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INDEX Aquaculture Magazine Volume 40 Number 6 December 2014 - January 2015


on the

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Aeration as a potential attempt to improve Mediterranean Aquaculture


report AquaSur 2014 exceeds expectations.


report Louisiana’s Turtle Hatchling Industry Struggling to Survive.


report Aquaculture can grow faster, raising micronutrient supply from fish.


NEWS ARTICLE Notes from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. Volume 40 Number 6 December 2014 - January 2015


Note Early Bird registration opens for 8th Aquafeed Horizons 2015.


REPORT The 10th ICRA was a complete success.

Editor in Chief Greg Lutz


NOTE Potential aquaculture areas assessed through unmanned aircraft equipment.





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Editor and Publisher Salvador Meza

UMaine gets grant to research aquaculture.

An overview of aquaculture development in desert and arid lands.

Managing Editor Mina Coronado Editorial Design Francisco Cibrián Designer Perla E. Neri Orozco International Sales and Marketing Steve Reynolds Business Operation Manager Adriana Zayas

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Aquaculture Magazine (ISSN 0199-1388) is published bimontly, by Design Publications International Inc. All rights reserved. Follow us:



Processing of frozen seafood products.

ASIAN report


Three points to ponder.


More aquaculture production is needed to feed a growing and urbanizing world.



FLO-VEX, a new approach for dissolved oxygen technology.

columns AQUAFEED ..............................................................................48 OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE ..............................................................................51 TILAPIA ..............................................................................54 Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing ...................................................60 SHRIMP ................................................................................62 Hatchery Technology and Management ................................................................................66 RECREATIONAL AQUACULTURE ..............................................................................68 Europe Report ..............................................................................70 Latin AmericaN Report ..............................................................................72 THE FISHMONGER ..............................................................................74

Upcoming events advertisers Index

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By C. Greg Lutz


here are we headed? No, I don’t mean those of us working in aquaculture, but rather the planet as a whole. More people are walking around, breathing and eating and drinking every day on planet Earth. The urgent need for more protein, arable land and drinking water will continue to grow – almost certainly for every day of our lives. The protein connection is obvious, but the relationship to arable land and drinking water is a bit more complex. Nonetheless, these factors and many others will definitely translate into a need for more aquaculture production. In the coming decades there will be more economic and ecological pressure to use available feedstuffs for growing fish rather than beef, pork or even turkey, but new sources of feed will also be needed for aquatic species, and some are being developed as we speak. Examples include single-cell protein cultured using forestry residues. Some other possibilities are discussed in our Aquafeeds column. 4 »

Within the industry as a whole there is a continued, if not accelerating, push to improve sustainability and responsibility. Many producers, in many different industries, have recognized the importance of not only certification programs but also the underlying values they are founded on. One example, featured in this issue, is the Aquaculture Stewardship Council and its CEO Chris Ninnes. The ASC recently shared highlights of certification work with producers of Salmon, oysters, and both black tiger and vannamei shrimp. Sustainability also has economic components, and efforts are continually underway in various industries to produce more harvests, or more value, in relation to inputs. A great example involves the investigation of aeration methods to increase production in Mediterranean fish culture. While the equipment being evaluated has been around for years, the applications are innovative. Producers here in North America and throughout the world should take note, as this is what will be required for many aquaculture industries to

survive, let alone grow, while inputs become scarcer and more expensive. On the other hand, apart from utilizing whatever is already available to us, we must continue to look for novel approaches to meeting the basic requirements for success. The use of lumpfish for salmon lice control shows how imagination and diligent science can produce solutions – while using available infrastructure and human capital. And native species. Another example that will REALLY get you thinking is highlighted in our Product to Watch feature. Aquaculture, as a discipline and a means to feed people, continues to demonstrate its flexibility. As competition for land and water resources increases, production systems are moving to less utilized habitats like the deserts. And the open ocean. There are numerous possibilities for those who are looking for a challenge – and a payoff. But when we consider the topics of excessive regulation, be it in the turtle hatchling industry or the EEZ, or in contrast what some might consider excessive government spending on industry initia-

tives, it becomes clear that politics is still a limiting (or essential) factor for aquaculture producers in the U.S. and elsewhere. FAO officials tell us that “there is ample room for catching up with more productive technologies, especially in Asia, where many fish farmers are small and unable to foot the hefty capital outlays the industry requires to expand output without running into resource constraints.” But will all these innovations and all this honorable dedication to finding solutions really matter? Is modern civilization a one-way ticket to global disaster? Is the deck stacked against us no matter what we accomplish as an industry? Our guest columnist for tilapia, John Reid of Waterfield Farms in Schenectady, New York, provides some very sobering perspective (and potential solutions) while filling in for Mike Picchietti (who has been diligently working to get a tilapia project up and running in Haiti). There are a number of disturbing trends that could have potentially devastating impacts on modern society in our children’s lifetimes, and

even those of us who consider ourselves “informed” may never have realized just how serious things may get in the coming decades. Climate change and population growth are just part of the picture… and the other factors may be even more difficult to deal with. We all should be aware of the very real threats society will be facing in the coming decades, and potential solutions that may not seem obvious at first glance. In the shorter term, producers and other industry participants need to be aware of issues in the global marketplace. Factors such as the Russian embargo on imported seafood (purely political) to Thailand’s loss of developing country status in the EU’s tariff systems (again, a political issue) to trade structure and regulation between Vietnam, China and Taiwan (again, politics). It seems that international relations can have as much or more impact on our markets than diseases or feed costs. Speaking of payoffs, and economic sustainability, in the “on the ground” perspective of an aquaculture producer the primary concern is

usually profit. And simply keeping the business afloat (no pun intended…. well, maybe….). Our columnist Carole Engle provides some useful views of just what profitability is and how it should be evaluated on a farm by farm basis. And our other columnists address everything from new farming operations in other parts of the world to pond chemistry to the use of probiotics in shrimp culture. And the Fishmonger brings our attention to the weakest link in most of our marketing chains. We hope you enjoy this issue, the good, the bad and the serious aspects. Feel free to contact us with feedback, ideas, questions, or suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you. editorinchief@dpinternationalinc. com

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.




Aeration as a potential attempt to improve

Mediterranean aquaculture By Martin Gausen1, Henrik Grundvig2, Laura Ribeiro3, Pedro Pausão-Ferreira3, Hugo Quental-Ferreia3, Ravi L. Araújo3, Pavlos Makridis4, Nikolia Iliopoulou4, Elena Mente5, Eleni Nikouli5, Panagiotis Berillis5, Konstantinos A. Kormas5, Nils Hovden1, John Colt6, and Asbjørn Bergheim7.

Sea bass and sea bream aquaculture is an important source of income in many Mediterranean regions, especially in Greece, Turkey and Spain, which represent 80% of their entire production volume.


ver the last years, the total annual production of these species has levelled at 300,000 MT. Aquaculture in Greece is considered the 2nd most important key economic sector for the growth of Greek economy. Other species, such as meagre and sharpsnout sea bream, are new promising candidates for so-called multi-species cultivation in Mediterranean fish farms.

Fig. 1. Air bubbles rising from a diffuser hose under lab scale test conditions.

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Grow-out farming in the largest producing countries takes place mainly in floating sea cages, while around 15% of the total volume is produced in land-based pond systems in other countries, e.g. in Portugal and Italy.

The importance of Dissolved Oxygen Sub-optimal dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration is a potential problem both in cages and ponds, and the risk of harmful deficit is generally highest in late summer – early autumn at water temperatures above 25 – 27°C. These species seem to cope rather well to low DO (hypoxia) compared to cold-water species, but long-term tests with sea bass has demonstrated reduced appetite and growth at DO saturation below 80% even at a temperature as low as 22°C. At increasing temperature in August - October, so-called early morning DO deficit, sometimes results in critical conditions (e.g. fish kill). A well-known contributing fac-

tor to such critical situations is the rising oxygen consumption in fish at increasing temperature. Reported problems with sub-optimal and even critical DO in Mediterranean fish farms was the basis for a performed project applying aeration in order to better control DO.

The AirX-project A research project both incorporating research institutions and commercial partners in Greece (Universities of Patras & Thessaly, Zervas-Kyriazis fish farm), Portugal (IPMA, Atlantik Fish, F.Ribero Lda.), Italy (RefaMed) and in Norway (OxyVision, TI, IRIS) has been carried out over the last two years. The project was funded from the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union and conducted by OV – OxyVision Ltd. (project leader: Martin Gausen). Among the main objectives are optimization of diffuser-based aeration, mapping of DO deficit problems in commercial farms, and

The Zervas-Kyriazis fish in Greece.

comparative tests of cost – benefit employing aeration technology (OV) in ponds and cages. Additionally, the lacking knowledge of effects of DO deficit and fish density in sea bream culture has been compensated for by performed tests at IPMA.

Efficiency of diffusers Numerous combinations of diffuser hoses with regard to structure/material, pre-treatment, puncture density, inner and outer hose combinations, etc. were tested in an experimental tank at OV’s lab (Fig. 1). The decisive parameter, Standard aeration efficiency (SAE), was determined in all tests and the most efficient diffuser hose was selected for further in-field tests at the facilities in Greece and Portugal. The best in test diffuser hose attained a SAE-value of 2.7 kg O2 transferred from air to water per KWh of electricity consumed.

One of the ‘double hose’ diffusers that was tested in the lab.

Experimental tank used for tests in tests to assess oxygen transfer rate.




water, but the diurnal algal activity will also play an important role in the process. Especially at the turn of the tidal flow, respiration of the fish stock may cause serious DO deficits in the stagnant water column in the cages, as demonstrated at 10-11 AM on 16 November (Fig. 2). Improved DO control by aeration and thus stabilizing the concentration above 60% of saturation would be a significant attempt to optimize the conditions for the stock.

Diffuser based aeration tests in sea cages and earthen ponds In the salmonid culture sector, oxygenation by injection of pure oxygen gas in fish cages is a common practice that has been proven successful, leading to desirable conditions and increased profitability in intensively run salmonids cage culture. A potentially cheaper alternative for more ‘robust’ species is to add oxygen by Compared to reported efficiencies of other types of commonly applied aerators in aquaculture (paddle wheels, propeller-aspirator-pumps) the achieved SAE-value was most promising. Not least, the efficiency was clearly higher than reported from other conducted diffuser tests in the 1980’s.

Risk of DO deficit in sea cages Aeration is common practice and considered vital in many land-based culture operations. Traditional sea cage culture, however, still relies on natural water exchange replacing oxygen consumed by the fish stock. In spite of episodic fish kills due to critical DO drops, there are few reports available describing such episodes in Mediterranean cage farms. As a part of the project, monitoring of DO and water exchange has been performed at one farm site in Greece (Fig. 2). The oxygen conditions at this locality is primarily dependent on the rhythm of the tidal 8 »

Injection of air in the test tank during a trial.

Technicians adjusting one of the automatic DO logging devices installed in the Greek fish farm.

air injection (aeration). Thus, aeration is often preferred for oxygen control in semi-intensive land-based pond culture of marine warm water species, including shrimp culture, where air is supplied more or less continuously. Surface aerators, such as paddle wheels and propeller-aspirator pumps, are commonly used aeration systems in earthen ponds. However, it is also possible to use diffuserbased systems that inject fine gas bubbles, using blowers that supply air at low pressure. In large earthen ponds and fish cages, where oxygen has to be distributed over a large area, usage of submerged diffusers is advantageous because of the large interface between injected air and the water body as the fine air bubbles are slowly rising to the surface. Several prototypes have been developed as a result of continual improvements throughout the project period. The first technical tests were performed in canvas lined raceway tanks (Sardinia, Italy) in spring 2013. These tests were succeeded by aeration of earthen ponds at IPMA’s research station (Algarve, Portugal) and of sea cages at a commercial farm (Greece) in summer and autumn 2013. The tests resulted in updated diffuser layouts for commercial-scale trials initiated during the summer 2014. The earth ponds were stocked with both meagre and sea bream, whilst the sea cages were stocked with either sea bass, or sea bream. Parameters, such as DO and total gas pressure (TGP) in the water column, and pond sediment accumulation and characteristics, were routinely monitored. The results from smallscale tests of the AirX diffuser indicated oxygen transfer efficiency up to 20% at oxygen levels of 70 – 80% DO saturation in a seawater tank. Moreover, in waters where stratification occurs, oxygen levels can be even lower at the diffuser’s depth, which might increase the efficiency.

Fig. 3. Aeration in earth ponds at IPMA’s research station in Algarve, Portugal, 2014. A ‘comb’ layout was used, where a central manifold pipe was used to distribute air to ten branches, each comprised of a short yellow supply hose that was connected to the diffuser placed inside the pond.

Thus, it was estimated that the system would be able to control the running DO concentration above 70 – 80% of saturation assuming sufficient air supply. However, when assessing the preliminary results from the ongoing pond trials conducted in late summer 2014, AirX diffusers and paddle wheels seemed to perform quite equally, with DO levels frequently fluctuating between 50 – 85% of saturation in the morning. This was clearly not a satisfying result and the setup was rearranged. After this modification, the AirX

pond stabilized at 60 – 75% DO saturation, whilst the control pond applied paddle wheels still fluctuated between < 50% and 70% DO. This indicated that the AirX was able to maintain a more constant DO concentration in the pond compared to the paddle wheels, although still not able to transfer the intended amount of oxygen into the water. There are still many identified aspects that should be adjusted to optimize the system for commercial conditions and these aspects will be further investigated. Firstly, an upgraded diffuser model will be

Technician checking a connection on the diffuser.




introduced to increase the capacity of the system. Secondly, current creators will be applied in combination with the diffused aeration system to improve the oxygen transfer rate by moving water low in oxygen across the bubble curtains. Thirdly, the air injection should also proceed throughout the day also at low oxygen consumption of the fish stock, but only at a low rate to ensure that the diffusers are always pressured with air and not soaked with water. In sea cages, it is possible to inject air at larger depths than in the earth ponds. This will increase the contact time between air and water, and thus increase the oxygen transfer. However, care must be taken when injecting pressurized air at large depths to avoid gas super-saturation which may result in potential harmful conditions for the fish. It is therefore important to select appropriate injection depth and practice. Moreover, it is highly recommended to monitor the total gas pressure (TGP) when aerating continuously at large depths (> 3 - 4 m). The aeration system has been running at the Greek fish farm for several months, injecting air at 4 - 5 m depth without any indications of negative effects for the fish or signs of elevated TGP. The diffuser system managed to lift the mean DO in the cage by some 8% during August, even though the oxygen levels were very high (85 - 90 % of saturation). Currently tests results are being analyzed to find out whether the aeration has resulted in improved performance of the fish stock, such as improved feed utilization, and to assess the costs of the aeration attempt (kg O2/kWh, kWh/kg fish produced). The rather low fish density in the involved ponds and cages (earth ponds: 1 - 3 kg m-3, sea cages: 6 - 12 kg m-3) due to limited access to fish stock has turned out to be a challenge. Installation of aeration facilities is primarily a potential attempt for fish farmers who are planning 10 Âť

Fig. 4. Initial aeration tests in a cage at Zervas-Kyriazis farm, October 2013.

Fig. 5 (A and B). Tank trials to assess effects of three different DO levels on performance of gilthead sea bream at IPMA’s facilities.

to intensify their production. Thus, any interested party who wishes to cooperate in tests with higher fish densities, especially in ponds, are encouraged to make contact.

Small-scale tests with gilthead sea bream Detailed studies were performed in indoor tanks at IPMA to improve the knowledge base about the required DO control in sea bream aquaculture. In brief, lower than 80% of DO saturation reduced growth rate and feed utilization, and also indicated higher haematocrit levels. Thus, DO should be kept above this limit

throughout the production cycle in order to utilize the production potential of sea bream and maintain the fish’s welfare. Within a fish density range of 5 20 kg/m-3, no significant differences were found with regard to performance of sea bream. The outcome of these studies will be published in a scientific journal.

1: OxyVision, 2: TI, 3: IPMA, 4: Univ. of Patras, 5: Univ. of Thessaly, 6: NOAA, 7: IRIS This work was supported by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union. Project title: Oxygenation by efficient air diffusion system for aquaculture farms (AirX). Grant agreement no. 315412

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AquaSur 2014 exceeds expectations


he eight AquaSur was considered a huge success. There were around 20,000 attendees, including exhibitors and visitors from more than 40 countries. This international fair was held from October 22nd - 25th, 2014, in Puerto Montt (Los Lagos region), Chile, and has become one of the most important aquaculture forums since its first edition, back in 2002. This year, facilities grew to 55,000 m2, with an Exhibition Area of 13,500 m2.

Industry developments During the Opening Ceremony, Editec’s CEO, Ricardo Cortes said that over the years everybody has witnessed the successes and challenges of the aquaculture industry. “According to the data by SalmonChile, the salmon industry in

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The meeting brought together more than 1,000 suppliers from the aquaculture sector.

this country generates over 80,000 jobs; mussel aquaculture creates jobs for about 15,000 people. In total, it is estimated that aquaculture provides Chile with approximately 120 thousand jobs.” This is evident in the south-austral regions, which have the lowest unemployment figures in Chile. Raul Sunico, Chile’s Vice-minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture emphasized the need to diversify aquaculture. “We want to send the clearest message we can when talking about new projects such as the one that will support algae repopulation, which has been technically and financially adjusted, and has started its legislative process at our National Congress. We want to have a new deal between the aquaculture industry and the society, where everybody wins”, he added.

Various activities AquaSur’s Official Dinner on October 22nd, organized by Editec and sponsored by Salmonfood, was attended by national and foreign authorities, entrepreneurs and executives. On October 23rd, th AquaSur “International Conference” took place. This event attracted more than 200 attendants and featured national and international speakers. The activity – under the auspices of Centech, Billund Aquaculture, Pentair, Pharmaq and Biomar, and sponsored by SalmonChile, Subpesca and ProChile – began with welcoming words by Editec’s General Manager, Christian Solis, followed by a message from the president of the Chilean Salmon Association (SalmonChile), Felipe Sandoval, who called on businessmen and officials to work together for aquaculture, hopefully, under a policy of a longterm development of this industry. This edition of AquaSur also included a seminar on the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) on October 24th, bringing together representatives of the main salmon companies,

official authorities, banks, guilds, academics, and FAO and NGOs executives, among many others. The same day, the National Service for Fisheries and Aquaculture (Sernapesca) held the International Symposium on Infectious Salmon Anemia, in Puerto Varas. This event gathered the leading national and international experts on the topic, along with authorities that have experienced and battled this disease in many of the salmon producing countries.

