Aquaculture Magazine December 2020-January 2021 Vol. 46 No. 6

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Aquaculture Magazine Volume 46 Number 6 December 2020 - January 2021






Effect of supplementing heterotrophic and photoautotrophic biofloc, on the production response, physiological condition and post-harvest quality of the whiteleg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei.


Emerging COVID-19 impacts, responses, and lessons for building resilience in the seafood system.

on the

cover What Makes a Successful Manager in Aquaculture?



Benefits of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems.


A Review on Shrimp Aquaculture in India. Volume 46 Number 6 December 2020 - January 2021


Marine Bioprospecting: the route to treasure trove of bioresources for novel drug discovery.

Editor and Publisher Salvador Meza

Editorial Assistant Lucía Araiza

Editorial Design Francisco Cibrián


Microalgae‑blend tilapia feed eliminates fishmeal and fish oil, improves growth, and is cost viable.

Designer Perla Neri

Sales & Marketing Coordinator Juan Carlos Elizalde


Mapping diversity of species in global aquaculture.

Marketing & Corporate Sales Claudia Marín

Business Operations Manager Adriana Zayas


5 ways to net a sustainable future for aquaculture.

68 LATIN AMERICA REPORT Recent News and Events.

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Ozone….. How do I apply it? By Amy Stone

What Makes a Successful Manager in Aquaculture? By: Carole R. Engle * Engle-Stone Aquatic$ LLC



Overcoming consumer barriers to online purchasing. By: Sarah Cornelisse*



High levels of biosecurity are critical for sustainable shrimp farming. By: Ph.D Stephen G. Newman*




The drive for change often comes from chaos By: Lucía Araiza*


ost people answer that the opposite of fragile is: robust, resilient, solid, or similar. But what complies with these adjectives generally responds to something that neither breaks nor improves in the face of change, adversity, or chaos. Interesting, isn’t it? I am currently reading the book “Antifragile: things that benefit from chaos”, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, where this idea is analyzed. Besides being a highly recommended reading, while I am writing this editorial, the concept of “antifragile” comes to mind. It makes me reflect on how this could also be applied to the aquaculture industry. This year has been an unpredictable and unprecedented compilation of challenges, changes, and difficulties. Although it has brought struggles to the sector, it also seems to be generating waves of innovation and adaptation with new modalities, techniques, and alliances within production and value chains in the aquaculture industry. Before the pandemic and the restrictions that it has imposed worldwide, we could not have imagined that these innovations would develop in such a short term—an example: direct marketing between aquaculture producer and final consumer via digital platforms. Perhaps it is worth reminding ourselves now that chaos is not precisely a lousy asset when, as a result of it, these profound changes arise and 4 »

set in motion new ideas, companies, investments, and activities that give strength and mobility to the industry. This historical moment may be the breaking point that the aquaculture industry needed to take off many of the issues dragged on by the sector during the last decade. We hope that our readers will find high-value content and ideas in

this edition that will encourage them to continue their activity within the aquaculture industry towards a new year. In 2021 we will definitely be a stronger industry than we could have imagined a year ago. *Editorial coordinator for Aquaculture Magazine and Panorama Acuícola Magazine Email:






Norway’s largest land-based fish farm to be built in Skipavika Business Park The cost of the project is estimated to be 5-6 billion NOK. Drawings of the impressive facility already exist and Sande Aqua has signed the design agreement with Billund Aquaculture, which will deliver its highly recognized RAS-solution. Thus, the beginning of a development that will leave its mark on Norwegian fish farming history, has begun. All growth will happen on land, from eggs all the way to market size, between 4-5 kilos. A license has been granted for 33,000 tonnes of live fish, with the possibility of expanding to 66,000 tonnes. This development comes five years after Sande Aqua started the first conversations with Billund Aquaculture about this exciting project. Skipavik Business Park houses more than just aquaculture, with ex-

tensive offshore activity, a trucking company, real estate, among other things. It lies by Fensfjord, 70 miles north of Bergen. The fish farm will be surrounded by other maritime services. As mentioned, the first stage includes the production of 33,000 tonnes of salmon, of which 27,000 tonnes will be full-sized fish. The re-

maining 6,000 tons are raised to postsmolt, roughly weighing one kilo. Half of the latter will be used in the facility, while the rest can be sold. Sande Aqua is planning two acquisitions of capital prior to the start of construction, which is estimated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021. Further information: https://

Extru-Tech Introduces New Vertical Cooler Upgrade Option Centered around an Advanced Feature Sanitary Cone, a new Vertical Cooler Upgrade Option, recently introduced by Extru-Tech, Inc., promises a new level of food safety and cleanability. While the primary focus of the upgrade was on the ability to provide a safer, more consistent product, customers should also benefit from less cost and downtime for cleaning and improve cooling ability. In addition to the Advanced Feature Sanitary Cone, the Vertical Cooler Upgrade includes a new continuous laser level probe assembly, which provides continuous, accurate and reliable level control inside the cooler. A variable frequency drive (VFD), which is required to regulate airflow through the Advanced Feature Sanitary Cone during the cooler fill cycle, will also be provided if the cooler fan is not already equipped with a VFD. Lastly, existing controls will be upgraded or modified to regulate the fan speed, based on the product level in the cone. 6 Âť






Upcoming extrusion courses to be offered online (South America time zome) After twice needing to postpone a planned series of courses in Chile, the program will now be offered livestreamed online in January. Presented in English, but simultaneous translation into Spanish will still be available – participants can choose either English or Spanish audio. The program is still offered in cooperation with the Catholic University of Temuco, following the first Aquafeed Extrusion course held there in late 2018. But an expanded program is offered in January 2021. In addition to the “Aquafeed Extrusion Technology” program, a course in “Petfood Extrusion Technology” will be presented. And to provide a further opportunity to both Aquafeed and Petfood industries – as well as the wider food processing industry – a two-day program in “Food & Feed Drying Technology” is offered. The training is presented by Australians Dennis Forte and Gordon Young. The 3-day extrusion program covers the principles of extrusion, the design of extrusion processes, and how the formulation of extruded products

interacts with the extrusion process. Topics cover the basics of extruders and their configuration, through what is happening inside the extruder barrel, to an understanding of extruder dies and extruder instability. Examples in product formulation and the design of extrusion processes demonstrate the application of the theory. Drying is one of the most common operations in food and feed production. It is critical to quality, and it is one of the most energy-intensive pro-

cess operations. Yet it is often poorly understood and inefficient. The drying course is about understanding the drying technologies used commonly across the food and feed industries – and how we can use that understanding to improve current processes and products, or design/select new systems that are both effective and efficient. Details of the courses (in English and in Spanish) are available via www.

ORIVO and BioMar to develop next generation DNA-based feed analysis ORIVO has been granted funding from the Norwegian Research Council to develop the next generation DNAbased analysis for feed products and feed ingredients. Among the partners in the project is the Danish sustainable aquaculture feed producer, BioMar, who sees the value of evidence-based transparency in their industry. The goal of the project, which has a total budget of NOK 8,6 million (€810.000), is to develop a quantifiable DNA-analysis method to enable precise determination of the species composition in feed-related samples. The project will launch in February 2021 and will last for three years, but ORIVO aims to introduce the service to the market sooner. The first version is 8 »

planned validated within 12 months after project launch and will be offered to key clients. Further improvements will

be implemented continuously and will address an increasingly broader market, including the pet food industry. DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

Global Ocean Data in the Palm of Your Hand: UMITRON Launches the Pulse Mobile Application for Marine Farmers UNITRON PTE. LTD. is making it even easier to access ocean environmental data with the release of the Pulse mobile application for Android users. Pulse initially launched for aquaculture farmers in late July with the goal of providing a high-resolution ocean map of critical environmental parameters such as water temperature, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and wave height. Pulse now has users all over the world who rely on the service to help them make informed farm management decisions. Historically, access to ocean data has not been provided in real-time, at high resolutions, or in an easy to use format. Pulse is the first of its kind – an application that lets farmers easily check ocean water quality data the same way they check the daily weather forecast. In aquaculture, it is just as important to know what is happening below the ocean’s surface as it is to


know what is happening above it. All of this is possible thanks to new developments in satellite remote sensing technology and UMITRON’s commitment to bringing more data to more farmers. The Android application and soon to launch iOS application provides the same functionality as the desktop ver-

sion with 48-hour forecasts as well as historical data for all five environmental parameters. Future updates will lead to even higher resolution maps near the coastline as well as new environmental data and improved forecasts. Anyone can quickly try Pulse for free by visiting www.pulse.umitron. com




CEOs of world’s leading seafood companies commit to time-bound goals for a healthy ocean

For the first time in the history of seafood production, ten of the largest seafood companies in the world have committed to a set of timebound and measurable goals that will ensure the industry becomes more sustainable. The goals are the result of four years of dialogues through the science industry initiative Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS). “SeaBOS is rising to the challenge,” says newly elected Chair of SeaBOS, Therese Log Bergjord. “It’s time to face the facts – the situation is critical and we have to act. We can all do better. I hope more will follow our example to build momentum on the ocean stewardship agenda.” The work of SeaBOS reflects and supports the recently launched ocean action agenda set by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy which commits to sustainable management of 100% of their national waters. SeaBOS is a unique collaboration between scientists and seafood companies across the wild capture, aquaculture and feed production sectors. The collaboration has been coordinated by the Stock10 »

holm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University. Together SeaBOS represents over 10% of the global seafood production, and comprise over 600 subsidiary companies globally. SeaBOS members include Maruha Nichiro Corporation, Nissui, Thai Union, Mowi, Dongwon Industries, Cermaq, Cargill Aqua Nutrition, Nutreco/Skretting, CP Foods, and Kyokuyo. Key scientific partners are the Beijer Institute for Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, University of Lancaster and Stanford Centre for Ocean Solutions. The scientific work is funded by the Walton Family Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. During the October 2020 dialogue the companies agreed a number of goals to achieve their original commitments from 2016. By the end of 2021, the SeaBOS members will: • Eliminate IUU fishing and forced, bonded and child labour in our operations– and implement measures to address those issues in their supply chains – with public reporting on progress in 2022 and 2025

• Extend the collaboration with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to solve the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear; and combine to clean up plastics pollution from our coasts and waterways • Agree on a strategy for reducing impacts on endangered species and the use of antibiotics • Set CO2 emissions reduction goals and reporting approaches from each company These goals will guide SeaBOS activities over the coming years, and are accompanied by toolkits for action. The SeaBOS members acknowledge that climate change is having a significant impact on seafood production and that they can all do their share – through their own emission reductions targets and advocacy for implementation of the Paris Agreement. The members highlight the need for government regulations to support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management, to effectively mitigate climate change risks and impacts, and provide for ‘climate smart’ seafood production. Further information and resources are available at: DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

NOAA Dives into Aquaculture Opportunity Areas

In the United States, marine aquaculture operates within one of the most comprehensive regulatory environments in the world. Projects that are sited in U.S. waters must meet a number of federal, state, and local regulations that ensure environmental protection, water quality, and healthy oceans. Within the recent Executive Order, Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth, Section 7, Aquaculture Opportunity Areas, directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) to identify areas in federal marine waters appropriate for aquaculture. In a new 3-1/2 minute video, the agency describes their goals, responsibilities, approach, sideboards and invites public engagement (video can be found in the agency’s website). DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

Aquaculture Opportunity Areas will be small, defined geographic areas that have been evaluated to determine potential suitability for commercial aquaculture. Using scientific analysis and public engagement, NOAA Fisheries will identify areas that are environmentally, socially, and economically appropriate for commercial aquaculture. Once established, these areas can expand economic opportunities in coastal and rural areas and increase seafood security. NOAA Fisheries plays a central role in developing and implementing policies that enable marine aquaculture and works to ensure that aquaculture complies with existing federal laws and regulations that NOAA enforces under its marine stewardship mission.

