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Dear Reader: Attached to this letter I hope you’ll accept, with our compliments, this issue of the newly redesigned Aquaculture Magazine. With 40+ continuous years delivering useful news and technical reporting to its global circulation base, Aquaculture Magazine is now proudly being published by Design Publications International Inc. It will continue to be widely distributed throughout the USA and Canada, with a strong allegiance with prior subscribers based in the European Union, Southeast Asia, and many other regions where it built a considerable reputation as a publication of integrity and valued insights. This re-vamped hard copy version of AQM has returned to industry stakeholders with a renewed perspective entirely in step with the current status of the ever-evolving Aquaculture Industry. AQM has assembled an impressive number of forward-thinking and respected writers and researchers to offer their insight into the vast spectrum of topics that are shaping the growing aquaculture marketplace. This seasoned publication has always remained focused on its North American roots and will continue to do so while enhancing its coverage of the many international aquaculture industries that have developed right alongside this magazine. We invite you to be a part of Aquaculture Magazine, whether you are a returning subscriber or as a new friend. Sign-up today and receive 6 regularly scheduled issues delivered to your door over the yearly subscription cycle. Every other month you will receive the most up to date information facing the international aquaculture community; written by some of the brightest minds in their respective fields, and with expertise that spans all regions of the globe. Look for the subscription card inside your complimentary copy of AQM magazine and be part of aquaculture’s future. Have a wonderful day!

Stephanie Morrison Subscriptions Department Aquaculture Magazine

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

INDEX Aquaculture Magazine Volume 40 Number 2 April - May 2014


on the

12 cover

U.S. Industry Coalition Launched to Advocate for Expansion of Domestic Aquaculture.


report Transgenic salmon and its impact on the global protein industry.


ASIAN report


Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in China.

report The National Aquaculture Association Recent Outreach Activities in Support of U.S. Aquaculture.


Success and Failure in Vietnam.


NOTE News from the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership Program.


Marine Shrimp in Asia 2013.


PRESS RELEASE PRO4000X tablets show promise for reducing Vibrio in shrimp culture.


report Current advances in new marine finfish species aquaculture in Greece.


report The great success of Seafood Expo North America.



report U.S. Trout Production Growing in Value, but not in Numbers.


report U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Extension of Double-Crested Cormorant Depredation Orders.

Columns Salmonids ..............................................................................58 Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing.......................60 Hatchery Technology and Management.................................................62 Aquaculture Engineering..........................................................................64 TILAPIA ...............................................................................66 NUTRITION ...............................................................................72 THE FISHMONGER ...............................................................................74


research report Grouper Larval Rearing.



Marel Introduces the Next Generation of Whitefish Processing Lines.


FoodTouch® the Best Seafood Wrap in the Industry.

Upcoming events advertisers Index

AMINODat® Aqua essential database for aqua-feeds producers.............................................52 XperCountTM: A complete solution for hatchery facilities.................................................................54

...............................................................................76 ...............................................................................76

Volume 40 Number 2 April - May 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:



By C. Greg Lutz


glance at the contents of this issue lead me to a conclusion – not necessarily a depressing conclusion, but a sobering one nonetheless that must be dealt with head on. We operate in an increasingly complex world, and a business environment that most aquaculture pioneers could not have imagined. Production and the science behind production has become just a small part of the puzzle any successful aquaculture producer must master. Business management has become every bit as important as biological management. And increasingly, obtaining the right information from both within and outside of the enterprise is a critical aspect of business management. I am encouraged by the efforts of sup2 »

porters like the NAA and Dr. Carole Engle (our columnist, by the way) to help producers grasp the fundamentals they need to cope with the economic aspects of business management (many of which can make or break any operation, no matter how happy and healthy the fish – or shrimp – or shellfish are). Regulatory aspects are also a component of the production puzzle these days. Luckily, some agencies in the regulatory framework are actually working hard to provide industry with the tools it needs to produce and protect aquatic species. Two great examples are highlighted in this issue, and both involve the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Positive activities related to the approval process for aquatic animal health compounds are

highlighted, and recent proposals relating to the extension of depredation orders for double-crested cormorants are also presented. On the flip side of the regulatory coin, we examine the efforts of AquaBounty to commercialize its genetically modified salmon in a political arena where science is often the absolute last consideration. After literally decades of responding to every demand for scientific data and assurances, the company may soon have an answer from the FDA regarding approval of its product. Government relations have become more important than ever for our industry in this world of misinformation, social media, and slanted agendas on all sides. Another source of encouragement in these pages involves two organizations dedicated

to improving government relations – one, the NAA, has a great track record of looking out for the domestic aquaculture industry, while another, the CUSP, is only gearing up to fill some of the advocacy gaps that have held our industry back for many, many years. I think you will enjoy reading about both of these groups. Educating the general public about aquaculture is also increasingly important for our industry. If our consumers (and neighbors, for that matter) are unaware of who we are and what we do, misinformation and those who spread it will prevail. While some efforts in this area by the NAA are on-going, individual industry sectors – and producers for that matter – will have to work harder to educate the public about aquaculture and all

the positive aspects of the industry. And, of course, we can’t escape the role of marketing – for our industry as a whole, and for every individual operation. The Fishmonger, who just showed up one day with a story to tell, discusses the potential demise of the traditional fresh seafood market (is there still one where you live?) Your value chain may be fairly simple, with only one or two steps between you and the consumer, or it may involve a number of intermediaries. But if anyone in your value chain has a problem, you have a problem. Mike Picchietti provides an interesting account of the recent increase in tilapia production in Florida, and how markets, marketing and intermediaries in the value chain will be important pieces of the puzzle for those

new producers over the next several years. And in keeping with the format that made our magazine so successful for so many years, there are also a number of really interesting topics covered by our columnists and I suspect you will find them of use – whatever species you work with. As always, let us know your ideas and suggestions. You can reach me (and the rest of the team) at editorinchief@

Dr. C. Greg Lutz has a B.A. in Biology and Spanish by the Earlham College at Richmond, Indiana, a M.S. in Fisheries and a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science by the Louisiana State University. 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.




Transgenic salmon

and its impact on the global protein industry The process to certify the genetically modified (GM) salmon of AquaBounty Technologies is coming to an end. If approved, this By Carlos Bohle Salas*

would be the first animal species to be legally acceptable for human consumption in the world.

its triploid (sterile) salmon will comply with the sterility levels required by the FDA.

Conventional Atlantic salmon (upper animal) and GM salmon, both are the same age.


enry Clifford, Marketing and Sales vice-president of AquaBounty Technologies, is sure their genetically modified (GM) AquAdvantage Salmon will have a profound impact on the industry. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently in the final stages of reviewing AquaBounty’s dossier and application for approval of the AquAdvantage Salmon.

Twenty years of research Back in 1989, AquaBounty Technologies created a GM salmon, which was named AquAdvantage Salmon. Soon it could become the first transgenic animal to be approved for human consumption. 4 »

AquaBounty developed AquAdvantage Salmon, the genetically modified Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), by inserting a gene from the Chinook (King) salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), coupled to DNA fragments from the coldwater marine fish Ocean Pout (Zoarces americanus). This allows specimens to reach smolt size and commercial size in half the time required for the traditionally farmed salmon to do it; according to the company, its flesh possesses the same taste, texture and nutritional properties than its counterpart. In anticipation of an FDA approval of its AquAdvantage Salmon, some groups have expressed concerns about its commercialization; although the company assures that

The differential of AquaBounty’s GM salmon AquaBounty’s salmon is the first GM animal suitable for human consumption to be submitted for FDA approval. This agency previously approved a genetically engineered goat, but its application was strictly pharmaceutical (it consisted on a specific therapeutic drug extracted from the goat’s blood, to be used as medicine). The regulatory application for AquAdvantage salmon production contemplates a manufacturing site for egg production in Canada, and a growout site in Panama. Both sites have been inspected and approved by the FDA. The agency’s approval would allow AquaBounty to send AquAdvantage Salmon eggs to Panama, and harvested products could be imported and marketed in the USA. The company assures they have taken all the necessary precautions in the design and production of salmon, which would ensure a safe, healthy and environmental risk-free product.

Approval Process The final step before the FDA issues a formal approval is that the environmental evaluation must be submitted to the public scrutiny; this was already carried out in 2013. After compiling all the responses, it is expected that an approval or rejection will be released. The commercial launch would be initially limited to the sites mentioned before. Even after approval is published, production must meet the regulatory framework of each potential market before the salmon is grown and marketed in those countries. Financial rumors Due to the delays in the regulatory approval of the product, the company almost depleted its initial capital; however, recently their financial prospects improved, when the US-based biotechnology company Intrexon became AquaBounty’s main shareholder. Intrexon has a broad portfolio of technology and bio-molecular applications. Benefits of GM salmon AquaBounty’s direct customers will be salmon producers; they might prefer to use GM salmon due to its improved growth and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) characteristics. Recent studies carried out by the company suggest that producers may obtain a lower FCR (20-25%), and more efficient utilization of dietary protein. For end users, AquAdvantage Salmon will hold the same nutritional and biochemical properties than conventional salmon, so they might accept it and enjoy it just as any other farmed salmon.

First of all, GM animals have an advantage in improved productivity and efficiency. Because AquAdvantage Salmon will be raised only on landbased systems, this will contribute to increase the use of closed systems such as RAS systems. Besides, the scientific applications incorporated to this product, as triploid, monosexed populations, may be transferred to conventional aquaculture species, in order to protect both the environment and the intellectual property of the genetic companies.

Finally, it is expected that raising the animals in land-based systems, with less environmental impact than other options, could help demonstrate that salmon can be cultured in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

FCR and culture densities Crop densities of AquAdvantage Salmon will depend on the type of system used, and the economic capacity of each producer; however, a maximum biomass of 40 kg/m3 is recommended.

GM salmon effects in the salmon industry The whole process will be slow and gradual, but it is expected to cause a big impact on the salmon farming industry in ways that many producers and consumers may not even imagine. Âť



Maximum biomass in a RAS system should be compliant to the specifications of the bio-filtration system and the allowed feed load. Animals can be fed to satiation using automatic systems, complemented with manual supply in order to balance the energy tables. To satisfy its high growth rate, GM salmon consumes greater amounts of feed each day, but this is amortized over a shortened growout periods, thus obtaining similar and even better FCRs (even below 1:1).

Triploid salmons The percentage efficiency of triploid induction in AquAdvantage Salmon generally exceeds 99%. In the validation study submitted to the FDA, 7,000 eggs from 20 crossings were individually analyzed, using a sophisticated and sensitive assay known as flow cytometry, and 14 of those 20 crossings were found to be 100% triploid, with an overall average of 99.85%. In addition to being sterile (triploid), 100% of AquAdvantage Salmon are mono-sex (all female), so that

AquAdvantage Salmon cannot establish reproductively active, self sustaining populations. In addition, AquAdvantage Salmon, like all Atlantic salmon, cannot breed with any of the five species of Pacific salmon, including Coho salmon. Therefore, the combination of triploidy, monosex and natural reproductive incompatibility, as well as multiple containment barriers built into culture centers, mean that the reproductive interaction between AquAdvantage Salmon and wild salmon stocks would be essentially zero. It is true that there is no “zero risk” technology. The key question is whether small risks outweigh the significant potentials benefits of each product to society. In the case of GM plants and animals, general consensus among experts is that the gains out weigh the risks by a huge margin.

GM Labeling AquAdvantage Salmon eggs will be labeled as genetically engineered Atlantic Salmon; this label will be implemented on each batch to be mar-

Harry Clifford, Marketing and Sales vicepresident of AquaBounty Technologies.

6 »

keted. The company has no power to control how customers and distributors label their final products.

Price as a comparative strategy As the FDA’s approval is still not official, there’s no chance for any discussion about prices, because it would be considered a marketing strategy. However, those producers who want to work with a salmonid with accelerated growth and reduced FCR, would be appealed by AquAdvantage Salmon, also because it is nutritionally equivalent to conventional species, it can be developed in a sustainable way in land-based systems, it’s environmentally friendly and, presumably, will have a lower cost than traditional farmed salmon. By using land-based RAS systems that are specially designed for AquAdvantage Salmon culture, producers could save up to USD$11.50/kg. The future of GM animals Science and regulation are only a part of the regulatory process. Future GM applications submitted to the FDA will be handled on a case basis, and it is impossible to predict the outcome, but if AquaBounty’s application is approved, it could give hope to other GM producers. In compliance with the request sent to the FDA, eggs will be produced in Canada and fish will be grown in Panama, once the company meets this country’s regulatory standards for marketing the final product. It is believed that the initial demand will be modest, but it will grow as the company expands their production capacity and consumers acceptance towards GM salmon increases.

Original article: Bohle Salas, Carlos. “Nuestro salmón GM tendrá un profundo impacto en la industria”. Salmon Xpert. No. 1, February 2013. Updated by Henry Clifford, March 2014.


The National Aquaculture Association

Recent Outreach Activities in Support of U.S. Aquaculture


he National Aquaculture Association (NAA) is widely recognized as one of the most prominent organizations in terms of promoting the industry both domestically and internationally. The NAA website states that its mission and objectives are “to provide a unified national voice for aquaculture that ensures its sustainability, protects its profitability, and encourages its development in an environmentally responsible manner.” Clearly, all the bases are covered in this approach. One important activity in meeting all these objectives involves outreach – to producers, stakeholders, policy makers, supply- and value chain participants and consumers. And a recent report provided by the NAA on outreach activities during 2013 outlines a number of important accomplishments in all these areas of focus. For many of us involved in aquaculture in this country, these activities might have gone unnoticed. In an attempt to raise the profile of the NAA a notch or two and make this good work more widely recognized, 8 »

By C. Greg Lutz*

The formation of effective producer and industry organizations represents one of the most important mechanisms allowing the growth of aquaculture throughout the globe, including the USA. I would like to share some highlights from this report.

Outreach to Industry Although producers were not necessarily the focus of NAA outreach activities in 2013, without production there is no industry. Additionally, many producers struggle more with business management than with actual production issues. Accordingly, six Aquaculture Business Management and Marketing Workshops were held in conjunction with third party sponsors. The goal of the workshops was to provide producers with additional tools that can help them survive and prosper in challenging economic times. The workshops had a strong producer orientation and focused on helping grow individual businesses.

Working with local sponsors such as Sea Grant and State Departments of Agriculture helps to forge relationships that can extend a positive message about aquaculture to a larger audience. In several instances, private companies assisted with workshop expenses providing lunch and/or coffee breaks. Ten U.S. aquaculture companies have requested free market analysis reports offered during these workshops. This market intelligence will assist them in better positioning their products in the marketplace. Based on suggestions received during the producer workshops, Dr. Jesse Trushenski, Associate Professor with the Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences (CFAAS) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, presented a webinar

titled “Fish Nutrition 101: What Fish Farmers Need to Know about Feeds and Feeding.” During the webinar, she discussed the basic nutritional requirements of fish and how these differ from terrestrial livestock, attributes of feeds and how to choose the best one for your operation, and feeding strategies to maximize efficiency. Special topics, including fish meal/ fish oil sparing and omega-3 enriched products were also discussed. The target audiences for this webinar were buyers and producers.

Outreach to the Value Chain No matter how efficient or competitive U.S. aquaculture producers become, how their products fare as they move through the value chain can ultimately determine their economic survival. The NAA exhibited at the International Boston Seafood Show, (currently known as Seafood Expo North America, at Boston, Massachusetts), the Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition

Alligators are just one of many aquaculture species consumers may be unfamiliar with

(Houston Texas,), the American Culinary Federation National Conference (Las Vegas, NV), Aquaculture America (Nashville, TN), and the Tristate Food Show (Secaucus, NJ). The last show was added as an opportunity to promote the new retail education package in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut area. Participation at these shows allows NAA to distribute copies of previously developed materials, answer questions, and develop additional contacts with important buyer/user groups. As NAA’s contact lists grow, invitations are sent inviting buyers/users to visit our booth and learn about our new programs. These efforts help to remind users about the materials and programs available from the NAA. A new tradeshow display delivers a snappy take home message that U.S. farm-raised seafood meets your needs and the needs of your customers. • Consistent in quality, price, and availability • No prophylactic use of antibiotics and hormones • Grown locally under strict government regulations • Sustainable and environmentallyresponsible • Healthy alternative to high fat and high cholesterol alternatives The NAA was invited to provide presentations at the Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Chefs’ Association and the Central Regional Chapter of the American Culinary Federation. Participation at these smaller venues provides the opportunity to reach individuals who do not attend large national events. It is an opportunity to distribute printed materials and increase the awareness of farmraised seafood. This is especially important since over 60% of all seafood is consumed away from home in restaurants and other foodservice establishments. NAA representatives also provided a presentation for the U.S. Trout Farmers Association annual meeting. That presentation focused on NAA printed and electronic ma-

Food shows and magazines are more popular than ever in the U.S. Many chefs have attained celebrity status and become household names, and the NAA recognizes the importance of promoting aquaculture within this culture. terials and how those materials can be used to promote farm-raised seafood and educate buyers. Dr. Carole Engle presented a webinar on “Understanding Seafood Certification Programs” With the recent proliferation of certification programs, the marketplace has become confused. Are certification programs worth the additional costs? Do certification programs resonate with corporate buyers? What about consumers? How certification do programs measure up to U.S. regulatory standards for sustainability and food safety? Dr. Engle answered these questions and also addressed the challenges faced by small growers who are asked to provide certified products. The target audiences for this webinar were buyers and producers. Retailers will be directed to the recorded webinar.

Culinary Outreach Food shows and magazines are more popular than ever in the U.S. Many chefs have attained celebrity status and become household names, and the NAA recognizes the importance of promoting aquaculture within this culture. Culinary workshops were continued in 2013 in Denver, Sacramento, Stockton, Des Moines, Orlando, and Honolulu. To maximize travel dollars, in many cases, more than one workshop was held in the same location to address different audiences. When possible, a second workshop specifically designed for local »



chapters of the American Culinary Federation or state restaurant associations was held. To support the workshops, flash drives, printed materials and DVDs were provided. This strategy allowed instructors to carry the message forward to their future students and greatly expanded the impact of the workshops. At many of the workshops, students and chefs received continuing education credits. To make sure that they were fully addressing this important audience, NAA staff met with representatives of Johnson & Wales and the Culinary Institute of America to discuss future programming. In addition to working directly with culinary schools, the NAA also offered programs to chef/restaurant associations. By combining these programs with culinary school programs, travel dollars could be used effectively and efficiently. All chef/restaurant associations on the NAA email contact list receive an announcement of program availability, information about new printed/audio-visual materials, and invitations to visit NAA booths at trade shows. Workshops were held in Baltimore, Des Moines, Red Bank,

Consumers want local, safe, and sustainable products, and buying seafood “Farm Raised in the USA” helps meet those needs. New Jersey, Orlando, and Honolulu. To help gain visibility in individual states, NAA is working with the National Association of State Aquaculture Coordinators (Editor’s note: do you know who YOUR state aquaculture coordinator is?) to develop restaurant/chef/recipe profiles. The links between growers, chefs, and food is an important focus of many of the NAA publications that reach restaurant/foodservice buyers across the country. Culinary media are also an important part of the value chain – at least in many developed nations including the U.S., and this target audience was also engaged by the NAA during 2013. NAA submitted a proposal to provide four sessions at the International Foodservice Editors Conference in Portland, Oregon. The proposal was accepted, and NAA staff working with a local West Coast producer, a restaurant, and Oregon

Covered ponds Historically used for ornamental fish production in Florida.

