Attitudes towards the use of insect-derived materials in Scottish salmon feeds



Popoff M, MacLeod M & Leschen W (2017) Attitudes towards the use of insect-derived materials in Scottish salmon feeds. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 3 (2), pp. 131-138.

Fishmeal is an important source of high quality protein in aquaculture, but concerns about its cost and sustainability are making it a less attractive feed material. Replacing fishmeal with plant proteins can impact on the nutritional quality of farmed salmon. In theory insect meals could be substituted for fishmeal without affecting the quality of the fish produced. They could also provide a way of adding value to the bio-wastes used to rear the insects. However little is known about consumer or producer attitudes towards the use of insect meals. This paper reports findings of a survey of consumer attitudes in the UK, towards the incorporation of cultured insect larvae (maggots) – derived feed materials into commercial formulated fish feeds for the Scottish salmon farming sector. It provides results of investigations on the attitudes of other stakeholders (salmon farmers, feed producers and fish retailers) via semi-structured interviews. Consumer attitudes towards the use of insect meal were found to be favourable (only 10% were opposed to the inclusion of insect meal in salmon feed; n=180), with vegetable waste being the preferred waste stream for rearing insects. The interviews suggest that feed and salmon producers are in principle open to the use of insect meals, provided the feeds are proven to be safe and reliable. However producing insect meal in sufficient quantity, quality and at a price that is competitive with existing feed materials will be challenging. In conclusion, a large part of the population is uninformed, or misinformed, about the benefits of insect-feed. Because people tend to know very little about feeds and their impact on the environment, they generally have no strong opinions about the subject, and purchasing decisions are guided by other factors. More information may increase awareness and likelihood that people will accept Insect-based feeds.

aquaculture; Atlantic salmon; insect-meal; consumer research; Scotland

Journal of Insects as Food and Feed: Volume 3, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online17/05/2017
Date accepted by journal06/03/2017
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers