The University of Idaho will host fish nutrition researchers, scholars and industry leaders from more than 35 countries at the International Symposium on Fish Nutrition and Feeding June 6 through June 10 at the Sun Valley Resort in Ketchum.
More than 350 people are expected to attend the symposium, the first to be hosted in the United States in 20 years, a University of Idaho spokeswoman said. The chairman of the conference is Ron Hardy, the director of the U of I’s Aquaculture Research Institute. The theme is alternative feeds for aquaculture.
Feed for farmed fish traditionally contains fishmeal, which is produced from non-edible fish such as menhaden, but it’s a finite resource. The global aquaculture industry already consumes nearly 75 percent of annual fishmeal production.
“The big conversation in the aquaculture world is how do we go forward and make feeds that will allow aquaculture production to grow in a sustainable fashion?” Hardy said. “That’s a challenge facing aquaculture in Idaho and everywhere else.”
Idaho produces more than 70 percent of the United States’ farmed trout, and Idaho’s aquaculture industry generates $100 million each year, according to the U of I.
Featured speakers at the conference include John Rawls of Duke University, an expert on the gut microbiome; Sachi Kaushik, a European Union leader in fish nutrition; Tim O’Keefe, an international fish feed industry consultant who will speak about the challenges facing aquaculture in developing countries; and Jose Villalon of Skretting, the world’s largest fish feed producer, who will speak about fish nutrition research needs for the commercial sector.