AquaSur closed on October 25th. The Fair is expected to be equally or even more successful in its next edition, in 2016.

For more information on this Fair, please visit

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Louisiana’s Turtle Hatchling Industry Struggling to Survive By C. Greg Lutz*

Turtle farming has been practiced for decades in Louisiana, U.S., developing around the controlled production of baby turtles, specifically red-ear sliders, for sale as pets.


lthough initially based on wild harvests, industry practices of maintaining breeding stock in fenced pond enclosures have remained virtually unchanged since the 1950’s. In the late 1960’s, annual production reached levels as high as 15 million baby turtles, produced on 75 farms. This peak coincided with heavy domestic demand for these animals as pets throughout the U.S. Shortly thereafter, however, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimated that pet turtles might be responsible for up to 14% of Salmonella infections in children throughout the country (Lamm et al. 1972). As a result, in 1971 interstate commerce in pet turtle hatchlings was banned unless they could be certified as Salmonella-free. This, of course, was not possible. At the time little was known about how baby turtles became in14 »

fected with Salmonella, or how to prevent their contamination. In 1975, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned domestic sales, as well as interstate transport, of all turtles with shells less than 10 cm in width, citing continued concerns over Salmonella. Hatchling production levels in Louisiana dropped to roughly 2 million per year - for shipment only to export markets, primarily in Europe and Asia. The natural nesting process itself can result in contamination of turtle eggs with Salmonella. A female red-ear takes pond water into storage bladders in her cloaca prior to leaving the pond to nest. Once a female has determined a suitable nest site in the laying area, a portion of this water is released to facilitate excavation of a nesting chamber. Anywhere from 6 to 12 eggs may pass through the cloaca to be laid in the nest, which is

The FDA has adopted the position that it is not sufficient to provide a certified Salmonella free hatchling, because pet turtles can still become carriers of Salmonella in a home environment once they have been purchased.

native species reduced demand for turtle hatchlings throughout Western Europe. Nonetheless, demand from Asian nations continued to increase. This, however, began to wane beginning in the early 2000’s as breeding stocks became established on farms throughout China and in adjacent countries. As of 2013, the industry was estimated to have produced fewer than 4 million hatchlings, with 20 to 30 active producers.

Today’s production Over the past 5 years, industry representatives have attempted to persuade then sealed with soil and the remain- the FDA to relax its restrictions on ing water from the cloacal bladders. Both internal and external exposure to pond water during the laying process can result in contamination of eggs, and resultant hatchlings. By the mid-1970’s concerted efforts were undertaken to identify mechanisms of Salmonella infection in baby turtles, in order to develop effective preventive treatments. Much was learned over a relatively short period of time about the transmission of Salmonella from broodstock to offspring within turtle farms, and methods were developed to produce virtually Salmonella-free offspring (well over 99%) on a consistent basis. These treatment methods were embraced by the industry and became an integral component in pet turtle production for export markets. As a result of legislation backed by the industry, since that time it has been illegal in Louisiana to sell untreated turtle hatchlings, even for export. As disinfection methods were developed and enforced, export markets expanded somewhat. Certified pet turtle sales reached between 3 and 4 million in 1986 and exceeded 8 million by 1996, while the number of producers grew from 25 to 48 over the same period. However, following many years of shipments, in 1998 a ban on imports by the European Community arising from concerns over ecological impacts of non-

interstate commerce in turtle hatchlings, citing the proven methods developed to eliminate Salmonella at the farm gate. One producer group even brought the issue to court, although ultimately failing to force any changes to current regulations. FDA has adopted the position that it is not sufficient to provide a certified Salmonella free hatchling, because pet turtles can still become carriers of Salmonella in a home environment once they have been purchased. In essence, FDA has indicated that the burden of finding ways to prevent this from occurring falls on the producers, rather than the consumers purchasing and caring for

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mented. Accordingly, the industry has attracted little research interest over the years other than work related to disinfecting eggs and hatchlings. This, however, is changing as a result of funding provided by the Louisiana Aquatic Chelonian Board, a producer-funded authority established to provide direction for policy, promotion and research on behalf of the industry. Several recently-initiated projects within the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center are included in the following sections.

The effect of lytic peptides on reproductive development in red-ear sliders Researchers are using the lytic peptide Phor21 and a variant of GnRH to target the hormone receptor, GnRHR, with the goal of degrading gonadal tissue within living turtles. The idea is to use hormones that will travel through the bloodstream and the hatchlings. One turtle producer ultimately seek out and attach to golikened FDAs position to “requir- nadal tissue, while bringing along a ing cattle producers to guarantee that payload of destructive enzymes. If consumers would cook their beef to successful, this should functionally safe temperatures prior to consuming it.” One point in the unsuccessful legal action brought by producers against the FDA was the contention that as the efficacy of disinfection methods has increased and the industry has attained a level of hygiene beyond any possible criticism, the agency has continued to “raise the bar.” The argument was made that the FDA appears to be making demands on the industry that are unreasonable while at the same time expressing no such concerns about other types of small animals such as lizards, birds, rodents, etc. Although pet turtle production in Louisiana is a highly regulated and potentially profitable form of aquaculture (if current export markets do not disappear completely, or the domestic market becomes available again to producers at some point in the future), it has not been well docu16 »

sterilize turtles to address concerns for establishment outside of their natural range. This could potentially re-open markets in Western Europe and elsewhere. Hatchlings and 4 inch turtles are injected either intravenously or intraperitoneally depending on size. Fifteen days post injection, five turtles from each group are humanely euthanized and examined grossly and histologically to determine the effect on the reproductive organs. The re-

maining turtles are necropsied at 30 days post injection, and samples taken for gross and histological examination. Blood samples are also taken and stored for future hormone level determinations.

Evaluation of transport and packing methods A series of simulated transport trials are being conducted to evaluate the effects of different densities, container materials, and packing methods on turtle hatchling survival. Preliminary trials have established 10-fold or greater mortality differences in 3-day storage under warm, dry conditions based on container type (0.83% vs 8.33% at high density and 0.00% vs 47.92% at low density), and similar differences in 7-day storage in alternative containers based on turtle hatchling densities (0.5% vs 5.0%). Alternative materials (such as breathable bags, moisture conserving pads, and other off-the-shelf items) and packing methods are also being evaluated under simulated transport conditions based on overall survival and materials costs.

Projects within the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center to address read-ear sliders aquaculture include the study on the effect of lytic peptides on reproductive development of this species, the evaluation of transport and packing methods, and probiotic treatments. Probiotic treatment to replace less beneficial microflora Probiotics have been used to treat other reptiles such as iguanas for many years and are thought to help displace Salmonella in the intestine. Researchers are using a commercially available reptile probiotic to examine its effectiveness at displacing Salmonella in the turtles’ gut. The evidence suggests that Salmonella is transient and could be removed by introducing a beneficial microflora. This study will also identify what bacteria are present in a healthy Salmonella-free red-ear sliders. Both culture and culture-independent techniques are being used to better understand the turtles’ microflora. With this information researchers hope to culture and possibly develop a better suited probiotic.

Whereto from here? For almost 20 years, Louisiana’s turtle producers have cited market demand as the single largest obstacle to their ability to expand operations. Given the current position of the FDA, this situation shows no sign of improving appreciably in the near future. Export markets for baby pet turtles show little sign of dramatic expansion over the next several years either. Currently required protocols for certification prior to sale have provided a level of proof necessary to put any lingering concerns over Salmonella in pet turtles to rest. This could potentially re-open a huge market throughout the United States. But as long as FDA demands that the industry demonstrate methods to keep pet turtles Salmonella-free after they are sold, this seems like a remote possibility. Ongoing research focusing on probiotics, as well as development of acceptable disinfectants for turtle bowl water, may still not be sufficient to allow the industry to re-enter the domestic pet market if FDA insists on holding producers responsible for how consumers care for their product after they have purchased it.

* Greg Lutz has a PhD in Aquaculture and Quantitative Genetics by the Louisiana State University. He’s Aquaculture Magazine’s Editor in Chief.

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Aquaculture can grow faster, raising micronutrient supply from fish

A new study from FAO shows that technological advances can offset resource constraints.

Aquaculture has more potential, especially in Asia and Africa. A man feeds his pond fish in Nhan My, Vietnam.


ish farming will likely grow more than expected in the coming decade, offering a chance for improved nutrition for millions of people, especially in Asia and Africa, according to a new report. 18 »

Increased investment in the aquaculture sector - particularly in productivity-enhancing technologies including in the areas of water use, breeding, hatchery practices and feedstuff innovation - should boost farmed-fish production by as much

as 4.14% per year through 2022, notably faster than the 2.54% growth forecast made earlier this year in a joint report by FAO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. “The primary reason for increased optimism is that there is ample room for catching up with more productive technologies, especially in Asia, where many fish farmers are small and unable to foot the hefty capital outlays the industry requires to expand output without running into resource constraints,” said Audun Lem, a senior official at FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Economics Division and one of the lead authors of the report. Africa, with great water resources, should also host ongoing rapid growth of more than 5% a year, the fastest in the world but building on a very low current base level, according to the report. Aquaculture is a young industry compared to livestock farming and has grown from virtually nothing in 1950 and to a record production of 66.5 million tons in 2012, up almost thirty-fold since 1970. About 50% of the USD$127 billion in global fish exports in 2011 came from developing countries, which receive more net revenue from the fish trade than from their exports of tea, rice, cocoa and coffee combined, Lem said. In terms of direct human consumption, farmed fish in 2014 surpassed captured fish, which reached a plateau in the mid-1980s and is expected to grow only 5% over the next decade, thanks largely to reduced waste as well as better gear reducing unwanted by-catch and improved fisheries management. Global per capita fish consumption increased from 9.9 kg in 1970 to 19.1 kg in 2012, although rates vary substantially by and within regions. Africa, Latin America and the Near East have consumption levels of around half the global

rate, while Asia, Europe and North America all have rates of about 21 kg per capita. Fish prices in 2022 will be 27% higher than today in FAO’s baseline scenario, but up to 20% lower if aquaculture expands more quickly.

Fish has a special nutritional role Fish are the healthiest of meats, their farmed production has a far smaller carbon footprint than livestock, and they are also huge providers of the micronutrients people need. Beyond the energy and protein they supply, they lower the risk of coronary heart disease and improve cardio-vascular health. Fish are also supreme suppliers of long-chain n-3 poly unsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA), which are demonstrably linked to better cognitive development as measured by reading skills up to the age of 12. “Fish is not just food,” says Jogeir Toppe, a FAO officer and expert on fish and nutrition. He cited the case of the mola, a pond fish in Bangladesh that has exceptionally high levels of zinc and iron and Vitamin A as well as 80 times the calcium content as tilapia. Similar pelagic species elsewhere, such as African lake sardines, have similar micronutrient profiles, but many indigenous fish have yet to be studied.

Fish are the healthiest of meats, their farmed production has a far smaller carbon footprint than livestock, and they are also huge providers of the micronutrients people need.

Increased demand on fishmeal prices due to aquaculture’s needs is unlikely to impact prices as alternatives, such as feed based on vegetable proteins, will be developed to meet needs and respond to price pressures. Those attributes are invaluable as 800,000 child deaths each year are attributable to zinc deficiency, 250 million children worldwide are at risk of vitamin A deficiency, and almost a third of the world’s population is iron deficient. Seafood is also practically the only natural source of iodine. However, the new study noted that households with rising incomes often shift away from such humble types - what the industry calls “trash fish” - towards fattier and filetfriendly species such as carp which are less efficient providers of micronutrients. One reason is that the higher-status fish are often eaten as filets while the mola and its kin are typically eaten whole. “The highest iron, zinc and calcium content of fish lies in their heads, bones and guts, which is often the part that gets thrown away, as with tuna,” said Toppe. Somewhat ironically, byproducts such as fish heads or the back-bones of Nile perch whose fresh fillets are exported, may often be of higher nutritional value than the main product, he added.

Aquaculture governance challenges lie ahead. FAO called upon policy makers to take such nutritional considerations aboard, especially in a phase of growing aquaculture operations. Fish farming ought also to be analyzed through a broad food system lens, as it impacts a host of factors, ranging from environmental impacts and hydropower projects through

tenure rights for smallholders, sharing systems for common-pool water resources, to the employment of women in local retail networks, all of which involve complex social institutions and customs. FAO’s report suggests that increased demand on fishmeal prices due to aquaculture’s needs is unlikely to impact prices as alternatives, such as feed based on vegetable proteins, will be developed to meet needs and respond to price pressures. Such innovation is particularly important for Africa, where fish farmers rely heavily on imported feedstuff from European countries. A notable shift is already underway as Peruvian anchovy, Chilean mackerel and Scandinavian herring are increasingly being used for direct human consumption while more efficient use of other fish byproducts are being used for fish oil production

For more information on FAO’s work on fisheries and aquaculture, please visit:

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news article

Notes from the

Aquaculture Stewardship Council The following are recent press releases provided by the ASC to illustrate the accomplishments being made throughout the industry in promoting sustainable and responsible aquaculture.

First ASC certified Australian salmon producer brings more responsible salmon to market he Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) congratulates Tasmanian salmon producer Tassal on achieving ASC certification for all of their salmon farming operations. Tassal’s Macquarie Harbour Farm was awarded ASC certification back in April 2014, making it the first fish farm in Australia to meet the ASC standard. Tassal then went on to complete their farm assessments in September, gaining certification for the last of their farms in November 2014. Head of Sustainability at Tassal, Linda Sams, said: “According to predictions Australia is expected to import over 1 million tons of seafood by 2020 - incredible considering the country’s potential to farm our own stocks locally. There is a clear opportunity here for local growth to meet


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the demand for responsibly produced salmon. We have invested a huge amount of time, resources and money into ensuring all of our sites not only reach, but exceed the standards set by the ASC; the global benchmark for responsible aquaculture.” Bringing about real change. Tassal has worked closely in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) since 2012 to develop their responsible aquaculture production to meet the requirements of the ASC Salmon Standard. Over that time they have implemented significant upgrades. For example, improving their feed formulation to reduce the reliance on fish meal and fish oil; replacing the last of their copper treated nets; introducing a fish health department and fish welfare program; and creating an ASC dashboard that publicly reports on any antibiotic use, wildlife interactions or unexplained fish loss.

ASC’s CEO, Chris Ninnes, said: “I’d like to congratulate Tassal and its staff for their effort and commitment to achieving ASC certification for all of their farms. Their work and dedication will undoubtedly have a positive effect for the future of aquaculture in the region as it moves towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility. “The market response since the launch of the ASC salmon standard has been remarkable. And, I’m delighted to see it expand in Australia.” Independent third-party process. The Tassal farms’ certificates were awarded following assessment by SCS Global Services (SCS), an independent, accredited certification body. ASC strives to have a fully transparent certification process. The announcement of the farm audit was publicly visible for at least 30 days before the actual audit. Once the farms had been assessed by SCS, the certifier produced the draft farm audit reports, which were published on ASC’s website for a minimum of 10 working days for comment. The decision on whether or not the farm is awarded ASC certification is made by the certifier and is based on the last version of the report. Demonstrating environmental and social responsibility. Farms certified

MACHBR CAREERS DAY JUN13 371 - TASSAL courtesy Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

to the ASC standard demonstrate that they use methods which minimize environmental impacts and that they care for their farm workers and the local communities. As a result, ASC certified farms deliver a cleaner seabed, cleaner water, and healthier fish, preserve the diversity of species and wild population, follow strict feed requirements and ensure social responsibility.

BINCA works with Thadimexco to help it become the first ASC certified Black Tiger shrimp farm in Vietnam In the Ca Mau Province of southern Vietnam, BINCA in cooperation with its partner Thadimexco, has established the country´s first ASC certified Black Tiger shrimp farm.

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s mission is to transform aquaculture towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility using efficient market mechanisms that create value across the chain.

Thadimexco’s Thanh Doan farms gained ASC certification in October 2014. BINCA has supported the ASC for many years and also played an active role in the WWF aquaculture dialogues. According to the Managing Director of BINCA, Peter Niedermeier, BINCA and Thadimexco share a very similar philosophy. “BINCA’s approach is to ensure production, delivering natural quality products through teamwork and cooperation. Thadimexco’s company is family-run managing three small farms on which the shrimp are raised very extensively. The shrimp are nourished completely naturally and only eat what the mangroves provide. The use of antibiotics is strictly prohibited on these farms. The shrimp are harvested at night and put on ice. First thing in the morning they are driven by boat to the factory for processing.” Niedermeier said. Among the first buyers of BINCA´s ASC certified Black Tiger shrimp are the Swiss retailer Coop and the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Singapore. Transparent independent third party process. Thadimexco gained its ASC certification following an independent, third party assessment against the ASC Shrimp Standard conducted by the certification body Bureau Veritas.

To ensure full transparency, stakeholders have an opportunity to take part in the certification process. The announcement of a farm audit needs to be publicly visible for at least 30 days before the actual audit. The audit reports are posted on ASC’s website, and a public comment period allows for stakeholder input. Logo for responsible aquaculture. The ASC logo helps customers make an informed choice when shopping for seafood and reassures them that their seafood purchase comes from a farm certified to the ASC standards. All ASC labelled products can be traced back through the entire supply chain to a responsible managed fish farm. And, when a consumer chooses responsibly produced ASC certified seafood, they reward certified farms and actively contribute to preserving healthy fish stocks, protecting vulnerable coastal zones and ensuring that seafood can continue to feed a growing population in the future.