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Effect of supplementing heterotrophic and photoautotrophic biofloc,

on the production response, physiological condition and post-harvest quality of the whiteleg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei By: Marcel Martínez-Porchas, Marina Ezquerra-Brauer, Fernando Mendoza-Cano, Jesús Enrique Chan Higuera, Francisco Vargas-Albores, Luis R. Martínez-Córdova *

Diverse investigations on biofloc have placed this technology as a promising strategy towards sustainability. The presence of microbial communities do not only have a positive effect on the production response of shrimp, but an antagonist effect on potential pathogens, and also play a role as immunomodulatory agent for shrimp. Most of these works are related to the productive, zoo-technical and reproductive responses of the organisms farmed in many types of biofloc technology systems (BFT). However, the effects of aquafeeds on the physiology and post-harvest quality of farmed organisms has not been addressed enough, being an important issue because their implications on the production and marketing. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of adding two types of bioflocs (photoautotrophic and heterotrophic) on the physiological condition and postharvest quality of the white leg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei intensively farmed under greenhouse conditions.


here are reasons to support the hypothesis that the consumption of these kinds of alternative feeds may affect some biological conditions such as changes in the immune and antioxidant responses of shrimp after using microbial biomass as direct food source (bioflocs, biofilms, peryphyton). The physiological condition is an important aspect to consider for the culture of any species because it may be ultimately associated to overall production and economic profitability; while the post-harvest quality of shrimp is associated to the protein denaturation, and consequently, the storage shelf life, aspect, price, and

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consumer preference of the product. It has been addressed that the postharvest quality of aquaculture products is significantly influenced by the consumption of natural feed such as insects and other. The biological and biochemical composition of bioflocs which are mainly constituted by organic matter and aerobic microbes, may vary depending on diverse factors such as source of water, microbial inoculum, carbon/nitrogen ratio, substrate, temperature, salinity, light intensity, DO concentration, turbulence of the water column among some other. The possibility of forming photoautotrophic, heterotrophic or mixotro-

phic bioflocs depends on the initial inoculum. Biofloc and biofilm mass based on photoautotrophic microorganisms (also known as peryphyton when attached to submerged surfaces), have typically low protein contents but they have a high content of lipids and carbohydrates. Contrarily, high protein and low lipid concentrations are commonly constituting bioflocs or biofilms based on heterotrophic microorganisms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of adding two types of bioflocs (photoautotrophic and heterotrophic) produced exogenously to the culture system, on the physiological condition (as indicated by some hemolymph parameters) and postharvest quality of the white leg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei intensively farmed under greenhouse conditions.

Materials and Methods The study was conducted over 10 DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

ment evaluating the photoautotrophic biofloc was named TP, and the control without biofloc was identified as TC. Experimental units consisting of plastic containers (50 L) were provided with constant aeration and covered with plastic mesh to avoid shrimp escape; these were stocked with 12 (300 org/m3) juvenile L. vannamei (1.5 g). Shrimp were fed twice a day (0800 and 1400) with a formulated commercial feed (35 % CP), adjusting the daily ration based on apparent consumption. Additionally to the formulated feed, every three days the harvested bioflocs were added to the respective units at a rate of 3 % of the shrimp biomass. Once a day the unconsumed feed, feces, and molts were removed by siphoning. Contrarily to the conventional BFT systems, every week 50 % of water was replaced and freshwater was used to replace loss by evaporation.

weeks in the facilities of DICTUS, the University of Sonora, Mexico. A greenhouse (6 m x 3 m) was used to install nine experimental units consisting of plastic tanks with an operative volume of 50 L, as well as two bioreactors to produce the bioflocs. The bioreactors consisted of plastic tanks (500 L of capacity and operated at 450 L). These were supplied with filtered marine water and constant aeration to achieve dissolved oxygen (DO) levels over 4.5 mg/L, while maintaining the water column with an adequate turbulence to avoid the biofloc sinking. To produce heterotrophic biofloc, molasses was supplied each week to reach a C:N ratio of 10-12. The tank was covered to avoid light penetration. To produce photoautotrophic bioflocs, the water was fertilized with Triple17R (an agricultural fertilizer with 17 % N; 17 % P and 17 % K) to have a C:N ratio of 2-3. The tank was covered with DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

transparent plastic allowing the penetration of light during the day. The bioreactor for producing the heterotrophic biofloc was inoculated with 5 mg/L of an unspecific bacterial marine consortium (lyophilized), whereas the bioreactor to produce photoautotrophic bioflocs was inoculated with 500 mL/m3 of the benthic microalgae Navicula incerta at a concentration of 1 × 106 cel/ml. Both bioreactors were provided with 1.5 g/L amaranth seeds as a floating substrate in order to have a nuclei to accelerate the biofloc formation. After 15 days, the biofloc from each reactor was ready to be collected with a plastic net mesh 300 μm in order to have a size capable to be efficiently captured by the shrimp. The remaining volume was maintained as inoculum. A single factor three replicates per treatment was performed. The treatment evaluating the heterotrophic biofloc was named TH; the treatAquaculture Magazine

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ARTICLE Table 1 Production parameters of juvenile L. vannamei on the treatments and control.

The proximate composition of the commercial feed and both biofloc types was determined by following the AOAC (2019) methods. Biofloc samples were taken at the beginning, at the middle, and at the end of the trial. Environmental variables were monitored twice a day. The concentration of total ammonia (TAN) was determined each week. Growth and survival of shrimp were monitored weekly, by weighing all the survivors. After 10 weeks, the organisms were harvested, counted and weighed to record the final survival, final biomass and calculate the feed conversion ratio (FCR).

High protein and low lipid

concentrations are commonly constituting bioflocs or biofilms based on heterotrophic microorganisms.

At the end of the trial, a half (8–9) of the survivor shrimp from each unit were considered for analyzing hemolymph parameters and the other half for assessing the post-harvest quality. To assess the post-harvest quality of the shrimp, a sensory test was performed using head-off and peeled shrimp cooked at 100 °C for 10 min. Panelists were five experienced judges.

Results Proximate composition of bioflocs revealed that the heterotrophic biofloc (TH) contained a higher proportion of protein (46.7 %) than the photoautotrophic (TP: 19.9 %) and the control diet (35.0 %), whereas lipids registered values of 7.8, 4.9 and 0.8 % for control, TH and TP, respectively. Carbohydrates registered 39.6, 38.6 and 17.6 %, respectively. The water environmental variables ranged most of the time into the levels acceptable for shrimp culture, and no significant differences were observed among groups, except for TAN (Control 3.40; TH2.80 and TP1.90 mg/L). Significant differences were observed among treatments regarding some parameters of shrimp productive response (Table 1). The weight gain registered no-significant dif-

ferences between shrimp groups (a mean of 0.5 g/week), but mean survival varied from 77 to 86 %, with the lowest record in TH. The FCR was significantly lower in TP (1.7) compared to TH and the control (≥2.1). Regarding the hemolymph parameters, the levels of glucose, lactate, protein, and acylglycerides were similar among treatments, and only cholesterol resulted to be significantly higher in the control, while the lowest levels were found in TP (Table 2). With respect to the post-harvest quality, no significant differences were observed among treatments and control for any of the descriptors considered (Table 3). Most of these recorded values ranging into the category “good”, and only a few were qualified as “fair”. Any of the descriptors recorded values into the category “rejectable”.

Discussion Except for TAN, all the water quality parameters ranged into the values considered as suitable for shrimp culture. Total ammonia nitrogen recorded in the control units was high but no massive mortalities were recorded. The lower values of TAN recorded in TP, when compared to the control, could be attributed to the effect of

Table 2 Haematic parameters of L. vannamei in the treatments and the control.

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ARTICLE Table 3 Post harvest variables of cooked shrimp from the treatments and the control done by expert panelists.

Despite the heterotrophic biofloc registered a protein content exceeding by more than 2-fold times the photoautotrophic biofloc, the production response was lower in TH, probably because of the quality of protein, but also due to the heterotrophic biofloc resulted to be deficient in lipids, compared to the photoautotrophic.

the photo-autotrophic microorganisms associated to the bioflocs. Also in TH, the TAN concentration were lower than in the control; in that case, the decrease was probably due to the nitrifying microorganisms originally present in the inoculum or associated to the bioflocs during the trial, which transform ammonium nitrogen into nitrites and nitrates; but also to the direct degradation of organic matter by the heterotrophic bacteria. The productive parameters in the treatments and control ranged into the values considered suitable for in-

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tensive shrimp culture. The survival of 86.1 % recorded in TP and the control is inclusively higher than most of the reported for intensive farming of white shrimp, while the growth rate of around 0.5 g/week, is on the average range for this type of culture. The best response of TP, particularly the low FCR is attributed to the nutritional contribution of microalgae and other microorganisms associated to photoautotrophic bioflocs, which complemented the formulated feed supplied. Contrarily, despite the heterotrophic biofloc registered a pro-

tein content exceeding by more than 2-fold times the photoautotrophic biofloc, the production response was lower in TH, probably because of the quality of protein, but also due to the heterotrophic biofloc resulted to be deficient in lipids, compared to the photoautotrophic. The physiological condition of shrimp after the trial (as indicated by the hemolymph parameters), showed no differences between experimental groups except for cholesterol, suggesting that the use of biofloc as complementary food may not alter


the physiological status of shrimp. Regarding cholesterol, the concentration observed in the control was significantly greater than the recorded in TP (almost the quadruple). This is a remarkable finding that needs to be further investigated and confirm if this decrease also reflected in muscle, because of the possibility of farming shrimp with low cholesterol lev-

These results demonstrate

that neither consuming photoautotrophic nor heterotrophic bioflocs affect the physiological performance and post-harvest quality of shrimp.


els considering that several people do not consume shrimp due to its high cholesterol content. Regarding post-harvest quality (as indicated by the sensory analysis), no significant differences were found among the treatments and the control. These results could be positive for the cause of BFT, since the type of food consumed by shrimp, particularly bacteria and algae, can negatively influence its post-harvest quality and organoleptic characteristics. For example, some decades ago, pond-cultured penaeid shrimp imported into the United States from Ecuador were reported to have undesirable organoleptic characteristics including an intense earthy-musty flavor which made them unmarketable. Later it was concluded that the consumption of geosmin-producing blue-green algae was responsible of this unmarketable characteristics. Finally, these results demonstrate that neither consuming photoauto-

trophic nor heterotrophic bioflocs affect the physiological performance and post-harvest quality of shrimp. However, additional experiments considering protein and lipid quality of bioflocs, as well as nutrient utilization and shelf life of shrimp could provide additional information to these findings.

