Sustainable tilapia feed derived from urban food waste
Chaddick, Justin Garrett
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Finding an alternative to fishmeal and fish oil in animal feeds has been a topic of increasing interest due to the pressures being put on the ocean’s fisheries and the increasing world demand for animal protein. An often-overlooked source of nutrients is in the form of food waste. One third of all food produced globally ends up in landfills, wasting a huge amount of nutrients and embodied energy that could otherwise be redirected towards productive use. This study investigated the feasibility of feeding Hermetia illucens, the black soldier fly larvae (BSFL), grown on urban food waste, and Lemna minor, a species of duckweed, to tilapia in a recirculating aquaponic system as a compound feed. The study compared the growth of two groups of 58 tilapia over 44 days; one group was fed commercial pellets and the other a compound feed composed of BSFL and duckweed. The group fed the commercial pellets achieved heavier weight gain than the group fed the experimental feed but both groups resulted in steady weight gain and had similar mortality rates. Feeding the experimental feed composed of BSFL and duckweed to tilapia in an aquaponics system is an effective method of diverting food waste from the landfill and further research should be done to optimize this process.