At NuSea.Lab (The Nutrition and Seafood Laboratory, Deakin University) we focus on innovative R&D ideas, approaches and solutions for the nutrition science and the seafood sectors. Our vision is “to positively contribute towards improved environmental sustainability, economic viability and social equitability of the nutrition and seafood sectors”, and our mission is “To provide innovative and timely R&D solutions for the nutrition and seafood sectors through the generation of novel ideas and rigorously testing and documenting the achievable outcomes.”
We focus our research effort in nutrition sciences, specifically towards supporting the seafood and aquaculture sectors. Fish and seafood are fundamental food items, containing unique nutritional characteristics that are of direct benefit for a growing and aging population. Aquaculture is the fastest growing food producing sector both nationally and globally. In contrast to other human activities, aquaculture is characterised by having an environmental scope (reducing pressure on wild fish stocks), an economic scope (generating wealth for coastal and rural societies) and a social scope (producing nourishing, tasty, health promoting, safe seafood).
The costs for the provision of aquaculture feeds (aquafeed) is considered to be one of the highest recurrent costs in aquaculture. Simultaneously, aquafeed is also fundamental in determining the health and the performance of the cultured stocks, the quality of the final product, and the possible impacts of fish farming on the surrounding environment. As such, fish nutrition is vital for achieving the sustainable and profitable production of healthy seafood and it is at the core of current research activities at NuSea.Lab, Deakin University, Australia.
Backed up by state-of-the-art aquaculture rearing facilities, two fully equipped dedicated laboratories for nutritional profiling and a dedicated feed plant containing small scale feed extrusion technology, we focus our research across both applied and theoretical streams. We work closely with the Australian aquaculture industry to provide tailored research and development across a range of topics, culminating in the development of more sustainable industry practices of direct relevance to global aquaculture activities.
Examples of recent activities include investigations into fishmeal and fish oil replacement in aquafeeds, lipid and fatty acid metabolism in farmed fish, nutritional physiology, the identification and subsequent utilisation of new ingredients for next generation aquafeeds, with particular focus on improving nutritional qualities of non-edible by-products. Other activities of NuSea.lab place a focus on edible seaweed, fish and seafood quality, health benefits, sensorial properties and traceability, the development of technologies for culturing novel aquaculture species, and the role of omega-3 fatty acids in human nutrition.