BioMar ready to combat deformities in fish larvae and fry

BioMar is introducing the first feed range with a probiotic bacteria approved for use in all aquaculture species in the European Union. The most significant benefit of the new LARVIVA products with probiotics will be a reduction in the occurrence of deformities in fish larvae and fry.

Just a few days after the European Food Safety Authority published the approval of the use of the probiotic bacteria strain Pediococcus acidilactici in feed for all aquaculture species, BioMar is now ready with a new product range, LARVIVA Pro, which will include this revolutionary innovation.

"The effect of this probiotic strain on deformities in fish larvae and fry is now well-documented, and we are very pleased to be the first, who can launch a feed, which will have such a big impact on the production economy in the hatcheries", says Michel Autin, Technical Director from BioMar.

LARVIVA ProStart is the first feed in the new product range. It is an agglomerated early weaning diet, which can partly substitute artemia, but equally important it has proved to be the most efficient way to deliver the probiotic bacteria to the gut of the fish. In the fish gut the probiotic bacteria has a beneficial impact stabilising the gut flora and contributes to the prevention of an inflammation, which has been identified as the cause of the costly spinal deformities. At the same time the presence of the probiotic bacteria improves mineral uptake in the early life stages and the final result is a higher share of well conformed fish.

P.acidilactici, which is also known under the commercial name Bactocell ®, is not unknown to hatcheries across the world. Many hatcheries have actually used the same bacterial strain in the rearing water in the production of rotifers and Artemia, primarily to stabilise the culture. However, when applied in this way only a minor amount of the beneficial bacteria seems to end in the fish gut. With LARVIVA ProStart it is easier to secure that the larvae receives a sufficient amount of the probiotic bacteria.

Michel Autin (left), Technical Director for BioMar West Med with Mathieu Castex, Product Manager at Lallemand SAS presented the results of the research leading to the approval of Bactocell at the AQUA 2012 in Prague.

Michel Autin (left), Technical Director for BioMar West Med with Mathieu Castex, Product Manager at Lallemand SAS presented the results of the research leading to the approval of Bactocell at the AQUA 2012 in Prague.

"Part of the research work which led to the EU-approval of P. acidilactici was done using trial versions of the new LARVIVA products with probiotics. We have in these trials obtained an excellent documentation for the performance and especially we have very good results regards to the effect of the feed on the occurrence of deformities in fish larvae and fry", says Michel Autin. He explains that depending on the general rearing conditions and the protocol used, the reduction in deformities has been up to 50 %. For those farmers who already have a relatively low occurrence of deformities this might actually mean that they can drop the labour consuming and costly hand sorting of the fry – and for all hatcheries it will mean a reduction in the share of discarded fish and therefore an improved production economy.

Michel Autin explains that in order to get the full benefit from the inclusion of probiotic bacteria on deformities, it is important to start from first feeding with a feed with probiotics and to continue throughout the initial growth stages. BioMar now proposes a full feed programme with probiotics for hatcheries including in addition to LARVIVA ProStart, the weaning diet, LARVIVA ProWean, and the classic INICIO Plus fry feed. A version of INICIO Plus with probiotics has actually been sold with great success since 2009, but so far that feed was only approved for use in salmon and trout – this feed can now be used for all fish species.