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Insect Meal in the Fish Diet and Feeding Cost: First Economic Simulations on European Sea bass Farming by a Case Study in Italy


  • Pulina, P.
  • Arru, B.
  • Madau, F.A.
  • Furesi, R.
  • Gasco, L.


This proposal aims to estimate the incidence of fish meal basis diet into the total farm cost structure and how the weight can change considering different hypotheses related to introduction of insect meal into the diet. Hypotheses were proposed on the basis of increasing levels of insect meal into the diet and different prices for purchasing this meal. Economic effects were simulated according to some empirical trials carried out into the scientific literature and were applied to the European sea bass farming. A case study approach on a specialized off-shore sea bass farm in Italy was proposed. It is a small-scale farm that solely produce for local and domestic market. Findings suggest that feeding cost amounts to about 63% of the total farm cost. Possible introduction of insect meal – specifically composed by Tenebrio molitor basis – would force farmers to increase feeding cost. As it stands today, higher environmental sustainability expected by inclusion of insect meal would not be gone with more economic convenience. However technological development, higher competition into the insect meal industry, increase of production scale, and adoption of strategies aimed to weaken bargaining power between fish farmers and meal suppliers could generate a price decrease.

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  • Pulina, P. & Arru, B. & Madau, F.A. & Furesi, R. & Gasco, L., 2018. "Insect Meal in the Fish Diet and Feeding Cost: First Economic Simulations on European Sea bass Farming by a Case Study in Italy," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 275929, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae18:275929
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.275929

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    1. Guzhen Zhou & Wuyang Hu & Wenchao Huang, 2016. "Are Consumers Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Products? A Study of Eco-Labeled Tuna Steak," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(5), pages 1-18, May.
    2. Manzano-Agugliaro, F. & Sanchez-Muros, M.J. & Barroso, F.G. & Martínez-Sánchez, A. & Rojo, S. & Pérez-Bañón, C., 2012. "Insects for biodiesel production," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 3744-3753.
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    Agricultural and Food Policy; Farm Management;

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