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INDEX Aquaculture Magazine Volume 41 Number 3 June - July 2015


on the

32 cover

Unparalleled potential for the shellfish culture industry in British Columbia.


Research report Plasmid Toxin Genes, the causative agent of acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease in shrimp (AHPND).


Research report Effect of bioflocs on growth and immune activity of Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei postlarvae.


Report China’s Aquaculture and the world’s wild fisheries.


Report End of an Era.


feature article What is new in Sustainable Aquaculture?


NOTE New BC Seafood Expo Attracts Aquaculture Industry Leaders.


news release Pentair opens ”PAES W.A.T.E.R.” in Apopka, Florida.


report Tilapia 2015. International Technical and Trade Conference and Exhibition.


news article Notes from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.


news story USFWS-AADAP Announces 2015 Workshop.

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Volume 41 Number 3 June - July 2015

Editor and Publisher Salvador Meza Editor in Chief Greg Lutz Managing Editor Teresa Jasso Editorial Design Francisco Cibrián Designer Perla Neri Marketing and Communications Manager Alex Meza Sales and Marketing Christian Criollos International Sales and Marketing Steve Reynolds Business Operation Manager Adriana Zayas

Subscriptions: Design Publications International Inc. 203 S. St. Mary’s St. Ste. 160 San Antonio, TX 78205, USA Office: +210 5043642 Office in Mexico: (+52) (33) 3632 2355 Aquaculture Magazine (ISSN 0199-1388) is published bimontly, by Design Publications International Inc. All rights reserved. Follow us:



Marel Introduces New Equipment.



Nutrinsic, is in the sustainable protein business.

columns latin american report




Marine Finfish Aquaculture


THE Shellfish CORNER


post harvest






Offshore Aquaculture


Upcoming events









By C. Greg Lutz


t seems to me that one of the great advantages of aquaculture is that Mother Nature has given us many inherent efficiencies. The very fact that most of the species we work with can convert feedstuffs into edible protein (delicious edible protein, mind you) is just part of the picture. As pointed out by our guest columnists Dr. Claude Boyd and Aaron McNevin, aquaculture’s carbon dioxide emission footprint is approximately half that for beef (per kg whole body weight), and on average aquaculture currently produces about 2.04 metric tons per hectare of land while traditional animal industries weigh in at a mere 0.23 metric tons. Fish and crustaceans don’t need to spend a lot of energy or nutrients fighting gravity… and mollusks really have that issue under control. But there are other natural advantages available to our industry that we are only beginning to apply. Beneficial microbes can be a powerful tool to combat diseases. We still have a long way to go toward understanding the microscopic battlefields on and within the species we cultivate, and in the culture environments that surround them. By-catch and processing wastes can go a long way to satisfy aquaculture’s need for fish meal, and fish oil for that matter. Alternative sources of protein are being developed at a rapid pace. Things like insects and 4 »

single-cell protein sources are poised to solve (at least partially) many of the problems associated with the current dependency on wild fish in some aquaculture diets. And some commercial salmon operations have already reached the goal of becoming net producers of fish protein, in spite of working with a singularly carnivorous animal. Mind you we are talking about a species that, in the wild, would consume roughly 10 kg of wild fish for every kg of weight gain. So, from my point of view, even those farms where salmon still consume 4-6 kg of wild fish equivalent per kg of gain should be getting a pat on the back for that level of improvement - rather than criticism. And speaking of alternative sources of protein, the strategy of using bio-floc production systems continues to gain ground, albeit biofloc only makes sense within certain types of facilities and for certain species. Much of the work developing bio-floc strategies for shrimp production has taken place at facilities operated by Texas A&M University, as an outgrowth of the pioneering shrimp culture research conducted there over the years. Unfortunately, that program has come to a sudden, somewhat unexpected end. Dr. Granvil Treece provides us with an overview of the program’s history, and it serves as a cautionary note to remind us of the necessity for academic support if

our industry is going to continue expanding in a profitable way. Mother Nature can also cause serious problems for us. Bacteria naturally exchange genes, but in the case of the dreaded shrimp disease EMS this seems to have resulted in grave problems for growers on both sides of the Pacific. Granted, as an industry we sometimes push Mother Nature too far, and eventually She goes off on us. Also, there are times when She goes off for no apparent reason, with disastrous consequences. We have examples of both situations in our Latin American Report. And, as always, questions of policy (trade, conservation, fiscal), laws & treaties, and attitudes (for want of a better word) influence every aspect of what we do. We consider some of these in this issue. And our columnists once again provide us with great perspective on what works, what doesn’t, and why. Write us any time – we are interested in your ideas for articles, site visits, program reviews, new topics, etc. After all, this magazine is written for you.

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.



research report

plasmid toxin genes, the causative agent of acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease in shrimp (AHPND). By Jee Eun Han1, Kathy F.J. Tang1, Loc H. Tran2, Donald V. Lightner1

It was discovered that plasmid genes of Vibrio parahaemoliticus, are similar to toxic genes of Photorhabdus bacteria, which produce toxins that affect insects (Pir toxin).

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ince 2009, acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND), also known as EMS, has caused mortalities of up to 100% in shrimp farming in Asia and Mexico, in the first 20 to 30 days after stocking. The disease affects the hepatopancreas, in which the tubules epithelial cells degenerate, detach from the membrane and then slough into the lumen. Affected shrimp die by dysfunction of hepatopancreas and from secondary Vibrio infections. The cause of these affectations, usually related to pathogens, is not evident in the early phase, so it was presumed a toxic etiology. The causative agent is V. parahaemoliticus; where the (presumptive) toxin secreted in the culture medium, can cause AHPND (Tran el al. 2013). Comparison of genomic sequences among strains of V. parahaemoliticus revealed that a plasmid containing genes homologous with Photorhabdus insect-related toxin genes was found in all pathogenic strains but was absent in non-pathogenic strains. “Pir” toxins were first identified in P. luminescens, a bacterium that maintains a symbiotic relationship with entomopathogenic nematodes of the family Heterorhabditidae (French-Constant et al. 2000, Duchaud et al. 2003, Waterfield et al. 2005). “PirAB” toxins act as binary protein and both are required to cause oral toxicity in moths and mosquitoes. In larvae of the moth Plutella xylostella, these toxins cause swelling and detachment of the apical membrane of the middle intestine. Because shrimp and insects are arthropods, presenting similar pathological responses, we assumed that the EMS or AHPND should be caused by a toxin similar to “Pir”. Then we characterized plasmids that encode proteins type PirAB and developed PCR focused to genes pirA and pirB for positive samples to AHPND V. parahaemoliticus of hatchery and farm shrimp.

Materials and Methods V. parahaemoliticus 13-028/A3 and A2-028/13 were isolated from stomachs of AHPND-affected shrimp cultured in Vietnam in 2013. Strain 13-028/A3 was determined to cause this disease through laboratory bioassays (Tran et al. 2013). Strain 13-028/ A2 is not AHPND pathogenic. For VpPirAB PCR detections, 77 bacterial isolates including pathogenic and non-pathogenic V. parahaemoliticus, V. communis, V. harveyi, V. owensii, and Photobacterium spp were used for testing specificity. The AHPNDpathogenic strains were isolated from affected shrimp cultured in Mexico and Viet Nam. Non-pathogenic

strains were isolates from shrimp ponds in Ecuador, Viet Nam, Mexico, Peru, India and the USA where these farm shrimp did not show clinical signs of AHPND. The pathogenicity of AHPND was determined by laboratory infection through immersion or oral feeding, followed by histological examination described by Tran et al. (2013).

es. Vector NTI program was used to create a circular plasmid map (fig.1). Translated open reading frames were then compared with known protein sequences using BlastP.

Duplex PCR for detection of pirAand pirB- like genes The primers used were VpPirA-284F/R and VpPirB-392F/R (see table 1). Amplifications were preformed Plasmid sequence analysis and the product was analyzed in gel, Both V. parahaemoliticus 13-028/A3 1.5% of ethyl bromide. To deterand A2-028/13 were grown in TSB mine detection limit of this duplex at 28° C. Bacterial DNA was extract- PCR a V. parahaemoliticus 13-028/A3 ed and sequenced. By analysis in V. culture containing 8.9 × 108 cfu/ml parahaemoliticus 13-028/A3, we found was pelleted. The bacterial DNA was contigs with partial plasmid sequenc- serially diluted for analisis. »


research report

Results A large plasmid (of 69,168 bp, named pVPA3-1) was identified in the 13028/A3 strain of V. parahaemoliticus that causes AHPND. Analyses revealed that the plasmid pVPA3-1 was also in 4 pathogenic strains of Thailand and Mexico. This plasmid was not found in 4 non-pathogenic strains of V. parahaemoliticus collected in Viet Nam and Thailand. The GC (guanine-cytosine) content of the plasmid pVPA3-1 is 45.9%, very similar to the 45.3% found in the genome of V. parahaemoliticus. It was determined that there were 37 copies of the plasmid pVPA3-1 by cell 13028/A3 strain of V. parahaemoliticus (Table 2). There were 7 to 121 copies of the plasmid in several of the samples isolated in Mexico and Viet Nam. Using the RAST program within the plasmid, we categorized six groups of genes: transposases, mobilization proteins, plasmid structural proteins, virulence-associated proteins, insecticidal toxin protein and hypothetical proteins. Insecticidal toxin genes within the plasmid The pirA- and pirB- genes were found in a 3.5 fragment, and are 12 bp apart, transcribed in the same orientation, and have GC contents of 38.2%. The pirA like protein has 28 to 35% identity to pirA protein found in Photorhabdus luminescens. The pirB-like protein has 28 to 31% identity to the insecticidal toxin pirB, found in a wide range of bacteria. A schematic representation of comparative analysis between the pirA- and pirB-like genes of V. parahaemoliticus with those of P. luminescens is shown in Figure 2. The pirB gene of V. parahaemoliticus has a GC content of 37%, similar to 38% in pirB of P. luminescens, but the pirA like gene has 43% of GC content, significantly different from the pirA of P. luminescens (only 35% of GC). 8 Âť

Protoemic analysis To identify the toxins of AHPND, TSB medium is used to cultivate the strain 13-028/A3 of V. parahaemoliticus AHPND pathogenic, by 24 to 48 hours. Then by centrifugation and use of membranes of 0.2 microns cells are separated from the culture medium. A total of 400 proteins were found with a 99% probability of identification in a culture medium with the 13028/A3 strain of V. parahaemoliticus. Among these, 3 proteins were encoded by the plasmid pVPA3-1, with molecular weights of 13, 38 and 50 kD. Proteins 13 and 50 kD are pirA and pirB respectively.

PCR detection of pirA- and pirBlike genes We selected primers from pirA- and pirB-like genes to screen pathogenic AHPND-strains of V. parahaemoliticus collected in Viet Nam and Mexico from 2012 to 2014 (Table 2). The results showed that both PCR amplicons were detected in the pathogenic strain and not found in the non-pathogenic strain (Fig 3A). The detection limit was 105 CFU/ ml of V. parahaemoliticus 13-028/A3 (Fig. 3B). Discussion A plasmid that contains 2 toxin genes was found in the pathogenic AHP-

ND-strain of V. parahaemoliticus but was absent in non-pathogenic strains. These two genes are similar to Pir toxins produced by other species of bacteria. These type PirAB proteins secreted in bacterial cultures, are capable of producing necrosis without the presence of bacteria, suggesting that they are the causative agent of AHPND. This is the first report of protein type pirAB in bacteria of the genus Vibrio. The mode of action for pirABlike proteins has yet to be determined. However, they apparently differ from pirAB toxins that affect insects. The insecticidal PirAB toxins primarily affect the midgut, whereas the shrimp APHND toxins affect the hepatopancreas. The injection of pathogenic bacteria in hemolymph of shrimp does not cause AHPND. Oral exposure or immersion is required to develop the disease. Another difference is that the genes encoding the toxins for insects are found in the bacterial genome, whereas the pathogenic bacteria of shrimp were found in plasmids. Within the plasmid, these genes are flanked by transposases-coding sequence, that can induce horizontal gene transfer; this can result in the need for frequent screening of pathogenic strains in shrimp culture systems. This is because the genes that produce these toxins can be propagated to strains of nonpathogenic bacteria. The potential for such transfers increases when bacteria are densely colonized, either in the shrimp stomach or in pond biofilms.

Acknowledgements This work was supported by CP Foods, Bangkok Thailand.

School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA 2Department of Aquaculture Pathology, College of Fisheries, Nong Lam University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam



research report

Effect of bioflocs

on growth and immune activity of Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei postlarvae By Su-Kyoung Kim1, Zhenguo Pang1, Hyung-ChelSeo1, Yeong-Rok Cho1, In-Kwon Jang1, TzachiSamocha2

The biofloc technology (BFT) for shrimp production reduces environmental impacts and pathogen introduction. The microbial community associated with BFT detoxifies nutrients and improves food utilization and animal growth. Biofloc systems contain abundant numbers of bacteria whose cell walls consist of lipopolysaccharide, peptidoglycan and ß-1, 3-glucans, which stimulate immune activity of shrimp.


ioflocs enhance shrimp immunity while they consume the bioflocs as an additional food source. There are benefits for having an in situ microbial community in BFT systems, but a better understanding of these microorganisms, in particular at a molecular level, is needed. A fourteen-day culture trial was conducted with postlarvae of Litopenaeus vannamei in the presence and absence of bioflocs. To determine mRNA expression levels of shrimp, we selected six genes (prophenoloxidase1, prophenoloxidase2, prophenoloxidase activation enzyme, serine proteinase1, masquerade-like proteinase, and ras-related nuclear protein) which are involved in a series of responses known as the prophenol 10 »

oxidase (proPO) cascade, one of the major innate immune responses in crustaceans. Significant differences in shrimp survival and final body weights were found between the clear water and the biofloc treatments. mRNA expression levels were significantly higher in the biofloc treatment than the clear water control. These results suggest that the presence of bioflocs in the culture medium gives positive effects on growth and immune-related gene expression in L. vannamei postlarvae.

Overview Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, is one of the most important farmed species in the world. Farming activities of this species have been

largely affected by diseases, mostly viral diseases such as the white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). Producers and researchers are constantly looking for methods to reduce massive shrimp losses due to disease outbreaks. Growing shrimp using biofloc technology (BFT) was proposed as a tool to reduce water exchange and minimize the introduction of viral pathogens thorough incoming water. Observations on the effects of BFT on reducing viral disease outbreaks are reported. Biofloc technology is based upon the production of shrimp with zero or minimal water exchange, resulting in the accumulation of organic substrates and subsequent development of dense microbial populations, mostly aggregated in bioflocs, which consist of a variety of bacteria, fungi, microalgae, detritus and other suspended organisms. These microorganisms remove excess nutrients and are implicated in nutritional provision for the cultured species. Bioflocs provide sources of lipids, minerals and vitamins. Using the 15N isotope tagging method, it is shown that bacterial protein in bioflocs is consumed by the cultured animals (mainly tilapia and shrimp) and is used for their nutrition and other purposes. The cell wall of bacteria and fungi consists of lipopolysaccharides (LPS), peptidoglycans (PG) and ß -1, 3-glucans (BG) that activate the nonspecific immune system in fish and crustaceans, and enhance the resistance against bacterial and viral infections in penaeid shrimp. It is assumed that the microorganisms abundantly present in biofloc systems may contribute to enhance the immune activity of the shrimp growing in the system. In this study we selected six genes including prophenoloxidase1 (proPO1), prophenoloxidase 2 (proPO2), prophenoloxidase activating enzyme 1 (PPAE1), serine proteinase1 (SP1),

masquerade-like serine proteinase (mas), and ras-related nuclear protein (Ran) to evaluate effects of bioflocs on shrimp immune response. These genes are known to be directly or indirectly related to nonspecific immune response in shrimp. Like other crustaceans, a critical step in shrimp immune response is the recognition of invading organisms. This is mediated by a group of proteins, called pattern recognition proteins (PRPs), which recognize and bind to the molecules present on the surface of microorganisms. Binding of PRPs to microbial cell wall components such as LPS, PG and ß-1, 3-glucans triggers a series of responses which lead to the activation of the host defense system. This series of responses is known as the prophenoloxidase (proPO) activating system. In case of injury or infection, non self molecules, such as LPS, PG and ß-1, 3-gulcan, recognized by PRPs, lead to the activation of the proPO cascade. The proPO cascade involves several proteolytic steps. A serine proteinase (SP) that converts the inactive proPO into its active form is called a prophenoloxidase activating enzyme (PPAE). Shrimp ß-glucan binding protein (BGBP) appears to be a constitutive plasma protein that after binding to ß-glucan reacts with hemocyte surface and stimulates the release of hemocytic granules. The contents of the granules become activated in the presence of plasma Ca2+, leading to the activation of the proPO1 and proPO2. The PPAE which is the direct activator of proPO is also a key member of the proPO activating system. The mas gene is reported to also be related to various biological functions including bacterial binding, bacterial clearance, antimicrobial activity and hemocyte adhesion. Mas and serine proteinase homologues (SPHs) are involved in the activation of the proPO cascade in invertebrates. » 11

research report

On the other hand, the Ran gene was known to be involved in the antiviral immunity of Marsupenaeus japonicus and a cDNA fragment which is highly homologous with the Ran proteins from WSSV resistant shrimp was previously found. To date, only limited information is available concerning the effect of bioflocs on shrimp immune response. The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of bioflocs on growth, survival and mRNA expression of selected immune related genes in L. vannamei postlarvae.