10 »

Sea Grant presented four learning stations. Approximately 30 people attended each session. The program was well-received and has already resulted in numerous opportunities for media exposure. Staff met one-onone with seven editors. Most of these editors were looking for food photography and NAA is in the process of developing an extensive library of photos and recipes. After the conference, media kits, copies of all printed materials, and press releases were sent to 20 editors. The editor from “Restaurant Hospitality” walked away with oyster shells to write about the experience. One editor said that she didn’t expect to learn anything at the conference, but left the session with all sorts of information. Another editor, formerly with “Seafood Business”, said it was the best presentation on aquaculture that he ever heard. One editor commented that she was amazed to hear about all of the federal agencies that have a regulatory role in U.S. aquaculture production. The editor from “Progressive Grocer” was interested in learning more about the NAA retail program so that she could share the information with her readers. This will hopefully provide important links to retailers across the country, and NAA accordingly tried to focus on the most important and most misunderstood aspects of U.S. aquaculture. The program educated people who could in turn reach large audiences. This activity provided important insights into what these publications want, editorial calendars, and other promotional opportunities. Many publications want chef stories - and that fits with the NAA focus on restaurants using local farm-raised seafood. The NAA will continue follow up on these contacts in 2014.

Linda O’Dierno presented a webinar for NAA on “U.S. Farm-Raised Seafood and a Healthier America”. The program covered basic seafood safety questions as well as the importance of including two seafood meals per week in the diet. The target audiences for this program were producers, buyers, nutritionists, dieticians, and educators.

Outreach to Retailers and Consumers Ultimately, these are the people whose opinions really count if U.S. aquaculture is to have a future. In an effort to gain more awareness at the retail level a set of price pins featuring products farm-raised in the USA was developed. Pre-printed price pins are available for farm-raised catfish, trout, tilapia, hybrid striped bass, yellow perch, Atlantic salmon, shrimp, sturgeon, clams, and oysters. Consumers want local, safe, and sustainable products, and buying seafood “Farm Raised in the USA” helps meet those needs. Sample price pins and an information sheet promoting other aspects of the retail program were sent to 89 seafood marketing and merchandising executives from across the country. The mailing was delayed to include information about the 2014 program. Each retailer can order ten sets of price pins at no charge with additional price pins available at a cost of $2.00/pin. The pins can also be distributed by growers along with their shipments. All of these efforts will help develop a positive image for U.S. farm-raised seafood products. Many consumers are influenced by the store associate behind the seafood counter. Unfortunately, these associates often lack an understanding of farm-raised seafood and, in many cases, of the entire seafood category. The NAA conducted three retail training programs. Chains involved included Wakefern, Delhaize, and Wegman’s. Because there was uncertainty about 2014 funding and the three workshops funded in 2013

Covered ponds Historically used for ornamental fish production in Florida.

were already scheduled, the NAA backed off on advertising the program fully. Even with very limited promotion, they have several chains on a waiting list for 2014. To further strengthen the brand, a poster depicting species that are farm-raised was developed. The poster uses the same logo as the price pins. Some of the species included were attention grabbers such as paddlefish and geoducks. The posters are being distributed at all events, trade shows, and workshops. A consumer brochure, Do Something Good for Your Family and Friends, focuses on values to help consumers choose U.S. farmraised seafood over other center of the plate choices. The brochure is available in two formats. One has a blank in which an individual store or grower logo can be dropped. The second simply features NAA. To support the retail training program, an extensive manual was developed that cover a range of topics including: 1) aquaculture production, 2) seafood safety and U.S. farm-raised fish and shellfish, 3) U.S. farm-raised seafood and health, 4) U.S. farm-raised fish and sustainability, 5) marketing and merchandising U.S. farm-raised fish and shellfish, 6) a catalogue of U.S. farm-raised seafood, 7) quick and easy recipes, and

8) resources. New food photography has also been developed to help NAA respond to the many requests it receives for recipes and photos. A narrated PowerPoint presentation and lesson plan on U.S. farmraised seafood is in the final stages of development. The presentation is designed for use by classroom educators and Extension professionals. It provides information on purchasing, storing and preparing U.S. farmraised seafood. Additionally, several easy to prepare recipes are included.

Web Outreach The NAA website has been expanded to include more information directed at consumers, including recipes and food photography. New programs such as the retail education short course are prominently advertised. The NAA website, accessible at provides an abundance of educational information for producers, stakeholders and consumers interested in the U.S. aquaculture industry, with everything from important policy issues to a coloring page for kids. I highly recommend a visit – it will definitely be worth your time. *Greg Lutz has a Pd. D. in Aquaculture and Quantitative Genetics from Louisiana State University. He is Aquaculture Magazine’s Editor in Chief.

» 11


U.S. Industry Coalition Launched to Advocate for Expansion of Domestic Aquaculture By C. Greg Lutz*

A group of seafood industry stakeholders from across value- and supply chains has formed the Coalition of U.S. Seafood Production (CUSP).


he group’s formation and goals were announced at the Aquaculture Americas Conference in Seattle, WA. The group - including aquaculture and feed producers, retail and restaurant customers, researchers, technology and feed suppliers, and public aquaria, “aims to provide expertise and momentum in support of government action that will create significant growth in aquaculture development” according to a recent press release. According to Steven Hart, the Executive Director of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance (SAA) and one of the founding members of the CUSP, the group has elected to keep this as an informal, paper organization for the time being. “They wanted to keep it 12 »

flexible, without the general structure that comes with incorporating and generating bylaws” Hart said. “There are currently no officers or directors within CUSP. SAA led the formation of CUSP, and in general, I call the meetings to notice as the lead staff of SAA, but I am not the leadership. It is a joint group effort at this time.” Some members of the CUSP include: - Duane Dahlman, Chairman, Soy Aquaculture Alliance - Lorenzo M. Juarez, CEO, Baja Aquaculture, Inc. - Maine Aquaculture Association - Chris Stock, Sales Manager, Zeigler Bros., Inc. - American Soybean Association - Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems - Mike Freeze, President, National

Aquaculture Association - Neil Anthony Sims, President, Ocean Stewards Institute - John Connelly, President, National Fisheries Institute - Alan Cook, Icicle Seafoods - Sean J. O’Scannlain, President & CEO, Fortune Fish & Gourmet - Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (Donald B. Kent, President) - Craig Browdy, Executive Manager Aquaculture Research, Novus International. The group appears to have developed consensus on the need for all participants to work together. “We believe establishing relationships and building connections among soy, aquaculture and seafood value chain stakeholders is crucial to helping aquaculture catch on,” Hart stated. “This is imperative, as wild-capture fish production cannot sustainably meet the rising global demand for seafood in the decades ahead.” The CUSP first met in June, 2013 largely as a result of the efforts of the SAA. According to Hart, “the reason we did it was because we recognized the need for more activity in Washington D.C. from the seafood industry in general if we’re ever going to get the needle moving for U.S. aquaculture growth. The soy industry (through the American Soybean Association) would regularly meet with Congressional Representatives and Senators and their chief staffers and discuss the importance of domestic aquaculture growth. We would frequently hear that they were very interested in the topic, but they would often ask why they never heard of this need before and why is it coming from soybean farmers? They wanted to know where the seafood industry was on all of this. Not that the seafood industry wasn’t active in Washington D.C., but there was an obvious need to focus the efforts around key concepts that could be agreed upon which would have a high chance of making a difference for domestic aquaculture growth.” » 13


To date, the CUSP has developed three strategic directions for the group: specific efforts in support of legislative and administrative government action; coordination of education and communications efforts; and development of concepts for aquaculture pilot projects that are economically sustainable at a commercial scale. Hart indicated that both the National Aquaculture Association (NAA) and the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) have both been invited to participate in the CUSP. “NAA has been active in everything we’ve done so far, and GAA is observing (as their role is more global

in nature). NFI is also involved in CUSP” he said. Main concerns at this time for CUSP’s priority legislative and governmental action involve the need for a regulatory framework in federal waters, the need for consistent and efficient permitting and enforcement within federal regulations and the need for a federal ombudsman who can assist new producers with the permitting process. The CUSP is not necessarily interested in a public education effort at this time, but rather a targeted communication effort to specific audiences, Hart indicated. “We need information that can be distributed to key decision makers. When a new

“Establishing relationships and building connections among soy, aquaculture and seafood value chain stakeholders is crucial to helping aquaculture catch on.” Steven Hart, Executive Director of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance.

14 »

aquaculture operation is being proposed, it isn’t the federal government that is typically the first roadblock, it is the local community. Education efforts need to focus on developing data and information that can be helpful at the local level (i.e., the economic impact of aquaculture, then protein need, benefits of seafood, etc., etc., etc…).” One interesting aspect of the organization is that CUSP isn’t production system specific. CUSP is made up of members that are involved in every major type of aquaculture production (ponds, RAS, near-shore netpens, offshore). Hart stated that “we (CUSP) also will not focus on species. The CUSP approach is to support the development of aquaculture. The economics, market and science will determine which production systems and species ultimately come to dominate.” CUSP’s main approach here will be to interact with the federal agencies involved in aquaculture permitting and research and encourage joint efforts that can

SAA Executive Director, Steven Hart, Ph.D.

demonstrate economically viable aquaculture at full-commercial scale. “One example that was discussed was establishing an offshore fish farm that is given guaranteed permitting from NOAA over the life of the demonstration project (a minimum of 10 years), while a commercial entity provides the capital to actually build the farm and conduct the dayto-day operations” Hart said. The farm would have to be self-sufficient and not reliant on federal funds to operate. “And finally,” he added, “USDA can be involved by providing nutritional- and hatchery-based research that will assist in making the operation more efficient.” The general belief among CUSP members is that the commercial investment will come into these types of demonstra-

tion projects as long as they know the government will support them through their efforts. “As a group, we’re not doing enough to ask for aquaculture development,” said Hart. “Congress says they’ve never heard of the need before.” To address this lack of awareness among legislators, some of the Coalition’s specific goals include lobbying for finalization of the Fishery Management Plan for Regulating Offshore Marine Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico; reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Act, which regulates NOAA’s activities related to aquaculture; and including aquaculture as a “specialty crop” in the next Farm Bill to qualify for Agriculture Department programs. So... you may be wondering who will do the heavy lifting? Hart responded that “at this point, staff time is being provided by SAA efforts, as this fits into our goals to grow the industry. For now this works. In the future, we may need to reexamine how CUSP works and look at more of an official model that can fund significant Washington D.C. efforts. What CUSP is currently doing is addressing the issues that fit within our 3 strategic priorities.” He

added that “as an individual effort is addressed, each CUSP member can choose whether or not they want to participate. The group liked this flexibility in the formation as they acknowledged that each individual might not want to be associated with every effort CUSP chooses to undertake. Since CUSP’s major efforts are advocacy in Washington D.C., we are asking for each individual CUSP member to fund their efforts in that arena. Since the majority of SAA’s funds come from soybean checkoff contributions (which are not allowed to be used for policy advocacy), most of SAA’s efforts in this arena are funded by non-checkoff members of SAA. If a group wants to help and get involved, they could look at joining SAA and helping contribute to what we can do in D.C. As Hart summed things up in the CUSP’s recent press release: “We’ll get much farther with a unified voice to create a common message.” For more information on the Coalition for U.S. Seafood Production, contact Steven Hart at *Greg Lutz has a Pd. D. in Aquaculture and Quantitative Genetics from Louisiana State University. He is Aquaculture Magazine’s Editor in Chief.

CUSP will not focus on species; its approach is to support the development of aquaculture. The economics, market and science will determine which production systems and species ultimately come to dominate.

» 15


News from the

Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership Program


ew of us, however, understand the steps involved in making these compounds available to those of us who require them. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS’s) Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership (AADAP) program is an integral part of this process. To quote from their website, ( fisheries/aadap/history.htm), “The AADAP Program was officially established within the Service’s National Fish Hatchery System in January 2003 with the strong support of then Service Director Steve Williams. The stated goal of AADAP is to ensure continued progress towards obtaining FDA-approved and EPAcompliant new animal drugs for use in Federal, State, Tribal and private aquaculture programs throughout the United States. As its name implies, the AADAP is a broad, partner-based program of national scope.”

Current situation Over time, funding levels for this type of work have gone up and down, but currently the program is facing the loss of some key personnel without much chance of replacing them due to the current budget situation. The AADAP handles Investigational New Animal Drug (INAD) exemption and New Animal Drug Application (NADA) activities. These activities include INAD administration, the National INAD Program that allows for participation by non-Service facilities on Service-held INADs, and a drug 16 »

Many stakeholders within the U.S. aquaculture industry are aware that medications and other treatments are often necessary tools in production operations.

research program that is focused on the generation of efficacy and target animal safety data to NADAs. The AADAP program is located in Bozeman, Montana, from where it leads coordinated national efforts to generate data, analyze results, compile final study reports, disseminate information and data, and manage all other aspects of requisite data submissions to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in support of new animal drug approvals for aquatic

species. Apart from the trickle down benefits to commercial aquaculture in the U.S., in its role of obtaining new approved drugs and chemicals for aquatic species the AADAP is integral to the USFWS’s “successful stewardship of natural resources for the enjoyment of all Americans.”

AADAP’s newsletter Although many of us really aren’t up to speed on AADAP activities, the program does put out a very good

newsletter. Here are some highlights from the most recent issue on compounds currently in the evaluation and approval process: 1. AQUI-S® 20E (10% eugenol). The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) in La Crosse, Wisconsin, completed work assessing a method to determine eugenol concentrations in edible fish fillet tissue. Eugenol is the marker residue for AQUI-S® 20E. The following method characteristics were assessed: selectivity, sensitivity, accuracy and precision with eugenol-fortified tissue, precision with tissue containing biologically incurred eugenol, stability, and method ruggedness. With regard to selectivity, there were no compounds in fillet tissue extracts from seven fish species that would interfere with eugenol analyses. In addition, select aquaculture drugs incorporated into fish fillet tissue did not interfere with eugenol analyses. Method sensitivity (~0.01 µg/g) was more than adequate relative to the working tolerance of 11 µg/g established by the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Method accuracy and precision with eugenol-fortified fillet tissue were within CVM acceptance criteria. Method precision with biologically incurred eugenol was within CVM acceptance criteria in virtually all cases. Eugenol was stable in frozen fillet tissue for more than 12 weeks, and in tissue undergoing freeze-thaw cycles. In most cases the method was rugged, i.e., small changes in the method procedures did not impact method performance. The final report (2,191 pages) for the work was submitted to CVM on December 10, 2013. Interested parties can contact Jeff Meinertz,, for more information. 2. 35% PEROX-AID® (35% hydrogen peroxide). UMESC is conducting research to expand the label for 35% PEROX-AID® to include the reduction of Gyrodactylus ssp. infestation density on cool- and Warm-water fish species. Two trials have been complet-

ed, one with fathead minnow with a natural infestation of G. hoffmani and a second with yellow perch with a natural infestation of G. freemani. The objective of the trials was to assess the efficacy of 35% PEROX-AID® to reduce Gyrodactylus ssp. infestation density on fish following one of three treatment regimens: (1) a nontreated control group; (2) a group treated at 50 mg/L for 60 min; and (3) a group treated at 75 mg/L for 60 min. The 35% PEROX-AID® treatments were applied once daily on alternate days for a total of three treatments. Following treatment, both fathead minnow and yellow perch experienced a reduction of >98% in parasite density on fish in the treated groups. Two final reports were submitted to CVM on December 23, 2013. Contact Sue Schleis,, for more information. 3. SLICE® (0.2% emamectin benzoate). SLICE® is currently approved for use to control sea lice on marine-reared fish in Canada, Chile, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. SLICE® has been shown to be effective in reducing infestations of freshwater copepods on freshwater-reared fish. Therefore, there is interest in pursuing approval of SLICE® for freshwater uses. UMESC is gearing up to conduct drug depletion studies with SLICE® in which fish in a freshwater recirculating aquaculture system (water temperature, 15°C) and in freshwater flow-through aquaculture systems (water temperatures, 6 and 15°C) will be treated with SLICE®medicated feed. The depletion of the SLICE® marker residue, emamectin benzoate, from the fillet tissue will be characterized after treatment. UMESC has received protocol concurrence from FDA CVM to conduct these studies. The flow-through and recirculating aquaculture systems that will be used during the study have been constructed in the environmental chambers where the study will be conducted. The bacterial flora of the

biofilter of the recirculating aquaculture system is being established. Analysts have had good success validating the analytical method to determine emamectin concentrations in fish fillet tissue to our laboratory. Contact Jeff Meinertz,, for more information. 4. In addition to the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC), the FDA also plays an important role in the Partnership, primarily through their Minor Use/Minor Species (MUMS) program and the many research grants it provides. MUMS Grants for the first open period of FY 2014 have been awarded and total USD$373,687, so more than half of the available funds for this fiscal year have been dispersed. FDA hopes to have up to USD$750,000 available for MUMS grants in FY 2015. Awards made in the first half of FY 2014 for studies to further the conditional approval/approval of drugs for aquaculture uses included: the efficacy of PENNOX 343 (75.6% oxytetracycline HCl) to control mortality in bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) due to external columnaris disease associated with Flavobacterium columnare, the efficacy of PENNOX 343 (75.6% oxytetracycline hydrochloride) to control mortality in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) due to external columnaris disease associated with F. columnare, the efficacy of PENNOX 343 (75.6% oxytetracycline HCl) to control mortality in cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) due to coldwater disease associated with F. psychrophilum, and the safety of channel catfish pituitary administered via intraperitoneal injection to adult female channel catfish I. punctatus. Questions about the FDA MUMS Grant Program can be directed to Dr. Stuart Jeffrey at the following address: The entire Newsletter is available from Daniel Carty, Fish Biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership Program at Visit the program’s website:

» 17



tablets show promise for reducing Vibrio in shrimp culture By Stephen Newman


armed shrimp are a staple in many diets and many businesses depend on their availability all year around. Production peaked around 4 million MTs in recent years, but is currently off by roughly a third of this amount, in large part because of a serious bacterial disease problem which has emerged on both sides of the Pacific. Disease is a natural process. Microbes serve critical roles in the recycling of nutrients and diseases are simply one stage in these processes. The absence of disease is unnatural, and while farmers strive to maintain a balance of the systems involved to prevent or at the very least minimize the impact of disease, it is a constant and complex battle. The list of diseases that have caused widespread problems in farmed shrimp is a long one. Many are viruses with widely-recognized symptoms and pathology. Perhaps the most underappreciated pathogens, however, are the Vibrio. There are many species implicated both in opportunistic and obligate disease in farmed shrimp and other aquatic species. Roughly 4 years ago there were reports of a massive die off of shrimp in China. This disease has spread to many countries and this is probably not the end of the story. Termed Early Mortality Syndrome or EMS (the name that has stuck), it is caused by a common strain of Vibrio that has become highly virulent. While we are still a long way from understanding 18 Âť

Shrimp farming is a dynamic and constantly evolving global agribusiness. exactly what is going on in the field we do know that controlling the bacteria in the farm environment will not be an easy matter. Microbial tools for bio-augmentation of marine culture systems are not a new concept. Huge numbers of products are used annually, although most are not used to optimum impact and many are, in fact, a waste of money. Pseudo-science is an all too frequent element of aquaculture and nowhere more than in this sector. Nonetheless, many advances have been made in the use of microbial products in recent years to alter the ecology within production systems. PRO4000X is a technologically innovative approach for delivering spore-forming bacteria to production systems to lower Vibrio loads, control ammonia levels and improve the overall quality of the production

environment. This has been proven reproducibly, in the field in many countries using the tools of science to verify observations. PRO4000X tablets contain strains of Bacillus that have been selected for their ability to produce a wide

Bags and powder

onstrated that the use of PRO4000X tablets allowed a farmer to change the production strategy and allowed the test farm to close their ponds and increase yields. The farm consisted of four ponds, three of which were experimental ponds and one served as a control. Starting with 8 tablets added to problem areas 14 days post stocking and ending with 75 tablets at day 112 post stocking, for a total of 497 tablets per ha per cycle, tablets were added roughly every 10 days.

range of enzymes that facilitate their activity to degrade organic material and break ammonia down in aquatic ecosystems. Unlike conventional products, no activation is required. The tablets are added to ponds or hatchery tanks where they settle, slowly dissolving while the bacteria proliferate. They are in direct contact with the pond sediments, and large numbers of bacteria can be delivered into a relatively small area. Targeted delivery to problem areas in ponds and canals ensures a more efficient and less costly approach towards managing accumulated metabolites in production systems. Hatchery trials have shown that the bacteria in PRO4000X out-compete Vibrio and reduce the overall Vibrio load in the environment. Recent trials initiated by clients in Indonesia and India demonstrated that PRO4000X tablets were able to reproducibly alter the microbial composition of hatchery tanks, reducing Vibrio loads substantially. This reproducible effect is shown via a dramatic reduction in both TCBS yellow and green Vibrio. The etiologic agent of EMS is a TCBS green Vibrio. The effect observed in this study was from using one tablet per 5 MT of water daily. Reduction of Vibrio loads in hatchery tanks may be an important step towards minimizing EMS. Field trials in ponds have also shown promising results. A recent trial in India demÂť 19


Shrimp growth and ammonia levels in the ponds were monitored throughout the production cycle. The table below details the pond statistics. All four ponds were on the same farm with a common water source, a nearby brackish water creek. All of the shrimp were from the same hatchery and all of the ponds were stocked at the same time. Yields, final size, water exchange rates, and other relevant data are below. The chart above shows that the shrimp in the ponds that were treated with the PRO4000X tablets grew quicker and reached a much higher overall final weight. Ammonia levels in the ponds were monitored throughout the cycle (above). The control pond experienced high ammonia rates while the experimental ponds did not. The farmer had to exchange water in the control pond but not in the experimental ponds. As with the hatchery tanks, plating of water and sediment on TCBS was able to show a reduction in specific and overall Vibrio loads in the ponds during the production cycle. Reduction of TCBS Green Vibrio loads over the course of the production cycle.

PRO4000X tablets

20 »

Reduction of TCBS Yellow Vibrio loads over the course of the production cycle. Over the course of the cycle the levels in the three experimental ponds of TCBS green Vibrio (of which the etiological agent of EMS is one) dropped by 65 to 94%. There was a 300% increase in the control pond during the same period. Yellow TCBS Vibrio were similarly impacted. The ponds that were treated with the tablets fared much better than the control pond. Observed benefits in all treated ponds included:

• No water exchange was required in the PRO4000X treated ponds (three total). • Shrimp grew quicker in the PRO4000X treated ponds. • Shrimp consumed less feed in the PRO4000X treated ponds. • There was much less accumulated ammonia in the PRO4000X ponds. • There were higher survivals in PRO4000X treated ponds. • There were higher yields in PRO4000X ponds. • Shrimp were larger in PRO4000X ponds at harvest. • Vibrio loads were substantially reduced in ponds treated with PRO4000X. This set of field trials demonstrated that the bacteria in our tablets were able to create environments in the ponds that allowed the shrimp to flourish. Actual experience with our products may vary, since each pond has its own ecology and this can impact how added bacteria grow. We work with clients individually to optimize the use of our products for their particular ponds. While we cannot claim that PRO4000X will impact EMS, the evidence clearly suggests that our bacteria inhibit Vibrio, including those responsible for EMS problems, and improve both hatchery and pond environments.


The Hatchery Feed Guide

& Year Book 2014 Ut at pellentesque eros in varius risus quis nisi pretium fermentum in et convallis mi, Maecenas facilisis semper lectus, a elementum enim


he hatchery phase is often the limiting factor in aquaculture expansion; the development of feeds for the early stages and for broodstock is crucial in overcoming this bottleneck. The establishment of nutritional requirements of broodstock and larvae has made enormous strides in recent years, and excellent manufactured feeds are now available for a number of species. Who makes these feeds and where to find them has been a problem for hatchery managers around the world., the specialist web resource from the publishers

hendrerit mollis. of, created a directory of feeds to help answer these questions. The first of its kind, The Hatchery Feed Guide & Year Book was launched in 2013. Following on from the highly successful launch of the Guide, this year’s edition lists more products, making it an even more valuable tool for hatchery operators. In addition to manufactured feeds, the Guide also lists water conditioners, enrichment products and live feeds, to give hatchery managers looking for feeding solutions an indispensible resource.

The Guide is published in PDFformat, to allow users to link directly to datasheets, websites and email addresses. It is available for free download from Table of Contents • Manufactured feeds: o Product listings o Species look up • Water conditioners, enrichments & additives: o Product listings o Species look up • R&D Services • Reed Mariculture Inc: hatchery feeds pioneers • New live food selco products from Inve Aquaculture • Spectrum: Skretting’s complete line of marine hatchery feeds • Salem Microbes • Zeigler Brothers • Glossary • The year in review • Reading Room • Events For more information please contact Suzi Dominy:

» 21


Current advances in new marine finfish species

aquaculture in Greece By A.J.Conides, S.D. Klaudatos and I. Nengas.


he introduction and cultivation of new marine finfish in the Mediterranean aquaculture industry has been recently recognized as one of the most important strategies for the diversification of final products as well as market relief from competition among Mediterranean countries. This is imperative for countries like Greece. The National Centre for Marine Research (NCRM), established in 1945, has focused its research on 22 Âť

The present research studied the initial stages of Pagrus pagrus regarding its management of endogenous energy, and the nutritional factors affecting survival and immune system of Dentex dentex. the cultivation technology of new species, their nutritional requirements and the production of suitable fishfeeds as well as the pathology of these species. The Department of Aquaculture of the National Centre for Marine Research operates a modern experimental hatchery located at Agios Ko-smas, Athens; it was built in 1994 and exhibits indoor-insulated areas for the artificial reproduction of broodstock, egg hatching, larval

rearing, and production of phytoplankton and zooplankton (rotifers and Artemia). Additionally, there area series of outdoor cement and PVC tanks ranging from 1 m3 to 48 m3 for the rearing of broodstock and fry of various species. The main research involves the red porgy (Pagrus pagrus) and the common dentex (Dentex dentex). Both are important commercial species for Mediterranean fisheries and are members of the Sparidae family.

Even though a lot of research has been conducted on the reproduction and cultivation of the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and the gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata), research reports for the red porgy and the common dentex are scarce. The first attempts to reproduce and cultivate the species for aquaculture purposes in the Mediterranean showed that there are significant problems that have prevented their mass production. These problems are mainly related to the dark coloration associated with significant mortality observed during the larval stages for the Pagrus pagrus and cannibalism during the early life stages for the Dentex dentex.

Materials and methods; research on P. pagrus The rearing techniques used for P. pagrus are similar to those for S. aurata. The eggs were obtained from natural spawning of broodstock kept in captivity for 3 to 4 years in the rearing facilities of a commercial hatchery in West Greece. The aim of the research was to determine the early growth scheme and development stages of the larvae through the transition from endogenous and exogenous food sources using the body length gained at each development stage as main criterion. The incubation of the eggs was carried out at the NCMR in 1 m2 rectangular PVC tanks, in seawater (salinity 36.8±0.4‰) and natural temperature (16.±0.9°C). The eggs were incubated at densities of 50 to 100 eggs/l without significanttly different hatching rates (mean 71.3±4.4%). The hatching period lasted 48 hours. The same rectangular tanks were used for larval rearing. The green water technique was used for the maintenance of the larvae during the first 25 days of their life with a daily addition of dense phytoplankton culture. The temperature during larval rearing gradually increased from 16 to 20°C, the dissolved oxygen was kept to saturation

levels using submersible airstones and the pH varied between 7.8 and 8.3. The photoperiod was 12 h L:12 h D. Larvae received rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis) from day 3, when the mouth opens, until day 25, with a concentration of 10-15 individuals/ml while dense phytoplankton cultures wereadded daily in 2 doses (morning and afternoon) for the maintenance of green-water. On day 20 after hatching (AH), newly hatched Artemia nauplii (AF grade) were introduced in the tanks at a density of 1 individuals/ml. This gradually increased to 10 individuals/ml on day 30 AH. From day 30 AH, larvae were fed on EG grade Artemia nauplii (24 hours old) enriched with highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) from various combinations of commercial emulsions. Dry food was supplied from day 35 AH and weaning was completed on day 45 AH. The initial period of the species’ larval life can be divided into three phases: a) No motility (0-24 h AH). b) Active movement and exploitation of the endogenous food reserves (24 h to 96 hours AH). c) Transition from endogenous to exogenous food (96 to 168 hours AH).

Research on P. pagrus studied embryology and mass mortalities during the first days after hatching, while research on D. dentex was focused on nutritional factors affecting survival and reducing cannibalism. Results There does not appear to be an overlapping period between phases b and c and therefore, a gap of 24-48 h exists during which the larvae have exhausted their internal food reserves (oil globule and yolk sac) while the digestive track is not ready to digest external food items (rotifers). This resulted in mass mortality reaching almost 70% between days 3 and 7 AH. This happens because the mouth of the larvae opens on day 3 AH (temperature: 16-17°C) while the yolk sac and oil globule are consumed on day 4 AH and the digestive system becomes functional with evidence of consumed food (rotifers) on day 7 AH. This gap between the » 23


existence of internal energy reserves and the function of the digestive system actually leaves the larvae without energy for 2-3 days. However, the species is robust and larvae surviving the first 7 days AH show exceptional survival rates (reaching almost 80%). The subsequent use of rotifers and Artemia nauplii enriched with the common commercial oils increases the success of production. In comparison with S. aurata, D. labrax, red porgy requires a longer feeding period with rotifers (until the 20th-25th day AH) and Artemia nauplii and meta-nauplii (until the 40th-50th day AH) before the exclusively changing to artificial diets.

Materials and methods; research on D. dentex This is a fast growing sparid, which represents a possible candidate for Mediterranean mariculture. Nutritional deficiencies and low acceptability of commercial dry pellet diets have been suggested as the main reasons for certain rearing drawbacks.

P. pagrus exhibits a gap during which the larvae have exhausted their internal food reserves while the digestive track is not ready to digest external food.

Pagrus pagrus.

24 Âť

The aim of research on dentex was to investigate the nutritional factors affecting survival and the non specific immune system. Two experiments were conducted in the NCMR to investigate, firstly, the ability of the species to accept dry pellets by using various feed attractants and, secondly, to examine the effect of different levels of essential fatty acids and vitamins C and E on tissue composition and physiology. At a first stage, wild and cultured populations were analyzed to determine any possible differences in major nutrients of their body tissue. Different experimental diets (table 1) were tested to examine the effect of the incorporation of various feed attractants on the acceptability of dry pellets, the reduction of cannibalism and growth (Table 2). Using as a basis the most effective formulation from the last experiment, different levels of vitamin C and E as well as essential fatty acid were tested and their effects on the growth and carcass content were measured.

Dentex dentex.

Results All the experimental diets performed better than the commercial diet that was commonly used for sea bream rearing, but only the groups fed with diets 5 and 7 performed statistically better, according to the values determined for specific growth rate (SGR) and percent growth. Feed efficiency (FE) gave the lowest value for the commercial diet (60%), compared to close to 100% for all dry experimental formulations and approximately 80% for the two moist diets 6 and 7. The lower FE determined for the moist diets could partly be explained due to the fact that both formulations exhibited higher leaching. Appetite was lowest for the group fed the commercial diet and highest for the two moist diets. Conclusions P. pagrus could be suitable for commercial aquaculture; nevertheless, producers must solve issues such as the low production of fry and high mortality rates during larval stages. Concerning D. dentex, moist diets are preferable over dry pellets; however, dry diets show better FCRs. Both species are good candidates for marine aquaculture, but further research is needed before their introduction for mass production.

Original article: Conides A.J., Klaoudatos S.D., Nengas I. Current advances in new marine finfish species aquaculture of the National Centre for Marine Research (Greece). Zaragoza : CIHEAM, 2000. p. 365-369. (Cahiers Options MĂŠditerranĂŠennes; n. 47).

» 25


The great success of

Seafood Expo North America Formerly known as the International Boston Seafood Show/Seafood Processing America, Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America is the largest seafood trade event in North America.


he 2014 Seafood Expo North America lasted from March 16th-18th and was held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. This huge event attracted over 19,000 buyers and suppliers of fresh, frozen, packaged and valueadded seafood products, equipment, and services. Attendees traveled from more than 100 countries to do business at the exposition to use this strategic platform to show, promote and 26 »

sell their products, besides establishing networks and business partnerships.

Rebranded event The name change was part of a 2014 global rebranding and marketing initiative planned by the exposition’s producer, Diversified Business Communications. “Under their fresh, new names, Seafood Expo North America and Seafood Processing North America will continue to deliver the highest

quality trade event for seafood buyers and suppliers from around the world who want to do business in the U.S. and North America,” said Liz Plizga, Show Director for Diversified Business Communications.

Seafood Excellence Award 2014 The annual Seafood Excellence Award chooses the best new seafood products based on taste, eating experience, packaging, marketing potential, convenience, nutrition and originality. There were 10 semifinalists chosen from a list of 73 entrants for this year’s award. The company High Liner Food Inc., the leading North American value-added frozen seafood company, won the “Best New Foodservice Product” Seafood Excellence Award 2014 for its Flame-Seared GUINNESS® Barbecue-Glazed Atlantic Salmon. “This award is a major achievement for our entire product development team,” said Jim LaBelle, vice president of foodservice marketing for High Liner Foods. “Customer interest in our new line has been extremely strong already since our launch in early March. Between the award and our exciting new product launches, we once again reinforced our leadership position as the seafood culinary innovator at this year’s Seafood Expo,” he said. Conferences Program From Sunday to Tuesday, there were around 24 conferences held at the Boston Convention & Exhibitor Center. From Marketing, Traceability, and Sustainability of Gulf Seafood,

to Food Allergies, to Labelling, and Technology infrastructure, speakers from all over North America shared their experiences in the industry and the market with the many attendants.

Conference session One of the biggest events inside Seafood Expo North America took place on day three. The conference session: “Seafood — The Next Ten Years” was a goldmine for attendants. Chuck Anderson, director of retail for Pier Fish in New Bedford, Massachusetts, showed the audience images of something most of them likely had never envisioned. The largest inflatable dome structure in the world, according to Anderson, is not a football stadium — it’s a shrimp farm in Texas. Global Blue Technologies shrimp farm in Taft, Texas, is a zero-discharge facility that can produce 50-60 g (U-8) shrimp in 22-26 weeks. Anderson had recently visited the facility and came away impressed. Researchers will be exploring this innovative site in more depth in the near future because it could spark major changes in the way shrimp is produced while addressing some of the industry’s biggest criticisms. Daniel Benetti, Ph.D., professor at the University of Miami and the director of the school’s marine studies program, followed Anderson with some

unbridled optimism about the future of aquaculture in the United States. Benetti said the industry doesn’t lack the technology to farm popular species like mahi-mahi, cobia, pompano, seriola and even yellowfin tuna on a commercial scale in the Gulf of Mexico. Referring to Alaska’s salmon fishery as the largest and most successful aquaculture operation in the world — stating that 70% of all Alaska salmon that end up in fishermen’s nets were born in a hatchery — Benetti assured that model could be replicated in the Gulf for key species like red snapper, although the Gulf presents major challenges for full-scale aquaculture. Henry Clifford, VP of AquaBounty Technologies in Waltham, Mass., took on critics of genetically modified (GM) foods and the company’s AquAdvantage® salmon, which grows to market size in 18 months, roughly half the time of conventional farmed Atlantic salmon. It’s been 15 years since the genesis of this technology, which has not yet cleared the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s numerous hurdles. Clifford confidently stated: “we cannot afford to not implement new technology” in the production of seafood for a global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Seafood production will have to double by then, before taking the gloves off and addressing detractors of GM salmon,” he said. Besides Panama, there still aren’t any other countries to embrace this cutting-edge technology, but according to Clifford, “there will be.” In the very near future, perhaps as soon as this year or next, there will be more farmed seafood consumed by humans than fish harvested in the wild. The choice has been made, and aquaculture is here to stay.

