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INDEX Aquaculture Magazine Volume 43 Number 3 June - July 2017


on the






News from the NAA


News from the AADAP





NAA Meets with Federal Agencies on Issues Critical to US Aquaculture.

The 23rd Annual USFWS Aquaculture Drug Approval Coordination Workshop.

Turning the Tide Against a Deadly Oyster Virus.

High Pressure Treatment Against Biofouling in Mussel Farms: The Best Treatment Regime in Economic Terms.








New Rapid Detection Method for Shrimp White Spot Syndrome Virus Based on Gold Nanoparticles.

Red Tide Devastates South African Abalone Farms.

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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 Sales Support Expert Gustavo Ruiz

Unidad de Biotecnología en Piscicultura – the Fish Culture Biotechnology Unit - Where Science Meets Conservation and Aquaculture Industry Development.

Business Operation Manager Adriana Zayas


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Accelerating industry-directed planning to develop a productive aquaculture workforce for employers and generate high-quality jobs for employees. COMPANY SPOTLIGHT


Volume 43 Number 3 June - July 2017

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Latin America Report

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

AFRICA report Africa Report: Recent News and Events. By Staff / Aquaculture Magazine

europe report Europe Report: Recent News and Events. By Staff / Aquaculture Magazine



Aquaculture Stewardship Council


offshore Aquaculture

News from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

The Mexican government understands the importance of aquaculture… really understands! By Neil Anthony Sims



Commercial production of spotted wolf fish Anarhichas minor in Norway – It’s back and this time to stay! By Cecilia Campos Vargas







Recent news from around the globe by By Suzi Dominy

Regenerative Blowers. By Hui Tran

Farming of cleaner fish is becoming a new important sector in salmon producing countries. By Asbjørn Bergheim



Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP): an Emerging Pathogen in Shrimp Aquaculture. By Hui Gong Jiang








Perspective and Opinion

How many Shellfish can I grow on my Farm? By Michael A. Rice

Oysters – Pearls for the Taking.

Marine Ingredients in Aquaculture Feeds. By Aaron A. McNevin

Court of Appeals Upholds District Court Ruling Limiting USFWS Lacey Act Over-reach. By C. Greg Lutz

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



Editor´s comments What makes us more efficient makes us more vulnerable

By C. Greg Lutz


e’ve all heard it. Over and over and over until we ourselves are getting tired of hearing (or saying) it. Aquaculture is so much more efficient than traditional animal production, because the stocks we raise don’t have to expend energy holding themselves up against gravity all the time (well, admittedly, there are lots of other reasons, but this is one of the go-to talking points often used when trying to impress policy makers or the general public). While they don’t have to fight that elemental force typically modelled as a continuous classical field, with a strength (at the scale of protons and neutrons) of 10-36… our production stocks still pay a significant price for their lifestyle. The aquatic organisms we culture are intimately exposed to, and at the whim of, their production environments and often to the surrounding natural environment as well. Perhaps nowhere is this interaction of biology, ecology and cultivation more apparent than in mollusk farming. Oysters cannot get up and move out of the way of “dead zones” or freshwater runoff. Abalone cannot outrun red tide organisms once they come inshore. Mussels have to take a deep breath and tolerate all the tunicates trying to grow on them. But all the organisms we work with both impact, and must bow to, the complexities of what we conveniently call “water quality.” Few of us actually understand the relationships between pH and nitrification, or chlorides and brown-blood disease, or temperature and oxygen saturation… But our 4 »

animals understand, innately. In most cases, there are only a few cells between their blood and the surrounding aquatic environment. While many aquaculture observers, regulators and critics fret over where our water goes, we are forced to focus our attention on where our water comes from, often at the mercy of agricultural runoff, municipal runoff and natural habitats that suffer from perturbations such as red tide, storm events, oil spills, chemical spills, sedimentation, algal blooms and the proliferation of bacterial, viral, protozoan and myriad other pathogens. We deal with biological hitch-hikers and freeloaders, and with constantly emerging pathogens, but we also develop new tools like mussel cleaning protocols, methods for detecting WSSV before outbreaks occur, culture of cleaner fish, new feed sources, and new equipment for various tasks. There clearly is no shortage of innovation and progressive thinking within the realm of modern aquaculture. While traditional animal agriculture has had thousands of years to get to where it is today, WE are basically forced to make this up as we go along… every week

brings new problems and, at least occasionally, new solutions. Those thousands of years of traditional animal agriculture have some subtle PR advantages. I really don’t recall any fund-raising “advocates” recently denouncing poultry or beef producers for a lack of sustainability. What would “sustainable” beef production even look like, anyway? Buffalo on the prairie perhaps… But even when it comes to overcoming (or at least, accommodating) the bureaucratic mentality, perhaps there is still hope. Mexico’s forward thinking is an example for others with the vision to move beyond the status quo. Contrast that vision with the fact that Florida’s regulatory bureaucrats needed decades to recognize their ridiculous regulatory position on Nile tilapia… But hey, (SPOILER ALERT) in the end, they finally figured it out before they lost (twice) in court like the USFWS. Just sayin’. 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.




Regal Springs Donates 48,000 Servings in Honor of National Volunteer Week United States. – In April, Regal Springs Tilapia honored National Volunteer Week (April 23-29, 2017) by donating 48,000 servings of tilapia to SeaShare, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the seafood industry contribute to hunger-relief efforts in the United States. The donation marks another key milestone in the partnership between Regal Springs, a leading producer of all-natural tilapia, both fresh and frozen, and SeaShare, which has helped the seafood industry donate over 200 million servings of seafood to food banks across the U.S. since 1994. Regal Springs has been a proud supporter of SeaShare since December 2015, having donated over 140,000 servings of healthy tilapia to the organization. “We are thrilled to work with Regal Springs again,” said Jim Harmon, executive director of SeaShare, “and so grateful for this generous dona-

tion. With their continued support, we are able to provide thousands of people with nutrient-rich, high-quality fish that they might not have access to otherwise. Despite the incredible resources and opportunities that exist in our country, hunger continues to grow. Our seafood industry has the resources, the expertise and generosity to make significant contributions to fill the hunger needs of many Americans.” “Food donations are, of course, important, but food banks wouldn’t be what they are without the help of the thousands of dedicated volunteers who donate their time to their community,” said Francis Yupangco, head of global marketing at Regal Springs. “We chose SeaShare as a partner based on alignment—we’re both passionate about making sure everyone has access to nutrient-rich seafood. With so many Americans still struggling with

hunger, SeaShare is making a huge impact by providing seafood to food banks, pantries and shelters across the country. This week we celebrate organizations like SeaShare and all of the hard-working volunteers.” More information on SeaShare and how to donate can be found at .

UM Signs $1.5 Million Research Agreement with Aqquua LLC to Advance Sustainable Aquaculture Technology United States. – The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science announced a nearly US$ 1.5 million collaborative research agreement with New York-based Aqquua LLC US to advance aquaculture technology for high-value marine fish such as tuna and hirame (Japanese flounder) at the UM Experimental Fish Hatchery. The three-year agreement between Aqquua and the UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is aimed at improving hatchery and other aquaculture technologies of a number of economically valuable species that have never been developed elsewhere in the world. “This research agreement will help advance sustainable aquaculture research at a time when it is critically needed to support increasing demand 6 »

for high-quality protein to feed the world’s growing population,” said UM Rosenstiel School Professor Dan Benetti, director of the UM Aquaculture Program. “We are pleased by Aqquua’s commitment to advance aquaculture technology in a sustainable way.” The research initiative will include upgrading existing facilities at the UM Experimental Fish Hatchery to conduct studies on reproductive physiology and the environmental, nutritional and energetic requirements necessary to optimize aquaculture technologies of selected species. The hatchery, located on Virginia Key, is a state-of-the-art facility with capabilities to hold broodstock and conduct research on larval rearing and nursery of several ecologically and economically important species.

“The first step towards implementing viable land-based aquaculture operations is to identify and select species that can be successfully raised in recirculating aquaculture systems,” said Charlie Siebenberg, Founder and CEO of Aqquaa US. “For this reason, we have teamed up with UM Aquaculture to identify and select high-value species that can be raised at high stocking densities in such systems.”

Breakthrough in Tuna Feed Research Shows Promise for Sustainable Tuna Farming United States. - The possibility of truly sustainable tuna aquaculture is now closer to reality due to a recent breakthrough in feed formulation research, which was presented at the Offshore Mariculture Conference in Ensenada, Mexico in March by Dr. Alejandro Buentello of Ichthus Unlimited, LLC. A video, “Feeding Bluefin,” summarizing the research project and its potential impact on protecting endangered wild tuna stocks can be viewed on YouTube at http://bit. ly/2nCPbo5. The Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program funded the feed research by Ichthus Unlimited to test various soy-based diets for use in tuna farming and ranching. “The successful research results should help provide permanence to tuna aquaculture, and can become the platform upon which commercially manufactured tuna feeds can now be developed,” said Buentello. Tuna is one of the most sought after seafood consumed worldwide, resulting in such overfishing that various wild tuna species are fully- or overexploited, with the Southern Atlantic Bluefin considered Critically Endangered.

“Closed cycle cultivation of tuna aquaculture, from hatch to harvest, combined with sustainable formulated grow out diets offer the best opportunity we have to prevent the depletion of wild tuna stocks while supplying the global market demand for these species,” said Buentello. In the past decade, much progress was made in developing hatchery technology to produce tuna from eggs for closed-cycle cultivation. Despite these efforts, most “farmed” tuna today are actually ranched – caught as juveniles in the wild, and fattened up in ocean pens to market size. A major impediment to sustainable tuna aquaculture is the large quantity of wild-caught

baitfish required to feed tuna during the grow-out period. The research tested various soybased diets for larval Atlantic Bluefin tuna in Spain and for juvenile yellowfin tuna in land-based facilities in Panama. Building on these experiences, a diet was successfully tested on ranched Pacific Bluefin tuna in ocean net pens off the northwest coast of Mexico. Bluefin are normally fed wild-caught sardines, with a measured feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 28:1. The new formulated diet decreases the FCR to 4:1, and decreases the amount of fishmeal and fish oil in feed by tenfold. The new diet is also significantly better for the environment, as the floating feed can be better monitored and uneaten feed can be retrieved. It’s nutritionally dense, requiring less volume, and is projected to be almost twice as economical as baitfish. The diet is avidly consumed by the tuna and made from sustainable, renewable ingredients. Companies that contributed raw materials towards the successful completion of this project include Archer Daniels Midland, Tyson, Omega Protein, Midwest Ag Enterprises, Krill Canada, APC and Originates. ADM also contributed blending facilities and other resources. For more information, contact »



Florida Amends Rules

to Allow Possession of Nile Tilapia United States. - A rule amendment to modify the Florida Administrative Code (FAC) to change the conditional species allowances for Nile tilapia, and incorporate a Rule exception similar to that of the blue tilapia, has recently gone into effect. The rule amendment was proposed to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by Dr. Thomas Eason, the Director of the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation in November 2016. At the time, the Division noted that all species of tilapia in the genera Tilapia, Sarotherodon, Oreochromis, and Alcolapia are exotic to Florida and on FWC’s Prohibited Species list and may only be permitted for public exhibition and research under Rule criteria, with the exception of four species: blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus), Wami tilapia (O. urolepis), Mozambique tilapia (O.mossambicus) and Nile tilapia (O. niloticus). These species have been listed as “Conditional” and

may only be permitted for use in commercial aquaculture, commercial sales, public exhibition and research. However, due in large part to their abundance and wide geographic distribution in the wild in Florida, a Rule exception was made for blue tilapia many years ago and per Rule 68.5002 (1)I, Blue tilapia may be possessed, cultured and transported without a permit in Citrus County in the North Central Region and all counties of the Northeast, South and Southwest Regions of the state. The rule amendment summary explained that Nile tilapia and blue tilapia are difficult to differentiate, and have been found to have hybridized both in the wild and in aquaculture facilities. Species identification of blue– Nile Hybrids can be almost impossible without genetic testing for confirmation. Because of these difficulties, aquaculture facilities and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Con-

sumer Services (FDACS) staff that inspect these facilities are challenged with being able to verify that stock are truly blue or Nile tilapia. For these reasons, the proposed rule changes included exempting both blue and Nile tilapia from possession, culturing, and transport permit requirements in the Northeast, South, Southwest and North Central regions.

The Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) in partnership with NAIA launches new Technical Certificate – “Aquaculture Management”

Canada. - The Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University of Newfoundland has launched a new Technical Certificate – “Aquaculture Management” in partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA). This 12-day program (3 days per course) consists of two required courses and two elective courses that can be selected from six possible options. Courses span a wide range of aquaculture management skills and include topics as diverse as human resources, project management, farm management, communications, regulations and policy as well as computer skills. All courses were developed from the international occupational 8 »

standard validated by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) and the Canadian aquaculture industry. “In the provision of this training today, we are investing in a skilled workforce and its leaders of the future. A skilled workforce further enables future development, expansion and growth of the aquaculture industry; providing high quality jobs to rural coastal communities and premium seafood to the world,” said Mark Lane, Executive Director of the NAIA. The new Technical Certificate is funded in part by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the provincial Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, Cooke Aqua-

culture, Northern Harvest Sea Farms and Sunrise Fish Farms. MI’s Community Based Education Delivery is offering the new program in communities close to major aquaculture farming regions to accommodate existing farm manager’s schedules and to minimize travel distances. For more information on the program or details on upcoming sessions, please email, call 709-778-0623 or visit https://

White Spot Syndrome Virus Reaches More Aussie Prawns Australia. – In March, new outbreaks of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) were registered in the wild prawn populations of Moreton Bay, Queensland. WSSV has significantly affected both wild populations and prawn farms. So far, the virus has caused the closure of seven prawn farms located along the Logan River in Southern Queensland. Biosecurity Queensland has indicated that it is unlikely that these farms will restart operations before 2018. It is believed that the disease was introduced into the country through imported prawns from South-East

Asia, the main importer. As a control strategy, the Federal Government imposed a six-month ban, in January this year. The ban includes the exception of some types of valueadded products, such as marinated, battered, par-cooked, etc. As the disease is present in wild populations, it is extremely difficult to control. The current strategy to contain the disease is to implement eradication programs on farms. The scarcity of prawns has caused a great increase in the sale prices, which encourages smugglers to import products illegally. Therefore, it

The Andalusia Government Streamlines Administrative Procedures to Boost Aquaculture Spain. – A regulatory decree on aquaculture, approved by the government of Andalusia, streamlines the procedure for authorizing the opening and refurbishing of facilities, thus reducing the period from nine to six months for farms located in publicsea-land domain and three months for those on private land. In addition, the decree clearly delineates the responsibilities of the different administrations involved in the activity. As part of the decree, the Official Register of Aquaculture Establishments will be created, and will register the 95 companies that currently have permission to operate. This instrument will provide complete, reliable and up-to-date information for the development of guidelines, plans and statistics. Likewise, the Aquaculture Committee of Andalusia will be established as an organ of consultation and advice, through which industry members, state agencies and autonomous administrations will be represented. The Aquaculture Committee of Andalusia will be responsible for

informing all aquaculture stakeholders of the regulatory project that affects the activity. Lastly, the decree establishes actions to promote the diversification of aquaculture production and the compatibility of aquaculture with other complementary activities (recreation, education and the use of landscape resources). Andalusia contributes some 20 % of the marine aquaculture production in Spain. Currently, there are 95 private small and medium-sized companies operating and 160 authorized establishments (138 onshore and 22 offshore) employing around 750 people. The area of authorized projects exceeds 8,500 ha, 88 % of which is located onshore. Âť


is essential that the government intensifies the measures of control at the borders to avoid the entrance of more infected prawns.


Aquatic Animal Disease Field Guide App Now Available


he Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s Aquatic Animal Diseases Significant to Australia: Identification Field Guide is now available as a mobile app for Apple, Android and Windows devices. The field guide, which is already available on-line at http://www.agriculture. , aims to help people recognize diseases of significance to aquaculture and fisheries in Australia and elsewhere. The field guide begins with coverage of finfish, mollusc, crustacean and amphibian anatomy including images and illustrations to help the reader describe lesions when reporting a suspected disease. It follows with descriptions for each infectious disease present in Australia’s National List of Reportable Diseases of Aquatic Animals. These are presented alphabetically and classified into infectious diseases affecting finfish, molluscs (e.g. oysters), crustaceans (e.g. prawns) and amphibians (e.g. frogs). Each disease page describes the signs of disease (at the farm/tank/ pond level and gross and microscopic pathological signs), the disease agent, host species that carry the disease agent, the presence of the disease in Australia, epidemiology of the disease, other diseases in 10 »

the field guide that may have similar signs, and sample collection and reporting of disease outbreaks. Most disease pages have photographs of animals with gross signs of disease or histological images detailing the typical tissue changes present. The app includes most of the information available from the online version, and covers the 50 aquatic animal diseases currently on Austra-

lia’s National List of Reportable Diseases of Aquatic Animals. Users can search and learn about aquatic animal diseases that affect finfish, molluscs, crustaceans and amphibians. It can be freely downloaded through the App Store (Apple devices), Google Play (Android devices) and Microsoft Store (Windows devices). Just search for the title “Aquatic Disease Field Guide.”

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News fron the NAA

NAA Meets with Federal Agencies on Issues Critical to U.S. Aquaculture By Paul Zajicek

The National Aquaculture Association (NAA) recently met with several federal agencies in Washington, D.C. to work towards improved federal programs and to address issues impacting U.S. aquaculture. Here are some highlights from those meetings. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) The NAA met with APHIS senior leadership and program leaders for Veterinary Services and Wildlife Services. Key points of discussion were: APHIS and other federal partners, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are investigating a process

to update the National Aquatic Animal Health Plan to reflect changes to diseases listed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Regarding the commercial aquaculture health program standards (CAHPS), three pilot programs are in-progress. A North Carolina tilapia grower cooperative has developed an agreement and are in the first stage of surveillance. They and APHIS have

identified three bacterial pathogens, which are not OIE listed pathogens but may be significant challenges to production, as a focus to their biosecurity and surveillance planning. The two other pilot programs are in Atlantic salmon in marine production in Washington State and Atlantic salmon in freshwater production in Maine. Early take-away lessons from the pilots is that there is a learning curve associated with implementing CAHPS and state agency cooperation is essential. APHIS is interested in starting two or three more pilots programs. To further communicate the value of CAHPS as a national program, APHIS has organized a three hour symposium at the annual American Fisheries Society meeting this August in Tampa, Florida. The NAA commented that some international trading partners are imposing unreasonable and ever-changing requirements that complicate and add costs to exporting fish and shellfish. To minimize agency duplication and redundant requirements, the NAA suggested to APHIS stronger involvement by APHIS and for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be the single, lead agency for farm-raised aquatic animal health issues and requirements. The NAA raised awareness that there are several non-listed OIE pathogens that are damaging to aquaculture and should be recognized as emerging pathogens. These pathogens may be variants of known pathogens (e.g., Aeromonas hydrophila that impacts catfish) or pathogens that have not been found in the United States (e.g., oystreid herpes virus).

