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INDEX Aquaculture Magazine Volume 43 Number 2 April - May 2017


on the

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A Review of the Current State of Mariculture Development in Ecuador. INDUSTRY NEWS




News from the AADAP





Recent news from the National Aquaculture Association.

Don’t have time to read the full article? Read the DRIB!

Probiotic Legacy Effects on Gut Microbial Assembly in Tilapia Larvae.

Altering Gastrointestinal Microbiomes: A Way Forward for Marine Finfish Aquaculture?











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Osmolality/salinity-responsive enhancers (OSREs) control induction of osmoprotective genes in euryhaline fish.

Indian Shrimp Industry – “Transformations by Penaeus vannamei”.

Volume 43 Number 2 April - May 2017

Editor and Publisher Salvador Meza Editor in Chief Greg Lutz Editorial Assistant María José de la Peña Editorial Design Francisco Cibrián Designer Perla Neri Marketing and Communications Manager Alex Meza Marketing & Sales Manager Christian Criollos

Forging New Frontiers Aquaculture America 2017.

Sales Support Expert Gustavo Ruiz Business Operation Manager Adriana Zayas

“Innovative and Sustainable Aquaculture for the Blue Revolution”

The struggle led by aquaculture is against the Status Quo.

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:


Latin America Report

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Latin America Report: Recent News and Events. By Staff / Aquaculture Magazine

AFRICA report Africa – 2017. Aquaculture’s Hotspot. By M. de la Peña


Aquaculture Without Frontiers


Aquaculture Stewardship Council



News from Aquaculture Without Frontiers. African Partnership to Benefit Aquaculture.

News from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

Antibiotics: Myths, Perceptions and Responsible Use. Hugh Mitchell, MSc DVM

Erratum Dear readers, In our last edition of Aquaculture Magazine – February/ March 43-1 an error was discovered in Table 1 of the article “It’s good to promote the consumption of fish and seafood, but it’s also important to promote and ensure production” by Salvador Meza, page 44. For clarification we are reprinting Table 1 with the correct information.


Genetics and Breeding




Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing

Induced Spawning. By Greg Lutz

Are we too hung up on replacing fishmeal and oil? By Suzi Dominy

Adapting to a Constantly Changing Business Climate. Carole R. Engle. Engle-Stone Aquatic$ LLC



Post-smolt production in floating enclosures – a new era for the salmon industry? By Asbjørn Bergheim


Perspective and Opinion


urner barry

Aquaculture Will it rise to its potential to feed the world? By George Lockwood

SHRIMP. SALMON. Tilapia and Pangasius. By Paul B. Brown Jr.

Upcoming events.........................................................................80 advertisers Index........................................................................80 »


Editor´s comments “Bureaucracies often are not purposefully coordinated and rational

organizations, but instead become structures filled with many dysfunctional individual and group tendencies and performances.” M.A. By C. Greg Lutz


hroughout the world, aquaculturists cite excessive regulation as a major constraint to development of their businesses. It should come as no surprise if we reflect on the societal organization and human tendencies involved. The origins of the word “bureaucracy” are enlightening. In 18th century Western Europe, the French word “bureau” was used for both desks and offices. The “-cracy” part of the word, which we see in other terms such as kleptocracy, theocracy, technocracy, etc. comes from the Greek “kratia” or “kratos” and refers to rule, or power through authority. So, there you have it. Authoritative rule, whose seat of power is an office somewhere. Bureaucracy is an insidiously human tendency. It has been with us for thousands of years. As humanity began to form more complex societies, the pattern began with primitive religious orders. Over time the need for centralized authority, defense of the state, laws, taxes and accounting all evolved as fertile ground for the formation of bureaucracies and those who thrive in them. One universal flaw in bureaucratic institutions is the substitution of the means for the ends. The means actually become the ends. The public interest becomes secondary to the organizational interest. This leads to a constant effort to justify the mission, often through creation of ill-defined threats to the public good which must be kept at bay. Marx argued that bureaucracies rarely contribute value to society, but rather represent a cost to 4 »

Diamond and S. Allcorn. 1985. Organizational Dynamics 14(1):35-40.

those they are supposed to serve. Max Weber outlined the many positive aspects of well-organized bureaucracies, but he also pointed out ways in which they become dysfunctional. Prominent among these are inflexibility of procedures, which slows or complicates decision-making, and a flawed vision, in which the organization and/or individual players begin to feel above reproach and infallible. J.R. Taylor wrote “An epiphany comes when you realize you do not need bureaucrats but can simply observe the type as a personal survival mechanism. Do not let it know it is under observation. It is very wary.” (Can J Plast Surg. 17(1): 6). Indeed, the typical bureaucrat fears threats to the status

quo, and many become nervous when subjected to prying questions. I have come to believe that relegating a human being to a cubicle in an obscure government facility will, over time, result in an insatiable desire to exercise authority, often justified by portraying oneself as a protector or savior, with the better part of every 8-hour day devoted to sustaining the justification for personal existence.

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.




Scotland Seeks to Boost Innovation in Aquaculture Supply Chain UK. – A £1 million (USD $1.2 million) fund to boost aquaculture in the Highlands and Islands has been granted. The program will be managed by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in conjunction with the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). The program´s main objective is to help small and medium aquaculture enterprises, to increase commercialization and to market innovative products and services. The 30-month program is expected to attract similar investment from the private sector. Aquaculture is of major importance for the Scottish economy and, mainly, for HIE’s rural areas. It is estimated that aquaculture contributes about £1.8 billion (USD $2.19 billion) turnover a year to the Scottish economy, and supports 8,000 jobs.

Salmon farm in Scotland.

Charlotte Wright, HIE’s interim Chief Executive, shared: “It is important that we use public sector funding to support innovation in a way that benefits the whole sector, including firms in the supply chain. In turn, this will support the sector’s growth, as well as strengthen resilience of rural communities, particularly those in some of our most remote and fragile areas.”

Heather Jones, SAIC CEO, added: “Through our extensive engagement with companies, large and small, across the supply chain, it became clear that SMEs in the HIE region would benefit from, and openly welcome, support to innovate and grow. To see those early discussions result in this new pilot scheme is a truly landmark moment and shows just how much can be achieved when different players unite over a shared goal.”

Norway to Implement

New Regulation for Sea Lice Control in October 2017 Norway. – One of the major problems of salmon aquaculture in Norway, and worldwide, is the rise of sea lice. With the objective of reducing the contagion from farmed salmon to wild salmon, as well as limiting the development of sea lice resistance to chemical treatments, a new regulation has been launched. During the 12th North Atlantic Seafood Forum held in Bergen, Norway, from March 7 to 9, Per Sandberg, Fisheries Ministry, mentioned that the new regulation, know as “traffic light” system, is right on track for its implementation in October, despite the opposition from some stakeholders of the Norwegian salmon industry. 6 »

The “traffic light” system will allow for increased culture capacity in regions where sea lice levels are low (<0.2 sea lice per fish), while areas with medium or high levels of sea lice must level out or reduce output quotas. This system establishes that all cages must be checked, and the spring joint campaign to remove sea lice will cease. Norwegian salmon production declined in 2016 due to sea lice out-

breaks; however, a 2 % recovery is expected in 2017. The new regulation may contribute to an annual volume growth of 3 %, depending on the capability of every producer to maintain a low level of sea lice in their sites. In addition, the new regulation includes a guideline on how to control sea lice in salmon farms during the critical six week spring season.

EW Group Acquires GenoMar Genetics

- Another Step Towards Consolidation in Tilapia Genetics Norway. – In early March, EW Group announced the acquisition of GenoMar Genetics, global leader in tilapia breeding. GenoMar Genetics, a company of the Norway Group, is the owner of the GenoMar Supreme Tilapia (GST) strain, which is the result of more than 25 years of research and development. The GenoMar headquarters are located in Oslo, Norway, with main operation in the Philippines. EW Group focuses in animal breeding, animal nutrition and animal health. Recently, the group decided to venture into tilapia genetics, a strategy that began in April 2016 with the acquisition of Aquabel, a Brazilian breeding and distribution

company. With these two acquisitions, EW Group is establishing the basis of a genetics and distribution network that will provide high quality genetic lines to the main centers in Latin America and South East Asia. “This transaction is positive for the tilapia industry because it makes advanced technologies, research resources, and best practices available horizontally across aquaculture industries around the world,” said Tor Vikenes, CEO in Norway Fresh. “I am pleased that GenoMar Genetics will be part of a team that has a long-term commitment to the tilapia breeding industry. The ability to share leading science, technology and animal husbandry practices among farmed aquaculture species

will increase the rate of progress necessary to meet the need to feed a rapidly expanding human population.”

UC DAVIS Researchers Identified DNA Segments Key to Salinity Tolerance in Tilapia US. – Tilapia is characterized by its tolerance to high temperatures, low oxygen concentrations and different salinity levels (up to 20 ppt), which has made it an attractive species for aquaculture. Currently, tilapia culture continues to be the world’s fastest growing aquaculture sector. Researchers at University of California, Davis, set out on the task of investigating the ability of fish to physically adjust to varying salinity levels, a trait that may be critically important, as climate change begins to alter the salinity of ocean and coastal waters as well as in the water in desert lakes and inland creeks. The researchers studied cells from the Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus), whose hybrids are widely used in aquaculture worldwide

and are characterized by their rapid growth and high tolerance for salinity stress. During the study, the researchers identified 5 DNA sequences, each containing a common segment named OSRE1, as being enhancers of the osmoregulation and salinityresponse processes. Furthermore, the researchers developed an assay to identify similar regulatory DNA segments in the genomes of other fish species. The study was published

mid-March in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “This work represents a critical milestone in our efforts to understand how highly stress-tolerant fish convert environmental signals and cues into very beneficial biochemical and physiological outcomes that enable them to adapt to an extremely wide salinity range that is deadly for most species,” said Dietmar Kueltz, evolutionary biochemist and senior author. »



Warming Oceans Prompt Sea Lice Concerns in Iceland Iceland. - The cooler sea temperatures found off Iceland are considered optimal for salmon because they help with sea lice control. With the rising temperature of the sea Iceland will need to strengthen sea lice monitoring efforts, according to Gisli Jonsson, a veterinarian of fish diseases. Aquaculture in Icelandic waters has not always gone smoothly over the past few decades, but even so the country is now a major player in salmonid aquaculture. “Knowledge of aquaculture has increased substantially, and our neighbors have achieved enormous

success in fish farming - especially salmon,” says Hauskuld Steinarsson, executive director of the National Federation of Fish farms. “In cold waters it is now possible to raise fish that were not considered to be available before,” he says. The salmon louse control problems the Norwegians have experienced are in part due to the fact that the sea there is warmer than Iceland. “As things stand today, there are environmental factors here that are rather unfavorable for salmon lice,” says Jonsson, a veterinarian at the Food and Veterinary

Authority. “Here the sea temperature is under two degrees from December and well into the spring, five months a year. Not at all like Norway. So when our juveniles are coming down the rivers, there is no lice swarming,” he says. But what will happen if sea temperatures rise? “Yes, this winter was unprecedented, extremely warm, both in the sea and air… I mean the ocean temperature was 5-6 degrees far beyond Christmas. This we have not seen before. If this is to come to be, in any year, then we really need to take measures in terms of monitoring sea lice.”

Egyptian fish mortality mystery closer to being solved - Scientists identify tilapia lake virus in Egypt Egypt. - A new virus that has decimated tilapia populations in Ecuador and Israel has now been found in Egypt according to a new report from WorldFish in partnership with the University of Stirling, Scotland. Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) is a global threat to the tilapia farming industry, worth US$7.5bn per year. Scientists are now trying to establish a firm link between the virus and a recent surge in mortalities in Egyptian farmed tilapia. In recent years fish farms in Egypt have seen increased mortality of farmed tilapia in the summer months, so-called “summer mortality”. Epidemiological surveys indicated that 37 % of fish farms were affected in 2015 with an average mortality rate of 9.2 % and an estimated economic impact of around US$100 million/year. Tissue samples from seven farms affected by ‘summer mortality’ were tested at the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture for TiLV 8 »

with three of the seven samples testing positive. Dr Michael Phillips, Director of Science and Aquaculture, WorldFish: “Tilapia were previously considered to have good disease resistance. While the report and the emergence of TiLV will likely not dent the species’ significance in global aquaculture it is a sign that greater efforts must be made to manage disease risks in tilapia farming. Research now needs to focus on finding solutions for this emerging challenge to the world’s tilapia farms.”

WorldFish scientists in collaboration with the University of Stirling will now work to establish whether TiLV is the primary cause of ‘summer mortality’ and, if that is the case, recommend rapid action to control the spread of the disease, including increased biosecurity in the short term. Longer-term strategies being studied by WorldFish and partners include vaccines and the genetics of disease resistance, that may open the way towards breeding of strains of tilapia that are resilient to TiLV.

USSEC Announces the Launching of Stage 2 of

the International Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database United States. – The International Soy in Aquaculture Program of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) has announced the launching of the Stage 2 version of the International Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database (IAFFD), a standardized tool for feed formulators worldwide, which can be found at The first version of the IAFFD, originally known as the Asian Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database (AAFFD), was developed in 20142015. Taking as an example the experience gained in the formulation of feed for terrestrial species, a standardized database was created with the nutritional information for different aquaculture species and key feed ingredients. Currently, there is a lot of information available on the nutritional requirements of terrestrial animals; however, this is not the case with aquaculture. The great variety of aquaculture species, which increases day by day, makes it difficult to know precisely the industry’s nutritional requirements. With funding from the USSEC and USAID, and with subsequent economic support from the Nebraska

Soybean Checkoff and the Canadian government (Mitacs), a consortium of academic institutions under the direction of Dr. Dominique Bureau from the University of Guelph began to pull existing aquaculture nutritional information and knowledge into one central location. Through a series of workshops carried out in Southeast Asia during 2015 and 2016, formulators got the opportunity to use the first version of the database in formulation exercises. Now with a global scope, the IAFFD is in its Stage 2 version, improving errors detected in the AAFFD. Work on Stage 3 of the database will start later this year, using commercial aquaculture results to verify data, as well as whole body carcass analysis for ten species at different life stages

to continue to verify and improve the database. It may be anticipated that more species will be added, as well as more ingredients, including branded products. Lukas Manomaitis, USSEC’s Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant, based in South East Asia, highlighted that the database also helps to better clarify what nutritional information is missing from major species. “Right now, we’re focusing on twenty-six major species groups. It’s prohibitively expensive to do live animal research on all these species for nutritional information, but we can use models mixed with what existing research there is. The model is an engine – if we find there’s a better model, we can put that one in and improve the quality of the database. The database is constantly evolving and improving.”

NAHMS seeks your help in selecting the focus of the Aquaculture 2020 study United States. - The National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), a non-regulatory unit of USDA–APHIS–VS, is developing its Aquaculture 2020 study. This study is expected to include production of fish, crustaceans, and mollusks for various end uses. NAHMS strives to collect information that will be most beneficial to the stakeholders. Your input is essential if we are to identify key

health issues and fill information gaps facing the U.S. aquaculture industry sectors. Please complete a brief survey on line in SurveyMonkey to: • tell us what you consider to be the most important health issues facing the aquaculture industry. • help identify the critical information needs regarding health-management practices used in the U.S. aquaculture industry sectors.

• share your opinion on how we can encourage aquaculture producers to participate in the Aquaculture 2020 study. NAHMS will use results from the needs assessment survey to develop the information objectives that will shape the actual NAHMS study. The survey will be available from March 22 through April 30, 2017. It can be accessed at: »



Recent news from the

National Aquaculture Association By: Paul W. Zajicek

The NAA has recently been an invited speaker to the Ohio, North Carolina and Wisconsin state aquaculture association meetings. The topic of Lacey and its impact on US aquaculture has been an important component of these presentations.

FOIA – The NAA filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the 2,000 Ecological Risk Screening Summary reports that the FWS has reported publically as having been completed. FWS staff have said that 10 % of those reports identify species as being high-risk. 

The FWS responded to the NAA’s FOIA request with 15 reports that concerned insects, mammals, snails, aquatic plants, and other species. We have contested the response and are awaiting a full explanation for the basis for not fulfilling our request.

Lacey Act Session – David Miko, Chief, Division of Fish and Aquatic Conservation, Craig Martin, Chief, Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species, and Bryan Landry, Office of Law Enforcement, spoke during an NAA organized session focused on the Lacey Act on February 21st at the Aquaculture America meeting. The session was well attended and people were able to interact with the FWS representatives throughout the 10 »

Aquaculture Association that has a representative on the Ohio Invasive Species Advisory Committee to assist them with talking points that argue a quick screen is not sufficient to support regulations. In the event other states consider a similar regulatory decision making approach the NAA will provide assistance in any practical manner to oppose.

conference. The Lacey Act was also a topic of audience comment and inquiry during the NAA organized Federal Town Hall.

Ohio DNR – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has proposed to utilize the results of FWS completed Ecological Risk Screening Summaries to add species to the state’s invasive species list. The NAA is working with the Ohio

Washington DC – Last month the NAA participated in an annual “walk on the hill” organized by the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Assn. and East Coast Shellfish Growers Assn. which was very enlightening regarding current Congressional activities and legislative initiatives. Senator James Lankford, R – Oklahoma, recently dropped five bills that are focused on regulatory reform. Sen. Lankford chairs the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management and the NAA discussed the use of quick ecological screens (species biology and ecology) rather than chemical effects and derivatives (EPA or FDA) with his staff. This informal discussion revealed that staff was unfamiliar with this aspect of agency use of selective and uncertain science in their decision making.  We will be following up with specifics concerning the ERSS and its implementation.  Relative to the five bills Senator Lankford has filed, please see https://www.lankford.senate. gov/news/press-releases/senatorlankford-introduces-regulatory-improvement-bills-to-improve-rulemaking-process. If the bills appear to be of value to you, please contact your Senators, especially Democrats, to ask them to join as sponsors or to actively support.

Paul W. Zajicek is the Executive Director of the National Aquaculture Association. You can find their website at

Aquaculture Magazine

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Talking Point Examples for Discussion Regarding Injurious Species Designations • Recent advances in developing risk screening methods (e.g., Ecological Risk Screening Summary) have been useful in categorizing a large number of species (Copp et al. 2009; Lawson et al. 2013). Despite these methodological improvements, risk screening can only be employed as an early step in the overall risk analysis process to suggest which species should be the subject of a regulatory risk analysis. Screening results are not adequate to inform management interventions, e.g., regulatory vs. outreach/education, geographic restrictions, confinement requirements. Screens depend on a quick review of literature and data bases to determine climate match, habitat suitability, invasion history and environmental impacts. Together with the inevitable uncertainties in biological data, screening requires subjective judgments in producing estimates of risk, which also will vary depending on the risk screen in use. Alone, these quick screens do not provide sufficient scientific justification for regulatory decision making. • The climate matching component (based upon air temperature) used in the ERSS is predicated upon species location reports and the seasonality of these reports is not being considered. Climate matching should not be based upon sighting data but should be based upon species lower lethal or physiological stressful temperatures. An inherent source of uncertainty associated with the ERSS is the reliance upon air temperature to estimate the occurrence of aquatic species. The model would be improved by the use of surface water temperature data which is readily available from publically accessible sources: USGS Surface Water Quality (http:// and EPA Storet ( Notably, Storet data was recently used by Byers et al (2013) to predict a potential range for a nonnative apple snail in the United States.

News from the AADAP

Don’t have time to read the full article?

Read the DRIB!


he AADAP program knows from experience how long it takes to conduct a study, prepare a report for the FDA, and the time involved in writing and shepherding a manuscript through the publication process. AADAP also knows you’d really like to see this actionable information as fast as possible which is the reason Drug Research Information Bulletins, or DRIBs were developed. DRIBs are 1-2 page manuscripts that summarize successful fish drug field effectiveness and target animal safety work. In addition, AADAP is reaching out to others who are doing fish drug work that wouldn’t normally publish in peer-review journals and encouraging them to write a DRIB which will be shared through the AADAP website. All DRIBs are reviewed by internal and external sources before posting. Visit the AADAP site for more than 50 AADAP published DRIBs. (Editor’s note: recent examples of AADAP DRIBs include: Influence of Salinity on Sedation of Sunshine Bass with AQUI-S®20E (10 % eugenol); Efficacy of Reward (Diquat) to Control Mortality Associated with Columnaris Disease in Walleye; Use of AQUI-S ® 20E to Sedate Steelhead Trout and

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How many times have you heard about a project that was underway or you’ve seen a presentation of some really useful information, but you had to wait months or even years to see the results in print? And when was the last time you actually read an entire technical article from front to back? Sablefish in Saltwater; Use of AQUIS®20E to Sedate Florida Pompano, Cobia, and Black Seabass to Handleable; Efficacy of Pennox 343® (Oxytetracycline hydrochloride) to Control Mortality Associated with Columnaris Disease in Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus; Efficacy of Chloramine-T to Control Mortality in Tiger Musky Esox lucius × E. masquinongy Naturally Infected with External Columnaris Disease Flavobacerium columnare; and Efficacy of AQUAFLOR® (50 % Florfenicol) to Control Mortality in Chinook Salmon Diagnosed with Bacterial Kidney Disease).

