Insects as sustainable feed ingredients for Atlantic salmon.

AquaFly investigates insects as a possible safe and healthy ingredient in future feeds. Farmed Atlantic salmon need nutrients to cover their minimum requirements, and the goal is to find new sustainable ingredients that contribute with as much as possible with the nutrients the fish need.

A main aim is to study the possibility to tailor insect meal as an ingredient in a sustainable feed, covering the nutrient requirements and secure production of robust fish. The marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are essential for fish health, and it is another aim in the project to investigate whether insect lipids can contribute with omega-3 to the diet of Atlantic salmon.

We have previously shown that insect meal from black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae is a good protein source for Atlantic salmon, which also may give environmental benefits. In AquaFly  we test if black soldier fly larvae can be grown on marine seaweed as a substrate, which could improve the quality of insect lipids towards a marine profile (see pdf for results). Also the insects species kelp fly (Coelopa frigida), which naturally grow on marine seaweed, will be investigated to produce safe and nutritious ingredients for fish feed.

AquaFly also identifies possible risks by using insect raw materials for fish feed by documenting undesirable substances and pathogens in the whole production chain from the food for the insects, insect raw materials, fish feed and Atlantic salmon fillets. All feed ingredients may contain undesirable substances, and documentation of these are essential to evaluate feed and food safety.

AquaFly studies in depth the impact on sustainability of using insects as feed ingredients for farmed Atlantic salmon. Sustainability will be assessed in environmental, social and economic perspectives.



National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research
Project Leader Erik-Jan Lock
Tlf. +4795401244

Project funding

  • Program: HAVBRUK
  • Norwegian Research Council: 13.3 MNOK
  • Total budget: 16 MNOK
  • Duration: 2014-2018

Project partners

  • National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES)
  • Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO)
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
  • University of Bergen (UiB)
  • Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute (NILF)
  • Cargill
  • Gildeskål Forskningsstasjon (GIFAS)
  • Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA)
  • National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)
  • Protix Biosystems BV
  • University of Stirling (UK)


See also: