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Aquaculture Magazine Volume 44 Number 6 December 2018 - January 2019






Evaluation of genetic parameters for growth and cold tolerance traits in Fenneropenaeus chinensis juveniles.



Scottish Environment Protection Agency unveils firm, evidence-based proposals for a revised regulatory regime.


Recent News and Events

on the

cover Production of omega-3

enriched tilapia through the dietary use of algae meal or fish oil: improved nutrient value of fillet and offal



FRESH-FLO Numerous Enhancements Made to Fresh-flo Transport Aerator.



Young shrimp farmers on new business and farming models, challenges and successes.

Volume 44 Number 6 December 2018 - January 2019

Editor and Publisher Salvador Meza

Editor in Chief Greg Lutz

Editorial Assistant Nancy Jones Nava

42 LATIN AMERICA REPORT Recent News and Events.

Editorial Design Francisco Cibrián

Designer Perla Neri


Global Aquaculture: Recipient of Millionaire Investments.

Marketing & Sales Manager Christian Criollos

Business Operations Manager Adriana Zayas

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AQUACULTURE STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL News from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. By ASC Staff



What, then, must we do? An open letter and a challenge. By Neil Anthony Sims


FISH HEALTH, ETC. / PERSPECTIVE AND OPINION Using Pseudo-Science and Disease to Fear-Monger Against Aquaculture: A Veterinarian’s Perspective PART 3 – Playing up the dangers of a commensal: Piscine Orthoreovirus (“PRV”) By Hugh Mitchell, MSc, DVM



Recent news from around the globe by By Suzi Dominy



The Economic Contributions of Aquaculture Farm Production to Local Economies By Carole R. Engle, Ph.D., Engle-Stone Aquatic$ LLC





Power – why is it so… dynamic? By Amy Stone

Need of extra oxygen supply in cages stocked with salmon and trout. By Asbjørn Bergheim



Domestication of Mangrove Crab, Scylla serrata in Palau: Larval rearing and Nursery Experience. By: Miguel A. Delos Santos and Hui Gong Jiang, PhD



Ilya Mechnikov, Probiotics and the Health of Shellfish. By Michael A. Rice*



By C. Greg Lutz

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” Abraham Lincoln


veryone talks about the future and how this industry will grow, at leaps and bounds. But what will fuel our growth? Good will? The needs of the starving masses? Human history suggests that we can only count on a minimal impetus from those forces alone. That same history also suggests that it will probably be all about the money. Salvador Meza, our Publisher, sheds some light in this issue on the motivations of the multi-national grain and feed industries in terms of promoting industry expansion in the coming decades. In order to push that relationship of “more fish farming requires more feed, and more feed requires more feed ingredients,” it is likely that aquaculturists will continue to receive significant support from these global industries, either directly or indirectly. But this will not be enough. If we cannot begin to use both scientific AND public relations principles to 4 »

justify our existence, let alone expansion, industry growth will stagnate in many science-illiterate nations (including the U.S.). For example, virtually every criticism related to offshore aquaculture production can be addressed with available technology (sterility, mono-sex stocks, etc.) but those solutions are not always easily grasped by policy makers or the public they work for. They are also, apparently, rarely attractive to politicians who must bow to the clamor of that portion of the electorate that has been misinformed by self-serving “advocates.” Harsh words… but get used to it – until we have a more scientifically literate society (let alone politicians), we will have to do a much better job of public relations activities to point out the benefits to society that aquaculture has to offer. An understanding of basic science is more rare than you might think. I’m reminded of the question posed by (former) Re-

publican Representative Dana Rohrabacher last year during a hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s subcommittee on Space. In case you missed it, he asked a panel of NASA scientists if there had once been a civilization on Mars… Let that sink in, and then go for a long run or pour yourself a stiff drink. Or both. The criticisms we face in social media or NPR are often unfounded, or only the product of biased perspectives, but even when they have merit there are always solutions in the pipeline. Some critics have often cited the low omega-3 values of farm raised tilapia (well, those raised in fresh water, at any rate) as a reason to avoid the fish. Especially because the grain-based diets used to raise these fish can increase levels of omega-6 fats. Occasionally, omega-6 fats have been implicated (theoretically) as being associated with higher levels of

inflammation. And as is so often the case, some “researchers” at Wake Forest University tried to capitalize on this perceived imbalance a number of years back, to claim for publicity’s sake that tilapia is more harmful to heart health than bacon. Luckily we still have some sources of objective, truth-based science to turn to. The Harvard Medical School has pointed out that there is strong evidence that both of these omega fats are good for us. The November 2008 Harvard Heart Letter summarized that although tilapia may not be as good for our hearts as mackerel or sardines, it’s still a healthy choice. The authors concluded that while farmed tilapia and catfish provide fewer omega-3’s than say, salmon or anchovies, they certainly provide more than beef, pork, chicken or turkey. Or bacon, I assume… And in terms of omega-6 fats, the article pointed out that these fats

perform many important functions, including lowering LDL and triglycerides, boosting HDL (the protective, or “good” cholesterol we hear about) and helping regulate blood sugar levels. Dr. Walter C. Willet, a Professor of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, was quoted as saying “the doubling of the intake of omega-6 fat in the American diet since 1960 is one reason why heart disease deaths have declined since then.” Perhaps most importantly, and something the Wake Forest “researchers” should have known, is this: the way the human body utilizes arachidonic acid (which is converted from omega-6 components and associated with inflammation – both promoting and reducing it) is in no way dependent on the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats. And yet, the myth about this horrible quality of tilapia continues to circulate on social media. In spite of the fact that it is an excellent source of

protein, is low in saturated fat and is rich in essential trace minerals. Well, there’s a solution to this problem, even if it is only a perceived problem. Recent work suggests that with the right dietary components, including common microalgae, it is possible to significantly raise levels of omega-3 fats in farmed tilapia. Not only in the fillets we consume, but also in the by-products which are often used to produce fish meal and/or animal feeds. The next hurdle will be to develop methods to mass produce these algal components so they can be incorporated in the volumes required for commercial applications. And when that day comes, the tilapia critics can just eat bacon. 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.




National Aquaculture Association’s Mike Clark Leadership Program


he National Aquaculture Association (NAA) offers the Mike Clark Aquaculture Farmer Leadership Program to help young farmers that are interested in becoming leaders at the state or national level to create, contribute to, and strengthen state or national aquaculture organizations. These organizations represent farmer interests and perspectives while helping to grow U.S. aquaculture. This leadership program recognizes and honors Mike Clark of Central Arkansas Fisheries. Mr. Clark was an exemplary farmer, family and community leader who unselfishly, quietly, and with great personal integrity furthered the growth of U.S. aquaculture through his leadership and personal contributions to the NAA and other farmer organizations. To qualify for this program, an applicant must be in a farm management position. The applicant must recognize the value and benefit of improving their leadership skills and cannot have served in a leadership role in a national aquaculture organization. The applicant must demonstrate to the NAA Board of Director’s satisfaction a strong desire to improve their leadership skills and a recognition of the considerable time, effort and investment required to become an effective leader.

To participate in the Mike Clark Aquaculture Farmer Leadership Program, the applicant must be commit to a one-year leadership training effort composed of, but not limited to, the following activities: • Identify, describe and propose a solution of a national issue for review and approval of the NAA Board of Directors; • Serve on a NAA committee appropriate to that issue; • Mentoring by a NAA Board of Director; • Attend an Aquaculture America Conference and organize and chair a NAA Producer Session focused on the issue; • Attend and present issue progress summaries during NAA Board of Directors meetings; • Report quarterly to the NAA Executive Director their activities, progress, accomplishments or setbacks in addressing the issue; • Learn the federal governance structure, laws and regulations pertinent to the issue, and the legislative and administrative rule process; and,

• If appropriate to the issue, accompany the NAA Executive Director or Board of Directors during a Walk on the Hill to present the issue to House and Senate members, during legislative hearings or briefings, or to Congressional staff. As a participant in the Mike Clark Aquaculture Farmer Leadership Program, the applicant will receive: • A complimentary NAA membership; • Travel reimbursement for the Aquaculture America Conference (includes registration), NAA Board of Directors meetings, Walk on the Hill or Congressional meetings; and, • Guidance and assistance from the NAA Board mentor, Executive Director and Board of Directors, as needed or requested. Applications will be accepted from December 1, 2018 through January 18, 2019. Successful applicants will be announced during the Plenary Session of Aquaculture 2019 on March 8, 2019. For additional information or an application, please contact the NAA at 850216-2400 or

SFP, Conservation International, and UCSB release new best practices for aquaculture management guide


new aquaculture management guide from Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), Conservation International, and the University of California Santa Barbara’s Sustainable Fisheries Group provides zonal management best practices for 6 »

seafood farmers seeking the most environmentally sustainable operations. The guide – Best Practices for Aquaculture Management: guidance for implementing the ecosystem approach in Indonesia and beyond – was released recently and is available online.

The guide provides three best practices in aquaculture management, as suggested by the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture: 1) spatial planning and zoning, 2) waterbody carrying capacity limits, and 3) aquaculture disease management areas. The guidance applies to seafood farming worldwide and uses Indonesia – a major aquaculture producer with ambitious aquaculture development goals – as a case study for implementation. 1. Spatial Planning and Zoning There are numerous users of the marine environment (e.g., aquaculture, tourism, fisheries, marine transport, oil and gas), and many of these users differ dramatically in terms of their objectives, goals, and resource needs, often putting them in direct conflict with each other. Spatial planning is a systematic process through which the public and private sectors work together to influence the spatial distribution of people and activities at differing geographic scales. This process is a fundamental component of ensuring successful and sustainable aquaculture development and has been shown to minimize conflicts between competing users and maximize overall value of the marine environment. The key steps in the spatial planning process include: national-level scoping, regional-level

zoning, site selection, and establishing aquaculture management areas (AMAs) – groupings of farms that are interconnected in some way. 2. Water Quality Management Water is the fundamental commonproperty resource that aquaculture is dependent on. As such, it is important both for an aquaculture farm to maintain minimum levels of on-farm and effluent water quality and for the impacts of all resource users to be managed within the carrying capacity (or assimilative capacity) of an ecosystem. Integrated management practices that aim to improve water quality management include: 1) allocated zones for aquaculture in spatial plans and 2) establishment of carrying capacity for waterbodies that defines discharge guidelines, restrictions, and/or limits for individual farms and other users. 3. Disease is one of the top challenges facing the aquaculture industry and is a primary constraint to continued growth. Addressing disease issues is necessary to improve stability in production. This will, in turn, reduce economic risks, lower environmental impact of fish loss due to disease, and attract new investment to the aquaculture industry. Farm-level better management practices are important for animal husbandry; however, further development and adoption of coordinated management across an aquaculture industry is needed to help farmers and protect the industry as a whole. Key elements to establishing coordinated disease management practices include: 1) understanding the key drivers and risk factors for disease transmission (create a contact network map), 2) establishing AMAs (as identified by the contact network map), and 3) coordinating operational and emergency response procedures across AMAs to reduce disease risk and impact. “Typically, aquaculture development and management have largely focused on siting, licensing, and

monitoring at the farm level,” the guide’s authors wrote in an executive summary. “This perspective fails to acknowledge that aquaculture industries are dependent on public resources (namely water and space) and are tightly coupled to the surrounding ecosystems in which they operate. Even if a farm is operating at the highest level of performance, it is at risk if neighboring farms or industries have poor environmental practices.” The guide includes actionable recommendations for both industry and government institutions that set policies in aquaculture producing areas. In particular, supply chain stakeholders are encouraged to work more closely with farmers and governments to initiate and support coordinated management practices to reduce environmental impacts and disease risks. The guide has already been wellreceived in Indonesia. Yudi Nurul Ihsan, Ph.D, Dean of the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences of Padjajaran University and a contributor to the guide, said that this guide could be used as a model for fisheries development into the future. “Aquaculture will save Indonesia’s national economy as well as the local economy because it absorbs labor, alleviates poverty and supports Indonesia’s food security,” Yudi said. “SFP has been promoting a zonal approach to aquaculture for more than five years,” said Anton Immink, SFP’s Aquaculture Director. “This guide is a new way of not only sharing the importance of zonal management, but also providing clear, actionable recommendations for implementation.” “This guide gives companies like ours and governments of major aquaculture producers concrete scientific advice on what we need to improve with aquaculture producers and regulators,” said Bill DiMento, Vice President Corporate Sustainability and Government Affairs at High Liner Foods. »



2018 Census of Aquaculture


he U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will soon conduct the 2018 Census of Aquaculture as a follow-on survey to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. This census is the only comprehensive source of information on the aquaculture industry in the nation. Last conducted five years ago, this census serves as the baseline for many decisions involving the sustainability and growth of U.S. aquaculture. The results will also help aquaculture organizations assess the current state of this critical sector of the U.S. economy. USDA’s NASS will survey farm operators to collect detailed information related to production and production methods, surface water acres and sources, sales, point of first sale, and distributed aquaculture. For the purpose of this survey, an aquaculture farm is any place from which $1,000 or more of aquaculture products were produced and sold, or distributed for conservation, recreation, enhancement, or restoration purposes, during the census year. Farming involves some form of intervention in the rearing process, such as seeding, stocking, feeding or protection from predators. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being culti-

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vated in a controlled environment at least part of the time. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated, in a controlled environment at least part of the time.

Census data are used by all those involved in the aquaculture sector: • Growers can use Census data to help make informed decisions about the future of their own operations, including whether or not to expand production, and to compare production volumes and pricing points with state and U.S. averages. • Aquaculture businesses and suppliers use the facts and figures to determine the locations of facilities that will serve producers and plan for the production and marketing of new products. • Legislators use Census numbers when shaping policies and programs, and evaluating and determining government funding and resources. • Extension and university representatives use the data to determine research needs and justify research funding and programs to develop new and improved methods of aquaculture production and profitability. The Census of Aquaculture will be mailed to all farms that reported aquaculture activity during the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Question-

naires will be mailed December 17. All those who receive a Census report form are required to respond even if they did not operate a farm in 2018. Please respond online, by mail, telephone, or personal enumeration by January 14, 2019. Respondents are guaranteed by law (Title 7, U.S. Code, and CIPSEA, Public Law 107-347) that their individual information will be kept confidential. NASS publishes data only in tabulated totals. The report cannot be used for purposes of taxation, investigation or regulation. The privacy of individual Census records is also protected from disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act. Survey results will be available October 10, 2019. For more information about this survey: Call toll-free (888) 4AGSTAT or (888) 424-7828 Visit us online at www.nass.usda. gov/AgCensus Follow us on Twitter @USDA_NASS

The rise and rise of Queensland aquaculture


quaculture in Queensland continues to thrive with the expansion of the Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture facility at Mossman. Officially opening the new facility on behalf of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the global aquaculture industry was valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars, and Queensland was well placed to take advantage of the opportunities on offer. “Overseas, aquaculture is rapidly overtaking the wild caught fishery in value,” Mr. Furner said. “In Queensland the industry is valued at $120 million, with the production of prawns making up the lion’s share of this figure. “In 2016-17, more than 4,200 tonnes of prawns were produced in Queensland, with a value of nearly $78 Million and employing nearly 300 full time staff. In global terms, this is not very significant but given the wealth of resources at our doorstep, there are major opportunities for growth in this sector in Queensland.” Mr. Furner said Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture is expanding its local operations specifically targeting these opportunities. “It is one of the largest black tiger prawn farming companies in Australia with an annual production capacity of close to 1,000 tonnes,” Mr. Furner said. Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the warmer climate in North Queensland means that it is usually the first farm to start harvesting in November and will typically supply the largest sized prawns for this time of year. “This operation is also perfectly placed to target the lucrative festive season seafood market,” Ms. Lui said. “I congratulate the team on its investment, for the jobs growth that will flow, and for continuing to produce high quality, fresh Queensland seafood products.”

Courtesy Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture.

Mr. Furner said creating more jobs while growing the value of the state’s aquaculture output aligned perfectly with the Palaszczuk Government’s priorities. “More jobs in a stronger Queensland economy is what we’re all about,” Mr. Furner said. “A dynamic

aquaculture sector has the added benefit of taking the pressure off our wild caught fisheries. Wild caught product cannot keep up with growing global demand for seafood protein, which is why aquaculture is the fastest growing food industry globally.” »



£5.1 million UKRI funding for UK aquaculture research and innovation


accines made using algae are being developed to keep fish free from disease and help protect the UK’s aquaculture industry. The project is one of 12 to receive a total of £5.1 million which will further research to address challenges for aquaculture. Other projects include studying genetics and breeding patterns, looking at how shellfish can be more sustainable, immunizing trout against kidney disease and examining how robust salmon are and how susceptible to disease they are at sea. The UK Aquaculture Initiative is a joint BBSRC and NERC project to support high-quality, innovative research and address strategic challenges facing UK aquaculture. This investment represents a total of £5.1 million, along with contributions from co-founders AFBI and Cefas and a range of industry partners who will collaborate with academic researchers on the projects. Karen Lewis, BBSRC Executive Director, Innovation & Skills, said: “Aquaculture is a key food production sector for the UK. These projects will improve our understanding of the challenges facing aquaculture production. Working together with industry partners, UK researchers will help to address these challenges and contribute to developing a healthy, safe and sustainable aquaculture system which will deliver societal and economic benefit for the UK.”

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The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. BBSRC invests in worldclass bioscience research and training

on behalf of the UK public. Their aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

The 12 new projects include:

Aquaculture: Collaborative Research and Innovation Project

Principal investigator

Lead organization

AquaLeap: Innovation in Genetics and Breeding to Advance UK Aquaculture Production Safe and Sustainable Shellfish: Introducing local testing and management solutions ROBUST-SMOLT Impact of early life history in freshwater Recirculation Aquaculture Systems on A. salmon robustness and susceptibility to disease at sea Evaluating the Environmental Conditions Required for the Development of Offshore Aquaculture Passive and active immunization against novel vaccine targets to protect trout against proliferative kidney disease (PKD) Binder seeding to improve the economic case of UK macroalgal cultivation (Bindweed) Paper-based platform for onsite, rapid, and multiplexed DNA-based pathogen detection in aquaculture PhytoMOPS: Phytoplankton Morphology and Optical Properties Sensor The development of diagnostic techniques to assess anaemia in aquaculture reared Atlantic Salmon (Salmo Salar) Algal vaccines for Aquaculture Identifying targets for control of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis - a major cause of disease in aquaculture NOSy - magnetic and wireless sensor technology for improving profit, biosecurity and carbon footprint of regional oyster production

Ross Houston

The University of Edinburgh

Christine Edwards

The Robert Gordon University

Herve Migaud

University of Stirling

Keith Davidson

Scottish Association For Marine Science

Chris Secombes

University of Aberdeen

Adam Hughes Julien Reboud

Scottish Association For Marine Science University of Glasgow

Allison Schaap

National Oceanography Centre

Brian Quinn

University of the West of Scotland

Brenda Parker Mark van der Giezen

University College London University of Exeter

Thomas Cameron

University of Essex

Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture Undergoes Restructuring


he National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has recently revisited its structure and various committees, sub-committees and working groups. As a result, the Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture has been restructured into the NSTC Subcommittee on Aquaculture (SCA), under the Committee on Environment and the Office of Science Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. This new approach will elevate the profile of aquaculture within the federal community and enhance capacity for reaching tangible outcomes that enhance regulatory efficiency, advance research and technology transfer, and inform science-driven policies that support sustainable expansion of aquaculture in the United States.

