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Aquaculture Magazine Volume 40 Number 1 February - March 2014


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Sea lice Caligus rogercresseyi, a big threat to the Chilean salmon.

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research report The U.S. Department of Agriculture: Support for Aquaculture Development in the United States.


research report Shrimp Aquaculture: A threshold between disease research and a global productive success.


report Transgenic Salmon Marketing Scenarios.


report Tilapia production in Europe.


research report Aonori Aquafarms; Sustainable Shrimp Farming.


report Achotines Laboratory: Captive Yellowfin Tuna in Panama.


research report Aquaculture in Egypt.

report Microbial resource Management in RAS Systems.

ASIAN report


Genetic improvement of tilapia in China.


Successful shrimp production in semi-biofloc in Indonesia.



Meeting the traceability challenge.


Ozone System Aims To Enhance Seafood Cleanliness, Shelf-Life & Profits.



Reed Mariculture Inc. Instant Algae® Marine Microalgae Concentrates – So Easy to Use!............54


RK2: Skimmers as an option for Aquaculture Filters...56

Columns Salmonids ..............................................................................58 Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing.......................59 Hatchery Technology and Management.................................................60 Aquaculture Engineering..........................................................................61 Post-harvest Issues ..............................................................................62 Shrimp ..............................................................................63 European Report ...............................................................................64 Health Highlights ...............................................................................65 Marine Finfish Aquaculture.......................................................................66 Shellfish ...............................................................................68 Offshore Aquaculture ...............................................................................69 TILAPIA ...............................................................................70 NUTRITION ...............................................................................72 Latin America Report ...............................................................................73 Feed Report ...............................................................................74 Genetics and Breeding ...............................................................................75 Upcoming events advertisers Index

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Vol. 40-1. FEB.-MAR., 2014 Editor and Publisher Salvador Meza Editor in Chief Greg Lutz Managing Editor Mina Coronado Editorial Design Francisco Cibrián Designer Perla E. Neri Orozco International Sales and Marketing Steve Reynolds Business Operation Manager Adriana Zayas Subscriptions: Design Publications International Inc. 203 S. St. Mary’s St. Ste. 160 San Antonio, TX 78205, USA Office: +210 229-9036 Office in Mexico: (+52) (33) 3632 2355 Aquaculture Magazine (ISSN 0199-1388) is published bimontly, by Design Publications International Inc. All rights reserved. Follow us:

Aquaculture Magazine



Editor in Chief


By C. Greg Lutz


o, here you are, reading the introductory issue of the “new” Aquaculture Magazine. Some of us are seeing this industry publication for the first time, but many others have fond memories of its prior history and are anxious to welcome it back. Speaking for all of our columnists and editorial staff, we certainly hope we can exceed your expectations. And, I am confident we will. The group of columnists we have been fortunate enough to assemble is truly stellar, and I consider it a real honor to be working with each of them. Similarly, our

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editorial and advertising staffs are no rookies to this field of endeavor. They have an impressive history serving the aquaculture industry and its suppliers throughout the Americas for many years, through the bilingual industry publication Panorama Acuicola. You may have seen it before, and if so, you’ll understand where the inspiration came from for the wonderful content and layout of the new Aquaculture Magazine. In its prior incarnation, Aquaculture Magazine had a long history of providing information to the industry.

On my desk I have a copy of the November/December 1979 issue (Volume 6, Number 1). The reason I mention this particular issue is because it represented the adoption of the name “Aquaculture Magazine” and the format known to so many people in the industry for the next 30 years. Prior to that time, the magazine was known as “The Commercial Fish Farmer & Aquaculture News,” which in turn was a consolidation of the pioneering industry publications “Fish Farming Industries,” “The Catfish Farmer” and “American Fish Farmer & World


Aquaculture News.” The latter should not be confused with any publication related to the World Aquaculture Society, which at that time was still known as the World Mariculture Society. Yes, November 1979 was a long time back in terms of commercial aquaculture… there is an advertisement on page 43 of the issue touting soybeans as “a new source of protein for fish.” As the saying goes, it’s okay to look back at the past - just don’t stare. With the re-launch of Aquaculture Magazine, we are here to address the reality of aquaculture production in 2014


and for the decade ahead. We will try to distinguish ourselves by focusing, in a variety of important disciplines, on practical issues and information that producers and others (especially many in academia) will find of interest. Our goal is not to compete with any other publications, but rather to complement the information sources currently available to our readers. The shared vision of all of us – columnists, contributors and editorial staff, is to engage you in such a way that you feel you are deriving value from our publication. After reading an ar-

ticle we hope your response will range from “I need to try that” to “now I understand how that works” to “that approach could save me a lot of time and money!” All of us welcome your questions, comments and suggestions. Ideas for column topics and feature articles are always welcome. We want you to feel like this is your magazine, because after all, you’re who we write and publish it for. Feel free to contact me at editorinchief@ any time. We’ll do our best to respond to your input.

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Sea lice Caligus rogercresseyi, a big threat to the

Chilean salmon

By David Ulloa*

The parasitic copepod has been present off the coast of Chile long before aquaculture developed and also affects wild fish.


aligus rogercres­seyi is an ectoparasite exclusively found in sea environments; its common name in Chile is caligus. It was first described in 1997 and its presence has increased due to its capacity to infest salmon, particularly Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) (it also affects Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) to a lesser extent). These three species are commercially cultivated in Chile, and together reached a total production of almost 750,000 tons in 2013.

Cause of severe problems During the crisis caused by the Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) virus in 2007, the main vector that helped the spread of the disease was caligus. High parasitic loads were recorded, reaching more than 35 parasites per fish, and these high loads were responsible for immunosuppression that facilitated the emergence of the virus, also as a gateway to other viral and bacterial diseases. 4 Âť

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In early 2010 the presence of caligus had been markedly reduced due to the contraction of the post-crisis industry, with fewer operational sites and production levels of less than 200,000 tons by mid-2009. This promoted better sanitary conditions on farms and led to excellent results in production. Combined with a higher market price this allowed the industry to have a quasi-miraculous recovery, which is used as a successful case analysis in graduate business programs in Chile.

Repeating the mistakes from the past However, the story doesn’t end there. A huge temptation to regain the time lost and to reverse the negative results caused by the crisis promoted the reopening of many farms and an increase in stock densities, as shown in the data obtained in 2012, with a total stocking of more than 235 million smolts and a monthly biomass up to 600,000 tons in October across 600 production facilities. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

Therefore, after a couple of years and with greater biomass per unit area, history repeats itself and this is once again putting the industry before one of its greatest threats, caligus, which is recovering prominence and reaching dangerous levels that put the industry at risk. This has encouraged the public and private sectors to develop new strategies to face the problem more effectively in the long term.

Program against Caligidosis In 2012, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) updated the Specific Sanitary Program for Surveillance and Control of Caligidosis. Changes to the 2007 program include greater background research, organization of farms by new geographical districts and better collaborative efforts between producers. It also emphasizes surveillance and monitoringfor presence and abundance of the parasite, in addition to control activities required by regulations and the imposition of sanctions in cases of non-compliance. The Program defines High Dissemination Centers (CAD) as those having average parasite loads of 9 Caligus per adult fish. Any culture facility that exhibits this amount of parasites in three weekly samples over 6 consecutive weeks will be subject to early harvest of infested biomass. Meanwhile, producers are aware of this threat, and have redoubled their efforts to beat it. Cooperative work between producers is the key to success in both implementation of coordinated treatments and information sharing. Efforts of the Industry The Technological Institute of Salmon (INTESAL) – a technical agency associated with the Chilean Salmon Union (SalmonChile) - has played an important role in addressing this issue, through the organization of activities that enhance methods to face caligus in effective ways. Many Research Centers and Universities have addressed the problem FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

Aquaculture Magazine




from different angles and are now developing new knowledge about the parasite. They enjoy the support of the entire industry, including producers, equipment developers and distributors.

The Parasite The parasite presents eight stages. Three of them are planktonic: Nauplius I, Nauplius II, and copepod (infective stage). Subsequently, in the fish, stages are Chalimus I, II, and III. Finally, the parasites reach the adult stage (male or female) and produce eggs. The parasite’s life cycle is modulated by temperature, e.g. at 12º C the parasite lives approximately one month. Ideal salinity for Caligus rogercresseyi is 30 ppt. At salinities below 15 ppt, the parasite experiences development problems and it cannot survive in fresh water. When it attaches to the fish by its frontal filament, the parasite feeds on mucus and blood, thus harming the skin and damaging this important protective barrier against other disease organisms. Treating caligus There are several therapeutic alternatives that are being used in Chile for removing these parasites, such as Pyrethroids, synthetic insecticides such as Deltamethrin and cypermetrhin, organophosphates such as Azametiphos and disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide. They are mainly applied as baths in enclosed environments or in specially designed boats for fish transportation. There is also an oral medication – diflubenzuron and emamectin benzoate, that can be mixed with the feed. Producers take into account the required withdrawal periods, which are at least one to two months. A very important measure is the use of drugs in rotation, since prolonged use of the same active ingredient generates drug resistance after a couple of years. 6 »

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Closed Baths Systems.

Regulations on Closed Containment Baths One of the most recent measures to control the disease imposes the obligation to apply anti-caligus baths in closed systems. It was issued on June 1st, 2013. Similar rules have applied in Norway since January 2011, where the use of closed systems is a requirement, based on the logic of subjecting the

parasite to antiparasitic agents more effectively and avoiding the dilution that occurs in traditional systems, where the cage perimeter is covered to only 4 or 5 meters depth, but the bottom remains open.

Experiences In Chile, logistical considerations and the effect of ocean currents are factors that require special attention and FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

constitute an additional problem to implement the canvas-enclosed treatment systems. In spite of this challenge, many producers have found solutions that enable them to meet the regulation and, more importantly, do it effectively and safely. The noteworthy initiative by AVS Chile, called “Generation of a manual of operative procedures and recommendations for optimizing therapeutic baths against caligus” was attended by seven companies, the INTESAL and two supplier companies (one of which was Storvik). As for equipment, all boats and platforms where treatment operations will take place, along with canvases, O2 supplies, air blowers, oxygen meters and systems for the distribution of the diluted medication must be preverified and be in top working order. All safety equipment and procedures must be available at all times and all personnel must be able to use them. There are, however, still no accurate, auditable parasite counting systems, and systems for dilution and distribution of therapeutics must be improved to avoid overdosing and sub-dosing zones. In this context, international companies are already working on the development and validation of an efficient device for counting salmonid ectoparasites; this is the Innova-CORFO (by the Production Enhancement Cor-

poration – a government entity that co-finances innovation) project. This team will allow researchers to capture images for an accurate assessment of Caligus rogercresseyi numbers. Moreover, there is already a device, the Sprinkler Drum, which will soon be on the market and has been designed to produce accurate dilutions and distribution of drugs during treatments.

Information on Costs High levels of caligus on farms mean an increase in the frequency of baths that are made at authoritized times during the production cycle, easily reaching 12 treatments annually. It is estimated that the annual cost for this practice is around USD$40-45,000 per cage. While the treatment is effective, the rate of re-infestation is so high that it minimizes or even nullifies the desired effect. That’s why a coordinated approach is the key to success, as baths synchronized within production areas enhance the procedure’s efficiency. Along with high levels of caligus and other sanitary issues such as the Salmonid Rickettsial Septicemia (SRS, the main disease diagnosed in 2012), higher costs associated with new regulations and the general rise of inputs (feed, energy, etc.) have led to an alarming increase in total production costs of Chilean salmon. They amount to more than USD $4/kg, thus causing

the industry to surpass the production costs of their Norwegian peers.

New Strategies In the search for new alternatives, the use of high quality smolts is a priority, as fish will be more healthy, resistant and genetically strong. It is also important to lower densities to 12 kg/m3 and to allow sites to fallow between crops. Additional strategies include the use of functional foods with nutritional factors that confer resistance or greater protection to fish against the parasite. In Norway there are ecological or so-called “organic” alternatives with species such as wrasse and lumpfish, cleaner fish that allow a better, biological control of parasites. Producers must keep these considerations in mind: • The use of vaccines; • The development of resistance by genetic selection; • Investigate those factors that make the mucus of coho salmon less susceptible to caligus infestation; • The use of automatic feeding systems with submerged distribution to keep the fish away from the first few meters in the cages, thus lessening the interaction with the infective stages of the parasite that concentrate on the surface; • Prioritize the use of farms with salinity below 25 ppm, or use estuarine waters. Conclusions The salmon industry provides excellent quality protein and high nutritional value for human consumption; it’s an industry with a great outlook and a growing industry that increases 6% year after year. Accordingly, there must be an increase in Investments, Development and Innovation (I+D+I), in order to continue feeding 7 billion people in a healthy way. *David Ulloa has a degree in Biology and holds a Masters in Business. He is the current General Manager of Storvik, a company dedicated to selling technological solutions for automating aquaculture processes.


Aquaculture Magazine



research report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture:

Support for Aquaculture Development in the United States By Gary Jensen and Jeffrey Silverstein*


ince then, many USDA agencies have offered programs and services for the nation’s diverse commercial aquaculture sector, including intramural and extramural research as well as partnerships in Cooperative Extension and formal education from kindergarten through secondary and postsecondary levels. 8 

Aquaculture Magazine

In 1977, Congress authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support new initiatives, with one area being aquacultural research and Extension. Other industry services include: farm loan programs, disaster assistance, statistics reporting, vaccine development and licensing, laboratory services for diagnosis of domestic

and foreign aquatic animal diseases, fish health certificates for exported products, marketing research and export assistance, business and industry loans, sustainable conservation pracFEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

tices, and risk management with some crop insurance programs. USDA has a strong track record in aquaculture. So, what has been the impact of USDA’s diverse programs to farmers and businesses making investments in this relatively new, specialized sector of agriculture? Over time it is clear that USDA recognizes aquaculture as agriculture or farming and has extended the same services and eligibility for most USDA programs to this upcoming sector, similar to long-standing traditional crops, livestock and poultry. This has been accomplished through policy and rule changes as well as constituent advocacy through federal legislation. However, challenges still persist in some areas where aquaculture is new to state and county USDA programs. USDA-supported research contributes to the competitiveness of U.S. businesses with solution-focused projects that solve problems of economic importance and enhance farmFEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

er ingenuity and innovation required for long-term success. Basic research continues to improve our understanding of complex biological systems with discoveries that lead to future payoffs in new technologies, tools and practices. Numerous states have active extension education programs that play critical roles in moving science to practical applications on aquaculture farms, using educational programs and new information technology tools to reach farmers where they live and work. The public investment in USDA research and extension programs has been critical to provide core competencies and capacity required to solve problems of today as well as those critical challenges that will arise in the future. USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) administers an intramural Aquaculture National Research Program at 9 locations with 50 federal scientists. Projects are focused on genetic improvement, feeds and nutrition, aquatic animal health, production systems and product development and quality. Broad stakeholder input is solicited every five years and integrated into action plans. ARS conducts highquality, relevant fundamental and applied aquaculture research to improve

systems for raising domesticated aquaculture species and to transfer technology to enhance the productivity and efficiency of U.S. producers. Connections to other national research programs such as human nutrition, food safety, and crop production for alternative feed ingredient development strengthens the relevance and outcomes of ARS aquaculture research. The projects focused on catfish and rainbow trout production are nationally and internationally recognized for impact and technology transfer to industry. In the U.S. catfish industry, advances in production of the hybrid catfish (channel catfish female crossed with a blue catfish male), and improved production systems have been optimized over the past several years. Combining this high-performance fish with a high-performance culture system allows farmers to double or triple production compared to levels achieved only five years ago. This is the greatest improvement in productivity in more than 30 years of catfish farming. These achievements were pioneered through efforts at the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center in Stoneville, Mississippi, a center where USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and

Atlantic salmon is a major species in aquaculture and an important target for alternative feeds development.

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research report

Juvenile rainbow trout being raised in a tank at the ARS National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture in Leetown, West Virginia.

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National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Southern Regional Aquaculture Center are co-located. Another area of advancement, highlighting research not only from USDA’s ARS and NIFA teams, but including collaboration with the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the USDA-NOAA Alternative Feeds Initiative. This initiative integrates the heartland of feed grain production to coastal aquaculture production, with new economic opportunities. There have been tremendous advances in identifying and developing novel ingredients to reduce reliance on fishmeal and fish oil in aquafeeds. It is estimated that fish meal use in aquaculture peaked in 2005-6 due to the increased use of alternative protein sources. These are just two of the many areas where USDA is currently making progress in aquaculture development. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture at USDA (NIFA) is an extramural granting agency with competitive programs over a continuum of fundamental research and technology development in a range of science areas, linked to Extension education and technology transfer programs. NIFA provides capacity funds to land-grant universities for work done by Agricultural Experiment stations and Cooperative Extension System programs. NIFA also administers the Small Business Innovation Research Program to assist aquaculture businesses in bringing new innovations and novel concepts into the marketplace. The flagship Regional Aquaculture Centers (RACs) include five host institutions that collectively cover all states and territories. This program funds industry-driven regional research and Extension projects based on unique regional priorities and needs. Key components in the five RACs include Industry Advisory Councils with farmers and allied industry representatives and Technical Research and Extension Committees with research scientists and Extension educators.

These groups help prioritize problem areas and ensure that funded projects are industry relevant and oriented toward problem-solving. Sound research planning is integrated with Extension education for science-to-farm or -business application opportunities. Within each RAC, these groups also review project proposals and progress reports and recommend the continuation, revision, or termination of funded projects. NIFA administers a National Animal Genome Research program including numerous aquatic species, and also oversees Extension communities of practice for freshwater and marine aquaculture. The Extension website is an interactive learning environment delivering the best, most researched knowledge from the best land-grant university minds across America and connecting knowledge consumers with knowledge providers1. Lastly, USDA chairs an interagency coordinating body under the Executive Branch that includes 20 different federal agencies with authorities, programs, or roles in aquaculture ranging from science to regulations. This unique body addresses issues of national scope and importance including a National Aquatic Animal Health Plan, national effluent limitations and standards for aquaculture facilities, nationwide permitting for shellfish aquaculture operations, and work in progress on a strategic plan for federal aquaculture research in collaboration with other federal science agencies. This unique interagency forum is instrumental in facilitating implementation of new policies with nationwide implications and is charged to support the national policy to encourage the development of aquaculture in the United States. *Gary Jensen works at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, National Program Leader for Aquaculture and Chair of Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture. Jeffrey Silverstein works at the Agricultural Research Service, National Program Leader for Aquaculture and Executive Secretary of Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture. 1 More information about the diversity of programs at NIFA can be found at: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


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Microbial resource Management in

RAS Systems

The present report is an overview of the main production systems used for shrimp aquaculture, with special attention given to Biofloc and RAS systems.


s the human population increases, food production must also increase to meet demand. Aquaculture has been the most rapidly growing production sector, with an annual increase at least 8% since 1985. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the demand for farmed seafood has increased because production from wild fish harvesting can’t satisfy the global per-capita seafood consumption. FAO’s report of 2008 mentions that the U.S. demand for shrimp has continually increased since 1989 and has supplied mainly through imported shrimp, coming primarily from the Asia-Pacific region, which produces 88% of all farmed shrimp and prawns by mass. Most of the shrimp imports to the US come from Thailand, Ecuador, Vietnam, Indonesia and China, which sometimes don’t meet U.S. seafood safety standards; this has led to concerns about the safety of their products.

Shrimp culture around the world The Pacific white shrimp, native to the Pacific coast of Central and South America, is the most popular cultured shrimp species in the world, the species of choice for commercial shrimp farming, and accounts for 0.3% of the global average yearly production. 12 »

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Conventional open-environment aquaculture systems, such as ponds, cages and net pens, are geographically limited to locations that have climates suitable for growing shrimp, require large land areas and large volumes of water to maintain water quality and are vulnerable to disease, which are transferred by direct contact with diseased organisms.

Kinds of shrimp aquaculture The division between intensity levels in aquaculture systems can be classified as one shrimp per m2 for extensive, consecutively followed by semiintensive, intensive, and greater than 100 shrimp per m2 for super-intensive aquaculture systems: 1. In extensive systems, farmers rely on natural production; 2. Semi-intensive systems use fertilizers to promote the growth of algae as feed for shrimp; 3. Intensive systems rely on feed manufactured pellets.


Water quality control is difficult to achieve and limits the number of organisms that can be grown at a given time; for this reason, conventional systems tend to be semi-intensive or intensive. Shrimp excretes 75% of the nitrogen provided in its feed as waste. To maintain water quality, excess nutrients from aquaculture ponds are discharged during high rates of water exchange and continual discharge for flow-through systems.

The troubles of traditional shrimp aquaculture Conventional aquaculture systems affect the environment by impacting the shoreline, polluting the water, accidentally releasing non-native species, causing eutrophication, increasing oxygen demand and causing nitrogen oversaturation. Large-scale aquaculture has also positive environmental impacts: supplementing reproduction in natural populations, improving the quality of natural

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waters through filtering or consuming wastes by cultured organisms, and reducing pressure on fisheries by providing alternative sources in the market. There is potential for U.S. aquaculture industry future expansion, but it must be done in a sustainable manner by using an ecological, intensive culture approach and technological systems that can treat the waste. The ecological footprint and life cycle assessment are tools that help evaluate the environmental impact of aquaculture systems.

