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Alltech and Kochi University Sign Strategic Alliance to Research Aqua Nutrition

[TOKYO] - Global animal health and nutrition leader Alltech and Kochi University in Japan have signed a five-year strategic research alliance to study yellowtail and amberjack nutrition.

“Alltech has been successfully partnering with top academic institutions in the form of research alliances throughout the world with the common goal of finding long-term solutions to the key issues facing our industry. We are very excited to work with Kochi University in researching natural ways of increasing production efficiency in the aquaculture sector, particularly since aquaculture is one of the most promising industries for growth as we look to feed an increasing global population,” said Dr. Karl Dawson, chief research officer at Alltech.

(From left to right) Kei Nakayama, sales manager, Alltech Japan; Keith Filer, research manager, Alltech; Haruhisa Fukada, professor, Kochi University; Serge Corneillie, business manager, Alltech Japan; and Hiroshi Yabuki, lecturer Kochi University, launching the research alliance partnership at the Alltech-Kochi aqua facility in Konan, Japan.

This five-year agreement underscores the value of applied research alliances, especially among public-private partnerships, which drive development in the Japanese aquaculture sector and beyond. Kochi University has a cooperative agreement with the city of Konan and plans to rent a large aquaculture facility that belongs to Konan this July. The facility has 18 tanks (30 m3 each) and many small tanks for smaller fish (0.25 m3, 0.5 m3, 0.8 m3 and 1m3), which provide sterile borehole seawater with a permanent temperature of 16 to 28 degrees Celsius. 

Alltech will share its more than 33 years of high-end research with different animal species to jointly develop special nutritional diets to improve the meat quality and shelf life of amberjack and yellowtail marine water species. Supported by Shuichi Satoh, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Alltech and Kochi University will further study the application of Aspergillus niger extracts to reduce fishmeal inclusions in yellowtail and amberjack diets.

“The Japanese aquaculture industry is facing difficulties such as low fish market prices and high feed costs. We are delighted to work with Alltech, a company who has developed unique products and effective solutions to the challenges of the aqua farming industry. By researching the animal diet, we hope to be able to help farmers and producers reduce their feed cost and produce healthier fish. We strongly believe that the research alliance program will help us reinforce our contribution to the industry and furthermore to the whole society,” said Haruhisa Fukada, associate professor at Kochi University.

In 2012, Alltech and the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima) entered a three-year strategic research alliance. Nofima is working with Alltech in the understanding of microalgae in modern feed formulations and their role in health, performance and flesh quality. Alltech Algae in Winchester, Ky., one of the largest algae production facilities in the world, is exploring the applications of algae in animal nutrition and aquaculture.

By the close of 2013, Alltech anticipates signed research alliances with 17 academic and research institutes around the world; to date, more than a dozen alliances have been formalized.