The SCA will be led by three Co-Chairs and have the following members: Co-Chairs Paul Doremus, NOAA Jeffrey Silverstein, USDA Deerin Babb-Brott, OSTP Member Departments and Agencies: Department of Agriculture Department of Commerce Office of Science and Technology Policy Army Corps of Engineers Department of Interior Food and Drug Administration Environmental Protection Agency Office of Management and Budget

The Subcommittee has chartered the following Task Forces: 1) The Science Planning Task Force chaired by Caird Rexroad, USDA will document Federal Science and Technology opportunities and priorities for aquaculture; and 2) The Regulatory Efficiency Task Force chaired by Michael Rubino, NOAA will facilitate interagency coordination to support economic growth. Additional information on the Subcommittee for Aquaculture can be found at the updated website: (

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Production of omega-3

enriched tilapia through the dietary use of algae meal or fish oil: Improved nutrient value of fillet and offal Tyler R. Stoneham1, David D. Kuhn1, Daniel P. Taylor1, Andrew P. Neilson1, Stephen A. Smith2, Delbert M. Gatlin3, Hyun Sik S. Chu1, Sean F. O’Keefe1


ilapia is the second most cultivated freshwater fish worldwide, typically yielding between 30–40% fillet yield leaving 60–70% processing waste commonly referred as offal. This has often led to relatively low margins for tilapia fillets compared to other finfish species. However, there is an opportunity for producers to further improve the nutrient value (e.g. healthy fats) of tilapia fillets and offal through manipulations of tilapia feed leading to higher value products in the market place. The benefits of healthy fats, omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, to humans include prevention of cardiovascular disease, improvement of visual acuity, and fortification of mental health. For this reason the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends two 4 oz (113 g) servings of fatty fish that are

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Tilapia is a healthy food choice for consumers because it is a relatively low-fat fish that is rich in proteins and minerals. high in omega-3 fats (i.e. salmon) per week. Omega-3 fatty acids include, among others, alpha linolenic acid (ALA 18:3 n-3), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA 20:5 n-3), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA 22:5 n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA 22:6 n-3). However, not all n-3 fatty acids are equally beneficial to humans. Due to the low efficiency of converting ALA into longer chain n-3 fatty acids (<10%), ALA is of relatively little benefit to humans. Meanwhile, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs); EPA, DPA, and DHA are significantly more beneficial to human health and development. Conversely, diets high in n-6 fats (high dietary n-6:n-3 ratios) lead to human health deficits including inflammation, asthma and reduced kidney function. Fish oil (FO) and microalgae have been found to be possible feed in-

gredients for enriching LC-PUFAs in channel catfish, Atlantic salmon, and seabream. In general, attempts to enrich LC-PUFAs in tilapia fillets using plant oil alternatives have been relatively unsuccessful. Diets supplemented with flaxseed have been found to increase ALA and LCPUFAs significantly (P<0.05) in liver, but, not significantly in tilapia fillets. Compared to macroalgae, microalgae has less fiber and is generally higher in lipid content. Recently, microalgae (Schizochytrium sp.) was successfully used in fish diets to improve production characteristics and the fatty acid profile in young tilapia (approximate mean weight of 25 g). Moreover, all of the aforementioned studies aimed to enhance n-3 fatty acids in fish fillets, not in the other tissues (e.g. offal). The goal of the study herein was to evaluate if diets supplemented with

FO and algae meal (AM) can provide an enrichment of LC-PUFAs and reduction of n-6:n-3 ratio in fillets and offal (including rib meat, liver, and mesenteric fat) of market size (greater than 500 gram) fish.

Materials and methods Juvenile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, ~11 grams each) were acclimated and conditioned for 4 weeks until they reached a mean individual size of approximately 160 grams prior to experiment initiation. Fish were cultured in an indoor recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) equipped with fourteen 1-meter-diameter polyethylene tanks (~250 liters each), bubblebead filters for mechanical filtration, fluidized-bed bioreactors for biological treatment, UV disinfection units, heat exchangers, and distributed diffuse aeration. The FO and AM used in this study was Virginia Prime-Gold1 (Omega Protein, Houston, Texas, U.S.) and Schizochytrium sp. (Alltech, Nicholasville, Kentucky, U.S.). The fatty acid profiles of both lipid sources are presented in Table 1. Because algae was in meal form instead of oil additional proximate data was collected. Proximate data for algae meal was 18.8, 3.70, 3.67, and 24.9% protein, moisture, ash, and carbohydrates, respectively. All experimental diets were formulated on an isonitrogenous and isocaloric basis. The pelleted experimental feed formulations are presented in Table 2. The independent variable for this experiment was the lipid composition of the seven diets. Dependent variables were survival rate, growth, biometrics, performance indices, feed conversion ratio (FCR), and nutritionally relevant fatty acids. All diets were analyzed to confirm their proximate nutritional values (Table 3) and essential amino acids (Table 4) using a commercial lab (Midwest Labs, Omaha, NE, USA). Fatty acid profiles for each diet are reported in Table 5. Feeding rates were determined for all treatment groups on a percent of body weight per day

basis. Monitoring the amount of feed consumed allowed FCR to be determined. Tilapia were group-weighed on a per tank basis weekly to enable appropriate feed adjustments. Feeding rates were 4.0, 3.75, 3.25, 3.25, 2.375, 2.0, and 1.85 percent body weight per day (% BW/d) for weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, respectively. Feed was stored in a commercial refrigerator at a temperature between 0 and 3.5Ë&#x161;C until it was used. Feed rates were consistent between all treatment groups on a percent body weight per day basis. Growth and the corresponding feed amount was projected each week to account for projected daily growth. Feed was loaded on a twenty-four hour belt feeder to

deliver feed hourly over an 18 hour period. Fillet yield, hepatosomatic index (HSI), viscerosomatic index (VSI), and mesenteric fat index (MFI) were determined by dividing the fillet/muscle tissue, liver, total viscera mass, and mesenteric/visceral fat by the whole weight of the fish, respectively. Fillet and rib meat tissues were collected at weeks four and eight, and liver and mesenteric fat tissues were collected at week eight. Rib meat for the purposes of this study is comprised of the pin bones and belly meat ventral to the fillet. Tissue samples were collected on a per tank/diet basis with two samples for each tissue originating from each tank. Each of these two

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samples was a pooled sample containing tissues from two fish of the same treatment. Samples were vacuum packed with 10 ml of methanol in order to deactivate enzymes and then quick-frozen in a bath of isopropanol and dry ice. These samples were then stored at -80˚C until analysis. Lipid extraction was performed according to Bligh and Dyer and methyl esters were prepared and analyzed according to Ackman and AOCS. The AOCS method Ce-1b-89 was used with a QP-2020 Ultra Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) (Shimadzu Corp., Kyoto, Japan) to determine the fatty acid profiles of each sample. Methylation following the AOCS Ce-1b-89 procedure was followed by GC-MS. Fatty acid methyl esters were identified based on mass spectra and ECL values that were calculated according to Ackman. Since DHA, DPA and EPA are of the greatest benefit to humans, those fatty acids were combined and defined as “beneficial n-3 fatty acids” or LC-PUFAs.

Results Water quality averages were: temperature 29.4˚C, pH 7.79, dissolved oxygen 5.45 mg/L, alkalinity 199 mg/L, total ammonia-N 0.35 mg/L, nitrite-N 0.06 mg/L, and nitrate-N 11.8 mg/L in the RAS over the experimental period. These conditions are considered optimal for tilapia culture. Nutritional profiles were consistent across each of the experimental diets (Tables 3–5). Meanwhile, no significant differences were observed between fat content of the various tissues of fish fed the different diets. Fish performance and biometric results are presented in Table 6. No significant differences between survival, growth, FCR, or any biometrics were observed for fish fed the different experimental diets. Week four fillet and rib meat fatty acid data are presented in Table 7. Significant differences (P<0.05) were observed for ALA, DHA, n-6, n-6:n-3, and LC-PUFAs in the fillet and rib 14 »

meat (with the addition of EPA) of the fish fed different diets. The best diet of the fish oil diets, FO5%, resulted in an increase of n-3 and LCPUFAs of 41 and 76%, respectively, compared to the control group. With a corresponding decrease in n-6 and

n-6:n-3 by 36 and 55%, respectively. The best diet in regards to improving the fatty acid profile was AM 8.77% resulting in a n-3 and LC-PUFAs increase of 96 and 163% over the control diet, respectively. Meanwhile, n-6 and n-6:n-3 ratio were decreased by

37% and 67%. Fatty profile changes were similar for the rib meat. The major difference between rib meat and fillets at four weeks was the rib meat contained twice as much crude fat. At eight weeks, healthy fats were improved significantly for fish fed FO and AM diets (Table 8). More specifically, significant differences (P<0.05) were observed for ALA, DHA, DPA, n-6, n-6:n-3, and LC-PUFAs in the fillet and rib meat of the fish fed different diets. The best diet of the fish oil diets was FO5%. Fish fed FO5% resulted in a n-3 and LC-PUFAs increase of 165 and 232% in the fillet compared to the control. Meanwhile,

n-6 and n-6:n-3 ratio were decreased by 2 and 62%. The best diet, AM8.77%, resulted in an increase of n-3 and LC-PUFAs increase of 189 and 298% in the fillet compared to control fed fish. With a corresponding decrease in n-6 and n-6:n-3 by 28 and 75%, respectively. Similar results were observed for the rib meat. Rib meat contained 87% more crude fat compared to the fillet at eight weeks. Fillet meat increased significantly (P<0.01) from an average of 1.85% to 2.64% in crude fat content from four to eight weeks. Similarly, rib meat increased significantly (P<0.01) from 3.92 to 4.93% crude fat over the same

period of time. Healthy fats experienced a similar trend. Results for liver and mesenteric fat fatty acid profiles are presented in Table 9. Fatty acid profiles of the liver were similar regardless of dietary treatment. Mesenteric fat was similar between the control and FO fed fish. The dose of fish oil did not correlate positively or negatively with the level of fish oil in the diet. However, the fatty acid profile of mesenteric fat correlated with amount of AM in the diet.

Discussion Fish demonstrated excellent growth and performance throughout the Âť 15


8-week feeding trial. Survival ranged from 98%-100%, indicating that fish health was not compromised. Meanwhile the mean growth rate of fish in this study was good at 45.4Âą1.0 g a week. Even though other nutritional factors can contribute to changes in deposition of specific fatty acids into different tissues, the treatment diets in our study were consistent across treatment groups.

16 Âť

Numerous efforts have been made to try to increase the n-3 content of tilapia fillets. Addition of flaxseed oil, which is rich in alpha linolenic acid (18:3 n-3), has been found to moderately increase concentration of ALA in tilapia fillets. However, this approach did little to increase LC-PUFAs in prior research. This is likely due to that fact that tilapia are limited in their ability to elongate and desaturate (18:3 n-3

and18:3 n-6) into longer chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (20:4 n-6, 20:5 n-3, 22:5 n-3, 22:6 n-3). The limited ability to synthesize long- chain polyunsaturated fatty acids is also the case for humans. Consequently, tilapia rich in 18:3 n-3 are of little nutritional benefit to consumers. Other vegetable oil replacements, including palm oil and sunflower oil, have resulted in similar beneficial n-3 deficits.

From a fish health perspective it has been demonstrated that Schizochytrium sp. meal is a suitable replacement ingredient for fish meal and fish oil in tilapia diets. Watters, Rosner determined that Schizochytrium sp. and fish oil can boost n-3 fatty acids in tilapia fillets over a period of six months. In contrast, tilapia in this study achieved similar increased n-3 values within four weeks. Meanwhile, Sarker et al. demonstrated that Schizochytrium sp. in diets improved growth and fatty profiles in juvenile tilapia. The Sarker et al. studies also demonstrated that increased n-3 can be achieved in the fillet of fish in a short period of time for young tilapia that were cultured up to 25 grams. In the study herein, tilapia were grown up to market size and tissues other than the fillet were characterized for increased nutritional profiles. In the wild, tilapia fatty acid composition fluctuates with location and season. However in controlled RAS systems, other factors affect fatty acid metabolism including feeding frequency, starvation, and water temperature. All of these conditions fac-

tor into how tilapia utilize dietary fatty acids and proteins as energy sources. The colder the water temperature, the more efficient fish are at converting saturated fatty acids into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is possibly due to the need

to keep cell membranes fluid at lower temperatures, and polyunsaturated fatty acids provide greater membrane fluidity. Since tilapia were kept ~29Ë&#x161;C throughout this study, it is likely that this moderate temperature did not inhibit the desaturation and elongation

Âť 17


of saturated fatty acids to mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. In prior studies, starvation resulted in utilization of fatty acids in the liver as an energy source as opposed to muscle fatty acids. Because fish in this study were not starved prior to sampling, livers were observed to be high in fat (Table 9). Tilapia tend to have more fat stored in liver compared to muscle, on a percent weight basis. The results of this study agree with this, every diet resulted in a greater percent lipid in liver compared to fillet. Beneficial n-3 composition was observed to increase linearly with percent AM at 4 weeks with a line equation of y = 8.8525x + 63.657 and an R2 = 0.9946, calculated from Table 7. The same trend is observed at 8 weeks with a line equation of y = 14.973x + 78.091 and an R2 = 0.9885, calculated from Table 8. This indicates that percent AM in the diet and beneficial n-3 content in the fillet are strongly positively correlated. This was also indicative that tilapia fed increasing percent AM diet do not readily utilize the LCPUFAs themselves, but, instead store them. This is possibly due to the high protein content of the feed, between 18 Âť

35.5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;37.3%. The quality and purity of protein used in RAS systems is generally higher than in pond production because in pond production fish can supplement feed with environmental protein sources. Because these diets were so high in energy from protein sources relative to the fishesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; nutritional requirement, the majority of high energy polyunsaturated fatty acids including LC-PUFAs were able to be stored in tissues instead of being utilized as an energy source. Future research would include the economic feasibility of a high percent AM diet compared to the added value to consumers of n-3 enriched tilapia fillets. This would solidify the use of practical alternatives to fish oil as a method of modifying n-3 content of tilapia fillets. New advancements in the production of Schizochytrium sp. could lead to the rapid, sustainable, and economical cultivation of DHArich microalgae. Also observing if the linear trend of beneficial n-3 fillet content continues with increasing percent of AM beyond 8.77% should be pursued. If the trend continues, it may be possible to develop a finishing feed with very high AM (i.e. possibly

10% of diet) that deposits the desired quantity of beneficial n-3 into the fillet quicker and therefore more costeffectively.

Conclusions Overall the experimental diets presented in this study show promise as a feasible option for enriching beneficial n-3 content in tilapia fillets. Tilapia in this study also demonstrated the ability to elongate and desaturate shorter chain polyunsaturated fatty acids into longer chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. The continuous feeding along with moderate temperatures, high protein and high-n-3 diets resulted in rapid fish growth and beneficial n-3 enriched fillets. This study also suggests that tilapia fed these diets could produce value-added byproducts, by using n-3 enriched rib meat, liver and mesenteric fat tissues in other processed foods. Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, United States of America, 2Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, Virginia, United States of America, 3Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States of America Adapted from: PLoS ONE 13(4): e0194241. https://doi. org/10.1371/journal. pone.0194241 1

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Evaluation of genetic parameters

for growth and cold tolerance traits in Fenneropenaeus chinensis juveniles Fenneropenaeus chinensis is one of the most representative indigenous aquaculture species of China. It is mainly distributed in the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea areas, and cultured in Shandong, Hebei, Mingzhu Wang, Jie Kong, Xianhong Meng, Sheng Luan, Kun Luo, Juan Sui, Baolong Chen, Jiawang Cao, and Xiaoli Shi

Liaoning, Tianjin and Jiangsu provinces, as well as on the west and south coasts of the Korean Peninsula.]


ptimum temperature for F. chinensis ranges from 18 to 30°C, with the most suitable temperature at 25°C. Temperature tolerance ranges from 4 to 38°C. Since the 1970s, hatchery seedlings of F. chinensis have become more available. From 1988 to 1993, production of F. chinensis consecutively ranked first in the world with annual yields as high as 200,000 metric tons, bringing huge economic benefits to the aquaculture industry. However, in 1993 the F. chinensis farming industry suffered from white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), which resulted in serious economic losses. In 1994, national production of shrimp fell sharply to around 60,000 metric tons. Facing this difficulty, after a long struggle breeders developed 3 new varieties of Chinese shrimp, namely “Huanghai No. 1” (2003), “Huanghai No. 2” (2008) and “Huanghai No. 3” (2013). These lines enabled the gradual recovery of China’s farming of F. chinensis. In recent years, however, new problems have arisen. The intensified abnormal climate, especially repeated cold disasters nationwide, has resulted in mortality of a large number of shrimp and serious economic losses to shrimp farmers. 20 »

The breeding of cold tolerant varieties may be expected to solve these problems. Studies evaluating genetic parameters for temperature tolerance of aquatic animals have been carried out for many years. However, there is only one study (Li Wenjia et al.) on the genetic parameters of cold tolerance in adult Chinese shrimp and Litopenaeus Vannamei, and there is no report on cold tolerance traits in F. chinensis Juveniles.

In this study, a preliminary evaluation of growth and cold tolerance traits of 99 F. chinensis juvenile families was made by means of an indoor artificial cold tolerance challenge, with analyses of heritability of body weight (BW), body length (BL), cooling degree hours (CDH) and temperature at death (TAD). It was expected to provide a theoretical basis for breeding cold tolerant varieties of F. chinensis. Experimental materials were 99 “Huanghai No.

2” families of F. chinensis established in 2015 (including 12 half-sib families), representing the G10-generation, at 40 days age. Thirty individuals were randomly sampled from each family at an average body weight of 0.073 ± 0.043g and body length of 19.790 ± 3.607mm.

Cold tolerance challenge Thirty juvenile shrimps were randomly sampled from each family and placed in a storage box (26.5 cm×20 cm×16.5 cm). An air stone was put in each box. A group of 3 boxes was placed in a refrigerator box sized 72 cm×37 cm×20 cm. Finally, the refrigerator box was placed in a refrigerator with adjustable temperature. Temperature was decreased from 24°C to 14°C at a rate of 2°C/d for juveniles. Subsequently during the experiment, the temperature was dropped to 4°C at a rate of 2°C/d and maintained at 4°C until all shrimp were dead. During the experiment, water temperature was monitored hourly. Juvenile shrimp were fed 4 times daily and water exchange was 30%. Following the first mortality of shrimp, storage boxes were checked every 2 hours. Dead shrimp were collected and time of mortality, family, temperature at mortality, body weight and body length were measured for each shrimp. CDH was calculated according to experimental results, and initial temperature for CDH was 14°C. Data processing A linear mixed model was fitted with average information restricted maximum likelihood (AIREML). ASReml Software was used to estimate the variance components of body weight and body length of F. chinensis. For body weight, the normal test of residuals showed that the data were not normally distributed, and data were transformed by natural logarithms (Ln). All fixed effects and covariates were statistically significant (P < 0.01). Variance components were estimated with a univariate mixed linear animal model. The animal model was written as follows: (1)

Where Yij is the observed value of BW or BL of the i shrimp, and μ is the overall mean. Agei is the covariate of the i th individual age at the end of the experiment, b is the regression coefficient, ai is the additive genetic effect of BW or BL of the i th shrimp, fj is the common environment effect of separate breeding of full-sib families and eij is the random residual error of the i th shrimp. Phenotypic variance is the sum of all variance components, and the calculation formula was as follows: th


» 21


Heritability is the ratio of additive genetic variance to phenotypic variance, and our calculation formula was as follows: (3)

Where is phenotypic variance, is additive variance, is residual fraction, and is common environment variance. A bivariate animal model was fitted to estimate the phenotypic and genetic correlations between body weight and body length using the ASReml software package. The description for each term of the models was the same as that for Model (1). In this study, TAD and CDH were cold tolerance parameters of F. chinensis. TAD refers to temperature at death. CDH represents the sum of hours the shrimp survived multiplied by the difference between final and initial temperature for each shrimp. The initial temperature for calculation of CDH was set at 14°C. The formula was as follows: (4)

22 »

Where: ti = the cumulated hours before the temperature drop, T0 = 14°C, the initial temperature, Ti= temperature at the i th hour, and k = the cumulated hours at mortality. Variance components of CDH and TAD were estimated with univariate mixed linear animal model analyses using ASReml Program. Age has a linear correlation with CDH and TAD (P < 0.01), which are used as covariates accordingly. All the fixed effects and covariates were statistically significant (P < 0.01). The model was as follows: (5)

Where Yijk is the observed value of CDH or TAD of the i th shrimp, μ is the overall mean, Agei is the covariate of the i th individual age at the end of the experiment, b is the regression coefficient, ai is the additive genetic effects of CDH or TAD of the i th shrimp, Tankj is the fixed effect of the jth refrigerator, fk is the common environment effect of separate breeding of the kthfull-sib family, and eijk is the random residual error of the i th shrimp.