Materials and methods The experiment was carried out at the Crustacean Research Center, National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), Taean, South Korea. The post-larvae were produced from specific pathogen free (SPF) L. vannamei broodstock imported from Hawaii, USA in February 2010. Twenty-day-old post-larvae were stocked into 30 L circular polyethylene bins filled with 20 L of culture media. Each bin contained 400 animals (mean body weight 14.12 mg). Prior to stock-

ing, 90 individuals of post-larvae were separately measured for body weight. Two experimental groups were prepared in triplicate. Photoperiod was 14 h light and 10 h darkness, temperature was maintained at 26–29°C. The post-larvae were cultured for 2 weeks. Based on the culture medium, the experimental groups consisted of biofloc and clear seawater one as a control. The culture medium in control groups was exchanged daily at a rate of 50% with seawater that was ozone-sterilized and 5 µm filtered. The culture medium in the biofloc group was renewed daily with biofloc seawater at a rate of 50%. The biofloc water source was provided from an intensive shrimp production tank where 10 g L. vannamei were growing. Each bin was provided with an air stone at the centre of bottom. The shrimp were provided with larval diet (45% in crude protein) at three equal daily portions (09:00, 17:00 and 22:00 hours). Uneaten feeds on the bottom were removed daily when culture medium was exchanged. Water temperature, salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) were measured daily. For measurement of total ammonia nitrogen (TA-N), nitrite-nitrogen (NO2-N), nitratenitrogen (NO3-N), chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), total suspended solids (TSS) and volatile suspended solids (VSS), 1 liter of water sample was taken from all culturing bins every 3 days. For measurement of nitrogen compounds, 200 mL subsamples were filtered through a 1.2 µm glass microfiber filter and analyzed within 24 h. Separate 50 mL subsamples were filtered onto pre-combusted filters for analysis of TSS and VSS concentrations. Another 50 mL subsample for Chl-a measurement was filtered. All analysis of water quality followed the procedures of the APHA (1998).

Total bacterial counts Water samples were taken from all culturing bins every 3 days. Direct 12 »

quantification of total bacteria was carried out by epifluorescent direct count method.

Growth performance and survival rate At the end of the study, wet weights of 90 individual shrimp from each treatment group were measured and survival rates were calculated. Immune-related gene expression by qRT-PCR A Taqman quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) technique was taken to determine expression of the six selected genes at transcript level. At the end of the experiment, three animals from each treatment were removed to liquid nitrogen and stored at -80°C until used for RNA extraction. Total RNA was extracted with the RNeasy Mini Kit and further purified with DNase I. One-step real time RT-PCR was accomplished using the One Step Prime ScriptTM RT-PCR perfect real time Kit.


Water Quality Water temperature was maintained at 27.5–27.8°C, and salinity between 32.3 and 33.3 psu. DO and pH were significantly different between control and biofloc, both lower in the biofloc treatment. Mean dissolved oxygen concentrations were 5.8 and 4.9 and pH 8.6 and 7.7 in the control and biofloc groups respectively. Inorganic nitrogen (TA-N, NO2-N

and NO3-N) and chlorophyll a concentrations were higher in the biofloc group. TSS and VSS were significantly different between treatments, much higher in the biofloc group (678 vs. 13 mg/L in biofloc and control treatments respectively). Chl-a concentration in the control was 1 µg/L significantly lower than in biofloc (25 µg/L). The water quality in the indoor super intensive shrimp production raceway tank in which we

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research report

provided daily the water to the reservoir tank for the biofloc group was as follows: TAN 0.5 mg/L, NO2-N 7.4 mg/L, NO3–N 96.1 mg/L, TSS 402.1 mg/L and VSS 168.9 mg/L in mean concentrations. Total bacterial counts The density of bacteria in the biofloc group was significantly higher than that in the control (Table 3). The number of total bacteria in the control group ranged from 2.59 x 105 to 7.98 x 105 cells/mL-1 (mean 4.86 x 105 cells/mL-1) and in the biofloc group it was 2.10 x 106 to 1.00 X 107 cells/mL-1 (mean 5.43 x 106 cells/mL-1). Growth performance and survival rate Table 4 summarizes the mean body weight and survival rate of the shrimp on the day of the study termination. mRNA Expression of six selected genes Results of relative mRNA expression in six genes are summarized in Figure 1. All immune related genes mRNA expression levels in shrimp of the biofloc group were significantly higher than that in the control.

Discussion Several statistically significant differences were found in water quality parameters between treatments in the present study (Table 2). The pH in the biofloc group was lower than that of the control, due to the respiration of heterotrophic organisms. DO levels were lower in the biofloc treatments than the control because of the greater demand by the bacteria and other microorganisms. Chl-a reading was higher in the biofloc treatment than the control. Despite differences in water quality parameters among treatments, all water quality parameters were within acceptable ranges for optimal survival and growth of L. vannamei. 14 Âť

Statistically significant differences were also found between the biofloc treatment and the control in TSS and VSS. TSS and VSS concentrations were 673 and 13 mg/L-1 in TSS, and 408 and 11 mg/L-1 in VSS for the biofloc and the control respectively, not indicating negative effects on postlarvae growth and survival. The number of total bacteria in the biofloc group was significant higher than that of the control (Table 3). The survival and growth rates of shrimp in biofloc were significantly higher (Table 4), as previous stud-

ies have shown. One reason for the improved performance is related to harvesting and consuming bioflocs by the shrimp, accounting for up to 29% of daily feed intake. It is assumed that the presumptively large quantity of bacteria associated with bioflocs may contribute to enhance the immunity as well as growth performance of shrimp when the bioflocs are consumed by shrimp. The selected six genes including proPO1, proPO2, PPAE1, SP1, mas and Ran in the present study are known to be related with the nonspecific immune response in

Conclusions Biofloc systems provide some protection against diseases of cultured shrimp, even if there is a lack of scientific evaluations, mechanistic cause and understanding. The present work provides some replicated and statistically significant evidence of a sequence of processes leading to increased shrimp immunity when grown in biofloc systems. Immune mechanisms of shrimp are labile (no long lasting memory). Thus, when pathogens get into the shrimp production systems, the shrimp population is not equipped with an immediate immune mechanism. This is not the case when shrimp are growing in a biofloc system, rather than in a clear water system. It is postulated that the dense microbial population associated with the bioflocs induces a permanent trigger towards the development and maintenance of the shrimp immune system and thus builds up a defence mechanism in the shrimp population. This mechanism and its utilization may be a very important means to protect shrimp against drastic disease outbreaks that often lead to collapse of shrimp production systems and to huge losses. It has to be emphasized that the present work is just a start and a trigger of needed subsequent studies. Preliminary tests failed as yet to demonstrate any relation between the concentration of the biofloc suspension and the immune genes´ expression. Much more information regarding specific activity of different components of the biofloc biota will be needed.

shrimp. In this study the mRNA expression levels of the six genes of the postlarvae in the biofloc group were significantly higher than the control (Figure 1), suggesting that the bioflocs may contribute to enhance the immunity of L. vannamei postlarvae. Also, the mas gene ex-

pression in this study is consistent with previous findings. The present results suggest that bioflocs or microbes associated with bioflocs may enhance expression of some selected immune-related genes and therefore be involved in immune activity of L. vannamei.

*1Department of Aquaculture, National Fisheries Research & Development Institute, Incheon, Korea 2 AgriLife Research Mariculture Lab, Corpus Christi, TX, USA This work was supported by the Project ‘Environmentally- friendly BFT shrimp culture technology’ (No. RP-2012-AQ-050), National Fisheries Research & Development Institute (NFRDI), Republic of Korea.

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China’s aquaculture

and the world’s wild fisheries By Ling Cao1, Rosamond Naylor1, Patrik Henriksson2, Duncan Leadbitter3, Marc Metian4, Max Troell4, 5, Wenbo Zhang6, 7


hina is the world’s largest producer, consumer, processor, and exporter of finfish and shellfish (defined here as “fish”), and its fish imports are steadily rising. China produces more than one-third of the global fish supply, largely from its ever-expanding aquaculture sector, as most of its domestic fisheries are overexploited. Aquaculture accounts for ~72% of its reported domestic fish production, and China alone contributes >60% of global aquaculture volume and roughly half of global aquaculture value. How China develops its aquaculture sector — and whether such development can relieve pressure on wild fisheries—are key questions for the future of the oceans. China’s wild fisheries, used partially for aquaculture feeds, are both targeted and non-targeted (multiple species of fish captured indiscriminately at one time, including low-valued fish for direct human consumption and fish unfit for direct consumption, a.k.a., “trash fish”) (see the photo). The country’s nonspecific and often erroneous reporting of fish production and trade makes it especially difficult to assess the impact of China’s aquaculture and aquafeed use on ocean fisheries. 16 »

Curbing demand for wild fish in aquafeeds is critical.

For example, roughly 300,000 tons of marine fish “nei” (not elsewhere included or unidentified species) are cultivated annually in China’s aquaculture systems, and nei represent 31% of China’s marine capture, surpassing the reported catch of any individual species in its ocean fisheries. Here, we characterize and quantify the connections between China’s aquacul-

ture production and wild fisheries. We estimate fishmeal demand and trade, and document, to the greatest extent possible, the species and stock status of fish used for aquafeeds. We also assess the potential use of fishprocessing wastes for aquafeeds as a means to reduce China’s dependence on capture fisheries while increasing net fish supplies.

Fish feed for aquaculture. Unidentified species of finfish, mollusks, crustaceans, and cnidaria from the trash fish component of nontargeted fisheries packaged and frozen for delivery for a fishmeal factory in Maoming, Guangdong province, China.

Aquaculture Expansion China’s total production of capture and farmed fish tripled during the past two decades. Virtually all of this increase came from aquaculture, the country’s fastest growing food sector (5 to 6% annual growth in volume from 2000 to 2012). China’s aquaculture output reached 40 million metric tons (mmt); including shell weight, excluding algae) in 2012, four times the production volume in 1990, and the area devoted to fish farming doubled to 8 million ha. China accounts for one quarter of global fish demand, and despite rapid aquaculture growth, trends in domestic consumption portend a major shift in its trade position, from the world’s leading fish exporter to a net importer in coming decades. Aquaculture systems throughout the country are intensifying as producers seek higher returns on scarce land, water, and coastal zone resources. Intensification is reflected in higher stocking densities, greater reliance on commercial feeds, and more frequent water exchange and aeration. The sector is transitioning from low input, multitrophic systems (e.g., traditional carp polycultures that do not require formulated feeds) to mon-

ocultures or polycultures containing high-valued species dependent on feeds. Fish farming remains a highly diverse industry in China and is influenced by a variety of government directives and policies. More than 100 freshwater and 60 marine fish species are raised in habitats and infrastructures that include ponds, cages in lakes and coastal waters, and raft and bottom-sowing systems in shallow seas and mud flats. Carps in polyculture, tilapia in monoculture and polyculture, and penaeid shrimp in monoculture are three of the largest subsectors, constituting over half of China’s total aquaculture production by volume (see the table). In 2012, China produced >90% of the world’s carp, 50% of global penaeid shrimp, and 40% of global tilapia. All of these species, with the exception of filter-feeding carps, rely on formulated feeds. Fishmeal inclusion rates in feeds average 27% for shrimp, 6% for tilapia, and 3.2% for carp, whereas fish oil inclusion is minimal. Given the scale of carp and tilapia production in China, even small rates of fishmeal inclusion sum to a large demand for fishmeal. The efficiency of feeding practices and nutrient uptake by the fish, repre-

sented by the average feed conversion ratio (FCR), also determine the overall demand for fishmeal and, hence, fish inputs in aquafeeds. The average FCR for Chinese systems that use feeds is 1.7 for carp, 1.6 for tilapia, and 1.2 for penaeid shrimp. The relatively high FCR for carp reflects the use of poorquality fishmeal and the integration of various high-value fish species into carp polyculture, which often results in poor feed targeting and inefficient feed practices. The use of trash fish to supplement or substitute for commercial feeds via direct feeding of higher-valued species is also common and contributes to poor FCRs.

Dependence on wild fish China is the world’s largest importer of fishmeal, accounting for about one-third of the global fishmeal trade in any given year. The country’s entire aquaculture sector consumed an estimated 1.4 mmt of fishmeal in 2012, equivalent to ~6.7 mmt of live-weight forage fish (e.g., anchovy, sardine, herring, menhaden) destined for reduction. More than one quarter of the global fish catch (targeted and non-targeted) is composed of forage fish that are reduced into fishmeal and fish oil. » 17


Although these small pelagic fish reproduce rapidly, they are equally, if not more, vulnerable to collapse than larger predatory fish because of poor management, overfishing, and climatic fluctuations. Many forage fisheries are fully - or overexploited. Assessing sustainability of fish inputs used for aquaculture feeds in China requires a focus well beyond targeted reduction fisheries. Processing wastes from China’s domestic fisheries and its fish reexport industry are used in feed production, and the wild fisheries contributing to these processing wastes are all fully - or overexploited or depleted. Large amounts of trash fish are also used for fishmeal production, and China’s high-valued marine aquaculture uses around 3 mmt of trash fish each year for direct feeding. China’s trash fish consist mainly of juveniles of commercially important species (~32 to 50%), small benthic and mesopelagic fish (e.g., sand lance, lantern fish), crustaceans, and cephalopods. Domestically produced fishmeal from trash fish and local processing by-products usually has a lower protein content (38 to 50%) and a high ash content (over 20%), and thus can be purchased at a relatively cheap price to supplement feeds of low-valued aquaculture species. Our surveys indicate that imported fishmeal from 18 »

the eastern Pacific (e.g., Peru, Chile, U.S.A.) and Russia, which tends to be higher in protein and price, is commonly reserved for high-value farmed species in China. In an effort to secure future supplies of high-quality fishmeal, Chinese companies and state subsidiaries have purchased fishing rights in foreign countries, including quotas for the Peruvian anchovy fishery. As China commands an increasing global share of high-quality fishmeal, feed companies in other parts of the world are likely to move into the lower-quality fishmeal market, raising demand for trash fish. China also sources fishmeal from other Asian countries that is derived from nontargeted fisheries including trash fish. Given the decline in marine catches in much of China’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and its demand for fishmeal, the price of trash fish is expected to rise in China and elsewhere in Asia where non-targeted fisheries are common. As its value increases, so too will concerns over the impacts of non-targeted fishing on marine resources and ocean ecosystems. Unfortunately, the species composition of trash fish varies highly and is poorly recorded. We identified 71 trash fish species caught in China and used as feed inputs for aquaculture. Relatively few trash fish species have

been assessed for their stock status and of those that have, most are classified as overfished or fully-fished.

Waste as feed Recovery of feed ingredients from fish-processing wastes provides an important avenue for reducing aquaculture’s dependence on targeted and non-targeted fisheries. Between 30 and 70% of the volume of processed fish biomass ends up as wastes depending on the type of fish and processing level. Because fish-processing wastes can be high in protein, minerals, and energy, their use in aquaculture feeds has gained attention. Recent estimates indicate that ~40% of China’s domestically produced fishmeal (~0.25 mmt) is derived from processing wastes, with wide year-to-year variation. From 2003 to 2012, the country’s seafood processing industry grew at an annual rate at 10.7%, twice that of its aquaculture sector. Although the reexport market is shrinking in China with rising domestic fish consumption, the volume of processing wastes remains large, especially when wastes from its expanding aquaculture sector are included. Use of aquaculture wastes provides an important opportunity for meeting domestic fishmeal and oil demands, reducing use of trash fish in feeds,

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and minimizing waste discharges and pollution from processing plants. Our analysis shows that 0.65 mmt of fishmeal [±0.26 mmt, 95% confidence interval (CI)] and 0.16 mmt of fish oil (±0.07 mmt, 95% CI) could be produced from China’s fish-processing industry (see the figure). These results suggest that fish processing wastes could meet almost half (based on the average value), and potentially two-thirds (based on the upper 95% confidence limit), of China’s current demand for fishmeal in aqua feeds. A more conservative estimate, based only on processing of fish for export (versus domestic consumption), indicates 0.42 mmt of fishmeal and 0.1 mmt of fish oil could be produced from processing wastes. Serious constraints exist, however, on utilization of fish-processing wastes for aquafeeds in China. First, nutritional quality of fishmeal from processing wastes tends to be inferior to fishmeal produced from wild fish. Conventional fishmeal made from wild forage fish often has a crude protein content between 67% and 90%, whereas fish- meal derived from processing wastes usually contains between 57% and 80% crude protein. Nutritional deficiencies caused by using offal-based fishmeal can be overcome with alternative feedstuffs; e.g., plant-based products such as algae and ethanol yeast developed through the biofuels industry. Alternatives to fishmeal must have comparable nutritional values, ready availability, digestibility, and reasonable palatability at competitive cost. Second, use of fish-processing wastes in aquafeeds presents food safety risks related to bioaccumulation of contaminants, cross species transmission of pathogens, and, possibly, prions. To avoid disease transmission, the Europe Union forbids the use of farmed fish by-products in finfish feeds but allows them to be used in crustacean diets or vice versa. Although China has no such food safety regulations, there is increas20 »

ing awareness on traceability and quality in aquafeed inputs. China is examining a new national standard for regulating dioxins and usage of multiple species in fishmeal and oil. Development may be hindered however by the predominance of smallscale processing plants with outdated equipment and by inefficient or costly collection of raw materials along the supply chain. Overcoming these constraints is not insurmountable but will require substantial investments in research and development, and strict enforcement of advanced food safety regulations. Strategic design of an aquafeed sector based on processing wastes from aquaculture makes perfect sense for China, especially if food safety risks can be monitored. China’s massive aquaculture sector yields a steady and consistent stream of processing wastes. If processing facilities are colocated with fishmeal and feed plants, the problems of perishability, transportation costs, and sup supply chain barriers can be minimized. Such a strategy would require improving facilities to meet

environmental standards. Colocation would then support China’s current Five-Year Plan (2011–2015), which aims to promote energy and water efficiency and to minimize waste discharges and pollution.

