Intensive aquaculture, especially the production of carnivorous species requires artificial feeding. Marine proteins are preferred to vegetable proteins, since fishmeal and oil provide the essential nutrients required by farmed fish. Given the stagnant production of industrial species and the rapid increase in aquaculture production, fishmeal availability would pose a biological constraint on aquaculture contribution to world fish supplies in the future, unless alternative feed sources can be incorporated in diets. In this paper, the technical substitutability between fish and vegetable based feeds for salmon and trout are assessed through the estimation of Morishima elasticities of substitution. These are derived from a meta-analysis production function based on a large number of published feed trials. The results suggest that vegetable oil may be a potential substitute for fish oil, particularly in salmon aquaculture, but fishmeal is likely to remain a necessary component of feed unless some new feed source can be developed.
- fish oil
- morishima elasticity of substitution