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January/February 2009

aquaculture engineering marine fish

january/february 2009 On the cover:


global aquaculture

The Global Magazine for Farmed Seafood

January/February 2009

Publication of Global Aquaculture Alliance

seafood and health 17

Seafood Consumption Important During Pregnancy

marketing and processing 19

Jennifer Wilmes, M.S., R.D.; Gavin Gibbons

Russian Food Revolution Includes Seafood – Options Combine Traditional Herring, ‘New’ Farmed Species

Cobia farming is probably the fastest-growing, marine fish aquaculture industry. Most production uses net pens, but open ocean cages and intensive indoor systems are also being utilized in cobia culture. Photo courtesy of Brian O’Hanlon.

DEPARTMENTS From the Director


From the Editor


GAA Activities


Best Aquaculture Practices News

Industry News


GAA Memers


Event Calendar


Advocate Advertisers


Kristin Lien; Ragnar Tveterås, Ph.D.; Sigbjørn Tveterås, Ph.D.


U.S. Seafood Markets HLSO, Value-Added Shrimp Markets Steadying Fresh Whole Salmon, Fillets Up in October Frozen Tilapia Fillets Jump, Fresh Fillets About Steady Paul Brown, Jr.; Janice Brown; Angel Rubio


Food Safety and Technology Seafood Packaging – Part III. Package/Product Interactions

marine fish

George J. Flick, Jr., Ph.D.


Cobia Culture – Global Production, Markets, Challenges


Trials Advance Low-Salinity Culture Of Cobia, Pompano, Other Species

Michael H. Schwarz, Ph.D.; Niels Svennevig, Ph.D.

Marty Riche, Ph.D.; Charles R. Weirich, Ph.D.; Timothy J. Pfeiffer, Ph.D.; Paul S. Wills, Ph.D.; Megan Davis, Ph.D.


Marine Farms Belize – Norwegian Company Cultures Cobia in Caribbean Dr. John Forster


Philippines Farmers Apply ASA-IM High-Density Technology to Raise Marine Fish

Levy Loreto L. Manalac, Dr. Michael C. Cremer, Lukas Manomaitis


Korean Rockfish Production in Korea


Atlantic Red Porgy Candidate Species for U.S. Aquaculture

Dr. Sungchul C. Bai, Okorie E. Okorie

Troy C. Rezek, M.S.; Wade O. Watanabe, Ph.D.; James A. Morris, Jr., M.S.; Neil A. McNeill, B.S.

aquaculture engineering 47

HISTAR Development – Hydraulically Integrated Serial Turbidostat Algal Reactor System in Beta Testing

James M. Ebeling, Ph.D.; Paul Hightower; Douglas Drennan II; Kelly A. Rusch, Ph.D., P.E.


Intensive Bioproduction Korean System Biofilter Provides Effective Suspended Solids Treatment In-Bae Kim, Ph.D.; Jae-Yoon Jo, Ph.D.

page 47



Algae Alternatives Serve in Larval Rearing of Seabream


Fatty Acid Composition of Red Drum Maintained By Fishmeal, Fish Oil Substitutes in Diets


Ozone Treats Water, Disinfects in Aquaculture Systems



Heat Recovery – Countercurrent Approach Provides Greater Efficiency


Greenhouse-Enclosed Superintensive Shrimp Production: Alternative to Traditional Ponds in U.S.

Jesus A. Venero, Ph.D.; Brad McAbee; Alisha Lawson; Beth L. Lewis; Alvin D. Stokes; John W. Leffler, Ph.D.; Craig L. Browdy, Ph.D.

Tania De Wolf, Alessandro Moretti, Francesco Lenzi, Olivier Decamp, Pino Candreva, Patrick Lavens

John W. Leffler, Ph.D.; Deliah Arrington; Gloria Seaborn; Craig L. Browdy, Ph.D.



Sustainable Aquaculture Practices Phytoplankton in Aquaculture Ponds

feed and nutrition

University of Miami Experimental Hatchery Achieves Record Cobia Spawns, Fingerling Production Daniel Benetti, Ph.D.

Daniel Miller, Gerard D ’Souza

Philip Nickerson, P.E.

The Asia Pacific region produces about 35,000 of the total 37,000 mt of annual cobia production. Vietnam is the largest market, while other markets relate to production levels. Challenges include reliance upon wild broodstock and a need for increased marketing.

Claude E. Boyd, Ph.D.


Gary Rogers, Ph.D., P.E.

page 28

To meet growing needs for hatchery feeds for marine species, microalgae culture systems must mesh “contaminant tolerance” and mitigation with high productivity. The HISTAR design effectively combines contaminant control with continuous algal production.

Plastic Tanks Compare Well to Concrete Tanks In Trout Trial



Industry Insider

Indonesian Methods Achieve Mass Production Of Grouper Seedstock Ketut Sugama, Ph.D.; Isti Koesharyani; N. A. Asmara Giri, Ph.D.; Ketut Suwirya

health management 78

Study Seeks Optimum Probiotic Dosing for Fish Fry


Relevance of Sampling Protocols to Determine Shrimp, Fish Health

A. Jesu Arockia Raj, Ph.D.; M. A. Haniffa, Ph.D.

Stephen G. Newman, Ph.D.

global aquaculture advocate

November/December 2008

from the director


The Global Aquaculture Alliance is a nonprofit, nongovernment international association whose mission is to further environmentally responsible aquaculture to meet world food needs. Our members are producers, processors, marketers and retailers of seafood products worldwide. All aqua culturists in all sectors – including finfish, shellfish and algae – are welcome in the organization. GAA represents associations, individuals and businesses, making a special effort to include service providers, equipment suppliers, feed companies, marketers, processors and retailers.

OFFICERS George Chamberlain, President Bill Herzig, Vice President Lee Bloom, Secretary Rick Martin, Treasurer Wally Stevens, Executive Director

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Bert Bachmann Lee Bloom George Chamberlain John Galiher Bill Herzig Ray Jones Rick Martin Sergio Nates John Peppel Antonio Pino Iain Shone Wally Stevens Erwin Sutanto EDITOR




New Year, New Opportunities

The global economic crisis has us all taking a good, hard look at our businesses and our industry – as well as our own individual situations. The Wally Stevens tightening of credit, the challenges of getting Executive Director Global Aquaculture Alliance financing from banks, the wildly fluctuating rency markets and the trillions of dollars of loss of market value of stocks and real estate all have spooked our global industry and sent even stable, well-run companies into a tailspin. An old friend and seafood industry legend, the late Frank Holas of Rich-SeaPak, often reminded us of the “three constants” in life: death, taxes and change. While it is difficult to affect the first two, his point was that we can do something about change. Prudent people in life and business do prudent things in good times and bad. Although it may be difficult to do so, it will be very important for all of us to keep a steady hand at the wheel during these challenging times. For GAA, our economic situation has always been dictated by the generous support of our industry. That has not changed, but as more and more companies consolidate, we must look to other stakeholders to support the work we do. This work reflects a long list of important deliverables, including the challenge for the Standards Oversight Committee to develop and update workable Best Aquaculture Practices standards, the seeking of marketplace acceptance and endorsement of BAP certification, and the task of guiding producers on the steps they must take to have their products meet the expectations of the marketplace. In addition, GAA has undertaken an important endeavor with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on food safety issues, and, of course, we will continue to conduct our GOAL leadership conferences and publish the Global Aquaculture Advocate magazine. A long list indeed! We in the global aquaculture industry are fortunate in that we are a growth industry, and as we work to continue to grow in a responsible way, we must look to other sources that have the interest and resources to help our cause. The World Bank, an organization with great knowledge and commitment to creating wealth in developing countries, is one such entity. During a December 2008 meeting with World Bank officials in Washington, D.C., I was excited to learn of the potential for GAA and the World Bank to collaborate on specific projects that could lead to small farms increasing their access to the global marketplace. This is an exciting development, one which will further the work of GAA and sustainable aquaculture development for the benefit of the global community. Finally, as we look back on accomplishments and look forward to the New Year with hope and optimism, it is important to bear in mind that the crisis that befell world markets last year was driven by a lack of ethics and integrity. When greed and selfdealing cause corporate leaders and elected or appointed officials to lose sight of what is in the best interest of all stakeholders, it will take more than an infusion of capital to right the wrongs. We at GAA are most fortunate to have high standards in place, and we have assembled a community that is clearly committed to the cause for which this organization stands: feeding the world through responsible aquaculture. The year ahead may indeed be challenging for many businesses, but as an industry, we have collectively pledged our support to playing a leadership role in this new, emerging business of aquaculture. May you have a prosperous, blessed and healthy New Year. Sincerely,

All contents copyright © 2009 Global Aquaculture Alliance. Global Aquaculture Advocate is printed in the USA. ISSN 1540-8906


January/February 2009

Wally Stevens

global aquaculture advocate

from the editor

Novel Engineering Solutions Support Industry Growth The Global Aquaculture Advocate begins 2009 with this issue featuring the themes of Aquaculture Engineering and Marine Fish. We know you find will the articles informative and interesting. Many marine fish species support important commercial and subsistence fisheries around the world. Increasing market demand has stimulated the development of commercial culture of several species, including cobia, snappers, groupers, cod, halibut, turbot, sole and tuna. The commercial culture operations are becoming increasingly important, as traditional fisheries are unable to satisfy the growing demand for seafood. Aquaculture engineering is an increasingly important element of our industry. The development and use of new materi-

als and cost-efficient water and waste treatment, closed recirculation production systems and other advances strongly support the production efficiencies of farmed seafood. As our industry continues to expand globally, new and innovative engineering approaches will continue to provide novel solutions. The themes for our March/April issue will be Value Adding and Mollusks. As always, we encourage your suggestions for current topics you would like us to cover, as well as contributions of short articles on any aquaculture topic important to you. Please contact me at your convenience for details about our article guidelines. Your comments significantly improve our magazine. Please let us know how we

Darryl E. Jory, Ph.D. Editor Global Aquaculture Advocate

can best represent and serve our industry, and thank you for your continuing support. Sincerely,

Darryl E. Jory

gaa activities

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Selects Best Aquaculture Practices Certification For Phase II of Shrimp Pilot Program

The Best Aquaculture Practices certification program developed by the Global Aquaculture Alliance has been selected by the United States Food and Drug Administration to participate in Phase II of the Voluntary Third-Party Certification of Imported Aquacultured Shrimp Pilot Program. GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens said the news is a validation of the global organization’s rigorous BAP certification as a path to enhanced food safety in the U.S. market. “We believe this pilot study holds great promise for increased food safety and could prove effective in helping the FDA enhance its existing efforts,” Stevens said. “GAA also believes the results of the pilot will yield information that proves useful to other food industries.” Stevens referenced the decision in his December 2 presentation on “Certifying Foreign Producers of Aquacultured

Shrimp” at the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s Bolstering Consumer Confidence: Identifying Essential Third-Party Food Safety Audit Criteria conference in Washington, D.C. He said what sets BAP certification apart from other systems in the pilot is that it covers all aspects of shrimp farming, from hatchery to processed lot, and also encompasses four major areas of concern: the environment, social justice, food safety and traceability. The standards are independently audited through the Aquaculture Certification Council in a comprehensive process that “creates and bolsters consumer confidence, not just in shrimp, but in other seafood products, as well.” Phase II of the pilot, which will allow FDA to identify technical issues related to assessing and processing certifications, will run through June 2009. During this period, the BAP program will introduce a new food safety verification process that

complements existing facility inspections and traceability with final product testing. GAA President George Chamberlain worked with ACC and cooperating laboratories to establish risk-based sampling procedures for the food safety verification and directed adjustments to the BAP traceability system to capture the new data. “This verification will provide much more than a product snapshot,” Chamberlain said. “It will track food safety performance over time with cumulative information gathered by third-party collectors and analyzed by key labs.” If the results of the pilot study are acceptable, FDA proposes to grant products from BAP-certified facilities expedited entry into the U.S. market. This would create additional value for farms and processing plants that participate in the market-leading BAP certification.

global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009


GOAL 2009 Set for Late October in Seattle “Coming Together for Solutions”

The 600-foot Space Needle towers above the Seattle skyline with Mount Rainier in the distance. Photo courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives.

The Public Market sign stands over Pike Place Market. Photo by Tim Thompson.

Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) 2009 will bring representatives of industry, government, science and nongovernmental organizations together in Seattle, Washington, USA, to celebrate the successes of aquaculture, explore the near-term supply and demand for its products and seek solutions to emerging aquaculture issues. Organized by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, GOAL 2009 will be held October 27-30 in the “Emerald City,” a reference to the many evergreen trees in the Seattle area. The conference theme is “Coming Together for Solutions.” “Our successes during GOAL 2008, including discussions with the Chinese government and suppliers, have led GAA to this opportunity to join forces with all parts of the seafood community,” GAA Assistant Director Sally Krueger said. “From buyers and producers to representatives of the local fisheries, GOAL 2009 will provide a central hub from which to

explore synergies between wild-capture and farmed seafood production.”

Seaport, Culture Center

The GAA Executive Committee selected Seattle for several reasons. It is a major coastal seaport city and transportation hub with direct air access to many parts of the world. Aquaculture of several species is carried on nearby. Seattle is also home to an active fisheries industry with deep traditions as well as an eye to the future it will share with aquaculture in supplying safe, healthy seafood to the world’s growing population. Seattle is a top economic, cultural and educational center in the U.S. Northwest. The city has over 320 km of shoreline and is home to major seafood companies that can offer local logistical support for GAA’s largest annual event and the hundreds of industry leaders it attracts from both hemispheres.

The gala GOAL 2009 reception will be held at the Seattle Aquarium. This facility helps visitors understand the impacts they have on the marine environment.

January/February 2009

global aquaculture advocate

Sheraton Seattle Hotel

After site visits in mid-November 2008, GAA Assistant Director Sally Krueger and Marketing Manager Cathy Herzig chose the Sheraton Seattle Hotel as the GOAL conference hotel. The completely renovated four-star facility offers wonderful views of the midtown city skyline and waterfront, as well as excellent access to shopping at flagship

retailers and dozens of dining options. The Space Needle, historic Pike Place Market, Seattle Art Museum and other exciting attractions are near the hotel’s convenient downtown location. See a theater show, enjoy the Seattle Symphony or take a short hop to Pioneer Square. The Sheraton Seattle has a full-service business center and complete fitness center with a heated lap pool and Jacuzzi – all of which overlook a fabulous view of Seattle. Each guest room is furnished with a large work desk, LCD flat panel television and other amenities. GOAL attendees will receive free high-speed Internet access and other advantages at the special GOAL 2009 rate.

Sustainability Agenda

It is the desire of GOAL organizers to produce as “green” an event as possible. To conserve paper, complete program and registration materials will be available online. Attendees will be able to register, make hotel reservations and even arrange sponsorship via the GOAL web pages. In addition, items such as conference notebooks and bags, and participant gifts will be selected with a preference toward the responsible use of resources.

Key Data at By-Invitation Meeting

Conference information will be distributed electronically to previous GOAL participants in early March. GOAL 2009 will continue to be a by-invitation event open to top-level producers, marketers and retailers of farmed seafood of all species. Program sessions will feature a combination of summarized international supply and demand data, and essential discussions of aquaculture issues. To receive further information, please e-mail

Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership 2009 Plan now to join the Global Aquaculture Alliance and fellow industry leaders in Seattle for GOAL 2009, GAA’s annual aquaculture seafood marketing meeting. Examine supply and demand, celebrate industry successes and discuss answers for emerging issues.

Planning Meetings Examine BAP, GOAL

Much of the discussion in Orlando considered advances in the Best Aquaculture Practices certification program.

Mid-December 2008 planning meetings in Orlando, Florida, USA, allowed Global Aquaculture Alliance officers and staff to reexamine 2008 accomplishments and consider priorities for GAA in 2009. General planning for 2009 centered largely on the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program and Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) meeting.

BAP standards for tilapia and channel catfish farms were finalized and implemented by the Aquaculture Certification Council in 2008. Standards for feed mills will be finalized in 2009, and draft standards for salmon farms should be available by the end of the year. GOAL 2009 will be held October 2730 in Seattle, Washington, USA, at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. The conference

theme is “Coming Together for Solutions.” GAA Assistant Director and GOAL manager Sally Krueger called GOAL an “opportunity to join forces with all parts of the seafood community.” Conference information will be distributed electronically to previous GOAL participants in early March. Further GAA goals for 2009 include an expansion of organizational communications and additional linkages with international affiliates. The BAP certification program will be part of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Voluntary ThirdParty Certification of Imported Aquacultured Shrimp Pilot Program in 2009. In Orlando, GAA President George Chamberlain met with Dr. John Wigglesworth of Darden Restaurants and Dr. Kenneth Stephens to consider the BAP product-sampling plan for the FDA study. Stephens is a leading authority on statistical sampling procedures.

GAA President Speaks on Financial Challenges, Shrimp Nutrition in Indonesia, Brunei

Global Aquaculture Alliance President George Chamberlain presented a keynote address on “The Global Financial Crisis and World Shrimp Market Outlook” during the Indonesia Shrimp Farmers Day Seminar convened November 17-20 in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. Several hundred participants attended. In his presentation, Chamberlain projected direct impacts from the crisis, such as market contraction, price declines and financial stress, as well as indirect impacts including excessive cost cutting that could lead to poor practices. He emphasized the need for standards to level the playing field, address issues, maintain best practices and prevent impacts on consumers and the environment. Chamberlain also described the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program and highlighted the recent news that BAP certification was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for its pilot study on the use of third-party certification for food safety of imported shrimp.


January/February 2009

George Chamberlain (left) and session moderator Haris Muhtadi during the question and answer session of the Indonesia Shrimp Farmers Day Seminar.

Earlier in November, Chamberlain presented a program on BAP certification with special emphasis on the draft BAP standards for feed mill certification at the International Shrimp Nutrition Workshop cohosted in Brunei Darussalam by the Brunei Department of Fisheries and Integrated Aquaculture International. Dr. Sergio Nates, chairman of the BAP technical

global aquaculture advocate

committee for feed mills, was also present at the Brunei workshop to help answer questions. The event attracted 60 participants from 15 countries. Speakers discussed raw materials, nutrient requirements, feed formulation, manufacturing and feed management.

Jory Presents at Two Ecuador Meetings

Darryl Jory explained the benefits of GAA’s Best Aquaculture Practices certification program at the Nicovita Symposium.

Dr. Darryl Jory, editor of the Global Aquaculture Advocate, gave a presentation on traceability in aquaculture at the December 2008 Nicovita Symposium in Guayaquil, Ecuador. In the program, he discussed the application of traceability across the farmed seafood supply chain and covered the applicability and benefits of GAA’s Best Aquaculture Practices certification program, which incorporates traceability. Organized by the aquafeed company Nicovita, the symposium was attended by over 350 participants from various com-

mercial, official and academic sectors from the host country as well as several other Latin American nations. Jory also presented an overview of the status, challenges and outlook for world production of cultured penaeid shrimp during a talk titled “The Global Shrimp Farming Industry: Production, Products, Markets, Challenges and Perspectives” at the Aqua2008 Ecuadorian Aquaculture Congress and Expo in October 2008. Organized by the Ecuadorian Chamber of Aquaculture in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the

expo was attended by over 500 representatives from local and regional companies involved in aquaculture production, as well as government officials and students. In his presentation, Jory discussed major producing areas, products and trends along with the need for significant additional seafood production. He spoke on current hurdles for industry expansion, the potential for novel value-added products and increasing market demand through certification programs such as Best Aquaculture Practices.

global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009


Best Aquaculture Practices ®

January/February 2009

Wholesome Seafood. Responsibly Produced.

Aquaculture Certification Council Moves to Florida

ington, to Crystal River, Florida, USA. Please note ACC’s new address and contact information: Aquaculture Certification Council, Inc. 706 N. Suncoast Blvd. Crystal River, Florida 34429 USA (P. O. Box 2530 – Crystal River, Florida 34423 USA) Telephone: +1-352-563-0565 FAX: +1-425-650-3001 E-mail: Web:

The new ACC office in Florida, USA, is close to Tampa in an area known for aquaculture.

The Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC), the certification body for the Best Aquaculture Practices program, has relocated its administrative office from Kirkland, Wash-

The new Crystal River office will house six employees, including ACC Certification Director William More and Betty More, office administrator. ACC President Jim Heerin will continue to work out of his office in Atlanta, Georgia. Jeff Peterson, who was recently hired as director of quality assurance, will work in Fernandina Beach, Florida. The new location on the Gulf coast of Florida north of Tampa will help support the current expansion of the BAP program. Crystal River offers economic advantages as well as a pool of qualified aquaculturists for staff expansion. Crystal River was a pioneering hotbed of shrimp farming development in the 1970s and one of the first places Litopenaeus vannamei were spawned in captivity. ACC has more than 80 independent accredited inspectors who inspect shrimp, tilapia and channel catfish farms and processing facilities worldwide. Since it was formed in 2003, ACC has certified more than 190 facilities in 13 countries.

Trace Register to Join GAA, ACC for FDA Shrimp Pilot Program

Trace Register, LLC will participate with the Global Aquaculture Alliance and Aquaculture Certification Council in a pilot program that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting in early 2009 to test third-party certification of farm-raised shrimp. The global food traceability company operates the traceability database for facilities in the Best Aquaculture Practices certification program. Trace Register CEO Phil Werdal said his company’s participation in the FDA pilot is a “significant acknowl-



January/February 2009

global aquaculture advocate

edgment of the role of supply chain traceability in assuring the safety of the food supply.” Werdal said third-party certification, combined with comprehensive product traceability information, has the potential to improve food safety by enabling the FDA to monitor a higher percentage of imported food. The pilot project addresses farmed shrimp, but could easily be expanded to cover other food products as well, he said. “Supply chain traceability brings much-needed transparency to a very complex market,” Werdal said. “When a company or industry can trace a product back to the hatchery or farm and track it forward to the point of purchase, it introduces trust, adds value and reduces risk.”

BAP Represented at WWF Salmon Dialogue

BAP Standards Coordinator Daniel Lee and Standards Oversight Committee member Melanie Siggs of Seafood Choices Alliance attended the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue in Edinburgh, Scotland, in mid-November 2008. “The Best Aquaculture Practices program is committed to understanding the output from the WWF aquaculture dialogues,” Lee said, “so it was good to be able to attend this meeting.” The WWF process identifies impacts, principles, criteria, indicators and then standards. Discussions did not address actual standards because this is typically left to WWF’s steering and technical committees. Lee said that work within the meeting’s small groups confirmed the most contentious issues for salmon certification were sea lice, escapes, genetic pollution and feed questions. Aboriginal rights in Canada and social issues in Chile were also debated. The WWF principles focus on environmental and social issues, and do not explicitly cover animal welfare. However, an overwhelming consensus among the participants indicated animal welfare must be addressed, too. If WWF accepts this change, it will bring the program more into line with BAP, Lee said. Lee said the BAP program should have draft standards for salmon farms by the end of 2009.

Standards Oversight Committee Meeting April 28 in Brussels

The newly formed BAP Standards Oversight Committee (SOC) is planning its second meeting during the European Seafood Show in Brussels, Belgium, on April 28. Major topics of discussion will include new certification standards for feed mills and Pangasius farms. The SOC will also discuss follow-ups to the October 2008 SOC meeting in Qingdao, China, such as an enhanced BAP website, an online tool for managing revisions to standards, proposed members of the new Salmon Farm Technical Committee and the status of benchmarking with the Global Food Safety Initiative.

BAP-Certified Facilities:

68 Shrimp Farms 25 Shrimp Hatcheries 92 Seafood Processing Plants 5 Seafood Repacking Plants 8 Two-Star Groups 9 Three-Star Groups


Now Certifying Best Practices For Responsible Aquaculture • Community • Environment • Food Safety • Traceability

ACC certifies responsible production practices and food safety at shrimp, tilapia and channel catfish farms; shrimp hatcheries and seafood processing plants around the world in a process certification based on the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices standards. Program applicants can better meet the demands of the growing global market for safe, wholesome seafood produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Contact ACC for more information.


706 North Suncoast Boulevard • Crystal River, Florida USA 34429 P.O. Box 2530 • Crystal River, Florida USA 34423 Phone: +1-352-563-0565 • Fax: +1-425-650-3001 Web: E-mail:

global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009

Best Aquaculture Practices Seminar Attracts 150 in Honduras

(ALCON), a local feed company. The goal of the seminar was to provide shrimp and tilapia growers and processors a detailed overview of the BAP program with emphasis on its practical implementation. Attendees included farmers, industry suppliers and representatives from local universities. Several producers from Nicaragua also attended. Presentations were followed by questionand-answer sessions with spirited audience participation. A local Cargill feed company and ANDAH helped organize the BAP event, which featured The seminar was a result presentations by BAP Instructor Jeff Peterson. of the joint efforts of Ismael Over 150 people attended a Best Aquaculture PracWong, general manager of Grupo Deli, ANDAH President Alberto Zelaya and Jairo Am茅zquita and his team from tices Seminar held September 25-26 in Choluteca, HonALCON. Their work in organizing and promoting the event duras. ACC Evaluator and Instructor Jeff Peterson was is an example of the growing interest in the benefits of imthe presenter for the event, which was cosponsored plementing BAP certification in the region. by Asociaci贸n Nacional de Acuicultores de Honduras (ANDAH) and Alimentos Concentrados Nacionales

January/February 2009

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industry insider

Richard E. Gutting, Jr. Redmon, Peyton and Braswell LLP 510 King Street Alexandria, Virgina 22314 USA

U . S . 2008 Farm Bill

Conflicting Guidelines Generate Potential Impacts For Farmed Species Beyond Catfish When the United States Congress assigned responsibility for “catfish” to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) last year, it was responding to complaints that farmers in Asia were using unapproved drugs and chemicals to raise the fish they were shipping to the United States and that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was failing to stop them. In its 2008 Farm Bill, the body said: "It is the intent of Congress that catfish be subject to continuous inspection and that imported catfish inspection programs be found to be equivalent under USDA regulations before foreign catfish may be imported into the United States." This was a dramatic step with implications not only for catfish farmers, but producers of all farm-raised fish and shellfish sold in the U.S. market.