Department of Interior, Secretary’s Office The NAA met with senior agency officials to exchange perspectives on the impact of an outdated Lacey Act on U.S. aquaculture, recent Injurious Wildlife Listings, implementation and public posting of Ecological Risk Screening Summaries (ERSS), and a recent Injurious Wildlife petition that 12 »

includes 12 farm-raised fish based upon the ERSS. Key outcomes were: The NAA and Interior are to work together to create a constructive dialogue and hold periodic meetings that reflect the importance of U.S. aquaculture production for food and ornamental end-uses and the historical relationship between Interior and aquatic animal farming. The NAA was asked to identify and provide examples of administrative or regulatory burdens to assist the agency in responding to two Executive Orders for federal agencies to reduce and eliminate regulatory burdens. In addi-

tion, NAA is to provide suggestions to improve the Lacey Act in light of state regulations and voluntary actions that the fish farming community has adopted to prevent the movement or introduction of invasive species. The NAA and Interior are to begin to explore a public – private partnership to prevent the introduction of invasive species and to identify how U. S. aquaculture sectors can contribute to invasive species early detection methods and rapid response to prevent the establishment of animals or plants that negatively impact agriculture, natural environments, or human health.

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service The NAA met with the leadership of the Migratory Bird Program to strongly encourage reinstatement of the Aquaculture Depredation Order and Individual permits to deter farmraised fish predation by the doublecrested cormorant. The NAA was as-

sured that reinstating the Aquaculture Depredation Order is a high priority. The agency is drafting a programmatic Environmental Assessment to cover all the states east of the Mississippi as well as Oklahoma and Texas. The Environmental Assessment is required by the National Environmental Policy Act and a draft document should be published for public comment within two or three months.

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

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News from the AADAP

The 23rd Annual USFWS Aquaculture Drug Approval Coordination Workshop will be

held July 31, 2017 - August 3, 2017 in Bozeman, Montana


he Workshop will be held at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn, 1325 North 7th Ave., Bozeman, MT 59715. Reservations:1-800-6245865 or 406-587-5261. Reference the AADAP Workshop when making reservations; the code is SDACW17. Workshop participants have until 6/30/17 to call the GranTree Inn and make their reservation after this date any excess rooms will be released. If you plan to attend, please register for the meeting at: http:// More information is available at the AADAP website: https://www. htm

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23rd Annual U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Aquaculture Drug Approval Coordination Workshop Schedule at a Glance Monday, July 31st 4:00-8:00 pm

Welcome Social at MAP Brewing (510 Manley Rd.)

Tuesday, August 1st 8:30-11:30 am Registration Packet Pick-up at the Best Western Gran Tree Inn *Presenters download your presentation onto the Workshop computer! 12:30-4:30 pm Workshop Conference – Technical presentations 6:00-9:00 pm Ice-Breaker BBQ at Scenic Hyalite Reservoir *Please ride the Yellow Bus! It arrives at the hotel at 5 pm and will depart at 5:20 pm.  Wednesday, August 2nd 8:00 am-4:00 pm Workshop Conference – Technical presentations and roundtable discussion 6:30 pm 7th Annual Workshop Trout Trot: A 1, 3 or 5 mile fun run/walk at Bozeman’s East Gallatin Recreation Area. The fun run/walk is free & everyone is welcome! Meet in lobby of hotel at 6:00 pm to carpool.  Thursday, August 3rd 8:00-11:30 am Workshop Conference – Technical presentations 12:15-6:00 pm Decompression Rafting Trip on the Yellowstone River *Leave the hotel at 12:15 pm, must be on the river & ready-to-float by 1:30 pm (~60 min drive to the river). River-side picnic to follow the float.

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Turning the tide against a deadly oyster virus

In 2007, France’s Pacific oyster industry was all but wiped out by Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS), a disease that is harmless to humans but so lethal to oysters that it can kill more than 90 % of a crop of millions of animals within days.

By Mary Lou Considine


he initial outbreak in France put the Australian industry on high alert. But Europe was still half a world away. Then, in March 2010, New Zealand’s stocks of Pacific oysters succumbed to the virus that causes POMS, OsHV-1. For Australian producers, the disease was getting too close for comfort. Sure enough, eight months later, POMS – which only attacks Pacific oysters – hit Botany Bay’s George River estuary. Again, within a matter of days, nearly all the area’s cultivated Pacific oysters were dead. Worse was to come. By 2013, POMS had spread to a second NSW estuary – the Hawkesbury River, a prime oyster-growing region – where the disease killed more than 10 million oysters in three days. Then, in January 2016, it turned up in Tasmanian waters, considered by some to be the least likely destination for POMS in Australia, due to the disease’s preference for water temperature above 21-22ºC. According to Scott Parkinson, selective breeding manager at Tasmanian-based Shellfish Culture – Australia’s main Pacific oyster hatchery – the Tasmanian industry lost 50 employees, and 60 % of the state’s growing areas were affected after the disease hit.

Finding a genetic connection How could the industry survive? Part 16 »

A Pacific Oyster from a farm in Tasmania. Image Ian Duthie Oysters Tasmania.

of the answer lay in an already-flourishing genetic improvement program. Prior to 2010, Australian Seafood Industries – the sole supplier of selectively bred Pacific oyster broodstock to the Australian industry – had been working closely with CSIRO and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) on a genetic improvement for Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas). While that research was focused on breeding oyster “thoroughbreds” – larger, juicer and more robust than their wild cousins – its direction quickly changed once POMS struck. Now, the race was on to breed oysters genetically predisposed to resist the disease.

“Essentially, the message from industry was, forget your other priorities, have a look at this,” says CSIRO senior geneticist, Dr. Peter Kube. “Tell us whether genetics is going to be a solution, a management tool for this disease.” So, after the first POMS outbreak in the Georges River, individuals from some of ASI’s 80 genetic ‘lines’ or families – already in trials in a ‘clean’ estuary in nearby Port Stephens – were relocated to the ‘diseased’ estuary to test genetic differences in the presence of the virus. With NSW DPI running the field tests, CSIRO analysed survival data for the different genetic lines.

“It was not a given that there would be useful levels of genetic resistance”, explains Dr. Kube. “We didn’t know for certain whether it was going to be an easy or difficult trait to use, and what sort of response to selection we might get. There were a lot of unknowns.” CSIRO’s findings showed there was indeed a genetic basis. However, the genetic trait that was identified was new to science and a lot of new knowledge needed to be generated. “The challenge was then to understand the way in which this trait is inherited, and then figure out how best to breed for it,” says Dr. Kube. “POMS resistance is what we call a polygenic trait, which means there are perhaps thousands, or tens of thousands, of genes involved. The breeding program is about accumulating or increasing the frequency of those genes with each new generation.”

The next step was to identify an overall level of POMS resistance within the commercial oyster population that the industry could work with. That level was 60-70 %, a target that would require at least three breeding cycles to achieve in a research population. But that was time the Tasmanian industry didn’t have and so some genetic lines from their trial breeding population were sent ahead to Tasmanian growers over the 2016-17 summer, the season of highest risk for POMS. It seems to have been a success, these lines shown even higher levels of resistance, up to 80-90 %. However, as Dr. Kube points out, it will require time – up to two years – for hatcheries to be able to produce commercial quantities of seed from resistant genetic lines for growers.

Trial and error Shellfish Culture’s Scott Parkinson

Six month old spat ready for sale. Image Shellfish Culture.

says a strategy of ‘farming around’ the disease will be a key factor in getting the most of the new genetic lines. Shellfish Culture takes ASI broodstock and produces large quantities of seed or spat – baby oysters three to nine months old – that it sends to oyster farms for growing out. “Managing POMS is not just about genetics, although that will underpin the recovery of the Australian oyster industry, but about management, site selection, when to stock,” says Parkinson. “Different growers are experimenting with different strategies.”

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was no longer able to supply to South Australia nor most of NSW – which represented 50 % of its market – due to interstate biosecurity protocols. Its response was to set up a new facility in South Australia, Eyre Shellfish. At the same time, the company invested in making its main hatchery operation near Hobart biosecure, which after two independent biosecurity audits has been declared diseasefree and is now back to supplying oyster spat to the entire Tasmanian industry.

Oyster age is a risk factor for POMS, with younger oysters at a higher risk of death than mature individuals. “Some growers are putting spat in during the POMS season, when the animals are very young. The idea is that only resistant animals will survive and grow out. Others are taking the spat in the autumn so they can grow to a bigger size before the next

POMS season – as they will be a larger size, they are more likely to have higher survival rates.” “It’s an economic exercise that the growers will have to do by trial and error.” For Shellfish Culture, POMS has brought both challenge and opportunity. Overnight, the company lost not just a significant percentage of its stock of around 100 million spat, but

Further improving genetic resistance ASI’s general manager, Matt Cunningham, also sees management strategies adopted by oyster growers as an important complement to genetics. Yet the fact remains that farming strategies are useless if stock are not viable. “To have viable oyster industry, we have to have POMS-resistance Pacifics – there’s no way around it,” says Cunningham. “In terms of having an effective response to an industry crisis, this is a good story. We had the family lines in place in NSW and we were able to hit the ground running. We were four to five years ahead of France and New Zealand, where they essentially had to start their breeding program from scratch.” For Dr Kube, the genetic improvement research continues. “CSIRO provides the specialist genetic knowhow. We’ve been analysing the trial data and interpreting it so that ASI can use it to choose which animals will be used as breeding stock in each new cycle,” he says. “We will keep breeding stock for resistance. We still have a percentage of animals that die from the disease, so we have to get more and more resistance into that stock.” Acknowledgement to CSIRO Considine, M. L. (2017, May 4). Turning the tide against a deadly oyster virus. ECOS / CSIRO.

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High Pressure Treatment Against Biofouling in Mussel Farms:

The Best Treatment Regime in Economic Terms

Biofouling has become a challenge for the mussel industry in North America; therefore, it is extremely important to select the appropriate By John D.P. Davidson , Thomas Landry , Gerald R. Johnson1 and Pedro A. QuijĂłn3 1


treatment to maximize productivity and profits.


iofouling, defined as the unwanted accumulation of microorganisms, plants, algae, or animals on wetter surfaces, is a recurrent and costly issue for shellfish cultivation worldwide. This issue directly affects the operating costs of mussel farms. The results of a survey of 510 United States shellfish producers showed that efforts to control biofouling accounted for 14.7 % of the annual operating costs (Adams et al. 2011). In the mussel industry, invasive tunicates are some of the most detrimental biofoulers. These tunicates form on long lines, gear, equipment, and on mussels themselves. They reduce mussel productivity by adding weight to mussel aquaculture gear, resulting in additional labour and/or crop loss, while competing with mussels for food and space. Mussel aquaculture is an important industry in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada. In recent years, tunicates have significantly increased production and processing costs. Among the species of tunicates creating this problem, Ciona intestinalis has been particularly difficult to control. Throughout this article, the costs and benefits of different regimes to control C. intestinalis in two mussel 20 Âť

Sprayed vs Not Sprayed Out of water.

operations in PEI will be evaluated. Davidson et al. (2016) have previously published information on the productivity and effectiveness of these treatment regimes.

High Pressure Treatment and Optimal Treatment Regimes The PEI mussel farm industry is characterized by the use of long-line systems in which mussels are sus-

pended in socks for two or more growing seasons. For more than a decade, the most common mitigation measure employed in the region is high pressure treatment. Using custom-made machinery and equipment, mussel lines and socks are pulled above the surface of water and exposed to high pressure water for standard frequencies and periods of time. Previously, Davidson et al. (2016) reported that a high pressure water treatment effectively removes a considerable amount of tunicates, and it was proved that initiating treatment early in the season and repeating the process two or three more times was the most effective strategy to mitigate tunicates and increase mussel productivity.

Mussel Farms Through the PEI Aquaculture Alliance, mussel producers were invited to participate in this study. Six mussel farms, which met the selection criteria (willingness to participate, farms affected by C. intestinalis, and availability of accurate, updated data of farm productivity and finances), were selected. Table 1 shows infrastructure details of mussel farms used in the study. Cost Benefit Analysis A cost-benefit analysis was performed to determine which of the four assessed treatment regimes was the most economically beneficial for the mitigation of C. intestinalis in two mussel-growing areas (Murray River and Brudenell River), at two sampling times (November and May). The four considered treatment regimes were as follows: (a) four tunicate treatments during July, August, September and October (4JASO), (b) three treatments during July, August and September (3JAS), (c) two treatments in July and September (2JS), and (d) two treatments in August and September (2AS). The data on farm management and finances was obtained through interviews and surveys to the owners or managers of the selected farms. These surveys allowed a better understanding of the costs associated with C. intestinalis mitigation as well as general operating costs of mussel farms. The surveys captured both fixed costs and variable costs of treatment with the purpose of not overÂť 21

looking any important data. Fixed costs are all expenses associated with the purchase and regular operation of the farm, excluding those costs related to tunicate treatment. Fixed costs do not vary between regimes or whether or not the farm is affected by tunicates. This article focuses on the variable costs associated to treatment regimes in order to estimate a monetary value for the treatment regime and control.

Variable Costs Variable costs are those related to a company’s production volume, for example the number of treatments applied during a culture cycle. The two main concepts related to


Sprayed vs Not Sprayed underwater.

tunicate treatment identified as variable costs were: (1) the increase in investment for the purchase of equipment to perform treatments and (2) the additional operating costs (mainly labor and boat fuel). Table 3 shows the calculated cost for each treatment regime.

Spray box.

22 Âť

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Fixed and Variable Costs The interviewed mussel producers mentioned that the main fixed costs are the purchase of seed, the investment in equipment (boat, truck, buoys, rope, anchors, etc.), and labor. The average fixed costs of a single long line from deployment to harvest was estimated to be USD $1,750 for a 22.7 ha farm. On the other hand, Table 2 shows the main costs associated with tunicate treatment, identified by the interviewed producers. For the present study, it was assumed that the number of treatments for all treatment regimes was 400 long line treatments. The average cost of treatment equipment per year for all treatment regimes was $130 per treatment. Table 3 shows the estimated costs of labor and fuel for the different treatment regimes, and Table 4 summarizes the

total costs of treating two, three or four times, or not at all (control). Tables 5 and 6 show the gross profit margin of treatment regimes for one long line in May, in Murray River (MR) and Brudenell River (BR), respectively. Considering both results, the mean benefit of treating three or four times varies minimally, while the difference between treating two times and treating three or four times is significant. Similar results were obtained in November.

DISCUSSION From the experience of mussel producers and the results obtained in the present study, it is possible to conclude that the application of treatments for the control and mitigation of C. intestinalis is critical for the maintenance and improvement of the economic potential of mussel farms. Although it is not possible to directly extrapolate these results to farms in other parts of the world, the main conclusions are applicable and should be considered when doing cost-benefit analyses like this one. The results showed that a regime of three or four treatments is significantly more beneficial compared to treating only twice. And if only treating mussel lines two times, treating them early, when tunicates are small, has better results. Tunicate infestations have also affected other growing regions around the world, such as New Zealand, Italy and Spain; however, in these places tunicates have been registered as incidental and sporadic pests, whereas in PEI infestations have been constant and severe since identified for the first time in 2004. Different methods have been developed for C. intestinalis control; in Italy, lifting mussel lines out of the water for 24 hours has been an efficient mitigation strategy. On the other hand, despite not being affected by C. intestinalis as in PEI, New Zealand developed highpressure water treatment for C. intestinalis. The treatment was transferred

is needed to find the appropriate comprehensive strategies to control and mitigate tunicate infestation in shellfish aquaculture, along with environmental considerations. It would be important to conduct this type of cost-benefit analysis to find the ideal combination of treatment and economic benefits for the producer.

to PEI’s aquaculture industry and it remains the main measure currently employed in the region. The present study demonstrated that profitability associated with a treatment regime is related to the mussel biomass being harvested. This is because the largest expense of a long line is the fixed cost, as compared with the variable cost of treatment (Table 4). While the cost of treatments remains low, increases in mussel biomass, as a result of additional treatments, are considerable (Table 5 and Table 6). For example, the application of a four treatment regime averaged 3,518 kg harvest with an estimated value of USD $4,257, while the application of the two treatment regime starting in August averaged 1,751 kg for a value of USD $2,119. The $108 additional treatment cost of treating four times instead of two resulted in an additional profit margin of USD $2,138 per long line. An aspect worth considering and that can affect the efficiency of any treatment regime is the tunicates’

length at the time of the first treatment. Larger tunicates increase stress on the byssal attachment of mussels causing more mussels to fall during treatment. It has been suggested that the phenomenon of mussel “falls” during treatments will increase, as the reports suggest that mussel byssus attachments are weakened by ocean acidification. On the other hand, PEI producers have reported that higher water pressures are required to treat mussel socks. This could be due to the increased resistance of the ascidian tunicate to water pressure or the increased strength of its attachment to mussel and sock material. It is important to seek comprehensive C. intestinalis control and mitigation strategies to reduce the number of mussel falls. A comprehensive approach would combine various tools (biological, physical and chemical) to minimize the economic, health and environmental risks. These tools could include naturally occurring biological control or alternative method treatments. Further research

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1 Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada 2 Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Gulf Fisheries Centre, Canada 3 Department of Biology, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada

Davidson, J.D.P.; Landry, T.; Johnson, G.R.; Quijón, P.A. (2017). A cost-benefit analysis of four treatment regimes for the invasive tunicate Ciona intestinalis on mussel farms. Management of Biological Invasions (2017) Volume 8.


Aquatic Equipment and Design, Inc.

is your Source for Professional Aquatic and Aquaculture Products and Services. “Aquatic Equipment and Design, Inc. was started in 2014 and is

based on the principles that we have learned in our professional careers.”


quatic Equipment and Design (AED) offers design services, equipment sales and technical information, both biological and mechanical. When necessary, the business partners with other companies and individuals that are reputable and understand customer needs. This approach results in the best team for the application, for every project. Amy Stone started the business after collaborating for a number of years with a widely recognized aquaculture technology company. Soon after, she was joined by Cindy Uvalle, a former fellow employee. Later, Huy Tran joined the team bringing his great experience in aquatic systems. The three of them all have 15 or more years of time working in design, specification evaluation, and installation of aquaculture equipment and systems. Huy Tran has an extensive background in both freshwater and marine finfish, marine shrimp, toxicology and educational systems. Amy Stone has experience in both freshwater and marine finfish and culture “We must develop the best products to make sure that our customers are successful. We must also be technically intelligent or find resources that can provide the solution if we can’t. Integrity is critical and must not be compromised.” Amy Stone. 24 »

of live feeds including algae, Artemia, rotifers and copepods. The business’ other two full time employees include Cindy Uvalle in purchasing and customer service and Robert Stone, project manager. Huy and Amy have used their years of experience, in the field raising fish and in the supply industry, to create a new catalog. The company’s first digital catalog should be available by August of this year. As part of the catalog release, AED will also be updating their website to include more information on equipment and services. Included in AED’s product offerings are blowers, pumps, UV sterilizers, ozone equipment, filtration equipment, chemicals and more. The company is now the distributor for AFM Media in the Americas. AFM is an activated sand replacement media which resists bio-fouling and is perfect for systems that require finer filtration. Contact AED for more information

Cindy Uvalle, Amy Stone and Robert Stone, Aquatic Equipment and Design team.