Adding or depleting? The scale and complexity of China’s aquaculture sector places it in a precarious position between adding and depleting global seafood availability. The diversity and low-trophic-level base of China’s aquaculture sector provides substantial opportunity for positive change, but the use of feeds containing fishmeal remains profitable in most systems. If China is to increase its net production of fish protein, its aquaculture industry will need to reduce FCRs and the inclusion of fish ingredients in feeds and to improve fishmeal quality. Fish processing wastes have potential to substitute increasingly for imported fishmeal in China’s aquaculture sector if appropriate technology and supply chains are developed, if nutritional qualities can be improved, and if food safety can be

guaranteed. Even if fish-processing wastes are recycled as feeds, China’s aquaculture industry will continue to strain wild fisheries unless the country commits to stricter enforcement of regulations on targeted and non-targeted fishing within and outside of its EEZ and to responsible sourcing of fishmeal and/or oil. Using fishmeal derived from by-catch or by-products of wild fisheries as a means of reducing pressure on wild fisheries remains controversial and should be monitored. Without such measures, China’s aquaculture sector is destined to diminish wild fish stocks worldwide. 1 Stanford University, Stanford, CA, EE.UU. Leiden University, CC Leiden, the Netherlands. 3 University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia. 4 Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden. 5 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden. 6 University of Stirling, UK. 7 Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, PR China. 2

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS FOR AUTHORS We thank W. Falcon, D. Little, S.L. Dong, Y. Chen, Y.S.Qiu, A. Chiu, C. Fedor, and L. Seaman for input on the manuscript. We thank the China Fund of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University and the Lenfest Ocean Program of the Pew Charitable Trusts for financial support, and the EU-FP7 Sustaining Ethical Aquaculture Trade (SEAT) project and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for support of our field surveys in China.

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End of an Era By Granvil D. Treece*

This shrimp mariculture program closing after 47 years of research leaves a very large void in the industry.

22 »

Shrimp Mariculture Program History at Texas A&M University n 1968, the Texas A&M University’s (TAMU’s) Texas Agricultural Extension Service began its shrimp mariculture program in Brazoria County outside Angleton, Texas. This program was funded through Texas A&M University’s Sea Grant College Program and the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, with assistance from the Brazoria County Mosquito Control District. This early project in Brazoria County was managed and operated by Texas A&M University’s Dr. Wallace Klussmann, Dr. Jack Parker, and Mr. Hoyt Holcomb, and was located on a bayou 2.4 km from Chocolate Bay. There were 10, 0.2 ha ponds built and operated from 1969-1971. In 1970 they also added 4, 0.2 ha. ponds on the northeastern shore of Sabine Lake in Orange County. Some 32 pond stockings were conducted. It was found that Penaeus setiferus was better suited for pond culture than P. aztecus. In 1971-72, 10 more ponds and a water reservoir were added to the Angleton/Brazoria County R&D facility. One experiment reported in 1973 by Holcomb and Parker consisted of growing P. aztecus, P. setiferus and P. occidentalis and assessing the efficiency of harvest techniques. In 1972, Ralston Purina’s Crystal River Mariculture Research Center (Florida) determined that white shrimp (P. setiferus and P. vannamei) provided better yields than brown shrimp (P. aztecus). This was also confirmed in Texas. Also In 1972, a second Texas A&M Agricultural Extension Service mariculture facility, managed by Dr. Fred Conte and Dr. Jack Parker, was established near Corpus Christi, Texas, in cooperation with a Power Company and Ralston Purina. Utilizing technology developed at the Brazoria County facility, a production module was designed and constructed at the Barney M. Davis Power Generating Station in


Flour Bluff, Texas to demonstrate the feasibility of intensive shrimp culture. Consisting of three adjacent ponds of one-eighth, one-fourth, and onehalf acre, through which shrimp were rotated as they grew, the tri-pond concept provided better utilization of space and capital investment than previously experienced with single pond units. Each pond was gravity-fed into the pond below to alleviate handling stress for the shrimp. The most significant finding of those grow-out trials was that two non-indigenous species, P. vannamei and P. stylirostris, yielded higher production than native species, which confirmed the earlier work in Florida. In 1974 an expansion to 18 onefourth acre ponds was completed at the Barney Davis Power Plant facility in Flour Bluff. At the World Mariculture Society Conference that same year, Dr. Jack Parker reported results of a 1973 small scale experiment conducted by Dr. Fred Conte. Conte and Parker found that P. stylirostris performed very well in pond culture, as did P. vannamei the first year; but the second year found that P. stylirostris performed poorly, and P. vannamei continued to produce. Based on these results, Parker, et al. concluded that such a system was capable of producing 2,000 to 3,000 kg/ha (1,800 lbs to 2,700 lbs/ac) during the six- to seven-month growing season available in Texas, but could produce up to 6,000 kg/ha (5,344 lbs/ac) in regions where year around operation is feasible. They also concluded that P. stylirostris was not a desirable species for culture under the intensive conditions of that experiment. In 1980 Dr. Jack Parker left TAMU and started the first shrimp farm in Texas (Laguna Madre Shrimp Farm in Bayview, Texas). It was an 800 acre farm with 450 acres of ponds and later a 48,000 square foot hatchery. It is still operating today under the name of KAAPA Aquafarms. Jack hired Keith Gregg and Fritz Jaenike and they stayed with the farm, until

recently. Parker developed an automated shrimp harvester, which has been modified and is used around the world now. In the early 1980’s Dr. Addison Lawrence and a very competent

staff including Linda Smith and Josh Wilkenfeld set up a shrimp hatchery training program at old Fort Crockett in Galveston, which was part of the TAMU system. Many hatchery managers from around the world reÂť 23


ceived training in this facility, which was eventually closed. On leased property at the old NMFS lab in Port Aransas, Addison Lawrence began some shrimp nutrition work and eventually TAMU built a USD$3 million lab at this site. Bill Bray conducted some excellent shrimp maturation work there and Dr. Frank Castille led many of the research projects until they both retired. The lab worked mainly on shrimp nutrition and had one of the largest shrimp nutrition labs, set up in the old NMFS gear storage building. Jack Crockett joined the research team and worked there a number of years before it was closed Feb. 28, 2015. Some of the more notable graduate students whom received their degrees from TAMU under Lawrence are Dean Akiyama, George Chamberlain, Allen Davis, Joe Fox, and Phillip Lee.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research Advances at Flour Bluff Lab Starting in 1989 Dr.Tzachi Samocha managed this facility for the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, later changing its name to Texas AgriLife Research, which is the name it is currently using today. Texas A&M AgriLife Research had a long history of developing and working with biofloc systems for shrimp culture. Largely as a result of the USDA’s U.S. Marine Shrimp Farming Program (USMSFP) Consortium, of which Texas A&M University was a key member, biofloc systems have become a more successful approach for culturing shrimp and are being used more often in new farms instead of pond culture. Dr. Samocha worked for more than a decade at the Texas AgriLife Research Lab in Flour Bluff, Texas to adapt the biofloc concept to extremely high density indoor, year-round production systems with zero water exchange. As a result, the biofloc system method is the dominant approach being attempted by entrepreneurs to develop the indoor cultivation industry. 24 

R&D Conducted or Milestones Met by Dr. Samocha and Team • 2003- Filtration methods for 40m3 raceways with limited water exchange. • 2004- Evaluation of different water exchange rates in 40-m3 raceways. • 2005- More R&D with exchange rates in 40 m3 raceways. • 2006- Diets, molasses use, limited exchange and various exchange rates, stocking 279/m3. • 2007- 530/m3 stocked, 40 m3 raceways, settling tanks. Yields of 9.29 kg/m3. • 2008- Repeat 530/m3 stocked in 40 m3 raceways. Yields above 9 kg/m3. • 2009- Disease resistant animals and fast-growth animals, 450/m3 in 40 m3 raceways with no water exchange. Yields of 9.75 kg/m3.

• 2010- New 100 m3 raceways: 1.4 g/ week weight gain, but high FCR. • 2011- 500/m3 with no water exchange, 9.87 kg/m3 at harvest. • 2012- Biofloc and feed trial optimization, 9.74 kg/m3 in 40 m3 raceways. • 2013- Feed optimization continues to lower FCR for commercialization. • 2014- Feeds optimization continues; Vibrio monitoring; probiotic & nitrifying bacteria evaluation; successful nursery production with a3 injectors, FCR ranging from 0.75 to 6. • 2015- Finalize grant project for National Sea Grant College Program and publish a manual through World Aquaculture Society describing the Flour Bluff Lab’s biofloc culture system in detail.

Dr. Samocha and his team at the Lab in Flour Bluff (Corpus Christi) have developed a cost-effective Biofloc Dominated (BFD) system that fulfills the three pillars of sustainability: Environment, Economy, & Society. His accumulated research on BFD design and operation has resulted in yields of marketable Pacific White Shrimp greater than 9.7 kg/m3 (Samocha et al. 2010. In: Proceedings of the AES Issues Forum, August 18-19, Roanoke, VA.; Magalhães et al. 2013. Abstract, Aquaculture 2013, February 21-25, 2013, Nashville, Tennessee). This is nearly 10 times higher than typical harvests from the unsustainable methods supplying most of the USD$4.5 billion of shrimp imported annually to the U.S. The system is in successful use commercially at Florida Organic Aquaculture, American Mariculture, Global Blue Technologies and a biofloc shrimp nursery at Bowers Shrimp Farm. All four systems, two in Florida and two in Texas, are multi-million dollar investments and are following the biofloc production procedures developed at the Flour Bluff facility. Unlike ponds, the BFD system is bio-secure, highly sustainable, and more amenable to modern seafood traceability protocols. Unlike ponds, it has the potential to contribute to the U.S. supply of high-quality fresh shrimp on a year-round basis in a wholly sustainable manner. A recent study at the AgriLife Research Mariculture Lab showed that the Pacific White Shrimp can be raised to marketable size (> 18.5 g) at high density (530 shrimp/m3) with high yield (>9.3 kg/m3) and good survival (>88%), growth (>1.3 g/wk) and FCR (1:1.3) under zero water discharge. These A&M-supported R&D efforts reached a point at which a detailed description of the BFD system’s design and operation are ready to be communicated beyond the research community to the U.S. commercial aquaculture sector. This is » 25


especially critical in this case, as a real limitation to adoption of BFD production is transfer of water-quality management techniques to commercial groups that do not have experience with closed systems. A freeof-charge, half-day workshop was conducted, sponsored by NOAA and coordinated by Dr. Tzachi Samocha and Mr. Granvil Treece, during the Aquaculture America 2014 meeting in Seattle Washington. The workshop was moderated by Mr. Peter Woods and described the design, operation, and commercialization aspects of the Texas AgriLife Research super-intensive indoor shrimp biofloc system at Flour Bluff. The workshop included presentations by Dr. Terry Hanson of Auburn on the economics; Dr. John Leffler of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources on heavy metal and ionic changes in biofloc dominated systems; and by Mr. Tim Morris of Bowers Shrimp Farm, Palacios, Texas on results from an indoor 1,250 m2 nursery system used on a commercial farm. Presentations can be viewed at the Texas Aquaculture Association web site: http://www.texasaquaculture. org/Biofloc/bilfloc.html

Closing of Shrimp Mariculture Facilities at TAMU after 47 years of Research On Feb. 25, 2015 Craig Nessler and Juan Landivar announced that Tex-

as AgriLife Research was closing their shrimp mariculture program in both Flour Bluff and Port Aransas and that Dr. Tzachi Samocha and Dr. Addison Lawrence would be laid off effective April 24. Addison Lawrence had already lost his lab

Harry Cook, one of the founding fathers of world shrimp farming, died on April 13, 2015, a week short of his 81st birthday. With his associates at the Galveston Laboratory of the National Marine Fishery Service, Harry was the person most responsible for the development of the Galveston Method of raising shrimp larvae. During his career he worked in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico. Corny Mock, also active in the early development of shrimp farming, died in March, 2015. Mock also worked at the National Marine Fisheries Service in Galveston, conducting field studies in the Gulf of Mexico and the bays surrounding Galveston. As an agent of the U.S. government he traveled to many countries to determine the feasibility of shrimp farming abroad, and helped other nations develop their own shrimp farming industries.

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in Port Aransas effective Feb. 28th to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI). UTMSI had leased the property and lab for USD$1/yr with option to buy it after 5 years from NMFS in 1976. NMFS pulled all of their staff back to Galveston in 1976. UTMSI leased it for 5 years and then purchased it from NMFS. TAMU leased part of the property from UT and built a USD$5 million-plus shrimp mariculture lab there, which Lawrence and his staff worked in until they found out that TAMU lawyers did not do such a good job of writing the lease and were forced to move on Feb. 28, 2015. The Flour Bluff lab is also on leased land at a power plant and the lease expires in 2017. The lab will continue to operate but word is that Texas AgriLife Research will concentrate R&D in the area of al-

gae culture and hydroponics. This is surprising because most of the algae companies in the U.S. are having trouble raising money and there will be a very tough road ahead for them in trying to get R&D grants to do hydroponics or aquaponics. Dr. Steve Watts and Dr. Lou D’ Abramo from

Alabama and Mississippi told me at the 2015 WAS meeting in New Orleans that there were virtually no research grants out there for aquaponics and they had tried several years to find some. Aquaponics does not appear to be sustainable on a commercial scale, which became appar-

ent when Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) closed their facility, which was one of the largest in the world. Addison Lawrence retrieved his stacked raceway patent from Maurice Kemp, whom had purchased it some years back but could not get anywhere with it. Lawrence resold the idea and elevated raceway patent to Ralco in Marshall, Mn. and joined them at the Ralco Technology Campus in Balaton, MN. to try and demonstrate the system there. A stacked raceway system was tried by King James Shrimp (later called Aquabiotics) in Chicago in 1978, but failed. The system developed by Lawrence has not been attempted on a commercial scale, which is what Ralco hopes to do after some pilot testing. Dr. Samocha appealed to Texas AgriLife Research, with many letters of support from the industry and received an extension to Aug. 31st, 2015 so that he can finish his grant requirements in a professional manner. Dr. Samocha had just received the Texas Aquaculture Association’s award for Aquaculture Researcher of the Year at their conference in Fredericksburg, Texas Jan. 23, 2015, and had received a letter from the TAMU President acknowledging his service to TAMU since 1989. He is also writing a manual on the super intensive culture of marine shrimp indoors using biofloc in zero water exchange and is talking to the World Aquaculture Society about publishing it as part of a grant from the National Sea Grant Office. With the granted extension to August he and his team should be able to complete the manual. This shrimp mariculture program closing after 47 years of research leaves a very large void in the industry. To the author’s knowledge, there is no marine shrimp aquaculture R&D going on in Texas now.

*Granvil D. Treece. Treece & Associates, World Aquaculture Consultants.

