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[KUALA LUMPUR] As populations increase and the demand for protein from seafood rises, the world becomes increasingly reliant on aquaculture to fulfil that demand. The problem is, the supply of wild-caught pelagics or marine catch to feed farmed fish is dwindling. Today, the world needs to find an alternative to fishmeal — and fast.

Hopes are being pegged on plant carbohydrates such as soya bean (a major food crop), or insects fed on food waste (which faces regulatory challenges). But these options give rise to a fresh set of concerns.

A research team based at the Crops for the Future Research Centre in Malaysia is hoping to break the nexus between wild caught pelagic fish and aquaculture by replacing fishmeal with insects fed on underutilised plants.

SciDev.Net speaks to FishPLUS programme director Max Herriman and Crops for the Future CEO Sayed Azam-Ali, who is also chair of global food security at the University of Nottingham, about this new technology.

This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s South-East Asia & Pacific desk.