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New Rapid Detection Method for

Shrimp White Spot Syndrome Virus Based on Gold Nanoparticles Since the emergence of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) in 1992, the virus has been identified as one of the most prevalent, widespread and lethal diseases affecting shrimp farming worldwide. By Prabir Kumar Kulabhusan1, Jyutika M. Rajwade1, Vimal Sugumar2, Gani Taju2, A. S. Sahul Hameed2, Kishore M. Paknikar1

As no treatment measures are available, acute diagnosis at early stages is one of the most efficient strategies to monitor and control WSSV outbreaks in shrimp aquaculture.


SSV is a rod-shaped dsDNA virus, with large virions, of the genus Whispovirus within the family Nimaviridae. The viral envelope consists of 35 different proteins, of which V28 and V29 are the most abundant, accounting for approximately 60 % of the envelope. It has been reported that during the acute phase of the disease, shrimp tend to reduce their feed intake, they become lethargic, their cuticle easily detaches, and they present white spots, which are more noticeable in the inner shell. In WSSV outbreaks on farms, mortality can reach up to 100 % within 3 to 10 days of infection. The infection can be transmitted horizontally through water and infected animals, and the disease affects all shrimp life stages, from egg to brooder. The classical and well-accepted methods of WSSV diagnosis, such as observation of clinical symptoms in animals and histopathology, have long been replaced by modern detection techniques like PCR and immunological methods. These methods are highly sensitive, and they provide 26 Âť

an accurate diagnosis. However, they are costly and time-consuming, they require specialized equipment and skilled personnel, and are therefore not usable under field conditions. Consequently, the development of a rapid, reliable and field-usable diagnostic method for the detection of WSSV infection is imperative to prevent further economic losses.

Lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) LFIAs that use metal nanoparticles for colorimetric detection of targets are simple, rapid, low-cost and convenient for field development. In existing LFIAs, gold nanoparticles are the most commonly used visual detection labels for a wide variety of proteins, metals, ions, hormones, bacteria, viruses, etc.

Serodiagnostic techniques are those involving tests on blood serum or other body fluids; however, in practice, they are those techniques that identify antibodies in the serum that are formed in response to an infection caused by an specific microorganism. This type of technique has already been used in aquaculture for WSSV detection, i.e. reverse passive agglutination. In previous studies, the authors standardized a method to raise higher titer polyclonal anti-rVP28 antibody in rabbits. Later, this antibody was used in a dot blot assay format to detect very low levels of WSSV. Considering the urgent need for a rapid and field-usable method, efforts were focused on the development of LFIA. LFIA will be helpful to farmers and hatchery operators in maintaining healthy broodstock, ultimately producing good quality seed, and forestalling heavy economic losses.

Figure 1. A. Schematic representations showing the LFIA strip assembly. B. Testing of WSSV in LFIA (a) WSSV negative sample, (b) WSSV neat sample containing purified virus, (c), (d) and (e) correspond to 1:10, 1:20 and 1:40 dilutions of (b) Specificity of LFIA (f) MBV (g) HPV (h) IHHNV. C: Control line, T: Test line. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169012.g002

Assembly of LFIA est Strips The assembly of LFIA strips is comprised of three steps: (1) production of polyclonal antibody against WSSV, (2) synthesis of colloidal gold nanoparticles-antibody conjugate and (3)

assembly of LFIA strips in polypropylene cassettes. Polyclonal antiserum against WSSV was raised in New Zealand white rabbits, using purified recombinant VP28 protein emulsified in Fre-

Âť 27


und’s complete adjuvant. The protocol was approved by the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, C. Abdul Hakeem College, Melvisharam, Tamilnadu, India vide approval no. 1011/c06/CPCSEA. After six weeks, antiserum was collected from the immunized animals and was later purified. SDS-PAGE and ELISA were performed to determine the purity and titer of the antibody. Western blot was performed to confirm the absence of cross-reactivity with shrimp tissue. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) used as the detection label in the LFIA were synthesized by a standard citrate reduction method. Later, the gold nanoparticles were conjugated to a polyclonal antibody against VP28 (envelop protein of WSSV). The LFIA strips were assembled in polypropylene cassettes (5 cm x 1 cm) with sample and observation windows. Figure 1A shows a schematic representation of LFIA strip assembly and its components.

Standardization of LFIA LFIA standardization was done using purified WSSV. For this, infected shrimp were collected and homogenized in a mortar and pestle. Initially, undiluted WSSV and its different dilutions (1:10, 1:20 and 1:40) in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) were checked in the assembled LFIA strips, using PBS without WSSV as negative control. In order to check specificity and prove no cross-reactivity with other shrimp viruses, LFIA was tested with suspensions of Infectious hypodermal and hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHHNV), Monodon baculovirus (MBV), and Hepatopancreatic parvovirus (HPV). The sensitivity of LFIA strips (ability of a test to correctly detect a disease) was determined by testing the samples using LFIA and one-step PCR simultaneously. On the other hand, to determine the limit of detection (LOD), the total DNA was extracted from WSSV infected gill 28 »

samples using DNA extraction buffer. The viral copy number was estimated using TaqMan assay. A standard curve (Figure 3) was obtained using serial dilutions of plasmid pVP28, which was used to quantify the WSSV copy number in the fill tissue homogenate. Subsequently, the WSSV infected gill tissue samples were diluted so as to achieve 105, 104, 103, 102, 101 copies. After 40 cycles the mean CT values obtained were plotted against the WSSV copy number. The samples were simultaneously applied in the LFIA. The control lines (C) and test line (T) were visually examined.

Time Course Infectivity Experiments WSSV (300 μg of total protein per animal, corresponding to ≈ 104 virus particles isolated from infected animals) was injected intramuscularly into the second abdominal segment of Litopenaeus vannamei. Control animals were injected with the hemolymph from healthy (uninfected) shrimp. Two sets, each of experimental and control animals (n=6 per group), were maintained in 50 L tanks. The experimental animals were sacrificed at 3, 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 h post-infection (p.i), and hemolymph, gill, head soft

Figure 2. PCR of gill tissue sample from WSSV infected Litopenaeus vannamei. (A) M: DNA ladder. a: Uninfected gill tissue sample, b: WSSV infected gill sample (Positive control), c to h: Serially double diluted WSSV infected gill sample with concentration from 100 to 3.123 μg/mL. (B) LFIAs of gill tissue sample from WSSV infected Litopenaeus vannamei. a: Uninfected gill sample. b: WSSV infected gill sample (positive control), c to h: serially diluted WSSV infected tissue sample with protein content of 100 to 3.125 μg/mL. From these 40 μg/mL was applied in LFIA. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169012.g003

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tissue, eye stalk, and pleopod were collected for the detection of WSSV using the developed LFIA as well as one-step PCR. Each tissue was homogenized using PBS, and the protein concentration was estimated using Lowry method. The samples were diluted appropriately so as to achieve a concentration of 180 μg/mL. 40 μL were applied to LFIA, and the DNA isolated from the tissue samples was subjected to one step PCR.

Results Timely detection of WSSV is of great importance in aquaculture. Since there are no treatment measures, prevention has become essential to prevent the spread of WSSV. Currently, to minimize outbreaks of disease, shrimp producers implement control measures such as reducing stock densities, strict screening, and monitoring of nauplii and post-larvae for infection. Together with these measures, timely detection of WSSV in the early stages of the disease is critical to minimize production and economic losses. The primary focus of LFIA was to offer a rapid, simple and fieldusable method for WSSV detection. LFIA uses anti WSSV-rVP28 antibody coupled as the detection label. The spectrophotometric analysis of AuNPs before and after coupling with pAbs indicates a small shift in the absorbance peak, from 520 nm to

30 »

Figure 3. Standard curve for the real time PCR assay. (A) The virus was serially diluted (10-fold) from 2.4 x 107 to 2.4 x 102 copies prior to RT-PCR assay. (B) The LOD of LFIA, serially diluted samples were applied to LFIA. Control and Test line were observed visually. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.01169012.g004

522 nm. The observed shift in plasmon resonance peak suggested antibody coupling on gold nanoparticles. Furthermore, the appearance of an additional peak at 280 nm and the decrease in the peak’s intensity at 520 nm confirms pAbs conjugation onto the surface of AuNPs. As compared to one-step PCR, the developed LFIA was found to be marginally less sensitive. However, its ease of use under the field conditions without the requirement of any specialized instrument or trained workforce distinctly stands out. The LFIA developed in the present study could rapidly (≈ 20 min) detect the virus in different tissues after 3 hours (hemolymph), 6 hours (gill tissue), and 12 hours (head soft tissue, eye stalk, and pleopod) of infection. The limit of detection (LOD) of the assay, as determined by real-time PCR, was 103 copies of WSSV (Figure 3). To determine the specificity of the assay, the LFIA was further tested with other shrimp viruses such as IHHNV, MBV, and HPV. The developed LFIA did not show any crossreactivity with other shrimp viruses, as evidenced by the appearance of a single red line only in the control zone of the LFIA (Fig 1B).

The investigations and validation of the assay in the field prove that the specificity and sensitivity of the developed LFIA were comparable to one-step PCR, on the samples tested (Table 1). The Cohen’s kappa coefficient (0.983) indicates “very good concordance” between the LFIA developed in the present study and conventional one-step PCR. A high negative predictive value indicates that the chances of getting a false negative result are remote in the case of the developed LFIA. The LFIA developed for the rapid detection of WSSV has excellent potential for use in the field, and can help reduce the production and economic losses caused by WSSV in aquaculture worldwide. However, it is important to mention that the implementation of comprehensive monitoring and control measures is essential to reduce the risk of spread of disease between farms, regions and countries. Nanobioscience Group, Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, India, 2 OIE Reference Laboratory for WTD, C. Abdul Hakeem College, Melvisharam, Tamilnadu, India


Kulabhusan PK, Rajwade JM, Sugumar V, Taju G, Sahul Hameed AS, Paknikar KM (2017) Field-Usable Lateral Flow Immunoassay for the Rapid Detection of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV). PLoS ONE 12(1): e0169012. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0169012

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Red Tide

Devastates South African Abalone Farms Dr. Anna Mouton, BVSc, MSc

South African abalone farms suffered devastating losses due to a

harmful algal bloom earlier this year. Three farms situated in Hermanus, on the South coast, lost up to 50 percent of their stock. These farms held an estimated 24 million abalone, or a third of the total South African farmed abalone population.

“Worst South African Abalone Event in History” The first mortalities occurred over the weekend of 14 and 15 January 2017. South African abalone farms are almost all situated on land. Continuous pumping from the sea maintains water quality in the abalone tanks under normal conditions. In the second week of January, the incoming water included harmful algae and their toxins. After the initial deaths, the bloom remained offshore for several days 32 »

and farmers hoped that the worst was over. Losses had been less than 10 percent. Surviving abalone were weak and some had bloated, but all appeared to be recovering. It was the calm before the storm. As January transitioned to February, the bloom came onshore, this time to stay. Soon, staff on abalone farms were unable to keep up with removing dead animals. Some farms had people on site 24 hours a day and monitored incoming water hourly.

The only available management option was limiting water intake at times of high algal density. The affected farms are all in Hermanus, a small town in the Western Cape. Hermanus lies in Walker Bay, as does Gansbaai, another significant abalone farming town. The bloom extended as far as Gansbaai and then stretched beyond, to threaten farms at Buffelsjachts. Panic spread through the industry as people studied satellite images of the evolving bloom. Gansbaai and Buffelsjachts were spared. The harmful phytoplankton did not come onshore in these localities. By the end of February, the bloom was no longer dominated by toxic species. Hermanus farms could begin to assess the damage. In all, they lost between 40 and 50 percent of their animals. This includes irreplaceable brood stock. Tim Hedges, the managing director of Abagold, called the red tide the “worst South African abalone event in history.” Abagold, the largest of the affected farms, later announced that it would not be declaring interim dividends.

Dynamics of South Coast Algal Blooms Walker Bay is the epicenter of South African abalone farming. It lies close to the southernmost extent of the Benguela Current upwelling system. The region has weaker upwelling than the West coast, reducing the scale of harmful algal blooms. This has contributed to the success of abalone farming in the area, at least until now. The upwelling of nutrients during summer fuels the development of phytoplankton blooms. Upwelling is driven by wind. In spring, diatoms often dominate whereas dinoflagellates become more prevalent in summer and autumn. Dinoflagellates are better adapted to stratified water and favored by relaxation of upwelling conditions. Phytoplankton monitoring showed that the dominant species in Novem-

ber 2016 were in the genus Pseudo-nitzschia. Counts were in the tens of thousands of cells per liter, occasionally spiking to hundreds of thousands. Pseudo-nitzschia are chainforming diatoms. During December, counts of Pseudonitzschia declined and the assemblage became more diverse, including several dinoflagellate species. Gonyaulax spinifera began to emerge as the front-runner, although cell counts were only in the low thousands per liter. On 16 January 2017, G. spinifera was present at densities of 1.4 million cells per liter. It was a Monday. Abalone farmers arrived at work to find the first mortalities.

G. spinifera kills with yessotoxin Dinoflagellates in the family Gonyaulacaceae produce yessotoxin. Problem species are Protoceratium reticulatum, Lingulodinium polyedrum and G. spinifera. Yessotoxin has long been a headache for shellfish farmers as it results in false positives for diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxin on some tests. Most countries regulate the levels of yessotoxin in shellfish, even though there are no documented cases of toxicity in humans. Research has suggested that certain strains of G. spinifera are more toxic than others. A study on two strains from the Adriatic Sea showed that they differed in gene sequence and toxin production. The more toxic strain produced a bloom that led to widespread closure of mussel farms. It formed primarily homoyessotoxin, an analogue of yessotoxin, whereas the less toxic strain contained only yessotoxin. The scientists compared the Adriatic Sea strains with a toxic strain from New Zealand. They con-

Âť 33


cluded that the more toxic Adriatic Sea strain was genetically closer to the New Zealand strain than to the less toxic Adriatic Sea strain. Variability within G. spinifera may explain why this species did not impact on South coast abalone farms in the past. Yessotoxin had been detected in a handful of samples over the past decade, but at low levels. No one observed adverse effects in their stock. In late January 2017, at the height of the red tide, a concentrated filtrate of the bloom was tested for yessotoxin by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS). It contained 32.7 parts per million (ppm) of yessotoxin, of which 23.5 ppm was in the homoyessotoxin form. This toxin profile mirrors that found for toxic strains from New Zealand and the Adriatic Sea. In comparison, tissue levels in abalone showing clinical signs of toxicity were only 0.2 ppm. Mortalities during blooms are often ascribed to depletion of dissolved oxygen. This was not the case during the South African event. Dissolved oxygen remained normal on affected farms. Histological examination of moribund and fresh dead abalone showed no evidence of algal cells clogging the gills.

New insights into yessotoxin pathology in abalone The effects of yessotoxin have been studied in the ever-unfortunate mouse. It is toxic when injected, but considerable research has not provid-

34 Âť

ed a satisfactory explanation of the cause of death. Oral administration does not cause poisoning, because yessotoxin is poorly absorbed from the gut. This may be the reason why there have been no human cases of yessotoxicity. Extensive work on yessotoxin in cell cultures has yielded greater insights. Yessotoxin affects elements of the cytoskeleton, notably F-actin and E-cadherin. E-cadherin is highly conserved throughout the animal kingdom and thus likely to occur in abalone. Cadherins are important in cell adhesion and E-cadherin occurs in epithelial tissues. Abalone affected by the red tide showed significant disruption of the integrity of gill and

external epithelia. This is consistent with loss of cell adhesion. Yessotoxin also causes a type of cell death called apoptosis. One way in which it does this is by activating caspase proteins, particularly caspase 8. Abalone have caspase 8 and would be susceptible to cell death from yessotoxin exposure. It is not possible to differentiate apoptosis from other causes of cell death on histology. Cell death was widespread in the gills of abalone during the recent bloom and it is likely that yessotoxin exposure is responsible. Weakness was one of the clinical signs during the red tide. A modest effect of yessotoxin on the function of calcium channels has been shown in mussels. Calcium plays a very important role in muscle function of gastropods and it is possible that yessotoxin may impair movement or grip. Yessotoxin impacts the function of immune cells in mussels, but there was no evidence of this in abalone. Histology showed rapid development of bacterial and ciliate infections in animals that survived the initial toxicity. This evoked a vigorous inflammatory response and most individuals seemed able to clear the infections within several days to a week.

The speed at which survivors recovered was remarkable. Abalone sampled two to three weeks after exposure had normal gill epithelium. Active regeneration of epithelium was visible in the mantle cavity and on external body surfaces. The long term cost to performance is not yet known.

An anxious look to the future Harmful algal blooms are a fact of aquaculture in a warming world. The first two months of 2016 saw Pseudochattonella marina kill an estimated 100,000 metric tons of salmon in Chile. A red tide of Alexandria catenella followed, causing mass mortalities in wildlife. There were protests by fishermen, who blamed the red tide on the salmon industry. Research suggests that El NiĂąo was the real culprit. In South Africa, phytoplankton counts have subsided with the onset of winter. The blooms will gather again in spring, but it is impossible

to predict the dominant species. Gonyaulax spinifera has resting cysts and some of these will germinate in coming years. Research indicates that cyst density and germination rates are not predictive of bloom dominance. Dr. Grant Pitcher has spent his career studying the dynamics of harmful algal blooms on the South African coast and around the world. His paper on mass mortalities of marine life caused by a Gonyualax polygramma bloom on the South coast in 2007 makes chilling reading. Pitcher thinks that the most unusual feature of the 2017 bloom is that Gonyualax spinifera came onshore in Hermanus. In Gansbaai and Buffelsjachts, the bloom remained offshore and did not affect the farms. Abalone farms have a long production cycle and the impact of the red tide will reverberate for several more years. Support industries including processors and feed manufacturers will share the pain. There is a real fear that harmful algal blooms

Dr. Anna Mouton.

may become a regular feature in Hermanus. Farms are scrambling to find mitigation measures, well aware that more than survival of abalone may be at stake. Anna Mouton is a freelance writer and veterinarian. She has 20 years of experience in aquatic animal health. Her focus areas have been abalone culture and shellfish pathology. She can be contacted at

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R&D Centers

Unidad de Biotecnología en Piscicultura – the Fish Culture Biotechnology Unit - Where Science Meets Conservation and Aquaculture Industry Development

Conal David True, PhD, Gerardo Sandoval Garibaldi, MSc, Lus Mercedes López Acuña, PhD, Mario Alberto Galaviz Espinoza, PhD, Luis Manuel Enriquez Paredes, PhD, Norberto Castro Castro, Oc, Paola Pérez Arvizu, PhD.

