Under business as usual, wild-caught forage fish stocks are slated to reach limits in 2037.
Without innovation, aquaculture will face bottlenecks, and there will be an environmental crisis.
Salmon and shrimp account for most of aquaculture’s use of
fishmeal and fish oil.
The F3 Team has launched a global competition to create fish-free feeds for
salmon, shrimp, and other carnivorous species.
Fish farms, or aquaculture, now provide well over 50% of the world’s seafood, and continue to grow. But two of aquaculture’s key feed ingredients face a supply-chain bottleneck – fishmeal and fish oil. What is more, some of the most popular seafood choices for consumers rely heavily on these ingredients. Crustaceans (including shrimp) consume roughly 31% of global fishmeal production used in aquaculture, while salmonids consume around 23% of global fishmeal and 60% of global fish oil used in aquaculture (2015-2016 figures).
Reliance on forage fish also threatens commercial fisheries as larger fish such as cod, salmon, and tuna, eat these small, oily fish (sardines, anchovies and menhaden) in the wild. These fish also sustain seabirds and marine mammals such as whales, seals, and dolphins. Currently, many forage fish are ground up to feed aquaculture. If the fish at the center of the ocean food chain disappear, so will the life that depends on them.
The industry has made tremendous strides to vastly increase the productivity of fishmeal and fish oil, but if it is to expand, most scientists agree that more needs to be done to find substitute ingredients. Fish farm owners need new and reliable ingredients to derisk their supply chain, and ensure continued production and growth.
The challenge is to create a Fish-Free Feed for one of three categories: Salmonid, Shrimp, or Other Carnivorous Species. The goal of this challenge is to reduce aquaculture’s demand for forage fish by advancing substitute feeds for the industry’s biggest consumers of forage fish. If progress can be made towards finding sustainable, fish-free feeds for these species, then substantial progress can be made towards increasing forage fish populations worldwide.
More important than the prize reward, participants gain access to significant public relations and media attention. The F3 (Fish-Free Feed) Challenge was mentioned over 100 times in news stories and reports on the F3 Fish Oil Challenge reached over 1 million viewers. The stories often named participants, and are targeted towards the aquafeed industry in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, participants with qualifying F3 feeds will be invited to showcase their work at F3 webinars focused on substitute ingredients for aquaculture, to be held virtually in 2021. Participants will have the opportunity to present their products to investors, feed companies, and media.
Who Can Participate?
The contest is open to companies that sell or aim to sell a fish-free feed for shrimp, salmonid, or other carnivorous species, as described in Product Criteria outlined in the challenge rules. These sales can be directly to end customers in aquaculture or indirectly through distribution channels during the contest period. VIEW CHALLENGE RULES
How to Win
There will be a $100,000 USD prize for each the of 3 species categories:
(1) Salmonid F3 Feeds
(2) Shrimp F3 Feeds
(3) Other Carnivorous Species F3 Feeds
Each prize will be awarded to the team that has sold the greatest amount of F3 Feeds in their category at the conclusion of the Challenge sales period (September 15, 2022). UPDATE: A new F3 Challenge timeline has been announced. Please check the Timeline page for further details.
F3 Feed Criteria
For an F3 Feed to qualify towards the Challenge prize, it must meet the following Product Criteria:
- be formulated as aquaculture feed, for either Shrimp, Salmonid, or Other Carnivorous Species. If a contestant submits feed for “Other Carnivorous Species,” the contestant must get approval from the judges for the species.
- be free of marine animal ingredients
Sales Criteria: The F3 Feed sales must be tracked by customer, and represent only the F3 Feed eligible for the Challenge. The sales volumes must be reported at a regular frequency as outlined in the timeline section. Customer contact information must be provided to the judges, but this will be kept confidential.