Anim Nutr. 2022 Aug 8;11:334-349. doi: 10.1016/j.aninu.2022.07.013. eCollection 2022 Dec.
The aquafeed industry continues to expand in response to the rapidly growing aquaculture sector. However, the identification of alternative protein sources in aquatic animal diets to replace conventional sources due to cost and sustainability issues remains a major challenge. Recently, insects have shown tremendous results as potential replacers of fishmeal in aquafeed. The present study aimed to review the utilization of insects in aquafeeds and their effects on aquatic animals’ growth and feed utilization, immune response and disease resistance, and fish flesh quality and safety. While many insect species have been investigated in aquaculture, the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens), and the mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) are the most studied and most promising insects to replace fishmeal in aquafeed. Generally, insect rearing conditions and biomass processing methods may affect the product’s nutritional composition, digestibility, shelf life and required insect inclusion level by aquatic animals. Also, insect-recommended inclusion levels for aquatic animals vary depending on the insect species used, biomass processing method, and test organism. Overall, while an appropriate inclusion level of insects in aquafeed provides several nutritional and health benefits to aquatic animals, more studies are needed to establish optimum requirements levels for different aquaculture species at different stages of development and under different culture systems.