In 20 years of research and development, Dr. Conal True and his team have established the scientific basis for the reproduction of Totoaba, an endangered species, and offered one of the most interesting opportunities for mariculture in the upcoming years.

History Totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi) is a fish endemic to the upper Gulf of California and highly valued in the Asian market. Its uncontrolled fishing put it on the list of threatened and endangered species in 1975. However, at present, illegal fishing continues to endanger its existence, and to significantly impact other species, such as the vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus), which is near extinction. In the early 90’s, the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California (UABC) showed interest in initializing an experimental process of totoaba (T. macdonaldi) repopulation in the upper Gulf of California. With limited knowledge of the species, UABC be36 »

gan to look for information on similar species to generate a knowledge base. At this stage, collaboration was sought from the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in San Diego, California, USA, which had already developed the culture methodology for a similar marine fish, the white corvina (Atractoscion nobilis). With the knowledge generated by both institutions and the experience of Dr. True, the totoaba breeding project was initiated in 1994. Thereafter, and with the corresponding permits, totoaba broodstock were caught from the San Felipe coast in Baja California. During this period, several tests carried out at UABC facilities allowed advance-

ments in the reproductive knowledge of the species, from the establishment of the initial parameters for controlled maturation of captive breeding stock to the early larval development and feeding. Finally, in 1998, Dr. True and his team conducted the first successful totoaba reproduction in captivity. After several reproduction cycles, the president of Mexico at the time, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, visited the research facilities, which paid off in the granting of federal funds on the part of the Ministry of Public Education (SEP) and state funds on the part of the UABC to carry out an expansion of the infrastructure that was already in place, giving rise

to the Unidad de Biotecnología en Piscicultura – UBP (the Fish Culture Biotechnology Unit).

Unidad de Biotecnología en Piscicultura (UBP) UBP, located within the UABC facilities, Campus El Sauzal, Ensenada, Mexico, has an area of 600 m2 and its main objective is to promote the development, application and production of marine fish culture biotechnology, specifically, for those species with ecological, social and economic value in the region, such as totoaba. Along with reproductive research, UBP carries out a genetic program for the optimization and assessment of molecular markers aimed to ensure the genetic traceability of wild and captive-reared totoaba stocks. These markers have been useful for the estimation of diversity levels and genetic health of populations as well as for the recognition of each individual, the assignment of paternity, and determination of other parentage relationships between organisms. The research work carried out by UBP is driven by the needs of the aquaculture and scientific sectors. Although its work began with the development of totoaba culture, it constantly generates knowledge for the culture of other marine fish species (corvina, mackerel and sea bass) with different approaches such as nutrition, reproductive biology, physiology, larviculture, genetics and pathology.

First catch of broodstock on the coast of San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico (1994). From left to right: Dr. Conal D. True, Mr. Javier Valverde (local fisherman), Oceanographer Norberto Castro Castro and Alan Valverde (local fisherman).

Research that Transcends With UBP’s consolidation, a technological base of broad dimensions has been created. Other research centers, such as the Marine Species Reproductive Center of the State of Sonora (CREMES) and the marine fish farming company Earth Ocean Farms in Baja California Sur, have joined UABC’s mission of starting a real totoaba repopulation program in the upper Gulf of California. There have been many other examples of collaboration between institutions » 37

R&D Centers

UBP should also be noted, as well as the confirmation of adult totoabas in the natural environment as a result of the successful release of captivespawned organisms produced by UBP.

First totoaba breeders in UBP.

at national and international levels throughout UBP’s development. The research work carried out at UBP also seeks to boost the sustainable development of the region. This has led to the development and production of other species, such as clownfish (Amphipriom ocellaris), a project from which several small ornamental fish production companies have developed, currently marketing their product in Mexico and the U.S. The importance of the research carried out in UBP can be measured in different ways. On the one hand, there is the highly prepared human capital formed in this academic center, which later becomes part of the workforce of the public and private sectors of the region. In the same way, one can cite the number of companies that have originated with the guidance of UBP staff. The large number of scientific publications that have resulted from the work done at

UBP and Industry Since its beginnings, UBP has maintained a close relationship with the industry, offering advice to different aquaculture companies in the region. For example, it advises Ocean Baja Labs (OBL) to improve yellow tail (Seriola lalandi) production, and Pacific Aquaculture to improve the design of its larval laboratory for striped bass (Morone saxatilis). In addition, UBP advises producers in the region on specific issues of their culture operations, such as larval cultivation, nutrition, infrastructure design and installation, among others. Awareness: Community Participation One aspect that distinguishes UBP’s totoaba conservation and repopulation program is that it involves socialization. Over the years, the UBP team has found a way to involve society through the totoaba release events. This way, people become aware of the importance of this endemic species, the negative impacts of illegal totoaba fishing on other species such as the vaquita, and the potential of marine fish culture in the region, thus

Induced spawning in broodstock. From left to right: MSc Gerardo Sandoval Garibaldi, Oceanographer Norberto Castro Castro and Dr. Conal D. True.

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promoting the creation of companies dedicated to this activity.

Challenges? Rather, Motivation From the outset, although Dr. True and his team have faced many challenges, every advance in research has served as motivation to continue their work. Some of the main challenges are: • Knowledge and experience. Working with a species that was not previously cultured, the team was faced with several challenges to establish everything from the most basic aspects of its biology (the extraction of broodstock and their maintenance in captivity) to the most important aspects for cultivation and reproduction. • Economics. The Faculty of Marine Sciences at UABC is in charge of the facility’s maintenance, but aside from this there are no fixed economic resources allocated to carry out the production, development and maintenance of organisms. So efforts are constantly being made to find the economic resources to continue the program. • Infrastructure and scaling. The success in reproduction has been such that the facility capacity where the unit currently operates has rapidly been exceeded, limiting production capacity and potential scale. • Inter-institutional coordination. Obtaining totoaba samples or information from findings, seizures and sampling by other academic and governmental institutions has been complicated, particularly because of the banned status and protection of the species. In order to maintain a continuous improvement process, UBP’s work is evaluated by different institutions such as the UABC, SEMARNAT (Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources), the upper Gulf of California Social Sector, academic peers evaluating scientific publications, follow-up committees for financed projects, and many others. Additionally, at the university level, all

Dr. True and the teamwork of the UBP.

laboratories are under environmental auditing and, on a voluntary basis, UBP is part of a routine monitoring program of the Aquaculture Health Committee of the State of Baja California (CESAIBC).

The Way Ahead In the medium and long term, UBP seeks to eliminate totoaba from the

current list of endangered species, in order to offer a viable option to the inhabitants of the region for its cultivation and legal commercialization. This is an attempt to eradicate the incidental catch of the vaquita due to the illegal fishing of totoaba. In addition, UBP strives to continue contributing with practical knowledge that strengthens the development of

mariculture in the region (vaccines, animal health, genetic lines, culture management, nutrition, selection of mariculture sites, biotechnology development, etc.). UBP seeks to remain an example of development, application and production of biotechnologies for marine fish culture, especially species with ecological, social and economic value, and over time, remain a reference on the progress of the industry in the region, with certified and traceable processes, and a transparent and organized administration focused on achieving economic sustainability and enhancing marine fish culture in Mexico.

Expansion of UBP Facilities Currently, an expansion of UBP’s facilities is ongoing, representing an investment close to MX$ 60 million (US$ 3.2 million). The project is possible thanks to the support of SEMARNAT, UABC and the State

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R&D Centers

UBP’s facilities expansion design.

Totoaba juvenile grow-out tanks. 3rd scaling.

Totaba release (2015) in Puertecitos, San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico. The images highlight the growth of infrastructure and staff required to carry out the most recent releases. Number of organisms released: 64,000.

Totoaba breeders in the current UBP facilities.

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Government of Baja California. The new facilities are expected to start operating by the end of the first quarter of 2018. The extension is a model unit for intensive production of marine fish up through the juvenile stage, with all the management controls, separation of activities and applicable biosecurity norms. It will have 3,200 m2 of production area, segmented into a maturation control area with three 100 m2 rooms, a specific area for reproduction and quarantine with two independent systems with a production capacity of at least 12 families per run, a room for larval rearing with 16 2,000 L tanks, a pre-breeding room, and a pre-fattening area of 500 m2. Each area will have an independent recirculation system. Additionally, the unit will have independent access for personnel, reception platforms, and areas for live feed processing, preparation and cultivation as well as water quality, animal health and genetic traceability laboratories. The unit will have an independent seawater intake and a water treatment plant (WTP). The WTP will be able to recover 80 % of the water used, in order to allow the unit’s autonomous operation for at least 15 days in case of red tide. UBP’s facilities expansion is focused on enhancing the research

work carried out within the following areas: • Evaluation of the wild populations of totoaba (genetics and molecular biotechnology) • Reproduction biology • Aquaculture infrastructure design • Nutrition • Pathology and animal health • Early stage biotechnologies UBP aims to gradually increase the production capacity of totoaba larvae to 1 million, 51 % of which will be destined to increase the populations of this species in the upper Gulf of California, while the remaining 49 % will be used for aquaculture production in farms located in areas near the Gulf. The research performed at UBP has demonstrated that the development of new species for aquaculture is totally feasible, as well as its scaling and replication. This is a clear sign that basic science with applied guidance can generate new possibilities. The growth of UBP has catalyzed the development of companies, mainly in Baja California, where a large part of the current staff are UABC graduates. The expansion of UBP facilities will strengthen the capacity of the unit and will reinforce its efforts to conserve totoaba and develop mariculture in the region.

Schematic distribution and real progress of the Totoaba grow-out tanks at the new UBP facility.

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Accelerating industry-directed planning to develop a productive aquaculture workforce

for employers and generate high-quality jobs for employees

By: Salvador Meza


qualified and adaptable workforce is critical for accelerating the growth of aquaculture; it is the only way to maintain sustainable economic growth for the industry, and to successfully compete in global markets. Based on the existing demand for aquaculture products within the market, we must first understand which are the skills we need to develop in the workforce for the different industry sectors to provide qualified workers with better access to growth, innovation, and enhanced productivity. A strategy for developing skills, focused on solutions prompted by the industry itself, will help identify the critical points and bottlenecks found in the productive processes of aquaculture farms. This should include not only farming, but the post-harvest, processing and marketing aspects of the industry. Workers with specific technical abilities are required, which companies are not able to find even though there are people seeking jobs in the industry. Ministries of Fishing and Aquaculture generally have expertise in (or can hire consultants for) carrying out not only economic analyses, but also analyses regarding the production supply chains of aquaculture products with the largest market presence (such as shrimp, salmon and tilapia). They can identify and project demand for the workforce required in the whole of the production process and marketing of these products. Once the current and future demands for aquaculture-industry workforce skills 42 »

“The main purpose of any Ministry of Fishing and Aquaculture should be to accelerate the growth in innovation within the Aquaculture Industry by creating public and private capacities to invent, improve and market new products.” are identified, Ministries should process those needs and formulate policies to obtain generalized support to address them. Participation should be sought from Agencies, Institutes, Universities, and other entities that could be enlisted in joint training and development efforts.

The Development of Skills Prompted By Demand Currently, there are many unemployed or underemployed technicians and professionals that lack the skills and capacities required by aquaculture companies to fill the job positions that they themselves create as they grow. The operations of Ministries of Fishing and Aquaculture must be consolidated by financing the development of skills prompted by demand, especially by regional and community demands. Ultimately, this process will result in the training of aquaculture industry workers that can satisfy the personnel needs of small, medium and large farmers in order to accelerate the development of their industries. Involve Aquaculture Companies in Identifying and Facilitating Better Training Practices Propelled by the Industry A fragmented approach to training will frequently ignore the immediate and long-term needs of an industry and of the communities in which it is embedded. Ministries of Fishing and Aquaculture should establish direct communication between aquaculture com-

panies and their surrounding economic communities (University Training and Development Centers, Research Centers, Polytechnical Institutes, Industry Associations, Chambers of Commerce, etc.) in order to identify and articulate the industry’s needs for various workforce capacities, and to create a supply of highly-qualified workers. The needs of the aquaculture workforce can be compared with other wellestablished industries, and these can be taken as model examples for success in staffing production chains for various products. The training needs of aquaculture industry workers are not unique. The automotive clusters model is a good example of how to resolve the supply of workers with high-demand skills and capacities. This is the type of model that the aquaculture industry must follow if it wants to meet the demand for fish and seafood (for which fishing alone will be inadequate) by the middle of this century. 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

CIBNOR Develops Technology to Improve Seriola rivoliana Culture Mexico. – As part of the project of Strategies for Development and Improvement of Fish Larvae Production in Latin America (LARVAplus), a group of researchers from the Center for Biological Research of the Northwest (CIBNOR) is developing technologies to improve Seriola rivoliana production processes, in order to guarantee greater production. The project includes different research approaches. The main one examines the digestive capacity of S. rivoliana to adapt feed that improves nutritional and physiological yield in culture during the larval development stage. One of the research´s main results has been the increase in larval growth rate, through the application of commercial microparticulate diets with added probiotics. “Within their diets, we have been administering probiotics that accelerate their

Source: (CONACyT, 2017)

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Peruvian Researchers Succeed in First Corvina (Cilus gilberti) Reproduction Peru. – Corvina (Cilus gilbert), a native species of the northern coast of Chile and southern Peru, has been identified as a marine species of commercial value and high demand in the Peruvian market. Since 2013, the National Fisheries Development Fund (FONDEPES) has worked in the development of the scientific and technological bases for corvina production. The process began with Source: (CONACyT, 2017) the catch of wild brood fish. In December 2016, researchdigestive maturation; the organisms grow ers from the Morro Sama – Tacna faster and assimilate feed faster, reducing Aquaculture Center achieved the microparticulate feeding time, and con- first reproduction of this species. sequently reducing feed costs,” said Dr. Currently, the first batch of 7,035 Tovar Ramiréz. “We are eliminating fingerlings is in optimal condition. live feed from their diet; the production of The successful production of fingermicroalgae, rotifers and artemia represents lings represents a great breakthrough an important part of the investments, since for the development of mariculture it is a costly production system.” in Peru. Researchers will continue to Efforts have also been focused work on achieving better control of on parasitology and immunology in the production process, developing juveniles and broodstock of the spe- specific diets, and optimizing growth cies. The main challenges include in order to scale production of this controlling and reducing levels of species in the future and thereby reectoparasite communities that affect duce pressure on wild populations. S. rivoliana, particularly on skin and gills. LARVAplus is an initiative whose main objective is to generate a space for the exchange of knowledge and experiences for the development of Latin American aquaculture and, in particular, for the production of fish larvae and fingerlings. More than 25 academic research centers and companies from the commercial sector from nine countries are part of this initiative.

Fundación Chile - One Step Forward to Aquaculture Diversification Chile. – Fundación Chile (FCh) is seeking diversification of the Chilean aquaculture industry. As part of this goal, the Aquaculture Center of Quillaipe, Region X has recently reached a production capacity of 100 million clam seed (Venus antiqua). This production volume has the potential of increasing further, according to the local demand. At the same time, FCh seeks to promote aquaculture entrepreneurship models that link industry, science and the fisheries sector. The developed technologies have the potential to adapt to different scales of production. The positive results obtained in Quillaipe will allow promoting the sale of seed for cultivation in suspended systems at sea and subsequent replication of this production format in other areas, like the Tongoy Aquaculture Center in the northern region of the country. To reduce health risks, the seed production technology will be validated in the Tongoy Aquaculture Center, using clams from the northern zone to avoid the transfer of pathogens from one region to another, even though it is the same species (V. antiqua). This advance in the production of clam seeds is hoped to offer an alternative activity to the fishermen of the region and to promote small aquaculture enterprises. FCh is also working on the development of production technologies for other bivalve species, such as macha clam (Mesodesma donacium) and razor clam (Ensis macha).

Argentina Enhances Aquaculture through Science and Technology Argentina. – The Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation and the Government of Tierra del Fuego signed a collaboration and technical cooperation agreement for the implementation of a multi-trophic marine farm in the Beagle Channel, as part of the inter-ministerial proposal “Aquaculture Innovation Argentina” (INNOVACUA). The multi-trophic farm will grow rainbow trout, macrocystis algae and blue mussels. With this project, the Argentine government seeks to validate the technology of multi-trophic aquaculture and its scaling, in order to

develop culture techniques with lower environmental impact than traditional techniques, and that allow social, economic and environmental sustainability. INNOVACUA is financially supported by the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion, through the Argentine Sectorial Fund, which will cover 70 % of the project costs, estimated in 12.5 million USD. The remaining 30 % will be covered by the public-private partnership responsible for the project. The initial investment of the project includes a laboratory for fingerling production and infrastructure for processing the final product. Additionally, it will include a research and development area that will generate the necessary knowledge for the project’s scale and progress. Argentina has a high potential for aquaculture, so far unexploited. As the South American country has the environmental conditions and resources to exploit this potential, this has become a government priority.

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research report AFRICA report

Africa Report: Recent News and Events By: Staff / Aquaculture Magazine

FAO Targets 10m Youth In Aquaculture Programme The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) says its Youth Empowerment in Aquaculture Programme is targeting 10 million youths in West Africa within the next three years. Mr Nourou Tall, the Acting FAO Representative in Nigeria, noted in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that three million of the beneficiaries would come from Nigeria. He said that FAO was working with the West African governments to introduce pragmatic policies that would facilitate youth employment in the area of aquaculture. Tall said that the policies would include adequate support from the governments in areas of access to land, technical support, access to loans from various financial institutions and development of marketing skills as well as connections to major markets for exports. The representative said that the FAO interaction with the West African governments had become imperative because youths were typically excluded from most institutions that provided financial services such as credit, savings and insurance. He added that these factors had particularly hindered the ability of the youth to participate in agriculture in a meaningful way. Tall said that Nigeria was chosen as a pilot state for the West African project because of its great potential in fish farming, adding that the major focus of the project would be on catfish. He stressed that FAO would also use the opportunity to scale up aquaculture activities throughout Nigeria. He said that FAO has achieved 46 »

a lot in the areas of food security in Nigeria, as it had evolved measures to curb the outbreak and spread of Avian Influenza, while supporting policies on reducing post-harvest losses as well as promoting the National Programme on Food Security and value chain development. Tall said that FAO had also used its corporate innovations to assist fish farmers to develop aquaculture businesses, while organising them into cooperatives to enable better access to markets. The FAO representative reiterated the commitment of his organisation to collaborating with the federal and state governments in all the implementation processes of the programme. Dr Aboubakar Sidibe, an official of FAO in charge of fisheries, noted that fish was an essential source of

dietary protein in sub-Saharan Africa. He said that fish had provided over 22 per cent of the people’s protein intake but noted that the West African marine fish resources had been over-exploited, adding, that there was, therefore, an urgent need to fill the gaps. Sidibe said that this was the rationale behind the FAO project, which aimed at stimulating the involvement of the youths in aquaculture enterprises so as to fill the perceptible gaps. “The sector must be adequately improved because the industry supports over eight million people, while contributing to the livelihood, employment, and household food security of coastal communities,’’ he said. He added that fish farming was an important and lucrative business in Nigeria, noting that this explained the interest of FAO in reviewing the

profitability of the fish farming business in the country and expanding the benefits that could accrue from it.

