Project: Exploiting insects as feed for sustainable salmon farming – identifying the risks of pathogen transfer within the production chain

  • Mass produced insect larvae grown on seaweed biomass could provide a sustainable source of fishmeal in aquaculture systems. The Aquafly project led by NIFES is exploring the commercial feasibility of rearing the kelp fly (Coelopidae) and the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) on marine macroalgae and feeding the larvae to sustainably farmed Atlantic Salmon.
  • Marine macroalgae, both cultivated and stranded on beaches, is an abundant organic waste material upon which the insects, particularly kelp flies, could be sustainably reared.
  • However, consumer and regulatory acceptance of this novel feed will require robust standards for quality control and safety, in particular for the transfer and survival of human pathogens throughout the production chain.


  • Assess the extent to which the level of seaweed contamination is determined by seaweed species and the environment.
  • Understand how processing seaweed into insect feed affects pathogen survival and transfer.
  • Elucidate how insects might facilitate pathogen survival and increase contamination within the production chain.
  • It is crucial to understand the potential risks of environmental pathogen transfer and survival via the use of insects as feed ingredients for salmon aquaculture in the North Atlantic.

Blog posts

Edible insects – ESHH goes to Wageningen University

Seaweed and maggots as feed for farmed fish: are there microbiological risks for human consumers?