Dr. Weeks’ Comment: It is great when people think up win win solutions! We all should have thought of that since we all notice maggots propagating in garbage bags which contain organic matter. Big Pharma got its initial boost when it was able to turn trash in to cash – mountains of polluting coal tar into organic chemical which served as precursors to modern medicines. So here we have maggots feeding fish – brilliant!
“…The idea of using maggots fed on food waste to create a sustainable source of protein…”
“…This is brilliant,” said marine biologist Alexandra Morton, a staunch opponent of conventional open-net fish farming. “It is such a relief when I see something like this that makes sense…”
All animal and human organic waste can be processed this way including all slaughter house wastage to produce maggot crops. These maggot crops can be cleansed in their final stage with a soy meal based feed to stabilize quality. All in this then produces a huge feedstock that can then be converted by this method or alternative nutrient saving methods into feed suitable for fish and chickens and plausibly all farm animals. This includes pig and chicken manure and cattle manure also. Our biggest problem could become a viable revenue source. And a viable fertilizer source from the droppings.
It is also plausible that this can be engineered to be farm friendly as well allowing to ship a finished maggot product to a feed finisher.
From what they are describing here, they are well along in organizing hardware.
Insect-based fish feed
October 16, 201
Long a vocal critic of B.C.’s conventional fish-farming industry, environmentalist David Suzuki has helped create a new product being tested as feed for farmed salmon.
Suzuki and Brad Marchant, CEO of the Vancouver-based start-up company Enterra, coined the idea of using maggots fed on food waste to create a sustainable source of protein while fly fishing in Yukon.
“For years we’ve been fighting salmon aquaculture, not because we are against aquaculture, but we felt that [conventional] aquaculture was the wrong way to do it,” Suzuki told The Vancouver Sun. “First of all, the salmon are grown in open nets, so you are using the ocean as a sewer. Closed containment is the way it has to go.”
Suzuki said he would oppose using the feed in open-net salmon aquaculture.
“I would not like that at all,” said Suzuki. “I think it should be used, with vision, in hard containers, but I think that [technology] is coming.”
“I wouldn’t be happy, but I guess it’s better than fish meal,” he said.
Recent advances in closed containment fish farming have begun to address some of the effects of salmon farms on wild salmon, predators and the marine environment, but feed remains problematic.
Critics, including Suzuki, complain that the feed used to grow farmed salmon simply converts one kind of fish ”” often anchovy from Peru ”” into another at a huge cost to the health of wild fisheries.
“I asked David what else we could feed fish and he said, ”˜They eat insects,’” Marchant said. Suzuki’s fly-fisherman’s insight tickled Marchant’s inner venture capitalist.
“So we went looking for an insect system that could convert food waste into food that we could give to fish and chickens,” Marchant said.
As co-founder, Suzuki acts as science adviser to Enterra, but donated his shares in the company to the David Suzuki Foundation.
While B.C.’s aquaculture industry has made progress in reducing the amount of fish meal and fish oil in feed, an insect-based system that diverts waste food from landfill would be a great leap forward, said Jay Ritchlin of the David Suzuki Foundation.
“This is brilliant,” said marine biologist Alexandra Morton, a staunch opponent of conventional open-net fish farming. “It is such a relief when I see something like this that makes sense.”
“What makes no sense is to harvest large amounts of fish from the ocean and drag them the length of the planet to end up with less fish,” said Morton.
Enterra takes fruit and vegetable waste from grocers and food processors ”” including Overwaitea Food Group and Sun Processing ”” combines it with a small amount of fish trim and waste bread and feeds it to the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly, a common insect indigenous to North America.
“It only takes three hours for them to eat the food, so it never sits around or rots,” Marchant said. The larvae are fed every few hours and grow to the size of a small fingertip.
After two weeks the larvae are cleaned, cooked, dried and ground into meal. The end products include meal that is about 60 per cent protein and oils, both suitable for fish or poultry feed. The larvae castings are being tested as fertilizer at Davonda Nurseries in Langley and organic vegetable producer Amara Farm in Courtenay.
“We take traceable, pre-consumer food waste and turn it into a substitute for fish meal, poultry meal or soy meal ”” all resource intensive products,” said Marchant. About 30 per cent of the world’s food is sent to landfill, taking its nutrients with it, he said.
Every 100 tonnes of food waste yields five tonnes of meal and oil and seven tonnes of fertilizer. About 80 tonnes of water is removed through evaporation, a process fuelled in part by heat generated by the larvae themselves.
Feed products are entering the second phase of testing on salmon by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in West Vancouver, while the company waits for approvals from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The company is about to begin construction on a commercial-scale plant in Langley scheduled to open next year.