Feed formulations based on accurate nutritional requirements are central to aquaculture production and its current demands for further growth and sustainability. Finfish in aquaculture are heavily dependent on their fed diet, while regulation of feed intake and waste production determine dissolved oxygen and thus critically influence growth performance and health. Diet composition, including protein and carbohydrate content, energy, but also physical properties of fish feed are all crucial determinants of the fish’ metabolism and health.
Diet composition, including protein and carbohydrate content, energy, but also physical properties of fish feed are main subjects of research at the Aquaculture and Fisheries group (AFI), and at the nutrition section of Wageningen Livestock Research (WLR) where Dr. Jeroen Kals focuses on the nutritional value of (marine) ingredients and development of species-specific feed formulations.
Novel marine ingredients for fish feed such as seaweed are studied at Wageningen Livestock Research (WLR). Micro-algae (prof Rene Wijffels and prof Maria Barbosa). At the Bioprocess Engineering group (BPE) and at AlgaePARC, engineering of efficient bioprocesses for photoautotrophic and heterotrophic algae for biobased products are optimised to include the use of micro-algae for larval fish feed and studies into algae-based oil as omega-3 source for fish diets.
Penaeid shrimp change their diet from very early stages to postlarval and juvenile stages. Larval crustaceans have a simple gut structure that gradually becomes more complex. These changes in the physiology o
f the gut and gut enzymes complicate the design of nutritious, easily digestible diets. Extrapolation of finfish knowledge on the interactions between diet and health to shrimp resilience is of main interest to members of the Aquaculture and Fisheries group (AFI).
Interactions of microbial communities of fish and aquaculture systems. Relationship between the fish microbiome and the system microbiome present as biofilm in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Studies on gut homeostasis for fish performance and health are a focus area at the Microbiology group (MIB) and Aquaculture and Fisheries group (AFI). Fundamental studies into mucosal homeostasis and microbial composition in the zebrafish animal model species at the Host-Microbe Interatomics group (HMI).