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Nordic Alternative Protein Potentials

Mapping of regional bioeconomy opportunities

image of Nordic Alternative Protein Potentials

Within agri- and aquaculture, a specific bioeconomy challenge – and a bioeconomy opportunity – has been identified concerning sustainable protein supply for livestock production and fish farming. Today, imported soy products are by far the most important protein source however several alternative ways of producing protein rich feed has been identified using regional resources. Production of legumes, pulses and grass can be expanded. Alternative protein rich sources include single cell protein (bacteria/fungi), macroalgae (seaweed), mussels and insects. Local protein production has a number of benefits in the form of generation of local jobs, reduction in the import of nutrients and in general boosting the bioeconomy. Many of the alternative ways of producing protein rich feed are still under development, this report therefor also includes recommendations concerning how to proceed.

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Marine Organisms' Potentials and Challenges

In this chapter, the following marine organisms are considered: marine macroalgae (beach cast seaweed), marine microalgae and bivalvia/clams. Crustaceans were initially considered, however, it was not possible to retrieve specific data/information about the oppertunities of cultivation of crustaceans in the Baltic Sea. The potential of freshwater microalgae is described separately in the next chapter: “Microalgae as a source for animal feed protein: Potentials and challenges.” This chapter mainly focuses on the potential in the Baltic Sea region and it is based on findings of the SUBMARINER project (www.submariner-project.eu), which has been the first ever attempt made to evaluate the potential of innovative and sustainable uses of the Baltic resources. Several marine organisms investigated so far have proved to contain high protein fractions with potential use in feed. However, still large knowledge gaps need to be filled, before marine organism can become a realistic replacement for soy products. It is of importance to mention that cultivation of marine organisms has the added benefit of serving to mitigate nutrient loading and to counteract eutrophication processes.

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