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Maggot Farms the Future of Environmental Aquaculture

Paul Van Lieshout Hunt, Reporter

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A Western Australian company is embracing environmental sustainability by providing fish farmers with a maggot feast as an alternative to current fish food.

The company has a focus on environmental sustainability.

This year, it has started to produce a new range of fish-food for aquaculture farmers, derived from an environmentally friendly Australian native fly.

Companies are currently feeding more fish from the ocean to their farms, than they’re producing. In order to produce one kilogram of farmed fish for the retail market, 1.5 kilograms of fish caught from the sea are fed to the enclosure.

“It seems silly that we’re feeding farmed fish, fish from the ocean at a higher rate than we’re producing, ” Luke Wheat from Future Green Solutions told ECU Daily.

“Currently aquiculture is a huge industry to help with the issue of food shortage in the future. Unfortunately the way we feed the fish we produce is extremely unsustainable in that we take more fish from the ocean, than we produce in aquiculture because of the feed-conversion ratios we can achieve at the moment.”

The solution may well lie in the simple Black Soldier Fly, a species of fly that eats through raw materials and waste particularly quickly.

Restaurant scraps from across Perth are being fed to a horde of Black Soldier Fly larvae or pupae, which are then turned into meal for fish-food. Future Green Solutions believes this “groundbreaking” new approach is helping to slow over-fishing in the oceans of the WA coast while providing a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of farming fish.

“The process  uses the maggots to treat organic waste streams that would otherwise end up in landfill. As-well as looking for a sustainable process for ocean based protein that are used for farming fish, we’re treating waste streams,” Wheat told ECU Daily.

“We’re converting an otherwise useless waste-stream into high quality values and oils.”

“At the moment we’re taking from local restaurants, moving forward when we start looking at larger quantities – we’ll start using food that farmers would otherwise bury or use for landfill for our project.”

It isn’t just great news for fish-farmers, it’s also good news for our everyday life and gardens.

“After the maggots have eaten through the food waste, they leave a compost soil that is really great for our everyday gardens,” Wheat explained.

The new model of producing feed for farmed animals and aquaculture could spread across other areas.

“It’s a fledgling industry. The fly produces a high rate of manure which could be used in other areas,; we could use the fly in other areas of farming and agriculture,” said Wheat.

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Maggot Farms the Future of Environmental Aquaculture