INAD, Investigational New Animal Drug, 2016 Year in Review By Bonnie Johnson Use – The AADAP INAD program continues to move forward and 2016 turned out to be another successful year based on numbers of use and study numbers assigned. A total of 222 federal, state, private, tribal, and university fisheries groups used one or more INADs during 2016. The drugs being used the most include Aqui-S 20E (fish sedative) followed by LHRHa (spawning aid) and florfenicol (in-feed antibiotic). And this past year, AADAP INAD investigators in the participating groups requested treatments on 806 different occasions. Report Review – There is currently a large number of INAD studies in stage six waiting for review. If your study is in stage six, there is nothing more you need to do except wait to be contacted by AADAP staff if there are questions during review of your study. If no questions, your

study will be advanced to stage seven and closed out. Time to get rolling for 2017 – The 2017 INAD program sign-up period is now under way and invoices are being sent out to all non-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service participants enrolled in the program. Please be aware that enrollment and study numbers do not automatically carry over from the previous year. If you are unable to create a study request or enter a drug receipt, please check your Investigator Account Information section to make sure the 2017 enrollment has been added to your account. And if you need additional INAD information, it’s just a click away at AADAP/inad_background.html Save the Date, July 31 - August 4, for the 23rd Annual U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Aquatic Drug Approval Coordination Workshop to be held in Bozeman, MT. Look for additional information coming your way soon or contact AADAP staff to learn more.

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Probiotic Legacy Effects on Gut Microbial Assembly in Tilapia Larvae

Although the use of probiotics in aquaculture is a common practice, little is known about the interaction between the host and the Christos Giatsis1, Detmer Sipkema2, Javier Ramos-Garcia2,3,4, Gianina M. Bacanu2, Jason Abernathy5, Johan Verreth1, Hauke Smidt2 & Marc Verdegem1


he use of probiotics in aquaculture has proven to reduce infections caused by bacterial pathogens, and these compounds have been widely used as immunostimulants and promoters in fish and shrimp culture for years. However, probiotic strains colonize the gut transiently and fall rapidly below detection limits. For probiotic bacteria to proliferate and persist within the hostâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gut microbiota, they must adapt to environmental conditions in the fish intestine (nutrient availability, pH, enzymes, etc.). The ability of a probiotic strain to survive and proliferate in the host gut after administration is dependent on both the probiotic strain and host, and it is highly determined by the mode and duration of administration. Previously, it has been suggested that it is possible to control gut microbiota through the administration of bacterial diets. In a recent study, we 14 Âť

environment in the formation of the gut microbiota in the early stages of life. This study assesses if the early microbial exposure of tilapia larvae affects the gut microbiota at later life stages. observed that tilapia larvae fed with different microbial diets developed distinct gut microbiota, although they all presented a large number of species in common.

Bacillus subtilis Bacillus subtilis is a Gram-negative and catalase-positive, facultative, anaerobic, endospore-forming bacterium. To date, various Bacillus spp. have been used as probiotics in aquaculture, showing beneficial properties such as immune system enhancement (phenoloxidase activity, phagocytic activity and clearance activity) and for competitive exclusion or production of antibacterial substances. Additionally, their administration enhances growth and viability of beneficial gut bacteria. Rather than investigating the probiotic properties of B. subtilis in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), the present study aimed to evaluate the im-

pact of early microbial contact to larvae on the tilapia gut microbiota in later life stages. It is hypothesized that administration of probiotics during early life stages, when intestinal microbiota is still developing, improves successful gut-colonization and leads to the development of distinct gut communities, even when the fish are submitted to conventional culture conditions afterwards.

Experimental Design The experimental period, which lasted 28 days, was divided into three stages: axenic, probiotic and active suspension. The first two were carried out in laboratory conditions, while the third was conducted under conventional culture conditions at the Aquatic Research Facility of CARUS, the Animal Experimental Facility of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Two days after fertilization, eggs were reared under axenic conditions,

which means free of germs, for seven days (day 1-7). Later, the axenic larvae were divided into two groups. Half of the larvae were divided into three active suspension tanks –control treatment (day 8-28), while the other half (probiotic treatment) was divided into two probiotic chambers. Probiotic bacteria were supplied for seven days (day 8-14), after which the larvae of these treatments were divided into three active suspension tanks (40 larvae/tank), where the fish were reared for another 14 days (day 15-28) (Figure 1).

Axenic Conditions In order to decrease effects of aquatic microbiota on early colonization, larvae were initially cultured under axenic conditions. Eggs were collected from an adult female Nile tilapia and subjected to a sterilization process, two days post-fertilization. On day 8, a total of 144 axenic larvae were distributed equally in two chambers and exposed to probiotic bacteria, while 120 larvae were distributed in three active suspension tanks (AST) and exposed to conventional rearing conditions.

cal density (OD600), using a spectrophotometer. In the probiotic treatments, the water containing B. subtilis was replaced daily.

Active Suspension Tanks One month before the experiment, 10 tilapia adults were reared in 20-L tanks to initiate microbial growth. Prior to the distribution of the axenic larvae, the adult tilapia fish were removed and the water mixed and redistributed inside the tanks. Aeration and close monitoring of water quality were maintained during the experiment. From day 1-14, larvae from both treatments were not fed. From day 15, the larvae of both treatments Probiotic Conditions were fed daily to apparent satiety The probiotic strain, B. subtilis, was three times per day with commercial grown for 24hr on E-type agar, and larval feed. Prior to administration, later in liquid medium for another the feed was sterilized to minimize 24hr. Before use, the density of the viable microbial load. probiotic strain was adjusted to 1x107 During the axenic and probiotic cfu mL-1 with autoclaved synthetic stages, daily samples of the culture freshwater (ASF), based on the opti- medium, eggs and media/water were

monitored for the presence of viable bacteria cells. Additionally, gut samples from four larvae and water samples were collected on days 14, 21 and 28. A microbial characterization of the gut samples by Illumina HiSeq sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed.


Probiotic Stage In the present study, efforts were made to improve the colonization of probiotics in a “virgin” intestinal ecosystem by keeping the larvae in axenic conditions prior to exposure to probiotics. The results confirmed the presence of B. subtilis in the water of both probiotic chambers, although with different relative abundances. PCH2 was dominated by Bacillus, and P-CH1 by Pseudomonas (Figure 2), even though the same amount of probiotics was administered. Apparently, the maintenance of water genotobiotic conditions was not successful, since both chambers were contaminated with Pseudomonas. However, regardless of the presence of Pseudomonas in the water, the presence of Pseudomonas in the larvae gut at that time could hardly be detected. This indicates that (a) B. subtilis can be successfully transferred to the intestine through water, and that (b) Pseudomonas cannot be successfully transferred from the water to the intestine, regardless of its abundance in the water. This can be attributed to several reasons, such as the competitive exclusion of Pseudomonas by B. subtilis; differences in the ecological preference/adapt» 15


in the intestine can be expected to last a few days after the interruption of the probiotic administration. ability of the two species in the fish gut; and the selectivity of the host by B. subtilis and not Pseudomonas. Active Suspension Stage At the end of the active suspension stage (day 28), no B. subtilis was detected in the intestines of larvae in the probiotic treatment; however, the gut microbiota remained significantly different from that of larvae of the

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control treatment. The operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in the probiotic treatment were: Bacillus, Rhodococcus, Nicordia, Mycobacterium, Ralstonia and Aquicella. These bacteria were also among those predominant in the control treatment but with different relative abundances. According to the observations made in this study and previous reports, the presence of probiotic strains

Succession of Water and Gut Microbiota The effects of time on the water and gut microbiota were assessed by comparing the microbial profiles on days 14, 21 and 28. The water microbiota did not vary significantly between treatments. However it was detected that the microbial communities of the control treatment tended to cluster over time, and this pattern was not observed in the probiotic treatment (Fig 3a, b). The probiotic strain, B. subtilis showed characteristics (successful transfer via water and the high relative abundance) that indicated that the inoculation of the gut community with bacteria during the early intestinal development is viable. However, the abundance of a probiotic strain in the gut or feces is not clear evidence of successful use of a probiotic, reflecting the difficulty of establishing accurate relationships between health benefits and relative presence and/or abundance of specific microbes (except for specific pathogens). Although a low persistence of the probiotic strain in the intestine was observed, the intestinal communities remained different even after the probiotic administration stopped, despite receiving the same diet and living in a similar aquatic environment. The low persistence of the probiotic strain in

the intestine can be attributed to an ecological preference of the probiotic in the gut and/or host selectivity against the probiotic. It is possible that exposure of larvae to the probiotic strain caused a different sequence in bacterial colonization of the intestine, reflecting synergistic or antagonistic interactions between bacteria already present in and entering the gut. It is known that the gut microbiota modulates the response of the host to infections or particular bacteria entering the body, so it can be concluded that the transition from axenic conditions to conventional or probiotic conditions generated a differentiation in the immune response of the organisms. The main differences detected in the gut microbiota of tilapia larvae between treatments were in the relative abundances of Nocardia, Mycobacterium, Rhodococcus, Rhodanobacter, Halomonas and Ralstonia. Previous studies have identified most of these genera as part of the gut microbiota of tila-

pia larvae and other species, which means that some of the predominant genera observed in this study could represent part of the intestinal microbiota characteristic of tilapia in general. The above suggest that (a) host specificities for particular microbial taxa are modulated by selective pressures within the host intestine, and (b) these taxa are involved in the major metabolic functions in the fish gut. Gut microbiota is vital for humansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and terrestrial and aquatic animalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; health. It influences a wide range of biological processes, and it is the first line of defense against pathogens that enter the organism through feed and water intake. Aside from some pathogens, host-microbe interactions in fish remain poorly understood. One of the main reasons of this is that gut microbiota in fish depends directly on the aquatic environment. Moreover, fish larvae are released into the water at early life stages, when their digestive tract is not yet fully developed and their

immune system is still ineffective. In these stages, early ontogenetic stages, is when higher rates of mortality are observed in aquaculture. The duration of the effects of exposure to probiotics in the gut microbiota after cessation of treatment remains unknown. Further research is needed on the long-term effects of probiotic legacy during the early stages of development. It is suggested that early administration of probiotic strains to fish, accompanied by continuous prebiotic administration, could further extend probiotic resistance in the gut event after treatment completion. Aquaculture and Fisheries Group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands 3 Laboratory of System and Synthetic Biology, Wageningen, The Netherlands 4 TI Food and Nutrition (TIFN), Wageningen, The Netherlands 5 USDA-ARS, Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station, Hagerman, Idaho, USA 1


Giatsis, C. et al. Probiotic legacy effects on gut microbial assembly in tilapia larvae. Sci. Rep. 6, 33965; doi: 10.1038/srep33965 (2016).

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Altering Gastrointestinal Microbiomes:

A Way Forward for Marine Finfish Aquaculture? By: Wei Xu, PhD.

With the increasing global population, demand for seafood supplied

by aquaculture has grown significantly during the past decades. Aquaculture supplies over 50 % of seafood production globally and its share will continue to rise according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, 2014).

Zebrafish (Danio rerio)


hallenges exist in many aspects of marine finfish aquaculture, such as reproduction, nutrition, diseases, and environmental interactions. Resolving critical problems in this sector of aquaculture to create a sustainable and superior industry is a desired and needed prerogative. 18 Âť

One critical area of focus in marine finfish culture involves Food Conversion Ratio, or FCR. Improvement of FCR can be achieved by either increasing net utilization or limiting the physical and metabolic activities of the fish. Taken that limiting physical and metabolic activities often negatively affects fish health during cul-

ture, it is more feasible to enhance the net utilization of fish feed (i.e. to reduce energy losses through metabolic wastes). Efforts have already been made to increase the net utilization of feed in many aquacultured fish species. The most common method is to optimize ingredients so that the utilization of key nutrients can be maximized. For example, protein is one of the most critical components in fish feed. Higher amounts of protein in fish feed usually result in higher weight gain, however this may also lead to a less profitable FCR. Considering the high cost of protein components in fish feed, feed manufacturers have to optimize the composition of dietary proteins and energy sources in fish feed to guarantee normal growth patterns while also controlling the cost of production. The appropriate balance of feed nutrients has been well studied for many fish species. Improvement of FCR through adjustment of the percentages of each nutrient is often marginal since these relationships are already more or less optimized. Therefore, moving forward it is more realistic to improve FCR in many aquaculture species through enhancing nutrientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; gastrointestinal (GI) absorption.

FCR and the GI Microbiome Earlier fish nutritional studies showed a huge variation in fish GI function even within the same species. First, GI functions can be different in fish with different genetic backgrounds. GI functions in individual fish can also be influenced by environmental factors, such as temperature, salinity, pH, photoperiod and others. Most recently, a study on groupers (Epinephelus coioides) demonstrated an association between fish FCR and microbiomes in the GI tract. Because of the difficulties in optimizing external environmental conditions of cultured fish, enhancing fish FCR through modifying GI microbiomes appears to be more promising.

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Grouper (E. coioides)

It is well known that bacteria colonize internal and external surfaces of all metazoans including fish. A number of metabolic processes, including GI functions, have been shown to be associated with microbial communities. Changing the GI microbiomes in individuals can dramatically change physiological performance. Research previously conducted on human obesity demonstrated that transplantation of GI microbiomes from an obese human patient to the GI of a germ-free mouse resulted in increased body mass and signs of obesity in the mouse. Studies on GI microbiomes in livestock and poultry have been widely performed since the development of the next generation sequencing (NGS) technique. The GI microbiomes in these farmed animals are not only dynamically associated with their diets but also can be used as indicators to reflect the physiological conditions of the animals. Compared to studies in mammals, fish microbiome research lags well behind. Most of the studies in fish were performed using zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a biomedical model. Current studies on fish GI microbiomes focus on aquaculture species such as Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii), grouper (E. coioides), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). The majority of these fish studies presented findings on the response of GI microbiomes to certain types of external or internal stresses. However, 20 Âť

mechanism studies in how GI microbiome changes influence the physiological status of fish are very rare. Therefore, methods to utilize these GI microbiomes as tools to improve the quality of aquaculture fish species remain largely unknown.

Fish GI Microbiomes and Prebiotics With the increased attention to the importance of fish GI microbiomes in aquaculture, a number of methods are being developed to modify their structure through dietary supplements. Currently, the most popular methods are the application of probiotic, prebiotic, or symbiotic components to fish diets. Applied to fish culture through direct delivery of beneficial bacteria to fish GI tracts, probiotics have been used in certain species of fish and have demonstrated some benefit in enhancing fish health and growth performance.

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Despite many advantages of probiotics in improving fish growth, a decrease of live bacteria viability during large-scale processing and preservation of fish feed has been observed previously in some studies. Moreover, the application of probiotics to fish may cause GI dysbiosis, which is defined as disruption of the microbiome in fish GI tracts. GI dysbiosis often compromises host immunity against pathogens and also enhances the virulence of native conditional pathogens. Compared to probiotics, the risk of using prebiotics in fish diets is considerably lower since prebiotic components are non-living compounds that are mostly purified from plants. Prebiotics have been defined as nondigestible food ingredients that can regulate growth of certain bacteria in GI tracts and consequently improve host health and growth. This method has also been confirmed in Siberian sturgeon (A. baerii), in which the application of arabinoxylooligosaccharide prebiotics successfully stimulated the growth of beneficial bacteria, Lactobacillaceae, in the GI tract. Many more prebiotics have been used in fish production, including insulin, fructooligosaccharides, short-chain fructooligosaccharides, mannanoligosaccharides, transgalactooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, xylooligosaccharides and isomaltooligosaccharides. These components can be used to control the balances of a large number of bacterial families, which can be beneficial to fish growth and health.

Among fish GI microbiome studies, many have focused on how diet changes influenced bacterial community composition. The bacterial communities influenced the utilization of various nutrients in the feed. Higher utilization of nutrients would apparently improve the FCR of cultured fish, which consequently would influence both environmental and economic sustainability in aquaculture. To this end, investigations into the fish GI microbiome represent critical steps toward the improvement of marine finfish production.

Future Directions The most commonly used prebiotic compounds, oligosaccharides, which are often present in plants, may potentially cause side effects other than their prebiotic functions. For example, oligosaccharides in salmonid diets were reported to cause diarrhea in rainbow trout (O. mykiss) and Atlantic salmon (S. salar). In a red drum diet, application of mannanoligosaccharides (MOS) significantly decreased the apparent lipid digestibility coefficient (ADC) while increasing the ADCs of protein, organic matter and carbohydrates. These results suggest that the performance of prebiotics might be improved to minimize negative effects to fish. Ideally, prebiotic components consumed by fish will remain stable in the stomach and intestine; however, they should also cause no disruption of digestion and minimal inflammatory reactions. Most prebiotic oligosaccharides have small degrees of polymerization, and can be easily degraded in fishesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; gut environments. Modification of a portion of the residue in prebiotics to control the chain length distribution may conceivably contribute to resistance to enzymatic degradation. Concurrently, adhesive activities of a number of prebiotic components may recruit common gut pathogens to colonize the intestine, leading to inflammatory diseases. Modification of such adhesive sections in prebiotics could significantly lower the risk of disease outbreaks. Efforts have been made in the modification of supplemented prebiotics in fish diets. First, the prebiotic components have to be maintained in the feed for a certain amount of time without being dissolved in water. Com-

Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii)

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pared to the usage of prebiotics in humans and livestock, the delivery of prebiotic compounds in aquaculture is challenging due to the unique aquatic environment. Secondly, although the prebiotic compounds in fish diets need to remain integrated without being dissolved in surrounding water, the compounds have to be soluble in water once feed is taken by the fish. This is critical to the efficient absorption of the prebiotics. Therefore, solubility of prebiotic compounds in water must also be considered. Finally, the prebiotic compounds should remain functional for a relatively long time to provide a consistent and sustainable effect on the host. Considering the complicated internal fish GI environment, we will have to modify the prebiotics in diets to increase their resistance to enzymatic digestion and consumption by microbes in the GI tract. Studies in fish GI microbiomes and their responses to prebiotic diets will also serve as references for basic research in fish metabolism. Although prebiotic compounds have been applied in the culture of several fish species, the development of these tools has not been efficient due to a lack of guidance for this type of work. Dr. Wei Xu is an Assistant Professor with the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. He holds a B.S. in Aquaculture from Tianjin Agricultural College, an M.S. in Marine Biology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Pathology from the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.


Osmolality/ salinity-responsive enhancers (OSREs) control induction of osmoprotective genes in euryhaline fish By Xiaodan Wanga,b and Dietmar KĂźltza

A major challenge of biology is understanding the evolutionary/ adaptive significance of genetic variation and the biochemical mechanisms that govern the phenotypic diversity of organisms.


icroevolutionary and functional autecology studies aim to explain how organisms adapt to environmental change and stress, but currently they rely heavily on correlations of phenotypes with particular SNPs or other sequence variations. Moreover, holistic systems biology approaches aimed at explaining physiological plasticity and acclimatory responses to environmental change and stress often rely on comprehensive correlations between specific environmental conditions and changes in the abundance of particular mRNAs or proteins. There is great need to complement such approaches with studies that establish causal links between sequence variation, changes in gene expression, and environmental signals to understand the mechanistic consequences of global climate change on organismal form and function. Most fish (>25,000 extant species) are teleosts and osmoregulators, meaning that they maintain their extracellular body fluids at a 22 Âť

relatively constant osmolality of ~300 mOsmol/kg (isosmotic to a salinity of 9 g/kg). Altering habitat salinity causes stress and evokes compensatory osmoregulatory responses in fish. Euryhaline fish have evolved special biochemical and physiological mechanisms that allow them to perceive and compensate for changes in the salinity of their aquatic habitat. They can sense osmotic stress, leading to the activation of osmosensory signaling mechanisms that, in turn, control osmoregulatory effectors to alleviate osmotic stress. A large number of osmoregulatory effector genes and their protein products are regulated when euryhaline fish experience salinity stress. The osmosensory signaling networks that control these effector genes are most potent and apparent in euryhaline species with highly dynamic osmoregulatory ability. One such species is Oreochromis mossambicus, which has a very wide salinity tolerance range of 0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;120 g/kg and is a well-established model for studies of teleost osmoregulation.