This is a shortened version developed by Ph.D. Carlos Rangel Dávalos, researcher and professor at the University of Baja California Sur México. The original article on which is based is titled “Effect of supplementing heterotrophic and photoautotrophic biofloc, on the production response, physiological condition and post-harvest quality of the whiteleg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei”, by: Marcel Martínez-Porchas, Marina Ezquerra-Brauer, Fernando Mendoza-Cano, Jesús Enrique Chan Higuera, Francisco Vargas-Albores, Luis R. Martínez-Córdova. The article was originally published on December 2019, through the Aquaculture Reports Journal from Elsevier, under a Creative Commons license, and its full version can be accessed through this link:https://doi. org/10.1016/j.aqrep.2019.100257

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Emerging COVID-19 impacts, responses, and lessons for building resilience in the seafood system

The seafood sector provides important sources of employment and nutrition, especially in low-income countries, and is highly globalized, allowing shocks to propagate internationally. This study, developed by a research group from over 20 renowned international institutions

By: David C. Love, Edward H. Allison, Frank Asche, Ben Belton, Richard S. Cottrell, Halley E. Froehlich, Jessica A. Gephart, Christina C. Hicks, David C. Little, Elizabeth M. Nussbaumer, Patricia Pinto da Silva, Florence Poulain, Angel Rubio, Joshua S. Stoll, Michael F. Tlusty, Andrew L. Thorne Lyma,, Max Troell y Wenbo Zhang *

and coordinated by the John Hopkins Institute used a resilience ‘action cycle’ framework to study the first five months of COVID-19-related disruptions, impacts, and responses to the seafood sector. Looking across high- and low-income countries, researchers found that some supply chains, market segments, companies, small-scale actors and civil society have shown initial signs of greater resilience than others. Studying these impacts allows identifying vulnerabilities within the food system as well as opportunities for governments, international bodies, industries, small-scale actors, and civil society to respond, adapt, and build resilience to future shocks.


n order to rebuild toward a more resilient food system, it is necessary to understand the scope of recent disruptions, impacts, and range of responses. Researchers of this study applied a food system resilience action cycle framework (see Fig. 1) as informed by concepts of coping, adaptation, and specified vs. general resilience. The term resilience is used in this article to mean the “capacity over time of a food system and its units at multiple levels, to provide sufficient, appropriate and accessible food to all, in the face of various and even unforeseen disturbances”. Using these concepts, the researchers asked three central questions: First, how has the seafood system been impacted by COVID-19? Second, what types of responses have occurred thus far to absorb and react to COVID-19 disruptions and what actions have been taken to restore system functions? Third, 18 »



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what lessons from current and past shock events can help to inform actors and institutions as they build resilience to future shocks? The period of study was the first five months of the pandemic, from January through May 2020.

Disruptions from COVID-19 to the seafood system Published data across news, social media outlets, governments, and development partners provide an emergent picture of disruptions or shocks to multiple stages of supply chains (see Fig. 2). These disruptions caused a generalizable range of impacts across different subsectors, product forms, markets, and consumer segments. In some cases, disruptions occurred simultaneously to multiple stages of a supply chain. In other cases, the impacts propagated out as a pressure wave ahead of COVID-19 cases, causing second order impacts following shifts in trade. We also expect lagged impacts caused by high uncertainty about future demand or disruptions to production inputs that have yet to be realized. Disruptions in some regions or sectors are being magnified by existing stressors such as climate change, natural hazards (Pacific cyclone season, African locust season), resource management, and

In order to rebuild toward a

more resilient food system, it is necessary to understand the scope of recent disruptions, impacts caused by COVID-19 around the world, as well as the range of responses. 20 Âť

Figure 1 Food system resilience action cycle. Actors and institutions respond to- and to prepare for disruptions and ongoing environmental, political, and economic stressors using a series of reactive and preventative actions. Modified from Tendall, D. et. Al.

political or economic instability. Below we use data to discuss specific disruptions to seafood demand, distribution, labor, and production.

Demand disruptions The first demand impacts were experienced in China in late January and early February 2020, as lockdowns caused domestic seafood trade to drop precipitously with high-value marine fish species sold at restaurants more impacted than lower value farmed carp sold at retail outlets. Lower consumer demand in China led to reduced import volumes, however, as the pandemic subsided within China, seafood imports and domestic carp sales rebounded. In high-income countries, such as the United States (U.S.) there was a dramatic shift in all food sourcing favoring retail over restaurants due to public health measures to reduce COVID-19 spread. As restaurants typically sell more expensive live and fresh seafood, restaurant closures constrained markets for these products. In the European Union,

lower demand at restaurants led to a 30% drop in imported live-fresh seafood prices. In low income food deficit countries, such as Ethiopia, public health interventions reduced household incomes, which translated into reduced expenditures on nutrient dense foods that, if sustained, could lead to malnutrition. As COVID-19 spreads poverty and hunger will continue to be concerns in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Distribution disruptions Seafood trade was disrupted, redirected, or halted by sudden shifts in demand, supply, and limits on the movement of goods and people. Many of the earliest trade impacts radiated out from China. In January 2020, China banned imports of live animals which impacted trade of live lobsters from many countries. Some ports were closed for quarantine, which forced cargo ships to reroute and increased congestion at other ports, or shipments were cancelled entirely. Cancelled interDECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021


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Lagged impacts caused by

high uncertainty about future demand or disruptions to production inputs that have yet to be realized are expected worldwide.

national passenger flights created logistical problems and increased air freight costs for high-value seafood products such as farmed Atlantic salmon. Cancelled shipments left producers and distributors without a market for perishable products or with a shortage of freezer space. In some cases, distributors were able to shift trade to other markets, such as frozen Ecuadorian shrimp re-routed from China to the U.S. and Europe in January through March 2020, and then back to China in April 2020. Norwegian salmon was redirected from China to other countries such as the U.S. and Brazil, without a significant change in volume or price. As shifts to retail purchases occurred in the U.S., China dramatically increased exports of higher priced processed tilapia products to these valuable markets. Trade disruptions have secondary impacts on LMICs that are more distributed. For example, the diversion of China’s farmed tilapia to North America corresponded with 22 

Figure 2 COVID-19 disruptions and impacts on seafood supply chains. Disruptions to production, labor, distribution, supply and demand create a range of impacts. The color gradient indicates the hypothesized relative impacts to different components of- or actors within seafood supply chains. The ordering of groups is based on multiple data streams collected through May 2020 but is not intended to be a quantitative or absolute ranking. In the center of the figure are key outcomes we focus on in this paper: human wellbeing, livelihoods, and food security.


Aquaculture production has

been disrupted as farmers decide whether to restock given uncertainty over demand.

a drop in exports to some countries, notably a 50% drop in exports to developing countries in April, 2020. The drop in Chinese tilapia initially opened up markets to local fishers around Lake Victoria, however, this short-term benefit was dampened as the Kenyan government introduced curfews to control the spread of COVID-19. Curfews decreased night-fishing activity for both expensive export products (e.g., Nile Perch) and affordable nutritious small fish for local consumption (e.g., Dagaa), which along with trade shifts, increased price volatility. Tilapia farms on Lake Victoria suffered disrupted feed supplies and responded to increased demand for smaller fish and expanded market opportunities outside of the capital.

Labor disruptions Lockdowns disrupted employment in seafood supply chains for workers, and access to labor for seafood businesses. In many low-income food deficit countries, farms and DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

enterprises in food supply chains provide self-employment and casual work for many people. COVID-19 policy responses impacting the operation of such businesses resulted in lowered incomes and caused substantial unemployment. Migrant fish workers were not able to leave fishing boats in India, ports in Thailand, or an Ecuadorian fishing vessel in the South Pacific, and closures of fish markets have rendered many fish workers jobless. India’s nationwide lockdown also forced the closure of hatcheries, feed mills and processing plants, and sharp drop in demand from the U.S. and Europe reduced international exports of frozen shrimp, which account for 70% of India seafood exports. Similar impacts have been reported in Bangladesh and Myanmar. COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred among seafood process workers in Ghana, the U.S., and elsewhere, as well as other animal processing plants, indicating this is not unique to seafood processing.

Production disruptions Seafood production decreases have sometimes occurred in parallel with COVID-19 cases and at other times lagged reductions in consumer demand. COVID-19- related lockdowns have decreased industrial fishing efforts in China, Spain, France, and Italy by 40% to >50% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2019. Reductions in Pacific tuna fishing are due to port closures and a lack of fisheries observers, while coastal subsistence fishing has increased. However, uncertainty remains about upcoming fishing seasons, and in Alaska, where the salmon fishery is highly dependent on seasonal workers, production may be limited by restrictions on immigrant labor. Aquaculture production has been disrupted as farmers decide whether to restock given uncertainty over demand. For example, as of April 2002, shrimp farmers across Southeast Asia have stopped stocking ponds, in some cases due Âť 23


to difficulty importing broodstock, which will produce lagged reductions in supply. Species with long grow-out periods, such as shellfish and salmon, can be held in the water until markets improve, but not indefinitely and not without economic costs. This range of impacts across the supply chain has been met with diverse responses deployed by governments, the seafood industry, and consumers.

Reactive actions to COVID-19 by seafood system actors and institutions The study explores the reactive actions taken by multiple actors and institutions in response to COVID19 through May 2020. These include initial steps to absorb and react to disruptions, and to restore functions to the seafood system. Authors categorized these actions as short-term coping and forward-looking adaptive responses. To date, responses have mostly aimed to: 1) Protect public health, including the health of fishery sector workers; 2) Support those whose enterprises, jobs, and incomes are affected by COVID-19 related disruptions, and; 3) Maintain seafood supplies to consumers. Initial coping responses, in particular by governments, sought to maintain the sector’s core functions through the period of wide-spread economic disruption, while protecting the most vulnerable. Longerterm adaptive measures, which often emerge outside of government, can contribute to building COVID19-specific and generalized resilience to multiple shocks and stressors. Specific responses by different actors and institutions are summarized in Table 1. Identify resilience, vulnerability, and power imbalances in seafood systems The seafood system is a meshed network of formal and informal 24 »

Table 1 Reactive actions to COVID-19 by seafood system actors and institutions. Governments and Development Partners • Health and safety responses: to protect public health, as well as safety and working conditions for fishers and fish farmers, including through the use of technologies • Social protection and employment response: including non-contributory assistance programs (one-off cash transfer, food distribution), social insurance (e.g. unemployment benefits) and labor market interventions (e.g. wage subsidies) to mitigate short-term impacts. These responses differ according to national fiscal policies. • Economic responses to provide: emergency assistance including aid, reallocation of financial resources, loans and subsidies to mitigate the short-term impacts of the crisis on commercial fisheries and aquaculture. These responses have been observed in both high- and low-income countries, but appear to be significantly larger in high income countries. In both, challenges have been reported in accessing funds, especially for small holders and the informal sector. • Management measures and other technical responses: to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on commercial fisheries and aquaculture Large-Scale Commercial Fisheries and Aquaculture • Health and safety responses: to ensure the health and safety of workers along the supply chain as well as social support to national efforts • Social protection and industry responses: including advocating for and pursuing social protections and reducing workforce in response to diminished demand and/or changes in the marketplace • Economic responses: targeting retail and consumer markets, including online and home delivery Small-Scale Sector and Non-Governmental Organizations • Health and safety responses: including arrangements and information to support and strengthen communities and vulnerable populations • Social protection and sector responses: including collective action and networking within or across small-scale fishing sector as well as fish workers and small fish farmers to maintain safe employment opportunities • Economic responses: via local and seafood direct marketing Consumers • Shift in consumer purchasing as a result of the pandemic with uncertainty about the future.