Richard Gutting has been actively involved in the regulation of seafood in the United States for over 30 years. He has experience with many governmental agencies, as well as a legal background in the seafood industry. A well-known author, Gutting recently completed A Practical Guide to the Regulation of Seafood in the United States, the first comprehensive regulatory guide for seafood buyers and sellers in the United States.

Proposed rules are expected early in 2009, and final rules are due by December 18. When they are enforced, exporting countries will have to meet new “equivalency” requirements, and exporting plants will have to comply with an entirely new regulatory system.

What Products Will Be Regulated?

Congress made “catfish” an “amenable species” under the U.S. Federal Meat Inspection Act. What fish are impacted? More than you may think. The 2008 Farm Bill does not define “catfish.” Instead, it authorizes the FSIS to define the term in its regulations. Some U.S. importers have been arguing that FSIS should interpret “catfish” to refer only to North American species. They point out that the 2002 Farm Bill said only North American species can be labeled "catfish" and that American catfish farmers told Congress Asian species are not catfish because they are not “of the same family, genus or species of North American channel catfish.” They also point out that several state governments have said Asian species like basa or tra are different from U.S. catfish and cannot be labeled “catfish.” FSIS doesn’t agree. Congress assigned the service authority over catfish at the urging of catfish-producing states like Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, and

while these states don’t want Asian species like basa and tra labeled “catfish,” they do want them regulated by the FSIS. Indeed, FSIS officials already have said they will propose that Asian species be included in the new program. And because Congress gave FSIS express authority to define the meaning of “catfish” – and federal courts typically defer to a regulatory agency in this situation – overturning the broad interpretation of “catfish” in a U.S. court would be difficult. The more unsettling question – and a potentially explosive issue for all seafood companies – is whether FSIS could decide to regulate species of fish and shellfish other than catfish. The conference report filed by Congress at the time the 2008 Farm Bill was enacted was revealing. It explained that: “Additional species of fish and shellfish are not addressed in this amendment; however, the Managers note that the Secretary has underlying authority within the Federal Meat Inspection Act to amend the definition of amenable species as he considers necessary and appropriate.” Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, these "amenable species" can be “any additional species of livestock that the Secretary considers appropriate. Thus, if a fish or shellfish is “livestock” and FSIS decides it would be appropriate, the FSIS could expand the scope of its requirements to any farm-raised fish or shellfish. But – are fish and shellfish “livestock”? The 2008 Farm Bill and the Federal Meat Inspection Act do not say. FSIS rules

The 2008 Farm Bill does not define “catfish.” Instead, it authorizes the FSIS to define the term in its regulations.


The assignment of oversight of U.S. catfish imports to the Food Safety and Inspection Service may also affect producers of other fish and shellfish. New rules will require exporting countries to meet new “equivalency” requirements, and processors must comply with a new regulatory system. Agency oversight will increase dramatically. FSIS will likely require that every import shipment be inspected when it arrives in the United States. global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009

for the Federal Meat Inspection Act presently define "livestock" as cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules or other species of equine origin – not fish and shellfish. But these FSIS rules can be changed if the changes are consistent with U.S. farm law. U.S. farm laws are complex and offer conflicting answers. Definitions of livestock in some laws, including the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act, treasury regulations, the Packers and Stockyards Act, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Flood Compensation Program, appear to exclude fish and shellfish. But other laws are different. In 1988, disaster assistance legislation, for example, defined livestock to include “fish used for food and other animals designated by the Secretary.” And the 2002 Farm Bill defined livestock to mean all farm-raised animals. So FSIS might take an expansive view of its authority and assert that any farmraised fish or shellfish could be subject to its inspection requirements. That’s what Congress said in the 2002 Farm Bill. That’s also the clear implication of what it said in its report on the 2008 Farm Bill. Given the FSIS’ lack of experience inspecting fish and shellfish, such expansion of regulatory power seems unlikely, at least in the short term. But if FSIS inspection of catfish proves successful, and domestic producers petition the service to include other species, an expansion in the longer term may occur.

What Will Be Required Of Processors?

The new regulations will set requirements for both U.S. and foreign plants that process the products the FSIS chooses to regulate. These new FSIS rules must “take into account the conditions under which the catfish is raised and transported to a processing establishment,” but Congress gave FSIS no further guidance. At this point, therefore, processors can only speculate about what will be required. Any new FSIS rule is likely to include the basic requirements that presently apply to plants that process meat. No meat establishment, for example, can operate until the FSIS approves its plans and specifications for the premises, equipment and operating procedures. Once this approval is granted and operations begin, plants must continue to follow a detailed set of rules that cover such things as proper lighting, ventilation and water supply; cleanliness of equipment and struc-


January/February 2009

tural features; and employee sanitation procedures. Product labels must be approved before products can enter commerce. FSIS also requires plants to have a HACCP plan for their processing operations and to conduct microbial testing. This regulatory system for meat processing, which is based upon prior FSIS approvals and very detailed rules, is fundamentally different from the present FDA regulatory system for seafood, which is based upon general standards and no prior approvals. Not only will the rules be different, the level of agency oversight will increase dramatically. FSIS inspectors visit plants far more frequently than those of the FDA. Under current regulations, processing plants are visited once every day by an FSIS inspector. Inspectors monitor operations, check sanitary conditions, examine ingredient levels and packaging, review records, verify HACCP processes and conduct statistical sampling and testing of products during their site visits.

What Will Be Required Of Importers?

FSIS rules also are likely to require that every import shipment be inspected by FSIS when it arrives in the U.S. Under the FSIS “reinspection program,” after a shipment reaches the U.S. and entry documents are filed, the FSIS takes over. All products must be visually inspected for certification documents, proper labeling and overall condition. Shipments targeted for in-depth inspection are subjected to further testing, including laboratory analyses for microbiological contamination, chemical residues, food chemistry and species identification.

This regulatory system for meat processing, which is based upon prior FSIS approvals and very detailed rules, is fundamentally different from the present FDA regulatory system for seafood, which is based upon general standards and no prior approvals.

global aquaculture advocate

Products that fail to meet FSIS standards are refused entry into the U.S. market.

What Will Be Required Of Foreign Governments?

FSIS also pursues a very different strategy with foreign regulatory agencies. Before any import shipments are allowed, for example, FSIS must first determine whether the regulatory program in an exporting country is at least equivalent to the FSIS system. No such requirement is enforced by the FDA. This equivalency requirement is explained by FSIS as follows: "The United States makes determinations of equivalence by evaluating whether foreign food regulatory systems attain the appropriate level of protection provided by our domestic system. Thus, while foreign food regulatory systems need not be identical to the U.S. system, they must employ equivalent sanitary measures that provide the same level of protection against food hazards as is achieved domestically." Countries wishing to export meat products to the United States must formally petition the FSIS for an equivalency determination. To make these determinations, FSIS visits each exporting country to review its regulations, meets with foreign officials and accompanies them on visits to processing plants. If a foreign program is approved, FSIS relies on that government agency to certify the eligibility of and to inspect the plants exporting products to the U.S. FSIS also periodically reviews foreign government documents and conducts on-site audits at least annually to verify continuing equivalence. This “equivalency” process is timeconsuming and difficult. As a result, only 34 countries are approved to ship meat to the U.S. market. Foreign fish producers should encourage their regulatory agencies to become familiar with FSIS requirements and pay close attention to the proposed rules that will be promulgated by the FSIS. Otherwise, their U.S. exports will be locked out by the FSIS program that is being developed.

Will There Be a Phase-in Of Enforcement?

Foreign regulatory agencies face a dilemma – they must petition FSIS for a finding of equivalency, but FSIS rules for domestic plants are not due until December. Until the FSIS rules are published and the FSIS establishes a domestic inspection program, how will it be able to determine that a foreign regulatory program is “equivalent”? And if no such finding is made

before the FSIS rules become effective in December, will FSIS allow imports to enter the U.S. market? Processing plants also face a dilemma. They may be required to retrofit their equipment and facilities, modify their HACCP plans and adopt new testing programs to meet additional pathogen-reduction standards. Their product labels may have to be approved. Complying with all the new requirements will take time and money. When FDA adopted the HACCP rule for seafood in 1995, processing plants were given at least two years to comply. The unanswered issue is whether FSIS will allow for a similar phase-in of its new inspection requirements.

Does FDA Retain Authority?

When it passed the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress did not rescind FDA's present authority to inspect and regulate catfish. So the question is: Will both the FSIS and FDA assert regulatory control after 2009, or will they allocate responsibilities between themselves? The answer is unclear. FSIS and FDA openly clash over food

inspection. FSIS criticized FDA’s plan to use private companies to audit domestic and foreign food processors and suggested that FDA use FSIS inspectors instead. Indeed, Congressional investigators characterize the present situation as "high risk," noting "inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination and inefficient use of resources." So the prospects for productive cooperation between FDA and FSIS over farmed fish and shellfish are problematic. 2009 could be a turning point in the way imported farmed seafood is inspected in the United States. The new powers Congress gave the FSIS in the 2008 Farm Bill offer U.S. domestic producers a regulatory pathway to greater regulation of imported farm-raised seafood and provide an opportunity for FSIS to gain regulatory supremacy over the FDA. The new farm measure, championed by senators from catfish-producing states such as Arkansas and Mississippi, would require catfish to have inspections similar to those for meat and poultry. Catfish advocates say the provision would protect consumers from tainted food. Skeptics say it would keep out imports, especially from Asia, that compete with the

home-grown products. FSIS is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is viewed by many as much more powerful than the FDA and with easier access to funding. FDA’s food center has been poorly funded for some time, and while it recently received an infusion of funds, it still suffers a serious shortfall. Only time will tell if this new “catfish” law was a one-time event limited to a single fish product – or a strategic shift of regulatory power over all farm-raised fish and shellfish. This law is not the first time that domestic producers have asked Congress for protection from imports. Unless foreign producers and regulatory agencies respond actively, the final rules implementing this law will likely be skewed by the same politics.

Will both the FSIS and FDA assert regulatory control after 2009, or will they allocate responsibilities?

global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009


industry insider

Phil Werdal, CEO

Trace Register, LLC 119 First Avenue South, Suite 440 Seattle, Washington 98104 USA

Farm to Fork

How End-to-End Supply Chain Traceability Benefits the Seafood Industry

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this past December that it had selected the Global Aquaculture Alliance and Aquaculture Certification Council to participate in Phase II of its pilot test of imported aquaculture shrimp, Trace Register was as delighted as GAA and ACC with the good news. The Trace Register traceability system is a vital part of GAA/ACC’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program. We believe that this “end-to-end” supply chain traceability holds great promise in helping distinguish the BAP program from the other participants in the FDA pilot, because it will provide the FDA an enormous amount of information to verify product safety and quality. Such information can help food safety agencies A 37-year veteran of the seafood industry, Phil Werdal is founder and CEO of Trace Register, LLC, a Seattle-based global food traceability company with offices in Japan and China. As cofounder and former president of Jubilee Fisheries, Inc., a fully integrated fishing company that catches and freezes groundfish in Alaska, Werdal understands both the wild capture and aquaculture sectors of the seafood industry.

become more effective in doing their job of keeping our food supply safe.

Chain Traceability

End-to-end or chain traceability, as it is commonly known, goes well beyond the traditional “one up, one down” model in use today. Chain traceability covers the entire supply chain. Because today’s product supply chain is both extended and complex, and because consumers, regulators and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) continue to demand more information, the traditional approach to traceability is no longer sufficient. Now, companies need to know – and be prepared to prove – what has happened to their products through every step of the supply chain, from source to sale. Chain traceability can deliver that information, and an online system can deliver it at the click of mouse.

Beyond Food Safety

Food safety is a major focus of chain traceability, but it is not the only important benefit to industry and consumers. Issues such as sustainability, environmental impacts and worker and animal welfare can only be addressed and managed if we know what is happening at every step in the product supply chain.


While it can be a powerful risk management or risk mitigation tool, chain traceability can also serve as a powerful tool for branding and marketing. The wealth of information available about the life of a product offers huge potential to market and prove key product attributes to differentiate a company from the competition.

Product Origin Consider, for example, the approach Trident Seafoods took to certify product origin. Trident recently partnered with a Russian company to market and sell Alaska pollock caught legally in Russian waters. Early on, Trident recognized that concerns about illegal fishing in Russian waters could significantly impact sales, particularly in Europe. Trident turned this potential challenge into a business-winning opportunity by setting up a full chain traceability system to prove the legal origin of the fish marketed under the Russian CertiFish brand. Now, Trident customers have web-based visibility of the product and important documentation all the way from vessel offload to final distribution. Brand Insurance While effective systems can minimize risk, we can never entirely prevent product problems. When it comes to dealing with these problems, companies need to protect their brands by reacting quickly and with confidence. A comprehensive chain traceability system provides brand insurance by delivering, at the click of a button, the data required to act decisively and speedily to isolate, communicate and address problems. Consider, for example, the outbreak of Salmonella saintpaul in the United States tied to tomatoes during the summer of 2008. While the pathogen was ultimately traced to jalapeño peppers, until the U.S. government could determine the origin of the problem, millions of dollars were spent trying to isolate and recall the sus-

End-to-end or chain traceability allows companies to know – and prove – what happens to their products through every step of the supply chain, from source to sale. While food safety is a major focus of chain traceability, issues such as sustainability, environmental impacts and worker and animal welfare can also be addressed. In addition to risk management, chain traceability offers a powerful tool for branding and marketing. 

January/February 2009

global aquaculture advocate

pect produce. In this case, “farm to fork” chain traceability could have dramatically reduced the time taken with fact finding and problem identification, and helped minimize the enormous damage — not just to the industry’s bottom line but also its reputation.

Striving for Transparency

The concept for the Trace Register system originated from the perceived need for transparency in the wild harvest sector. I was, and remain, the co-owner of a fishing company with three freezer vessels harvesting bottom fish in Alaska, USA. I launched Trace Register as a way to help fellow fishermen differentiate their products in the marketplace. At that time (as now), mislabeling was a serious problem. Inferior products were wittingly or unwittingly incorrectly marketed or labeled as premium fish such as “Copper River salmon,” “red snapper” or “Alaska king crab.” This undercut legitimate businesses and defrauded consumers. I felt that the old adage “transparency begets self-correcting behavior” could help drastically reduce the problem of mislabeling by delivering transparency in the product supply chain. By making product information easily accessible to


January/February 2009

all parties, a traceability system can confirm that a product is actually what it claims to be. With the objective of transparency in mind, Trace Register set about developing a system based on a number of key principles. It needed to be easy to use; support everyone in the supply chain, from small operators to giant enterprises; work with existing systems already in use; provide a secure data registry; function in multiple languages and cultures; support the needs of all food companies and be cost-effective for every member of the supply chain. By using the power of the Internet, we established a system that achieves these objectives without requiring costly investments in software and hardware and still allows easy access to key product data, even from a remote computer or handheld device. Although the traceability system was developed with the wild harvest industry in mind, it is ironic, but gratifying, to see that the aquaculture sector has taken the lead in embracing chain traceability and putting it to work for the industry’s benefit.

Timely Solutions

Without a doubt, traceability is a con-

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cept whose time has come. In today’s marketplace, consumers, regulators and NGOs are driving businesses to address food safety and quality, environmental sustainability, and fair labor and good animal husbandry practices. This is particularly true in the key seafood-consuming markets of Japan, the European Union and the United States. The good news is that industry-leading companies that embrace the demand for increased transparency by implementing chain traceability have the potential to strengthen their competitive positions by more effectively managing risk, reinforcing their brands and differentiating their products.

By making product information easily accessible to all parties, a traceability system can confirm a product is actually what it claims to be.

seafood and health

SEAFOOD CONSUMPTION IMPORTANT DURING PREGNANCY Study Finds Better Eye Test Scores For Infants of Mothers Given DHA

flourish and overshadow the facts about omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, heart health and especially what pregnant woman should eat. How is this effecting public health?

Canadian Study: Deficient Omega-3s = Infant Risk

A recent Canadian study concluded that most North American mothers do not eat recommended amounts of seafood, which may harm their babies‘ prenatal development.

The relationship between eating seafood during pregnancy and fetal development has long been studied in far-off places like the Seychelles and Faroe Islands, producing oft-touted medical investigations that few moms trolling the canned tuna aisle know anything about. Sometimes the information found in these scientific endeavors only makes its way to consumers via confusing federal agency advice or activist rhetoric. Without easily digestible science or reassuring recommendations, myths about mercury have been allowed to


The unfortunate answer lies in a new study. Complete with charts, graphs and words like “docosahexaenoic acid” and “biochemical cutoffs,” it appears at first blush this study might blend into the tapestry of confusion where research often settles. But wait. Like a beacon of hope just behind the Starkist can and a little to the right of the Bumble Bee pouch, an easy-to-understand journal article exists, published in the well-respected American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, from the faroff and exotic land of ... Canada. The simple study draws a simple conclusion, as stated in the correlating press release: “The typical North American diet of eating lots of meat and not much fish is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and this may pose a risk to infant neurological development.” No dietary island hopping, no whale meat, no mystification. Just simple science that lays out the importance of omega-3s in prenatal development. While survey data shows that over 80% of pregnant women are not eating seafood twice per week, as recommended by health experts, researchers from the Child and Family Research Institute in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, set out to determine if the resulting omega-3 deficiency is severe enough to harm their babies’ development. A total of 135 women began the study at 3.5-4 months pregnant and were followed through the time their babies were 2 months old. Half of the women were given docosahexaenoic acid (DHA,

Jennifer Wilmes M.S., R.D.

Gavin Gibbons

National Fisheries Institute 7918 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 700 McLean, Virginia 22102 USA

the type of omega-3s found in fish) in an amount equal to about 2 servings of fatty fish/week, and the other half took a placebo. Infants born to moms in the placebo group were found to more likely have lower eye test scores than infants in the DHA group.

Seafood Vital For Infant Development

The average American currently eats about 45.0 kg of beef, 34.0 kg of poultry and a scant 7.5 kg of seafood per year. Heart disease and obesity aside, researchers conclude that this diet pattern may pose a risk to infant eye and brain development. Since all of the DHA omega-3s a baby gets must come from what his or her mother eats, this finding is an important step in revisiting existing maternal nutrition advice. In the maze of confusion often associated with seafood science, pregnant women and even uninformed physicians may opt for the notion “rather safe than sorry.” But in this case, that old adage does not apply. The research from Canada adds to the growing body of scientific literature that shows limiting fish consumption during pregnancy is regrettable. This science can help guide pregnant woman toward some simple truths about the vital role nutrients found in fish play in their babies’ futures.



A Canadian study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded the typical North American diet – with lots of meat and not much fish – is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and may pose a risk to infant neurological development. In the study, infants born to mothers in a placebo group were more likely to have lower eye test scores than infants whose mothers received DHA. global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009


Kristin Lien

Senior Analyst Norwegian Seafood Export Council P. O. Box 6176 Strandveien 106 9291 Tromsø, Norway

Ragnar Tveterås, Ph.D. Professor

Modern supermarkets are increasingly commonplace in Russian cities. Consumers’ rising standard of living provides greater access to salmon and other seafood choices at such stores.

A food consumption revolution is taking place in Russia. After decades of severe constraints on food options under the communist regime, Russian consumers have during the last 10 years adopted new food products – including seafood – at a high pace. Since Russian consumers previously had limited seafood choices, the new Russian market can be seen as an interesting laboratory for investigating consumer responses to new products that were previously not available. The opening of the Russian economy has led to a rapid growth in imports of seafood species and products, both wild and farmed. Furthermore, Russian imports include both traditional Russian species

such as herring and “new” farmed species such as salmon, shrimp and Pangasius.

Regional Differences

There are larger differences between the geographic center, represented primarily by Moscow and St. Petersburg, and periphery areas in Russia than most other countries in Europe. The differences are economic, social and cultural. Changes in incomes, distribution channels and consumption patterns have been led by the center. It will take time for parts of some regions to catch up with Moscow and St. Petersburg, and one should expect in a country as diverse as Russia that there will always be signifi-

Sigbjørn Tveterås, Ph.D. Associate Professor

University of Stavanger Stavanger, Norway

cant differences in consumption patterns, including food consumption. The average per-capita monthly income exhibits large variations between regions, as shown in Table 1. In 2007, the Ural region had the highest per-capita monthly income (17,544 rubles, U.S. $623), followed by the Central region, which includes Moscow, and the Northwest region, which includes St. Petersburg. At the bottom were the Volga region (10,101 rubles, U.S. $358) and South region (8,880 rubles, U.S. $315). The income in the more affluent Ural region was about 97% higher than in the South region, a difference that has only been marginally reduced from 2005 to 2007. Another noteworthy fact is the country’s rapid increase in real income. Both in 2006 and 2007, the real income increase on a national basis was around 13%.

Modern Distribution Channels

Russia has over recent years experienced a rapid growth in so-called modern retail distribution channels, which include supermarkets and hypermarkets owned by retail chains. This development has been partly driven by income growth. According to Planet Retail, the modern distribution channel grocery sales share of total retail sales steadily increased from 7% in 1999 to 45% in 2006. The modern distribution channels generally have more advanced logistics than older systems. They have partly adopted information and logistical technologies from multinational retail chains and have greater capacities in transportation and


The opening of the Russian economy has led to growth in imports of farmed and wild seafood. The imports include both traditional species and “new” farmed species like salmon, shrimp and Pangasius. City residents have greater access to seafood, but modern distribution channels also reach into the Russian periphery. Russia’s recession may see demand shift toward less-expensive seafood, but continued growth is expected for the industry. global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009

Tale . Average January-July monthly per-capita income (rules). Region




Central Region (including Moscow) Northwest Region (including St. Petersburg) Siberia and Far East Region South Region Ural Region Volga Region Russia National







10,454 6,819 13,597 7,682 10,041

11,538 7,654 15,292 8,596 11,386

13,150 8,880 17,544 10,101 12,818

Tale 2. Leading seafood exporters to Russia in 2 and 2 (volumes in , mt).

Source: GfK/Europanel

Tale 3. Prices on main aquaculture imports (U.S. $/kg). Species





Trout, frozen Trout, chilled Salmon, frozen Salmon, chilled Frozen Pangasius Shrimp, pandalidae, frozen

2.99 2.42 2.86 2.35

3.21 3.03 2.73 3.01 1.83 1.67

4.32 4.32 3.39 4.19 1.95 2.35

4.48 4.28 3.71 4.56 1.85 2.47



January/February 2009



372,556 79,440 58,322 53,826 43,320 42,625 39,416 35,443 32,634 27,906 997,609

294,206 11,260 6,047 58,263 45,684 30,951 39,895 24,053 17,453 11,260 738,757

Source: Fishnet, Russia’s Seafood Imports in 2004-2007

Source: Fishnet, Russia’s Seafood Imports in 2004-2007

Import Developments

Russian seafood imports grew from 740,000 mt in 2004 to about 1 mmt with a total value of more than U.S. $1.7 billion in 2007. This represents a growth of 29% in volume and 44% in value over 2006 figures. With exports approaching 373,000 mt valued at $630 million, Norway is the leading supplier to meet Russia’s seafood needs. China was exporter number 2 in volume, with Vietnam in third place (Table 2). Among aquaculture import products, shrimp, trout, salmon and Pangasius are the most important species. These have in

general experienced high growth rates over the last few years (Figure 1). Shrimp doubled in volume from 30,000 mt in 2004 to over 60,000 tons in 2007. Salmon has also grown, although it has at times been affected by Russian veterinary restrictions. Pangasius from Vietnam has experienced impressive growth from very low levels before 2005 to almost 50,000 mt in 2007. Import prices on the main aquaculture products generally increased over the 2004-2007 period (Table 3). The exception was Pangasius, whose prices were stable.

Economic Downturn – What’s Next?

As noted earlier, the growth in Russian seafood consumption has been accommodated by rapidly increasing incomes. But the general economic situa-


Annual Import Volume (mt)

storage of chilled food. Modern distribution channels supply a greater diversity of products, including more value-added products. The increasing range of products available in the shops is both an indication of shifts in Russian consumers’ incomes and preferences, and the increased ability of suppliers to bring these products to the consumers. The new products in many food categories respond to consumers’ preferences for quality, variation, preparation convenience and health benefits. This seems to be the case for seafood in general, and herring in particular. Moscow and St. Petersburg have a more modern supply structure with supermarkets, hypermarkets and up-to-date grocery stores. Both multinational and national supermarket chains are following the practices of the West in many ways. The more rural areas of Russia, however, still rely on traditional distribution channels such as smaller shops and markets. The past years have seen a shift toward centralized procurement systems. Traditionally, retailers bought from local wholesalers, but with the expansion of supermarket chains following Western practices, retailers’ preferences are shifting toward “preferred supplier” systems in which producers are selected based on their ability to meet quality and safety standards, and ensure lower transaction costs. Several new distribution centers are being established.

Country Norway China Vietnam United Kingdom Mauritania Denmark Iceland Estonia Canada Chile Total

60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0





Trout, Frozen

Trout, Chilled

Salmon, Frozen

Salmon, Chilled

Frozen Pangasius

Shrimp, Pandalidae Family, Frozen

global aquaculture advocate

Despite current global economic strains, some believe that seafood demand will not suffer severely in Russia, even for more exclusive species like trout.

tion changed dramatically this fall for Russia, as for many other countries. Russia was hit hard by international capital markets during the last few months, as foreign capital was massively withdrawn from the country. Drops in oil prices, which are critically important to Russia, have resulted in a large reduction in oil revenues. Russian authorities recently acknowledged that Russia has entered a recession, defined by two consecutive quarters of decline in gross domestic product Unemployment is growing rapidly, which will likely have a negative effect on seafood consumption, at least in value terms as prices come under pressure. How negative remains to be seen, and the effects may differ across species. Some believe that seafood, and aquaculture products in particular, will not suffer severely. Even for the more exclusive salmon and trout, there are optimists. However, econometric estimations by the authors on the effects of income on demand for selected aquaculture products suggested there should be a negative demand effect. But the estimates are for a period of increasing incomes, so it remains to be seen to what extent they apply symmetrically when incomes decline. There will likely be a shift in demand toward relatively more inexpensive species such as Pangasius and tilapia. The positive news is that during the last decade, modern retail distribution channels that tend to prefer aquaculture products over seafood from the harvest sector have expanded rapidly, and it is hard to see a reversion of this. Moreover, investments in modern distribution channels to outer regions should positively impact demand, as it is hard to see a complete stop in seafood supply, even in times of economic recession.

