Insect meal is gaining increased attention in aquafeed formulations due to high protein content and an essential amino acid profile similar to that of fishmeal. To investigate insect meal in feed for European perch Perca fluviatilis
, a promising candidate for European intensive culture, we replaced standard fishmeal with partially defatted black soldier fly Hermetia illucens
larva meal at rates of 0%, 20%, 40% and 60% (groups CON, H20, H40 and H60, respectively) and compared growth performance, somatic indices, hematological parameters, whole-body proximate composition and occurrence of spleen lipidosis. In addition, we assessed the economic and environmental sustainability of the tested feeds by calculating economic conversion ratio (ECR) and economic profit index (EPI). The tested groups did not differ in survival rate. Significant differences were documented in final body weight and specific growth rate, with the highest values in CON, H20 and H40. The proximate composition of fish whole-body at the end of the experiment did not differ in dry matter, crude protein or ether extract, while organic matter, ash and gross energy composition showed significant differences. The fatty acid content and n-3/n-6 ratio showed a decreasing trend with increasing H. illucens
larva meal inclusion. No differences were found in hematological parameters among tested groups. The H. illucens
larva meal inclusion significantly affected ECR and EPI, even at 20% inclusion level the cost of diets did not differ from the control fish meal based diet. Results suggested that 40% inclusion of H. illucens
larva meal can be used successfully in standard diets for perch.
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