2015 Exposition Seafood Expo North America 2015 will be held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, on March 15th17th, 2015. More information about this and other events can be found at » 27


U.S. Trout Production Growing in Value, but not in Numbers

On March 6th, 2014, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its latest report on trout production.


stimates indicate that the total value of fish sales received by trout growers in the USA during 2013 totaled USD$96.4 million. This was an increase of 4% from 2012, slightly edging ahead of inflation. Idaho accounted for 46% of the total value of fish sold, followed by North Carolina (7%), California (5%) 28 »

and Pennsylvania (also 5%). The remainder of the total was attributed to a number of other states. The number of trout 12 inches (”) and longer sold during 2013 totaled 41.0 million fish, down 2% from the previous year, but the average price per pound was USD$1.61, up 4% from 2012. The value of sales for this size class in the 2013 marketing

year was USD$90.4 million, up 5% from 2012. For trout 12” or longer, 63% were sold to processors. The number of 6”- 12” trout sold during 2013 totaled a mere 3.66 million fish, a decrease of 46% from 2012. The average price per pound was USD$3.78 during 2013, up 91 cents from the 2012 price and reflecting scarce supplies of fish in this

size class. The total value of sales was USD$5.05 million during 2013, a 15% decrease from the previous year. The major sales outlets for 6”-12” trout were for recreational stocking (accounting for 51% of total sales), followed by wholesale to other producers (18%). The number of 1”- 6” trout sold during 2013 totaled 6.46 million fish, a 4% decrease from the previous year. The average value per 1,000 fish was USD$155 during 2013, down from USD$162 in 2012. The total value of sales was USD$1.00 million, down 9% from last year’s total. Trout distributed for restoration, conservation, enhancement, or recreational purposes, primarily by State and Federal hatcheries, included 8.49 million 12” or longer fish, 69.1 million 6”- 12” fish, and 58.8 million 1”6” fish. The estimated value of fish distributed totaled USD$109.5 million, an increase of 5% over 2012. All reports are available electronically, at no cost, on the NASS web site:

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Extension of Double-Crested Cormorant Depredation Orders


he MBTA implements conventions with Great Britain (for Canada), Mexico, Japan, and Russia (formerly the Soviet Union). Part 21 of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations covers migratory bird permits, and Subpart D of this section deals specifically with the control of depredating birds. Under these statutes, there are currently eight “depredation orders,” which are basically regulations that allow for the take of specific species of migratory birds, at specific locations and for specific purposes, without the issuance of individual permits. Two of these depredation orders were written specifically for doublecrested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), one of the most troublesome and loathed predators for aquaculturists in a number of states. One order applies to private aquaculture operations while the other was written for State and Tribal resource agencies to protect hatchery and fish culture facilities and other public resources. The depredation order pertaining to commercial aquaculture facilities can be found on-line at http://www.gpo. gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title50vol8/xml/CFR-2011-title50-vol8sec21-47.xml . The USFWS recently proposed to extend the expiration dates for these depredation orders for another 5 years, “to allow State and Tribal resource management agencies to continue to manage double-crested 30 »

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is the Federal agency with primary responsibility for managing migratory birds, as authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).

Since they are comparatively slow in the water, koi carp are a favorite target for cormorants.

cormorant problems under the terms and conditions of the depredation orders and gather data on the effects of double-crested cormorant control actions.” If USFWS had chosen not to extend these depredation orders, any action to control depredating double-crested cormorants after June 30th, 2014 would require an individual depredation permit. There is some precedence for extending depredation orders. In April

2009 the expiration dates of both depredation orders were extended to June 30th, 2014. At that time USFWS stated that the data gathered since the issuance of the final rule in 2003, in conjunction with data from the original environmental impact statement (EIS) conducted for the depredation orders, suggested that the orders had not had any significant negative effect on double-crested cormorant populations. In fact, data suggested that

cormorant populations were stable or increasing even with the orders in effect. The current depredation orders for double-crested cormorants continue to allow take of the species under the provisions of the 2003 EIS, which is available at migratorybirds/CurrentBirdIssues/ Management/Cormorant/CormorantFEIS.pdf. USFWS also prepared a draft environmental assessment (DEA) to analyze the impacts associated with continuing to allow take of cormorants under current conditions, and the proposed extension of the depredation orders is largely based on information in the DEA. The DEA is available at http://www. under Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2013–0135, and on the USFWS Web site at http://www. Updated population information continues to indicate that the orders have not had a significant negative effect on double-crested cormorant populations. To summarize the DEA, a 2006 study by Wetlands International estimated the continental population at between 1 to 2 million birds of four recognized subspecies. In

Over the past several decades, cormorants have learned that fish hatcheries and similar facilities are prime feeding grounds.

Double-crested cormorants prefer game fish like largemouth bass over catfish, but they will generally eat whatever is available and unprotected when they arrive at aquaculture ponds

the southeastern U.S., although numbers of cormorants declined 46% in both Mississippi and Alabama from the peak count in 2004 (this decrease mirrors the decline of the catfish industry in those states), cormorants in that area have undergone dramatic increases overall in the last 20 years. In another 2006 study, Mississippi populations at some colonies were determined to likely be greater than pre- 1990 levels. And, under various models, USFWS estimates that while the Great Lakes double-crested cormorant population would be lower than current numbers if the depredation orders continue in effect, they would still remain significantly higher than population levels in the early 1990s. Individuals, farming operations or state or tribal agencies acting under the depredation orders will still be required to follow applicable regulations. Depredation control efforts may take place only where cormorants are found committing or about to commit depredations under specified conditions, with the requirement to initially use non-lethal control methods. USFWS retains the power to prohibit cormorant take under the depredation orders if deemed a threat to the long-term sustainability of double-crested cormorants or any other migratory bird species. It can

also suspend or revoke the authority of any person acting pursuant to the depredation orders if they do not adhere to the their purpose, terms and conditions.

What can happen? If the proposed extension is adopted, the depredation orders will expire on June 30th, 2019. However, if USFWS determines that future changes to the depredation orders are necessary to eliminate an expiration date or make other changes, they will publish the requisite documents in the Federal Register to make those changes. USFWS also proposes to set an annual reporting deadline for the depredation order at aquaculture facilities to January 31st, and to change the annual reporting date for the depredation order to protect public resources to that same date. There currently is no specified annual reporting date for aquaculture facilities. The current reporting form for aquaculture facilities can be found at http://www.fws. gov/forms/3-202-18-2147.pdf . For the depredation order extensions, USFWS also is proposing to remove extra requirements for cormorant control activities around bald eagles and their nests and to recommend use of the National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines for both depredation orders. » 31

research report

Grouper Larval Rearing By Zhenhua Ma, Huayang Guo, Nan Zhang, and Zemin Bai*


roupers are part of the Serranidae family, which is very important for sport and commercial fisheries. They are widely distributed throughout sub-tropical and tropical waters. With an increasing demand in the global market, production reached 198,690 MT in 2007. Increasing marketing requests and reduced natural resources give groupers a high potential for aquaculture in tropical and sub-tropical waters. Up to date, reliable fingerling production is still the issue hindering the development of grouper aquaculture. Since the 1970s, efforts have been made to mass produce grouper fingerlings. Species such as Epinephelus tauvina, E. malabaricus, and E. striatus have been successfully spawned. However, as a consequence of massive mortalities in early development stages, grouper aquaculture remains heavily dependent on capture and grow-out of wild-caught juveniles. Although artificial breeding has steadily increased, there is a big gap in the fry market between supply and demand. Early survival rates of groupers are very low when compared to other finfish. Although many studies have been conducted to explore the optimum rearing protocol for grouper larvae, heavy mortalities are observed within the first two weeks after hatch32 Âť

The present report used the life cycle of grouper larvae as a framework to review internal factors regulating ontogenetic development in fish larvae and environmental factors affecting the general development of grouper larvae. ing. Difficulties in rearing early stage larvae have become the major bottleneck for mass fingerling production, mainly due to the fact that spawned eggs and larvae are very small and the small mouth gape in early larvae limits the choice of initial live feed. Additionally, groupers are extremely sensitive to mechanical disturbance, and larval rearing is very long (>60 days). The present study reviewed factors related to ontogenetic development, and then focused on first feeding for grouper larvae in intensive aquaculture.

development and the size of fish at hatching. Egg quality is related to broodstock nutrition. Since protein, lipoprotein, glycogen, and enzyme contents in yolk reserves directly affect embryonic development, proper controlled broodstock nutrition is essential in breeding marine fish. Nutrients such as essential fatty acids (EFA), vitamin E, carotenoids, vitamin C, dietary proteins, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6 in broodstock diets have been considered as essential for the normal development of embryos. Evidence indicates that the percentage of normal eggs increases with the increase of n -3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) in broodstock diets of species such as gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata). Therefore, proper control of broodstock nutrition can improve egg quality and enhance survival of larvae.

Ontogenetic Development Grouper egg sizes are less than one mm (Table 1). Like most marine teleosts, nutrition during the embryonic phase is derived from yolk reserves. The embryonic period ends at the beginning of exogenous feeding. The embryonic period is divided in three phases: cleavage eggs, embryos, and free embryos. It’s a complex process Temperature and egg quality and hatching environ- Temperature can also affect embryment directly affect the embryonic onic development of grouper larvae.

E. malabaricus. Photo courtesy of http-//

Prior research indicated that variations in water temperature within an acceptable range can markedly influence development rates and survival of pre-feeding Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) larvae. During embryonic development, the increased incubation temperature decreased the hatching time. However, high temperatures beyond a tolerable range may lead to heat shock and fish mortality. Unlike other species, grouper eggs and newly hatched larvae are very sensitive to stress and handling. Therefore, to minimize the handling related mortality, stocking activity is recommended after the formation of optic vesicles and by stocking eggs into culture tanks 2 hrs. prior to hatching. Furthermore, larvae are sensitive to light during their early stages and must be kept in darkened conditions.

with a complete metamorphosis. Like most marine fish, massive mortality normally occurs during larval stages because of vulnerability to predation, starvation, unfavorable environmental conditions and prevailing pathogens.

Feeding and temperature Like most marine finfish, heavy mortalities in grouper’s early life-stages may be related to initial feeding. Timing to supply feed with an appropriate nutritional composition is a key consideration in marine larval fish culture. After their yolk sac is depleted, fish larvae rely on food from exogenous sources. At this point, a delay of access to a live food supply can result in low survival, slow development and alimentary tract degeneration. Furthermore, if larvae cannot access suitable food for an extended period after yolk sac depletion, they may lose the Larvae ability to ingest and digest food altoNewly hatched grouper larvae are gether. generally less than two mm, with difDuring the onset of exogenous ferent structure, morphology and feeding, fish mortality is likely to ocfunction than adults. They are very cur if the provision of first feeding is delicate and have a large yolk sac and beyond the Point of no Return (PNR) undeveloped mouth, fins, and eyes phase, which is closely related to tem(Fig. 2). At day 3-4 post hatching, perature, as low temperature prolongs the yolk and oil globule are absorbed the time for larvae to reach the PNR completely (Table 1). The larval stage and high temperatures have the opstarts at exogenous feeding and ends posite effect. Studies suggest that high

temperature shortens the period for first-feeding larvae to learn to ingest food before the onset of irreversible starvation. Larvae of Malabar grouper (E. malabaricus) are very vulnerable to starvation; the feeding window for this species when cultured at 28ÂşC is only 24 hrs. after mouth-opening. In order to increase survival and reduce starvation, it is necessary to reduce culture temperatures within the first feeding stage, as evidence from previous studies indicates that lower temperature can delay exhaustion of yolk reserves and starvation in other species.

Light intensity and tank color Light intensity and tank color in the rearing tank may affect successful larvae feeding as most marine fish larvae

Light intensity and tank color in the rearing tank may affect the larvae feeding as most marine fish larvae are visual feeders.

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research report

are visual feeders, and light plays an important role in the foraging behavior of fish larvae. Previous studies in E. suillus indicate that there’s no significant preference between black and tan tank color regarding to food intake and growth. However, more and more evidence indicates that tank color preference is species-dependent. For example, research in species such as herring and turbot indicate that blackwalled tanks give a good contrast between food and background, while haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) larvae did not grow and survive well in black-walled tanks with low light. Surprisingly, little information can be found in the literature regarding grou-

34 Âť

per larvae preferences. Therefore, future research should also determine optimal tank colors and ambient light environments.

Water surface death In the larval culture of several marine teleosts, large numbers of dead larvae are often observed on water surface around the time of first feeding. This is a consequence of being trapped by the water surface tension when their bodies are exposed to air. Surface death is a heavy mortality factor in yolk-sac grouper larvae such as E. akaara, E. septemfasciatus, E. bruneus, and E. fasciatus. In order to overcome this problem, addition of an oil film

on the water surface normally reduces water surface tension and prevents mass surface deaths. However, evidence indicates that the outcome of using oil film to prevent surface death varies among hatcheries and removal of oil film from rearing tanks has been proven difficult. As an alternative, egg white has been used to prevent surface death.

Feeding Protocols and Live Feeds At hatching, size of larvae and diameter of their mouths are very small in groupers such as E. coiodes, E. malabricus, E. fuscoguttatus, E. suillus and C. altivelis (Table 1). Mouth gape at first

feeding of E. suillus was about 150180µm, and about 250-300 µm in E. marginatus. As prey selection criteria are more by size than by taste or appeal to other senses, the small mouth gape in early grouper larvae limits the choices of initial live food. Rotifer and Artemia nauplii feeding periods in grouper such as E. tauvia, E. fuscoguttatus, E. fasciatus and E. suillus are relatively long (30-35 days); this may be related to their small size. Production of live feeds with small size characteristics is an important hatchery operation in grouper breeding. Since groupers have extremely small mouth gapes, under some particular situations rotifers may not fulfill the required size for first feedings. Eggs and trochophore larvae of bivalves such as mussels and oysters have been widely used as first feeding live foods for grouper larvae in the past because of their size advantage. For instance, size of eggs and trochophore larvae of green mussel Perna viridis are 55-60 µm and 60-80 µm, respectively, while egg size of Pacific oyster is about 45-62 µm. The most efficient way to spawn oyster and mussels is temperature manipulation. In recent studies, eggs and larvae of Pinctada martensi were used to feed newly hatched Plectropomus leopardus larvae; on day 5 post hatching, feeding rates reached 45%. Mussels’ spawning is normally induced through physical, chemi-


E. coioides. Photo courtesy of http-//

cal, or biological methods. Through temperature shocks, mussels are immersed in warm seawater 4-5ºC higher than rearing temperature, followed by a cold seawater treatment at 4-5ºC lower than rearing temperature. Then they are placed into spawning tanks (50-150 l); spawning activity normally occurs within 1 hr. In order to minimize seawater pollution caused by deterioration of milt, male mussels are removed immediately after milt production. Fertilized eggs are collected by siphoning the bottom of the tank. After collection, eggs are washed via 20 µm screen to eliminate as much milt as possible before feeding them to the larvae. Pacific oyster can also be induced by a temperature cycling method, which involves placing sexually mature oysters in water at normal temperature, then slowly increasing temperature over a period of time. In a

Due to their size advantage and superior nutritional value over rotifers, copepods have been widely used in larval grouper rearing in Asia.

prior trial, oysters were exposed to 20ºC water; then temperature was increased by 1ºC every 5 minutes until it reached 28ºC. Besides temperature induction, eggs and milt can also be obtained directly from sexually matured oysters by dissecting the gonads. Currently, commercial production of trochophore oyster is also available in the market. In practice, grouper larvae are normally fed on bivalve eggs and trochophore larvae for two days during the first feeding period. A feeding study indicates that a combination of oyster trochophore larvae and small rotifers (SS-strain, sieved S-strain, or neonates) is the best initial feed. Although evidence indicates that combining feeding protocols can improve the larval performance of first feeding grouper, several issues remain unsolved. For instance, water quality can be easily deteriorated when improperly treated eggs and trochophores are used. Furthermore, controlling the development speed of eggs and trochophores is critical, because once » 35

research report

they are in the D shape stage fish larvae cannot digest them.

Rotifers S-type and SS- type Brachionus spp. are the major rotifers used as live feeds for grouper larvae. As S-type rotifers (B. rotundiformis) are too large for newly hatched grouper to ingest, SS-type rotifers or S-type rotifers screened to <90 Âľm, are suitable for first feeding. Optimal prey density during the early larval stages is 10-20 organisms/ml. Rotifers as the major live feeds for marine fish larvae normally contain low levels of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content. Evidence indicates that the lack of PUFA content in rotifers has led to fish slow growth, mass mortality, mal-pigmentation, and deformity. Previous studies found that eggs of grouper such as E. coioides contained high level of DHA, EPA, and ARA, suggesting their importance in larval development. However, the content of EFA such as eicosapentaenoic acid 20:5n-3 (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid 22:6n-3 (DHA) and arachidonic acid 20:4n-6 (ARA) in rotifers is relatively low when compared to other live food (e.g., copepods) in nature. Therefore, enrichment of rotifers with liquid emulsions containing EFA is necessary to improve their quality as fish feeds.

tional value over rotifers, copepods have been widely used in larval grouper rearing in Asia. Their unique characteristics make them a more valuable live feed in grouper larvae rearing. Apart from size advantage, copepods contain higher essential fatty acids for fish larvae than any other live feeds. Furthermore, the nutritional profiles of copepods fulfill the nutrient requirement of fish larvae, especially the content and ratio of PUFA, DHA, EPA, and ARA. To date, copepod culture in intensive indoor and outdoor systems has been successfully developed; however, due to the technical constraints in rearing copepods, its mass production at a commercial scale has not been achieved.

artificial diets. Due to the lack of EPA and DHA, it is necessary to enrich Artemia nauplii with oil emulsions before feeding fish larvae. Oil emulsions are generally composed of fish oil and fatty acids. Because of the character of inherent catabolism, enriched nutritional components can also be absorbed by Artemia nauplii after enrichment, resulting in great variation of nutrient contents. Thus, timely harvesting and storage of enriched Artemia, and quick feeding to fish are recommended to minimize nutrition loss after enrichment.