“Greener” alternatives Ecological aquaculture develops aquatic farming ecosystems that preserve and enhance the local natural and social environments, and is appropriate for small-scale farms or in locations that have large land areas available for aquaculture. Intensive culture systems generate high productivity in small land areas, but they have higher environmental impacts in global warming, acidification, eutrophication, cumulative energy and biotic resource use. In order to improve the sustainability of shrimp aquaculture and production costs, the use of fish oil and wild-caught fishmeal, must be reduced or eliminated by substituting plant proteins, terrestrial animal proteins, fish processing waste, and using microorganisms as a food source, similar to extensive systems. In the U.S., limitations imposed by land cost, quantity/quality regulations of water and waste discharges are costly to the aquaculture industry.

Most RAS rapidly remove suspended solids from the culture unit to minimize the growth of heterotrophic bacteria in the biofilter.

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Aeration is important in RAS systems.

These issues make indoor operations away from the coast, a more viable option. However, such a system requires temperature control, availability of local water sources, and water treatment. Shrimp from technologically advanced aquaculture systems cannot directly compete with imported shrimp in the wholesale frozen market. Developing a viable indoor shrimp aquaculture industry in the U.S. will require highly efficient, predictable and stable operations, to compete with inexpensive imports.

Biofloc and RAS Two technologies suitable for shrimp aquaculture operations are the Biofloc system (BFS) and the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). Both can be operated at or near zero water exchange while shrimp grows from post-larval to harvest size. These systems also rely on microbial resource management to maintain water quality for production systems, enhance growth, and as supplemental feed source. In BFS, an organic carbon source is added to promote the assimilation of ammonium into microbial biomass

in the culture tank. In RAS, an integrated set of processes remove the by-products of fish or shrimp metabolism and water is treated with a biofilter for reuse in the culture tank between cycles. Both systems are attractive in terms of water conservation, reduced land use, and limited impact on receiving water quality and disease control when compared to conventional pond culture. In both systems, microbes play a central role in maintaining water quality, improving shrimp health, and managing waste. RAS provide additional benefits such as year-round production of shrimp, and they can be operated indoors or outdoors with minimal or no water discharge. Outdoor systems may have problems with releasing of non-native species into the environment. Indoor systems allow shrimp farms to be located inland, away from the coast and close to specialty high-value niche markets, which reduces transportation.

Microbial nature of RAS The heart of a zero-discharge RAS facility lies in the biofilters, in which microorganisms convert ammonium to FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

RAS shrimp greenhouse.

nitrate. Biofilters are central to process performance in terms of water quality, shrimp yield, and waste treatment. RAS must produce at intensive or ultra-intensive culture levels to be profitable, allowing farmers to have a high degree of control over important physical and chemical parameters. The bioreactors most commonly used in RAS are the upflow or downflow packed bed reactors, trickling filters, floating bead filters, fluidized bed filters, rotating biological contactors (RBC), and moving bed reactors. Most RAS rapidly remove suspended solids

from the culture unit to minimize the growth of heterotrophic bacteria in the biofilter. Nitrogen-processing microbial species vary in abundance in several natural and in some engineered environments. Microorganisms transform several nitrogen compounds by means of RAS processes, which include: assimilation, ammonification, and nitrification. Assimilation is the uptake of ammonia by microbes to create proteins and nucleic acids. Ammonification is the process by which ammonia is released during the decomposition of

In the U.S., limitations imposed by land cost, regula­tions on water and waste discharges are costly to the aquaculture industry.

organic nitrogen compounds such as proteins. On the other hand, nitrification is the aerobic oxidation of ammonia to nitrite followed by the aerobic oxidation of nitrite to nitrate, and is the primary ammonia transformation process used in RAS. Alternatives to fishmeal must supply essential nutrients, be palatable, and be cheaper than fishmeal; the ones under investigation include soy protein, soybean meal, microbial flock meal, and microbial biofilms growing in the culture cage, pond or tank, directly as a food source for shrimp.

RAS-raised shrimp.


Original Article: Brown, Monisha Nicole. Microbial Resource Management in Indoor Recirculating Shrimp Aquaculture Systems. Doctoral Dissertation. Chapter 2: literature revision. University of Michigan, USA., 2013.

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research report

Shrimp Aquaculture:

A threshold between disease research and a global productive success


hrimp aquaculture is an important source of livelihood, where more than 80% production comes from Asian countries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the global aquaculture production will need to reach 80 million t by 2050 in order to satisfy the current consumption per capita. In particular, aquaculture of Penaeid shrimp contributes with 16.6% of the total world aquaculture. Among Penaeus shrimp genre, the most popular ones are the White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vanamei) and the Giant Tiger Shrimp (Penaeus monodon) accounting together for more than 88% of the total shrimp aquaculture production in the world.

Shrimp diseases Among several shrimp-infecting viruses, at least 20 cause diseases on cultured shrimp. Livestock could transmit these viruses before diagnostic methods are developed; no other disease causes a substantial loss of revenue as viral diseases do. Among the pandemics caused in a greater extent by Penaeid-related viruses, the most aggressive ones are the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) and the Taura Syndrome Virus (TSV); other viruses cause shorter extent effects, like the Infectious Hypodermal 16 Âť

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By: Prabir G. Dastidar, Ajoy Mallik, and Nripendranath Mandal

It is known that, the more the research contribution is, the higher the shrimp production will be. This study suggests that formulating policies that strengthen the existing research alliance between productive countries will consolidate knowledge and increase the growth of shrimp aquaculture in the world.

and Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHHNV) and the Yellow Head Virus (YHV). The socioeconomic impact of these pandemics has been profound in countries where shrimp farming is a significant source of subsistence. Being a high-risk industry, aquaculture can benefit from Research and Development (R&D) to prevent diseases and to promote its sustainability. This study involves ongoing global R&D efforts in the industry, and the effect of collaborative work within producing countries. Research published in scientific journals was considered as indicator for this study, as well as the 30 countries that have both shrimp production and research publications.

Important decisions Aquaculture’s successful momentum in the 1990s was the result of a substantial, seven-time increase of R&D. Even though aquaculture producFEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

tion in countries like the USA is not as strong as in some Asian countries, its substantial investment in R&D and innovation policies led to the development of Specific Pathogen-Free (SPF) stocks of L. vannamei. Even though P. monodon accounted for about 50% of the total shrimp production before 2002, it wasn’t possible to develop to the level of L. vannamei mainly because of the WSSV disease and the lack of SPF broodstock development for this species. The world shrimp production of L. vannamei expanded from 10% of the total production in 2000 to 75% in 2007. Between 1990 and 2009, a 2.5 times increase in production and 7.5 times growth in publication output was observed. It appears that R&D can make meaningful contributions to enhance production. Even though shrimp aquaculture is practiced in around 70 countries, only six of them including China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, India and Ecuador, outpace the results of the others with an 80% of the total global production. On the other hand, only 30 out of the 70 countries actively involved in shrimp aquaculture


undertake R&D activities. Thailand leads the list with around 23% of the world knowledge produced in the field (table 1). According to their publications and aquaculture production, countries can be classified in three categories: 1. The ones that have high shrimp production and undertake high R&D efforts, such as China, Thailand and India; 2. Countries that make significant R&D efforts but have low shrimp production, like Australia, USA, Japan and France; and, 3. Countries that have huge production but undertake little R&D efforts, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Ecuador, Bangladesh and Brazil. Unfortunately, these countries are at a great risk, because a weak R&D base may result in incapacity to solve country-specific problems, which leads to production and economic losses. Geographical conditions, climate and investment in R&D determine each country’s investment preferences. Countries like the USA, China and the UK have not only a strong R&D base, but also publish in top aquaculture journals.

Research collaboration and networking Research collaboration provides an opportunity to increase the impact and scope of any scientific and technologic endeavor, and its impact depends largely on the evolution and use of research networks. Collaborating partners can work to complement and supplement each other’s intellectual and material resources originating mutual solutions to the problems faced by the industry. Collaboration alliances generate the power of collective wisdom and represent an opportunity to study local issues to produce global solutions. Countries with more alliances are better prepared to solve technological challenges. Nevertheless, according to the study, only 18.84% of the publications were multinational or collaborative among different countries in the aquaculture field. Figures 1 and 2 show collaboration maps between 30 countries associated with aquaculture research. The size of the circles denotes production size in Fig. 1 and publication number in Fig. 2.

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research report Fig. 1 Shrimp production size and research collaboration structure of the producing countries.

no collaborative participation in R&D activities.

Socioeconomics There is an inherent correlation be100 to 899.99 thousand tonnes production group. tween internal economic wealth and 10 to 99.99 thousand tonnes production group. capacity to get involved in R&D ac0.001 to 9.99 thousand tonnes production group. tivities. While scientifically advanced developed countries invested more than 2-3% of their Gross Domestic Thailand Product (GDP) in R&D activities, China other countries with significant aquaculture production spent minimum amounts on R&D activities, such as India, which spent only 0.76% GDP on its R&D base in 2008. Ecuador India For India, having a 7,500 km Vietnam Indonesia coastline, aquaculture represents an important source for rural development, domestic food security, source of employment, women empowerColombia Malaysia Mexico Brazil Taiwan Philipines ment and export revenue. India needs Bangladesh to improve post-larvae and nutrition quality, building capacity, technology, Madagascar Iran South Korea administrative skills and disaster manJapan New Caledonia Sri lanka USA agement in order to accelerate the secCosta Rica Australia tor and solve the problem of shrimp Egypt Fr. Polinesia France diseases. Singapore Italy Spain South Africa India is the second largest generator of publications in aquaculture, but it is the sixth in shrimp production. Thailand is the second largest proOnly 13 aquaculture companies With more effective interconnections ducer of shrimp aquaculture and the in different countries are involved in between the R&D base and the promost networked country in shrimp shrimp aquaculture R&D activities. duction sector, India would be able to aquaculture research. In contrast, USA Three of these companies are located improve its industrial growth. Creatis the third leading country in terms in the USA and three in Thailand. In- ing strong innovation policies and esof publications and the second most dia has a substantial research base but tablishing effective alliances between networked country, despite the fact that it has negligible production. Table 1 It is outstanding the absence of Socioeconomic parameters of mail countries with both production and publications about shrimp. collaboration between China and Thailand, the top two shrimp-producShrimp production GDP 2011 Agricultural % of Publications Publications Web 1990-2009 (billion USD) GDP fisheries Scopus of Science ing countries, despite the advantage of Country (thousand t) 2011 (%) to GDP (till 2011) (till 2011) collaboration to generate a convenient 9,446.32 11,300.00 9.60 0.19 38 31 1 China synergy to jointly address problems 6,234.61 609.80 12.20 1.14 120 117 2 Thailand intrinsic to this industry. 3,945.52 1,121.00 14.90 1.90 2 3 3 Indonesia 2,900.43 229.00 20.00 4.00 6 5 4 Vietnam Indonesia has a substantial produc2,149.64 124.80 6.50 6 7 5 Ecuador tion and 100% research collaboration. 1,781.64 4,463.00 18.10 1.47 94 93 6 India 1,078.31 393.40 12.30 2.20 15 21 7 Philippines In contrast, countries like Bangladesh, 968.23 282.50 18.40 3.92 2 1 8 Bangladesh Sri Lanka, Iran and Costa Rica, al948.07 1,657.00 3.90 0.80 12 16 9 Mexico 662.60 2,284.00 5.80 0.02 3 5 though they have a significant aqua- 10 Brazil culture production, their R&D base 18 USA 56.77 15,040.00 1.20 0.29 62 85 47.22 9,177.00 4.00 0.00 63 70 is negligible and there is no collabora- 19 Australia 37.99 4,389.00 1.40 0.28 48 62 20 Japan tion with other countries. 5,000 to 10,000 thousand tonnes production group. 900 to 4,999.99 thousand tonnes production group.

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academic institutions, industry and government could help achieve this goal. According to the number of publications per country in relation to R&D investments, countries can be grouped under three categories: 1. Countries with high R&D investments; 2. Countries with significant amount of publications but low R&D investments; and, 3. Countries with high investment in R&D, but a very small number of publications. The top ten shrimp producing countries made a significant contribution to agricultural GDP, which ranged from 4% to 20% in 2011. Among them, Vietnam was the top producer with 20% followed by Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Thailand. The fact that they have insignificant investment on R&D activities reduces their innovative power in the shrimp market economy. The publications referred by this study constitute a significant contribution to the development of aquaculture, and most of them relate to shrimp disease and the genetic improvement of the shrimp’s diseaseresistance.

A scientific global approach to productive efforts The development of SPF stocks by the USA in the early 1990s generated significant global improvement in

Although collaboration among countries gives the possibility of finding global Solutions to local problems, it is outstanding the absence of collaboration between countries like China and Thailand, which are the top two shrimpproducing countries.


Fig. 2 Publication size of the countries and their collaboration network. 100 to 120 number of publication group. 40 to 99 number of publication group. 10 to 39 number of publication group. 4 to 9 number of publication group. 1 to 3 number of publication group.









Fr. Polinesia New Caledonia





shrimp production. The number of research publications increased seven times while the production of L. vannamei increased five times between 1990 and 2009. The study was able to verify the unbeatable role of R&D in the development of the shrimp aquaculture industry. Specific Pathogen-Resistance (SPR) technology is a powerful tool that aims to eliminate the problem of shrimp diseases. Using an adequate R&D base, it is possible to develop SPR broodstock by means of genetic selection. Only 30 out of 70 countries producing shrimp in the world practice aquaculture research. The study determined the collaborative research efforts among 30 active countries by means of drawing network maps


South Korea



South Africa Sri lanka Indonesia







Bangladesh Italy

Costa Rica

where the production and research publications are the parameters to be considered. These maps can be used to discern research alliances among different countries, as well as strengthen and multiply them in order to boost knowledge and consolidate the industry.

Original article: Prabir G. Dastidar, Contribution of shrimp disease research to the development of the shrimp aquaculture industry: an analysis of the research and innovation structure across the countries. Scientometrics, February, 2013.

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Transgenic Salmon Marketing Scenarios

By Davide Menozzi, Cristina Mora, and Alberto Merigo.


orldwide fish demand is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years due to population growth and increasing disposable income. Fish farming is becoming an increasingly important player in satisfying demand, especially for high-value species. Approximately 50 species of fish have been subject to genetic modification, resulting in more than 400 fish/ trait combinations for species such as Atlantic salmon, tilapia, and common carp. Transgenic fish may offer many advantages for aquaculture, including growth enhancement, improved disease resistance, improved cold tolerTable 1 Main trends of farmed salmon industry; all items have been measured on scales from 1 (not important at all) to 5 (very important). Topic Increasing demand for fish. Market/sector concentration. Food safety regulations. Increasing farming yield. Increasing pressure on water resources. Limit to catch fish, licenses. Decreasing production costs. Food labeling regulations. Increasing sea temperature.

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Std. dev.

4.23 3.50 3.50 3.46 3.46 3.46 3.42 3.31 2.67

0.60 1.09 1.24 0.88 1.56 1.05 1.00 1.03 1.07

Increasing demand for fish must be satisfied sustainably, and genetically modified (GM) fish will probably be part of the solution. This article aims to describe the future trends in the salmon-farming sector and the potential effects of GM salmon introduction on the salmon industry. ance, sterility, and altered metabolism to reduce the requirement for fishbased diets.

The case of salmon Feed consumption is a critical environmental issue for salmon aquaculture: this issue increases pressure on wild fish stocks. It is also an economic concern: feed costs are approximately 50-60% of production costs for salmon farmers. In the case of salmon, a company has produced a transgenic Atlantic salmon breed using a Chinook salmon growth hormone (GH) gene. In non-GM salmon, GH production decreases during winter. By using a promoter from an antifreeze gene, the inserted gene disrupts the salmon’s normal growth cycle, thus making the salmon growth cycle continuous rather than seasonal. As a result, the fish

grows to a marketable size within 18 months instead of 3 years; that could be a sustainable solution both to environmental and economic constraints. However, if GM salmon introduction expands the overall market enough to offset the fish meal and oil input reduction, then the environmental pressure related to wastes and wild stock depletion will intensify. The company ensures that all GM salmon will be sterile and female; they also incorporated multilevel biological and physical containment measures; in the unlikely event of escape into the environment, GM salmon will be unable to reproduce and establish breeding populations with native fish populations. They successfully passed the 7-additive step of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. Despite these concerns, the growth-enhanced GM salmon could FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

become the first genetically engineered food animal approved for human consumption. However, the FDA failed to account for several market issues. The effects of GM salmon introduction on salmon market price, consumption, production costs, public health, etc., are beyond their scope.

Methodology: Scenario Analysis Scenarios are internally coherent depictions of possible futures based on different assumptions about driving forces and their interactions. The distinction between qualitative and quantitative scenario analysis is generally accepted. A qualitative or descriptive scenario is generally used when the time horizon of the analysis is long and few data are available. Usually, it is based on a narrative description of the possible future evolution of the context without quantifying outputs; instead, the description focuses on describing the factors that would influence the outputs. This study used this kind of scenario. After having defined the issue to be understood, a detailed descripFEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

The study shows the wide reluctancy from producers and consumers to GM salmon, although some experts think this product would be introduced in some Markets in the near future. tion of the current situation (baseline scenario) was provided; then the information on the production chain and market were collected through a literature review and web search, giving a complete picture of the salmon market. As the second step, potential trends and driving forces (e.g., productivity increases, consumer acceptance, and regulatory framework) which were considered likely to affect or be affected by the introduction of GM salmon were identified.

Next, 14 experts related to salmon farming were interviewed, using a questionnaire to identify the key variables and trends in the sector for the next 10 years. Experts were asked to evaluate each driving force’s influence on the future of the farmed-salmon industry. They had to give their opinion regarding GM salmon introduction in terms of public, producer, and retailer acceptance; uncertainty; marketing; and external effects (human and animal health, environmental impacts, etc.). The answers were cross-referenced to identify the links between the driving forces and effects in order to develop a description of the scenarios considering a time horizon of 10 years. This resulted in three plausible scenarios. Finally, after checking the consistency of statements and conditions themselves, the internal plausibility of these scenarios was evaluated by the same experts during a final round of consultation.

The Salmon Farming Industry and the Driving Forces Global supply of salmonids increased Aquaculture Magazine

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report Fig. 1 Captures and aquaculture of salmon species. Capture




3,000 2,500

1,400 1,200


1,000 1,500

800 600



Total (thousand t)

Captures and aquaculture (thousands of t)




by approximately 36% between 2002 and 2009, rising from 2.2 million t to 3 million t. The majority of the growth has come from increased farming of Atlantic salmon, which constitutes more thatn 50% of the global salmon market (fig. 1). The rapid increase in salmon aquaculture was made possible by declining production costs; this was driven by better Feed Convertion Ratios (FCR), development of new fish vaccines, and new farming technologies. The most important salmon proTable 2 Research and development in the salmon farming industry; all items have been measured on scales from 1 (not important at all) to 5 (very important). One-sample t-test on value 3 (“indifferent”): * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001. Parameters


Std. dev.

Environmental friendly brands. Fish health management techniques. Waste treatment innovations. Breeding programs improvement. Net-pens/cages technical improvement. Marketing channels development. Real time benthic impact monitoring systems. New inventory control technology. In-land self-contained rearing systems. Fish nutrition improvement. GM salmon commercialization.

4.43*** 4.43***

0.65 0.51

4.07*** 4.07*** 3.93**

0.83 0.62 0.92

3.79** 3.64*

0.89 1.15

3.50 3.21

1.02 1.31

3.14 2.15**

1.35 1.07

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0 1990


tance. GM salmons are expected to grow faster than their non-GM counterparts and exhibit an FCR that is 25% better than to a non-GM salmon. This can have positive effects on other important market factors, for instance, a reduction in average costs for inputs such as feed, medical expenditures, and labor. On the other hand, production of GM salmon may increase other costs related to animal welfare, farm structures, and adjustment to new environmental, traceability, and labeling regulations. The level of profits and the way they are distributed throughout the production chain are variables that will influence producers’ acceptance.

