Hervé Lucien-Brun
Aquaculture Consultant
Jefo Nutrition, Inc.
Canada
Email: hervelb@jefo.ca

Hervé Lucien-Brun is an independent consultant based in France. He has more than 36 years of experience in tropical marine shrimp and finfish aquaculture in major producing countries in Latin America, North Africa, Europe and Asia, as well as New Caledonia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania and Saudi Arabia. In quality control and marketing, he is involved in the quality control for shrimp, pangasius and seafood processing and auditing of facilities and procedures. In tropical aquaculture, he is involved in design studies, implementation, and farm management, technical management of project and transfer of technology. He has a Masters in Animal Physiology from the University of Paris, XI, Orsay, France.

Session 4 Margin Optimisation
Presentation Optimisation Of Feed Margins: Extracting Value Out Of Feed Proteins

Abstract:

Aquaculture, which is an ancestral activity in some countries, has been modernizing and upgrading very rapidly for the last fifty years. After a first period which allowed farmers to ensure “very comfortable” margins, the global production increasing, market prices fell. Today, it is essential to optimise production costs to maintain an acceptable margin for producers.

The recent dramatic situation induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the fall of the market and the increase of production costs, has highlighted several factors that further weaken the situation of aquaculture producers, with dependence on only a few international markets, and dependence on only few raw materials for the formulation of aquaculture feeds such as soybean meal and fish meal.

Therefore, it has become essential to optimise the farming methods, for that purpose, several tracks are possible.  Feed is the one of the most important factors because it is the main production cost for the fish farmer, especially because of the high price of the proteins.

The incorporation of a protease in the formulation of a feed allows to seriously improve the digestibility of the long chain protein.  Thus, it allows the increase in the proportion of new vegetable proteins, while maintaining a good digestibility and a correct amino acid profile. Moreover, the incorporation of an efficient protease in the formulation of the aquafeed would allow for the significant increase in the percentage of digestible proteins, making it possible to lower the gross protein content without affecting the zootechnical results.

Finally, when making purchases, consumers are increasingly sensitive to the environmental impact of aquaculture operations when making their purchases, especially since they are often located in fragile areas such as mangroves. Therefore, I will also discuss how the use of protease in the feed reduces the impact on the environment in three ways:

  • By reducing the total protein concentration, which results in a better Protein Retention Efficiency and/or Protein Efficiency Ratio.
  • By reducing the amount of marine meal and therefore reducing the need for industrial fish products.
  • Minimising the percentage of non-digestible proteins that are dispersed in the environment.

Reducing the impact on the environment is important first and foremost from an ecological point of view to preserve the planet. But it is also important to ensure the sustainability of the farms and for the sake of image and sustainability of shrimp farming.