Taurine, which most fish farmers have never heard of, is a critically essential sulfonic amino-acid. It is a substance that fish cannot synthesis from other dietary ingredients, but has been provided to some extent in taurine-rich ingredients like fishmeal.
As the available sources and costs of quality fishmeal have become major issues in aquaculture world-wide, the potential lack of this ingredient may already be a major road block in production. Replacement of fishmeal with terrestrial plants like soybeans will not solve this problem as land-based plants cannot produce taurine.
Fortunately for outdoor culturists, there exists an excellent opportunity to utilize the very significant quantities of taurine produced by various algae, which, in turn, can be bio-accumulated in zooplankton, minnows, etc., and then fed to the prime animals cultured. Just another advantage of outdoor aquaculture and the naturally-raised feed that can be collected in floating raceways.
According to researchers at KnipBio, “…taurine deficiencies can lead to reduced growth and survival for many relevant finfish species, increasing their susceptibility to diseases and impairing larval development. Taurine is critical to basic cellular and physiological processes such as membrane stabilization, detoxification, anti-inflammation, immunomodulation, and anti-oxidation.”