Evolutionary differences in the environmental regulation of gene expression are often the result of altered cis-regulatory elements (CREs). In fact, genetic variation in CREs and/or transacting factors represents an efficient and common evolutionary strategy for changing environmentally modulated geneexpression patterns. Changed geneexpression patterns, in turn, lead to altered phenotypes to achieve biochemical adaptation and the evolution of populations and species. Such variation modifies the highly dynamic nature of gene-regulatory networks, which embody the interaction of a large number of CREs and trans factors. Therefore, the identification and experimental validation of environmentally regulated CREs in organisms that are uniquely adapted to particular habitats is a critical prerequisite for understanding biochemical evolution. We recently established several immortalized O. mossambicus cell lines to render enhancer trap reporter assays feasible for euryhaline fish. Cultured cells are much more

damage. Inositol monophosphatase 1 (IMPA1.1) and myo-inositol phosphate synthase (MIPS) are the two enzymes comprising the myo-inositol biosynthesis (MIB) pathway. myoInositol is one of only a handful of compatible organic osmolytes that are universally used by all cells to protect macromolecular structure and function during osmotic stress. In the current study we developed an enhancer trap reporter assay for the OmB cell line and used it to identify and functionally validate an osmotic/salinity-responsive CRE, OSRE1, that is present in multiple copies in the IMPA1.1 and MIPS genes of euryhaline fish.

amenable to mechanistic and causal dissection of environmental stress responses than tissues of complex and long-lived organisms analyzed in situ. Therefore, if the cellular and biochemical phenotypes observed in the tissues of whole organisms are reproducible in cell culture, their mechanistic basis can be revealed using cell lines as an alternative to animal models. For instance, the osmotic induction of the pathway for

synthesis of the compatible organic osmolyte myo-inositol, which is evident in many O. mossambicus tissues, is fully reproducible in the OmB cell line derived from O. mossambicus. The myo-inositol biosynthesis (MIB) pathway plays a key physiological role in teleost osmoregulation, because it converts glucose6-phosphate to the compatible organic osmolyte myo-inositol, which protects cells from salinity-induced

Development of Reporter Assay and Validation of Transcriptional Regulation We developed an enhancer trap reporter assay for identifying OSREs by using firefly luciferase reporter plasmid, Renilla luciferase normalizer plasmid, and the OmB cell line. To verify that the transfection procedure had no influence on the hyperosmotic up-regulation of MIPS and IMPA1.1, we compared the abundance of these proteins in transfected and non-transfected OmB cells grown for 72 h in isosmotic (315 mOsmol/kg) and hyperosmotic (650 mOsmol/kg) media. Targeted protein quantitation confirmed significant (P < 0.01) increases in IMPA1.1 and MIPS that were independent of the transfection procedure. Cloning and Reporter Assay Screening of Large Fragments of IMPA1.1 and MIPS Enhancer trap reporter assays show that three fragments of the MIPS 5´ RS significantly increased the ratio of firefly to Renilla luciferase activity (the F/R ratio) during hyperosmotic stress. The region spanning these segments in the O. mossambicus MIPS gene was sequenced (GenBank accession no. KX649231) and compared with O. niloticus. Alignment of 5691bp of O. mossambicus MIPS 5´ RS » 23


with O. niloticus MIPS (https://www. revealed 77 SNPs, eight deletions (69 bp total), and seven insertions (51 bp total) in this region. Overall O. mossambicus MIPS was 96.5 % identical with O. niloticus MIPS in the 5,691-bp 5´ RS region.

Narrowing Sequences Containing Candidate OSREs to Shorter Fragments A large number of IMPA1.1 sequences representing sequentially shorter segments of the originally identified OSRE candidate sequence were cloned and sequenced. For IMPA1.1, we identified five small regions that contain a candidate OSRE. The MIPS candidate sequence was sequentially shortened from the 5´ end while retaining the same 3´ end (position +53). For MIPS, we also identified five regions containing OSREs. Prediction and Validation of OSRE1 Manual screening of the minimal IMPA1.1 and MIPS regions that confer osmotic induction of reporter gene activity yielded 11 GGAA[N]A and one GGAAGGA candidate sequences that were present in three IMPA1.1 regions in either reverse or forward orientation, and in all MIPS regions. GAA[N] A sequences are absent from two regions of IMPA1.1. Therefore, this motif cannot account for the hyperosmotic enhancer activity of these segments. To test the hypothesis that GGAA[N]A sequences of IMPA1.1 and MIPS confer hyperosmotic induction of those genes and to define a more specific consensus sequence, we tested them experimentally. Only five of the putative OSREs tested were highly potent in conferring hyperosmotic trans-activation of the reporter gene (more than sixfold to 83-fold). The remaining seven putative OSRE candidate tandem sequences were only marginally effective (up to twofold). Multiple se24 »

Various euryhaline tilapia species provide protein and livelihoods throughout the planet. (Photo credits Larken Root).

quence alignment of the five most highly effective OSREs yields the 17-bp consensus sequence DDKGGAAWWDWWYDNRB, with the nomenclature according to ref. 50. We named this CRE “OSRE1.” The most common variant of the OSRE1 consensus motif with regard to each position, AGTGGAAAAATACTAAG, was synthesized de novo and evaluated for its

potency to induce reporter activity during hyperosmolality. A triplet of this sequence enhanced reporter activity during hyperosmolality 100fold when inserted in forward orientation and 50-fold when inserted in reverse orientation. Based on this knowledge of the OSRE1 consensus motif, we identified two additional putative OSREs in the IMPA1.1 region –59 to –24,

GATGGTACATTCAC and TGCAACAA, that resemble (but do not fully match) the OSRE1 consensus, but reporter assays with these constructs show that neither of these sequences alone is sufficient to account for the enhancer activity of the region. Furthermore, because OSRE1 is not present in the IMPA1.1 –683 to –502 and MIPS –2285 to –1503 regions, another

OSRE motif is responsible for the hyperosmotic enhancer activity of these regions.

Discussion The IMPA1.1 and MIPS genes encode enzymes that comprise MIB pathway. This pathway is highly salinity-induced in multiple tissues of O. mossambicus, and induction of these two genes is also evident

in other euryhaline fish exposed to acute salinity stress. Although OSRE1 clearly accounts for most of the salinity-induced trans-activation of MIPS and IMPA1.1, our results also suggest that more than one type of CRE is responsible for conferring hyperosmotic induction of the IMPA1.1 and MIPS genes. Both genes contain multiple OSRE1 motifs but also contain other sequences that do not match or even resemble the OSRE1 consensus but display robust OSRE activity. Thus, at least one other trans factor, in addition to the putative OSRE1-binding protein, is likely to contribute to the salinityinduced expression of MIB pathway genes in euryhaline fish. In summary, we have identified the main CRE, OSRE1, that enhances transcription of MIB pathway genes in euryhaline tilapia exposed to salinity stress. The 5´ RS of both genes (MIPS and IMPA1.1) also contains at least one additional type of salinity-inducible enhancer that is distinct from OSRE1. The identification of OSRE1 opens the way for future studies aimed at identifying the signaling mechanisms that confer salinity responsiveness to gene-regulatory networks in fish. For instance, ChIP-sequencing using NFAT5 and OSTF1 antibodies will allow testing of whether these transcription factors bind to OSRE1, and, if they do, will reveal genome-wide patterns of gene regulation via OSRE1. In combination with revealing relevant insulators, repressors, and silencers in osmoregulated genes, future studies enabled by OSRE1 identification will propel our understanding of osmosensory signaling networks in euryhaline fish.

Xiaodan Wanga,b and Dietmar Kültza Biochemical Evolution Laboratory, Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, CA, 95616; and b Laboratory of Aquaculture Nutrition and Environmental Health, School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai, 200241, China. Peer-reviewed article available at doi/10.1073/pnas.1614712114


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Indian Shrimp Industry

– “Transformations by Penaeus vannamei” P.E.Vijay Anand, Ph.D

There is global attention on India lately due to highly visible growth in the shrimp industry since the time Penaeus vannamei has been permitted for farming in India.

A partial harvest of P. vannamei in progress.


etween 2009/10 and 2014/15, the value of shrimp exports from India grew 320 %, from US$ 883.03 million to US$ 3709.76 million. Most of this increase was contributed by the Pacific white shrimp P. vannamei. Frozen shrimp 26 »

(mainly composed of P. vannamei) accounted for over 60 % of India’s marine exports by value in the later years. Growth in P. vannamei export production for the past three years (2012/13 to 2014/15) averaged 64 %. In actual volume terms, P. vannamei grew from 1731 MT in 2009 to 353,413 MT in

2015 (source: Marine Products Export Development Authority of India). The industry certainly knows about successes linked to farming this species, but it is always good for planners and business enterprises to dig deeper and ponder some of the factors, which have led to these gains. This communication relates some basic traits of P. vannamei to some of the successes or transformations that have impacted India’s shrimp farming industry.

Specific Pathogen Free stocks of P. vannamei Without doubt the availability of SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) stocks of P. vannamei has changed the scenario on brood stock sourcing and supply, which is now more steady and sustained. The industry derives the benefits of intense research (largely developed and established by the U.S.) that has led to closing the life cycle in this species, making brood stock development and sourcing predictable. Unlike in P. monodon, the new species overcomes the need to frequently return to the wild to source brood stock. Interestingly the SPF/closed cycle system for brood stock development has strategically cut one the of pathogen entry pathways (which is the vertical transmission), thus reducing disease risk by 50 %. The other 50 % that needs to be managed is the horizontal transmission, where pathogen entry could take place through use of wet feed in the hatcheries. The species, being relatively hardy, has made breeding operations predictable. Clear advantages of this process are being realized by the farming sector. Added to these benefits, the species by nature matures at lower body weights which helps faster generation time and increases the number of production cycles in the hatchery. As a result the farming sector derives the advantage of a steady supply of post-larvae to meet growing demand. Collectively, these advantages have eased management and reduced costs. Further, the reproductive physiology of this species differentiates it from

A view of larval rearing.

P. monodon from being an “open thelycum” species – technically offering more flexibility in handling and breeding as well as better predictability. In order to bring in SPF stocks of this species into India, a “National Broodstock Quarantine and Testing Centre” (NBQTC) had to be established. The MPEDA (Marine Products Export Development Authority) has been instrumental in supporting the industry with this facility. Through the establishment of the NBQTC, a commendable partnership has been established between the Government and private industry to implement an in-country bio-security protocol system. India is perhaps the only country which has established such a system. As an indicator of industry change at the hatchery level, annual shrimp seed

production has moved from 6 billion in 2010 to 35 billion currently. The current hatchery infrastructure is also expandable to produce an estimated 60 billion seed per annum.

Aquafeed for the Indian shrimp industry Being an omnivore, P. vannamei has brought some nutritional flexibility into the feeding system. It can handle a wider array of ingredients in its feed formulation, especially soy meal (@ inclusions of 25-32 %) which delivers a consistent quality of protein. Owing to increasing use of soy meal in shrimp diets, the dependence on fish meal has been reduced, with a resulting reduction in feed costs. Lower fish meal usage, on a far fetching advantage, is known to reduce nitrogenous

A view of the P. vannamei hatchery, with the sea in the background.

Aquaculture Magazine

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wastes discharged into the pond system. The Indian shrimp industry is yet to initiate the use of SPC (Soy protein concentrate) which could help replace fish meal up to 5-8 %. SPC should particularly be useful in diets formulated for young shrimp. One of the major constraints faced by the growing Indian shrimp industry is the consistent supply and uniform quality of soy meal at stable prices. Coupled with increasing demand by the poultry, fish and shrimp feed sectors which collectively use about 5 million tons of soymeal the industry is investigating import opportunities, especially from the U.S soy industry to address future raw material security issues. The U.S soy industry envisages that it will be able to make assured supplies of superior quality soy meal to this growing sector in India when import trade barriers are relaxed. P. vannamei, being a marine species demands some minimal inclusion of quality fish meal. The ability of the Indian fish meal industry to transform and produce steam sterilized fish meal has reduced dependence on fish meal imports, cutting down ingredient costs for formulation. However, with stagnant/dwindling marine catches in India, it is yet to be seen how the fish meal industry can cope with increasing protein demand by the shrimp industry.

Changes in production methods Yet another behavioral trait of P. vannamei in being a column dweller enables better distribution of shrimp in the water as well as on the pond bottom. This has made feed consumption

Grow-out ponds for P. vannamei.

28 Âť

De-headed P. vannamei.

more efficient as both water stratums are utilized as feeding zones. In fact, this habit is also a factor responsible for a relatively higher stocking density in P. vannamei as compared to P. monodon. Higher stocking densities in P. vannamei have brought in the risk of running into low oxygen levels and lower feeding efficiencies at night, thus the farmers have gradually restricted themselves to day feeding regimes. In being able to use the water column, P. vannamei is in a better position to move away from bad pond bottom patches, and yet be able to feed and remain active. On the contrary, P. monodon being strictly a bottom dweller has always shown acute sensitivity towards bad pond bottoms and resultant feeding inefficiencies. In general the feeding efficiencies are observed to be better in P. vannamei where farm management has been strictly implemented. FRCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of 1:1.21.5 have been commonly recorded

P. vannamei being peeled in a processing plant.

as against 1.5 to 1.6 in P. monodon. Efficiencies in FCR could also be attributed to P. vannameiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to use natural productivity present in the water column, even under high stocking densities. The direct economic benefit stemming from higher stocking densities is obviously the increased production per unit area/volume of the pond. This economic benefit has helped the Indian industry offset some costs associated with operations and land leases. Production in these two species is quite different and ranges from 6 to 10 tons/hectare in P. vannamei and 2.5 to 3.7 tons/hectare in P. monodon. The farm sector also derives the advantage of being able to transport more P. vannamei seed as they can be handled and packed at PL 9-12 stages as opposed to PL 18-20 in P. monodon. The upward trends in farm production have triggered infrastructure development in the shrimp value chain,

Post harvest activity - containers, ice and transport.

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especially in the hatchery and processing segments. Due to risks associated with high stocking/production rates, the awareness level of shrimp farmers has increased significantly. This has forced the farming community to adopt best management practices. However a lot more needs to be improved on this front. Higher stocking and the need to manage a higher standing biomass in the case of P. vannamei has led to the development of a partial harvest strategy (3-4 times/crop). Thinning the stock intermittently has demonstrated compensatory growth mechanisms and the industry is deriving benefits from this biological character. Partial, early harvests and the inherent ability of P. vannamei to generate markets and/or favorable farm gate prices at body weights as low as 10 g allows the Indian farmer to reduce grow out time and the associated risk toward disease exposure. The fact that P. vannamei grows fast until it attains about 25 g has also supported the partial harvest regime. On the contrary, growth in P. monodon has been reported to be faster at higher body weights (above 30 g) and at relatively lower standing biomass at any given point of time, which has not supported a multiple harvest system.

The challenge of diseases Disease incidences are not uncommon, but due to the inherent hardiness of the species and with minimal interventions and better management

PL 7 P. vannamei.

30 »

practices, such problems are usually overcome. A negative factor observed in the Indian shrimp industry is that the number of diseases for shrimp has increased in the P. vannamei era as compared to P. monodon times. The winter crop in India (October to February – considered as a lean period, or a no farming period or also called a high risk period in the case of P. monodon farming) has come back to play and is relatively successful because of low temperature tolerance in P. vannamei. Being able to use both seasons and also provide continuous output within a given grow out cycle has resulted in increased volumes and a steady supply of shrimp for processing and exports. P. vannamei is able to handle 0.5 to 43 PPT salinity which matched with salinity requirements of P. monodon when farmed in India. The adaptability towards varying salinity tolerance has greatly helped the Indian shrimp industry to shift between species and utilize existing farming infrastructure; especially the intermediate nursery systems. P. vannamei is also farmed with other fish species such as the carp, thus is showing additional flexibilities or value addition to Indian fish farms. Growth on the farming sector has increased the use of supplementary mineral inputs and probiotics, creating additional business opportunities. And on the contrary, usage of harmful chemicals and pond additives has drastically come down. Harvesting P. vannamei is easy because the species responds to cast nets, drag nets as well as capture at the sluice gates. The success of partial

P. vannamei sampled from a pond.

harvests can probably be attributed to use of different harvest methods. The industry recollects that P. monodon has a burying habit and it was always difficult to get out every shrimp from the pond towards the end of harvest. Longer and more difficult harvests have led to the “soft shell” condition leading to economic losses for the farmer.

A proactive industry Involvement with farming of P. vannamei has led to increased awareness and technical knowledge for the Indian shrimp farmer. Better water quality and pond management has resulted in an increased dependence on analytical labs for making regular farm decisions. This change in behavioral responses of Indian farmers is possibly driven by their increased consciousness to high capital investments on shrimp stocks. It is also evident that ease in operations and better business predictability of this species has attracted a wider entrepreneurship comprised of educated people, large farmers and an array of other investors. A significant transformation that P. vannamei has brought to the Indian industry is promoting infrastructure growth in feed milling and allied sectors. Installed capacity for shrimp feed production in 2012 was 675,000 MT/annum and is currently 1,816,000 MT/annum in 2016. By December 2016 the feed industry has marketed about 800,000 MT and has used 200,000 MT of soy meal. The current capacity utilization of shrimp has feed mills at 44 %. It is noted

Pre-grower feed for P. vannamei.

dian shrimp industry. For example, if the industry has been able to stock higher densities – it is good to know about reasons that have enabled it. If there is ease in harvesting this species, it’s good to ponder the reasons that make this possible. Relating basic or inherent traits of a species can be linked to output/successes in a growing industry. Reflecting on such aspects periodically allows the industry to correlate, reflect and use that knowledge to develop future systems or strategies that will lead to more successes and sustainability.

SPF Brood stock of P. vannamei.

that investors in the aqua feed industry have been proactive by installing spare capacities for future expansion/ demand for shrimp feed in India. The number of shrimp feed mills in 2012 was 8 and this has more than doubled to 20 in 2016. There are four new mills under construction and this will push up the numbers to 24 mills in India with an installed capacity of 2,166,000 MT/annum in 2017 (implying a soy meal usage potential of 0.5 million tons). Due to transformations brought about by P. vannamei culture, business opportunities for feed milling equipment and raw material suppliers have increased. The species has also helped generate employment in rural areas due to industrialization of the feed milling sector; thus demonstrating a social aspect. Because P. vannamei resembles wild caught shrimp, or P. indicus, with respect to color and smaller sizes, its acceptance in the domestic market is rapidly increasing. Generally Indian customers show a negative response to “black/dark color” and the absence of black bands as seen in Tiger shrimp is also perhaps promoting consumer appeal. Varying size options and their related prices for P. vannamei are offering better flexibility for customers. In addition to the above, improving purchasing power by Indian consumers, modernization and a desire to experience different types of food is increasing consumption demand.

Some direct benefits that P. vannamei has shown to the shrimp processing industry is the continuous in-flow of raw material for their operations. This is attributed to 1) production predictability 2) increased stocking leading to higher production on the farms 3) ability to operate two crops in a given year and 4) the practice of multiple harvest system. Not only has the harvest system ensured steady supply but it has also made it possible for processing plants to opt for different size grades and match them to international markets or buyer demand. The overall benefit for the Indian shrimp processing sector is better capacity utilization, providing continuous employment opportunities for processing plant workers and minimizing overhead. By virtue of meat yield characteristics, the plants have derived benefits of recovering 66-68 % in P. vannamei as compared to 60- 62 % in P. monodon. The timely adoption of Penaeus vannamei has transformed the Indian shrimp industry drastically, bringing in benefits to all operational sectors. Introduction of this species also serves as a fine example of accepting technology, implementing it within a country and deriving multiple benefits. Of great relevance for industry transformations is species behavior, genetic traits, biology and other physical and physiological characters of P. vannamei and how they have influenced positive changes in the InAquaculture Magazine

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Acknowledgements: The Author expresses his sincere thanks to numerous shrimp industry leaders, experts and operators who have shared information, provided practical observations and given valuable inputs based on vast industry experiences for the preparation of this document. He also expresses his gratitude to U.S Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and its resources, allowing engagement with the Indian aquaculture industry, contributing to its knowledge base and technology adoption and partnering with it in various market development aspects. P.E.Vijay Anand, Ph.D, is contracted by the U.S Soybean Export Council as the Deputy Regional Lead for the Asia Subcontinent. He can be reached at


A Review of the Current State of

Mariculture Development in Ecuador The origin of Ecuadorian aquaculture dates back to the 1960’s. In the 1970’s, the activity started to expand throughout El Oro province, reaching

Julio López Alvarado Walter Ruiz & Edwin Moncayo2 1,



t present, there are 213,000 hectares producing around 300,000 tons of shrimp and tilapia. Over the last decades, shrimp has become the second most important non-petroleum export product of Ecuador, right after bananas.