Market From the mid-1980s through the present, growth in production and ducers are Norway (928,000 t pro- cost reductions due to gains in produced in 2010), Chile (246,000 t), the ductivity were transferred to consumUnited Kingdom (155,000 t), and ers via lower prices. Sharp decreases Canada (101,000 t). These four coun- in salmon prices given an increase in tries supply more than 90% of world world supply could put some farmers production of farmed salmon. Most out of business while inducing othof this supply is Atlantic salmon, ac- ers to accept the new technology— counting for 1.4 million tonnes per willingly or unwillingly—for fear of year (fig. 2). losing out economically. On the other World salmon consumption can hand, the price discount is the mostbe divided into five major markets: cited personal benefit for accepting the EU fresh and frozen market, the GM salmon. Japanese fresh and frozen market, the US fresh and frozen market, canned Public acceptance salmon markets, and other markets. Several studies have analyzed conThere are significant differences be- sumers’ perception and acceptance tween these markets in terms of their sources of supply, species, and products consumed and short-run market Table 3 conditions. Agreement on the introduction and The Driving Forces of GM Salmon Introduction Researchers identified four different categories of driving forces connected to GM salmon introduction: production, market, public acceptance, and regulatory framework (fig. 3). Production Production of GM salmon is likely to be affected by increased productivity, costs, profits, and producers’ accep-

public acceptance of GM salmon. All items have been measured on scales from 1 (completely disagree) to 5 (completely agree). One-sample t-test on value 3 (“indifferent”): * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01. Topic


GM salmon will reach the 2.07** market within 5-10 years. GM salmon will reach the market 2.31* later than 10 years. GM salmon will never reach the market. 3.00 Consumers will accept worldwide. 2.43* Consumers will accept in some countries. 3.00 Producers will accept worldwide. 2.29* Producers will accept in some countries. 3.21 Retailers will accept worldwide. 2.29* Retailers will accept in some countries. 3.43

Std. dev. 1.21 1.18 1.28 1.09 1.15 1.07 0.97 0.99 0.85


The Experts’ Interviews Using the theoretical framework described in fig. 3, we began the second phase of the data collection process, in which we identified a list of key stakeholders to interview. A questionnaire was sent to production chain participants and other stakeholders involved in the salmon industry. Their answers, together with information and data recorded through the literature review, were used to define the future trends of the salmon market and the possible effects of GM salmon introduction. Fourteen out of 89 contacted experts replied from all over the world. This group of experts, although not fully representative, covers a heterogeneous and satisfactory range of stakeholders from different countries. It covers the production and importation of salmon. The questionnaire was divided into four parts. Experts were asked about the most important trends affecting FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

Producion of Atlantic salmon in Norway, Chile, UK, Canada, Australia, and rest of the world. Norway





Rest of the World

1,600 1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200

the farmed-salmon industry in the next 10 years, by using a Likert scale from 1 to 5 (‘not important at all’ and ‘very important,’ respectively). Table 1 shows the results. Next, they were asked about the importance of the introduction of some technical innovations, including genetic modification (table 2). Interestingly, non-GM techniques were the most important according to the expert replies. Each technical variable was also interacted with all the trends identified at the beginning of the analysis; this process helped the






0 1990

Regulatory framework Although the EU already has specific rules for genetically modified organisms, the US salmon industry requires the FDA to adhere to current rules that prevent specific labeling for GM food. The effects of GM salmon escapes on wild stocks have dominated the debate on environmental risk thus far. This particular risk can be prevented by biological containment and the development of land-based water recirculating systems. However, these measures will increase building and operating costs.

Fig. 2

Production (thousand t)

of GM salmon. Such acceptance might increase if consumers identify more personal benefits than benefits to the business sector. Human health benefits from improved nutrition (higher OMEGA-3 fatty acid intake) may result from higher consumption of fish driven by a lower market price. In particular, the price reduction could stimulate fresh (GM) salmon consumption in low-income households.

researchers to understand how every single technical innovation influences a specific trend within the sector. The experts, with some exceptions, believed that GM salmon is still a long way from the market (table 3), because they were doubtful of the acceptance by consumers, producers, and retailers, although consumers’ and producers’ acceptance is likely to be higher in emerging and developing economies and the USA. Finally, they were asked about what effects GM salmon could have on key variables (table 4). There were

Table 4 Possible effects of GM salmon introduction. If GM salmon will reach the market; all items have been measured on scales from 1 (completely disagree) to 5 (completely agree). One-sample t-test on value 3 (“indifferent”): * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001. Parameters

New regulations will be introduced. Salmon market price will likely decrease. Salmon farmers will be more dependent on input suppliers. Salmon farmers’ production costs will likely decrease. The environment will be damaged. Consumers’ health will be harmed. Salmon farmers’ production costs will likely increase. Salmon farmers’ profits will likely increase. Fish health will improve. Fish quality will improve. Fish safety will improve. The environment will benefit. Consumers’ health will improve. Profits from GM salmon introduction will be equally distributed.

Mean 4.31*** 3.90** 3.64* 3.30 3.45 2.77 2.80 2.91 2.73 2.55 2.50 2.46 2.45 2.00**a

Std. dev. 0.62 0.88 0.92 1.25 1.13 1.09 1.23 1.14 1.27 1.29 1.35 1.39 1.13 0.78

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Fig. 3 Driving forces framework.

Market - Market structure - Price - Discount of GM salmon - Profits level and distribution

Production - Productivity - Input costs - Adjustment cost - Producers’ acceptance

Regulation framework - Intellectual property rights - Environmental & animal welfare regulations

Public - Public acceptance. - Consumers’ perception - Human health. - Environmental concerns. - Animal welfare concerns.

conflicting answers. These uncertain results were used for building scenarios.

Future Scenarios for GM Salmon Three possible scenarios were named as: 1.- No market for GM fish; 2.- GM salmon for dinner; and 3.- GM salmon doesn’t take off. Table 5 provides a summary of the main outcomes for each scenario. In the first scenario, GM salmon will not be commercialized because of the high environmental risks posed by its production and the strong resistance of consumers, retailers, and producers. For this reason, companies would focus their research on other areas, leading to higher production efficiency and lower costs. This would benefit low-income consumers in both developed and developing countries. Large-scale producers will increase production, with some profitable market niches for small-scale farmers in less-competitive countries. In the second scenario, the GM salmon would reach the market in the near future and would be produced, accepted, and consumed, especially in certain countries and by certain types of consumers. Growing environmental concerns would stimulate the introduction of other sustainable methods of production, such as offshore farming systems. Profits would not be equally distributed along the supply chain, and some small-scale farmers may experience economic losses. 24 »

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In the third scenario, GM salmon would be produced and commercialized in some countries, but it would encounter strong resistance from consumers and most producers, although there would be niches for GM salmon in the US and Asian markets because of its lower price. Other innovations would be preferred, such as improved breeding programs and new waste treatment techniques; these innovations would improve farmers’ yields and reduce production costs, resulting in a market price decline.

Scenarios confirmation To evaluate the internal consistency and plausibility of these scenarios, a second questionnaire was sent to the same experts. In this case, the questionnaire was divided into two parts: a short narrative description of the three scenarios and a table indicating the consistency and plausibility

of each scenario. All of the experts agreed with the internal consistency of the three scenarios and stated their perceptions of the likelihood of each, as summarized in fig. 4. There is no clearly preferred scenario, although the third one is considered slightly more likely. This confirms the sceptical attitude of the experts toward the success of the introduction and marketing of GM salmon.

Discussion and Conclusions The majority of experts consulted do not believe that GM salmon introduction will be an important technical innovation, although some of them agreed that GM salmon would enter the market in the near future. This confirms the reluctance of producers to accept the innovation, unless retailers and consumers signal their willingness to buy such fish. Other researchers have considered that the commercial availability of GM salmon could drive down the price of farmed salmon, although its production would likely be financially viable only to medium- or large-scale farmers; this would harm small-scale non-adopters, who would have to focus on niche markets. This pessimistic “future” picture is a possible explanation of experts’ actual reluctance to accept this innovation. Experts also think that consumers are unlikely to accept this product worldwide, whereas consumer willingness to purchase may be higher in some countries (i.e., United States,


Table 5 Results

Economic advantages

No market for GM fish

- No market for GM salmon. - Other innovations (environmentally friendly). - Premium price for environmentally friendly methods.

- Premium price for environmentally friendly farming— profit margins even for small firms. - Market segmentation. - Lower environmental / economic impact.

- Higher private costs for environmentally friendly salmon farming. - Slower price decline—lower consumers’ benefit. - Slower increase omega-3 intake.

GM salmon for dinner

- GM salmon produced in Central and South America, Oceania, and Canada; consumed in Asia and United States (10% in 2015, up to 20% of world production in 2020). - Lower market price (-20%). - More profitable for large companies. - New regulations.

- Lower prices—consumers better off. - Increase in omega-3 intake. - Increase profits for larger firms (cost reduction). - Fewer escapes (land-based systems)—economic savings. - Development of new markets.

- Adjustment costs for new regulations. - Economic losses for small-scale companies (concentration). - Environmental/economic impact of land-based systems (more energy required). - Environmental/economic impact of trade flows increase.

GM salmon doesn’t take off

Main results of GM salmon qualitative scenarios analysis.

- GM salmon produced in Central and South America and Oceania (5-10% in 2020) consumed in Asia and in the United States. - Lower market price (-10%). - Other innovations. - Profitable only for large integrated companies. - New regulations.

- Lower prices—consumers better-off. - Increase in omega-3 intake. - Profits for larger firms (cost reduction). - Less escapes (land-based systems)—economic savings.

- Adjustment costs for new regulations. - Market concentration (but less accelerated). - Environmental/economic impact of land-based systems (more energy required).

Eastern Asia). Although the price discount is the most-cited personal benefit from accepting GM salmon, other benefits have been reported, such as environmental benefits. Consumers are more likely to accept GM foods if the production process reduces the use of chemicals or uses less feed. All this information was used to build three narratives of exploratory scenarios to cover the widest range of possibilities regarding the introduction of GM salmon. In all of the scenarios, the reluctance of European consumers to accept GM food—especially GM animal-derived food—will limit marketing in the EU, at least within the time horizon analyzed (10 years). Also, in all scenarios, new innovations will be introduced to make salmon farming more sustainable. The results of this case study provide support for policymakers aiming to regulate GM animals and related food introduction and marketing. The increase of the competitive power of Chilean producers (including GM salmon producers), the EU may adopt “strong” legislation on the sale of GM animals, including fish traceability and labeling, to ensure transparent information on the market. On the other hand, US consumers also express moral and ethical concerns regarding the “unnaturalness” of farming and FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

Economic disadvantages

Fig. 4 Likelihood of each scenario (% of responses; n=5). Very likely 0%

Likely 20%

Unlikely 40%

Very unlikely 60%



Scenario 1: No market for GM fish.

Scenario 2: GM salmon for dinner.

Scenario 3: GM salmon doesn’t take off

eating GM fish. This consumer sentiment, together with the reluctance of wild salmon producers and their Congressional delegation in the US House of Representatives to support GM salmon, could induce the FDA to introduce a set of more restrictive regulations than those for GM crops. The small number of experts interviewed and the qualitative nature of the analysis are two of the main limitations of the current research. De-

spite these shortcomings, this scenario analysis has provided a consistent and global picture of the likely effects of GM salmon marketing in the future development of the salmon industry. A next step could be the quantification of the results presented in this study using model simulation. Original Article: Menozzi, D., Mora, C., & Merigo, A. Genetically modified salmon for dinner? Transgenic Salmon Marketing Scenarios. University of Parma, Italy. The Journal of Agrobiotechnology Management & Economics, vol. 15, no. 3, 2012.

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production in Europe The estimates for European tilapia production were of about 2,000 By Øystein Falch*


pparently there is no single data source from which a complete picture of tilapia production in the European Union (EU) can be drawn. Based on information from several parties, Inocap – a company based in Norway - estimates the production in the EU to be of about 2,000 tons. The largest farm produces about 1,000 tons and the second largest, about 150 tons. Because of the cool climate, all farms use closed containment recirculation systems, frequently referred to as RAS, where fish swim in tanks and about 95 % of the water is recirculated on a daily basis. Previously, flow through farms utilized warm water from the cooling systems of nuclear power plants.

Background Historically most of the tilapia production in Europe has taken place in the Netherlands and Belgium. The first tilapia farms came into operation in the early 1980’s, and there have been many attempts and failures since then. The largest initiative was in Belgium in 2007 when a RAS farm with a capacity of 3,000 tons was built. It reached a production of about 1,000 26 »

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tons for 2013, which is about 0.05% of the global tilapia production.

tons before the operation ceased in 2009. In the Netherlands a company consisting of several farms of 100 to 750 tons each was producing 1,500 tons tilapia annually over a period of five years, but they are no longer operating.

Current situation Today, the largest tilapia farm in Europe is located in Poland with a capacity of 1,300 tons and an anticipated production of about 1,000 tons in 2013. The second largest grower is in the United Kingdom (UK) and it pro-

Flow through tilapia farm by nuclear power plant.


duces 150 tons annually. For the time being, the UK seems to be the country with the largest number of farms with something like 4 – 6 small farms operating, although it has recently been announced that the largest grower will mothball one site as the company refocuses on marketing.

Aquaculture in Europe Inocap map.


Investment levels are roughly indicated to have been about USD$5.50 – 7.00/kg of production/harvest capacity for RAS, and about USD$4.75/kg for flow through systems. The sales price for round fish farm gate in Belgium was about USD$3.60/ kg in 2009. In 2013 it is expected that

a RAS farm in Europe needs to sell at a price of USD$3.60 – 4.00/kg for round tilapia at farm gate in order to make a decent return on investment. Assuming a fillet yield of 33 %, this gives a sales price of USD$10.80 – 12.00/kg at farm gate.

Outlook on the market Tilapia farmed in Europe has not been able to compete on price with imported tilapia, but the cost disadvantage could come down as recirculation technology is in rapid development. Tilapia produced in RAS can be of high quality, safe and sustainable, and receives the best recommendations by environment NGOs. As a species tilapia has low market recognition in the EU, and is by many perceived to be closely similar to the cheap fish Pangasius. This, in combination with defrosted fish sold by retailers as fresh, makes it difficult to avoid price competition.

*Øystein Falch is a Senior Business Consultant at Inocap, Norway, and is a member of the Seafood Consultants Network. He specializes in Aquaculture and Aquatic Life Science. E-mail:

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research report

Aonori Aquafarms; Sustainable Shrimp Farming

A Mexican-American farm has developed a new shrimp culture process for Pacific brown Shrimp. This facility meets the highest international sustainability standards.

By Benjamin Moll*


ustainability is an important issue in seafood marketing, and development of sustainable shrimp culture presents a major challenge to aquaculture. Aonori Aquafarms, Inc (AAI, San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico) has developed a new approach to shrimp culture that results in substantially improved sustainability and excellent quality without increased production costs, based on the culture of Farfantepenaeus californiensis, the pacific brown shrimp.

Features of AAI farming methods AAI uses a new shrimp framing method, known as Nature Farming, which uses a controlled culture and harvest of Ulva clathrata macro-algae (in Japan this algae is known as aonori, which gives the company itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name, or just Ulva in Mexico). This is a dual-crop system in which both seaweed and shrimp are harvested, in a habitat that is almost equal to the natural environment in which shrimp develops. Ulva has several roles in this system: it provides in-pond pollution remediation, rapidly removing nitrogen and phosphorus from the pond water; it supplies a large fraction of the nu28 Âť

Aonori Aquafarms, Inc.

tritional needs of the shrimp; it grants cover and feed for small prey animals that provide part of the nutritional needs of the shrimp; it presents a covered habitat for shrimp and it is also harvested as a crop.

Value of Ulva in the pond system In-pond pollution remediation, this alga allows the use of a relatively low rate of water exchange, sufficient to keep the water salinity in a suitable range for both shrimp and Ulva. The later also has antiviral effects. The reduced water exchange makes it practical to use a seawater well and to use a screening system and subsurface drainage for discharge, so accidental introduction of organisms is highly unlikely, and escape of domesticated shrimp is impossible. Water is discharged intermittently, so it can be done when nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the pond water are at a minimum. The seaweed is retained in the pond, unlike microalgae, so biomass isn’t wasted, while clear water is discharged. Unlike micro-algae that settle to the bottom of the pond and contribute to organic matter accumulation and consequently oxygen demand from the pond bottom, U. clathrata accumulates as a large standing crop,

and any excess is harvested. As a result it is feasible to operate the ponds at high net productivity, and most of the nutritional needs of the shrimp are provided by the pond ecology. This helps keep feed costs down, and also reduces both marine and terrestrial areas required to support farm operation. Some feed are used to complement the Ulva-based diet, but the marine-source content of the feed is low.

This shrimp grows in cooler water than Litopenaeus vannamei. This allows the company to locate on the Pacific coast of Baja California. Oceanic currents come from the north, an area devoid of shrimp farms with no reported shrimp disease. Aonori has its own facility for breeding and post-larvae production, developed in collaboration with CIBNOR, so there is no possibility of disease introduction from another region. The conditions in the ponds, especially a diet with plenty of seaweed, promote disease resistance against White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV). The temperatures in the ponds are suitable for WSSV for only a few weeks each year, so this particular disease is unlikely to be a problem. We also have the benefit of the sanitary procedures that have become standard practice in the shrimp industry, which further reduces the risk of disease.

Farm location Aonori Aquafarms’ ponds are located somewhat inland, with water conveyed in pipes. The water flows are low enough for this to be practical, and the Advantages of F. californiensis high cost of beach-front land is avoidculture ed. The habitat converted to ponds by A major concern in shrimp aquacul- using HDP is low-lying coastal plain, ture is the risk of disease; this is the often partially salinized, so habitat reason why the company decided to conversion doesn’t have much effect work with F. californiensis. on the surrounding ecology.

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research report

Product Quality This approach to shrimp farming has the added advantage that the high seaweed content results in a flavorful shrimp with firm texture and appealing color when cooked. John Filose, the farm’s marketing advisor and former USA’s National Fisheries Institute chairman, reported on a recent sample of head-off 48 count shrimp: Shell color is darker than L. vannamei, but lighter than wild caught F. californiensis. The blue-grey color is similar to Litopenaeus stylirostris, as is the raw meat color. The veins are thin and blue, often not visible, so shrimp could be cooked in the shell and peeled by the consumer. Cooked shrimp are a brilliant pink color with a sweet shrimp taste and firm bite. Sustainability To assess sustainability, Aonori relies on standards developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium (USA). In addition to general good farming practices, these standards are concerned with effluent quality; habitat conversion; use of

Cooked brown shrimp with its attractive pink color.

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antibiotics and other chemicals; feed impacts, both marine and terrestrial; hazards related to escape risk; disease risk; and use of wild populations for stocking ponds (Table 1). In some cases, sustainability standards have minor conflicts with the company’s perception of best practices. For example, they plan on introducing a small number of wild-caught breeders into their domestication program to avoid having too small a genetic pool in breeders, so reliance on wild populations is not zero, but it is small enough that it is not a matter of concern. Similarly, they don’t rule out the use of marine source ingredients in leastcost feed formulation, but the commitment is to use levels low enough that, while they may not be zero, it is not a matter of major concern.

Aonori-fed shrimp has a sweet flavor, firm texture and a bright pink color when cooked.

Farfantepenaeus californiensis.

Low water exchange allows the use of a seawater well and a subsurface drainage for discharge; accidental introduction of organisms is highly unlikely, and escape of domesticated shrimp is impossible. This technology is in the pilot project stage. Aonori Aquafarms’ most recent harvest was sold through Safeway in southern California.

About Aonori Aquafarms Aonori Aquafarms has several national and international patents, and has been supported on numerous occasions with sponsorships from both private and public instances. In 2012, it received the “Best SME with international impact” from Mexico’s Ministry of Economy.

Shrimp and aonori Co-culture.

*Dr. Benjamin Moll is the CSO of Aonori Aquafarms, Inc. He’s been working with algae-based feeds and foods for more than 20 years. Skype: Benjamin Moll Armando A Leon President and CEO Skype: Armando A Leon

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Achotines Laboratory:

Captive Yellowfin Tuna in Panama This laboratory located in Central America has the only place in the world where tuna eggs, larvae and juveniles can be obtained almost year By Maria S. Stein, Daniel Margulies, Vernon P. Scholey and Jeanne B. Wexler*

round. Many investigations there have obtained valuable information about this fish behavior and its potential as an aquaculture species. trolled, experimental environment. This unique facility, located in the Republic of Panama, currently maintains a broodstock of yellowfin tuna in an in-ground, concrete tank. Members of the IATTC’s Early Life-History (ELH) Group and collaborating scientists have nearly year-round access to study captive tuna at various stages of life.

Establishment and Development of the Laboratory The Achotines Laboratory is situated on the southern tip of the Azuero Peninsula on the Pacific coast of the Republic of Panama, adjacent to Achotines Bay. Its carefully-selected location provides many advantages for scientists studying tropical tunas. Yellowfin grow to reproductive size and spawn in the main broodstock tank (IATTC photo). It is located in an area of the coastline where the continental shelf is narrow; water is over 200 m deep just 6-10 km he Inter-American Tropical This is a pelagic, or open-ocean, from the shoreline, which provides relTuna Commission (IATTC) species, making it difficult to study in atively quick access to oceanic waters is tasked with the manage- its natural habitat. In order to address where yellowfin tuna, among other ment and conservation of the lack of biological information animals and samples, can be collected tuna and billfish in the Eastern Pacific about adult and early-life stages of and transported back to the LaboraOcean. Yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albac- tuna, crucial for species management, tory. The sea-surface temperature in ares, is one of the most commercially the IATTC established the Achotines this region typically ranges from 21important species within the IATTC’s Laboratory, where these aspects of 29˚C year-round, which eliminates the study area. its biology could be studied in a con- necessity of manipulating the water

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temperature in order to maintain the spawning population of yellowfin tuna. After the Laboratoryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inauguration in 1985, research initially focused on coastal tropical tunas and mackerel, such as black skipjack (Euthynnus lineatus), bullet and/or frigate tuna (Auxis spp.), and sierra mackerel (Scomberomorus sierra). Many studies of early life history and reproductive biology were conducted during this time. For the first time, the life cycle of black skipjack was completed in captivity by rearing field-caught larvae to maturity. ELH scientists also successfully developed a captive spawning population of black skipjack, another world-first. In 1993, the IATTC, the Overseas Fishery Cooperation Foundation (OFCF) of Japan, and the government of the Republic of Panama initiated a joint project with the objective of investigating the culture and spawning in captivity of yellowfin tuna, snappers (Lutjanidae ssp.), and drums (Sciaenidae ssp.) in land-based tanks to provide eggs, larvae and juveniles for research purposes. The undertaking required a massive infrastructure expansion of the laboratory facilities in order to hold and maintain yellowfin tuna and provide cultured prey for their larvae. A circular, in-ground concrete tank, measuring 17 m in diameter and 6 m in depth with a 1,300 m capacity, was built for the main yellowfin broodstock. Wild tuna were caught in nearby waters and brought back to the laboratory in live wells aboard skiffs. The yellowfin broodstock was successfully established in 1996 and natural spawning occurred in the fall of that year and has continued on a near-daily basis to this day. Five smaller in-ground concrete tanks were also added during this initial expansion, along with facilities for incubating eggs, rearing larvae and juveniles, and producing algae and rotifers for feeding the fish. Development of the Laboratory has continued over the years and today Achotines boasts an analytical laboratory, a nutritional analysis laboratory, a DNA laboratory, 3

Aerial view of Achotines Laboratory (photo by Liam Scholey).

a library and a conference room. There is also office space and housing for scientists, a workshop, and a pier in Achotines Bay for vessel operations.