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feature article

What is new in

Sustainable Aquaculture? By Katherine Hawes

The world’s wild fish stocks are threatened by overfishing, destructive fishing practices, and environmental change. Wild stocks cannot support increased demand for seafood, so aquaculture production has increased dramatically in recent decades.


quaculture is one of the fastest growing food production industries in the world and the international trade of aquaculture products provides important chances for economic development. Some 90% of global aquaculture production now takes place in developing countries and a significant proportion in low income food deficit countries. Aquaculture has advantages compared to other protein sources, but it also raises environmental concerns, such as habitat loss, water pollution, and use of overfished stocks for feed. Most aqua-farmers are pursuing ways and means of improving their production processes in order to make them more effective and efficient and awareness of potential environmental problems has increased significantly. In terms of international treaties, the last treaty to deal with aquaculture issues at a global level was at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002) In particular the agreement that by this year there would be maximum yields set by countries. 28 »

New International Laws Affecting Aquaculture Internationally, there are very few laws on aquaculture. However, the UN has played a significant role in the development of international law for seas and fisheries, directly impacting coastal or open ocean aqua cultural operations. The 1982 United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”) set offshore territorial boundaries that establish zones of exclusive economic and fisheries rights for coastal nations. While some nations have not ratified this convention, it is the de facto set of guidelines, until changed, for the world’s oceans. Furthermore, the UN has developed a Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, based on international laws including UNCLOS. Labelling is now being used at an international level to ensure sustainability in aquaculture and new International Labelling Laws are a key method to promote sustainability. The Gold Standard for Sustainable Aquaculture – Eco label Design released by the Environmental Law In-

stitute (ELI) and The Ocean Foundation, establishes a definitive standard for the institutional design of sustainable aquaculture Eco labels. This Gold Standard will be presented by The Environmental Law Institute during an upcoming workshop hosted by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. The purpose of this workshop is to develop international standards for the design of aquaculture certification systems. The Gold Standard’s institutional framework is credible and practical. It also addresses weaknesses in existing Eco labelling programs, including lack of credibility, uncertain performance and reliance on current practices to determine standards. Eco labels (voluntary systems that meet standards for environmental and social performance) play an important role in reducing the impacts of aquaculture production and processing and rely on the best available science and excellent institutional design to create and implement certification standards that ensure economic, environmental, and social sustainability.

mation to Consumers Regulation 1169/2011. They require all foods to be labelled with a name, a list of ingredients, a use-by or best before date, storage conditions, and the name and address of the manufacturer or packer. They also contain several other general rules which cover nutrition, country of origin, and health claims. More specific legislation is also in place to regulate fishery and aquaculture products, including raw fish, fish fillets, and shellfish. The main requirements of these regulations are the inclusion of traceability information, and information about when the product must be sold to the final consumer. Seafood products are also subject to rules about nutrition and health claims. This poses particular relevance when packagers choose to highlight omega-3. Health claims must be approved before being applied to packaging. It is important to remember that these general labelling requirements apply to retail sales to the final consumer only; traceability requirements, on the other hand, apply throughout the distribution chain.

New EU Labelling The new labelling requirements ap- Seafood Traceability plied as of December 13, 2014. The new frontier of sustainability However, Fishery and aquaculture is the consumer and the consumer products and their packages which were labelled or marked prior to that date and which do not comply with Most aqua-farmers are these requirements may be marketed until such stocks have been used up. pursuing ways and means In addition to the above requireof improving their production ments coming from DG MARE, we have new labelling rules coming processes in order to make from DG SANCO regarding the them more effective and “freezing date” and more specifically the ‘date of first freezing’.” efficient and awareness This rule will have a major impact on companies that export fish of potential environmental and fishery products to the Europroblems has increased pean Union. The Fish Labelling Regulations General requirements for labelling are outlined in the Food Infor-


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feature article

The new legislation will update licensing and regulation of the buying, selling, handling, storing and processing of fish, shellfish and aquatic plants.

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desire to know the source of their food. From farm to factory to fork, food production and distribution systems are becoming progressively complex, interdependent and globalized. Business, regulators, and consumers are increasingly looking to food traceability as a tool to address a range of food-related challenges. The province of British Colombia in Canada has updated its Fish and Seafood Act to better reflect today’s concerns with sustainability and food safety, including traceability. The Act will replace the Fish Inspection Act and the Fisheries Act. The Act was last updated in the 1960s. The changes also improve operating conditions for industry workers and will enhance consumer confidence. The new legislation will update licensing and regulation of the buying, selling, handling, storing

and processing of fish, shellfish and aquatic plants. In addition other measures include enabling the creation of a seafood traceability system to ensure seafood processed in B.C. is both safe and legally caught, cultured, bought and sold. The system will ensure B.C. seafood products are responsibly produced and harvested, and can be traced from the processor to the consumer. In Australia a recent proposal would introduce a new law to mandate that restaurants provide on the menu the source of their seafood.

Worker Conditions and Rights Sustainability is not just about the environment but has a wider scope to include the conditions of the workers within the industry. Whilst the current media attention is on fishing

vessels, there have been reports, particularly in offshore farms of labour abuses and the use of child labour. There are an increasing number of certification programs such as MSC and ASC along with Codes of Conduct produced at international and national level. At present there are no current certification scheme covers all of the issues essential to ensure products come from sustainable and fair aquaculture operations. This is the next frontier for sustainable aquaculture. Seafood traceability measures and labelling laws are the new frontier for sustainability in aquaculture, along with increasing oversight relating to working conditions.

*The author is the principal of Aquarius Lawyers and on the board of the World Aquaculture Society. With over 20 years’ legal and business experience, Katherine’s expertise lies in advising and representing organizations and businesses on issues pertaining to the marine environment. To find out more about Katherine, please see

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Unparalleled potential for the shellfish culture industry in

British Columbia

Shellfish Aquaculture Research Vessel “RV Chetlo” Vancouver Island University.

With more than 27,000 km of largely rural, remote and unpolluted coastline the potential for the shellfish culture industry in ‘supernatural” By Brian Kingzett*


ritish Columbia produces Pacific Oysters, Manila Clams and Japanese Weathervane scallops, and Blue and Mediterranean (Gallo) mussels of very high quality. New species include the highly valuable geoduck clam, and potentially the fast growing native basket cockle and local sea cucumbers. Shellfish farming with its reliance on pristine water quality provides an inherent environmental ethic and increasingly important, a source of sustainable seafood protein with a 32 »

British Columbia (BC) is at least biophysically unparalleled.

low carbon footprint. BC’s enviable position on the Pacific rim provides transportation linkages and it enjoys high quality food safety oversight and good business practices. Even though first attempts at farming oyster in the province were made as early as 1882, achieving anything close to the biological potential of the industry has, however, remained elusive. In 2012, the province’s production had a farm gate value of CDN$21.9 million and CDN$41.1 million wholesale, just a drop in the bucket compared to approximately

CDN$400 million for the aquaculture of salmon in the Province. Shellfish production has been relatively static for the last decade. This is troubling when compared to the rate of growth in other jurisdictions globally, but in particular to countries such as New Zealand with similar regulatory regimes that had similar levels of production in the 1980’s but now 10-fold more production. The BC industry has been largely made up of small family farms with 327 companies operating more than 500 sites but only occupying about 6 km2

of marine tenures in 2012. To put this in context, at 200 metres wide this would occupy 18 km or less than 0.01% of BC’s coastline. Additionally most farms are operating well below production capacity. Any discussion of why the industry has not yet reached the potential of its optimistic cheerleaders inevitably leads to a long list of factors. These include the regulatory burden of federal regulation which historically has handled aquaculture as the “bastard child” of the Departments of Fisheries and Agriculture, both bearing responsibility but neither completely willing to acknowledge it. But also good R&D support, access to large sites, technical expertise within the industry, access to risk capital, unresolved issues around aboriginal (First Nation) rights and title to marine lands and simply being too small to be efficient or capture large market opportunities. The last decade has been difficult for the industry. At the same time that North America has been experiencing a long overdue oyster renaissance, the BC industry has faced a high Canadian dollar exchange with the US, shortages of oyster seed due to ocean acidification and more pressures from coastal conflicts in the existing areas in which it operates and, inevitably, some consolidation and fragmentation within the industry. Scallop farming in the warming Strait of Georgia has been plagued by mortality and the success of new species such as geoducks and sea cucumbers has been held up by lack of licensing policy. During this time however, some have been able to reinvent themselves often by carving out their own niche within the value chain. Examples include small farms like Paradise Oysters, Holliewood Oysters and Sawmill Bay Shellfish all of which have been able to take advantage of the trend of micro-branding and the exploitation of the oyster “merroir” trend. Stellar Bay Shellfish developed

Eagle supervising crew working on oyster rafts at Paradise Oyster Company, Baynes Sound Vancouver Island.

Ron Osmond - Paradise Oyster Co., Baynes Sound BC.

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Trays of single oysters hanging below a raft in Baynes Sound BC.

A tank of spawning geoduck at the Centre for Shellfish Research Deep Bay Marine Field Station.

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the tumbled and uniform “Kusshi” oyster which has singlehandedly raised the bar for oyster quality and is now extremely well known throughout North America. Taylor Shellfish Farms, the now 5th generation family-owned Washington State shellfish company, has made significant acquisitions in BC and brought with them stability and confidence. Ultimately, it should never be forgotten that Vancouver Island grows some damn fine oysters. The regulatory burden of aquaculture, necessary to justify public confidence, is not going to go away anytime soon and BC’s regulatory climate is still much better than some. It will be interesting to see whether the small BC farms, many of whose operators are approaching retirement age, will be able to continue forward without more capitalization and increased production as business costs increase. This unfortunate

consequence has a parallel in BC where there were once more than 100 salmon farming companies. Production issues, narrow margins dictating production efficiencies, lack of government support and increasing regulation were among some of the issues that forced consolidation to the handful of companies that remain. Arguably, the survival and then success of the BC salmon farming industry was the influence of patient Norwegian capital that saw the light at the end of the tunnel when no one else would. Moving forward, will this repeat itself in the BC Shellfish industry? A number of factors suggest that the industry is poised to advance and that at the very least an industry with a more diverse scale of companies could emerge. Firstly, the industry is starting to follow other shellfish areas and get more efficient and capital intensive. Educational institutions like Vancouver Island University (VIU) and North Island College are offering aquaculture training at the post-secondary level. VIU in particular, through the Centre for Shellfish Research, Deep Bay Marine Field Station and Institute for Coastal Research has been establishing platforms for R&D support. New hatcheries are being built in BC that should help with seed shortages. Exchange rates have become more favourable and government support is slowly improving. The most significant game changers are starting to emerge: BC First Nations and the influence of Asian capital. More than 21 First Nations have been exploring shellfish aquaculture opportunities but have typically been undercapitalized. To date, the K’ómoks First Nation (Pentlatch Seafoods) with their excellent Komo Gway oysters have been leading this group. Shellfish culture in China is now worth more than USD$9 billion and requiring more production. A number of Chinese investors are now looking to, or establishing, op-

erations in BC. Access to sites with scale to support significant operations has more chance of success if they partner with First Nations who can control access. Will Asian patient capital be to the shellfish industry what the Norwegians were to the salmon industry - except in partnership with First Nations? One example that has emerged is Coastal Shellfish in Prince Rupert that may represent the future: Ownership by North Coast First Nations; local as well as technical expertise from the Chilean scallop industry; social venture capital and Chinese Investment. After 10 years of R&D this company just closed the loop and began its first harvest of “Great Bear Scallops”.

Clinocardium Nuttalli - Basket Cockle - possible new aquaculture species for diversity in BC.

*Brian Kingzett, M.Sc., is the Manager of the Vancouver Island University Deep Bay Marine Field Station. He has worked in the B.C. shellfish industry, from clam digging to conducting research, since 1986.

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New BC Seafood Expo

Attracts Aquaculture Industry Leaders


ew for 2015, the BC Seafood Expo and Workshop Series (June 13/14) boasts sessions from 30+ leaders in the fields of aquaculture research and development, companies and government representatives working in seafood export and trade, as well as innovation & knowledge mobilization institutions.

Topics include: • Exploring the Business of ClosedContainment Aquaculture • 7 billion people are coming to dinner; Feeding the World vs Fisheries • How to Get Your Product from Here to There; Cross Border Trade and Distribution Channels to Grow Business • The Changing Tide; How the Seafood Industry is Adapting to Ocean Acidification

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Comox Valley, BC: In 2014 the Government proclaimed June as BC Seafood Month; no better month to do so thanks to June also being the month of the 9th annual BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival, June 12-21, which has become BC’s largest of its kind.

• Wild Fisheries Trends, Challenges and Opportunities • European Trade Policies and Seafood Business Opportunities The speakers list is impressive, with Executive Directors, PhDs, Scientists, Economists and Educators from a range of organizations, various levels of Government, universities and businesses including Fanny Bay Oysters, Flying Fresh Air Freight, AgriMarine Technologies, Global Aquaculture, Creative Salm-

on, Cermaq Canada, Â Kuterra, Grieg Seafood, AKVA Group, Marine Harvest, Skretting, Pacific Custom Brokers, SEA Vision Groups Inc., Golden Eagle, BC Shellfish Growers Association, BC Salmon Farmers Association, Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Genome BC, Transport Canada, European Chamber of Commerce, Province of BCs Agri-Foods Export Development, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, University of Alaska, University of Victoria, Vancouver Community College, Vancouver Island University Centre for Shellfish Research, University of BC, North Island College, Taste of BC, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and Vancouver Aquarium Marine Sciences. The framework takes a page from the Seafood Expo North America and others, and is designed to meet the needs of the West Coast seafood industry by providing the opportu-

nity to increase expertise, while doing business with buyers, industry innovators & leaders, suppliers, and international reps from throughout North America and Europe. The event has been developed by Comox Valley Economic Development, together with industry, in recognition of the importance of the seafood sector to BC coastal communities and their regional economies. Expo registration includes 5 workshops, keynote luncheon with Dr. John Nightingale, CEO Vancouver Aquarium, a tradeshow, coupled with the Flying Lobster Extravaganza & Expo Opening Reception and BC Coastal Community Mayors Breakfast.

Registration details at

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news release

Pentair opens”PAES W.A.T.E.R.” in Apopka, Florida

By Dennis DeLong

The new facility located on the campus of Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems in Apopka, Florida, will exhibit and demonstrate equipment and aquaculture systems produced by Pentair-AES, as well as equipment from other manufacturers Pentair-AES represents and distributes.

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entair Aquatic Eco-Systems (PAES) is proud to announce the grand opening of their new demonstration and research center for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS). The facility has become known as PAES W.A.T.E.R, for Pentair Aquatic EcoSystems World Aquaculture Technology Engineering and Research center. Building construction began in June, 2014, and was completed in late March, 2015. Current work involves installation of fish culture systems, including a warmwater culture system, a coolwater culture system, and smaller utility systems. The facility will showcase and demonstrate aquaculture equipment and systems produced by Pentair, as well as equipment from other vendors that PAES represents.

ter of Excellence’ for all of Pentair, including applications for aquaculture, pools, and municipal water treatment. • Live Feeds Production Laboratory. For demonstration of techniques to produce live feeds commonly used in hatcheries, including brine shrimp hatching, rotifer and copepod culture, and microalgae culture. • Aquaculture Waste Treatment Unit. To investigate and demonstrate new technologies for the treatment of fresh and saltwater aquaculture waste. PAES W.A.T.E.R. is also being built to allow full connectivity of systems and monitoring to the Internet. Sales personnel and customers will be able to monitor progress of fish culture trials, including water quality, feeding, feed conversion ratios, growth rates, energy consumption, and harvesting activities in all systems. Featured products will be connected to our extensive collection of catalog pages and pricing information. Further information will be updated at our web site at:

12,400 square feet of laboratories and fish culture systems PAES W.A.T.E.R. is located on the campus of Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems in Apopka, Florida, along with the offices, customer contact center, and manufacturing and warehouse operations. It consists of 12,400 square feet of laboratories and fish culture systems that will be used for demonstration, research, and teaching activities. PAES will leverage this facility, along with recently renovated classroom and training space, to enhance our workshop and educational offerings. This facility will be ideal for hands-on demonstration and training of individuals interested in RAS, as well as associated aquaculture activities. Courses are currently being planned for one-week RAS operation, as well as longer-term three-month trainings for possible college credit. In addition to the fish culture systems, separate laboratory space is being outfitted for the following: • Product Development Laboratory. A work space for our engineering and product development personnel to test and evaluate new ideas and products, complete with electrical power from 120 volts to 480 volts, single and three-phase. • Monitoring Systems Laboratory. A space for display of monitoring equipment and systems monitors for realtime and data collection from operating fish culture systems. • Marine and Brackish Water Laboratory. To provide a culture area for organisms requiring salinity conditions up to full ocean strength salinity. All seawater will be captured, filtered, and reused. • UV Treatment Laboratory. Area for testing and validating UV treatment equipment for aquatic applications. Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems has been designated at the ‘Cen» 39

*The author is Manager of Customer Advocacy. Dennis received his Bachelor’s degree in biology from West Virginia University, and his Master of Science degree in management from North Carolina State University. Beginning in Aquaculture in 1978, he has extensive experience in pond aquaculture of freshwater prawns and in the design,construction and operation of recirculating aquaculture systems. He previously managed the North Carolina Fish Barn project and provided aquaculture extension assistance at North Carolina State University.


Tilapia 2015

International Technical and Trade Conference and Exhibition


his conference was a follow up to the very successful Tilapia 2001, Tilapia 2007 and Tilapia 2010 conferences all held in Kuala Lumpur, and organised by INFOFISH in partnership this year with the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based industry, Malaysia, FAO –Globefish, Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries, Malaysia (DOF) Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia, (LKIM) and Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority, Malaysia (FAMA). It was held at The Palace 40 »

By Eric Roderick*

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, 2nd - 4th April 2015. of the Golden Horses Hotel, a very spectacular venue. The conference was sponsored by MSD Animal Health along with Nutriad and Kula Aqua consultants. With almost 300 delegates and 31 speakers from 22 countries, this highlights the global diversity of tilapia farming. The trade show was only

12 booths, but was well attended, and most companies reported a lot of interest. The conference and trade show was officially opened by the YB. Dato’Sri Ismael Sabri bin Yaakob, Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries, Malaysia who also gave the inaugural address.

