A new groundbreaking type of canola in development by Cargill could give aquaculture farmers a more sustainable way to raise fish rich in EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
The plant-based source of the nutrients, developed in collaboration with BASF, could provide an alternative to using fish oil in aquaculture feed and could ease harvest pressure on wild fish populations that currently supply much of that oil. In feeding trials it conducted with salmon in Chile, Cargill was able to completely replace fish oil in feed rations with oil from EPA/DHA canola.
“As a fish feed producer, we need to reduce our dependency on marine resources,” Einar Wathne, president of Cargill Aqua Nutrition. “This new canola can create tremendous opportunities across the global food and feed markets, and we believe it is critical for the growth of aquaculture.”
Right now, raising fish rich in omega-3s means supplementing their feed with fish oil. This new canola, which is genetically engineered to make long chain omega-3 fatty acids, will offer a more sustainable alternative as it eases pressure on finite marine resources. Testing and regulatory approval for both the canola and the EPA/DHA enhanced canola oil is underway. The EPA/DHA enhanced canola oil is expected to reach the market sometime after 2020.