Meridian Products Los Angeles – H.Q. 323-588-9933 F: 323-588-9935

MERIDIAN OFFICES Meridian Products Meridian Products Meridian Products Seattle Brownsville, Texas New Jersey 206-232-6709 956-542-6791 201-251-7900 F: 206-236-3022 F: 956-542-4905 F: 201-251-7920

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Meridian Products Virginia Beach, VA 800-545-7474 F: 757-893-9227

January/February 2009



u.s. seafood markets Paul Brown, Jr.

Janice Brown Angel Rubio

Urner Barry Publication, Inc. P. O. Box 389 Toms River, New Jersey 08754 USA

levels, including 26-30 count and larger farm-raised shrimp from Mexico. Asian HLSO shrimp, which might have remained steady due to raw material demands for valued-added needs, were also weak due to competitive pressure from Latin America. Asian HLSO whites remain somewhat unsettled, particularly in the larger count sizes, but the undertone is increasingly steady. Black tiger shrimp also felt the slumping foodservice demand in some quarters. The undertone here remains unsettled, particularly on larger counts.

Particularly for larger-count sizes, imports of black tiger shrimp are feeling the slumping foodservice demand.

HLSO, Value-Added Shrimp Markets Steadying

In October 2008, shrimp imports to the United States were almost 10.0% higher for the month and 2.3% higher on a year-todate (YTD) basis (Table 1). While Thailand and Ecuador imports were lower, imports from Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia moved sharply higher. Imports of headless shell-on shrimp, including easy-peel, were up 6.3% YTD. Most count sizes saw increased imports. Year-to-date peeled imports were 1.3% higher than a year ago. Led by a drop in Thailand imports, figures for cooked warmwater shrimp were down 7.2% year to date, but imports from Indonesia and Vietnam were higher. Breaded imports were up 6.3% YTD. Chinese imports have moved lower than a year ago and appear to have been replaced by rising Thailand imports.

HLSO Shrimp

A weak shrimp market since August is currently being replaced by a steadier tone. The Latin American headless, shell-on (HLSO) market, which was the first to feel the slowdown in the foodservice sector, now carries a steadier tone, albeit at lower

Value-Added Shrimp

Asian value-added shrimp in many instances are forward contracted. These contracts tend to dominate the cooked and raw peeled markets, which tightened supplies in the corresponding spot markets until product was finished being packed for the holidays. Demand for value-added shrimp had been generally balanced against supply, despite weakness in the HLSO market. Raw, peeled shrimp held mostly steady until turning weaker in September. The cooked market, especially dominated by retail, weakened after peeled shrimp in October. Now a barely steady to weak tone continues to characterize the value-added markets, although the undertone in mid-December moved to about steady, in part due to a weakening U.S. dollar. The market now waits to see whether current economic conditions will curtail retail buying and lead to inventory carried over into the first quarter. So, while the current market is mostly steady at lower levels, the undertone for early 2009 is unsettled.

Tale . Snapshot of U.S. shrimp imports, Octoer 28. Form

Octoer 28 Septemer 28 (, l) (, l)

Shell-on Peeled Cooked Breaded Total

68,206 47,695 21,161 5,864 144,489

57,729 43,700 18,076 5,792 126,374

Change (Month)

Octoer 2 (, l)

Change (Year)

YTD 28 (, l)

YTD 2 (, l)

Change (Year)

18.1% 9.1% 17.1% 1.2% 14.3%

59,607 42,505 23,010 5,226 131,578

14.4% 12.2% -8.0% 12.2% 9.8%

450,858 328,306 159,514 71,201 1,021,272

424,191 324,136 174,561 66,964 998,357

6.3% 1.3% -8.6% 6.3% 2.3%

Sources: U.S. Census, Urner Barry Publications, Inc.


The weak markets for HLSO and value-added shrimp are being replaced by a steadier tone. However, current economic conditions may curtail retail buying and lead to an unsettled tone in early 2009. Demand for salmon remains lackluster, and buying activity is limited. October 2008 pricing is now trending below the three-year average on all sizes. U.S. YTD imports of tilapia are nearly on par with last year’s levels. October 2008 marked the third-largest inflow of frozen fillets into the U.S. The weak economic climate is affecting tilapia prices. 22

January/February 2009

global aquaculture advocate

Tale 2. Snapshot of U.S. salmon imports, Octoer 28. Form Fresh whole fish Frozen whole fish Fresh fillets Frozen fillets Total

Octoer 28 Septemer 28 Change (l) (l) (Month) 14,363,805 604,589 15,920,244 8,680,391 39,569,029

13,849,976 606,406 15,428,891 9,979,658 39,864,931

3.7% -0.3% 3.2% -13.0% -0.7%

Octoer 2 (l)

Change (Year)

YTD 28 (l)

YTD 2 (l)

Change (Year)

15,029,375 745,737 17,474,046 8,879,294 42,128,452

-4.4% -18.9% -8.9% -2.2% -6.1%

153,043,608 4,792,878 165,991,745 87,078,193 410,906,424

149,031,620 6,496,094 166,387,479 98,438,965 420,354,158

2.7% -26.2% -0.2% -11.5% -2.2%

Fresh Whole Salmon, Fillets Up in October Sources: U.S. Census, Urner Barry Publications, Inc.

Chilean salmon fillet imports rose in October 2008 but were 10% lower than in October 2007.

October 2008 YTD salmon imports continued below yearago levels, decreasing 2.2% (Table 2). At 2.7% higher YTD, fresh whole fish continued to sustain an upward climb. YTD volumes of fresh fillets saw a slight decrease of 0.2%. Total month-tomonth data, however, showed increases in fresh whole fish and fillets of 3.7 and 3.2%, respectively. When comparing October 2007 and October 2008, there was a 6.1% decrease.

0.1% higher than 2007 YTD. Chilean fillets, however, were 2.0% below YTD 2007 levels. Month-to-month data showed an overall increase. October 2008 saw a 1.9% increase from September 2008 but was 10.6% lower than October 2007. Chilean fillets this month were up 4.5% in contrast to September 2008 levels. October 2008 was 13.1% lower than October 2007. Canadian fillets, while still significantly lower in volume, continued to see high YTD increases of 48.7% over YTD 2007. The Chilean fillet market continued its downward pricing trend in December. Pricing for 2- to 3-lb fillets fell U.S. $0.35. December typically sees pricing trending the same as November, but this year, all sizes trended lower. The five-year average for 23s showed an approximate $0.04 drop. Currently, the Chilean fillet market ranges barely steady to weak on all sizes. Supplies range fully adequate to ample, with lower offerings on all sizes. Demand remains lackluster, and buying activity is limited. 2008 pricing is now trending below the three-year average on all sizes.

Whole Fish

October 2008 YTD figures for whole fish imports increased 2.7% when compared to last year’s YTD levels. Month-to-month, imports were up 3.7% from September 2008 levels. October 2007 to October 2008 figures were down 4.4%. With data 6.5% over 2007 levels, Canadian whole fish imports continued to see YTD increases. For October 2008, Canadian data decreased 3.8% from September 2008 but increased 1.1% when compared to October figures in the same time period last year. In the Northeast, the month of December continued to see downward pricing on all sizes, and similar to November, pricing continued to decrease. Larger fish – 12-14s, 14-16s and 16-18s – saw the largest decreases. Supplies were fully adequate to ample, while demand was dull for most of the month. West Coast and European whole fish remained readily available and caused added downward pricing pressure. Looking at pricing, all sizes are now lower than the threeyear average. The West Coast whole fish market continues to see steep decreases, especially for larger whole fish. For example, 14- to 16-lb fish saw a U.S. $1.04 decrease since the end of November. December is following a similar pattern to 2007, when December, November and October saw lower quotations each month. Pricing for West Coast fish is trending well below the three-year average levels.


Import levels for fillets rose slightly this month and were

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January/February 2009


Frozen Tilapia Fillets Jump, Fresh Fillets About Steady U.S. imports of tilapia are now nearly on par with last year’s levels. Production in China has improved noticeably, yet shipments from that country continue to be lower on a YTD basis. Fresh fillets from China are still appearing on the Census Bureau report. A downward trend in prices persists in the market, mainly due to a weak economic climate.

Whole Fish

Imports of whole fish, although significantly lower than during the previous month, continued to be higher on a YTD basis in October 2008 (Table 3). Imports from China were the only figures showing a YTD decline. This is quite significant, since China and Taiwan covered most of this market until the freeze in China affected production earlier this year. It seems as if lower production from the largest supplier country contradicts higher overall whole fish imports.

Fresh Fillets

Removing imports of fresh fillets from China and Taiwan, October 2008 YTD imports were 0.64% lower when compared to a year ago. Thus, if there were no fresh shipments from China, then supply was in fact negative. It is still unknown if this product is being traded in the U.S. market. Higher prices throughout the year do not hold true as a consequence of a tight supply due to the many inflationary pressures experienced on commodities, high feed costs and a weak dollar. Pricing for tilapia fillets held steady during the time when many seafood commodities began collapsing. However, fresh

Chilean salmon fillet imports rose in October 2008 but were 10% lower than in October 2007.

tilapia fillets were under pricing pressure just prior to the Thanksgiving festivities. Lower sales have been noted sporadically, while the undertone is about steady.

Frozen Fillets

October 2008 marked the third-largest inflow of frozen fillets into the U.S. YTD imports from China of close to 12 million lbs were only 7.7% below year-ago levels. Bookings for new product began increasing as C & F offerings from China declined. In the do-

Tale 3. Snapshot of U.S. tilapia imports, Octoer 28. Form Frozen whole fish Fresh fillets Frozen fillets Total

Octoer 28 Septemer 28 Change (l) (l) (Month) 8,555,631 4,374,150 21,768,574 34,698,355

10,346,636 5,028,660 18,020,047 33,395,343

-17.3% -13.0% 20.8% 3.9%

Sources: U.S. Census, Urner Barry Publications, Inc.


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Octoer 2 (l)

Change (Year)

YTD 28 (l)

YTD 2 (l)

Change (Year)

6,933,811 4,796,797 18,120,693 29,851,301

23.4% -8.8% 20.1% 16.2%

94,810,639 53,870,753 168,406,877 317,088,269

86,811,864 48,836,868 178,964,185 314,612,917

9.2% 10.3% -5.9% 0.8%

mestic market, supplies have been ample and prices have come off. YTD total imports were only 5.9% lower than a year ago. Monthly imports appeared to show the usual seasonal steady increase since September. Although pricing has trended lower since September, some importers have been negatively affected due to higher carrying costs – selling at cost or even at a loss. However, there have also been those with more sound financial schemes capable of pricing current holdings at a lower level due to reduced replacement costs. Pricing for 3-5s was under downward pricing pressure due to ample inventories, while 5-7s were about steady. Supplies of 7-9s, on the other hand, were just adequate for a moderate demand.

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food safety and technology

George J. Flick, Jr., Ph.D.

Food Science and Technology Department Virginia Tech/Virginia Sea Grant (0418) Blacksburg, Virginia 24061 USA

Seafood Packaging

Any additives used in packaging materials, must be safe and not interact with food.

Part III. Package/Product Interactions Packaging materials and additives can directly affect the seafood products they are designed to contain. Food packaging interactions include transport of gases, vapors, water or other low-molecularweight compounds, and may induce chemical changes in the food, the package or both. Three main types of interaction occur at the interface between packaging and the food product: permeation of oxygen, odors or moisture; sorption or aroma loss and migration of additives or odors. Migration results in mass transfer of an additive from the package material to the food. This transfer can increase the risk of chemical hazards and/or formation of off-flavors. Any substance that migrates from package material into food is of concern if it could be harmful to the consumer. Even if the substance is not particularly harmful, it could have adverse effects on the flavor and acceptability of the food. Consequently, additives in packaging materials must be safe and suitable for their purposes, and adhere to require-

ments limiting migration to foods.

Plastics Issues

The increasing use of plastics in food packaging has lead to a greater interest in the area of mass transport. Polymers are not totally inert in direct contact with packaged fish and shellfish products. Flexible plastic materials often contain functional additives or processing aids, such as catalysts, antioxidants, heat stabilizers, plasticizers and colorants. Most of these additives are used in small amounts, usually at around 1-2% of the materials. Polymers are susceptible to oxidation, which leads to increased brittleness and loss of strength. Films containing antioxidants at 0.001-1.000% protect against the oxidative deterioration of food products by providing a functional barrier to oxygen and/or inhibiting auto-oxidation of the product.

Packaging Regulation

During recent years, considerable attention from nongovernmental organizations and regulatory agencies has been


focused on food packaging materials, especially plastics. In a number of countries, extensive legislation has been formulated. Such legislation often takes the form of a list of permitted substances accompanied either by compositional limits or migration limits for foods or liquids. In many countries, this approach has not been followed due to the general lack of fundamental information on which to base such a system. Instead, the countries have opted for a basic legislative framework supported by informal controls that rely to a large extent on close cooperation between industry and government. It is thus recognized that any future legislation should be made on a sound scientific basis to afford adequate protection to consumers.

Study Results Vary

A recent study of 26 packages of canned fish and two packages of fish products in multilayer laminated film showed that components of the packaging materials did appear in the food products. Twelve canned fish samples contained chemicals from the can lining, and one of the laminated film packages showed a migration from the glue of the laminated film into the fish. Studies using high-pressure processing at 800 MPa for five or 10 minutes at 40 or 60ยบ C showed no migration of antioxidants from a polypropylene film into the food product. Another high-pressure processing study found no migration of selected polymeric materials caused by

Some substances can migrate from plastics and other package materials into seafood. Even if the substances are not harmful, they can affect the flavor and acceptability of the food. Consequently, additives in packaging materials must be safe and adhere to requirements limiting migration to foods. The addition of antimicrobials to packaging can help reduce surface contamination of processed seafood by spoilage or pathogenic microbial organisms. 26

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exposure to pressures as high as 827 MPa for 10 minutes at temperatures up to 75º C. However, storage time was shown to have an effect on the migration level.

Antimicrobial Packaging

Tale . Biogenic amine indices of sardines stored in air, vacuum packaging and modified-atmosphere packaging. Storage Time (days)


Vacuum Packaging

Modified Atmosphere

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 15

3.5 8.6 16.7 24.8 33.2 35.9 42.0 43.3

Not tested 4.6 10.1 16.8 21.6 27.2 24.0 23.7

Not tested 3.5 6.1 9.7 12.2 19.7 18.1 14.4

Antimicrobials have been used for many years as direct food additives. There is substantial evidence that some of these additives are also effective as indirect additives incorporated into food packaging materials. Antimicrobial food packaging is directed toward the reduction of surface contamination of processed, prepared products such as sliced, cold-smoked salmon. The use of such packaging materials is not meant to substitute for good manufacturing or sanitary practices, but it could be a secondary source of food safety by limiting the growth of spoilage or pathogenic microbial organisms. For example, the coating of low-density polyethylene film or barrier films with methylcellulose as a carrier for the bacteriocin nisin has significantly reduced the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in vacuum-packaged food. Other research has shown that the use of chitosan inhibited the growth of L. monocytogenes, and chlorine dioxide sachets reduced Salmonella counts on modified-packaged meats. In another study, fresh oysters were wrapped in antimicrobial films coated with a bacteriocin incorporated into a polyamide binder layer. The packaged oysters were stored at 3 and 10º C and monitored to determine their quality and shelf life extension. The effects of the coating on coliform microflora were more pronounced at 10 than at 3º C, while the effects on total aerobic bacteria were consistently evident at both temperatures. Based on a total aerobic bacterial count of 7 log10/g as a microbial criterion, the use of bacteriocincoated film at 10º C could extend the shelf life of oysters to 12 days compared to a maximum of nine days with the use of plain film.

Biogenic Amine Formation

The biogenic amine index (mg/100 g of histamine plus putrescine, cadaverine and tyramine) of sardines, Sardina pilchardus, was determined in product stored at 4º C for up to 15 days in air, vacuum packaging and modified-atmos-

phere packaging (MAP) with 60% carbon dioxide and 40% nitrogen. The sardines were organoleptically acceptable for up to three days in air, nine days in vacuum packaging and 12 days in MAP. The biogenic amine index generally increased with increasing storage time (Table 1). The amine contents were highest in sardines stored in air, followed by vacuum packaging and MAP. However, when garfish, Belone belone, were stored at 0 or 5º C in air or MAP (40% carbon dioxide, 60% nitrogen), no significant difference in histamine formation was caused by the microorganism Photobacterium phosphorem. Conversely, biogenic amine profiles for wild sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, stored in ice at 4º C and wrapped in aluminum foil and cling wrap were studied for up to 12 days of storage. Histamine was detected in both samples at the end of the storage time. Other biogenic amines increased in concentration as storage time increased. The levels of biogenic amines were significantly higher in sea bass stored in the cling film and aluminum foil as compared with the iced storage conditions.

MAP Considerations

While MAP has been shown to offer a variety of benefits, seafood purveyors should consider multiple factors when making decisions regarding packaging. Among these considerations are cost, expected storage time, the nature of the product being packaged, the effects of MAP on organoleptic qualities of the product, federal regulations, and the possibility of chemical migration from the packaging due to processing, storage conditions and handling of the product prior to consumption. When MAP is used, caution is also needed to address the potential for growth and toxin production by certain microorganisms.


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marine fish

Cobia Culture Global Production, Markets, Challenges

Michael H. Schwarz, Ph.D. Virginia Tech Virginia Seafood AREC 102 South King Street Hampton, Virginia 23669 USA

Niels Svennevig, Ph.D.

Tropical Center SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture Trondheim, Norway

pen production. In North America, significant initiatives are under way to develop production in indoor intensive recirculating aquaculture production systems. These trends are driven by environmental as well as regulatory issues, in addition to enhanced production and product biosecurity concerns.


Global markets for cobia can be described as fragmented, with significant variation among countries, and even regions within countries. These variations are directly related to low production levels and will moderate as production begins to increase. Long-term projections put cobia production at levels sufficient to reflect commodity sector characteristics. Aside from Taiwanese markets, which prefer larger fish, there is a general trend in Asia In Asia, Taiwan is the most visible market, toward smaller cobia. although there likely is also strong interest on the China mainland. In 1995, Taiwan proGlobally, the culture of cobia, Rachycentron canadum, began duced 200 mt – and the farmers considered it impossible to marin earnest in Taiwan in 1993. Today, cobia production initiatives ket larger volumes – but Taiwan’s cobia consumption has reached are spread globally in tropical and subtropical latitudes. The coun4,000 mt. In addition to the effects of the cold 2007-2008 winter, tries with ongoing production include China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan is experiencing production constraints and is not expected Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Australia, United to significantly increase its production. At present, larger cobia States, Belize, Dominican Republic, Panama, Mexico and Brazil. over 7 kg in size are imported from mainland China and Vietnam. Cobia are also produced in Reunion and Mayotte in the southern The domestic Taiwanese production, especially from the Indian Ocean. Penghu Islands, is sold at attractive prices for fish up to 5.5 kg, At present, the global economic slowdown has negatively afwith values up to U.S. $6/kg due to branding. The development of fected numerous expansion efforts around the world. An additioncobia markets in Taiwan benefited from a strong, centralized naal regional constraint in the southeastern Chinese and northern tional initiative to enhance offshore farming. Vietnamese coastal areas has been the exceptionally low temperaIn Vietnam, domestic production is increasingly sold at martures experienced during the winter of 2007-2008, which caused kets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Fish sold into the local marlarge reductions in output during 2008. These constraints howevket are around 5 kg each. The average price to the farmers is er, are expected to be short-term interruptions in what eventually around U.S. $4.5/kg for fish in the round. will likely become a significant species in global marine aquaculIn mainland China, cobia prices have been as low as U.S. ture. $3.5/kg for 5-kg fish, leading many producers to switch to pompano culture. Aside from Taiwanese markets, there is a general Production trend in Asia for smaller cobia, even as little as 2 kg. This shift While official numbers are lower, conservative 2007-2008 comay be more producer driven than market driven, because farmbia production numbers for the Asia Pacific region exceed 35,000 ers experience higher feed-conversion rates when producing fish mt annually, with remaining global production adding an addilarger than 5 kg. tional 2,000 mt. The majority of global production is generated in Presently in Australia, the farm gate price for cobia is around nearshore net pens, with trends also moving toward offshore net


The Asia Pacific region produces about 35,000 of the total 37,000 mt of annual cobia production. Most culture is done in nearshore net pens, with trends also moving toward offshore pens and even intensive indoor systems. Vietnam is the largest market, while other markets relate to production levels. Challenges include reliance upon wild broodstock, parasites and other disease issues, and a need for increased marketing. 28

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Although breeding research continues, production researchers and industry still rely primarily upon wild cobia broodstock.

AUD 10/kg (U.S. $7/kg) for whole fish. This is competitive with other domestically cultivated species such as barramundi and yellowtail. As such, a percentage of future barramundi production is expected to shift to cobia as in-country cobia hatchery capacity gears up. In 2005, headed and gutted cobia from the Caribbean were running FOB in Miami, Florida, USA, about U.S. $10/kg. In 2008, fresh headed, gutted and tailed cobia “bullets� from Central America ran $13/kg FOB Boston, with fresh fillets at $26/kg or so. Furthermore, wild product is seasonally available in the United States in Gulf Coast and southeast Atlantic states. In Virginia, 2008 retail prices for wild-caught cobia were in the $35-40/kg range for skinless fillets. In the South Indian Ocean, 100% of the cultured cobia production from Reunion and Mayotte is sold into local markets. For 2008, farm gate prices averaged 10 euros/kg (U.S. $14.28/kg) for fresh whole fish. The maximum price for skin-on fillets has been 22 euros/kg (U.S. $31.43/kg).


Broodstock Among the greatest challenges associated with cobia broodstock is the relationship of their size to net pen or hatchery system requirements. This has effectively resulted in a lack of genetic selection and the potential for loss of genetic diversity, as well as continued reliance by research and industry on imported wild broodstock. This reliance upon wild broodstock poses significant biosecurity risks in the attempt to produce specific pathogen-free offspring. In addition, there is a general lack of understanding of broodstock nutrition and resultant fry quantity and quality production issues in the Americas. This appears to be less of an issue in Asia, where trash fish or other wild fishery coproducts are commonly fed in productions pens, which in turn supply populations for broodstock selection. Diseases While diseases can be controlled and often eliminated through biosecure practices in intensive recirculating systems, the majority of global cobia production presently takes place in net pen and cage culture. These systems, as well as hatcheries, can have significant disease issues related to Amyloodinium, Benedenia, Pasteurella and vibrios. In daily operations, most net

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January/February 2009


Ongoing feed research is beginning to focus upon finishing feeds to counteract the nutritional and other traits that can be compromised during growout on diets with low levels of fishmeal and fish oil.

pen and cage culture farmers identify parasites as one of their greatest production problems.

Production Diets While ongoing research is promising for significant replacement of fishmeal and fish oils in cobia growout diets, a high percentage of fishmeal is still characteristic of most commercially available pelletized cobia feeds. Ongoing research is beginning to focus upon the finishing feeds that will be necessary to counteract nutritional, texture and consumer acceptance profiles, which can be compromised during growout on diets with low levels of fishmeal and fish oil. Furthermore, present production diets yield feed-conversion ratios around 2.5 or higher. Further research is needed to reduce this ratio by improving feeds, as well as to develop more consumer-tailored feed formulations and feeding management. Marketing and Promotion Among the greatest of challenges for increasing commercial


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production of cobia is the continued development of markets. While well known in temperate coastal communities where this fish is indigenous during its summer migrations, as well as the tropics, this product has never been landed in any large volume. Likewise, outside coastal areas, it often has never been seen, much less promoted in mainstream distribution networks. This is true for the United States and European Union, as well as other potential markets around the world. This necessitates significant generic marketing initiatives to handle the anticipated increases in product volume.

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marine fish

Marty Riche, Ph.D.

Charles R. Weirich, Ph.D. Timothy J. Pfeiffer, Ph.D.

Sustainable Marine Aquaculture Systems USDA Agricultural Research Service 5600 U.S. 1 North Fort Pierce, Florida 34946 USA

Paul S. Wills, Ph.D. Megan Davis, Ph.D.

Center for Aquaculture and Stock Enhancement Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University Fort Pierce, Florida, USA

Trials Advance Low-Salinity Culture Of Cobia, Pompano, Other Species

In trials in recirculating systems, cobia and pompano were grown to market size in a relatively short period of time.

A collaborative effort between the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the United States Department of Agriculture and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University established to develop technologies for rearing marine fish in lowcost, energy-efficient, low-salinity recirculating aquaculture systems is making strides. The program brings together a diverse group of researchers and utilizes a holistic, integrated approach to address bottlenecks in reproduction, larval culture, nutrition, recirculating system design and components, and management and production strategies for growing marine fish to market size. Work has been conducted with species as diverse as southern flounder, summer flounder, hybrid striped bass and black sea bass. More recently, research is focusing on developing technologies to rear Florida pompano and cobia from egg to market.

Reproduction and Larviculture

The development of methods to ensure sustainable, consistent supplies of seedstock for growout operations remains a priority. To date, captive broodstock populations of pompano and black sea bass have been established from wild-caught fish as well as mature F1 animals produced at the ARS facility at Harbor Branch Oceanic Institute.