Research and training center supports growth of aquaculture in Africa By 2025, African governments hope that 40 percent of the total fish consumed in Africa will be met by aquaculture. Ongoing research and training provided by the WorldFish-run Africa Aquaculture Research and Training Center in Egypt will be critical to achieving this goal, according to Kate Bevitt, WorldFish’s Writer and Editor. The center provides training on best-practice techniques to workers in the fish farming sector from Egypt and across Africa. To date, over 1690 government officers, university staff members, farmers, extension agents and researchers from 105 countries have received training. “We learned many different techniques in aquaculture and hopefully when I get back to my country it will help in capacity building,” said training participant Folani A. Olayinka, a fisheries officer from Nigeria. The best-practice trainings are based on findings from the center’s research into new and improved fish farming technologies, which has been ongoing since the center opened in 1998. Since 2000, the center has run a breeding program for a faster-

growing strain of Nile tilapia, known as the Abbassa improved strain. Dissemination of the Abbassa strain has benefited many farmers in Egypt, the third-largest tilapia-producing country in the world. “I used to produce four tons of tilapia,” explained Egyptian fish farmer Hamada Refaat Attia. “But now, after using the Abbassa strain, the total production of my ponds is about five tons.” Spread over 62 hectares in the Nile delta, the center has 185 earthen ponds, 75 indoor concrete tanks and a research laboratory. These facilities are used by research institutions and private businesses from Africa and beyond to engage in collaborative research with the center. In 2016, the global feed manufacturer Skretting partnered with WorldFish to establish a new Fish Nutrition Research Unit at the center. “The current experiments aim to evaluate the performance of local raw materials on fish growth, survival and their digestibility,” said Mahmour Asfoor, Marketing and Communications Assistant Manager for Skretting in Egypt. With 30 percent of Africa’s population currently undernourished, the center’s research and training will enable the growth of aquaculture and lead to enhanced food and nutrition security across the continent. » 47

Europe Report

EUROPE REPORT: RECENT NEWS AND EVENTS By: Staff / Aquaculture Magazine

“Brand Spain” will boost the image of aquacultured fish Spain. - Spain’s General Secretariat of Fisheries and Royal Academy of Gastronomy have started a project so that within the “Marca España” or “Brand Spain” program there will be a plan to promote aquacultured fish and seafood. For Spain’s aquaculture sector, product image has been identified as a serious challenge. The project consists of a specific plan to publicize the nation’s aquaculture industries as sustainable activities under the auspices of “Brand Spain,” as announced by the Secretary General of Fisheries Alberto LópezAsenjo during the recent assembly of the Business Association of Aquaculture (Apromar). Within the “Brand Spain” program the strategies of the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX) and the Directorate General of Agro-Food Industries of the Min-

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istry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment will specifically promote aquaculture products. The project will contribute to the diffusion of cuisine based on Spanish aquacultured products and increase consumer awareness with the help of professional chefs. Spain ranks first in the European Union (EU) in aquaculture production volume, and third in value (behind France and the United Kingdom). The nation’s aquaculture sector produces 250,000 tons of fish and shellfish, according to LópezAsenjo, who stressed that the Ministry “has identified a need for” an expansion and increased international knowledge of these products. As an example, it has been mentioned that the European Parliament itself uses reports with obsolete data from ten years ago, that do not correspond to the current reality, to talk about the presence of pesticides or antibiotics in aquaculture.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment aims to “quadruple” Spain’s aquaculture production, added López-Asenjo. The Secretary General of Fisheries, the officials of Apromar and the E.U. Deputy Gabriel Mato have all emphasized the importance of aquaculture for the Spanish market, where fish trade runs a deficit and there is a high volume of imports. Mato has pointed out that Spain has a demand of 1.7 million tonnes of fishery products, of which the extractive fleet only captures one million tonnes and there is a “gap to cover.” The president of Apromar, José Carlos Rendón, said that chefs and fishmongers “are ashamed” to say that their fish or shellfish comes from aquaculture, so it is necessary to strengthen their image before consumers. Rendón pointed out that in Spain there are great regulatory obstacles for the installation or development of farms and has especially criticized Catalonia and the Canaries. Another difficulty, according to Rendón, is the regulation of aspects such as those related to boats operating on farms, which are subject to the same requirements as those that sail “in the oceans.”

Research Backs Plans for Aquaculture In Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon United Kingdom. - A new report from industry body Seafish has confirmed the potential for aquaculture in the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon (TLSB), which could be used to farm a range of marine species. The report is part of a trio of inter-related publications from “Closing the Circle: Aquaculture Development in Enclosed Waters,” a project supported through Seafish’s Strategic Investment Programme (SIP). It found the sheltered lagoon has strong potential for aquaculture, including farming mussels, oysters, scallops, clams, cockles and seaweed; all of which have local and international market potential, although trials would be needed to see how the shellfish and seaweed would grow inside the proposed development. It would be the first time that offshore marine renewable energy generation has been combined with aquaculture, says the report, which was led

by Martin Syvret (Aquafish Solutions Ltd.) and Dr. Andrew Woolmer (Salacia-Marine) in collaboration with industry partners. The new report, “Aquaculture Opportunities for Enclosed Marine Water Bodies - Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Case Study,” is available to download now from the website. It uses Swansea Bay as a case study to examine wider opportunities for aquaculture in and around enclosed marine water bodies, such as ports, natural lagoons, estuaries, sea lochs and managed retreats. The report is accompanied by an Aquaculture Site Scoping Matrix, which can be used by industry to identify further potential locations for aquaculture operations. This SIP project has also created a generic shellfish hatchery design aimed at tackling the shortage of shellfish seed that can be raised to adulthood by commercial farmers an acknowledged bottleneck that has held back the expansion of this aquaculture sector in the UK. It is hoped

that industry will be able to use the hatchery design to help increase the supply of seed and boost production. Lee Cocker, Aquaculture Manager at Seafish, said: “We are proud to have supported this strategic and innovative SIP project that will assist the growth of the UK aquaculture sector, and we hope that the industry can make good use of the findings. The prospect of siting aquaculture within an area such as the world’s first tidal lagoon renewable power development is undoubtedly exciting, however, the findings of the project are also pertinent to other offshore renewables sites such as wind farms. The project helps provide an overview of aquaculture species and techniques that could be considered in other marine enclosed water bodies, and the hatchery aspect has the potential to support a more general expansion of seed availability for UK aquaculture.” All the outputs generated by this exciting SIP project can be downloaded from the new Seafish aquaculture web page “ Aquaculture-Related Seafish Strategic Investment Programme Projects”.

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Aquaculture Stewardship Council

News from the

Aquaculture Stewardship Council Piscifactoria Del Alba is first to achieve ASC certification in Spain Piscifactoria Del Alba is the first farm to gain ASC certification in Spain. The farm received the certificate after an audit performed by Acoura Marine Limited, which found the company to be in compliance with the ASC Freshwater Trout Standard at each of its three rainbow trout farm sites Alba I, Alba II and Alba III. “We are delighted to welcome Piscifactoria Del Alba into the ASC programme”, said Esther Luiten, ASC Commercial Director. “As the very first Spanish farm to achieve ASC certification, Piscifactoria del Alba joins a distinguished group of producers who have met strict criteria to show that they care for nature and the people who work on and live near their farms. Operations such as theirs are examples that a passion for producing fish in a way that honours the environment is a good business decision”. “Currently, the European market is demanding companies to be more socially and environmentally responsible”, said Fidel Cabero Díaz, Quality and Food Safety Manager, Piscifactoria del Alba S.A. “Our company has been working for years to be respectful with our environment and for this reason we decided to pursue the ASC certification. We are sure this will enable us to expand our market towards those people who, like us, care about the environment and the people around us.” Piscifactoría del Alba is located in the north of Spain, in the Principality of Asturias. The company has been dedicated to the production of 50 »

rainbow trout for more than 50 years. The farm supplies trout to Colruyt in Spain and exports to multiple European markets including Belgium, Denmark, and Germany. “A sustainable fish assortment is a priority to Colruyt Group”, says Michel Jenquin, who buys fish for the group. “Most of our aquaculture fish is ASC certified. By supporting the first Spanish producer of ASC trout, we will be able to offer the first ASC certified frozen trout in our different store formats from now on. It allows us to meet the increasing demand of our customers for more sustainable products.” The production process for Piscifactoria Del Alba begins in the Alba River, in the heart of the Redes Natural Park, a Biosphere Reserve. The Alba River is known for its excellent water quality. In order to preserve optimal natural conditions, the farm works to control and reduce any environmental impact generated by its activity.

The Spanish aquaculture sector has received a great deal of attention in the last decade. According to Eurostat data from 2014 cited by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, one-sixth of European marine products originate in Spain. Due to the high quality of inland water which is well suited to farming the species, rainbow trout production is expected to drive the further expansion of the country’s inland aquaculture business.

About the ASC Freshwater Trout Standard The ASC Freshwater Trout Standard focuses on the social and environmental impact of trout farming. ASC certified farms must not be sited in High Conservation Value Areas (HCVA) and must take steps to minimising fish escapes. Additionally, since trout farming often occurs along rivers, no more than 50 per cent of the river water flow can be diverted through the farm. ASC certified trout farms

are required to measure various water parameters (nitrogen, phosphorus, oxygen levels, etc.) at regular intervals and remain within set limits. All farms must develop and implement a Fish Health Management Plan, including detailed steps for biosecurity management, under supervision of a veterinarian. The use of antibiotics and medicine is strictly prohibited and the introduction of exotic trout species into an area is not allowed, unless they are farmed in a closed system. Furthermore, in line with the core principles of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the ASC Farm Standards prohibit any form of forced labour. Farms must demonstrate that they are a safe working environment, and that employees have good working conditions, fair wages and regulated working hours. Farms are also required to regularly consult surrounding communities to ensure they are good neighbours and address any potential community impact form the farm.

A Focus on Feed at the ASC Partner Update Meeting For the fifth consecutive year, the ASC opened the second day of Seafood Expo North America with a partner update meeting. In front of an early morning audience, the ASC spoke directly to those in attendance about the upcoming feed standard and hosted a discussion focused on the importance of sustainable feed to the growing aquaculture industry. Michiel Fransen, Standards and Certification Coordinator for the ASC, is leading the development of the feed standard and kicked the session off with an overview of the standard and its progress to date. The update was followed by a lively panel

discussion moderated by Scott Nichols, Founder & Principal of Food’s Future LLC. For the panel discussion and Q&A, Michiel and Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO, were joined on stage by Michael Tlusty, Director of Ocean Sustainability Science, New England Aquarium; Avrim Lazar, Facilitator for Global Salmon Initiative and Blake Lee-Harwood, Communications & Strategy Director for the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. The session provided a snapshot of the differing perspectives and approaches to the complexities surrounding the use of marine and terrestrial components to feed farmed fish. “The ASC Feed Standard will allow producers to know they are sourcing the most environmentally sound and socially responsible ingredients,” said Michel Fransen, ASC Standard and Certification Coordinator. “The standard is designed to incentivise fisheries on various sustainability levels to join the programme and improve their performance over time. Importantly, the standard also addresses the terrestrial components and plant derived ingredients beyond soy. We want to provide clear guidelines on all the components that go into feed in order to minimise nega-

tive impacts on all aspects of the production and sourcing.” “Aquaculture’s ability to make dramatic increases in animal protein production is at the center of a hopeful food future. Its resource use efficiency is unmatched but, to achieve its greatest potential, we must use feed ingredients and practices that continually lower aquaculture’s environmental footprint,” said Scott Nichols, Founder & Principal, Food’s Future, LLC. The ASC Feed Standard will enable the feed industry to operate on a more environmentally sound and socially responsible basis. It will define requirements for both responsible factory practices, as well as requirements for the sourcing of responsible components for the three main ingredient groups: marine ingredients, terrestrial plant ingredients, and animal ingredients. A second draft of the Feed Standard will be available for public comments in the coming months. In addition to this work, the ASC is currently holding public consultations for the joint ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard. You can provided input on the development of the seaweed project and learn more about the work of the ASC at

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Offshore Aquaculture

The Mexican government understands the importance of aquaculture… really understands! By Neil Anthony Sims*

When people ask why an Australian such as me, with an abysmal

grasp of Spanish, is looking to develop a Cabo Kampachi™ farming operation in Mexico, I have always answered succinctly, but with great gusto: “Because the Mexican government understands the importance of aquaculture!”

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owhere was this depth of understanding, and this commitment to nurturing this new industry, on better display than at the Offshore Mariculture Conference, held in Ensenada, Baja California, from 6th to 10th of March. There’s a certain resistance these days – in some quarters - to the free passage of goods and services across borders. And to the free flow of capital … and people…and ideas. As an itinerant aquaculture opportunist, I see the whole globe as a target-rich environment, so I hold such ideas in stern contempt. The world is a better place, I would assert, if nations and companies and individuals can freely trade whatever they have, or whatever they know, for whatever someone else can provide. It has always been so: the more cosmopolitan cultures have thrived best, be it the coastal villagers who traded their pearlshells for the flintstones from the highlanders, or the nation that reached its tendrils out to distant lands, to trade, to learn, to adopt, and thereby to grow. The research and development into offshore aquaculture in the U.S. has often been criticized by pseudonativists: those who would blithely assert that America has all the seafood that it needs. Why is the government spending all this money, they would ask, to develop new marine fish hatchery technologies and offshore net pen systems, and to train hatchery and offshore specialists, only to watch the technologies and systems and specialists flit off overseas – to Central or South America, to SouthEast Asia, or elsewhere? At the same time, while decrying the exodus of fish farming capital, people and ideas, such anti-aquaculture activists are adamant in their opposition to development of offshore fish farms in U.S. waters. Most of these critics are simply anti-aquaculture: they really don’t want to see fish farms anywhere, so why should

we be spending any money at all on aquaculture research? A recentlypublished study (Love, et al., 2017) provides a rather powerful rationale for why we, as a nation, should fund such research: simple economics. The study estimated a 37 times return on investment for U.S. government money spent on aquaculture research from 2000 to 2015. That’s 3,700 %!! Point proved, I think … in spades. There is also an easy answer to stemming the outward flow of America’s entrepreneurs, investments and intellectual assets to other countries’ fish farms: open up our own U.S. waters to the farming of fish. Build a domestic industry, and there will be no need to go abroad. This comports perfectly with the trending locavore movement. Domestically-farmed fish reduce the carbon footprint of seafood. It allows better oversight of food safety requirements, and environmental monitoring. It’s a compelling argument. You would think that it would win over any and all of those who marched in favor of science as the basis for public policy. But oh, no … with a capricious disregard for the contradictions of their position, anti-aquaculture activists embrace all things local, and low-carbon, and properly regulated, yet still dig in their heels to the notion of growing fish in U.S. waters. The U.S. is about to turn into a net oil and gas producer. Could the same happen to seafood? Well, not any time soon, it would seem. Don Kent’s Rose Canyon Fish Farm and Donna Lanzetta’s Mana Fish Farms notwithstanding, there has been precious little progress towards bringing offshore aquaculture to fruition in U.S. waters. And even Don and Donna are having their perseverance sorely tested. So here we are, more than a year after NOAA’s establishment of a regulatory pathway for aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico, and there has not been a single permit application filed (at least, none that we know of). Mainstream media now describes the

Attendees gather in front of SEPESCA stand (Left to right) - Chris Kruse and Todd Madsen of Blue Ocean Mariculture, Christy Walton, Earth Ocean Farms’ Pablo Konietzco, SEPESCA Director of Aquaculture Luis Gonzalez, Langley Gace of InnovaSea and Roly Morris of Cuna del Mar.

conundrum with an overtly mocking tone (see Shanker, 2016: “The $100 Million U.S. Government Fish Farm Nobody Wants”). So … we can breathe easy, I guess … The virgin waters of the Gulf of Mexico lie undespoiled still … but for the occasional oil rig … and, yes, sure, sometimes there’s a little spill or two to take care of … and yes, yes - there’s the “dead zone” from anoxic waters caused by the fertilizer-filled flow from the Mississippi … oh, and OK, I suppose, yes, there’s also the shrimp trawling and the long-lining and the coral bleaching … but apart from that, undespoiled by any fish farms. But while the U.S. has seen a great exodus of ideas, individuals and investment, there has been a Blue Revolution brewing quietly for some time now, immediately south of the border. And it is not any great secret: you clearly see the array of tuna net pens within a kilometer or two of the shore, on the drive down the Pacific coast from Tijuana to Ensenada. There are few protective islands offshore here; these net pens are exposed to all that the North Pacific might throw at them. Mexico has supported an offshore tuna ranching industry for the

last 20 years or so. The industry has exclusively used large, PolarCirkelstyle HDPE pipe net pens, and these have withstood the storms of the exposed Northwestern Mexico coast. This is offshore aquaculture, happening right here before our eyes!

The First Offshore Mariculture Conference in America So it seemed highly appropriate that the first Offshore Mariculture Conference to be held in the Americas should be convened in Ensenada. We have enjoyed attending previous Offshore Mariculture Conferences in a wide range of alluring European locations: Malta, Turkey, Italy, Spain … (though notably, never in Norway! What’s with that?!). But most of the focus on the Mediterranean as the offshore aquaculture nexus at first seemed oddly misplaced: after all, it is called the Mediterranean Sea, and many of the offshore aquaculture fraternity prefer to call the sector “open ocean mariculture.” Outside of the USA, however, the Americas support a diverse range of truly open ocean fish farms: the Mexican tuna pens, described above; Bob Miles’ Martek snapper operation » 53

Offshore Aquaculture

in Costa Rica; the Open Blue cobia farm off the coast of Panama; experimental offshore net pens in Northern Chile; and farm sites far offshore of Ecuador. The Government of Mexico and the state government for Baja Norte were most magnanimous joint hosts of the Offshore Mariculture event, which elevated aquaculture meetings to a level that none of us – I am certain - have ever previously witnessed. This was not just an aquaculture conference; it was a celebration of all that has come to pass and all that lies ahead in Mexico’s future. But it was not all just fine wine, seafood and song; though there was lots of all of the above. There was also – and most notably - a sense of unbridled optimism: here was an industry that was growing in leaps and bounds, which had the full-throated support of the government, and which was making the pitch to any and all entrepreneurs, inventors and investors, saying “Here! Come! We are willing to help make it happen for you.” Among the speakers of note, were: Daniel Benetti of University of Miami (with his always-eloquent and -upbeat overview of marine fish culture in the Americas); Robert Orr of Cuna del Mar (the ‘cradle’ for the Earth Ocean Farms totoaba and snapper farm in the Bay of La Paz, as well as InnovaSea – the manufacturer of SeaStations and Aquapods); and Michael Chambers of University of New Hampshire (who reviewed their recent progress in developing offshore IMTA systems). There was also a flurry of speakers elaborating on the rapid expansion of marine fish farming in north-western Mexico: Eric Pedersen, on Pacifico Aquaculture’s striped bass farm, located in the lee of Todos Santos Island in Ensenada Bay; Luis Calos Astiazaran of Baja Seas, on their Hiramasa operation in Magdalena Bay; Pablo Konietzco, of Earth Ocean Farms, on their totoaba operation in Bay of La Paz; and Benito Sarmiento 54 »

Perez, of Baja Aqua Farms, on their bluefin tuna operation (and also the generous providers of the bluefin steaks and sashimi that we all enjoyed so much at lunches and dinners). There was ample attention paid to the feed questions, with presentations by Albert Tacon, of Aquatic Farms Ltd (who provided a thought-provoking overview of recent advances and abiding issues); together with Adel El-Mowafi of Cargill; Ioannis Karacostas of BioMar; Allen Davis from Auburn University; and Alejandro Buentello from ADM. There were updates from cage manufacturers and offshore technology companies, showcasing their recent advances: Ron Shavit from SubFlex in Israel; Alessandro Ciattaglia of Badinotti from Italy; and Darko Lisac of Refa Med, on a new cage system in Greece. Towards the close of the conference, there was a series of short presentations from various companies. Alejandro Buentello and Mark Albertson – Alejandro’s research partner representing Illinois Soy Board – brought everyone to jaw-dropping astonishment with a video showcasing their recent success with turning bluefin tuna onto extruded, soy-based diets. I wanted to stand on my chair and hoot! I wanted to hoist these two up onto our collective shoulders, and chair them around the room, to loud huzzahs! This encapsulated perfectly all that the conference represented to those of us in attendance: amaz-

ing breakthroughs in technology and biology brought about by the building of partnerships across borders – and almost in spite of borders, all facilitated by a government that understands, and wants to help make it happen. We all can be forgiven for wanting some of that thinking to waft across the border! Offshore aquaculture is a truly international industry. And through this conference, Mexico showed the world that they are willing – and capable – of leading. ¡Muchas gracias, Ensenada!