Research on yellowfin tuna A wealth of information has resulted from work with both the adult and the egg, larval and juvenile stages of yellowfin tuna at the Achotines Laboratory. The ELH researchers and collaborating scientists have studied aspects of tuna biology that have an impact on both management and culture of the species. Yellowfin Tuna Broodstock The broodstock yellowfin are fed a diet of squid, herring and anchovy, supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Daily food rations are regulated by the feeding activity of the fish. A bioenergetics model has also been used to assure the ration is sufficient to fulfill energy demands. A diet of half squid/half fish has been found to provide adequate nutrition for almost continuous spawning, while avoiding excessive fat accumulation. There have been estimated growth rates in

length and weight of captive fish and it has been found that both growth rates decreased with increasing size of fish. Average growth in length of broodstock fish ranged from 11-62 cm per year and average growth in weight from 7-33 kg per year. Of the initial wild yellowfin caught offshore as broodstock candidates in 1996, around half survived capture and transport, while about a third made it through a quarantine period in a smaller tank before joining the main broodstock. Smaller fish survive capture and handling better than larger fish. The average residency time in the main tank is two years, with the maximum time being six years. Most of the deaths in the tank are due to wall strikes, in which a fish collides with the side of the tank, dying instantly or shortly thereafter due to spinal injury or secondary infection from sustained injuries. Incidence of wall strikes has been more frequent when the fish density in the tank has increased to a maximum of 0.65 kg/ m , so a lower target density is maintained. The growth rate of the captive yellowfin is lower overall than the estimated growth rates of wild yellowfin 3

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Yellowfin eggs shortly before hatching (IATTC photo).

in the eastern Pacific, likely due to confinement in the tank. The yellowfin broodstock began spawning in the main tank in October, 1996 and spawning has continued almost daily. During the process, which has been filmed by ELH scientists, the fish exhibit courtship behavior for 1-4 hours prior to spawning. Most of the fish in the tank form a loose group near the bottom of the tank. A smaller group of about 2-5 fish separate away from the main group and one of them, presumably female, is chased by one or more others, pre-

Achotines Laboratory was created in 1985. Researchers looked for a way to obtain biological information about yellowfin tuna’s life cycle. Since that year, they have obtained eggs almost daily. 34 »

sumably male. Spawning occurs when the female fish releases eggs into the water and the males swimming behind her release milt; the eggs are fertilized when they mix with the milt in the water column. This type of fertilization, called broadcast spawning, is common among tuna species, but because it occurs naturally in the open ocean, and usually at night, these courtship and spawning behaviors have been very rarely observed in the ocean. Working with the adult fish has led to valuable insight and multiple publications on topics such as broodstock establishment, health and growth, physiology, genetics, and courtship and spawning dynamics of the adult fish.

Early Life Stages of Yellowfin Eggs from adult fish are collected from the main tank and are routinely used in experiments on the egg, larval and juvenile life stages in smaller tanks. ELH Group members conduct experiments designed to gain insight into the biological and physical factors that influence survival during the stages before the fish are large

enough to enter the fishery (also known as pre-recruit stages). This is an important time in the life cycle due to the high growth and mortality rates experienced. Small changes in vital rates (survival, growth) during this period have the potential to have tremendous effects on the number of resulting adult fish. Studies have covered a range of topics, including investigations of the effects of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, micro-turbulence, light, and feeding on growth and survival of yellowfin larvae. Recently, the effects of ocean acidification are receiving increased attention worldwide. For tuna, early life stages are sensitive to environmental changes but potential impacts of ocean acidification on tuna populations are unknown. Research trials were completed at the Achotines Laboratory in late 2011 examining the potential effects of ocean acidification on the survival and growth of yellowfin eggs and larvae. These trials were conducted in collaboration with scientists from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), and were funded by the Pelagic Fisheries Research Program (PFRP) of the University of Hawaii.

Collaborations Much of the information that is gained from the experiments and rearing of tuna can be applied to tuna ecology and aquaculture, as similar biological information about tuna is required in both fields, but for different applications. This has led to multiple collaborations for the IATTC’s ELH Group. Comparative studies of yellowfin and Pacific bluefin early life history: SATREPS In April 2011, the IATTC, Kinki University of Japan, and the Autoridad de Recursos Acuáticos de Panama (ARAP) began a comparative study of the early life history and reproductive biology of yellowfin tuna and

Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis). This joint research project is being conducted by faculty and staff of Kinki University, the ELH Group of the IATTC, and scientists of ARAP, mostly at the Fisheries Laboratory of Kinki University and the Achotines Laboratory, and will continue through March 2016. The study will be the first in the world to investigate important comparative aspects of the reproductive biology, genetics, and early life history of these two species of tunas. The project will also support graduate research through Kinki University for selected members of all three participating groups. It is being implemented under the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS); the studies conducted in Japan are supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), and those in Panama by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Achotines Laboratory collaborates with many Research Centers around the world, mainly in the USA and Japan.

Joint studies with Hubbs Sea World Research Institute (HSWRI) In 2010 and 2011, eggs and/or larvae of yellowfin tuna were successfully shipped by air from the Achotines Laboratory to the Hubbs Sea World Research Institute (HSWRI) in San Diego, California, USA, as part of a feasibility study funded by the Saltonstall-Kennedy Program, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The study proved that it is possible to send these kinds of samples from Panama to the United States for research purposes, and the success of the project was instrumental in the IATTC and HSWRI re-

cently being awarded a California Sea Grant project designed to continue and expand the air shipment trials. The new project began in May 2012, and will continue for 3 years.

IATTC-University of Miami annual workshop Since 2003, the IATTC and the University of Miami’s Aquaculture Program have jointly hosted an annual workshop entitled “Physiology and Aquaculture of Pelagics with Emphasis on Reproduction and Early Developmental Stages of Yellowfin Tuna” at the Achotines Laboratory. International researchers, industry professionals and University of Miami graduate students gather to study and share advanced technologies and improved methods for experimental studies and rearing of larval tunas and other species of marine fish. A fee for the participants and students covers the expenses of conducting the workshop. Learn More about Achotines Laboratory The IATTC’s Achotines Laboratory is an internationally recognized research facility dedicated to the study of tuna and tuna-like species. Being the only facility in the world with nearly year-round availability of tuna eggs and larvae for research purposes, it is valued both among the scientific and aquaculture communities worldwide.

*Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. 8901 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla, California 92037, USA For more information on the Achotines Laboratory, visit the Laboratory website at AchotinesLab/AchotinesDefaultENG.htm.

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APA2013 meeting in Vietnam was a huge success

We just finished up our APA2013 meeting in HCMC, Vietnam and it was a huge success. By Mario Stael


e planned originally for about 1300 participants, five sessions and 40 booths. Over the course of the planning we increased the size of the trade show to over 100 booths and increased the number of sessions to nine. And participation followed this trend with over 2500 participants. Overall the trade show participants expressed their happiness with the number and variety of people coming to the show, which APA13 recognizes they couldn’t have achieved such a success without the support of all their major sponsors, a full list of which is available at

A look ahead to the World Aquaculture Society’s Upcoming Events… USA Aquaculture America 2014, Seattle, 36 »

USA – February 9-12, 2014. It’s organized by the World Aquaculture Society. An excellent program for Aquaculture America 2014 in Seattle is finished and is posted on the website. Don’t wait to make your travel plans to Seattle as the hotels will fill up fast. There are just a few booths available now Australia World Aquaculture Adelaide 2014, Australia – June 7-9, 2014. It’s organized by the World Aquaculture Society. Due to the high attendance at Asian Pacific Aquaculture 2013 and interest in submitting additional abstracts, the deadline for abstracts for World Aquaculture Adelaide 2014 has been extended to January 24, 2014. WAA`14 will have sessions on all aquaculture topics including those of

importance to the Asian Pacific region such as sea bass, shrimp, tilapia, etc. If you want to see a session on a topic, please submit abstracts for that topic. Europe Aquaculture Europe 2014, San Sebastian, Spain – October 14-17, 2014. It’s organized by the European Aquaculture Society. Now is the time to submit your abstract online Please check back regularly to and for full details and updates on the conferences mentioned above; here you will also find information on the full list of all future WAS conferences and Events scheduled around the globe. FUTURE FISH EURASIA 2014, Izmir, Turkey, June 5-7 WORLD AQUACULTURE 2014 Adelaide, South Australia June 7-11 AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2014 San Sebastian, Spain, October 14-17 LATIN AMERICAN & CARIBBEAN AQUACULTURE 2014, Guadalajara, Mexico, Nov 5-7 AQUACULTURE AMERICA 2015 New Orleans, USA Feb. 19-22 WORLD AQUACULTURE 2015 Jeju Island, Korea May 26-30 LATIN AMERICAN & CARIBBEAN AQUACULTURE 2015, Guayaquil, Ecuador, Oct 2015 AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2015 Rotterdam, Netherlands October 2023 AQUACULTURE 2016 Las Vegas, Nevada USA Feb. 22-26 AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2016 Edinburg, Scotland September 20-23, 2016 WORLD AQUACULTURE 2017 South Africa June As always, WAS and Marevents want to express their gratitude to all their Sponsors, particularly the Golden, Silver and premier sponsors. These session sponsors helped to bring in some top key speakers at each session. For sponsorship or exhibition space for one of the upcoming events, please contact Mario Stael at:


America’s Tilapia Alliance


The America’s Tilapia Alliance (the “ATA”) was formed in September By Greg Lutz

2013 by a group of US and foreign tilapia enthusiasts.


ver the past two decades the industry has evolved and tilapia production has boomed worldwide. However, fish farmers are not the only entities involved to create a healthy and expanding tilapia industry. Important stakeholders include academia, pharmaceutical companies, feed suppliers, equipment manufacturers, seed and genetic providers, various laboratories, consulting and technology transfer companies, distributors, sales and marketing companies, and grocery and food service companies. All these actors have a role to play before the product ever gets to the end user – the consumer. The establishment of the new ATA will enable these stakeholders to become members of the expanded organization and enable them to add value to the industry. The ATA’s initial objective is to expand the membership by having as members a variety of tilapia aficionados who invest time and or money within the tilapia industry. This brain trust of membership will offer their experience, contacts and financial support to protect and promote an improved image of tilapia. Another goal of this collective is the development of both proactive and reactive programs to promote and protect the industry. To be effective with available budgets and resources, these targets will have to be well coordinated by ATA members, Directors and committees.

To create interest and focus, the ATA will rely heavily on web based communication. The ATA expects to develop websites, newsletters and chat forums among the various groups that contribute to the tilapia industry. The ATA has solicited the support of various specialists to contribute columns and conduct periodic forums in their areas of focus to generate interest. The Alliance’s website is being developed at Other valuable benefits of participation in the ATA include networking and receiving information about production, certification, markets, regulations, and other matters related to the industry. Information access will be allowed by access code and determined by the level of membership fees. The ATA expects to collaborate, coordinate and leverage its interests with those of other related organizations.

No matter in which aspect of the tilapia market chain (live, fresh, fillet, whole, processed), many of the principal positive and negative aspects are similar. Therefore, the ATA’s focus will be on promoting and protecting those aspects of the industry that impact all stakeholders. Current Directors and Officers of the ATA include: William Martin (Blue Ridge) Gaston Dupre (Rain Forest) Willie Core (Cargill) Rob Ellis (Astor) James Butch Vidrine (Sysco) and Mike Picchietti (Aquasafra, and Aquaculture Magazine’s Tilapia column contributor).

For more information, contact the ATA at

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Aquaculture in


By Eric Roderick*

Egyptian fish production is over 1 million t/year, with over 65% from fish farms and most of this production from tilapia. The Ministry of Agriculture has plans to increase this total to 1.5 million t by 2015.


ith the vast river Nile, large lakes, huge coastal lagoons and a long coastline, fish has always featured heavily in the diet of Egyptians, and even in the face of major population increases, as well as pressure on the natural resources, Egypt has managed to increase its domestic supply of fish, mainly through aquaculture, which as in most countries around the world is increasing rapidly. Capture fisheries is already over-exploited, so aquaculture production is required to double over the next 10 years if current per capita consumption of fish is to be sustained in a country with a steadily rising population. 38 Âť

Aquaculture Magazine

Aquaculture in Egypt Egyptian aquaculture mainly involves 14 different species of finfish and two species of crustacean. Ten are native and six are introduced species. The native species are: Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus), North African catfish (Clarias gariepinus), flathead grey mullet (Mugil cephalus), thinlip mullet (Liza ramada), bluespot mullet (Valamugil seheli), European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), meagre (Argyrosomus regius) and penaeid shrimp (Penaeus semisulcatus and Penaeus japonicus). The introduced species are: common carp (Cyprinus carpio), grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus), silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), bighead

carp (Aristichthys nobilis), black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) and the giant river freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii). Many of the species being farmed rely on wild caught fry and larvae which are mostly in decline, so more hatcheries are required to supply fry and fingerlings to the on-growing farms. The Nile Delta is a vast area that has seen a big expansion of fish farming in recent times and the Kafr El Sheikh region is at the center of this growing industry. The most important governorates in terms of aquaculture production are Kafr El Sheikh, Behera, Sharkia, and Fayoum. A few decades ago, this region mainly practiced the HOSHA system where ponds were built around lakes and channels, and water was allowed in to the ponds, along with a range of fish fry. The pond was then sealed, and often received some organic fertilizers, to enhance phytoplankton and zooplankton. There was no other supplementary feeding, and at the end of the season, the ponds were drained, and everything harvested. Average yields of 100- 200 kg per ha were obtained, but this was extensive farming on a very large scale so lots of fish were produced by this method. Aquaculture really expanded in the late 1970s when the government set up hatcheries and grow-out farms, and introduced supplementary feeding, which increased yields steadily. The main expansion within the industry came from tilapia farming, when it was realized that using monosex tilapia, as well as extending the growout season by providing poly-tunnels dramatically improved yields. In the early 1980s Egyptian fish production was 200,000 t/year, mostly consisting of wild fish caught from the Nile, as well as some lakes and the Red and Mediterranean seas. Today Egyptian fish production is over 1 million t/year, with over 65% from fish farms and most of this production from tilapia. The Ministry of Agriculture has plans to increase this total to 1.5 million t by 2015. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

The Egyptian government has incorporated new laws to encourage investment from Egyptian and Foreign companies in fish research and production. Assistance is offered by the government both in terms of finance and technical support. Originally fish farms could not use freshwater directly, but could only access drainage water, but are now able to use freshwater. Water reuse is given a high priority, with fish farm water used for crop irrigation projects. These new regulations should enhance production and fish farm development, and encourage increased investment in the aquaculture sector, with a view to exporting a high quality product to the European markets. In 2001 there were over 300 tilapia hatcheries around Kafr el Sheikh, and tilapia farming spread to other regions such as Sharkia, Dakahlia, Port Said, Bihara and Sinai resulting in an increase in tilapia production from 20,000 t before 1995 up to 700,000 t by 2009. This led to over production, increased feed prices, and a massive drop in farm gate prices, resulting in many less efficient farms closing down. Egypt is currently the second largest producer of tilapia in the world after China, with production of over 750,000 t in 2012 and increasing in 2013, so it’s also of great commercial significance. 20% of Egyptian GDP comes from agriculture, with 34% of Egypt’s total workforce employed in the agricultural sectors. Fish and fisheries products are the main source of animal protein for the poor people. Fish consumption has increased from 8.5kg/person/year in 1994 to 15.40 kg/person/year in 2010.

Current situation Although Egypt produces huge quantities of tilapia, there is almost no exportation due primarily to the production of tilapia in sub-optimal water conditions, as well as lack of HACCP and ISO certified processing plants. There is also a lack of value added capabilities and a shortage of by-prodFEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

uct industries. All these issues are currently being addressed by the Egyptian government who sees great potential in exporting tilapia to the EU and the Middle East. The General Authority for Fish Resources Development – GAFRD, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation – is the agency responsible for all planning and control activities related to fish production and extension and support activities. Each region has an extension center including a pilot farm, hatchery and laboratories for soil and water analysis with services provided upon request free of charge. Fish seed produced in the government hatcheries or collected by its fry collection stations is sold at nominal prices to private farmers.

New participants The majority of fish farms in Egypt can be classified as semi-intensive

brackish water pond farms. Intensive aquaculture, in earthen ponds and tanks, is now developing rapidly. Current developments in production are centered on the application of modern technologies and are a result of changes in the structure of the fish farming community. The high rate of return on investment in aquaculture has attracted a large number of small to middle level investors who tend to have a more scientific background than the traditional farmers. The sector is becoming more sophisticated and diverse and this is also associated with a rapid expansion in support activities such as local feed mills and hatcheries. More than 12 fish feed manufacturing companies have been established during the course of the last eight years, and there are plans to build several large feed mills in the region. The situation in 2013 is that the successful well-run farms survived the

Outdoor broodstock tanks for Spring Summer and Autumn breeding.

Polytunnels are placed over growout ponds so that overwintered tilapia can find increased warmth to survive the cold winters. The water temperatures drop to around 8ºC during winter.

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down turn, and are gearing up for a more sustainable and structured expansion. This increased production could be targeted at the export market, but also more value-added products are being investigated.

Alternatives The real winner is the Egyptian consumer. The growth of the aquaculture sector has resulted in lower retail fish prices, which has encouraged Egyptians to add more fish to their diet. Egyptian consumers choose between chicken and tilapia depending on which happens to be the cheapest in the shops. Most fish are sold either fresh on ice (in summer months or if sales are made far from farms) or fresh with no ice (in winter months and/ or if sales are made close to farms). There is a growing trend however for the sale of live tilapia, motivated by the fact that fish prices have fallen in real terms over the last ten years and higher prices can be achieved for live product. Tilapia used to be the only fish produced in freshwater cages until 1999 when cage culture of silver carp began mainly in the fertile freshwaters of the Nile River branches near Rosetta. Production from cage culture has increased dramatically during the last decade. Cage aquaculture activities on the Nile are currently facing strong opposition from environmental groups and as a result the sector may suffer a sharp decline both in cage numbers and production in the future.

Fish and fis­heries products are the main source of animal protein for the poor people. Fish consumption has increased from 8.5kg/person/year in 1994 to 15.40 kg/person/year in 2010.

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Aquaculture Magazine

New tilapia farm near Alexandria.

The future of Egyptian aquaculture Further developments in the fresh and brackish water aquaculture sector are planned despite most of the land suitable for pond aquaculture is already in use. According to GAFRD, a large proportion of the targeted growth within its aquaculture development strategy can be reached by converting traditional farms to intensive pond culture systems. To encourage transformation of traditional aquaculture to intensive farming systems, GAFRD has recently issued a decree limiting public land leases for aquaculture to a maximum of 10 ha. Furthermore, a land lease contract is valid for five years and renewal is dependent on conditions set by GAFRD. Integrated aquaculture and agriculture in the desert have grown rapidly since the beginning of the millennium. A large number of desert land owners have established fish rearing facilities through the use of ground water. Desert aquaculture began with growing fish in the tanks used as water reservoirs for irrigation. Successes encouraged some farm owners to seek technical support to integrate fish farming into their agriculture businesses and to intensify their business. The Ministry of Agriculture is supporting this trend and it is expected to have several hundred such farms

operating within five years. Privatelyowned tilapia and carp hatcheries have already been established in the area to supply the increasing demand for juveniles. In the GAFRD aquaculture development strategy, marine aquaculture is considered as an opportunity to increase fish production in a country which has limited resources of freshwater. This sector is however facing numerous technical (mainly seed production) and legislative problems. Private investors, although attracted by the potential sales revenues, are deterred by the higher investment costs and associated risks. The legislative complication results from the complexity of land lease regulations in the coastal areas and competition for land use as tourism takes priority. Other organizations based in Egypt that are helping to secure the future sustainable expansion of aquaculture in the country are the World Fish Center in Abbassa, and the Egyptian Aquaculture Center, a training and applied research limited partnership company, which offers training courses and has demonstration farms. In conclusion, aquaculture in Egypt is thriving, and the rest of Africa and the Middle East can hopefully follow on from Egyptâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. *Eric Roderick is a collaborator of Aquaculture Magazine in the United Kingdom.


ASIAN report

Genetic improvement of

tilapia in China Genetic parameters and selection responses were obtained for growth of ProGift Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in China after six generations of multi-trait selection. About 64,000 tagged fingerlings were tested. The By Jørn Thodesen (Da-Yong Ma), Morten Rye, Yu-Xiang Wang, Kong-Song Yang, Hans B. Bentsen, and Trygve Gjedrem.

ongoing selective breeding of Nile tilapia resulted in considerable genetic improvement of growth.


n 2010, the world production of farmed tilapias reached 3.2 million metric tons, of which 35% was produced in China. Chinese tilapia production increased very rapidly during a 20-year period until 2005 when the annual production reached about one million tons; since then, tilapia production has stagnated in China.