Conclusions Grouper aquaculture is expanding at a fast rate, and its commercialization has great potential. A number of key Artemia nauplii advances have been achieved in the Artemia is another common live feed past few decades, and there have been Copepod nauplii for grouper larvae. Nauplii instar I significant achievements in knowlIn nature, copepod nauplii are the and II are the most widely used forms edge of grouper rearing. Progress in main food for marine fish larvae. Due of Artemia in aquaculture. In China, grouper larval culture in particular has to their size advantage (smaller than adult Artemia is also used as a food been rapid over the past decade. SS-strain rotifers) and superior nutri- source for those fish not weaned to In order to improve production efficiency, future research should try to accomplish: (1) the understanding of timing of live food delivery to firstfeeding grouper larvae; (2) the nutritional requirements of first-feeding larvae and of fish weaning from live food to formulated diets; and (3) the environmental requirements, especially regarding temperature, that are suitable for fish larval survival and growth. E. striatus. Photo courtesy of http-//

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Original article: Ma, et al. State of the Art for Larval Rearing of Grouper. International Journal of Aquaculture, vol. 3, no. 13, May 30th, 2013.

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ASIAN report

Intellectual Property Rights

(IPR) in China Although counterfeiting is illegal, the Chinese government is in a By Klaus Koehler, and Kristina Koehler

predicament because fakes have been and continue to be good for their economy.


ntellectual property (IP) protection is one of the major concerns that western companies have while deciding whether to collaborate with Chinese companies or even enter the China market. The IP protection history in China is very short. For centuries, the Chinese people had not had any sense of protecting their own inventions or respecting the inventions of others. The profits earned from counterfeiting and violations of intellectual property rights are critical to local economies. For years, Chinese authorities turned a blind eye to counterfeiting on the grounds that it helped spread developing technology and essentially it is a “victimless” crime, as copying technologies is not seen as ethically wrong. However, the Chinese government has realized that creating a positive IP protection en38 »

vironment is not only important to protect the rights of foreign companies collaborating with their Chinese partners, but also critical to foster a creative environment for technology advancement of Chinese companies. There is no simple solution to protecting intellectual property in China. The ideal checklist includes obtaining comprehensive local protection in the form of patents, copyrights or trademarks for the products, lobbying with the growing number of protection agencies, and developing sensible business strategies that take IP risk into account. Foreign companies who decide to establish their entity in China should take all precautions to avoid possible IPR Infringements. If the companies register all their patents and trademarks, it does not necessarily mean they are safe but it is a step forward to being protected.

The current IP Environment While counterfeit products is a worldwide issue, it is most recognized in China, which is home to two-thirds of the world’s fake and pirated goods. The government, mainly through the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has made tremendous efforts to promote the IP protection environment. These include: amending the patent law numerous times to make it more acceptable to the rest of the world; enhancing the law enforcement capabilities so that every county and city in China has a local IP protection office in order to more effectively implement the law; increasing the fine and punishment for any breach of IP (IP violation in China is considered a criminal action and anyone who is convicted faces both fine and prison time); promoting the awareness and self-consciousness of

IP protection among the Chinese people through nationwide educational TV programs; collaborating with US and European governments to establish the IP protection guidelines; and inviting foreign government officials and journalists as guest speakers at various IP protection forums held in China. Furthermore China implemented a National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) strategy in 2008 which aims at improving the protection system, strengthening law enforcement and raising public awareness.

Types of IP Protection

Patents A patent provides companies with an exclusive right to license or commercialize their patented invention. In China, there are three different types of patents: inventions, utility models and designs. Once approved, an invention patent is valid for twenty years from the filing date, while patents for designs and utility models provide legal protection for ten years from filing. The Patent Law allows chemical and pharmaceutical products and the processes for manufacturing them, as well as food, beverages, and flavorings to be patentable. As patents registered in foreign countries provide minimal protection in China it is advisable to make sepa-

rate registrations. If certain deadlines are considered, foreign patents can serve as a base that simplifies the filing for the Chinese patent. For normal patents, this term ends 12 months after the first foreign registration, for design patents after 6 months only. In case the issuing enterprise has no entity in China, it is compulsory to go through an agent. It should be noted that changes came into effect at the end of 2009 in regards to the new Patent Law. These changes have altered the landscape for both legal practitioners and patent applicants, especially in terms of implementation and examination guidelines to be used by SIPO. Trademarks Trademarks can be defined as company names, phrases, logos, images or designs. Trademarks represent the source of products or services. China follows the same system as most countries, in that international recognition of a trademark is only granted if the trademark has been registered in five other jurisdictions previously. If the trademark is only registered in the company’s home country, it is not covered in China. But even with international protection, it is advisable to register the trademark in China separately as courts might have difficulties to recognize the international

documents if they are not familiar with them. Trademark applications are divided into 43 separate classes. At least one class and its associated goods or services has to be specified for the trademark. The application (in Chinese language) takes on average 1218 months. During the application procedure the mark is not intellectual property of the company yet, but in case of infringement during this time, a warning letter can be issued. In case this is ignored it is possible to sue, once the application has been approved. After a successful registration, trademark protection is provided for ten years. It is recommended to register the trademark as soon as possible as China has the “first-to-register”rule. This means that whoever files a trademark first (by filing date) has priority to other applicants for the same trademark. If ignored, trademark-infringers are likely to capture valuable brand names and other foreign trademarks. Trademark protection is advisable especially for small-medium enterprises whose trademark is only popular in their home-markets. Marks which are recognized as “well-known” enjoy a special protection. Once a trade mark is granted, the owner enjoys exclusive right to use the sign in relation to the goods or services covered by the trademark, and may prohibit others from using it without prior consent. Copyright Unlike the patent and trademark protection, copyrighted works do not require registration for protection. Protection is granted to individuals and firms from countries belonging to international copyright conventions or bilateral agreements of which China is a member. However, copyright owners – especially owners of software and foreign audiovisual copyrights – may wish to voluntarily register with China’s National Copyright Administration (NCA) to establish prior evidence of ownership, » 39

ASIAN report

should enforcement actions become necessary. Unfair competition China’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) provides some protection for unregistered trademarks, packaging, trade dress and trade secrets. The Fair Trade Bureau, under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has responsibilities over the interpretation and implementation of the UCL, and protection of company names.

Enforcement of IP regulations Although China has adopted various laws to protect IP, the enforcement of such laws remains problematic because the court system is still in reform and administrative bureaus have limited authority. In 1998, China established the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), with the mission of coordinating IP enforcement efforts by merging the patent, trademark and copyright offices under one authority. This has yet to occur. Today, SIPO is responsible for granting patents (national office), registering semiconductor layout designs (national office), and enforcing patents (local SIPO offices), as well as coordinating domestic foreign-related IPR issues involving copyrights, trademarks and patents. Protection of IP in China follows a two-track system, administrative

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and judicial. IP rights holders may file a complaint at the local administrative office or a complaint in court. Administrative actions are far more common, although judicial actions have been increasing. Determining which IP agency has jurisdiction over an act of infringement can be confusing. Jurisdiction of IP protection is diffused throughout a number of government agencies and offices, with each typically responsible for the protection afforded by one statute or one specific area of IP-related law. There may be geographical limits or conflicts posed by one administrative agency taking a case, involving piracy or counterfeiting that also occurs in another region. In most cases, administrative agencies cannot award compensation to a rights holder. They can, however, fine the infringer, seize goods or equipment used in manufacturing products, and/or obtain information about the source of goods being distributed.

Best Practices for your Intellectual Property

Internal Issues within your own China Entity Run background checks on key hires and include non-compete and nondisclosure agreements in contracts; share IP information with employees on a “need-to-know” basis; educate

employees about the firm’s confidentiality requirements, and about consequences of IP violations; track data flows and file transfers (both paper and electronic), and closely monitor the entry and exit of flash disks, portable hard drives, laptops, and sensitive paper documents; control and monitor employee access to sensitive equipment and facility areas; conduct exit interviews with departing employees to recover any sensitive materials and remind them of confidentiality obligations; establish an internal fraud hotline, as well as an outside hotline for confidential communication with suppliers, distributors, customers, and other third parties to report counterfeiting; and build a database of company infringement cases and infringers and make it available to key employees across the company’s China offices. External Issues with Suppliers / Distributors Select partners with a demonstrated understanding of the value of IP, especially those with brand images and reputations of their own to protect; conduct comprehensive due diligence on suppliers and distributors prior to any agreement and on a regular basis afterward; include IP protection clauses in all contracts and agreements; manage supplier, vendor, and distributor relationships through multiple personnel to limit the ability of local

the design and production processes for products involving IP so that no employee has access to all the information needed to copy IP; keep vital designs and latest-generation technologies in their home countries, bringing to China only IP that makes business sense for China; classify information according to IP sensitivity, laying out which employees have what level of access to the information; and consider incorporating into the production process technologies and techniques that are difficult to copy.

staff to abuse business networks; and review information that could be sent to third parties before transmission to ensure that it is not sensitive, or that the benefits of sending it outweigh the risks of it being leaked. Control the Operation Processes Compartmentalize critical steps in

domain names and for websites that are used as platforms for counterfeit products. These include online sales sites such as Alibaba and Taobao.

Conclusion There are numerous internal and business policies that companies can undertake to reduce the exposure of IP misuse in the first place, including internal IP control; non-disclosure of trade secrets and know-how; careful selection and monitoring of business partners in China, including distributors and licensees; or avoidance of business partners. Although this Search for cases of infringement may make market penetration more in the China market difficult, it will protect a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Send representatives to visit trade vital assets from being exploited. It fairs, such as the Chinese Export is advisable for companies to seek Commodities Fair (Canton Fair), advice on IP issues before entering and industry trade shows to look for the market. counterfeiters; review distribution networks at all levels regularly for Original article: Koehler, Klaus, and Koehler, Kristina. weak links and possible entry points Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Best Practices in China. Magazine. Klako Group. for counterfeit products; and check June, 2013. the Internet regularly for infringing

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ASIAN report

Success and Failure

in Vietnam Following a very positive Asian Pacific Aquaculture Conference By Roy Palmer*

(APAC) in Ho Chi Minh City there is much to like about the ‘can do’ approach that exists in Vietnam and most Asian countries.


ietnam is a country of 90 million people. According to their 2020 development goals based strongly on food security they are planning to produce 4.5 million MT of seafood, create 2.5 million jobs and export USD$5.5 billion in value. Their largest fish item is Pangasius, known in the U.S.A. markets as basa, tra or swai.

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Currently, 4,679 hectares are used in Vietnam for Pangasius production, a 13% drop year on year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). The harvested area was 3,638 hectares with total production of 1 million MT, down 3% compared to that of a year ago. In 2013, the 15 leading Vietnamese Pangasius exporters generated

USD$994.9 million from their sales abroad out of total exports worth USD$1.8 billion. But according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers (VASEP), the Pangasius industry continued to suffer losses, which pushed many farmers to leave their ponds. This general issue was the subject of discussion at the recent FAO Sub-Committee on Fish Trade of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) held in Bergen at the end of February, 2014. The Sub-Committee emphasized the importance of a transparent, robust and harmonized trading system, with measures applied in a transparent, consistent and non-discriminatory manner in accordance with applicable WTO rules. Some members expressed concern about the growing inequality in fish trade, in particular along the valuechain with the low share of retail prices obtained by fish producers, in particular small-scale fishermen and fish farmers. To that end the Sub-Committee supported FAO’s work on the valuechain analysis of international fish trade conducted 2009-2012. Further analysis of the relationship between stakeholders in the value-chain, including how prices and margins vary

according to the relative position in the chain, would be beneficial. Sometimes though, as pointed out by Professor David Hughes at the APAC, you might be producing more product than the market can absorb and then you are pushing your product into the commodity area and will suffer the consequences. If demand is lower than supply then guess what? There is much work to do. VASEPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statistics are interesting as they show that the European Union (EU) was the main importer of Vietnamese Pangasius last year with USD$385.4 million, although

EU imports fell by 9.4% year on year. Within the EU bloc, the largest importers of Pangasius were Spain (USD$76.7 million, down 11.6%), the Netherlands (USD$60 million, down 12.1%), Germany (USD$45.1 million, down 21.3%) and the United Kingdom (USD$40.6 million, up 13.2%). The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) imported USD$124.8 million, up 13.1% year on year. The main importers of this bloc were Singapore and Thailand, with imports amounting to USD$36.7 million (up 3.6%) and USD$34.2 mil-

lion (up 62.3%), respectively. Even Brazil imported Vietnamese Pangasius valued at USD$121.8 million in 2013, which represented an increase of 54% compared to 2012. Despite the difficulties in exporting to the US it was the second largest market for Vietnamese Pangasius, valued at USD$380.7 million, an increase of 6.1% compared with 2012. *Roy Palmer has been involved in the seafood industry since 1972. He is the current director of the World Aquaculture Society and collaborator of Aquaculture Magazine.

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ASIAN report

Marine shrimp in

Asia in 2013 By Zuridah Merican*

Total production is pulled down by EMS in Thailand whilst Indonesia and India gain volumes.


n mid-2013, there was a short global supply of marine shrimp due to losses caused by early mortality syndrome (EMS). EMS hit Thailand in late 2012 and the Thai Shrimp Association projected a 40% decline in production for that year. The disease had already brought down production in China, Vietnam and Malaysia, since 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively. At the end of 2013, industry’s estimate of Asia’s production was 2.6 million MT. Whilst EMS created losers, it was an opportunity for second tier producers, namely Indonesia, India and Ecuador, to step up production to be winners. At the end of 2013, a further decline in global supply was expected when Mexican producers said their 2013 production might be between 35-50,000 MT because of EMS.

Preventing EMS The announcement of the cause of EMS may be a breakthrough to disease experts, but little is known on its prevention in ponds or its spread. Unsurprisingly, postulations on the route of infection abound – ranging from post larvae with poor resistance because of selection for growth traits in new genetic strains and poor quality post larvae from multi-generation broodstock, to pathogen transmission through fresh feed and poor culture management. Indonesia and the Philippines, countries where EMS has not been reported are on the alert. Actions are taken by governmenta, and stakehold44 »

L. vannamei shrimp farmed in the Philippines (Courtesy of Tateh AquaFeeds)

er groups, feed producers, hatchery operators and processors include the establishment of early warning and early detection systems, task forces as well as diagnostic laboratories to detect EMS. Public awareness workshops have been carried out in 10 provinces. There is a ministerial decree to prohibit the importation of shrimp and live feed from countries which have EMS outbreaks. The government also imposed a ban on all probiotic materials imported from EMS affected countries, at least until the end of 2014. Since March 2013, the bureau of Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Philippines decreed that only imports

of broodstock from the US will be permitted. In April, BFAR banned imports of live shrimp species from EMS affected countries, and installed a watch on the development of the disease in Singapore, Myanmar, Brunei and Cambodia. India’s Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) has also suspended temporarily imports of broodstock from EMS-infected regions.

Rise in farm gate prices The impending shrimp shortage in international markets was evident at the end of 2012 and accentuated when Thailand announced outbreaks in the eastern provinces in early 2013. De-

spite this, international buyers were still optimistic on the supply situation until March 2013, when they were ready to replenish stocks. The realization of a long term supply shortage led to increases in offer prices to match local prices. Since July 2013, prices have escalated. The White Shrimp Index (Urner Barry) rose from USD$4.5/ lb. in July to USD$6/lb. in December 2013. The high cost of raw materials forced the closure of some processing plants. Operations resumed when international offer prices kept up with local prices.

Higher costs Throughout the region, producers lament the higher costs of production. In farms affected by EMS, cost increases range from 20-30% because of low survival rates. However, as farm gate prices increase, these compensate for lower survival rates in terms of better margins. To reduce risks, it is now common for producers to harvest at 100/kg and 120/kg. Furthermore, with the exception of China, from September 2013, most countries in Asia experienced currency depreciation. The main effect was on the cost of feeds which began in November 2013 when some feed companies announced increases in feed prices because of higher costs of raw materials. Less black tiger shrimp Production estimates in 2013 showed decline in the production of black tiger shrimp. However, the availability

of specific pathogen free (SPF) post larvae is encouraging some farmers to farm Penaeus monodon black tiger shrimp, such as in Malaysia. Although in Vietnam EMS affected both Litopenaeus vannamei and P. monodon, anecdotal data elsewhere showed that no EMS infections were reported for black tiger shrimp. In Thailand, SPF black tiger shrimp post larvae from the Shrimp Genetic Center in Songkhla were used to co-culture with red tilapia in lined tanks using Biofloc.

China Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s official data indicates a total production of 1.5 million MT of white shrimp in 2012, comprising 690,747 MT in freshwater ponds and 762,494 MT in marine ponds. This is higher than the estimate of 1.3 million given by industry for white shrimp production (620,000 MT in freshwater and 680,000 MT in marine ponds). Nevertheless, a common estimate by some members of the feed industry is a 30% reduction for 2013 production. They have olso predicted higher production in 2014. In 2013, low survival rates were reported in the main shrimp culture areas such as Hainan, Guangxi, Fujian and Guangdong. However, farms in Zhanjiang, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Liaoning provinces were still successful. Some remedies against EMS include polyculture with fish, use of fermented shrimp feed and low density stocking combined with good management of ponds. Not all crop failures were a result of EMS. A survey showed that

in Zhanjiang, about 85% of farmers had crop failures attributed to erratic climatic changes such as typhoons, continuous rains, and wet weather in April to May. Industry also attributes the high mortality of shrimp on poor quality postlarvae.

Vietnam An industry estimate for 2013 was 273,000 MT of white shrimp L. vannamei, an increase of 50% over 2012 production. White shrimp is farmed intensively at a density of 120-150 PL/m2 in the north and central regions, to 80-100 PL/m2 in the south and western region. Industry reported that farmers in the central region are faring better than their counterparts in the south, such that the former can culture to the target size. In the south, harvest size is usually 100/kg. In the early part of the year, there was a mild increase in the number of ponds resuming operations but towards the second part of the year, there was a large increase in the number of ponds operating. Farmers have reduced stocking density to 50-80 PL/m2 and with colder weather, at the end of the year, this will be decreased further to 60 PL/m2. Other steps to ensure success include the use of pond probiotics and only one harvest, replacing partial harvesting. Some of the steps taken to resume production include the use of selected or quality PLs, better pond and water management and use of pond probiotics. Polyculture with fish is limited. Âť 45

ASIAN report

Indonesia High shrimp prices fuelled resumption of culture activities in abandoned ponds. Industry has estimated a production of 400,000 MT in 2013, with white shrimp comprising 250-280,000 MT. Two programs also contributed to the rise in L. vannamei shrimp production: the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Affairs started the revitalization of shrimp ponds since 2012 and the “vannamei village” project initiated by PT Central Proteinaprima (CP Prima), Indonesia’s largest integrator. The vannamei village program resuscitated abandoned ponds, initially with “traditional plus” systems (stocking density at 20 PL/m2). With consistent harvests, farmers increase stocking density to 60-80 PL/m2 with partial harvesting. In 2013, production at CP Prima’s shrimp farms was estimated at 40,000 MT. Culture success may be due to changes in culture technology, biosecurity measures and health management with the assistance of 15 diagnostic laboratories throughout the archipelago and 34 planned laboratories at the provincial level. High density culture with zero water ex-

Shrimp samples. Malaysia.