First oyster farms assessed against ASC standard Three oyster farms have become the first in the world to enter assessment against the ASC Bivalves Standard for responsible aquaculture. Jersey Sea Farms, Jersey Oyster Ltd and Seymour » 21

news article

Oysters, all based in Jersey, UK, were recently assessed against the ASC Bivalve Standard. Tony Legg, Jersey Sea Farms’ owner said: “From day one, we knew that we wanted to achieve ASC certification. We made the decision to get involved with the ASC program at an early stage by taking part in the pilot audits. By gaining certification against the ASC Bivalve Standard we can show our customers that the farm operates with the highest regard for the environment and local communities. Through cooperating with the two other oyster farms on the island that have entered assessment against the ASC standard, Jersey Oyster Company, Britain’s largest oyster farm, and Seymour Oyster Company, we are together looking to place ASC certified Pacific and native oysters in the European market by Christmas”. “Another milestone for the ASC: the first oyster farms to enter the ASC program. Fantastic news!” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO. “I look forward to watching the progress of these assessments with the help of

Jersey UK edulis oysters courtesy ASC.

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Three oyster farms based in Jersey, U.K. have become the first in the world to enter assessment against the ASC Bivalves Standard for responsible aquaculture. our website e-alert tool and hopefully celebrating the first certified oysters in the market later in the year.” Jersey Sea Farms was audited by independent, third party certifier Control Union Peru in September this year. Owned and single-handedly operated by Legg, the farm is striving to produce 75 tons / year of top-quality European Native Oysters (Ostrea edulis). Standards for responsible bivalves farming. The ASC Bivalves Standard was developed by a diverse stakeholder group with hundreds of participants, and carries the most robust global requirements for bivalve farming. The standard addresses key impacts of bivalves farming such as responsible use of therapeutics and antibiotics, site impacts, protection

of natural habitats, pollution and waste management, and labor rights for farm workers. By meeting the standard, certified farms demonstrate that they use responsible aquaculture practices that minimize their environmental and social impact. Independent and transparent certification. ASC does not assess the farms itself; independent certifiers carry out the farm audits and decide whether the farm meets the ASC standards. The certifiers are in turn accredited and monitored by the independent organization Accreditation Services International (ASI). To ensure full transparency, stakeholders have an opportunity to take part in the certification process. Planned farm audits must be publical-

Jersey UK edulis oysters courtesy ASC.

ly announced at least 30 days prior to the assessment, the audit reports are posted on ASC’s website, and a public comment period allows for stakeholder input.

ASC congratulates first ASC certified shrimp farm in the world Family-owned shrimp exporting company OMARSA, based in Ecuador, is the first shrimp producer to gain Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification. OMARSA’s Camaronera Cachugran, Camaronera Chongon and Camaronera Puna sites were recognized as responsible and well managed farms following independent, third party assessment conducted by the certification body Institute for Marketecology (IMO). Sandro Coglitore, OMARSA’s General Manager, said: “We are very proud to be the first to gain ASC certification for shrimp. We have worked hard to reach this point and have taken forward a number of initiatives, such as mangrove restoration projects. OMARSA is dedicated to responsible aquaculture and we are

constantly investing to improve our shrimp farming operations. “ASC certification helps to strengthen our position as a responsible shrimp exporting company. And, now our customers can verify that when they see the ASC logo on our products.” Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO, said: “I am delighted to see OMARSA gain ASC certification for their farms. They clearly have a strong ethos of ensuring environmental and social responsibility and the commitments they have made to further improvements will help to strengthen that reputation. This is quite a milestone for us to be celebrating; ASC certified shrimp has been eagerly awaited by the market. I look forward to seeing OMARSA’s ASC certified products reach the shelves.” OMARSA’s pledge for responsible production. OMARSA has a vertically integrated operation. In addition to the three shrimp farms, it has three hatcheries and a processing plant. Established in 1977, OMARSA is among Ecuador’s top five shrimp exporting companies. Underpinning

its operations is a mission to produce shrimp responsibly and it constantly seeks to improve its production systems to ensure it does so. OMARSA worked with Blueyou Consulting to improve the farm management and practices and reduce any adverse environmental and social impacts, with the goal of meeting the ASC Shrimp Standard’s requirements. The project was co-funded through the IDH Farmers in Transition (FIT) fund, which aims to stimulate and support the production of responsibly farmed shrimp. ASC certified shrimp soon to hit the market. OMARSA’s ASC labelled products will hit the market in December, with the first products destined for Scandinavia. OMARSA also supplies other countries across Europe, as well as the U.S.A., Canada, South America and Asia. ASC Shrimp Standard. Shrimp farms have been able to enter ASC assessment since the shrimp standard and audit manual were finalized in March 2014. ASC strives to have a fully transparent certification process. The announcement of OMARSA’s farm audits was publicly visible for at least 30 days before the actual audits. Once the farms were assessed by an IMO auditor, the draft audit reports for these farms were available on the ASC website for 10 days for further stakeholder consultation. After the public consultation the certifier made their decision on whether the farms passed the audit or not based on the audit findings and stakeholder input. Through ASC certification, shrimp farms aim to measurably reduce adverse impacts on the environment and local communities by preserving wetlands and mangroves; addressing the transfer of viruses and reducing disease; bringing cleaner water and ensuring the responsible use of water; ensuring the responsible use of feed; and addressing biodiversity issues. For more notes on ASC, visit:

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Early Bird registration opens for

8 Aquafeed Horizons 2015 th


he 8th in the series of Aquafeed Horizons conferences will take place on June 9th, 2015 in Cologne,

Germany. The impact of processing on feed ingredients and nutrient quality, aquafeed processing considerations when using novel ingredients and new aquafeed processing technology will be among the topics discussed in a full day of presentations by some of the world’s leading aquafeed specialists from industry and research organizations such as the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. This popular conference brings together aquaculture feed industry professionals from around the world. The 2014 conference took place on April 8th, 2014 at the BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand. More than 140 delegates from aquafeed companies and other industry stakeholders enjoyed presentations from world-class speakers on aquafeed technology and formulation options.

Scan this QR Code with your SmartPhone to* Read this news online * Contact author * Bookmark or share online

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Early bird registration for the technical conference has opened and this time the focus will be on the interactions of feed ingredients and processing.

Aquafeed Horizons 2015 will take place along-side VICTAM/FIAAP/ GRAPAS 2015, the world’s largest feed and grain exhibitions, creating a must attend event for anyone concerned with staying abreast of feed production developments. 2015 is the 50th anniversary of Victam and visitors can expect a number of special events, adding even more value to the experience.

Aquafeed Horizons 2015 will take place at the Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany June 9, 2015. Early registration is strongly advised. The 2015 conference is sponsored by Andritz, Buhler and Wenger Manufacturing. Details and registration on the conference website:

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The 10



was a complete success The 10th International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture (ICRA) was recently held in Roanoke, Virginia (US).


rom August 22 to 24, Virginia Tech once again hosted this important focal point for research and commercial innovation in the technology of water re-use for aquaculture. The first conference on this topic was organized in 1996, and since that initial success it has been held every other year. The quality of the research presented at this most recent conference was very impressive. Although 26 Âť

in the early days of these conferences there was a feeling that recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) could easily solve many bio-economic constraints, over the past decade that mentality has evolved into a more pragmatic approach. Participants are now much more focused on the scientific and engineering aspects of recirculating technology, and the supporting industries and disciplines that will be required for commercial production to expand.

The range of topics found in the conference abstracts attests to the progress made in recirculating technology over the past two decades. Sessions focused on Health & Diseases, Engineering & Systems Design, Advances in Animal Nutrition for RAS, Aquaponics, Hatchery Technologies, RAS Design Innovations and Opportunities for New Technologies, Shrimp Culture in RAS, Biofloc Shrimp Culture in RAS, Marine Species in RAS, Waste

Management & Water Quality, and a variety of Poster topics were also offered. Participants from more than 20 countries attended this most recent conference, and over the course of two days talks were presented by 57 speakers in 14 sessions covering various topics. There were also 19 posters covering additional research. In total, over 200 people attended the conference, and roughly a fourth of them also went on the tour organized by The Freshwater Institute. The trade show, a regular component of the conference, included 18 exhibitors. Of those, seven were first-time exhibitors, suggesting that as new technologies are developed, commercial scale recirculating systems are increasingly within the realm of possibility. Since the first conference in 1996, each ICRA has contributed tremendously to the advances seen in RAS technology. Literally hundreds of research papers have been presented and the staff at Virginia Tech has emerged as a leading facilitator in the progress made in RAS development throughout the world. The planning committee for the 10th ICRA included George Flick, David Kuhn, Laura Lawson, Lori Marsh, Terry Rakestraw and Daniel Taylor, all with Virgina Tech, and Steven Summerfelt from The Conservation

Participants from more than 20 countries attended this most recent conference, and over the course of two days talks were presented by 57 speakers in 14 sessions covering various topics.

Fund’s Freshwater Institute. Design Publications International, Inc., publisher of Aquaculture Magazine and Panorama Acuicola, was both a Conference Sponsor and Trade Show Exhibitor at this year’s conference.

For more information on the ICRA series, contact Laura S. Lawson, Research Associate, Department of Food Science & Technology at Virginia Tech at or visit

The first conference on this topic was organized in 1996, and since that initial success it has been held every other year.

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Potential aquaculture areas assessed through unmanned aircraft equipment By Analia Murias*

Information on the qualities of aquaculture resources will be gathered and updated profiles of the ocean currents will be obtained.

Unmanned aircraft equipment X100U AV


he National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA) in Mexico, under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and 28 »

Food (SAGARPA), will have three un-manned aircraft available to obtain information on areas that are suitable for aquaculture development throughout the country.

Data will be used for the design of strategies to further encourage aquaculture activity in the coastal areas of the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico, and in inland water areas (lakes and ponds, including other water bodies). Through the use of this equipment, officials plan to measure chemical, physical and microbiological water variables, such as temperature, chlorophyll, oxygen and algal bloom densities as well as salinity and other parameters. These unmanned vehicles have high resolution cameras, which allow tracking of characteristics of marine and coastal environments and their ecologically productive capacity. These vehicles will also help to determine the shape and area of coastal and inland water bodies. Additionally they will also allow the development of studies in agricultural areas of difficult access in order to obtain valuable information to define surface features, harvest status and to improve the detection of potentially productive areas. All the information that will be obtained will be included in a database and in an image catalog. INAPESCA researchers from the National Institute of Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock (INIFAP), under the Agricultural and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP) and the Navy, among others, may use this information. The early studies will focus on potential for culture of the sea cucumber from Yucatan, the yellow turtle and new shrimp farms, SAGARPA reported in a press release. “To operate these vehicles, theoretical and practical training workshops will be performed for INAPESCA specialists, who will participate in the implementation of research on water bodies and the continent,” the agency concluded. *For more information on this issue, visit: http://www. ay=12&id=67066&l=e&special=&ndb=1%20target=

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gets grant to research aquaculture A USD$20 million research grant from the National Science Foundation will fund the development of a multi-institutional research network focused around the social, economic and ecological factors By Lauren Abbate*

influencing aquaculture in the state of Maine, U.S.

The overall mission is to establish a research and education network that will enhance the value of ocean foods in this bioregion, so that ultimately we will become a global center for recruiting the best and brightest students and faculty,” said Barry Costa-Pierce, director of Marine Sciences at the University of New England. The Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network (SEANET) created and funded by the grant will be headed by the University of Maine but relies heavily on partnerships between public and private academic institutions around the state. The grant, which was awarded to Maine’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) started on August 1st, 2014, and will run a five-year tenure. SEANET will use Maine’s position as a global leader in aquaculture to explore how this process of farming in water can solve statewide and national questions regarding the current state and future of coastal communities that have for centuries relied on the ocean for their livelihoods. “Because we have an established industry, a working waterfront and 30 »

other interests along our coast, we have a fascinating opportunity to discover how aquaculture can work into our waterfront,” said Paul Anderson, director of SEANET at the University of Maine. The availability of oceanic resources is a globally paramount issue: 90% of seafood in the U.S. is imported from other countries, and 80% of ornamental fish sold are being harvested off of coral reefs. Particularly in Maine, the availability of lobster licenses is becoming harder to sustain every year while the local fishing industry is not as strong as it once was, and “that really threatens the cultural and economic integrity of many vulnerable communities around the state,” said Anne Langston, assistant director of the Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI) at UMaine.

While SEANET is not looking to replace Maine’s fisheries with aquaculture, it is seeking to develop a comprehensive approach to the sustainability of these fisheries through aquaculture practices and secure their future along Maine’s 3,500-mile coastline. “You’ve got communities that have this connection to the sea, and they are at a point in time where they don’t know how those connections to the sea can be maintained,” Langston said. To further explore the possible opportunities that will come from aquaculture development, SEANET is seeking input from over 20 academic disciplines across the network including the biological and social sciences, oceanographers and marine scientists, economists, risk communicators, as well as engineers.

“Research networks, in my experience, have been a fantastic way of coordinating groups that don’t necessarily interact with each other on an everyday basis,” Langston said. “You wouldn’t normally get oceanographers interacting with risk communicating researchers. They don’t naturally interact.” By connecting this variety of specialists, SEANET is creating an aquaculture “resource hub” that will give the institutions involved access to faculty and research they would not be able to attain on their own. “Developing those partnerships and the direct day-to-day access to the ecosystems is the primary role,” Costa-Pierce said. The University of Maine’s ARI currently only has three faculty members and a half dozen students. SEANET has engaged “about 70 faculty members across the state, and so now we’re getting people who are in any number of different research disciplines that are now focusing on aquaculture,” Langston said. Through the 100 undergraduate internships and 20 graduate assistantships funded by the grant, Maine’s students will have the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience that will familiarize them with the aquaculture industry across the state. “I would like to see the next generation of coastal leaders to come from the state of Maine,” CostaPierce said. A key hold back for the advancement of the aquaculture industry in Maine is due to a lack of an adequately trained workforce. “In order to boost the industry to the next level having this kind of input into training young minds and scientists that’s the only way you can grow an industry,” Langston said. After the research is compiled, SEANET is hopeful that it will have created an aquaculture toolbox for community organizers and stakeholders to use and apply in their coastal communities.

“Because we have an established industry, a working waterfront and other interests along our coast, we have a fascinating opportunity to discover how aquaculture can work into our waterfront”. Paul Anderson, director of SEANET at the University of Maine.

The last EPSCoR grant the University of Maine received funded the Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI), which has reached the end of its five-year lifespan. The SSI and SEANET are composed of different initiatives, but SEANET will benefit from the sustainability research conducted by the SSI. The SEANET network will include UMaine, UNE, Maine Maritime Academy, University of Southern Maine, University of Maine at Machias, Bowdoin College, Southern Maine Community College, St. Joseph’s College, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and the Cobscook Community Learning Center.

This entry was first posted on Sunday, September 14th, 2014. You can follow any responses to this article through the RSS feed. All contents are courtesy of the University of Maine.

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An overview of

aquaculture development in desert and arid lands By Valerio Crespi and Alessandro Lovatelli*

Harsh and marginal regions such as desert and arid lands which can now be exploited for food production through the use of modern and responsible aquaculture practice.


he increasing competition for land and particularly water use for a wide range of economic activities is driving the expansion of aquaculture operations towards new frontiers. The idea of desert fish farming was formulated in the early sixties and tested experimentally, showing that it was possible to use desert salt or brackish waters to rear fish successfully. The high mineral content of these waters, along with high ambient temperatures and solar radiation in fact support high primary 32 Âť

productivity forming a suitable and favorable food-base for the fish. The integration of aquaculture with certain agriculture practices is becoming increasingly attractive particularly in areas where water is a limited resource. In fact such systems can reduce water requirements for the simultaneous production of quality protein and fresh vegetable produce. Water sources in arid lands are available from dams, ponds, irrigation canals, salt/brackish water lakes, ground water (aquifers), temporary rivers and rain fed reservoirs.

Shrimp farming in the Sonora desert, State of Sonora, Mexico. Courtesy of FAO Aquaculture photo library.

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Harvesting Nile tilapia in a small-scale desert fish pond in Ouargla district, Algeria. Courtesy of FAO Aquaculture photo library.

There is a growing interest by farmers living in many arid regions in starting aquaculture activities as a side line or fully integrated business along with their agriculture activities. However, the lack of technical competence and availability of inputs (typically feed and fish fingerlings) represent two important obstacles to the development of the sector.

Main aquaculture farming systems Developing aquaculture in harsh physical and climate conditions, typical of deserts and arid lands, dictates the adoption of production strategies focused on good water management which include the use of water saving and recycle practices. In ru34 Âť

ral and arid areas where traditional small-scale agriculture activities are still practiced, small â&#x20AC;&#x201C;scale fish farming can be carried out using the irrigation ponds which farmers use for watering their agricultural crops. On a more intensive scale closed recirculation aquaculture systems that incorporate water filtration systems, biological filters, protein skimmers and oxygen injection systems, etc., have been successfully established in many localities around the world particularly in regions where fish is in high demand and markets are ready to pay premium prices. These systems may support up to 50 kg of fish/m3 of water. Aquaponic systems, integrating recirculating aquaculture with hydroponic vegetable production,

Developing aquaculture in harsh physical and climate conditions, typical of deserts and arid lands, dictates the adoption of production strategies focused on good water management which include the use of water saving and recycle practices. are becoming increasingly popular as small household units as well as larger commercial operations. Medium and large scale agri-aqua systems are used to store groundwater or rainwater during the wet sea-

son. Recently, it has become common to use irrigation reservoirs for fish culture in integrated farming systems. Large-scale recirculating systems, utilize water from outdoor fish ponds, raceways and tanks, passed into sediment ponds to remove the solids. The water is then passed to an adjacent water reservoir, and good quality water is then returned from the reservoir to the fish rearing systems. On the other hand, floating cages are commonly used in dams or disused mines, allowing the growth of fish in low or non-exploited artificial water bodies.

