Researcher Profile

Dr. Dave Higgs

Job Title: Head, Fish Nutrition Program
Employer: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Place of Birth: Victoria, BC, Canada
Public School attended: Gordon Head Elementary
High School attended: Oak Bay
Further Education: University of Victoria (B.Sc.), University of Manitoba (M.Sc., Ph.D.).
Geographic focus of research: British Columbia, Manitoba, USA, Israel, Sweden, Norway

Brief synopsis of current research:
-Development of cost effective open formula diets for farmed salmon.
- Improvement of fish meal quality and identification and/or development of alternate protein and lipid sources.
-Development of strategies to enhance the flesh quality of market-size salmon.
-Elucidation of how nutritional status influences thyroid function in salmonids
-Role of the nutritive value of salmon prey species and the energy reserves of salmon on their subsequent growth and survival in the natural environment

Mailing address:
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, West Vancouver Laboratory, 4160 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC, V7V 1N6
Phone: (604) 666-7924; Fax:(604) 666-3497

Recent Publications:

Higgs, D.A., B.S. Dosanjh, A.F. Prendergast, R.M. Beames, R.W. Hardy, W. Riley and G. Deacon. 1995. Chapter 11. Use of rapeseed/canola protein products in finfish diets. In: D. Sessa and C. Lim (Eds.) AOCS monograph entitled "Nutrition and utilization technology in aquaculture", AOCS Press, Champaign, IL. p. 130-156.

Higgs, D.A., J.S. Macdonald, C.D. Levings and B.S. Dosanjh. 1995. Nutrition and feeding habits of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus species) in relation to life history stage. In: C. Groot, L. Margolis and W.C. Clarke (Eds). The Physiology Ecology of Pacific Salmon, U.B.C. Press, Vancouver, B.C. p. 159-315.

Anderson, J.S., D.A. Higgs, R.M. Beames and M. Rowshandeli. 1997. Fish meal quality assessment for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) reared in sea water. Aquaculture Nutrition 3: 25-38.

Dosanjh, B.S., D.A. Higgs, D.J. McKenzie, D.J. Randall, J.G. Eales, N. Rowshandeli, M. Rowshandeli, and G. Deacon. 1998. Influence of dietary blends of menhaden oil and canola oil on growth, muscle lipid composition and thyroidal status of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in sea water. Fish Physiol. Biochem 19: 123-134.

Forster, I., D.A. Higgs, B.S. Dosanjh, M. Rowshandeli, and J. Parr. 1999. Potential for dietary phytase to improve the nutritive value of canola protein concentrate and decrease phosphorus output in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) held in 11C fresh water. Aquaculture 179: 109-125.

I became and still am very interested in the field of fish nutrition since many nutritional strategies can be used singly and in combination to reduce the production costs of farming salmon and other aquatic species and to minimize the discharge of organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus into the environment from intensive culture operations. Some of the greatest economical benefits in the future with respect to the production of salmon and other aquatic species will result from further improvements in the cost effectiveness of diet formulations coupled with improvements in fish feeding husbandry protocols (minimize feed wastage and, in the case of salmonids, promote compensatory growth responses). Collaborative approaches that especially involve the fields of nutrition, molecular biology and genetics, health, endocrinology, and biochemistry are needed to accomplish the foregoing aims. The challenge for the future is immense since it has been estimated that aquaculture will need to provide 52 million MT of food fish by 2025 to maintain the current food fish supply of 13.5 kg per person per year.To place this into proper perspective, the projected future need for aquaculture output of food fish is near the present total amount of food fish obtained from world capture fisheries. Hopefully, some of you reading this will respond to this challenge.