He highlighted the Malaysian government’s commitment to supporting and expanding the tilapia industry throughout Malaysia. In his speech, the Minister pointed out that aquaculture is a key area for food production in the country under the 6th National Agricultural policy that runs to 2020 and Malaysia aims to be one of the major producers of tilapia in the region with a predicted production of 725,000MT in 2020. Malaysia is also taking advantage of government support and private sector investment to expand cage farming of tilapia in many of the big lakes such as Lake Kenyir Teengganu around 450 km north east of Kuala Lumpur and Tasir Temenggor where Genomar’s TRAPIA operation is located. Current tilapia production in Malaysia is 44,000 MT with significant expansion plans underway. The biggest constraint in Malaysia is the lack of tilapia fry, and they are importing fry from Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.

The Director of INFOFISH, Dr Abdul Basir Kunhimohamed gave the welcome address followed by the keynote address by Professor Kevin Fitzsimmons from the University of Arizona in the U.S., whose presentation, “Market Stability: Why Tilapia Supply and Demand have avoided the boom and bust of other commodities” gave an excellent overview of the global tilapia situation. Key points covered are that Tilapia production for 2014 was 4.7 million MT, and is expected to pass 5 million MT in 2015 with a value of over USD$ 10 billion. Tilapia is now farmed in over 140 countries globally and in 2014 Tilapia was the 4th top seafood consumed in the U.S., a position it has maintained since 2006. China is the biggest tilapia consuming and exporting country (followed by Egypt, Indonesia and the Philippines), while the U.S., is the major tilapia importing country (over USD$1 billion of tilapia imported during 2013).

From Left to Right: Dr Jim McKay (EWG Aquagen - Germany); Chris Haacke (Global Marketing Director MSD Animal Health - UK); Session Chairman Norman Lim (MSD Animal Health - Singapore); Another AVA Singapore team member Diana Chee (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA); - Singapore Minh Anh Pham (Aquaculture R+D Manager Invivo -NSA - Vietnam); Prakan Chiarahkhongman (Charoen Pokphand CP - Group - Thailand), Michiel Fransen (Standards and Certification Coordinator - Aquaculture Stewardship Council - Netherlands).

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Regions of rapid production growth include Vietnam where catfish (Pangasius) are moved from cages on the Mekong to inland ponds and the vacated cages are stocked with tilapia. Indonesia is also rapidly expanding using cage culture and polyculture. Regal Springs, the world’s largest producer with farms in Indonesia, Honduras and now Mexico is increasing production, and is now exporting fresh fillets to Europe as well as the established markets in the U.S. There is also a big expansion in the use of Tilapia in polyculture with shrimp particularly in Asia, as new research has shown positive effects in the control of EMS disease in shrimp just as there was in Ecuador during the WSSV epidemics. Production in China was covered by Professor Jun Rong Liu who stated that China produced 23 million MT of aquaculture products in 2013 with tilapia production at 1.66 million MT (7% of China’s total). The

export market is very well developed mostly to the U.S., but Mexico and Russia are also big importers of tilapia from China. There is now a big effort to expand the domestic market, which will decrease the amount of fish available for export as well as improve the quality and image of the product. Five of the 28 provinces in China, Guangdong (42%), Fujian (8%) Guangxi (17%) Yunnan (8%) and Hainan (21%) produce 96% of China’s tilapia production due to their location in tropical or subtropical regions, where tilapias can be cultured all year. The Yunnan region is the only region of significantly increased tilapia production mainly providing high quality tilapia from its rich reservoirs. China, the world’s biggest producer by far, is maintaining its position, and with low production costs, will always be a major producer. Blessing Mapfumo (an FAO advisor for Africa) gave a presentation covering Africa, the home of tilapia,

and a continent with huge potential, which has never really delivered, but there is a current wave of optimism sweeping the continent with increased commercialization, massively increased demand, high prices and lots of investors showing interest in tilapia projects. The region has over 200,000 square km of freshwater lakes and reservoirs, with an estimated 1.5 million MT of total aquaculture production in 2014 of which Egypt produces 900,000 MT. Some 98% of Africa’s total aquaculture production comes from inland water bodies. Africa’s total farmed production of tilapia reached 816,000 MT in 2014 with 800,000 MT produced by Egypt and the remainder produced by Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia and Ghana. Of this total production, it is now all consumed domestically. Lake Harvest, the only big commercial operation in Africa with farms in Zimbabwe Uganda and Zambia, produced 10,000MT in 2014 and used to

Infofish Director Dr. Kunhimohammed on the podium Introducing the Minister for Aquaculture (Second from the left on stage) during the opening ceremony.

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With almost 300 delegates and 31 speakers from 22 countries, this highlights the global diversity of tilapia farming. The trade show was only 12 booths, but was well attended, and most companies reported a lot of interest.

Professor Kevin Fitzsimmons (Arizona University) and R.S.N. Janua (SoyPak) Pakistan presenting a copy of the new book launched at the conference “Tilapia Aquaculture In Pakistan” to the Director of Infofish (Dr Kunhimohamed).

export most of its production to Europe but there is now very strong domestic demand in most African countries with high prices in the local markets making exporting uneconomical. The main challenges to African aquaculture are shortages of fingerlings and good quality feed. Roland Wiefels, Director of INFOPESCA gave an overview of Latin American Markets for Tilapia. With a per capita fish consumption of only 10 kg, (world average is 20kg) the consumption of seafood in Latin America is expanding rapidly and production needs to increase by 6 million MT per year, of which tilapia could be the major contributor. Latin America produced 453,459 MT of Tilapia in 2012, but imports of frozen fillets are also booming with 51,000 MT imported in 2013 (mainly into Mexico from China), compared to 31,000 MT of fresh fillet exported from Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico mainly to the U.S. Brazil is the only country showing a big increase in tilapia production with Mexico close behind but currency exchange rates make it very difficult to export and domestic demand is very high. Brazil has the climate and water resources to compete with China for the number one producer spot, but it could take some time. Dr. MD Zillur Rahman from Bangladesh gave an overview of tilapia production there, and in 2012/3 Bangladesh produced 228 thousand MT, a 21 fold increase from » 43


Conference program.

Photo of tilapia tanks on one of the trade booths at the trade show.

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2002/3. One of Dr Raham’s recommendations was to replace Methyl Testosterone sex reversed tilapia fry with the YY supermale technology as consumers are demanding more environmentally friendly food. India is now allowing the import of Tilapia broodstock and would like to follow in Bangladesh’s success. Pakistan is similarly expanding its tilapia production. The YY supermale technology developed by Fishgen in the UK, is expanding rapidly around the world. Eric Roderick CEO of Fishgen gave a presentation on the YY supermale technology which is the only viable alternative to hormone sex reversal as consumers look for sustainable ecofriendly fish. Fishgen’s YY technology is now used in over 50 countries. In the Philippines, the 3rd biggest producer in Asia, production of tilapia is currently at its maximum due to lack of new freshwater habitat, so brackish and mariculture is being looked at closely and new salt tolerant strains are being developed. They have developed tilapia ice cream which has proved very popular. Erik Hempel covered the European markets, and he explained that “tilapia was competing in the whitefish market, against traditional species like Cod, Saithe, Pollack, Hake and Haddock, as well as newer species such as Pangasius, Nile perch, Barramundi, Cobia and even Seabass and Seabream. The biggest threat to tilapia’s success in Europe is Pangasius, which is cheaper than tilapia, and is being marketed strongly throughout the U.S.” The U.S., market for whitefish is estimated at 4 million MT, with tilapia’s share at just 0.6% means there is huge room for improvement. Also the availability of the traditional species is declining ensuring more demand for the newer species like tilapia. He states that “two very distinct markets will develop in Europe, the mass market which will mostly be served by cheap frozen fillets and whole fish from China, and an upper end market, served by larger, thicker

and higher quality fillets and prepared value added products. The high quality producers will need to distinguish their product from the cheaper frozen imports from China.” His conclusion is that tilapia will need a lot of promotion in the European markets to improve its market share. There was also a special session on fish health run by MSD Animal Health, the main sponsors of the conference with 6 speakers invited by MSD covering mainly fish health and its close relation to genetics, nutrition, and certification. There was a post conference farm tour to visit Trapia’s farm in Tasir Temenggor. INFOFISH should be congratulated on a very well run and well organised conference. It was proposed to organize the next meeting in 2 or 3 years time.

Photo of the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) trade booth - one of the conference organisers and their role is to support Aquaculture projects

*Eric Roderick is a contributor to “Aquaculture Magazine” in the UK.

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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.

What drives change in Aquaculture? he Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) brought together a distinguished panel for this year’s Seafood Expo North America to join in the discussion on what drives environmental and social responsibility in aquaculture. On the second day of the show the ASC session was opened by CEO Chris Ninnes who demonstrated some of the big commitments made to the programme, bringing the session to life with a preview of a new ASC film showing how 30 farms in the State of Rio de Janeiro are dedicated to gaining ASC certification in readiness to supply the Rio 2016 Olympics. “It’s these types of commitments that have the power to really drive improvements in aquaculture,” Ninnes


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explained, referring to pledges from the Global Salmon Initiative and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee. “There are now 127 ASC certified farms in the ASC programme and a further 67 in assessment,” Ninnes said. “Given the anticipated growth it is important that the aquaculture industry manages its practices responsibly. And, it’s through these combined efforts that we can achieve the biggest impact reduction.”

chain businesses to improvements in environmental and social responsibility and the ASC programme,” Ninnes said. “And, it honestly couldn’t have been achieved without their hard work and dedication. We now have more than 480 businesses that have chain of custody certification, 42 of these are in North America.”

Working together to drive change Partner commitments A panel discussion moderated by driving change Micheal Tlusty, Director of Ocean ASC’s Commercial Marketing Man- Sustainability Science, New England ager Esther Luiten presented the lat- Aquarium also took place. Panellists est market figures, revealing ASC has shared their views on how the ASC breached the 2000 products mark – programme and farms contribute a 110 per cent increase in approved to transforming the aquaculture inASC certified products since last dustry, how producers are driving year. change and improving their perfor“This growth demonstrates the mance and the role of supply chain commitment of farms and supply partners.

Clare Backman, Public Affairs Director at Marine Harvest Canada, said the company spent many years making fundamental changes to its business to prepare for the strict ASC standards. “For example, we invested in new high-strength netting material that keeps our fish in and eliminates the need for chemical antifoulants, and we’ve reduced marine meal in our fish feed so we are now net producers of fish protein,” Mr. Backman said. In January of this year, Marine Harvest Canada became the first in North America to have a salmon farm achieve ASC certification. Member of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, Alvin Henderson, described the rewarding journey the eight shrimp farms took in seeking ASC certification. “The main hurdle was building capacity and we had to work hard on creating the right culture to manage compliance,” Henderson said.

“These farms represent 90 per cent of Belize’s shrimp production; most of the farms are small operations but we had support from outside investment. But, no matter what, we’re committed to meeting the ASC standards. For us it’s been an amazing journey that has helped us grow responsibly as a group.” Fraser Rieche, Sustainability Director for the distributor and wholesaler Calkins & Burke Ltd, shared his views on the role of the supply chain and the importance of sourcing responsible seafood for Calkins. “From my perspective, which is that of a trader, it will be much easier for me when certified product sustainability is the new normal,” Rieche said.

About ASC The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an independent, notfor-profit organisation founded by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and

The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) in 2010 to manage the certification of responsible fish farming across the globe. The ASC standards require farm performance to be measured against both environmental and social requirements. Certification is through an independent third party process and (draft) reports are uploaded to the public ASC website.

*For more information about ASC write to: Sun Brage,

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USFWS-AADAP Announces 2015 Workshop

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership (AADAP) Program will be hosting the 21st Annual Aquaculture Drug Approval Coordination Workshop this summer in Bozeman, Montana.

By Greg Lutz


s always, the workshop will be an opportunity for those in the fisheries and aquaculture community who are directly or indirectly involved in aquatic animal drug approvals to meet and discuss progress and strategies in efforts to expand the “medicine chest” available to fish culturists, and to promote the legal and judicious use of these drugs. The workshop, scheduled for Monday July 27 through Thursday July 30, will focus on discussions of priority aquaculture and resource management drugs, primarily those in which there is ongoing research. During the Workshop, technical and non-technical presentations will be given to provide an update of ongoing aquaculture drug approval research efforts as well as presentations on field use of fish drugs currently approved or in the approval process. Starting with a Welcome Social on Monday evening, the meeting will include some 16 hours of workshop sessions and a number of social activities. The AADAP organizers anticipate attendance to include

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representatives from a diverse group of stakeholders including numerous federal, state, tribal, and private partners, drug company sponsors, university researchers, and other entities involved in aquatic animal drug approval efforts. A number of representatives from FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine also plan to attend.

The AADAP is a broad, partnership-based program of national scope located in Bozeman, Montana. Information on a number of Investigational New Animal Drug activities can be found on their website at aadap/home.htm The mission of the AADAP Program is described on their website as

Members of the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership Program, clockwise from bottom left, Niccole Wandelear, James Bowker, Bonnie Johnson, Dan Carty and Molly Bowman, at the Bozeman Fish Technology Center. Photo by Ben Pierce, courtesy of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

follows: “Working with our partners to conserve, protect, and enhance the Nation’s fishery resources by coordinating activities to obtain U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for drugs, chemicals, and therapeutants needed in aquaculture and fisheries management programs.” The program was started in Bozeman in 1994 in response to the manner in which the FDA chose to enforce the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for aquaculture facilities. In one fell swoop, most of the drugs and other compounds historically used in national and state hatcheries, as well as commercial aquaculture, were no longer useable. At one point, even salt was cited by FDA as a potentially “illegal” substance for use in holding and hauling tanks. The AADAP team has provided invaluable service to private and public fish culturists for decades now. Were it not for their work, many tools that aquaculturists take for granted would not be available, even for natural resource agencies. Everything from antimicrobials and antibiotics to spawning hormones and fish sedatives would be unavailable had some “regulators” had their way. I say this with authority, because I lived through those years and have personal experience. One well-deserved recognition of the AADAP’s work was the 2013 Rachel Carson Award for Scientific Excellence, which was presented to four members of the USFWS team in Bozeman: Niccole Wandelear, Dan Carty, Molly Bowman and James Bowker. The AADAP website sums up the situation very well: “Public and private aquaculture in the U.S. has struggled for many years because of a severe shortage of FDA approved drugs and therapeutants for use in aquatic species. This situation has jeopardized the health and fitness

Aquaculture Drug Update The AADAP Program provided the following news release on May 6, 2015. 2nd Edition of the Quick Desk Reference Guide to Approved Drugs for Use in Aquaculture. The EE.UU. Fish & Wildlife Service Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership Program is releasing the 2nd Edition of the Quick Desk Reference Guide to Approved Drugs for Use in Aquaculture. Originally published in 2011 with support from the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and the American Fisheries Society Fish Culture and Fish Health Sections, the Desk Reference was provided free-of-charge to the many AADAP partners and stakeholders. The Desk Reference proved wildly popular: 1,100 of the 1st Edition were made available, and all were spoken for in less than 2 days! The EE.UU. Food & Drug Administration has granted several new drug approvals since publication of the 1st Edition, and the 2nd Edition reflects all of the important advancements in fish health management. Thanks to generous contributions from external partners, AADAP was able to produce and will be shipping 2,000+ of the 2nd Edition to our partners across the country. The 2nd Edition Desk Reference is available for distribution now – they will go fast, so be sure to submit your request for a copy right away! If you are interested in receiving a copy of the 2nd Edition Desk Reference booklet, please contact Ms. Niccole Wandelear ( and provide her the following information: 1)Your first and last name. 2)Your organization. 3)Your current FedEx address (street address only; no P.O. boxes). 4)A phone number, and 5)The number of booklets you’d like.

of aquatic species held in captivity, many of which are key to restoration, recovery, and management activities by the FWS and its many partners. New aquatic animal drug approvals will benefit Federal, State, Tribal and private aquaculture programs alike throughout the United States.” This year’s workshop promises to be an opportunity to continue the momentum for “jumping through the hoops” placed in the way of U.S. aquaculture by Federal agencies focusing on obstructionism rather than facilitation. Those interested in participating should visit the Workshop website and signup page at: event-reg/USFWSAquacultureWorkshop2015

And… even if you can’t participate, why not send some words of encouragement to the AADAP team and let your congressional delegation know their work is vital to U.S. aquaculture and natural resources? You’ll be glad you did.

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.

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iv Aquaculture Investment Workshop

Supports Collaboration To Grow Industry in Latin America Aquaculture professionals gathered at the University of Miami on April 29th and 30th for the fourth Aquaculture Investment Workshop, organized by the Global Soy in Aquaculture Program of USSEC and sponsored by the U.S. Soy Family and the Kansas Soybean Commission.


pproximately 90 representatives of the most cutting-edge aquaculture companies in Latin America and the Caribbean participated in the two-day Workshop to discuss current challenges and opportunities related to growing the industry in the region. Operators from established fish farms shared their success stories, and aspirational companies who are just getting up and running spoke of the technical and market particulars of their farmed species. Representatives from the investment, insurance and retail sectors also presented helpful information and advice for growing the burgeoning aquaculture industry. The invitation-only Workshop has evolved over the past three events into one of the most productive and informative conferences in the seafood industry. Participants are recognized as important players representing most sectors of the field, and the event is a powerful opportunity for steering industry development in the right direction. Francisco de la Torre, USSEC Regional Director for the Americas who organized the event with Jairo Amezquita, remarked at the event closing that the collaborative nature of the workshop will help to move the industry forward. “When we first started this workshop, we couldn’t find an aquaculture company who wanted to share their story. They would attend to listen, but wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about their business. Now, there’s a clear understanding that we’re all in this together, so we’re willing to help each other. We need to have a critical mass of healthy, farmed seafood in the marketplace.”