Protocols have been developed for predictable volitional spawning throughout the year via the use of hormonal inducement for both species. In addition, fecundity, fertilization rates and hatching success have been documented during numerous spawning trials conducted over the last four years. Ongoing research is designed to determine optimal broodstock sex ratios for pompano, as well as photothermal regimes and environmental cues to achieve natural spawning on a year-round basis. The larval production research has led to the establishment of baseline protocols for the mass production of juvenile pompano in recirculating systems while refining methods that result in improved growth and survival, and reduced time to metamorphosis. For example, growth and developmental characteristics, including predicted mouth gape at a given age in larval pompano and black sea bass, have been documented through the use of image analysis. With this information, optimal prey size can be determined, allowing the development of improved feed transition schedules, faster growth and better survival. Improved live feed quality for pompano larvae is also being addressed. Evaluation of various commercial enrichment formulations for rotifers and Artemia suggested the enrichment of rotifers can be cut from 12 hours to three hours – greatly reducing time and cost. Initial cofeeding experiments to reduce the use of

Collaborative research in Florida, USA, is developing technologies for rearing marine fish in low-cost, low-salinity recirculating systems. Spawning and larval production studies have led to the mass production of juveniles. Further work is improving live feed quality and testing sustainable growout feeds. Rearing trials have grown pompano and cobia to market size in a relatively short period of time. 32

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Artemia by weaning pompano onto microparticulate diets as soon as possible indicated weaning can coincide with metamorphosis at 16 to 18 days after hatching. The authors are also evaluating compounds for use as feeding attractants to increase the growth and survival of early postmetamorphic pompano.

Nutrition and Physiology

Optimum growth and efficiency in fish depend on feeds that are balanced to meet nutrient and energy requirements. The authors determined that optimal growth in black sea bass was Growth and developmental characteristics, such achieved at 45% dietary protein. Dias mouth gape in larval fish, have been etary energy was increased by increas- documented through digital image analysis. ing dietary lipid levels, with 10% dietary lipid resulting in the best performance and higher lipid levels. Pompano grew best when dietary protein was 48% (37% digestible protein). However, to attain the greatest growth and efficiency, pompano required 18% dietary lipid – more than for black sea bass. Additionally, the diets developed for black sea bass performed well when the fish were reared in decreasing salinity down to 10 ppt. Conversely, pompano did not perform as well when reared at a salinity below 1 ppt, suggesting the diets did not meet their requirements at that salinity. Work is ongoing to address this issue, as well as the determination of essential amino acid requirements for pompano. As with other carnivorous species, black sea bass and pompano grow and perform well when the principal component of dietary protein is fishmeal. However, fishmeal is expensive, and supplies are anticipated to dwindle. Therefore to achieve economic and ecological sustainability, the authors are evaluating alternatives to fishmeal protein. They have determined protein and energy digestibility, and amino acid availability from soy products, corn gluten meal, meat-and-bone meal, distillers’ dried grains and various poultry by-product meals and blended meals in pompano cultured at high and low salinities. Nutrient availability was generally high for the plant proteins and poultry processing products. Growth experiments were conducted to determine the amount of soybean meal and soy protein isolate that could replace fishmeal in pompano diets. Results suggested soybean meal could replace up to 80% of fishmeal, whereas more than 40% replacement with soy protein isolate significantly decreased growth and efficiency. Additionally, an evaluation of five poultry processing coproducts substituted for 75% of the fishmeal protein in a fishmeal/soybean meal diet found the pompano grew as well over 10 weeks as the fish fed the control diet.

Engineering Advances

A key area of interest is to decrease the amount of energy – and accompanying cost – required for moving water in recirculating systems. The most common method for moving water in a recirculating aquaculture system is use of a centrifugal pump. However, airlift pumps offer a simpler alternative with lower capital and operational costs that uses the buoyancy of the entrained air bubbles to lift the water. The authors evaluated the use of airlift pumps in a 7.9-m3 circular fiberglass tank with 1-m water depth. Water moved by gravity down a polyvinyl chloride approach pipe to a 10-cm-diameter airlift riser pipe and was airlifted back into the tank using air supplied by a regenerative blower. The static water lift back into the tank was no more than 30.5 cm to maintain a submergence:lift ratio greater than 80%. Additionally, the water velocity in the approach pipe was at least 61.0 cm/second, and the water flow velocity in the riser pipe was at least 30.5 cm/second. Results indicated the dynamic head increased with increasing water flow. A greater freeboard in the tank increased the airlift needs, and consequently, a greater air flow was required to maintain a set flow rate in the tank. Also, by placing the air injection lower in the riser pipe, a greater flow per unit of air was realized. As a result of this information, the authors are utilizing airlifts for a juvenile produc-

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January/February 2009


Each system had two floating media biofilters with a controller for automatic backwashing. An oxygen contactor and ultraviolet light sterilizer treated the water prior to its return to the culture tanks. A side stream also fed to two degassing columns for carbon dioxide removal. Completed studies evaluated the growout of hybrid striped bass, pompano and cobia to marketable sizes in the recirculating systems. In a 110-day rearing trial, juvenile pompano with initial weights of about 259 g were stocked at two different densities and maintained at a salinity of 5 ppt. At the conclusion of the trial, the mean weights of fish reared at low and high densities – 632 and 570 g, respectively – equaled or exceeded those of wild-caught pompano marketed commercially. Although feed-conversion rates (FCRs) were relatively poor, the reLarval production research has led to baseline protocols for the mass production sults showed that pompano can be reared to market size in recirculating systems with a low-salinity environment. of Florida pompano in recirculating systems. In a similar study, juvenile cobia with 322-g initial tion system with a 30% reduction in energy use. They also evaluweights were reared at three different densities for 119 days in a ated airlift technology for supplying aeration for fish and filter recirculating system. At the conclusion of the trial, the mean needs, as well as degassing in a recirculating system. Other sysweight of fish reared at each density was 2.1 kg, with excellent tem components for total ammonia nitrogen and solids removal, FCR, survival and 42% fillet yield. Results from the initial pomand water, energy and supplemental oxygen use have also been pano- and cobia-rearing trials showed promise in that both evaluated in a low-head system. species were grown to market size in a relatively short period of time. Production of Market-Size Fish To expand on these results, studies are planned to evaluate To collect production data on market-size fish, the authors utifactors such as increased culture density, feed rate and frequency, lized four replicate four-tank systems. The 3-m-diameter tanks inas well as finishing diets to improve FCR. In addition, research on corporated dual drains with solids removal carried out using swirl technologies for the remediation of system-induced off-flavors separators and a rotating microscreen drum filter on each system. and economic analyses of production costs are ongoing.


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marine fish

Dr. John Forster Forster Consulting Inc. 533 East Park Avenue Port Angeles, Washington 98362-6937 USA

Marine Farms Belize Norwegian Company Cultures Cobia in Caribbean

After an extensive search throughout the Caribbean, the Norwegian company Marine Farms ASA – a publicly listed company with aquaculture operations in Norway, Scotland, Spain, Belize and Vietnam – selected Belize as the country in which to develop its new cobia-farming business. A detailed study of the Belize coastline was undertaken, and two sites were selected for initial development. An environmental assessment of each was then completed and submitted to Belize government agencies for review. Marine Farms was granted leases on the two sites.

Project Development

A new wholly owned subsidiary, Marine Farms Belize Ltd. (MFB), was established to develop the business. Early in 2006, property was purchased just south of Belize City to serve as the company’s base and headquarters. This base provides all logistical support for farm operations, including a harbor and loading dock for work boats, a net and equipment maintenance facility, ice plant, feed store and office.

The first farm was installed during the first half of 2006 adjacent to an island known as Robinson Caye. This farm was equipped with 10, 19.1-m-diameter cages and seven 31.8-m-diameter cages stocked with juvenile cobia from 5-m-square nursery cages installed in a sheltered bay nearby. The first juveniles were stocked in the nursery cages in August 2006. The cobia were shipped by air from Florida, USA, where Marine Farms operated a small marine fish hatchery known as the Aquaculture Center of the Florida Keys (ACFK). This hatchery shipped over 100,000 juvenile cobia to Belize in 2006 and 2007, but was closed at the end of 2007 because the saline ground water it used for larval rearing had deteriorated in quality. This, in turn, caused MFB to accelerate plans to build a hatchery in Belize.

Management Team

MFB is managed by Owen Stevens, who prior to this appointment managed ACFK. A primary task for him and Production Manager Bjorn Myklebust, an experienced cage farm manager from Norway,


was to hire and train local staff to operate the farm. Having fished commercially, many Belizeans have good marine skills, but the operation of a modern fish farm was entirely new to them. They learned quickly, however, and a team that includes groups working at the shore base on net cleaning, general maintenance, fish health, water quality testing and oversight of processing and shipping of the finished product was established. Early in 2008, as this team grew, Philip Nicolson also joined MFB, bringing with him extensive fish farming experience from Scotland, Spain and Chile.

Production, Sales

At the end of 2008, MFB was shipping up to 5,440 kg of cobia “bullets” weekly to the United States. A bullet is a headed and gutted fish with the tail removed. This processing is done at Fresh Catch Ltd., a modern, HACCP-approved plant one hour by truck from MFB’s shore base. Fresh Catch boxes the fish in 50-lb (22.7-kg) boxes with gel ice ready to be shipped by air to Miami, Florida, using scheduled airline cargo services or a charter air freight company. Due to fuel surcharges, the cost of air freight has increased in recent months, so trials of shipping by sea are being undertaken. This is feasible because distances from Belize to southern U.S. ports are quite short. Sales of MFB’s cobia in the U.S. are handled by the Aquagold Seafood Co. in Weston, Florida. There is interest in cobia in several parts of the U.S., but the fish are still not well known by most U.S. consumers. It will take investment in marketing and promotion before cobia’s quality attributes become generally accepted. Accordingly, MFB has launched a market development program working with chefs through the Culinary Institute of America to increase their familiarity with

Marine Farms Belize began establishing cobia farm facilities and infrastructure in Belize in 2006. A hatchery and second farm site are under construction. At the end of 2008, MFB was shipping up to 5,440 kg of cobia “bullets” weekly to the United States, where there is consumer interest in the fish in several areas. Ongoing promotion of cobia’s quality attributes will help the fish become more widely accepted. 36

January/February 2009

global aquaculture advocate

Fresh Catch Ltd. processes up to 5,440 kg of Marine Farms cobia “bullets” weekly for shipment to the United States.

When in full operation, MFB’s Dangriga hatchery will employ 10 people and produce several million juvenile cobia annually.

cobia and develop recipes and different ways of preparing it. Some of these are shown on MFB’s website at The effort has resulted in new and creative ideas for using cobia in restaurants and in extremely positive feedback from some chefs. It has also resulted in favorable coverage in the culinary pages of some regional newspapers, which is helping to establish the image of cobia among chefs and consumers as a premium seafood item.

Expansion Activities

Looking ahead, Marine Farms Belize has ambitious goals to expand production, including completion of its hatchery and


January/February 2009

establishment of a second farm. The hatchery is being built on land just north of Dangriga that was an inactive shrimp farm. Its construction is being overseen by Jorge Alarcon, a master’s program graduate from the University of Miami who also worked at ACFK. He is assisted by Chris Kiser, another transfer from ACFK. When in full operation, the hatchery will employ 10 people and have the capacity to produce several million juvenile cobia per year. It will also provide space for a cobia family-breeding program that will allow MFB to establish genetic lines of local broodstock that offer superior farm performance. As cobia farming develops further, MFB expects to make juveniles from the Dangriga hatchery avail-

global aquaculture advocate

able for sale to third parties. Development of the second farm was started in 2008. It is located 6.4 km south of the Robinson Caye farm, adjacent to Simmons Caye. The farm presently has four 31.8-m-diameter cages, two of which were stocked with the leading juveniles from the 2008 year class. In addition, a new feed and operations barge is moored at the site. The barge is equipped with staff accommodations, feed storage and automatic systems that feed fish to an optimal schedule. In addition to its operation in Belize, Marine Farms is developing a cobia business in Vietnam, where conditions for farming this species are also very good. These investments reflect a commitment by Marine Farms to cobia as one the most promising of the new marine aquaculture species.

marine fish Philippines Farmers Apply ASA-IM High-Density Technology to Raise Marine Fish

The American Soybean Association – International Marketing (ASA-IM) program Soy-In-Aquaculture project in the Philippines has introduced low-volume, high-density (LVHD) cage culture production methodology for use with high-value marine species. This technology was developed by ASA-IM in China with the aims of maximizing farmers’ profits, improving productivity, reducing feed-conversion ratios and limiting environmental degradation. The system maximizes production through the use of good cage site selection, proper cage positioning, maximum cage volumes and densities, high-quality extruded floating feeds and proper feed management to reduce or prevent disease.

Cage Design, Orientation

The water quality at LVHD sites can be

controlled using a target biomass and specific cage designs and orientation. In marine cages, a final harvest biomass of 5075 kg/m3 is targeted based on effective water volume enclosed by the cage and surrounding conditions. The cage design and net mesh size should allow good water exchange inside the cages to maintain dissolved oxygen at a safe level throughout the period of the culture. Cages should be oriented perpendicular to the water current and positioned with at least one cage width between cages in each row. Cage rows should be positioned far enough apart to permit good water exchange.


One of the most important aspects of a formulated feed-based system is strict feed management using high-quality feeds.

An important element of the LVHD cage system is to secondarily contain feed within the main cage to minimize waste.

Levy Loreto L. Manalac American Soybean Association – International Marketing 37 Bonuan Sabangan, Bonuan Gueset Dagupan City, Pangasinan 2400 Philippines

Dr. Michael C. Cremer

American Soybean Association – International Marketing St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Lukas Manomaitis

American Soybean Association – International Marketing Southeast Asia Representative Office Singapore

Feed is the most expensive part of any production scheme, accounting for 70-80% of the production cost, and therefore should be used effectively and efficiently. Soy-In-Aquaculture research has shown that the highest production efficiency is obtained using a floating, extruded feed with a feed enclosure to keep feeds within the cage during feeding. The ASA-IM 90%-satiation feeding technique was also developed to help limit wastage of feed.

Introduction of Technology

In the Philippines, fish farmers usually used high-volume, low-density cages of 180-1,000 m3 size and fed pelletized sinking feeds ad libitum to produce 10-15 kg/ m3 at harvest. They also typically did not change mesh sizes during culture and paid little attention to water exchange in the cage. This led them to believe that a harvest biomass of less than 20 kg/m3 was the maximum they could achieve. Initially, Philippine fish farmers were very conservative and hesitant about adopting the LVHD technology, and particularly the new feeding techniques using extruded feeds with high-value marine fish species. This conservative attitude was highlighted with two projects in 2007 using pompano, Trachinotus blochii, in cage-feeding demonstrations conducted at Alsons Aquaculture Corp. in Davao del Sur, Philippines, and Reprotech Inc. in Negros Oriental, Philippines.


American Soybean Association – International Marketing’s Soy-In-Aquaculture project in the Philippines has introduced low-volume, high-density cage culture production methodology for use with high-value marine species. The technology was developed to maximize farmers’ profits, improve productivity, reduce feed-conversion ratios and limit environmental degradation. Important design considerations include cage size and orientation, use of extruded floating feeds with secondary feed enclosures, cage mesh size and sufficient water exchange. global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009


farmers other ways to culture high-value marine fish using smaller cages and higher target densities. It provided close technical support to demonstrate the LVHD cage culture system and continually trained feed managers in the proper way of using the 90%-satiation feeding technique throughout the production cycle. Advice on the proper design and placement of feed enclosures helped prevent floating feed from exiting the cages. This system also taught the farmers the importance of monitoring the relationship of the size of the net mesh to the size of the fish for good water exchange inside the cage.

Perspectives Harvested pompano are packed in chilled ice at Alsons Aquaculture Corp. in Davao Del Sur, Philippines.

These projects used three 8- or 27-m3 floating cages, respectively, that targeted a final biomass of 50 kg/m3 of fish harvested at the conclusion of the projects using a 43%-protein, 12%-fat domestically produced, extruded floating aquafeed. Some of the difficulties seen in adopting the cage production technology were the incorrect application of the 90%-satia-

tion feeding technique, improper use of feed enclosures in the cages and particular lack of attention paid to cage mesh size and the water exchange capability of the system, which are critical for good results in a high-density system.

Technical Support

Despite some challenges encountered in implementing the new technology, the farmers were able to realize the benefits of adopting the new technology compared to their traditional commercial cage culture methods. They had cost savings on both feed consumption and labor using the 90%-satiation feeding method without sacrificing fish growth. Using extruded floating feeds helped the farmers better manage their feed use as well as limit environment degradation.

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The ASA-IM program helped show

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January/February 2009

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marine fish


Dr. Sungchul C. Bai

Okorie E. Okorie

Department of Aquaculture/Feeds Foods Nutrition Research Center Pukyong National University Busan 608-737, Republic of Korea

production consistently increased.

Production Areas

Most Korean rockfish are cultured in net cages off the Korean coast.

The Korean rockfish seems to be specifically a Korean species. According to the database of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Korea accounted for all the global Korean rockfish production in 2006, although countries such as Canada, the United States and Nigeria produced other species of rockfish in the statistical year. Production of the Korean rockfish, Sebastes schlegeli, ranked it second among Korean mariculture finfish species in 2007. The bulk of the Korean rockfish is produced through aquaculture. Of the 39,601 mt of Korean rockfish produced in 2007, 35,564 mt or 89.8% came from aquaculture, while only 4,037 mt were capture production (Table 1). For over a decade, aquaculture has contributed over half of the total Korean rockfish production. The desirable culture characteristics of this species include high tolerance to water temperature changes, ease of fry production due to the ovoviviparous reproductive system of the fish and the ability to withstand high stocking density. Since the development of commercial culture systems for Korean rockfish in Korea in 1987, production of this species increased rapidly. No production statistics were available before 1993. In 1993, the Korean rockfish production was 679 mt. As shown in Table 1, volume increased to 2,036 mt in 1996, peaked at 14,634 mt in 1998 and fluctuated until 2004. Since 2004, the

Most of the Korean rockfish is cultured in Gyeongsangnam-do, the southeastern part of Korea. The region contributed 24,273 mt or 68.25% of the country’s output in 2007. This was followed by Jeollanam-do, a province in the southwest, with production of 7,375 mt or 20.74%. Other production areas included Gyeongsangbuk-do, Chungcheongnam-do, Ulsan, Busan, Gyeonggi-do and Gangwondo. In terms of Korean rockfish aquaculture production value, Gyeongsangnam-do played the leading role in 2007 by generating U.S. $122.14 million or about 62% of the $197.55 million total. Jeollanam-do produced $48.07 million. Contributions from the other production areas totaled about 14% of the overall production.

Seedstock Production

Hatcheries produce Korean rockfish seedlings in cylindrical or rectangular indoor tanks. Mature fish of 30- to 40-cm length give birth during April and May to 100,000-200,000 larvae. At 5.7 mm, early larvae are relatively big and start feeding shortly after birth. For the first 10 days, they are fed rotifers at a density of 10 individuals/ml. From 11 to about 30 days after birth, Artemia are fed at the density of 1-3 individuals/ml. Mixed feed with gradually increasing particle size and quantity is supplied from the third day after birth. The live food, rotifers and Artemia should be enriched with Chlorella algae. The population density is 5,000-7,500 larvae/m3. When fry reach a size of 2 cm, population density of 2,300 larvae/m3 is appropriate. When they reach 3 cm, the density should be reduced to 2,000 larvae/m3. Great variation in fish size can lead to cannibalism. Hence, sorting and grading of fish is necessary. Finger-


Korea’s production of Korean rockfish peaked in 1998, fluctuated until 2004 and consistently increased since. Hatcheries produce Korean rockfish seedlings in indoor tanks, where sorting and grading is necessary to avoid cannibalism. Korean rockfish grow well at relatively low water temperatures in net cages. Production and supply control agreements among companies and more advertising could help improve pricing and increase profits. global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009

Tale . Korean rockfish production, 6 to 2. Culture production (mt) Capture production (mt) Total production (mt) Culture value (U.S. $, millions)







































11,380 12,095


















lings are sold when they are 5 cm long.

Culture Systems, Practices

Korean rockfish are mainly cultured in net cages, although some are raised in ponds. The cages are typically 5 m x 5 m or 10


m x 10 m. Seedlings are raised to weights of 500 g-1 kg in 18-24 months in these systems. The population density is 700-1,000 fish/m3 at sizes of 4-5 cm and 300-500 fish/m3 at lengths over 8 cm. Korean rockfish grow well at relatively low water temperatures. Hence, water should be exchanged more often and population density reduced to half the normal level during summer. Fish should be fed two or three times daily when they are young with the feeding rate and frequency reduced depending on the growth of fish. They are usually fed once or twice a day by the time they are ready to be sold. During the winter with low water temperatures, it is advisable to feed fish every other day depending on water temperature.


Korean rockfish are prone to infection in the summer, when the water temperature is relatively high. To prevent diseases, feed must be fresh, and feeding may be temporarily stopped. Viral infection can be prevented by maintaining appropriate population density and implementing immediate responses such as supplemental aeration and use of medication when necessary. Medications must be used with caution, as misuse can negatively impact the immune systems of the fish.

Challenges, Future Prospects


January/February 2009

global aquaculture advocate

The Korean rockfish aquaculture industry is expected to continue to grow, both in quantity and value. However, it faces challenges that include problems associated with live food organisms, pollution, high production costs, low profits due to overproduction and reduced seedling quality. Research to substitute natural live foods with microfeeds is in progress. Research also continues in the area of immunology, especially with the goal of improving seedling quality. Proper timing of shipments, production and supply control agreements among companies and advertising could help improve poor pricing and increase profits. As in other aquaculture sectors, the development of efficient, low-pollution feed will help Korean rockfish aquaculture be more environmentally friendly.

marine fish

Troy C. Rezek, M.S.

Wade O. Watanabe, Ph.D.

University of North Carolina Wilmington Center for Marine Science 601 South College Road Wilmington, North Carolina 28403-5927 USA

James A. Morris, Jr., M.S.

National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration National Ocean Service National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research Beaufort, North Carolina, USA

Neil A. McNeill, B.S.

National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Fisheries Science Center Beaufort, North Carolina, USA


Atlantic Red Porgy

Candidate Species for U.S. Aquaculture

he red porgy, Pagrus pagrus – also known as seabream and silver or pink snapper – is a highly valued marine finfish in the family Sparidae. Red porgy are found in the Mediterranean Sea, eastern Atlantic from the British Isles to Senegal, and western Atlantic from North Carolina, USA, to Mexico, and Venezuela to Argentina. In the coastal Atlantic Ocean off the southeastern United States, red porgy are an important member of the snapper-grouper complex, with stocks currently classified as overfished. Red porgy are protogynous hermaphrodites, beginning life as females and then transforming into males. The seasonal change in photoperiod between winter and spring appears to stimulate gonadal maturation, with spawning typically occurring in late winter to early spring. Commercial production of the red porgy has been demonstrated in the Mediterranean and South America. Due to the high market value of red porgy in U.S. markets and the overfished status of red porgy populations, the fish appears to be a viable candidate for culture in North America.

Collaborative Project

In January 2005, a collaborative partnership among the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ocean Service, National Marine Fisheries Service and University of North Carolina Wilmington Marine Science Aquaculture Program was developed to study aquaculture of the red porgy. The primary objective of this project was to develop methods for broodstock conditioning, egg production, larval culture and juvenile growout. Secondly, it compared the culture performance of Atlantic red porgy with the Mediterranean red porgy to investigate the potential for red porgy culture in North America.


The research was funded by NOAA, the North Carolina Fishery Resource Grant Program and United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.

Broodstock Conditioning

In March 2004, red porgy broodstock were collected off the coast of North Carolina, USA, at a depth of approximately 30 m using rod and reel. The fish were transported to the aquaculture facilities of the NOAA Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort, North Carolina. All fish collected experienced overinflation of the swim bladder and required ventilation by needle at the time of capture. All returned to normal orientation within 24 hours. After an 18-day acclimation period, 20 fish averaging 30.6 cm and 373 g were selected as broodstock and moved to a 30-m3 outdoor tank. Water temperature was adjusted monthly to reflect North Carolina offshore bottom temperatures at depths of 33-37 m. Approximately 15-20% new seawater was exchanged weekly using ambient water from the estuary. Temperatures in the broodstock tank were 30°C during the late summer months of July and August and 15°C during the winter months of January and February. Under these conditions, the 20 red porgy broodstock produced up to 300,000 viable eggs daily during their natural spawning period between January and March 2005, with peak spawning in mid-February (Figure 1).

Larval Culture

For larval culture experiments, eggs were transported in a temperature-controlled plastic bag with seawater and supplemental oxygen to the University of North Carolina Wilmington Aquaculture Facility in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Due to the high market value of red porgy in U.S. markets and the overfished status of its wild populations, the species appears to be a viable candidate for culture in North America. Research by the authors on red porgy broodstock conditioning, larval culture and juvenile growout observed good growth, feed conversion and survival of Atlantic red porgy. Larval survival can be significantly improved once the problem of swim bladder overinflation is resolved. 

January/February 2009

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Viale Eggs (,)

Temperature (°C)



26 24




20 18 16

Temperature Target Temperature

14 12 June 2004


Viable Egg Production

Oct. 2004

Feb. 2005


June 2005

50 0

Oct. 2005

Figure . Spawning duration and egg production of captive red porgy in 2005.

