March 24, 2008

Farmers to replace cows for worms

Filed under: Animals,Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 11:47 am

If it is up to Zeeland’s bait producer Topsy Baits, farmers in the North of the country will swap their cows for worms. These worms are necessary according to Topsy Baits CEO Bert Meijering to replace the tons of fishmeal used every year to feed farmed fish. Apparently, for every kilo of farmed salmon, five kilos of wild fish have to be turned into fishmeal, and fishmeal is needed for fish to reach maturity. Meijering claims that using farmed ragworms instead can give the same result.

Meijering’s firm has built a farm in Wales which will raise 50,000 tons of ragworms each year, enough to produce 500,000 tons of fishmeal replacement once mixed with soy, wheat or peas. Currently, the firm is in talks with a farmers’ organisation in Groningen and Friesland to cooperate on his next few farms. According to Meijering, 500,000 tons equals the amount of extra fishmeal needed every year. Building ragworm farms could create between 1,000 and 1,500 jobs in the region.

Via Dagblad van het Noorden (Dutch). Source image: Topsy Baits.

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