The Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program funded feed research by Dr. Alejandro Buentello of Ichthus Unlimited, LLC in the pursuit of finding sustainable tuna aquaculture. Various soy-based diets for use in tuna farming and ranching were tested and “Feeding Bluefin,” is a video summarizing the research project and its potential impact on protecting endangered wild tuna stocks.
“The successful research results should help provide permanence to tuna aquaculture, and can become the platform upon which commercially manufactured tuna feeds can now be developed,” said Buentello.
“Closed cycle cultivation of tuna aquaculture, from hatch to harvest, combined with sustainable formulated grow out diets offer the best opportunity we have to prevent the depletion of wild tuna stocks while supplying the global market demand for these species,” said Buentello.
Companies that contributed raw materials towards the successful completion of this project include Archer Daniels Midland, Tyson, Omega Protein, Midwest Ag Enterprises, Krill Canada, APC and Originates. ADM also contributed blending facilities and other resources.
Mark Albertson of the Illinois Soybean Association said that Illinois farmers have long been supporters of sustainable aquaculture, and this project is a classic example of farmers helping farmers.
“This feed breakthrough is a significant step towards closed cycle cultivation of tuna species, which will ease pressure on threatened wild tuna populations,” said Albertson. “We are eager to see this work continue to both uncouple tuna ranching from the dependence on wild-caught baitfish, and open the door for truly sustainable hatch-to-harvest tuna farming.”