Meet Roffa Reefs
Who are you and what is Blijdorp/Roffa Reefs?
Diergaarde Blijdorp / Rotterdam Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the Netherlands. Rotterdam Zoo supports a number of conservation projects in the wild. Blijdorp also actively participates in many breeding programmes for endangered species and is one of the international top ten of zoos in this field. In 2020 we formulated our Masterplan for 2030 concerning goals for animal welfare, education and research to support nature conservation.
RoffaReefs is founded in 2021 as a start-up to work on practical solutions in fish welfare both in captivity and in the wild. RoffaReefs aims to make a difference in breeding and feeding of marine fish. In close collaboration with the Rotterdam Zoo we made 100% aquacultured vegan fish feed. The first tests with prototypes of our solar panel fuelled breeding system are up and running.
What makes Blijdorp/Roffa Reefs a North Sea Farmer?
In the Rotterdam Zoo we continuously develop our animal welfare standards, much is unknown and there is a lot to learn. Together with other EAZA (European Association of Zoo`s and Aquaria) members we strive to give our animals the best life possible. Especially in fish nutrition a lot is unknown, fish feeds are mostly calculated for carnivorous aquaculture species. That is why we started the vegan fish feed project together with RoffaReefs.
In this vegan fish feed we leave out the animal and agricultural products. It is solely made of aqua cultured products. These adjustments in our fish diet are a step in the right direction to a more natural diet for herbivorous fishes. Furthermore it is a good method to avoid the unsure base of fish material and vegetables in our current fish meal and food.
What could other North Sea Farmers approach you for?
Partnerships and collaborations for research in conservation and animal welfare. There is some inclusion of seaweeds in our animal diets but probably it can be even higher. For our vegan fish feed we are still trying to formulate better versions using seaweed as a main ingredient.
What does North Sea Farmers mean to you?
An alliance of people working with seaweed from different perspectives that share their passion and knowledge.
What is your greatest wish for the future regarding seaweed?
A 100% vegan aquacultured fish meal that is scientifically proven beneficial for fish. Available for any aquarist that wants to make the right choice for fish inside and outside their tank.