Tilapia farming in China In the past, 65% of the farmed tilapias in China were hybrids produced by crossing Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) females and Blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) males. These hybrids were preferred due to a high male percentage and better survival at low water temperatures. In recent years, China has received several imports of genetically improved Nile tilapia from the Philippines, and some materials have been adapted to the Chinese production systems by mass selection or combined family and within-family selection. Most of the Chinese tilapia production is concentrated in four southern provinces, where tilapias are mainly farmed in semi-intensive or intensive all-male, mono-culture systems. Although freshwater earthen ponds are the most common production, floatFEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

Tilapia breeding in hapas.

Aquaculture Magazine

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ASIAN report

ing cages located in reservoirs and brackish water ponds (former shrimp ponds) are also used. About 40% of the Chinese tilapia production in 2010 was exported mainly as frozen fillets to markets in the USA while the rest was consumed locally. Further development requires genetically improved breeds that adapt and perform well under different production conditions in China. Nile tilapia show genetic variation for most traits and is the first choice for production in fresh water in tropical and sub-tropical climates, while Blue tilapia, or the hybrid between them, is preferred in temperate climates. Red tilapia (Oreochromis spp.), and especially those with a large proportion of genes from Mozambique tilapia (O. mosambicus), is preferred in brackish water environments both due to their higher salinity tolerance and their resemblance to red snapper and sea bream.

Materials and methods The breeding program operated by

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Aquaculture Magazine

Hainan Progift Aqua-Tech Co. Ltd. and technically designed and supervised by Akvaforsk Genetics Center (Norway) was first located at a tilapia hatchery in Taishan County. The climate here is subtropical, with a sweltering hot summer season and cold northern winds during the winter. After two generations of selection, the breeding operation was moved to Dingan County, where the climate is monsoon tropical. The air temperature may drop to 16–21°C during January and February and reach above 35°C during July and August. The rainy season (May to October) causes daily fluctuations of water temperature. The base population (100 full-sib families) was imported from the Research Institute of Aquaculture (RIA) of Vietnam, in 2004. These families represented the G5-generation in Vietnam and had been selected for faster growth in freshwater earthen ponds, and better cold-water tolerance (last three generations). RIA imported in 1997 more than 100 full-

Effective dissemination schemes makes selective breeding programs one of the most powerful means of increasing the efficiency of aquaculture.

sib families representing the G5-generation of the Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) breed of Nile tilapia from the GIFT Foundation, Philippines. In 1999, offspring of these GIFT-tilapia families were used together with locally available Nile tilapia (Viet tilapia and a mixed population of earlier imported GIFT-tilapia) to establish a selective breeding program for Nile tilapia in Vietnam, developed from a broad genetic base of strains collected from different countries in Africa and Asia. There-


Table 1 Mean duration of different operations to produce full-sib families in different generations of ProGift Nile tilapia produced in China (G1–G6). Operation

Number of days G1 G2 G3 Breeding 7 11 6 Incubation 8 8 7 Family rearing* 92 67 73 a) Nursing hapa 21 19 15 b) B-net cage 71 48 58

G4 7 8 68 15 53

G5 4 9 60 15 45

G6 4 8 54 15 39

*Total time in nursing hapas and B-net cages.

Table 2 Number of average breeders used to produce control groups representing different generations of Progift Nile tilapia (G1–G5). Generation G0 G1 G2 G3 G4 G5

Number of average breeders Males Females – – 13 14 11 20 11 17 20 28 36 52

Families represented – 9 7 13 24 42

fore, the full-sib families in the imported base population to China represented already ten generations of selection for improved growth (five generations in the Philippines and another five generations in Vietnam) before initiating the reported selective breeding at Hainan Progift AquaTech Co. Ltd. In September 2004, about 5,000 Nile tilapia (representing 100 full-sib families to be used as base population) were transported from Vietnam to China by air. After arrival in Guangzhou City, the fish were transported by truck to the tilapia hatchery in Taishan County and stocked into five hapa cages (3.0 m x 5.0 m x 1.0 m) in a freshwater earthen pond for quarantine and observation. Their health condition was very good. A nested mating design was applied for the production of a high number of paternal half-sib groups

each consisting of two full-sib families. For production of full-sib families in the base population, selected male breeders were randomly stocked together with two female breeders in hapas (2.0 x 1.5 x 0.8 m) for natural mating. After collecting the first batch of swim-up fry from the breeding hapas, the spawned female breeders were removed while the remaining female breeders were kept to produce a second batch of full-sib families per male breeder. Later generations of full-sib families (G1–G6) were produced by stocking each selected male breeder with only one female breeder at the time. The selected breeding candidates were first kept in hapa cages (2.0 x 3.0 x 0.8 m) for conditioning and observation of sexual maturation. Females ready to spawn were IDscanned and immediately transferred to a breeding hapa where an unrelated

Hainan ProGift Aqua-Tech Co. Ltd. has organized an effective dissemination of genetically improved tilapia seed including the world’s largest tilapia hatchery.


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male breeder (defined by having no common grandparents) waited for single-pair mating. As soon as the female breeders had successfully mated a male breeder (i.e. fertilized eggs were observed in their mouths), they were replaced with other female to produce paternal half-sib groups. For the production of full-sib families in the base population, the female breeders incubate fertilized eggs in their mouths and full-sib families were collected daily from the breeding hapas as swim-up fry. However, to better synchronize breeding and reduce chances that the increasingly larger female breeders would swallow their eggs, it was decided to collect full-sib families in later generations (G1–G6) twice per week as fertilized eggs or newly hatched yolksac larvae for artificial incubation in jars and trays. The collected full-sib families remained in the hatchery until they became swim-up fry, at which stage they were transferred to nursing hapas. In total 787 full-sib families were produced in the G0–G6 generations representing 334 paternal and 7 maternal half-sib groups. Swim-up fry from the full-sib families produced in each generation (G0–G6) were stocked into nursing hapas during a period of 46–73 days. Random samples of about 250 swimup fry from each full-sib family in the base population were stocked into separate nursing hapas (1.3 m x 1.0 m x 0.9 m), while two random samples of about 200 swim-up fry from each full-sib family in later generations (G1-G6) were stocked into hapas located in the same freshwater earthen pond. After 1–2 months, the samples of full-sib families in the base population were transferred to hapas with larger mesh size (B-net cages) at a stocking rate of about 150 fry per cage (1.5 m x 2.0 m x 0.9 m) to optimize further growth until tagging. The rearing period in the nursing hapas was standardized for all full-sib families in later generations, first to three weeks (G1–G2) and then to 15 days (G3–G6). Although the B-net 44 »

Aquaculture Magazine

Recording of harvest weight.

cages were smaller (1.0 m x 1.0 m x 0.8 m), the stocking density of about 150 fry per cage was maintained when producing full-sib families in later generations (G1–G6). The full-sib families remained in separate rearing units (nursing hapas and later B-net cages) until the youngest families reached a body weight suitable for physical tagging. All fullsib families within the first three generations (G0-G2) were pooled after tagging and tested in the same growout environments. In later generations, however, full-sib families were

grouped according to their age into two (G3–G5) or three consecutive batches (G6) that were tagged, pooled and stocked for grow-out testing in separate test units at different times, but at about the same mean age to reduce the overall mean age at tagging and age differences between fish tested in the same grow-out environment. As a result, the mean family rearing time was reduced from 92 days (G1) to 54 days (G6) before tagging (Table 1). Breeding candidates (11–36 males and 14–52 females per generation) FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

with average breeding values for body weight at harvest were used to produce control groups representing parental generations of families to estimate selection responses for growth (Table 2). These breeders were divided and stocked together with unrelated individuals (female and male breeders had no common grandparents) in two large breeding hapas (2.0 m x 3.0 m x 1.0 m). Fertilized eggs were collected 2–7 times from both breeding hapasto increase the number of breeders contributing offspring to the control groups. After artificial incubation of eggs from each sampling in separate jars, samples of swim-up fry from the two breeding hapas of same age (i.e. same time of collection) were pooled together and reared until tagging following the same procedure as used to produce full-sib families. About 64,000 tagged fingerlings representing 787 full-sib families produced in the seven generations were tested in freshwater earthen ponds, floating cages in reservoirs and brackish water earthen ponds at six locations. Fish tested in freshwater earthen ponds were candidates to produce the next generation of families (breeding candidates) while those tested in other grow-out environments (test fish) were used to collect additional sib information for ranking of the breeding candidates. The imported Nile tilapia in the base population (G0) were first reared in large hapa cages until they were large enough (>25 g) to be visually sexed. Males and females were then (at the beginning of October 2004) stocked into separate 2,000 m2 enclosures located in the same fertilized freshwater earthen pond. The breeding candidates representing the G1-generation were reared in a common large hapa cage for about one month and subsequently (in September 2005) they were visually sexed and each sex stocked into separate 2,000 m2 pond enclosures. The breeding candidates in the G2-generation were tested in three pond enclosures loFEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

Heritability estimates for body weights at harvest showed large variation in magnitude when analyzing data from each test environment and generation separately. cated in the same fertilized freshwater earthen pond. After tagging (end of August 2006), about half of the breeding candidates (both males and females) were stocked into a 2,000 m2 enclosure. The other breeding candidates were first reared in a common large hapa cage for about ten days when they were manually sexed and each sex stocked into separate 1,000 m2 pond enclosures. The two batches of breeding candidates in the G3-generation were also sexed (end of July and beginning of September 2007,

respectively) before stocking males and females into separate pond enclosures (800–950 m2) in two freshwater earthen ponds, one pond (two enclosures) per batch of full-sib families. The breeding candidates in the last three generations (G4–G6) were tested in 1,300–1,600 m2 freshwater earthen ponds. Batches of breeding candidates in the G4 and G5 generations were first stocked (the G4-generation in August 2008 and the G5-generation in July 2009) and tested in separate earthen ponds until expected time of sexual maturation.

Incubation of tilapia families.

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After recording, males and females were sorted and tested in separate earthen ponds until final harvest to avoid uncontrolled breeding and over-crowding. Batches of breeding candidates in the G6-generation (stocked in June and July 2010) were tested in mixed populations during the entire testing period. Test fish of the G6-generation were also tested in poorly managed freshwater earthen ponds with no water exchange and reduced feeding. Test fish representing full-sib families in the G1-generation were stocked (beginning of September 2005) into a floating cage located together with similar cages in a large reservoir, while the two or three batches of test fish representing full-sib families in the two last generations (G5 and G6) were stocked (same time as the breeding candidates in earthen ponds) and tested separately in slightly smaller floating cages located in a deep-water pond. Males and females were stocked together in the same cage since breeding, if successfully conducted, would have no effect on the stocking density (65–70 fish/m3) inside the cages. Test fish representing full-sib families in the G1-generation were also stocked (beginning of October 2005) and tested in a 2,800 m2 earthen brackish water pond (10 to 18 ppt). Males and females were stocked and tested together in the same pond since it was not expected that Nile tilapia would breed successfully in brackish water. All of the tested fish were fed commercial sinking feed twice daily. Breeding candidates in the base population (G0) were ranked according to their individual breeding values for growth (recorded as body weights at harvest). In later generations (G1– G5), breeding candidates were ranked according to a selection index including individual breeding values for growth and family breeding values for fillet yield. A total of 350–650 breeding candidates (125–170 males and 225–407 females) were preselected in each generation (G0-G5) to produce new generations of full-sib families. 46 »

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The breeding program was first located at a location with subtropical climate; then it was moved to another location, where the climate is monsoon tropical.

The number of selected individuals from the same full-sib family was restricted (max. 5–7 males and 10–15 females per family in different generations) to increase the number of families represented among the selected breeders and reduce the accumulation of inbreeding. The final selection of breeders to produce full-sib families depended on the sexual maturation and readiness to spawn of the preselected female breeders. The R software was used to check for anomalies in the data (i.e. recording errors and outliers) and calculation of simple descriptive statistics. The considered variables (and covariates) were: -Harvest weight; -Sex (for body weight within generation and test environment); -Test environment by sex (for body weight within generation); -Generation by test environment by sex (for body weight across generations); -First and second degree polynomial of nursing and testing periods (days); -Random animal additive genetic effects; and -Additive genetic (numerator) relationship matrix among the animals.

Results About 25,000 of the stocked fish were recorded at mid-recording and 50,000 at harvest, suggesting mean survival rates of 80% and 76%, respectively. The survival of the last generation

(G6) was much lower (55%) than in earlier generations due to losses caused by Streptococcus agalactiae. The recorded fish were in average 154 and 226 days, respectively, at mid-recording and harvest. In general, the mean body weights at harvest increased with each new generation of families. Heritability estimates for body weights at harvest showed large variation in magnitude when analyzing data from each test environment and generation separately.

Discussion and conclusions The mean harvest weights increased from 50 to 160 g in the five first generations tested in the Philippines, to 170–230 g in the five generations tested in Vietnam, and 340–800 g in the seven generations tested in China. This increase in harvest weight is the result of both genetic improvement of growth performance (after a total of 16 generations of selection), slightly higher age at harvest and testing in more intensified production systems. Within-family selection has been successfully applied to restrict inbreeding while improving the growth of Nile tilapia. The GIFT technology which implies single-pair mating, separate early rearing of full-sib families and individual tagging, is now the standard for tilapia breeding programs worldwide. Inbreeding is inevitable in selective breeding programs, but should be restricted to allow purging of undesirable genes from the population. Accumulated inbreeding after six generations of selection in the present breeding program (5%) was a good value.

Original article: Jorn Thodesen, Genetic improvement of tilapias in China: Genetic parameters and selection responses in growth of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) after six generations of multi-trait selection for growth and fillet yield. Aquaculture, Vol. 366-367, November 2012.


ASIAN report

Successful shrimp production in

semi-biofloc in Indonesia

A shrimp farm in Java has been operating a hybrid system, based on a careful balance between autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms which By Agus Saiful Huda, Junaedi Ispinanto, Fauzan Bahri, and Olivier Decamp


igh water exchange is standard practice to maintain suitable water quality in intensive shrimp production systems. However, environmental and biosecurity issues led farmers to develop methods relying on reduced or zero water exchange. A method that is commonly found in Thailand relies on recirculation systems where incoming water is treated in a reservoir before being pumped into rearing ponds, and where the pond effluent is directed towards a settling pond and treated before being either discharged to the environment or re-used for the next pond stocking. Another example is the Biofloc Technology (BFT) system that was developed to reduce the risk of pathogen entry, minimise effluent discharge and protect the surrounding environment. The concept was applied in Indonesia, first at PT Central Pertiwi Bahari, then at other farms in Medan, Java and Bali. The success of these systems relies on high stocking density, adequate aeration, as well as the right amount and form of carbon/nitrogen ratio fed to the system. The understanding of the basic concept, the right tools to monitor the system and the right infrastructure will explain the success or failure of the technology under commercial conditions. Despite the interest of many Indonesian shrimp farmers in the technol-

gave average outputs of 20 t/ha in early 2013. ogy, the failure of various projects due to unsuitable facilities (no back-up in the case of power failure and limited monitoring), or incorrect number and position of the paddlewheel aerators, led farmers to move away from BFT. Many Indonesian farms switched to the semi-biofloc system (i.e. the hybrid system), using a rearing protocol adapted to local characteristics, facilities and infrastructure. The purpose of this article is to describe the semibiofloc or hybrid system, as applied in farms in East Java.

The hybrid system The hybrid system, as operated in many Indonesian farms, is based on a careful balance between autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms. These organisms create what we call bio-microfloc which is a smooth and compact aggregate matter made of green algae (mostly Chlorella) and bacteria (mostly Bacillus supplied via commercial probiotic), as well as detritus, organic particles and protozoa. The organisms from the bio-microfloc control water quality by converting uneaten feed,

Shrimp checking.

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dead plankton and shrimp faeces into compounds that are non- toxic. This action of the biofloc organisms not only detoxifies the system but also improves the stability of the rearing environment. As a consequence, the bio-microfloc can be called ‘bio-conditioner’. The bio-microflocs are also a natural source of food for shrimp. Contrary to the full BFT, the balance between phytoplankton and bacteria is of the order of 30-40% autotrophs and 60-70% heterotrophs. With the development of the bio-microfloc, the pond water colour can be described as light brown or cream. The volume of bio-microfloc in the pond water has to be managed through the addition of chemicals (calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate), organic matter, and microbial products or limited water exchange. The shrimp pond is prepared for 20 days and stabilised (with algae and bacteria) before stocking the post larvae (PL10). Key parameters are water colour, pH, alkalinity, and the composition of plankton and bacteria. As with BFT, aeration is very important. Paddlewheels must be positioned correctly in order to maximize oxygenation (above 4 ppm, for shrimp and the organic degradation of organic matter), improve water circulation and mixing (to avoid stratification) while directing the sludge towards the central area of the pond.

Fig. 2 Characteristics of the phytoplankton: water transparency (Secchi disc reading, cm), percentage of green algae and blue green algae in the total phytoplankton. Secchi

% green algae

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0







Fig. 1 Water Quality Status Initial formation & enrichment phase Parameter

Direction phase

Steady & Maintenance phase Strengthening system Manage & Control system

Fry stocking

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Problems with aerators can affect the suspension of biofloc, thus leading to the accumulation of biofloc biomass, the creation of anoxic zones and the dramatic reduction in dissolved oxygen. Power failures over an hour in duration can be critical. Back-up power generators must be available. Contrary to the zero-water exchange heterotrophic system, siphoning is routinely performed to control the organic matter (especially excess nitrogen), as well as the checking for the presence of dead shrimp. Water transparency is maintained at a Secchi disk reading of 25-30 cm. Limited water exchange is carried out if required.

Overview of the various phases in the hybrid system, as operated at the experimental farm.


% blue green algae















Example from a farm in Indonesia The farm is located in Kabupaten Lamongan, East Java. It includes 40 ponds, of an average size of 3,000 m2. Ponds are fully lined with Highdensity polyethylene (HDPE). The total area of the farm is 27 ha. Preparation for 20 days prior to stocking After preparing the reservoir and pond, including setting up the biosecurity measures, i.e. crab protection and bird nets, the important phase of water preparation starts. This is the disinfection of the water using Sanocare PUR 1.2 ppm, followed by the initial enrichment of the rearing environment with the right nutrients. These include dolomite (10 ppm), a source of calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate (Kaptan 3 ppm) and Bacillus mixture (Sanolife PRO-W 10 ppm). The small particles, together with the Bacillus mixture, are in fact a ‘floc starter’. These products are applied on a regular basis over a period of 2 weeks or so until the pond water is stable with the right balance of microorganisms. This is followed by the ‘directing phase’ where a more stable environment is obtained (Fig. 1).

Culture operations After stocking animals (PL10), the pond management consists of maintaining a stable environment through (1) strengthening the system and (2) controlling the system. The composition of the algal community is controlled through the manipulation of the N: P (nitrogen: phosphorus) ratio following Redfield stoichiometry, with targets of N: P ratio of 25: 1 (20-25 ppm nitrate and 0.5-1 ppm phosphate). Frequent addition of a source of nitrate (Sanolife Nutrilake 5 ppm) is required. In order to maintain the right equilibrium between algae and bacteria, the right mixture of Bacillus is frequently applied (Sanolife PRO-W 10 ppm). In order to compensate for mineral deficiencies, additives are mixed with the feed (protein content of 30-35%). Molasses is added 2 or 3 times per week at a dose of 10-15 kg/ha. A combination of Sanolife PRO-W, dolomite and Kaptan 5 ppm is applied to establish and maintain aggregate (microfloc), with a target of 2-3 ml/l volume in Imhoff cones within 1.5-2 hours. This is different from the BFT system where the biofloc volume is generally higher, up to 15 ml/l. In order to maintain the stability of the system, water exchange is kept at a minimum. In addition to water quality management, feeding and shrimp health management, the mixed biofloc system also requires specific attention and management. This includes the use of a central drain and siphon to remove the excess organic matter that would accumulate in the central area of the pond (following the right positioning of the paddle wheel). An additional benefit of the frequent siphoning is the evaluation of the shrimp moult and the observation of dead shrimp that would have accumulated in the central area.

Table 1 Harvest data from a farm operated under semi-biofloc in autumn 2012. Days of Size Density Pond Size (m2) Yield (kg) culture (pcs/kg) (PL10/m2) 88 48 4,110 A 2,800 80 86 52 3,979 B 2,900 65 87 50 3,935 C 2,900 72 86 51 3,741 D 2,800 72 87 48 3,172 E 2,300 78 87 50 3,788 Average 2,740 73 104 46 7,527 A 3,300 113 82 62 6,273 B 3,000 133 83 62 5,794 C 2,900 137 97 47 6,423 D 3,000 119 96 46 5,360 E 3,200 120 96 48 5,760 F 3,000 119 93 52 6,188 Average 3,067 124

Two additional steps are taken. The immune system of the shrimp is optimised through the regular coating with a mixture of immunostimulants and nutraceuticals (Sano TOP-S). The feed conversion rate (FCR) is improved through the coating of probiotics (Sanolife PRO-2).