*For more information on the Aquaculture Investment Workshop, read the live blog from Intrafish at

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Introduces New Equipment

Marel reveals the first salmon filleter on the market, the new Salmon Skinner MS 1710, the new and improved Salmon Slicer SC 135 and the next generation in whitefish processing including the FleXicut water-jet cutter.


arel is a global provider of advanced equipment, systems and services to the fish, meat and poultry industries, with offices and subsidiaries in over 30 countries. At Seafood Processing Global this year, Marel demonstrated equipment and software that can help optimize raw material utilization, reduce processing times and labor costs, and improve processes throughout the value chain.

pany, offers greater accuracy, capacity, and flexibility.

Whitefish Highlights Marel is also introducing the next generation in whitefish processing including the FleXicut water-jet cutter. FleXicut incorporates two critical processing steps in one machine: precisely locating the pinbones and then cutting the fillet to remove them and portion the fish to customer specification, either skin-on or skin-off. Salmon Highlights The automation of pinbone removMarel is commercializing the first al not only reduces the need for skilled salmon filleter on the market that in- labor but also increases throughput tegrates back and belly trimming into and greatly improves overall yield and the filleting process. The MS 2730 quality. Additional benefits of FleXiFilleting Machine’s new setup can cut include greater product diversity improve yields and reduce the need and a footprint that makes it easy to for manual trimming. integrate into most existing factory Visitors at Seafood Processing layouts. Global had the chance to preview Marel’s new Salmon Skinner MS Innovation through Partnership 1710. The dual-lane machine handles Processors are encouraged to book a high volumes and is the first on the meeting with Marel’s experts who are market to run with a head-first infeed. always available to explore how Marel This should result in less handling of can help them streamline their profillets and a more streamlined process. cesses to add value and improve their The new Salmon Slicer SC 135 processing flow. was also launched at the Marel stand. This slicer features several new ponents and, according to the com» 51


Nutrinsic is in the sustainable protein business


roFloc™ single cell protein is produced by upcycling underutilized nutrients with the added benefit of providing clean water effluent in some cases. ProFloc™ contains a minimum 55% protein and is highly digestible. The creation process involves constructing an aquatic biological system to grow protein producing bacteria that are safe, non-GMO, and native to natural aquatic systems. Nutrinsic harvests these bacteria in a process of concentration, drying and sterilizing to produce a single cell protein for animal feeds. ProFloc™ has tested favorably among many species, including tilapia, trout, salmon, shrimp, piglets and poultry. Study results can be found online. More studies are underway. Nutrinsic is in the protein business. ProFloc™, a high quality protein ingredient for use in animal and fish nutrition, is produced using patented technology that upcycles underutilized nutrients that are cur-

ProFloc™ is a high quality protein ingredient for use in animal and fish nutrition.

White Shrimp Trial Results. Study: White Shrimp Trial Laboratory Performed by Texas Agrilife Mariculture Lab in Port Aransas, TX: Texas A&M System Objective: Compare the growth rate of White Shrimp fed with diet containing ProFloc™ versus fishmeal on a one for one basis. Conclusion: ProFloc™ outperformed fishmeal with 9% faster growth and 8% larger shrimp. Study: White Shrimp Trial Commercial Pond Supervised by Texas A&M in Guayas Province of Ecuador Objective: Compare the growth rate of White Shrimp fed with diet containing ProFloc™ versus fishmeal Conclusion: ProFloc™ and fishmeal were nearly identical in performance. Study showed accelerated growth when shrimp were fed with a diet containing both ProFloc™ and fishmeal. 52 »

Nutrinsic Patented ProFloc™ Technology rently produced in food, beverage, biofuels and other industries. The result of this process is a sustainable and earth-friendly protein source for all types of aquatic and terrestrial animal feeds. Nutrinsic constructed its first U.S. production facility in Trenton, Ohio, and comissioned the plant this spring. Another facility in China

has been operational for over a year and is co-owned by Nutrinsic and other partners in a joint venture. The Trenton, Ohio plant utilizes brewery wastewater to produce high quality single cell protein for the global market which eliminates the need to dispose of waste while also providing clean water.

The Nutrinsic process works efficiently on many types of water soluable nutrients. Nutrinsic CEO Leo Gingras: “At Nutrinsic we ask how we can better utilize limited food resources to provide sustainable nutrition for a growing world population.” Long story short, Nutrinsic provides nutrition solutions.

Solutions Needed To Feed The Next Billion People.

About Nutrinsic

Question: How do we feed the next one billion people? A: As the human population grows, we continue to overfish oceans, eliminate wildlife and flora, pollute the air, and watch water supplies deteriorate. Attention is starting to be paid to the problem of population growth and how to feed the next billion people set to inhabit the earth by 2025. Nutrinsic is one company looking to find business minded sustainable solutions for future generations. Farmed fish production exceeds beef production. To feed these farmed fish, the dwindling forage fish crop is ground up into fishmeal and used by many breeders as a preferred feed choice. But we are running out of fish. The solution is simple: ProFloc, a sustainable, highly digestable single cell protein for fish feed, and a high quality replacement for fishmeal.

Nutrinsic is a pioneer in providing commercial nutrition solutions through the upcycling of underutilized nutrients. By recovering nutrients, Nutrinsic delivers a sustainable source of premium protein for animal nutrition. Depending on the nature and source of the nutrients, an added benefit can be a clean water discharge to the envirnonment.

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Latin American Report

news release on Latin American

At least 200 tons of tilapia were left dead due to abnormal conditions in the Betania reservoir. Some loss estimates range as high as 1000 tons.

By Yojaira Paternina Cordoba*

Colombia: Bacterial outbreaks threaten fish culture in Betania. roduction of tilapia and other species, one of the principal export industries in the Huila region of Colombia, has come to a virtual standstill. The Colombian Institute for Agriculture and Livestock (ICA) suspended and prohibited until further notice the stocking of fingerlings produced in cages in the reservoir. This temporary preventive measure was adopted as a consequence of the mass mortality of fish, which has been accumulating and provoked in part by widespread presence of bacteria. The pathogenic agent responsible for the mortality was confirmed by the ICA’s Center for Diagnostics. The principal opportunistic agent was determined to be a type of Aeromonas spp found in the water column. The floating cages also provide a breeding


Tilapia culture in Betania Reservoir in Colombia.

54 »

ground for fungus and other microorganisms. “The outbreak of disease has reached very high levels, with more than 30% of the fish affected in any given cage,” stated an expert who visited the zone. The particular pathogen in question benefits from the conditions within the growout cages, surviving and multiplying rapidly. This in turn puts sanitation and biosecurity at risk, not to mention the economic sustainability of the businesses involved. At this time, losses are calculated to exceed **COP$1 billion, or USD$420,000. During Holy Week, fish were selling for USD$2.15 per kilo according to Efren Tovar, the President of the Fish Farmers Association of Huila. The worst effects are concentrated in the cages found in the northern part of the reservoir near the generator plant. According to experts, these

Photo courtesy of Acuacolombia blogspot.

impacts are spreading and mortality is increasing throughout the reservoir. Specialists indicated that sufficient controls were not in place to prevent the current outbreak, and that these situations can build on themselves, with sick and moribund fish serving to accelerate deteriorating conditions and the spread of disease. Additionally, many producers did not follow recommendations to minimize adverse impacts when low oxygen levels began 15 days earlier according to observers. (Editor’s note – for background on this story, see the Latin American Report in our last issue). Management measures initially adopted when mortalities began were not sufficient to head off this emergency. According to technical observers, many fish farmers did not take recommendations to heart to reduce feeding and stocking rates, and continued to increase their loads on their production systems and the reservoir as a whole. The situation was initially localized in certain cage farms, but over time the disease problems were propagated in

other sectors of the reservoir. Because of this situation, management recommendations are now being adopted as regulations. “New stockings of fingerlings will further increase the cultivated biomass and only add to mortality and losses within the reservoir,” the chief of the ICA emphasized. All aquaculture establishments, from this date forward, must abstain from conducting any fingerling stocking, as a preventive measure. All fish culture installations within the reservoir must also conduct the collection and final disposal of fish mortalities, now and whenever necessary in the future, in an adequate manner. At the same time, they must disinfect all cage netting with products that are approved by the ICA. ICA personnel will assume the role of inspectors and sanitary police, and exercise necessary controls in the intervention zone.

Salmon Aquaculture Installations Damaged by the Volcanic Eruption in Chile Represent 2.5% of the Freshwater Capacity. Due to the recent eruptions of the Calbuco Volcano in Chile, the salmon industry association SalmonChile stated that although Chilean salmon farming involves some 200 facilities in total, only 8 of those operate in the emergency zone impacted by the disaster. However, with regard to those 8 operations at risk, four have suffered severe damage or total losses; one is still being evaluated, with some por-

Calbuco Volcano in Chile. Copyright Ragnhild Bleken Rud.

tion of the fish having been saved; and the other three have had all remaining fish stocks transferred to other sites. Losses from the five impacted sites equate to roughly 2.5% of the industry’s total freshwater capacity. The trade association also reported that within these 8 facilities the production levels equate to 25 million fish, out of a total of 300 million. This represents roughly 8.3% of the current production in the freshwater phase. According to SalmonChile, the emergency protocols enacted by SERNAPESCA (Chile’s National Fisheries Service) have functioned

Dead salmon because the eruption of Calbuco. Courthesy of

adequately, allowing special measures to authorize movement of fish while still following established biosecurity requirements and conditions. The organization also stated that fish in the first phase of production in freshwater, as impacted in these facilities, can more easily be replaced. If losses cannot be quantified with anticipation, they can be delimited. The association reported that 100% of the workforce was evacuated without problems. In terms of social assistance, the organization and private companies are delivering assistance and various necessities for those persons forced to stay in shelters.

Yojaira Paternina Cordoba has a degree in Animal Husbandry from the National University of Colombia. She currently manages production, technical and marketing activities at Piscicola del Valle, S.A., specializing in production of red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) and the white cachama (Piaractus brachypomus).

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Recent news from around the globe by

“China is the world’s largest aquaculture market and Tongwei holds the leading position as a feed supplier to the aquaculture By Suzi Dominy*

BioMar and Tongwei form JV in China and South East Asia he big story in the world of aquaculture feed this month is that the BioMar Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Tongwei Co. Ltd to establish an equally owned Joint Venture dedicated to producing and selling high performance feed for aquaculture in


56 »

industry in China”, Carlos Diaz, CEO of the BioMar Group.

China. The target of the Joint Venture is to become one of the leading suppliers of high performance feed to the Chinese aquaculture sector, and in a second step, to expand further to other Asian markets. The joint venture will build an aquafeed mill with an annual capacity over 100,000 metric tons in China, scheduled to start operation in 2016. In the next stage of the agree-

ment, BioMar and Tongwei aim to construct a further three to five new feed plants of a similar or larger capacity in China and to expand with production and sales in other countries in South East Asia. BioMar’s entry into the Chinese market is, according to the CEO of the BioMar Group, Carlos Diaz, a part of a global expansion strategy initiated a few years ago, with the

establishment of a feed production unit in Costa Rica and which most recently has resulted in the construction of a new mill in Turkey. Carlos Diaz explained that BioMar and Tongwei complement each other extremely well in terms of product ranges and market access: “China is the world’s largest aquaculture market and Tongwei holds the leading position as a feed supplier to the aquaculture industry in China”. Tongwei Co. Ltd is listed at the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and a part of the Tongwei Group. Tongwei operates nationwide in China as well as in Southeast Asia with over 100 branches and subsidiary companies. In 2014 Tongwei produced around 4,000,000 tons of feed of which 2,500,000 tons were aquaculture feeds. This makes Tongwei the world’s largest aquafeed manufacturer as well as a major livestock and poultry feed manufacturer. It has held the leading position in the Chinese aquafeed industry for the last consecutive 22 years and it is continuing a rapid expansion within aquaculture research, animal health care, and food processing. The annual sales revenue of Tongwei is more than RMB 10 billion. (1 RMB= US$0.16) Founded in Denmark in 1962, the BioMar Group A/S is a leading supplier of feed to the aquaculture industry, ranking among the top three suppliers in the field of high performance feed worldwide. Currently BioMar has 11 production facilities, producing feed for more than 30 different species including among others salmon, trout, sea bass, sea bream, eel, tilapia, shrimp, and sturgeon. BioMar feeds are sold to more than 60 countries and a new factory is at present being built in Turkey. In 2014, the sales volume of BioMar was close to 1,000,000 tons with a turnover around €1.1 billion. (€1= USD$1.07) BioMar is fully owned

by Danish Schouw & Co, listed at the Nasdaq Copenhagen stock exchange. “BioMar will, as a leading global supplier of specialized larval and fry diets as well as high performance grower diets and functional feeds, contribute with know-how and product ranges for the fast growing production of high value fish species in China,” Diaz said. The product range for the new Joint Venture factory will include starter and grower feeds for marine and fresh water species such as sea bass, sea bream, cobia, turbot, bass, grouper, trout, sturgeon, tilapia, eel, and shrimp. While BioMar will directly apply feed recipes and product ranges for some species, Carlos Diaz underlines that BioMar also brings a well proven approach in product development securing highly efficient, safe, and sustainable diets: “We have in the salmon segment as well as in other species, built a model for feed development which will be of great value in the development of feed for the new species which are gaining importance in aquaculture across Southeast Asia.” Referring to recent reports pointing to the lack of clean water as one of the greatest challenges for the expansion of aquaculture production in China and the rest of Southeast Asia Carlos Diaz pointed to another key strength of BioMar: “In this scenario with water becoming an increasingly scarce resource BioMar can contribute with a huge amount of knowledge in environmental management, reduction of emissions from aquaculture to the aquatic environment, and especially with highly specialized diets developed for intensive fish production in recirculation aquaculture systems with very limited water consumption. BioMar has over the years through a proactive research effort and collaboration with farmers, authorities, and research institutions achieved a

leading position in this field. This knowledge will be very important in the future development of aquaculture in China as well as the rest of Asia,” he said.

Aquafeed research On the research front, Norway’s Arctic Salmon Research Centre (ASCR) has received permits for the period 2015-2020. The research centre, which is scheduled to start up in June 2015, will contribute knowledge on fish farming in arctic environments in Finnmark, a county in the extreme northeastern part of Norway, to optimize ongoing operations and to explore the possibilities for growth in this region. It will study the significance of feed customized for the fish farming conditions in the region. The trials will be done in full-scale with groups of spring smolt (S1), and autumn smolt (S0) that are kept from smolt to harvest. Goals for the trial period 2015-2020 are to optimize growth and feed utilization in salmon by customizing protein and energy in the feed to environmental conditions and growth patterns in Finnmark; study the effect of feed with functional ingredients on sore prevention in salmon, and possibly contribute to healing of sores; optimize fatty acids composition to maximize the utilization of essential oils EPA and DHA, and at the same time ensure good health and quality in salmon from Finnmark while optimizing pigment content and antioxidants in feed. In Australia, Deakin’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences has teamed up with Australia’s largest feed manufacturer, Ridley Corporation, in a six-year, AU$2.4 million collaborative project, to improve the quality of aquafeed, while reducing its impact on the marine world. “The ultimate goal of the partnership is to create a diet for farmed fish that uses zero ingredients from the ocean, to help the industry re» 57


duce its impact on the world around us”, Associate Professor Turchini said. Specific projects include nutritional improvements to support fish health and performance during suboptimal seasonal conditions; predictive modelling of omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in farmed fish products, optimization of on-farm feeding strategies; development of innovative laboratory-based models to simulate the digestive processes in farmed fish and development of a marine-life-free food for fish produced using 100 per cent Australian ingredients.

New association pushes for EU approval of insects in feed Last time in this column (and in a feature article in the latest issue of our quarterly magzine, AQUAFEED: Advances in Processing & Formulation) we reported on AgriProtein, a South African company that has commenced commercial production of fly larvae. That company, along with insect-producing companies from the Netherlands, France and Germany, has formed the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF). Top of the agenda in their inaugural meeting was a call to the E.U. to allow insect products as source of animal proteins for food consumption and animal feed. In the EU, insect companies mainly produce for pet food. However, the potential for insect meal is huge, especially for the aquaculture feed sector. IPIFF is asking for the revision of the EU feed legislation in order to allow insect products reared on 100% vegetables substrates to be used as sources of proteins for aquaculture, poultry and pigs. Invitation to provide input into a new version of IFFO RS The IFFO RS is to undergo an extensive review with a view to producing a new version of the standard (IFFO RS V2). IFFO is the 58 »

international ‘not for profit’ organization that represents and promotes the fishmeal, fish oil and marine ingredients industry worldwide. IFFO RS Ltd. has produced a draft Terms of Reference for a Technical Advisory Committee (the TAC will be the group entrusted to develop the new IFFO RS V2) and comments are welcomed on this draft. The purpose of this exercise is to gain input from all stakeholders that may wish to be involved in the development of IFFO RS V2. The TAC has been tasked with focusing on a number of key areas for IFFO RS V2. These areas include the consideration of a credible and consistent methodology in which the management of mixed trawl fisheries could be assessed as a source of responsible raw material for marine ingredient production. In addition, other key developments will focus on the IFFO RS factory conformance criteria, assessing Good Manufacturing practices and reducing environmental risks during the production processes. The TAC will also be asked to consider additional conformance criteria to assess the social and welfare rights of employees in factories, as well as looking at how

reassurance can be obtained on the conditions of workers on the supplying fishing vessels. Comments and feedback regarding the TAC terms of reference, as well as on the overall standard is encouraged. To download the full TAC Terms of Reference document go to For comments and information regarding this process, visit the IFFO RS website www. or contact IFFO RS secretariat at

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.

