Use of algae and aquatic macrophytes as feed in small-scale aquaculture:A review

by FAO


This technical paper presents a global review on the use of aquatic macrophytes as feed for farmed fish, with particular reference to their current and potential use by small-scale farmers. The review is organized under four major divisions of aquatic macrophytes: algae, floating macrophytes, submerged macrophytes and emergent macrophytes. Under floating macrophytes, Azolla, duckweeds and water hyacinths are discussed separately; the remaining floating macrophytes are grouped together and are reviewed as ‘other floating macrophytes’. The review covers aspects concerned with the production and/or cultivation techniques and use of the macrophytes in their fresh and/or processed state as feed for farmed fish. Efficiency of feeding is evaluated by presenting data on growth, food conversion and digestibility of target fish species. Results of laboratory and field trials and on-farm utilization of macrophytes by farmed fish species are presented. The paper provides information on the different processing methods employed (including composting and fermentation) and results obtained to date with different species throughout the world with particular reference to Asia. Finally, it gives information on the proximate and chemical composition of most commonly occurring macrophytes, their classification and their geographical distribution and environmental requirements.

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