State-of-the-art nutrition: Latest feed highlights Skretting’s dedication to the tilapia sector

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By Milthon Lujan

Tilapia is one of the most widely farmed finfish species in the world, and with annual production in excess of 5.5 million tonnes, it is a critically important source of protein and livelihood for many millions of people. The farming of tilapia takes place in a variety of aquaculture systems – everything from earthen ponds and cages to flow through and closed recirculation (RAS) tanks – each with their own unique benefits and challenges. To ensure consistently high performances under intensive conditions, Skretting has launched Optiline, its prime grower feed specifically for tilapia.

Based on Skretting’s extensive knowledge of the nutritional requirements and the digestive capabilities of tilapia, Optiline ensures an optimised and consistent digestible nutrient and energy supply specific to the species. Furthermore, through precisely balanced energy sources, the formulation meets this farming sector’s increasing demand for higher growth rates at a lower feed conversion ratio (FCR).

“Optiline is the latest solution to come from Skretting’s long-term commitment to the tilapia sector. This new diet is designed to provide maximum value for farmers of this fish and to help them improve the sustainability of their operations. Through faster growth and superior feed conversion when following an optimal feeding frequency management, Optiline provides tilapia farmers everywhere with the opportunity to achieve improved fillet yield while lowering production costs. This in turn makes them better placed to meet market demand and improve their profitability,” says Mahmoud Haidar, Species Manager Tilapia at Skretting.

Optiline will first be made available to Skretting Africa’s customers, and preparations are ongoing for the diet’s arrival in many of the other main tilapia production regions around the world.

R&D excellence

Utilising more than three decades of world-class R&D, Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) has built up a comprehensive understanding of tilapia’s digestive system and the species’ specific nutritional needs. This work has culminated in an extensive raw material digestibility database dedicated to tilapia.

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“In developing an Optiline feed that consistently demonstrates improved growth and feed efficiency for tilapia, we conducted multiple internal and external digestibility and growth trials,” says David Sutter, Researcher at Skretting ARC. “This means that the fish is able to make better use of the nutrients provided. Ultimately, this means we need less feed to produce the same amount of fish. Furthermore, the quality of ingredients from various origins is continuously evaluated to improve existing diets and to ensure that future industry needs are met. This knowledge gives Skretting full flexibility in its feed formulation and enables us to provide the most cost-efficient solutions for farmers.”

As with all Skretting diets, the raw materials selected for Optiline follow strict quality assurance criteria, as determined by the group’s global Nutrace programme. Only approved feed ingredients and suppliers are used by Skretting companies. Regular audits are conducted of these sources.

Precise feeding

While Optiline allows farmers to provide their tilapia with the right digestible nutrients to meet the specific needs of the fish at the right stage of their growth, precise feed management procedures will ensure the new diet is provided in the right quantities and at the right time. This advancement contributes to a reduction in the environmental impact of the farm.

Through its support of aquaculture sectors, Skretting has shown that it is the combination of high-quality, species-specific nutrition and feeding practices that truly allows for improvements in survival, growth performance and optimisation of the farming system as a whole, including feed in, water quality, feed waste, and fish health.

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“Aligning state-of-the-art nutrition with the latest biological and dietary knowledge of the tilapia species will allow farmers to establish production systems that are far more efficient, and the means to lower their environmental impact. This is the ideal way to the harvest of the world’s most popular farmed fish responsibly and sustainably,” says Haidar.

Lifespan solution

With four different sizes and very precise protein, fat and carbohydrate levels for each, Optiline covers the growth requirement of tilapia from 25g to 1kg. A new 6mm sized pellet has been included in the range. This has been formulated especially for those producers that want to produce larger-sized fish (700g upwards) and also higher quality fillets.

Last but not least, in using Optiline alongside Skretting’s tilapia broodstock diet and also its Nutra hatchery and nursery feed (0-25g), tilapia farmers are now able to meet the full nutritional requirements of their fish throughout the entire production cycle.

Source: Skretting

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