» 59

Marine Finfish Aquaculture

Stock Replenishment of Marine Fishes

as a Springboard to Commercialization? Historically, the “secrets” to culturing many of the fishes currently reared in the U.S. were unlocked through efforts to replenish or enhance wild populations for the benefit of commercial and recreation fishermen.

By Mark Drawbridge *


n many cases this culture capacity went on to fuel successful aquaculture ventures because the fish were obviously valued – not only for sport but also as food. Unlike other parts of the world, in the U.S. there are only a handful of organizations culturing marine fish for stock replenishment. I recently reached out to some of those groups to see what species they were culturing and what interest, if any, was being exhibited by the commercial sector for farming applications.

Aside from aquaculture research on marine fish in the southwest, which has been reported previously in this column, the majority of stock replenishment activity in the U.S. is currently focused in the southeast, including the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Given the recent efforts to establish an aquaculture permitting framework in the GOM, the carry-over of species from replenishment to commercialization may once again take root. In South Carolina, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been

Release of Cobia into the Colleton River, Port Royal Sound South by the South Carolina DNR.

60 »

rearing red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) for decades, as have culturists from Texas Parks and Wildlife (TP&W). Extensive rearing methods are used primarily, and production levels are in the millions as the offspring come from cooperative breeders that spawn volitionally. Both of these state programs have routine stocking activities that are integrated with species management plans. In Texas, several commercial fish farmers are raising red drum in land-based systems. Another croaker species, the spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), is being cultured by these programs in Texas and South Carolina as well as at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Center (GCRL). The culture history for this species is more recent and production levels more modest among these centers, although Texas is currently releasing eight million fry per year from ponds. Although GCRL does utilize some extensive production methods, most of their seatrout production comes from intensive recirculating aquaculture systems. Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) is another priority species at South Carolina DNR, which has been working on the species for the past 11 years. Experimental stocking of cobia have yielded great success with contributions as high as 50% to the recruiting class. This species is being

Red snapper juveniles in a tank at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL).

farmed in the southeast region and internationally as well. The red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) is a top candidate species at GCRL and one that they have investigated consistently since 2006. This species, which is far more challenging than the Sciaenids we have discussed, is currently spawned using hormones followed by stripping and often yields inconsistent results. Adequate larval survival remains a barrier to mass production, primarily due to the requirements for sufficient quantities of small prey items like copepods. The southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) has been cultured by TPW since 2006 and represents their most challenging species to culture, particularly through the early life stages. Several other species of Paralichthys are cultured experimentally on the east and west coasts of the United States, while globally they have been successfully commercialized. In addition to the jump-start that replenishment R&D efforts can ultimately provide to the aquaculture sec-

tor relative to culture methods, there are often other important synergies. First, the genetic structure of candidate species is often well studied in the early stages of replenishment programs. This information is then coupled with appropriate breeding and release strategies designed to maintain genetic diversity of the wild stocks. With appropriate quantitative data, it is possible to model not only the consequences of intentional releases of replenishment programs, but also those of periodic escapement events from offshore farms should they occur – i.e. as part of a risk assessment. Similarly, in cultured populations disease processes invariably become well studied over time, including development of diagnostic tools that can subsequently be used to better understand exposure histories of specific pathogens, including exposure of wild stocks. This information is typically used to develop policies for pre-release health inspections and release certifications. In commercial offshore farming operations, this baseline information will be valu-

Texas Parks and Wildlife releases juvenile red drum into the Laguna Madre, Texas.

able in helping to understand disease interactions that may occur among cultured and wild fishes, including appropriate responses during outbreak investigations. In summary, stock replenishment efforts can provide excellent synergies toward the development of commercial farming – on land or at sea. Both aquaculture outlets (replenishment and farming) represent conservation tools that can help balance resource utilization as seafood demand continues to increase. It remains to be seen how or if these synergies will be capitalized on in the United States until the regulatory bottleneck for offshore farming is overcome. For those interested in learning more about the status of fisheries replenishment in the U.S. and abroad, the Fifth International Symposium on Stock Enhancement and Sea Ranching (ISSESR) is being held in Sydney Australia later this year (http://www.searanching. org/symposium5/program5.html). This symposium continues an already rich tradition of highlighting and encouraging further development of the science underlying effective marine stock enhancement, restocking and sea ranching to replenish or augment fisheries and wild stocks. Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Dr. Robert Vega from TP&W, Dr. Reginald Blaylock from GCRL, and Dr. Mike Denson from SCDNR for providing recent background information on their stock replenishment research programs.

Mark Drawbridge has a B.S. degree in biology and a Master’s degree in Marine Ecology. He’s currently a Senior Research Scientist at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in San Diego, where he also serves as the Director of the aquaculture program.

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THE Shellfish CORNER

Vibrios and Shellfish On the last installment of The Shellfish Corner I provided a rationale for the existence of nationally-mandated shellfish sanitation programs as a major driver of the growing popularity and demand for oysters and other molluscan shellfish.

By Michael A. Rice*


hellfish aficionados who enjoy the succulent taste of freshly shucked shellfish and appreciate the subtle differences in tastes of different species of shellfish grown in different estuaries under different conditions (often known as the merroir of the shellfish similar to the terrior of a fine varietal wine) are willing to pay a considerable price premium for the peace of mind of having a very low probability of getting sick from a sewage polluted half-shell bivalve. Unfortunately, however, it is not just sewage pollution that can cause sickness and erosion in consumer confidence in the safety of shellfish. On several occasions, shellfish consumers have become ill on raw shellfish that have been infected with various types of vibrio bacteria that are not sewage-related but rather are found generally in the environment, particularly in warmer water areas. Not all vibrios are pathogenic or have the capability of causing disease, but there are certain strains such as Vibrio cholerae, V. vulnificus and V. para62 Âť

Maintenance of a good cold-chain from harvest to the consumer is the best policy for maintaining healthy and wholesome shellfish. Here Perry Raso and Colby Doyon of the Matunuck Oyster Bar prepare a dozen oysters for aficionados in Rhode Island. (Photo courtesy of the Matunuck Oyster Bar).

haemolyticus that have been known to cause disease in humans. Although rare in occurrence, over the last ten years or so a growing number of illnesses reported by the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were attributed to vibrios associated

with consumption of raw shellfish that had most probably not been handled properly after harvest. Recently, this increase in vibrio-related illnesses has been linked by Vezzulli and others in a 2013 article in the journal Microbial Ecology to the rise in

global ocean temperatures. And a recent 2014 volume titled Vibrio Ecology, Pathogenesis and Evolution edited by Rita Colwell and Daniela Ceccarelli provides a comprehensive review of the diverse nature of the various vibrios and their niches in marine environments. Frequently the vibrios serve as decomposers in the marine environment, breaking down detritus. Many of the more pathogenic strains can be persistent in the environment, and certain strains will associate with specific types of higher marine organisms such as zooplankton or crustaceans. Depuration, or the placing of shellfish into clean filtered water for a time, has been suggested as a means for reducing the load of pathogenic vibrios from shellfish. A recent 2014 study by Brett Froelich and Rachel Noble [Applied & Environmental Microbiology 80(24):7454-7459] reviews many of the studies on vibrio depuration. They show that the numerous studies of the depuration of vibrios have been highly variable in their results, but that relay of shellfish to higher salinity waters and long term depuration (>72 hours) in high salinity (> 30 ppt) seawater has the best results. However, these authors point out that simple depuration or a simple cleaning out of the pathogenic bacteria by depuration is a rather simplistic view of the complex microbial ecology of vibrios. They explain that the variability in the uptake and depuration rates of pathogenic vibrios by shellfish is governed by the community of existing bacteria that are normally associated with the shellfish. All shellfish carry along with them a wide variety of surface bacteria that function to live on the tissues of the shellfish, perhaps perform a health maintenance function and tend to exclude the colonization of pathogenic vibrios by virtue of their occupation of space on the surfaces of the oyster. If there is an environmental stressor such as abnormally high temperature or pollution,

the normal bacterial community on the surfaces of the shellfish is disrupted and space is opened up for invasion by the pathogenic vibrios such as strains of Vibrio vulnificus or V. parahaemolyticus that may be very persistent in depuration. These vibrios appear to be most sensitive to salinity and their activity slows greatly at low temperatures. These findings suggest that probiotic bacteria isolated from the surface of healthy shellfish may be a means for controlling pathogenic vibrios and other pathogenic bacteria. Using this approach in 2011, Diane Kapareiko and co-workers at the US-NMFS Shellfish Laboratory at Milford Connecticut [Journal of Shellfish Research 30(3):617-625] have used a non-pathogenic strain of vibrio (OY15) that they isolated from healthy oysters to demonstrate that it can protect oyster larvae from a known pathogenic vibrio strain (B183). Likewise in 2013, Murni Karim and co-workers at the University of Rhode Island [Journal of Shellfish Research 32(2):401-408] found two non-vibrio strains isolated from healthy oysters Phaeobacter sp. (S4) and Bacillus pumilus (RI06-95) that can protect oyster larvae from infection by Vibrio tubiashii, a pathogenic vibrio responsible for larval losses in hatcheries. These bacteria also protected oyster larvae from infection by Roseovarius crassostreae, the pathogenic bacteria causing Roseovarius Oyster Disease (ROD), formerly known as Juvenile Oyster Disease (JOD). This area of research, demonstrating the role of normal bacterial communities on the surface of oysters and other shellfish, is paving the way for the development of probiotic supplements that may be useful for control of vibrio and other oyster and shellfish diseases in the hatchery. Widespread availability of shellfish probiotics may also hold promise as additives for depuration in control of the pathogenic strains of vibrios that may be problematic

for shellfish consumers. However, much more work is needed in this area. In the mean time, the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, and their counterpart agencies worldwide, are looking seriously at vibrios as a threat to the shellfishconsuming public and the potential economic threats to the shellfish industry if consumer confidence in the safety of shellfish is eroded. An effort is underway to assure that regulations in the various states are adequate to protect public health, and some of the debate is vigorous. It is incumbent upon shellfish producers to encourage their own staff and others in their industry to maintain a strict cold chain from the harvest to the consumer’s plate. Best available evidence suggests that good handling practices and temperature control can check post-harvest propagation of vibrios and serve to maintain shellfish as safe and wholesome.

Michael A. Rice, PhD, is a Professor of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science at the University of Rhode Island. He has published extensively in the areas of physiological ecology of mollusks, shellfishery management, molluscan aquaculture, and aquaculture in international development.

Âť 63

Post Harvest

New Dietary Recommendations for

Consuming Aquacultured Species For over 50 years, there have been recommendations to limit dietary By Lucina E. Lampila*

cholesterol as a means to prevent high levels of cholesterol in the blood.


igh circulating cholesterol in humans was correlated to heart disease and the risk of heart attack or stroke. This resulted from correlations made from a study that began in 1949 of over 5,000 men and women in Framingham, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. An early publication in the American Heart Journal (1951) from this study reported on the importance of a reduced fat and cholesterol diet to reduce morbidity and mortality rates in patients with coronary atherosclerosis. Recommendations soon followed from the American Heart Association with dietary restrictions on high fat foods (some of which also contain appreciable cholesterol), such as, highly marbled meats, organ meats, sardines, avocados, olives, fish canned in olive oil, and foods high in cholesterol: eggs, shrimp, crab, lobster and clams, to name a few. Polyunsaturated fatty acids were recommended and patients were told to avoid butter in favor of oleomargarine and polyunsaturated, vegetable oils. Dietary cholesterol intake was recommended to be less than 300 mg per day. As with many dietary recommendations, subsequent studies have been conducted with new conclusions that appear contrary to standing dietary indications. Studies with marine oils 64 »

showed that fatty fish containing high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids (Copper River Salmon, sardines and mackerel) were shown to elevate high density lipoproteins (HDL or the ‘good cholesterol’), reduce low density lipoproteins (LDL or the ‘bad cholesterol’) and reduce the biochemical markers of inflammation. Studies with the Mediterranean diet showed that the monounsaturated fatty acids from sources such as olive oil and avocados also favorably altered circulating cholesterol types and markers of inflammation. Further studies involving eggs in the adult diet vindicated the egg as a culprit in elevating serum cholesterol.

Recently, the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) was submitted to the Secretaries of the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Every five years, the committee meets to evaluate the most current research on topics related to diet, nutrition and health. Information and recommendations in the report may be used by the HHS and USDA when developing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans later this year. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) contained a rec-

ommendation that the daily intake of dietary cholesterol not exceed 300 mg. The 2015 DGAC did not renew this recommendation because cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for over consumption. This was in agreement with the conclusions reported in the 2013 American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology Task Force on Practice Guidelines that there is not a substantial relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol. The draft guidance also includes limiting consumption of saturated fat to less than 10% of total calories and limit trans fat. The DGAC also recommends eating more seafood be it wild or aquacultured. The advantages of seafood consumption outweigh the minor risks posed by contamination of methyl mecury or organic pollutants. This is consistent with guidance issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for

women who are pregnant or into to become pregnant. Three of the five of the most commonly eaten fish, cited by FDA, that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish are commonly farmed. The global production of seafood has surpassed that of beef. The DGAC also recognized there is a need to establish strong policy, research, and stewardship to improve the environmental sustainability of farmed seafood systems. Although the DGAC recognized that the levels of the omega-3 fatty acids could be equal or greater in farmed than wild caught seafoods; there is a need to improve and retain the omega-3 profiles of certain species via improved feeding and processing practices. When issuing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, the FDA and USDA do not have to adopt all the recommendations issued by the DGAC; the potential to reverse decades of a dietary

restriction on some heart healthy seafoods, such as, shrimp, crab, lobster, clams and sardines is important. The public is encouraged to respond the DGAC as described in the Federal Register announcement.

*Lucina E. Lampila, Ph.D., R.D., C.F.S. is a food scientist who has worked with the U.S. Sea Grant College Program at academic institutions on the West Coast, in the Mid-Atlantic and the Gulf Coast. She worked for ingredient manufacturers in the private sector and had global responsibilities for value-added seafood processing.

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Natural Resources

and Aquaculture Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime but what if there were no more fish? What if there were no more land to raise grains to make bread? What if there were no more water to irrigate crops? What is more important than food? The natural resources used to produce food.

By Claude E. Boyd and Aaron McNevin*


atural resources used for aquaculture was the topic of our recent book – Aquaculture, Resource Use, and the Environment published by Wiley-Blackwell earlier this year. The book provides a review of each of the natural resources that are utilized to produce seafood through

aquaculture, discusses aquaculture’s relative impact in the context of other food production systems and perspectives from the point of view of the industry and from the environmental non-governmental organizations (eNGO). The benefits of aquaculture are provided as well as its negative impacts. Fundamentally,

Biodiversity resources – loss of mangroves to shrimp pond conversion in Indonesia.

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we attempted to depict the broader debate around environmental sustainability of aquaculture in terms of the availability and use of natural resources. We inhabit a planet with finite natural resources. Currently, we as humans, are consuming these natural resources at a ratio of 1.5:1 meaning that the regenerative capacity of the Earth is being outstripped by our activities. In essence, we are spending our interest and dipping into our principal to repay our debts. If there was ever a characterization of what is not sustainable, this would be it. This is not a burden that needs to be placed entirely on the aquaculture industry, further in some cases aquaculture uses natural resources very efficiently. However, we don’t have to look far to find examples that hit home for the aquaculture sector – where is the optimal land with adequate water availability and quality to conduct aquaculture in the future? How much more pelagic fish can we harvest from the oceans to make fish meal and oil needed as feed for carnivorous aquaculture? How will we power aerators and pumps; how will feed be made and product be pro-

Land resources - shrimp pond abandonment as a result of Early Mortality Syndrome and subsequent conversion to palm oil in Thailand.

