Ocean-based aquaculture is forecast to have the greatest potential for meeting future consumer demand for seafood products, and the U.S. soybean industry is evaluating the potential for soy product use in the diets of many of the major farmed marine fish and shrimp species worldwide.

Tilapia Feeding
Tilapia feeding on soy-based feed manufactured by a local feed mill receiving technical support in feed formulation from USSEC.

Research has shown that a combination of soybean meal and soy protein concentrate can replace much of the fishmeal in traditional marine fish and shrimp diets. These renewable soy protein ingredients can be scaled to meet feed demand, offering opportunity for significant industry growth in the future without placing additional demand on ocean capture fisheries.

As soy diet research is completed, it is field demonstrated to aquaculture operators through The U.S. Soybean Export Council’s International Soy in Aquaculture Program.

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Ocean Cage Aquaculture Technology

Ocean-based aquaculture is forecast to be the fastest-growing aquaculture sector in the future based on increasing demand for seafood products and declining capture fishery landings from the oceans. Ocean cage culture of marine fish has stimulated the design of new and novel cages for culturing fish in near-shore and offshore environments.

Ocean Cage Farm
A USB Director visits an ocean cage fish farm in Greece where a high soy diet is demonstrated to industry, with USB funding.

The United Soybean Board (USB) and USSEC have worked for more than a decade to develop soy-based, renewable ingredient feeds for the emerging ocean aquaculture industry. Their ongoing research focuses on replacing fishmeal with a combination of soybean meal and soy protein concentrate, alternative lipid regime feeds to spare fish oil, and development of new soybean varieties of potential benefit to the ocean aquaculture industry.

Norway Cage
Large surface cages developed in Norway are used to culture a variety of marine fish species at ocean farm sites worldwide.

In addition to its feed development work, USB and USSEC developed an Ocean Cage Aquaculture Technology (OCAT) project in 2004 that included the design and construction of an ocean cage designed to survive typhoon-strength storms. The OCAT cage is a 100-cubic-meter rigid frame cage capable of culturing up to 10 metric tons of fish per cage. These cages are designed to be primarily auto-submersible and operate with a number of optional mooring systems.

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