46 »

change in small cement ponds, complete with a waste siphoning system, is popular.

India The surge in shrimp farming in 2013 will increase production of L. vannamei shrimp to 300,000 MT, according to the industry. In 2012, production volume was high at 180,000 MT. In 2013, it was apparent that P. monodon shrimp had lost its position as the leading species with almost 95% of production of white shrimp in the main shrimp production states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Black tiger shrimp farming is now concentrated in Gujarat, Bengal and Orissa. In 2012, production continued over the winter months (November to February) and farmers reported good harvests. However, this was not the case in 2013, as there have been reports of shrimp mortality which led to the suspicion of EMS affecting India. But industry sources concurred that it could be more WSSV rather than EMS. Nevertheless, the controversy over EMS in India is still there. “These high year-end mortalities will actually decide production in 2014,” said an industry stakeholder. The culture seasons are February to mid-June and then July to October. Hatcheries usually stop operations in November. The worry is that farmers risk culture failures in November by using poor quality postlarvae. There is still a need to bridge the gap between demand and supply of postlarvae. Malaysia In 2013, a further 40% drop in production to less than 40,000 MT was expected by the industry. The general pattern with EMS in Malaysia is that older farms have been more susceptible, such as those in Sitiawan in central Peninsular Malaysia. However, production estimates in 2013 indicated that in Sabah, farms fared better than those in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. Sabah contributed nearly 25% of the total production. The loss in production is also compensated by

Table 1 Comparison of farm gate prices for L. vannamei shrimp (January 2014, size 70/kg). Size 70/kg (14 g) Country China* Thailand Vietnam Indonesia Malaysia Philippines

USD/kg 4,9 7,8 8,5 6,9 8.2-8.5 6.3-5-6.4

*December 2013 price in Ghangzhou

several new farms which in 2013 contributed almost 20,000 MT. Producers are adopting various methods to recover from EMS. These include reducing stocking density, polyculture with tilapia or sea bass, nursery culture of postlarvae, a higher level of biosecurity and improvements in culture management.

Philippines There has been a rapid change in white shrimp farming in the Philippines. Production is expected to be 18,000 MT in 2013 and in 2014, industry expects this to double. The leading hatchery company expanded to five hatcheries in Bohol, Cebuy, General Santos, Negros and Luzon and have planned for two more in 2014 to meet demand. Some leading producers are expanding farming areas. White shrimp culture has reached the once dominant black tiger shrimp farming regions, Negros and General Santos, with almost 80-90% of farms shifting to the former. In Negros, some farms culture both species at ratios such as 80:20 (P. monodon: L. vannamei). In Cebu Island, Professor Valeriano Corre, University of Philippines Visayas is introducing Biofloc culture as well as the use of immunostimulants as part of the R&D under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The culture season is from late April to October/November but may be extended to year round with lined ponds. *Original article: Merican, Zuridah. Marine Shrimp in Asia in 2013. Aquaculture Asia Pacific, Vol. 10-1. January-February, 2014.

» 47


Marel Introduces the Next Generation of Whitefish Processing Lines


he bones in whitefish are notoriously difficult to locate and remove, and the process traditionally requires a lot of skilled labor. The automation of this process with FleXicut is therefore set to reshape the whitefish industry, as it not only reduces the need for skilled labor, but also greatly improves product handling and yields.

Automation Set to Improve Yield and Product Quality FleXicut incorporates two critical processing steps in one machine; locating the pinbones precisely, and cutting/ trimming to remove the bones. The equipment consists of high resolution X-ray detection, image control, and a water-jet cutting mechanism for removing pinbones. “Determining the orientation of the bones is critical to improving the yield,” Marel’s Director of Product Development Kristjan Hallvardsson explains. Cutting out less flesh on the V-cut will leave more on the loin. “At present, 6-10% of the fillet is removed manually by the V-cut to take out the pinbones. The goal is to achieve as much as 2-4% improvement in yield, which represents significant added value for our customers.” Marel has more than 30 years’ experience in the fish processing industry and has built on its extensive expertise in portioning, X-ray, and robot technology to develop the FleXicut. This innovative trimming robot uses 48 »

Whitefish processing is about to take a giant leap forward, with the launch of Marel’s FleXicut, a trimming robot for high precision bone detection and removal.

the latest X-ray technology to locate the pinbones with high accuracy, and then remove them. By using water-jets for the bone removal process, which is more flexible than blade cutting, the FleXicut can perform a variety of cutting patterns, and the angle cutting option allows it to follow the curved lines of the bone frame very closely, thereby further reducing pinbone material. This means significant yield gains in the loin – the most valuable part of the fish.

The automation of the process enables processors to produce bonefree products with virtually no manual handling and introduce new products such as skin-on loins and baby fillets. An important feature of Marel’s FleXicut is that the X-ray scanning and water-jet cutting is performed on the same belt. This unique feature means that there is no risk of movement between the bone-detection and cutting processes, which ensures a superb level of cutting accuracy based on the bone location. An additional feature

is the built-in blade cutter, to optionally cut the tail piece.

Transforming the Fish Industry Time and Again The FleXicut is the first tangible output of an ongoing project called APRICOT (Automatic Pinbone Removal In COd and whiTefish) – a collaboration between Marel, Sintef, Norway Seafoods, and Faroe Origin. It is based on detailed research on the raw material and processing techniques, using the very latest of Marel’s technological solutions. Since Marel introduced its first flowline in 1992, the company has set out to deliver constant improvements to fish processing performance. With the FleXicut, Marel has achieved this goal once more. “We regard FleXicut as the first step towards a new generation of whitefish processing concepts,” says Hallvardsson. “The automatic bone removal will clearly reduce processing time and have an impact on the overall design of the processing hall, including improvements in the packing process.” “In the near future, the FleXicut will clearly become a main element in many of our customers’ processing lines. The concept responds to the industry’s need to deliver higher quality, higher value, bone-free products with

FlexiCut cutting

FlexiCut cuts

higher levels of precision, automation, and flexibility. These priorities are also chosen because they will ultimately provide the fastest return on investment, while additional payback will also result from increased quality and greater product variety.” Although it’s expected that the most interest in the FleXicut will initially come from plants with higher

production volume, Hallvardsson stresses that the development will open new possibilities for operations of all sizes, including smaller and more specialized processing companies: “Flexibility is a key component of our new processing concepts, and some elements of the line can also be useful as stand-alone solutions in both fresh and frozen fish processing. The FleXicut may provide the breakthrough that will enable whitefish processors to keep their processing close to source, while remaining competitive; instead of shipping fish to countries with cheaper labor costs. It will be exciting to see how the FleXicut begins changing the nature of whitefish processing, and what implications this will have for the whitefish industry as a whole.

Media inquiries: Stella Björg Kristinsdóttir, Marketing Manager Fish Industry Tel: +354 825 8205, e-mail:

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the Best Seafood Wrap in the Industry MicrobeGuard® FoodTouch® antimicrobial paper products are the first Active Packaging products available for the Seafood Industry.


oodTouch® is a patented technology that helps extend the shelf life of fresh fish for days. It keeps the fish color bright and the texture firm while in storage and transportation The product’s active properties are a natural way to keep seafood fresher longer. They are superior and outperform the non-active papers or films currently in use in the industry. FoodTouch® is an intelligently designed component product, consisting of natural kraft (cardboard) paper, a moisture-resistant coating, permanently embedded natural silver particles in the surface and an indented surface texture.

Anti-microbial Silver The active ingredient of the antimicrobial agent in MicrobeGuard® Antimicrobial Papers is silver zeolite which is a carrier that dispenses silver metal ions in a controlled release over time. Silver disrupts microbe growth by interrupting RNA replications that are needed for the organisms to reproduce. The silver zeolite component of MicrobeGuard® Antimicrobial Papers is FDA listed under the food contact substance notification and is 50 »

USDA listed as maintained by NSF International. It’s odorless, colorless and tasteless. The FoodTouch® line of products can be implemented within all operational procedures. Their many uses include: storage tub liners, interleave between stacked layers and wrap for all fish species, among many others.

About MicrobeGuard® MicrobeGuard® Antimicrobial paper products are the ideal solution to address the growing bacteria contamination problem in the many situations where it exists. They can be customized to meet any specific

industry needs. Its manufacturing process is flexible and uses a wide variety of components to create a tailored product of a different color or a paper substrate, or customized size. This provides MicrobeGuard® with a multi-dimensional, robust market opportunity that directly addresses the social consciousness of the public and the ability to influence the bottom line of businesses. Products are sold in nine countries and are the only anti-microbial paper brand of their kind in the worldwide market. To learn more about FoodTouch®, and to request samples, visit

» 51


AMINODat® Aqua essential database for aqua-feeds producers By K. Masagounder, D. Sangsue, C. Figueredo-Silva, C. K. Girish, and R. Payne


owever, increases in prices of ingredients such as fish meal and oil, along with a limited supply, put food producers under enormous pressure. This threat created the need the search for more advanced nutrition and alternative ingredients to maintain a profitable and competitive industry. It’s widely recognized that feeds’ quality is largely determined by how well they can meet the nutritional needs of their targeted species. For this to be possible, it is essential to know the exact nutritional profile of the ingredients used. It is also know that all aquaculture species have specific requirements for each amino acid, similar to land animals such as cattle, poultry and pigs. The value of any protein source is therefore determined by its amino acids profile; however the amino acid content of many ingredients typically used in aquaculture feed industry is still limited.

AMINODat® Aqua Evonik Industries, with over 50 years of technical development in amino 52 »

The aqua-feeds industry is growing at a rate of 11% per year in order to withstand the constant progress of aquaculture. acids use and analysis, provides the latest information on the amino acid content of ingredients used in the animal feed industry. Every 5 years, the data generated are compiled and published as AMINODat®. Although AMINODat® is considered the major reference source for amino acid concentrations of the main ingredients used in poultry and pigs feeds, it doesn’t include some of the specific raw materials for aqua industry (e.g. algae, krill meal, squid liver meal and shrimp head meal). To comply with this, Evonik has recently developed AMINODat® Aqua. AMINODat® Aqua contains over 100 ingredients and the analysis of 9,000 amino acids. Along with the average value of each individual amino acid, AMINODat® Aqua also provides minimum and maximum values of each amino acid, as well as the variation coefficient, and the number of samples analyzed for each ingredient (Table 1). Besides, ingredients have been classified under the categories such as cereals, cereal by-products, flour and oil, animal by-products, amino acids, fodder,

dairy by-products, and other (miscellaneous), as well as by continents or regions of origin and country of usage in certain cases. AMINODat® Aqua allows the user to rank the ingredients according to the contents of a particular amino acid, essentialnon essential amino acids ratio, lysine

content in crude protein and the relationship between amino acids in each ingredient. Additionally, this program provides other options such as imports, exports and creation of new ingredients. Finally, the nutritionist can evaluate each diet based on the amino acids content by using the “ration evaluation” tool. Table 2 shows an example using three diets for Pangasius. Diet 1 meets the expected levels of amino acids when the amino acids mean content of fish meal is used (<60% as shown on Table 1). However, when amino acids levels in fish meal divert to their minimum (Diet 2), or maximum (Diet 3), contents of each amino acid are deficient (Diet 2) or exceeding (Diet 3) compared to the expected value. AMINODat® Aqua provides some key benefits for the aquaculture industry. First, it’s a reference for nutritional content (amino acids, crude protein) of the most important raw materials in fish nutrition. Second, it provides average amino acid content and the variation extent they present. This information can be used to define the value of a particular ingredient, thus guiding purchase decisions and formulations. Third, the classification of ingredients allows the nutritionist to make ease, quick comparisons by getting precise data about specific ingredients from certain regions or sources. Finally, the “ration evaluation” tool allows nutritionists to quickly assess how they rate their diets compared to their targeted levels, leading them to a more consistent and predictable performance. In conclusion, AMINODat® Aqua is a unique tool that provides valuable information about the amino acid contents of raw materials. This information can be used by aquaculture feed producers in order to improve the quality and profitability of their production chain. » 53





A complete solution for hatchery facilities One of the greatest challenges for aquatic hatcheries and nurseries involves quantifying standing biomass and feed densities in culture systems.


nventory evaluation has traditionally relied on imprecise sampling methods, while the use of more modern automated systems is typically limited by sample size. Inability to accurately monitor and track inventories can ultimately result in significant financial losses and overall inefficiency. It is important in any aquaculture enterprise to conduct precise enu54 Âť

meration throughout the production cycle in order to monitor inventories and manage feeding practices efficiently. Both of these factors directly impact the profitability of any aquaculture business. Algae and other aquatic invertebrates are also often used in ecotoxicology studies. Their cultures in laboratories are expensive and time consuming for researchers to

maintain. One of the most difficult production tasks is to quantify the organismsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; density and their feed requirements (ex: microalgae and Artemia). One method that is commonly used to estimate the number of aquatic organisms in a sample, whether under hatchery or laboratory conditions, is the manual counting of subsamples and subsequent extrapolation of the

total number of specimens from the results. This method usually necessitates several hours of counting and often requires considerable dilutions of the samples, which can greatly affect the variability of the results.

juveniles of species such as shrimp, micro-algae, Artemia, rotifers and even biofloc particulate, in addition to certain water quality parameters.

XperCountTM Technical Characteristics A new tool for all counting needs XperCountTM has been evaluated in XpertSea Solutions Inc., founded in public and private institutions in more Canada in 2009, has developed the than 20 countries around the world. XperCountTM counter. This device It has proven to be a rugged instruallows producers and researchers to ment, since its internal electronic count eggs, nauplii, postlarvae and components are specially treated to resist the marine environment. The XperCountTM has a 10-liter capacity, allowing producers to count hundreds of organisms in just a few minutes. This allows for estimates with up to 95% precision for most aquaculture species. Additionally, the speed with which samples can be processed reduces the stress that organisms might normally be exposed to during enumeration. In one trial conducted with the Aquarium du Quebec, Artemia (brine shrimp) nauplii and Pacific white shrimp larvae were used as test ani-

mals to compare the performance of the XperCountTM with more traditional enumeration methods. After initial samples of Artemia nauplii were enumerated with the device, three 10ml subsamples were taken for manual counting. This procedure was repeated for 20 different dilutions of Artemia nauplii. Shrimp larvae densities were estimated using 5-, 10-, or 15liter samples, with six replicates per sample volume. Results are presented in Tables 1 and 2. The technology developed by XpertSea does not require any image treatment, nor any external processing. The XperCountTMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hardware consists mainly of optical and electronic components. Measurements taken by the device are developed into algorithms, with a software program specifically conceived for this operation. Once the algorithms are developed, they are transferred to an interface where they are transformed into counting programs. The latter are sent to the user via the Internet and can be downloaded onto the Xper-

Âť 55


CountTM with an SD card. Then, the user can count the aquatic organisms with the device. Several counting programs can be downloaded onto one XperCountTM.

Commercial application of the technology When XpertSea sells an XperCountTM unit, the transaction generally involves 3 important components: various and/or multiple counting capabilities, an on-site implementation visit, and associated consulting services to maximize the utility of the equipment. Multiple Units With any piece of hatchery equipment, biosecurity considerations become very important if a device will be used throughout an entire facility. Hatchery facilities with three separate counting units can configure the most efficient inventory monitoring and control systems, while maintaining strict biosecurity within various units and maintaining continuous and precise estimates for each lot of animals.

On-site implementation visits XpertSea wants its technicians to understand the operations of every farm or hatchery in order to develop in-house protocols to complement established management practices. Over the course of a 3-4 day visit, XpertSea technicians will evaluate typical inventory and management

practices and design updated practices incorporating the new equipment. Personnel will be trained in the use of all new equipment in such a way as to limit interruption of normal production operations. A wide variety of applications can be accommodated (Table 3).

Consulting experience XpertSea has unique experience in experimental design and statistical analysis. Clients will be provided with 20 hours of free consulting for analysis of production processes, experimental design to evaluate the impacts of changes in population density on survival and growth, impacts of changes in feed management on health, or other topics. Improved inventory monitoring and control can permit producers to recoup their investment in a matter of weeks. Accordingly, XpertSea offers a trial period of 60 days for producers to use and evaluate the equipment. If during this time the XperCountTM equipment fails to meet expectations, it can be returned for a full refund. To obtain more information about this product, contact us at: Email: Skype: xpertsea

56 Âť

» 57


Farming of Atlantic salmon a success story

As briefly described in my first column, the global production of By Asbjørn Bergheim*


he biggest producers are Norway and Chile, harvesting roughly 1.2 million and 370,000 tons last year, respectively. Other major producing regions are Canada (especially in British Columbia), Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Tasmania. Salmon farming also takes place in Ireland and the northeastern USA. Additionally, construction of advanced onshore

58 »

Atlantic salmon is approaching 2 million tons per year.

farms for salmon production is being planned in other parts of the world, even outside of temperate zones. The remarkable growth of this sector has mainly occurred over the last 30 years and has been made possible by comprehensive research activities within different disciplines, such as breeding, development of medications to control diseases and parasites, improved feed and feeding

controls, and technological progress in general. An obvious contribution to the industry’s progress is the continually accumulating experience and expertise of the staff operating salmon farms throughout the world. In the 1980’s, the average time from egg stage until harvest was 3–4 years for salmon stocked in sea cages as 1- or 2-year old smolt of 30–80 g and harvested after 18–30 months of grow-out at sea. Today’s production of 5 kg salmon takes about 2–2.5 years altogether based on stocking of so-called 0-year smolt (at an age of 7–9 months) in cages. Use of heated water and light manipulation, systematic vaccinations, size grading, etc. in smolt farms have strongly contributed to a more efficient production. In terms of biomass produced, some 5% can be attributed to the onshore smolt farms, while the major part, 95%, occurs in cages in fjords and coastal waters. Farms are often concentrated in certain regions, such as Chiloé Island–Pt. Montt in Chile and in Canada along the western coast and eastern straits/sounds of Vancouver Island and in the Bay of Fundy. These locations primarily reflect both favorable climates and topography. Along the Norwegian coastline and fjords, farms are spread from the temperate zone in

Total cage farm Area: 489 km2

Typical salmon cage volume increases from 1990 (< 1,000 m3) to 2010 (> 65,000 m3).

the southwest to Finnmark and the Russian boarder in the subarctic zone. Cage farms for production of salmon have evolved into huge systems of 60,000–80,000 m3 with circumferences of roughly 150 m and nets as deep as 30–40 m. In contrast, cages of less than 1,000 m3 were common two to three decades ago. In today’s operations, the biomass may be up to 1,000 tons of salmon per cage before harvest and underwater conditions are managed through the use of submerged cameras, sensors for monitoring dissolved oxygen, and other specialized equipment. More and more smolt producing farms are being converted from single flow-through configurations to recirculating systems (RAS). By introducing RAS technology, the systems are greatly improved, and characterized by reduced water consumption, better growth and feed utilization, and removal of effluent waste. All new Chilean smolt farms since 2010 have been based on RAS and this same trend is apparent in all salmon producing countries. In fact, all smolt farms in the Faroe Islands are closed RAS facilities. Smolt production in lake cages, formerly a common practice in Scotland and Chile, is no longer considered sustainable.