Wild fish resources – workers loading fish for rendering for fish meal in Thailand.

cessed when fossil fuels run out? This is not meant to be a doomsday prediction, rather a call for pause and to get out of the weeds of our daily lives for a moment to take a holistic view at our global food system and see aquaculture’s place and performance against other sectors. We note in our book that aquaculture has greater efficiencies when compared to some types of natural resource uses in other animal protein sectors. For example, the carbon dioxide equivalent emissions for aquaculture is approximately half of that for beef on a per kg whole body weight basis; aquaculture also produces about 2.04 metric tons per hectare of land on average as compared to 0.23 metric tons per hectare of other meats, eggs and milk (combined average). In recent days, we have heard that Tyson will begin to discontinue their use of human antibiotics in poultry farming. The mere thought of using these drugs would not be tolerated by the aquaculture industry, aside from those that use them illegally. Aquaculture also has a comparative advantage over traditional agriculture because the medium for culture – water – is 3-dimensional. The depth dimension allows for aquaculture productivity to be high per unit area. In some instances, aquaculture can be carried out completely in water bodies with no requirement for land except that which is embodied in feed. Of course, some of the most popular aquaculture species are carnivores and much of the current commercial research and development is in the culture techniques for the most carnivorous species such as tuna and grouper. Thus, there will be a dependence on wild fish until there is a replacement, and aquaculture in these sectors will either be restricted by the availability of this resource or contribute to the overfishing of stocks. At a recent meeting of feed companies, retailers and eNGOs in Asia, » 67


Fossil fuel resources – aeration and energy use on an inland shrimp farm in Alabama.

there was a great deal of concern for the human rights violations by fishermen to provide raw ingredient for shrimp aquaculture feeds. It is interesting to note that those that claim the aquaculture industry won’t have a negative effect on reduction fisher-

Water resources – water pumped into a tra farm in Vietnam.

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ies, because the market for fish meal will maintain some type of homeostasis with harvests, never considered the use of forced and bonded labor to offset the increased effort necessary to keep capturing fish from a depleted system. One could imagine the

faces of those feed manufacturers that were forced to sit and listen with international retailers as the fishing captains openly explained how to go about indebting migrants onto boats. The liability of relying on wild fish is not only the risk of overexploitation of the stocks anymore. We discuss the wild fish dependency in the book in more detail but also address issues around land conversion, water use, biodiversity loss, energy use and consumption, etc. While the aquaculture industry should take stock of how it compares with other food production systems, it should also look inwardly on ways that it can be more efficient irrespective of how it compares to cows, chickens or swine. There is a large effort by the industry to do just that. Of course, there are others that are slower to recognize the need to improve. These actors ultimately decrease the image of the broader aquaculture sector as a whole. Lessons have been learned and efficiency has increased over the years, but there is still work to be done in aquaculture. No matter how efficient aquaculture becomes, it will always use natural resources and it is in the best interest of the industry to use these as efficiently as possible both to ensure the resources are renewable at a sustaining rate, but also to reduce costs and increase economic viability.

** Boyd, C. E. and McNevin, A. A. (2015) Aquaculture, Resource Use, and the Environment, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118857915 ISBN: 978-0-47095919-0. Along with Mike Picchietti, we are pleased to welcome Aaron McNevin with WWF and Dr. Claude Boyd as guest columnists in this issue.

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Farming of Arctic charr

Still Represents a Small Part of Global Salmonid Aquaculture Aquaculture of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) has faced some problems, such as temporary disease problems (BKD in Iceland) and marginal profitability. Consequently, the global production has not increased much in recent years.

By Asbjørn Bergheim*


rctic charr is the most cold-water adapted salmonid species, with both landlocked and anadromous populations. Artificial breeding

was initiated in North America and Europe in the late 1800’s (Sten Siikavoupio, personal communication). Naturally, the species grows well at a low temperature of 6 – 10ºC. Most

Cages stocked with charr in a Swedish lake (courtesy: Sten Siikavoupio).

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important for intensive aquaculture, Arctic charr is a schooling fish and tolerant to high-density conditions. No growth decline has been reported at stocking levels as high as 100

Site: Silfurstjernan in Iceland – one of the world’s largest farms for on-growing of charr (courtesy: Sten Siikavoupio).

kg/m3 provided that water quality is controlled. Cold-water species are vulnerable to oxygen deficits, and in tanks stocked with charr the running concentration should be kept above 70 – 80% of saturation. Exact figures of Arctic charr production are not available, but the annually produced volume some five years ago was roughly 3,200 tons in Iceland, 2,300 tons in Sweden and 700 tons in Norway (Bjørn Sæther, personal communication). The Canadian production was a bit below 1,000 tons at the turn of the millennium. Aquaculture of charr has faced some problems, such as temporary disease problems (BKD in Iceland) and marginal profitability. Consequently, the global production has not increased much in recent years. Iceland is the major producer of charr and most farms are land-based, supplied with ground water. Some farms also use geothermal water to control temperature at optimal level

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Charr fillet production at a processing plant in Iceland (courtesy: Sten Siikavoupio).

for growth ( The world’s biggest farms belong to Islandsbleikja and Samherji located outside Reykjavik where three sites produce a total of about 3,000 tons of charr per year from eggs to harvest size (see picture of on-growing in large tanks). About 90% of these farms’ total production is exported to the U.S. The majority of the Swedish production takes place in freshwater

cages in reservoirs for hydroelectric power production. The on-growing in the cages is based on stocking of juveniles from tank-based onshore hatcheries. According to Swedish studies, Arctic charr tends to prefer a temperature of 11ºC in cages and thus it is found advantageous to use deep cages allowing the fish stock to select this temperature during summer and autumn. Only two out of the 17 operating Norwegian farms produce Arctic charr in seawater

cages but these two farms represent about 2/3 parts of the country’s total production (Bjørn Sæther, personal communication). Scottish and Scandinavian fjords, where freshwater run-off leads to reduced salinity and where the winter temperature beneath the surface layer remains around 6 – 8ºC, are considered to be suitable for mariculture of charr. So far, however, these sites are predominated by cage farming of salmon. A selective breeding program was carried out for charr in Sweden (LarsOve Eriksson, personal communication) and has demonstrated a remarkably improved performance. Over two decades, the growing cycle was halved, the individual size at maturation has increased, etc., all resulting in strongly reduced production costs. Arctic charr is considered a very high quality product with a delicate texture, mild taste and pink-orange colour ( The low production volume makes charr not widely available, and consequently it is a high price product. Charr is commonly sold as boneless fillets or fresh whole fish. Processing of charr fillets in an Icelandic factory illustrates the delicious product before packing and export to the market.

Table 1 Performance of Arctic charr after 20 – years of farming in Sweden (Lars-Ove Eriksson, personal communication). Factor



Farming cycle Growth/feed utilization Sexual maturation Product quality Production costs

3 – 4 years Relatively slow/poor 70 – 100% before 500 g Variable 4.3 – 5.6 euro/kg

1.5 – 2 years Fast/efficient < 5% before 800 g Improved flesh quality and coloration 3.3 euro/kg

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

Offshore Aquaculture

Thanks be to soy The next time that you are sufficiently lucky to be sitting down to a bowl of tofu, or platter of edamame, or… if you are particularly lucky… to a fillet of delicious, nutritious, soy-fed fish, then I would urge you to please spare a moment, to bow your head, and… if you are so inclined… offer a quiet word of gratitude to the Great Whomsoever-toBy Neil Anthony Sims*


ive thanks that the rains amply fall and the sun sufficiently shines across the blessedly deep, fertile soils of America, so that the crops there grow ever profuse and abundant, and then yield up their seeds – the plants’ own progeny; their own hope for and investment in the future – that we might eat, or that we might feed the animals that we dote upon and then, in turn, eat them. ‘Tis a marvelous - nay, a miraculous thing! But it is also much more than a miracle; it is the work of human hands. Soybeans don’t grow themselves (or at any rate, they don’t grow themselves in any usable quantity). Some honest, modest, earnest family has carried on the tradition that they probably inherited over three or four generations, of tilling the soil, fretting over the weather, and (in good years) bringin’ in the sheaves, or the pods. They rise at hours that the rest of us might politely call befuddling, to sit on a tractor or a combine harvester from first light to last, and work harder than the rest of us think is humanly possible; or harder - at least - than we think is humane. They do make a living at it, but often barely. My Australian uncle who


works the land tells a joke about the outback farmer who hit the jackpot in the lottery. When the television camera crews showed up and the interviewer asked him what he planned to do with his new-won millions, he just scratched his stubbled chin and said “Well, I guess I’ll just keep farmin’ till it’s all gone”.

So as you sit there, with your head bowed over your meal, you might then also want to whisper a word of thanks to the soybean farmers of America. You can thank them for all that they do to feed our growing world. Think on this, for example: when did you last hear of a famine that was caused by a good old natural disaster, rather

Pacifico Aquaculture’s farm at Isla Todos Santos, off the coast of Ensenada. Photo courtesy of Bryce Groark.

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Offshore Aquaculture

than by the sadder, more cruel, but now more commonplace cause of famine: human conflict? But if you are one of those aforementioned so-fortunates that is facing a fillet of soy-fed fish on your plate, you might also want to thank America’s soybean farmers not just for their honest labors in the fields, but also for their entrepreneurial vision and their everenthused vigor in bringing to reality the hope and hunger that we – and the rest of the world - share for sustainable, healthful seafood. America’s soybean farmers, through their check-off program, and their other manifold initiatives, have been indefatigable in their support for R&D to improve the diets for cultured fish, and to expand the use of their products in solving the global protein puzzle. By their doing so, we can all now move to soften our footprint on the seas by developing sustainable, scalable proteins and oils with which to reduce our reliance on fishmeal and fish oil. This is a challenge that is equally rooted in economic and ecological imperatives. Have you seen the price of fishmeal lately? We now long for a return to a price per ton that was once considered a stratospheric, El-Nino-induced blip. And anyone with an inkling of understanding of biology, ecology, or Malthusian logic knows that we cannot grow enough seafood to feed the world if we try to do it on the backs of Peruvian anchovetta, Californian sardines, and menhaden from the Gulf. The way to make this work is to connect America’s Heartlands with her blue horizons; to use agricultural sources for the amino acids and fatty acids that feed our fish. Beyond the stuff of feedstuffs, though, America’s soybean farmers also labor stanchly to help folk grow more fish, literally all over the world. They strive to increase the access to knowledge among and about the aquaculture industry (see, for example, the videos on Pacifico Aquaculture and Regal Springs, at http:// 74 » USB for years sponsored fish cage engineering research and development in China, by that unsung (or at least “too littlesung”) stalwart hero, Mike Cremer, and UNH’s engineers. Soy funding has supported Jesse Chappell’s research at Auburn University developing the in-pond raceway, which could be a game-changer for pondculture of myriad species. The Illinois Soybean Association funded the far-flung, over-the-horizon idea of Kampachi Farms’ Velella Beta-test of the world’s first unanchored net pen. USSEC supports educational workshops and outreach for fish farmers in India, China, Southeast Asia and Latin America. And USB and USSEC have supported certification, to ensure that there are incentives for doing it right, with past funding for the Seriola Cobia dialogues, neck-deep involvement in the current ASC Feed Dialogue, and support for both BAP and ASC accreditation and labelling initiatives. America’s soybean farmers also understand the intersection of farming and policy. Bev Paul and the American Soybean Association - the political wing of the soy party, supported solely by soy farmer voluntary contributions – stand unflinchingly, shoulder-to-shoulder with the aquaculture industry in the bloody, muddy trenches of Washington D.C. The CUSP initiative (the Coalition for U.S. Seafood Production), which aims to bring more attention and greater political clout to the issues that constrain our industry, is the result of the tireless efforts of Steve Hart, Executive Director of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance. The U.S. soy industry has pursued the prophecy of sustainably-fed seafood all over the world with an unswerving fervor and profound faith in its eventual fruition that might only elsewhere be found in some Christians’ expectation of the Second Coming: the only physical evidence of its impending occurrence is a matter of interpretation, but it has

Beyond the stuff of feedstuffs, though, America’s soybean farmers also labor stanchly to help folk grow more fish, literally all over the world.

been foretold, and those with deepest faith believe most devoutly that the Age is now upon us. Nowhere was that steadfast support more apparent than at the recent soy-industry-sponsored Aquaculture Investment Workshop in Miami. At the end of the first day, Prof. Dan Benetti (if not the father of the offshore industry, then at least a doting uncle or a convivial, more-worldly cousin) invited representatives of the various start-up farms around the Americas to join him in a panel addressing the challenges and opportunities that lie before us. There were hardly enough chairs to seat them all, as the panel participants flooded onto the stage and stretched across the front of the auditorium. There was: Eric Pedersen of Pacifico Aquaculture, who along with Rex Ito and friends is culturing white seabass and hybrid striped bass off Ensenada, in Baja Norte. Alongside Eric sat Pablo Konietzko of Earth Ocean Farms in La Paz, who is pioneering the farming of huachinango (red snapper) and totoaba (an endangered seabass that is endemic to the Sea of Cortez). There was Roberto Flores who, along with Luis Carlos Astiazarán of Baja Seas is culturing hiramasa (California yellowtail, or jurel) on the Pacific coast of Baja. He was sitting next to Carlos Lara, who with Bob Miles of Martek is

Pacifico Aquaculture’s farm at Isla Todos Santos, off the coast of Ensenada. Photo courtesy of Bryce Groark.

farming rose spotted snapper on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and selling product in to several outlets including Costco in the U.S. Samir Kuri of Ocean Farms, Ecuador, was also there, along with partner Santiago Mendoza and owner William Woods, grinning widely as he proudly described their recent first stocking of cobia at their farm site (Finally! After 8 years of pushing he finally has his offshore permit!) located nine miles offshore. (ASIDE: By our estimation, that may currently be the furthest offshore farm site in the world. Does any reader know of any site further offshore? If so, please let us know…). Jon Chaiton was up there, who together with Ben Frisch, owner of Beaver Street Fisheries, is culturing

Nassau grouper at Tropic Seafood in the Bahamas (another imperiled species… it’s a recurring theme, methinks). Sergio Zimmerman was representing a Florida aquaculture investment group, developing a large-scale aquaponics/integrated aquaculture operation raising tilapia, paiche and passion fruit in Homestead, Florida. There was Michael Bullock, my co-founder in Kampachi Farms, who runs our start-up operation growing Cabo Kampachi™ (pez fuerte, or amberjack) in La Paz. And as it was an investment conference, we were also able to sport an aquaculture investor rep: Nick Brown, of the Shamrock Group, out of Toronto, who are actively searching for projects in the space.

The thing that was particularly striking to me was how we have grown over the last four years, since the U.S. soy industry first began sponsoring such workshops. If you had held the same colloquium at the first soy-sponsored workshop, back in 2012, then you would have had Brian O’Hanlon of Open Blue (farming cobia off the Caribbean coast of Panama) sitting up there all on his lonesome. How much of this growth is directly due to soy industry support? OK, that’s hard to say. But how much of where we are at today, as an industry, is indirectly due to America’s soybean farmers and our shared vision? An inestimable amount. Consider the long list above of all the activities supported by USSEC, USB, and other branches of the soy industry, and then think for a moment where we would be without this support. It’s not a pretty thought. It’s not as if NOAA would step up to fill in the gap. America’s soybean farmers are doing far, far more than building their own markets. They are building better feedstuffs for these great fish that we are growing. They are building bridges and bonds between us all. They are helping to build an aquaculture industry of which we can all be proud. And thereby they are helping to build a better planet. And that, dear friends, is something for which we should all be most grateful. ‘Tis a most marvelous – and indeed, a nigh miraculous thing!

America’s soybean farmers, through their check-off program, and their other manifold initiatives, have been indefatigable in their support for R&D to improve the diets for cultured fish, and to expand the use of their products in solving the global protein puzzle.

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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JUNE 2015 Nor-Shipping Jun. 2 - Jun. 5 Oslo, Norway. T: +47 66 93 91 00 E:

Aquafeed Horizons Jun. 9 Cologne Exhibition Halls. Cologne, Germany. E: Fispal Food Service Jun. 9 - Jun. 12 Expo Center Norte. Sao Paulo, Brazil. T: + 55 11 3598-7800 F: + 55 11 3598-7801 E: E: BC Seafood Expo and Workshop Series Jun. 13 - Jun. 14 Comox Valley - Vancouver Island. CB, Canada. E:

EXPO PACK México Jun. 16 - Jun. 19 Centro Banamex. Mexico D.F, Mexico. T:+52 55 5545 4254 F :+52 55 5545 4302 ISGA The International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture Jun. 21 - Jun. 27 Santiago de Compostela University. Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain. T: +34 982 822428 E: JULY 2015 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo Jul. 11 - Jul. 14 Chicago, USA. T: +1.312.782.8424 F: +1.312.782.8348 E:

LFC2015 Annual Larval Fish Conference Jul. 12 - Jul. 17 Vienna, Austria. T: +43 664 60277 E: ProPak China Jul. 15 - Jul. 17 New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) Shanghai, China. T: +86 21 6209 5209 F: +86 21 6209 5210 E: AQUAEXPO El Oro Jul. 22 - Jul. 23 Hotel Oro Verde. Machala, Ecuador. T: +593 7 296 7677 E: Asia Cold Chain Jul. 22 - Jul. 24 IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center Bangkok Tailandia T:+66-2833-5312

For those of you who are interested in the basics of Recirculating Aquaculture System Design, please consider our 21st Annual Short Course this June 23-25, to be held at Mt. Saint Mary College (Newburg, NY—about 1 hour from NY City). More details are available and a registration form at

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Aquaculture Magazine June / July 2015 Volume 41 Number 3  

Unparalleled potential for the shellfish culture industry in British Columbia.

Aquaculture Magazine June / July 2015 Volume 41 Number 3  

Unparalleled potential for the shellfish culture industry in British Columbia.