Suitable species A large variety of organisms can be cultured in arid conditions as long as the culture environment provided conforms with the physiological processes of the farmed animal. In any case, those species that have wide tolerance ranges to a number of environmental parameters (e.g. temperature, salinity) are preferred. Fast growing species are also preferred candidates. Currently, the most suitable fish species for waterlimited aquaculture systems include the tilapias (Oreochromis spp.) and their hybrids, barramundi or the Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer), a number of carp species, mullets (Mugil cephalus and Liza ramada) and several catfish species (Clarias gariepinus and Bagrus spp.). In Egypt, among other countries, good results have been achieved with the rearing of the European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) in brackish waters. With regard to shrimp, the Indian white prawn (Penaeus indicus) and whiteleg prawn (Litopenaeus vannamei) represent successful examples respectively of marine and freshwater aquaculture (e.g. in Saudi Arabia and Algeria). Harvesting operation in a small-scale fish pond in Ouargla district, Algeria. Courtesy of FAO Aquaculture photo library.

Examples of aquaculture in arid lands Israel is a pioneer in desert aquaÂť 35


Irrigation pond used for fish raising and agriculture productions in Ouargla district, Algeria. Courtesy of FAO Aquaculture photo library.

culture. For instance, in the Negev desert (southern Israel), which possesses tremendous amounts of saline and geothermal underground water, super-intensive fish farms have been established and are successfully operating. Hybrid-tilapias are being cultured with average annual production yields of 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;27 kg/ m 3. In the United States of America there are currently around 40 aquaculture farms located in desert regions in six states, producing about 1 percent of the total annual national fish production or about 4,000 tons. A success story is the case of 36 Âť

Currently, the most suitable fish species for water-limited aquaculture systems include the tilapias (Oreochromis spp.) and their hybrids, barramundi or the Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer), a number of carp species, mullets (Mugil cephalus and Liza ramada) and several catfish species (Clarias gariepinus and Bagrus spp.).

Algeria where the government has provided support to the private and public sector for the development of aquaculture particularly in arid regions. In 2009, five freshwater aquaculture projects were setup

in Algeria. These facilities have an annual production capacity of between 500 - 1000 tons of tilapia.

Conclusions The main goal of aquaculture in

Raceways of an intensive closed recirculation system in Ouargla district, Algeria. Courtesy of FAO Aquaculture photo library.

the desert is to utilize productively and as best as possible the limited water resources for an integrated aquaculture-agriculture food production system. Desert aquaculture appears to give water resources an economical value rather than a competition in water consumption between aquaculture and agriculture. This system allows the production of different crops (fish, agriculture and livestock) using the same quantity of water. The global population growth and increase in food demand is driving the rapid expansion and intensification of cultivated lands. An estimated 13 percent of the world

population (313 million) lives in arid zones with 92 million residing in hyper-arid deserts (UNDP/UNSO). Deserts cover more than one fifth of the Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s land, they are found on every continent and they can represent new unexploited areas for development. Current and future developments of inland aquaculture in desert and arid lands will rely greatly on the appropriate use of subsurface waters using farming practices which ensure the smart use of this limited resource. The constant growth of the human population and the continuous exploitation for land and water resources particularly in arid lands

will require the application of new strategies to ensure adequate food production (animal protein and vegetables) by populations living in these remote and isolated areas.

Original article: Crespi, Valerio, and Lovatelli, Alessandro. An overview of aquaculture development in desert and arid lands. Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome, Italy. For more information on this article, email the authors:,

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Processing of

frozen seafood products Freezing at various temperatures is widely used in seafood preservation. Processing and freezing methodologies differ not only for By Pishi Das and Nagalakshmi K.*


he application of appropriate techniques is essential to preserve the taste and nutritional value of seafood products. The proper handling and preservation of products is also critical to comply with mandatory standard specifications needed for their marketing, especially in developed countries. Seafood has become important worldwide because of its nutritional and health benefits. Nearly 90% of exports of marine products are in frozen form. The most popular items

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different commodities but even by product type. are shrimp, lobster, mackerel, and tuna, among others. Freezing is the main method for preservation of fresh fish and other seafood products. However, this technique is effective only if the product is handled in such a way that its quality is kept near its peak freshness. Product styles for each species differ and each one requires specific unit operations to suit particular types of products.

Processing of shrimp Shrimp are exported in different forms; among these, whole shrimp and PUD (peeled and deveined) styles account for the maximum quantity. Of late, cooked shrimps are also being exported in large quantities.

Whole shrimp / head on. Shrimp is packaged raw, frizzed in block or in pans. Most common varieties include Litopenaeus vannamei and Penaeus monodon. Whole animals require very little processing but they need to be kept in the best conditions. De-iced shrimps are washed, weighed and graded. Common practices are: discard all discolored, bruised pieces, soft shells and hanging meat. Only fresh quality materials are selected and given a bath treatment in sodium-metabisulphite before grading according to specifications, and then iced. Shrimp are arranged in trays and filled with water in case of plate freezing, and frozen at -40ºC for 2 hours. Product is then passed through metal detectors before packing according to specifications and stored at -18ºC. Headless shell on / butterfly / Peeled and undeveined shrimp. The de-iced shrimp is washed, weighed and re-iced. It is beheaded, graded and prepared according to different styles. After that, shrimp is washed and arranged in trays and filled with water in case of plate freezing, and frozen at -40ºC for 1:30-2 hours. Then it is de-panned and glazed. In case of blast freezing, shrimps are arranged in trays and are frozen in the blast freezer at -40ºC for 2 hours. In case if indi-

Product styles for each species differ and each one requires specific unit operations to suit particular types of products.

vidual quick freezing (IQF), shrimps are spread on the conveyor belt individually and frozen at -40ºC for 1520 minutes depending on the size of the product. The glazing is done in glaze water maintained at 1ºC and the product is passed through a hardener to harden the glaze. Glaze percentage depends on the buyer’s specifications. The product is passed through metal detectors before it’s sorted, packed, labeled and stored at -18ºC.

Cooked shrimp. The de-iced shrimps are washed, weighed and reiced, already beheaded, peeled and deveined. Shrimps are washed in an agitator containing 2% salt and 2% sodium-tripolyphosphate to improve the texture. Then they are arranged in trays and blanched carefully to attain a core temperature of 72ºC, cooling them immediately in water maintained at less than 8ºC for de-panning and glazing. The product is transferred IQF freezing at -40ºC, which takes around 15-20 minutes depending on the size. The glazing is done at 1ºC and passed through the hardener. Then the product is passed through metal detectors before it is sorted, packed, labeled and stored at -18ºC.

brine for 30 minutes is done and then the product is weighed, graded according to sizes and arranged in trays for block or IQF freezing at -35 to -40ºC, glazed and stored at -23 / -30ºC. Mackerel fillets. Skinless and boneless fillets are brined in dilute brine solution to improve the color and taste. The brined fillets are then frozen; sometimes they are battered and breaded for value added products, or they can be flash fried for one minute and then frozen and packed. The go-to style of preservation is IQF. The iced fish are gutted and washed in potable water containing 5 mg/l chlorine. The cutting and filleting is done followed by weighing before grading. The product is arranged in trays and frozen at 0ºC in master cartons. It has a shelf life of up to 12 months.

Processing of mackerel Whole mackerel. The iced fish is gutted, washed in potable water containing 5 mg/l chlorine. To prevent Processing of tuna belly bursting a dip treatment in 5% Tuna are processed or frozen for ex-

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Freezing is the main method for preservation of fresh fish and other seafood products, but it’s effective only if the product is handled in such a way that its quality is kept near its peak freshness.

port depending on the type of product, such as sashimi grade, frozen tuna fillets, tuna loins and other prepared products. The fish is washed in potable water containing 5 mg/l chlorine, then filleting and cutting is done to produce steaks, followed by weighing. The product is arranged in trays and frozen in IQF at -40ºC for 15 - 20 minutes depending on the size of the material. The frozen product is then packed and stored at -23ºC or -30ºC. It has a shelf life of up to 12 months.

Processing or ribbon fish The whole fish is iced, gutted and washed in a chlorine solution, then weighed. Then it’s graded according to sizes and arranged in trays and fro- packaging and labelling to store at -20 zen at -40ºC in block or as IQF and / -24ºC. It has a shelf life of 2 to 4 glazed to store at -20 to -24ºC. months.

Processing of lobster tail The iced lobsters are washed in potable water, weighed, graded and then blanched in 2% brine. Then they are chilled immediately with a mixture of 50% water to 50% ice for 15 minutes. Then the tails are removed and froProcessing of pomfret zen at -35 to -40ºC as IQF and glazed The iced fish are gutted and washed to store at -20 / -22ºC- The size goes in potable water containing 5 mg/l from 15 to 25 cm. chlorine. The fish is graded according to size and arranged in trays to freeze Processing of crab at -40ºC in block. The final product is The crab is iced and then gutted and glazed and hardened to store at -20 / washed in portable water containing -24ºC. It has a shelf life of up to 12 5 mg/l chlorine. Then it’s frozen at months. -35 / -40ºC as IQF and glazed for

Processing of bivalves Bivalves can be frozen as shell-on, half shell and shucked meat types. As most of the freezing criteria are similar for all bivalves, the freezing method is classified according to these types. Raw material is washed in water containing 5 mg/l chlorine and depurated, weighed and graded according to the specified requirements. Shell-on. The product is arranged on trays and frozen at -35 / -40ºC as IQF and glazed for packaging, labelling and storage at -20ºC. Half shell. After depuration, half of the shell is removed, graded, arranged on trays and frozen at -35 / -40ºC. Then it’s glazed, packed, labelled and stored at -20ºC. Shucked-meat. After depuration and shucking, the meat is removed from the shell. It is weighed and graded according to size and frozen at -35 / -40ºC as IQF. The product is glazed, packed in specified packaging material, labelled and finally stored at -20 / -24ºC. Some packages have up to 24 months of shelf life.

*Original article: Das, Oishi, et. al. Processing of frozen seafood products. INFOFISH International. Vol. 2014-4, July-August. 2014.

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ASIAN report

Three points to ponder

Typically there are always issues confronting Asian Aquaculture, it is the power house of production and that is unlikely to change in any major way in the short term.

By Roy Palmer*


am just raising three which I feel could have impacts on supply and demand. The first is Russia. From a trade perspective this has changed massively due to the political embargoes. As usual one door closes and another one opens. It is still early days since all the trade corridors were amended in one way or another so this still has a long way until this is finalized. The bottom line is: Russia has slowly and surely become a keen fish importer and changing that will be hard for both importers and exporters. It is reported that 350 thousand MT of Atlantic salmon alone was imported from Norway and whilst this will not have a supply impact on Asia, it might be a catalyst for Norwegians to promote their product in that continent.

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Additionally, the Kremlin is apparently keen to see a drastic reduction in the country’s dependency on seafood imports, so exporters shouldn’t expect business to simply return to normal when the ban ends in August 2015. Russian waters incorporate areas from the Barents Sea to the Sea of Japan, which are not insignificant. Financing the development of aquaculture in Russia could total 1.3 billion rubles in 2015, according to the Government announcements at a round table on the development of the fisheries/aquaculture sector in Leningrad Region recently. The second is Thailand. There has been good and bad news in the country which has been hit hardest by EMS disease in its shrimp industry. On the down side it has been reported that following Thai Govern-

ment investigations, they found that frozen shrimp and fresh and frozen seafood products were among the least prepared to handle the change on the EU tariff arrangements that see Thailand lose its ‘developing country’ status. This will put Thailand at a decided disadvantage against competitors Indonesia and Vietnam. Some USD$3 billion value of Thai exports to the EU will be impacted across all products and for the shrimp and processed food industries (32 thousand tons of shrimp were exported in 2013), the major plan appears to be to attempt to become more competitive and consider moving some product to countries, such as Cambodia that still retain the EU tariff preference. On the bonus side for Thailand it seems that U.S. will not impose sanctions against the country for human trafficking despite them being listed as a “Tier 3” country. This is the lowest rank you can obtain and can mean making business difficult. According to the US Embassy in Bangkok the US President is authorized “to waive the restrictions if he determines that doing so would promote the purposes of the TVPA [Trafficking Victims Protection Act] or is otherwise in the US national interest”. This was how Malaysia, its southern neighbor, was treated when it was designated as a Tier 3 country.

President Obama has also waived sanctions for Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Yemen, in similar circumstances. Lastly we have Vietnam, China and Hong Kong. This is an issue which should concern all seafood professionals that are keen on legal trading. It has been known for some time that much of the business done to Hong Kong ends up being the ‘grey’ market into China. It was not that long ago that the Chinese Government made overtures on this issue and this had some major effect on many countries including Australia. It all hinges on tariffs and tax and falls into the Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) basket. Recently, it has been reported that Vietnam is now also an important border crossing into China for similar avoidance. This means that seafood is potentially getting into the Chinese market as much as 20-30% cheaper and has not been subject to examination or potential quarantine. It is likely that the product is repacked/ labelled before being moved into the market place. Maybe the Shanghai free trade zones will motivate Chinese buyers to import seafood legally. The zone offers convenience in the customs, examination and quarantine and according to some importers, their confidence has been firmed with experience to date. Formalization of customs declarations will become the trend according to those engaged and

Russia has become a keen fish importer and changing that will be hard for both importers and exporters.

Following Thai Government investigations, they found that frozen shrimp and fresh and frozen seafood products were among the least prepared to handle the change on the EU tariff arrangements.

this will have an impact on the cost of cold chain logistics, which is currently very high in the seafood import. Simplifying the border trade, where the residents on the border of two countries can buy or sell certain goods with a limit regarding their transaction value in some specific markets or any other permitted places, would be ideal. The goods are exempt from the tariff and other import linkage duties in the trading is too much of an incentive. Last year the customs of Nanning, Guangxi released a document which suggested that the bureau had caught a number of smugglers on the border between Guangxi and Vietnam. Clearly the smugglers have taken advantage of the policies regarding the border trade, even hiring the residents on the border to carry their large quantities of ordered commodities into China

piece by piece, while others have used the border residents’ identities to import the goods. Overall this is a difficult time to be involved in trading seafood. Many things are made over complicated by inconsistent policies and the industry should be doing everything possible to stamp out IUU issues. It is at times like this that you wonder whether we are working within the best system for trade in seafood. It is always a scapegoat for politics and pay-backs and generally it is always the person who least can afford it that pays the price for these inefficiencies. Roy Palmer has been involved in the seafood industry since 1972. His experience includes working for the Asia Pacific Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society and the International Association of Seafood Professionals. He is currently a Director of the World Aquaculture Society.

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ASIAN report

More aquaculture production is needed to feed a growing and urbanizing world


he Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has announced that six countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the world’s largest consumer of fish products, have come together to draft a work plan on the sustainable intensification of aquaculture for ‘blue growth’. Representatives from the Governments of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam are working with FAO global and regional fishery and aquaculture experts in the development of an FAO regional initiative to enhance production of aquaculture in an environmentally sound and sustainable way – “blue growth.” “Rapid GDP growth and rapid urbanization in Asia and the Pacific are resulting in a rapid change in dietary habits,” said Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific. “This has resulted in a growing demand for high-value proteinrich foods like meat and fish.” FAO predicts that increase in demand will continue well into the foreseeable future as socio-economic changes and increased urbanization keep pace. Citing research by UNDP, Konuma indicated that the percentage of middle income earners in Asia-Pacific would triple by 2020 (from 2009) and would grow six-fold by 2030, exponentially increasing demand for fish consumption, “especially in China, India and Indonesia,” he added. In order to keep up, FAO predicts Asian aquaculture production will need to increase by more than 60% 44 »

Combined technological intensification needs to be sustainable and environmentally sound.

to meet the projected consumption demand by 2030 -- just to meet the demand in Asia. The region already accounts for 90% of global aquaculture production and 50% of present global consumption.

Aquaculture will increasingly provide fish to satisfy global demand Based on the past trends of aquaculture in different regions, Asia is expected to make a major contribution to meet such increased global demand for fish through further aquaculture growth. China and many other nations are increasing their investments in aquaculture to help meet this growing demand. The fastest growth in production will likely be species such as tilapia, carp, and catfish – all of which are freshwater species in the Asia-Pacific region and produced in considerable quantities. Global tilapia production

is expected to almost double from 4.3 million tons to 7.3 million tons a year between 2010 and 2030. Aquaculture will provide close to 2/3 of global food fish consumption by 2030 as catches from wild capture fisheries level off. “There is a clear need to intensify aquaculture but it must be sustainable, environmentally sound and socially acceptable,” said Konuma during opening remarks at this two-day inception workshop. “FAO is supporting each country with its own initiatives in blue growth strategies and work plans,” he said, adding that the aim of this workshop is to develop work plans and have them in place by March or April next year in advance of FAO’s biannual Conference in Rome, Italy in June 2015. For more information on FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, visit: rap/home/news/en/


Middle East Aquaculture Forum


MEAF has been created to bring together aquaculture industry experts and academics from the Middle East, to showcase the latest products and offer industry professionals a state-of-the-art platform to interact.

