• fishoil replacement;
  • lipid;
  • rapeseed;
  • snapper;
  • soybean oil


This study examined three potential oil resources, crude and refined canola oil and refined soybean oil as replacements for added dietary fish oil in diets for juvenile red seabream. These oil resources were evaluated for their potential to replace added fish oil (40 g kg−1) in fishmeal based (600 g kg−1) diets, with 100 g kg−1 of total lipids. Each of the three plant oils was used to replace 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of the added dietary fish oil. Each of the three plant oils showed potential as a replacement for dietary fish oil, although a significant reduction in growth and feed utilisation was observed with the complete (100%) replacement of added fish oil by crude canola oil. No other significant effects of oil type or inclusion level on growth were apparent. A negative control (no added fish oil or plant oil, 60 g kg−1 of total lipid) yielded poorer growth than all treatments except the diet containing 40 g kg−1 of added crude canola oil (100% replacement). This observation confirmed that the added oils were utilized by the fish. A positive control diet containing 80 g kg−1 of added fish oil (140 g kg−1 total dietary lipid) sustained the best growth in the study, confirming that the 13 experimental diets were energy limiting as planned. Notably, few effects of the alternative oils were seen on the proximate composition of the fish. However, the influence of the alternative oils on the tissue fatty acid composition was considerable, irrespective of plant oil type or processing grade. Particularly notable was the overall increase in the level of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the tissues of the fish fed the plant oil diets, with these trends becoming more apparent with the greater levels of fish oil replacement. Minimal reductions in the levels of the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids of eicosapentaenoic (20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic (22:6n-3) acid were observed from any of the plant oil treatments. Sensory assessment, by an Australian taste panel, of the fish fed the fish oil reference, or the 100% replacement by refined canola or refined soybean diets showed a preference in order of canola oil > soybean oil > fish oil fed fish. Clearly, both canola and soybean oils have considerable potential as replacements of fish oils in diets for this species.