Fish Nutrition: plant source as an alternative

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VII, Issue XII, December 2020 | ISSN 2321–2705

Fish Nutrition: Plant Source as an Alternative


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Alfred, O.1*, Shaahu, A.2,4, Jibung, G.G.3,4, Amon, T.E.2, Msaakpa, T. S.4, Orban, D. A.5, Egwenomhe, M.1
1Department of Fisheries, University of Benin, Nigeria
2Soybean Research Programme, National Cereals Research Institute, Badeggi, Nigeria
3Department of Agricultural Technology, Plateau State College of Agriculture, Garkawa, Plataeu State, Nigeria
4Plant Breeding and Seed Science, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria
5Department of Agriculture, College of Education Katsina-Ala, Benue State, Nigeria
*Corresponding author

Abstract:- The aquaculture sector is potentially the world’s most important fish food provider for human consumption. Fish nutrition plays a major role in aquaculture as it influences the growth of stock for production. Fishmeal, which is the most conventional protein source, is a very expensive protein source in fish feed production. The increasing cost of fishmeal is due to the decrease in marine supplies and increase in demand from various other sectors of feed industry. Therefore aquaculture is looking for alternative suitable protein sources, which could replace this limited resource. This has resulted on the ongoing search for suitable alternatives that are befitting without compromise. Plant protein has been the only easy alternative that is readily available and is also lower in cost when compared to fish meal. This review focuses on five major plant protein source namely soybean, rapeseed, sesame seed, cotton seed and sunflower which have been suggested by several researchers and have the needed potentials in terms of protein content and can be used to supplement if not replace the role of fish meal in fish nutrition so as to reduce the cost of feed and also boost the income of farmers.

Keywords: Aquaculture, Fish nutrition, Fish feed, Fish meal, Plant protein.


World capture fisheries have reached a plateau at approximately 94 million tonnes (FAO, 2007). According to (khan et al., 2013), the most recent estimates suggest that 52% of marine stocks are fully exploited. With around three quarters of the world’s capture fisheries fully or overexploited, aquaculture is seen as the main source for future growth of fish production. Global aquaculture has made a considerable contribution towards bridging the gap between supply and demand (Huntington and Hasan, 2009; FAO, 2009; Ajani et al., 2011).Aquaculture is a form of agriculture that involves the propagation, cultivation, and marketing of aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment (FAO, 1988).It also define aquaculture as farming of aquatic organisms including fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and aquatic plants where farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process and individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated (FAO, 2014). Although various types of technologies have been examined to improve fish growth and performance, productivity largely depends on interactions among nutrition and feeding environment (Small et al., 2016). Over the years, aquaculture feeds have undergone major changes that have greatly increased performance of farmed fish and contributed to increased aquaculture production worldwide. Although aquaculture has ancient origins, development of intensive aquaculture production where fish are fed nutritionally complete feeds was hampered by lack of knowledge of specific dietary requirements of fish. Feeds were formulated empirically rather than by rational formulation. This situation changed when a nutritionally complete, semi-purified diet for fish was developed (Halver, 1957). Good nutrition in animal production systems is essential to economically produce a healthy, high quality product. In fish farming, nutrition is critical because feed represents 40-50% of the production costs (Craig and Helfrich 2002; Jamu and Ayinla 2003). According to (Fagbenroet al., 2005), feeding cost is the highest single cost item of most fish farm operations, accounting for about 60% of the total cost of fish production. Fish nutrition has advanced dramatically in recent years with the development of new, balanced commercial diets that promote optimal fish growth and health. The development of new species-specific diet formulations supports the aquaculture (fish farming) industry as it expands to satisfy increasing demand for affordable, safe, and high-quality fish and seafoodproducts(Steven and Louis, 2009).Rapid growth in fish, as in man, is ensured by a balanced diet. In aquaculture, this hinges on proper feed and feeding techniques. According to (Shahzadiet al., 2006; FAO 2008), sustainability of aquaculture depends on supplementary feed source and management. According to (Eroldoganet al., 2006;Priestley et al., 2006),insufficient feeding lead to poor growth and high fish mortalities which make losses in the aquaculture business. The farmer’s dilemma therefore is whether to supplement the natural food or to completely control the diet of the fish. Be it a supplemental feed or a complete diet, the feed preferences, feeding habits and nutrient requirements of the cultured fish, the feed development techniques based on basic nutrition concepts have to be known before a feeding scheme can be successful.