Towards a more ethical marine aquaculture in the Var

And if the future of aquaculture was being prepared in Var. Olivier Otto and Christophe d’Ayguesvives, operator of Cachalot aquaculture farm and restaurateur in Draguignan, respectively, are working hard on this with the valuable help of scientist Philippe Stephan, doctor of food anthropology. And after five years of testing the monster, they finally hit the mark. A blind tasting held this Monday, January 30, confirms it: the meat of fish fed with their developed food is firmer and tastier. “Close to that of a wild fish”unanimously released the three Var chefs presented that day.

It is famous for fish

Slaughter of fish before blind tasting. (Photo by Camille Dodet). Camille Dodet / Nice Matin.
Insect meal is among the nutrients used in the new feed developed to feed farmed fish. An interesting alternative to fishmeal for overfishing. (Photo by Camille Dodet). Camille Dodet / Nice Matin.
On Monday, January 30, a blind tasting was organized to measure the taste qualities of the fish fed with the new feed. (Photo by Camille Dodet). Camille Dodet / Nice Matin.

The idea of ​​developing a more ethical feed for aquaculture goes to the credit of Christophe d’Ayguesvives. “When preparing fish in my restaurant Bento-SushiI asked myself: how to avoid impacting the oceans by offering the aquaculture sector a diet that is not based on overfishing or GMO soy or crushed male fry?, – says the person concerned. Highly susceptible to trophic aquaculture, “is about working in harmony with the natural environment as much as possible”Olivier Otto, who has been breeding sea bass and sea bream for thirty years in the port of Toulon, did not hesitate for a moment to start the adventure.

Philippe Stefanini, a Toulon researcher famous for his work on spirulina, passionate about what will make up our meal tomorrow, was convinced in turn. “This is a story of human encounter”, he admits. The scientist developed the formula after studying the food bolus of sea bass and gilthead sea bream “as ethical as possible for fish and the environment”. Among the components, of course, we find fish, lupine (legume), gluten, spirulina to stimulate the immune system of insect meal – “high protein soldier fly larvae”. Plus a few other ingredients he prefers to keep secret…

While the formula is now registered with the National Institute of Industrial Property, “Panorama” of sustainable aquaculture, Philippe Stefanini and his two friends hunted before finding the right dosage. “In addition to choosing organic foods that are as locally produced as possible, rich in protein and omega 3, we had to work on the shape of the pellets for their buoyancy and adaptability to prevent them from sinking too quickly. in the mouth of the fishes according to their age”Philip Stefanini says.

Resistance to what disease?

The experiment is not yet complete. Three “inventors” from Var want to push trials to warm water to test fish resistance to disease. (Photo by Camille Dodet). Camille Dodet / Nice Matin.
Christophe d’Ayguesvives, manager of the Bento Sushi restaurant in Draguignan, is the one who came up with the idea of ​​making sustainable food for aquaculture needs. (Photo by Camille Dodet). Camille Dodet / Nice Matin.

Experiments by Christophe d’Ayguesvives at Salernes, “fitter” Supported by partners such as the Paul Ricard Institute and Toulon Provence Méditerranée, it was able to invest in a kneader, an extruder and a dryer, all the machinery needed to produce pellets. The results are not promising. “The fish are jumping on our pellets. Compared to the standard diet, we see the same weight gain. On the other hand, they show more vitality and are shaped like wild fish. They are more muscular, less fat, pot-bellied”Philip Stefanini testifies.

It is carried out in two tanks, but the experiment in the same pack of monsters is not yet complete. “To measure the resistance of the fish, we will push it until the water warms, when the diseases develop more easily”Christophe d’Ayguesvives explains.

But our three “pioneers” are confident enough to project themselves into the future. “We have requests for salmon or salmon trout”, empty Philippe Stefanini. But Christophe d’Ayguesvives, who are too dependent on short circuits to respond to Var fish farmers anymore, plans to build a small industrial structure around Toulon.

1. Philippe Stefanini is a researcher at CNRS and Aliment Terre Ethics Research Center

Tamaris aquaculture farms in the southern part of Toulon harbor produce between 500 and 600 tons of fish annually. (Photo by Camille Dodet). Camille Dodet / Nice Matin.
On Monday, January 30, a blind tasting was organized to measure the taste qualities of the fish fed with the new feed. (Photo by Camille Dodet). Camille Dodet / Nice Matin.

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