A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future found that, contrary to widely held assumptions, farmed fish and shrimp convert protein and calories in feed to edible seafood at rates similar to livestock (i.e., cattle, pigs, and chickens). The study contributes new insights into what is known as feed conversion efficiency – that is, the efficiency of the process by which feed is turned into meat – across species, and uses a new analysis to assess this efficiency.
The paper appears in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
“We face the challenge of feeding a growing human population, and aquaculture is viewed as a solution due to favorable feed efficiency compared to livestock,” said Dr. Jillian Fry, director of the Public Health and Sustainable Aquaculture Project at the Center for a Livable Future and faculty member in the Bloomberg School’s department of environmental health and engineering. “We need a complete understanding of feed efficiency, though, because aquatic species differ from livestock in important ways that are not considered in feed conversion ratios.”