Published in North American Journal of Aquaculture, Vol. 68, Issue 2 (April 2006) at
DOI: 10.1577/A05-006.1
Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2006


Much of the criticism leveled at aquaculture (e.g., dependency on animal-derived feedstuffs, nutrient-laden effluent discharges, and increased organic contamination in edible products) can be traced to the feeds in use. Accordingly, finfish nutritionists are being challenged to formulate feeds that not only meet the nutritional requirements of livestock but also minimize production costs, limit environmental impacts, and enhance product quality. These challenges not only add considerable complexity to finfish nutrition but also afford opportunities to avoid some of the mistakes made by other industries in the past. From a review of the current status of finfish nutrition with respect to major nutrient classes, we comment on future opportunities and promising avenues of research. Alternative protein sources, specifically those derived from marine bycatch, plants, and microbes, are discussed, as well as methods to facilitate their implementation in finfish feeds. Dietary lipid, its role in fish bioenergetics and physiology, and quality of aquaculture products is reviewed with special emphasis on alternative lipid sources and finishing diets. Carbohydrates and fiber are discussed in terms of nutrient-sparing, least-cost diet formulation and digestive physiology. Micronutrients are reviewed in terms of current knowledge of requirements and, along with other dietary immunostimulants, are given further consideration in a review of nutriceuticals and application in finfish feeds. The status of nutritional research in new aquaculture species is also outlined. By integrating classical approaches with emerging technologies, dietary formulations, and species, finfish nutritionists may identify means to increase production efficiency and sustainability and provide for the continued success of aquaculture.



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