Between January 28 and March 3, the survival and growth of larval red porgy from egg through the metamorphic stages were studied under pilot-scale hatchery conditions. The larval-rearing system consisted of three black 155-l cylindrical tanks, each supplied with 1-µ-filtered flow-through full-strength seawater at an exchange rate of 2.5 times/day. Constant light intensity was maintained at the water surface with 18 hours of daily light. The temperature was kept at 22°C. Nannochloropsis oculata algae was added twice daily to maintain a density of 300,000 cells/ml from one day posthatch until the end of the rotifer feeding period. Three days posthatch, enriched Brachionus rotundiformis rotifers were added to each rearing tank at a density of 6 rotifers/ml. Once feeding commenced, rotifer density was increased to 20/ml. The larvae also received artificial microdiets. Newly hatched Artemia nauplii were introduced at a rate of 0.25/ml 12 days posthatch, and by 17 days, larvae were fed enriched Artemia at a density of 1.2/ml. By day 26, the larvae were completely weaned to artificial dry diets. Larval survival to day 10 posthatch was 75.0 ± 2.2%. At this time, swim bladder overinflation contributed to a significant

Juvenile red porgy in a pilot-scale recirculating system at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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January/February 2009


decline in survival that reached 2.4% by day 35, producing 1,200 postmetamorphic stage juveniles. Larvae reached 11.20 ± 1.12 mm and 29.30 ± 0.55 mg on day 35, and juveniles reached a 55-mm total length 90 days posthatch.

Juvenile Growout

After 36 days, juveniles were transferred from larval-rearing tanks to three 160-l flow-through raceways. Fish were fed a commercially prepared diet containing 55% protein and 15% fat. Environmental conditions were 12 hours light and 22°C. At 55 days posthatch, fish averaged a 0.58-g weight and 28.2mm total length. They grew to 2.44 g and 48.6 mm 20 days later. By 91 days, juvenile red porgy averaged 3.79 g and 56.5 mm in length for an average daily weight gain of 0.08 g and a specific growth rate of 8.7%/day.

Yolksac larvae one day after hatching.

At that time, 1,200 juveniles were transferred to an outdoor 11.3-m3 fiberglass recirculating tank with a flow rate of 150 l/minute. Fish were reared under ambient photoperiod at 21°Cand a salinity of 34 g/l through December 2005. The trial resulted in red porgy reaching 195.00 ± 0.32 mm total length and 158.00 ± 0.14 g at 313 days posthatch. The fish had a specific growth rate of 6.8%/day and overall feed conversion of 1:1. Survival remained at 94.2% until 210 days, when nitrogen saturation and high levels of ammonia were encountered due to mechanical problems with the recirculating system. By 224 days, survival decreased to 79.0%. To correct these problems, fish were temporarily transferred out of the system while repairs were performed. Survival following this transfer decreased to 65.3%, and final survival of the juveniles from 90 to 313 days was 32.0%.


The work with red porgy suggested a slower larval growth rate for western Atlantic red porgy compared to Mediterranean red porgy. However, juvenile growth rates were significantly higher than previously reported. Survival in later larval stages was lower when compared to the Mediterranean fish. The authors believe larval survival can be significantly improved once the problem of swim bladder overinflation between 10 and 35 days posthatch is resolved. The cause of the bladder problem is unknown, but might be due to nutritional deficiencies, disease or tankinduced reasons such as inadequate circulation, which causes the larvae to congregate at the tank surface.


January/February 2009

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aquaculture engineering HISTAR Development Hydraulically Integrated Serial Turbidostat Algal Reactor System In Beta Testing

James M. Ebeling, Ph.D.

Paul Hightower Douglas Drennan II

Aquaculture Systems Technologies, LLC 108 Industrial Avenue New Orleans, Louisiana 70121 USA

Kelly A. Rusch, Ph.D., P.E.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

nificantly greater. The inadvertent introduction of undesired microalgae or zooplankton into a culture eventually leads to competition within the reactor and the eventual collapse of the desired microorganism. Economical, large-scale microalgal culture designs must therefore mesh “contaminant tolerance” and contaminant mitigation with productivity requirements.


The Hydraulically Integrated Serial Turbidostat Algal Reactor consists of two turbidostats, eight CFSTRs and a control system.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, by 2030, both freshwater and marine aquaculture will need to expand production an additional 28.8 mmt/year just to maintain current per-capita seafood-consumption levels. A major technological bottleneck in the expansion of the marine aquaculture industry remains the lack of commercial hatchery technologies to support the growout industry. The inability to supply large quantities of microalgal/zooplankton feeds cost-effectively and consistently continues to be a major limitation for the marine aquaculture industry. Marine aquaculture research has shown that invertebrates and fish larvae reared on live feed exhibit better growth and survival.

Prevalent Culture Techniques

As the need for microalgae increases, semicontinuous and continuous cultures are becoming the prevalent culture techniques. Most continuous cultures of microalgae are implemented within totally enclosed bioreactors to minimize airborne contaminant introduction and increase system control. But since continuous cultures tend to be operated over a much longer time than the typical batch culture, the potential for contamination is sig-

Some years ago, Dr. Kelly A. Rusch at Louisiana State University developed the Hydraulically Integrated Serial Turbidostat Algal Reactor (HISTAR) to provide a robust system that superimposes contaminant control techniques on a continuous algal production system. Starting in 1999, Aquaculture Systems Technologies, LLC pursued the commercial potential for HISTAR to provide an efficient and cost-effective system for the commercial production of microalgae to support freshwater and marine aquaculture. Aquaculture Systems Technologies realized that although the research system could be commercially competitive, further refinement would result in lower capital and production costs. Development of HISTAR systems capable of productivity levels at production costs of less than U.S. $60/kg dry weight of algae would make this technology an attractive alternative to current strategies. In 1999, Aquaculture Systems Technologies received a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to demonstrate the feasibility of this technology operated under greenhouse conditions. After successful completion of Phase I, a Phase II grant was received to focus on further testing of the system and the development of design and operational guidelines for commercialization.

Continuous Algae Production

HISTAR combines the use of turbidostats/chemostats with open-top, continuous-flow stirred-tank reactors (CFSTRs) and process control to produce a continuous supply of a microalgae culture. The turbidostats are completely enclosed to prevent con-


To meet growing needs for hatchery feeds for marine species, large-scale microalgae culture systems must mesh “contaminant tolerance” and mitigation with high productivity. The Hydraulically Integrated Serial Turbidostat Algal Reactor developed at Louisiana State University superimposes contaminant control techniques on a continuous algal production system. HISTAR is now being commercialized to provide an efficient and cost-effective system for the production of microalgae. global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009

This HISTAR system controller has eight analog inputs and eight control relays.

tamination and produce a continual algal inoculum of high and consistent quality for the series of hydraulically linked reactors, which are open to the atmosphere. By using the enclosed turbidostats as an inoculum source and not for production, their volume can be kept small relative to the rest of the culture system. This reduces the amount of pristine source water required. Microalgae periodically harvested from the turbidostats flow into the first of a series of eight continuous-flow reactors to maintain the desired biomass density. A continuous flow of water with added nutrients into the first CFSTR is the primary driving force for serial flow through the system. This flushing flow, combined with the turbidostat flow, is manipulated to maintain the desired local dilution rate. This dilution rate is selected to be substantially higher than the net specific growth rate of contaminants to assure contaminant washout from individual CFSTRs before significant growth can occur. Thus, even though contaminants may grow extremely fast within the culture, they are washed to the next reactor before exponential growth occurs. Eventually they are washed out of the last CFSTR. The target algal species, however, is not washed out because it is semicontinually inoculated into the first CFSTR from the turbidostats. Continuous flow of algae through the CFSTRs provides time for the microalgal culture to grow under optimal conditions. This combination of continual input of desired algae from the turbidostat to the first CFSTR, the high dilution rate of the individual CFSTRs and low system dilution rate provides an environmental advantage to the desired algae while flushing out any contaminants. An additional advantage is the continuous harvesting of microalgae even during periods of low to no light due to the continual input of algae into the first CFSTR from the turbidostats, which receive supplemental artificial illumination.

The turbidostats operate as continuous cultures and provide a continual supply of inoculum for the CFSTRs. As with any type of live-cell culture, exposure to contamination is a major issue of concern, and this is particularly true for the nonsterile environment in which the HISTAR system is designed to operate. Consequently, two turbidostats provide a backup source in the event of inadvertent contamination of one or the other. The use of two turbidostats also facilitates taking one offline for cleaning without interrupting system operation. Filtered and ultraviolet-sterilized air is used to keep the culture completely mixed and maintain positive pressure in the turbidostats to reduce contamination. Artificial lighting supplements the natural light available in the greenhouse setting for the turbidostats only. The turbidostats are raised above the CFSTRs to allow the algae inocuum to flow by gravity into the first CFSTR. To prevent nutrient limitation, nutrients are added continuously in excess through the nutrient injection system. An enriched medium is kept in two 57-l tanks to keep the macronutrients and micronutrients separate. The nutrients are maintained at a pH level of 2 to prevent contamination. The two components are mixed by separate injections into the treated source water/ nutrient line. To prevent contamination, the source water is treated before entering the system by a prefilter, two activated carbon filters and a 45-watt ultraviolet sterilizer in series. The system is monitored and controlled by an industrial process control computer with eight analog inputs and eight control relays. System pH is monitored with two industrial-grade pH probes, and carbon dioxide is injected as needed to maintain a stable pH. Real-time algal biomass density in the two turbidostats and the final CFSTR is monitored with transmisiometers that correlate light transmittance to total suspended solids. These values are then used to calculate and control the biomass of algae harvested from the turbidostats. Microalgae are harvested from each turbidostat every 20 minutes, resulting in microalgal transfer to the first CFSTR every 10 minutes. Microalgae from the final CFSTR are finally concentrated into a paste using a centrifuge.


The HISTAR system is currently going through trials, growing Selenastrum capricornutum and debugging the process control software and harvest algorithm. One beta system has been delivered for field evaluation, and a second is being constructed for delivery in early 2009. With Phase I funding from the National Science Foundation, Aquaculture Systems Technologies is also currently developing a continuous-culture system for the production of s-type rotifers.

Prototype Commercial System

After major interruption of this research by Hurricane Katrina, a commercial prototype system was constructed in the summer of 2008 in a greenhouse at Aquaculture Systems Technologies in New Orleans. The HISTAR system design was considerably simpler than the original research system to reflect changes in available commercial monitoring and control systems, and operational and management experience. The HISTAR systems consists of six major components: two enclosed turbidostats and eight round, serial-linked 473-l CFSTRs, an air injection system, a carbon dioxide injection system for pH control, a nutrient injection system, lighting systems for the turbidiostats and an automation and monitoring system.


January/February 2009

global aquaculture advocate

The turbidostats produce a continuous supply of high-quality algae to the hydraulically linked reactors.

aquaculture engineering

In-Bae Kim, Ph.D.

Jae-Yoon Jo, Ph.D.

The PVC filter elements were assembled with one layer vertical and the next horizontal in an effective use of space.

Reducing solids, especially suspended solids, has been a difficult problem in the water of recirculating aquaculture systems. Neither of the two methods of solid waste removal – settling and screen trapping – solves this problem effectively, especially for fine solids. In research, the authors found that the biofilter unit portion of the Intensive Bioproduction Korean (IBK) system originally developed for nitrification also has excellent capability to remove suspended solids. The system is easy to maintain and has a low power requirement to treat a large amount of water. With two, 5-hp pumps, about 500 m3 of water can be treated hourly. Flow speed in the filter elements is very low, which in conjunction with the very large surface area onto which suspended solids settle provides effective trapping of fine solids. High-volume treatment is another feature.

System Structure

The authors tested the IBK system in a semiclosed trout farm where major solid wastes were removed right from the rearing tanks using a specially designed sedimentation method. Therefore relatively clarified water entered the IBK system biofilter. The farm had a standing crop capacity of 20 mt and annual production of 70 mt of rainbow trout. The filter, which occupied a larger area than other biofilters (Table 1 and Figure 1), consisted of nine concrete tanks. The net floor space occupied by the biofilter reflected 10% of that of the rearing tanks. When the channels for influent to and effluent from the filter were included, the total space for the filter was about 16% of the rearing tank area. The open channels substitute for the pipes, fittings and valves required for other types of biofilters.


Pukyong National University c/o Fish Culture Station Nam-gu, Busan 608-737 Korea

Biofilter Unit

One unit of the filter tank occupied 4 m x 3.1 m net floor space. The depth of the tanks was 1.7 m at the deepest point and 1.6 m at the shallow end. The section view of this biofilter under operation is depicted in Figure 2. The filter elements were corrugated polyvinyl chloride roofing panels, which are readily available and cheaper than specially developed and patented products. The width of the commercial panels was 63 cm, but the length varied. One layer of the assembled filter element consisted of two panels put side by side. To assemble the panels into filter elements, the length was 127 cm, twice the width to make one square layer. Filter element layers were assembled with one layer vertical and the next horizontal. Each layer occupied 1 cm x 127 cm floor space. The system required 1,600 panels for each tank for a total of 14,400 panels. The cost of the panels for the nine filter tanks was about U.S. $21,600 in Korea in April 2008. Suspended solids settled onto the grooves of the horizontally oriented panels. Each panel had 20 grooves that provided 40 horizontal surfaces. Because each layer consisted of two panels, one layer had 80 such surfaces. On average, the IBK biofilter offered 40 times more available settling surface than conventional settling tanks, which offer only bottom surface for trapping solids.

Filter Performance

To circulate water, three 3.7-kw lowhead, axial-flow vertical pumps were installed. Water was circulated by two pumps at about 500 m3/hour or 12,000 m3/day, while the remaining pump was available for emergency purposes. This power savings was achieved by the small 0.5-m difference in levels between the

In research, the authors found that the biofilter unit portion of the Intensive Bioproduction Korean system originally developed for nitrification also has excellent capability to remove suspended solids. Although the system requires rather extensive floor space, it is easy to maintain and has a low power requirement to treat a large amount of water. 5

January/February 2009

global aquaculture advocate

Channels to and From Filter

Biofilter Tanks

Water Levels

Standpipe Water Levels

Filter Elements

3.1m 4.9m Pumps Circulating Raceway Rearing Tanks

30 m Underground Drain Pipe Figure 2. Cross section of filter tank. Arrows indicate the direction of water flow.


It took 20 minutes for water particles to pass through the filter Figure . Layout of filter sections. Arrows indicate the direction bed, requiring three of water flow through the biofilter and into the rearing tanks. passes for 500 m3/hour. Calculated tops of the filter and rearing tanks. average flow speed in the filter was 2.6 When water containing solid wastes mm/second (Table 2). of varying sizes was treated, 74.5% of the Although nitrification by the biofilter total suspended solids was trapped in a decreased as organic wastes accumulated single pass through the biofilter. About on the surfaces of the filter media, it was 40.0% of the nonsettleable solids was not of great concern at the study fish removed. Here nonsettleable solids were farm because major solid wastes were designated as the suspended solids that removed in the sedimentation tanks right remained suspended after five minutes in after rearing tanks. Furthermore, settled a 20-l bucket. 37 m

Width of filter tank Length of filter tank Net floor space of one filter tank Net floor space of nine filter tanks Total floor space including channels and walls Total space of six fish-rearing raceways Total filter area against fish-rearing area


The IBK system biofilter requires rather extensive floor space, but it seems to be feasible for use in fish farms with recirculating systems if designed in combination with rearing tanks and open water circulation channels. This type of filter could also be applied to treat the effluents of fish farms instead of detention ponds, which require a more extensive area to operate.

Tale 2. Flow data in the filter.

Tale . Filter tank data. Dimension

solids occupied only a quarter of the filter media surfaces, and the remaining surfaces were free from organic wastes.


Value 4.0 m 3.1 m 12.4 m2 111.6 m2 183.8m2 1,126.m2 16.4%

Total volume of water passing through filter 500.00 m3/hour Number of filter tanks Nine Volume of water passing through one tank 55.56 m3/hour Cross-flow section area of one tank ca. 6 m2 Flow speed in filter tank 2.57 mm/second Time required for water to pass filter 20.1 minutes

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January/February 2009


aquaculture engineering Plastic Tanks Compare Well To Concrete Tanks In Trout Trial

Daniel Miller

Gerard D’Souza

Davis College of Agriculture Forestry and Consumer Sciences West Virginia University 1170 Agricultural Sciences Building P. O. Box 6108 Morgantown, West Virginia 26506-6010

In a study funded by the Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center, the authors used water from a small mine water discharge to determine if producers could reduce their costs by using a new patent-pending “U�-shaped plastic tank for fish production. The potential advantages of the plastic tanks include lower purchase and installation costs, easy modification, transportability that allows resale value and reduced labor for cleaning. The costs of the new tank were compared to those for the precast and poured concrete raceway systems most commonly used for trout production.

Tank Comparison Study

U-shaped plastic tanks cost less to purchase, install and clean than flat-bottom concrete tanks of similar volume.

Environmental regulations are resulting in reduced pollution limits for large fish hatcheries that can cause production reductions or even hatchery closures. This has led to more smaller, private fish farms providing fish for public stream stocking. The U.S. state of West Virginia has many free-flowing groundwater sources from coal mines that can be used for biosecure, small-scale fish production. Economies of scale usually result in a higher cost of production for smaller producers, making it difficult to compete with larger operations.

In November 2006, 10-cm-long rainbow trout fingerlings were stocked into 7,570-l U-shaped tanks constructed of foodgrade plastic and a similar-volume, flat-bottom concrete tank at two separate trout-rearing operations. Facilities at both locations had a history of normal trout growth. Fish were fed a 42%-protein, 16%-fat commercial trout diet during the 31-week production cycle. Demand feeders were used at both sites. Nylon netting was used to deter aerial predators. Average weight was measured at six-week intervals. Random samples of at least 50 fish were weighed with a commercial bench scale. As the trout approached marketable size, fin condition was recorded using a scale from 0 (perfect) to 5 (over 90% missing or eroded) for each of the seven rayed fins. Each fish had a potential score of 0 to 35. Water quality data was monitored in the plastic tanks using a commercial instrument. Temperature, pH, oxygen and conductivity were recorded hourly. In the concrete system, a hand-held commercial oxygen meter was used to measure temperature and dissolved oxygen. Water samples from each site were analyzed by a certified analytical laboratory for anions and cations three times during the study. The costs of purchasing, installing and cleaning the custom plastic tanks during the study were compared to the estimated costs of purchasing, installing and cleaning precast concrete tanks as well as poured concrete tanks. Businesses that specialize in building concrete tanks provided recent quotes for the cost estimates. The labor costs for cleaning the plastic and concrete tanks were measured on five occasions during the last five months of the study. Annual labor demands for this task were estimated with this data.


In a study comparing U-shaped plastic culture tanks to concrete raceways in a 31-week growout of trout fingerlings showed the plastic tanks offered lower costs, easy modification, transportability and reduced labor for cleaning. The trout in the concrete tanks had better growth but higher mortality than those in the plastic tanks. There was no significant difference between the tanks regarding the fin condition of the trout. global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009


Water quality monitoring at each site showed the concrete tank had one low-oxygen event during the last week in May, which resulted in the precautionary removal of 400 trout (40%) from the system. The plastic tanks had two low-oxygen events in the lower tanks, one in May and one in June, due to the intrusion of a bear that diverted the water from the lower tanks. The upper two tanks were unaffected by this diversion of water. Growth, fin condition and mortality data presented here are based on the average in the top two plastic tanks compared to the concrete tank. At the end of the study, average fish weight was based on a random sample of at least 50 fish from the approximately 1,000 fish stocked in each tank. The trout in the concrete tank showed better growth but also higher mortality than those in the plastic tanks (Table 1). There was no significant difference between the concrete and plastic tanks regarding the fin condition of the trout. A one-way analysis of variance was performed on the fin condition data using total fin condition scores. When the trout from the two plastic tanks were compared to the trout in the concrete tank, the procedure showed no significant (Îą < 0.05) difference in fin erosion between the two trout populations.

Hydrostatic water pressure pushed the solids that accumulated around the manifold into the off- solids removal pipe.

Maintenance, Cleaning Costs

Assuming labor costs at U.S. $10/hour and cleaning occurs every five days, an average of five cleanings during the study resulted in 3.4 hours/tank/year for cleaning, or $34/tank annually. Results The average cleaning for the concrete tank required 6.75 minCritical water quality parameters remained stable at both sites utes. This translated into 8.2 hours/tank/year or $82/tank/ for the most of the study. Water temperatures remained 11-15° year (Table 2). C at both sites. Water analysis from both sites showed that all Although the manifold in the settling zone did not improve measured parameters were within the tolerance range of trout. the solids retention in the plastic tank, it functioned very well by allowing hydrostatic water pressure to push the solids Tale . Growth, fin condition and mortality of trout that accumulated around the manifold into the off-line in concrete and plastic tank systems. solids removal pipe. Table 3 shows the various considerations used to compare the two tank materials. Trout Tank Volume Weight Growth Fin Score Mortality Culture Versatile, Cost-Effective Approach Type (m3) Gain (g) (g/day) (-35) (%) Days The food-grade plastic tanks used in this research apConcrete 7.84 484 2.20 7.93 5.62 220 pear to be suitable for quarantine, fingerlings and Plastic 7.57 382 1.75 8.08 3.96 219 growout in flow-through or recirculating systems. The development of improved screens and crowding systems Tale 2. Cost comparison for  concrete and plastic tanks. can improve system performance. Cost Installation Cleaning Total Precast These plastic tanks are presently limited to a maxiTank Type (U.S. $) (U.S. $) (U.S. $) (U.S. $) (%) mum diameter of 1.5 m. Concrete tanks can be made into Precast concrete 45,850 6,000 820 52,670 100 nearly any size or shape. Although extremely resilient, Poured concrete 33,110 4,000 820 37,930 72 the plastic tanks should be set into the ground 51-61 cm HDPE plastic 24,507 3,000 340 27,847 53 for stability. If used indoors on a hard floor, plastic feet can be added to stabilize the tanks. Tale 3. Setup considerations. The total cost of the plastic tank system was estimatCharacteristics Concrete Tank Plastic Tank ed to be approximately 53% of that for a precast concrete system and 72% of the cost for a poured concrete system Purchase cost Higher Lower with similar production volume. Tank weight 16.3 mt 344.7 kg Site preparation cost Higher Lower The equipment and skills used to install the plastic Vulnerability Low Moderate tanks are more commonly available than for concrete Installation Critical Critical tanks. The modular nature and durability of the tanks alEasy modification No Yes lows them to be easily moved and reset as needed. Useful life 20 years 20 years? The time required to clean the plastic tanks was 41% Waste removal Slower Faster of that required to clean the flat-bottom concrete tanks. Flexibility None Some Prod. volume (l) 7,570 7,570 This was attributed to the design of the quiescent zone. Size restrictions Customized Maximum diameter 1.52 m Labor savings were estimated to be U.S. $9,600 over the Outside use No restrictions 51 cm set in ground expected 20-year life span of a 10-tank system. Inside use No restrictions HDPE cross bars Resale/transfer More difficult Less difficult


January/February 2009

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aquaculture engineering Ozone Treats Water, Disinfects In Aquaculture Systems

Ozone is a strong oxidizing agent capable of rapidly treating many inorganic and organic substances. It is widely used in water purification, disinfection and bleaching processes. Despite concerns regarding the complexity of the ozonation process, ozone systems are becoming increasingly important in recirculating aquatic systems. In fact, some aquariums rely on ozone to control contaminants, particularly for exhibits of large mammals. Aquaculturists are also taking a closer look at ozone application for disinfection and water treatment in recirculating systems.

Ozone Applications

Ozone is used to oxidize organic substances and inorganic substances like iron, manganese, sulfide and nitrite. It can also treat color issues related to humic, fulvic and tannic acids; off tastes and odors; total organic carbon and biochemical oxygen demand/chemical oxygen demand. Other applications include microflocculation or particle removal and disinfection of coliforms, viruses, algae and other microorganisms. Ozone, the triatomic form of oxygen, is produced from air or oxygen gas using an electric discharge. The photochemical process requires ultraviolet (U.V.) light at a wavelength of 185 nm. U.V. ozone generators in general produce only about 12% ozone by weight. Corona discharge ozone generators produce ozone when dry air or oxygen gas is passed by an electrical field or â&#x20AC;&#x153;corona.â&#x20AC;? These systems are capable of producing ozone concentrations up to about 8% by weight, depending on conditions and whether air or oxygen is used. Ozone has many benefits over other methods of chemical treatment. It is easily produced on site from air or oxygen gas by electric discharge, and is an extremely reactive gas that oxidizes many

substances. Ozone has a short half-life of 20 to 30 minutes when dissolved in water and safely breaks down to molecular oxygen with no residue. However, there are some concerns with use of ozone. Some of these include capital costs and engineering concerns. In addition, ozone is a dangerous gas with toxicity risks for humans, aquatic animals and biofilter organisms. There are limitations on the kinds of materials that are compatible with ozone. Stainless steel, glass, plexiglass, Teflon, Kynar, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride and Viton are typically used.

Gary Rogers, Ph.D., P.E Vice President of Engineering Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc. 2395 Apopka Boulevard Apopka, Florida 32703 USA

improved by using pure oxygen instead of air as the feed gas to the ozone generator. This results in a much higher concentration of ozone output. The use of oxygen generators for ozone systems is generally considered more cost-effective than air feed for most applications. Corona discharge ozone generator output can range 2-8% ozone depending on the system. Ozone output is usually expressed in grams of ozone per hour.

System Components

A complete ozone system can include several components, such as an air dryer, air compressor, oxygen generator (optional), ozone generators, ozone dosing controller, ozone mixing and contact units, ozone injection system and ozone destruction system. Commercial ozone skid systems generally include most if not all of these components. The purity of ozone produced depends on dry air. Moisture affects ozone concentration and also the formation of impurities like nitric acid. It is important to include an air dryer as part of the ozone system. Many commercial ozone packages Integrated corona discharge ozone generators provide include air dryers placed before a simple, automated, low-maintenance system for use the inlets of the air compressors. with air or pure oxygen. Air compressors must be sized for each ozone generator. Some Controllers capable of responding to ozone generators include internal air varying organic loads are available. Quite compressors. There are a wide range of often, oxidation reduction potential (ORP) ozone generator outputs. is used to control ozone levels. These units Since air contains approximately 21% maintain a preset ORP level in the treated oxygen, ozone production can be water. Other, more expensive controllers


Ozone is a strong oxidizing agent that effectively removes colors, odors and turbidity from water, and kills bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms in aquaculture systems. It is easily produced on site from air or oxygen gas by electric discharge and safely breaks down to molecular oxygen with no residue. Concerns include capital costs, engineering issues, material limitations and potential toxicity. 56

January/February 2009

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monitor and control ozone levels by directly measuring ozone concentration.

