Sustain Feed

Development of highly sustainable less/zero competing-food aquafeeds for European aquaculture using low carbon and zero waste ingredients

Welcome to our project

Development of highly sustainable less/zero competing-food aquafeeds for European aquaculture using low carbon and zero waste ingredients.


The need for sustainable fish feeds covering the whole production cycle, from larvae to marketable size, is a major challenge currently facing the aquaculture sector. Fishmeal content in aquafeed for the major farmed marine species produced in Europe has progressively declined, being mainly replaced by plant ingredients. Some of these plant ingredients are valid food for human consumption though, so do not provide an ideal sustainable and resource efficient solution. 

By-products from agricultural plant processing represent a sustainable and low-cost feedstock solution for aquaculture which has limited competition with human food. Similarly, microalgae can be used as feed ingredients, mainly for live prey mass-rearing during the hatchery stage. However, sunlight-based microalgae production results in variable, inconsistent dietary formulations. The use of highly concentrated CO2 waste streams from geothermal power plants could provide a low energy cost solution to this problem. 

This project will develop sustainable feeds for marine fish, covering the two main production phases, hatchery and on-growing. As part of this, it will include an assessment of the environmental, economic and social impact of the feeds developed.


The objective of SUSTAINFEED is to develop a set of innovative feeds for fish farming able to increase the sustainability, benefits and the consumer’s trust on the whole production process by using ingredients with low CO2footprint and without competing for other traditional and novel uses.

The project aims to deliver two types of products, 1) blend of microalgae for mass-rearing and enrichment of zooplanktonic live prey during the hatchery stage for fish culture, and 2) new ingredients for formulated on-growing feed for fish. Both products will be tested at pilot scale in the different stages of the production cycle of fish farming. The economic and sustainability impact assessment as well as overall societal benefit of these new products be will also be provided.

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The project will be arranged in three main stages:

  • Optimization of algae production and validation of algae based feeds for mass cultivation and enrichment products for zooplanktonic prey for fish larvae. New algal products produced by Waxa using geothermal connected technology will be tested at farming conditions to evaluate growth and quality in larvae of European fish species.

  • Development of less/zero competing-food aquafeed formulations and validation on fish on-growing. On-growing trials on European farmed fish species will be carried out to test different ingredients and design optimal formulations. The ingredients are based on vegetable raw materials and processed by Roquette wet refining technology, using no chemical solvents.
  • Assessment of the final quality and potential benefits derived from the new products. Filet final quality will be determined to identify possible implications of the new ingredients on fish products. The sustainability and environmental impact of the new raw materials will be estimated using the Life Cycle Assessment methodology. A survey will determine the consumers’ perception, knowledge and awareness on sustainability and circularity in European aquaculture.

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Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucía (ICMAN-CSIC)
Campus Universitario Río San Pedro, s/n
11519 Puerto Real, Cádiz
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+34 956 832 612