Utilization of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae as a Potential Substitute for Fish Meal in the Production of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.)

  •  Jonathan Munguti    
  •  Francis Wekesa    
  •  Isaac Osuga    
  •  Mercy Kariuki    
  •  Rodrigue Yossa    
  •  Daniel Mungai    
  •  Domitila Kyule    
  •  Jacob Abwao    
  •  Mary Opiyo    
  •  Kevin Obiero    
  •  Nicholas Outa    
  •  Erick Ogello    
  •  Jacob Iteba    
  •  James G. Kirimi    
  •  Anne Maundu    
  •  David Liti    
  •  Chrysantus M. Tanga    


Utilization of quality aqua-feed relies heavily on fish meal sources of protein because of its nutritional balance. However, due to its limited supply, high cost, and decline of wild fish populations, aquaculture production has shifted focus to cheaper and more readily available alternatives to guarantee sustainable aquaculture productivity. Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae are a promising replacement for fish meal in fish diets due to their relatively high crude protein, lipid and mineral contents, and the bioactive potential with anti-microbial, and other probiotic properties. This study determined the effect of partially replacing fish meal with black soldier fly meal (BSFLM) on the growth performance of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Four isonitrogenous (30% crude protein) diets in which fish meal protein was gradually substituted with BSFLM were prepared as follows: No BSFLM (control)-T0; 25% (BSFLM25)-T25, 50% (BSFLM50)-T50 and 75% (BSFLM75)-T75. The feeds were fed to the Nile tilapia fingerlings (mean weight 25 ±5 g) which were randomly stocked in 12 cages at a stocking density of 30 fish per cage. The experimental fish were manually fed at 3% of the body weight for 28 days, and 4% of the body weight for 154 days twice a day. The study found that 25% and 50% replacement of fish meal protein with BSFLM resulted in the best growth performance of Nile tilapia, as measured by final mean body weight gain (BWG), specific growth rate (SGR), feed conversion ratio (FCR) and condition factor (K). This suggests that BSFLM is a promising alternative to fish meal in aqua-feeds in the production of Nile tilapia.

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