be it shrimp, shellfish or live feeds for use further up the aquaculture chain.
- Reduce contamination risk
- Our freeze-dried algae is produced in a biosecure and isolated facility. Our water is free from pathogens that can negatively impact aquaculture health.
- Reduce cost of production
- Feeding freeze-dried algae can result in the saving of time and capital outlay
- Consistent nutrition and supply
- Our freeze-dried algae product is consistently high quality. It is batch released, quality controlled and pure.
- By switching to freeze-dried algae, feeding can be undertaken when required by the species being fed, not simply when the algae is ready.
“Reducing dependence of hatcheries on on-site production of microalgae.” (International Aquafeed Magazine, 2017, 20 (12), pp. 22-25.) (researchgate.net)