Towards Sustainable Aquaculture in the Middle East” will be the theme of this first edition, which will focus on vital industry issues affecting the key Middle Eastern aquaculture producing countries. Activities will include specific topical industry sessions, technical sessions, facilitated workshops and panel discussions. Industry professionals will be able to interact and network in designated meeting space. MEAF will provide a unique networking platform for aquaculture academic and industry experts from the Middle East. Industry authorities and academics will jointly address some of the major topics in aquaculture, such as: * Outlook of aquaculture in the region * R&D aquaculture * Production systems * Health & nutrition * Water conservation (RAS) * Tilapia * Freshwater marine fish * Pre and pro biotics * Breeding and genetics * Shrimp * Algae & cucumber * Seafood market * Aquaculture & finance/investment MEAF15 will strongly focus on the crucial developments of marine aquaculture in the Middle East. There will be a special presentation

on “Trends in Global Aquaculture: focus on the Middle East”, “Mechanisms of activating marine aquaculture in the Arab region: constraints and solutions” and “An outlook on the Resources, Strategic Potentials and Investment Opportunities of the Aquaculture and Algaculture Industries in the Middle East”. Dr. Albert Tacon will give a plenary talk on ‘‘Future feeds for a growing aquaculture sector in a hungry world” while Michael Schwarz will focus on the Middle East with Trends in Global Aquaculture. MEAF15 is also proud to welcome the National Aquaculture Group (NAQUA) - Saudi Arabia at the Forum. Dr. Ahmad Al Ballaa - Managing Director of the National Aquaculture Group will give a plenary talk. Dr. Muhammed Alsaiady – ARASCO, will give a keynote presentation and will be chairing the nutrition session. The importance of a Middle East aquaculture networking forum has been acknowledged by a broad range of industry experts, such as Dr. Michael Schwarz (Past-president of the World Aquaculture Society - Virginia Tech, USA), Dr. Imad Patrick Saoud (American University, Lebanon), Dr. Seyed Hossein Hoseinifar (Gorgan University, Iran), Dr. Fahad Saleh Ibrahim (Ministry of Fish Wealth, Oman), Dr. Wenresti G. Gallardo (Sultan Qaboos University Oman),

Dr. Jean-Yves Mével (Al Ain University UAE), Dr. Marcell Boaventura (Saudi Arabia), Dr. Peter Pesch (National Aquaculture Group, Saudi Arabia), Dr. Hesham Hassanien (Saudi Arabia), Dr. Hussein Elghobashy (Agriculture Research Center, Egypt), Dr. David Griffith (National Aquaculture Group, Saudi Arabia), Mehdi Soltani (University of Tehran, Iran), and Haydar Alsahtout (President of the Saudi Aquaculture Society), among many others. This event is sponsored by the European Aquaculture Society and the World Aquaculture Society, with the Arab Aquaculture Society, the Pakistani Aquaculture Society and the Saudi Arab Aquaculture society as affiliate sponsors. The invitation is for these societies to hold their annual meeting at this event and invite all their members to MEAF in Dubai. Abstract submission is open until 15 February 2015: Advanced registration is recommended and available online as of 15 December 2014: Industry partners are welcome to contact the organizers by email to find out about sponsorship opportunities:

For regular program updates please visit: www.meaf. ae or contact

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a new approach for dissolved oxygen technology

This innovative system constitutes a technology shift in aeration methods for aquaculture.


urrent technologies available for aeration in aquaculture move the air, thus making air bubbles. FloVex is a new, patented technology for dissolving oxygen into water. The company founder, Prof. Thomas Kakovitch, PhD, created FloVex based on new hydro-aerodynamic flow equations for generating vacuum using the vorticity and angular momentum of a working fluid to create acceleration. The result? Flo-Vex is 5 times stronger than a Venturi for air suction and vacuum, resulting in a 99% dissolved oxygen-saturated water flow with a continuous water discharge.

Key Features The water coming out of the Flo-Vex is 99% saturated with dissolved oxygen; the equipment uses the open air of the atmosphere, not liquid oxygen. The equipment runs off of flow from the existing recirculation pump. There are no screens or diffusers, the air is emulsified into the water. As a result, producers won’t have to pay to have a separate system for recirculation and aeration. Flo-Vex is manufactured in PVC, so it’s 100% suitable for aquaculture. It also has no internal parts, and no need for compressed air. Additionally, Flo-Vex can dissolve pure oxygen and can be scaled for systems of any size. It has been tested for six months in 3 different recirculating systems, serving as the only source of oxygen for fish at a density of one pound / gallon (120 kg/m3). 46 »

How it works The Flo-Vex chamber causes the water to spin and accelerate; this accelerated flow creates a vacuum force 5 times stronger than a Venturi. The air is emulsified into the water, where the oxygen dissolves to 99% of saturation. The main difference between these systems is that a Venturi only makes bubbles, while Flo-Vex technology Dissolves Oxygen in the water. Great offer! There are two main reasons to buy Flo-Vex. First, this innovative product reduces operating costs, energy costs (as it needs 3/4 hp, instead of the usual 1.5 hp of a compressor, diffusers and

pump system), and increases stocking density for fish farmers. It also has no moving parts to maintain or replace. Flo-Vex is looking for a commercialization partner or distributor in the aquaculture or water aeration industry. We’re also looking for fish farmers who would like to test the technology for themselves. A commercial partnership could expand their market presence in aquaculture and water treatment by acquiring the license to sell Flo-Vex in these markets. For more information on this innovative technology, please visit our website: Call us: 877-224-5153 Or email us:

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Recent news from around the globe by

The project GreenFeed has developed a method to produce single By Suzi Dominy*

Finding alternative sources of EPA and DHA is more relevant than ever uring a round table discussion at the Aquaculture Europe Conference in San Sebastian, Spain, BioMar’s Executive Vice President of Sourcing, Niels Alsted, focused on the quest for finding alternative sources of EPA and DHA. The recent jump in the price of marine raw materials again underlines the necessity of finding alternative sources of EPA and DHA fatty acids in fish feed, he said. He pointed to four of the possible sources of EPA and DHA, but also stressed that at present, none of these sources are available in sufficient quantities to really make a difference in the market. As one of the options, he mentioned a better utilization of byproducts from the fishing industry and the implementation of more efficient production processes for fish meal and fish oil. “This could increase both availability and quality of feed ingredients of marine origin”, he said, but added that this will not alone be able


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cell proteins from a residual stream from the forestry industry for use in aquafeed. to cover the increasing demand for these ingredients. According to Alsted, one of the most promising technological solutions in the short run is the use of fermentation techniques, where heterotrophic microorganisms produce EPA and DHA based on sugar. However, while this is technically possible, the price is expected to continue to be significantly higher than the present fish oil prices. As the EPA and DHA, which today are obtained from fish oil, originate from algae, industrial production of these algae can, together with the additional benefit that it binds CO2, seem logical and attractive. “The possibility of extracting EPA and DHA directly from algae produced with just water, CO2, and sun light is indeed a very attractive solution seen from an environmental point of view; unfortunately, it has so far proven to be too costly and difficult to scale up”, Alsted said, and explained that it is not enough to be able to produce 20,000 or maybe 50,000 tons in this way. There is a need to produce hundreds of thousands of tons in order to cre-

ate a real difference and thus cover the increasing needs for EPA and DHA for human consumption and aquaculture at a global level. Alsted also talked about the inclusion of the algae gene producing EPA and DHA into plants like rape, soy, or Camelina as the most cost efficient and easily scalable solution. Alsted was well aware that it is controversial for some to use an algae gene in plants, but he also underlined the large regional differences in acceptance and perception of genetically modified organisms: “While there is resistance in some European countries against using genetically modified crops as feed ingredients in aquaculture, the use of genetically modified organisms like soy in aquaculture feed is already the standard in both Asia and America – and also in the production of feed for land animals in Europe – so this last alternative will probably within 5-7 years become one of the ways to produce more of the healthy fatty acids – if not in Europe then at least outside Europe”, he concluded. Meanwhile, a new video released by the International Fish Meal and Oil

Organization (IFFO) tells consumers that while salmon is an excellent source of OMEGA-3s, they need to understand the amounts of EPA and DHA found in salmon and the recommended levels in our diets. The video explains that of EPA and DHA in salmon flesh is directly linked to their diet, which in the wild is rich in fish oil. Farmed salmon feed used to contain 100% fish oil, rich in EPA and DHA, but the amount of fish oil used in feed is decreasing and is now supplemented with an increasing percentage of vegetable oil, resulting in lower levels of EPA and DHA in salmon. Consumers need to be aware of the varying levels of EPA and DHA in salmon and ensure that they eat enough to reach the recommended intake levels of 250 mg per day, as recommended by the WHO, the video advises. (You can see the video on YouTube here: com/watch?v=uxH43-Xs3R4)

Nutreco reaches conditional agreement to sell In October, the world’s largest feed company, Nutreco, announced it had conditionally agreed to a USD$3.4 billion buyout by family-owned Dutch investment firm, SHV. For the aquaculture sector, the main interest was what would happen to Nutreco’s aquafeed business, Skretting. The answer from Nutreco suggested there would be no discernable change: Knut Nesse, CEO of Nutreco, gave assur-

As EPA and DHA originate from algae, industrial production of these algae can seem logical and attractive; unfortunately, it’s has proven to be too costly.

ances that SHV would not break up Nutreco’s group or its business units and that Nutreco would retain its corporate structure. All looked set to proceed smoothly, until November, when Cargill put in a higher bid. However, Cargill said it was exploring a structured transaction together with private equity firm Permira. This would result in a break up of Nutreco: Cargill would acquire the Fish Feed business (Skretting) and Permira would acquire the Animal Nutrition business. Nutreco rejected Cargill’s offer on the grounds that its intention of breaking up the Nutreco business was fundamentally inconsistent with Nutreco’s long-term growth strategy for the business as a whole. As a result, SHV increased its offer and the new deal looks set to go ahead.

EWOS sees 5.6% increase in sales, despite physical pellet quality issues in Norway Aquafeed producer, EWOS reported a 46.6 thousand tons increase in sales volumes, to 875.7 thousand tons for the first nine months of 2014. Summarizing the company’s 2014 interim report, Einar Wathne, CEO of EWOS Group, said operating revenues increased by 5.9% year on year, to NOK 8,319.2 million for the first nine months in 2014. Strong growth was experienced during the first half of 2014 in all markets except Chile, while the continued growth in Canada and Vietnam during the third quarter was offset mainly by reduced volumes in Norway due to market share losses, temporary shifts in volume due to physical quality problems and reduced demand caused by high sea temperatures during the summer leading to reduced feeding as well as early harvesting because of sea lice in parts of the country EWOS experienced unprecedented physical pellet quality challenges in Norway during the third quarter that contributed to higher raw material and operating costs than anticipated. “We have resolved the key issues, and the physical quality has improved » 49


since the end of August. We are investing significant time and resources to ensure we improve our physical quality procedures as well as raw material and inventory controls. Despite these challenges, we continue to see good progress with our new Rapid performance feed in Norway”, Wathne said .

Indonesia’s aquafeed production capacity to grow by 9% in 2015 Three aquafeed companies are set to build feedmills in 2015. The Indonesian Feed Millers Association (GPMT) identified CJ in East Java, Matahari Sakti in Banten and Sinta Prima Feedmill in West Sumatra as companies with plans to build mills with capacities of 5, 000 tons/month. This will increase national aquafeed capacity to two million tons, a growth of nine percent. Currently only around 60-70% of the total installed capacity is utilized. Of the 66 members of GPMT, 15 feed millers produce aquafeeds. Canada - University of Saskatchewan Feed Research Centre officially open A grand opening ceremony in October, marked the inauguration of what is already touted as one of the world’s leading feed research facilities. First conceptualized in 2009, the Canadian Feed Research Center

EWOS experienced unprecedented physical pellet quality challenges in Norway during the third quarter of 2014 that contributed to higher raw material and operating costs than anticipated. 50 »

(CFRC) in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, came to fruition through a cooperative effort that included the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and Western Diversification, which made contributions to build the CAD$13.85 million Center. Cargill’s animal nutrition business in Western Canada was recognized during the ceremony for its CAD$2.46 million contribution. The CFRC will research, develop and commercialize new and better high-value terrestrial and aquatic animal feeds from low-value crops and co-products from bioprocessing and biofuels industries. The CFRC offers a broad range of research scale capabilities – from laboratory, to pilot plant, to industryscale research. The 15,650 ft2 of renovated Innovation Center space will employ four to eight research and development professionals. Both graduate and undergraduate students will participate in research and gain advanced training for careers in the feed and livestock sectors. The CFRC has stand-alone equipment and two scales of operating lines: a 2 tons/hr. Pilot Scale Line and an Industrial Scale Line (ISL) that operates at ~ 20 tons/hr.

Single cell protein for aquafeed lands innovation award SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and its subsidiary SP Processum were recognized by an EARTO Innovation Prize 2014 for the project GreenFeed, in which a method to produce single cell proteins from a residual stream from the forestry industry has been developed for use in aquafeed. “We started this work a few years ago and used a residual stream from the Domsjö mill for production of

single cell proteins on laboratory scale. Since then we have refined the technology on pilot scale and we have also verified the process on a large scale in the SP Biorefinery Demo Plant in Örnsköldsvik - and it proved to work very well,” Björn Alriksson, project leader at SP Processum said. “Our partners from Iceland, Matis and Saebyli, have produced fish feed containing our single cell protein and have carried out successful feeding trials on tilapia. The results showed an equal or even better growth of the fish when compared to a fishmealbased control feed. The next step is to proceed with large scale tests as well as development of a business concept for this new product.” “We have built a very good infrastructure here in Örnsköldsvik with different pilot equipment for development projects like this one,” says Clas Engström, CEO at SP Processum. ”We have been able to run efficient pilot and demo scale trials together with relevant industrial partners along the whole value chain. As SP also has a demonstration plant for upscaling of industrial biotechnology processes we have been able to verify the process almost on an industrial scale. I really look forward to eventually eating fish fed with fish feed based on our technology.”

Suzi Dominy is the founding editor and publisher of She brings 25 years of experience in professional feed industry journalism and publishing. Before starting this company, she was co-publisher of the agri-food division of a major UK-based company, and editor of their major international feed magazine for 13 years.

Offshore Aquaculture

An audacious hope – to be able to grow fish in the Gulf of Mexico!

Much deferred, now nigh fulfilled?

By Neil Anthony Sims*


ere’s an interesting question with which to challenge your friends, colleagues and family: The U.S. has the largest EEZ* on the planet, at over 4.7 million square miles. At the same time, of all the nations on earth, America is the biggest importer of seafood by dollar value. And around half of the seafood consumed in the U.S. – and globally – is farmed. So then… how much seafood has been commercially cultured in U.S. Federal waters over the last year?

Answer: None. Zilch. Nada. Not a single pound. The same for the last ten years. The same as it has ever been. One might imagine there was some urgency to remedying this imbalance (or what some might call, ‘this travesty’). How can we Americans reconcile our pious preachings of red-ambergreen persnicketiness with the image of ourselves as the Jabba the Hutt of global seafood markets? At what point do we Americans take some moral and environmental responsibility for our hankering for more seafood, and

start to actually grow some of it ourselves? The U.S. Federal government has correctly identified an important part of the solution – set-up of a regulatory framework for aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) – but has inched towards this goal with the antithesis of alacrity; a haste that might be categorized as somewhere between glacial and tectonic. One might remember (if one has lived so long!) that the original Aquaculture Fisheries Management Plan for the GoM was approved by the Gulf Regional Fisheries Manage-

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Offshore Aquaculture

ment Council in January, 2009, and had been allowed to take effect by default, through inaction of the Secretary of Commerce. “Inaction” being the operative word, it took another 5 years before the actual Rules were drafted and released for public comment. In the intervening eon, NOAA held “Listening Sessions” around the country, to allow everyone to fully express themselves, and then drafted and adopted (after further public comment) Aquaculture Policies for both NOAA and the Department of Commerce. The full 569 page GoM Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) for Aquaculture, complete with the supportive Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, Regulatory Impact Review, the Supplementary EIS (which assessed the potential impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the FMP … huh?), and links to NOAA’s Aquaculture Policy, can be found here: http://www.nmfs.noaa.g ov/ aquaculture/policy/21_gulf_of_ mexico_fishery_management_plan_ for_aquaculture.html There was, of course, opportunity for public comment on the Plan, and the EIS, and the Supplementary EIS. The Rules to give effect to the FMP were then posted for public comment, which closed on October 27th, 2014, but was later re-opened for an additional two weeks to allow for further public comment, just to ensure that everyone had their say. And had said it again. And again.

Pagrus pagrus

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Even though the U.S. is the biggest importer of seafood by dollar value, not a single pund of seafood has been commercially cultured in this country over the last ten years.

Links to the Rules and to the public comments can be found here: http:// It is probably safe to say that by now, the public has probably said all that needed to be said (and lots that probably didn’t need to be said) about growing fish in Federal waters in the GoM. There is ample evidence (see the seminal synthesis by Price and Morris, 2013) that net pen culture, if sited correctly (in sufficiently deep water, with some reasonable current movement) has no significant impact on water quality or benthos beyond the immediate area of the net pens. Given this, and the UDD$11 billion seafood trade deficit in America, one has to wonder if anyone inside NOAA ever argued for greater urgency. (And if they did, what possible arguments were presented to defend the dissembling?). Price and Morris (2013) is available at: http://www.noaanews.noaa. gov/stories2013/pdfs/2013_PriceandMorris_MarineCageCultureandT heEnvironment%285%29.pdf The Ocean Conservancy has been oft-heard exhorting that we get open ocean aquaculture “right from the start”. That’s all well and good, but … when exactly can we start? At least the Ocean Conservancy appears to better understand now that we must start somewhere, and start soon, and is not threatening a repeat of its earlier lawsuit that tried to halt the Gulf permit process. Unfortunately, in their frenzied rush, NOAA still managed to get it wrong in one critical area: the duration of permits, and the criteria for their renewal.

The proposed Plan provides for an initial 10 year duration for an aquaculture permit, which can then be renewed every 5 years. This may sound like a long time, but why should a fish farm permit even be of limited tenure? NOAA elsewhere recognizes the value of enduring access rights in fisheries (i.e. Individual Fisheries Quotas, or IFQs) as a means of promoting long-term perspectives amongst participants. Short-term tenure over an automobile, or a house, or a fishery or an aquaculture permit will naturally lead to less care. So a narrow window of opportunity is not only a disincentive to investment in the industry, it will – more damagingly - skew investors and participants towards a “get in, grab-it-all, get out” mentality. Patient investment should be instead encouraged. The Ocean Stewards Institute – our open ocean aquaculture trade association – very consciously and deliberately built our sobriquet around the key element of stewardship. As farmers on land feel a strong sense of ownership and investment (both financial and emotional) in the soil that they work, so we farmers at sea want a structure that encourages those same enduring attachments to the waters in which we work. It is better for our business, and better for our ocean’s future. Compounding this misalignment of incentives, nowhere do these Rules indicate the criteria for permit renewal. NOAA expects investors to commit the significant funds needed to finance an offshore aquaculture operation (somewhere in the realm of USD$10 - 20 million, when we tote it up on the back of an envelope) with

Whas is the EEZ? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines the EEZ* as follows: Within the EEZ, the U.S. has: Sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring, exploiting, conserving and managing natural resources, whether living and non-living, of the seabed and subsoil and the superjacent waters and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds; Jurisdiction as provided for in international and domestic laws with regard to the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations, and structures, marine scientific research, and the protection and preservation of the marine environment; and Other rights and duties provided for under international and domestic laws.

no rubric for assessing whether the permit should continue beyond the first 10 years. How would you manage any operation – be it a farm or a fishery or a forest - when you don’t know how your performance will be evaluated, or your continued access will be determined? How would you ever manage anything, when you do not know the criteria by which you will be judged? Any investment guide will tell you: uncertainty about the future leads to a focus on more immediate returns. Rarely is that in the best interests of anyone; and it is never in the best interests of the environment. Nowhere in the history of farming of animals has a shortterm perspective been beneficial for the animals, or for the ecosystem in which they are raised.

