Nutrition And Feeding

During the period 1994 1998, the feed efficiency ratio for Norwegian Atlantic salmon production was approximately 0.83 kg gain per kg dry feed.[4] The amounts of raw materials used for salmon feed production in Norway in 1999 and 2000 indicate that the average feed was made up of 40% fish meal and fish silage, 7% corn and wheat gluten, 6% various soybean products, 28% fish oil and 3% soybean oil, 12% wheat flour, and 4% vitamins, minerals, and pigment.[4] The optimal dietary protein level for salmon is higher than for terrestrial species because fish use a higher proportion of the protein for energy. Despite this, the proportion of consumed protein retained in the

1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001

Fig. 2 World production of coho salmon, in thousands of tons (round weight). (From Ref. 1.) (View this art in color at www.dekker.com.)

1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001

Fig. 2 World production of coho salmon, in thousands of tons (round weight). (From Ref. 1.) (View this art in color at www.dekker.com.)

edible portion of salmon is about 30%, two times higher than for chickens and pigs.[5] The fat level in diets for Atlantic salmon fed in sea cages has been increased from an initial level of under 10% to a current level of up to 40%, due to developments in extrusion and vacuum coating of fat. Salmon do not have a requirement for carbohydrates, but sources such as wheat and corn are added to the formulation to aid in binding of the feed and expansion during extrusion. Salmon poorly digest high levels of dietary starch.

The increase in efficiency of production of salmon has been aided by the development of computerized feeding methods and equipment. Systems are available that register the amount of feed refusal and thereby the feeding activity of the fish in the cage and subsequently, increase or decrease the ration size and/or frequency of feeding. In grow-out farms, photoperiod manipulation with underwater lights is used to delay or prevent maturation before harvest, thereby reducing or avoiding the reduction in growth and flesh quality often accompanying reproductive development.[6]

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