Aquaculture International

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 767–786 | Cite as

Fish nutrition research: past, present and future

  • Malcolm JoblingEmail author
European Aquaculture Development since 1993


The systematic, scientific investigation of nutrition dates from the eighteenth century, but for many years, there were few studies on fish. As a result, knowledge about fish nutrition still lags behind that of man and his domesticated terrestrial animals. Initially, there were few incentives to collect information about the nutritional requirements of fish, and it is difficult to carry out experiments on aquatic animals. Fish were being farmed, but the extensive rearing methods used meant that there was no pressing need to gather detailed information that could be used for preparing feeds. Research into fish nutrition started in earnest around the middle of the twentieth century. Since then information has accumulated quite rapidly as research efforts have been spurred on by the expansion of aquaculture and developments within intensive fish farming. Nevertheless, the gaining of more knowledge about the nutrition of fish still needs to be given priority to assist in the continued development and improvement of sustainable practices in aquaculture. In this brief overview, fish nutrition research is placed in a historical perspective by considering some of the major challenges faced by fish nutritionists, how these challenges were addressed, the advances made, and knowledge gaps that need to be filled. The spotlight is focused on nutrient requirements, feed ingredients and their evaluation, and the formulation of diets that promote effective production whilst serving to maintain fish health and well-being.


Nutrient requirements Feed ingredients Diet evaluation Live food organisms Aquaculture forensics 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IAMB, BFEThe Arctic University of Norway/University of TromsøTromsöNorway

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