Treatment Goals

There are two main goals in ozone treatment: maintain a given ozone or ORP level in treated water and maintain a given contact time. These conditions vary depending on the treatment required. Many ozone systems use venturi injection to mix ozone with water. Although less efficient, diffusers are also used. Speece cones, saturators and low-head oxygenators are often selected in larger applications such as ozone contactors. They provide the benefits of high efficiency and increased concentrations of dissolved ozone, especially in pressurized systems. They are sometimes side-streamed to treat a portion of the water flow. Destruction of residual ozone may also be a requirement for some applications, particularly where aquatic life or biofilters are used. Ozone destruction units may use aeration, granular activated carbon, hydrogen peroxide or U.V. light to eliminate residual ozone.

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aquaculture engineering

Philip Nickerson, P.E.

Heat Recovery

Technical Manager Scotian Halibut Ltd. P. O. Box 119 Clark’s Harbour Nova Scotia B0W 1P0, Canada

Countercurrent Approach Provides Greater Efficiency

Properly sized water-to-water heat exchangers should perform at greater than 90% efficiency.

There is much talk these days about efficiency, sustainability and being “green.” Aquaculture is in some cases a very energy-intensive endeavor. Water is not cheap to pump, filter or heat. One of the most effective ways to reduce heating bills is through heat recovery, which is simply taking heat energy from system effluent and using it to heat the influent. I can still remember back to my days as an engineering student learning the principle of the countercurrent-flow flat-plate heat exchanger. Surprisingly, it was presented in a Fish Physiology course while covering fish respiration. Exactly the same principle applies – in the respiration case, countercurrent-flow exchange of oxygen, and in the heat exchanger case, countercurrent-flow exchange of heat energy. Intuitively, one would think that in trying to heat a volume of water starting at 5°with a like volume of water starting at 10° , the highest possible resulting temperature is 7.5° . Fortunately, that is not the case when the counter-flow principle is applied. Upon close examination of fish respiration, it has been determined that fish gills are designed to provide a flow of deoxygenated blood in a direction opposite that of the oxygenated water flow. The purpose: to maintain a concentration gradient to facilitate oxygen diffusion into the blood.


Suppose a coldwater fish is in an environment where the oxy-


gen level is 10 ppm. Also, suppose the deoxygenated blood coming back to its gills has a partial pressure equivalent to 5 ppm of oxygen in the water. Oxygen always flows from a higher pressure to a lower pressure passively. Cocurrent flow would dictate a resulting 7.5 ppm in both the blood and water. However, using countercurrent flow, a much greater exchange takes place. Consider Tables 1 and 2, imagining the water flowing down both tables and the blood flowing up in the first and down in the second. By using countercurrent flow, which requires the same amount of effort as cocurrent flow, the resulting transfer of oxygen is nearly double!

Tale .

Tale 2.

Countercurrent Flow Water Blood

Cocurrent Flow Water Blood

10 9 8 7 6

9 8 7 6 5

10.0 9.0 8.0 7.5 7.5

5.0 6.0 7.0 7.5 7.5

Now imagine that instead of fish respiration, we are discussing heating water from 5 to 10° . Instead of water and blood, think effluent and influent. Since heat transfer also happens passively when a temperature gradient is present, the same tables

One of the most effective ways to reduce heating bills is through the recovery of heat from effluent to heat influent. Using a countercurrent-flow rather than cocurrent system can result in much greater heat exchange across temperature gradients. Effectively containing water and keeping exchangers clean can improve system performance. Increasing the heat recovery efficiency of a system can save both capital and operational costs. 58

January/February 2009

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apply. Again, nearly twice the amount of heat is transferred with the same amount of effort.

Bottom Line Implications

This principle can have very big implications to the bottom line at facilities that heat or cool water. The author recently produced Table 3 for a farm to show the effects of heat recovery versus the effects of the price of oil on the total heating bill. Every year, with the current oil-fired boiler system in place and all else equal, this farm spends U.S. $5,000-61,000 on oil. Farms have virtually no control over the cost of oil, but the good news is that it has less of an effect than heat recovery practices. Using Table 3, compare the costs of cocurrent flow and countercurrent flow, assuming both are 80% efficient. At U.S. $0.80$/l, they are $28,000 and 9,000, respectively. That is a 3:1 ratio, not the 2:1 you would expect looking only at the achievable temperatures. Now for anyone already using a countercurrent exchanger, what does this table mean? Consider your whole system. How much of the water that you heat finds its way back to the heat exchanger? 100%? 90%? Think of the filters you use. Where do their drains go? What about daily practices such as purging drains? How about head tanks and sumps â&#x20AC;&#x201C; if they have overflow drains, where does that water go? It all quietly adds up to a big heating bill if left unchecked.


Another common occurrence is the fouling of heat exchangers. Suppose you can direct every drop of water back to the heat exchanger. What is the heat exchangerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efficiency? A clean, properly sized exchanger should perform at greater than 90% efficiency. However, exchangers can get so fouled they operate at near-zero efficiency. Based on the data table, the resulting heating bill was 10 times what it could have been.

Chiller Systems

Table 4 is another table made for the same farm and same sys-

Severe biofouling of flat-plate heat exchangers can reduce efficiency to near zero.

tem. This one shows how the size of chiller system needed can be affected by the chiller design versus the heat recovery efficiency. Chilling water in aquaculture is rarely done well. Suffice it to say that the coefficient of performance (COP) should never be less than 4. Going back to the table, again it is clear that heat recovery efficiency has a much larger impact on required horsepower than COP. Suppose a facility has a very poor COP of 1. Would it be better to buy a 14-hp system or 122-hp? Consider the electricity bill to run the two systems. Clearly, effort (and maybe money) spent on increasing the heat recovery efficiency of a system will save both capital and operational costs.

Tale 3. Effects of heat recovery versus the price of oil on total heating costs. Oil Cost (U.S. $/)

0.80 0.90 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15

42 48 53 55 58 61


Heat Recovery Efficiency  5 6 


33 37 41 43 45 47

28 32 35 37 39 41

9 11 12 12 13 14

5 5 6 6 6 7

23 26 29 31 32 34

19 21 23 25 26 27

14 16 18 18 19 20

Tale . Effects of chiller system size on chiller design and heat recovery efficiency. Heat Recovery Efficiency (%)



10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90

122 108 95 81 68 54 41 27 14

91 81 71 61 51 41 30 20 10


January/February 2009

Coefficient of Performance .5 2. 2.5 3. 61 54 47 41 34 27 20 14 7

46 41 35 30 25 20 15 10 5

36 32 28 24 20 16 12 8 4

global aquaculture advocate

30 27 24 20 17 14 10 7 3



26 23 20 17 14 12 9 6 3

23 20 18 15 13 10 8 5 3


Here are some tips for getting the most out of your water-heating dollars. Always, always heat recover. Always keep the heat exchanger clean, even if it means backwashing every day and taking it apart weekly. All heated water must make its way back to the heat exchanger. If maintaining different temperatures, it may be beneficial to heat recover water of different temperature separately. Use level sensors with variable-frequency drives or shutoff controls in all head tanks and sumps rather than overflow drains to prevent losing heated water from the system. Measure the water temperature of the effluent leaving the heat exchanger to determine the efficiency of heat recovery. Use this as a baseline to make improvements to the system. Once you are satisfied with the heat recovery, then, and only then, does it make sense to look at heating and/or cooling equipment with a critical eye toward increasing efficiency.


Greenhouse-Enclosed Superintensive Shrimp Production: Alternative to Traditional Ponds in U.S. The application of traditional pond-based shrimp-farming practices has met with limited success in the United States due to economic and environmental constraints. Among them, the water exchange required potentially increases the discharge of nutrient-rich water into natural ecosystems as well as the possibility of introducing harmful and pathogenic organisms. In addition, seasonally low temperatures in the continental U.S. limit pond production systems to only one growth cycle per year. In conjunction with typically low productivity below 4,000 kg/ha, this short production period and high production costs limit competitiveness. As an alternative, U.S. scientists have developed biosecure recirculating aquaculture systems. These systems consist of greenhouse-enclosed raceways for intensive to superintensive

Jesus A. Venero, Ph.D

Brad McAbee Alisha Lawson Beth L. Lewis Alvin D. Stokes John W. Leffler, Ph.D.

Waddell Mariculture Center South Carolina Department of Natural Resources P. O. Box 809 Bluffton, South Carolina 29910 USA

Craig L. Browdy, Ph.D.

Novus International Charleston, South Carolina, USA

shrimp production with zero to limited water exchanges that can be operated year round. When shrimp are reared at high densities without water exchange in recirculating units, the biofloc that develops in the culture water has several advantages for shrimp culture. These include increased recycling of wastes, allowing for an overall reduction in pollutant discharge to receiving bodies when waters are released at harvest. A lower amount of feed is required, which improves feed-conversion rates. Water quality is also more

Trials with Litopenaeus vannamei shrimp were conducted in this commercial-scale raceway at the Waddell Mariculture Center in 2003 and 2007.


As an alternative to pond production, U.S. scientists have developed biosecure greenhouse-enclosed raceways for intensive shrimp production with limited water exchange. Waddell Mariculture Center researchers managed an enclosed commercial-size superintensive raceway during the cold months of the year to produce 69,200 kg/ha of shrimp while using only 60 l of saltwater to produce 1 kg of shrimp. Such facilities can be operated year round. global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009


stable, and competition within the diverse microbial community apparently reduces pathogenic microorganisms such as vibrios.

Research at Waddell Mariculture Center

The Waddell Mariculture Center in Bluffton, South Carolina, USA, has been one of the pioneer institutions in the development of this type of system. During the last decade, its research on shrimp focused on an evaluation of the commercial feasibility of superintensive raceway production systems. These systems are operated without water exchange and with the addition of supplemental oxygen. Stocking rates have been increased from 300 to 814 shrimp/ m2 with yields of up to 69,000 kg/ha. Although some technical challenges remain to be resolved, research in pilot- and commerHarvest of shrimp after 146 days in the superintensive system.

cial-size raceways has demonstrated feasibility.

2007 Growout Experiment

Waddell Mariculture Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most recent experiment was conducted in a 271-m2 superintensive raceway production system. Two weeks prior to shrimp stocking, the raceway was filled with a mix of filtered ultraviolet-treated seawater and well water, creating a salinity of 20 g/l. About 22.5 kg of alfalfa pellets were added to stimulate the development of a microbial community. Juvenile Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, of 1.68 Âą 0.2 g weight were stocked in mid-July at 581 shrimp/ m2. Ten-day old shrimp postlarvae had been purchased at a hatchery located in the U.S. Florida Keys and maintained in two 50-m2 greenhouse-enclosed raceways for 63 days during the nursery stage. Shrimp were fed a 35%-crude protein shrimp growout diet designed for superintensive systems. Feed supply was adjusted weekly based on an expected growth rate of 1.1 g/week and a feed-conversion rate (FCR) of 1.6. Population was estimated assuming a mortality of 1%/week. The amount of feed consumed in four feed trays, average weekly growth and estimated FCR provided valuable information to adjust feed supply. Feed was provided by hand broadcasting around the raceway 4 times/day during the first 92 days. Thereafter, only 25% of the feed was provided by hand during the first feeding, and the rest was delivered by automatic belt feeders over a 12-hour period. Several water quality parameters were monitored (Table 1). To reduce the levels of nitrite nitrogen during the period in which nitrifier communities were becoming established, the heterotrophic bacter-


January/February 2009

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Tale . Average water quality parameters registered during a 6-day experiment in a superintensive raceway production system. Parameter Temperature (° C) Morning Evening Dissolved oxygen (mg/l) Morning Evening pH Salinity (g/l) Alkalinity (mg/l as calcium carbonate) Total ammonia nitrogen (mg/l) Nitrite nitrogen (mg/l) Nitrate nitrogen (mg/l) Total suspended solids (mg/l) Volatile suspended solids (mg/l) Chlorophyll (ug/l)




28.2 ± 1.3 29.1 ± 1.4

– 32.0

25.6 –

6.5 ± 1.2 6.2 ± 1.3 7.1 ± 0.3 18.6 ± 0.5 111.7 0.2 0.800 144.8 590.5 307 433.2

9.1 – 7.8 20.1 200.0 0.7 3.400 299.8 1,270.0 460 883.7

– 3.5 6.5 17.6 60.0 0 0.009 1.8 200.0 55 121.0

ial community was stimulated by adding dextrose days 7 to 15 to increase the carbon:nitrogen ratio. Dextrose was added again for one week after day 106, when an unexplained decline in shrimp growth and slight increases in ammonia and nitrite levels were observed.

Heterotrophic bacterial community was stimulated by adding dextrose to increase the carbon:nitrogen ratio.

The clarifier unit started operating after day 28 at a flow rate of 6.48 l/minute. The clarifier was too small for the raceway, however, so it did not reduce levels of total suspended solids (TSS) and volatile suspended solids (VSS). TSS remained 2001,270 ppm, and VSS values were 55-460 ppm until the end of the cycle. At its most efficient flow rate, turnover time for the entire raceway was 21 days. Approximately 48 m3 of freshwater was added to compensate for evaporation. On day 146, 1,877 kg of shrimp averaging 20 g were har-

vested. The average growth rate was 0.88 g/week (Table 2), and the FCR was 2.5. Average growth rate was 1.00 g/week until day 99. It declined to 0.82 g/week for the rest of the cycle after shrimp reached 14-g average weight. The reason for this decline is unknown.


Waddell Mariculture Center researchers managed a commercial-size superintensive, zero-water-exchange raceway to produce a commercial fresh shrimp harvest during the cold months of the year in the United States (Table 2). A zero-water-exchange production record of 69,200 kg/ha was achieved while using only 60 l of 35 ppt saltwater to produce 1 kg of shrimp. This volume of water could be reduced still further if the same salt water is stored and used to refill another raceway for a new production cycle. This type of water reuse can enhance the development of nitrifier communities in the system as well as significantly reduce economic and environmental costs for systems sited far inland. Even though these production values are encouraging, the relatively low growth rate and high FCR reduce the profitability of this enterprise, especially if the product is sold at the market price of imported frozen shrimp. Previous research at the Waddell Mariculture Center in the same raceway at a lower stocking

Tale 2. Comparison of research and commercial-size superintensive greenhouse shrimp raceway systems.

Raceway size (m2) Average depth (m) Weight at stocking (g) Stocking density (shrimp/m2) Final weight (g) Growout period (days) Growth rate (g/week) Yield (kg/m2) Yield (kg/ha) Survival (%) Feed-conversion ratio Total water use (l/kg shrimp) Water exchange (%/cycle)

Oceanic Institute

Texas Agrilife Research Facilities

337.0 1.60 0.50 828 18.3 84 1.50 10.30 103,000 67.9 1.60 402 176.4

68.5 0.58 1.25 310 18.4 92 1.32 5.42 54,200 88.3 1.21 155 0

Waddell Mariculture Center 23 Dec. 2 271.0 0.72 1.00 310 16.6 76 1.44 4.69 46,900 91.0 1.54 157 0

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271.0 0.72 1.61 581 20.0 146 0.88 6.92 69,200 60.2 2.50 130 0 January/February 2009


density of 310 shrimp/m2 produced better growth of 1.44 g/ week and an improved 1.54 FCR, but with lower productivity (Table 2).

Oceanic Institute The Oceanic Institute in Hawaii, USA, obtained production records of 103,000 kg/ha with an average growth rate of 1.5 g/week and FCR of 1.6. However, the facility exchanged about 14.7% water/week and estimated a total use of 402 l water/kg shrimp produced. Texas Agrilife Research The Texas Agrilife Research facilities in Flour Bluff, Texas, USA, used smaller 68.5-m2 raceways equipped with settling tanks and a stocking density of 310 shrimp/m2 to obtain harvests of 50,400-54,200 kg/ha. Production was slightly lower (46,000-50,000 kg/ha) when foam fractionators were used instead of settling tanks. The raceways operated with zero water exchange, reporting the use of 142 and 155 l water/kg shrimp produced.


The relatively low growth rate and high FCR reported in the 2007 Waddell Mariculture Center study when the stocking density was increased to 531 shrimp/m2 indicated technical and production limitations remain to be addressed. The ammonia nitrogen and nitrite nitrogen peaks that occurred shortly after stocking may have been the most important factors responsible for reduced growth and survival. In addition to direct stress during the critical developmental growth stage, they might have caused some initial mortality that led to overfeeding and associated water quality deterioration. As the Texas Agrilife Research Facilities studies demonstrated, the use of settling tanks may be critical to maintaining optimal growing conditions in these biofloc systems. Although a clarifier was used to remove solids produced in the WMC trial, its capacity was probably too limited to significantly improve water quality and associated shrimp growth. Other aspects which may be considered as the system is scaled up for commercial applications include improving the


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designs of engineered systems that efficiently and cost effectively meet oxygen and supplemental heating demands. Further improvements could address the integration of automation, an emergency oxygen-backup system and better solids collection and waste treatment. Higher genetic quality of the shrimp stocks and the use of more-accurate methods to estimate the initial population could also improve the end results. The results of these and other studies are revealing the tremendous biological potential of genetically improved specific pathogen-free stocks of L. vannamei. The key to translating these results into commercial competitiveness will be a focus on scaleup, maintaining consistency and improving efficiencies to reduce costs of production. Currently, low shrimp market prices and high production costs limit superintensive production. However, in the short term, targeted direct sales to local consumers or upscale restaurants that demand â&#x20AC;&#x153;never frozenâ&#x20AC;? shrimp can support higher prices for a quality domestic product.

The use of settling tanks may be critical to maintaining optimal growing conditions in these biofloc systems.

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Contact Editor Darryl Jory for author guidelines.

E-mail: Telephone: 407-366-8905 Fax: 419-844-1638

production sustainable aquaculture practices

Claude E. Boyd, Ph.D. Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures Auburn University Alabama 36849 USA

Blue-green algae often float to the surface and form scums that absorb heat and elevate water temperatures.

Phytoplankton In Aquaculture Ponds

Phytoplankton form the base of the food web in aquaculture ponds, but the natural abundance of phytoplankton is not sufficient to provide desired levels of shrimp and fish production. Fertilizers increase the natural fertility of ponds and allow greater yields. Many producers, however, have switched to feed-based aquaculture to increase production beyond that possible with fertilizers. Natural productivity is still important in ponds with feeding, especially soon after stocking, because young postlarvae and fingerlings cannot use feed as efficiently as older animals. Some aquaculturists, and particularly shrimp producers, evaluate the abundance and taxonomic composition of phytoplankton communities in pond waters. They also apply various treatments in attempts to control the abundance and composition of the phytoplankton communities. Algal propagules are ubiquitous â&#x20AC;&#x201C; fill a new pond with water and many phytoplankton species will find their way into it. Phytoplankton growth is regulated by water temperature, solar radiation, pH,

turbidity and nutrient concentrations. Acidic pond water normally is treated with liming materials to increase pH. Turbidity caused by suspended soil particles usually settles from water held in ponds, and nutrients are supplied by fertilizers and feeds. Aquaculture ponds typically have ideal conditions for the growth of phytoplankton.

Density, Species Composition

The density of phytoplankton blooms is strongly dependent upon the availability of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus. Intensive aquaculture ponds with large inputs of feed usually have an abundance of phytoplankton, and phytoplankton blooms also reach fairly high densities in semi-intensive ponds. The species composition of phytoplankton blooms is highly variable and can change rapidly over time. Many have observed that adjacent aquaculture ponds receiving similar management inputs seldom have water of equal clarity or color. Differences in the appearance of pond

waters result from differences in the composition and density of phytoplankton blooms. A pond might have a phytoplankton bloom consisting primarily of various species of green algae, but within a few weeks, the phytoplankton community might be made up almost entirely of a single species of blue-green algae. Alternatively, the green algae bloom in a pond might persist, but the species in the bloom might change during a period of a few weeks. The total abundance of phytoplankton also waxes and wanes (Figure 1), even when nutrient inputs are relatively constant.

Blue-Green Algae

Some phytoplankton species are more desirable than others in aquaculture ponds. Blue-green algae, called cyanobacteria by some, are particularly troublesome. Dense blooms of blue-green algae, like those of other algae, cause wide daily fluctuations in dissolved-oxygen concentration. Mechanical aeration has provided a means of avoiding excessively low dissolved-oxygen concentrations at night in intensive aquaculture ponds. Blue-green algae often float to the surface and form scums during calm weather. These scums absorb heat and elevate water surface temperatures. They also often drift into corners of ponds, where they die and result in localized water and soil quality deterioration. Blooms of blue-green algae also tend to die suddenly. Dense phytoplankton


Aquaculture ponds typically have ideal conditions for the growth of various species of phytoplankton. Green algae are considered most desirable in freshwater ponds. Many managers of brackishwater or seawater ponds for shrimp culture prefer blooms of diatoms. Blooms of blue-green algae cause wide daily fluctuations in dissolvedoxygen concentration and can produce odorous compounds or those toxic to other algae or cultured animals. global aquaculture advocate

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C h l o r o p h y l l a ( p p )











M on t h

Figure 1. Changes in chlorophyll a concentration indicate phytoplankton abundance in a fertilized freshwater pond.

blooms consisting of a single species of blue-green algae and calm, warm weather with intense solar radiation are conditions that favor die-offs of phytoplankton. Massive die-offs can lead to dissolved oxygen depletion despite the operation of mechanical aerators. In addition to causing water quality problems, some species of Oscillatoria, Anabaena, Microcystis, Lyngbya, Aphanizomenom and a few other blue-green algae genera are notorious for producing odorous compounds that when absorbed by fish and shrimp cause off-flavors in their flesh. Once off-flavor compounds disappear from the water, they undergo natural depuration from the flesh of culture species. Ponds can be treated with copper sulfate at a rate equal to 1% of the total alkalinity to kill blue-green algae. Following elimination of the source of odorous compounds, culture animals frequently, but not always, return to normal flavor within one or two weeks. In coastal ponds, water exchange sometimes can be used to flush off-flavor-producing algae from ponds. Factors favoring blue-green algae in ponds are high concentrations of nutrients and pH above 8.3. High pH favors these algae because they are much more competitive than other algae for the low concentration of available inorganic carbon at high pH. Aquaculture ponds are ideal for blue-green algae because nutrients are abundant and algae grow rapidly. This reduces carbon-dioxide concentrations, raises pH and further favors dominance by the algae. Research also has shown that bluegreen algae can release algicidal sub-


January/February 2009

stances into the water that are toxic to other types of algae. In the United States, 75-80% of channel catfish ponds have phytoplankton communities dominated by blue-green algae in late summer and early fall. Blue-greens occur in brackishwater ponds, but their abundance tends to be greatest when salinities are below 10 ppt. Some species of blue-green algae produce toxins that can kill fish and shrimp. The most famous toxic algae are species of the genera Prymnesium and Chrysochromulina. These algae are mainly marine, but some species of Prymnesium can thrive in inland waters with salinities above 2 ppt. Fish kills often are caused by blooms of golden algae, P. parvum. Recently, this species caused mortality and poor growth of shrimp in inland ponds with salinities of 2-5 ppt in Alabama, USA. Other toxic algae include some species of dinoflagellates (red tide is caused by the dinoflagellate Ptychodiscus brevis), a few marine diatoms and marine chloromonads. In freshwater ponds, copper sulfate is used to kill toxic algae. Some producers treat water with 2-4 mg potassium permanganate/l to oxidize algal toxins remaining in the water. In coastal ponds, it sometimes is possible to flush toxic algae from ponds by water exchange.

Bloom Management

Aside from blue-green algae and toxic algae, most other planktonic algae are not particularly troublesome in aquaculture ponds. Green algae are considered most desirable in freshwater ponds. Many managers of brackishwater or seawater ponds for shrimp culture prefer blooms of diatoms, for these algae are considered good natural food for shrimp.

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There are no reliable methods for maintaining blooms of green algae in freshwater ponds. Although ponds can have green algae early in the crop, phytoplankton dominance often later shifts to blue-green algae. Research conducted in water confined within large plastic enclosures in a eutrophic lake showed the blue-green algae were replaced by green algae when carbon dioxide was introduced into the enclosures. As a result, some shrimp farmers add manures or molasses to ponds to stimulate microbial production of carbon dioxide to lower pH and discourage blue-green algae. The benefit of this procedure has not been proven through careful study. Shrimp farmers have been successful in stimulating diatom production in brackishwater or seawater ponds by fertilizing with a wide nitrogen:phosphorus ratio â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 10 to 20 times as much nitrogen as phosphorus. Many shrimp producers believe that high diatom abundance is favored by fertilization with nitrate and silicate. A commercial fertilizer from Chile specifically formulated for increasing diatom abundance in shrimp ponds contains both sodium nitrate and silicate. Research findings also suggest that the addition of iron to seawater should stimulate diatoms, but no studies verify the efficacy of this treatment in shrimp ponds. In attempts to reduce the abundance of phytoplankton, calcium, iron and aluminum compounds have been applied to ponds to precipitate phosphorus from the water. The rationale behind this method is that removal of phosphorus lowers the photosynthesis rate, increases carbon dioxide availability and lowers pH â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a sequence of events unfavorable to blue-green algae growth. These treatments have seen some success in research but are seldom used by commercial producers.

