Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 197–213 | Cite as

Microalgae in aquafeeds for a sustainable aquaculture industry

  • Mahfuzur Rahman Shah
  • Giovanni Antonio Lutzu
  • Asraful Alam
  • Pallab Sarker
  • M. A. Kabir Chowdhury
  • Ali Parsaeimehr
  • Yuanmei Liang
  • Maurycy Daroch
4th AOAIS-Wuhan


Due to the rapid global expansion of the aquaculture industry, access to key feedstuffs (fishmeal and fish oil) is becoming increasingly limited because of the finite resources available for wild fish harvesting. This has resulted in other sources of feedstuffs being investigated, namely plant origin substitutes for fishmeal and fish oil for aquafeed. Conventional land-based crops have been favored for some applications as substitutes for a portion of the fishmeal, but they can result in changes in the nutritional quality of the fish produced. Microalgae can be regarded as a promising alternative that can replace fishmeal and fish oil and ensure sustainability standards in aquaculture. They have a potential for use in aquaculture as they are sources of protein, lipid, vitamins, minerals, pigments, etc. This comprehensive review summarizes the most important and recent developments of microalgae use as supplement or feed additive to replace fishmeal and fish oil for use in aquaculture. It also reflects the microalgal nutritional quality and digestibility of microalgae-based aquafeed. Simultaneously, safety and regulatory aspects of microalgae feed applications, major challenges on the use microalgae in aquafeed in commercial production, and future research and development perspective are also presented in a critical manner. This review will serve as a useful guide to present current status of knowledge and highlight key areas for future development of a microalgae-based aquafeed industry and overall development of a sustainable aquaculture industry.


Aquaculture Aquafeed fishmeal Fish oil Microalgae Sustainability 



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China for Young International Scientists Grant No. 31550110497), Shenzhen Municipal Government for Special Innovation Fund for Shenzhen Overseas High-level Personnel KQCX20140521150255300, Shenzhen Knowledge and Innovation Basic Research Grant JCYJ20160122151433832, and State Ocean Administration Grant 201305022.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Author contributions

MS collected data, participated in preparation of the manuscript draft, and participated in assembly and editing of the final manuscript; GAL, MAA, AP, and YML collected data and participated in the preparation of the manuscript draft; PKS and KC participated in assembly and editing of the final manuscript; MD participated in the preparation of the manuscript draft and participated in the assembly and editing of the final manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment and Energy, Shenzhen Graduate SchoolPeking UniversityShenzhenChina
  2. 2.Manatee Holdings Ltd.CourtenayCanada
  3. 3.Biosystem and Agricultural Engineering Department, Food and Agricultural Product CenterOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  4. 4.CAS Key Laboratory of Renewable Energy, Chinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhou Institute of Energy ConversionGuangzhouChina
  5. 5.Environmental Studies Program, Dartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  6. 6.JEFO Nutrition Inc.QuebecCanada
  7. 7.Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus MonterreyMonterreyMexico

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