Studies evaluating genetic parameters for temperature

tolerance of aquatic animals have been carried out for many years.

In model (5), the estimated values of heritability of CDH and TAD were affected by temperature. Temperature varied among different refrigerators, so refrigerator effect was regarded to be a fixed effect. Calculation formulas of phenotypic variance and heritability essentially agreed with those described in formula (2) and formula (3). Similarly, the phenotypic and genetic correlations between CDH and TAD were estimated in bivariate animal model analyses using the ASReml package. The description for each term of

the models was the same as that for Model (5). The ASReml program was applied in the phenotypic and genetic correlation analyses of both growth and cold tolerance in F. chinensis, and details are described in Model (1) and Model (5). Bivariate animal models were applied in the correlation analysis of BW / TAD, BW / CDH, BL / TAD and BL / CDH.

Significance test of heritability and correlation evaluation Z-scores were applied to test the significance of the above heritability and correlation evaluations and the formula was as follows: (6)

Where xi and xj are the heritability correlation and genetic correlation, respectively, and and are standard errors of heritability correlations and genetic correlations, accordingly. Both xj and σj are defined as zero when genetic parameters are tested for their difference from zero.

Results The sample size, mean, maximum, minimum, standard deviation and coefficients of variation for growth and cold tolerance traits of F. chinensis are shown in Table 1. The means of BW, BL, TAD, CDH and survival rate for each family at half-lethal time (SR50) were 0.073g, 19.790mm, 6.506°C, 333.937°C•h, and 48.950%, respectively, with coefficients of variation ranging from 18.226% to 59.919%. The coefficient variation of body weight was the greatest (59.919%), indicating that there was great variance in body weight between different families, while the coefficient of variation of body length was the smallest (18.226%), indicating that there was comparatively small variance in body length between different families. Among all the cold tolerance traits, SR50 had the highest phenotypic variance, with 54.107% coefficient of variation. It was followed by CDH (48.221%), with TAD as the lowest (36.241%). In cold tolerance challenge experiments, mortality of shrimp was observed when water temperature was 13.9°C and CDH was 0.800°C•h. All shrimp were dead when CDH reached 720.000°C•h (Fig 1). The cumulative mortality curve is shown in Fig 1. Variance components and heritabilities for growth traits of F. chinensis juveniles are presented in Table 2. Heritability estimates for BW and BL were 0.078 ± 0.124 and 0.131 ± 0.133, respectively, and both were not significantly different from zero (P > 0.05). According to Z-score tests, there was no significant difference between BW and BL in terms of heritability (Z = 0.2904, » 23


P > 0.05). As shown in Table 3, the phenotypic and genetic correlation between BW and BL were as high as 0.9408 ± 0.0040 and 0.9562 ± 0.0551, respectively, which were significantly different from zero (P < 0.01). These results indicated that growth traits (BW and BL) were highly correlated. Genetic parameters of cold tolerance, namely TAD and CDH, are shown in Table 2. The estimates of heritability for TAD and CDH were 0.265 ± 0.091 (P < 0.01) and 0.077 ± 0.058, respectively. There was no significant difference between CDH and TAD (Z = 1.74, P > 0.05). Correlation analysis indicated the phenotypic correlation between TAD and CDH was -0.5470 ± 0.0174, and the genetic correlation was -0.6707 ± 0.3635 (Table 3).

Genetic and phenotypic correlations between growth traits (BW and BL) and cold tolerance traits (TAD and CDH) are shown in Table 3. Phenotypic correlation coefficients ranged from -0.1055 to 0.1098. Phenotypic correlation coefficients between growth traits (BW and BL) and cold tolerance traits (TAD and CDH) were low. The genetic correlation coefficients between growth traits and TAD were low also, whereas the genetic correlation coefficients between growth-related traits and CDH were comparatively high. The genetic correlation coefficient between BL and CDH was the highest (0.9914 ± 0.7010), while the genetic correlation coefficient between BL and TAD was the lowest (-0.0526 ± 0.4664). In this study, the phenotypic and genetic correlation

coefficients between growth and cold tolerance traits of F. chinensis had a wide floating range.

Discussion Results showed that heritabilities for body weight and body length of F. chinensis juveniles were low (0.078 ± 0.124 and 0.131 ± 0.133, respectively). This agreed with those of body weight of shrimp at 150 days, as estimated by means of intra group correlation of full-sibs in prior research, whereas it was lower than the heritability of body length (0.36 ~ 0.51). Heritabilities for growth traits obtained in prior studies were higher than those obtained in this study. Several reasons may account for the results. First, heritability estimates are affected by different varieties or by different growth pe-

The coefficient variation of body weight was the greatest (59.919%), indicating that there was great variance in body weight between different families, while the coefficient of variation of body length was the smallest (18.226%), indicating that there was comparatively small variance in body length between different families.”

24 »

riods (age) of the same variety, and different genetic backgrounds and structures of breeding populations. The research populations in prior studies were adult F. chinensis, while this study focused on juveniles. Also, at different growth stages, different variance components had different proportions. A common environment effect was due to separate breeding of different families, and was an important variance component in the estimate of genetic parameters. It played a more important role in the genetic parameter evaluation model in this study. Additionally, different estimates of heritability were generated by environmental effects and unpredictable heritability effects, due to different estimating methods. TAD and CDH were selected as parameters for describing cold tolerance traits in F. chinensis juveniles. The heritability estimates for TAD and CDH were 0.265 ± 0.091 and 0.077 ± 0.058, respectively, which were moderate and low in magnitude. The heritabilities for cold tolerance traits of F. chinensis juveniles have not been reported. Li Wenjia et al. evaluated the heritability of cold tolerance traits like CDH in L. vannamei adults. It was low, with the estimate of 0.0258 ± 0.0205.

Correlation analysis of growth and cold tolerance traits of F. chinensis juveniles The results in this study showed that the phenotypic correlations between growth and cold tolerance were low in F. chinensis juveniles. The genetic correlations had a larger range (0.0526 ~ 0.9914), and none were significantly different from zero (P > 0.05) due to large standard errors. Due to gene linkage effects and pleiotropism, the degree of correlation between traits differed from each other. These traits could possibly be selected indirectly through traits with higher correlations. In this study, there was a low correlation between growth and cold tolerance traits, indicating that growth and cold tolerance should be considered collectively in the breeding program of shrimp. In short, further studies are required for the correlation of different traits of F. chinensis, so as to provide more accurate data for breeding of cold tolerance. In addition, based on traditional breeding methods, traits of low heritability could be improved by means of studies of molecular biology to accelerate the breeding process. Adapted from Wang M, Kong J, Meng X, Luan S, Luo K, Sui J, et al. (2017) Evaluation of genetic parameters for growth and cold tolerance traits in Fenneropenaeus chinensis juveniles. PLoS ONE 12(8): e0183801.

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Scottish Environment Protection Agency unveils firm, evidence-based proposals for a revised regulatory regime


cottish salmon farm medicine is significantly impacting local marine environments. That is the conclusion of one of Scotland’s largest and most comprehensive marine research projects into aquaculture, undertaken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The survey, ‘Fish Farm Survey Report – Evaluation of a New Seabed Monitoring Approach to Investigate the Impacts of Marine Cage Fish Farms,’ undertaken by specialist marine scientists using research vessel the Sir John Murray, examined environmental impacts from eight Scottish fish farms. 302 chemical samples were analyzed from 93 sample stations and 296 ecological samples from 142 sample stations. Samples for chemical analysis were analyzed for the sea lice medicines Emamectin Benzoate (EmBz) and Teflubenzuron (Tef), last used in 2013. The medicines were detected in 98% and 46% of samples respectively, with residues more widely spread in the environment around fish farms than had previously been found. Moreover, the research concluded that the impacts of individual farms may not be contained to the vicinity of individual farms. The research survey was published Wednesday, 7th November as part of proposals by SEPA, one of a number of organizations regulat26 »

As one of a number of organizations regulating finfish aquaculture, SEPA believes its proposals have the potential to significantly improve in the environmental performance of the industry.

SEPA’s Terry A’Hearn.

ing finfish aquaculture, for a revised regime that will strengthen SEPA’s regulation of the sector. The proposals follow 16 months of work by the agency, including a 2017 consultation, and two Scottish Parliamentary committees, one of which concluded that “the status quo is not an option,” adding that the industry’s expansion goal “will be unsustainable and may cause irrecoverable damage to the

environment” unless governance and practices are improved markedly. Scotland is the largest Atlantic salmon aquaculture producer in the European Union and third in the world after Norway and Chile. A contributing factor to this is Scotland’s reputation for a high quality environment and abundant freshwater resources. SEPA’s draft Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan is ambitious

in its aspirations for an industry where in the future: • The Scottish finfish aquaculture sector recognizes that protecting the environment is fundamental to its success and is foremost in all its plans and operations. • The sector is a world-leading innovator of ways to minimize the environmental footprint of food production and supply. • The sector has a strong and positive relationship with neighboring users of the environment and the communities in which it operates. It is valued nationally for its contribution to achieving global food security. •It is also clear that all operators in the sector will reach and maintain full compliance with Scotland’s environmental protection laws, with SEPA working to help as many operators as possible to move beyond compliance. Whilst SEPA’s latest Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS) data saw overall compliance levels for the sector drop during 2017 to 81.14%, against a relative peak of 85.75% in 2016, the industry is innovating through the use of ‘non medicinal farming’ using wrasse, a small fish that tackles sea lice, full or partial containment and enhanced fallowing.

Specifically, SEPA’s firm, evidence based proposals for a revised regime that will strengthen the regulation of the sector include the follow areas of focus. • A new tighter standard for the organic waste deposited by fish farms Marine cage fish farming across Scotland operates using open-net cages. Fish feces; any uneaten food; used fish medicines and other chemical treatments escape from these cages into the marine environment. The heavier, organic particles (the fish feces and uneaten food) together with any medicines sticking to them are deposited on the sea floor. Natural biological process then break down and assimilate the material over time.

The tighter standard limits the spatial extent of the mixing zone around farms. The controls applied to these mixing zones will bring them into equivalence with modern practice on mixing zones for other waste effluent discharges into the sea, including those from urban waste water. • More powerful modelling using the best available science The new regulatory framework will use new, more accurate computer modelling approaches that will improve understanding of the risk to the local environment and allow assessment of the larger-scale impacts including interactions with other farms. The science about fish farming is very complex and these new approaches will bring the aquaculture sector up to date with the modelling practices which are being used for other industrial sectors where there is a longer history of operation and analysis. • Enhanced environmental monitoring & new enforcement unit Operators will be required to invest in more accurate monitoring, including of waste coming from fish farms. The creation of a new enforcement unit will strengthen the checking and verifying of monitoring that fish farm operators are required to undertake. SEPA will also increase and strengthen monitoring of the impact of fish farms in surrounding areas. • New interim approach for controlling the use of emamectin benzoate SEPA has asked the UK Technical Advisory Group (UK TAG), a partnership of the UK environment and conservation agencies, to make recommendations on new environmental standards for Emamectin Benzoate to the Scottish Government. UK TAG was established by the governments of the different parts of the UK to oversee the scientific process of developing the environmental standards used across the UK for protecting the water environment.

UK TAG is in the process of developing its recommendations. This includes obtaining and considering independent scientific peer reviews of the evidence. After UK TAG makes its recommendations to the Scottish Government, Scottish Government will consult on draft directions on the establishment of new environmental standards. While this UK TAG work continues, SEPA will adopt a precautionary principle position which imposes a much tighter interim standard for the use of Emamectin Benzoate at any new site. This is based on the now substantial weight of scientific evidence that the existing standards do not adequately protect marine life. This interim standard will set a limit so low that it will, effectively, mean Emamectin Benzoate can only be discharged in very limited quantities at any new site. • New approach to sustainable siting of farms The combination of the new standard, the more accurate model and enhanced monitoring will allow the siting of farms in the most appropriate areas where the environment can assimilate wastes. It will also allow SEPA to better match biomass to the capacity available in the environment and continue to assess that through the operation of the site. This may allow for the approval of larger farms than would have been traditionally approved previously, provided they are appropriately sited in sustainable locations. Overall, the proposals will combine to encourage operators to site and operate their fish farms in environmentally less sensitive waters and use improved practices and technologies to reduce environmental impact. In practice, SEPA anticipates this will lead to fewer fish farms in shallower, slow-flowing waters and more fish farms in deeper and faster-flowing waters. They also anticipate it will encourage the adoption of new technologies such as partial and full containment to capture organic waste » 27


and any remaining medical residues. SEPA has seen some industry operators successfully developing new approaches such as non-chemical ways of managing fish health. The new regime will support these encouraging developments. As one of a number of organizations regulating finfish aquaculture, SEPA believes its proposals have the potential to significantly improve in the environmental performance of the industry. Recognizing the diverse range of views of finfish aquaculture, SEPA is keen to hear directly from individuals, interest groups, NGOs, communities, companies and others with a view on the regulatory proposals. As part of a seven-week public consultation, SEPA will embark on one of its most significant public engagement programs to date. SEPA is hosting a series of nine events across 28 »

Scotland during November and December where people can find out more, talk directly with specialist teams and provide direct feedback as SEPA strengthens its regulatory approach. Terry A’Hearn, Chief Executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said “Whilst a high quality environment and abundant freshwater resources are vital to Scotland’s aquaculture sector, it’s an industry that attracts polarized positions, from those who cite its economic contribution to those who stridently oppose its existence. As one of a number of organizations regulating finfish aquaculture, SEPA is clear that our job is to make sure environmental standards protect the marine environment for the people of Scotland and we make sure the industry meets those. That’s unequivocally our focus.

“Consequently across the last sixteen months we’ve done more science, more analysis and more listening than ever before. Whilst we’re seeing innovation in the sector, we’ve concluded that Scottish salmon farm medicine is significantly impacting local marine environments which increases the now substantial weight of scientific evidence that the existing approaches do not adequately protect marine life. “We agree that ‘the status quo is not an option’ which is why we’re announcing firm, evidence based proposals for a revised regime that will strengthen the regulation of the sector. As part of a Scotland-wide consultation, we’re now keen to hear directly from individuals, interest groups, NGOs, communities, companies and others on their views on the proposals as we move to strengthen our regulatory approach.”

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

Ghanaian Government Clears Chinese-owned Farm Where Large Quantities of Tilapia Mysteriously Died Officials said tilapia from the Fujian Farm at Asutuare in the Greater Accra Region, which was shut down following the October 19 incident, and nearby farms “pose no public health risk to the consuming public.” However, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture said fish from the farms will be inspected before they are allowed for sale to the public. Large quantities of tilapia fish being reared at the farm died under strange circumstances, triggering suspicions they may have died from poison. The situation caused panic among the tilapia consuming public at the time, despite assurances by the Ghana Aquaculture Association which said the situation was contained. Samples of the fish, said to have been imported into the country, which others believed were genetically modified, were taken for laboratory tests within and outside the country. Results from UK and France laboratories as well as those from the Ghana Standards Authority released by the government Monday “indicated negative for any poisonous materials” in the ponds in which the fish were killed. “Our fears of poisonous substances have been ruled out from the diagnostic reports received so far,” a statement issued by the Min30 »

istry of Fisheries and Aquaculture on November 19 assured. Government said investigations revealed that the Kpong Dam was spilled the day before the fish kill incident, and that clinical observations of the dead fishes showed “clouded gills with high hyperemia of the gills and excessive mucus exudation.” These signs, it explained, suggest that there was a problem with the environment of the fishes in the farm and that “the cause of the kill could either be a foreign matter in the environment or low dissolved oxygen.” It said this was corroborated by the results received from M/S Aquavet Solutions representing ICYTO Pharma, a lab in France. The laboratory, according to the Ministry, identified the presence of

“Streptococcus agalactiae” as possible cause of deaths of the fish at the farm. This bacteria, it noted, was not new in the industry as it has since 2005 been affecting the industry, adding an “autogenous vaccine” has always been used to address mortalities arising out of the pathogen. Based on these reports, the Ministry said it has caused the Fujian Farm and other nearby farms which were closed down after the fish kill, to reopen for business. The Ministry said the continuous closure of the farms could have dire consequences on the industry, hence their reopening. “Considering that the continuous closure of the farm could lead to high production cost and its attendant high prices for the consumer, the farms have therefore been opened.”

Meanwhile it said a number of measures are being taken by the Fish Unit of the Fisheries Commission together with the farms to avoid recurrence of the incident. These measures include strict implementation of biosecurity and sanitary practices, application of appropriate targeted vaccine for Streptococcus agalactiae, examination of the feed production facility and continuous monitoring of the farms. “We are of the view that these farms would cooperate with us to achieve the desired results in the interest of the general public,” the statement said.

Sino Agro Food Signs Memorandum of Understanding for Aquaculture Development in Angola Sino Agro Food, Inc. announced in Guangzhou, China on November 23 that it has partnered with Nortus Aquacultura e Pesca, Lda, a private company headquartered in Angola. The companies have signed an MOU

to engage in efforts to develop a vertically integrated farming system in Angola modeled after the conceptual plan of Sino Agro’sAquafarms “4” and “5.” In addition to production farms and training, the plan calls for both upstream and downstream assets, including hatcheries, feed mills, marketing, distribution, and export. The document will serve as registration for a funding request from a regional Angolan state sponsored aquaculture agency to Angolan authorities for inclusion in the China Credit Line to Angola within the framework of existing excellent relations between the two countries. SIAF will conduct the project deployment operations. A step-wise, milestone based and dependent project is planned to build an aquaculture farm to produce 60,000 metric tons per year of seafood, primarily Tilapia, African Catfish and Malaysian Tiger prawns, as well as 150,000 metric tons per year of feed, and fruits and vegetables.

Nortus, Lda. Principal Rui Sancho commented, “Nortus, Lda. has extensive knowledge of the aquaculture industry and the mandates of the Angolan regional and national agriculture agencies, as well as existing relations with the proper authorities to guide the project to funding and fruition. Nortus, Lda. appreciates SIAF’s great experience and know how in the development of projects to reach the full potential of Angola’s ambitions to improve the food diet of the populations of Angola, other parts of Africa, and to export surplus product.” The project will utilize identified extensive arable land with clean water springs in the municipalities of Porto Amboim and Cela in Kwanza Sul, Angola, and Ambaca in Kwanza Norte, Angola. In the future, the project may be expanded to other locations; namely, the “Tiger’s Bay Development Plan in Namibe, Angola.”

