What to feed the fish? Rising demand from the fast-growing aquaculture industry has put pressure on traditional sources of fish meal and driven prices to record highs.
That has led to the development of a raft of alternative feed ingredients and sustainable solutions to support the projected growth of the global fish feed market to $123 billion in 2019 from $75 billion today. Small startup companies are pioneering feed based on insects, microbes and algae; agribusiness giants, including Cargill, are consolidating providers of more traditional blends of marine and vegetable proteins.
“The fish feed industry is primed for a major disruption,” according to a recent market report from Fish 2.0, the seafood business competition now underway.
The report argues that fish meal is no longer a commodity, but a strategic component of aquaculture, the world’s fastest-growing agricultural sector and a larger protein provider than the global beef industry. Fish farms supply half the fish consumed globally, and that share could rise to two-thirds by 2019, according to the World Bank.