About 50% of production costs in most salmon farms are accounted for in feed purchases. In Norway, feed consumption was reduced from about 3 kg in 1980 to slightly over 1 kg per kg of salmon production by the late 1990’s. This improved feed utilization was made possible by better feed quality, higher lipid and energy content and better feeding management. This advance was of vital importance to economic results and to greatly reduced waste emissions. Similar developments have taken place in the other salmon producing countries. However, this promising aquaculture sector has experienced some significant ups and downs over the years. Such progress cannot take place without occasional difficulties which must be solved or at least diminished. Disease problems in Norwegian salmon aquaculture in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s represented real set-backs, with high mortality rates and use of antibiotics before new vaccines were launched to efficiently target specific disease organisms. The massive problems experienced in 1991–92 are still characterized as the ‘crisis of Norwegian aquaculture.’ Similarly, Chile experienced massive outbreaks of Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) some years ago. And while production volumes were greatly reduced, the Chilean industry has demonstrated an impressive comeback, increasing its harvest of Atlantic salmon three times from 2010 till 2012. Other existing and potential problems for the industry include parasite attacks, sea lice and amoebic gill disease, greatly impacting cage operations in several countries and also representing risks to wild stocks of salmon and trout.

*Asbjørn Bergheim. e-mail:

Dr. AsbjØrn Bergheim is a senior researcher in the Dept. of Marine Environment at the International Research Institute of Stavanger. His fields of interest within aquaculture are primarily water quality vs. technology and management in tanks, cages and ponds, among others.

» 59

Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing

The Three Pillars of

Financial Success for Aquaculture Businesses Profitability is what most people think of first when the topic of economics arises. Clearly, the profitability of one’s aquaculture business is important to its success.

By Carole R. Engle*


owever, more businesses fail due to cash flow or problems related to the business’s financial position than due to issues strictly of its profitability. Farmers as a group tend to focus more on the production aspects of their farm business than on its financial aspects. Aquaculture producers similarly tend to be more interested in the performance of the fish and shellfish raised and less so in the financial performance of the business. Successful aquaculture businesses must pay close attention to the cash

The three pillars of financial success.

60 »

flow and financial position of the business in equal proportion to its profitability. Weaknesses in any of these three pillars of financial success can cause the business to fail. Cash flow, financial position, and profitability, while related, are each measured, interpreted, and analyzed differently. The types of interventions needed to avoid or strengthen weaknesses in each of the three are also distinct for each. Insufficient cash flow is a common cause of failure of aquaculture businesses. This is particularly true for new, startup businesses. A busi-

ness can be profitable but yet fail due to cash flow problems. Cash flow is different from profitability in that it measures only how cash moves through the business, not how much capital remains after subtracting expenses from revenue (profits). Cash flows into the business (as revenue) every time product is sold. Cash flows out of the business every time bills are paid to cover the expenses of the business. Outflows of cash occur throughout the production process as feed bills, utility bills and employees are paid, and loan payments made. However, revenues are received only when product is sold. For many types of aquaculture businesses, revenue may generate inflows of cash only during certain times of the year. For example, a catfish farmer raising hybrid catfish in single-batch production will have marketable-sized catfish to sell only in the fall. However, feed, utility, and other bills will all need to be paid from March through the fall harvest period. Other types of businesses may be structured in a way that product is sold throughout the year. These differences will result in very different patterns of cash flow. The key is to manage cash flow to ensure that all bills and loan payments are paid when due. Clearly, a business that cannot pay its bills is not a strong business. Cash flow is best monitored with a monthly cash flow budget. Cash outflows are itemized by line item and

expenses recorded for each month. Cash inflows from the sale of product are also recorded in each month. The dollar amount of cash outflow for each month is subtracted from the dollar amount of revenue generated in each month to determine whether there is a cash surplus (more revenue than expenses in that month) or a deficit (not enough cash to pay all bills in that month). A cash deficit for the month must be corrected quickly for the business to remain in good standing with its bank, feed company, utility company, other vendors, and employees. The businessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s operating loan can be structured to cover the projected cash deficits. The farm manager should take time each month to compare actual revenue, cash expenses, and surpluses or deficits with those projected. If the actual cash flow begins to deviate (in the direction of greater deficits) from that projected, then adjustments need to be made as quickly as possible. Financial position is the second pillar of financial success for an aquaculture business. Financial position refers to the value of financial assets of the business as compared to its debts, or liabilities. It compares the dollar value of what is owned by the business with what is owed. Clearly, financial position is quite distinct from cash flow and also from profitability. It answers several important questions for the business, such as: 1) Can the business take on additional debt or is its debt load already too high? 2) If the business were to be sold, would its sale result in enough capital to be able to pay off its debts? Financial position is measured from the balance sheet, also referred to as a statement of finances. All assets of the business are itemized with estimated dollar values as are all loans and debt payments. Lenders often use the balance sheet to assess the businessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capacity to take on more debt when deciding whether to grant loan requests. The balance sheet can be used to calculate a series of useful financial

indicators. One of the most important is the debt-to-asset ratio that is calculated by dividing the total value of liabilities by the total value of assets. Debt-to-asset ratios that exceed 100% indicate that the business is carrying too much debt relative to its assets and is in a very weak financial position. A very strong financial position is reflected by a debt-to-asset ratio that is less than about 45%. Excessively high debt-to-asset ratios can be lowered by making additional payments on outstanding loan principals. A manager can use the debt-to-asset ratio to make decisions about taking out additional loans. For example, with a debt-to-asset ratio of 80%, it would be wise to wait a few years before borrowing additional funds for a new building or to renovate ponds. Once the business pays down enough principal to bring the debt-to-asset ratio down to 40%, the additional borrowing for productivity-enhancing investments can be made with much less financial risk. The last pillar of financial success is that of profitability. The financial statement used to measure profitability for the year is referred to as an income or profit and loss statement. It includes all revenue generated and itemizes all expenses, including noncash expenses such as depreciation on equipment, buildings, and other facilities (i.e., ponds, cages, raceways, etc.). Net farm income is the measure of profitability calculated on the income statement. In summary, the successful aquaculture business manager pays close attention to: 1) cash flow; 2) financial position; and 3) profitability to ensure that all three pillars of financial success remain strong. The next column will present a checklist of farm financial health that can be used to prioritize adjustments to strengthen those aspects of the farm business that demonstrate the greatest weaknesses. *Please do not hesitate to send your questions and suggestions for future columns at

Dr. 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 is the Editor-in-Chief of Aquaculture Economics and Management.

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Hatchery Technology and Management

Rotifer culture

finding a perfect diet to feed rotifers This editionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s article aims to give practical recommendations when By Cecilia C. Vargas*


he culture of high nutritional value live food (e.g. microalgae, rotifers, Artemia and copepods) and their production on a predictable basis are crucial to enhance the production of high quality fry and larvae, a key target for a successful expansion of the aquaculture industry. Thus, aspects


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choosing rotifer growth diets. such as water treatment, equipment and automation, tank size, culture techniques (batch, semi-continuous, continuous, water recirculation) as well as growth and enrichment products are all important to consider during production planning. The availability of large quantities of rotifers, such as Brachionus plicatilis

and Brachionus rotundiformes, has contributed to the successful production of at least 60 marine finfish species and 16 species of crustaceans. Although major efforts are focused on the production of improved artificial diets, they still are generally no match for live food in terms of acceptance, nutritional profiles and other factors. The production of large quantities of rotifers on a predictable basis is a major problem for most marine hatcheries. The diet provided for rotifers appears to be the key element in their mass production. Thus, the selection of an adequate growth diet for rotifer culture is essential and will depend primarily on nutritional profiles and stability in the water column. In addition, logistical aspects such product shelf life and storage temperature may guide you to choose between fresh algal paste, frozen algal paste or powdered diets. There are several available products for production and enrichment of rotifers (see www.hatcheryfeed. com) and all of them assure high nutritional values, as well as stable and clean cultures from day to day. So, choosing an optimal diet for rotifer production may become more of an academic exercise than a real problem. However, an analysis of the


aspects involved in live food culture can help you to choose the diet that best suits the production plan at your hatchery. 1) Although there is no standard design for rotifer cultivation systems, producers tend to use their own approach according to factors such as biomass to be produced per production cycle and the water supply and flow capacity of the live food production facility. It is worth noting that efficient water treatment (filtration and disinfection methods) is crucial for the stability of a rotifer culture system. Furthermore, depending on the water volume available, one can operate culture systems with continuous water flow (20% or higher water exchange per day) or with much lower water demands, such as recirculation systems. Higher water exchange can help to keep optimal oxygen levels but will require higher doses of feed. 2) The oxygen supply to your culture system will affect the stability of production, as will the feeding regime (batch, continuously feeding). It is important to keep in mind that yeast-based products consume more oxygen than algae-based products. Batch feeding (a number of discreet meals each day supplied to culture tanks) causes drops in oxygen lev-

els throughout the culture system, which in turn can lead to crashes if the system lacks automatic oxygen monitoring and control. 3) However, and last but not least, the hatchery staff is also an important factor to be considered. The culture of rotifers is still far from being automated, making the process very dependent on the people rearing them, and increasing the probability of a crash when the most experienced culturists are absent. For hatcheries with little experienced personnel, it is recommended to run simple culture systems like batch cultures and to feed rotifers on products that are easy to prepare and dose. These practices help with avoiding abrupt drops in oxygen levels. I personally have had good results with inexperienced staff rearing rotifers on algal products while avoiding culture crashes. Once a hatchery has developed highly skilled and experienced personnel they should be able to culture rotifers on virtually any available diet.

*Cecilia C. Vargas. e-mail:

Cecilia Campos Vargas is currently taking the 3rd and last PhD year at the University of Nordland in BodĂ&#x2DC;, Norway. She has many years of experience in production of aquatic species like rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, Japanese species, cod and live feed production.

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Aquaculture Engineering

Thoughts on

Oxygen in Aquaculture When anyone starts increasing the production of aquatic animals, one of the first problems that must be overcome is often related to oxygen By Dallas Weaver*


R=KLaαC*-CV Where R is the rate of oxygen entering the water (kg/hr.) and KLa is the mass transfer coefficient (1/hr.) for the device being considered. C* and C are the equilibrium oxygen concentration (kg/m3) with the gas being used and the concentration in the water, respectively. V (m3) is the volume. The alpha term (α) is effectively a fudge factor to account for water pollutants that can impact the mass transfer rates. The efficiency of most purchased aeration devices is described by a The basics of gas/liquid mass standardized test procedure resulttransfer (aeration) ing in a SAE (standardized aeration All these gas/liquid mass transfer efficiency – 20ºC, 1 atm, clean water) systems are described by similar type as kg of O2/KWH of energy input equations, with the most common and the standard oxygen transfer rate representation of the oxygen transfer (SOTR) presented as Kg of O2/hr. rate being: ore gas/liquid mass transfer capacity is required to add oxygen as fast as it is being utilized. A variety of aeration or gas/liquid mass transfer system can be employed to add oxygen to the water. The details are too complex to consider all types of aquaculture systems, so I have excluded systems that include algae and photosynthesis in this discussion, focusing instead on recycle aquaculture systems and high intensity flow through system.

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being only slightly soluble in water. In the real world of aquaculture, the operating oxygen levels in the water are greater than half of the equilibrium value, so the real oxygen transfer rate will be less than half the amount advertised at standard conditions of zero oxygen, and the actual energy per kg of oxygen will be twice the amount. In waste water alpha’s have been shown to range from 0.25 to 0.95. In the late 70’s, I did a series of experiments to determine the alpha (α) of recycled aquaculture water. It turned out that small amounts of fish feed of all types tested had a dramatic effect on alpha, giving values in the 0.5 range for packed column, diffused air and mechanical aeration systems in fresh water. In recycle aquaculture systems where the oxygen is added to

the culture tank, the observed oxygen decrease in the water is both the alpha effect and metabolic effects. In recycle systems where the oxygen transfer occurs after a high performance water treatment system, such as fine media fluidized bed biofilters, the offending impurities from the feed are eliminated. There is remarkably little in the scientific literature about alpha, feed impacts and system design interactions on the oxygen transfer rates, costs and system dynamics. An obvious way to increase the oxygen transfer rate is to use pure O2 with a C* almost 5 times that of using air. With a normal C of 0.1 atm partial pressure, we obtain about 9 times the transfer rate with pure O2 relative to using air.

Oxygen demand of the system The demand for oxygen in the system depends upon oxygen consumption by both the fish and the balance of the ecology (biofilters, sludge deposits, biofilms on surfaces, etc.). This demand is temperature dependent and can increase by factors of 2 to 3 for a 10ºC temperature increase (often referred to as Q10). When fish are fed, their metabolism increases to provide the energy for eating and digesting. This increase above the resting metabolism rate is often referred to as specific dynamic action (SDA) and can be 10 to 15% of the energy of the food being consumed. Depending upon the species and how long since the last feeding, the SDA can double the oxygen consumption rate of fish. In addition, when fish eat, they produce waste that feeds the biofilters and microbiological ecology of the system, further increasing the oxygen demand. System design considerations Given all the above factors that can drastically change both the oxygen demand and/or the effective oxygen mass transfer capacity, we have to consider the dynamics of the system. For high intensity systems the ratio

of actual amount of oxygen (gm/m3) in the water relative to the consumption rate (gm/hr./m3) can result in response times of changes in alpha or demand in the minutes to hour range. The mass transfer system must be designed to prevent the oxygen concentration in the culture tank from going below a minimum amount with all non-air breathing animals, even while the demand and mass transfer rates may be rapidly changing by factors of 2 or more. Therefore, the oxygen transfer rate (OTR) of the system must be based upon the maximum oxygen demand at maximum load. The average demand is almost irrelevant for design purposes. To further understand the required oxygen transport capacity we need to keep in mind that the ability of fish to eat and grow depends upon the oxygen partial pressure, with the maximum at oxygen levels near air saturation. This can create a situation where an undersized aeration system allows feeding to decrease the oxygen levels in the water, via alpha and SDA effects, slowing the animals’ maximum growth rate, and simultaneously increasing the feed bill by increasing food conversion ratios (FCR’s). With feed being the largest cost factor, low oxygen conditions when feeding can be a major economic issue. To handle these dynamics issues, we may need a factor of 2 to 4 or more actual mass transfer capacity than we need for an average level. In the case of air referenced system (C* = equilibrium with air) all that happens is that a lot of the time the oxygen levels in the tank are near saturation and after feeding, etc. the oxygen levels will drop down to your specified minimum. However, the energy cost per kg of oxygen when the water is 90% of saturation is 10 times the SAE estimated value. The dynamics of pure oxygen systems (with C* much greater than air saturation levels) can be very unstable with small changes in demand or alpha. For example, a pure O2 system

operating at a tank oxygen level of 8.0 mg/l and a C* of 40 mg/l has a delta of 32 mg/l. A mere 20% increase in oxygen demand (fish thinking they are going to be fed) will cause the equilibrium tank oxygen level to drop to 1.6 mg/l with a delta of 38.4 mg/l. Operating the oxygen level in the 1520 mg/l range would be more stable and allow a larger demand variation without going to near zero dissolved oxygen (DO), but very high oxygen levels are not good for fish and purchased oxygen will be wasted by leaving the tank surface. The dynamic of oxygen in high intensity systems creates a situation where some sort of feedback control system will be required to minimize either the energy cost of the aeration and/or oxygen wastage on pure oxygen systems. This is especially true as a high percentage of the total oxygen input is from pure oxygen sources and less from air referenced sources. Getting into the details of how to minimize the total energy and oxygen cost requires another column looking at simple off/on controls to computers and PLC running variable speed drives, feeding, monitoring, alarm control systems. *Dallas Weaver. e-mail:

Dr. Dallas Weaver started designing and building closed aquaculture systems in 1973 and worked for several engineering/consulting companies in the fields of air pollution, liquid wastes, and solid wastes until 1980. Today, he’s the Owner/President of Scientific Hatcheries.

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South Florida live

Tilapia Producers Burst on the Scene For U.S. tilapia producers, there is one big question regarding the live tilapia market in this country.

By Mike Picchietti*


his important question is: Will history repeat itself as dramatically as it did in the 1980s when U.S. fillet producers lost their businesses to lower tech, lower cost producers from Central and South America? Once again there is a “north vs. south” competitive dynamic taking place in eastern U.S. live tilapia markets. Although many of the so-called southern producers (in Florida) may speak Span-

ish, their farms and the farmers are in the U.S.A. The U.S. live market is witnessing an explosion of outdoor, lower tech tilapia production taking place on new South Florida farms. Within the last two years, at least 10 to 12 new farms have come on line in South Florida with an annual estimated production of 4 to 5 million pounds (lb.). This is “new” lbs. per year, and it is targeting northern markets. This market is estimated

Aeration is a critical component of the production strategy. Photo courtesy of Aquascapers.

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at 7 to 8 million lbs., principally in New York City and Toronto where the Asian consumer lives. This market and supply has been steady for at least the last 5 years. It has been supplied by 10 to 12 indoor farms up north, ranging from 250,000 lbs. to 3 million lbs. / year. This new production from Florida represents a 50% increase in supply within in a very short period. Unless new markets are developed, there will be an impact in the current market. One large northern recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) facility (million lbs. /year producer)—MinnAqua in Minnesota—has already left the business. Likewise several small farms have also thrown in the towel in South Florida as well, with more to follow. Like most markets experiencing an oversupply, all are feeling the impact and for some it is “the beginning of the end.” It’s clear that 2014 will be a pivotal year in the live tilapia market; only those with staying power will survive when the music stops. Without significant new market development, perhaps within Latin consumer markets, the current Asian American market demand cannot support these supply developments. The phenomenon taking place in South Florida is somewhat bizarre from the standpoint of the speed with which it has taken place and the number of farms involved. Also of interest is how these independent farms

Photo courtesy of Saul Ruiz Martinez

simply “burst on the scene.” Before any market knowledge, production and/or management experience was developed, these investors took the plunge into tilapia farming. One producer explained it was something like a “Cuban style ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ effect.” As one group would put in 20 tanks, the next had to put in 40 and so on.