Table 2 Short-term and longer-term strategic research needs to support learning from COVID-19 impacts and responses. Immediate research needs • To complement price and production data, use survey tools to document and better understand COVID-19 impacts on people working at all levels in seafood value chains and seafood consumers in order to direct support to vulnerable actors in the seafood system. • Document and share case-experiences of actors in the value chain that have successfully adapted to shifts in supply and demand of perishable seafood so lessons from their strategies can be more widely adopted • Improve open data and data sharing platforms to facilitate the exchange of information about the societal impacts of COVID-19, to enable more rapid and coordinated responses to future shocks Longer-term research needs • To design future response strategies in support of the ‘tropical majority’ of small-scale fish producers and traders, draw on lessons from social safety net programs in other food sectors, and experience with implementing the Human Right to Food • Improve information systems to track fish prices and trade volumes typically consumed by different types of consumers (particularly in LMICs) to reduce wasted fish and enable value chains to respond to consumers’ nutrition needs and demand preferences. This may include full traceability of species and stocks based on molecular/DNA analysis. • Focus resilience research on those parts of the aquaculture and fisheries system that supply populations most nutritionally dependent on seafood and those which, through employment, support food security of low-income value chain actors. • Develop and apply an evaluation framework and resilience indicators for seafood value chains, that include social economic and environmental aspects, to identify and learn from resilience ‘hot-spots’ • Study temporal effects of the shock on employment in the sector, on migration, on adoption of technologies for production and processing, to better design future crisis coping strategies and recovery efforts • Study immediate and longer-term impacts on natural resource systems to identify means to sustain resources during and after future system shocks.


producers and distributors, retailers, and consumers. Some supply chains, market segments, companies, smallscale actors and civil society have shown initial signs of greater resilience than others. In high-income countries, food retailers and supply chains selling shelf-stable and frozen seafood have done well following COVID-19-related shifts in food sourcing, while live-fresh and high-value producers selling to restaurants were particularly hard hit. A surge in direct producer-to-consumer sales in the U.S. may foretell a longer-term shift in consumer purchasing habits. Conversely, in many LICs, such as India, the informal sector was particularly hard hit by DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

restrictive government responses to the crisis that prevented many actors from engaging in their livelihood activities, which could lead to less household income and decreased food security. Maintaining and building diversity and connectivity at the community, company, and country level are ways to build resilience and guard against bad outcomes. Strengthening local food systems is another way to build resilience in communities. Companies with diverse portfolios and connections to more markets could more easily switch between commodities or divert products at a global scale (e.g. Ecuadorian shrimp, Chinese tilapia) thus enabling them

to continue their business. Diversity and connectivity to markets at the country-level enables continuous supply of seafood. Many countries, however, are increasingly reliant on food imports from a shrinking number of exporters, which makes them more vulnerable to disruptions. The tendency towards concentration in the seafood sector creates power imbalances that risk undermining food security in low-income countries and communities. Companies and countries that were able to diversify and adapt did so, in some cases, by exposing other aspects of the global system (e.g., low-value markets in low-income food deficit countries) Âť 25


to trade shocks. Efforts to build resilience following COVID-19 should consider resilience to what?, for whom?, and for what purpose?, and be attentive to the possibility of propagated impacts from these decisions.

As the pandemic shifts and possibly re-emerges in countries, there will be continuing need for coping responses to maintain the sector’s core functions and protect vulnerable populations working in- or dependent on the seafood sector.

26 »

Transition from short-term coping to longer-term adaptation As the pandemic shifts and possibly re-emerges in countries, there will be continuing need for coping responses to maintain the sector’s core functions and protect vulnerable populations working in- or dependent on the seafood sector. Some coping responses, such as removing normal restrictions on fishing or increasing fishing quotas, which result in over-harvesting, may be maladaptive or have unintended consequences that undermine the resilience of the seafood system in the long-term. As the pandemic continues to spread there is much we need to

learn, and we propose a series of immediate and longer-term research needs to guide strategic research investments (Table 2). COVID-19 has also highlighted the vulnerability of certain groups working in- or dependent on the seafood sector. Early coping and adaptive responses, combined with lessons from past shocks, should be considered when building resilience in the sector.

This is a summarized version developed by the editorial team of Aquaculture Magazine based on the article “Emerging COVID-19 impacts, responses, and lessons for building resilience in the seafood system”, authorship of: David C. Love, Edward H. Allison, Frank Asche, Ben Belton, Richard S. Cottrell, Halley E. Froehlich, Jessica A. Gephart, Christina C. Hicks, David C. Little, Elizabeth M. Nussbaumer, Patricia Pinto da Silva, Florence Poulain, Angel Rubio, Joshua S. Stoll, Michael F. Tlusty, Andrew L. Thorne Lyma,, Max Troell y Wenbo Zhang that was originally published through John Hopkins Institute’s website, under a Creative Commones 4.0. License. The original and full version can be accessed online through this link:



Benefits of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Energy and water requirements are limited to a minimum when

recirculating cultured water. Limited water use benefits production inside a fish farm. Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) are the best By: Kalia Williams *


quaponics provides a symbiotic relationship between plants and fish. One of the most efficient systems to use is a recirculating aquaculture system. This system works by using the water already in the system, purifying it, and reusing it continuously. The waste products produced, such as carbon dioxide, are removed or converted into non-toxic products and returned to the fish tanks. There are numerous benefits to using a recirculating aquaculture system. Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) are the best option for locations close to or in cities with access to electricity. In order to farm tropical fish in moderate or cold climates, it is necessary to use RAS technology. One significant advantage has to do with the spread of diseases. DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

option for locations close to or in cities with access to electricity. The lessened water use minimizes the likelihood that fish get diseases since pathogens from the outside are lowered. Water used in traditional farming is usually taken from the sea, a river, or a lake, which increases the risk of disease. Energy and water requirements are limited to a minimum when recirculating cultured water. Limited water use benefits production inside a fish farm. Traditional fish farming is dependent on external conditions like temperature and oxygen levels. These factors are limited in recirculating systems. A recirculating system allows fish farmers to control all of the means of production. These parameters include daylight, water temperature, and oxygen levels. Monitoring these conditions allows for farmers to

come up with a precise production plan that predicts future outcomes with more accuracy. This helps with overall farm management and gives farmers a competitive edge. Another advantage of the RAS system is related to water and its quality control. Since dissolved oxygen levels are maintained at optimal levels, fish can have reduced stress, less food waste, and higher growth. Recirculating aquaculture systems have certain advantages compared to other production systems. A few additional benefits of recirculating aquaculture systems are: • Fully controlled environment for the fish • Low water use • Efficient energy use • Efficient land use • Optimal feeding strategy » 27


• Easy grading and harvesting of fish • Full disease control • Year-round production • These are more environmentally compatible systems • Systems can be expanded

Disadvantages The main disadvantage of this system is that it is more costly to start up and have higher operating costs. A high initial investment is needed for RAS technology as this technology requires a new production plant. RAS technology also has high energy requirements. In order to operate RAS, highly-trained staff is needed, which can also mean more time and money spent away from farming. RAS also needs a constant power supply. If there is a power outage, backup electricity is necessary. The installation process is quite complex and requires a high degree of safety. This is an advanced production system consisting of numerous units and subsystems. Conclusion Recirculating aquaculture systems are efficient systems to use when dealing with aquaponics. A few benefits include efficient energy use and disease control. RAS technology is useful when it comes to predicting output and gaining a competitive edge. There are a few disadvantages to using the recirculating aquaculture system. These disadvantages include high startup costs and complex machinery. Despite this, RAS is an effective system to use in regard to efficient fish farming. Reef Industries’ products and solutions Aquaculture liners require a special material to offer the balance of properties necessary to meet those needs best. Reef Industries would like to introduce Permalon®, a nontoxic polyethylene membrane ideal for lining ponds, lagoons, tanks, raceways, or other facilities where water management is an investment. This alloyed aquaculture pond liner is en28 »

gineered to resist punctures and tears to minimize water loss and land deterioration. Reef Industries’ liners are available in heavy-duty, internally reinforced constructions and are available in 20 mils and 30 mils thicknesses constructed to suit an array of environments. Permalon® liner materials are factory-fabricated up to an acre or more in size, minimizing the need for an expensive installation crew. However, if you are in need of a custom-fabricated liner, Reef Industries’ capabilities also include three-dimensional shapes for box and container liners, raceway liners, and waterproofing/rehabilitating all manner of structural containers. In addition to aquaculture liners, Reef Industries offers greenhouse covers. Griffolyn® greenhouse coverings have been performance engineered to be highly resistant to tears and punctures

with an exceptional ability to retain strength and flexibility in the most extreme environments. Due to their long-life expectancy, Griffolyn® materials provide significant long-term cost savings offering unmatched life expectancy in almost any environment. Griffolyn® covers are manufactured using a UV stabilizing additive to protect them from UV degradation and help them retain their original properties. The product’s high-strength reinforced construction helps safeguard against tears often associated with installation. Available for 80%, 20%, and 0% light transmission, Griffolyn® can be custom fabricated to meet your exact requirements. *For further information, please visit



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A Review on

Shrimp Aquaculture in India By: Mahesh Salunke, Amol Kalyankar, Chandraprakash D. Khedkar, Mahesh Shingare & Gulab D. Khedkar * Shrimp aquaculture in India has an extensive history of successes and challenges reflecting both the potential and the problems of developing this industry. The industry initially grew rapidly during the 1990s, largely through the efforts of individual farmers, but operated in an environment where there was often a lack of adequate regulatory guidance. This review is intended to provide a detailed accounting of the history of shrimp aquaculture in India, including both successes and failures in these practices over time. The lessons learned from this historical perspective should be of great value in guiding future efforts to develop and maintain this industry and to maximize its ability to serve as a food source for future generations.

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ndia has a long history of aquaculture and fisheries practices to produce food for human consumption, the earliest descriptions of which can be traced to the Kautilya’s Arthashastra (321– 300 B.C.), one of the ancient books on economics from the era of King Someswara’s Manasoltara (1127 A.D.) In recognition of the growth of this sector, the Government of India established several fisheries related research institutes (Silas 2003). Until the early 1970s, these programs were mainly focused on the production of finfish. At the same time, farmers in some south-east Asian countries began developing shrimp aquaculture. In India, shrimp farming was first conducted only on an experimental scale. A major step toward large scale shrimp aquaculture took place soon after the first use of brackish water fish farming was demonstrated in West Bengal by the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 1973. Subsequently, an ICAR coordinated research project on brackish water aquaculture was sanctioned in all of



» 31


India in 1975 through centers in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Kerala (Sinha 1999). Simultaneously, successful production of shrimp seed was demonstrated in Narakkal in Kerala by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute of ICAR (Silas 2003). Thereafter, commercial shrimp hatcheries were established by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA). Semi-intensive culture technology was also demonstrated on a pilot-scale project by the MPEDA (Muralidharan 2010). These technologies, along with further experimental efforts by farmers, worked well and led to large scale development of this sector as shrimp aquaculture took root in India. The total farming area devoted to shrimp farming increased almost by 50% from 65,100 Ha in 1990-1991 to over 121,208 Ha in 2011-12 (SEAI 2012). This created job opportunities in remote coastal villages and helped to ensure income security for poor people and valuable foreign exchange to the country. In India, a strong emphasis was also placed on improving shrimp farming techniques to minimize their environmental impact, as well as to extend sustainability through the use of technology. In contrast, countries like China, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam have emphasized practices intended to reduce production losses (Ponniah et al. 2011). The species of shrimp commonly used during the early period of aquaculture development in India are listed in Table 1. Among these, P. monodon and F. indicus were initially the most popular. Currently, another species L. vannamei is widely used.

