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The Path Forward of Microalgal Biotechnology for Sustainable Aquaculture Development

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Background: Aquaculture's pressure on forage fisheries and environmental conservation remains hotly contested and thereby constrains the further development of aquaculture industry. With recent advances in microalgal biotechnology, the utilisation of algae in aquaculture is not only limited in traditional cultivation as sole feed to aquatic animals. Their remarkable capacity to fast growing in waste streams without competing arable land can also be greatly beneficial to aquaculture industry.

Method: Research related to microalgae biotechnology is reviewed. The prospect of microalgal contribution to aquaculture has been summarised into several key themes, which are the advances in microalgae strains improvement, biorefinery-products for generation of renewable biofuels and aquaculture feed, and the algal bioremediate potential in aquaponics system.

Results: Microalgae strains can be improved via bioengineering approach, targeting better traits for aquaculture. Furthermore, algal biorefinery derivatives show great potential to be fishmeal substitution with a number of environmental benefits, aligned with the biorefinery advance in biofuel industry. The cost and energy efficient microalgae cultivation module also provides a platform for aquaculture industry to strategically reduce hypereutrophic waste streams. In such a way, the ecological significances lie in alleviating the environmental pressure, offsetting the cost of algal production, and also generation of aquafeed functional inclusion with proven nutritional and immune benefits to the aquatic animals.

Conclusion: With appropriate economic incentives, it is believed that the transition toward environmental friendly seafood production could be accelerated with concerted support of algal biotechnology, paving the way for aquaculture sustainable development.
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Keywords: Aquafeed alternatives; ecological significance; hypereutrophic water stream; large scale cultivation module; microalgae efficacy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2016

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  • Current Biotechnology is an international peer-reviewed journal, which publishes expert research, reviews and thematic issues in all core areas of biotechnology including basic and applied research. Topics covered include, molecular engineering of nucleic acids and proteins; genomics and bioinformatics, molecular therapy; imaging technology and large scale biology; medical biotechnology, regenerative medicine, industrial biotechnology, biochemical engineering/bioprocess engineering, nano-biotechnology, bio-nanotechnology, analytical biotechnology; food and agricultural biotechnology; environmental biotechnology.
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