Main species cultured are Seabream (Sparus aurata), Seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), Sharpnot Seabream (Diplodus puntazzo), and Meagre (Argyrosomus regius).
Main markets for Mediterranean fish farming production are Italy (31%), Spain (22%), Greece (20%), France (6.6%), Germany (4.3%), U.K. (3.4%), Holland (2.5%), Portugal (2.4%), others (7.8%.).
According to broadly published research results, it’s recommended that we should eat fish at least 2 times a week. Fish have high nutritional value, since they are rich in high quality protein while at the same time they are also rich in ω-3 fatty acids, which are connected.
The link between diet and coronary health has been widely studied. Research focusing on fish consumption shows that two meals a week can positively impact cardiovascular health.
Finding the right balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the body seems to be of particular importance in reducing the symptoms of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
Low fish consumption seems to be a common factor among many of those suffering from asthma and allergies. There are also indications that a mother’s consumption of oily fish during pregnancy can reduce a child’s likelihood of developing asthma.
Omega-3 fatty acids provide a type of fat vital to normal brain development in unborn babies and infants. There is also evidence linking low levels of essential fatty acids with dyslexia.
Benefits associated with fish consumption and omega-3 fatty acids continue to grow in number. Omega-3 fatty acids can have a positive effect also on gallstones, osteoporosis, weight loss and eye sight
The production process involves preprocessing of fresh raw materials, which are usually fishmeal, fish oil, soya, corn gluten and wheat, with the addition of vitamins, trace elements, amino acids and antioxidants.
Fishmeal and fish oil are produced from short-lived, fast-growing harvesting stocks of fish for which there is little or no demand for human consumption and some is manufactured from by-products of seafood processing companies. The whole fish are mainly small, bony and oily such as anchovy, horse mackerel, menhaden, capelin and sandeel. Main areas of catch are South Pacific and North Atlantic.
Trimmings, which are also used, now constitute around 25% of the raw material for fishmeal production. This is produced from either white-fish which is low in oil (most of the oil is in their livers) or trimmings from oily fish such as herring, mackerel, etc.
Fishmeal contains typically 60% to 72% protein, 10% to 20% ash and 5% to 12% fat, which is high in the health promoting omega-3 very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA, often referred to as ‘omega-3s’ (producers can supply details of the type of raw material used and expected nutrient content).
The high quality and concentration of essential nutrients, especially of well-balanced amino acids, essential fatty acids, and energy content makes fishmeal an indispensable ingredient in diets of most aquaculture species and many land-farm animals. Fish oil is used mainly in feed for farmed fish but is also used to make capsules containing omega-3 fatty acids as human health supplements.
Because of its high omega-3 content fishmeal is a natural ‘functional feed’ providing health and welfare benefits to livestock. Meat, milk and egg products from farmed animals fed high omega-3 fishmeal are, in turn, functional foods which benefit human health.
Safe feed is essential. Traceability in food value chains is increasingly important as customers, consumers and regulators are all more aware of, and sensitised to food safety. They want to know that if an undesirable substance is discovered, its dispersion into the food value chain can be rapidly traced and products recalled immediate to minimise any potential harm.
First of all it’s not technically possible to apply hormones to some billions of fish. Additionally, there is no reason to do it either for reproduction control (it’s regulated from photoperiod and temperature regimes) or for growth enhancement as normal genetic potential of fish ensures in any case fast growth, and great feed utilization.
The use of vaccines protects the welfare of the fish raised from incidents of disease thereby eliminating the need for antibiotics or other medicine.
Therefore, due to the widespread use of vaccines in aquaculture, disease is now rare and there is seldom a call for the use of other medicines.
If, however, disease occurs (especially in cases where vaccination has not taken place) only Hellenic Drug Administration – approved antibiotics are used and they are only administered subsequent to prescription by a veterinarian specializing in fish disease. Medicated feed can be produced in factories with a special license from Hellenic Drug Administration. IRIDA, however, is an antibiotic-free fish feed factory and does not produce any medicated antibiotic-containing feeds.
Nevertheless, just as in the case of other animal species aimed for consumption by humans, “waiting times” are strictly kept by the fish farming community so that fish flesh is completely devoid of even a trace of antibiotics.
It is also confirmed that none of our products contain any animal protein or tissues, including fats, which arise from terrestrial animals.
At the same time feed samples are analysed on a regular basis at well respected independent laboratories UKAS or similarly accredited such as:
Salamon and Seaber, UK