The Cost of Shrimp Aquaculture Despite the great economic benefits it has generated for Ecuador, shrimp farming has had an impressive ecological cost. At the beginning, ponds were built in low areas near the coast, but with the expansion of the activity, ponds were built in mangrove areas, which have important social, cultural, economic, biological and ecological impacts. In 1969, when shrimp farming was still undeveloped, there were 203,695 ha of mangroves in Ecuador. In 2014, the Ministry of the Environment (MAE) estimated that there were only 157,094 ha, with most losses attributed to the expansion of shrimp farming. 32 »

600 hectares in shrimp production by 1974. Offshore Aquaculture Although there are now strict laws that protect mangroves, if Ecuador wants to achieve sustainability in the industry, it has to seek new production methods with less environmental impact, and diversify the species produced. Mariculture has emerged as a viable alternative to aquaculture production systems that rely on water availability and pumping for water exchanges. Mariculture as used here means the culture of marine plants and animals in their natural environment, enclosed in specially built structures such as cages or rafts. Presently, the main countries producing fish in sea cages are Norway (652,000 tons), Chile (588,000 tons), Japan (273,000 tons), the United Kingdom (136,000 tons), Vietnam (126,000 tons), Canada (98,000), Turkey (79,000), Greece (76,000) Indonesia (67,000 tons) and the Philippines (66,000 tons). In Latin America, sea cage farming is not a generalized production method.

Most of the cage farming is carried out in Chile for salmonid production. In addition, there are cage operations of tuna in Mexico, and cobia in Panama, Colombia, Belize and Brazil.

Current State of Offshore Aquaculture in Ecuador Mariculture in Ecuador has not yet developed to its full potential. The consolidated shrimp farming industry may represent an obstacle to mariculture development, since its production methods, with low cost and high environmental impact, have become the generalized version of aquaculture known in the country. Additionally, there is little knowledge about mariculture and its benefits, a situation that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (MAGAP) has been addressing through a series of strategies for the sustainable development of mariculture in Ecuador for the last years.

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Legal and Regulatory Aspects Along with the MAGAPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategies, in 2012 a ministerial agreement was published for the regulation and control of aquaculture leases. It established that licenses might be granted in all areas where marine fish farming is viable and where it does not affect other activities such as fishing, tourism, navigation and other public uses. Consequently, the following areas were excluded for mariculture: protected areas, areas of national security, navigation channels, and areas of marine reserves. The Ecuadorian laws have established that the first 8 miles (12.87 km) from shore are reserved for artisanal fishermen. Despite the fact that nothing is specified about this limit in aquaculture regulations, the permits that have been granted so far have been given in zones beyond the 8 miles limit, where water depths are greater than 65 meters.

34 Âť

Due to the distance from the coast, the installation and management of these sites requires higher investment and more complex logistics than shallow water aquaculture. The Ecuadorian Government is working on the development of zone maps to identify areas with potential for mariculture, taking into account the limitations mentioned in

the previous paragraphs. The main criteria used for this zone development has been water depth, distance to shore, currents, waves, protected areas, navigation, artisanal fishing grounds, areas of oil exploration, and the proximity of fishing harbors that will be used as on-shore bases. It has been determined that the optimum depth for mariculture

support infrastructure for workboats necessary for daily operation of offshore farms. In addition, storage units for feed, equipment and machinery will be required for the day-to-day management. • Sources of funding: Mariculture projects require a strong initial investment, so it will be necessary to promote their financing, from both public and private sectors. • New species: It is important to identify species suitable for this type of production, even if they are nonnative species. If the introduction of the new species is strictly controlled during the culture phases, it should not be a threat to the native species.

projects is between 20-50 meters. In the Ecuadorian coast line these depths are located within the 8-mile limit. Due to this, the government is currently analyzing the possibility of granting licenses to non-artisanal entrepreneurs to install mariculture project operations in this area, as long as they do not interfere with fishermen and other activities.

R&D in Offshore Aquaculture Diverse aquaculture research and development institutions in Ecuador have shown interest in developing this activity. At present, institutions like the National Fisheries Institute (INP), the National Center for Aquaculture and Marine Research (CENAIM) and the State University of Santa Elena (UPSE) offer mariculture programs, carry out trials to test the viability of the production of different species, and establish the optimal conditions for their culture, among many other activities. Currently, the INP is developing zone maps to enhance mariculture development. Other Limitations In addition to the regulatory and technological difficulties, there are

other challenges that need to be addressed for sustainable development of mariculture in Ecuador to reach its full potential. Hereunder, we summarize them briefly: • Seed supply: This is the basis for aquaculture development, but the constant production of larvae has only been achieved in a limited number of species. • Nutritional requirements of the cultured species: It is fundamental to understand the minimal nutritional requirements of each culture species and life stage in order to make feeding more efficient. • Training of personnel: Training of human capital will be necessary at all levels, especially those who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of mariculture projects. It will be necessary to know about feed management, boat operation and scuba diving, in contrast to the expertise required for shrimp culture. Universities will play an important role; they must offer academic programs that prepare technicians with the knowledge and skills to manage marine fish farms. • Port infrastructure: To achieve mariculture on a commercial scale, it will be necessary to improve the

Future Directions Ecuador has optimum conditions for mariculture development: availability of natural resources, a consolidated aquaculture industry, high-level R&D centers, availability of human capital and a key factor, government support. With gradual and controlled growth, mariculture can become an important source of income for the country. As an example, we can mention Spain and Turkey, which registered great growth in this sector in recent decades. Successful development of mariculture in Ecuador will depend on the results and experiences of the first ventures, as well as the incentives promoted by the public sector. Positive results will promote investment in the industry and its development. In a few years, Ecuador could stand out on the global scene not only for its strong shrimp farming industry, but also as one of the main producers of marine fish worldwide (excluding salmonids).


Prometeo Researcher, Instituto Nacional de Pesca, Ecuador 2 Instituto Nacional de Pesca, Ecuador

López-Alvarado, J. et al. (2016). Offshore Aquaculture Development in Ecuador. International Journal of Research and Education (IJRE), Volume 1 Number 1, January-March 2016.

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Forging New Frontiers

Aquaculture America 2017

Aquaculture America 2017 brought together members of the US aquaculture industry and the rest of the world with the aim of discussing and establishing new frontiers to achieve sustainable expansion in the coming years.

Ricardo Arias, Global Sales Manager – Latin America, PENTAIR.

David Calitri, from Calitri Technologies, explaining the operation of its state-of-the-art fish counters.

Heinz Grunauer from Prilabsa, Ricardo Lanuza, Luis Martínez, Mercedes Barbi, Joseph Barbi and part of E.S.E & INTEC marketing team.

Marc, J.T. y John from Cargill-EWOS, one of the global leaders in aquaculture nutrition.


rom February 19th to 22th, San Antonio, the seventh largest city in the United States, hosted more than two thousand attendees for the conference. The event, produced jointly by the US Aquaculture Society, the National Aquaculture Association and the Aquaculture Suppliers As36 »

sociation, was held at the Marriot Rivercenter Hotel. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in the conference program, visit the trade show and enjoy the proximity to the many tourist attractions offered by San Antonio. With the theme “Forging New Frontiers,” Aquaculture Ameri-

ca 2017 officially started Monday morning with the traditional plenary lectures. During the first lecture, Dr. Jonathan Van Senten, of Virginia State University, commented that a fragmentation among consumers exists. They demand “certified” or “organic” products; however, a significant portion of these consumers ignore the origin of the products and the way in which they are produced. On the other hand, in many places, aquaculture is not so well-known, and in others, it has a bad reputation. Dr. Van Senten invited all those present to ask themselves how they want to be perceived by the public, and stressed that it is aquaculture industry members’ duty to make known what aquaculture is and its benefits. And to do so, the industry must be unified. Dr. Van Senten also addressed the popular topic of millennials. Milllennials are the most educated generation in history; however, we must find an effective way to communicate and take advantage of existing tools, such as social media. Dr. Van Senten emphasized that 90 % of the information our brain receives is visual, so he recommended the use of infographics, as they are extremely useful tools for communicating information. “Intergenerational communication: learning to listen” was the central theme of another plenary conference, which pleasantly surprised all attendees. Dr. Aoife Lyons, Director of Educational Engagement for Alltech, laid on the table an extraordinary situation that is happening around the world: there are currently four generations coexisting in the workplace - traditionalists (born between 1922-1945), baby boomers (born between 1946-1964), generation X (born between 1965-1980), and the well-known millennials (born between 1981-2000). How to work in teams with people from four different generations? Dr. Lyons emphasized that everything is about perspective, and that it is fundamental to understand

TJ Willetts, Marketing Manager - Food & Beverage â&#x20AC;&#x201C; North America, and the Marketing team of VEOLIA WATER TECHNOLOGIES.

why each generation is as it is. Each generation was marked by different events (wars, social movements, disease, technological advances, etc.) that make them have a different perspective about the same concept, like work. Lyons concluded that in order to successfully work in multi-generational teams, it is essential to listen and understand why our colleagues work as they do. By 2015, 50 % of the workforce out there will be millennials, so it is mandatory to aban-

Zeigler was present at the event promoting EZ Artemia, liquid artemia replacement diet.

don the resistance to change and take advantage of the benefits that each generation can bring to such a dynamic industry like aquaculture.

Conference Program One of the characteristic aspects of this event is its rich conference program. Over three days, students, researchers and members of the industry walked through the venue halls, from one room to another, trying to attend as many presentations as possible in the eleven rooms where the

Chad Vanderlinden, Heinz Grunauer, MarĂ­a Claudia Grunauer and Roberto Ribas, from Prilabsa.

conferences took place. More than 500 short lectures were held, lasting between 15-30 minutes, divided into 58 different sessions, each with a specific topic. Nutrition plays a key role in the development of sustainable aquaculture. And, more than 59 conferences were specifically designed to address this issue, from seven different perspectives: alternative protein sources, nutrient requirements, soy products, dietary supplements and feed additives, prebiotics, feeds and feeding, and lipids.

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Laura St. Pierre, YSI. Aquaculture America 2017 was characterized by its rich conference program.

Tim Reed, Reed Mariculture, explaining the benefits of its wide range of marine microalgae concentrates.

Tim Graybeal, RK2 Systems.

Jim Keeton presenting the wide range of aeration systems and probiotics KEETON Industries offers.

Becky Reese and Len Smith from HELIAE, an algae biotechnology company with more than 10 years of experience, presented its new product. Nymega.

38 »

Recently, insect protein has gained the attention of the aquaculture industry as its use has been authorized for aquafeed in the European Union, Canada and the United States. Through several presentations, the positive results that have been obtained with the implementation of insect meal in aquafeed for species such as trout, sturgeon and sea bass were presented. However, there are still some challenges to generalize the use of this alternative source of protein in aquaculture, such as the optimum levels of inclusion, enzymatic digestibility and palatability. Access to funding is essential for the development and commercialization of any project or technology, and aquaculture is no exception. The conference program included a session specifically on this topic, where Gene Kim, the USDA National Program Leader for Aquaculture, shared several tips applicable to all countries, on how to apply for funds. One of Dr. Kim’s tips was the importance of finding the right program for your project and carefully studying the application, since all the information

Mark Young and Jeff Garza, Reef Industries.

is regularly there but in a confusing way. Additionally, he stressed the importance of understanding the reviewing process and the reviewers, to develop the project logically and make it easy to understand. Shrimp culture is one of the strongest aquaculture industries in Latin America and Southeast Asia; an aspect that was reflected during the whole-day session dedicated to “Shrimp and Other Crustaceans,” which was one of the most popular sessions of the conference program. Through twenty presentations, attendees heard about the latest advances in stress reduction, disease detection and treatments, new nutritional formulations, innovative production systems, and feeding technologies assessment, among many other relevant topics. The Striped Bass Growers Association, the American Tilapia Alliance and the US Trout Farmers Association took the opportunity to hold their annual meetings and carry out forums to discuss some of the most important issues affecting each of these industries.

The Trade Show More than 137 suppliers of equipment, machinery, aquaculture inputs and technology gathered at one of the largest aquaculture commercial exhibitions in the US. Although a smaller number of visitors was perceived this year, compared to similar events in previous years, exhibitors expressed that it was a great event to establish new business relationships,

Aquaculture Magazine and its sister publication Panorama Acuícola Magazine were present at the event. Christian Criollos, Marketing & Sales Manager, Salvador Meza, Editor and Publisher, Maria de la Peña, Editorial Assistant and Gustavo Ruiz, Sales Support Expert.

close deals and meet new industry members. Unlike other events where aquafeed and feed additives dominate the trade show halls, this time a strong presence of aeration equipment and technology suppliers was evident. Aeration is a key aspect in aquaculture since it is highly related to productivity and animal welfare. Compa-

The event had 111 posters on various topics.

WAS Employment Service job board.

nies such as Adsorptech, a3 Aeration and Aqua Hill Aeration stood out for their innovative aeration technologies based on low energy consumption and greater oxygen transfer. In the 70’s and 80’s, competition was based on costs; in the 90’s, on efficiency; and in these days, it is based on differentiation (costs, efficiency, technology, sustainability). The aquaculture industry is in constant change and evolution, and aquaculture suppliers are also. Evidence of these trends is that 90 % of the exhibiting companies took the opportunity to present new products and services, such as more efficient aeration systems, feed additives, alternative sources of protein, monitoring and control software, in situ disease detection kits and automatic feeders, among many others.

Are You Still Studying? This Is Where You Should Be If you are a student or you recently graduated, Aquaculture America 2017 is the kind of event you should not miss. This event offers the opportunity to present the results of your studies, as part of the conference program or in the poster session. Additionally, it allows you to know the current job offers in the industry through the WAS Employment Ser-

vice board, as well as internship opportunities from different companies around the world. Some of the conferences are especially useful for students, such as the session “Getting published, from research design to writing: advice from experts,” where useful advice for academic and professional life was given, through eight presentations. The tips go from recommendations on how not to write a scientific article to how to maximize the acceptability of a manuscript. Within the framework of the event, the exhibition included 111 posters on different subjects such as aquaculture systems, genetics, nutrition, health, larval culture and water quality, among many others. Aquaculture America 2017 offered a meeting point between the members of the industry and the young talent that is just being integrated. It encouraged the collaboration between generations, to better know the industry and to strengthen the relations within the aquaculture sector. “Gain experience, do volunteering and internships, work, attend lectures, go out into the world!” was the advice Jackie Zimmermann, product manager at Skretting, gave during her presentation at the session on women in aquaculture.

Another Successful Edition The first major aquaculture event of the year culminated successfully. Many of the participants’ concerns were answered, with the possibility of taking effective actions to address the current challenges that aquaculture is facing. However, many other concerns were not solved so easily. Even so, the event offered a space to discuss more complex issues, such as the development of mariculture in the US, the challenges the industry is facing in terms of permits and selection of production sites, the veterinarians’ responsibility in antibiotics administration, and the US’s aquaculture expansion plans. » 39


“Innovative and Sustainable Aquaculture

for the Blue Revolution” The 6th International Fisheries Symposium and Expo - 2017 was held at the grand colonial Faletti’s Hotel in Lahore, Pakistan on February 8th and 9th and organised by the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) in collaboration with the UVAS Fisheries Society.

By: Eric Roderick


dditional support was provided by the Pakistan Fisheries Society along with the Punjab Fisheries Department, the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan’s Eco Science Foundation, the Punjab Higher Education Commission and Fish Industry of Pakistan. The World Aquaculture Society’s Asia Pacific Chapter (WAS APC) and ASA/Feeding Pakistan also sponsored this event, along with many local organizations. Pakistan is an agricultural country with rich aquatic resources. The agricultural sector contributes 19.8 % of national GDP with 58 % from livestock and just over 2 % from fisheries and aquaculture. Pakistan’s widespread inland natural resources make up 3.0 million hectares including 70,500 hectares of fish farming. There are 60 hatcheries in the public sector and around 130 hatcheries in the private sector. Pakistan has 183 species of freshwater fish and the main cultured species are the Indian Major Carps (Rohu, Mori and Thaila) as well as exotic Chinese carps, introduced brown and rainbow trout, and the increasingly popular tilapia. The country is lagging far behind in aquaculture as compared to neighbouring countries like China, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and other far-eastern countries. Pakistan’s total annual fish production is 0.953 million metric tons including 0.667 million metric tons from marine capture fisheries and 0.285 million metric tons from inland waters 40 »

Dr. R.S.N. Janjua and Eric Roderick at the main trade booth of FEEDing Pakistan. Dr. R.S.N. Janjua is co-author of two books - Aquaculture Handbook - Fish Farming and Nutrition in Pakistan and Tilapia Manual for Pakistan – both funded by USDA and the American Soybean Association.

including aquaculture. Reasons behind this low production are the existence of traditional green water aquaculture systems, under- exploitation of public water bodies (rivers, lakes, dams/reservoirs, coastal waters, and estuaries), lack of trained manpower, low availability of good quality commercial aquafeeds and quality seed from hatcheries, poor disease monitoring and control, and almost no intensive aquaculture. Pakistan’s per capita fish consumption is very low at around 2 kg compared to the world average of around 20 kg. There is a need to increase awareness about the benefits of fish as a very healthy food to bring about increases in production and consumption in Pakistan. Pakistan also has a productive coastline of 1120 km, with major fishing centers in Karachi, Gwadar and Pasni. The main catch comprises mullet, silver whiting, and many juveniles of large commercially important estuarine fish including large pelagic species such as tuna, mackerel and sharks.

Although significant improvements have been made in Pakistan’s fisheries & aquaculture sector since the 1980’s, especially in seed production, culture techniques and adoption of fast growing species and varieties, there is still a lot to be done in this sector. The International Fisheries Symposium and Expo is a biennial conference and the only international aquaculture conference regularly held in Pakistan. Over 500 Pakistani scientists and 18 international scientists attended (from the USA, Canada, UK, Belgium, Croatia, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and New Zealand), sharing the latest research and technology and developing strong international linkages in the fields of fisheries & aquaculture. A total of 160 abstracts were received for oral presentations and there were also 2 fish farmer workshops where 6 presentations were delivered by scientists/researchers/fish farmers and industry partners. Many posters were

The attendants in the conference room.

Some of the International invited speakers and the main honored guest (Government Ministers). (From right hand side and front row only) Prof. Talat Naseer Pasha, Vice Chancellor University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, (UVAS) Lahore; Dr. Piria Marina University of Zagreb, Croatia; Mr. Asif Saeed Manais, Minister for Livestock and Dairy Department, Punjab, Pakistan; Mian Yawer Zaman, Minister for Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries Department, Punjab, Pakistan; Prof. Mustafa Yildiz, Istanbul University, Turkey; Prof. Murat Arslan, Ataturk University, Turkey; Dr. Ram C. Bhujel AIT, Thailand; Dr. Asylbaeva Sh. National Academy of SCiences, Kurgyzstan; and on the left side, Dr. Cherdsak Virapat NACA, Thailand.

The compere presenting the guest of honor. People on stage seated (from left to right): Dr. Muhammad Ayub, President Pakistan Fisheries Society; Mian Yawar Zaman Khan, Minister for Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife, Punjab, Pakistan; Asif Saeed Manais, Minister for Department of Livestock and Dairy Development, Punjab, Pakistan; Prof. Dr. Talat Naseer Pasha, Vice Chancellor, UVAS, Lahore, Pakistan; Prof. Dr. Anwar-ul-Hassan Gilani, Chairman, Pakistan Council for Science and Technology; and Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Dean Faculty of Fisheries & Wildlife, UVAS, Lahore.

