How Do Probiotics Help In Aquaculture?
The growth of the aquaculture industry has been increasing over the past few decades to overcome environmental damage and low productivity. The need for increased disease resistance and the development of aquatic organisms has brought about using probiotics in the aquaculture industry.
Did You Know?
The first application of probiotics emerged in 1986 to test the microbes’ ability to increase the growth of hydrobionts (organisms that live in water). Later, probiotics were used to control bacterial infections and improve water quality.
Nowadays, probiotics can also improve nutrient absorption, increase tolerance and encourage reproduction. The interest in probiotics as an eco-friendly alternative is increasing. Many commercial probiotics contain one or more microorganisms introduced to improve the cultivation of aquatic organisms. Probiotics can be used as a food additive. It can be added directly to the culture tank or mixed with food.
Application of Probiotics in Aquaculture
For sustainable aquaculture, thorough research is currently the need of an hour. Initially, probiotics were only focused on their use as growth promoters and improving aquatic life’s health. However, new areas have been found where probiotics can help enhance the reproduction rate or maintain stress tolerance.
Probiotics have been used in aquaculture to increase the growth of cultivated species. Many probiotics help in expanding the appetite of the feed and improve digestion as well.
The microflora in probiotics is crucial for the growth and health of the fish. It has a direct impact on the species’ nutrition, pathogenic infections, the integrity and function of digestive organs, and the development of the immune system.
Thus, managing the gut flora is important for preventing infections from enteric pathogens and guaranteeing effective digestion of nutrients that result in good growth performance parameters. This can be done by the selection of beneficial strains and by minimizing the number of harmful or potential pathogenic strains.
Inhibition of Pathogens
Antibiotics have been used for a long time in aquaculture to prevent diseases in the feed. However, this caused various issues, such as the presence of antibiotic residues in aquatic species tissues, the generation of bacterial resistance mechanisms, and an imbalance in the gastrointestinal microbiota of the species, which affected their well-being.
Over time, consumers started demanding natural products that are free of additives like antibiotics and can prevent diseases rather than treat them. That is when probiotics were considered a viable alternative for inhibiting pathogens and disease control in aquaculture species.
Improvement in Nutrient Digestion
Probiotics have many beneficial effects on the digestive processes of aquatic animals, as the probiotic strains can synthesize extracellular enzymes such as proteases, amylases, and lipases. It also provides growth factors such as vitamins, fatty acids, and amino acids.
Nutrients are absorbed more efficiently when the feed is supplemented with probiotics.
Improvement of Water Quality
By maintaining high levels of probiotics in production ponds, fish farmers can minimize the accumulation of dissolved and particulate organic carbon during the growing season.
This can help in balancing the production of phytoplankton in the aquaculture setup.
Sometimes aquaculture demands intensive production in shorter times, causing stress on the species. High lactate and plasma glucose levels are considered appropriate indicators of stress among the species.
Some of the possibilities of stress could be transport, change in water temperature, and periodic manipulations. There are probiotics designed to overcome stress. These probiotics contain microbes capable of producing antioxidant enzymes that can control the stress levels in the feed.
Effect on Reproduction
Aquaculture species have high nutritional requirements. To fulfill this, it is necessary to increase the reproduction rate to meet food demand. The reproduction capacity depends on appropriate concentrations of lipids, proteins, fatty acids, vitamins C and E, and carotenoids. These components influences reproduction in various stages, such as the fertility stage, birth, and development of larvae.
With the new technology emerging, we at Organica Biotech have been conducting research to create probiotics that can help fish farmers improve their feed and help the food demands. We have developed a range of probiotics for fish that enhances the water and soil quality and, at the same time, boost the health and growth of aquatic animals. Our solutions apply to shrimp, shellfish, fish, and aquatic plant farms. Our formulations are designed to inhibit algal bloom, facilitate rapid degradation of ammonia, reduce stress levels, and boost reproduction.
Depending on the needs, we provide customized solutions to fish farmers. If you are looking for effective fish farming probiotic solutions, you can connect with our aquaculture experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.