Algae Evaluation

Many shrimp farmers routinely count the abundance of different genera of algae in pond waters. Aside from fertilizing to encourage diatoms or treating offflavor-producing algae and toxic algae with copper sulfate, little can be done to control the composition of algae communities. It is doubtful that the tremendous effort involved in algae enumeration is worthwhile. However, some evaluation of algal communities is desirable for determining if potentially toxic species or species capable of producing odorous compounds are present.

feed and nutrition

Tania De Wolf

Algae Alternatives Serve in Larval Rearing of Seabream

Simulation tanks tested the physical characteristics of the greenwater substitutes under dynamic and industrial conditions.

The successful production of highquality seabream fry still necessitates a greenwater step in the larval-rearing phase. The multiple roles of algae as a light diffuser, nutritional conditioner of zooplankton, bacteriostatic, water quality improver and immunostimulant during the early phase of larval rearing, and their possible interactions on final fry quality after metamorphosis make finding valid alternatives a complicated matter. Important increases in the hatchery production of seabream fry and faster turnover in the larval-rearing facilities during the last 10 years are demanding more intensive algae production. Highdensity algae cultivation systems and the use of concentrated algae are helping the fry producers, but an off-the-shelf substitute with long shelf life and constant quality would also help. Maricoltura di Rosignano Solvay has worked with INVE Technologies more than four years to develop an algal substitute that could delvier the varied characteristics of algae in the commercial larviculture of gilthead seabream.

Greenwater Rearing

Seabream fry are still produced using the greenwater rearing technique. This means that during the first 20 to 30 days after hatching, microalgae are added in considerable amounts to the larval-rearing tanks. The amount of microalgae needed to produce 1 million fry is around 40,000 l using algae produced in traditional batch cultures at an average cell density of 19.106 cells/ml or 5,000 1 using algae produced in intensive systems such as photo-bioreactors at an average cell density of 180.106 cells/ml. The most frequently used algae are Nannochloropsis, Chlorella and Isochrysis species. All these microalgae have characteristics such as the presence of high levels of highly unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and/or proteins, or antibacterial properties that make them indispensable for the larval rearing of seabream and other marine finfish species. An important role of the microalgae is the creation of a shadowing effect in tanks that reduces stress for the larvae by diffusion of the incoming light. A second role


Alessandro Moretti Francesco Lenzi

Maricoltura di Rosignano Solvay Via P. Gigli snc, I-57013 Rosignano Solvay, Italy

Olivier Decamp Pino Candreva

INVE Technologies N.V. Dendermonde, Belgium

Patrick Lavens

INVE Aquaculture Health Dendermonde, Belgium

is a nutritional one, be it directly for the larvae in enhancing their digestive physiology or acting as an immunostimulator, or indirectly as a feed for the rotifers in the larval-rearing tanks. A third role is optimizing the environmental conditions by acting as a water quality stabilizer and bacteriostatic against pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria in both the culture water and larvae guts.

Greenwater Simulation Trials

After formulation of theoretical “optimal” greenwater substitutes with a suitable size, the algal substitutes were evaluated in a greenwater simulation test using 500-l tanks. During the trials, water coloration, physical behavior, cleanliness and sedimentation rates were evaluated during four consecutive days. Products that scored well by equalling or bettering the performance of the algae control were further evaluated in pilot-scale fish culture trials.

Pilot-Scale Culture Trials

Preliminary tests were performed in a pilot system with 500-l larval-rearing tanks. Seabream larvae were stocked at day 1 posthatch at a density of about 100 larvae/l. The selected greenwater substitutes were compared in triplicate using a semiclosed water circulation system operated at a water temperature of 19 ± 1°C. The algal substitutes were supplied daily from day 2 until day 27 without the addition of live algae. Rotifers were fed from day 3 until day 27, 420-µ Artemia from day 17 until day 28, and 850-µ

Seabream fry are produced using the greenwater technique in which microalgae are added to larval-rearing tanks during the first 20 to 30 days after hatching. The algae serve as a light diffuser, nutritional conditioner of zooplankton, bacteriostatic, water quality improver and immunostimulant. An off-the-shelf substitute for algae would help meet rising demands for more algae production to meet increases in the hatchery production of seabream fry. 68

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Artemia enriched with a commercial product from day 25 until day 55. Cofeeding with dry diets was started at day 18, and weaning was completed at day 55 posthatch. The fish were evaluated for feeding incidence during the early days of feeding, swim bladder development, survival and major visual deformities after metamorphosis. The best-performing substitutes were then evaluated on a production scale to evaluate their real potential compared with freshly cultured algae.

Production-Scale Trials

The best-performing substitutes were evaluated on a production scale to evaluate their potential compared with freshly cultured algae.

Tale . Performance results at 55 days posthatch of seaream larvae fed a greenwater sustitute. Parameter Survival (%) Standard length (mm) Fish with fully inflated swim bladder (%) Fish with operculum deformities (%) Fish with tail deformities (%) Fish with skeletal deformities (%) Fish with normal aspect (%)

Greenwater Sustitute 47 15.4 Âą 1.1 98 7 0 1 91

Algae Control 43 14.8 Âą 0.96 96 12 5 1 82

It was quickly possible to fully substitute live algae by dry product formulations during the complete 30-day greenwater period. The substitution resulted in survival rates over 50% at day 65, which was comparable to survival for fish fed algae, and over 90% of fish with a fully inflated swim bladder. However, extra efforts were needed to improve water quality characteristics as well as the quality of the fry in terms of deformity levels. One formulation gave excellent results on all characteristics examined and even yielded seabream fry of a higher quality than those reared with freshly cultured algae (Table 1). This formulation will be commercialized soon by INVE Aquaculture.

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feed and nutrition Fatty Acid Composition of Red Drum Maintained By Fishmeal, Fish Oil Substitutes in Diets

John W. Leffler, Ph.D.

Deliah Arrington

Marine Resources Research Institute South Carolina Department of Natural Resources 217 Fort Johnson Road Charleston, South Carolina 29412 USA

Gloria Seaborn

Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Craig L. Browdy, Ph.D.

Marine fish are a nutritious component of the human diet, providing important vitamins, proteins and essential long-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that are naturally abundant in marine food webs. Increasing consumer demand for these species will likely be met through aquaculture. Recent concerns related to the potential degradation of ecological food chains, price instability and possible contaminants in aquaculture feeds based on fishmeal and fish oil have generated considerable interest in reducing or removing those fish products from aquaculture diets. However, animals raised on no-fish diets should still provide equivalent levels of the beneficial fatty acids that make seafood especially healthy. Recent research by the authors evaluated strategies to reduce or eliminate fishmeal and fish oil in diets for red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus, by substituting terrestrial proteins and lipids while maintaining equivalent levels of beneficial fatty acids in the final product by incorporating DHA supplements derived from marine algae.

Novus International Corp. Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Test Diets

Four growout and four finishing diets were tested (Table 1). Each contained 44% protein, but lipid levels were 10% in the growout diets and 15% in the finishing diets. Poultry meal replaced fishmeal in diets 2, 2F, 3, 3F, 4 and 4F to maintain protein levels and palatability. Soy and flax oils replaced fish oil and were balanced to maintain consistent n6:n3 ratios and lipid levels in diets 3 and 4.

Weight and length measurements of individual fish were collected at the start of the experiment.

Tale . Growout and finishing diets formulated and tested in study with red drum. Treatment

Diet Type


1 1F 2 2F 3 3F 4

Growout Finishing Growout Finishing Growout Finishing Growout



Control â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 28% fishmeal, 6% fish oil 28% fishmeal, 6% fish oil, 5% commercial oil 5% fishmeal, 6% fish oil 5% fishmeal, 6% fish oil, 5% commercial oil 0% fishmeal, 0% fish oil 0% fishmeal, 5% fish oil 0% fishmeal, 0% fish oil, 3.4% algal extract, 0.9% microbial product 0% fish meal, 0% fish oil, 5% commercial oil

Commercial oil contained 40% DHA derived from marine algae. Algal extract contained 15% DHA derived from microalgae. Microbial product contained 12% arachidonic acid.


In order to produce a more healthful product for humans, the finishing diets were developed with the goal of increasing the concentration of DHA in fish during their last four weeks before harvest. The lipid content of growout diets 1, 2 and 4 was increased to 15% with the addition of a commercial oil containing 40% DHA derived from marine algae. Menhaden fish oil and flax seed oil were added to diet 3 to increase its lipid content to 15%, as well.

Experimental Design

Juvenile red drum with a starting mean weight of 252.00 Âą 2.78 g, bred and raised by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, were fed commercial fishmeal/fish oil diets prior to the experiment. Twelve fish were stocked in each of 24, 1.4-m3 indoor tanks. After two weeks of acclimation, three fish from each tank

Recent research by the authors evaluated strategies to reduce fishmeal and fish oil in diets for red drum by substituting terrestrial proteins and lipids while maintaining beneficial fatty acids with DHA supplements derived from marine algae. Results suggested fatty acid-enriched finishing diets can be used with growout diets containing little or no fishmeal and fish oil to achieve the desired DHA content in the final fish fillets. 

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Production Results

The final weights of fish switched to the plant oil, DHAenriched finishing diets 1F, 2F and 4F for the final month of the study were not significantly different from those for fish that remained on the original diets during the finishing phase (Figure 1). When fish on diet 3 without fishmeal, fish oil or fatty acid supplementation were supplied with fish oil as 5% of the finishing diet 3F, their growth rate increased rapidly over those that remained on the original diet. By the end of the 24-week study, mean weights of the fish fed the conventional fishmeal, fish oil diet 1 were not significantly (P > 0.05) different from those for fish fed diet 4 with fatty acid supplementation but no fishmeal or fish oil. Fish fed both the low-fishmeal diet 2 and diet 3 without fishmeal, fish oil or fatty acid supplementation lagged significantly in growth. It is essential that red drum on no-fish diets receive fatty acid supplementation, specifically docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acids (DHA, ARA).

Fatty Acid Results

A goal of this study was not only to explore the production potential of diets with no fishmeal or fish oil, but also to consider the healthfulness of the product for human consumption in terms of the beneficial fatty acid DHA. In all cases, fish switched to fin-

Mean Weight (g)

1,400 1,200

Growout Diet

Finishing Diet

1,000 800 600 400 200 0

Diet 1 Diet 1F Diet 2 Diet 2F Diet 3 Diet 3F Diet 4 Diet 4F

Figure . Mean weights of red drum after 24 weeks of growout/finishing.

DHA Content (mg / g)

were sacrificed, filleted and analyzed to provide baseline lipid profiles of the edible flesh. Diet treatments with six replicate tanks per treatment were assigned in a randomized block design across three closed recirculating systems. Diets prepared in the lab were fed at 3% body weight/day using automated belt feeders over a 20-week growout period. Fish were batch weighed monthly, and feed rates were adjusted accordingly. After 20 weeks, fish on the control diet were approaching harvestable size at a mean weight of 719 g. At that time half of the tanks in each treatment were switched to finishing diets to enhance levels of DHA in the final product or at least restore lipid profiles similar to those of the control fish. Both the original diets and corresponding finishing diets were fed for an additional four weeks. Three fish from each tank were harvested with individual weights and lengths measured and fatty acid profiles determined for individual skinless fillets.


Growout Diet Finishing Diet

200 150 100 50 0

Diet 1 Diet 1F Diet 2 Diet 2F Diet 3 Diet 3F Diet 4 Diet 4F

Figure 2. DHA content of red drum fillets after 24 weeks of growout/finishing.

ishing diets high in DHA responded with increased accumulation of this fatty acid in their tissues, independent of whether it influenced growth rate (Figure 2). Fish raised on diet 4 responded to the finishing diet 4F and achieved tissue concentrations of DHA statistically indistinguishable from fish raised solely on the conventional fishmeal, fish oil diet. The highest DHA levels were found in diets 1F, 2F â&#x20AC;&#x201C; treatments where a DHA-enriched finishing diet was used in conjunction with a fishmeal-based growout diet. Fish fed diet 3 were significantly lower in DHA than those on the other diets. With no DHA in their diets, these fish probably survived only on stored reserves developed prior to this study.

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Daniel Benetti, Ph.D.

Chairman, Division of Marine Affairs and Policy Associate Professor Director of Aquaculture University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway Miami, Florida 33149 USA

Ongoing UMEH research has established protocols for the conditioned spawning, larval rearing and fingerling production of cobia. These cobia are spawning on and off season throughout December – a first in the Western Hempisphere. Photo courtesy of University of Miami Experimental Hatchery.

During the last three years, methods for the capture, transport, acclimation, sampling, conditioned spawning, larval rearing and fingerling production of cobia, Rachycentron canadum, have been perfected at the University of Miami Experimental Hatchery (UMEH) in Miami, Florida, USA. Likewise, standard operating procedures for shipping eggs, larvae, fingerlings and broodstock were firmed up. Current shipping methods resulted in 90% survival for shipments made in 2008, including shipments to several U.S. states, the Caribbean and a number of Central and South American countries. Wild and F1 broodstock cobia have been conditioned to spawn through temperature manipulation, producing viable eggs for experimental and production-level larval-rearing trials in several hatcheries. An ongoing selective-breeding program at UMEH has already yielded extraordinary results in its early stages. In 2007, F1 selected broodstock cobia outperformed wild cobia in number of spawns as well as fertilization and hatching rates. As a consequence, in 2008, only F1 selected broodstock with outstanding performance – having naturally spawned 78


times on and off season – were kept in maturation tanks. Survival rates ranging 17.5-35.0% were achieved from egg to 1-g shipping-size fingerlings in 2007-08 at the facilities, with peak productions greater than 20,000 fingerlings/12-m3 tank. In 2007 and 2008, over 300,000 fingerlings were produced at UMEH. Cobia are susceptible to infestations by parasitic protozoa such as Amyloodinium ocellatum and to infections caused by deleterious bacteria such as Photobacterium and Vibrio species. Methods to prevent and control epizootic diseases at the hatchery have been successful.

Maturation and Spawning

In 2008, 78 natural spawns occurred in two maturation systems at UMEH, generating over 150 million fertilized eggs. From these spawns, viable eggs and larvae were used for larval-rearing trials using probiotics and a simplified live feed regime. In addition, millions of eggs and larvae were shipped to several academic and research institutions, as well as the private sector for experimental and production trials.

A selective-breeding program coupled with advances in maturation systems, nutrition and management led to 78 natural spawnings of F1 broodstock cobia at the University of Miami Experimental Hatchery in 2008. Innovative research on early developmental stages based on proactive health management has resulted in the production of hundreds of thousands of cobia fingerlings — enough to sustain commercial operations in the Americas. 2

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Larval-Rearing Trials

Larviculture procedures in tanks incorporated the use of probiotics, minimial microalgae and commercial ingredients for live feed enrichment. Photo courtesy of University of Miami Experimental Hatchery.

In 2006, 2007 and 2008, larval-rearing trials were conducted with varying degrees of success. Overall, survival rates from eggs to fingerlings ranged 3-35%. In 2006, several thousand fingerlings were shipped to Puerto Rico to stock Snapperfarmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s submerged cage and other cobia start-up operations in the U.S. and abroad. In 2007 and 2008, over 200,000 cobia fingerlings produced at UMEH were shipped to Marine Farms Belize and other private companies in the Caribbean and Latin America for growout. During the last two years, firm protocols were developed for cobia larviculture at UMEH. The protocols incorporate the use of probiotics, minimize microalgae use and integrate commercially available ingredients for live feed enrichment. In summary, fertilized eggs were stocked at 400/l and incubated in 1-m3 cylinder-conical tanks with flow-through seawater at 500% daily exchange rate. Moderate aeration and pure oxygen were used to maintain dissolved-oxygen concentrations above saturation. Hatching occurred 22 to 24 hours after fertilization. Yolk-sac larvae were stocked in four 12-m3 cylinder-conical tanks at 10 larvae/l. Beginning three days posthatch, larvae were fed Isochyrsis galbana microalgae at 5-10,000 cell/ml and enriched rotifers, Brachionus plicatilis, at 3-5/ml through day 9. Beginning on the seventh day, enriched Artemia franciscana nauplii were fed to larvae at 0.1-1/ml. Cobia larvae were reared at water temperatures ranging 24.331.8°C. Water was filtered prior to entering the tanks to 10 Âľ using standard sand and bag filters. Daily water exchange rates in the tanks ranged 100-500%. Between 20 and 22 days posthatch,

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Hundreds of thousands of cobia fingerlings have been successfully shipped to farms and partners in further research. Photo courtesy of University of Miami Experimental Hatchery.

all postlarvae were fully weaned onto dry starting diets. The trials conducted in 2007 generated over 120,000 fingerlings in four tanks in just two months. In 2008, larval-rearing production trials resulted in the production of almost 200,000 fingerlings. These levels of production are sustaining commercial operations, indicating that cobia aquaculture can be viable in the Americas.

Shipping Success

In 2007 and 2008, UMEH continued to develop and improve fingerling shipping methodologies. Excellent survival was achieved in shipping over 300,000 fingerlings to several academic, government and industry collaborators in interstate and international shipping. In April 2007, 12 broodstock cobia ranging 4-7 kg each in weight were successfully shipped by truck from the University of Miami Hatchery to the Great Bay Aquaculture hatchery in New Hampshire, USA. In 2007, approximately 120,000 fingerlings were shipped to a variety of locations with a survival rate of 88%. In 2008, about 180,000 fingerlings were shipped with average survival over 90%.

Collaboration With Industry, Government

The hundreds of thousands of cobia fingerlings produced at UMEH as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;byproductâ&#x20AC;? of the larval-rearing research are being used for research trials and commercial production. For example, several thousand fingerlings were shipped to Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Florida, USA, and to the Center of Marine Biotechnology in Maryland, USA, for experimental trials in nutrition and stocking densities using recirculating systems.

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UMEH is currently collaborating with Rockaviar Sturgeon Farms of Homestead, Florida, on research to acclimate and raise cobia in freshwater using recirculating systems. In addition, UMEH is collaborating with the Cape Eleuthera Institute in South Eleuthera, the Bahamas, on a growout trial using a submerged cage system stocked with fingerlings produced at the institute to test the performance of a new line of feeds specifically formulated for tropical marine fish by Nicovita in Peru. UMEH continues to collaborate with the industry and institutions for the development of marine fish culture in the United States. Through the National Marine Aquaculture Initiative (NMAI), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has provided partial funding for the research projects conducted at UMEH. The Aquaculture Program at the University of Miami has matched every dollar granted by government-sponsored projects through memorandums of understanding and by transferring and selling the eggs, larvae, fingerlings and technology generated by the research to the government and private sectors. And in addition to operating the hatchery since 2006, graduate students including Bruno Sardenberg, Aaron Welch, Ronald Hoenig and John Stieglitz have conducted thesis research in work partially funded by the NOAA-NMAI grant. The vision of the Aquaculture Program at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is that research and academic institutions must engage in collaboration with the government and the private sector in order to take science and technology to the next level by achieving commercial and economic feasibility. The program has been successful in its endeavors.


Ketut Sugama Ph.D.

Isti Koesharyani

Research Center for Aquaculture Agency for Marine and Fisheries Research Jl Ragunan No. 20 Jakarta 12540 Indonesia

N. A. Asmara Giri, Ph.D. Ketut Suwirya

Gondol Research Institute for Mariculture Singaraja-Bali, Indonesia

At GRIM, broodstock tanks are continuously supplied with fresh seawater at daily At GRIM, both round and rectangular tanks are used for larval rearing. Light blue or yellow exchange rates of 200-300% and natural colors are recommended. photoperiod. The water must be clean and clear with stable salinity of 33-35 ppt and temperature of 27.0-30.5째C. Broodstock are fed to satiation six times a week, four times with trash fish (mainly Clupeidae and Scombridae) and two times with squid. The feed is supplemented with a vitamin mix at 1% of feed volume. Feces and excess feed that accumulates on tank bottoms is siphoned out at regular intervals. It is advisable to clean broodGroupers are commercially important fish in Asia, particustock tanks after spawning, usually during a full moon phase. To larly for live seafood markets in China, Taiwan, Singapore and prevent infestation with Benedenia and Cryptocaryon parasites, Malaysia. The species commonly found in the markets belong to freshwater baths of broodstock for five to seven minutes during the subfamily Epinephelinae and can be divided into three gentank cleaning are recommended. era: Epinephelus, Cromileptes and Plectrophomus. Groupers are protogynous hermaphrodites that mature as Grouper fishing is a big industry in many Asia-Pacific counfemales and then change into males at a later age. Broodstock tries, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the sex determination can be easily done during new moon periods. Philippines and Australia. One major constraint for grouper Male fish are characterized by white milt oozing from the genital aquaculture is the inconsistent supply of seedstock. pore by gentle pressing of the abdomen from the head toward Hatchery techniques developed at the Gondol Research Instithe tail. Mature females have swollen abdomens containing eggs tute for Mariculture (GRIM) in Singaraja-Bali, Indonesia, can be that can be sampled through the genital pore by canulation. used to produce juveniles of humpback grouper, Cromileptes The broodstock are allowed to spawn naturally throughout altivelis; tiger grouper, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus; flowery grouper, the year. Spawning usually occurs 4-6 times/month between 9:00 E. polyphecadion; coral grouper, E. corralicola; giant grouper, E. p.m. and 3:00 a.m. during the new moon phase. The number of lanceolatus; and leopard coral trout, Plectrophomus leopardus. eggs released in each spawning for C. altivelis, P. leopardus, E. GRIM has carried out research and development on the artificoralicolla and E. polyphecadion has been estimated at 0.4-2.6 cial propagation of groupers since 1995. In collaboration with million, while E. coioides and E. fuscoguttatus released an estithe Japan International Cooperation Agency and Australian Cenmated 0.8-6.0 million. ter for International Aquaculture Research, GRIM began successfully producing grouper seedstock at commercial levels in 2001. Larval Rearing The hatchery techniques developed by the institute have now At GRIM, both round and rectangular tanks are used for larbeen adopted widely by the private sector. val rearing. The corners of rectangular tanks should be rounded to avoid larval aggregation in the corners. The tanks are approxiBroodstock, Spawning mately 10 m3 in volume with 1.2-m depth. Light blue or yellow Based on experiences at GRIM, ideal grouper broodstock 3 colors are recommended for larval-rearing tanks. tanks are 60-150 m in volume and round in shape, with depths Seawater used for the larval-rearing tanks is pretreated in a of 2.0-2.5 m, water inlet and outlet systems and aeration. Each sand filter. The water salinity ranges 34-35 ppt and water temtank should have an overflow pipe with a tank and nets installed peratures range 28.5-29.5째C. Newly hatched larvae are stocked for egg collection.

Indonesian Methods Achieve Mass Production Of Grouper Seedstock


Researchers at the Gondol Research Institute for Mariculture in Indonesia have studied the artificial propagation of groupers since 1995. In 2001, GRIM began successfully producing grouper seedstock at commercial-scale levels. Its hatchery techniques, which address spawning, larval rearing and nursery culture, have been adopted widely by the private sector for several grouper species. global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009


Days After Hatching


5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45

Feeding Regime Nannochrolopis SS-rotifers (5-7/ml) S-rotifers (8-10/ml) Artemia (0.2-0.5/ml) Artificial Diet Size 200-400 Size 400-800 Water Management Water exchange 10% 20% 50% Running Water Siphoning

Grouper juveniles reach 5 cm in total length before transfer to net cages for growout.

at an initial density of 10 larvae/l. Live food for the larvae consists of microalgae, rotifers and Artemia nauplii. Artificial diets are introduced prior to feeding Artemia nauplii. The larval-rearing protocol is summarized in Figure 1. Nannochloropsis is applied in the larval tanks one day after stocking the larvae at 300,000-400,000 algal cells/ml. S.S.-type rotifers are introduced on day 2, when the larvae partly absorb their yolk. The rotifer density is maintained at 5-7/ml through day 5. S-type rotifers are then introduced at 8-10/ml with density gradually decreased to day 25 as the rate of rotifer consumption by the larvae increases. From 15 days onward, a commercially formulated diet with particle sizes of 200-400 μ is used. The feed size is gradually increased to 400-800 μ from day 30 to day 45. From day 18 onward, newly hatched Artemia larvae are also introduced at a


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Figure . Larval-rearing protocol for groupers.

density of 0.1-0.2/ml. Before introduction to the tanks, the Artemia are enriched with a commercial product to increase their nutritional value. When the larvae are fed artificial diets and Artemia, 20-50% of the rearing water is changed daily. At day 35, a 100% daily exchange rate is applied to avoid water quality problems. After 45 days, almost all grouper larvae metamorphose. The rearing protocol presented in Figure 1 is fit for all grouper species with minor modifications. For example, newly hatched P. leopardus larvae have smaller mouth openings and so need to receive oyster trochophores or Acartia naupliii at initial feeding.

Nursery Culture

With total lengths of 2.1-2.7 cm, grouper juveniles harvested from larval-rearing tanks are too small and weak for sea cage culture. Nursery culture is conducted to grow them to the commercial size of 5-6 cm. When juveniles are stocked in nursery tanks, they usually gather near drain filters and then settle to the bottom during the first few days. Therefore, tanks with volumes of 5-10 m3 are suggested for nursery culture because these sizes are easy to manage. A density of 500 juveniles/m3 is suitable. Nursery culture in floating sea cages may be possible, but grouper juveniles are very sensitive to physical disturbances such as wind and waves. Juveniles can be fed small shrimp and minced or chopped trash fish. Those juveniles grown in sea cages must receive trash fish until marketable size. Those that receive dry pellets have to be well trained by feeding on artificial diets during nursery culture. There are several types and sizes of commercial diets for marine finfish. Based on the results of fish nutrition research at GRIM, the nutritional requirements for juvenile groupers are presented in Table 1. At GRIM, the fish are fed daily until satiation at 7:00 and 10:00 a.m., and 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. They attain sizes of 5-6 cm after four to six weeks of culture. The size of 5 cm total length is the smallest recommended for stocking in sea cages for further growout.

