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Zooca® produces superior aquaculture feed ingredients from renewable marine resource

Published 15 Dec 2022 (updated 10 Jul 2024) · 3 min read

Quick information

  • Available
  • Americas, Europe, Africa and Oceania

At a glance

  • Feed ingredients made from the renewable resource Calanus finmarchicus
  • Optimal nutrition composition for shrimp and saltwater fish
  • Eco-friendly and improves survival, growth and pigmentation

Zooca® – The Calanus® Company produces superior feed ingredients from the zooplankton Calanus finmarchicus – the largest renewable and harvestable resource in the Norwegian Sea. The ingredients are tailored for aquaculture species and have been shown to have a positive impact on growth, health and survival.


Aquaculture provides sustainable and nutritious food for the growing global population and accounts for an increasing amount of dietary protein. However, fish and shrimp farms often experience significant biomass loss and health issues.

These problems can partly be attributed to the use of suboptimal feeds. Due to the lack of availability of fish meal in recent years, plant protein has become the predominant protein source in aquaculture feed. Calanus finmarchicus has been identified as a sustainable resource that can contribute to increasing the supply of marine nutrients.


Aquaculture feed from North Atlantic copepods

Calanus finmarchicus is a 3–4 mm long copepod found in abundance in the North Atlantic. The annual biomass production of Calanus sp. is approximately 290 million metric tons, which is many times higher than the total biomass of all fish species in the same area and implies that it can be harvested with minimal impact. C. finmarchicus closely resembles the natural prey of shrimp and saltwater fish in their natural habitat and thus offers optimal nutritional composition.

Zooca® – The Calanus® Company has developed and patented an environment-friendly technology for harvesting Calanus finmarchicus. By freezing the copepods immediately on board, it can deliver premium quality products throughout the year. The company operates the world’s first and only dedicated facility for processing this tiny marine crustacean, in Sortland, Norway, and produces a variety of ingredients: Zooca® Hydrolysate, Zooca® Powder, Zooca® AstaLipids, and Zooca® SeaFrozen.

Zooca® Hydrolysate, Zooca® Powder, Zooca® AstaLipids are suitable as ingredients in formulated feed. Zooca® SeaFrozen contains whole, unprocessed copepods that can be fed directly to farmed shrimp and fish. All ingredients are sustainable and highly nutritious, helping to increase the efficiency of the aquaculture industry while reducing its environmental footprint.


Zooca® ingredients boost fish and shrimp health

Customers using Zooca® experience improved survival, growth and pigmentation in shrimp and marine fish. Recent feeding trials done with a 4 per cent inclusion of Zooca® Hydrolysateconfirm this, showing increased feed intake, better ability to convert feed into body mass, higher survival rates and improved intestinal health.

Zooca® SeaFrozen offers a nutritious alternative to brine shrimp (Artemia), which are the most commonly used starter feed for marine fish and shrimp larvae. Although accessible and affordable, brine shrimp must be enriched with essential fatty acids and vitamins for nutritional value. Meanwhile, Zooca® SeaFrozen is ready to use with an optimal composition of oil, proteins, antioxidants and chitin.

Zooca® Hydrolysate, Zooca® AstaLipids, and Zooca® Powder are also suitable as palatability enhancers in pet food to provide an attractive flavour and thus increase food intake.


High expected growth in aquaculture

The aquaculture industry is expected to grow significantly over the coming decades, as the world population continues to grow while capture fisheries are approaching their production limit.

The main markets for Zooca® Hydrolysate, Zooca® Powder, and Zooca® SeaFrozenare feed producers worldwide. Zooca® SeaFrozen is currently marketed to shrimp farms in South America and South Asia.

Woman holding handful of tiny orange zooplankton
Zooca® SeaFrozen contains whole, unprocessed copepods that can be fed directly to farmed shrimp and fish.

Marianne Mæhlum

Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer

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Zooca – Calanus AS

Zooca – Calanus AS

Stortorget 1A, 9008 TROMSØ, Norway

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