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Review article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Substitution of fishmeal: Highlights of potential plant protein sources for aquaculture sustainability

Hussain, Syed Makhdoom; Bano, Aumme Adeeba; Ali, Shafaqat; et al.


High protein content, excellent amino acid profile, absence of anti-nutritional factors (ANFs), high digestibility and good palatability of fishmeal (FM), make it a major source of protein in aquaculture. Now, FM is at risk due to an increase in its demand and price. So, there is greatest need to find cheap protein sources to replace FM. Plant protein sources are acknowledged best due to their large availability and low cost. However, they have certain ANFs, deficiency of some amino acids, low nutrient bioavailability and poor digestibility due to presence of starch and fiber. These contrasting characteristics make them less suitable for feed as compared to FM. Thus, these potential challenges and limitations associated with various plant proteins can be overcome by using different methods, i.e. enzymatic pretreatments, solvent extraction, heat treatments and fermentation, that are discussed briefly in this review. This review explains impacts of plant products on growth performance, body composition, flesh quality, changes in metabolic activities and immune response of fishes. To minimize negative effects and to enhance nutritional value of plant products, functional additives such as citric acid, phytase and probiotics are supplemented with them. These additives improve growth of fishes by increasing digestibility and nutrient utilization of plant based feeds. Overall, this review exhibits that the substitution of fishmeal by plant protein sources is a viable and practical option for sustainable aquaculture production.


Fishmeal substitution; Plant products; Anti-nutritional factors; Physiological impacts; Sustainability

Published in

2024, Volume: 10, number: 4, article number: e26573

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
    Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
    End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Fish and Aquacultural Science

    Publication identifier


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