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Insect feed in sustainable crustacean aquaculture

Authors
  • Röthig, T.
  • Barth, A.
  • Tschirner, M.
  • Schubert, P.
  • Wenning, M.
  • Billion, A.
  • Wilke, T.
  • Vilcinskas, A.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed
Publisher
Wageningen Academic Publishers
Publication Date
Aug 27, 2023
Volume
9
Issue
9
Pages
1115–1138
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3920/JIFF2022.0117
Source
Wageningen Academic Publishers
Keywords
Disciplines
  • REVIEW ARTICLE
License
Green

Abstract

Aquaculture is a growing global food production sector that aims to meet the increasing demand for dietary protein. Crustaceans are an important and predominantly high-priced aquaculture segment that could support the transfer of sustainable new technologies to other sectors. Areas of interest include disease management and compound feeds, both of which have the potential to improve both the profitability and sustainability of aquaculture. Modern compound feeds are largely composed of fishmeal and/or terrestrial plant materials, the production of which is unsustainable, leading to the depletion of finite resources. Insects are a promising protein-rich alternative to fishmeal that can reduce the environmental footprint of aquafeeds and crustacean aquaculture. First research data have shown that insect meal has a favourable nutritional composition with positive health effects, and is environmentally sustainable with a strong economic potential, particularly supporting circular economy by valorising otherwise unused side-streams. In this article, we discuss the current state of crustacean aquaculture and highlight the benefits of insect meal compared to today’s compound aquafeeds in terms of health and growth-promoting properties as well as environmental benefits. We then consider the molecular mechanisms that confer immunity and disease resistance in crustacean aquaculture and show how insect feeds can support disease management and thus consumer health. Next, we assess the environmental sustainability of crustacean aquaculture and insect farming, the legal framework for insect-based feeds and consumer acceptance issues. Lastly, we identify research gaps, socioeconomic considerations and the potential of insect-based sustainable crustacean aquaculture for the global market.

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