Love, D.C., Gorski, I., and Fry, J.P. 2017. An Analysis of Nearly One Billion Dollars of Aquaculture Grants Made by the US Federal Government from 1990 to 2015. JWAS. doi: 10.1111/jwas.12425 Shanker, Deena, 2016. The $100 Million U.S. Government Fish Farm Nobody Wants. Ever wonder why we aren’t raising tons of them in the ocean? Bloomberg News, October 28, 2016. Accessed 5/15/17 at articles/2016-10-28/the-100-million-u-s-government-fish-farm-nobody-wants

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

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Hatchery Technology and Management

Commercial production of spotted wolf fish Anarhichas minor in Norway – It’s back and this time to stay!

The spotted wolf fish has been considered a strong candidate for diversification in the Norwegian aquaculture industry since the early 1990’s. However, the activity declined after 20 years of limited By Cecilia C. Vargas*


o, why is spotted wolf fish farming back in the spotlight in Norway, and why is it going to be a success this time? Because in addition to having a place in the market, the life cycle of spotted wolf fish seems to be less complicated than other marine fish species like Atlantic halibut and Atlantic cod. Indeed, unlike those species, the spotted wolf fish is around 22mm length at hatch and ready to start feeding on microdiets right after hatching. However, this species still presents challenges in some parts of the production cycle. For instance, as in many farmed fish species, the release of gametes is not synchronized when broodstock are kept in captivity. In addition, knowledge of the whole production cycle, essential to success in commercial production, is still not in place. To solve the bottleneck of gamete availability, there is a project to create a sperm bank that will allow the availability of sperm when females spawn. Another key factor is that like lumpfish, wolf fish larvae are ready to be fed directly on microdiets right after hatching, thus avoiding the 56 »

production biomass, in favor of other marine species like Atlantic cod. production of live feed, a demanding phase in the production of marine fish species. The experience gained in the use of microdiets and establishment of feeding protocols for marine fish species like Atlantic halibut, ballan wrasse, and lumpfish also helps in developing feeding protocols and best practices for the spotted wolf fish.

In Norway, Aminor AS is per date the only company betting on the commercial production of spotted wolf fish, although there are several investors following with great interest how the production of the species develops. Aminor AS, located in the north of Norway (Halsa municipality), has facilities that cover the entire production cycle of this species. The compa-

The larvae are 5 weeks old, just finished first-feeding. Aminor AS.

The juvenile fish are 6 months old and 50-60 g weight. Aminor AS

ny has a license to produce 500 tons per year, and while both the hatchery and nursery facilities are currently ready to produce at full capacity, the on-growing facility is under expansion. If the first phase is successfully achieved, then the company will aim to increase production to 2 – 5000 tons. Spotted wolf fish larva are fed directly on microdiets for three weeks resulting in a typical survival of 50 %. However, the company is planning to test the use of copepods as live feed during the first three weeks of feeding, improving both growth and survival during the larval stage.

Luckily, there have not been disease outbreaks but the presence of the parasites Trichodina sp. and Ichthyobodo (costia) has been related to sorting and transfer to other production units especially when temperatures are above 10° Celsius. Producing at low fish densities during the firstfeeding phase has given good results, followed by increasing, gradually, the density during juvenile and on-growing phases. Densities of < 40 kg/sqm when fish are up to 100 g, < 70 kg/ sqm when fish are between 100 and 500g and < 100 kg/sqm when fish are larger than 500g and up to slaughter size are being used without compromising fish welfare and growth. Willy Sandaa, managing director of Aminor AS comments that one of the challenges to focus on in the near future is to increase the productive area per square meter, important for profitable land based production. To do so, the use of shelves in the currently-utilized circular production

units is under testing, thus increasing the area of production up to four times compared to using only the tank bottom. The success of the company in the production of the spotted wolf fish will undoubtedly contribute to the diversity of Norwegian aquaculture.

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

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Recent news from around the globe by

The value of fishery byproducts needs better recognition; they must be handled like food-grade fish to realize their huge potential for aquaculture.

By Suzi Dominy*

Potential of fisheries byproducts In its first ever Annual Report, released in May, the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization (IFFO), said nearly 20 million tonnes of raw material are used annually in the production of marine ingredients, but estimated 35 million tonnes would be available if all byproduct were collected. IFFO estimated this will increase to a total of 45 million tonnes available in 10 years’ time. More than 82 % of secondary processing fish byproducts are utilized in marine ingredients production. In a study conducted in Scotland, UK, it was found that fisheries byproducts were often poorly valued, and added-value processes were not common. Although by-catch and onboard processing represent a potential resource of about 24 % of current UK raw material supply, this is discarded at sea because there is no incentive to land the material. The report also found that logistics, and storage of the material are key issues to be addressed. Hydrolysates have potential as a value-added product, and especially in aquafeed production, but are strongly influenced by the storage regime. The report went on to say that byproducts should be managed with the same level of care as the primary product. The whole of the supply chain needs to work 58 »

together to improve the availability and utilization of the raw material from byproduct, it concludes. This work is seen by IFFO as an important development towards addressing raw material supply opportunities in other regions and certainly reflects the findings of a

study conducted on the other side of the world, in Hawaii, on behalf of the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council (WPRFMC): “Fish Processing Waste: A Valuable Co-Product of the Fishing Industry,” (, LLC, Dominy et al. 2014)” (Available for

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free download from’s Members’ Section). In this study, we discovered that much of the FPW generated in the Hawaiian Islands is treated as garbage and trucked to the land fill for disposal, imposing a huge cost burden for fish processors, and wasting a valuable protein source for aquaculture. As a result of these findings we have launched a project, funded by NOAA, to support the development of sustainable fish farming in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), where the exceptionally high cost of imported feed is the biggest barrier to commercially viable aquaculture in the region. It aims to leverage the full potential of U.S. fishery resources in the Western Pacific Region through the full use of wet fishery processing waste to make a high protein, high quality and water stable supplemental fish feed. A liquid fish fertilizer is also under development from lower grade fish processing waste for aquaculture, aquaponics, hydroponics, horticulture and agriculture. A portion of the work is focusing on the utilization of fish processing waste and its byproducts in the production of algae. At the end of the project, training will be provided and all information will be freely available to anyone who would like to take the model and deploy it in their own community, including the crucial handling protocols that fish processors need to follow. If you want to learn more, contact:

International Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database – a crucial tool for aquafeed formulators In case you missed it on Aquafeed. com, I want to draw your attention to a free and really useful tool for aquatic feed formulators: in March, the International Soy in Aquaculture Program of the U.S. Soybean Ex60 »

port Council (USSEC) rolled out the Stage 2 version of the International Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database (IAFFD), a standardized tool for feed formulators around the world. The first version of the IAFFD was originally known as the Asian Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database or AAFFD. Developed in 2014-‐2015, it sought to take a page out of the training approach with terrestrial animal feed formulators by creating a standardized database of nutritional information for aquaculture species and key feed ingredients. Specific nutritional requirements for terrestrial animals like cattle, swine and poultry are well known, but unfortunately that is not the case with aquaculture. The sheer number of species in aquaculture means that there is a significant gap in the knowledge of nutritional needs of many farmed fish and aquatic organisms. “As we increase sustainability by moving away from fishmeal and fish oil in aquafeeds, the easy approach to formulation with those ingredients is over,” said Lukas Manomaitis, USSEC’s Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant who is based in South East Asia. “We have to move to more complex formulations using a wide variety of ingredients to meet target nutrient levels. We need formulators that are good at innovative approaches, and that are trained both within a feed company and within the industry.”

With seed money from USSEC and USAID, and further funding from the Nebraska Soybean Checkoff and the Canadian government (Mitacs), a consortium of academic institutions led by Dr. Dominique Bureau of the University of Guelph began to pull existing aquaculture nutritional information and knowledge into one central location. Further in-kind and informational support was provided by private individuals and commercial industry, in particular, software company, Adifo, whose help ensured the resulting database was structured correctly for use in commercial feed formulation programs. Eleven workshops in locations in South East Asia were held in 2015 and 2016 that brought together formulators to use the first version of the database in formulation exercises. Now expanded to an international scope, the IAFFD is in its Stage 2 version, which has incorporated lessons learned from the workshops to evolve and improve the database. “The IAFFD is a good tool for training and feed mills can use it to benchmark their own databases,” said Manomaitis. “Every feed company has their own database, but bringing together aquaculture formulators from multiple companies is difficult because no one wants to share theirs. That is the value of having a publicly available aquaculture feed formulation database for use in group situations. It’s important to note that this is not a USSEC database – it has international buy– in as

an industry standard. We believe it will help to better show the nutritive values of U.S. soy to match the ingredient values.” Also, having a database that was developed from the ground up as an aquaculture database (and not an adapted terrestrial animal database) is critically important, said Manomaitis. “To the best of our knowledge this is the only publicly available standardized database for aquaculture.” Manomaitis pointed out 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.” Work on Stage 3 of the database starts 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. Two additional species

are anticipated to be added as well as more ingredients, including some branded products. “The goal is that within five years, we should be able to do shadow ingredient pricing and have some verification of formulae generated in live animal trials,” said Manomaitis. “Stay tuned. This is a crucial, core tool for formulators, and every year it improves.” You can find the IAFFD at www. Access is free of charge but you will be required to register.

Canada approves camelina oil for use in Atlantic salmon feed As an alternative to fish oil, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has approved the use of mechanically-extracted camelina oil as a feed ingredient for farmed salmon and trout. Camelina sativa, or false flax, is a hardy oilseed plant that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and antioxidants. This super-nutritious plant is used as a vegetable oil for human consumption and as an ingredient or supplement in some animal feeds. Fish feed manufacturers have also explored the use of cropbased oilseeds like camelina as viable and cost-efficient substitutes for wild-sourced fish oils and proteins currently used in fish feeds. A recently completed large-scale study of camelina oil managed by Genome Atlantic with support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, found camelina to be an excellent match to the fatty acid composition required in the diets of farmed fish. Aquaculture scientist Dr. Chris Parrish of Memorial University, one of the study’s principal researchers, says that camelina oil has characteristics that make it a particularly promising alternative in fish diets. “Among the oils that can be used to replace fish oil in aquafeeds, camelina is one of the few with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. While these

omega-3 fatty acids are different to those present in fish oils, they enhance the ability of fish to synthesize the healthful long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that are needed for their optimal growth. This, in turn, ensures a healthful fillet for human consumers,” said Dr. Parrish. Camelina oil was shown to be able to completely replace the fish oil in feeds. Feeding trials are also being conducted on camelina meal as a potential partial replacement for fishmeal.

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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Technical Guru

Regenerative Blowers All regenerative blowers are manufactured on the same working principles, but they are not all made with the same quality. A regenerative blower is the sum of its parts.

by Huy Tran*


egenerative blowers are the ideal solution for moving large volumes of air at lower pressures (50” or 1.27m). Unlike compressor pumps (positive displacement), regenerative blowers “regenerate” air through a non-positive displacement method to create pressure. In aquaculture/aquaponics, regenerative blowers are probably the least understood form of aeration and mixing, but when design parameters are within the range of a regenerative blower, it can be the most cost effective method for producing aeration in a low fish density (<0.5 lbs/gal or 0.60 kg/m3) application. Regenerative blowers are oil-less and have no complicated intake/exhaust (ideal for aquaculture/aquaponics). Regenerative blowers in aquaculture/aquaponics are typically direct

drive designs, versus electric motor/ gas engine belt drive configurations. The impeller in the direct drive construction is mounted directly on the electric motor shaft and rotates. The impeller consists of numerous radial blades on the circumference of the impeller. As the impeller passes the inlet port, air is drawn in. As the impeller rotates, air is captured between each blade on the impeller and is pushed both outward and forward into the channels. The air then returns to the base of the blade. This process is repeated over and over as the impeller spins. It is this regeneration that gives the blower its pressure. Working in the Aquaculture/Aquaponic industry for the last 29 years, I’ve used many brands of regenerative blowers. Most quality brands will run 15 years or even more. The one

Some examples of blowers seen in Aquaculture/Aquaponics.

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I currently have at my farm has been running for over 18 years with stops only for bearing changes. Some 90 % of blowers in our industry are single stage blowers. In addition to single stage units, some blower manufacturers offer two stage blowers. Two stage blowers are capable of providing almost twice the pressure of single stage units. Two stage blowers operate much like single stage units, as the impeller strikes air molecules over and over to create pressure. In a two stage blower air molecules will make one revolution around the front side of the impeller then, instead of being exhausted after the first revolution, the airflow is channeled to the backside of the impeller through internal porting. Air molecules will then make another revolution around the backside of the impeller or a second im-

tant to not allow foreign material to enter the blower. An air intake filter should always be used with a blower to prevent debris from entering the blower. Over-pressurization can also cause catastrophic failure. A relief valve should always be installed on blowers. Bleed off as much excess air as you can while still conserving as much air as you need. This will allow the blower to run cooler and use less power.

peller, doubling the number of times that the impeller blades strike the air molecules. A regenerative blower’s fundamental design is its biggest benefit, with very little required maintenance. Bearings are the only wearing parts, and replacement should be done every 3-5 years. The biggest failures that I’ve

seen in the last 3-5 years have been the bearings, and I have had good results using Timpken brand replacement bearings. The majority of blower failures are due to improper installation and/or operation. Regenerative blowers have close internal tolerances between the impeller and housing, and it is impor-

*Graduated from the University of Hawaii, past experience includes: production specialist, brood stock and larval production manager, farm manager, aquatic toxicology, senior biologist for Aquatic EcoSystems, Manager of Aquatic Habitats, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Aquatic Eco-Systems.

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Farming of cleaner fish is becoming a new important sector in salmon producing countries

Production of so-called cleaner fish to control sea lice in salmon farms is soaring in the major salmon farming countries. Especially, farming of By Asbjørn Bergheim*

lumpfish in intensively run land-based farms is expanding rapidly.


n Norway, some 2 million cleaner fish were produced in 2013 (, of which 95 % consisted of lumpfish. According to recent projections, the expected volume in 2017 will pass 30 million lumpfish. Lumpfish will then actually become the second largest Norwegian species in aquaculture in terms of numbers – after salmon. Tjeldbergodden Rensefisk (TR) on the west coast of Norway is a typical representative of a modern lumpfish producer (, 16 April 2017). This facility was established just to produce juveniles of halibut and turbot, but converted to lumpfish two years ago. The farm’s licensed production is 1.9 million individuals annually. At present, the farm delivers about 1.5 million lumpfish of 28 – 40 g size after about two months of grow-out. Inlet water with a stable temperature of 8 ºC throughout the year is pumped from 80 m depth. A constant temperature ensures a predictable growth and production regime (manager Svein Martinsen, pers. comm.). This company (TR), has so far gotten its eggs and milt from wild-caught lumpfish. Future recruitment is however expected to be based on cultured brood stock due to increasing demand and the need for reduced disease risk. 64 »

Lumpfish attached to the tank wall (courtesy: Pål Mugaas Jensen)

Thus, TR is already establishing its own broodfish stocks and plans to produce its own eggs and larvae later this year. The health condition of the fish is frequently monitored and controlled by the farm’s veterinary staff. Most lumpfish producers already receive roe from one central brood fish farm. About 80 % of all produced eggs delivered to Norwegian producers are from Skjerneset Fisk (see picture) and export to Scottish farmers will also take place in near future (, 25 April 2017). All sperm used undergo rigid controls before fertilization. With a permitted annual volume of more than 300 million eggs, the brood fish farm’s capacity will be able to meet the growing demand in the years to come! As formerly described in Aquacul-

ture Magazine (Cecilia C. Vargas, Jan. 2015), the R&D facility in Northern Norway, Helgeland Havbruksstasjon, also plays an important role to optimize commercial production of lumpfish. As reported from yet another lumpfish farm, Arctic Cleanerfish (AC) in Northern Norway, excessive fish density in the tanks seems to be associated occasionally with high mortality. Control of the dissolved oxygen concentration is another important factor; saturation levels below 80 % will affect growth and appetite. At AC, good performance in the tanks, i.e. high growth/appetite and low mortality, can be expected at 150 kg biomass per m3, assuming stable oxygen levels of 90 % saturation and flushing of carbon dioxide. The fish density is

Skjerneset Fisk’s brood fish farm “Mork” in Averøy, the predominant producer of lumpfish roe in Norway (courtesy: Tor Gunnar Otterlei)

still impressive and corresponds to approx. 5000 individuals of 30 g per m3 at delivery! However, The Norwegian Food Safety Authority recommends lower maximum density in the lumpfish tanks. In general, cold-water species are vulnerable to oxygen deficit and lumpfish is no exception. A recently performed study with juvenile lumpfish in tanks clearly indicates that oxygen concentrations below 80 % of saturation should be avoided (Aquaculture, March 2017). Lower oxygen levels will cause stress reactions and reduced appetite and growth. More than 60 % of all Norwegian cage farms use cleaner fish (The Nor-

wegian Seafood Research Fund, Feb. 2017). Lumpfish is an efficient lice predator during the polar night and survives the winter in the cages. Use of disease vaccines and access to hiding places in the cages are essential factors for successful operation. Sea lice as selected food seem to be connected to the life cycle of lumpfish: the effect as cleaner fish is obviously reduced when the species reaches an individual size of 350 g. Lumpfish grow quickly and the declining lice appetite may represent a problem during the last stages before harvest of the salmon. Among different methods/techniques for recapture of lumpfish from salmon cages are combined use of submerged cameras and fishpots or landing nets. Recapture is a timeconsuming operation, but a recent study indicates that use of so-called LED-lights placed within the traps in dark cages reduces the time required for capture. Recaptured fish are either stocked in other salmon cages or put down.

