CRACKING KYPHOSIDS: DEVELOPING CULTURE OF HIGH-VALUE HERBIVORES FOR SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD

Period of Performance: 08/10/2016 - 12/31/2016

$99.7K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

KAMPACHI FARMS, LLC
PO Box 4239 Array
Kailua-Kona, HI 96745
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The world needs more seafood, yet the ocean's wild fish stocks simply cannot meet this burgeoning demand. Globally, 85% of our commercial stocks have already been fished to their biological limit. These heavily exploited wild marine fish stocks are under increasing pressure, with growing global population (projected to reach 9 billion by 2050, including concurrent expansion of the middle class by some 3 billion consumers), wider recognition of the health benefits of seafood, and increasing affluence of many developing countries. Without a significant change in management approaches, wild fisheries have been projected to totally collapse by 2048. The only possible way to meet the global demand for high­quality seafood without causing such a collapse is through aquaculture. Because a greater proportion of this growing demand is directed towards higher­quality marine fish, we believe that much of the solution to the world's seafood needs lies with open ocean mariculture.The one remaining constraint to allow responsible, sustainable scale­up of open ocean mariculture to meet the growing demand for seafood - and the one remaining valid concern of the environmental community with aquaculture generally ­ is the ?continuing reliance of aquacultured marine fish on wild fish resources as feedstuff. Fishmeal and fish oil resources (largely derived from wild fisheries of sardines, menhaden and anchovies) face growing pressure, and aquaculture's expansion is the primary driving force.Kyphosids are classified as "true" herbivores and are known, through gut content analysis studies, to consume a wide variety of algal types including red, brown, and green algae. An exceptionally long hind­gut in the digestive tract makes kyphosids well suited for plant digestion. Some of the algal species that kyphosids consume are troublesome invasive species to Hawai'i and other parts of the world. Harvesting and utilizing these algae as future fish food ingredients could help control these harmful species. At a minimum, kyphosids should be able to digest agricultural grains, such as soybean meal, wheat and corn products, in less expensive, less processed forms. Kyphosids are classified as "true" herbivores and are known, through gut content analysis studies, to consume a wide variety of algal types including red, brown, and green algae. An exceptionally long hind­gut in the digestive tract makes kyphosids well suited for plant digestion. At a minimum, kyphosids should be able to digest agricultural grains, such as soybean meal, wheat and corn products, in less expensive, less processed forms.The goal is to develop commercial farming technology of a new marine species. This fish would not require fish meal or oil and thrive on vegetable based feeds reducing its overall ecological footprint and increasing its sustainability.