One of the rationales offered in the FMP discussions is that permits may need to be cycled through, to allow for more equitable participation. Permits, it seems, may be rotated among applicants. Broader access to aquaculture permits might be a concern if you believed that the GoM should be constrained to, say, five farms, with a total annual production of 30,000 tons (as this FMP currently prescribes). But the GoM EEZ waters encompass some 273,000 sq. miles. The whole point of the FMP is to allow an industry to grow, to help feed our nation (and the world) with healthful seafood, and to create jobs in coastal communities and preserve working waterfronts. So… why would we not want fifteen farms, or fifty, producing maybe half-a-million tons of fish, or more? And if that is indeed a more desirable goal, then why hold out the threat of whipping the permit away from the first poor soul to start operating out there? Ideally, the permits for aquaculture in the GoM would be in perpetuity, and cancelled only when justified, by a breach of permit provisions. There are already abundant, clearly defined and enforceable mechanisms for NOAA to cancel a permit for violation of the Rules. If, however, NOAA feels compelled for some reason to impose some limit, then a twenty year permit, renewable for twenty year extensions, would be the minimum requirement for establishing investor confidence in permit tenure, and in fostering a true sense of ownership -and therefore stewardship - amongst permit-holders. There should also then be some clearly defined rubric by which the permit renewal was evaluated each twenty years. But … enough carping. Let’s be optimistic! Optimism is, after all, an essential prerequisite for open ocean aquaculture – or indeed, for any form of farming. While we may grouse about the long grind to get here, we should also heartily thank NOAA and the Gulf Council for at least

Farmers at sea want a structure that encourages the strong sense of ownership and investment in the waters in which we work, just as farmers on land.

sustaining the process through these years, and for finally reaching this important step in developing a more vibrant, healthy and healthful cultured seafood industry in the U.S. ‘Tis a wondrous thing that we might yet see, in our life-time fish grown in Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. It has been a fervent hope of many of us, for many years, and it has been long deferred. But hope – no matter how audacious – is sometimes fulfilled.

Neil Anthony Sims is co-Founder and CEO of Kampachi Farms, LLC, based in Kona, Hawaii, and in La Paz, Mexico. He’s also the founding President of the Ocean Stewards Institute, and sits on the Steering Committee for the Seriola-Cobia Aquaculture Dialogue and the Technical Advisory Group for the WWF-sponsored Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

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Grass Fed Fish The Aquaculture industry, other than for shellfish, is completely By John Reid*


his sounds almost silly to say because it is so obvious, but few fully understand where their feed comes from, and the changes that are accelerating amongst all animal feeds as well as for aquaculture diets. This is kind of like the old adage that most people think that “food comes from the supermarket”, forgetting about the role of farms that produce our food. With aquaculture, many people forget that (excluding fish meal) the source of all of our aquaculture feeds is not from our feed suppliers, but our farms, and in particular our soil, water resources, and climate.

Many types of grasses.

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dependent on the animal feed industry that sustains it.

There are four key global trends that are colliding to create a great opportunity and challenge for animal protein production and especially the aquaculture industry. The success of surmounting these will depend entirely on our feed sources. These four are: the growing global demand for more meat protein, skyrocketing population growth, soil erosion, and climate change factors like declining water availability, rising temperatures, and ocean acidification. Immediately you may be beginning to think this is an article about some doomsday scenario; it is not, but only because I will be so bold

as to say, because we will have addressed a major shift in the kinds of fish we grow and the feeds we feed them. This article is not necessarily a unique description of our challenges, but possibly a unique solution.

Macro Environment Challenges The world’s population now stands above seven billion people and all estimates have it growing to about ten and a half billion by 2050. This is a growth increase of 35% or 1.5 million new people per week. We are adding (and need to feed) the equivalent of one additional New York City metropolitan area every two months!

A 35% growth in population means we need to increase the global food supply by at least 35%. This in itself is a daunting challenge to accomplish, but due to changing eating preferences towards higher meat consumption, it is expected that world food production will need to increase by nearly 100%. This is due to the additional feed needed to produce an increasing percent of animal protein. In the next 35 years this 35% to 100% increase in food production needs to be created in as much as 30% less land than is available for today’s population. This is due to declining soil fertility, and soil erosion. In the US, an area the size of the state of Rhode Island is lost every year to soil erosion. Between 1840 and 1917 when the first soil surveys of the US were done, there was over eight feet of topsoil depth (or tilth) across the US. The average today is approximately eight inches. By some estimates soil loss in the US is greater now than it was during the ‘dust-bowl’ days of the 1930’s. (We have consumed our fossil soils in similar ways as our fossil fuels). The US has lost nearly 87% of its topsoil resources since the mid 1800’s. The loss of topsoil costs the US USD$36 billion every year in productivity losses. Around the world soil is being lost 10 to 40 times faster than it is being replenished. Worldwide, cropland is shrinking by more than 10 million ha a year due to soil erosion (about the size of the state of Indiana every year). This implies that farming techniques used today are not sustainable, and production on much of the US and global soils needs to be changed to less soil intensive techniques. Next to (and irrespective of) Global Warming, soil loss is considered the greatest challenge to sustaining US and global food supplies. It is questionable that soils of US and the world can maintain their current output let alone sustain the massive increase in agriculture that

will be needed to sustain population growth. Compounding the dearth of soil tilth is diminishing water availability. Even if more land were pressed into agricultural production (at great cost to forests and biodiversity), there is not the water needed to support additional cultivation using existing practices. Some 70% of the planet is covered by water, but only 2% is fresh water, and of that 2%, 1.6% is (currently) contained in frozen ice caps, leaving only .4% available for the existing population of 7 Billion people. By 2025, the World Bank predicts that 66% of the world will run short of fresh drinking water

and 80% of the world will be fresh water limited by 2050. The water shortages for agriculture will be immense. Meeting crop demands in the next ten years, for 2025, when the world´s population will be ‘just’ 8 billion, will require a new volume of water equivalent to the entire flow of the Nile river, times ten! There just simply will not be enough water to increase current agricultural output by 100% using current practices. There may not even be enough to supply the base of 35% needed to feed the world as we do today. Multiplying the negative impacts on food production, beyond

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the trends of soil loss and water shortages, are the effects of climate change or global warming. There are many impacts of global warming on agriculture that are too numerous to note here, but probably the largest will be the impact of excessive heat. With many crops already growing near their maximum heat tolerance, most crop yields will fall with any further rise in temperatures. Corn fails to form seed heads when average growing temperatures are above 95°F and soybean above 102°F. Crop yields are predicted to fall by much as 10% in the US and as much as 50% in Pakistan, or about a 30% global reduction in output due just to heat, not counting lost soil or limited water resources. There are many compounding factors like ethanol production but heat is one of the key factors for price spikes and long term increase in grain prices. The impact of global warming on food supplies does not stop on land, but continues deep into the oceans. Not counting aquaculture, currently 16% to 20% of the world’s protein comes from ocean fisheries. Including the 5% of the world’s protein produced from fisheries products that are fed to animals, the oceans’ percent of global protein production is near 25%. Given that it takes 2 to 15 pounds of grain or fodder to

Landscape of Grass

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grow a pound of protein on land, the 16% to 25% of global protein that comes from the oceans is reducing the load that terrestrial agriculture needs to produce protein by as much as 50% (assuming a good food conversion ratio or FCR of 2). Ocean yields in many areas are falling due to overfishing, but global warming will exacerbate declining ocean harvests. Even if ocean harvests remain constant, the 100% new food production needed will not have the ~25% subsidy that is currently provided by the oceans. This means we are likely faced with producing as much as 150% more food to maintain expected market preferences. Marine or ocean-based aquaculture cannot be counted as a true increase in ocean yields because it relies from 50% to 90% on terrestrially produced feeds. Aquaculture can create protein more efficiently but is not a true substitute for lost ocean harvests because even ocean aquaculture is dependent on land based soil and water resources to grow feed. Feeding terrestrial-based feeds to an ocean environment is also a form of soil erosion, a concept discussed more below. Like the terrestrial impacts of global warming, impacts on fisheries yield are also too numerous to note here. Currently the largest impact is

In the next 35 years, the 35% to 100% increase in food production needs to be created in as much as 30% less land than is available for today’s population.

projected to come from changes in the pH of seawater, or ocean acidification. The dissolving of CO2 into seawater, forming carbonic acid, causes ocean acidification. Predictions on the decline in ocean fisheries yield due to ocean acidification are still preliminary but range from 10% to a 50% drop in all ocean yields by the end of this century. Calcium based shelled animals, like shrimp, crabs and mollusks are the most at risk. They represent 21% of all ocean harvests and their loss could be from 30% to a complete collapse of all production. In 2008, shellfish aquaculture producers in the US Pacific Northwest experienced an 80% drop in shellfish stocks due to drops in ocean pH. Regional stocks have

since recovered to 70% of their previous total, but this one event is indicative of how sensitive ocean species are to pH changes. Based on the decline of calcareous algae, which are one of the key supports of the entire marine food system, many fish species may also be at risk. The net impact of current trends of population growth, soil loss, water shortages, temperature rise, and ocean acidification, (and other factors not noted here) add up to a very challenging time to sustain existing production let alone provide the minimum need of 35% to 150% more food for the world. The US food system is not likely to collapse but the price pressures put on US supply due to domestic and international demand for exports of protein and grain stock will push US food and especially US protein prices to rise much higher than the normal rates experienced over the last 50 years. This is a large opportunity for aquaculture markets to provide a competitive protein source but a huge challenge regarding the food supplies for aquaculture.

sustainable way. Grains are delicious on their own, and provide a cornucopia of other uses, but they simply cannot be looked at as the base that will continue to supply the animal feed industry sustainably. If soil tilth alone is used as an indication of sustainability we have been “deficit-spending”, draining the bank account of our soil tilth for a long time. Some could argue this goes back to the reasons humans migrated out of Mesopotamia to northern Europe, but that is another article. If one really does the math, the “global stoichiometry,” it simply does not add up to depend on grains for the long-term future of protein production or aquaculture’s food supply. I will be so bold again as to say: it is an inevitability that we must reduce our dependence on grains for all animal feeds, or reduce our dependence on animal protein.

Some claim that a large percentage of carbon emissions causing global warming has come from our lost soils. Not just burning of oil, but soil volatizing back to gaseous carbon that was once sequestered in our deep soils. Even more dramatic is the possibility that converting a large portion of our grain base to grass could recapture this carbon and reduce annual carbon emissions by 25% or more. This is a large controversial topic, but some have powerful and well-grounded arguments that this could be a larger factor in slowing climate change than all the wind, solar or even nuclear production installed to date. All current terrestrial species could grow well on grass-based diets since most evolved to eat grasses in the first place. Aquaculture has the ability to take the best advantage of grass diets, due to overall lower food conversion ratios, the fact that many fish species are efficient low protein consumers, and other well-known factors. So how do grass based feeds get the world more production, not just the same equivalent yields in a more sustainable way? A large percentage of grass production will need to replace grain fields, and this is not likely to create any net-new production, but it helps reduce soil erosion and the yield killing impacts of global warming. Gains come when grasses are produced on lands that are now currently too poor to grow grains, land set-asides for soil-conservation purposes become moot, and a net increase in cultivable area is realized. The 60% to 70% lower water requirements of grasses can allow irrigated areas to double or triple their

Grass Based Feeds Rather than everyone going on vegetarian diets, one proposed solution that would work could be grassbased feeds. Everything about grass production is nearly the opposite of Grains as our food base grain production. Grasses use a fracThe sustainability of aquaculture tion of the water and fertilizer of feed sources is directly related to the grains, are more heat-tolerant than sustainability and to the very viabil- grains, have equivalent, sometimes ity of the aquaculture industry itself. larger biomass yields and many types There has been a lot of attention are high protein. Because grasses are paid to replacing fishmeal in diets mowed, and not tilled, they protect given the well-discussed limitations and grow soil tilth, not consume it. of fishmeal supply, overfishing of Grasses can be pelleted and profishmeal, as well as price limitations. cessed in similar ways as grains, with Concurrent with reductions in use, many similar mineral and vitamin or a complete shift away from fish- mixes added. But most importantly, meal, have been innovations in other grasses produced in sustainable ways, protein boosters, like insect diets, sequester carbon in huge quantities. algae and other protein sources. But these are all added to a base of grains. Even though we are still developing Even though we are still developing effective all-grain diets, grains effective all-grain diets, grains have become the backbone of the aquahave become the backbone of the aquaculture industry. However, they culture industry, just like they are for can’t be looked at as the base that will continue to supply the animal Chicken, Pork and Beef. However as noted above, it is feed industry sustainably. highly likely that grains cannot carry the load of increased production in a

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effective acreage. When greater net yields are combined with the greater efficiencies of aquaculture achieving the 35% increase in food production seems likely, and gives us a strong shot at supplying the expanding market for higher protein foods such as fish.

Grasses Are Not a Panacea (Yet) As with any new approach to production, grass-based feeds need to undergo a lot of development to be commercially viable on the mass-scale that is needed. The first challenge is that commonly grown grasses are not as energy dense, nor protein rich as most grains. This author has worked with diets that were effectively 40% grasses, and 60% grains to boost protein to a minimal level of 28% that was fed to tilapia. Growth was about 90% that of the 32% protein diets used as a control. A good start but not a viable solution for most tilapia growers, and certainly not for other species requiring higher protein diets. Real progress will be made when the ratio can be flipped to 70% grass and just 30% grains or other additives, with

Water stressed regions by 2030 - 2039.

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Grass-based feeds need to undergo a lot of development to be commercially viable on the mass-scale that is needed.

equivalent or better growth rates. This initial formula was based primarily on substituting alfalfa, since that was all that was commercially available at the time. But there are literally thousands of different types of grasses to work with. When these are combined with the new protein boosting compounds coming on the market, based on insects, a wide range of digestive enzymes, and a host of others, perfecting high protein diets in the 35% range seems very likely. The other side of the coin to raising the protein level of feeds is lowering the protein requirements of fish.

Chickens do very well on a 20% protein diet, and this is one reason they dominate the market as a low-cost protein. High chicken growth on low protein feed was not luck, this represents as much as 100 years of development from early modern chicken breeds like the Rhode Island Red to Arbor Acerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (Avigenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s) breeding stock. Tilapia, grass carp and many others are good aquaculture options, but they are nearly wild-stock species. The genetic potential for fish species is so much greater than poultry, given their lower overhead as cold-blooded animals and many other reasons. We are just scratching the surface at breeding better strains of the existing species we have, or developing new low-protein eating species. One other challenge for grassbased diets that must be considered is the recycling of aquaculture wastes back to farmland. The soil-regenerative capacity of grasses is large, but if the manure of aquaculture is thrown into rivers, or the ocean, it is a form of soil erosion. Manure is still the biomass of the soil and too much loss can out-strip the soil

Landscape of Grass

growth rate, and we are back again at the negative soil production rates we have currently. Applying aquaculture manure to farmland, to a substantial degree will preclude the use of saltwater production. Not to be a ‘soil-fascist’, there is of course some room to feed marine species with terrestrially sourced diets, but it must be kept at a minimum because saltwater manure cannot be applied to terrestrial fields. This places interesting constraints on the kind of aquaculture systems that can be used. Of course RAS comes to mind, but the use of irrigation reservoirs as ponds, or culture cages in large reservoirs where the manure wastes can be cycled back to farmland, also become preferable methods of production. A large advantage of grass-based feeds as a whole production program combining diets, genetics and production systems, is it is likely to be much more profitable than current aquaculture techniques. All the attributes that make grass-based feeds sustainable, also make it a less expensive production system. The opportunity exists to lower costs sufficiently to rival chicken as the low cost protein in the world, and the

massive sales volumes that would come with that.

A long-term program that must be developed quickly Given all of the social and environmental issues noted here that are literally growing exponentially, there is a lot to do. To develop grass based feeds, a multidisciplinary approach is needed between farmers, feed mills, additive producers, livestock and aquaculture producers, and universities as well as governments to modify some laws, provide research funding and create some initial market incentives. Options other than grass-diets may evolve, but whatever they are they will have to meet the basic tenants discussed here. I will be bold again to say that if these are not met, we will not be able to avoid huge calamities in food production, and all the societal issues that can spin out of food shortages. We categorically cannot continue as we are now for much more than 20 to a maximum of 30 years. The good news is we have solutions. They will involve a large investment, but can generate huge

opportunities. The opportunity is to generate a new low cost protein that can feed the world, upgrade protein levels for many, be sustainable, and possibly stop or even reverse global warming. Now this is a recipe worth pursuing. There was a Green Revolution, and a Blue Revolution – but this is the Teal Revolution, blending fish and fields, Green and Blue for Grass Fed Fish!

*John Reid Is the CEO of Waterfield Farms, Inc. He has over thirty years of experience in the design, finance and operations of food and energy companies. He has built and run multiple aquaculture and hydroponic systems as well as worked with co-generation and bio-fuels around the world.

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Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing

Profitability of an Aquaculture Business: Are You Evaluating It Correctly?

“Profitability” is a word that is used commonly, and most individuals understand generally what it means.

By Carole R. Engle*


owever, there are several ways to measure profitability, depending on the questions being asked. There are also published reports that include analyses of “profitability” that are not done correctly. Thus, this column is devoted to the proper assessment and interpretation of profitability measures and to a discussion of the types of hidden costs that are ignored too frequently.