Performance of recent crops Tables 1 and 2 give the results of the last two culture cycles in late 2012 and early 2013 respectively. The operation at the farm with the hybrid system has led to the stable production of shrimp. The stocking density is only an estimation as there is a tendency for hatcheries to supply a higher number of PLs to the farm. Fine-tuning of the protocol to the conditions prevailing in this part of East Java led to an improvement of the FCR with an increase in the productivity. The phytoplankton was dominated by green algae with blue-green algae kept below 10% of the total community most of the time. Water transparency was reduced from 40-60 cm in the first weeks of the crop to 20-30 cm in the last 2 months of the crop (Fig. 2). Conclusions As with other intensive shrimp rearing

Table 2 Harvest data from a farm operated under semi-biofloc in January 2013. Days of Size Density Pond Size (m2) Yield (kg) culture (pcs/kg) (PL10/m2) 96 45 6,011 A 2,800 107 94 53 5,783 B 2,900 105 89 51 5,504 C 2,800 107 93 50 5,766 Average 2,833 106

FCR 1.30 1.28 1.33 1.30

Productivity (t/ha) 21.50 20.00 20.00 20.30

FCR 1.32 1.21 1.28 1.26 1.32 1.28 1.38 1.53 1.69 1.36 1.53 1.44 1.49

Productivity (t/ha) 14.70 13.77 13.60 13.40 13.80 13.80 22.80 20.90 20.00 21.40 16.70 19.20 20.20

systems, it is important to have a well defined check list for each stage of cultivation, detailing the potential hazards at each stage, the precautionary measures, the parameters to be followed, and also the contingency plan. For each problem, an action plan (a solution) should be defined in advance. Looking at the ‘Early Warning System’, based on daily observation, we include parameters such as discolouration of the shrimp, changes in body shape and behaviour, extreme size variation, status of shrimp hepatopancreas and faeces, and slower growth rate. The important points to consider are: production must be biologically feasible, but also technically and economically viable; production should be right from the first time. Avoid the mistake at the beginning and prevention and control of disease through: a. Reduction and control of stressful factors. System must be as stable as possible. b. Stimulation and activation of the immune system continuously. This is achieved through the coating of a mixture of immunostimulants and nutraceuticals. c. Control of pathogens, such as Vibrio, virus and fungi. d. Identification of appropriate treatment in case of disease. e. Containment of disease. f. Optimization of the feed digestibility and absorption. This is achieved through the coating of Bacillus probiotics. Original article: Huda, A.S., et al., Successful production in semi-Biofloc in Indonesia. Aquaculture Asia Pacific, vol. 9 no. 2, March-April 2013.

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Meeting the traceability challenge Food safety and proof of origin in today’s regulatory environment n the fish industry today, traceability is essential to satisfying regulatory obligations and consumer confidence. The tightening of regulations reflects growing global concerns about legitimate fishing grounds, correct labeling of products, and product quality. Seafood processors must be able to demonstrate proof of origin, traceability throughout their value chain, and the ability to make quick recalls. To do all this, an effective traceability system is essential. Traceability is the ability to track fish and seafood products through the supply chain from harvesting to processing and distribution, making it possible to identify and address risks and protect public health.


Marel makes traceability easy With Marel‘s Innova Software Solutions, traceability is built into every step of the production process. Inno-

Marel works in close partnership with customers all over the world to fulfill their food safety and traceability needs.

Fresh tilapia fillets.

va uses data collection points and software processes to link these processes together into one traceability chain, and communicates with other internal and external systems, such as ERP and fishery registration systems. This makes it possible to trace every product to its source, being a pond or a vessel, and at the same time improve efficiency and production control. Automating the traceability processes including quality assurance registrations, ensures that processors fulfill quality certification require50 »

Aquaculture Magazine


ments and can act quickly to minimize the size of recalls. “Traceability requirements are stipulated in regulations, in the form of source certifications, quota and compliance regulations, eco-labels and so forth,” Marel Sales Manager Bjarni Bergsson explains. “But it also comes down to the end user – the customer who wants to know that their food comes from a trusted source. Innova makes it possible for processors to earn that stamp of approval – from both regulators and consumers.”

Quality and sustainability as unique selling proposition Marel works in close partnership with customers all over the world to fulfill their food safety and traceability needs with Innova – from Icelandic fish processors to Uruguayan beef processors.


In Costa Rica, at Terrapez S.A., Marel recently installed a processing line for tilapia, powered by Innova. With the entire production chain integrated, Innova takes on a key role in fulfilling traceability and quality assurance requirements. At Terrapez each lot of harvested fish is assigned a unique code and from the moment the fish enters the processing plant, Innova registers every step through the entire production process to the packed end product ready for shipping. The continuous data collection allows for easy access to the entire production history back to the reproduction stage of the fish. Terrapez has a market within Costa Rica, but most of its products are exported to the United States and Europe under the brand name Rain Forest Aquaculture. Terrapez sees further potential for its established

brand in market segments where consumers are highly aware of seafood quality and sustainability. “With the new processing line from Marel, we managed to improve certain processes greatly, thereby enabling us to increase productivity and quality at the same time,” explains Max Fernández M., Plant Manager, Terrapez S.A. “We have all necessary certifications, which is important to us. Today, our product has the unique selling proposition that we have not only a sustainable product but also high quality. This gives us the strength to reach this target group and diversify to new markets,“ says Max. Read about Do you want to automate traceability for your business? Visit: or for more information about the Terrapez installation, visit:

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Ozone System Aims To Enhance Seafood

Cleanliness, Shelf-Life & Profits Use of Ozone in every area of seafood processing plants presents many benefits. A higher cleanliness in tables, conveyors, floors and processing equipment, allows the final product to meet the highest quality By: Ozone International

standards, thus gaining the customer’s trust.

The benefits of using ozone are twofold,” said John Milobar, president of Albion Fisheries Ltd., Western Canada’s largest seafood distributor. “We have seen a significant reduction in the bacteria count, which is a good thing.  Because there is less bacteria, we get a longer shelf-life.”  Albion Fisheries, founded in 1963, were certified by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) for best aquaculture practices (BAP) earlier this year. Shelf-life is not a major concern for Acadian Fishermen’s Cooperative (AFC) on Prince Edward Island since all their seafood is processed then frozen.  But like Albion, bacteria counts are a major concern.   Many countries, including the U.S., have strict requirements or zero tolerance for certain types of bacteria.  “It’s not just the food inspectors who track bacteria counts anymore.” explained Lynn Rayner, quality manager for AFC. “Our customers now regularly ask for those reports as well. Our low counts give our customers peace of mind.”  “I sleep better knowing we have lower bacteria counts using ozone,” added Jeff Malloy, AFC general manager/CEO.   52 »

Aquaculture Magazine

Both companies rely on Ozone International’s proprietary ozone generating and monitoring system to safely and effectively clean cutting tables, conveyors and automated processing equipment. “We use ozone in every area of the plant – crab, shrimp, salmon and bottom fish – to keep bacteria down,” said Milobar, who has been with Albion Fisheries for twenty years, and the president for the past six.  “We also use ozone to wash down our receiving dock to lessen the ‘fishy’ smell caused by bacteria for our employees and customers.” In addition to using ozone in fish processing, there are two major cleanings daily using ozone infused water to clean cutting tables, conveyors, floors and automated processing equipment. ”With ozone we’ve notice improved cleanliness of our operation,” FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

Milobar explained. “That means deterioration slows way down and our seafood stays fresh longer.” “Ozone is always flowing somewhere in the plant, including our cooking and raw areas,” added Rayner.  “We have white conveyor belts in our facility and we have found they stayed whiter when sprayed with ozone infused water. We also use ozone to clean our floors.  They aren’t as slippery as they once were which is safer for our employees.” AFC is owned by approximately 95 member fishermen. At peak season they employ more than 200 workers in their processing facility and ports.   “Some of our managers were doubters at first but now they comment on how clean the stainless steel tables are,” stated Rayner, who holds a Seafood Processing Technology Diploma from Holland College on Prince Edward Island. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

AFC also soaks the plastic tubs used to carry seafood in ozone infused water to get rid of the inevitable film that results from spooning, washing and cleaning seafood. Both Milobar and Musleh Uddin, Albion’s director of corporate quality assurance, were early ozone advocates.  Uddin, who had worked in Japan, saw first-hand ozone’s benefits and became a supporter.  In 2012, Albion installed Ozone International’s system into their then-new facility in Richmond.  Workers at the plant initially had worries about ozone because it was new and unfamiliar.  “Over time they got used to working with ozone and their concerns were put to rest,” said Uddin.  Today, everyone is happy with ozone.” That is due to the precise levels generated by Ozone International’s equipment. A local programmable logic controller (PLC), ozone moni-

tors and closed-loop control provide optimum safety and efficacy. Work areas are constantly monitored to ensure precise ozone concentrations Equally important is Ozone International’s North American network of service technicians that are available to monitor the equipment either on site or remotely. Like the majority of North American seafood processors, Albion Fisheries Ltd. and Acadian Fishermen’s Cooperative, utilize ozone in a variety of applications to improve product quality and reduce spoilage for a positive impact on their bottom line.  

Original article: Ozone System Aims To Enhance Seafood Cleanliness, Shelf-Life & Profits. Ozone International, September 19th, 2013.

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Research, Technology and Innovation

Instant Algae® Marine Microalgae Concentrates – So Easy to Use!

In the first installment of the RTI addition to this magazine, we introduced a number of products manufactured or distributed by Reed Mariculture, Inc. In this issue, we’ll show you just how easy it is to use these products. Instant Algae RotiGrow products for cobia and other finfish larviculture


RotiGrow Plus® and RotiGrow Nanno our directly into the tank as indicated in the tables below, based on your system requirements and anticipated harvest rate. Reed Mariculture recommends a minimum harvest of 35% per day for continuous production systems. Feed continuously for best results.

N-Rich, Phospholipid-Rich Enrichment Formula Directions for use (Standard doses are for the RMI 165 micron (0.18ng/ rotifer) L-Type rotifer. Adjust dosage if your rotifers are larger or smaller. For enriching rotifers at densities up to 3,000 per ml increase feeding proportional to density): A six-hour enrichment at 1,000 rotifers/ml is standard. Enrichment can be as short as 1 hour or longer than 8 hours depending on the enrichment target. Carefully monitor dissolved oxygen and maintain near saturation (above 16% partial pressure of 7ppm). Rinsing rotifers is usually not necessary. More 54 »

Aquaculture Magazine


Batch feeding doses: 1.Feed directly to the enrichment tank once every 3 hours. 2.Premixing is not necessary. DO NOT BLEND. Blending may damage algal cells.

Otohime® Larval Weaning Diet Otohime Marine Weaning Diets from Japan provide superior nutrition in a pelletized form for juvenile and adult fish. Specially formulated for feeding to marine fish, they come in an array of sizes to meet the nutritional needs of marine fish as they grow and develop.

Continuous feeding (preferred method): 1.Feed directly to the enrichment tank with a peristaltic pump. 2.N-Rich may be diluted with clean seawater and suspended with minimal aeration or “mini” aquarium pump. 3.Keep the feed chilled in an ice chest or small refrigerator.

Shellfish Diet 1800® Shellfish Diet 1800® is a mix of four marine microalgae that all have demonstrated success with a variety of shellfish including oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops. Shellfish Diet can be used with pre-set larvae all the way up through broodstock and will typically perform

protocol information can be found at


as well as live algae so it can be used as a complete live algae replacement. 1 quart of Shellfish Diet will replace the equivalent to 1800 liters of dense algae culture. This product is available in plastic bottles of 1 quart (standard) and 10 Liter Cubitainer® sizes (special orders). 1. Shellfish Diet can be poured directly into the larval tank, but pre-diluting is preferred; a peristaltic pump for feeding may be used. 2. Stir to mix feed; DO NOT BLEND.

Just Thaw and Feed! © 2014 Reed Mariculture, Inc. All Rights reserved. Instant Algae, N-Rich, RotiGrow, and Shellfish Diet are trademarks or registered trademarks of Reed Mariculture Inc.

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RK2: Skimmers as an option for Aquaculture Filters


t the same time protein fractionation (skimming) will lower the amount of bacteria and pathogens and increase the amount of oxygen. Traditional aquaculture filters, such as pressurized sand filters or cartridge filters remove particulates but do not remove protein waste and can actually increase the amount of bacteria and pathogens. Water that is filtered through traditional filters is constantly running through the trapped bacteria and protein wastes. This is much like coffee filter, allowing bacteria, dissolved organics, and tints to return back to the holding system. The media in the filter functions as a bio-filter, promoting bacteria, which in turn removes oxygen. A result of this is that the discharge from these filters is generally loaded with bacteria and dissolved organics, and has reduced oxygen content. The way a fractionator works is simple and highly effective. Air (and ozone) is injected into the bottom of the fractionator as tiny bubbles. The dirty water enters the top of the fractionator and exits out the bottom of the tank. As the tiny bubbles rise from the bottom they strip the organic waste and bacteria from the dirty water traveling downwards creating foam on the surface of the wa56 »

Aquaculture Magazine

Protein fractionators or “skimmers” as they are commonly called, when used in raising fish or shrimp will remove suspended particulates, organics, protein waste and yellow tints in the water.

ter. This foam loaded with unwanted waste is ejected from the cone section of the fractionator. Once in the clear collection top, it is washed away with the auto rinse system, keeping the riser area clean and prevents the foam from drying and inhibiting the foam removal process. The use of ozone improves the fractionation process in a number of ways. Ozone oxidizes (or breaks down), many harmful pathogens, bacteria and virus’ allowing them to be easily removed by the fractionator. Ozone is very effective in removing

color from the water, creating crystal clear water. When used in fractionation it will dramatically increase oxygen concentration. Ozone used in appropriate amounts for live holding systems is very safe. The fractionation and ozone combination is extremely effective and available for a variety of applications. Grow out tanks and those with heavy bio-loads become remarkably cleaner. Clean systems, such as larval or holding tanks become crystal clear. Protein fractionation with ozone is excellent for systems with heavy mucous conFEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

centrations, such as closed systems or semi open lobster, fish, shrimp and shellfish holding. Other applications include clean out, grow-out, aquaculture wastewater treatment as well as filtration of incoming water for open or semi-open systems. The protein fractionation process increases water clarity and oxygen concentration, and also destroys and removes harmful pathogens. Therefore, appetite, stocking densities, feed and growth rates are all improved. Allowing for better animal health and improved product flavor. Used in Aquaculture in the USA, Europe and Australia, as well as most major public aquariums worldwide, protein fractionators are a proven to be effective source of filtration for seawater, freshwater and brackish water systems, and are available in flow rates ranging from 10-2000 GPM.


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Salmonids Over the last 40 years, I have followed farming of salmonids from the first attempts to feed a few wild-caught trout and salmon in captivity with more and less homemade feed to become a significant international food industry.

By Asbjørn Bergheim*


hen I was involved in research on wild stocks of Atlantic salmon in the 1970’s, the total population of spawners ascending Norwegian rivers used to be approximately 5,000 tons or 1 – 2 million individuals, while the aquaculture production, which was dominated by rainbow trout, only amounted to a few hundred tons per year. Today, the wild stock has been gradually reduced and the farmed volume of salmon has reached 1 million tons annually. The running biomass of salmon in the cages along the Norwegian coast is thus at least 500 times the total wild stock. The global production of salmonids is dominated by farming of Atlantic salmon in Norway, Chile, Scotland and Canada, while Chile also produces some 200,000 tons per year of Coho and New Zealand predominates the volume of farmed, highly valued Chinook/King salmon. Annual production of rainbow trout is about 600,000 tons. This Figure also indicates that the other salmon species, Pink, Chum and Sockey, are not – or to only a limited extent – farmed species. Though salmonids only comprise some 5%

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of global aquaculture fish production by volume, the value market share is several times higher, due to high price levels. As a senior researcher in aquaculture in Norway since 1985, my emphasized fields have primarily been water quality vs. technology and management in tanks, cages and ponds, effluent loading and treatment, recirculation systems, and intensification of farming systems. I have also been involved in many research and consultancy projects in Norway (land and cage based systems for salmonids), Scotland, Asia (mainly brackish water shrimp culture in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand), and in some other parts of the world. In other words, my aquaculture experience includes a variety of different aspects. Most of my working time has been connected to the salmon and trout industry and I look forward to describing up-to-date conditions and trends within this important sector of global aquaculture for the readers of Aquaculture Magazine.

*Asbjørn Bergheim. e-mail:

Dr. A. Bergheim is a senior researcher in the Dept. of Marine Environment at IRIS – International Research Institute of Stavanger ( Prior to the present position, he worked at NINA – Norwegian Institute for Nature Research for ten years and he has also been at a private Norwegian consultancy company, Aqua Consult, for two years. He stayed one year as a visiting researcher at Institute of Aquaculture, Univ. of Stirling. Dr. Bergheim holds a PhD from The Norwegian Agricultural College (since 2005 Nor. Univ. of Life Science). He is a former President of AES – Aquacultural Engineering Society (2011). He has been a member of the editorial board of Aquacultural Engineering since 1996, of Aquaculture Research (since 2007) and of The Open Fish Science Journal (since 2007). Besides, he is the Norwegian representative of the Nordic Network on RAS (2010 - ). Dr. Bergheim’s fields of interest within aquaculture are primarily water quality vs. technology and management in tanks, cages and ponds, effluent loading and treatment, recirculation systems, and intensification of farming systems. He has been involved in many research and consultancy projects in Norway (land and cage based systems for salmonids), Scotland, Asia (mainly brackish water shrimp culture in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand), and in some other parts of the world. Some of the achieved results are published in Aquaculture and Aquacultural Engineering, and Dr. Bergheim has been a permanent columnist in the UK based magazine, Fish Farmer (2000 – 2003). He has published more than 50 articles in peer-review journals.

Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing

Aquaculture Economics,

Management, and Marketing Many different disciplines are important, in a variety of ways, to successful growth, development and expansion of aquaculture industries. However, when taken together economics, management, and marketing determine whether aquaculture businesses will be successful By Carole R. Engle*


oo few aquaculture businesspersons and scientists understand economics and marketing on the level necessary to adapt to changing economic conditions and times. In the past, profit margins were such that businesses could survive without on-going monitoring and analysis of the farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business performance, but that is no longer the case for many segments of aquaculture. I have devoted more than 30 years to studying the economics, management, and marketing of aquaculture. However, what is more important is that I have had the good fortune to work closely with aquaculture producers and businessmen throughout my career. My hope for this column is that it may provide some assistance to both established aquaculture businesses and those considering starting an aquaculture business. I welcome any and all feedback and suggestions for topics to be covered. One of the goals for this column in its first year is to lay out a series of clear guidelines for aquaculture producers in terms of how to spot financial problems early on. Doing so can

and whether industries will grow or languish.

point to interventions that are less difficult than when the problems have become quite severe. A second goal for this year is to introduce aquaculture producers and scientists to various types of economic and marketing concepts that are useful for charting an economically viable path for the business, especially during challenging economic times. Over the course of this next year, individual columns will discuss the following topics: 1) the three pillars of financial success for aquaculture businesses; 2) a checklist of financial health for aquaculture businesses; 3) profitability: are you evaluating it correctly?; 4) world and U.S. demand and supply relationships for seafood: implications for aquaculture producers; and 5) guidelines for selecting the appropriate type of marketing strategy for your aquaculture business: what are the trade-offs among various alternative strategies?

*Please do not hesitate to send your questions and suggestions for future columns at

Carole Engle is an Aquaculture Economist with more than 30 years of experience in the analysis of economics and marketing issues related to aquaculture businesses. She has worked in 19 different countries on all major continents. She has published over 100 scientific articles, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society and the Journal of Applied Aquaculture and is the Editor-in-Chief of Aquaculture Economics and Management. She is a past-President of the U.S. Aquaculture Society and the International Association of Aquaculture Economics and Management. Honors include receiving the McCraren Award from the National Aquaculture Association (received this award twice), Researcher of the Year from the Catfish Farmers of America, Distinguished Service Award from the Catfish Farmers of Arkansas and the Catfish Farmers of America, and the Harvey McGeorge Award of Distinguished Contributions to Agriculture. Engle holds a B.A. degree in Biology/Rural Development from Friends World College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Auburn University where she specialized in aquaculture economics. Engle currently directs the Aquaculture/Fisheries Center and chairs the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She continues her research and extension efforts in the economics and marketing of aquaculture with particular emphasis on identifying farm management strategies that enhance efficiency and profitability. Current research initiatives include analysis of triggers of technology adoption in aquaculture industries, economics of alternative aquaculture production systems, and measurement of the economic effects of increased regulatory burden and constraints on U.S. aquaculture.