Table 1 Shrimp species commonly cultured in India.

The first peak of shrimp aquaculture production in India Prior to the 1990s, a number of development schemes initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India for shrimp farming were intended to 32 Âť



» 33


In nature, the notion that

anything in excess turns into poison became relevant for shrimp culturing in India (CMFRI 2005; Krishnan and Birthal 2000).

34 Âť

pave the way for the establishment of multiple shrimp hatcheries and farms in the coastal states of India (CIBA 2009). These efforts facilitated many successful enterprises during the early 1990s and in a sense this was a golden era of scientific aquaculture in India. At the time, the development of this industry in India also benefitted from the fact that on an international level, several new technological developments were being adopted for intensive commercial production in Taiwan, China, Thailand and other countries (Kongkeo 1997). Through the adoption of these technologies, shrimp farming in India became a highly profitable enterprise and economically flourishing business (CIFRI 2007) in several coastal states. Andhra Pradesh was at the forefront

of this trend, followed by West Bengal, Kerala, Orissa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Goa. At its peak during the years 19932000, India became the fifth largest country in terms of global shrimp production (Briggs et al. 2004). The Indian coastline became populated by large numbers of shrimp farms, and a huge infrastructure was created to support shrimp aquaculture. And although during this time several schemes were launched by government agencies to promote shrimp farming (CIBA 2009), neither the state nor the central government produced policies to develop uniform culture practices which might help sustain this industry over the long term (Jana and Jana 2016; Jelte de Jong 1989; Puthucherril 2016). DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

Table 2 Shrimp species commonly cultured in India.

During this time frame a massive increase in shrimp farming areas occurred over a relatively short span of time. After this, however, as will be described later in this review, production declined considerably.

ranged from 1 to 5 MT/Ha (Handbook on Fishery Statistics 2014). But, more than pond size, pond management practices were one of the essential criteria correlated with the levels of production per hectare (Pucher et al. 2015; Pucher et al. 2016). Proper maintenance of the pond environment becomes more challenging, especially in bigger ponds during molting. Feed distribution and aeration are also more conveniently carried out in smaller ponds compared to larger ones (Islam et al. 2005; Kongkeo 1997). This could be one reason why farmers tended to restrict their farms to smaller scales in spite of the demand for high levels of production (CAA 2005). In such small ponds, in most cases, farmers kept their stocking densities on the higher side of 20-300 PL/m3 (FAO 1986). Conversely, these higher densities often also led to poor hygienic conditions. Over long durations and multiple crop cycles, this may have resulted in the establishment of high microbial loads (Karim et al. 2017; Krishnan and Birthal 2000). Also during this peak period, the average shrimp production level in India was 0.73 tons per hectare per crop. Though, in the same time period, production levels in other countries were considerably higher (see Table 2). This could be one reason that Indian shrimp farmers were inspired to utilize new ideas involving seed, feed, and chemicals for maintaining water quality and drugs for disease control (Anon 2002).

Size of shrimp farms At this time, the shrimp farms in most states of India could be broadly classified into four categories based on pond size. Small farms ranged from 0–2 Ha, medium farms were of 2-10 Ha and large farms were of 1040 Ha. Finally, some very large farms were above 40 ha in size. Medium sized farms (2-10 Ha) accounted for about 13% of production and of the remainder, only 0.25% farms were above 10 Ha and only 0.09% were above 40 Ha. The Loss of productivity levels of productivity of these farms In nature, the notion that anything DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

in excess turns into poison became relevant for shrimp culturing in India (CMFRI 2005; Krishnan and Birthal 2000). Largely to increase profits, several farms became crowded together in coastal vicinities (Escobedo-Bonilla et al. 2005) and as a result, enormous inputs of protein-rich food, prophylactics, and manures increased the pollutant load several fold in areas close to the sea shore (Yang et al. 1999). The majority of the farms were also poor in their hygiene practices and had almost no drainage possible (Coastal Aquaculture Authority, 2006; Samocha and Lawrence 2018; Bhushan et al. 2016) adding greatly to the pollution. Several farmers also started illegal importation of seed from countries like Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, which claimed to have better growth rates. Likewise, feed and prophylactics were also imported and almost no regulations to control this were either observed or in effect during this time (Anon 2002). Also, until the 1990s, the shrimp industry had only minor levels of disease prevalence associated with P. monodon cultures. But, in 1994, suddenly the occurrence of WSSV (White Spot Syndrome Virus) on black tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon became widespread over an extensive area from Visakhapatnam to Sirkali of Tamilnadu (Anon 2002; Karunasagar et al. 1997). The spread of WSSV quickly resulted in the collapse of the Indian shrimp industry due to mass mortality in the culture ponds (Balakrishnan et al. 2011). The chronology of the WSSV outbreak around the world is shown in Figure 1. It was demonstrated that the first outbreak occurred in Taiwan in the year 1992, followed by China, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. This might have occurred even earlier but was not reported in order to keep the shrimp seed and input market alive even after several countries had been contaminated with WSSV (Shekar et al. 2012). Âť 35

ARTICLE Figure 1 Shrimp species commonly cultured in India.

Following the WSSV infection, in 1998 loose shell syndrome (LSS) (Alavandi et al. 2008; Raja et al. 2015), caused by V. parahemolyticus, V. proteolyticus, V. alginolyticus, and V. coralliilyticus bacterial infections were also reported in India. Overall, these disease problems resulted not only in massive losses to farmers but also to several stakeholders in related industries such as the hatcheries, feed companies, aquaculture chemical companies among others. It has been documented that over 80% of the farms were owned by small-scale farmers in these coastal regions, and that the continuous crop failures, high lease values, and erosion of profits forced some operators to completely abandon their shrimp farms (Mohan and Bhatta 2002). Figure 2 gives an overview of consequences associated with the emergence to disease.

Post disease experimental work and its consequences related to the environment The disease outbreaks caused by the WSSV infections severely impacted 36 Âť

almost every shrimp farm in India (Vijayan and Sanil 2012), and the damage led to both farmers and hatchery operators to attempt to find ways to deal with these problems. First, they took new feral broods from areas like Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Gujarat coast that did not appear to be infected. Farmers also started using seed pretreatments like drug applications and so-called “deep� or bath treatments in which shrimp are held in containers with a strong solution of a chemotherapeutant for short durations (Pathak et al. 2000). Another application method was used where low concentrations of the chemicals were applied to the culture tanks or ponds for an indefinite period (Pathak et al. 2000). Extensive feeding with high protein-rich feeds, incorporation of water quality enhancers, micronutrients, applications of antibiotics pre biotics and probiotics were also practiced extensively. Subsequently, many of these techniques also imposed problematic issues related to surface and groundwater pollution in the shrimp culturing areas.

The exaggerated use of different chemicals also created potential hazards including contamination of drinking water sources, creeks and near shore sea waters, accumulations of heavy metals in creek sediments, and increases in bacterial and fungal count due to organic contaminant loads. Discharges into canals and the sea also appeared to lead to overgrowth of blue-green algae in the receiving waters (indicating organic pollution) and changes in soil characteristics in agricultural lands surrounding the aquaculture farms (Pathak et al. 2000; Srinivas and Venkatrayalu 2016; Rico et al. 2012). Overall, this was a clear indication of the potentially catastrophic consequences of the shrimp farming practices on the entire coastal ecosystem including groundwater resources.

Involvement of the parliament of India Given the economic importance of this industry to the entire country, the need for research on the economic and environmental impacts of coastal DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

Figure 2 Overview of consequences associated with the emergence to disease in shrimp aquaculture (P. monodon).

The growth of the shrimp

aquaculture industry during the last two decades has had various environmental impacts (Hein 2000). One of these, poor water quality, is a main stress factor for all aquatic animals including shrimp.

shrimp farming in India ultimately became a national issue. Partly in response to the negative assessments that were available, in 1996 the Supreme Court of India passed a decision banning shrimp farming and related industries located in the vicinity of the coastline (< 500 meters) (Supreme Court Writ Petition (Civil) No. 561 of 1994). Soon after that, an emergency session of the Indian Parliament passed a bill to form Aquaculture Authority on March 1997 that placed a moratorium on implementing the court order (Government of India Gazette Notification No. 76 dated 6.2.1997). This bill also called for the establishment of an Aquaculture Commission to produce regulatory guidelines for the sustainable development of the shrimp farming sector (CAA 2002). The Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005 enacted by the Parliament in June 2005 was designed to regulate the activities connected with aquaculture in the coastal area. The MPEDA described earlier was also entrusted to carry out the registration of shrimp hatcheries and for providing assurances that the shrimp hatcheries were set up and functioning as per the guidelines (CAA 2005; MPEDA 2008). DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

Scientific efforts for control of WSSV On a global level, several laboratories took actions to address issues related to WSSV. The main need identified was for early diagnosis of WSSV either in pond water or the seed. Several private biotech laboratories as well as academic institutes were involved in developing early diagnostic kits using PCR, some of which were successful and marketed in India (Kiatpathomchai et al. 2001; Minardi et al. 2019; OIE 2014; Reddy et al. 2010; Tsai et al. 2012). These kits were intended to be easy to use and provide results that would be easy to interpret by the farmers and hatchery operators. Several private and public laboratory facilities were also built for addressing disease issues. In these laboratories, however, the mode of testing was often expensive and time consuming, required sophisticated laboratory equipment and trained laboratory personnel, and as such did not represent appropriate solutions to resolve these issues (Cock et al. 2009; Cock et al. 2017). Finally, this also often required long-distance transportation of samples from the field to the laboratory. This was a critical logistic factor as most of the

shrimp farms were located in remote areas of India (Flegel et al. 2008). Simultaneously, farmers tried extreme measures to deal with WSSV infections including indiscriminate use of antibiotics, but this approach was successful only in very few cases (Manage 2018). Also given the large number of variables such as optimal stocking densities, appropriate feed formulations, and disease treatments, farmers often ended up following trial and error strategies largely based on data generated from sources not relevant to Indian climatic conditions (Patil and Krishnan 1998). Other precautionary measures practiced by farmers on their own included the use of probiotics and immuno stimulants. These products had been shown to be effective in the laboratory trials. Yet, in field trials, little or no effects were realized (Otta and Patil 2012). Quorum sensing and the use of vaccines were tried as well but were also shown to not be of much use (Flegel et al. 2008; Otta and Patil 2012). The sum total of challenges associated with continuing use of P. monodon on such a large scale served as an impetus to search for alternative species that could revitalize the industry. Âť 37


A new era: Introduction of Litopenaeus vannamei Given the deleterious of WSSV of P. monodon that resulted in several farms accumulating huge bank debts as well as other liabilities (BFDA 1997); farmers started looking for alternative species to culture in their ponds. In 2003, a major shift in India’s investment in this field took place with the introduction of a new species of shrimp, namely L. vannamei (CAA 2008). The L. vannamei, a Pacific Ocean shrimp originating from the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands was already well known for its advantages including a rapid rate of growth and resistance to disease (Boyd et al. 2018). This being an alien species to Indian waters, however, in 2009 a pilot-scale introduction of L. vannamei began. Large scale culturing was later approved (The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fish38 

eries (DAHD & F), Government of India, Notification dated 15.10.2008), but the early introduction of L. vannamei first took place on a restricted basis and only under a process developed by the government of India. Originally, just two companies, BMR hatcheries and Sarat Seafood (located in Andhra Pradesh), were permitted to import broodstock from approved countries and conduct trials in a confined environment. The National Bureau for Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR) and Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) managed the risk analysis for the introduction of L. vannamei in India (Vijayan et al. 2015) and recommended its culture. It also recommended procedures to establish testing facilities for monitoring of strains claimed to be pathogen free and/or pathogen resistant. When the government of India decided on a large-scale introduction

of L. vannamei, the agency designated to authorize importation of vannamei broodstock was the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), of the Government of India, Chennai (CAA 2008). Presently, the CAA has issued permits for farming L. vannamei in 59,116 hectares (2,433 Farms) and grants for 289 hatcheries for importing L. vannamei broodstock for supply and production of seed (MPEDA 2018).

