Health and nutrition firm DSM and the speciality chemicals company Evonik have officially set up their Veramaris joint venture and started construction of a US$200M plant to produce algae-based omega 3 fatty acids.

The facility, to be situated at the Evonik site in Blair, Nebraska, USA, would be ready to produce commercial quantities of EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids for the salmon aquaculture industry by 2019, Veramaris said in a 30 January statement.

The initial production capacity would meet approximately 15% of the current annual demand for the fatty acids by salmon breeders, it said.

Originally set up in March 2017, Veramaris has developed an algal oil that that will allow the production of EPA and DHA omega 3s for animal nutrition without using fish oil from wild caught fish.

Collaborations with industry players had already allowed them to develop salmon diets free from marine ingredients, which could help conserve fish stocks, marine life and biodiversity in the oceans, said Veramaris.

Currently, more than 16M tonnes of wild fish are caught every year for the production of fish oil and meal.