Profitability Profitability, in its most general interpretation, measures whether the revenue generated by the business exceeds the total costs incurred by the business. Differences occur if the calculation is done for tax purposes, to measure “true” profits, or to estimate the profitability associated with a new capital investment. Additional problems arise when cost items are not included in the analysis. Reasons given for omitting cost items include: 1) they are assumed to already exist; 2) the item has already been paid for; or 3) it is something for which the business does not incur a direct expense. For tax purposes, most aquaculture businesses hire an accountant who prepares a Schedule F for the farm business each year (in the U.S.). The Schedule F form includes sections to list all revenue and all expenses and results in a bottom line 60 »

Pond construction.

estimate of profit or loss for the year. However, tax codes in the U.S. provide various options for handling certain types of costs, and allow deductions and credits that can skew the measure of profit when filing income tax returns. For example, equipment can be depreciated quickly for tax purposes over fewer years than the equipment’s useful life. Since it is in the farm business’s interest to “write off ” depreciation quickly, such “accounting profits” show that the farm business is less profitable than it is in reality.

True profit (also called “economic” profit) accounts for the value of all resources used in the production process. Thus, non-cash costs like depreciation, unpaid family labor, and all opportunity costs must be charged against the revenue received to measure “true” or “economic” profit. Economic profit is the best measure of whether a business is economically sustainable (i.e. profitable, over the long term). This is because: 1) the business must receive sufficient revenue to be able to replace its equipment and buildings when they wear out; 2)

family labor must receive compensation greater than the value of their time and effort in other activities; and 3) the land must generate greater value in aquaculture than in other crops. The business will not be able to continue without replacing equipment; family members eventually will move to jobs that provide greater compensation; and farmers will plant more profitable crops at some point in the future. Costs for unpaid family labor and land that is already paid for are typically assigned as “opportunity costs.” Calculating economic profit is the only way to truly project the longterm economic feasibility of an aquaculture business.

Depreciation and opportunity Depreciation and opportunity costs frequently are omitted from cost analyses. In some cases, those developing the analyses may not understand their importance. In other cases, their omission may be rationalized by saying that it is not a cash expense and thus is not relevant. Other cost analyses omit costs of equipment or land already owned. However, use of equipment, land, and labor in the aquaculture business means that it is no longer available for the uses for which it has been used in the past. Such costs must be included to be certain of the business’s profitability. The bottom line estimates of costs of production that are calculated without opportunity costs and full costing of equipment, land, and labor needed can result in erroneous conclusions. The table illustrates such an example, with a negative value when accounting for all costs as compared to values that are seemingly quite profitable when fixed costs or unpaid family labor costs are ignored. Figure 1 Measure

Net Returns (“Profit”)

Full accounting of all costs - $56/acre No fixed costs $534/acre No fixed costs or unpaid family labor $618/acre

Aerators are depreciated.

Profitability measures whether the revenue generated by the business exceeds the total costs incurred by the business

The profitability of a proposed investment requires a different type of analysis. Investing in new ponds, a processing plant, or new equipment will result in benefits and costs that accrue over a long period of time. A dollar of revenue to be received in the future does not have the same value as a dollar received today. This difference is not due to inflation, but rather due to the fact that a 2014 dollar can be invested and, by earning interest, be worth more than 1 dollar in the future. The proper analysis to be done is to estimate the revenues and costs for each year of the life of the investment, up to about 10 years (extending the analysis beyond 10 years rarely produces more accurate results). In this annual cash flow budget, all cash outflows are included in the year in which they incurred. Thus, if a new aerator will need to be pur-

chased every 5 years, the total cost of a new aerator is included in Year 6. Net Present Value (NPV) and the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) should then be calculated using a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel. Other metrics that have been used have important weaknesses that can lead to misinterpretation. To interpret the results, if NPV is greater than 0, the investment is profitable. If the IRR is greater than the interest rate that the capital could have generated in some other investment (opportunity cost of capital), then the investment is feasible. Accurate and complete calculations of true economic profit and the long-term return on the investment (IRR) are a necessary foundation from which to make the best possible decisions for the aquaculture farm business.

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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Prebiotics in

Shrimp Aquaculture Improving the overall health status of the stock and defending against various infectious pathogens’ intrusion has been on the top of the list of shrimp aquaculture priorities.

By Hui Gong*


he digestive tract is one of the common sites where pathogens could enter into the shrimp; colonization by microbiota of mucus in the gastrointestinal tract acts as the first line of defense against pathogenic, exogenous or opportunist microorganisms, which establishes a barrier effect. A group of non-digestible food ingredients which could selectively stimulate the growth and/or the metabolism of health-promoting bacteria in the intestinal tract, and thus improve an organism’s intestinal balance, is known as prebiotics. This concept of “prebiotic” was introduced by Gibson and Roberfroid in 1995. One decade later, the refined prebiotics definition was given by Roberfroid as follows: “A prebiotic is a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora that confers benefits upon host well-being and health.” Three criteria were further stated for dietary carbohydrates to be considered as prebiotics: 1) resistance to gastric acidity, to hydrolysis by mammalian enzymes, and to gastrointestinal absorption; 2) fermentation by intestinal microflora; and 3) selective stimulation of the growth and/or activity of those intestinal bacteria that contribute to health and well-being. 62 »

Beneficial effects of prebiotics were first acknowledged in the terrestrial mammals, and primarily as humans’ dietary supplements. The application of prebiotics has also attracted increased interest in aquaculture in the past decade, mostly in finfish, and to a lesser degree in shrimp. The prebiotics are typically carbohydrates derived from plant or yeast origins, and comprised of three to ten carbohydrate units. Among those, inulin, fructooligosaccharide (FOS), mannanoligosaccharide (MOS), isomaltooligosaccharide (IMO) showed prebiotic characteristics in shrimp, as studies are summarized in the Table and more details explained in the text below. The beneficial health effects of prebiotics are presumably due to the byproducts generated from their fermentation by gut commensal bacteria, which lead to promote the growth of health promoting bacteria and suppress the effects of harmful bacteria. Furthermore, some carbohydrates, such as short chain FOS (scFOS) and MOS could also be considered as immunosaccharides as they may directly activate certain innate immune responses, thus improving the host’s health. It should be noted that β-glucan molecules, well accepted non-specific immunostimulants, are not categorized as prebiotics in shrimp because crustaceans can digest glucan and use it as an energy source.

Shrimp solely depend on the innate defense system to defend themselves against the invasion of foreign microorganisms as they don’t process the adaptive immune system. The innate immune system, also known as natural or non-specific defense system can be categorized in cellular and humoral reactions. Cellular components are directly performed by hemocytes, and include phagocytosis, encapsulation and nodulation. Humoral defense refers to processes related to activation comprised of the prophenoloxidase (proPO) system, the clotting cascade, a wide array of antimicrobial peptides, free radicals, and the synthesis and release of several immune proteins, such as antimicrobial peptides, proteinase inhibitors, cytokine-like factors, and others.

Table 1 Inulin Prebiotic Application in Shrimp Research. Inulin belongs to a class of dietary Prebiotic Used for Shrimp Species (average size) Dose and Duration Major Effect fibers known as fructans, composed of a polymer of β-D-fructose (F) atInulin Litopenaeus vannamei (1.1 g) 0, 1.25, 2.5, 5.0, and 10 g/kg 2.5-5.0g/kg decreased the prevalence of WSSV in tached by β -2-1 linkages. The first shrimp, increased the phemonomer of the chain is either a ß noloxidase activity, but had no -D-glucopyranosyl or β -D-fructo(62 days, 73 days) effect on hemocyte number, pyranosyl residue. D-fructose (F) growth, survival, and lactic link with D-glucose (G), with general acid bacteria in shrimp. scFOS Litopenaeus vannamei (7.54 g) 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, 2, 4, 8g/kg 1g/kg, 8g/kg affected gut structure of GFn. “n” refers to the microbiota, enhanced hemodegree of polymerization of inulin, cyte respiratory burst, but not and it’s usually 10 or so. Inulin is used 42 days weight gain, feed conversion by some plants as a means of storing or survival energy and is typically found in roots scFOS Litopenaeus vannamei (0.17g) 0, 0.4, 0.8, 1.2, 1.6g/kg ≥0.4g/kg improved growth or rhizomes. They constitute a group rate, feed intake, feed 56 days conversion, and affected gut of oligosaccharides derived from sumicrobiota crose that are isolated from natural MOS Penaeus semisulcatus (0.34g) 0, 1.5, 3, 4.5g/kg 3g/kg improved growth, feed vegetable sources. conversion and survival. No Although inulin is not known as 48 days detrimental effect was noted a natural fiber in shrimp diets, it has on hepatopancreas MOS Litopenaeus vannamei (1.35g) 3g/kg Enhanced shrimp survival, been suspected to contribute to balmoulting rate, growth and FCR anced gut bacteria development, sup75days pressing pathogens’ presence and efMOS Litopenaeus vannamei (1.65g) 0, 4, 6, 8, 10g/kg ≥0.4g/kg enhance shrimp fects. Bifidobacteria, lactic acid bacteria, growth, feed intake and FCR, and clostridia are known to be able 30 days affected gut microbiota. to ferment inulin. A recent study MOS Litopenaeus vannamei (2.52g) 0, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8g/kg 2-8g/kg enhanced growth rate and increased the intestishowed that dietary supplementation nal microvilli length, of inulin decreased the prevalence 4-8g/kg improved resisof WSSV in Litopenaeus vannamei and 56 days tance against NH3 stress, increased the phenoloxidase activactivities of phenoloxidase ity, but didn’t affect hemocyte numand superoxide dismutase in haemolymph ber, growth, survival, and lactic acid IMO Litopenaeus vannamei (1.75g) 2g/kg No effect alone, but bacteria in shrimp. It seems unclear showed synbiotic effect on whether inulin alone can act as an immicrobial population, immune munostimulant or can work through 28days responses and resistance to its fermented by-products, such as white spot syndrome virus short chain FOS, so that certain immune defense activities occur in tococcus faecalis in shrimp’s gut. AlFOS shrimp. Fructooligosaccharide is an inulin- though another study using shrimp like ingredient, having the same gen- of bigger size observed no effect of eral formula of GFn, with n ranging dietary scFOS on weight gain, feed from 1 to 5. Two studies evaluated conversion or survival after a six The application of dietary effects of scFOS in recircu- week feeding trial, enhanced hemolating systems using different sizes cyte respiratory bursts were observed prebiotics has attracted of L. vannamei juveniles (0.17 g ver- in addition to increased colonization increased interest in sus 7.5 g), and both found that gut of a couple of gram positive aeromicrobiota was affected by dietary bic microbes (Alkalibacillus spp. and aquaculture in the past supplementation of scFOS. It was Micrococcus spp.) and an unidentified decade, mostly in finfish, reported that scFOS improved spe- seawater bacterium occurring in the cific growth rates and feed conver- digestive tract. However, whether and to a lesser degree in sions in younger shrimp juveniles, these microbial shifts have any posishrimp. and significantly affected the counts tive effects on the shrimp health, and of Vibrio parahemolyticus, Aeromonas through what mechanism, remains hydrophila, Lactobacillus sp. and Strep- to be further investigated.

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The beneficial health effects of prebiotics are presumably due to the byproducts generated from their fermentation by gut commensal bacteria, which lead to promote the growth of health promoting bacteria.

MOS Mannan oligosaccharides, linear chains of mannose, are either derived from the cell wall of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) or plant mannans. The former consists of the chain of mannose residues linked together via α-1, 6-glycosidic bond, and the latter is β-1, 4-MOS produced by enzymatic hydrolysis via α-mannanases. In the past few years, several studies have been conducted to investigate MOS application in shrimp aquaculture and relatively consistent beneficial effects of dietary MOS were demonstrated, such as improving shrimp growth, feed efficiency, pathogen protection, intestinal microbiota modulation and functionality, etc. MOS could affect the bacterial attachment in the intestinal tract, and a C-type lectin possessing mannose receptor was found in shrimp. MOS was shown to increase intestinal Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria and reduce pathogenic Vibrio in the shrimp. The combined effects of MOS are likely due to the agglutination or binding of Vibrio cells to MOS, mediated by

The adoption of advanced molecular tools and standardized methods in profiling gut microbiota in response to prebiotics would be helpful in deepening our understanding of various functions of prebiotics in microbial community shifts.

64 »

the presence of mannose receptors or possible interaction with other cagonical pattern recognition receptors to induce intracellular signaling pathways, followed by some innate immune responses being stimulated. More research is necessary to gain understanding of modes of action by MOS as prebiotics and immunostimulants. IMO Isomaltooligosaccharides, specifically, are mixed glucose oligomers with α-D-(1,6)-linkages. Dietary inclusion of 0.2% isomaltooligosaccharides alone showed no beneficial effect on shrimp performance, immune response and disease resistance. However, positive synergistic effects on shrimp immune responses and disease resistance was indicated when the combination of 0.2% IMO and 108 CFU/g Bacillus OJ was administered in L. vannamei through feed. In summary, prebiotics showed some beneficial effects in shrimp aquaculture such as promoting growth, improving feed efficiencies, increasing disease resistance, etc. However, little is known in terms of mechanisms underlying some beneficial effects of prebiotics, synbiotics, and relationships with other immunostimulants. Baseline information of shrimp digestive microbiota is critical in assessing the effectiveness of prebiotics supplementation, but such information has been lacking in general. Recently, Tucz and his co-authors isolated 64 bacterial strains with proteolytic activities from the digestive tract of L. vannamei, and identified the strains by combined molecular

methods with phenotypic criteria as Pseudoalteromonas and Vibrio genera. The adoption of advanced molecular tools and standardized methods in profiling gut microbiota in response to prebiotics, such as transcriptome and proteome profiling, would be helpful in deepening our understanding of various functions of prebiotics in microbial community shifts. RNA interference technology could also be a useful tool in investigating prebiotics- associated immune responses. Therefore, more detailed and in-depth research efforts in prebiotics are warranted to gain more understanding of their application to address the needs of promoting health and production in shrimp aquaculture.

Hui Gong, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the College of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Guam. Her expertise in shrimp aquaculture has built on 17 years of experience in applied research in both academic and industrial backgrounds.

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Hatchery Technology and Management

Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) juvenile production is taking Norway by storm

This goes towards a sustainable, non-pharmaceutical approach to By Cecilia C. Vargas*


he lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) has become a trendy aquaculture species in Norway due to its efficacy as a cleaner fish for Atlantic salmon. This species has shown a high appetite for the ectoparasitic copepod, the sea louse Lepeophtherius salmonis Krøyer, representing a non-pharmaceutical and therefore an environmentally friendly delousing method when compared to chemical treatments. Lumpfish, a common species along the Norwegian coast, has a broad geographical distribution, from Greenland in the north to the coast of Portugal in the east and Cape Cod in the south-west, indicating a broad temperature tolerance. This species in addition seems to be more robust and with a less complicated intensive production of larvae and juveniles compared to other cleaner fish species such as the ballan wrasse Labrus bergylta, goldsinny wrasse Ctenolabrus rupestris L. and corkwing wrasse Symphodus melops L. The licenses granted for production of lumpfish are currently around 16, with a geographical location from the south (Agder) to the north (Tromsø) of Norway for an estimated total production of 5 million juveniles in 66 »

control sea lice outbreaks in Atlantic salmon farming.

2014 and an increase to 12-14 million juveniles for 2015.

vae start on feed around 4 days post hatching (dph), feeding on 150 µm microparticles and shifting to bigger particle sizes as fish grow. Commercial diets most often used to feed lumpfish are the Gemma products (Skretting AS), Inicio Plus (Biomar AS) and Otohime (Marubeni Nisshin Feed CO., LTD). The first grading is conducted when fish are approximately 0.2 g wet weight. Before lumpfish reach the market size of 10 g (5 months) they are graded every second or third week. High exchange rates and optimum water quality are the keys to avoid bacterial blooms. Since the intensive production of this species is relatively new (around 2012), there is no published literature about the optimal production parameters during the early stages of development. There is a need to establish knowledge about nutritional requirements for broodstock, larval and juveniles, as well as to find the optimal temperatures for spawning, egg incubation and larval rearing. These results will contribute to develop rearing protocols.

Biology Currently, the intensive production of lumpfish relies on wild-caught broodstock. Wild lumpfish can live up to 6-7 years and females can grow up to 60 cm long and 5 kg weight, twice as large as males. In nature, sexually mature fish start their migration to coastal areas to spawn from early spring until mid-summer. However, spawning activities have been observed even during autumn in the south of Norway. Spawning occurs in low tidal zones, where females can spawn a half liter of eggs (approx. 60,000). Fatherhood is a characteristic in this species as the lump of fertilized eggs are protected by the male fish until hatching. After spawning season, fish migrate back from the shore to waters of great depths. The newly hatched larvae measure around 4.5-5 mm, and are equipped with suction discs. The fish lack swim bladders, allowing this species to utilize varying depths. The larvae have a very special body shape like tadpoles and change colors during the first Current challenges months of life from yellow-orange Although lumpfish show advantages to dark brown, grey and green-blue. for their culture compared to other marine species, their characteristic Larviculture and juvenile suction discs enable the fish to utilize production only the surface of the tank and not In intensive production of lumpfish, the water column, as in most marine gametes are obtained by stripping (a fish species. Fish density is, therefemale can give 60,000 eggs). Egg fore, measured in areal units rather incubation takes around 270 – 300 than volume ones, making lumpfish degree-days (d°) depending on the a surface-demanding species. These temperature, and with hatching rates features have challenged producers up to 98%. During the juvenile stag- to find technical solutions for the dees, high growth rates are reported sign of culture tanks offering higher at sea water temperatures of 13°C areal use rather than conventional while decreasing to approx. 10°C as tanks. There is also need for gradfish grow. However, lumpfish show ing equipment adapted to lumpfish. good appetites even at lower temper- Among diseases affecting lumpfish, atures, such as 3°C. Most hatcheries high mortalities after sea transfer have dropped the use of Artemia as have been registered, associated with live feed for lumpfish during the lar- acute outbreaks of bacterial disease val period since this fish species goes (Pasteurella, atypical Aeromonas salmoeasily onto microparticulate diet at nicida and Vibrio anguillarum). To date, the onset of exogenous feeding. Lar- there is only one vaccine available

for lumpfish, against Vibrio anguillarum, which has been developed by Pharmaq AS and it has been available only since last August (2014). Helgeland Havbruksstasjon (HHS), the largest privately owned research station in Norway, is joining forces with commercial companies and research institutions in efforts to meet the technical challenges of advancing lumpfish culture. With both land-based facilities and 112 smallscale sea cages for controlled trials, HHS conducts trials for Norwegian and international aquaculture companies within the disciplines of nutrition, fish health and environmental surveys. Helgeland Havbruksstasjon’s facilities offer the possibilities to run flow through and RAS systems for production of lumpfish up to market size (10-20g). Major lumpfish research areas focus on nutrition, fish health and welfare of this species during the production cycle as well as during the sea phase when lumpfish act as cleaner fish. The company already has experience working with this species, beginning in 2011 with the project Use of Lumpfish to Clean Fish Lice in Salmon Farming. In 2015 HHS will play a major role in the creation of a regional center with the goals of increasing of operational skills in the farming and use of lumpfish as a method for controlling fish lice.

