Thesis: Black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) as an alternative to fish meal in aquaculture diets.
My research aims to determine whether black soldier fly larvae is a suitable substitute to fish meal in the diets of two Australian freshwater aquaculture species; barramundi (Lates calcarifer) and marron (Cherax tenuimanus). Specifically, I will investigate differing insect processing methods and their implications assessed through several growth, digestibility and palatability trials. In addition, I aim to work towards optimising pellet size and stability for marron aquaculture.
Why my research is important
Many carnivorous aquaculture species have large dietary protein requirements, often in the form of fish meal. Over the past decade, we have seen the production/supply of fish meal begin to plateau. Considering the aquaculture industry is the fastest growing food production sector, this becomes problematic as the supply of fish meal will be unable to meet growing demand. In response, effective protein replacements which still enable the production of healthy fish and crustaceans with high quality lean muscle needs to be identified to reduce dependency on marine capture fisheries. This thesis will explore the production of insect-based protein and the implications of its application in Australian barramundi and marron aquaculture diets. It is hoped that the results will have novel outcomes with industrial, societal and commercial impact.