Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission

Is the time ripe for using insect meal in aquafeeds?

Category Aquaculture

Feed cost shares the highest proportion in aquaculture production cost. It could range from 40 percent to 70 percent of the total cost. Insects can convert agricultural food wastes into larvae and these larvae can be fed to aquatic animals, potentially reducing feed costs. More and more companies are producing the larvae of insects such as mealworms and black soldier fly for use in aquafeeds, but the sector has a long way to go before it can match either the volume or price of fish meal. Food wastes, particularly in Asia, have multiple-use options, so insect production facilities have to compete for a regular waste supply. On the other hand, farming of insects requires minimal land area, limited water use and its greenhouse gas emissions are reported to be relatively low. The inclusion of insect meal in aquafeeds could have health benefits for a variety of farmed species. It is a valuable alternative to the use of fish meal.