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Solomon Lee, CEO of Sino Agro Food Inc., stated, “Capital Award, our wholly owned subsidiary, has deep knowledge and experience developing just the kind of aquaculture assets envisioned in Angola, where various projects are being funded through an existing cooperative understanding between China and Angola. We are delighted to partner with Nortus, Lda. to tailor our technology to the project aims and to the physical conditions of the project locales. For some time Capital Award has evaluated opportunities to export its expertise. This opportunity presents the best set of commitments to proceed.”

Zambian Government Calls on Farmers to invest in Aquaculture Officials in Zambia have urged farmers to increase fish production and bridge the country’s huge fisheries 32 »

deficit of 80,000 metric tonnes. Zambia’s current fish production from captured fisheries stands at 85,000 metric tonnes while the contribution from aquaculture is 32,000 metric tonnes per annum. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Kampamba Mulenga-Chewe said Government has taken strides in improving dwindling fish stocks in the country. “The fisheries subsector plays an important role in national economic development of our country through the creation of employment, income generation, and contribution of food and nutrition security,” Mrs. Mulenga-Chewe said. She emphasized at the launch of aquaculture technical, vocational and entrepreneurship training for improved private sector and smallholder skills spearheaded by Worldfish that the Zambian Government is training one hundred women and youths

in fish farming at the Mwekera aquaculture college in Kitwe on the Copperbelt under a 50 million US dollar aquaculture fund. Women and youths drawn from various parts of the country will be given loans once they complete their training to go into full scale fish farming. Mrs. Mulenga previously told ZNBC news in Kalulushi that government is targeting to train over one thousand women and youths in fish farming by 2020 to boost job creation amid the increase in the demand for fish. Additionally, government has launched a training and entrepreneurship project worth four million dollars to improve private sector and smallholder skills in aquaculture. The training programme funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation -NORAD- will produce graduates who will provide extension services to the fisheries sub sector.

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Numerous Enhancements Made to

Fresh-flo Transport Aerator Over the last sixty years, Fresh-flo aerators have been the equipment fish farmers use to ensure their stock remains healthy during transport. While those aerators have performed well throughout that time, within the last few months Fresh-flo made numerous enhancements.


tarting with the motor of the aerator, the end bell has been improved to alleviate pressure on the motor bearing. One of the main upgrades to the TT aerator has been the change to a stainless steel bearing support tube. This wider/larger tube eliminates the carbon support tube variation previously offered. Inside the tube, a shaft seal was added to ensure a more water-tight system. The new stainless tube allows the aerator to be used in both fresh and salt water. Moving down the unit, the plastic insert of the lower bearing is now more substantial. Finally, at the base of the model TT transport aerator, which is submerged when in use, the aluminum alloy comprising the impeller has been upgraded which eliminates the need to specify the heavy stainless steel option. For those attending Aquaculture 2019 in New Orleans, March 7-11, Fresh-flo will have the new and old units on display. While the previous TT transport aerator served users as intended, the feedback they provide and the desire to support a growing aquaculture industry was the impetus the engineers at Fresh-flo used to design the upgrades. Hauling fish is a natural stressor for them with even a short-time

34 Âť

transport of ten to thirty minutes requiring conditions of constant air or oxygen supply. Even with ideal conditions, it´s possible to lose about a half percent of the fish. The quality of aerator placed in the haul tank dramatically affects the water quality and health of fish delivered. The model TT transport aerator is designed for tanks with 100 to 400 gallon capacity, and can be placed between two compartments to aerate both. With a standard pump capacity of 75 gallons per minute, a 45 GPM capacity can be specified for smaller fish. Fresh-flo transport aerators are used in every state and throughout the world so their dependability is proven. Fresh-flo Corporation has been producing products for the aquaculture industry and private pond owners since 1958. In addition to transport aerators, they also manufacture pond aerators, two fish grader models, as well as a bug lite fish feeder. Their products can be found throughout the world in use by fish farmers and other businesses in the aquaculture industry as well as owners of small private bodies of water including lakes and ponds. Contact: Barb Ziegelbauer, Fresh-flo Corporation T: 920-208-1500,

Fresh-flo made numerous enhancements to the model TT transport aerator; shown on left is the upgraded unit while the right one is the old for comparison. Starting with the motor of the aerator, the end bell has been improved to alleviate pressure on the motor bearing. One of the main upgrades to the TT aerator has been the change to a stainless steel bearing support tube. This wider/larger tube eliminates the carbon support tube variation previously offered. Inside the tube, a shaft seal was added to ensure a more water-tight system. The new stainless tube allows the aerator to be used in both fresh and salt water. Moving down the unit, the plastic insert of the lower bearing is now more substantial. Finally, at the base of the model TT transport aerator, which is submerged when in use, the aluminum alloy comprising the impeller has been upgraded which eliminates the need to specify the heavy stainless steel option. For those attending Aquaculture 2019 in New Orleans, March 7-11, Fresh-flo will have the new and old units on display.

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Young shrimp farmers

on new business and farming models, challenges and successes By Yvonne T Nathan

At the 2018 Aquaculture Roundtable Series in Chiang Mai Thailand, rising second generation shrimp farmers from the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand provided insight on approaches for long-term sustainable shrimp farming while handling difficulties in balancing economic viability.

Second generation farmers from the right, Rizky Darmawan, Somthida Pakdeepak and Christopher Adrian Domingo Anglo.


he Aquaculture Roundtable Series 2018 centered on the need for change in shrimp aquaculture by looking at new approaches toward farming and facets within the supply chain that can bring about industry transformation to overcome

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sluggish shrimp production resulting from disease outbreaks and low survival rates. Three young farmers were invited for this year’s Hard Talk with Young Shrimp Farmers for their diverse perspectives on managing farms. The farmers came from varied circumstances and educational back-

grounds to provide their insights on keeping farms productive. The young farmers needed to deal with generational differences in opinion when implementing innovative protocols in their family-run farms. In many regards, Generation-Y has been vilified as erratic, and at times inconsistent. But these young, industrious shrimp farmers are in fact a dedicated lot, keen to learn, understand and implement new techniques in their businesses. Farm Manager of Aderma Farm in Cadiz City, Philippines, 33-year-old Christopher Adrian Domingo Anglo has been running its operations alongside his father and brother since 2015. The farm, which his grandfather started with monodon farming in the 1990s, shifted to vannamei shrimp production in 2015. Christopher Adrian has a degree in an unrelated field, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, but has managed the farm well enough to be awarded Charoen Pokphand (CP)’s ‘Most Improved Farm in the New Customer Category’ in 2015. His farm features best culture practices and uses CP’s 3Cs culture technology (clean post larvae, clean pond and clean water). Aderma Farm has 6 reservoir ponds and 24 culture ponds, each of 5,0006,000 m2. Ponds are stocked with 9mm post larvae (PL) at 100-120 PL/m2. With partial harvests, shrimp survival rates range from 80%-100% with harvest sizes of 13-40g. The farm produced 400 tonnes in 2017. Generally, feed conversion ratio (FCR) ranges from 1.20 to 1.45. As PT Delta Marine Indonesia’s Director, 27-year-old Rizky Darmawan oversees the family farm in Sumbawa Island, West Nusa Tenggara, since graduating in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic and Fisheries Science from the University of Washington, USA. Keeping abreast of changes in the shrimp farming community, Rizky is an active member with Shrimp Club Indonesia, Head of the club’s Sumbawa

Chapter, and is the founder of the Young Shrimp Farmers Association (Petambak Muda Indonesia). This 500 tonne/year farm in Sumbawa has 30 grow-out ponds, with sizes ranging from 3,300 - 5,000 m2, with 7 treatment ponds, and has plans for future expansion. The stocking density is 120- 180 PL/m2 with post larvae sizes ranging from 11 to 13mm. FCR fluctuates, depending on shrimp conditions. Rizky cited the special features at the farm: a >600 m inlet pipe into the ocean, waste settling ponds with mangroves, laboratories for water quality and culture tanks for shrimp waste conversion. Similarly, 23-year-old Somthida Pakdeepak began working on the family farm right out of Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Fisheries Aquaculture in Thailand. The 35ha Ao Kho Farm in Chumphon Province, Thailand was founded in 1987 and originally farmed the black tiger shrimp. It shifted to farming vannamei shrimp in 2001. Somthida was appointed Assistant Farm Supervisor in 2017. Ao Kho Farm comprises eight culture ponds, two reservoir ponds, as well as treatment and settling ponds. Stocking density of PL12 ranges between 170 to 190 PL/ m2. Generally, survival rates are good, around 80% to 95%. A total of 250 tonnes were produced in 2017.

Traditional vs modern strategies These young entrepreneurs recounted their experiences when transforming their farms to ensure long term sustainability and economic viability. It is apparent that their main hurdle was changing the mindset of the older generation and instilling change. Working to grow the farm with his family, Christopher Adrian said shrimp farming began by chance. “My father and I were cropping tilapia and sugarcane when colleagues from the prawn cooperative advised him to try farming the vannamei shrimp,” he said. However, there was resistance. “My father was very reluctant at that time because during the 1990s the black tiger shrimp industry was at its best, and then collapsed suddenly in the Philippines,” added Christopher Adrian and it took some persuasion before they gave it a shot. “The difference between my father’s and my time was not only the shrimp (black tiger versus vannamei) but also that with the black tiger, it was purely an export market. Today, we have both local and export markets with the vannamei shrimp. I convinced the first generation, especially right now that R&D is so vast, that we have to follow what is new to succeed because if we go back to the old ways, we are probably not going to make it again.”

Rizky Darmawan.

Sustainability Rizky on the other hand finds a lack of interest on ecological farming practices among many of the earlier generations. “I think we (younger generations) are thinking more on sustainability. For example, in my new facility I am trying to build a settling pond to control the quality of discharge water. But my parents do not see a need for this and preferred another culture pond. When they

“I think we (younger generations)

are thinking more about sustainability.” - Rizky Darmawan

Ponds at PT Delta Marine Indonesia’s farm in Sumbawa.

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first built this farm, they had massive successes for 2 years and then it went downhill for a couple of years. I started changing how they worked and right now the production is stabilizing. We are profitable, and I think that’s the most important thing about this business. “So, one of the things I applied when I inherited the business was risk management,” said Rizky on learning about the science behind shrimp farming and harvesting early where necessary to mitigate losses. He also elaborated on the skepticism of family and friends as he attempted to apply what was learnt at school and the mistakes he made at the beginning. “I started as a farm technician handling eight ponds. I tried to apply what I learnt in school and failed. I guess how you change the senior’s mind is to slowly show that you can learn and little by little they will start to trust you.”

Changing technology Somthida’s plans to involve her parents concentrated on three areas. “The first point was technical enhancement. Before I graduated I shared ideas with my father on reducing the number of culture ponds and increasing focus in areas like wa-

Christopher Adrian Domingo Anglo.

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Feeding time at the Ao Kho Farm, Thailand.

ter treatment and management. We could still maintain the production volume when compared to what we did previously with seven ponds,” said Somthida. “Starting as farm technician responsible for water quality, feed and shrimp health management, I was learning real farming practices by doing, then implementing what I learnt from my university. I tried using a venturi aerator, an idea from other farms with excellent results.” She then leveraged on the advantages of studying in a local university by recruiting three former classmates as technicians managing two to three ponds each, to achieve consistency and efficiency. “When we decided to expand the culture areas with this model, we needed more technicians to operate the farm. My father agreed with this idea, even though it will be costly. Today, we have three technicians (excluding me) to manage eight ponds. “My second venture was to find an alternative market. We previously sold our shrimp to local processing plants but during the crisis in the last 4 months, my mother and I searched for local buyers in Chumphon Province, offering fresher and cheaper shrimp as compared with those from middlemen,” said Somthi-

da. “My father knew that this will incur extra work but cutting out middlemen from the equation, I gained USD 0.30/kg. With demand, we could partially remove biomass from shrimp ponds daily to allow the remaining shrimp to grow faster. We harvest 10g to 44g shrimp, with seven partial harvests over the crop cycle, and with good feed management, we get FCRs of 1.2- 1.4. We increase production capacity and earn back part of our investment,” added Somthida.

Somthida Pakdeepak.

Shrimp harvest from Aderma Farm, Philippines.

“Thirdly was digitalizing farm data. We began recording data using a Thai Government social media application Thailand 4.0 to get quick reports on emergency incidents and feeding status and share real-time information with others. Also, I am convinced that storing data online makes it easy to use, recheck, analyze and share.”

30 years ago, these young shrimp farmers were dropped into the deep end, into shrimp farming beset with diseases. These three panelists then discussed their experience with diseases most likely to hit their respective countries, and their mitigation efforts.

Biosecurity “Diseases that have occurred in my country are the infamous ones Disease mitigation While the first generation started – EHP (Enterocytozoon hepatowith disease-free farming more than penaei), early mortality syndrome (EMS) and the most prevalent, the white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). What we do to mitigate them is biosecurity,” said Christopher Adrian. He ensures that fry purchased from CP’s “At the end of the day, it is still hatchery have passed all tests before accepting them into his farm. “At the people management – no end of the day, it is still people manmatter what protocols we agement –no matter what protocols we use; if you do not manage your use.” - Christopher Adrian people to follow the rules and regulaDomingo Anglo tions, you will be in big trouble. Our worst survival rate was 65% and that was due to staff issues.”

“When I started back in June 2015, we got hit with WSSV once in December of 2015. We do not wish this to happen again because my father is strict when it comes to biosecurity. The main carriers of diseases can be people entering the farm, including harvesters and buyers. “Buyers stay at the perimeter of the farms and we use 10-12 haulers to bring the shrimp to them.”

WFD Conversely, the worst disease to hit Indonesia is the white faeces disease (WFD). “I think because in the case of WFD, there is no immediate mass mortality. Instead there is chronic mortality, and shrimp are eating but not growing, costing farmers more than WSSV, because they do not know when to pull the plug. So, for me it is risk management. I wait for 1 week or 2 weeks to sample and keep monitoring problematic ponds, so I can make a decision on whether to harvest or not. Our survival rate drops to around 55% with diseases,” » 39


“What is the scariest disease in

my life as a shrimp farmer? It is all diseases without a doubt.” Somthida Pakdeepak

Soraphat Panakorn, Novozymes Biologicals, (left) with Kanokngoen Pakdeepak, Somthida’s mother who is also very active in farm operations.

said Rizky, when explaining how he learns through trial and error to manage WFD. “We check the daily feed intake. If the shrimp do not even feed that means that it is bad. Then, when the ADG (average daily growth) is 0.15g or less, we harvest. We had two ponds with WFD at 40 days of culture, but shrimp have started to eat better to reach an ADG of 0.2g to 0.3g. That is a recovery.” Rizky’s message was to observe shrimp behavior and not take a rash decision to harvest. Prevention “What is the scariest disease in my life as a shrimp farmer? It is all diseases without a doubt,” said Somthida. “I find that all diseases are big threats to me because once infected, it is sure to cause damage – increased FCR, lower survival rates, higher production cost or worse we could lose the entire crop,” she said. Her approach is through prevention. “In my farm we have five criteria. Firstly healthy, disease-free larvae; secondly clean water, thirdly clean ponds, free from organic matter and contamination, fourthly management through scientific investigations, and lastly good team work. This is the most important approach in my farm. Each one of us is the keeper of success, and all 40 »

of us have to commit and perform our jobs with a high degree of responsibility.”

Wish list As research and development is a key component in the sustainability of shrimp farming, the panelists were asked what areas of contribution they would gain most from – genetics, health management, or feed and processing. “The thing I would like to see most is tips to farmers on how to improve the culture system. And also, hopefully in the future, improvement on the seed and fry quality for faster growth and immunity to diseases,” said Christopher Adrian on his main priorities. Rizky, however, focused on robust genetics as diseases continue to evolve, as well as better waste treatment technology. “I think if you can farm in the middle of the city or beside it, you’re closer to the market and can sell fresher produce at better prices,” he said adding that improving technology to keep shrimp fresh after harvest would also help. Measuring all areas as equally important, Somthida believed a combined effort is the ultimate answer. “But if I must choose only one, I find shrimp genetics to be the most important factor because I cannot

do it myself and yet it will give the most impact to my farm. It is not easy to operate a shrimp genetics development program. So good quality shrimp post larvae is a priority for my farm.” Despite rampant diseases and production challenges, the three young farmers nevertheless retain a hopeful outlook on the industry. To them, the continuous increasing demands on shrimp production and the time spent in research and development promote a bright future ahead for the industry.

Yvonne Nathan.

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

First award for sustainable fishing and aquaculture 2018 Mexico.- In the last days of November, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), through the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA), and in coordination with the National Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (INAPESCA), the Commissions on Fisheries and Community and Biodiversity of the Chamber of Deputies and Senators of the Honorable Congress of the Union delivered the “2018 Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Award,” to fishermen, aquaculturists and organizations whose actions have contributed to the conservation, protection, use and restoration of aquatic and fisheries ecosystems. Pointing out the great participation that ultimately led to the announcement of the Award, the head of CONAPESCA, Mario Aguilar Sánchez, said there are many deserving recipients in the sector and projects that were not necessarily awarded but serve as examples of innovation. This constituted a challenge for the members of the jury, who considered transcendent actions of sustainability, conservation, protection, use and restoration of marine ecosystems, and other factors. “This is the acknowledgment that was needed to stimulate the best actions and sustainable productive projects, because although it is already known in the sector who does 42 »

things well, it must also be known outside,” said Aguilar Sánchez, when delivering the awards. The winning projects of this national contest were: In the category of Rural Aquaculture, the first place award was presented to Truchas Sustentables (Sustainable Trout) S. de P.R. of R.L., of Michoacán, for their project “Consolidated participation in the production, transformation and commercialization of rainbow trout.” The second recipient was Intermareal, S.A. de C. V., of Ensenada, Baja California and the third place award went to Mujeres del Mar de Cortés (Women of the Sea of Cortes), Sociedad Cooperativa de Responsabilidad de Capitalidad Variable (Cooperative Society of Reponsible Variable Capital) (S.C. de R.L. de C.V.), of Sonora. In the category of Commercial and Industrial Aquaculture, first

place was awarded to Servicios Acuícolas Profesionales SA de CV, from Sinaloa, with the project “Eco-intensive production of shrimp, ecologically sustainable.” The second place was for Jesús Trinidad Ponce Palafox, from Nayarit and the third for David Gutiérrez Bonilla, from Mérida Yucatán. Prizes were also awarded for the categories of Rural Fishing, Commercial Fishing and Fishing Research.

The sustainable development of aquaculture in one province where it is promoted Argentina.- The initiative of Deputy Jorge Monge, who proposes “to create an entity to help develop the activity, not marine obviously, but inland and riverine,” achieved partial approval in the last session of the Lower House. The Entre Ríos Province has several thousand kilometers of natural

water courses and “aquaculture can be a possibility for growth, not only from the point of view of the production of fish as food, but also of reptiles, plants, fish and ornamental plants, etc. through hydroponics, since aquaculture is a discipline that deals with all living things - animals and plants - linked by their life cycle to water,” said the legislator in the proposals for the project.

The proposal, passed in review to the Senate, “aims to establish the creation of a body - not bureaucratic, not expensive for the provincial treasury – and with strong participation of the sectors related to knowledge and research, the private sector, cooperative entities and artisanal fishermen. Thus, we promote the creation of the Provincial Agency for the Development of Aquaculture in Entre Ríos Province, with the aim of promoting aquaculture activity in the provincial territory as a way to contribute to sustainable economic development, encouraging small and medium-sized companies based in the province, the roots of the native-born producers and the preservation, recovery and improvement of the ecosystems and their biological corridors and the conservation of biological diversity.”

