Soybeans are contributing to the world's fastest-growing food segment. That segment is aquaculture, and the soybean checkoff is working to develop ways to include soy in fish food.
Aquaculture is growing at a rate of 9 to 11% globally and is expected to consume an estimated 8.8 to 11 million tons of soybean meal in the next decade.
"The soybean checkoff recognized the bright future of aquaculture and has gotten in on the ground floor with our investment in new technologies to increase soy inclusion in fish diets," says Terry Ecker, United Soybean Board International Marketing chair.
Soy-based diets for select marine fish have been developed and are being demonstrated in several projects located in the Philippines, Vietnam, and China. Research efforts are focused on identifying barriers to soy inclusion in the diets of marine fish such as salmon, pompano, amberjack, Mediterranean sea bass, sea bream and cobia as well as increasing the soy inclusion in marine shrimp diets.
"China's aquaculture industry went from using no soy meal a decade ago to over 150 million bushels annually," says Ecker. "Advances in aquaculture are one of the reasons China is our number one export customer."