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Research Award Recipient 2006: Dr. David A. Higgs

Since August 1975, Dr. Higgs as head of the DFO Fish Nutrition Program based at the West Vancouver Laboratory (presently the DFO/UBC Centre for Aquaculture and Environmental Research), has conducted collaborative projects within DFO and with universities (professors and graduate students) and/or industry that have been directed primarily to (1) improving the cost effectiveness of hatchery and mariculture operations, (2) minimizing organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus discharge from salmon farms into the environment, and (3) enhancing the flesh quality or consumer acceptance of market-size salmon and sablefish. Major study areas modifying the foregoing goals have included: nutrient and energy requirements; feedstuff digestibility; improvement of fish meal quality; alternate protein, lipid and carotenoid pigment sources to expensive premium quality fish meal and oil and synthetic astaxanthin, respectively; comparisons of the nutrient profiles of farmed and wild BC sources of salmon; development of nutritional strategies to reduce flesh organohalogen concentrations and enhance (n-3) highly unsaturated fatty acid levels for potential human health benefits; nutrition-disease interactions; exercise-nutritional status interactions; nutrition-endocrine interactions; nutrition of non-transgenic versus transgenic salmon; and assessment of the potential nutritive values of salmon prey species and of the energy expenditures of wild Pacific salmon undergoing their spawning migration.