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Hatchery Technology and Management

Hatchery Technology

and Management Dear enthusiastic aquaculturists:

By Cecilia C. Vargas*


orking at a hatchery, regardless the species, requires one to focus on several aspects of the operation. Among the most important ones to consider are infrastructure, water treatment, biology of the species in question and the personnel team. Is the location of the hatchery suitable? What equipment is needed for the species and production strategy being used? What types of water treatments should be applied? And what about environmental conditions? For instance, which temperatures and salinities are optimal for broodstock, egg incubation and larval stages? How can we avoid bacterial blooms and diseases? Which feeds and feeding regimes (live feed and early weaning or only dry feed) and options are available? Based on preferred production plans, which skills do the hatchery staff need to possess? Innumerable questions like these will arise. In addition, and probably most importantly, the fact is that in any hatchery we are working with aquatic organisms at their earliest stages, and they need good care, tenderness and pampering. After all, they are babies and that is what all babies need. Those of us that work or have worked at hatcheries know that it is a very de-

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manding job, often with long working days. Perhaps the day will start before sunrise, and after all the daily tasks are completed you will go home long after sunset. So, dedication and passion are crucial personality traits needed in any hatchery. In my own experience while working at a wolfish hatchery, although I was responsible for the larval rearing operations, I also volunteered to help in stripping of gametes and fertilization of eggs. Even though this process was conducted after midnight and I was dead tired during the daytime I found it fascinating and rewarding. In this column, I will aim to provide information about the numerous factors to consider when running a hatchery, with an emphasis on aquaculture best practices. Recommendations on how to succeed in the larval and juvenile production of various cold and warm water aquatic organisms will also be addressed. However, this column is also intended to encourage constructive discussions and the exchange of experiences. Everybody is welcome to contribute ideas and questions, so do not hesitate to contact me by e mail. Truly yours,

*Cecilia C. Vargas. e-mail:

Cecilia Vargas is currently taking the 3rd and last PhD year at the University of Nordland in Bodø, Norway. Her research topic is “Comparisons between diploids and triploids of Atlantic cod in muscle system and gut morphology”. She has many years of experience in laboratory scale and commercial scale production of aquatic species like rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, Japanese species (devil stinger, Japanese flounder), wolf fish and cod as well as live feed production. During her earlier positions as manager she was responsible for production planning, hatchery technology, writing protocols, budgeting and personnel management. Her education includes current studies for a PhD in Aquatic Biosciences, a Master’s degree in Marine Resources / Aquaculture, experience as a Research Student in the Faculty of Fisheries at Nagasaki University, and an Engineer degree in Fisheries Sciences / Aquaculture at La Molina Agricultural University in Lima, Peru. At Cod Juveniles AS (the daughter company of Codfarmers ASA), in Bodø, Norway, Cecilia was a Hatchery Manager from 2008 to 2010. While there, her responsibilities involved planning and development of Broodstock and Hatchery facilities for the company’s cod farming operations. Other responsibilities included training plant personnel, safeguarding the daily operations and all personnel responsible for the hatchery and broodstock facilities, ensuring a focus on quality, health, safety and security for employees, ensuring proper biological and technical operation of the plant, and ensuring that all regulatory requirements related to the facility were at all times fulfilled.

Aquaculture Engineering


Engineering I would like to introduce myself and some of my approaches to the problems of aquaculture, and also address what I hope to cover in this column in the future.

By Dallas Weaver*


came to aquaculture with a background in Applied Science/Engineering. From my Ph.D. studies in Applied Science (physics, chemistry and thermodynamics), I evolved into an environmental scientist working with gas, liquid, solid and hazardous wastes. In the early 70’s, little was known about recycled aquaculture, and my background as someone who knew a little about a lot of areas enabled me to contribute to the foundations of the field. I designed, built and operated a recycle hatchery, which produced high value product for the ornamental fish and research animal markets at a rate of about 20+ million fish/yr. Building on my initial hatchery; I redesigned and built a new hatchery in 1992 incorporating a highly automated computer control system to produce fresh, brackish and marine animals. Since 2005, I have been a semi-retired consultant working on aquaculture and industrial water pollution problems that I find interesting. One overall theme of this column will be how all parts of a physical aquaculture system are fully interrelated in determining the overall performance and the risk of failure, including the biological components, modes of operation and biosecurity practices. I view successful aquaculture not as having any critical “proprietary” com-

ponent, but rather a thousand insignificant things that must be executed flawlessly. Aquaculture, unlike many other businesses, has no recall; when what is produced dies, it is dead. My primary focus is on closed and semi-closed water system aquaculture, leaving the low density flow-through raceways and open ocean net pen systems to experts in those fields. The concept of closed and semi-closed water systems includes recycle systems and pond type system and all the variations in between. The performance of ponds and recycle systems are greatly determined by what is happening with the microbiological ecology of the systems, so this will be a recurring theme. Aquaculture engineering is not a single subject field. It combines civil, structural, geological, sanitary, electrical/electronic, and chemical engineering knowledge along with biological knowledge, including microbiology. Consequently, this column will cover a wide variety of areas tied to aquaculture directly and indirectly. Future columns will follow from particular research papers, and others will tie together interrelated concepts.

*Dallas Weaver. e-mail:

Dallas E. Weaver has a Ph.D. in Applied Science from the University of California at Davis. He also has a Professional Engineer Licence. After graduation, Dr. Weaver began working for several engineering/consulting companies in the fields of air pollution, liquid wastes, and solid wastes until 1980, when aquaculture became his main interest. Since 1973, Dr. Weaver began designing and building closed aquaculture systems with the intent of creating the technology necessary to build a business that could compete with existing Asian tropical fish producers. As part of this business plan, he began conducting research on water treatment systems for aquaculture and was able to explore a number of different possible approaches, thus creating several innovations such as fine media fluidized bed biofilters for both waste treatment and aquaculture, the application of packed column re-aeration, the use of pure oxygen systems with feedback control, the design, development and use of automated feeding systems and the use of low cost lime-based pH feedback control systems, among many others. Today Dallas is semi-retired; he’s the Owner/President of Scientific Hatcheries. He works as an aquaculture consultant, especially in the aquatic environments, aquatic chemistry, water treatment, hazardous waste biological destruction systems and similar topics. He is part of many organizations such as the Marine Conservation Research Institute (Board), the Aquaculture Engineering Society, the Editorial Board for Aquaculture Engineering Journal, and the World Aquaculture Society through the American Fisheries Society.

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Post-harvest Issues


Issues When Greg Lutz first asked if I would be interested in writing a column By David Green*


ou see, I have worked for nearly thirty years in North Carolina where fresh fish and shellfish are the primary market forms and the farm value of aquaculture species only recently exceeded the dockside value for wild harvested commercial fisheries. The need to educate potential consumers and raise the awareness of aquaculture producers, industry providers, research institutions, universities and government agencies could not be more important than today. The main issues I hope to address in this column are quality and safety related concerns being driven by today’s marketplace. I hope to include both pre-harvest and post-harvest conditions that impact product quality and safety in aquaculture species. Addressing the needs of aquaculture producers and industry providers worldwide means bridging scientific inquiry with transfer of technology and knowledge to an industry that needs and will use it. I gave an invited presentation a few years ago in Vigo, Spain where I talked about the “Moët of Mackerel, how a Japanese fishermen’s co-op turned its catch into a luxury brand.” I explained to the industry and academic audience that fish quality is actually a continuum of fresh to 62 »

on post-harvest issues in aquaculture, I jumped at the opportunity.

stale and that pre-harvest conditions and handling can significantly affect post-harvest quality and shelf life of aquaculture species. I would like to expand upon this concept of a continuum between aquaculture production and post-harvest preservation of fish and shellfish. I will address seafood quality, seafood safety and health applications of seafood. There has been growing demand for seafood worldwide due to the perceived health benefits. Fish and shellfish are highly nutritious and provide a wide range of health-promoting compounds. Since seafood is highly perishable, safety and quality are two main issues that aquaculture producers must consider. I feel these topics are important today and will become even more important in the future as the market accepts a greater proportion of aquaculture species to fill the growing consumer demand for fresh fish and shellfish. I look forward to working with the publishers of Aquaculture magazine and my fellow contributing authors to help make the post-harvest issues column as interesting and insightful as possible. The future in aquaculture is bright and the opportunities are only limited by our own imagination. Let’s begin and enjoy the process along the way.

David Green is Professor and Extension Leader in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University. He holds a B.S. in biology from Davidson College, M.S. in biology from East Carolina University and PhD in food science from North Carolina State University. He has served as director for the NCSU Seafood Products Laboratory since 1986 and was founding director for the NC State University Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (1999-2006). Green is co-Editorin-Chief for the Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology published by Taylor & Francis LLC. Green’s research interests are in post-harvest handling, processing and packaging operations that impact the quality and safety of fresh and salt-water fish and shellfish. Recent studies include stress reduction on aquaculture fish at harvest to improve the quality and shelf life of whole fish and the development of rapid analytical techniques for monitoring the safety and quality of aquatic foods. Current research is post-harvest treatments to reduce incidence of human illness due to consumption of raw or under-cooked shellfish (oysters and clams). Of particular interest is adding value to fish and fishery products through value-added product innovation and branding techniques.


Shrimp Shrimp has always been my favorite research subject since I was at graduate school. I witnessed the impressive growth trajectory of the shrimp aquaculture industry in the past two decades with some highs and lows along the path, even though the annual growth rate dropped to 4.8% starting from 2006.

By Hui Gong*


otal global shrimp aquaculture production in 2012 was close to 4 million metric tons, which accounted for more than half of world shrimp supplies. Among several penaeid shrimp species chosen for aquaculture, Penaeus vannamei Boone takes the lead as the dominant species worldwide. P. vannamei accounted for over 71.8% of shrimp aquaculture production, at 2.72 million metric tons out of the 3.78 million metric tons produced globally in 2010 (FAO 2012). Research efforts on identifying various nutrients requirements, developing specific pathogen free (SPF) stock and genetic improvement of P. vannamei have established solid foundations for P. vannamei to become the dominant cultured shrimp species globally. It is an indisputable fact that infectious shrimp disease outbreaks remain as the most profound threat to this fast growing industry. Since the 1990s, some viral pathogens have caused billions of dollars in economic loss, such as White Spot Syndrome Virus, Taura Syndrome Virus, Infectious Hypodermal and Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus, and others. The economic loss due to outbreaks of Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), the most recent epidemic affect much of Asia and Mexico, was es-

timated to be roughly 5 billion USD in 2013 alone (GAA 2013). The cause of EMS was identified as Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp), a bacteria, by Dr. Donald Lightner’s team at the University of Arizona. More research efforts are needed for understanding the mechanism of Vp related toxins and finding solutions through management practices, higher biosecurity measures, breeding for EMS tolerant strains, and other approaches. My shrimp aquaculture experiences are from both academic and industrial backgrounds, and have involved research in shrimp nutritional requirements, maturation, larval rearing and system management, development of specific pathogen free (SPF) shrimp, biosecurity and health management, and genetic selection. Most of my recent projects have focused on a small-scale genetic breeding program of SPF P. vannamei established at the University of Guam. I hope that my column in Aquaculture Magazine will bridge the academic and industrial worlds, with updated information in shrimp culture and technologies, while seeking indepth understanding of the issues and looking for possible solutions for the shrimp sector. *Hui Gong. e-mail:

Hui Gong is Associate Professor in College of Natural and Applied Sciences at University of Guam. Gong had her M.S. in marine biology from Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and PhD from Texas A&M University at College Station. Her expertise in shrimp aquaculture has built from 17 years’ experience of applied research in both academic and industrial background, which includes nutrition studies, water quality dynamics, maturation, larval rearing and grow-out production management, development of specific pathogen free shrimp, biosecurity and health management, disease diagnosis, and genetic selection. Gong’s research interests include sustainable aquaculture development, shrimp nutrition and genetic selection for feeding efficiency, health management in shrimp breeding program and production systems, and application of molecular biology and immunology in improving shrimp disease resistance.

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European Report


Report Since 1989, I have been involved in aquaculture production. I have worked in several fish farms in Spain and Ireland, both in hatcheries and ongrowing plants, mainly with Gilthead sea bream, European sea bass and Atlantic salmon, but also with new species such as Senegalese sole and Black spot sea bream.

By Javier Ojeda*


hold a BS in General Biology from the Universidad of Madrid (1986) and a Master of Science in Oceanography from the University of South Carolina, USA (1989). I have also had the opportunity to enjoy working as aquaculture consultant. In 2003, I was appointed General Manager for APROMAR, Spain’s Marine Fish Farmers Association. A position from which I serve not only at a national level but also participate in international activities with the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Social and Economic Committee and the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP). I am also frequently involved in projects with FAO, IUCN and oth-

er international organizations, mainly on environmental, sustainability and certification issues. Presently I have the honor to chair Working Group 2 (Aquaculture) of the Advisory Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture of the European Commission for the EU. This space will periodically provide you, and other interested readers, with a privileged insight into the development of aquaculture and its markets in Europe. The old continent is certainly not a relevant hub in global aquaculture production by volume but is home to some of the most important fish farming companies, develops innovative technologies and holds some of the leading research centers.

At the same time, Europe is the main aquatic products market in the world. Furthermore, European regulations on the diverse fields related to aquaculture are at the forefront of global policy, in both hard and soft laws. For these reasons I’m sure I will periodically be able to pack this section with attractive news.

Javier Ojeda holds a BS in General Biology achieved at the Universidad of Madrid (1986), and a Master of Science in Oceanography from the University of South Carolina, USA (1989). Since 1989, he has been involved in aquaculture production. He has worked in several fish farms in Spain and Ireland, both in hatcheries and ongrowing farms, mainly with gilthead sea bream, European sea bass and Atlantic salmon, but also with new species such as Senegalese sole and black spot sea bream. He has also worked as aquaculture consultant. In 2003 he was appointed general secretary for APROMAR, Spain’s marine aquaculture farmer’s association. A position from which he serves not only at a national level but also participates in international activities with the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Social and Economic Committee and the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP). He has also been involved in several projects with FAO, IUCN and other international organisations, mainly on environmental, sustainability and certification issues. Presently Mr Ojeda has the honour to chair Working Group 2 (Aquaculture) of the Advisory Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture of the European Commission for the EU.

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Health Highlights


Highlights I am so excited to have this opportunity to contribute to and By Kathleen H. Hartman*


irst let me introduce myself, in the real world I am the Aquaculture Coordinator for USDA APHIS Veterinary Services (National Import and Export Services [NIES]) stationed in Ruskin, FL at the University of Florida, Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory. I received a Master’s degree from the University of Maryland studying phosphorous utilization in striped bass and a DVM and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. My PhD work was in drug metabolism in summer flounder. I work closely with USDA staff, aquatic animal producers, University faculty and staff, and private veterinarians to assist in the diagnosis and control of exotic and domestic diseases affecting aquatic animals, and ensuring the safe and efficient trade of aquatic animals to and from the U.S. I take great pride in working for the U.S. government and working toward a goal of securing and promoting aquaculture in the U.S. I am a courtesy Assistant Professor at the University of Florida in the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program. I have served two consecutive terms on both the AVMA’s Food Safety Advisory Committee and its Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee. I currently

coordinate the “Health Highlights” column for Aquaculture Magazine.

serve on the Professional Standards Committee of the American Fisheries Society-Fish Health Section and am a certified AFS FHS Aquatic Animal Health Inspector. I am a member of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) and President-Elect of the USAS Chapter. My intent with this “Health Highlights” column is to cover health issues for farmed aquatic animals – including fish, crustaceans and mollusks. To do this I plan on, at times, asking colleagues with more knowledge and experience in certain areas to assist me on certain topics. I would like to start at the beginning of the aquatic animal health “story” – and to me that begins with the tools on the farm and the early signs that animals are “ADR” (ain’t doin’ right). From there the column will cover topics ranging from diseases to diagnostic testing to preventative medicine strategies and biosecurity. Aquaculture Magazine is the perfect opportunity and forum to share current information on old and emerging diseases and related topics affecting farmed aquatic animal health! I am also open to receiving column topic ideas from the readership. If I don’t know the answer – I’ll find someone who does! To me, there

is nothing more globally important than promoting aquaculture – farming and trading healthy aquatic animals…for whatever uses. *Kathleen H. Hartman. e-mail:

Kathleen Hartman is the Aquaculture Coordinator for USDA APHIS Veterinary Services (National Import and Export Services [NIES]) stationed in Ruskin, FL at the University of Florida, Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory. Kathleen received her MS from the University of Maryland and both her DVM and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. She works closely with aquatic animal producers, faculty at the University of Florida, and veterinarians to assist in the diagnosis and control of exotic and domestic diseases of fish stocks and other aquatic animals. She has a courtesy Assistant Professor appointment at the University of Florida, in the Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. She has served two consecutive terms on both the AVMA’s Food Safety Advisory Committee as well as the Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee. She currently serves on the Professional Standards Committee of the American Fisheries Society-Fish Health Section. She has been a certified AFS FHS Aquatic Animal Health Inspector since 2008. Kathleen is a current member of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) and President-Elect of the USAS Chapter.

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Marine Finfish Aquaculture

Marine Finfish

Aquaculture What an honor it is for me to contribute to Aquaculture Magazine on the topic of marine finfish farming. My 25 year career in aquaculture has focused on stock replenishment of marine fish, particularly the sciaenid By Mark Drawbridge *


uccessful stocking programs require a comprehensive understanding of the speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; biology and ecology to maximize post release survival, which further enhances our understanding

Atractoscion nobilis, which is known locally as white seabass. of culture requirements. Worldwide, many species of fish now farmed commercially for food were first cultured for stocking (e.g., salmonids). In similar fashion, our replenishment research at HSWRI has expanded

Fingerlings in CuPod - Fish in Space.

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naturally to include commercial demonstration projects conducted in partnership with commercial aquaculturists on land and at sea. Farming for food and stocking are complementary practices that can be

used to help manage and conserve fisheries. Local endemic species with good market potential for farming have been easy to identify and subsequently couple with “culture-ability” characteristics by looking globally for similar species farmed elsewhere. This has lead us to conduct research on species like California halibut (Paralichthys californicus), California yellowtail (Seriola lalandi), and striped bass (Morone saxatilis) to name a few. When developing practical farming techniques for new species on a commercial scale, the research opportunities are plentiful and the challenges can be significant. For me, this has been a very appealing and rewarding aspect of my daily work. Consistent spawning patterns and production of high quality eggs is paramount to downstream culture success, including larval rearing which is well known to be the most typical bottleneck to mass production. Larval rearing is the critical “blue thumb” area for culture of most aquatic organisms, and marine finfish are no exception.

Farming for food and stocking are complementary practices that can be used to help manage and conserve fisheries.

Success, measured by the quantity and quality of surviving post-larvae, requires optimal environmental and water quality conditions matched with excellent husbandry practices. From the hatchery, growout of mass quantities of fish presents new challenges whether growout is done on land or at sea. Economic and environmental sustainability are key drivers in this area of the production cycle because of the biomass that is typically involved. Systems must be engineered for efficiency and durability, feeds must be well balanced nutritionally and economically relative to fluctuating ingredient costs, and best management practices must be sound to keep the fish (and farm site) healthy. In its 2012 report on the State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reported that marine finfish farming globally grew at an average rate of 9.3% from 1990 to 2010, which was seven times greater than the growth in production of shellfish. This is clear evidence of the success that is occurring worldwide and indicative of the exciting opportunities that lie ahead as more of the world’s oceans are utilized for food production. One of the challenges for me in writing this column is the fact that the United States is not yet a “real” player in this exciting, expanding arena of marine finfish farming. So, as I sit in my office here in San Diego writing this article, the rest of the world is doing most of the heavy lifting! Challenges are meant to be overcome, and I hope that I can still provide relevant, interesting information on this topic

in the months and years to come. Please feel free to provide feedback on the articles I write and specific areas you would like to see covered in future columns. You can email him to this address:

Mark Drawbridge graduated from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania in 1985 with a B.S. degree in biology and from San Diego State University in 1990 with a M.Sc. degree in Marine Ecology. Mark is currently a Senior Research Scientist at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) in San Diego, where he has been employed since 1989. Mark also serves as the Director of the Institute’s aquaculture program, which is focused on developing techniques for growing marine finfish for ocean replenishment and farming. The HSWRI aquaculture research program supports approximately 30 full-time staff, two research hatcheries in San Diego, and acclimation cage facilities throughout southern California coastal waters. Species currently being investigated for farming include white seabass, striped bass, California yellowtail, California halibut, and yellowfin tuna. In addition to his direct responsibilities at HSWRI, Mark is a current board member and past-president of the California Aquaculture Association; an adjunct faculty member at the University of San Diego; a member of the Western Regional Aquaculture Center’s technical research committee; a member of California’s Aquaculture Development Committee; and a member of the California Farm Bureau Federation Commodity Advisory Committee for Aquaculture.

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Shellfish I am honored to have been invited by Editor in Chief Greg Lutz to take By Michael A. Rice*


’m excited to follow in the footsteps of Prof. Kenneth K. Chew, now retired from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Science at the University of Washington, who served as a shellfish aquaculture columnist for this publication for many years. I am grateful to Ken for his advice and many decades of contributions to shellfish aquaculture. By way of introduction, I have been Professor of Fisheries and Aquaculture at the University of Rhode Island for the last 26 years, and during that time I have been engaged with students, conducting shellfish biology and aquaculture-related research, and working with the shellfisheries industry locally in Rhode Island, around the country, and overseas in Asia and Africa. Over the years, I’ve also worked with decision makers locally and abroad in developing, implementing, and maintaining best science-based public policies as they relate to the shellfish aquaculture industry. Since most shellfish growing is conducted in common-property (often called public trust) waterways, some sort of governmental permitting and oversight is required, frequently with public involvement. And since most molluscan shellfish are filter feeders that 68 »

part in this renewal of Aquaculture Magazine.

are most delicious when consumed raw, official oversight is also required to maintain public health and assure the public confidence and enthusiasm for eating shellfish. For these reasons, continued expansion and profitability of the shellfish aquaculture industry depends upon cooperative relations with an informed and engaged regulatory community. Every four months or so in this column I’ll be sharing my observations of the state of the shellfish aquaculture industry, provide some analysis of some of the issues of the day and provide an overview of current research into those issues. I’ll be examining some of the best practices of the industry, and providing some historical and economic context. The threats to the profitability of shellfish aquaculture such as shellfish disease, predators, pests, environmental change, and public health concerns will be some of my topics as well. Recent research into factors influencing shellfish growth, productivity and profitability will be discussed on occasion, including breakthroughs in genetics and biotechnology that may be applied by the industry. Shellfish aquaculture can contribute to the overall sustainability and positive public image of the aquaculture industry

in general, and provide an environmentally friendly means for building and maintaining working waterfronts. I look forward to your readership and suggestions. You can email him at

Michael A. Rice is a Professor of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science at the University of Rhode Island. He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco (B.S. 1973) and the University of California at Irvine (M.S. 1981 and Ph.D. 1987). Since joining the URI faculty in 1987, Dr. Rice has maintained an active schedule of teaching courses primarily in aquaculture and fisheries as well as an active Cooperative Extension outreach program. He was the recipient of a Senior Fulbright Research and Lectureship Award for the Republic of the Philippines and Indonesia (1996-1997), and has published extensively in the areas of physiological ecology of mollusks, shellfishery management, molluscan aquaculture, and aquaculture in international development. In recent years he has been involved in aquaculture development projects in Tanzania, Republic of Georgia and The Gambia. He has also served as Chairperson of the University of Rhode Island Faculty Senate, Chairperson of the Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science, and as an elected member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

Offshore Aquaculture


Aquaculture I care not what we call it. Open ocean aquaculture… offshore mariculture… these terms are often conflated and confounded, interchanged and intertwined.