(From left to right) Prof. Patrick Sorgoloos, Director of the Laboratory of Aquaculture and the Artemia Reference Center at the University of Ghent, Belgium, Eric Roderick, and Prof. Khalid P. Lone, at the University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. Both Professors were session Chairs at the conference.

also presented and there was a small trade show where 17 exhibitors from Pakistan’s local industry promoted their technology and products. The inaugural session was opened by Prof. Dr. Talat Maseer Pasha, Vice Chancellor of UVAS. Dr. Muhammad Ayub, President of the Pakistan Fisheries Society gave an overview of the Fisheries Sector in Pakistan. The WAS President Dr. Juan Pablo Lazo Corvera was supposed to attend as a guest of Honour but had some visa problems at the last minute. He was deputised by Dr. Enday K. Kontara President, WAS APC from Indonesia. WAS APC also hosted a trade booth at the exhibition, mainly to promote the WAS APC 2017 conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia in July 2017.

Mian Yawar Zaman, Minister of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, Punjab, and Mr. Asif Saeed Manais, Minister of Livestock and Dairy, Punjab, both gave supporting addresses to the conference and also opened the trade show and visited the exhibitors. The vote of thanks was given by Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Dean of the Faculty of Fisheries UVAS. Grant Vandenberg, from Canada, gave an overview of industrial production of insect larvae meal in aquafeeds. According to FAO estimates, world population will increase to 9.6 billion by 2050. We need to re-evaluate the agri-food sector, and insect protein should have a major role to play. Black soldier fly, for example, converts waste into high value high protein feed. Patrick Sorgeloos, Director of the Aquaculture and Artemia Reference Center in Belgium, asked in his presentation whether aquaculture can become the new Blue Biotechnology of the future. Yes it can, provided we can meet environmental and ecological challenges through international cooperation and multi-stakeholder interactions. Ram C. Bhujel from AIT Thailand, focused on tilapia as the species of the future. Global production is now over 5 million MT. Although tilapia is second only to carp production, it still has huge expansion possibilities to fill the demand for high quality white fish, caused by overfishing of our wild fish stocks throughout the world. Eric Roderick, CEO of Fishgen Ltd from the UK in his presentation “The aquatic chicken comes of age” highlighted the role genetically superior strains of tilapia have to play in global food production and food security. At the closing ceremony the take home message was that Pakistan was expanding its aquaculture industry very strongly to cope with the shortfall in fish production. This expansion was being backed fully by the Pakistan government in partnership with the private sector. Eric Roderick is CEO of Fishgen, Ltd. a company based at Swansea University in Wales, UK and dedicated to supplying quality fish stocks for aquaculture worldwide

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The struggle led by aquaculture is against

the Status Quo

It’s up to future generations to begin to make the decisions regarding the world they would want to live in.

By: Salvador Meza


he decisions made by a generation will dramatically affect the life of later generations such as never before. The actions which the generation currently in control makes regarding all world-wide events, are going to generate effects that will manifest themselves in one way or another in the future. In many occasions, these effects have either not been analyzed as seriously as they should, or the scope of their actual 42 »

consequences has not been duly considered, nor has it even been questioned. The conflict of generational change in the context of decision making —for example, regarding what social, economic and environmental policies should be adopted worldwide for the next ten to twenty years—makes itself manifest whenever these policies are implemented by people who are currently an average of 55 to 75 years of age, and

who still consider themselves to have a useful lifespan perspective of 20 to 30 years, but whose capacity to adapt to change has been significantly reduced and who generally seek to maintain a static life status in the level of comfort they have managed to achieve over the years. They represent, in brief, the status quo of our global society. By the same token, we can set forth many examples, but in order to simplify things, we can pose some

simple questions: Are the young generations the ones most interested in sustaining the idea of producing energy through fossil fuels? Are millennials the ones most interested in not giving any credit to the standpoint that the planet’s temperature keeps rising year after year? Are young people the ones who, as a mayority, shun or try to avoid the integration of cultures, people and countries? Are these future generations the ones in favor of the subsidies granted by the government to trawling fisheries, and to other fisheries which are about to collapse? In this context, we should be questioning ourselves whether it makes sense for a generation, whose possibilities to actually see the result of the decisions they make today in the next 15 or 20 years are limited, to continue stubbornly bent on their pursuit to maintain their status quo, fearful of losing a stability that only appears to exist but isn’t actually

real, and making decisions in a selfish manner without taking into account the scenario these young generations will have to face within a framework of terrible consequences resulting from erroneous decisions made today. Aquaculture is a great example in the context of these two scenarios. The lack of production regarding fish and seafood may result in an unmet demand for animal protein destined for human populations of apocalyptic proportions, in the next 20 years. This without taking into consideration the social and economic problems that will be seen in coastal populations in the greater part of countries worldwide, when their inhabitants see themselves in the need of emigrating to search for food and work once the fisheries that are still standing in the world collapse. The FAO issues yearly alerts to worldwide governments on this impending challenge. The heads of

government between 55 and 75 years of age seem not to understand them. But in twenty years, they will probably not have to suffer the consequences of not making the right decisions on time, either. The younger generations should be the ones to decide if they want to share a beautiful coastal scenario, with a view to the fish farms with which they feed their children. It’s the young people that must decide if they prefer to invest as a society in the development of sustainable aquaculture instead of investing in maintaining an economically and environmentally unsustainable fishing industry. The communications era and the global democratization of the Internet have thankfully given power to ordinary people. Use it. Salvador Meza is Editor & Publisher of Aquaculture Magazine, and of the Spanish language industry magazine Panorama Acuicola.

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Latin America Report

Latin America Report: Recent News and Events By: Staff / Aquaculture Magazine

Great Things Are Expected from Mexican Offshore Mariculture Mexico. – Scientific researchers, producers and members of the industry gathered at the VII Offshore Mariculture Conference from March 6 to March 10 in Ensenada, Mexico. The conference was held for the first time in Mexico; previously, it was always held in Europe. The Conference offered a full program of technical seminars presented by key academics and professionals involved in the mariculture industry. Great things are expected from Baja California’s offshore mariculture in the up-coming years, not only because of its natural resources, but also because of the strong political will that the Mexican government has demonstrated. The federal and regional governments of Mexico have shown a strong interest in the development of mariculture. They have created a regulatory environment conducive for this in order to help investors take advantage of the favorable conditions of Baja California, such as weather, human capital, proximity to R&D Centers, universities, a strategic location for product exports, etc. Currently, several species of marine fish, such as tuna, yellowtail mackerel and totoaba are being pro-

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duced in Baja California. The current production and export of marine fish in the state reaches 9 thousand tons, with a commercial value of about one billion pesos (USD 52,000 million). Mexico is seeking to consolidate the industry in the next decade. In January 2017, the Mexican government pledged USD 50-70 million for mariculture and infrastructure. Baja California, when compared to the rest of the country, takes the lead, by far, in the development of mariculture. However, there is still a long way to go, since the industry is just taking off and there are several opportunities for improvement to achieve the sustainability of the activity. The event stood out for its high quality in every aspect. The rich program of conferences and the dialogue tables that were organized at the end of each session made the attendees want to stay until the end. If you want to know more about the event, visit www.offshoremaricultureconference. com, where you can find detailed reviews.

Peru Receives Support from the World Bank to Finance the National Program for Innovation in Fisheries and Aquaculture Peru. – In mid-March, the Peruvian government and the World Bank signed a contract for a USD 40 million loan to finance the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Innovation Program (PNIPA). The PNIPA is expected to fund up to 2,000 research, development and innovation projects. Moreover, it is expected to have a broad reach and involve more than 70,000 people and companies, from entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, suppliers and members of the industry, to fishermen in the sustainable development of the aquaculture and fisheries industries in Peru. The PNIPA will be implemented between 2017 and 2021. Currently, the Peruvian aquaculture industry focuses on certain species such as shrimp and tilapia. However, there are many other species with high potential, but research

and innovation are needed to develop their aquaculture potential, which is one of the objectives of the PNIPA. Additionally, the program will promote the improvement of fisheries and aquaculture value chains and reduce dependence on capture fisheries. The PNIPA represents an investment of USD 130 million, of which the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Peru (MEF) contributed USD 81 million. The program comprises three major projects: (1) the National Fisheries Innovation Project, (2) the National Aquaculture Innovation Project, and (3) Improvement of the Governance of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Innovation System. More specifically, the program will seek to promote competitiveness in regions that already have a developed aquaculture sector that still have a lot of potential to exploit, and will also seek to promote regions that have not yet taken off.

Cargill’s Shrimp Feed Plant in Ecuador Right on Track Ecuador. – On March 13th, this leader in animal nutrition unveiled the first column of the construction of their feed plant carried out in Duran, Ecuador. The plant, which is expected to start operations in the second half of 2018, will have a production capacity of 160,000 tons of shrimp feed per year, and represents an investment of USD 50 million. During the celebration, Cargill’s General Director of Aquaculture in

Latin America, Ángel Gómez Zambrano, mentioned that they are analyzing more projects in Ecuador, such as the possibility of building a Technology Application Center aiming to boost feed potential and providing new knowledge, to offer a better technical assistance service to Ecuadorian producers. Over the last years, shrimp has become the second most important non-oil product of Ecuador, after bananas, with exports reaching 820 million pounds in 2016, which represented an economic benefit of USD 2,536 million for the country. Throughout the process of the project, Cargill has received strong support from the government of Ecuador. In August 2016, the transnational company signed an investment agreement with the Ecuadorian government. Through this contract, the company obtains tax benefits such as exemption from income tax payment, foreign human capital, subsidies in

electric energy and the possibility of importing machinery free from tariffs for the construction of the plant.

Chile to Invest in 70 New Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Projects Chile. – The research program for the 2017 Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Fund (FIPA, for its acronym in Spanish) considers 70 new projects, half of which will focus on scientific research in aquaculture. The new projects will be added to the portfolio of FIPA’s ongoing projects, which total 139 studies. This year, FIPA will invest around USD 9 million (CLP 6,000 million) in the annual sector research program. Out of the 70 projects, 35 are related to aquaculture, 25 to fisheries, and 9 to socioeconomic aspects of the activity. Additionally, an impact study will be carried out regarding the role of FIPA in the process of decisionmaking on sectorial management measures. The public bidding for the first eight research projects of FIPA 2017 started in early February. Among these projects, which have an overall budget of USD 1 million (CLP 710 million), stand outs include the update of the National Aquaculture Policy, studies on crustacean fisheries and algae in the north region, a health study on aquaculture, and a study on historical evolution of the northern oyster industry. » 45

research report AFRICA report

Africa – 2017 Aquaculture’s Hotspot Significant growth of the African aquaculture industry is expected in the next 10 to 15 years. The resources, human capital and demand exist, so it is a matter of exploiting the great potential of the continent for this activity.

By M. de la Peña


o far this year, a lot has been heard regarding the potential and development of Africa’s aquaculture industry. In the Aquaculture America 2017 event held in San Antonio in mid-February a whole session was dedicated to Aquaculture in Africa. During this session, Cliff Spencer, Chairman of Aquaculture without Frontiers mentioned that resources, human capital and demand exist in Africa, and that aquaculture is the only way to solve the protein problem in this continent. Additionally, the strategic locations of some countries, like Egypt, represent a major competitive advantage to meet the seafood demand in Europe and the Middle East, in addition to the growing local demand. Thus, a significant growth of African aquaculture industries is expected for the following 10 to 15 years. The growth of aquaculture in Africa involves a twofold challenge: on one side, there are the governmental and ONGs’ strategies, and on the other, private capital investments – foreign, local and the combination of both. Therefore, a brief review of some of the strategies that have been carried out over the last few years and which are expected to continue in the coming years is presented here.


Ethiopia – Aquaculture Budget Increases Ethiopia’s unexploited aquaculture potential has gained government at46 »

Fish farm in Africa.

tention. The country has the socioeconomic conditions and physical resources (water, land and natural resources) to support aquaculture development. After Nigeria, Ethiopia is becoming the second most populated country in the continent; it is expected to reach 117 million habitants by 2025. Although there is a high variation in fish consumption within the country, the average fish consumption per capita is 1 kg. The expected population growth, by itself, represents an immense opportunity for aquaculture development.

The government has had included aquaculture as a priority in the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), where, through a series of projects and by offering diverse types of support to all stakeholders interested in aquaculture, the government plans to increase fish production from 50,000 to 96,000 tonnes. Additionally, an Ethiopian Aquaculture Association has been established and it is expected to play a key role in the development of the sector. The Ethiopian government has worked to create a favorable environment, both economic and legal, to

Pond construction in Nigeria.

favor investments in aquaculture. For example, the government offers a series of attractive incentive packages (customs duty payment exceptions in some aspects, income tax exceptions, export incentives, etc.). However, there are several challenges to overcome in the process of developing aquaculture in the country, for example: (1) seafood consumption must be promoted; (2) its is necessary to establish regulations for the fisheries sector in order to reduce and avoid over-fishing; (3) it is also necessary

Clarias larvae.

to establish regulations and promote food safety throughout the seafood supply chain. Zimbabwe’s Aquaculture Sector: Upward In August 2016, the government launched a stocking and restocking program aiming to boost aquaculture production, while enhancing national food security and nutrition, and generating jobs. The promotion of aquaculture is also a strategy to mitigate poverty in the country.

The program seeks to integrate two of the most vulnerable groups in society, women and the poor. Zim Parks will implement the program in collaboration with Zimbabwe National Water Authority and rural district councils. As part of the program, twelve officers have been trained and will be responsible for training in the communities, as well as for the identification of training needs and actions plans for training in the future. The program also plans to work closely with traditional leaders to up-scale any existing aquaculture programs. As the program expands across Zimbabwe’s provinces, it will be necessary to develop seed production centers in each province, and eventually training for each community to produce their own seed. Tanzania Seeks to Boost Aquaculture While Conserving Biodiversity In Tanzania, inland water covers 6.5 % of the total country surface, including the great lakes (Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa/Malawi), which are recognized as one of 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world. Despite Tanzania’s optimum conditions for fish farming, aquaculture continues to be a small-scale initiative. In order to develop a national aquaculture strategy, thirty scientists representing Tanzanian stakeholders, as well as international research organizations, gathered for a three-day workshop in Zanzibar. The meeting was founded by the Swedish “Agriculture for Food Security 2030” (AgriFoSe) program and co-organized by University of Dar Es Salam, World Malaysia and by the Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU). The main outcome was the creation of a consortium between the partners that will set up a National Aquaculture Development Centre (NADC). The main objective of the consortium is to develop strategies to improve fish production while preserving Tanzania’s natural diversity and resources. » 47

research report AFRICA report

Tilapia aquaculture has the potential to meet the nutritional demand of Tanzania’s growing population. By exploiting aquaculture’s potential, it will be possible to reduce the country’s dependency on imports, increase food security and boost the Tanzanian economy. A reliable broodstock supply is a key factor for aquaculture development in any country. The Earlham Institute, in collaboration with Bangor University, is working to characterize the genetics of tilapia species in Tanzania. The analysis of around 30 tilapia species, including 11 endemic species, with traits of commercial importance (growth rate and feed efficiency)—with the objective of creating the country’s commercial broodstock –could contribute to the development of an independent industry. Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries will work on developing new policies to help in meeting consortium goals. South Africa Operation Phakisa was launched by the South African national government in 2014. One of the key sectors within this program is the promotion of the Ocean Economy. Oil and gas, marine manufacturing and transport, marine protection and governance, and aquaculture are the focal areas of the program. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) is the

lead department for the aquaculture focus area. In analyses carried out in July and August 2014, conclusions were that South African aquaculture has a great potential for expansion, but there are several challenges to overcome such as regulatory barriers, high production costs, difficulty accessing funds, little infrastructure in some regions, and poor accessibility to markets, among others. Currently, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is working on a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to assess the current framework and streamline the process to facilitate sustainable aquaculture development in South Africa. The SEA started in 2016, and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 (CSIR 2016). Operation Phakisa’s main goal is to stimulate the growth of the sector. Since its launch and as of October 2016, 32 aquaculture projects have been initiated and an estimated of USD 8 million (R106-million) has been invested in the sector by the government. Additionally, in February 2017, Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance of South Africa, during his budget speech announced that USD 20 million (R266m) would be allocated to support the aquaculture sector and meet the goals of the Oceans Economy Phakisa Operation.

PRIVATE SECTOR In Africa, the aquaculture industry

Availability of manufactured feeds is increasing rapidly throughout Africa.

48 »

Equipment and management methods are being adopted throughout Africa.

Clarias hatchery in Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria.

Aller aquas zambian factory under construction.

is rapidly growing, but 90 % of that growth is happening in two countries, Egypt and Nigeria. Egypt has the largest aquaculture industry in Africa. The Government of Egypt has showed strong support to aquaculture as it has an important role for creating jobs, increasing income, helping lift people out of poverty, and promoting healthy diets. The government continuously promotes aquaculture projects among local and foreign investors. Evidence of the expected growth in the aquaculture sector in Africa is the investment, construction and expansion of aqua feed mills in the region. Here are some recent cases:

pia farms located along the Volta River. Additionally, the Dutch feed group’s plant in Zambia is under construction and is expected to start operating in September 2017. Aller Aqua Zambia will produce high quality extruded fish feed for the tilapia industry, with a production capacity of 50,000 tones per year.

Seaweed farming in Zanzibar.

Aller Aqua – Consolidating in the African Market Danish feed group Aller Aqua plans to consolidate itself as the strongest in the aquaculture feed industry in Africa, and so far, it has demonstrated that it is determined to achieve this goal. In March 2015, the company opened a fish feed plant in Giza, Egypt, and has been increasing production gradu-

ally to meet local demand. Currently, the company is growing its tilapia feed capacity with a third extruder line, which is expected to be operating by April 2017. With this third line, the production capacity of the plant will be 150,000 tons annually. In January 2017, Aller opened its Ghana feed plant; the production is destined to satisfy the catfish and tila-

De Heus Opens Feed Plant in Egypt Koudijs Kapo Feed, a joint venture between Dutch leader in animal nutrition De Heus and feeds raw material importer Kapo for Agricultural Projects, celebrated the opening of its first fish feed factory in Egypt at the beginning of February 2017. The JV has been producing feed concentrates since 2003 for other livestock sectors, like poultry and cattle and now is venturing into the aquafeed industry. The new factory, located in Alexandria, has a production capacity of 150,000 tons per year, and its production is destined to satisfy the increasing demand of the tilapia industry of the country.

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Aquaculture Without Frontiers

News from

Aquaculture Without Frontiers African Partnership to Benefit Aquaculture The African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) will partner

with volunteer aid organization Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) to improve outcomes in disadvantaged communities by focusing efforts on sustainable aquaculture.


he new agreement links both organizations to closer collaboration and will see AwF working towards including economic profiling in its projects designed to measure the outcomes of its work. Dr. Edward Mabaya, President of AAAE, on signing the agreement said, “AAAE has a vast network of agricultural economists working across Africa. Through this agreement, we will tap into this network to provide applied research support in areas such as impact assessment, value chain analysis, monitoring and evaluation of aquaculture projects.” He added, “By shining a spotlight on this under-researched topic we hope to produce key research outputs that will shape public policies as well as investment priorities for aquaculture development.” “It makes sense to have pre- and postproject economic assessment factored into our projects and programs. Whilst we are confident that our work is improving the nutrition and health within communities and fostering social development, it will be important to have the economic data to support this,” said AwF’s long-standing director, Dave Conley when meeting Dr. Mabaya at Cornell University. “We believe that by collaborating with like-minded organizations such as AAAE, we will be able to make major contributions 50 »

Dr. Edward Mabaya, President of AAAE, and David Conley, AwF long-standing director.

Roy Palmer, AwF President and Executive Director.

to our mission’s main objectives. We have always aimed to be a catalyst for change through supporting responsible and sustainable aquaculture. In the decades to come, aquaculture is one of the main keys which will underpin the future health of all humans by providing the essential nutrients and vitamins currently missing from many diets, and at an affordable price,” added Conley. AAAE is an association of agricultural economists and other professionals with special interest in agricultural economic issues and affairs, working in agriculture and broadly related fields of applied economics, and issues related to policy and improving the productivity of African agriculture. Full details of the organization can be seen at Aquaculture is an important agriculture activity for Africa for so many

reasons and the opportunity of both organizations collaborating to assist the development of aquaculture in a mature sustainable fashion is clearly of benefit to Africa and the people of Africa. This agreement is the result of long-term discussions between AAAE General Secretary, Jeffers Miruka, and AwF President and Executive Director, Roy Palmer.