There is a design model consistent to these farms based on the early pioneers, but operational management has variations in the expected learning curve. There are two clusters of farms, one in the Clewiston area and the other in Homestead. The Clewiston farms are above and in-ground high density polyethylene (HDPE) lined, rectangle units of various sizes

from 20,000 to 150,000 gallon size. Whereas the Homestead farms are above ground, HDPE and/or galvanized round tanks of 20,000 to 30,000 gallon size. One would think that the South Florida farms would have a comparative advantage with the sub-tropical climate being closer to the natural environment of tilapia. Besides climate, South Florida allows for outdoor facilities and potentially lower entrance or facility costs. I believe this “entrance fee” or facility cost to be the most significant aspect influencing and explaining the rush into Florida tilapia farming. It is important to understand this factor in any comparison between the traditional RAS Northern farms and Florida farms. I have estimated facility costs in these operations to be as low as USD$1.50/lb. of fish production per year. Thus a 250,000 lb. per year farm would cost USD$375,000. I believe these lower entrance fees are responsible for the relatively large number of entrepreneurs jumping into this business so quickly. Operational costs (feed, labor, power, freight) have yet to be determined. » 67


New production from Florida represents a 50% increase in supply within in a very short period; unless new markets are developed, there will be an impact in the current market.

In the north, producers have a higher entrance fee, i.e. more expensive facility costs. First, they are indoors, requiring metal buildings to survive the snow loads and cold temps for this tropical fish. The higher indoor building costs forces more intensive production requirements to support a fish biomass load at harvest of 0.5 to 0.8 lbs. of fish per gallon. Second, tighter wastewater treatment

regulations up north require highercost water treatment infrastructure and equipment. These two aspects create an escalating domino impact on facility costs. Traditional RAS require expensive fiberglass or cement tanks, intensive filtration, solids removal (drum filters), plastic media (fluidized beds or trickling filters) with costly substrate to remove toxic ammonia (kaldese, biodeck, beads), pure oxygen gas storage, use and saturation equipment, CO2 strippers, pumps for one to two water exchanges / hr., automated feeding equipment, fossil fuel heating and waste water treatment infrastructure for discharge management. These infrastructure costs, based on personal communications, result in facility costs ranging from USD$4 - 6/lb. of fish production per year. Thus a relatively small farm of 250,000 lb. per year can have an entrance fee cost north of USD$1 million before operational costs come into play. The producers in South Florida, at least for the time being, are able to

A common method of tank construction in the Florida tilapia industry. Photo courtesy of Aquascapers.

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avoid many of these expensive and intensive infrastructure and equipment costs. The climate, water resources and current permit requirements allow them to avoid buildings over their tanks and reduce waste water treatment equipment costs. Accordingly, many of the Florida farms are spread out over several acres of land. So, lower costing tanks using plastic lined ponds (0.20/feet2), hog wire supported HPDE tanks (USD$0.10/ gallon) or galvanized walls are being used. Using more land space outdoors allows for reduced densities (0.10 to 0.25 lb. /gallon at harvest weight). This outdoor land space also should reduce filtration or water treatment facility costs. Until recently, waste water treatment was being managed in large ponds, lined or not, and rock pits for waste water to be removed from the facility by seeping back into the top layers of the aquifer’s water table and/or sprayed over crops. Some Florida farms (in the Homestead area) flush at least 100% per day of new water. A farm in the Clewiston area told me they don’t flush at all, using probiotic bacteria and aeration to manage waste within the ponds. The issue of water reuse is now front and center in the more professional, better financed farms. To remain sustainable, the larger more professional farms are now incorporating recirculation, biofloc, probiotic bacteria, green water management, filtration technology and hybrid combinations of all of these techniques. The trend is toward more recirculation and less new water, so new entrance fee costs will rise. The resource that set the stage for these farms to even exist (at least in Homestead area) is the massive water availability and current low cost for use of the Biscayne aquifer. The Biscayne aquifer is shallow (beginning at 4 feet) and made from highly permeable limestone, allowing for fluid water movement. It spans over 4,000 square miles including Broward, Miami – Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties. Due to the rapid rise of all

Photo courtesy of Saul Ruiz Martinez

these new farms the Florida Division of Aquaculture (DACS) has tightened permit requirements and has recently mandated lined holding or resupply ponds, which forces more water to be recirculated to the grow tanks. These so-called “wastewater aspects” will have a significant impact on the sustainability of these Florida farms and their long term market impacts I do not see any decisive advantage in operational cost parameters for either region. Because of the wide variety of operational management regimes it is impossible to fully analyze these costs today. There are pluses and minuses for both regions, as I will continue to point out in this article. Some Florida farms are selling at a price (farm gate) of USD$1.85 - 2/ lb. and delivering into northern markets below USD$2.45/lb. Whether or not this is a result of lower operating costs, market buy-in strategy, panic selling or unclear accounting of inexperienced operators is yet to be determined. While northern (indoor RAS) producers who have more experience

Climate, water resources and current permit requirements in South Florida allow producers to avoid buildings over their tanks and reduce waste water treatment equipment costs. analyzing their costs tell me they have production costs between USD$1.50 - 1.85/lb. farm gate, freight costs to major markets up north are less. Farm size economies impact facility and operational costs for both sides; northern farms range from 250,000 lbs. / year to 3 million while Florida’s range from 100,000 lbs. to 1.5 million lbs. at this time. Cheaper entrance fees (facility costs) cannot be the sole reason for lower final selling price advantages. At the end of the day, operational costs will come into play. The more established northern farms to some degree own their facilities outright by now. They also have a significant advantage over the Florida farms, not the least of which is experience in delivering quality

product. It takes time and losses to learn the tricks of the trade. The old saying is “you have to kill a lot of fish to learn how to grow (and sell) a lot of fish.” The learning curve has its price! But the Florida producers are learning quickly and the battle lines are being drawn for 2014. Northern, high tech, indoor RAS should have a labor advantage over lower tech extensive systems, at least as far as numbers of employees. One northern producer recently told me that due to attributes of his RAS technology, he is growing 400,000 lbs. per year with only 2.5 employees! The Florida farms use mostly family or lower cost agricultural labor since the area has a large amount of immigrants working in sugar cane or nurs» 69


ery industries, or harvesting America’s vegetables. These employees are cheaper per hour but the farms seem to use more employees than indoor RAS farms to manage the less automated space, lower densities and more expansive layouts in Florida farms. The northern farms have a big advantage in delivered fish freight, being closer to the markets by at least half the distance. Theoretically they should have cheaper delivery costs— not to mention the impact of hauling time (stress) on the quality of the animals arriving in the market. However, some of the outdoor farms in the south have reduced delivery costs and control quality by purchasing their own delivery trucks. In addition they also wisely save on feed, doing a “back haul” of feed from northern mills. Thus, I would estimate that feed is a similar cost for both northern and southern farms (without FCR impact analysis). As for electric power, Georgia, North Carolina and West Virginia have some of the cheapest power costs in the nation—fifth and eighth lowest, at USD$0.06 - $0.075 per

kWh. While Florida is one of the highest in the nation at USD$0.11 – 0.12/kwh i.e., 16% higher than the national average and 50 to 60% higher than the states mentioned. One producer in Homestead told me in his region the kWh rate is as high as USD$0.18! Some northern RAS farms (personal communication) use 1 HP / 5,000 lbs. production / year (85 HP /400,000 lbs./yr.) but

Overhead shade cloths moderate solar intensity and discourage avian predators. Photo courtesy of Aquascapers.

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they also need to buy pure oxygen to support their densities, adding O2 costs of approximately USD$0.10/ lb. of harvested fish. In outdoor Florida farms, blower aeration is the driving power that supports a biomass of 0.10 to 0.25/ lbs. of harvested crop per gallon of tank capacity. They use 1 HP of air blower capacity per 20,000 gallon tank, supporting a harvest of 0.25 lbs. /gallon or 5,000 lbs. at harvest. Plus a 3 HP well pump, delivering 330 gpm at 5 ft. head over 8 tanks of 20,000 gallons/tank to flush water 100% daily. On a kWh basis northern farms have an advantage in lower kWh unit costs but again, Florida’s outdoor and more extensive space eliminates the pure oxygen cost for fish produced. There is high variation in energy costs in Florida farms, considering some farms can flush or dump waste water and others have to clean it up and recirculate it back, i.e. biofloc and green water systems. Bottom line, this cost parameter (kwh/kg fish produced) will vary from farm to farm based on the impact of water use and reuse, discharge permitting issues, land size, densities, management technique and ultimately production technology. This is the area where the promises of RAS will be challenged and the future of in-

South Florida’s farms use cheaper labor but seem to use more employees than indoor RAS farms to manage the less automated space. Also, northern farms should have an advantage in delivered fish freight. dustrial low water use versus natural resource based systems will be forthcoming. Over the last 20 years (since 1992) my company, Aquasafra, Inc., has been a participant of this live industry as the premier tilapia hatchery supplying northern and now southern tilapia farms with hardy, white hybrid tilapia fingerlings. From a fingerling or genetic standpoint in these comparisons, the production data should be equal between north and south, at least relative to genetics impact of these cost comparisons. This article is a preliminary “FYI” or “heads up!” for the developments taking place in the North American live market. A better, more intensive

analysis will occur over time as the farms in Florida learn to marry their natural resource systems with intensive technology to find the most sustainable system. One thing is clear, based on the business culture in South Florida: the farmed tilapia opportunity in this region seems to be appealing to the hands-on entrepreneurial style of Latin immigrants freed from the dictatorial socialist repression. Most of these new Americans are not going to work as yuppie executives for IBM - they have to create their own small and medium businesses. Most new immigrant fish farmers are used to working in small businesses and farms (horticulture, nurseries, etc.). Now they are in a land of opportunity where they can use their own language, practice their own culture and be close to their families. The lower entrance fee of outdoor tilapia culture in the U.S. is attractive and it is impacting the live tilapia supply in northern markets. The older established indoor farms in the north have experience and quality on their side. The cost comparisons are not yet completely clear, so the battle may be about who wants to work for less. Stay tuned! Please feel free to contact me:

Mike Picchietti discovered tilapia farming while serving as a Peace Corps in Ghana and went on to become co-founder and President of Regal Springs Trading. With 33 years of experience, he is the owner of Aquasafra, Inc., America’s oldest and largest tilapia hatchery.

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The Basics A wise Chinese philosopher, Lao-tzu (604 BC – 531 BC), provided us with the quotation “The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet”.

By Paul B. Brown*


his quote has been modified over the centuries to “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. This is where I shall begin a discussion of nutrition; at the beginning with a single step. The science of nutrition and the verbiage used to this day began in the 1860’s at the Weende Experiment Station, Germany. Scientists wanted a method to describe the chemical composition of agricultural commodities. The system they developed over 150 years ago has not been significantly altered and remains the standard series of chemical tests used to describe feed ingredients and the animals that consume them. The Weende System divided feed ingredients into 5 major categories; crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, ash and nitrogen-free extract (NFE). Use of the term crude is important. The analyses developed do not specifically measure protein, fat, fiber, etc., but are broad general categories that chemically separate the targeted nutrient groups. Another name for this classification system is proximate analysis, or near-to. This is the foundational verbiage used to communicate in the field of nutrition in the 21st century. As nutritional science evolved, all of the proximate components were found to have important subdivisions. The proximate components and their respective subdivisions are 72 »

in Table 1. One of the more glaring omissions from the original system is the absence of a category for vitamins. Simply put, vitamins were not discovered until the early part of the 20th century, over 50 years later, and were unknown to the chemists who originally developed the classification system. There are definitive chemical tests (and several modifications of those tests) for only 4 of the 5 categories in Table 1.

Nitrogen-free extract is what is left over after one accounts for crude protein, crude fat, ash and crude fiber. Mathematically, NFE = 100 - ∑ (crude protein + crude fat + ash + crude fiber). Thus, nutritionists can, and do, divide all things into their proximate components and that value equals 100% of the sample. Acknowledging the 100% figure is important. If you have two samples of a feed ingredient or an animal, what

Table 1 Proximate components of feeds and animals and some of their subdivisions. Crude protein Crude fat Crude fiber Ash Nitrogen-free extract

Amino acids Fatty acids, phospholipids, triglycerides, fat soluble vitamins Cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin Minerals Carbohydrates, water soluble vitamins

happens to the crude protein concentration in the samples if one has 50% more crude fat than the other? In most cases, the crude protein concentration would be less in the sample with higher fat simply due to dilution (everything must equal 100%). So if we produce a fatter fish, we, as a general rule, produce a fish with lower protein concentration. This simplistic comparison is significantly confounded by numerous factors (particularly the moisture concentration), but hopefully serves as an example of the proximate classification system developed long ago and still in use today. Do producers of fish and shellfish need to become experts in nutrition in order to prosper? That would be a resounding no. However, most use aspects of the Weende system in routine communications with various colleagues. Catfish producers typically feed a 32/4 diet: 32% crude protein, 4% crude fat. Trout producers might be feeding a 42/14 feed: 42% crude protein, 14% crude fat. This is typically the level at which producers are comfortable with nutritional comparisons. What about the crude fiber, ash and NFE fractions? The crude fiber fraction of feeds is largely indigestible by most aquatic animals and kept

below 5-7% of the diet, the ash fraction is commonly low (5% of the diet or so), which leaves the NFE fraction to vary significantly. For example, in the two generalized diets used above, the total nutrient concentrations in the catfish feed might be 46% (32 + 4 + 5 + 5), leaving the NFE fraction at 54%, while the nutrient concentrations in the trout feed might equal 66% (42 + 14 + 5 + 5), which results in the NFE fraction being 34%; a substantial difference (20% between the two generalized diets) and one reflective of the ability of each species to utilize nutrients (catfish have higher capacity for using the NFE fraction compared to trout). How do these differences relate to cost of diet and cost of production? What about the subdivisions within each of the proximate components? Why isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t there a category for energy which also contributes significantly to the major nutrient concentrations typically used in fish diets? We will continue the discussion on those topics in future issues. If you have specific topics you would like to see addressed in this column, please feel free to contact me by e-mail: Remember Rule #1, if you are going to grow an animal, you have to provide food for it.

Dr. Paul Brown is Professor of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources of Purdue University. Brown has served as Associate Editor for the Progressive Fish-Culturist and the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, among many others.

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Do we want to increase



t the present time American seafood sales are dropping. In fact, it’s a trend in most of the Americas (although Brazil is a major differential) so unless we can change that momentum then we will struggle to increase aquaculture. One of the major issues we deal with is that retail (Fishmongers & Supermarkets) and catering (Restaurants and food outlets) are the ‘window’ of the industry yet rarely is there much connection between ‘the window’ and ‘the coal face’ (the harvester). Through this column (THE FISHMONGER) we aim to bridge the gap and engage both sides of the divide into greater collaboration because it is a win-win situation. We must all realize that if we are to change the world and get more people eating seafood, then we need so much more in our favor. With consumption dropping we are not at the top of the list when people are thinking about their food requirements. And that means people’s habits need to be changed – one of the hardest things to do. A major problem is the need for consumer confidence and to correct unfavorable perceptions. We cannot address that need unless we get more professional in meeting the demands of the consumer and ensuring that when they buy seafood they get satisfaction on every aspect of their investment – the buying experience, the knowledge that was passed on at the time of purchase, the cooking experience, the taste and most importantly the response from those who ate the meal. 74 »

Flowing on from the excellent panel held at American Aquaculture in Seattle “How do we grow Aquaculture in America?” it is important that we bring up consumption i.e. demand, along with any growth in production. The two go hand in hand.

As in the US traditional product presentation may become a thing of the past in European Retail.

One thing that will assist this effort is that retail beef prices are near record highs. During 2013, the price consumers paid for ground beef climbed roughly 5%, according to government information. Beef price data recently released indicates that

consumers paid an average of nearly USD$3.50 per pound for 100% ground beef. Experts say that climbing beef prices are here to stay. The USDA’s Economic Research Service projects that beef prices will rise faster than almost anything else this year.

Shoppers are opportunists at stretching the household budget especially when they buy food. As such, consumers tend to respond to retailer offers that are designed to drive trips and volume. According to The National Grocers Association-Supermarket Guru (NGA-SG) 2014 Consumer Survey Report the Top 4 reactions to purchase influencers, for the third consecutive year, are: 1: Stock up on an item when you find a bargain 2: Look in newspapers for grocery specials 3: Participate in a supermarket frequent shopper program or savings club programs 4: Buy products on special even if you hadn’t planned to buy them that day Landing in the Top 5 list of reactions to purchase influencers for the first time was “Buy only what’s on your list.” Respondents that stock up most when they find bargains are: two-person households, the highest-income households of USD$165,001+ per year, seniors 65 and older, and the heaviest grocery spenders of USD$101+ per week.

Fish markets like this are no longer common in many countries.

And in case retailers need any more convincing about the power of digital, NGA-SG research also shows that social networks and apps also weigh in as purchase influencers – and they are generally on the rise. For example Facebook, Pinter-

est and Twitter are all on the rise and Instagram notches 2.5% in its first appearance on our survey list. And these gains should continue, as retailers and brands continue to improve their digital presence. As an industry we need to understand consumers and be aware that we cannot change consumer’s habits without connecting with retailers and at the present time we are not training or assisting our retailers as well as we are going to need to. We cannot work in isolation, we must take long term views and we must work together. If we do this then we will all benefit from increased seafood consumption.

One factor which may sustain some traditional style seafood outlets is the consumer demand for fresh and local products. THE FISHMONGER

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MAY Seafood Expo Global and Seafood Processing Global May. 6 - May. 8 Brussels, Belgium T: +1 207.842.1234 E: Aquaculture Insurance & Risk Management May. 13 - May. 15 Sheraton Hotel and Towers Kowloon, Hong Kong E: E: Sial China May. 13 - May. 15 Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) Shangai, China T:+86-21-6217 0505 F :+86-21-6218 1650

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Aquaculture Magazine April/May Volume 40 Number 2  

U.S. Industry Coalition Launched to Advocate for Expansion of Domestic Aquaculture

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