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  • Sustainable aquafeeds for marine finfish: Effects of vegetable oil replacement feeds containing novel microalgal and fungal oils on growth performance of juvenile sablefish


Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) Environmental and Fisheries Sciences


Sablefish Lipids NMAI Grant
Sustainable aquafeeds for marine finfish: Effects of vegetable oil replacement feeds containing novel microalgal and fungal oils on growth performance of juvenile sablefish
The concomitant replacement of fish meal and fish oil in carnivorous marine fish feeds by more sustainable terrestrial alternatives is problematic due to the limited capability of marine fish to synthesize physiological essential long chain n-3 and n-6 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) from shorter chain fatty acid precursors present in some vegetable oils. This two-year study will employ sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) as a model marine finfish to systematically investigate the potential of fully replacing the added fish oil component of a typical low fishmeal feed suitable for marine aquaculture.

The focus of the proposed study will be on the effects of replacing fish oil in sablefish diets with sustainable lipid sources on diet utilization and growth. In particular, the overall goals of the proposed research are the following:

1. Determine the ability of sablefish to synthesize essential HUFAs from shorter chain fatty acid precursors.

2. Explore the effects of supplementing alternative vegetable oil feeds with novel sources of essential fatty acids on growth and nutrient utilization.

3. Evaluate the feasibility of using these novel oils in practical feeds. Data obtained in these studies will further our understanding of sablefish nutrition and set the stage for future research on the effects of sustainable feed ingredients on product quality, fish health, and the reproductive potential of cultured broodstock programs. This research specifically addresses a priority of the 2008 National Marine Aquaculture Initiative, which is nutrition research involving alternative protein based diets and the influence of diet on product quality.

Data Sets

no data found

Research Themes

Sustainable, safe and secure seafood for healthy populations and vibrant communities
Effective fisheries management provides economic opportunities and ensures the long-term sustainability of fisheries and the habitats on which they depend. The NWFSC seeks to improve the quality and quantity of data used in stock assessments, the methods for assessing stocks and ecosystem sustainability within the context of human modification of the environment. The NWFSC also provides state-of-the-art science and technology to support aquaculture while protecting and maintaining ecosystem health. Further, pathogens, toxins from harmful algal blooms (HABs), chemical contaminants and other stressors of marine ecosystems pose significant risks to health of both seafood resources and to humans. The NWFSC focuses on research to improve understanding of those risks, how to forecast them, and identify means to mitigate their impacts.

Research Foci

Provide scientific support to ensure safe seafood for healthier populations and characterize how human activities and climate affect risks from pathogens, chemical contaminants, and biotoxins
The availability of nutritious and safe seafood from marine ecosystems and aquaculture are essential to maintain and maximize human health. Even though fish are known to have a variety of health benefits, some seafood (wild or farmed) may contain levels of toxic compounds (e.g., chemical contaminants, pathogens, biotoxins) from a variety of human-related and natural sources that can pose health risks to humans, especially for those groups with high rates of seafood consumption. The development of novel methods and technologies to assess seafood safety and biological effects of these toxic compounds remains a priority for commercial, subsistence and recreational consumption of seafood. For example, several species (e.g., zebrafish, sea lions, shellfish) are excellent indicators of environmental stress and potential health threats to marine species and humans. These species can serve as informative animal models for investigations of the mechanisms of toxicity or disease processes. Specific research goals include (1) improve methods for monitoring for the presence of pathogens, toxins and contaminants in seafood products, (2) characterize the environmental and climate conditions that may be favorable for potential biotoxin and pathogen outbreaks, (3) develop technologies to remove chemical contaminants from fish feed and to enhance the nutritional content of aquaculture products, (4) develop a better understanding of the net economic and health benefits of seafood consumption balanced with the risk of exposure to pathogens, toxins and contaminants, and (5) develop new mechanistic animal models for the study of infectious diseases, as well as toxicological, physiological, and biochemical processes relevant to marine animal and human health.


Alternative feed lipids
Lipid source which can potential by employed as a replacement for industrial fish oil in fish feeds
The culture of fish, aquatic invertibrates, and aquatic plants for the production of food
common name for Anoplopoma fimbria. Other common names include black cod and butterfish.


"Restoring Growth in Juvenile Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) Fed Plant Oil Feeds Low in DHA and ARA. Evidence of Direct Elongation But Not Desaturation of Linoleic and Linolenic Acids."


Species Anoplopoma fimbria


Brian Beckman
Internal Collaborator
Penny Swanson
Internal Collaborator
Ronald Johnson
William Fairgrieve