Tale . Nutritional requirements for grouper juveniles. Nutrient

C. E. E. altivelis fuscoguttatus coioides

Protein (%) 54 Fat (%) 9-12 n-3 HUFA (%) 1.4 Vitamin C 30 mg/kg

47 8 1.5 30 mg/kg

P. lepardus

48 47 10 9 1.5 1.5 30 mg/kg 30 mg/kg

health management Study Seeks Optimum Probiotic Dosing For Fish Fry Carp fry in the treatment that received probiotic at 10 ppm (top) had the highest survival and growth.

The packing and transportation of fish fry in hatcheries can cause stress, which results in mortalities and reduced performance. Many factors affect the survival of fish during transportation. Water exchange to provide oxygen for respiration and removal of toxic metabolites is limited, and fish often receive limited food before packing to lower their metabolism. Water temperature is also reduced to lower metabolism. The fish are concentrated to permit more efficient transportation. Handling, crowding and poor water quality can impose severe stress on fragile fry and fingerlings.

Probiotic Study

In a study, the authors tested a commercial probiotic product designed to lower stress response prior to and during transport of live fish fry and fingerlings. The probiotic was a combination of microbial cultures and selected nutrients for use in shrimp, fish and reptilian hatcheries. The Indian major carp, Catla catla, which is known to be sensitive to transportation stress, was used as a model species in the trials to determine the optimum dose of probiotic treatment prior to and during transport.

Study Setup

Catla catla fry with initial total length of 2.48 cm and body weight of 1.04 g were stocked into four tanks at the rate of 25 fry/l. In each tank, 1,600 fry were stocked and fed ad libitum for three days. During this time, each tank was treated

A. Jesu Arockia Raj, Ph.D.

Bengis Centre for Desert Aquaculture Albert Katz Department of Dryland Biotechnologies Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Sede Boker Campus 84990, Israel

M. A. Haniffa, Ph.D.

Center for Aquaculture Research and Extension St. Xavier’s College Tamil Nadu, India

with probiotic at the rate of 0 (control), 5, 10 or 15 ppm after water exchange, but before first feeding. The fry were not fed on the fourth day, when survival and final weight were recorded. Three replicates were maintained for each treatment. On the fifth day, the fry were packed in plastic bags at a density of 400 fry/l. The water in the bags contained added probiotic at doses corresponding to those used in the fry tanks. The bags were packed at 5:00 p.m. and left in the laboratory undisturbed until unpacking the following morning at 7.30 a.m. Survival was monitored immediately after unpacking. The fry were restocked in tanks at the rate of 25 fry/l. They were fed ad libitum 3 times/day, but no further treatment with probiotic was applied. Growth and survival were monitored for five days after the restocking.


Treatment with the probiotic at 10 ppm resulted in the highest survival and growth of fry prior to packing. Mean survival of the fry in tanks with probiotic at 0, 5, 10 and 15 ppm were 79.6, 78.6, 85.1 and 78.5%, respectively (Table 1). Fry treated with probiotic at 0, 5, 10 and 15 ppm had grown to final mean weights of 1.10, 1.18, 1.22 and 1.10 g, respectively (Table 2). Treatment with probiotic at 10 ppm also resulted in better survival after unpacking. Mean survival rates immediately after

Tale . Cumulative survival of Catla catla fry treated with proiotic efore packing. Treatment (ppm) 0 5 10 15


Survival (%) Day 2

Day 3


95.18 94.56 96.56 94.68

90.62 87.68 91.75 86.93

85.25 82.81 88.00 82.25

79.68 78.62 85.18 78.50

Tale 2. Weight of C. catla fry treated with proiotic efore packing. Initial length (cm) Initial weight (g) Final length (cm) Final weight (g)



5 ppm


5 ppm

2.480 ± 0.219 1.040 ± 0.296 2.550 ± 0.246 1.098 ± 0.028

2.480 ± 0.219 1.040 ± 0.296 2.630 ± 0.123 1.180 ± 0.024

2.480 ± 0.219 1.040 ± 0.296 2.680 ± 0.169 1.220 ± 0.021

2.480 ± 0.219 1.040 ± 0.296 2.800 ± 0.421 1.100 ± 0.049

Although many factors affect the condition of fish during transport, such as reduced oxygen levels, lower temperatures and additional handling, all can induce stress in the fish. In a study, the authors tested a commercial probiotic designed to lower stress response prior to and during transport. The study indicated that treatment at 10 ppm produced the highest fish survival and growth. 8

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Final Weight (g)

1.30 1.25 1.20 1.15 1.10 1.05 1.00




Proiotic Dose (ppm)


Figure . Final weight of Catla catla fry treated with probiotic after stocking.

unpacking were 90.8, 80.1, 92.8 and 89.1%, respectively, for probiotic treatments of 0, 5, 10 and 15 ppm. During the five-day “posttransportation” period, the mean survival of the fry that previously received probiotic at doses of 0, 5, 10 and 15 ppm was 84.1, 84.4, 91.6 and 82.1%, respectively. The corresponding final mean weights of the fish were 1.20, 1.21, 1.28 and 1.10 g, respectively (Figure 1). The study indicated that probiotic treatment at 10 ppm produced the highest fry performance in terms of survival and growth prior to, during and after transport. The reasons why the lower and higher doses sometimes resulted in poorer performance than the control are not known. The higher dose almost always resulted in poorer performance when compared to the control. Based on the results obtained in this trial, it is prudent to avoid overdosage during probiotic treatments.


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health management

Stephen G. Newman, Ph.D. President and CEO Aqua-In-Tech Inc. 6722 162nd Place Southwest Lynnwood, Washington 98037 USA

Large numbers of animals can be examined in cast net samples. Sampling for population health status should ideally be done at multiple points around the pond.

Relevance of Sampling Protocols To Determine Shrimp, Fish Health

Health screening is an essential component of any animal husbandry program. As in all agricultural activities, disease is a ubiquitous feature of aquaculture, so disease intervention and prevention are important to ensure continued profitability. The main challenge to aquaculturists lies not in determining that diseases are present, but in identifying what disease problems can result in economically significant losses and how to minimize their impacts. The ability to prevent a disease outbreak from causing substantial losses entails determining what elements of predictability are present. This is usually only attainable by sampling animals at intervals. Sample size, frequency and methods to cost-effectively minimize the risks and impacts of disease are concerns for all aquaculturists.

Proactive Management

Stress is an inherent component of all animal production processes. While every effort should be made to reduce stress, it is simply not possible to control all of the variables related to farming animals in aquatic environments.


Consistent observation of animals is essential. Behaviors that relate to animal health should be monitored as continually as is realistic. These include feed consumption (sick animals usually do not eat as well as healthy animals), behavior (hanging around pond edges, staying at the top of the water column), the presence of external factors (high degrees of bird predation) and physical changes in animal appearance (lesions, spots, etc.). When such problems are noted, they should lead to much closer examinations of population health. Proactive management of disease also entails sampling on a regular basis to ensure that the animals are healthy. When these programs show that animals are not healthy, diseases need to be identified and dealt with accordingly. Truly proactive management of health requires a concerted effort that involves all parties in the animal-rearing process. These include feeders, individuals who take water samples for both chemical and biological parameters, and animal health specialists. Intervention strategies need to be defined, and farms should be prepared to use whatever strategies are required to minimize the financial impacts of disease.

To avoid or control the impacts of disease, consistent observation and sampling of animals are essential. Sample size should be dictated by the goal of the sampling. Although many managers think terminal sampling is the best approach, this is not necessarily true. Sampling for population health status in shrimp ponds should consist of composite samples taken at multiple points around the pond. 8

January/February 2009

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should consist of composite samples taken at multiple points around the pond. Areas where weaker animals are likely to be found, such as near entrance gates, exit gates, areas of accumulated sludge or feed trays, are all potential spots where samples indicative of what is occurring in the population can be taken. Keeping in mind that the weakest animals do not necessarily represent what is happening in the population as a whole, increases in the frequency of affected animals between sampling intervals coupled with behavioral observations give the best chance of determining what underlying issues could be problematic.

Sampling Schedule

Basic pondside exams can help reveal how the health of the culture population changes over time.

Sampling Guidelines

For high-value crops such as fish, it is relatively easy to avoid handling large numbers of animals for examination. Fish in cages, for example, are often visible when they feed and can be observed with cameras. Many managers think terminal sampling is the best approach, but this is not necessarily true. Simply catching fish in a net and looking for external disease symptoms and behaviors indicative of specific disease processes can be useful. For animals such as shrimp, large numbers of animals can be examined in cast net samples. Those that display pathognomonic symptoms â&#x20AC;&#x201C; those whose presence means a particular disease is present â&#x20AC;&#x201C; can be selected for terminal observation. A source of confusion is how many animals to sample. This should be dictated by the goal of the sampling. Typically, one or more of three objectives apply:  Determination of the prevalence of a specific pathogen in the population. How many animals have a specific problem?  Determination of the overall health status of the population. This includes nutritional status (as seen in deformed animals or the absence of lipids in the hepatopancreas in shrimp, for example), the presence of symptoms that indicate an environmental issue (gill fouling) or overt signs of infectious disease (white spots due to white spot syndrome).  Determination of how the health of the population is changing with time. This combines elements of both of the above. As an example, imagine that a 1-ha pond with 100 shrimp/ m2 contains a million animals. Guidelines established by the American Fisheries Society call for a random sampling of 150 animals to have a 98% chance of finding a given pathogen in the population. The general threshold of acceptability for determining the potential presence of pathogens is typically 95%, which requires 60 animals for the population described. These percentages are based on taking a truly random sample, which is generally not possible with animals in ponds or cages, and the ability of the testing technology to detect a pathogen at a very high degree of accuracy. In reality there are no such tools; even polymerase chain reaction testing has limitations. Suggested values should thus be taken as guidelines only. Sampling for population health status in shrimp ponds

Sampling should never be solely based on a calendar schedule. Taking very small samples also is of little use, as changes in the health status of the population are of most concern. Targeting the weakest animals, which indicates what is affecting some animals, does not give an indication of the changes in the population as a whole that farm management must use to judge overall health status. Many farms that experience low survivals never see any sick animals. This is a failure of their health-screening programs that can be remedied by more frequent and better-targeted screening. Unfortunately, health screening is all too often perceived as a burden to which few resources are allocated. Especially after serious stress, screening once a week or every two weeks without considering that changes can occur in a population over the course of days does not generate the type of data required to determine what is occurring in the population and what can be done. The use of antibiotics, increasing water exchange rates, even harvesting animals earlier than intended are examples of steps that can be taken to mitigate the negative impact of diseases.

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industry news

People, Products, Programs Ú Please send short news items and photos for consideration to: Darryl E. Jory 5661 Telegraph Road, Suite 3A St. Louis, Missouri 63129 USA E-mail: Fax: +1-419-844-1638

The EATIP Operating Council recently held a meeting in Brussels.

European Aquaculture Technology And Innovation Platform Forms

A new nonprofit European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATIP) has been established to assure the growth and sustainability of European aquaculture. The platform will promote technical and economic excellence as the basis for the leadership potential of European aquaculture at the global level. After several meetings in 2008, a board nominated at a 2007 stakeholder meeting established main objectives for EATIP that include the enabling of relevant stakeholders to collectively identify innovation challenges and develop a strategic research agenda to answer those challenges. EATIP will also implement the results of appropriate research through effective dissemination and technology transfer mechanisms. Going forward, some of the EATIP priorities will be to establish a strong relationship between aquaculture and consumers; assure a sustainable aquaculture industry by covering social, environmental and economic issues; and consolidate the role of aquaculture in society. To achieve these priorities, the board created seven thematic areas, each led by a chairperson from the aquaculture profession. The platform themes vary from product quality/human safety and health to technology, sustainable feed production, aquatic animal health and welfare, and knowledge management. Another EATIP stakeholders meeting will be held in Ghent, Belgium, on February 3. Open to all stakeholders, this general assembly will detail the progress made by the platform. Registration will open January 12 on the EATIP website, For further information, contact Courtney Hough at

Hydrotech Introduces New Larger Drum Filter

Hydrotech, the leading company in the development and manufacture of microscreens for removing particles from all types of liquid flow, has introduced a new The new HDF2010 drum filter can larger drum filter. be shipped in a standard container. The Hydrotech


January/February 2009

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HDF2010 has more filter panels than the company’s previous largest filter, HDF2408, which is very useful in large aquaculture installations. HDF2408, however, is costly to ship long distance, as it does not fit into containers. The new HDF2010 is not only bigger, but can be shipped in standard H.C. containers. The Hydrotech HDF2010 has 22.6 m2 of filtration area, allowing capacities over 1,000 l/second. It still features Hydrotech’s patented cell-based filter panels and can be supplied in versions for freshwater or saltwater. Hydrotech develops, manufactures and sells high-performance filter systems used in more than 6,000 installations around the world. Water works, processing plants, fish farms and sewage treatment plants are just some of the industries that use Hydrotech’s water purification filters. See for more information.

Brunei Aquaculture Program Achieves Black Tiger Breakthrough

The Department of Fisheries (DOF) of Brunei Darussalam in conjunction with Integrated Aquaculture International (IAI) has produced the second generation of black tiger shrimp from a population that underwent the highest standards of quarantine and pathogen screening. These offspring are now considered candidate specific The DOF/IAI project has yielded candidate pathogen-free (SPF) SPF black tiger shrimp, which are now animals. in trials prior to commercial distribution. A portion of the SPF offspring will be transferred to the Aquaculture Development Centre in Meragang, where they will form the foundation population of a family-based breeding program. The remainder will be transferred to the Seiwa hatchery and Semaun Aquaculture farm for trials before offering them to private farms in Brunei for commercial production. “This is a key milestone in our program, which is designed to produce fast-growing shrimp that reach valuable large sizes for premium export markets,” DOF Director Hajah Hasnah Ibrahim said. In Brunei, farmers who produce white shrimp are struggling to compete with commodity white shrimp from Asia. To regain a competitive position, DOF and IAI undertook a three-year renew-

able project to develop advanced technology for the production of distinctive large-size black tiger shrimp. The program involves a package of technology to improve health, breeding, feeds and growout systems. Screening for disease pathogens is done with advanced molecular and histopathology systems in a lab linked with that of Dr. Donald Lightner at the University of Arizona, USA.

Biorigin Registers GlucaFeed/MacroGard In Canada

Biorigin, a Brazilian company that operates in the yeast market for animal nutrition and food ingredients, has registered GlucaFeed in Canada. The same product as MacroGard, GlucaFeed is rich in beta 1.3-1.6 glucans and has a strong presence in the global animal nutrition market for livestock, pets and aquaculture. The product became part of the Biorigin portfolio after the acquisition of the Norwegian company Immunocorp Animal Health, currently called Biorigin Scandinavia. “With the GlucaFeed registration, Biorigin expands its participation in the Canadian market and offers customers the best alternative in beta-glucans,” Paula Curiacos, Biorigin animal nutrition manager, said. Biorigin is the business unit of the company Zilor responsible for the sector of natural ingredients for human foods and animal nutrition. It manufactures and markets yeasts and their by-products. Its animal nutrition products include prebiotics, organic minerals and immunomodulators for poultry and swine production, aquaculture and pet food. The food ingredient line produces yeast extracts that enhance the flavor of foods. For further information, visit

New E.U. Aquaculture Regulations Released

After a long delay, the European Union has finally published Regulations 1250 and 1251/2008 regarding new certificates that will be implemented in July 2009 and August 2010. The first regulation sets up new certificates for fishery/ aquaculture products and live bivalve mollusks. It introduces minor changes in the animal health attestations. The second regulation repeals all other regulations regarding ornamental fish, and aquaculture fish and related products (eggs and gametes) intended for further growth, fattening or relaying into E.U. waters, before processing or not. See 337:SOM:EN:HTML for more information.

Ecuadorean Companies Support Rural Aquaculture Development

Ecuador’s Subsecretary of Aquaculture Ab. Guido Coppiano Intriago recently presented a plaque to representatives of industry-leading companies Modercorp S.A. and Garzal S.A. in recognition of their efforts, including the donation of tilapia fingerlings, to support the Project for Rural-Artisanal Aquaculture. This official initiative was established to further develop aquaculture among small-scale producers. The award was presented to Fernando Huerta Dorman, Grupo Garzal technical manager; Andrés Bejarano, general manager; and Hernán Zambrano, production manager.

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January/February 2009

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Agribrands International Inc. Agromarina de Panama, S.A. Alicorp S.A. – Nicovita Aqualma – Unima Group Aquatec/Camanor Asociación Nacional deAcuicultores de Colombia Asociación Nacional deAcuicultores de Honduras Associação Brasileira deCriadores de Camarão Bangladesh Chapter –Global Aquaculture Alliance Belize Aquaculture, Ltd. Bluecadia Aquaculture Group, LLC Bluepoints Co., Inc. Cámara Nacional de Acuacultura Camaronera de Cocle, S.A. Cargill Animal Nutrition Continental Grain Co. C.P. Aquaculture Business Group Darden Restaurants Deli Group, Ecuador Deli Group, Honduras Diamante del Mar S.A. Eastern Fish Co. El Rosario, S.A. Empacadora Nacional, C.A. Empress International, Ltd. Expack Seafood, Inc. Expalsa - Exportadora de Almientos S.A. FCE Agricultural Research and Management, Inc. Fishery Products International India Chapter – Global Aquaculture Alliance Indian Ocean Aquaculture Group INVE Aquaculture, N.V. King & Prince Seafood Corp. Long John Silver’s, Inc. Lu-Mar Lobster & Shrimp Co. Lyons Seafoods Ltd. Maritech S.A. de C.V. Meridian Aquatic Technology Systems, LLC Monsanto Morrison International, S.A. National Food Institute National Prawn Co. Ocean Garden Products, Inc. Overseas Seafood Operations, SAM Preferred Freezer Services Productora Semillal, S.A. Promarisco, S.A. Red Chamber Co. Rich-SeaPak Corp. Sahlman Seafoods of Nicaragua, S.A. Sanders Brine Shrimp Co., L.C. Sea Farms Group Seprofin Mexico Shrimp News International Sociedad Nacional de Galapagos Standard Seafood de Venezuela C.A. Super Shrimp Group Tampa Maid Foods, Inc. U.S. Foodservice Zeigler Brothers, Inc.


Advanced BioNutrition AIS Aqua Foods, Inc. Al Fulk National Co., Ltd. Alicorp S.A. – Nicovita American Pride Seafoods Aqua Bounty Technologies Aquamarina de la Costa, C.A. Bluecadia Aquaculture Group, LLC Camanor Produtos Marinhos, Ltda. Capitol Risk Concepts, Ltd. Cargill Chang International, Inc. C.P. Products Darden Restaurants Eastern Fish Co. Empress International, Ltd. Fishery Products International, Inc. Global Food Technologies Grobest USA Inc. Harbor Seafood Imaex Seafoods Inspectorate America Corp. INVE Aquaculture, N.V. King & Prince Seafood Corp. Lyons Seafoods Ltd. Maloney Seafood Corp.

Mazzetta Co., LLC Moana Technologies Inc. National Prawn Co. Preferred Freezer Services Promarisco, S.A. P.T. Central Proteinaprima, TBK Red Chamber Co. Rich Product Corp. Sahlman Seafoods of Nicaragua, S.A. Seafood Exchange of Florida Seajoy Sea Port Products Corp. Thai Union Group Tropical Aquaculture Products, Inc. Urner Barry Publications, Inc. Zeigler Brothers, Inc.


All China Federation of Industry and Commerce Aquatic Production Chamber of Commerce Associação Brasileira de Criadoresde Camarão Cámara Nacional de Acuacultura Fats and Proteins Research Foundation, Inc. International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation National Fisheries Institute Oceanic Institute Prince Edward Island Seafood Processors Association Salmon of the Americas U.S. Soybean Export Council World Aquaculture Society Washington State China Relations Council


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Ammon International Inc. Anova Food, Inc. Aquabase, Inc. Aqua Star BIM Seafood Joint Stock Co. Black Tiger Aquaculture Sdn. Bhd. Blue Ridge Aquaculture Camanchaca Contessa Food Products, Inc. Cumbrian Seafoods Ltd. Devcorp International Diamond V Mills Fortune Fish Co. Genomar A.S. Hanwa American Corp. H & N Foods International, Inc. H.Q. Sustainable Maritime Industries Inc. International Marine Fisheries Co. International Marketing Specialists Laitram Machinery Lee Fish USA Marine Management Insurance Brokers Maritime Products International Mida Trade Ventures International, Inc. Mirasco, Inc. Morey’s Seafood International Orca Bay Seafoods Orion Seafood International Overseas Seafood Operation Pacific Aqua Farms, Inc. Pacific Seafood Group Pacific Supreme Co. Poseidon Seafood P.T. Fega Marikultura Rovithai Ltd. (DSM) Seattle Fish Co. Seattle Fish Co. of N.M. Slade Gorton & Co., Inc. Solae, LLC Starfish Foods Inc. Stavis Seafoods, Inc. Tampa Maid Foods, Inc. Tesco Stores The Plitt Co. Trans-Pac Foods, Ltd. Trident Seafoods, Inc. TÜV SÜD PSB Corp. Pte. Ltd. Young’s Seafood Ltd.

Welcome, New GAA Members

A group of companies became new or renewing Sustaining Members in conjunction with GOAL 2008. In addition to their registration discounts for GOAL, these new members can also serve on committees, vote on GAA issues and enjoy a discount on advertising in the Global Aquaculture Advocate: Black Tiger Aquaculture Sdn. Bhd. Blue Ridge Aquaculture H.Q. Sustainable Maritime Industries Mirasco, Inc. Orca Bay Seafoods Overseas Seafood Operation Pacific Seafood Group Stavis Seafoods, Inc. Trident Seafoods, Inc. Camanor Produtos Marinhos, Ltda. recently returned as a GAA Governing Member. The Global Aquaculture Alliance also welcomes the new Association Members below in the new year. As a reminder, all corporate-level memberships will receive renewal invoices in January. The Prince Edward Island Seafood Processors Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing advocacy, training and marketing support for the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island. The association acts as a liaison on behalf of seafood processors with various regulatory bodies. Its members have earned a reputation for top-quality seafood through the development of strict safety standards and implementation of innovative processing techniques. The Washington State China Relations Council is a private, nonprofit business association dedicated to promoting stronger commercial, educational and cultural relations between the U.S. state of Washington and the People’s Republic of China. Council membership is a key link to China trade leads and business referrals, with visiting Chinese business delegations and participation in business delegations to China. The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is a long-time supporter of the Global Aquaculture Alliance that has cooperated with GAA on various issues. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to education about seafood safety, sustainability and nutrition. Its diverse membership ranges from vessels at sea to seafood restaurants. NFI is committed to sustainable management of the world’s oceans. It also supports free trade and policies based on science.

global aquaculture advocate

January/February 2009


calendar JANUARY

International Congress on Aquatic Animal Health Management and Diseases January 27-28, 2009 Tehran, Iran Phone: +9821-66976060 Web: Golden Alga International Symposium 2 January 27 - 31, 2009 Fort Worth, Texas, USA Web: water/environconcerns/hab/ga/research/ symposium09.phtml

FEBRUARY Seafood Summit 2 February 1-3, 2009 San Diego, California, USA Web: seafoodsummit2009.php National Fisheries Institute Technical Conference February 2-5, 2009 Charleston, South Carolina, USA Phone: +1-703-752-8882 Web: nfi-events Midcontinent Warmwater Fish Culture Workshop February 2-4, 2009 Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA Phone: +1-515-281-6072 Web: meeting.htm Victam February 10-12, 2009 Kiev, Ukraine Phone: +31-33-246-4404 Web: Aquaculture America 2 February 15-19, 2009 Seattle, Washington, USA Phone: +760-751-5005 Web: meetings/Default.aspx?code=AA2009

MARCH North Atlantic Seafood Forum March 4-5, 2009 Oslo, Norway Phone: +47-66-93-91-00 Web: North-Atlantic-Seafood/


January/February 2009

Aqua-Fisch 2 March 6-8, 2009 Friedrichshafen, Germany Web: Cooked Shrimp Processing Certification School March 10-12, 2009 Harahan, Louisiana, USA Phone: +1-504-733-6000 Web: Shrimp_School.aspx Aqua VIV Asia 2 March 11-13, 2009 Bangkok, Thailand Phone: +31-0-30-295-2788 Web: sites/exhibitors_vivasia_nl/en/index.asp International Boston Seafood Show March 15-17, 2009 Boston, Massacheusetts, USA Phone: +1-207-842-5500 Web: PESCA SUR 2 March 25-28, 2009 Concepcion, Chile Phone: +56-2-756-5400 Web: central_en.php AGRA Fishing & Aquaculture Exhiition Middle East March 30-April 1, 2009 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Phone: +971-4-4072518 Web: fishingandaquacultureme/FishingAquaculture_Middle_East_ Exhibition.html

APRIL Scottish Aquaculture â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A Sustainale Future April 12-22, 2009 Edinburgh, Scotland Phone: +44-01350-727-0484 Web: European Seafood Exposition April 28-30, 2009 Brussels, Belgium Phone: +207-842-5500 Web:

global aquaculture advocate

Seafood and Aquaculture Events Please send event listings in English for consideration to: Event Calendar 5661 Telegraph Road, Suite 3A St. Louis, Missouri, USA 63129 fax: +1-314-293-5525

MAY National Fisheries Institute Spring Conference May 12-14, 2009 Washington, D.C., USA Phone: +1-703-752-8882 Web: nfi-events National Restaurant Association Show May 16-19, 2009 Chicago, Illinois, USA Phone: +1-312-580-5410 Web: World Aquaculture 2 May 25-29, 2009 Veracruz, Mexico Phone: +1-760-751-5005 Web: meetings/Default.aspx?code=WA2009

JUNE Polfish International Fair of Fish Processing June 16-18, 2009 Gdansk, Poland Phone: +48-58-554-9362 Web:

AUGUST Aqua Nor 2 August 18-21, 2009 Trondheim, Norway Phone: +47-73-56-86-40 Web: messe=18&newlang=en

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January/February 2009

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Magazine for Farmed Seafood

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Magazine for Farmed Seafood