Two major projects aiming to establish a secure and sustainable supply of lumpfish for Scottish salmon farms have been in progress since 2015 ( The leading aquaculture research and training institute in the UK, University of Stirling, heads the largest project (£2.44 million budget, USD 1.86 million), while the other one emphasizes health and welfare and is led by the Fish Vet Group. Several large salmon companies, e.g. Marine Harvest Scotland and Scottish Salmon Company, are project partners.

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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Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP):

an Emerging Pathogen in Shrimp Aquaculture Epizootics remain the most catastrophic threat in shrimp aquaculture.

Since 2009, the main concerns in term of infectious diseases have expanded from viral diseases, exclusively, to two other types of pathogenic diseases, namely acute hepatopancreas necrosis disease (AHPND) and hepatopancreatic microsporidiosis (HPM) caused by Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP).

Hui Gong Jiang, PhD


he causative agents of AHPND, also known as “Early Mortality Syndrome,” were Vibrio parahaemyticus, V. campbellii and V. harveyi that produce PirABvp, a binary toxin which provokes up to 100% mortality in shrimp postlarvae or juveniles. With research efforts in understanding how AHPND epidemics work, the shrimp industry has slowly recovered from the economic losses caused by AHPND. On the contrary, EHP didn’t receive the same level of attention as AHPND initially, but its adverse impacts have gradually accumulated, impacting shrimp aquaculture in China, Indonesia, Malyasia, Vietnam, Thailand and India (He et al., 2010,Tang et al., 2015, 2016; Rajendran et al., 2016). Below is an updated snapshot of EHP, an emerging pathogen in shrimp farming.

Pathogen EHP is an intracellular microsporidian parasite, a fungi-related pathogen. It has drawn greater attention recently due to its increased prevalence and highly infectious nature. EHP-related symptoms were first reported in farmed black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon in Thailand in 2004 (Chayaburakul et al., 2004), but the 66 »

pathogen was not characterized and identified until five years later (Tourtip et al., 2009). Unlike some two dozen other microsporidia that infect the muscle cells of crustaceans, EHP particularly targets epithelial cells of the hepatopancreas (HP). With a relatively small size of 0.71.1µm, EHP replicates within the cytoplasm of the tubule epithelial cells in the HP and releases thick-walled spores when infected HP cells are lysed. The spores contain a single nucleus, 5-6 coils of the polar filament, a posterior vacuole, an anchoring disk attached to the polar filament, and a

thick electron-dense wall (Tourtip et al., 2009). The mature spores are then ready to invade other HP or midgut epithelial host cells.

Transmission and Hosts EHP can be horizontally transmitted among shrimp via oral intake within rearing systems. It does not need an intermediate vector as other micropsporidian parasites usually do. Therefore, it is impossible to control EHP transmission by eliminating such vectors. Shrimp hosts of EHP consist of: P. monodon, P. stylirostris, P. vannamei and P. japonicus (highly suspected).

Clinical Signs Gross signs of affected shrimp include the appearance of a whitish hindgut and loose carapace, associated with reduced feeding and retarded growth. White feces syndrome is usually spotted as white fecal strings float on the surface of EHP-infected shrimp ponds. Pronounced size variability often occurs in early infectious stages. When EHP infections progress, shrimp show more signs such as soft shells, lethargy, reduced feed intake, and empty midguts, with notable cumulative mortality. Diagnosis Histology of infected tissues reflects different developmental stages of EHP infection: from basophilic inclusion bodies within the cytoplasm of HP epithelial cells, to sloughing of tubular epithelial cells in various degrees and mature spores released in the lumen (Tourtip et al., 2009). The pEHP-1 plasmid DNA was used to generate a probe and the EHP probe is labeled with digoxigen for in situ hybridization (Tang et al., 2015). Specific samples for PCR diagnostics should be fecal samples, HP and/or midgut. EHP EHP PCR protocols have been developed based on a gene encoding small subunit ribosomal RNA gene of EHP (Tangprasittipap et al., 2013; Tang et al., 2015) and a gene encoding a spore wall protein of EHP (Itsathitphaisarn et al., 2016). LAMP method was developed using a set of six specific primers detect the SSU rRNA gene of EHP. As compared to the nested conventional PCR, high sensitivity and specificity are kept with a shorter processing time (Suebsing et al., 2013).


Co-Infection with AHPND In a recent study, it was confirmed that EHP infection would increase the susceptibility of shrimp to both AHPND infection and septic hepatopancreatic necrosis (SHPN) (Aranguren et al., 2017). Co-infection of EHP and AHPND was confirmed by this study. When AHPND is absent, EHP infection could worsen the bacterial infection problem that cause hepatopancreatic vibriosis, and lead to SHPN. Co-infection could be explained by the synergistic action of the microsporidian and bacterial pathogens on the tissue of the hepatopancreas. Both EHP and AHPND cause sloughing by detachment of epithelial cells from the basement membrane, although the patterns are somewhat different. Control of EHP EHP is very difficult to eradicate, and is resistant to all known drugs for treatment. Fumagillin, a chemical that controls microsporidia infection in honey bees is of no use in controlling EHP (Aranguren et al., 2017). Biosecurity and preventive approaches are the feasible tools in preventing introduction and dissemination of EHP within shrimp facilities. • Properly manage the use of live feed: - screen live feed for EHP - Freezing or sterilizing live feeds is advised

• Screen SPF broodstock and/or seedstocks for EHP, although it is currently not in the OIE list. • Control/Monitor the movement of shrimp stocks between Asia and South America with strict quarantine and biosecurity procedures. EHP infection can spread and intensify over time with successive shrimp crops, especially in earthen ponds. To disinfect earthen pond bottoms, CaO is recommended at 6 Ton/ha with sufficient contact time to inactive spores, while 2.5% Sodium hydroxide with a minimum of 3 hour contact time was also suggested to disinfect tank systems in the hatchery (Sritunyalucksana et al., 2014). In summary, EHP is a hardy parasite and more research is needed to understand its life cycle and transmission pathways, and to eventually find effective ways of controlling EHP outbreaks.

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

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THE Shellfish CORNER

How many Shellfish can I grow on my Farm? By Michael A. Rice*

For many shellfish farmers a key question is how many shellfish could be grown on their farms, but more importantly, how many shellfish could be grown to maximize farm profitability or overall longterm sustainability with minimal environmental impact? Another way of putting this is, just what is the carrying capacity of my farm?


few years back, Dr. Christopher McKindsey and coworkers provided an excellent review of this topic that categorized carrying capacity models into four basic categories: 1) physical carrying capacity; 2) production carrying capacity; 3) ecological carrying capacity; and 4) social carrying capacity [see McKindsey et al., Aquaculture 261:451-462 (2006)]. The physical carrying capacity model for shellfish farms or the amount of space that can be physically occupied by farm gear is very rarely used because the amount of food required by the shellfish to grow and thrive is most frequently insufficient to sustain all the shellfish that could be physically held on the farm. Mr. Luther H. Blount’s Prudence Island Oyster Farm in my home state of Rhode Island is an example of a shellfish farm designed to operate by 68 »

stocking the farm with oysters at a density approaching the physical carrying capacity of a 60m x 20m (0.12 ha or about 0.3 acre) tidally fed ‘oyster pond’ that he had constructed on his property on Prudence Island in the middle of Narragansett Bay. Mr. Blount was the president of a highly successful boat building company, but his family had made their original fortune in the oyster farming business in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, with Luther growing up on those farms. He vowed to see that oyster farms returned to Narragansett Bay after their complete demise in the 1950s. In the late 1970s, Luther applied for a lease in Narragansett Bay to set up an oyster farm, but his application was denied. In a determined response, Luther acquired some property on Prudence Island near the tidal estuary of Jenny’s Creek and went to Japan to

study the Japanese methods of offbottom oyster culture using the raft method. Upon returning home and securing his permits, he constructed his oyster pond with a set of subtidal seawater culverts leading into the pond from Narragansett Bay and he filled the pond with Japanese-style oyster rafts with suspended nets with seed oysters (see Figure 1). Unfortunately, and much to his chagrin, the oysters only grew to about an inch and few ever reached marketable size before dying. His oysters were essentially starving to death at the stocking density that he had calculated to be sufficient to pay back the expenses needed to build the ponds. Production carrying capacity models are often the most useful for farmers to gauge their shellfish stocking density to the amount of available food flowing by in the water. The production carrying capacity provides an

An oyster culture longline system on Rhode Islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Narragansett bay. Photo Courtesy of Saltwater Farms, North Kingstown Rhode Island.

estimate of the maximum shellfish stocking density allowable, usually at the individual farm scale, before unacceptable levels of shellfish stunting or growth inhibition occurs. A very simple production carrying capacity model for shellfish farms was developed in 1981 by Dr. Lewis Incze and his colleagues that related maximum attainable shellfish stocking densities to the available concentration of particulate food in the water (mostly phytoplankton as particulate organic matter) and the volume of water flowing through the farm [see: Incze etal., Journal of the World Mariculture Society 12:143-155 (1981)]. They modeled an array of mussels on dropper lines suspended from multiple floating longlines (called tiers in their model) arranged perpendicularly to the tidal flow of water in an estuary. In their model, individual mussels filtered water at a uniform rate, but the variables

of the model included numbers of mussels stocked, the physical dimensions of the farm, numbers of tiers (or longline units), the initial concentration of particulate food in the water and the average tidal current rate through the farm. Their model also assumed that once the concentration of food reaching downstream tiers of shellfish reached half the initial food concentration, the shellfish would begin stunting. This simple production carrying capacity model in reality is poor in precisely guiding farmers on how to stock their shellfish farms given the complications of real-life estuaries, but it is very valuable in getting people to think about the interplay between food availability and the demand for food by growing shellfish. It also illustrates conceptually how most all other more recent and practically useful production carrying capacity

models for shellfish farms work. It is for these reasons that I like to use this simple model with my undergraduate students to help them develop an intuitive appreciation for the basic concept of food supply and demand in shellfish aquaculture so as to at least avoid costly miscalculations similar to the one made by Mr. Blount. Ecological carrying capacity modeling seeks to predict any effects that shellfish aquaculture farms might have on the community of other organisms that make up the estuary or other water body in which shellfish farming is being conducted, including potential impacts the farms might have on wild-harvest shellfisheries conducted in that same water body. This sort of modeling requires a careful collection of a wide variety of environmental variables including phytoplankton abundances, zooplankton abundances, fish and benthic invertebrate abundance as well as inputs and variability of nutrient availability that drive the rates of production (see Figure 2). One good example of an ecological carrying capacity model is in a carbon budget analysis of mussel farms in Saldanha Bay in South Africa [see: Grant et al., Journal of Shellfish Research 17:41-49 (1998)]. In this study Dr. Jon Grant and his colleagues concluded that the then present rate of mussel farming in Saldanha Bay was below the ecological carrying capacity, leaving abundant sources of food for other marine organisms in the bay.

Figure 1. Japanese-style floating oyster rafts filling the pond at Blountâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Prudence Island Oyster Farm. The oyster pond is fed by incoming tidal waters from the adjacent Narragansett Bay flowing trough subtidal culvert pipes underneath the earthen berm. Photo by Michael A. Rice, 1988.

Âť 69

THE Shellfish CORNER

Figure 2. An example of a complex energy flow model to analyze the trophic structure of Narragansett Bay. Figure from Monaco & Ulanowicz, Marine Ecology Progress Series 161:239-254 (1997).

In a more recent study, Dr. Carrie Byron of University of New England and her colleagues studied the carrying capacity of oyster aquaculture in Narragansett Bay, concluding that the carrying capacity biomass of farmed oysters would be 297 metric tons/ km2 or 625 times the then current level of farmed oyster production [see: Byron et al., Ecological Modelling 222:1743-1755 (2011)]. Interestingly enough, their estimate of the carrying capacity biomass of farmed oysters in Narragansett Bay is in the same order of magnitude as our estimated farmed oyster standing crop of 371 metric tons/km2 in 1911, the historic peak year for the production of farmed oysters on 21,000 leased acres (85 km2) in the bay and other coastal waters of the state. As part of a study to investigate the impacts of oyster culture on various measures of water quality and phytoplankton abundance, we estimated from his70 »

toric records of landings and oyster sales the standing crop biomass of oysters in Narragansett Bay to be 144,562 metric tons over a total 389.3 km2 of the bay [see: Pietros and Rice, Aquaculture 220:407-422 (2003)]. These studies strongly suggest that the size of the shellfish aquaculture industry in Narragansett Bay could be greatly expanded without much worry of incurring any negative environmental impacts. Whether or not the shellfish aquaculture ultimately can expand is frequently determined by public acceptance of the practice. The concept of social carrying capacity presented by McKindsey and his colleagues is described as the maximum amount of shellfish that could be produced in an estuary without incurring unacceptable social impacts. This concept of social carrying capacity is a particularly important concept for shellfish farmers because most if not all

shellfish farming in North America is conducted in ‘public trust waters’ or waters held in common and managed by a public authority. In the case of production of farmed oysters in the public trust waters of Narragansett Bay, the social carrying capacity for the culture of oysters would be greatly exceeded well before either the 2297 tonnes/km2 ecological carrying capacity would be reached or even the 371 tonnes/ km2 of oyster biomass estimated to be in the 1911 oyster farms covering 21,000 leased acres (85 km2) or about 22 % of the entire area of Rhode Island’s state waters would be reached. According to landing statistics maintained by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, Rhode Island’s aquaculture industry was growing at a rate of about 30 percent per year on average between 1995 and 2007 This rapid rate of industry growth generated considerable

concern primarily among the community of wild harvest shellfishers in the state concerned about potential future exclusion from the shellfishing grounds, as well as members of environmental non-governmental organizations and some of the coastal landowners who place a high value on their ability to freely navigate through the state’s waters and enjoy the natural aesthetics of the seashore. In early 2007, a process to review aquaculture regulations in the state began in earnest among stakeholders wrestling with the question of how big the shellfish aquaculture could become before it became too big. After a year of meetings and public discussions, including presentation of the data and conclusions regarding the ecological carrying capacity of shellfish aquaculture in the state’s waters, a consensus recommendation was made to limit the amount of leased coastal waters in any particular water body to 5 % of the total water surface of that water body and to

limit the sizes of individual farms in the coastal salt ponds where there is a particularly acute concern about assuring that these water bodies being heavily used by recreational users particularly during the summer months. A copy of the report outlining the process and output of this effort can be found at aquaculture/riaquaworkinggroup/ CRMC_WG_AquaPlan.pdf. Since 2008, this ‘5 % rule’ limiting the area to be leased by the state for shellfish farming has been considered a de-facto social carrying capacity. The growth of shellfish aquaculture in Rhode Island has continued unabated over the last 10 years and the 5 % limit rule is still in place without yet being reached. However, since the coastal salt ponds of Rhode Island are productive and offer easy access for shellfish farmers, they have been very popular for shellfish aquaculture lease proposals, making them likely to be the first water bodies in the state to run up against social car-

rying capacity limits. However, social carrying capacity is not as easily defined in mathematical terms as the production and ecological carrying capacity models, and the actual limit may be much more ‘fluid’ in nature. In the end, the size of the social carrying capacity of shellfish farming in public trust waters may well depend entirely on good stewardship and being a good neighbor.

Michael A. Rice, PhD, is a Professor of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science at the University of Rhode Island. He has published extensively in the areas of physiological ecology of mollusks, shellfishery management, molluscan aquaculture, and aquaculture in international development. He has served as Chairperson of his department at the University of Rhode Island, and as an elected member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

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The Fishmonger


– PEARLS FOR THE TAKING “As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.” ― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast


s there an ‘R’ in the month? I do not think so but let us not concern ourselves with myths and let us get an update on Oysters. By the way the mysterious ‘R’ rule is perhaps the most widely known, and most misunderstood, oyster myth of all time. Although it once served a purpose, the policy is pretty much defunct now. How did it come about? This advice was wise when oysters were harvested from the wild rather than farmed. Oysters spawn in summer, when water temps are at their warmest. Traditionally, the season was closed on them during much of the R-less months (May through August) so they could reproduce. Additionally, because in preparation for spawning, they convert glycogen stores to gametes (sperm and eggs) and become soft and milky. This was also in the days before refrigeration and it was not safe to eat a raw animal that had been sitting in the sun/heat all day long on vessels/wharves. Many years ago, as stories have it, when the oyster industry was strong in and around New York they were so obsessed with oyster consumption — they jokingly turned August into Orgust so they could continue con72 »

sumption. Of course, for oysters in the Southern hemisphere this issue became even more of a problem and an essential myth to de-bunk. According to information supplied at the recent SUCCESS Workshop in Santander the total US supply of oysters is estimated to exceed 900 million oysters, and represent a landed value of US$230 million. The clear majority of whole and shucked oysters consumed in the US are sourced domestically. Canadian imports are primarily whole oysters. The US market supply has experienced erratic growth performance in recent years as strong capacity gains in the North East have been offset by declines in both the Gulf and South East regions. Until recent years most US oysters have been sourced from the Gulf region but nowadays the Pacific Northwest is leading the production figures. The clear majority of US oysters are sourced via aquaculture from numerous coastal regions across the country. Aquaculture represents some 96 % of total production and, of total supply, an estimated 525+ million or approximately 60 % are whole/half shell and the remaining 370+ million are shucked.

Although oyster farming can be done in closed cycle, with seeds obtained from hatcheries and transferred to oyster parks until they reach market size, a substantial portion of the US supply comes from capture based aquaculture. Capture based has a stronger regulatory framework. Capture based aquaculture is the cultivation and harvest of oysters, typically from public grounds or private leases. To cultivate oysters lease owning farmers and processors transplant seed from the public ground to their lease. In total, overall US supply has been flat since 2008. Consensus is that consumer demand remains greater than supply, so growth trends are expected to continue in regions with capacity. Current strong consumer demand for oysters is reflected in the growth of Oyster Bars and Oyster menu listings. The clear majority of oyster consumption is at restaurants, accounting for 80 % of total volume sales. From a demand perspective, the growth of raw bars and the addition of oysters to menus as a relatively low cost, high margin item that is well suited for sharing has led to significant demands for supply.

There is significant variability in the oyster harvest by region with the North East and Pacific North West commanding the highest relative premium among US regions. While the Gulf remains the whole volume share leader, the Northern harvesting areas account for most the whole value share given the higher prices realised for their whole oysters. When evaluated by format, the whole oysters account for almost 60 % of the volume and over 70 % of the value of US oyster production. The Northern producing regions command a price premium driven by the perceived higher quality of their oysters, which are primarily sold in the whole format for white table cloth restaurants.