Current production levels of L. vannamei The decision to permit farming of L. vannamei changed the nature of the shrimp aquaculture industry in India. In 2009, considering only P. monodon production, the area under shrimp aquaculture was approximately 0.12 million hectares. After the introduction of L. vannamei, the area under culture increased 20 fold as compared to 2010-11, and production has DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

table 3 Newly emerging microbial diseases reported in shrimp.

increased by almost 83% (MPEDA 2018; CIBA-2015 2016). As a result, India has now become the second highest shrimp producer in the world (FAO 2017). Currently, the total seed production of L. vannamei officially registered in India is 24,209 million larvae. This estimate is derived from the number of hatcheries, assuming they are operating at their full capacity (CAA 2015). Though, the available area of the farms registered with CAA under L. vannamei culture is about 59,116 hectares, and estimated seed accounts approximately for 35,469.6 million larvae. Similarly, L. vannamei producDECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

tion statistics, as well the area under culture, is also disproportionate. This suggests that farmers may be illegally importing broodstock and/or producing seed or that unregulated and/ or illegal farming is being practiced on a large scale (Business Standard News 2013). Various reports and publications had warned about this in L. vannamei farming and its future (Coastal Aquaculture Authority, 2006; Hein 2000; Joseph et al. 1997; Kagoo and Rajalakshmi 2002; Kumar et al. 2011; Samocha and Lawrence 2018). Farmers, however, may not be revealing the true extent of their L. vannamei cultures to circumvent sev-

eral regularity procedures. Such illegal farming poses a severe threat of disease and may result in heavy losses (Sedhuraman et al. 2014; Senapin et al. 2007).

Real and potential impacts of uncontrolled and unregulated culturing The growth of the shrimp aquaculture industry during the last two decades has had various environmental impacts (Hein 2000). One of these, poor water quality, is a main stress factor for all aquatic animals including shrimp (Selvam et al. 2012; Joseph et al. 1997; CIBA 2002). This Âť 39


international export standards.

2005). The ponds designated for ETS might also be used for secondary aquaculture, especially for the culture of oysters, mussels, seaweed, and other fin fishes. Such cooperative culture projects can result in a reduction of the organic and nutrient loads, enhancing the wastewater quality, and cultivating additional cash crops. But, it seems that many farmers have fragmented their farms to be classified as small farm areas and to avoid the requirement to invest in ETS.

stress also raises the sensitivity of creatures to disease while weakening their feed conversion efficiency and growth rate. This in turn may lead to reductions in production and disease outbreaks (Hossain et al. 2013; Paez-Osuna 2001). The destruction of wetlands and conversion to agricultural land, and the impacts this may have on watercourses in the vicinity and soil salinization also need to be considered (Dorababu 1993; Kagoo and Rajalakshmi 2002). Effluent treatment system (ETS) (Kumar et al. 2011) As per CAA regulations, shrimp farms above 5Ha must have an effluent treatment system (ETS) (CAA

Diseases There are a number of new diseases of L. vannamei that farmers and regulatory agencies must be aware to prevent future problems (Lightner 1985). Recent years have seen increasing numbers of outbreaks of different diseases (see Table 3). This situation requires new regulatory procedures for disease control compliance, especially to control illegal coproduction of P. monodon and L. vannamei. The occurrence of shrimp diseases in L. vannamei cultures reported in different regions again prompted farmers to use control efforts including the use of antibiotics, chemical drugs, bactericidal agents as well as water quality enhancers (Mishra et al. 2017; Swapna et al. 2012).

Consumer awareness is increasing

and the demand for quality certification of the products will be greater than ever before. Shrimp culture farms must also be surveyed regularly to achieve

40 Âť

This may lead to a repetition of the story from a decade ago in the case of P. monodon cultures. Furthermore, in spite of strict regulations on the use of antibiotics and certain chemicals in shrimp aquaculture, several export consignments have rejected due to the presence of antibiotic and banned chemical residues in the shrimp (Southern Shrimp Alliances 2016; Poungshompoo et al. 2003; Ravisankar and Vinoth 2016). Records of noncompliant samples reported by the National Residue Control Plan for Aquaculture Products have shown that the application of antibiotics such as nitrofuran and chloramphenicol is still occurring in shrimp culture across India, in 2015 (Export Council Inspection India National Residue 2015). Similarly, European countries identified about 24 cases of Indian shrimp export products containing nitrofurazone, furazolidone, and chloramphenicol and excessive amounts of oxytetracycline, during 2012–15 (Rao and Prasad 2015). The Hepatopancreatic haplosporidiosis (HPH) is also an emerging disease of concern. This is caused by an unknown haplosporidian (not listed for SPF) and is different in its histopathology from EHP, a known pathogen in Indian aquaculture. Alarming examples of transmission of this and DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

other exotic pathogens via living or frozen shrimp imported for aquaculture have already been reported (Durand et al. 2016; Hasson et al. 2006; McColl et al. 2004; Nunan et al. 1998; Subasinghe and Bondad-Reantaso 2008).

Potential impacts on biodiversity The introduced L. vannamei is a non-


selective, voracious forager that consumes its food faster than the native shrimp species. When either accidently or intentionally released into waterways, it may create competition for native species (Chavanich et al. 2016). It may also have fewer natural enemies and less competition in new habitats when released through accidental escapes.

Consumer awareness is increasing and the demand for quality certification of the products will be greater than ever before. Shrimp culture farms must also be surveyed regularly to achieve international export standards. Also, imported brood stock is essential for the hatcheries in India to produce high quality, disease- free shrimp seed for supplying farms. Because of this, expansion of Aquatic Quarantine Facilities will also play a major role in mitigating risks associated with the introduction of nonnative species by imposition of stringent quarantine measures. Scientific publications have demonstrated the effectiveness of probiotics in aquaculture (Alavandi et al. 2004; Li et al. 2007). Management of the water microbiota in aquaculture systems, according to ecological selection principles, has also shown to decrease opportunistic pathogen pressure and result in improved performance of the cultured animals. It is hypothesize that the manipulation of the biodiversity of the gut microbiota in the shrimp can also increase the host resistance against pathogenic invasion and infection. Conversely, substantial barriers need to be overcome before active management of the intestinal microbiota can effectively be applied in larviculture (Schryver and Vadstein 2014). Âť 41


Expansion of Aquatic Quarantine Facilities will also play a major

role in mitigating risks associated with the introduction of nonnative species by imposition of stringent quarantine measures.

Approach to implementing sustainability Of late, through various media resources issues have been raised toward environmental and social concerns related to shrimp farming, and the shrimp disease outbreaks probing a question mark on sustainability of this culture system. A general opinion is built leading to the assumptions that shrimp farming is highly unsustainable culture system and has enormous negative impacts. Whereas, practices can be recognized in some circumstances where there are signs of threats to sustainability (e.g. social conflicts, shrimp disease outbreaks, environmental impacts, etc.). Similarly, to implement sustainability, it is likely possible to ascertain farms and farming systems among the diversity of shrimp farming practices which have grown shrimp over many years, without obvious adverse social conflicts or environmental impacts. Among the several challenges which are prevailing in shrimp culture sector, is the need to appropriately identify and encourage those systems and management practices – among the diversity of practices which are sustainable and promote these as a contribution to sustainable development of shrimp farm42 

ers as well as peoples residing in the coastal areas. There is sufficient scope for improving or tuning prevailing institutional and legal frameworks governing current aquaculture practice in India, and for enhancing capabilities of the public and private sectors to better plan and manage the development of the shrimp aquaculture, be it at national, regional, local or farm levels. Moreover, whilst the bulk of farmed shrimp produced in India, most of this production is being exported and consumed in industrialized countries. There are therefore many possibilities to strengthen in-

ternational co-operation on technical, policy and trade issues associated with shrimp culture developments. Regulatory authorities may have a more precise legal framework, which applies specifically to coastal shrimp aquaculture. Given the complexity of the legal and institutional issues involved, regulatory authorities may opt for a solo comprehensive new or amended coastal aquaculture law including provisions extracted from existing laws. In the process of drafting a legal framework for coastal aquaculture, including shrimp culture, regulatory authorities should ensure that DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

livelihoods of local communities and their access to coastal resources are not adversely affected by coastal aquaculture developments. Legislation must be framed into the context of related laws and regulations including those addressing coastal area management and should be the result of an interdisciplinary and consultative process with stakeholders. There should be equivalence between laws and regulations governing coastal aquaculture including on permitting, restrictions and monitoring, with those governing other users of coastal areas, wetlands, mangroves and water. DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

also address several issues related to Conclusion Significant changes have occurred in social, economic and environmental the shrimp aquaculture industry in impacts of coastal aquaculture. India from the 1990s to the present. This includes increases in the total acreage and productivity of shrimp farms, major disease outbreaks, changes in the species primarily used *This article is a summarized version of the original reand efforts to develop an appropriview: “A Review on Shrimp Aquaculture in India: Historical Perspective, Constraints, Status and Future Implications ate regulatory framework to assure for Impacts on Aquatic Ecosystem and Biodiversity”, written by Mahesh Salunke, Amol Kalyankar, Chandraprakash the survival of the industry and to D. Khedkar, Mahesh Shingare & Gulab D. Khedkar *. meet export standards. The regulaThe original version was published through the Taylor & Francis Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture tory framework is also intended to Journal during 2020 (vol. 28, number 3). provide adequate quarantine mechaThe full version can be accessed online at: nisms for the importation of new Editor’s note: references cited by the authors within the text are available under previous request to aquatic organisms and for testing our editorial team. of disease control strategies. It may » 43


Marine Bioprospecting:

the route to treasure trove of bioresources for novel drug discovery By: Tapas Paul, Saurav Kumar, S.P. Shukla, Kundan Kumar and Abhilipsa Biswal* Several marine organisms are sources of bioactive compounds. These bioactive compounds have potential applications such as molecular tools, in agrochemical industries, as fine chemicals, in cosmetics, and as nutraceuticals. Marine bioprospecting has been an important phenomenon of discovering new drugs and sustainable exploration of aquatic diversity, however it entails two major bottlenecks: sustainability and replicability. These two bottlenecks can be overcome by aquaculture of marine invertebrates. The present article developed by researchers at ICAR (Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai, India) focuses on various types of bioactive compounds produced by marine aquatic invertebrates, bio-prospecting policies, and its impacts.


he ocean is a treasury of a wide variety of untapped resources with great potential. Several marine organisms are sources of bioactive compounds. These bioactive compounds have potential applications such as molecular tools, in agrochemical industries, as fine chemicals, in cosmetics, and as nutraceuticals. Marine drugs have proven to be an abundant source of pharmacologically active agents for the production of therapeutic entities against cancer, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), inflammatory conditions and microbial disease. Apart from this, microalgal strains with high lipid yields are found to be valuable in the biofuel industry in the context of shrinking global petroleum reserves. The exploration of such biological resources of social and commercial 44 Âť

value is known as bio-prospecting. Tropical coral reefs are the main focus of marine bio-prospecting. These reefs form the main habitat of different marine invertebrates which are sources of potential molecules. Marine bio-prospecting entails two major bottlenecks: sustainability and replicability. Drug discovery demands large amounts of biomass leading to sustainability issues. Replicability is constrained as a result of environmental variability and community level changes to the ecology of the target organisms. These two bottlenecks can be overcome by aquaculture of marine invertebrates. Through the culture of marine invertebrates, continuous production of animal biomass under homogenous environmental conditions can be achieved. Culture of microalgae strains capable of acting as sources of biodiesel can be an alternative for

diesel fuel. Thus screening of bioprospecting has great application in aquaculture which can lead to an increase in global aquaculture production. The present article focuses on various types of bioactive compounds produced by marine aquatic invertebrates, bio-prospecting policies, and its impacts.