Pardon our Progress – AwF Women/Gender The Women in Aquaculture session at the World Aquaculture Conference in Adelaide in June 2014 was the catalyst for establishing the Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) Women/Gender Network. The Network has grown to a 600+ membership but like all vol-

Assistants to the signing of CONACOPP and UTMarT collaboration agreement.

unteer groups the Network ebbs and flows based on the efforts of a small core of people. Anyone can easily join in discussions and get information by networking at https://www.facebook. com/groups/awfwomen . AwF thanks the World Aquaculture Society-Asia Pacific Chapter for the donation of USD $500 in return for AwF facilitating the selection process of their Travel Award for Women’s Participation at APA17 in Kuala Lumpur 24-27 July 2017. WAS-APC is providing the opportunity for female aquaculture professionals to at-

tend Asia Pacific Aquaculture 2017 from 24-27 July 2017. Funding for this opportunity is provided by WASAPC, and Aquaculture without Frontiers is facilitating the selection process. There will be two (2) US$ 600 grants available which are aimed to assist with accommodation and travel. Additionally, WAS-APC will provide registration for the event.

CONACOPP and UTMarT sign collaboration agreement On March 3th, a collaboration agreement was signed between CONA-

COOP and the Technological Ocean University of Tamaulipas (UTMarT), with the goal of further professionalizing the national fisheries and aquaculture sector in Mexico. The signing ceremony was attended by: C.P. Raúl Ruiz Villegas, Secretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Government of the State of Tamaulipas; Dr. Antonio Garza de Yta, Rector of the Technological Ocean University of Tamaulipas Bicentennial; Ing. Marcelo Fernández Franco, Director of Hunting Promotion and Sport Fishing of the Government of Tamaulipas; MVZ. Armando Castro Real, National President of CONACOOP; Mr. Roy Palmer, President and CEO of Aquaculture without Frontiers, as well as representatives from a number of state cooperatives. This event provided an opportunity to show the guests the facilities of the University, its equipment and the activities associated with different career path disciplines.

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Aquaculture Stewardship Council

News from the

Aquaculture Stewardship Council The ASC and MSC open public consultation for the joint Seaweed Standard According to the FAO (2014), about 25 million tonnes of seaweeds and other algae are harvested annually with an estimated total annual value of US$ 5.65 billion. Seaweeds are used widely in food, cosmetics, fertilizers, and are processed to extract thickening agents or used as an additive in animal feed. Globally, seaweeds play a key role in aquatic ecosystems, coastal protection and are a valuable resource for coastal communities. These primary producers provide a foundation for many marine food webs and form important habitats for associated marine flora and fauna. Over exploitation of seaweed may have detrimental effects on biodiversity, water quality and can increase coastal erosion (FAO, 1990). With global seaweed production increasing along with demand for certification of the seaweed industry, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) recognize the importance of having a standard that rewards sustainable seaweed production, and provides a benchmark for improvement. The MSC and ASC have agreed to build on each other’s expertise and work together to develop a Seaweed Standard for certifying globally sustainable socially responsible seaweed operations. This decision to collaborate was made by both the MSC and ASC Boards and officially commenced in September 2014. The joint vision is to contribute to the health of the world’s aquatic 52 »

ecosystems by creating a certification standard to recognize, and reward environmentally sustainable and socially responsible seaweed harvesting and farming practices. The standard aims to: • Be applicable to global wild harvest and cultured seaweed operations of all sizes • Promote sustainable and socially responsible seaweed operations • Provide consistent assessment of global operations through best practice benchmarking • Provide incentives for improvements through ASC and MSC’s theories of change • The standard will reference available scientific understanding and international best practice guidelines.

The MSC and ASC recently launched a second 60-day public consultation on the joint Seaweed standard. Interested parties are invited to view the proposed Seaweed Standard and share their expertise and feedback through an online consultation open until 30 April. The standard will allow certification from both wild harvest and farmed seaweed, regardless of the scale or location of the operation. The assessment of seaweed farms and fisheries will be guided by five core principles: sustainable populations; minimising environmental impacts; effective management; social responsibility; and community relations and interactions. You can find more information on how to submit comments

at database/seaweed-standard/consultations

Oyster Farm is First to Gain ASC Certification in France Huitres Favier Earl has become the first farm in France to achieve ASC certification. The French oyster producer received a cluster certification for its La Tremblade and Paimpol units. The company was awarded the certificate in recognition of their responsible environmental and social practices from Control Union Peru, an independent accredited certifier, after an audit to certify that the farm meets the ASC Bivalve Standards. “We are glad to receive ASC certification. The quality of the natural environment has a direct impact on our business. The oysters are our sentinels. They inform us on the good conditions of the marine environment. We are in the front line, and we know what can happen if the water quality

declines. We feel it is important to respect nature and it is therefore natural for us to join the ASC”, said Philippe Favier, Hitres Favier Earl Director. “I am delighted to welcome Huitres Favier Earl to the ASC”, said Esther Luiten, ASC Commercial Director. “The consumption of seafood is high in France and according to a recent survey by Global Scan, French consumers are ready to change their consumption habits in favour of sustainable alternatives. This trend is creating increasing demand for certified responsible aquaculture and French retailers are becoming more and more enthusiastic about the ASC certification”. Huitres Favier Earl is located on the left bank of the Seudre River, in the heart of the Marennes Oleron Basin, in Southern-West France. The farm comprises over 300,000 m2 of sea beds and 160,000 m2 of “Claires” (where fresh and sea water blend together), which makes it possible to permanently shelter 15 to 20 million

oysters at different stages of rearing. The establishment of the company dates back to 1966 and since then, five generations of oyster farmers have succeeded one another in the region. Huitres Favier Earl sells between 9 and 10 million oysters each year. Its oysters are supplied to the French retailer Carrefour and exported to many different countries in Europe, including Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy. “We market our oysters mainly abroad. Our customers are already actively committed to sustainability issues, so it was essential to be able to provide certified responsibly farmed products. The ASC logo brings a positive image to our company and our products. It is obviously an asset for our company”, said Dominique Favier, Huitres Favier Earl Commercial Manager. The French aquaculture sector was one of the first to develop in Europe and France has become one of the leading countries in terms of volume produced. The industry is mainly focused on oysters and mussels and, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), it generates a gross income of around €600 million (US$ 649 million), providing jobs opportunity to 20,000 people in 3,700 farms. Farmed shellfish is mainly marketed locally. However, Pacific oysters are also sold in Italy, Belgium, and Germany. The ASC Bivalve Standards evaluate the performance of shellfish operations against criteria related to the natural environment and biodiversity; water resources and water quality; species diversity, including the protection of wild populations; disease and pest management and resource efficiency. The standards also address social issues related to a company’s engagement and support of local communities and the quality of the workplace for employees. ASC Staff

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Antibiotics: Myths, Perceptions and Responsible Use Hugh Mitchell, MSc DVM

This column’s title ends with “Etc.” because editorializing is sometimes required.


n the last issue of this magazine, there was an article outlining the FDA’s new regulations which mandate that every feed antibiotic used by farmers to treat fish in the US now requires a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) from a licensed veterinarian. VFD’s cannot be altered “off label” to provide treatment for any fish species against any bacteria at any dose that is not on the label. The FDA did develop a compliance policy for “extra-label use” in minor species (such as fish), where a VFD can be varied by the veterinarian under a strict set of conditions at his/her clinical judgement, but it must be emphasized that this is a regulatory discretionary policy and not one which explicitly states such use is legal. U.S. aquaculturists, trying to do their part to reduce the USD $11 bil-

Ormetoprim molecule.

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lion seafood trade deficit, are already frustrated that they have to compete with international producers who benefit from the use of fish health tools that aren’t approved by the FDA. Not only is there little prospect of seeing any new FDA-approved antibiotics in the near future, but now they have to endure these added restrictions on the paucity of options they do have. It is the sentiment of this author and many colleagues, that the restriction of food animal antibiotic use in the U.S. is more the result of public sentiment and fears regarding antibiotic use in food animals versus scientific risk assessments of use and/or misuse. As with other current trends of collective thinking (e.g. GMO’s, gluten, vaccines and autism, etc.), nutrition and health topics seem to take on a life of their own and dogma be-

comes set with traction that inexpiably resists the presentation of facts and reasonable discussions. What is behind the phobia of antibiotics in food animals that is arguably playing a key role in limiting aquaculturists’ access to antibiotics and more importantly: are these restrictive measures warranted? Several things that are driving this sentiment. 1)Human medicine appears to be encountering more resistant bacteria (although I don’t have an epidemiological reference study confirming this). There certainly are sensational stories in the media about “super bugs”: bacteria resistant to every antibiotic. Bacteria WILL become resistant with use over time. Obviously, there is a desire to preserve their effectiveness as much as possible and minimize risks. 2)The absolute volume of antibiotics used in food animals relative to humans is disproportional (4:1), and to many, this cannot be acceptable. 3)There seems to be a belief that if antibiotics are used, there are residues left behind in meat. 4)There is little understanding of how antibiotics work and what they do, including the misconception that they can make bacteria more virulent (ability to induce severe disease) and that any resistance is forever (i.e.: antibiotic will never be of any use again). 5)There is a taboo that has developed that antibiotics should not be used for “production purposes” and that any use prior to any disease (e.g: preventative or “production”) should be avoided as these uses are unnecessary and lead to more resistance. 6)There are beliefs that using antibiotics in food animals can foster significant antibiotic resistance of human pathogens. Let us examine some of these factors in a little more depth (as much as a magazine article will allow) with the objective of providing some clarification for aquaculturists to understand and convey.

Salmon net pen site in Pacific Northwest USA.

In human medicine, resistance is primarily due to use and misuse of antibiotics. This happens through normal and proper use, can even spontaneously happen in bacteria without any use. Non-judicious use practices can hasten this, such as: over-prescribing, prescribing for virus infections, patient non-compliance, and improper disposal into the environment. The contribution of antibiotic use in animals to human pathogen resistance is debatable. Although theoretically possible, there is no clear evidence that it even registers as a significant source of human pathogen resistance relative to use by the medical profession. Finger-pointing toward veterinary use as a significant contributor is not warranted. USDA is attempting to quantify this, but again, the factors contributing to pathogen resistance and the transfer are extremely complex. Dr. Christine Hoang and the American Veterinary Medical Association present excellent treatises on this to the House of Representatives showing these complexities of use in animals. These summaries from the American Veterinary Medical Association can be found at:

1) pkg/CHRG-111hhrg77921/pdf/ CHRG-111hhrg77921.pdf and 2) PressRoom/Pages/Testimony-vogel-resistance-080624-exec-summary.aspx Secondly, and often cited without the reference: Hollis and Ahmed (2013): “Preserving antibiotics, rationally” (New England Journal of Medicine 369:2474-2476) is the fact that 80 % of the total antibiotics used in the U.S. ARE for livestock (less than one percent for aquaculture). While this figure might be alarming at first glance and might imply increased risk to human pathogen resistance, it doesn’t elaborate on some key points that

would severely curtail any risk: eightyseven percent (87 %) of these are antibiotics that are rarely or never used in human medicine. What is also surprisingly not widely known (and we should all be communicating this to the public), is the concept of antibiotic withdrawal times. Meat and fish behind the counter do not contain antibiotics in them for the consumer to worry about. This is because, even if used, a scientifically-derived and strictly adhered to “purging” time is mandated prior to slaughter to ensure there are no residues. Don’t take for granted that the farmed fish consumer understands this: most don’t.

Sulfadimethoxine molecule.

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And if there were any residues in meat that we would accidently consume, what would be the effect? Let’s take the antibiotic Romet® (sulfadimethoxine and ometoprim) as an example. Our cells (and those of fish) cannot produce folic acid – an important mineral for cell function - and therefore must absorb it from our food. Bacterial cells can’t absorb it and must produce it through a cellular pathway. Romet® blocks this pathway in two spots which is fatal to the bacteria as it is starved of Folic acid. It has no effect on animal cells, because they do not have nor need this pathway. Demystifying the mechanism makes antibiotics seem less dangerous (hopefully not to the disease-causing bacteria!). The backlash against using antibiotics as “growth promoters” can also be seen from another perspective (not really applicable to fish, but affects antimicrobial perceptions). Even though these uses could be argued to reduce the “carbon footprint” by resulting in more efficient production, there is widespread belief that these uses are wrong and should be avoided. The in56 »

teresting mechanisms of altering gut flora and improving feed conversion do not seem to matter to consumers, and such use is viewed by many as “preventative” - an undesirable practice which “certainly must hasten antibiotic resistance.” However, again, the reality in practice is not as simplistic. For example, when this kind of use was banned in Europe some time ago, there was “no evidence that has conclusively linked a decrease in antibiotic resistant infections in humans to the ban on growth promoters in Europe” (see links above for more detail and other examples). In fact, a ban on these kinds of antibiotics in Denmark actually led to an increase in the use of therapeutic antibiotics. So, early use (call it “anticipatory” versus “preventative”) may actually decrease resistance risk and total antibiotic use in some instances. So, in summary, there is ample ignorance and misconceptions about antibiotic use in food animals, including farmed fish. Also, at present, there really is not any good evidence that use of antibiotics in animals is contributing to significant human patho-

gen resistance. However, as aquaculturists, we still need to live with the consequences of perception and it behooves us to better understand antibiotics and communicate accurate information to consumers. It also is responsible practice for us to adopt judicious use principles (Figure 2). By doing so, we help preserve the effectiveness of the few antibiotics that we have to work with and to maintain the consumer’s confidence in the wholesomeness of our produce through responsible production practices.

Hugh Mitchell, MSc, DVM is an aquaculture veterinarian with more than 25 years of experience, who provides services and fish health tools to fish farmers across the US and Canada. His practice is AquaTactics Fish Health, out of Kirkland, Washington, specializing in bringing a comprehensive professional service/product package to aquaculture, including: vaccine solutions, immune stimulants, sedatives, antimicrobials and parasiticides. website:; contact:

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Genetics and Breeding

Induced Spawning From directed mating designs for ascertaining components of genetic variation, to selection programs, to chromosomal manipulations such as polyploidy and gynogenesis - all these approaches require the ability to control, or at the very least encourage, reproduction of the species in question.

By Greg Lutz*


ddditionally, many procedures related to genetic research such as polyploidy, gynogenesis and complex mating designs require precise control over the entire spawning process, from arranging specific combinations of broodstock to exact timing of fertilization. In many aquaculture situations, including genetic improvement based on simple selection programs, propagation of production stocks may require little more than good nutrition, suitable water quality, reasonably-comfortable surroundings for brood animals and the patience to allow nature to take its course. In other instances, however, it is virtually impossible under hatchery conditions to replicate the natural stimuli and circumstances that trigger some species to spawn. Unreliable captive spawning remains a major stumbling block in the development of successful commercial production systems for a variety of aquatic species. Frequently, artificial manipulation and control of both external stimuli (through environmental control) and internal physiological processes (through hormonal intervention) is required if captive broodstocks are to be propagated and genetic manipulations are to be successfully applied. The degree to which these techniques can be considered practical, however, often depends on the biology and life history of the species in question and the resources and expertise available. Over the past several decades many 58 Âť

Inducing Fish Spawning.

aquatic species have been induced to spawn in captivity, but an objective examination of the numbers often suggests little advantage over natural systems in terms of the total quantity of viable offspring produced. When an advantage in sheer numbers does exist, it is usually at the expense of genetic diversity. This should be an important consideration for any restocking program utilizing hatchery-produced fry or fingerlings to enhance natural populations. However, if fry and fingerlings for grow-out are required, the only alternative to photothermal conditioning and hormonal intervention for acquiring significant numbers of eggs or fry from many aquatic species would be to procure a plankton net and head for the spawning grounds.

Most aquatic organisms have evolved to spawn under conditions that maximize the probability of survival for their offspring. The typical process leading to spawning involves the perception and interpretation of specific environmental conditions that, in turn, trigger a complex pathway of internal physiological developments. Unfortunately, inappropriate stimuli or physiological stressors can easily disrupt this chain of events. Specific external stimuli that often prompt the reproductive process can include factors such as photoperiod and lunar cycles, ambient temperature or changes therein, precipitation, water flow (current), water depth, changes in barometric pressure, presence and behaviors of other fish, presence of

suitable spawning substrate, and various changes in water quality, especially salinity, hardness, dissolved oxygen and pH. When everything works as it should, the appropriate external stimuli are usually sufficient to trigger a series of internal physiological events that result in maturation of gametes, followed by ovulation and spawning. This process can be described as a chain, the links of which involve various organs and hormonal compounds. This chain, or pathway, ultimately leads from the external environment, through the brain, and all the way to the gametes themselves. While the process is similar in many invertebrates, I will focus on finfish in this article. As external stimuli are interpreted and processed, a specific region of a fishâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brain referred to as the hypothalamus responds by producing substances such as gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) and/or substances such as dopamine that inhibit gonadotropin release. The brain, the hypothalamus and the compounds it produces represent the first internal links in the reproductive pathway. The pituitary gland, typically situated directly below the brain, is stimulated by GnRH and in turn releases gonadotropic hormones (GtHâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s). The presence of these compounds in the bloodstream stimulates the gonads (ovaries and testes) to produce steroids that in turn trigger final egg maturation or spermiation, and prostaglandins that are involved in ovulation. When any link in the chain is broken, however, due to stress, injury, inadequate stimuli or other adverse effects, reproduction will not occur. Under artificial conditions, producers and researchers are often forced to by-pass or even override external stimuli and internal mechanisms within the fish if spawning is to successfully take place. Over the past several decades studies involving numerous species have illustrated that it is often possible to reinforce or replace specific links in the reproductive stimulus pathway through photothermal conditioning or hormonal intervention. As a general rule, the further along the pathway intervention is attempted, the greater the probability of success. Âť 59

Genetics and Breeding

Photothermal Conditioning Techniques for photothermal manipulation to simulate annual seasonal cycles have been well-established for a number of aquatic species. Controlled temperature and photoperiod are used to mimic or even temporally compress annual cycles associated with maturation and spawning. Although they may not always provide all the stimuli necessary to lead to full maturation and spawning, these manipulations are often sufficient to stimulate the development of gametes to an advanced stage, often referred to as ‘maturation.’ These systems generally require recirculating pumps and mechanical and biological filtration, as well as equipment such as chillers, heaters or heat-pumps to allow for continuous re-use of temperatureadjusted water. In contrast to artificial temperature regimes, photoperiod manipulation usually requires little more than conventional timers for artificial lighting and a disciplined workforce to avoid inadvertent interruptions of a photoperiod cycle once it has been established. Temperature or photoperiod regimes alone may induce maturation or spawning in some species, but in others both are essential. Hormone-Induced Spawning In practical terms, hormonal intervention is often a necessity. Holding or conditioning facilities for broodstock may be inadequate, or entirely unavailable, and if wild broodstock must be collected from natural spawning grounds hormonal intervention may be required to prevent the disruption or complete shut-down of maturation processes as a response to captureand transport-induced stress. One key to the success of such intervention, however, is an understanding of what links of the chain are in jeopardy and what hormonal substances can be applied to reinforce or replace the natural compounds involved. Historically, the most common and widely-practiced intervention in the maturation pathway of fishes has involved administration of substi60 »

tutes for the gonadotropic hormones (GtH’s) normally produced by the pituitary. These alternatives can be injected hypodermically, or directly into the musculature or the peritoneal cavity to elicit similar results. One common historical approach involves utilizing actual fish pituitaries; another relies on purified gonadotropins such as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) to mimic the GtH that would be produced by the pituitary prior to and during the natural spawning season. In certain species, however, gonadotropins are entirely ineffective in in-

ducing ovulation or spawning. In these instances, hormonal intervention must target a point nearer the origin in the maturation pathway. The earliest convenient point of intervention is usually the link between the hypothalamus and the pituitary. Luteinizing hormone - releasing hormone (LHRH) from mammals was first used to temporarily replace GnRH in fish, triggering the pituitary release of GtH and subsequent processes. Today, synthetic analogs of these releasing compounds have been used with much more success. These newer compounds are typically more

powerful and long-lived, and easier to obtain, characterize and work with. Perhaps one of the most widespread analogues is LHRHa. Similarly, two of the most common GnRH analogues are sGnRH-A (salmon gonadotropin releasing hormone analogue) and GnRHa. It is often helpful, or even essential, to administer a dopamine blocker such as haloperidol, pimozide, metoclopramide or domperidone in conjunction with these releasing hormones,

to prevent natural pituitary inhibition that can limit release of GtHâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s following stimulus from the hypothalamus. A commercial preparation combining both GnRHa and domperidone has been widely used on a variety of fishes. In some circumstances, photothermal conditioning or administration of hormones can foster the reproductive process up to an advanced stage, but the very last links in the maturation chain must be reinforced

to induce ovulation and spawning. In rare instances, purified or artificial compounds have been utilized in finfish to replicate the modes of action of steroids and prostaglandins normally produced by gonads. Steroid and prostaglandin compounds have also been implicated in the expression of specific behaviors associated with spawning in finfish, which may serve as a sort of feedback to provide an external stimulus to other broodfish and reinforce the probability of successful spawning.