Peru is a great resource for worldwide aquaculture: by being one of the main global suppliers of fishmeal Peru.- Peru is currently an impor-

tant component of global aquaculture, because it is one of the main producers of anchovy flour, an ingredient in the diet of many aquaculture species, said the president of the National Fisheries Society (SNP), Elena Conterno, in November. “We have an innovative agenda for the enrichment of marine foods from the anchoveta. The industry of marine ingredients is not only fishing, but also its processing, because that fish is dehydrated and separated into oil and a specific protein that is used to feed other fish,” she told Andina Canal Online. She also indicated that work is advancing in order for this protein concentrate to be considered for marine animals and also for people, such as a portion of rice that has 5% of that component for bread made with flour enriched by this product. “The great challenge is to meet the needs of consumers who do not want the strong taste and smell that characterizes this product,” said Conterno. » 43


Global Aquaculture:

Recipient of Millionaire Investments Companies such as Cargill (Purina, Ewos), ADM (Neovia), Bunge

(AlgaPrime DHA), and others such as BioMar, Skretting and Nicovita, have been diversifying towards broader-margin sectors, such as aquaculture feedstuffs and supplements, some to compensate for low returns in the grain market and others to expand *Salvador Meza. Editor & Publisher of Aquaculture Magazine.


or some years now, the companies that dominate the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grain and raw material markets for the manufacturing of livestock feed have been gradually discovering the market for aquaculture feeds, and have delved into the aquaculture industry looking for accelerated growth that other livestock industries cannot offer. Within these gigantic grain companies, those who understand the bio-economic limits of the harvest of fish and seafood by the global fishing industry know that aquaculture products will be the ones in the immediate future to substitute products originating from wild fisheries on the dining tables of millions of people around the world, and they have begun the race to scoop up a piece of this great pie. 44 Âť

their aquaculture feed lines. Nevertheless, in each of the steps these enterprises have taken they have confronted the reality of the incipience of the aquaculture industry, which has been unveiled before their eyes as an ongoing activity that is still in the process of maturing. There is a perceived lack of development of providers for sustaining supply chains for goods and services on which the industry can base its growth. Another perception involves the precarious investment in research, development, and innovation carried out by the aquaculture companies themselves, as well as Universities and Research Centers â&#x20AC;&#x201C;be they privately-owned or state-owned, making this investment portfolio a risky and unpredictable adventure. In response to this risk situation, these giants of the farming com-

modity markets and aquaculture feeds have had to react, by preparing to take a leading role in the context of the development of world aquaculture. As this challenge is assumed, these companies will begin inaugurating R&D centers and announcing alliances with goods and services providers with the purpose of accelerating the maturation process of the industry. In this manner they will make investments in aquaculture more predictable and therefore less risky, with better profit margins for all actors of the production, supply and value chains. These new investments in world aquaculture may trigger a new era of development for the aquaculture industry and take it to unprecedented levels. Nevertheless, the challenge will be to pair this growth with sus-

tainable aquaculture production that ensures the continuance of this development in the long term. The education and support that aquaculture producers need to receive on behalf of these aquaculture foodstuff companies in order to adhere to the diverse best practices, environmental

sustainability priorities, and responsible company certifications will undoubtedly be fundamental in the consolidation of sustained growth. Notwithstanding that the focus of the investments from these companies is oriented towards elevating production volume and efficiency,

there are still many more challenges to resolve in post-harvest processing and development of innovative aquaculture products that will have to respond to different types of markets in order to be able to adequately deal with the anticipated increased production output. It is here that the challenge will be to maintain a balance between production increases and the profitability allowed by market prices during the phase in which production will be growing but not yet reaching an established position with â&#x20AC;&#x153;newâ&#x20AC;? consumers. During this process, the financial support of these multinational grain and feedstuff companies to aquaculture producers will be crucial to achieve this transition. Let us hope this is how they have it planned.

Salvador Meza is Editor & Publisher of Aquaculture Magazine, and of the Spanish language industry magazine Panorama Acuicola.

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News from the

Aquaculture Stewardship Council Abalone farm first to achieve certification in South Korea Wando County in South Korea recently demonstrated its commitment to responsible seafood, as a local producer became the first in the country to achieve ASC certification, and the local government pledged that it would be the first of many. Chungsan Fisherman’s Organisation, in the southwest part of the Korean peninsula, produces over 200 metric tons of abalone every year, and held a certification ceremony to celebrate its achievement. Over 150 people, including representatives from the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, attended the ceremony, where the conformity assessment body (CAB) Control Union handed over the certificate. It was at this ceremony that the Wando local government announced its commitment that 10 per cent of all seafood produced in the area would be ASC-certified by 2021. This is a significant commitment because the county produces more than nine per cent of all the seafood harvested in the country, and 80 per cent of the abalone. Aquaculture and fisheries are a huge part of the local economy, with 45 per cent of the population depending on these industries for their livelihoods, and there are over 3,000 abalone farms in the region. The achievement is thanks to work that began in October 2016, when the Chungsman Fisherman’s Organisation signed a memorandum of understanding with WWF Korea to work together 46 »

to shift their farming practices towards greater environmental and social responsibility. The farmers also visited the Miyagi Prefecture Fishery Cooperative Association in Japan, which worked together to attain ASC certification in an area that was once devastated by the 2011 tsunami. “As Chungsan Fishermen’s Organization became the first ASCcertified farm in Korea, the Wando Government prioritizes assisting fisheries in shifting towards re-

sponsible and eco-friendly seafood production, as part of its seafood product differentiation strategy. By the time when the next Wando Seaweeds Expo is held in 2021, our priorities are to have more ASC certified farms in the county, especially farms for abalone, flatfish and seaweed and to achieve this goal, the county government has been formulating strategies and action plans, such as ASC educational programme for fishers” said Woo-cheol Shin, the Mayor of Wando County.

Fair Trade USA and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council Partner to Pilot the Fair Trade Addon to Some ASC Certified Farms Fair Trade USA, the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in North America, and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), the leading certification and labelling program for responsible aquaculture, have signed an MOU to pilot Fair Trade USA’s requirements in some ASCcertified fish farms. Through this collaboration, the organizations will implement Fair Trade USA’s innovative model of responsible business and conscious consumption in certified fish farms adhering to the robust environmental and social criteria of the ASC standard. The pilot will also examine how the Fair Trade program can work as a ladder towards ASC certification within the framework of ASC’s newly formed “Improver Programme.” “The Capture Fisheries Standard for wild fisheries has been the cornerstone of the Fair Trade seafood program since its inception in 2014, and now thousands of fishermen and workers are reaping its benefits,” said Julie Kuchepatov, Seafood Director of Fair Trade USA. “We look forward to working with ASC

to bring the benefits of Fair Trade to fish farmers and workers and increase the environmental and social impact of our respective programs.” Roy van Daatselaar, Producer Support Manager at ASC, said, “We are excited to bring the expertise of both organizations together in service of our shared goal to further improve the social and environmental performance of the aquaculture industry. ASC has had remarkable success in driving better performance and accountability through certification. We’ve created the Improver Programme to expand the benefits of the program by helping those farms that are either not ready for, or may not ultimately be interested in, certification to progress their operations and reduce their impacts. Our collaboration will allow producers to both benefit from Fair Trade’s experience in community development and ASC’s comprehensive and scientifically-driven aquaculture certification to deliver efficient pathways for those that choose to seek certification.” The Fair Trade model enables sustainable livelihoods for fishermen around the world while empowering them to improve their communities via the Community Development

Aquaculture and fisheries are a huge part of the local economy, with 45 per cent of the population depending on these industries for their livelihoods, and there are over 3,000 abalone farms in the region.

Fund – additional income earned for every pound of Fair Trade Certified™ seafood sold. To date, there are nine Fair Trade Certified seafood supply chains and several more in the pipeline. Fair Trade Certified™ seafood products, such as Indonesian yellowfin tuna, Mexican blue shrimp, Maldivian skipjack tuna, Alaskan salmon, and scallops from New England, are found in more than twenty leading North American retailers, including Safeway, Hy-Vee and Whole Foods Market.

ASC leads fight against plastic waste from aquaculture with planned requirements on proper disposal ASC is leading the fight against plastic waste from aquaculture, planning specific requirements for farms to properly dispose of plastics and aquaculture gear, and becoming the first and only aquaculture body to join the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI). The GGGI is an alliance of organisations working to find solutions to the problem of lost, abandoned or discarded fishing gear – known as ghost gear. While the issue of ghost gear from fisheries entering the oceans has been well documented, and it is known that every year at least 640,000 tons of ghost gear is left in the oceans, the impact made by fish farms remains unexplored. The ASC’s knowledge » 47


and influence in the aquaculture industry will help widen the impact of GGGI to include fish farms, and ASC will learn from the experiences of its GGGI partners with an eye towards applying lessons learned to aquaculture production. “As with fisheries, plastics have become increasingly important materials for much of the equipment used in aquaculture, such as nets, pens, and buoys. Many of these materials have allowed big improvements in efficiency and productivity of the sector. But with so much plastic entering our oceans we decided that action was required to assess how aquaculture can reduce the impacts of plastic from the sector,” said Marcelo Hidalgo, Standards and Certification Coordinator for ASC, who is leading the work. “We’re excited to have the Aquaculture Stewardship Council join the Global Ghost Gear Initiative. Aquaculture is a huge part of the industry and it’s wonderful to see ASC wanting to engage proactively on the issue of gear loss,” said Joel Baziuk, GGGI Secretariat. “We’re looking forward to working together to find solutions to lost gear in the aquaculture sector in addition to our ongoing work in wild capture fisheries.” ASC has begun comprehensive research into the most commonplace and highest-risk plastics used in aquaculture equipment, and new criteria on plastic disposal are currently

The ASC’s knowledge and influence in the aquaculture industry will help widen the impact of GGGI to include fish farms, and ASC will learn from the experiences of its GGGI partners with an eye towards applying lessons learned to aquaculture production.

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being drafted ahead of a public consultation. With ten standards covering over 700 ASC-certified farms on six continents, when the criteria are approved it will have a global impact on the disposal of plastics and aquaculture gear by the aquaculture industry. Aquaculture now accounts for half of the world’s seafood supply, and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that this share will continue to grow. This rise in production increases the importance of understanding how activities on fish farms impact the environment and communities so that these impacts of the industry can be further prevented. This week Marcelo has spoken at a GGGI event in Bali, introducing ASC’s new work stream on plastics. Next month, in a first for any global aquaculture scheme, he will propose solutions on plastics in a presentation to World Sustainable Oceans Conference in Hong Kong. The presentation is titled: How the aquaculture industry can minimize

the impact of plastic pollution into the ocean – a practical approach. ASC has already begun the process of working with farmers to identify the most commonly used plastics in aquaculture, what they tend to be used for, and the risk of them entering the oceans. “Plastics is a catch-all term for a wide variety of materials with very different properties, so the first step is to understand what type of plastics are most commonly used in aquaculture, and what risks they pose to the wider oceans,” said Marcelo. “So far, there has been very limited research into this area and our work will help the entire industry adapt better practices. Our own standards will be updated to include specific indicators on the proper disposal of plastics once the proper consultation process has been completed over the coming years.” ASC Staff

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What, then, must we do? An open letter and a challenge. By Neil Anthony Sims*

Shortly prior to his untimely defenestration (i.e. being tossed out the

window), the character of conscience in the movie “The Year of Living Dangerously” becomes so frustrated with the injustices of the 1960’s Indonesian socio-economic imbalances to which he bears witness, that he compulsively, obsessively pounds this question repeatedly into his typewriter: “What, then, must we do?! What, then, must we do?!”

© The Kampachi Company.

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e proponents of offshore aquaculture in US Federal waters might also ask the same question, in the same tone of righteous indignation, as we survey the public policy landscape in which we find ourselves. But we might also ask the same question of the so-called conservation community, in the face of their perennial failure* to accept the overwhelming scientific consensus that aquaculture is an absolutely essential element of any future sustainable world, and that offshore aquaculture probably represents the least impactful means of significantly expanding global seafood production. (* - aside from Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and WWF, who see the light and – to varying degrees - embrace offshore aspirations). The recent Louisiana court decision effectively torpedoed the last ten or more years of NOAA’s efforts to move forward with offshore aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico, and elsewhere. Well, yes, one might argue that this simply removes one more onerous obligation; any offshore aquaculture applicant will still require an NPDES permit from EPA, and a Section 10 Permit from Army Corps (to which NOAA would be a party), and US Coast Guard sign-off, and certification by the nearest coastal state of the project’s compliance under the Coastal Zone Management Act. But Judge Triche Milazzo’s decision simply underscored the need for regulatory clarity in US offshore aquaculture. Senator Wicker of Mississippi has proposed legislation that would fill this vacuum, which seems to offer a platform whereby reasonable people might agree. And yet, the halls of Congress have, as of writing, been bereft of anyone with any notable green credibility who might endorse this draft … or even who might invite any discussion. What, then, must we do?! This is what we first ask of ourselves. What

other evidence can we provide? What additional study is needed to break through the entrenched eNGO mindset? There is already an abundance of sound science that affirms the need for expansion of offshore aquaculture. Continued opposition to – or indifference to – this position is the environmental equivalent of supporting expansion of coal-fired power plants; it is the socio-economic equivalent of advocating for more condos along America’s waterfront; and it is the public-health equivalent of promoting more smoking of cigarettes.

Hyperbole, you ask? Consider the following … From the planetary perspective, it is abundantly clear that there is insufficient land, fresh water and feedstuffs to sustain 9 billion people hankering for hamburgers at the rate that Americans currently consume cow-flesh. Further, methane and nitrous-oxidebelching bovines represent a significant component of global GHG emissions. On our current trajectory, earth’s atmosphere will be rendered more like Venus, and our soils more like Mars. We cannot mandate vegetarianism, and so the best way that these critical constraints can be avoided is for attractive protein alternatives to be available and affordable. And no, that does not mean carp or tilapia. I do not know anyone who walks into a sushi bar and orders tilapia. No-one sits down in a steak-house and orders carp. It has to be fillets of tantalizingly tasty marine fish, or the billions will want to be buying the beef. The Blue Frontiers study of 2011 (which was the pivotal expose on all the above) now bookends very nicely with the Froehlich, et al., study of 2018, which used marine spatial planning models to project that offshore aquaculture, sited only in under-utilized ocean space out to the 200 m isobath, could produce more than 100 times the current level of global seafood consumption. With

100 times the seafood availability, in marine fish, bivalves and algae (or even with just 3x or 4x), perhaps we could begin to restore some of the overworked terrestrial ecosystems by increasing land devoted to conservation. Isn’t that what a conscious environmentalist should support? Many of the marine-focused NGOs also support maintaining working waterfronts. This, too, can be achieved through offshore aquaculture, alongside commercial fishing. Commercial fishermen readily comprehend this: in Kampachi Farms’ SeaGrant-supported project for a demonstration net pen offshore of Florida, we have been flooded with offers from commercial fishermen to provide dock-space, processing facilities, or boats for lease. These same fishermen also immediately understand the benefits to their bottom line of the FAD effects of an offshore array (which makes it exceedingly curious that commercial, charter-boat and recreational fishermen signed on to the Louisiana lawsuit). And US seafood distributors and processors are among the Stronger America Through Seafood coalition that is ardently supportive of Wicker. They understand the importance of

“The recent Louisiana court decision effectively torpedoed the last ten or more years of NOAA’s efforts to move forward with offshore aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico, and elsewhere”

keeping seafood jobs in America – something the eNGOs also claim to support. There is now an abundance of accumulated environmental science that unequivocally dispatches the eco-hand-wringing that was previously used to besmirch net pen aquaculture. The best distillation of these data can be found in Price and Morris (2013), and Rust, et al., (2014). The former meta-analysis of studies on water quality and benthic impacts around net pens concluded that so long as basic, common-sense siting criteria are adopted, then there is no significant impact, and often no measureable impact whatsoever. The

© The Kampachi Company.

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latter study of other ecosystem impacts from net pens in US State waters concluded that so long as basic Best Management Practices (BMPs) are employed, then there is no significant impact from net pen operations on wild fish genetics or wild fish stock abundance, on marine mammal populations or other components of marine ecosystems. In terms of public health, the irrefutable facts espoused by Mozaffarrian and Rimm (2006) stand unchallenged. If Americans doubled their consumption of oily seafood, to a mere two meals per week, then this would result in a 34% reduction in deaths from heart disease, and a 17% reduction in mortality overall. A 17% reduction in mortality stands roughly equivalent to seatbelts and smoking, in terms of a public health imperative! Americans should be eating way more seafood. Why aren’t they? Mostly because they are scared of eating farmed fish. Much of the antiaquaculture messaging around salmon farming over the last two decades was founded in fearmongering over the purported health risks from mercury or PCBs. And so American consumers linger over the seafood counter, their minds toying with an alluring fillet of farmed fish … but then the claxon-horn alarm sounds in their ears (“Mercury! PCBs!”), and they do, at that moment, the worst thing possible for their health – they turn around and choose the farmed beef.

“We cannot mandate vegetarianism, and so the best way that these critical constraints can be avoided is for attractive protein alternatives to be available and affordable”

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© The Kampachi Company.

These food safety myths persist, reverberating around the internet and around restaurant tables, and so even though the science is compelling, American seafood consumption is stalled around a pathetic 14 pounds per annum. With the failure of eNGOs to embrace aquaculture, or through their persistently tepid acceptance of its advent, these public health misperceptions linger, uncorrected. And so heart disease rates remain a tragic 25% of American mortality. This could be corrected – simply and convincingly - if the leading eNGOs came forward and asserted that farmed fish was what really should be for dinner. What, then, must we do?! This is also a question that the eNGOs, and all of the individuals who work for them, must ask of themselves. Surely, these

organizations, and these people, place their faith in science, yes? These are the same individuals who rail against the climate-deniers, berating them for ignoring the preponderance of evidence of the human components underpinning global climate change. And yet, it seems that they choose to ignore the science around aquaculture. So, then, this is one thing that we must do: We must challenge the eNGO community with this question. “If you acknowledge this accumulated evidence, then how can you remain silent?” If they still refuse to change their attitudes to aquaculture, in the face of all that has been shown, then they are denying a salve for that which most ails the earth; they are undermining gainful employment in the seafood sector; and they are let-

“There is now an abundance of accumulated environmental science that unequivocally dispatches the eco-handwringing that was previously used to besmirch net pen aquaculture”

© The Kampachi Company.

ting people die, by contributing to mortality rates that could be significantly reduced by consumption of more seafood. This is a moral imperative, and we should begin to present it as such. It has very real consequences. So long as there is no conservation community support for aquaculture in US Federal waters, then there will be no Democratic endorsement of the Wicker Bill. And without bipartisan support, then it is hard to imagine this legislation moving forward. Without the bill, then it is highly unlikely that there will be farms in US waters.

© The Kampachi Company.

Without offshore aquaculture, then our weary world, our eroding waterfronts, and our grandchildren will all share that loss. Despite appearances, the above was not intended to be solely for the satisfaction of venting my spleen. It was a genuine attempt to ask an honest question. And so perhaps – rather than an article – we might consider this as an open letter. As such, please ignore the copyright restrictions that might normally accompany an esteemed publication such as this. Please do scan this article and email it, or tear it out of your copy of Aqua-

culture Magazine and mail it, to any friends or associates that you might know who are working in the marine conservation field. Please press them to answer these few questions: What, then, must we do? What else can we, as offshore aquaculture advocates, provide that will ease their anxieties, or help persuade them of the imperative of our position? And then press them to ask themselves: What, then, must I do? What should a moral, science-driven individual or organization do, in the face of this evidence? As the adage urges, we must think globally, but we must act locally. But we must also do it all honorably and honestly. How will each of us answer the question … perhaps the greatest challenge of our time?