By Neil Anthony Sims*


ome of us might care deeply about where we draw the lines. Colleagues at esteemed international organizations can, and do, spend a lot of time debating and defining what we mean when we say “open ocean”, or “offshore”, or “aquaculture” or “mariculture”. There have been entire sessions at “Offshore Mariculture” conferences (which would seem to be somewhat self-defining) spent pondering how many miles of fetch, or how far from shore, or how deep the water. It starts to feel more like an accounting exercise, and it doesn’t move the discussion forward one iota, that I can see. I would rather that we not get caught up in definitions, delineations and distinctions. I would rather that we think of “aquaculture way out there in the distant blue” in the same manner that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously opined on pornography – that “I know it when I see it”. (And perhaps, in a similar vein, the primary criterion is how flagrantly exposed you are?). In these modest contributions to this magazine, I would like to occasionally highlight areas of interest, advancements in culture systems, regulatory issues and other industry developments in exposed, open water aquaculture. These musings will be phyla agnostic – algae, shellfish, fin-

fish… all are grist for this mill. I am interested in discussing how we, as an industry, and as a planet, can now begin to expand aquaculture production into deeper water, further offshore. In these columns, I want to share with you these interests, and my introspections. We readers of this magazine all know why we need to do this – a planet of 7 billion increasingly affluent and increasingly health-conscious consumers are not going to settle just for carp carpaccio or catfish sushi. If we do not find ways to responsibly and sustainably scale up production of great-tasting, healthful marine seafood, then there will be an increasing economic incentive to hunt down the last wild fish in the sea. Do I exaggerate? Pew’s assessment is that Pacific bluefin tuna stocks are presently 3.6% of their original biomass. Totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi, a type of drum fish from the Sea of Cortez) was pushed onto the CITES Redlist by demand for their swim bladders in Chinese medicine. And we have ample terrestrial analogies: elephants; rhinos; passenger pigeons. We will eat our way through whatever wild game that Gaia offers (or if she does not offer, then whatever we choose to take), unless and until we can find ways to culture the food we love. As we love seafood- a lot, so must we learn to culture a lot of it.

So, these occasional pieces will consider how we do this in the other 70% of our planet. And how we might do more of it, and do it better, in the future. I am looking forward to hearing from you, and sharing with you. Onwards! And aloha.

Neil Anthony Sims is co-Founder and CEO of Kampachi Farms, LLC, based in Kona, Hawaii, and in La Paz, Mexico. Over the past two decades, Sims has led teams that have accomplished a number of breakthrough developments in pearl oyster culture, offshore aquaculture legislation and regulation, marine fish hatchery technology, open ocean mariculture systems, and most recently, untethered open ocean ‘drifter pens’: the Velella project. Neil is also the founding President of the Ocean Stewards Institute, and sits on the Steering Committee for the Seriola-Cobia Aquaculture Dialogue (SCAD) and the Technical Advisory Group for the WWF-sponsored Aquaculture Stewardship Council. Sims resides in Kona, Hawaii.

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Tilapia An American Tilapia Survivor Speaks Out Again, 23 years later... Tilapia fillet history 1992-1999.

By Mike Picchietti*


t gives me great satisfaction to be writing the Tilapia column for the resurrected Aquaculture Magazine. This magazine and I have a connection going back to when I started my career in the early 1980’s. I remember waiting anxiously to receive the magazine, and reading it cover to cover. It provided real stories of other commercial activities starting in the budding aquaculture industry. To be American and surviving in commercial tilapia farming through the 1980’s was a challenge for anyone raising a human family. It was continuous musical chairs of jobs and experiences, making mistakes and waiting for a market to bloom. By 1991, I felt like the old man in the sea of tilapia. I wrote a couple of articles for the magazine, the first (Nov/Dec 1991, Vol 17, Number 6), titled An American Tilapia Survivor Speaks Out, was about my early journey in tilapia farming from 1978 – 1991. The irony about this first article was that, by its very existence, it led to changes to my dream at that time of a growing tilapia industry in Florida, which was the article’s conclusion. What the article actually did was connect me to a small (500MT) tilapia cage farm in Central Java, Indonesia. Within a year I became a co-founder of the now 70 »

famous Regal Springs Tilapia Group producing 90,000 MT/yr. So, I stopped “feeding fish” in Florida in 1992, but kept my Florida tilapia hatchery Aquasafra, Inc ., eventually bringing in my partner to this day, Jim Riggin, to run it. When I saw the opportunity in Java, the quality of the fish and the rapid scalability using cages in huge lakes, I hoped it could be a game changer to develop a market. And possibly earn me a chance to actually bank a future pension from tilapia farming (heaven forbid). I guess it’s one of those stories about the guy who finally got lucky by hanging around starving for 10 years. I had the responsibility and was in the position to introduce the farm’s production volume to the mostly North American market beginning in 1992 (shortly after my first Aquaculture Magazine article). That time period, and my experience, corresponded to the pioneering of the frozen tilapia fillet market in North America, with Regal Springs leading the way. The table below illustrates to some degree how the market was supplied, from where, by how much and when. Almost like a biographical magazine for my personal career, I wrote the second article for Aquaculture Magazine 5 years later, again talking

about my experiences in the frozen fillet market pioneering frozen tilapia fillets. This was titled, “Tilapia Market Maturity (Sept/Oct 1996, Vol 22, No 5. Pg 19-26). Rereading this article 18 years later makes me laugh while remembering, as it exposes my frustrations and early battles trying to crack into the white fish fillet market. After 100 years of Cod fishing both on the East and West Coasts, the players were not going to easily lose their white fish accounts to tilapia. In the article I was crying about how cheap my competitors were during the 1992-1996 time frame. In the early 90’s frozen tilapia fillet market, we weren’t competing against other tilapia fillets, there were no fillets from China to speak of before 2000. We were competing against the already established, wild caught, white fish seafood industry which was switching from the North Atlantic fishery to the North Pacific fishery with prices and volumes on a constant roller coaster ride. In the second article, again I wrongly concluded that ocean caught white fish fillets would remain for a long time in the $1.50/lb levels and quality (commercially fed) tilapia fillets needed to be in the mid $2’s/lb. price range to make it. However, within about 3 or 4 years frozen tilapia fillets really started to

Table 1 YEAR 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Jan-Sept




74,000 169,000 968,000

38,677 243,015 417,139 544,821 578,683 1,095,470 885,296 1,146,331 1,277,000 2,216,000 2,570,000 3,580,000 4,253,125 6,638,000 7,392,462 8,645,689 9,792,694 8,768,958 10,223,975 9,226,856 11,967,303 8,586,686

0 0 0 70,000 16,000 0 38,000 645,912 1,500,000 2,078,000 6,021,000 15,855,000 28,073,000 44,163,000 63,395,000 84,517,000 90,271,000 100,728,000 135,647,000 118,697,000 150,146,000 95,500,000

604,000 597,200 547,000 2,753,000 1,626,000 2,132,000 2,223,000 2,466,000 2,669,000 3,079,000 3,138,000 2,559,000 2,090,000 2,332,000 2,003,000 1,313,000 1,750,000 1,180,300

gain traction with the entrance of low cost China fillets. Up until 2000 it was only Regal Springs and Taiwan splitting the business, with Regal also buying and marketing a share of the Taiwan supply. In the 90’s the Taiwan supply never could develop a strong brand following with dozens of US buyers fracturing the market, racing to the bottom on price. The producers would sell to anyone. The advantage that Regal had was that we had not only a better tasting product with the vertical integration story but our production was privately owned i.e., we had the single largest supply. This allowed us to move the market, setting standards, creating a brand following while introducing frozen tilapia fillets into a new market. In the early 90’s it was Rain Forest’s fresh tilapia fillets grown in continuous flushing Costa Rican waters developing the fresh grocery and white table cloth sectors. At the same time Regal Springs worked food service and restaurant chains with its frozen fillets from Indonesian cages. These two vertically integrated farms, outside of dirt ponds, provided the first experience of tilapia for many North Americans. This consistency of taste,

size and supply certainly paved the way for greater acceptance for product from China. It was classic, text book 101, business story of how a new product introduces itself. Anybody with a consistent quality, price and supply that had a clean taste, plus central ownership would have been able to establish “a brand” very inexpensively by just being “the first-ist with the most-est. “ Of course any story about the history of a product as successful as tilapia is the property of hundreds, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of people. That’s what makes the journey so interesting and attractive to those making careers in the various aspects of tilapia farming. It takes so many people, each playing a role, to make farmed tilapia continue its success. I wonder if there is any demand for an organization to link all these tilapia people for a few common goals. So many other products especially farmed unite to protect their interests. If there is a demand among the 1000’s of aficionados involved in the tilapia industry, then perhaps we should exploit a convergence of interests “unite to promote, advance and strengthen the tilapia industry?”

There is an opportunity with the newly formed ATA, “America’s Tilapia Alliance.” It can be developed to assist this task, and if you are interested contact us at In the next articles, I hope to write about the main challenges within the tilapia industry: the positive and negative. Perhaps shedding light on how and why this fish has boomed to the 4th most consumed seafood in North America.

You can email him at

Mike Picchietti is a graduate of a classical, liberal arts, Jesuit education via Loyola University, he took an early attraction to tilapia farming while serving as a Peace Corps in Ghana. Without an academic degree in fish farming Mike had to learn by doing and started literally at the bottom of the pond. Working over 33 years as a laborer, then technician, then manager and finally owning and developing profitable businesses in commercial tilapia farming. The journey was commercial, working hatcheries & grow out to sales and marketing throughout the US, EU, Mexico, Brazil, India and Haiti. He co-founded and was President for 20 years of Regal Springs Trading which grew under a great group of partners to become the largest provider of tilapia fillets in the world, farming in Indonesia, Mexico and Honduras. Mike is the owner of Aquasafra, Inc., America’s oldest and largest tilapia hatchery since 1992, www. He is the current President and co-founder of America’s Tilapia Alliance (ATA) www. and the Aquaculture Director for Operation Blessings tilapia operations and hatchery in Port au Prince, Haiti www.obfishfarming. org. He’s written articles for Aquaculture Magazine since the early 90’s and is honored to be part of the team.

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Nutrition Welcome to the Nutrition column! Let’s begin with a saying my students have described as Brown’s rule #1. If you are going to grow an animal, By Paul B. Brown*


e can extend this to an economic consideration as cost of feed is one of the significant contributors to total production costs in aquaculture. Choice of feeds and the cost of acquiring that feed must be carefully considered by anyone in, or considering, aquacultural production. This expense can be influenced by many factors including species grown, life history stage, commodity pricing, and global trade issues. I invite and encourage suggested topics for this column. I will be responsive to your requests. My professional career, over 30 years now, has been in Aquaculture Nutrition, but I am still learning and discovering new aspects of this important area. In future issues, this column will cover a wide range of topics from practical feeding and feed formulation to basic nutrition. My goal with this column is not to turn you into nutritionists, but to help people understand the topic and interact with feed suppliers. We are fortunate in aquaculture to have a group of feed suppliers that strive to provide quality products. I consider all our feed suppliers friends and un72 »

you must provide adequate food resources.

derstand their need to operate their businesses successfully. I also understand the need to provide high quality feeds for animals and the significant impact feed has on growth, health, reproduction and economic viability of farms. Understanding key aspects of nutrition can improve the interactions with your feed supplier and improve the interactions with animals being grown. Finally, I am taking this column over from one of the very finest aquaculture nutritionists we have known, Dr. Ron Hardy. It is impossible to replace Ron, but his approach to this column will serve as a guide for my attempts. Nutrition is, almost by definition, a basic science with significant and profound impacts on practical raising of animals. Ron practiced this approach throughout his career which translated into a fundamentally sound and relevant series of articles on the topic. I strive for a similar melding of the science and practical implications.

You can email him at

*Paul Brown is Professor of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tennessee in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, and Aquatic Animal Nutrition, respectively, and his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Nutrition. He was Assistant Professional Scientist, Illinois Natural History Survey, and adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois for 2 years before joining the faculty at Purdue. Brown has served as Associate Editor for the Progressive Fish-Culturist, Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, British Journal of Nutrition, North American Journal of Aquaculture and Journal of the Ocean University of China, and editor of the Journal of Applied Aquaculture. He chaired the Technical Committee/Research for the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center for 2 terms and 5 working groups with that group. He has published peer-reviewed journal articles on nutrition with over 20 species of fish and crustacean. Brown’s research interests are in nutrition of aquatic animals, specifically defining critical nutrient requirements and ability of commercial feed ingredients to meet those requirements. Current research interests are in nuclear signaling nutrients and their effect on gene expression and applications of –omics technologies to the field of aquatic animal nutrition.

Latin America Report


America Report It is estimated that world production of fisheries and aquaculture will reach 172 million tons by 2021, driven by rapid economic growth and people moving towards healthier eating.

By Nicolás Hurtado*


his increase will be met mainly by aquaculture, which is expected to reach 79 million tons. Much of this responsibility to produce more aquaculture products for mankind will fall on Latin American countries. Nowadays, this region is increasingly adopting aquaculture and unlike fishing, which remains largely static, not a week goes by without newspapers releasing one or more reports on Latin American governments supporting their incipient aquaculture industries. These advances will be the focus of this report in future issues. Today’s reality is different from the 1990’s when we embarked on this great and wonderful activity. Of those pioneers, only a few people remain; aquaculture at that time was not as well-known and widespread as it is today and many producers migrated to other activities like fishing. Aquaculture currently provides over 42% of the fishery products that humanity demands every day. Over the past 22 years we have been able to witness this great change: global aquaculture increased from about 14 million tons of fish produced in 1990 to more than 66 million tons produced annually today. Here in Peru, the change was even more radical. From nearly 8,000 tons produced in 1990, we have currently reached a production of over 92,000 tons. Although

Aquaculture currently provides over 42% of the fishery products that humanity demands every day.

this has placed us in fifth position among Latin America countries, our aquaculture industry is small compared to our fisheries, which exceeded 8.2 million tons in 2012. So, there is certainly much more still to do.

Nicolás Hurtado Totocayo has a degree in Aquaculture Engineering and a Masters in Business Management from Federico Villarreal National University (Peru). With more than 16 years of experience in private sector aquaculture and fisheries, he has contributed to several conference programs around the world. He has also written articles regarding aquaculture for many international magazines. He is a founding member of the Peruvian Association of Aquaculture Professionals (ASSPPPAC), and is its current President. He is also a member of the Aquaculture Technical Normativity Committee for the National Institute for the Defense of Intellectual Property of Peru (INDECOPI). Additionally, he works as an Aquaculture Consultant.

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Feed Report


Report I am delighted to have been invited to contribute updates on aquafeed in Aquaculture Magazine and look forward to sharing news about this vital area of the industry.

By Suzi Dominy*


hile others will be writing about nutrition, I hope to be able to bring you useful and interesting news and information relating to the commercial aquafeed sector. Feed industry journalism and publishing has been my world for more than 25 years. Before starting Aquafeed, I was the co-publisher of the agri-food division of a major U.K.based international Business-toBusiness publishing and exhibitions company, and editor of their major international feed and milling magazine. In response to a rising groundswell of interest in aquaculture and a strong personal belief in its future, I launched the first ever magazine for aquaculture feed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a quarterly, print magazine which, in spite of the strong skepticism from my bosses, and having changed hands multiple times, is still in existence today. Shortly thereafter, in 1998, I moved to Hawaii and created, the original on-line information resource which is today the leading information provider for the aquaculture feed industry worldwide. In the 15 years since the website was created, we have developed news74 Âť

letters, our quarterly PDF-format magazine (Aquafeed: Advances in Processing & Formulation), our Aquafeed Horizons conferences, which are held in Bangkok and Europe - and in 2013, in North America too. The newest addition to the Aquafeed family is a suite of information products for the hatchery sector: our annual Hatchery Feed Guide published in January, an annual magazine and the repository of a wealth of hatchery-related information resources, the website: All provide free access to content. We also offer technical feed development consulting services under the direction of Dr. Warren Dominy, formerly Director of Aquatic Feeds & Nutrition Department at Oceanic Institute, Hawaii. Warren brings 30 years of aquafeed processing and nutrition expertise to our team. It is my hope that the insights and knowledge gleaned through our unique relationship with the industry will benefit your business through this column.

You can email her at

Suzi Domini is the founding editor and publisher of She brings 25 years of experience in professional feed industry journalism and publishing to Aquafeed. Before starting this company, she was co-publisher of the agri-food division of a major U.K.-based Business-to-Business publishing and exhibitions company, and editor of their major international feed magazine for 13 years. While there she founded and edited several animal feed and aquafeed print publications that are still in existence today.

Genetics and Breeding

Genetics and

Breeding In almost any discussion of commercial aquaculture these days, By Greg Lutz*


or many, genetics is some obscure force which can be blamed or credited for almost any eventuality. Many producers view genetics as some mystical science which can never be understood, but nothing could be further from the truth. The basic approaches of animal and plant improvement have been applied to many aquatic species under many circumstances, ranging from subsistence farming to high-investment industrial settings. And, realworld results have shown that these approaches can increase productivity and profits while minimizing adverse impacts due to inbreeding depression and loss of genetic variation. However, there is no universal approach for genetic improvement in today’s aquaculture industry. A tremendous range of species biology, scales of operation, intensification and capitalization levels, technologies and access to technical assistance can be found across regions, species and countries. The biology of the species in question will ultimately dictate what options are available. But, just like in the disciplines of aquaculture nutrition or biosecurity, certain fundamental principles are the foundation of every breeding plan. And those principles are what I will try to convey in this column.

sooner or later the topic of genetics comes up.

Some of you may recall that I wrote this column (and an occasional feature article) for Aquaculture Magazine for many years, and in 2001 I authored the book “Practical Genetics for Aquaculture” published by Wiley-Blackwell. In both cases, my goal was to communicate the basic concepts underlying genetic improvement and how they can be applied to aquatic organisms. Apart from an improved bottom line, in most circumstances genetic improvement in an aquaculture setting also results in reduced environmental impacts. All these outcomes equate to improved livelihoods for producers and their communities. I intend to cover a broad range of aquatic species, improvement methods and reproductive strategies, and I truly welcome any and all suggestions regarding topics of interest. I am also interested in highlighting on-going genetic improvement projects in both academia and commercial operations, so please let me know if you have an idea for a future genetics and breeding column.

Write me at with any input you would like to share.

C. Greg Lutz has a B.A. in Biology and Spanish by the Earlham College at Richmond, Indiana, a M.S. in Fisheries (Aquaculture) and a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science by the Luisiana State University. With more than 170 papers and contributions published worldwide, he has participated in universitysponsored and/or independent consulting visits to Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, (the former East) Germany, Haiti, El Salvador, France, Honduras, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Puerto Rico and Ukraine, as well as many states and provinces throughout the USA and Canada. His interests include recirculating system technology and population dynamics, quantitative genetics and multivariate analyses and the use of web based technology for result-demonstration methods. He has received many awards from the global Aquaculture industry, such as the Agricultural Communicators in Education Gold Award, the Lifetime Contribution Award from the Luisiana Catfish Fermers’ Association and the Honorary Lifetime Membership by the Louisiana Crawfish Farmers Association.

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FEBRUARY MSE - Seafood & Processing Mediterranean Seafood Exhibition Feb. 2 - Feb. 5 Rimini Italy T: +39 0541/744.478 F: +39 0541/744.225 E: E: Aquaculture Russia Feb. 4 - Feb. 7 All-Russian Exhibition Centre (VVC) Moscow, Russia E: Salmon ShowHow Feb. 5 Progress Point, Copenhagen, Denmark E: fish international Feb. 9 - Feb. 11 Messe Bremen, Germany T: +49 421 3505 260 F: +49 421 3505 681 E:

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Foodexpo Mar. 16 - Mar. 18 MCH Exhibition Centre Herning Denmark T: +45 99 26 99 97 E: E: Ingredients Russia Mar. 18 - Mar. 21 All-Russian Exhibition Centre (VVC) Moscow, Russia T: +44(0)207 596 5064 F: +44(0)207 596 5113 E: E: Alimentaria Mar. 31 - Abr. 3 Fira Barcelona’s Gran Vía Barcelona, Spain T: +34 93 452 11 04 E: E:

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Aquaculture Magazine

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Aquaculture Magazine. February - March 2014 Volume 40 Number 1  

Sea lice Caligus Rogercresseyi, a big threat to the Chilean Salmon

Aquaculture Magazine. February - March 2014 Volume 40 Number 1  

Sea lice Caligus Rogercresseyi, a big threat to the Chilean Salmon