Phases of Bio-prospecting Bio-prospecting can be divided into four phases: collection, identification, analysis, and commercialization. 1. Collection. Samples and/or indigenous knowledge related to a sample are collected, and then undergo identification and isolation of compound. 2. Identification. It includes identification and isolation of compound and characterisation of that compound. 3. Screening and analysis. Using a variety of different technologies. It refers to screening for potential uses, such as pharmaceutical or other uses. 4. Commercialisation. It is the final step which includes product development and commercialisation, including patenting, trials, sales and marketing. Marine Bio-prospecting The marine biomes are a rich reserDECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

voir of unique life systems for synthesizing bioactive compounds by identification and development of potential drug molecules for human therapeutics. Oceans include a variety of extreme environmental conditions such as temperature ranging from freezing to deep hydrothermal vents (350 °C), pressure from 1-1000 atm, nutrient-rich to depleted zones and deep aphotic to upper layer photic zones. This variation in environmental and nutrient conditions resulted in the differential specification of organisms in each phylogenetic level from lower to higher trophic. Bioactive compounds are mainly found abundantly in microorganisms, algae and invertebrates, while they are scarce in vertebrates. These compounds have shown several pharmacological properties and are used to treat diseases like arthritis, inflammation, cancer, etcetera (see Table 1).

Marine Bacteria as a source of metabolites Bacteria have played a pivotal role in the development of different drugs and antibiotics over the years. Since the discovery of Taq DNA polymerase from Thermus aquatDECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

ics bacteria, thousands of products have been synthesized from various micro organisms especially bacteria which are used as antibiotics, anti-

tumor agents, and agrochemicals. Inspite of huge potential, marine bacteria has received less attention in the scientific community because of difficulty in non-cultivability of the majority of them (>99%). Marine hyperthermophilic bacteria are the source of thermo-stable proteases, lipases, esterases, starch and xylan degrading enzymes which are very beneficial in drug development. Several marine Vibrio species also produce a wide range of enzymes and other bioactive compounds having industrial and commercial applications. E.g. Vibrio alginolyticus which produces alkaline serine exoprotease used as detergent-resistant material and collagenase which is used in tissue culture studies. Further, Alteromonas spp. isolated from Bermudian marine sponge produces bioactive compounds having antiHIV potential as a reverse transcriptase inhibitor (see Table 2).

Table 1 Some FDA approved marine-based drugs. Compound



Cytarabine (Ara-C)

Sponge Tethyacrypta


Vidarabine (Ara-A)

Sponge Tethyacrypta



Cone snail Conus magus



Marine tunicate Ecteinascidia turbinate


Eribulin mesylate

Sponge Halichondriaokadai.


Cephalosporin C

Marine fungi


Omega-3 fatty acids

Fish oil


Dolastatin 10

Sea Hare Dolabellaauricularia

Table 2 The list of bioactive compounds derived from micro-organism. Bioactive Compound



Bioactive Compound


Antibacterial agents


Streptomyces antibioticus



Streptomyces venezuelae


Bacillus sp.


Streptomyces aureofaciens


Streptomyces griseus


Streptomyces rimosus


Streptomyces rimosus


Streptomyces mediterranei


Pseudomonas fluorescens

Streptomyces cattleya

Anticancer drug

Thienamycin Antifungal agents


Penicilium notatum

Streptomyces verticillus


Streptomyces noursei


Streptomyces parvulus

Amphotericin B

Streptomyces nodosus


Streptomyces peucetius

Glarea lozoyensis

Mitomycin C

Streptomyces caespitosus


Âť 45

ARTICLE Table 3 List of seaweeds with potential application in bio-prospecting. Seaweed

Bioactive compounds are mainly found abundantly in microorganisms, algae and invertebrates, while they

Sargassum vulgare


Potential Health Effects

Alginic acid, xylofucans

Antiviral activity

Himanthalia elongate

PUFAs, α- tocopherol, sterols, fiber

Reduction of total and LDL cholesterol

Undaria pinnatifida

PUFAs, α- tocopherol, sterols, fibre,

Reduction of total and LDL cholesterol,

folate, fucoxanthin

certain types of cancer, antiviral activity

Same as above

Reduction of total and LDL cholesterol,


Reduction of total and LDL cholesterol

Anti hyperoxaluria

Sulfated polysaccharides are potential

Chondrus crispus

are scarce in vertebrates. These compounds have shown several pharmacological properties and are used to treat diseases like arthritis, inflammation, cancer, etcetera.

reduction of cardiovascular disease Ulva spp. Fucus vesiculosus

blood anticoagulant agents Sargassum lomentaria, S. latiuscula,

κ–carrageenan, λ- carrageenan,

Obesity control, apoptosis of cancer cells,

fucoxanthin, fucoidan

induction of DHA, anti-tumour activity

S. ringgoldianum, Rhodomela conferovoides Eisenia bicyclis,

Hyaluronidase inhibitor

Ecklonia kurom

Metabolites from Marine Cyanobacteria Cyanobacteria found in marine and freshwater ecosystems are one of the richest sources of known and novel bioactive compounds including toxins with wide pharmaceutical applications. Several metabolites have been isolated from cyanophytes from freshwater species, which are cultured easily in comparison to marine organisms. Marine cyanobacteria are found to be a potential source of vitamin B and E which has a wide commercial

46 »

value. Cyanobacteria produce several pigments such as carotenoids, phycobilins which are used as a colour enhancer, feed additives in fishes and cattles, and cosmetic industries. Some species such as Lyngbya lagerhaimanii and Phormidium tenueare found to produce bioactive compounds having anti-HIV activity. Scytonemin, an extracellular pigment obtained from Scytonema spp. has anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties. Further, Gambierdiscus toxicus and Ptychodiscus brevis produce several antifungal

Inhibitors of an enzyme can have anti-cancer and anti-allergic effects

agents which have wide applications commercially. Okadaic acid produced from Prorocentrum spp. aids in studying signal transduction pathways in eukaryotic cells due to its selective protein phosphatase inhibition nature.

Metabolites from seaweeds and algae Seaweeds are the macroscopic algae grow in the intertidal regions of the sea. Seaweeds are the only source of phytochemicals that have wide application in food, confectionery,


Table 4 Bioactive compounds from different species of sponges and their mode of action. Sponges Theonella spp. Indian Ocean sponge

Bioactive Compound

Mode of action


Anticancer agent


Cribrochalina spp. Spongia spp.

Selective activity against nine human melanoma cells in National Critical Technologies (NCT) panel


Chemoresistant tumour type in the NCT

dium as the second messenger. Further, Pseudopetrocin-E, a tricyclic diterpene glycoside from Pseudopterogorgia spp., shows anti-inflammatory activities while Eunicea fusca containing fucoside-A used widely in cosmetic industries.

tumour panel

Metabolites from molluscs Several researchers have highlighted Halichondria okadai Okadaic acid Potent phosphate inhibitors the importance of toxins extracted Theonella swinhoei Motuporin from cone snails in the field of mediDiscodermia calyx Calyculin-A cine and cellular biology. Conotoxins Xestospongia berguista Xestobergsterol Inhibition of immunoglobulin E mediated histaevolved from Conus spp. are the most mine release from mast cells promising bioactive compounds used Leucetta microraphis Leucettamine A Antagonist of receptor for leukotriene produced in physiological and pharmacologiin inflammatory cells cal studies. Conotoxins block chanBatzella spp. Batzelladine A & B Inhibition to the binding of HIV glycoproteinon nels regulating the flow of Na+, K+ CD4 receptors of T cells. across the membranes of nerve or Hyrtios erecta Salmahyrtisol Aand B Cytotoxicity in human cancer cell-lines muscle cells, or act as antagonists of acetylcholine receptors during muscle contraction. It is more effective in repharmaceuticals, dairy and paper in- Metabolites from Sponges lieving pain than many painkillers and dustries as gelling, stabilizing and Sponges present in the marine en- aids in speedy recovery of injured thickening agents. They have high vironment are the source of a wide nerves. Further, Dolabella auricularia protein content (35.6% in dried nori), range of bioactive metabolites. Out and Chromocloris cavae produces biohigh levels of vitamins A, B, B2, B6, of 11 genera of sponges in the active compounds such as Dolastatin, B12, C, B7 and higher amounts of ocean, Haliclona, Petrosia and Dis- Chromodorolide-A which exhibits important minerals like calcium and codemia are commercially impor- antineoplastic and in vitro antimicroiron than vegetables and fruits. The tant due to synthesize of potent bial activities. red alga Sphaerococcus coronopifolius was anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory shown to have antibacterial activity; agents. Since the discovery of tu- Metabolites from Fish, Sea the green algae Ulva lactuca was shown mour-inhibiting arabinosyl nucleo- Snakes and Marine Mammals to possess an anti-inflammatory com- side i.e. spongouridine from Cryp- Marine fishes are a rich source of pound and an anti-tumor compound totethiacrypta, special attention is omega-3 fatty acids such as alphawas isolated from Portieria hornemannii. given to bio-prospecting of sponges linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaeThe green algae Codium iyengarii from in different countries. Some of the noic acid (EPA), and docosahexaethe Karachi coast of the Arabian Sea potent bioactive compounds from noic acid (DHA) which are used in has been found as the source of a sponges are listed in Table 4. drugs for diseases such as arthritis, steroid. Sargassum carpophyllum from heart problem and brain developthe South China Sea is the source of Metabolites from Cnidarians ment. However, the reports on the two new bioactive sterols. Brown al- The first breakthrough in the field synthesize of bioactive compounds gae such as sargassum and members of explorations of cnidarians for from fishes and marine mammals of laminariales mainly used in the bio-prospecting was the discovery are scarce. Tetradotoxin (TTX) is an manufacture of various goitre medi- of prostaglandin in corals during important compound extracted from cines due to their high iodine content. 1960s which has paved the way for puffer fish which has wide applicaSome algae, like gelidium are used the development of natural bioactive tion in the pharmacological industry for the treatment of kidney, bladder compounds. Palytoxin obtained from and for researchers studying voltageand lung diseases while laminaria is Palythoa used as a significant gated sodium channel. Electric rays used as surgical tool in the opening tool for probing cellular recognition produce ciguatoxin which is used as of the wound due to its gentle swell- by potentiating metabolism of ara- a potent antidote for pesticide poiing property. Some of the bioactive chidonic acid and down-regulates the soning. Squalamine, a water-soluble compounds from seaweeds and their response to epidermal growth factor broad-spectrum antibiotic is expotential applications can be seen in by activating a sodium pump in the tracted from the stomach of dogTable 3. signal transduction pathway using so- fish shark, Squalus acanthias. The sea Haliclona spp.