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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Using Pseudo-Science and Disease to Fear-Monger Against Aquaculture:

A Veterinarian’s Perspective PART 3

Playing up the dangers of a commensal: Piscine Orthoreovirus (“PRV”) To date Atlantic salmon farming has been made illegal in Washington

State. Unless there is a legislative change when the last lease site runs out in 2022, Atlantic salmon will not be allowed to be stocked into WA State saltwater net pens.

Hugh Mitchell, MSc, DVM


urrently, an assessment is being performed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in order to ascertain the risk of switching to native finfish, including Pacific salmon species (which are not as amenable to cage culture as Salmo salar). The outcome of this is not certain, but as with the ban, politics (versus science) is again expected to be a heavy influencer. Incidentally, a dozen or so non-native fish species have been successfully stocked in Washington waters over the last century or so, for recreational purposes. There have also been numerous failed attempts at trying to establish runs of Atlantic salmon up and down the West Coast of North America. A non-native fish species is not necessarily a hazard. This net pen ban is considered by many to be a real blow to US aquaculture and several have indicated that it results in a negative halo effect to all of fish farming. This all came to pass via forces as described in Part 1 of this article. Through the process, solutions were proposed and rejected that would have alleviated various hy54 »

Figure 1: Anti-salmon farming fear-mongering and consequences in Washington State Media over past year resulting in ban of Atlantic salmon fish farming.

pothetical risks to the wild salmon (disease monitoring; monosex stocking; etc.), but the official explanation from the Governor was that the farmer exhibited negligence in the break up of the cages in question, allowing between 160,000 (farmer’s number) and 250,000 (State’s number through a boat displacement estimate) to escape into Puget Sound (with about

46K recaptured). Regardless of the discrepancy in actual numbers of escapees, the risk to the environment is postulated, and never really proven. There is ample evidence that farmed Atlantic salmon do poorly in the wild, and as mentioned above, there is a track record of West Coast North American public agencies unsuccessfully trying to establish runs

Figure 2: 800,000 healthy Atlantic salmon destroyed because of policy. Comment from official: “Sometimes policy has nothing to do with science”.

on the Pacific Coast by releasing millions of these fish over the last century. Most other industries are heavily fined and punished when a determination of negligence has been handed down – not shut down completely. The political pressure from the wild commercial and tribal fishermen, tribal concerns over water rights, and conservation NGO’s of dubious integrity became too much for the Governor to ignore and the decision made was more political than scientific and risk-based. As described in Part 2 of this article series, anti-net pen activists have attempted to use the perceived risk of disease to wild fish as rationale that net pen culture is an unacceptable hazard. Currently, they are concentrating on an innocuous pathogen called Piscine Orthoreovirus (PRV) to fear-monger the risks of the last few years of remaining Atlantic salmon production in Washington State and the currently much larger industry in British Columbia. This author has seen some mis-uses of fish health

regulations and policies in his career, but the concocted fervor over PRV is the strangest and most egregious fear-mongering to date, given the known true nature of this organism.

Viruses and Reoviruses (and a Bit of Technical Detail to Wade Through) To put things into context, the “Hollywood” notion of viruses often is spun so there is a connotation of a helpless and unrelenting path towards Armageddon. Social media plays into this with terms like: “gone viral.” As a result, a great deal of what the public understands about viruses is cartoonish. This is not to downplay the seriousness of these potential pathogens, but it has to be pointed out that viruses are everywhere and can be harmful, of no consequence, or even beneficial. It is extremely important to understand and apply tried and true criteria prior to deeming a virus to be something worthy of reacting to in terms of attention, time, people and resources. There are countless vi-

ruses in the environment and efforts should be made towards finding out more about the pathogenic ones and ignoring or at least monitoring those that are probably less impactful. In this discussion, it is also important to point out that populations of humans and animals can become immune to even the most serious viruses after exposure. If things didn’t operate this way, there would be no life on earth.

There is ample evidence that farmed Atlantic salmon do poorly in the wild, and as mentioned above, there is a track record of West Coast North American public agencies unsuccessfully trying to establish runs on the Pacific Coast by releasing millions of these fish over the last century. » 55


Wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest have long been

known to have inclusion bodies associated with their red blood cells and this has correlated with high levels of PRV RNA.

To provide some context, Curtis Suttle wrote about the astounding number of viruses naturally present in the sea in the journal Nature (September 2005). Some of his figures translate to a teaspoon of seawater containing more than 150 billion viruses. He estimated that in total about 4x1030 viruses inhabit the ocean. He further estimated that at an average of 100 nm, they would stretch end to end for about 10 million light years and they would weigh about the same as 75 million elephants! Obviously, they can’t all be pathogenic, otherwise the prospect of life on earth would be glum. We don’t know what

Figure 3.

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the role of many to the ecosystem may be, but purposes include: keeping the bacterial load in check; terminating phytoplankton blooms; nutrient recycling; controlling the balance between existing species; driving species diversity; etc. Newer genomics tools are confirming that viruses are common in animals and humans. Minot, et al. (Genomic Research 2011: 21:1616) stated that “immense populations of viruses are present in the gut and other body sites” and they explored the dynamics of the viral community, functions and purposes. Kyle Garver of Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans has stated (personal communication) that they are finding countless viruses in and around fish as well, and that genomics is actually finding viral DNA incorporated into the genomes of fishes. Like other organisms, features and function can be used to subclass viruses. Most work has been done on DNA viruses (which some consider more dangerous because they can more easily work themselves into the genome and carry their own replication capabilities). RNA viruses (simpler, more unstable, and extremely

prone to mutate – without getting too in depth - have been under-profiled and not as well understood because of past limitations in detecting them. For fish, Man Shi and colleagues (Nature 556: 2018) state that known RNA viruses have gone from around 50 to over 150. Reoviruses are a type of RNA virus that are so termed because they are ubiquitous in the lungs and guts of all animals (“R” is respiratory; “E” is enteric; and “O” is orphan). They most often don’t do anything to the host animal. Almost 100% of poultry have reoviruses in their gut at slaughter with no ill consequence most of the time.

Piscine Orthoreovirus (and a Bit More Technical Stuff) Piscine Orthoreovirus (PRV) is an RNA reovirus common in salmonid fishes. Unlike nasty DNA viruses such as Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis virus (IHNV); Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPNV); and Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (ISAV), this virus has not yet been isolated or propagated and has never been shown to produce disease on its own. Other viruses can be grown in cell culture, injected into fish and subsequently result in 100% mortality in laboratory experiments. This is not the case with PRV. Using a Veterinary Clinical Epidemiology definition of virulence: “A measure of an agent’s ability to induce severe disease” – PRV is nonvirulent. Mike Kent of Oregon State University has termed PRV as being a commensal organism. In the classification of organisms’ relationships to one another, they can be: harmful; mutually beneficial; or benign. A commensal organism’s relationship with its host is usually benign. If this virus (or any other of the plethora that are out there) is held up to ageold criteria of disease causation (e.g: Evans, 1976. Criteria for causation: a unified concept), it doesn’t stand up. PRV is divided into 3 “types”: 1, 2 and 3. For brevity, this discussion

will be confined to PRV-1. The other two are so far removed from a genetic standpoint, that they may eventually be considered a separate species. PRV has 10 genetic segments. Early on, only one of these (S1) was used to differentiate strains into PRV-1a and 1b. Subsequently, Norwegian researchers: Rimstad and Wessel (personal communication) have stated that only whole genomic profiles (all segments) should be used to differentiate between highly mutable strains of this RNA virus. The Norwegian farmed Atlantic salmon industry has experienced problems associated with PRV. However the only pathology are microscopic, transitory lesions of inflammation in the heart and skeletal muscle (termed: HSMI). Mortalities are rare, though, and always associated with something else. Usually the effect is not mortality, but more subtle effects on growth and feed conversion (which again seem to need something else such as other stressors, diseases, environment, etc. to be involved). With that said, researchers can reproduce this HSMI in the lab by using blood (as it can’t be isolated or grown like viral pathogens), but only from HSMI fish. There is never any sickness or death in these trials and the HSMI is transitory. There DO seem to be certain strains of PRV that can produce HSMI more easily than others, but these are classified by whole genome, not just the S1 segment. To date, it is thought that there are Pre-1988 PRV-1 strains and post1988 and the latter are the ones that are more prone to be associated with HSMI. Pre-1988 strains appear to be in the Faroes and in North America. “Post” are in Norway and Chile. Additional widespread sampling is needed to confirm whether this pattern is a true dichotomy in the evolution of the virus. It appears that infection (the virus likes to hide out in the red blood cells) is not uncommon in salmonid populations, wild or farmed, Atlantic or Pacific species. It also remarkable

Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).

that levels of the virus can become really high with salmon not even “noticing” it, from an immune system standpoint. So, most of the time, it appears that this virus lives in the fish right through its lifespan without any consequence, and stress or other diseases and environmental variables occasionally bring it out. Research has also discovered that fish will become infected and then around 6 months, they are highly contagious, and able to spread the virus. After that, they still retain a high amount of virus without being infective and usually without any detriment to the fish for the remainder of its lifespan. There does appear to be an immunity that is set up. Wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest have long been known to have inclusion bodies associated with their red blood cells and this has correlated with high levels of PRV RNA. Anemia has been implicated, but the pattern is similar to Atlantic salmon, where high levels of virus and inclu-

sion bodies usually do not produce anemia or any ill effect. Years ago, when there appeared to be a problem with anemia, in State stock enhancement facilities, although PRV was detected other diseases were also present, and mortalities were easily alleviated by removing stress (pulling back on feeding, etc.). There is controversy as to whether PRV really does cause anemia within the fisheries research community in Washington State.

Blowing PRV out of proportion Curiously, the anti-salmon farming net pen activists have chosen PRV as the “smoking gun” that would once and for all show that farmed Atlantic salmon are an unacceptable hazard to wild salmon populations. Norwegian research has shown that there is no correlation between PRV loads in farmed and wild Atlantic salmon, suggesting little influence, but of course the uncertainty attributed to the possible difference of wild Pa» 57


Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka).

cific salmon is being used as a call for the utmost precaution. Unfortunately, some Canadian government non-medical researchers aligned with US and Canadian activists and some disingenuous conservation NGO’s are attempting to make this mostly innocuous virus “the scourge of the seven seas.” They have generated scientific publications that have grossly exaggerated conclusions and that are not supported by their research. They have ignored and dismissed any research or researchers that are contrary to their beliefs, attacking those as biased or involved in a conflict of interest. They have promoted PRV as a danger to resident orcas through the prospect of it wiping out Chinook, which are the resident orca’s food supply. They have even gone so far as to liken it to “small pox wiping out 90% of the indigenous population of North America” when Europeans discovered the Americas.

Impact of manufactured PRV hysteria on aquaculture So, by many standards, PRV is not a pathogen and there is no evidence anywhere that any variant of PRV-1 has been involved in any massive die 58 »

offs of farmed or wild salmon anywhere in the world. It is not regulated anywhere: nationally, regionally, or by individual States and is not listed by the OIE – nor should it be. However, in Washington State, the Dept of Fish and Wildlife has chosen not to follow proper and fair fish health guidelines as per principles laid out by the American Veterinary Medical Association (https://www.avma. org/KB/Policies/Pages/AquaticAnimal-Health-and-Disease-Regulations.aspx). This has made their fish health policies extremely susceptible to the fear-mongers. The rhetoric of the Precautionary Principle and “prove-the-negative” (future article in this column) has been invoked to justify designating any PRV that differs from the “one” in the Pacific Northwest as “exotic” and by default: “Emergency and Eradicable.” To date, policy mandates have in effect resulted in the destruction of 800,000 healthy Atlantic salmon. These fish would not have died from PRV, nor is there any evidence that they would have been a danger to any wild Pacific species, with this supposed “exotic strain” that has most likely been transported into Washington from

Figure 4: An estimated 4x1030 viruses inhabit our oceans, weighing as much as 75 million elephants. End to end (average 100 nm) these would stretch about 10 million light years. With their high mutation rate it is impossible to not transfer viruses of different genome when you transport fish.

Iceland for the past 5 years. It is also safe to say that currently more fish have now died of the policy than directly due to PRV-1 itself. The PRV situation is still playing out in Washington State, and given the political climate against Atlantic salmon net pens until the site leases run out, fear mongering for this and other viruses will probably continue. There IS a lot we don’t know about PRV and although it should be monitored and studied as appropriate, the inordinate amount of resources, time and energy devoted to it should be more commensurate to its current impact. Unfortunately, some government and academic fisheries researchers, who are in a continual battle for funds, are not always against exaggerating the importance of a potential disease organism in their quest for renewed allocation of resources.

The Future of Fish Disease Policies and Regulations Currently, like the PRV situation in WA State, Pennsylvania trout farmers are experiencing a similar situation with gill lice and hazard-based mandates. This author experienced another scenario, very reminiscent,

early in his career with an eradication order for finding Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus at a private facility in Maine, even though it was endemic in the State. The retort by the Department of Fish and Wildlife to any objection was: “We know, but we don’t want anymore” – which is absurd from a population disease perspective. Carol Engle (this magazine’s Economics and Management columnist) has researched the impact of fish health regulations on the domestic aquaculture industry. If the US is going to make any kind of dent in the $16 billion-dollar seafood industry AND lessen the stress on our aquatic ecosystems, we need to have a healthy and vibrant aquaculture sector. This applies to any country navigating between the advent of aquaculture in the presence of the older and established fisheries guard. In working to achieve this, the cost of unnecessary or overburdening fish health regulations is something that is critical to reign in. When fish are transported, there will ALWAYS be “exotic” genomes of viruses transported with them - given the ability of viruses to mutate versus all other animals, and

given the plethora of naturally occurring viruses, as previously described. As Rodgers et. al (2011) point out in their OIE Review of Science and Technology (30(1)): “Since some risk is inevitable with trade in live aquatic animals, health management procedures, policies and practices must operate to minimize the risk while, at the same time, avoiding the imposition of unnecessary obstacles to trade and aquaculture development.” Many private aquaculture producers think that the natural division of responsibilities should be for Natural Resource agencies (State and Federal) to look after wild fish health and for Agriculture agencies to look after the private sector. In this way, there is a healthy antagonism that keeps each group “honest.” However, current fish disease regulations are a “dog’s breakfast” between the States. It has often been retorted that it is easier to move fish internationally, than interstate. The reasons for this include: there really is no set of standards for the development of fish health policies and regulations (as per Mitchell and Stoskopf‘s “Guidelines for the Application and Development of Aquatic Animal Health Regulations » 59


and Control Programs (JAVMA 2014 (214(12)).” This has led to considerable subjectivity and lack of accountability, and over-use and misunderstanding of the Precautionary Principle with a hazard-based mindset vs. a risk-based one. This latter point may be at the crux of the issue and an extremely important concept for not just fish health, but all the issues (food safety, environmental impact, etc.) currently facing aquaculture and many other industries today.

Risk-based approach versus hazard-based It is a common thing today for activists to equate hazards with risks and call for getting rid of the hazard as opposed to managing the risks of that hazard. The hazard-based approach is actually the precautionary principle which is a rhetorical strategy for policy, not a scientific or reasonable one that can guide society. The Precautionary Principle: prevents scientific debate; is couched in the language of prudence to gain public support; encourages the focus on one set of risks while ignoring others; cleverly reverses the burden of proof and slams the doors on risk management; and cements a fear-obsessed and risk averse climate. Its rhetoric of prudence appeals to several cognitive biases, including: loss aversion; the myth of benevolent danger; the availability of heuristic while neglecting probability and whole systems. It is not benign to invoke it and it is not a “principle”. Society cannot operate by trying to eliminate all hazards. The call for the elimination of: GMO’s; vaccines for children; pesticides; herbicides and antibiotics in food animals are all examples of hazard-based versus risk-based approaches. We don’t eliminate stairs because they kill people each year. We manage the risk of stairs by calling for standards in grade; stair height, width and length; grip; hand rails; lighting, etc. We put gates up when children or elderly are 60 »

vulnerable. Sincere activists (those without ulterior motives) would be much more successful and satisfied, if they sat down with opponents and policy makers and in good faith, discussed assessing and mitigating the risks of things they oppose, versus simply calling for the elimination of what they call: “hazards.” Precaution is a tool that can be applied by lazy regulators to make issues simply disappear rather that the heavy lifting of managing risks (Risk-monger, 2016, This concept of risk-based versus hazard-based approaches and how society cannot function with the latter, is critical to the health of our aquatic ecosystems. Polarization that hazard-obsessed activism often creates can do more damage than good. Across our planet, fish farms are here to stay. Done properly, they are the answer to conserving our aquatic resources, not the threat. The question is how big a player will North America be in seafood production into the future. Calling for the outright elimination of the perceived hazard of Atlantic salmon farming on the West Coast without honestly defining the risks is an example of succumbing to the unreasonable hazard-elimination

mindset. The voiced hazards of net pens such as: nutrient enrichment; net fish drain; meat contaminants; lax regulations; invasiveness; and wild fish disease risk, can all be addressed with the result being minimal risks. If anti-fish farm activism is sincere about protecting both wild fish and our aquatic ecosystems, versus playing rhetorical and political hazard fear-mongering games for their own varied purposes and agendas, then hard-working discussions should take place about mitigating risks versus a lazy and simplistic call for no hazards.

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

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Recent news from around the globe by By Suzi Dominy*

Skretting Norway’s factory in Averøy has produced commercial salmon

feed with insect meal for the first time. Nordlaks is the first customer to test the feeds containing insect meal, with trials including 360,000 fry.

We expect it to be as good as our regular feed and hope that the commercial test will show the same good results as Skretting has seen in its efforts to improve feed intake” said Eirik Welde, freshwater director in Nordlaks. “Insects are an important food for the wild salmon, and we see that insect meal can increase the appetite in the fish,” said Siri Tømmerås, who is responsible for feed for land-based farming in Skretting Norway. “This is an interesting find, and we continue to take advantage of this.” Skretting believes insect meal will be an important raw material in the future and is helping producers scale up production. Skretting says that they have the knowledge to do this and have chosen to do so due to the belief that insect meal will be a significant protein source for aquaculture feeds moving forward. “The challenge has been to find manufacturers that can produce enough volume with consistent, good quality,” Tømmerås, said. The company has seen more than thirty manufacturers and ended up with a handful of suppliers that they have engaged 62 »

with. “After a close cooperation for a long time, we have now obtained the raw material at a quality level that we can count on in the future.” In the European market, there is now little available insect meal for use on a large scale, and Skretting is working with manufacturers who wish to come up at a commercial level. The company envisions that by 2022 there will be at least five different European suppliers, each producing 20,000 tonnes of insect meal per year. That amount equates to two thirds of the amount of soybean concentrate Skretting Norway uses today. “Our goal is that in the future, ingredients used for aquaculture feed do not compete with food for human consumption. For us it’s important to invest in alternatives like insect meal” said Mads Martinsen, Skretting Norway’s Product Development Director, who has several new commodity projects in progress. “Insect meal seems to taste good for the salmon, which in nature is used to insects. We are also currently testing the plankton Calanus, which is a natural part of the wild salmon diet. When we explore further down

Fig. 1: Magne Betten at Skretting’s factory at Averøy shows the insect meal that was used for the first time in a commercial feed. Photo: Marit Storvik Folland.

the food chain, in fact, the Nordic waters have as much Calanus as the total biomass of all wild fish and sea mammals combined. The authorities have opened for regulated fishing, and Skretting is already commencing commercial trials with Calanus. Initial results show that salmon also like the taste of this plankton, so here we have a fantastic new resource in addition to insect meal”.