Dr. C. Greg Lutz is the author of the book Practical Genetics for Aquaculture and the Editor in Chief at Aquaculture Magazine.

Âť 61


Are we too hung up

on replacing fishmeal and oil? That fishmeal and fish oil (FMFO) are diminishing resources that shouldn’t be used as a major protein source in fish feeds has become accepted wisdom; the consensus today is that they are unsustainable, By Suzi Dominy*


he International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Association (IFFO), the not-for-profit body that represents and promotes the worldwide fishmeal and fish oil industry, wouldn’t agree, and has had a busy start to the year, rebutting such claims in the general media as well as fishing trade press. Citing a study in the journal Fish and Fisheries, Salt, a blog from the National Public Radio (NPR) Science Desk, claimed the vast majority of fishmeal is made up of fish suitable for direct human consumption. It said a quarter of the world’s commercially caught fish, 20 million tons of wild seafood, is directed away from our dinner plates every year, and instead, is used for fishmeal production. “Researchers say a whopping 90 percent of that catch is considered “food grade” and could be eaten directly, potentially creating an important source of nutrition for those in developing countries at risk of food insecurity,” said the blog. IFFO’s Andrew Mallison was quick to counter the statement with a letter to the author, pointing out that the reduction in whole fish entering FMFO production has been offset by an increased recovery of processing by-product, to the extent that around 35 % of the total raw material used to produce FMFO is now from recycled 62 »

and their use diverts protein from human food.

waste products. He pointed out that many companies that process FMFO also produce products for direct human consumption. IFFO has published a position paper analyzing the forage fish dependency ratio (FFDR) to provide information on this complex debate. “FFDR is an often quoted term in the dialogue on fed aquaculture sustainability, but caution needs to be exercised in how the information is interpreted”, IFFO said, “and the figures produced for FFDR should not be examined in isolation nor should values for FFDR be used directly as measures of environmental sustainability.” IFFO claims fishmeal and fish oil produced from forage fish populations provide a substantial contribution to global food production and consequently are essential in meeting the nutritional requirements of billions of people around the world.  “The use of the term FFDR confuses the issue by incorrectly assuming that the species used in marine ingredient production would have higher value to society in other areas such as direct consumption markets, or by environmental benefits through conservation.  As long as fishmeal and fish oil are produced from well-managed fisheries, or from byproduct from fish from well managed fisheries, then their use in aquafeeds is valid,” it states.  Currently, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is seeking feedback on FFDR in its Salmon Standard, which is open and reflects a proposal by the ASC to reduce the FFDR requirements even further for both fishmeal and fish oil. “There is often a lot of focus on the term FFDR in analyses of fed aquaculture’s environmental impact, but in reality, the concept has little bearing on the harvest levels of forage fish populations although it was constructed to do exactly that,” said Dr Neil Auchterlonie, IFFO’s Technical Director. In response to a series of articles in fisheries magazine Intrafish, discussing the availability and use of marine ingredients and their alternatives, Mallison said there was an unfortunate tendency for those selling the alternatives to confuse sustainability

AgriProtein Executive Director, David Wilco Drew sees 200 insect meal factories in production by 2027.

with continuity of supply. “Sustainability, or lack of, is cited as a justification for moving away from marine ingredients to their proposed new solution, whereas the real issue is providing continuity of supply for the future,” he wrote. He went on to defend the sustainability of the marine ingredients industry, saying it has an excellent record and can claim a far higher percentage of independently certified, responsibly produced sources than any of the alternatives. “At the last count, over 40 % of global production of marine ingredients is independently certified to be from responsible raw materials, safe, legal and traceable with more in the pipeline,” he said. Mallison went on to ask that we now move on from the idea that fishmeal and fish oil have to be automatically replaced. “The industry is not best served by the trend for the accepted need for more feed ingredients to somehow morph into a campaign to substitute instead of supplement,” he said. It may be though, that that ship has sailed. The industry has embraced the concept, as witnessed by the advent of the F3 Fish-Free Feed Challenge, which was launched in Nov. 2015 “to encourage innovation of alternative ingredients for aquaculture fishfeeds, improve the industry’s sustainability, and to reduce pressure on wild-caught fish to supply fishfeed

components.” Contestants from Thailand, Indonesia, China, South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the U.S. are advancing to the first sales reporting stage of the multi-stage contest to develop fish-free feed. NemiNatura, a producer of farmed trout in Mexico, said in February they would begin trials of the different products and formulations presented by contestants during the F3 Challenge meeting, which took place in early January.

Big business investing in Omega-3 alternatives Aquafeed uses approximately US$ 3 billion in omega-3 ingredients, sourced mainly from fish oil. This makes fish-oil alternatives an attractive target for some of the biggest global agribusinesses. Royal DSM and Evonik announced in March their intention to establish a joint venture for omega-3 fatty acid products from natural marine algae. This alternative omega-3 source is the first to offer both EPA and DHA and will be aimed at initial applications in salmon aquaculture and pet food. The companies will together build a US$ 200 million commercial-scale production facility in the United States. The 50/50 joint » 63


venture, to be named Veramaris will be headquartered in the Netherlands. It is planning a production facility that is expected to come on stream in 2019 with an initial annual production capacity that will meet roughly 15 % of the total current annual demand for EPA and DHA by the farmed salmon industry. Under the joint development agreement, DSM and Evonik have successfully produced pilot-scale quantities of the algal oil at DSM’s production facility in Kingstree, South Carolina, USA. Customers will be able to receive sizeable quantities of the product for market development while the construction of the new manufacturing plant is underway. Meanwhile, a new genetically engineered canola is in development by giant agribusiness company, Cargill, that could be another source of EPA/ DHA omega-3 fatty acids. In feeding trials conducted with salmon in Chile, Cargill was able to completely replace fish oil in feed rations with oil from EPA/DHA canola. Testing and regulatory approval for both the canola and the EPA/DHA enhanced canola oil is underway. The EPA/DHA enhanced canola oil is expected to reach the market sometime after 2020. Another global commodities giant, ADM, launched a whole algae DHA product for fish diets last year, and has “robust plans in 2017” for the product, according to a company spokesperson. Yet another commodities company, Bunge, working with TerraVia Holdings (formerly Solazyme) started using algae to convert sugar into an Omega-3 ingredient for fish diets last year. The company has capacity in Brazil to annually produce tens of thousands of tonnes of their product. BioMar has already launched a feed containing the product. In recent alternative protein developments, so far this year we have reported that Enterra Feed Corporation has received approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to sell its Whole Dried Black 64 »

Soldier Fly Larvae as a feed ingredient for salmonids, including farmed salmon, trout and arctic char. This is the first Canadian approval of an insect-based aquaculture feed ingredient. Enterra received a similar U.S. approval for use in salmonid feeds in 2016. Using a high-tech blueprint developed with Christof Industries, AgriProtein plans to roll out 100 insect protein factories by 2024 and a further 100 by 2027 (200 in total). The US$ 10 million partnership will help bring insect protein into the mainstream, the company says. “Waste-to-nutrient technology is starting to get traction and price per tonne is key in the fight to replace fishmeal. Christof ’s expertise has enabled us to boost output and reduce costs, making us even more competitive and giving us a sound model for rapid global expansion,” AgriProtein CEO Jason Drew said. Turnkey fly farms will be operated by local licensees of AgriProtein technology in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. At AgriProtein’s industrial plant in Cape Town, South Africa, up to 91,000 tonnes of organic waste a year can be up-cycled to produce up to 7,000 tonnes of insect meal and oil. In an interview we published in the December 2016 issue of our quarterly Aquafeed magazine, Dr.

Barry Costa-Pierce said demographers now predict that - contrary to previous projections - global population will not stabilize, but will rise from the current estimated at 7.3 billion persons to an estimated 9.7 billion people by 2050 and 12.3 billion people by 2100. What we know for sure is that they will all need to eat. Perhaps we should just embrace and encourage all our options to sustain the growth of aquaculture, which holds the promise of feeding our children and their children with a healthy source of protein. will present the 10th Aquafeed Horizons Conference June 14, 2017, in Cologne Germany. For registration and program details visit:

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.

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Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing

Adapting to a

Constantly Changing Business Climate In the 1970 book, “Future Shock,” Alvin Toffler stated: “To survive, to avert what we have termed future shock, the individual must become infinitely more adaptable and capable than ever before.” The need to Carole R. Engle Engle-Stone Aquatic$ LLC


Changing Business Climate he term “business climate” is a broad term that refers to the combined effect on the ability to do business of factors that range from political changes to new social mores to external economic shocks. Given the broad range of factors that affect a

66 »

adapt to changing conditions is more true than ever, particularly with regard to the business climate faced by aquaculture businesses.

business, some set of these is likely to change in any given year. Such changes affect demand for products sold by an aquaculture farm. For example, globalization and increased international trade have changed the competitiveness of many aquaculture farms. While the supply of seafood historically was

based on the day’s catch from local fishermen, today’s seafood markets consist of products that originate from around the world. Such increased international trade has created threats such as transmission of diseases and aquatic nuisance species, competition from lower-priced products, concerns over food safety,

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Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing

and political and economic conflicts. However, international trade also creates opportunities for export and for increasing domestic sales as consumers become more wary of the safety of imported seafood. Changing social mores and “social license” also offer threats and opportunities to aquaculture businesses. “Social license” refers generally to the degree of social acceptance of a business. For example, there is little tolerance in the U.S. for activities that degrade environmental quality. The expectation is that, as a society: 1) new species with potential to become invasive (i.e., aquatic nuisance species) or injurious should not be introduced; 2) animals raised on farms should be treated in a humane manner (i.e., animal welfare); and 3) that biodiversity be protected. Other expectations include increasing welfare of employees, reducing income inequality, and improving tolerance of cultural diversity, but also of growing concerns over the safety, quality, and security of food supplies. As a result, new regulations continue to be developed that affect aquaculture, often in negative ways. Yet, changing social mores also create opportunities. For example, the emerging demand for locally-grown food creates opportunities for U.S. aquaculture businesses that produce healthy and safe products in environmentally sustainable and socially responsible ways.

Assessing New Threats and Opportunities What is a business to do in the midst of constant changes in the business climate? It is clearly critical to keep informed of business news and events. The ready availability of electronic devices with access to internet news alerts is an advantage in today’s world. In addition, it is more critical than ever to join and maintain membership in a variety of aquaculture associations. Most associations send 68 »

newsletters and alerts, organize conferences, present the latest research, and inform members of changes in regulations and policies. Meetings also offer valuable opportunities to learn about market trends and industry changes through networking with other farmers. Membership in national associations (i.e., National Aquaculture Association), species-specific associations ( i.e., Catfish Farmers of America, U.S. Trout Farmers Association, Striped Bass Growers Association), and regional (i.e., East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association) and state aquaculture associations is an opportunity to keep up with key changes in the business climate.

Previous columns have discussed assessment of threats and opportunities as a component of an annual business review and financial checkup. Based on such an annual assessment, short- and long-term goals should be revised at least annually, and management strategies developed to achieve those goals.

Effects of Lost Sales Due to Changing Business Conditions The changing business climate in the U.S. has resulted in the continued proliferation of regulations at the federal, state, and local levels that target aquaculture and other businesses. While the effects of such regulations have been discussed for many de-

from multiple agencies, some farms opt to cease sales to specific markets. A farm that loses sales and cannot replace them will suffer negative economic effects in addition to that of the reduced revenue. Most aquaculture is capital intensive with high annual fixed costs that create economies of scale. To operate efficiently when economies of scale are present, a farm should seek to increase production and sales to spread annual fixed costs over greater volumes of production. Thus, restricted access to markets and the loss of sales due to the regulatory environment forces farms to operate at a less efficient scale of production that results in greater per-pound costs. cades in the U.S., there is increasing evidence that the total set of regulations in the U.S. has resulted in compliance costs that impose substantial costs for many aquaculture farms. One result of the complex and stringent regulatory environment in the U.S. has been restricted access to markets and the subsequent loss of sales from aquaculture businesses. In many cases, the sales lost due to the regulatory environment are not captured by other farms because the regulations that restrict access to markets affect all farms equally. In some cases, sales have been lost due to direct bans of certain species, varieties, or strains. In other cases, the ban is related to a species such as a tadpole or crayfish that, while included inadvertently in a fish shipment, can result in legal action against the farm. Still other sales are lost due to fears related to minor paperwork violations that emanate from various regulatory agencies but that could constitute grounds for prosecution under the Lacey Act with severe fines and possible jail time. Given the complexity of the regulatory environment, and the delays commonly experienced in obtaining required permits/licenses

What Can Aquaculture Businesses Do to React to New Threats? Clearly, aquaculture businesses need to examine how to adjust their business goals and management strategies to meet changes in the business climate. Annual review of the total business performance, as described in previous columns, is essential, with annual adjustment of short and long-term goals. However, a changing business climate affects other aquaculture farms as well. There is strength in numbers, and aquaculture associations play important roles in framing and creating the social license needed to increase social acceptance of aquaculture. Associations can engage with regulatory agencies to attempt to ensure that regulations are reasonable and unlikely to create unintended negative consequences for aquaculture. Aquaculture farms also need to be politically active. Many aquaculture farms are important businesses with owners who are respected citizens in their communities. It is important for aquaculture farm owners to get to know their elected officials and make certain that elected officials are well informed about the nature of their farm and the types of political

actions that would be beneficial or harmful. Changes in the business climate create new business opportunities for those with the vision to see them. Technology today provides ways to connect with end consumers with unprecedented ease, but it may require hiring a younger marketing associate to take full advantage of the opportunities. The local food movement, greater acceptance of aquaculture by environmental groups, the intrinsic health benefits of eating seafood, the flavor of fresh aquaculture products, and continued economic growth in the U.S. all offer opportunities for aquaculture farms. The business climate will continue to change over time, and aquaculture farm businesses need to adjust and adapt to changing conditions. However, every successful aquaculture farm, in my experience, is run by a resilient, resourceful, and dedicated individual who has survived many challenges in the past. The key is continued vigilance, networking with other farmers, annual adjustment of goals and strategies, and increased engagement with elected officials, customers, and the general public.

Carole Engle holds a B.A. degree in Biology/Rural Development from Friends World College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Auburn University where she specialized in aquaculture economics. Dr. Engle is a past-President of the U.S. Aquaculture Society and the International Association of Aquaculture Economics and Management. She is currently a Principal in Engle-Stone Aquatic$ LLC, and can be reached at

Âť 69


Post-smolt production in floating enclosures

– a new era for the salmon industry? Production of large post-smolt fish in land based tanks or floating enclosures before transfer to open cages has become a significant By Asbjørn Bergheim*

alternative in several major Atlantic salmon producing countries.

Figure 1. Top view picture of a newly constructed semi-closed cage farm for production of salmon in Northern Norway. Design: AkvaDesign Systems (courtesy: Anders Næss)


ompared to the traditional farming regime based on stocking of newly smoltified fish of around 100 g size, a later stocking of post-smolt of 400 – 1,000 g in the cages represents some obvious advantages. On the other hand, introducing a ‘third production stage’ represents extra challenges connected to costs and production technology and these aspects are still at an early phase. 70 »

Onshore farming of post-smolt takes place in recirculating systems (RAS) supplied with pumped seawater. Such systems are run at high intensity and characterized by increased fish density, maximized growth rate at optimized water temperature (1215 ºC), and low water consumption, probably even below 500 L/kg of fish produced. Nofima’s research station at Sunndalsøra in Norway performs comprehensive studies on

performance of post-smolt salmon in seawater RAS. Floating enclosures – or semiclosed containment systems (S-CCS) – for production of salmon were initiated almost 30 years ago without convincing results. A decisive reason for the meagre outcome was lack of efficient systems for injection of extra oxygen enabling increased production compared to traditional open cages. The Canadian company Agri-

Marine Industries then introduced S-CCS with floating, solid-wall cages that incorporate low-pressure pumping of water, oxygen supplementation, separation of solid waste and efficient feed management. Such systems are subject to great interest in Norway: at present, 9 farms are already in operation while another 14 farms are under project planning (Terje Fyhn Terjesen, Feb. 2017). The construction presented in Figure 1 consists of 6,000 m3 cages with flexible walls supplied with water from 28 m depth. Thorough optimization of smaller pilot concepts since 2012 has led to the existing design that is an approved R&D facility. Several publicly funded research projects are in progress at the site. Salmon performance tests so far in Northern Norway demonstrate potentially increased growth rate in semiclosed cages mainly due to favourable temperature levels of pumped deep water during the winter. On a brackish water fjord site, post-smolt grew about 2 times faster in S-CCS cages (concept: Figure 1) compared to the growth in nearby open cages (Arve Nilsen, personnel communication). The temperature at pumping depth of ca. 28 m was 2 – 4 ºC above the surrounding surface water from January - March, i.e. 6 – 8 ºC and 3 – 6 ºC, respectively. Not least, the temperature of deep water was decreasing steadily throughout the winter, unlike the surface temperature where fluctuations of several degrees from one day to another often occurred. Obviously, the length of the production cycle in the sea based upon post-smolt rearing in S-CCS followed by open-cage farming until harvest strongly depends on the temperature advantage of the S-CCS site in the cold season. Due to this higher winter temperature, the cycle from smoltification (100 g size) until 6 kg may be reduced by up to 6 months (Arve Nilsen). Semi-closed cage sites without the brackish water surface layer do not provide the temperature advantage.

The performance of the fish in closed cages maybe a result of additional influencing factors rather than temperature. Increased occurrence of winter ulcer disease has occasionally caused increased mortality in closed systems. The type and quality of the smolt at stocking seem to play a role, e.g. initial tests indicate better performance of under-yearling compared to 1-year old smolt demonstrating higher growth and feed utilization. There are no available reports on sustainability analysis of S-CCS vs traditional cage farming yet. However, most reports so far describe strongly reduced sea lice attacks in closed cages, which means improved welfare of the cultured fish and less spreading to wild fish. In general, the walls of closed cages help ensure that disease organisms are not spread among fish groups both within the farm and between farms. Unlike open cages, S-CCS enable removal of solids from the effluent water by sieving. Thus, the treated outflow only contains smaller particles (< 0.1 mm) with low settling velocity and consequently low risk of any influence on the seabed beneath and around the farm. Collected sludge is considered a valuable resource as manure in agriculture, compost substrate in horticulture or for production of biogas. Other potential fields for utilization of aquaculture sludge are under consideration, e.g. as fuel or an ingredient in concrete.

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.

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Perspective and Opinion


Will it rise to its potential to feed the world? Aquaculture is the most environmentally sustainable means to feed the population boom that threatens the planet. Will government George Lockwood


ccording to the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management (University of California at Santa Barbara) aquaculture is the most environmentally sustainable form of meat production, by a wide margin. Dean Steve Gaines reports that greatly expanded production of fish and shellfish by ‘good’ aquaculture is essential in order to feed the almost three billion more people expected to inhabit the earth

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enable entrepreneurs to do this critically important job? by 2050. Without aquaculture to fill this increased demand, billions of people will face hunger and starvation. Unlike aquaculture, our continued dependence on terrestrial meat production will produce significant environmental damage. Dean Gaines and his colleagues have concluded that good aquaculture has a substantially lower environmental impact in the production of meat protein than terrestrial farming and fishing for wild seafood. The

need for more aquaculture in the U.S. and in the world is urgent and acute. Considering the Bren School conclusions, I have published a new book “Aquaculture: Will It Rise To Its Potential To Feed The World?” In it, I address the reasons why domestic aquaculture has not emerged as an important source of seafood in the United States. I then propose a suite of actions that must be taken to allow aquaculture to emerge as a significant factor in U.S. meat production.

is “are US taxpayers getting their money’s worth?” Much of the good technology developed at taxpayer expense is transferred overseas but of little value to domestic producers. Around 90 % of all the farm grown seafood consumed in the U.S. is produced abroad. This adds considerably to our seafood import-export deficit.

