A common goal in a short term in modern Aquaculture is to reduce the use of fish meal as a main ingredient on fish nutrition trying to find more sustainable ingredients, environmentally friendly, natural resource and with the aim to report several benefits on growth, immunity besides other benefits to the fish.

As a result of this global search, there are several ingredients that are being tested to replace part of the fish meal used on fish feed (seaweed, insect meal, etc.) but the ones that are showing better results are Fermented Vegetable Proteins (mainly fermented of some legumes).

Raw or not treated meal from these legumes have some anti-nutritional factors that can have negative effects not only in performance but also on fish health. Microbial fermentation is commonly used to avoid these negative effects and, also, to have other benefits as improving nutrient assimilation and palatability.

Recent research (Qin Zhang et al., 2023) carried out in Juvenile Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) shows that diets replaced 10% fish meal protein with fermented vegetable meal protein improve nutritional performance, with better growth rates and a significant improvement of antioxidant and immunity capacity of the juveniles.

DIBAQ, as a company absolutely concern on how the R&D can help to improve its products and carry out new projects and new developments, does not stay out of this progress. That’s why DIBAQ has recently started several projects with the aim to first hand analyse the effects of introducing fermented vegetables protein at different replacement of fish meal levels, on diets of some important commercial Mediterranean species.



Mullet (Mugil cephalus) is a highly valued fish throughout the Mediterranean area, especially for its roe, which is marketed as a substitute for caviar or as botarga, although interest in its fresh consumption has also increased recently. Likewise, its cultivation would be more acceptable to an increasingly aware consuming public that demands sustainability and less environmental impact. Apart from the Mediterranean area, the species is very promising in Korea where it is highly appreciated at a culinary level.

Given the growing interest in this species, Grupo Dibaq, the Spanish manufacturer of feed for aquaculture, is developing a specific food for the species, both in the fingerling and fattening phases. New developments, as usual, will be backed by Dibaq’s experience in new foods for species of growing interest.

This species, which easily adapts to breeding in nurseries, could be incorporated in the near future into the Spanish catalog of fish species, since it is part of projects such as Diversify, at the same time that the FAO sees it as a promising protein source.



Zero Waste is a global movement that aims to stop generating waste or reduce it as much as possible. But beyond a social movement, it is also a concern and one of the main objectives of organizations like the FAO. FAO is particularly sensitive to food loss and waste. Food losses are defined as “the decrease in the quantity or quality of food”. Agricultural or fishery products intended for human consumption that are not ultimately consumed or that lose quality, nutritional value, economic value, or food safety. At Dibaq and Grupo Tejedor Lázaro (GTL) we are also committed to reducing waste and we believe that RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems) aquaculture farms can contribute to meeting the objective.

The implementation of RAS aquaculture systems facilitates the rationalization of aquaculture production making it more easily manageable and predictable, so that the product can be delivered to the market based on demand. In this way, massive productions dependent on weather conditions that saturate the market with overproduction that cannot always be absorbed by consumers and may end up wasted, are avoided.

When studying and designing the production farms, a holistic vision is used, which includes the location of the facilities, assessing the distance from suppliers and the market to minimize the CO2 footprint derived from transport. Regarding the design, it should be noted that the RAS farms designed by Derwent Engineering (also part of GTL) are projected from the point of view of sustainability and the circular economy since we managed to minimize the use of water due to the filtering (mechanical, biological and UV) that allow us to reuse up to 95% of water and with a subsequent treatment of effluents. The water consumption of the closed circuit only occurs by evaporation, and this is the only quantity that must be replaced in the process. At Dibaq we have diets specially formulated for RAS systems that facilitate the maintenance of the system in perfect condition due to its high assimilation by the fish and less degradation in the water, reducing waste.

The aquaculture sector is presented as one of those exceptional cases in which sustainability is directly linked to greater economic profitability. Since, even if a producer does not care about the environment, the main cost is the feed, and for carnivorous species, specifically, ingredients such as oil or fishmeal and, currently, the industry is really interested in reducing their use in aquaculture feed. At Dibaq we have specially formulated diets for RAS systems that reduce this waste generation, at the same time, the aquaculture feed industry is constantly researching to incorporate by-products from other primary industries in their formulations to help reduce waste.

Therefore, minimizing the release of nutrients into the environment is not only a necessity, but a common good practice associated with RAS systems and aquaculture in general. In addition to this, RAS systems allow efficient treatment of effluents and waste, reducing the impact of the activity on the environment.