Bivalve production is facing a critical bottleneck: the difficulty of ensuring a steady supply of high-quality microalgae. Algae production can be greatly affected by weather, human error, and the challenge of synchronizing algae culture growth with hatchery demands, according to Reed Mariculture’s phycologist (algae specialist), research scientist and process engineer, Eric Henry.
To cope with all of this, most bivalve hatcheries produce algae indoors, which consumes much of the space and cost of the entire operation.
Even if hatcheries manage to avoid these challenges and other common problems, such as shellfish pathogens and waste due to ill-timed production, producers are forced to divert time and substantial resources from growing shellfish in order to grow their own feed, says Henry.
That’s where Reed Mariculture steps in with a solution to this problem.
The company provides algal feeds directly to shellfish growers, who can use it as a total replacement, or as a supplement to the microalgae the hatchery itself grows, the company stresses.
“Our concentrates have also benefited research and development into improving hatchery protocols,” Reed Mariculture Inc Founder and President Tim Reed told IntraFish Aquaculture earlier this year at Aquaculture America. “When researchers can concentrate on growing their animals because they can get all the algae they need from us, it increases their capacity to develop much-needed innovations in this field.”
The algae concentrates produced by Reed Mariculture have been used commercially for two decades, and the company says they have been proven to be efficient and effective in all growth stages. And, since Reed Mariculture produces them in a land-based, biosecure facility, the risk of introducing pathogens with the feed is dramatically reduced.