Feed company news briefs • Skretting has started a process of consulting with employees with the view to cease production in the UK at the end of  April 2019. This move is aimed at reducing the overcapacity in the highly competitive salmon feed market, and better utilizing the company’s existing production facilities in Europe. The company has no plans to stop production in other markets and will continue to pursue its firmly established growth strategy. “With a new large feed plant becoming operational in Scotland early 2019, the total feed capacity in the region is expected to exceed the total market by more than 50%. This is driving down prices, leading to an

EUR 7.6 million from the comparison period. Industry is actively working to lift the Russian import ban but for the moment, the reopening of the Russian border is uncertain.

unsustainable commercial environment,” said Therese Log Bergjord, CEO at Skretting. Skretting will continue to supply to the UK market where economically viable. • In Ecuador, Cargill has opened a new shrimp feed plant in Guayaquil, which will produce 165,000 tons per year, around 20 percent of the 800,000 tons of feed that the Ecuadorian market currently demands. BioMar Group has recognized the importance of this market with the opening of its Aquaculture Technology Center in Ecuador. The ATC is a state-of-the-art trial facility dedicated to the full lifecycle of shrimp, with the most advanced technology for shrimp research in Ecuador. • Royal De Heus Group has entered the Indonesian feed market with an

agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Universal Agri Bisnisindo, an Indonesian animal feed company, which produces 300,000 tonnes of poultry, fish and shrimp feed. Ton Hovers, an experienced professional in the Indonesian animal nutrition industry, will become a member of Universal’s Board of Directors and will focus on the further development and growth of the aquafeed business. • Raisio is feeling the impact of the Russian ban on fish feed imports. According to an interim company report, reduced earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for Q3, when compared with the previous period, was due to the interrupted export of Raisioaqua’s fish feeds to Russia. The Division’s EBIT decreased by EUR 1.8 million, and net sales decreased by

New report links Brazilian soybean suppliers to serious issues A new report released by Rainforest Foundation Norway links Brazilian soybean suppliers to deforestation, slave labor and a host of other serious issues. The report focuses on the soy production chain of the companies Caramuru, Selecta and Imcopa, which supply soy that is used to provide fish feed for Norway’s salmon industry. “This study reveals instances where soy suppliers of these three companies have been found to practice illegal deforestation and use slave labor. It also presents evidence of land conflicts, irregularities in pesticide use and the advance of soy cultivation over indigenous lands. All these problems are directly or indirectly related to the soy business network that links Brazil to the Norwegian market.” “We have not seen the report, but if the findings appear to be true, this is serious,” stated Jan Sverre Rostad, Vice President of Biomar. According to the report, “the Norwegian salmon industry is highly dependent on soy cultivation in Brazil: The annual import of Soy Protein Concentrate (SPC) by Norwegian aquaculture was 282,448 tons in 2017.”

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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The Economic Contributions of Aquaculture Farm Production to Local

Economies By Carole R. Engle, Ph.D., Engle-Stone Aquatic$ LLC.1

Economies are complex webs of consumer and business activities.


conomic analysts frequently use datasets that consist of matrices of linkages among various economic sectors to identify the economic contributions of specific industries or to estimate impacts that could result from new investments. Input-output models are used most commonly for these analyses. There are several recent examples of studies that have examined the economic contributions of aquaculture in the U.S. These include 2016 studies of contributions of shellfish aquaculture in Maine (Cole et al. 2016, Maine Aquaculture Impact Report, Aquaculture Research Institute, University of Maine, Orono),

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of baitfish and sportfish production in Arkansas (van Senten et al. 2016, The cost and impact of regulations on baitfish and sportfish aquaculture. Arkansas Aquafarming October 33(3):1-2), a 2013 study of shellfish economic contributions in the state of Washington (Northern Economics 2013, The economic impact of shellfish aquaculture in Washington, Oregon, and California. Prepared for the Pacific Shellfish Institute, Olympia, Washington), and a 2012 study that measured the contribution of farm-raised production of fish used to supply recreational fisheries in the Western United States (Deisenroth et al. 2012, The economic contribution of the private, recreation-based aqua-

culture industry in the Western United States. Aquaculture Economics & Management 16:1-26). Kaliba and Engle (2004, The economic impact of the catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, industry on Chicot County, Arkansas. Journal of Applied Aquaculture 15(1/2):2960) and Kaliba et al. (2004, The economic impact of the trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, industry on Transylvania County, North Carolina. Journal of Applied Aquaculture 15(1/2):61-83) previously assessed the economic impacts of catfish (Arkansas) and trout (North Carolina), respectively, on individual counties, demonstrating how an aquaculture industry supports businesses in other sectors. There doubtless are many more. Aquaculture is quite interesting in terms of the various economic sectors that benefit from fish and shellfish farms. For example, the primary industries affected by the Arkansas baitfish and sportfish industries were found to be: 1) automotive and equipment repair and maintenance sectors, 2) couriers and messengers (such as FedEx and UPS), and 3) highway construction and maintenance. In Pennsylvania, aquaculture was shown to increase employment in hospitals, real estate, and educational sectors as jobs created resulted in additional household spending on medical services (Engle 2018, The economic impact of aquaculture in Pennsylvania. Report submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). Deisenroth et al. (2012) found that the top industries affected by farmed trout sold for recreational purposes were: 1) those businesses that purchased trout for stocking, 2) gasoline stations, 3) grocery stores, and 4) sporting goods stores. Kaliba and Engle (2004) showed that the greatest effects on the local economy from catfish farming were those related to stimulation of secondary businesses such as feed mills, custom harvesting and hauling, pond-building, and other industries that supply goods and services to foodfish farms.

Figure 1. Supply chains for aquaculture.

Such varied types of economic effects from aquaculture are the result of the diverse supply chains that have developed for sale of aquaculture products (Figure 1). While catfish, trout, and oysters are sold into various types of food markets, other segments of aquaculture sell baitfish for anglers and sportfish for fishing clubs, private pond owners and state and fed-

eral agencies for stocking to support angling. Farm-raised production of trout sold for stocking programs was found to support $36 of recreational angler-related expenditures for every dollar of fish stocked (Diesenroth et al. 2012). Still other sectors of aquaculture produce and sell ornamental aquatic plants and animals to aquarium and pet stores. Expenditures that flow

into different sectors of the economy affect different types of upstream and downstream businesses. The value and importance of U.S. aquaculture to local economies is likely overlooked by many, probably due to the high percentage of imported seafood consumed in the U.S. Imported seafood also contributes to the economy, but primarily through transportation sectors to move product to various markets, storage facilities, and intermediate buyers. U.S. aquaculture products also contribute to transportation and intermediate buyer sectors, but make a far greater contribution to the economy through the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s backward linkages. As a production industry, U.S. aquaculture contributes to feed manufacturing, demand for grains and other feed ingredients, electrical services, demand for equipment and vehicles, and to many other sectors that sell goods and services to U.S. aquaculture businesses. Local communities and economies benefit especially from the employment opportunities and increased demand for local services from auto repair, equipment dealerships, electrical services, plumbers, and many other types of local businesses. Encouraging growth and development of U.S. aquaculture businesses will result in both continued support for local, state, and regional economies in areas with wellestablished aquaculture businesses and new economic impacts as aquaculture businesses emerge in new areas.

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

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Power – why is it so… dynamic? by Amy Stone*

Instead of focusing on a particular type of equipment, I thought it might be good to get back to basics and discuss electricity and the power options we have when we are putting together our facilities.


t is important to review both capital expenses and operating expenses when selecting equipment. The cost of installing different power supplies varies by location and type. One of the most frequent comments I hear is that every application should be with three phase power. The reason I am consistently given is that it is cheaper. Let’s examine this more closely. We pay for the Kilowatts consumed from the municipal power grid. From the surface, it appears that if you had a choice to run 115 Volt equipment versus 230 Volt, the 230 Volt would 66 »

full load Amps at 115 Volts would use 1,207.5 Watts. That same pump would be rated for 5.4 full load Amps at 230 Volts. The math is the same. 5.4 Amps multiplied by 230 Volts equals 1,242 watts. The motor pulls a similar number of watts regardless of if it is using 115 Volts or 230 Volts. Let’s examine a three-phase power application. The equation for threephase power becomes more complex because you can’t ignore the power coefficient. In the case of three-phase power, Watts equals Amps multiplied by Volts multiplied by 1.732 (power factor dictated by specific municipal network). That said, a three-phase motor of a similar size to the one we used in the single-phase example would pull 3.6 Amps at 230 Volts which will use 1,434 Watts. Keep in mind that there will always be a bit of variability between a single-phase and three-phase motor comparison due to efficiencies and manufacturers. The point being that the number of Watts used by all three motors is very similar. Why is all this important? It becomes really important when planning an expansion or new facility. The available power is often overlooked and under examined.

Where it counts… The following considerations are important when designing your expansion or new facility. One of the first questions that should be asked is whether there is three-phase power be cheaper because it draws less amps. available on-site. If it is not already The same thought process is used at the site then where is the closest when we talk about 230 Volt single- supply? In many cases, the owner phase versus 230 Volt three-phase, is required to pay for the installaetc. However, if you dig into it – the tion of three phase power up front amount of Watts (or Killowatts) that which can also include the expense we are using is pretty much the same. of bringing the power from the next In single-phase applications the closest location. I’ve seen associated simple equation is Amps multiplied by installation costs upwards of $40K, Volts equals Watts. There is a more so it definitely needs to be in the complicated equation that has coeffi- budget. There is also a point where size cients for power and there are also situational circumstances that can come matters, and the equipment is only into play but for the sake of demon- available in three phase. As a rule stration, we will stick with the simple of thumb, any pumps of 3hp loads equation. A pump that pulls 10.5 should ideally be run on three phase

starting rotation. Three-phase motors require motor starters and ideally phase protection. It is not uncommon to lose a “leg” when running threephase power during high usage times. Without phase protection, this almost certainly means catastrophic failure of the equipment. Three-phase power is also more dangerous to work with in the field. In all cases, a licensed electrician should be used when wiring any electrical appliance. And while we all know the rules, this one should not be broken when using three-phase power.

Alternatives… What happens when there is no three-phase power and you need the larger equipment? There are alternatives which require capital costs up front. The facility can invest in Buck Boost Transformers and/or VFDs with single phase inlet power. These transformers and VFDs are able to take power and either increase the voltage or decrease it depending on the application. Another option would be to use multiples of smaller pieces of equipment, which in turn power. There are larger horsepow- Savings? also boosts redundancy for intensive er pumps available in single phase, Assuming all things are equal, where is RAS applications. And lastly, it might which is helpful for those locations the savings when comparing 115V to pay to upgrade to three-phase power where three phase is not possible or 230V and 230V single-phase to 230V if it is available. cost prohibitive. Most motors over three-phase? The biggest savings is 7.5 horsepower are only available in the power line sizes. Appropriately Tidbits in three phase. Keep in mind that sized electrical wiring can be costly. The long and short of it is that it is even though the motor is available The lower the voltage, the lower the best to do your homework when it in single phase, the motors are most gauge wire that is required. Lower comes to electrical requirements and often custom-made for OEM mo- gauge wire means thicker wire and what the best answer is for your aptor partners (pump manufacturers) more materials. plication. which can cause a long lead time for Single-phase motors require capacreplacements. itors to protect them and assist with

Amy Riedel Stone is President and Owner at Aquatic Equipment and Design, Inc. She was formerly a Manager at Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, and she studied Agriculture at Purdue University. She can be reached at

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Need of extra oxygen supply

in cages stocked with salmon and trout Over time, salmon farmers have become more aware of the effects of

fluctuating DO in their cages. Today, most farmers constantly monitor By Asbjørn Bergheim*

DO to adapt the feed supply and thereby avoid overfeeding.


ermanent or temporary deficit of dissolved oxygen (DO) is a well-known phenomenon in both freshwater and seawater cages in fish farms, i.e. in Mediterranean sea cages stocked with seabass/seabream in late summer – autumn at high temperatures. However, these are fish species that will tolerate short periods with fairly low DO. Similar to other cold-water fish species, salmon and trout are sensitive to low DO concentrations even at temperatures below 10 °C. Tests performed in Norway demonstrate clearly reduced growth and feed utilization in Atlantic salmon at moderate DO deficit. During 50 days in seawater tanks the specific growth rate (SGR) and feed utilization (FR) was 10-15% lower at 85% of DO saturation compared to in tanks with 95-100% DO saturation (at 8 – 9 °C). Due to the algae’s rhythms, typical diurnal DO fluctuations are observed in sea water, especially during summer and autumn. DO will be lowest in the early morning before photosynthesis begins again (early morning deficit). Daily fluctuations of 20 – 40% of saturation between afternoon and nightmorning are frequently observed (Figure 1). Since 2002, hypoxia events, or periods with critical DO deficit, have become a growing threat to salmon farmers in British Columbia (www. Such events can last for days or months, especially in autumn. According to Jeremy Dunn at Marine Harvest, the compa68 »

ny deals with areas of low DO which create hypoxic situations from time to time at many farms – and “there are some farms where it can be particularly challenging; these tend to be the same farms at the same periods of the year.”

Net fouling will hamper water flow and can contribute to low DO in cages in the cold season also. Sub-optimal DO concentrations in fjord-based cage farms can occur during winter if the inflowing water is not fully oxygen-saturated (Figure 2). At high fish

Figure 3. Design of diffuser based oxygen dosage system in a commercial cage (courtesy: Martin Gausen)

biomass, the DO level in cages often decreases by 15 – 30% even if the water exchange is favourable at low temperature. Over time, salmon farmers have become more aware of the effects of fluctuating DO in their cages. Today, most farmers constantly monitor DO to adapt the feed supply and thereby avoid overfeeding, and under more critical situations with damaging DO drops, they can consider attempting oxygen injection in the cage water.

There are several ways to control the DO conditions in cage farms. Oxygen injection from a network of diffuser hoses located at 4 – 10 m depth is commonly practiced in cages, seasonally or permanently, at farm sites with DO deficit problems. The oxygen dosage is adapted to the current DO concentration in the cage, i.e. according to the current oxygen demand of the fish stock and natural oxygen supply in inflowing water (Figure 3). Advised presetting of the oxygen dosage system

in salmon and trout cages should be > 75% DO saturation (oxygen will be injected when the concentration falls below that level). Some farmers employ equipment to upwell colder, oxygen-rich water during periods of hypoxia to help the fish manage. Deeper water can be lifted to the surface by use of propeller pumps or air-lift pumps. More and more salmon farmers in Norwegian and Scottish fjords and coasts install so-called ‘lice skirts’ around their cages to diminish the sea lice problem. Use of skirts combined with other attempts (e.g. cleaner fish) normally reduce the number of lice by 30 – 60%. However, such skirts also result in poorer water exchange for the cages. Lower DO concentrations in cages with skirts are clearly indicated by farmers and in documented tests. The benefits of less lice problems can get lost because of reduced growth and more health problems due to suboptimal water quality (Figure 4). Currently, reduced DO level in such cages can delay the time of harvest by a couple of months. Pumping water from deeper layers and/or direct injection of pure oxygen are the only possible ways to combine ‘lice skirts’ and optimal growth and welfare conditions in the cages. Ocean temperatures are increasing due to global warming and warmer water holds less oxygen, whereas the oxygen demand of the fish biomass increases. This temperature trend seems likely to continue in the coming years and oxygen supply and control in cage farms has become an inevitable part of the daily management.

Dr. Asbjørn Bergheim is a consultant at Oxyvision Ltd. in 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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Domestication of Mangrove Crab, Scylla serrata in Palau:

Larval rearing and Nursery Experience

The mangrove crab Scylla serrata, is considered a high valued seafood By: Miguel A. Delos Santos1 and Hui Gong Jiang, PhD2


ts aquaculture production level has increased steadily since 2013 and surpassed the amount of wild-caught mangrove crabs harvested for consumption. Currently, most of the aquaculture farms still rely heavily on wild-caught juveniles and there are still low success rates in hatchery husbandry practices. To achieve the sustainability of mangrove crab aquaculture, improvement of hatchery and nursery production technology of this species is of great importance. The optimal environmental conditions for the larval rearing of S. serrata are listed in Table 1. Fertilized S. serrata eggs will go through ten stages of embryonic development prior to hatching, then five distinct stages in

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commodity in the Indo-West-Pacific region. Interest of farming this species has been growing due to such high demand in the market.

Zoea (3-5 days per stage), and a megalopa stage (7-10 days) before changing to crablets as they metamorphose both in size enlargement and morphological changes (Table 2). To improve the supply of mangrove crab seedstock, the staff in

the Palau Community College (PCC) hatchery are conducting a series of experiments on improving the husbandry of mangrove crab. The information on experiments and major findings are summarized below.

1. Collection of indigenous Scylla serrata broodstock for spawning, larval rearing and growout in order to complete the life cycle of mangrove crab under domestication in Palau. It took more than one month for the wild mangrove crab broodstock (average weight of 1053g) to spawn in captivity, and about 10 days of incubation until the eggs hatched to yield 14.06 ± 4.64 million (Mean ± Std. dev., N=4) active zoeae. The zoeae then went through various larval stages, nursery stages and grew all the way to adult mangrove crabs in 13 months or so, under domestication. Among the cultured group, one berried female crab released fertilized eggs at a size of 618 grams, which contributed 5 million active Zoea I larvae. Therefore, the whole life cycle of mangrove crab was successfully closed under domestication in PCC. 2. Improvement on hatching and larval rearing performance. Black vs. Yellow Tank Color: A preliminary larval rearing trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of two different tank colors, black and yellow, on the survival rate of the mangrove crab Scylla serrata larvae using 10-ton capacity tanks. These tanks were filled with six tons of chlorine-treated seawater and were stocked with 400,000 Zoea 1 larvae. These tanks were treated with same feeding and water management schemes by following the protocol which was adopted from Kosrae Mudcrab Hatchery. The larvae were initially fed with rotifers, artificial feed (Omega Artificial Plankton B.P.) and subsequently with newly hatched artemia until they molted to megalopa stage. The larval rearing water was enriched with a combination

of Spirulina powder and micro-algae paste (Reed Mariculture Inc.) that includes Nannochloropsis sp., Tetraselmis sp., and Thallasiosira weissfolgii. These micro-algae products served as food for the rotifers and artemia nauplii that were fed daily to the crab larvae. After 15 days of larval rearing, the larvae started to molt into megalopa and this transition was completed on Day 17. A total of 376,812 mega-

lopae were harvested from the five larval rearing tanks. The highest survival rate was obtained in one of the yellow tanks which was 26.06% (104,250 megalopae) while the lowest survival rate which was 13.73% (54,991 megalopae) was in one of the black tanks. Higher survival rate was achieved in yellow tanks (23.63 ± 0.03%) than in black tanks (15.66 ± 0.02%).

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results suggest that it would be beneficial to supplement copepods with rotifers and artemia as initial live food during early larval development of mangrove crab.