Food Safety Oysters are considered a risk food as they are a raw, ready-to eat product and as such may not undergo any cooking step prior to being eaten, so knowing where they are from and how they have been handled is important. The absence of a cooking step (which normally kills any food poisoning bacteria) means that oysters must be handled and opened hygienically with good temperature control being maintained throughout storage, processing and display. This is probably the most important caveat regarding the ‘R’ issue. That is that warmer-than-average water temperatures have increased the prevalence of Vibrio vulnificus. This pathogen, which some oysters have been found to harbor, can indeed make people sick. Incidences of illness are carefully monitored by the USDA and harvesting policies have become much stricter over the years. Receiving • Only purchase and receive oysters from an oyster farmer or processor who is licensed – make sure the supplier is complying with the requirements of the state. • Ensure that all unopened oysters received from suppliers are labelled » 73

The Fishmonger

with the batch number or Product Record number, date of harvest or date of depuration, farmer’s name and address, estuary of harvest and lease numbers, the species of oyster and the storage requirements for that product (for traceability purposes it is important to keep copies of this information e.g. invoices). • Get updated health authority information but as a guide unopened Pacific oysters must be received at less than 10°C if 24 hours has elapsed since harvest – some varieties can be handled at higher temperatures.

Storage • Unopened Pacific oysters are to be received and stored at less than 10°C - this advice may differ in some states so check this out and conform - and should be stored away from other raw product or pooling water which may cause them to open or gape. • Opened oysters need to be stored at or below 5°C or according to official health authority advice, and away from all raw product to minimise the risk of cross contamination. • If storing multiple batches of unopened or opened oysters it is best practice to ensure that each batch

is labelled with the product record number.

Processing • To assist with traceability, it is best practice for only one batch (product record number) of oysters to be processed and displayed at a time. • Ensure all benches, aprons, opening blocks, knives, display trays etc. are cleaned and sanitised before use. • Ensure the processor washes his/ her hands thoroughly. • When rinsing oysters after opening,

oysters should be rinsed under running, potable (municipal) water to remove any dirt from the exterior of the shell that may contaminate the product. Dipping of oysters into a bucket, bowl or sink of water has been shown to increase the risk of contamination by food poisoning bacteria and this practice may not comply with the requirements of the Health Authority in your area. A shower rose fitting to the opening sink is recommended for rinsing. • Opened oysters should not be stacked on top of each other (as there is a risk of contamination of the oyster meat). If layering oysters on trays it is recommended that food grade paper or some other approved covering sheets be used in between layers. • Once opened, oysters need to be stored or displayed at or below 5°C.

Display • Opened oysters must be displayed at or below 5°C (sufficient ice may be required around the oysters to help achieve this temperature). • Opened oysters need to be adequately separated from raw product when on display to minimise the risk of cross contamination. Treat your oysters right and they will treat you the same. Happy Fishmongering! The Fishmonger

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» 75

The Long View

Marine Ingredients in Aquaculture Feeds

Aquaculture enables edible fish to be produced faster and sent to

markets quicker than wild caught fisheries products primarily because formulated feeds enable an increased growth rate. Farmed aquatic organisms that are fed will have a lower conversion rate of food to By Aaron A. McNevin*

biomass than wild stocks of the same species.


or some aquaculture species, there can be more farmed products produced per unit of wild fish in feeds. Moreover, the aquaculture industry has increased the rate of efficiency in utilizing marine ingredients. So one has to ask, “If aquaculture is so efficient, why is there debate around the use of wild fish as an ingredient in feed?” Not only are farmed organisms more efficient at using nutrients in feed than wild fish, but the survival of farmed organisms - from egg to market size - is 10 to 20 orders of magnitude greater than the same species in the wild. This increased rate of survival is thus, artificial. However, the fish used to make fish meal and fish oil are from wild or natural fish populations. The science of fisheries management tells us that a fish stock is controlled by recruitment and growth which increases biomass and natural mortality and fishing mortality that reduces biomass (Fig. 1). If we attempt to transpose these dynamics onto aquaculture, farmed biomass is optimized by increasing recruitment through hatchery technologies, increasing growth through formulated feeds, and decreasing mortality through the protection from predators (Fig. 2). Thus, aquaculture has manipulated the natural drivers of biomass change to increase overall 76 »

Figure 1. Fishery biomass dynamics of an exploited fishery.

output of farmed product – that’s a good thing! It seems aquaculture’s trajectory is more positive than that of wild fisheries. However, the efforts to make aquaculture more efficient are human induced. We have artificially increased the biomass on a farm. These on-farm enhancements to recruitment, growth and survival are not compensated for or not automatically adjusted for in a wild fishery used to make fish meal and oil. In effect, we are creating an artificial demand for wild fish by increasing our ability to farm more fish. Essentially, this would be considered increasing fishing mortality (Fig. 3). Humans can really only influence a natural fishery’s biomass through adjusting fishing mortality, and quite frankly, the

amount of human restraint to restrict fishing mortality could be considered sub-optimal. The degree to which aquaculture can offset fishing mortality for direct human consumption of seafood can be considered the amount of pressure on wild fisheries (for direct human consumption) that is reduced through aquaculture. Of course, there does not appear to be an acknowledgement, in many regions of the world, that fishing mortality needs to be decreased. Thus, if fisheries are fished to their maximum sustainable yield (MSY) the biomass will stay the same or decrease in the cases where MSY has been exceeded. This means that as long as fishing mortality remains at the same or higher rates, aquaculture cannot truly take pressure off of the

Figure 2. Transposition of fishery biomass dynamics onto aquaculture.

wild fisheries. Of course, one could consider what might happen if all of the sudden there was no more farmed Atlantic salmon – would the demands for Atlantic salmon be shifted to the wild salmon fisheries? Revisiting the fisheries used for fish meal and oil we find that two major sources are targeted pelagic stocks in the Atlantic and off the west coast of South America. There is also a large portion of fish meal that is produced with unmarketable fisheries that are incidentally caught – often referred to as “trash fish” in Asia. Those fisheries are influenced by the aquaculture-induced fishing mortal-

Figure 3. Aquaculture-induced fishing mortality.

ity. If these fisheries used for fish meal and oil are managed properly, aquaculture’s demand will not cause overfishing. It is important to note though that aquaculture is expected to continue its rapid pace of growth which means that increased demands from aquaculture will need to be countered by increased efficiency in the use of marine ingredients. Rates of efficiency are increasing in marine feed ingredient utilization - the Atlantic salmon farming sector is likely the best example of this. The key point to all of this is that the wild fisheries used for fish meal and oil in aquaculture feeds are finite.

They cannot be artificially enhanced as done for aquaculture biomass. The artificial biomass increase in aquaculture exerts a quantity of fishing mortality in wild fish stock biomass for feed ingredients. It seems obvious that if we are to increase aquaculture production in the future it is likely going to come from intensification which will require more feed. Artificial growth of aquaculture with the flattening out of wild fish catch is the reason for concern and debate around marine ingredient utilization in aquaculture feeds. However, it is not just wild fish that is finite, our arable land for agriculture is finite too so it is not a panacea for aquaculture to become less dependent on wild fish if there is an equal demand on other resources such as land for plant-based ingredients. And it is not just aquaculture that has resource demands, other animal proteins can have much greater resource demands than aquaculture. Nevertheless, aquaculture is unique amongst animal proteins in its overall demand for fish meal and oil.

Dr. Aaron McNevin directs the aquaculture program at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). He received his MS and PhD from Auburn University in Water and Aquatic Soil Chemistry. Aaron has lived and worked in Indonesia, Thailand and Madagascar and currently manages various projects throughout the developing world. He previously worked as a professor of fisheries science, and is the co-author of the book Aquaculture, Resource Use, and the Environment.

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Perspective and Opinion

Court of Appeals Upholds District Court Ruling Limiting USFWS Lacey Act Over-reach

Recently, there have been numerous discussions regarding the role of several government agencies in designating common aquaculture species as “injurious,” the criteria involved in reaching By C. Greg Lutz


he NAA and other organizations have pointed out the flawed approach some regulators exhibit in the risk assessment process that leads to an aquatic species being designated as injurious. I recall an example several years ago in which the USGS web page on Penaeus monodon indicated there were “genetically modified” individuals of this species reproducing in the Gulf of Mexico. It has since been corrected in response to comments to the contrary. Once a species is listed as injurious the ability of producers to sell their harvests in interstate commerce is in jeopardy. A partial remedy, however, may now present itself. Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a lower court’s ruling and affirmed that the Lacey Act does not prohibit transportation and commerce of species listed as “injurious” between the continental United States. Accordingly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) cannot restrict commerce and transportation of species listed as “injurious” within the 49 continental states (excluding the District of Columbia) and has 78 »

those designations, and the regulatory implications for our industry.

apparently been attempting to do so without the proper legal authority. On December 18, 2013, the United States Association of Reptile Keepers and various individuals (ARK) filed the original action in District Court, challenging a 2012 rule in which the USFWS designated as injurious four species of snakes (not in issue in this appeal). See 77 Fed. Reg. 3,330 (Jan. 23, 2012). ARK argued that USFWS lacks authority under the Lacey Act to prohibit transportation of the listed species between the 49 continental States. As explained in the Appeals Court’s decision, in 1960, Congress sought “[t]o clarify certain provisions of the Criminal Code relating to the importation or shipment of injurious mammals, birds, amphibians, fish, and reptiles.” Pub. L. No. 86-702, 74 Stat. 753, 753 (1960) (citing 18 U.S.C. § 42). To that end, Congress enacted the clause directly at issue in this case —the shipment clause—and appended it to the import clause. The Judges explained that “The import and shipment clauses, in their current formulations, read as follows (with the shipment clause italicized for demarcation): The importation into the United States, any territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any possession of the United States, or any shipment between

the continental United States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any possession of the United States, of [enumerated species] and such other species . . . which the Secretary of the Interior may prescribe by regulation to be injurious to human beings, to the interests of agriculture, horticulture, forestry, or to wildlife or the wildlife resources of the United States, is hereby prohibited.” The Court found that “For some time after the shipment clause’s enactment in 1960, the Department of the Interior, in proposed rulemakings and in testimony before Congress, understood the clause to prohibit shipments of injurious animals between the listed jurisdictions (for instance, shipments between ‘Hawaii’ and the ‘continental United States’) but not to bar interstate shipments within the ‘continental United States’ itself (for instance, shipments between Kansas and Virginia). See U.S. Ass’n of Reptile Keepers, Inc. v. Jewell, 103 F. Supp. 3d 133, 148-49 (D.D.C. 2015). The Department has since shifted course. In recent years, whenever the Secretary of Interior, acting through the Fish and Wildlife Service, promulgates a rule designating a new species as injurious, the rule’s preamble notes that the designation results in a prohibition against any interstate transport of the species. See, e.g., 80 Fed. Reg.

12,702, 12,702 (Mar. 10, 2015). The government, that is, now interprets the shipment clause to prohibit all interstate shipments of injurious species: the clause, under that interpretation, bars shipments not only between the ‘continental United States’ and ‘Hawaii’ but also bars shipments between the 49 continental States— thereby barring all interstate shipments.” Although the Court’s opinion is some 22 pages in length, one paragraph pretty much sums it up: “While it is common ground that the shipment clause prohibits shipments between the continental United States and any of the other listed jurisdictions, what about shipments between the 49 ‘continental United States’ themselves— between Virginia and Maryland, for instance? The government [USFWS] submits that the shipment clause bars those shipments as well. ARK argues otherwise. We agree with ARK.” Clearly, while this is a huge victory for the ARK and it will probably also have positive impacts on the regulatory environment facing U.S. aquaculture producers, the ARK reminds its members to “Note that this ruling will not nullify any local or state laws regarding these [injurious] species. Also, importation into the U.S. of species listed as injurious is still prohibited under the Lacey Act.” The entire opinion is available at http://usark. org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ USARK-Lawsuit-Appeals-Mem-Op. pdf

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

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aquaculture events

JUNE SEAFOOD SUMMIT Jun. 5 – Jun. 7 The Westin, Seattle, USA E: W:

ASIA PACIFIC AQUACULTURE 2017 Jul. 25 – Jul- 27 Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia T: +1 760 7515005 E: W:

WORLD AQUACULTURE 2017 Jun. 26 – Jun. 30 Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W:

SEPTEMBER AQUA EXPO – GUAYAQUIL 2017 Sep. 25 – Sep. 28 Hilton Hotel Guayaquil, Guayaquil, Ecuador E: W:

PESCAMAR Jun. 28 – Jun. 30 World Trade Center, CDMX, Mexico T: +52 55 6601 E: W:

FIACUI 2017 Sep. 27 – Sep. 29 Fiesta Americana Minerva Hotel, Guadalajara, Mexico T: +52 22 8000 7595 E: W:

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


antibiotics, probiotics and FEED additives EVONIK Industries AG..............................................Inside cover Contact: Cristian Fischl T: + 52 (55) 5483 1030 Fax: + 52 (55) 5483 1012 E-mail:, heliae...............................................................Inside BACK cover 578 E Germann Road Gilbert, AZ 85297 T: (800) 998-6536 E-mail: / Lallemand Animal Nutrition...................................................65 Contact: Bernardo Ramírez DVM Basurto. Tel: (+52) 833 155 8096 E-mail: / Reed Mariculture, Inc...............................................................17 900 E Hamilton Ave, Suite 100. Campbell, CA 95008 USA. Contact: Lin T: 408 377 1065 F: 408 884 2322 E-mail: / SYNDEL..........................................................................................57 CANADA.T: 1 800 663 2282 USA. T: 1 800 283 5292 aeration equipment, PUMPS, FILTERS and measuring instruments, ETC ADVANCED AQUACULTURE SYSTEMS, INC.......................................9 4509 Hickory Creek Lane, Brandon, FL 33511 Contact: Dana Kent T: (800) 994-7599 / (813) 653-2823v E-mail: / Aquatic Equipment and Design, Inc........................................24 522 S. HUNT CLUB BLVD, #416, APOPKA, FL 32703 Contact: Amy Stone T: (407) 717-6174  E-mail: FIAP.................................................................................................15 Jakob - Oswald - Strasse 16 D-92289 Ursensollen Bayern, Deutschland Contact: Christian Schwirzer T: +49 (0) 96 28 92 13 0 Email: / Fresh Flo.....................................................................................21 3037 Weeden Creek Rd. Sheboygan, WI 53081 Contact: Barb Ziegelbauer T: 920-208-1500 E-mail: / MOLEAER.........................................................................................5 4233 Santa Anita Ave,Unit I-6, El Monte, CA 91731, USA T: +1 (323) 389-1896 E-mail: / OxyGuard International A/S....................................................27 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................................................................................63 421 A south Andreassen Drive Escondido California, USA. Contact: Chris Krechter. T: 760 746 74 00 E-mail: / TOYESI PTY LTD..............................................................................71 Contact: Mark Whorlow T: (61 2) 9679 9400 / C: (61 4) 21 386 320 E-mail: / YSI............................................................................................35 1700/1725 Brannum Lane-P.O. Box 279, Yellow Springs, OH. 45387,USA. Contact: Tim Groms. T: 937 767 7241, 1800 897 4151 E-mail: / WORKSAFEBC................................................................................29 6951 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC | V7C 1C6 Contact: Carolyn Trotter T: 604.231-8352 / applications such as oxygen, ozone, nitrogen, compressed dry air Adsorptech, Inc....................................................................33 22 Stonebridge Rd. Hampton, NJ 08827 USA. T: +1 908 735 9528 E-mail: / events and exhibitions AQUAEXPO 2017.......................................................................43 September 25th - 28th, 2017. Guayaquil, Ecuador. E-mail: / 4th Science and Technology CONFERENCE on Shrimp Farming..................................................................................55 January 25th - 26th, 2018. Ciudad Ogregón, Sonora, Mexico. Contact: Christian Criollos, E-mail: 12th FIACUI............................................................................25 September 27th - 29th, 2017. Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Information on Booths Contact in Mexico: Christian Criollos E-mail: | Latin American & Caribbean Chapter World Aquaculture Society (LACQUA17)........................31 November 7th - 10th, 2017. Mazatlan, Mexico. Contact: Nashieli Rodríguez Núñez Mobile phone: +52 (1) 612 142 69 21 Information Services

80 »

XIV International Symposium on Aquaculture Nutrition (SINA) Oct. 4 – Oct. 6 Centro Social, Cívico y Cultural Rivera, Ensenada, Mexico T: +52 646 1744570 ext. 115 E: W: AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2017 Oct. 16 – Oct. 20 Valamar Resort, Dubrovnik, Croatia T: +1 760 751 5003 E: W: 2017 ALGAE BIOMASS SUMMIT Oct. 29 – Nov. 1 Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA W: NOVEMBER LAQUA 17 Nov. 8 – Nov. 10 Mazatlan International Center, Mazatlan, Mexico T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W:

advertisers Index

Aquaculture Magazine................................................41 & 59 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. Urner Barry................................................................................47 P.O. Box 389 Tom Ride. New Jersey USA. Contact: Ángel Rubio. T: 732-575-1982 E-mail: OYSTER GRADING SYSTEM SHELLFISH EQUIPMENT.................................................................23 16643 Bass Highway, WYNYARD TAS 7325 PO Box 415, WYNYARD TAS 7325 Contact: Tanita Jacobs T: (03) 6442 1563 Fax: (03) 6442 1564 E-mail: / RAS SYSTEMS, DESIGN, EQUIPMENT SUPPORT GEMINI FIBERGLASS......................................................................39 3345 N. Cascade Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80907 Contact: Michael Paquette, President T: 858-602-9465 Email: www. tanks AND NETWORKING FOR AQUACULTURE Duro-Last, Inc...........................................................................1 525 Morley Drive, Saginaw, MI 48601 Contact: Jennifer Bruzewski T: 800-248-0280 E-mail: INTERMAS GROUP.........................................................................11 Ronda de Collsabadell, No. 11, Poligono Industrial 08450 Llinars del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain. Contact: Eugenie Morant T: +34 938 425 709 E-mail: MARINE AQUACULTURE (Department of Fisheries, Western Australia)...................................................................................19 Department of Fisheries, Western Australia P.O.Box 20 Northbeach, WA 6920 Australia Contact: Dr Sagiv Kolkovski T: +61-8-92030220, C: 0417940498 Email: / REEF Industries.........................................................................13 9209 Almeda Genoa Road Z.C. 7075, Houston, Texas, USA. Contact: Gina Quevedo/Mark Young/ Jeff Garza. T: Toll Free 1 (800) 231-6074 T: Local (713) 507-4250 E-mail: / / /

Aquaculture Magazine June / July 2017 Volume 43 Number 3  

LET'S TALK ABOUT SHELLFISH · Turning the tide against a deadly oyster virus · High Pressure Treatment Against Biofouling in Mussel Farms: T...

Aquaculture Magazine June / July 2017 Volume 43 Number 3  

LET'S TALK ABOUT SHELLFISH · Turning the tide against a deadly oyster virus · High Pressure Treatment Against Biofouling in Mussel Farms: T...