Work Package 5

WP 5: Effects of alternative feeds on waste production and management


The type and level of plant protein ingredients included in fish feeds affects characteristics of feed pellets like stability, fat absorption capacity, sinking rate. It can also affect diet digestibility and therefore fecal composition and level of outputs to the environment as well as other characteristics of fish feces, linked to their dispersion around the rearing area or the potential for their removal from rearing water, depending on the rearing system type. These effects have to be adequately characterized and possible methods increasing assimilation studied in order that alternative feed use would not increase but even reduce environmental impact. This WP will study the environmental load created by the new diets, in comparison to common commercial diets based mostly on fish meal and fish oil. The experiments are designed to measure and characterize waste output, created by either feeds or fish, mainly feces load, without dealing with environmental impact as a whole because this issue is too broad. The effects of antinutrients will be given particular attention due to their importance in waste production. Fish feed production conditions that result in appropriate feed stability as well as feed treatments, which could increase feed assimilation will also be studied. A mechanistic model will also be developed that would dynamically simulate waste production.


  • To evaluate and predict the impact of plant raw materials in the physical properties of produced pellets.
  • To provide information on the environmental impact of feeds based on low FM/FO content for the species of interest.
  • To evaluate the potential for decreasing this impact through dietary and technological manipulations.
  • To provide a model of waste output when using new formulations and test produced environmental load in long term experiments.

Planned Activities:

  • Characterization of the quality of extruded pellets rich in plant-protein
  • Determination of impact of alternative fish feed ingredients on waste production by fish and on faecal waste characteristics.
  • Study of the role of nutrient/antinutrients in determining faecal waste characteristics and quantity and evaluation of the possibility of managing environmental impact through reduction of levels of specific antinutrients
  • Modelling faecal waste production
  • Test environmental effects of plant based diets at system level using data produced by the long term experiments in WP4.

Expected Results:

  • An ingredient database on the technological criteria of plant ingredients and its association to physical pellet quality.
  • Experimental data on waste production by fish (carp, bass, bream) and physicochemical characteristics of faecal waste in relation to dietary composition
  • A meta-analysis of literature data concerning antinutrient effects on fish
  • A characterization of the effects of dietary components on digestive processes and fecal characteristics.
  • A model simulating waste production with different feed formulation.
  • Data on the impact of low FM/FO diets on soluble and solid waste during long term feeding and water and sediment quality in pond aquaculture.

Lead Partner:

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR)
Contact person: Eleni Fountoulaki
Email: efoudo(at)


Logos of partners playing a role in this WP

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wageningen university     logosparos cmyk  

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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 /2007-2013) under grant agreement no 288925. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use which maybe made of the information contained therein.