Copepod vs. Rotifer as Live feed supplementation: After a preliminary production trial for copepods Parvocalanus sp. was completed at the hatchery, one study was conducted to investigate the effect of copepod supplementation as live feed on the growth and survival rate of mangrove crab larvae by comparing three treatments: 1) copepod only, 2) rotifer only, and 3) combination of rotifer and copepod. Nine 120-L tanks were stocked with zoea 1 at a density of 80 per liter. The initial density of live feed in each treatment was 5 rotifers per ml, 5 copepods per ml, or 2.5 rotifer + 2.5 copepod per ml, respectively. Feeding commenced

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immediately after the initial stocking (Day 0). Newly hatched artemia was added to each tank with the same amount starting at Day 3 until the day of harvest. Sampling for survival rate was done on Day 5, Day 12 and at harvest (Day 19 when the larvae had molted to megalopa stage). Weights of larvae were sampled both on Day 12 and Day 19. Results showed that the larvae fed with a combination of rotifers and copepods consistently demonstrated the highest survival in Day 5, Day 12 and Day 19, followed by those fed rotifers only and then those fed only copepods. The lowest survival and growth rates were found in larvae fed with copepods only. The

Frozen vs. Live Microalgae: A larval rearing trial was conducted to confirm if replacing the frozen microalgae product with live micro-algae would improve survival. Eight 180-L tanks were used to for the evaluation, with four replicates in each treatment. Each tank was stocked with zoea 1 at the density of 80 zoeae per liter. The result of this experiment showed that after 21 days of larval rearing, those tanks fed with live microalgae had significantly higher survival (12.34%) than those fed with frozen micro-algae products (1.22%). In Palau, it usually takes from 18 to 21 days for Zoea I larvae to develop to megalopa with a survival rate of 26% when zoeae are stocked in 6 to 8 ton tanks at a density of 5080 per liter, and fed with live/frozen micro-algae, rotifers and artemia.

3. Improvement on nursery performance A series of nursery runs were conducted after the megalopae were harvested from each larval rearing experiment. The larvae were harvested from the larval rearing tanks when almost 100% of the Zoea 5 larvae had molted to megalopa stage, and that took place between 17 to 21 days after hatching. The megalopae were stocked into 4 units of 3-ton fiberglass nursery outdoor tanks filled with chlorine treated seawater with a salinity of 30ppt, at a density of 2 to 5 megalopae per liter. The water in the tanks was circulated in one direction while being aerated by airlifts. These airlifts were made of PVC pipes that were cut into half and supported by cement bases. Black screens were also installed above the tanks in order to provide 60 to 80 % shading against intense sunlight. Newly hatched artemia were given as live feed at the

density of 10 individuals per ml from Day 1 to 5. A combination of frozen micro-algae was provided to sustain the artemia in the nursery tanks from day 1 to day 5. Artificial feed powder and blended fish meat were also added from Day 3 at a rate of 10g and 25g per tank per day, respectively. It usually took from 5 to 7 days for the megalopae to transform into crab instars (Table 3). After 15 days the crab juveniles reached an average body weight of 0.11g and after 1 month the crablets already had attained an average body weight of 0.65 gram with 31% average survival. After 40 to 45 days, the average body weight of the crablets was 2.25g and the survival rate dropped to 18% or so. Another nursery trial was conducted to determine the effect of feeding the crablets with frozen fish

meat and pelletized feed, and results are summarized in Table 4. The experiment was carried out in four 3-ton outdoor tanks. Each tank was stocked with 385 crablets with an average body weight of 0.5g and average carapace length of 1.4 cm. After 30 days, the crablets in the tanks fed with fish meat had lower survival than those fed with pelleted feeds, but exhibited higher body weight and carapace length. In summary, recent efforts focused on broodstock development and larval rearing of mangrove crabs at the Palau Community College (PCC) hatchery have been successful in improving the supply of mangrove crab seedstock to a certain extent, and in closing the life cycle of the mangrove crab under domestication. The wild caught mangrove crabs held in cap-

tivity have spawned spontaneously, producing millions of newly hatched larvae that are sufficient to support commercial seed production. On average, a gravid female mangrove crab can spawn up to 5 million eggs per batch with a hatching rate of about 80%. Dark colored tanks are generally used for larval rearing of mangrove crabs in practice, but in recent studies bright colored tanks yielded better survival of larvae than dark tanks. Copepods have proven to be a good addition to rotifers and artemia nauplii in improving the growth and survival rate of megalopae. To minimize high levels of cannibalism occurring among young crablets, more research endeavors are definitely warranted in enhancing overall performance by developing stage-specific feeds which are both nutritious and accepted by the crabs.


Miguel A. Delos Santos is an Aquaculture Researcher at Palau Community College.

2 Hui Gong Jiang, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Guam.

All the photos are courtesy of Miguel A. Delos Santos

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Ilya Mechnikov,

Probiotics and the Health of Shellfish By Michael A. Rice*


n the biomedical and public health literature over the last decade there has been a rediscovery of the work of Russian microbiologist and immunologist Dr. Ilya Mechnikov (Fig. 1) who is credited with formulating the theory that beneficial microorganisms in human intestines could ward off bacterial diseases such as typhoid (a Salmonella disease) and cholera (a form of vibriosis), and that swallowing beneficial bacteria would make one healthier. From food preservation experiments at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, he knew that lactic acid could prevent milk from spoiling, turning it into a yogurt-like product. He wrote, “As lactic fermentation serves so well to arrest putrefaction in general, why should it not be used for the same purpose within the digestive tube?” He found Bulgarian bacilli (now known as Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus), that was widely used by farmers Eastern Europe to make yogurt, to be effective in inhibiting disease bacteria in the human gut. He also suggested that the culture could be taken in the form of a pill, thus anticipating the lucrative commercial probiotics craze of today. Mechnikov’s big idea was that proper manipulation of the intestinal flora was the immune response of the human host, and that this was helping to battle diseases that had plagued humans for millennia. This major insight led, in part, to his co-award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1908. Unfortunately, as time moved forward Mechnikov’s brilliant notion got 74 »

Figure 1. Ilya Ilyich Metchnikoff in 1908 at the time of his award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Photo originally from the Nobel Committee, 1908, cropped from the copyright expired version in Wikimedia Commons.

pushed off to the side and was considered a pretty much ‘fringe notion’ for much of the 20th Century as the discovery and use of antibiotics arose, and scientific focus turned toward the elimination of bacterial pathogens. Striving to maintain “pathogen free” environments came into vogue. I’m sure more than just a few of us can remember our mothers admonishing us about the dangers of germs lurking just about everywhere! The medical response to any bacterial disease was to immediately turn to the antibiotics, because they worked every time, the

miracles of modern medicine that they were. It was not until 1959 when the first antibiotic (tetracycline) resistant bacterium (Shigella) was discovered, and in the following decades, an avalanche of different antibiotic resistant bacterial strains had emerged creating great concern and anxiety within the medical and public health communities. It was not really until the mid- to late 1980s that the importance of microbiological ecology came to be truly recognized as a legitimate mainstream biomedical concern and that Mechnikov’s ideas were seriously revived as

Figure 2. Tridacna gigas spat. Photo by Richard Masse.

a means to avert disaster as more and more antibiotics became ineffective. In the shellfish culture world, antibiotics were also used for the treatment of bacterial diseases, particularly in hatcheries [See: Davis and Chanley (1956), Proceedings of the National Shellfisheries Association 56:59-74]. The use of antibiotics in hatcheries around the world was reviewed extensively by LePennec and Prieur in 1977 (See: Aquaculture 12:15-30) and they proposed standard protocols for antibiotic usage, because even then there was a recognition that antibiotics were often losing their efficacy as a treatment solution for many bacterial diseases. Additionally, the practice of treating seawater with ultraviolet irradiation and ozone was promoted at the time as a means for eliminating bacteria and

providing â&#x20AC;&#x153;pathogen freeâ&#x20AC;? environments for shellfish larvae and freshly settled juveniles to grow and thrive [For example see: Blogoslawski et al., (1978). Proceedings of the World Mariculture Society 9:587-602]. The ideas for these treatments were in perfect harmony with the mainstream understanding about the nature of disease control at the time and it all worked as long as the antibiotics remained effective and producers were lucky enough not to have a pathogen slip through to exploit all those vacant microbiological niches opened up by the broad spectrum disinfection processes. However, in more recent years the importance of beneficial marine bacteria filling ecological niches that might otherwise be exploited by opportunistic pathogenic bacteria is now becoming a much better understood concept. Overuse of antibiotics or overuse of indiscriminate disinfectant treatments that eliminate virtually all bacteria from molluscan hatchery systems may actually be counterproductive in the long run. Research in the last decade has shown that various probiotic strains of marine bacteria can offer considerable protection to shellfish larvae presented with pathogenic bacterial challenges. For example in 2011, Diane Kapareiko and co-workers at the NOAA Fisheries Shellfish Labora-

tory in Milford Connecticut reported that they had isolated a benign strain of Vibrio bacteria (OY-15) from the digestive tract of oysters that can successfully protect developing bivalve larvae from bacterial pathogen challenges [See: Journal of Shellfish Research 30:617-625 (2011)]. Likewise Murni Karim and co-workers at the University of Rhode Island isolated a strain of Phaeobacter sp. (S4) from the inside of an oyster shell and a strain of Bacillus pumilus (RI06-95) from a marine sponge, both of which were capable of offering considerable protection to larval and juvenile oysters from the pathogens responsible for Roseovarius Oyster Disease (ROD; formerly known as Juvenile Oyster Disease or JOD) and larval vibriosis caused by Vibrio tubiashii [See: Journal of Shellfish Research 32:401-408 (2013)]. And experimental evidence suggests that the probiotics induce greater immune response by the oysters themselves. It is likely that we are only at the dawn of the age of probiotic use in shellfish aquaculture and it is also likely that new and more effective strains of probionts will be isolated as time goes on. Efforts are underway to develop some of these known oyster probiotic strains into commercial products available for use by hatchery operators interested in adjusting the balance of microbiota in their bivalve production systems, just as Ilya Mechnikov had advocated for colon health over a century ago.

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.

Figure 3. Bivalve hatchery. Photo by Richard Masse

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verall August 2018 salmon imports were 10.08 percent higher on a year-to-date basis. On a month-to-month basis total imports are up 4.11 percent compared to the previous month. YTD August imports were up again, a 5.0 percent increase from 2017. Canada’s market share was lower again which has been the trend over the past two years. Canada’s market share is down from a 72 percent market share in 2016. This country is seeing a 1.4 percent increase in YTD levels and Norway is now up 38 percent. Meanwhile, the Faroe Islands and the U.K. are down 27.7 and 14.3 percent. Overall monthly imports for August 2018 were up slightly: 0.5 percent compared to July 2018. Individually, Canada saw a 4.2 percent monthly decrease and Norway saw a 6.8 percent decrease. A total of 183.7 million pounds have been imported in 2018 so far; this is the

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highest recorded YTD level when looking over a 10-year span. After August and September were steady for the Northeast market, October has seen reduced harvests. Pricing has also trended higher. All sizes in the Northeast whole fish market have adjusted higher. All sizes are also continuing to trend well above their three-year averages. The seasonal slowdown during the summer is apparent when looking at the seasonal trends in pricing above, and the upturn in October is on par with what we have seen in past years. We’ll look to see if the market will remain stable to higher heading further into the fall. Total imports out of the Northeast are up 17.76 percent, helping to create the largest whole fish imports seen over the past 10 years. The West Coast whole fish market has been very firm so far during the month of October. Reduced harvesting from many producers because of the algae bloom over the summer has been reported. During the summer months of this year, in order to not lose fish due to the bloom, accelerated harvests were done to save the fish. Because that fish was taken out of the water, it’s not available to harvest now. Pricing across the board has been firm. For a histori-

cal trend, upward pricing pressure in October is consistent with what we saw in 2016. All sizing listed above is hovering over their three-year averages and as stated before most are on par with the seasonal trends. Overall imports of whole fish out of the West Coast of Canada are lower than last year; down 6.9 percent. Imports in August 2018 were 4.1 percent lower than the previous month, while total YTD imports were 16.3 percent higher. Chile, the main driver in this category, saw a 3.6 percent increase in month-tomonth numbers while YTD imports were up 24.0 percent. In comparison to the same time last year, August 2018 was 23.3 percent higher than August 2017. The 2018 wild salmon season has seen a successful sockeye season while other species look to be coming in below forecasts. Pricing for sockeyes looks to be seasonally on par with previous years but is now trending below the three-year averages. The coho market is more firm than seen in previous years, supplies are lighter and current pricing is above the three-year average. We’ll update the final figures as the 2018 fresh season comes to a close. *President of Urner Barry


UPDATES FROM URNER BARRY U.S. Imports: All Types, By Type August 2018 data from U.S. Census shows an eight percent increase in total import volume for the month. The eight-month total now stands 4 percent higher. India (+13.4%), Indonesia (+34.5%), Ecuador (+43.6%), Vietnam (+1.8%) and China (+8.0%) all shipped more shrimp to the U.S. in the month of August. Thailand (-55.2%) was the only major supplying country to ship less shrimp. Monthly Import Cycles By Country (All Types) India: The U.S. imported 57 million pounds of shrimp from India in August (+13.4%), bringing the eightmonth total to 332.5 million pounds; or 16.9 percent higher than the JanAug 2017 total. India continues to be the dominant supplier to the U.S. accounting for roughly 35 percent of all shrimp imported into the country. Shipments of shell-on increased 15.7 percent and shipments of peeled were 12 percent higher in August. Indonesia: In July, Indonesia shipped less shrimp year-over-year; the only time this year. In August, shipments increased a sharp 34.5 percent

or 6.4 million pounds, and are now 14.9% higher year-to-date. Indonesia continues to be the second largest supplier of shrimp to the U.S. market, accounting for roughly 20 percent of all shrimp imported into the country. Ecuador: Shipments from Ecuador to the U.S. rebounded in August, up a steep 43.6 percent. This monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s increase sent the year-to-date total into positive territory; the eight-month total is now 3.2 percent higher than a year ago. Thailand and Vietnam: Shipments from Vietnam were 1.8 percent higher in August but remain 6.2% lower year-to-date. Thailand shipped 55.2 percent less for the month and 37% fewer for the year.

while the largest decline was noted in the 31-40 count size. Replacement values (import $/ lb.) for HLSO shrimp declined by 1.9 percent or $0.07 between July and August, and year-to-date are 22.2% or $0.99 lower.

Value-Added, Peeled Shrimp Imports Peeled and deveined shrimp increased 3.9% in the month of August, and the category has grown by 7.5 percent or 29.6 million pounds year-to-date. The growth continues to be driven by India, who alone has increased their volume shipped by 41.9 million pounds or 24.7 percent through August. India (+12.0%), Indonesia (+27.1%) and Ecuador (+19.7%) all shipped more shrimp in in the month than in August 2017. Vietnam (-14.4%) and Thailand (- 69.6%) both shipped less. Replacement values (import $/lb.) for peeled shrimp declined by 1.03 percent or $0.04 between July and AuShell-On Shrimp Imports, Cyclical gust, and year-to-date are 14.95% or $0.67 lower. & by Count Size Cooked (warm water) imports Headless Shell-On imports, including easy peel, were 15.1% higher in Au- were 3.0% lower in August, and breadgust, but remain lower year-to- date. ed imports were 19.9% higher in the Total HLSO import volume is 1.6 month. percent or 4.87 million pounds lower through August. Of the 10- count size Cooked, Breaded & Other Shrimp categories listed, only 16-20, 21-25 Imports and 41- 50 counts continue to show The headless shell-on white shrimp inincreases in volume year-over-year; dex has exhibited modest strength in each of the last three months, somewhat in-line with the longer-term seasonal trend; while the value-added shrimp index continues its 12-month slide. The black tiger index has been more inconsistent. The white shrimp market has ranged mostly steady to slightly weak in recent weeks, while there continues to be support for large black tigers, and a willingness to discount smaller shrimp. The average value of all shrimp imports fell by 2.4 percent or $0.09 between July and August, and year-todate are 17.7% or $0.80 lower. *President of Urner Barry

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Tilapia Total tilapia imports increased, led by frozen fillets with the highest monthly percentage increase for the first time since September 2017. On a yearto-date basis, fresh fillets (-15.1%) and frozen fillets (-3.9%) are short to 2017 totals, while fresh whole fish is up 7.8 percent compared to the same timeframe last year. Imports of frozen whole fish increased 14.2 percent from the previous month, registering over 9 million pounds in August 2018. Imports were up 5.3% compared to August 2017, and registered 2.6 percent above the previous three-year average of 8.8 million pounds for this month. On a YTD basis, imports were up 7.8 percent compared to last year. Imports of fresh fillets in August totaled 3.88 million pounds, increasing only 0.9 percent from the previous month. This figure falls 10 percent below the previous three-year average of 4.3 million pounds and is the lowest August on record since 2011 brought in 3.6 million pounds.

Total YTD imports were down 10.2 percent from 2017, where Mexico (-18.73%) saw a decline in imports while Brazil (27.2%), Ecuador (25.6%) saw notable increases for the month of August. From a replacement cost basis, as well as the adjustments made to the weighted import price per pound (which includes only the top five suppliers), we found that the August figure of $2.94 rose $0.08 per pound from July and was the record high

for the year, thus far. The market in the U.S. continued to be reportedly steady. Imports of frozen fillets totaled 25.68 million pounds for the month of August, increasing 22 percent from the previous month. YTD imports were down only 3.9% compared to 2017. August imports were within range but slightly below the 3-year average of 25.74 million pounds, by less than a percent (-0.22). YTD figures were the lowest on record since 2009. Replacement prices for frozen fillets fell for the third consecutive month, by $0.03 cents to $1.68 per pound for the month of August after increasing twenty cents between March and May 2018. Three-year average pricing from 2015-2017 steadily declined after record high prices in 2014. Since then, imports trended lower and prices remained steady at approximately $1.80 in the U.S. wholesale market until recently, where prices began strengthening ahead of the tariffs.

Pangasius and Channel Catfish Imports of pangasius increased 11.6 percent from the previous month; however, import volume was down 78 Âť

over 26 percent compared to the same month last year, as well as down over 32 percent on a YTD basis. Frozen channel catfish fillet imports increased 17 percent from the previous month but were down by 47.9 percent compared to the same month last year, and by 21.5 percent on a YTD basis. After a substantial retreat for the month of July (-60%) imports of channel catfish rose 17.1 percent for August, registering 605,712 pounds. This figure remains above the threeyear average of 569,434 pounds by 22.5 percent for this month. Shipments in August entered the U.S. with a declared value of $2.61 per pound, retreating $0.04 from the previous month. August imports of frozen Pangasius fillets registered 22.2 million pounds from Vietnam, the largest monthly import volume for 2018. Volumes increased again, after a significant 62.3 percent increase for the

month of July, gaining another 11.6 percent into the month of August. For the first time all year and since government regulation switched from the FDA to the USDA, Pangasius imports were within range of the previous three-year average. On a year-to-date basis imports still have catching up to do as they are down 32.3 percent compared to 2017. Raw materials continue to be an issue due to a strong demand from China. Market prices for domestic catfish are steady; supplies and demand well balanced. Lower offerings have been noted on frozen fillets and nuggets to move inventory. Focus remains on the 10% Chinese catfish tariff and the additional 25% tariff to take effect in January. Increased prices for Chinese catfish will benefit the domestic market. *President of Urner Barry

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FEBRUARY 2020 AQUACULTURE AMERICA 2020 Feb. 09 – Feb. 12 Honolulu, Hawai T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W:

SEPTEMBER AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2020 Sep. 29 – Oct. 02 Cork, Ireland T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W:

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AQUACULTURE MAGAZINE December 2018 January 2019_VOL 44 NUM 6  

Production of omega-3 enriched tilapia through the dietary use of algae meal or fish oil: improved nutrient value of fillet and offal

AQUACULTURE MAGAZINE December 2018 January 2019_VOL 44 NUM 6  

Production of omega-3 enriched tilapia through the dietary use of algae meal or fish oil: improved nutrient value of fillet and offal