Three major constraints to aquaculture development Based upon my 45 years as an aquaculture entrepreneur and scientist, I conclude that domestic aquaculture development in the U.S. has been substantially constrained by three factors: • Multiple regulations at all levels of government that are major barriers for new aquaculture ventures to enter production. • A bad public image where aquaculture has been defined in the eyes of the public by its adversaries. This bad

image adversely influences government regulators, potential financiers, and consumers. • An acute shortage of investment capital. The U.S. government spends US$ 100 million per year on aquaculture research, not including expenditures for extension and related activities. This means that our federal government has spent over US$ 1 billion during the past ten years to support an industry that produces only US$ 732 million in annual farm revenues for food fish. The obvious question

Regulatory constraints It is well known that aquaculture development in the U.S. is hobbled by a multifaceted regulatory gauntlet involving all levels of government. At the federal level we have the Lacey Act with criminal penalties enforced against farmers of legitimately grown farmed fish. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a slow and often difficult agency with which to work. At the state level, coastal zone agencies (that receive federal support) determine which fish farms are allowed and which are not, if any are. Enforcement activities of state Fish and Wildlife Departments are often adverse to aquaculture. Mandatory Environmental Impact Statements are long and expensive. They require large expenditures of initial capital and considerable time before an entrepreneur even knows if his or her new aquaculture venture will be permitted. These and other forms of regulation are major barriers to entry for aquaculture entrepreneurs. In addition, sophisticated investors do not invest in highly regulated industries. Software and social media get large amounts of capital while aquaculture gets none. Aquaculture has succeeded in three states A major finding reported in this book is that fish and shellfish producers in three states stand out with per capita aquaculture production 23 times higher than the average for all states. This is largely due to three individuals who have led the establishment of aquaculture in their states by working with state and local governments to » 73

Perspective and Opinion

develop favorable regulatory environments. These individuals have been extremely helpful to entrepreneurs in navigating through the aquaculture regulatory gauntlet. If this level of success were to be replicated in all states, per capita consumption of fish and shellfish in the U.S. would become a major competitor to poultry, beef and pork.

Investment capital for aquaculture is not unavailable Because Americans demand comfortable and secure retirements, they are precluding capital investments in aquaculture. Local discretionary savings of friends and families in the U.S. once supplied the vast majority of capital for innovative small businesses of all types. Local savings provided local jobs with local production, and generated local tax revenues in the towns and cities across our country. That traditional source of capital is no longer available. Over the past 40 years, federal tax policies have caused household savings to be diverted into tax favored (401)(k) and other income tax deferred retirement savings plans. These local savings are then sent to major money centers, such as “Wall Street,” to be invested “safely.” This

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capital is not retained by savers to invest in local innovative enterprises across America such as aquaculture. Instead they are automatically collected from each paycheck and sent to far away hedge funds, private equity funds, and other costly investment pools that create little, if any, economic benefit for society. In contrast, federal tax, securities and banking policies favor the rapid development of Information Technologies, software, social media and

related businesses while forestalling the development of aquaculture. Aquaculture entrepreneurs no longer have access to investment capital from potential local investors due to tax incentives for savers, and they are locked out of making public stock offerings by security regulations. Banks no longer lend to small businesses such as aquaculture.

Aquaculture needs US$ 50 billion I estimate that upwards of US$ 50 billion in private investment spread over several years will be required to increase domestic aquaculture to production levels necessary to eliminate the seafood trade deficit and for the United States to become a net exporter of seafood. This level of capital investment for aquaculture simply is not available from capital markets as now structured. As the U.S. economy is now structured, it is unrealistic to expect that aquaculture production in the U.S. will grow to a level sufficient to eliminate our seafood trade deficit. The technologies exist and markets are well established, but there is insufficient capital to develop a sustainable industry even if repressive regulations were eliminated and our public image is improved.

Aquaculture has become established where a compelling social need is satisfied. The experience at various venues around the world demonstrates that aquaculture emerges when there is a compelling social purpose. For example, salmon farming in New Brunswick, Canada, flourishes while in neighboring Nova Scotia it does not; oyster production in France is large while in Great Brittan it is small; and aquaculture has thrived in Mississippi while it has languished in California. There is an explanation for these successes. In each of these cases an overriding social need drove aquaculture development. In New Brunswick it was survival of the sardine fishery; in France oysters are of national gastronomic importance; and in Mississippi the need was to gainfully employ many very poor people in rural areas. Aquaculture adversaries. In response to those who oppose good aquaculture, it must be asked “do they really mean to discourage consumption of the healthiest foods available with high levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are produced in the most environmentally sustainable manner?” Recommendations. My recent book provides a roadmap for do-

mestic policy changes that are necessary to achieve a renaissance in aquaculture. These recommendations include: • Form an active industry association located in Washington, D.C., for interacting with Congress and the executive branch to deal with many obstacles to aquaculture development; for developing favorable publicity while countering bad; and in other ways working to create a supportive environment for aquaculture development. • Establish a political action committee (PAC) to support the election of members of Congress who will work for the development of a robust domestic aquaculture industry. • Provide administrative support within the federal government for a sizable group of private sector aquaculturists to conduct a comprehensive domestic policy review of constraints to the development of domestic aquaculture. This domestic policy review would conclude with recommendations for corrective legislation and with recommendations for more enlightened rules and regulations contained in a coherent structure more favorable to aquaculture development. These recommended actions are essential before aquaculture can begin to reverse our present dependency on imports of the seafood we consume in the U.S. They are intended to bring about: • Major land use, water use, interstate transport, and other regulatory reforms. • The establishment of an office within our federal government to accommodate and facilitate the permitting needs for aquaculture. • A more favorable image in the eyes of the public through good public and government relations. The minds of many consumers, government officials and investors have been negatively impacted by the adverse public image of aquaculture that has been promulgated by adversaries and has gone unrefuted. This must change.

• Changes in federal policies relative to taxes, public market securities and banking so that aquaculture entrepreneurs have access to the large amounts of capital that will be necessary to build a robust domestic aquaculture industry.

In the process of eliminating our seafood deficit, many good American jobs will be created. This new book is intended to be read by anyone interested in food production including regulators and policymakers at all levels of government; academic and government scientists; present and potential fish and shellfish farmers; individual and institutional investors; industry suppliers; environmental scientists; economists and business educators; and people who are interested in the impact of future food production on the global environment as aquaculture grows to feed many, many more people. So… will aquaculture rise to its potential to feed the world? Much good science has been developed and our university and government laboratories stand ready to help. Aquaculture can do its job if government in the U.S. will allow entrepreneurs to do their work by lifting overbearing regulations and by allowing capital to once again flow into innovative small businesses. The American seafood trade deficit can be closed and thousands of good jobs created across the land.

George Lockwood founded Monterey Abalone Farms in 1972, which eventually became Ocean Farms of Hawaii. He is a former president of the World Aquaculture Society and the California Aquaculture Association. He is the author of the new book “AQUACULTURE: Will it rise to its potential to feed the world?” available through

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SHRIMP IMPORT Updates from Urner Barry By: Paul B. Brown Jr.*


lthough December 2016 shrimp imports were down 3.4 percent, annual imports for 2016 were 3 percent higher than the prior year establishing a new record import volume of 1.33 billion lbs. of shrimp. HLSO imports were 3.5 percent higher for the year. Peeled imports were 4.3 percent higher annually. Cooked imports were higher both for the month and the year while breaded imports were lower.

Indian shrimp imports remained huge, up 20.8 percent in December and 13.5 percent for the year; Indonesian imports were slightly higher. Ecuador imports were sharply lower in December and down 14.6 percent for the year. Thailand imports were up 3.2 percent for December and up a healthy 10.3 percent for all for 2016. Vietnamese imports were sharply lower in December but held a positive increase of 5.1 percent for the year. Chinese imports were higher. Mexican imports were sharply lower for December and off 9.6 percent for the year but likely

off much more significantly on a seasonal basis. NMFS released their final landings report of the year, and it showed December 2016 landings (all species, headless) totaling 5.85 million lbs. compared to 8.47 million in December 2015. This brings the 2016 annual total to 93.88 million lbs; 12.15 percent below the Jan-Dec 2015 total of 106.87 million lbs. This is the lowest annual total on record in the 20 years researched. *President of Urner Barry


Updates from Urner Barry


By: Paul B. Brown Jr.* he salmon market finished the year 1.29 percent higher. Total month-to-month data revealed an increase of 12.6 percent in December when compared to November. Additionally, when looking at the same time in the prior year, total imports were 6.36 percent lower. Fresh Atlantic wholefish imports are up 1.62 percent and fresh fillets are up 3.54 percent YTD.

Atlantic Salmon Fresh Wholefish Wholefish imports completed the year with increases; up 1.6 percent. Canada, 76 Âť

the driver of this category, was up 3.9 percent. The Faroe Islands continued to see increases and they are 9.3 per-

cent higher YTD. Norway continued to see decreases throughout this year; down 15.4 percent. The month-to-

month data reveals a 13.6 percent increase when comparing December 2016 to November 2016. In contrast, December 2016 was 2.6 percent lower than December 2015. Imports of European wholefish through the end of 2016 were lower than 2015 by 6 million pounds and down from 2014 by 3.3 million pounds. The European wholefish market has been barely steady to weak during February. All origins of 6-7s are trending a good amount higher than the 3-year average. 2016 imports from Canada on the West Coast (WC) are slightly below 2015 imports, down 2.3 million pounds. Currently the market in the West is flat; supplies are adequate to fully adequate for a moderate to fair demand. All sizes listed are trending well above their three-year averages.

Atlantic Fresh Fillets December 2016 imports of fresh fillets finished out the year stronger than 2015 at 298.4 million pounds, the highest YTD volume on record. Month-tomonth data showed an increase when compared to November 2016 of 17.0 percent. Additionally, December 2016 was 0.3 percent higher than December 2015.

Chile is the driver of these increases and 209.7 million pounds were imported during 2016 which was down 2.2 percent. Norway continues to see double digit increases; up 21.6 percent with 44.5 million pounds imported for 2016. Fillet imports from Chile and Europe total 298.4 million pounds, the highest total seen in the past four years. Currently the fresh fillet market is about steady to barely steady. Supplies are adequate to fully adequate for the current moderate to quiet demand.

Retail Retail data for the month of February shows the average price for Atlantic salmon fillets adjusted higher when comparing to January of 2016. 2016’s average was $6.88 where 2016’s average was $8.69, $1.81 higher. When comparing February 2016 to January 2016, there was only a $0.28 increase from an average of $8.41 to an average of $8.69. *President of Urner Barry

Tilapia and Pangasius Updates from Urner Barry By: Paul B. Brown Jr.*


ilapia: Pangasius imports surpassed those of frozen tilapia fillets in 2016. This is quite a development as pangasius could go into a major change in the upcoming months… Pangasius and Channel Catfish: Pangasius imports reached a yearly record high totaling 288.4 million lbs. Channel catfish imports managed to add 1.8 million pounds in December 2016 resulting in flat year-over-year imports in 2016. » 77

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Imported Channel Catfish: Imports of frozen channel catfish fillets increased as seasonally expected reaching 1.6 million pounds. Shipments in December entered the U.S. with a declared value of $3.09 per pound, down $0.7 from the previous month. The wholesale market adjusted slightly lower in December but it is steady at newly listed levels. Pangasius: December imports decreased significantly from the previous month but ended the year at record high of 288.4 million pounds. Imports of pangasius were larger than those of tilapia frozen fillets in 2016. After the last duties’ review, many traders have reported warning signs from producers that costs are likely to move up. One factor has been China emerging as a large buyer of this species. In the U.S., many importers have tried to raise existing offerings. Although the market is mixed now, many see the undertone to be firm. We will see. Tilapia Whole Fish: Frozen whole fish imports decreased 4.6 percent from the previous month falling below the last 2 years and the 3-year average. Total imports in 2016 ended only 2 percent higher compared to the previous year, and reaching the highest level since 2009. Tilapia Fresh Fillets: When removing imports from China (main-

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land) entirely—but leaving imports from Taiwan—imports in December increased nearly 9 percent from the previous month, bringing total imports for 2016 4 percent below 2015. Again, although the monthly behavior is seasonally normal, imports have been decreasing consistently over the last 2 years. Imports from Ecuador ended 27.6 percent below the prior year’s figures while those from Costa Rica were only 1.4 percent lower. Imports from Brazil increased 538 percent, from 312 thousand pounds in 2015, to nearly 2 million in 2016. Shipments from Colombia were flat compared to 2015 at about 11.8 million pounds. From a replacement cost basis and the adjustments made to weight the import $/lb. including only the top 5 suppliers, we found that December’s figure at $2.73 increased 3 cents from the previous month, which was the lowest since April 2006 (yes, over 10 years). The market in the U.S. continues under downward pricing pressure after the market adjusted lower in November, December, and again in February. Tilapia Frozen Fillets: December imports increased seasonally in December but fell to its lowest level

for that month since 2007 (yes, again 10 years!). Total imports ended the year nearly 19 percent below those recorded in 2015. This is a huge decrease since it represents a fall of over 64 million pounds year-overyear. Since prices overall remained steady to weak throughout the year, the only simple conclusion is that demand has contracted quite significantly in the last year. Between pangasius and tilapia frozen fillets the U.S. imported 571 million pounds in 2016, of which 49 percent are tilapia and 51 are pangasius; last year tilapia accounted for nearly 60 percent and pangasius 40 percent. Domestic Catfish: Prices of domestic catfish were steady. A mild winter helped production of catfish and inventories are beginning to rebuild. Frozen nuggets were the exception and trended downward; supplies were fully adequate for a moderate demand.

*President of Urner Barry

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aquaculture events

APRIL Marine Aquarium Expo Apr. 1 – Apr. 2 OC Fair & Event Center. Costa Mesa, CA, USA T: +1 714 530 1094 E: W: ProFood Tech Apr. 4 – Apr. 6 McCornick Place. Chicago, IL, USA T: +1 508 743 8503 E: W:

AquaME Apr. 10 – Apr. 12 Dubai International Exhibition and Conference Centre Dubai, United Arab Emirates T: +971 4 407 2606 E: W: SEAFOOD EXPO GLOBAL + SEAFOOD PROCESSING GLOBAL Apr. 25 – Apr. 27 Brussels Expo. Brussels, Belgium T: +1 207 842 5504 E: MAY THE NORTH AMERICA FOOD INNOVATION EXHIBITION May 2 – May 4 Enercare Centre. Toronto, Canada T: +1 438 476 2542 W:

AQUACULTURE SUMMIT 2017 May 25 – May 27 Osaka, Japan E: W: JUNE SEAFOOD SUMMIT Jun. 5 – Jun. 7 The Westin. Seattle, USA E: W: 10TH AQUAFEED HORIZONS EUROPE Jun. 14 Cologne Exhibition Halls Cologne, Germany E: WORLD AQUACULTURE 2017 Jun. 26 – Jun. 30 Cape Town International Convention Centre Cape Town, South Africa T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W: PESCAMAR Jun. 28 – Jun. 30 World Trade Center. CDMX, Mexico T: +52 55 6601 E: W:

JULY AQUA EXPO 2017 – EL ORO Jul. 4 – Jul. 6 Hotel Oro Verde. Machala, Ecuador E: W:

ASIA PACIFIC AQUACULTURE 2017 Jul. 25 – Jul- 27 Putra World Trade Centre. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia T:+1 760 7515005 E: W: SEPTEMBER AQUA EXPO 2017 Sep. 25 – Sep. 28 Hilton Hotel Guayaquil. Guayaquil, Ecuador E: W: OCTOBER AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2017 Oct. 16 – Oct. 20 Valamar Resport. Dubrovnik, Croatia T: +1 760 751 5003 E: W: NOVEMBER LAQUA 17 Nov. 8 – Nov. 10 Mazatlan International Center. Mazatlan, Mexico T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W:

advertisers antibiotics, probiotics and FEED additives EVONIK Industries AG.................................Inside BACK cover Contact: Cristian Fischl T: + 52 (55) 5483 1030 Fax: + 52 (55) 5483 1012 E-mail:, heliae...........................................................................................1 578 E Germann Road Gilbert, AZ 85297 T: (800) 998-6536 E-mail: Lallemand Animal Nutrition................................................43 Contact: Bernardo Ramírez DVM Basurto. Tel: (+52) 833 155 8096 E-mail: Reed Mariculture, Inc............................................................61 900 E Hamilton Ave, Suite 100. Campbell, CA 95008 USA. Contact: Lin T: 408 377 1065 F: 408 884 2322 E-mail: SYNDEL.......................................................................................37 CANADA T: 1 800 663 2282 USA T: 1 800 283 5292 Zeigler Bros, Inc..................................................Inside cover 400 Gardners, Station RD, Gardners, pa. 17324, USA. Contact: Susan Thompson T: 717 677 6181 E-mail: aeration equipment, PUMPS, FILTERS and measuring instruments ADVANCED AQUACULTURE SYSTEMS, INC..................................31 4509 Hickory Creek Lane, Brandon, FL 33511 Contact: Dana Kent T: (800) 994-7599 / (813) 653-2823v E-mail: Aquatic Equipment and Design, Inc.....................................27 522 S. HUNT CLUB BLVD, #416, APOPKA, FL 32703 Contact: Amy Stone T: (407) 717-6174  E-mail:

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OxyGuard International A/S.................................................51 Farum Gydevej 64, DK-3520 Farum, Denmark Contact: Jelena Kvetkovskaja T: +45 4582 2094 E-mail: Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc......................back cover 2395 Apopka Blvd. Apopka, Florida, Zip Code 32703, USA. Contact: Ricardo Arias T: (407) 8863939, (407) 8864884 E-mail: RK2 Systems.............................................................................49 421 A south Andreassen Drive Escondido California, USA. Contact: Chris Krechter. T: 760 746 74 00 E-mail: applications such as oxygen, ozone, nitrogen, compressed dry air Adsorptech, Inc.................................................................59 22 Stonebridge Rd. Hampton, NJ 08827 USA. T: +1 908 735 9528 E-mail: containers for shipping fish

SPEEDLING INCORPORATED.......................................................21 4447 Old Hwy 41 Ruskin, FL 33570 Contact: Liz Wilhelm.Supply Chain, Product Analyst T: 813 649 2103 Email:

events and exhibitions AQUAEXPO 2017....................................................................33 September 25th - 28th, 2017. Guayaquil, Ecuador. E-mail: 4th Science and Technology CONFERENCE on Shrimp Farming...............................................................................65 January 25th - 26th, 2018. Ciudad Ogregón, Sonora, Mexico. Contact: Christian Criollos, E-mail: 12th FIACUI.........................................................................29 September 27th - 29th, 2017. Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Information on Booths Contact in Mexico: Christian Criollos, | Latin American & Caribbean Chapter World Aquaculture Society (LACQUA17).....................57 November 7th - 10th, 2017. Mazatlan, Mexico. Contact: Nashieli Rodríguez Núñez

Mobile phone: +52 (1) 612 142 69 21 farming equipment for oysters Seapa Oyster Baskets...........................................................19 4410 Cimmaron Trail Granbury, TX 7604 Contact: Sean Grizzell. Business Development Manager, North America T: 214-238-4640 Email: Information Services

Aquaculture Magazine.....................................................79 Design Publications International Inc. 203 S. St. Mary’s St. Ste. 160 San Antonio, TX 78205, USA Office: +210 504 3642 Office in Mexico: +52 33 3632 2355 Subscriptions: Ad Sales. Chris Criollos, Sales Manager | Office: +52 33 80007595 Cell: +521 33 14660392 Skype: christian.criollos Gus Ruiz, Sales Support Executive | Office: +52 33 80007595 Cell: +521 3314175480 | Skype: gustavo.rcisneros Web portal · Newsletters · Magazine · Conferences · Technical Consulting. RAS SYSTEMS, DESIGN, EQUIPMENT SUPPORT GEMINI FIBERGLASS...................................................................17 3345 N. Cascade Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80907 Contact: Michael Paquette, President T: 858-602-9465 Email: www. Salmon Farm Cermaq Canada Ltd................................................................13 210 - 4600 Jacombs Road V6V 3B1 Richmond, BC, Canada Contact: Meghan Carter. Marketing Manager, North America T: 250-286-0022 Email: tanks AND NETWORKING FOR AQUACULTURE Duro-Last, Inc...........................................................................5 525 Morley Drive, Saginaw, MI 48601 Contact: Jennifer Bruzewski T: 800-248-0280 E-mail:

Aquaculture Magazine April / May 2017 Volume 43 Number 2  

A Review of the Current State of Mariculture Development in Ecuador.

Aquaculture Magazine April / May 2017 Volume 43 Number 2  

A Review of the Current State of Mariculture Development in Ecuador.