Cecilia C. Vargas is currently R & D Manager at Helgeland Havbruksstasjon in Sandnessjøen, Norway. She has many years of experience in production of aquatic species including rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, cod, various Japanese fishes, and live feed production. Her PhD studies focused on differences between diploid and triploid Atlantic cod in digestive and muscle systems. e mail:

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Liming Ponds

of these factors improve the general health of the fish population. Liming improves fertilization response by allowing more of the phosphorus added to the pond to find its way into the water column, rather than being bound up in acidic soils in the pond bottom. This in turn allows for growth of phytoplankton, which fuels the natural food chain.

By Greg Lutz*

Liming Materials Agricultural limestone (calcium carbonate or dolomite), hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) and quick lime (calcium hydroxide) are the most common liming materials for ponds. Agricultural limestone is not harmful to humans and will not cause high pH in water like the other forms of lime. It is always the best and safest liming material to use in farm ponds. Hydrated and/or quick lime should only be used under special conditions, and only by individuals with experience in their use.

Ponds with soft, acid water may not respond to fertilizer. This is usually the result of soil conditions at the bottom of the pond â&#x20AC;&#x201C; since clay soils tend to be acidic. If pond water does not turn green after six weeks of fertilization, then liming may be necessary.


onds with waters of less than 20 mg/l of total alkalinity normally need lime. Swimming pool and aquarium supply stores generally have inexpensive test kits available to measure alkalinity. If liming is required, applying agricultural limestone will increase water hardness and alkalinity while 68 Âť

decreasing overall acidity. This will make fertilizer treatments more effective, and improve the natural productivity of the pond. Other benefits from liming a pond include increased levels of calcium and magnesium in the pond environment, and improved buffering capacity (which reduces daily fluctuations in pH), and both

Soil Samples A pond soil sample is needed to determine how much lime will be required. Collect samples from several locations evenly spaced across each pond, including both deep and shallow areas. Three to six samples per acre should be taken in ponds larger than 5 acres and at least 10 samples altogether from smaller ponds. Samples can be collected easily in full ponds with a can attached to a pole, or with a hollow piece of pipe. All individual samples should be mixed together and spread thin to dry. Dried soil samples should be pulverized, then placed in a soil testing box to be sent for analysis. Only about 2 cups of mixed soil are usually necessary. Chemical analysis of pond soils can be conducted at most Land Grant university soil testing laboratories for a small fee. Soil samples should be processed through the Cooperative Extension Service office in your County. Procedures will vary from state to state, so check to see what your state requires. The Extension office near-

est you can be located at http://www. . Be sure to indicate â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fish pondâ&#x20AC;? on the soil information sheet, since many soil labs are equipped to make liming recommendations specifically for ponds. If special handling is not available for pond mud samples, a good rule of thumb is to apply about 2 times the lime recommended for row crops in the local area. Test results and liming recommendations will be delivered directly to you.

Application Methods New ponds can be limed before they are filled. Spread the liming material evenly over the dry pond bottom. A disk harrow can be used to mix the lime into the soil, if sufficient access is available. In ponds already filled with water, limestone should be applied evenly across the water surface. In small ponds, this may be done by spreading bagged limestone from a boat. In larger ponds, where several

tons may be required, a platform can be built on the front of a large boat or between two boats tied together. Bulk limestone can be loaded (do not overload!) on the platform and distributed across the pond surface with a shovel. Even distribution across the entire bottom is essential for good results. Do not apply limestone while a pond is being fertilized. Limestone settles phosphorus out of the water, making it unavailable to phytoplankton. Apply lime during late fall and winter. This will give it a chance to react with the acidic bottom mud before the spring application of fertilizer.

Frequency of Liming A liming treatment may last almost indefinitely in ponds with no outflow. Most ponds have some water discharge or are drained and refilled periodically. Most ponds with acid soils and moderate water outflow will

probably need lime every three to five years. A method frequently used with good results is to apply the amount of lime recommended by a soil test, then apply one-fourth of that amount each succeeding year to keep lime requirements satisfied. More information on liming recreational and commercial ponds can be found at https://srac.tamu. e d u / i n d e x . c f m / g e t Fa c t S h e e t / whichfactsheet/264/

C. Greg Lutz, has a PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from 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.

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Europe Report

Portuguese caviar Sea urchin roe is a gourmet food product, with sushi and sashimi By Sara Leigo*

representing the biggest business opportunity.


he high priced roe or gonads of this species are considered to be a prized delicacy in Asian and Mediterranean countries, and also in Western Hemisphere countries such as Chile and Barbados. Japan is the largest consumer of sea urchins, followed by France and Korea, with a market price around USD$58 – 160 / kg. The increased market demand for sea urchins coupled with favorable economic returns has resulted in uncontrolled and non-selective harvesting of these animals. Wild stocks of edible urchins are now seriously depleted because of over fishing. In Europe, sea urchins stocks (Paracentrotus lividus) were overfished in the 1980´s to supply French markets, first in France and then in Ireland. Not surprisingly, the decrease in supply and continued demand have led to a great increase in the interest to culture these animals. Other advantages which make it a potentially attractive activity are that sea urchin culture does not require regular monitoring and the survival rate is generally high, mainly due to few known parasitic diseases for these animals. Great advances in the culture methods of sea urchins have been achieved in the last years. Currently the major obstacles for successful cultivation are indeed managerial, cultural, conservational and financial, rather than biological and ecological. 70 »

For the development of this industry, certain needs must be met, such as: juvenile supply; grow-out technology (environmentally friendly methods should reduce time to market); artificial diets to improve roe content and color without detriment to taste; artificial diets for larvae, juveniles and adults; and harvest protocols which positively influence shelf-life and product quality. The right time to harvest sea urchins is once they reach a diameter of 7 – 8 cm and before they spawn (ensuring urchins with large and firm gonads).

Current projects Recent efforts have been undertaken to produce these animals in Portugal. Ericeira, a seaside community

on the western coast, hides beneath its seas one of the most urchin populated seafloors. Urchin harvesting carried out by the local population for internal consumption was a tradition for many years. Urchiland, founded one year ago, is a company based in Ericeira and dedicated to the mass cultivation of sea urchins in captivity for subsequent sale. Luis Inácio, company manager, explains that Urchiland was established with the aim of reviving a tradition of local families, leveraging a major symbol of the region and offering everybody the opportunity to taste the delicious “Portuguese caviar.” Corporate goals involve not only supply for the national market, but

also for international markets such as Italian, French and Japanese consumers. Luis InĂĄcio explained that the sea urchins they are producing belong to the species Paracentrotus lividus, an animal more rich and intense in flavor, which makes it the most desired by true lovers of this delicacy.

Vila da Ericeira. Picture courtesy of

Sara Leigo has a degree in Marine Biology and Biotechnology and a Master in Aquaculture and Fisheries. She works at Necton, a Portuguese company specialised in the culture and commercialization of microalgae which is focused in several applications, mainly in specialty feeds for aquaculture (www. She has extensive experience in barramundi, Dover Sole and turbot production.

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Latin AmericaN Report

The culture of Amazonian fishes and freshwater prawns

as diversification alternatives for rural aquaculture Fish culture holds great possibilities to contribute to food security and the reduction of malnutrition in rural regions throughout South America.

By Nicolás Hurtado*


ccording to the latest edition of the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture, global fisheries and aquaculture production rose to a total of 158 million MT in 2012, roughly 10 million more than in 2010. Per capita fish consumption increased to over 19 kg in 2012, compared to approximately 10 kg in the 1960’s. The rapid expansion of aquaculture, particularly at the level of small producers, is the primary force behind these increases. Aquaculture in the Amazon Basin has grown extraordinarily in recent years, fundamentally due to advances in the production of larvae and fingerlings of native species such as

(Piaractus) P1080176.JPG

72 »

gamitana (Colossoma: pacu, cachama, tambaqui), paco (Piaractus: pirapitinga, cachama blanca) and paiche (Arapaima: pirarucu). These species actually have superior growth rates when compared to others in the region, representing a valuable alternative for rural and small scale aquaculture. Another factor involves high market acceptance, both for home consumption and in local and regional markets.

Options for aquaculture in South America The giant Malaysian prawn is one of the most widely cultured aquatic species on a global basis, with good market acceptance due to flavor and other attributes. South American countries such as Peru and Ecuador have regions with climates that are optimum for its culture, and prawn culture could become a highly profitable activity and a real alternative for development in these regions. From a commercial viewpoint, it will be important to assure the success of these activities in order to strengthen supply and market chains, as well as promoting producer associations with the goals of guaranteeing steady supplies and permitting access to credit, new technology and new markets. Based on its climatic conditions and history of commercial aquacul-

ture, Ecuador presents great opportunities for the culture of Amazonian fishes and giant prawns as candidates for industry diversification. These would benefit coastal communities, artisanal fishermen, and others including communities in forest lands, contributing to the improvement of nutrition among populations with scarce economic resources. These activities would create employment opportunities and permit the participation of women and youth, and would generate new food industries with links to other activities such as traditional agriculture, hydroponics and tourism. They would also allow communities to better utilize their lands while increasing competitiveness.

Nicolás Hurtado Totocayo has a degree in Aquaculture Engineering and a Master in Business Management from Federico Villarreal National University (Peru). He is a founding member of the Peruvian Association of Aquaculture Professionals (ASSPPPAC), and is its current President. He also works as an Aquaculture Consultant.

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Creating a

retail development model I saw this happen on the weekend, and not for the first time. Consumer at retail fishmongers and the discussion went like this:


onsumer: Hi, I am pregnant and want to eat more fish. Can you recommend what species I should purchase? I want to be sure I am eating the best for my baby. Shop Assistant: I don’t know what the best species is so I will ask the boss. Please wait a moment. 74 »

If you as a retailer have not trained your staff to understand some basics about their role or have not prepared some information/fact sheets for such times, then this is where you lose business. In this case the consumer did wait patiently for a reply but clearly an easy option would be for the consumer to

move on. However having waited the consumer was then told “The boss reckons the best for you will be Flathead.” With that the consumer ordered 2 pieces of Atlantic Salmon, paid and moved on. Seafood retailing is the ‘window’ of the industry yet we do not spend much time/effort on engaging this area compared with harvesting and processing. It is at retail where the consumer comes into contact with the industry and judgments are made by what is seen and experienced – it needs to be a special experience but in reality it rarely is. Many Perception Studies about the industry are done and quite clearly you obtain the message that consumers either do not know much about our industry or, if they think they do, they have some bias due to anti-seafood, pro-environmental campaigns. All of this could change dramatically if our retail connections were more aware that their role is more than just a collection point. Surely we all want to increase seafood consumption! If we do then retailers must have certain basic skills and knowledge. It is my strong opinion that if you are not well trained then your skills will be lacking and you will be letting down Team Seafood. Unfortunately seafood retailing is a nil-entry level employer (e.g. no certification/skills required as basics) and no formalized licence/accreditation is required. This is not a new idea. The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, which received its first Royal Charter in 1272, is one of the 110 Livery Companies of the City of London, England, being a guild of the sellers of fish and seafood in the City. The Company ranks fourth in the order of precedence of the Livery Companies, making it one of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies. The Company has an unbroken existence of more than 700 years— although it probably existed earlier.

Over the years it took the name Stock Fishmongers’ Company as the result of another Royal Charter of 1508 and then, in 1537, it combined with the Salt Fishmongers’ Company to form the Company of the present name. Until the end of the 14th century the fishmongers even had their own court of law, called Leyhalmode, at which disputes concerning fish and seafood trade were judged by the Wardens of the Company. From a harvester’s perspective they can have the best product in the world, be fully certified, and have great passion about their brand and products but as soon as the delivery has left their control they are left to the mercy of the supply chain. In some countries it is not possible to operate a butcher’s retail business without qualifications being obtained as the abattoirs/slaughterhouses will not sell meat to such operators but the supply chain in seafood is such that anyone can start a fish retail business. The industry has not policed itself in this regard. Of course, there are minimum health licensing requirements in most countries based on HACCP principles but the courses are mostly general and not seafood-specific and the industry is not engaged in the process, as they are in the red meat industry. This leads to poor practices, undercutting, wastage, etc., and importantly leaves the consumer at the mercy of misinformation. Misinformation is far worse than no information.

Seafood retailing is the ‘window’ of the industry yet we do not spend much time/effort on engaging this area compared with harvesting and processing.

We need to create international best practice experiences in service, packaging, presentation, design and promotion in Seafood retailing and from that creating standards and a training program.

In a number of countries, supermarkets train their butchers (who do not come into contact with customers – e.g. product is pre-packed), but they rarely train their seafood teams who do always come into contact with the consumer. The general reason given is because the seafood staff are always changing and do not remain either at the business or in that section for too long. There are exceptions to this, of course – Whole Foods in the USA and Morrison’s in the UK have been cited as examples of the exceptions and there are more, but the exception is more the rule. I believe we need to create international best practice experiences in service, packaging, presentation, design and promotion in Seafood retailing and from that creating standards and a training program. To maximize the opportunity this is proposed as an ‘on line’ program but, in no way, stops the face-to-face training opportunities. Further we should consider how to ‘globalize’ this – consideration should be given to ‘FAO’, or ‘The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers’ or the Association of International Seafood Professionals could be considered. A brand/logo could be used in the process. The deficiencies in the current system would seem to be: • No understanding what is world’s best practice in service, packaging, presentation, design and promotion in seafood retailing; • Little research resources/ tools for trainers/educators in seafood retailing; • Limited point-of-sale knowledge/information;

• Lack of consistent nutritional information; • No consistent global messages; • Erratic delivery service to customers and interaction with customers; • Poor coordination on interaction with businesses; • Insignificant research in retail technology; • Inconsistent merchandise presentation and promotional displays; • Modest novel food products; • Reduced knowledge on preparation, cooking and retailing seafood products; • Meagre innovation in retailing; • Mediocre communications with the community; and • Deficient communications with the industry. If we were able to develop this program, it could revolutionize the ‘window’ of the industry and there would be many benefits which would have positive outcomes for the whole industry. At the present time the retail end is engaging with the primary sector – this would ensure that the primary sector is engaging retail and ensuring world’s best practice from harvest to plate.


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So Fresh Marca Jan. 14 - Jan 15 Bologna Fair Centre. Bologna, Italia T :+39 051 282409 F: +39 051 6374017 E E International Green Week Berlin Jan. 16 - Jan 25 Exhibition ground Messe Berlin Berlin-Charlottenburg Alemania T: +49 (0)30 479 974 84 F: +49 (0)30 30 69 69 30 E: RHEX Rimini Horeca Expo Jan. 17 - Jan 21 RiminI Fiera, Italia T: +39 0541/744.632 F: +39 0541/744.751 E: E:

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aeration equipment, PUMP, FILTERS and measuring instruments Kakovitch Industries LLC.................................................47 T: (877)-224-5153 E-mail: Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc..................back cover 2395 Apopka Blvd. Apopka, Florida, Zip Code 32703, USA. Contact: Ricardo Arias T: (407) 8863939, (407) 8864884 E-mail: RK2 Systems.......................................................................71 421 A south Andreassen Drive Escondido California. Contact: Chris Krechter. T: 760 746 74 00 E-mail: XpertSea Solutions inc....................................................29 2700 Jean-Perrin street, suite 170 Quebec, QC, Canada, G2C 1S9 T: +1 (418) 915-8028 Fax: +1 888 352 5868 Email: YSI.............................................................Inside back cover 1700/1725 Brannum Lane-P.O. Box 279, Yellow Springs, OH. 45387, USA. Contact: Tim Groms. T: 937 767 7241, 1800 897 4151 E-mail:

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events and exhibitions 10º FIACUI............................................Inside front cover November 4th - 6th, 2015. Guadalajara, Mexico. Information on Booths Contact in Mexico: Carolina Márquez E-mail: International Sales Steve Reynolds E-mail: | | AQUACULTURE AMERICA 2015..............................................65 February 19th - February 25th, 2015. New Orleans, Louisiana. T: +1 760 751 5005 F: +1 760 751 5003 E-mail: OFFSHORE MARICULTURE CONFERENCE MEXICO 2015........25 June 9th - June 911 , 2015. Baja California, Mexico. T: +44 1329 825335 E-mail: WORLD AQUACULTURE 2015.................................................73 May 26th - February 30th, 2015. Jeju Island, Korea. T: +1 760 751 5005 F: +1 760 751 5003 E-mail: fEEd additives EVONIK Industries AG.........................................................41 Contact: Cristian Fischl T: + 52 (55) 5483 1030 Fax: + 52 (55) 5483 1012

E-mail:, feeds Reed Mariculture, Inc.......................................................69 900 E Hamilton Ave, Suite 100. Campbell, CA 95008 USA. Contact: Lin T: 408.377.1065 F: 408.884.2322 E-mail: Information Services

Aquaculture Magazine.......................................................1 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 Subscriptions: Advertisement Sales:

Aquaculture Magazine December 2014 / January 2015 Volume 40 Number 6  

Aeration as a Potential Attempt to Improve Mediterranean Aquaculture

Aquaculture Magazine December 2014 / January 2015 Volume 40 Number 6  

Aeration as a Potential Attempt to Improve Mediterranean Aquaculture