Year of grant:
Náttúra og -tilfeingi
AFOX – Aquaculture practice and Fish Oxidation.
Grant from the FRC in DKK:
The hypothesis of AFOX is that increased usage of substances for oxidative water treatments in aquaculture will have a negative effect on the health status of farmed salmonides, which in turn can be omitted or counter measured by inclusion of natural antioxidants in the fish diet.
The stagnation in catches of fishes and the increased demand for fish have led to a worldwide increase in aquaculture based fish production . This enlargement of the production has in turn led to changes in the practices of aquaculture industry. The production has in many countries intensified dramatically changing from low technology/low density farming systems to high technology/high density farming systems. This optimization of the aquaculture production is frequently seen in freshwater salmonide production, in which concerns relating to disease outbreak and subsequent treatment are emerging. Consequently the potential use of various chemical agents to treat water, fish or pathogens (e.g. fungicides, disinfectants, anaesthetics, pigments, hormones and antibiotics) is increasing. This have now turned animal/fish welfare and health into major scientific and political issues within Europe, and many EU member countries have adopted guidance and legislative strategies aimed at improving animal/fish welfare and health. A key element in this strategy is the realisation that prevention is better than cure, which is well in line with the EU policy e.g. the Amsterdam Treaty of 1999, EU Constitution 2004 Article III 121 (http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/animal/index_en.htm). As a result, the treatment of water for pathogens rather than treatment of fish are becoming more and more accepted and widespread within the aquaculture industry.
Moreover to acknowledge a public demand for a sustainable and environmentally sensible and secure food production, the need for alternative approaches to disease prevention is of outmost importance. Thus, the aquaculture industry explores novel measures like health improving feed additives and environmental safe water treatment chemicals (e.g. sodium percarbonate, 2Na2CO3•3H2O2) as alternative to the existing practice. Natural astaxanthin, the main natural carotenoid pigment in aquatic animals having marked anti-oxidant and immune stimulatory effect could be of interest for health improvement.
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