Lembehynes B and C

Neuritogenic activity against neuroblastoma cells

Âť 47

ARTICLE Table 5 Other aquatic animals as a source of bioactive compounds. Species

Bioactive compounds

Potential Health Effects

Convolutamine-A, H

Activity against Haemonchus contortus, a parasitic


Anticancer agent by modulating the signal trans-

Bryozoans Amathia convoluta

nematode of ruminants.

Losses of traditional knowledge

Bugula neritina

duction enzyme protein kinase-C (PKC).

of marine biological resources

Cribricellina cribreria

are one of the major threats to

Flustra foliacea



Cytotoxic & anti-microbial property

Indole alkaloids

Anti-microbial agent

Trididemnum solidum


Antiviral, anticancer and immunosuppressant

Halocynthia aurantium


Antimicrobial peptide

Didemnum sp.

Lepadins D

Anti-plasmodial & anti-trypanosomal alkaloid

Eudistoma spp.


Antiviral activity


Anticancerous drugs showing cytotoxicity towards

Tunicates compound

Lissoclinum bistratum

human tumour cell lines. Echinoderms

snakes produce Fu-anntai, an anticancerous drug, which has antiblastic effects on cervical carcinoma, stomach cancer, rhinocarnoma and leukemia cells (see Table 5).

Merits of marine bio-prospecting • Marine bio-prospecting has been an important phenomenon of discovering new drugs and sustainable exploration of aquatic diversity. • The economic viability of marine bioresources for pharmaceutical purposes is enormous and has a scope for benefiting not only the pharmaceutical industries engaged in R & D but also the native country and indigenous communities. • Discovery of several life-saving drugs including anti-neoplastic drugs (e.g. vinblastine, taxol, topotecan, and etoposide) in recent past has renewed the interest of pharmaceutical industries in bio-prospecting. • Marine bio-prospecting collaborations between pharmaceutical companies and countries supplying the medicinal raw material and knowledge offer not only the revenue source for under-developed countries but also opportunities for the society for better education and employment avenues. 48 »



Cucumaria frondosa


Antimicrobial efficiencyagainstpathogenic bacteria of human, fish and fungus. Antibacterial activity

H. spectabilis

Hemoiedemosides A, B

Antifungal activity

Evasterias spp.

Evasteriosides C, D, E

Steroid glycosides

Polyhydroxylated naphthoquinone

Antioxidant property by scavenging Superoxide

A.crassispina C. semiregularis


anion radical and hydrogen peroxide.

Certonardosides A, J

Antiviral activity against HIV,HSV, CoxB, EMCV and VSV virus.

E. isenbeckii


Limitations • The multinational companies engaged in bio-prospecting are free to patent bio-materials but there are no effective guidelines and conditions defined for recognizing and rewarding the contributions of indigenous people and other informal innovators who are responsible for nurturing, using and developing biodiversity. • Genetic material imbalance in the ecosystem due to excessive exploitation of material resources. Threats and impacts of marine bio-prospecting • The current tendency of researchers and industries to generate novel products is likely to be threatened by the loss of the basic resource, biodiversity, at all levels: genes, populations, species, and ecosystems. The loss of biodiversity may not only lead

Sex pheromone

to a loss of commercial opportunity but may also alter ecosystem structure and function. • Losses of traditional knowledge of marine biological resources are one of the major threats to bio-prospecting. • Use of bottom trawlers for fishing results in the destruction of non-target fish species at dwelling at sea bed such as molluscs, cnidarians, echinoderms and also disturbs the aquatic plants, coral reefs etc. • Biopiracy has been coined to reflect the illegal appropriation or exploitation of genetic and biochemical resources. It must be included, in any case, that the absence of appropriate implicit rules, the absence of proper enactment, and the absence of national ability to deal with biodiversity use issues in the larger part of biodiversity-rich nations are factors empowering biopiracy. DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

• Overharvesting is a difficult issue in a few areas, particularly when it includes marine animals or seaweeds for medications and pharmaceuticals. Some marine species have likewise been overharvested for research. Specifically, cone shells of the molluscan family Conidae are prized for their toxins (conotoxins) for application to numerous regions of medication, including tumour control, disease treatment, and microsurgery.

Marine Bio-prospecting policy Bio-prospecting should be regulated, both at the national and international level, based on the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity, conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. Various legal instruments and organizations related to coastal genetic resources regulation are as follows: DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

• Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) • Bonn guidelines and Nagoya Protocol • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) • International Sea Bed Authority • Global Ocean Commission • European Science Foundation • Valencia Declaration

Conclusion Bio-prospecting plays an integral role in discovering novel molecules that leads to drug development. Nature will give original novelty and quality which will be changed within the laboratory. “Poison kills the poison,” the renowned byword is that the basis for researchers to find the medicine metabolites from living organisms. The scientists in different parts of the world have extracted various drugs for such diseases in recent years. Despite the limitations and allegations of bio-piracy, the bio-prospecting

with its potential as a rich and important source of new therapeutic agents is an important tool for drug discovery and research. However, for a healthy environment and proper bio-prospecting, the collaborations between the pharmaceutical companies and the countries supplying the indigenous knowledge and medicinal resources should be regulated for a mutually beneficial relationship.

*ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai-400061, Maharashtra, India. Correspondence author: References cited by the authors in the article are available under previous request to our editorial team.

» 49


Microalgae‑blend tilapia feed

eliminates fishmeal and fish oil, improves growth, and is cost viable Aquafeed manufacturers have reduced, but not fully eliminated fishmeal

and fish oil and are seeking cost competitive replacements. This study developed by researchers at University of California Santa Cruz and University of Berkley, combined two commercially available microalgae, to produce a high-performing fish-free feed for Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Researchers substituted protein-rich defatted biomass of By: Pallab K. Sarker, Anne R. Kapuscinski, Brandi McKuin, Devin S. Fitzgerald, Hannah M. Nash and Connor Greenwood*

Nannochloropsis oculata (leftover after oil extraction for nutraceuticals) for fishmeal and whole cells of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich Schizochytrium sp. as substitute for fish oil.


eed inputs for aquaculture production represent 40– 75% of costs and are a key market driver for this sector. The aquafeed market is expected to grow 8–10% per annum and its production of compound feeds is projected to reach 73.15 million MT in 2025. Ocean-derived fishmeal (FM) and fish oil (FO) in aqua feeds have raised sustainability concerns as the supply of wild marine forage fish will not meet growing demand and will constrain aquaculture growth. Moreover, competition for FM and FO from pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and feeds for other animals further exacerbates a supply–demand squeeze and also affects human food security. More than 90 percent of these fish are considered food grade and could be directly consumed by humans, especially food insecure people in developing countries. Although more prevalent in aquafeeds for high-trophic finfish and crustaceans, FM and FO is also routinely

50 »


Table 1

Tilapia is cultured in such large

volumes and is such an integral part of human diets across the world, that even low inclusion rates

Formulation (g/100 g diet) and essential amino acids (% in the weight of diet) of four experimental diets for juvenile tilapia. a Reference: no replacement of fish meal (FM) and fish oil (FO). b Replacement of 33% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp. c Replacement of 66% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp. d Replacement of 100% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp. e Omega Protein, Inc. Houston, Texas 77042, as manufacturer specification, the guaranteed gross composition analysis: crude. protein, 60%; crude fat, 6%; fiber, 2%. f Mineral premix (mg kg−1 dry dietunless otherwise stated):ferrous sulphate, 0.13; NaCl, 6.15; copper sulphate, 0.06; manganese , sulphate, 0.18; potassium iodide, 0.02; zinc sulphate, 0.3; carrier (wheat middling or starch). g Vitamin premix (mg kg−1 dry diet unless otherwise stated):vitamin A (as acetate), 7500 IU kg−1 dry diet; vitamin D3 (as cholecalcipherol), 6000 IU kg−1 dry diet; vitamin E (as dl-a-tocopherylacetate), 150 IU kg−1 dry diet; vitamin K (as menadione Na-bisulphate), 3; vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin), 0.06; ascorbic acid (as ascorbyl polyphosphate), 150; d-biotin, 42; choline (as chloride), 3000; folic acid, 3; niacin (as nicotinic acid), 30; pantothenic acid, 60; pyridoxine, 15; riboflavin, 18; thiamin, 3.

of FMFO in aquafeeds for this species is a substantial portion of global demand of forage fish.

incorporated (inclusion rates of 3–10%) in aquafeeds for low-trophic finfish like tilapia to enhance growth. Tilapia (dominated by Oreochromis niloticus)—the world’s second top group of aquaculture organisms—is cultured in such large volumes and is such an integral part of human diets across the world, that even low inclusion rates of FMFO in aquafeeds for this species is a substantial portion of global demand of forage fish. The aquafeed industry reduces reliance on FM and FO by using grain and oilseed crops (e.g., soy, corn, canola), however, terrestrial plant ingredients have low digestibility, anti-nutritional factors, and deficiencies in essential amino acids (lysine, methionine, threonine, and tryptophan). Crop oils also lack long-chain omega-3s (n-3s), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), important for human health. Elevated levels of n-6 (e.g. linoleic acid) fatty acids from crop oils changes the long-chain n-3/n-6 ratio in tilapia flesh that is passed on to human consumers, resulting in increased production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids (via arachidonic acid), which has led nutritionists to doubt the health benefits of farmed tilapia. DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

Alternatives to terrestrial crops have been too costly for broad adoption by aquafeed manufacturers (Sarker et al.). However, nutritional disadvantages and poor fillet quality have prompted researchers to investigate marine microalgae as potential FMFO replacements in fish feeds due to balanced essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and long-chain n-3 fatty acids. The peer-reviewed literature, however, lacks informa-

tion on how using marine microalgae in fish-free diets affects growth, feed conversion and fillet quality of tilapia. There also are limited published data on the market price of fish-free diets made with alternative ingredients that show potential for economies of scale.

Materials and methods This research was conducted to develop a new aquafeed formula by » 51


These results demonstrate

the feasibility of combining commercially available microalgal

Results from feeding tilapia iso-nitrogenous, iso-caloric, iso-energetic diets that replaced different percentages of fish meal with N. oculata defatted biomass and of fish oil with Schizochytrium sp. whole cells. a Values are means ± standard errors of three replicate groups (n = 3). b Reference: no replacement of fish meal (FM) and fish oil (FO). c Replacement of 33% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp. d Replacement of 66% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp. e Replacement of 100% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp. f, g Mean values not sharing a superscript letter in the same row differ significantly (P < 0.05) from Tukey’s HSD test. h Weight (Wt.) gain (g) = final Wt. – initial Wt. i Wt. gain (%) = (final Wt. − initial Wt.)/initial Wt. × 100. j Feed conversion ratio (FCR) = feed intake (g)/ Wt. gain (g). k Specific growth rate (SGR) (%/day) = 100% × (ln final wet Wt. (g) − ln initial wet Wt. (g))/Time (days). l Protein efficiency ratio (PER) = Wt. gain (g)/protein fed (g). m Survival (%) = (Final number of fish/ Initial number of fish) × 100%.

biomasses to formulate fish-free aquaculture feeds that are highperforming and show potential to become cost-competitive.

combining the protein-rich (50%) defatted marine microalgal co-products (under-utilized left-over biomass of Nannochloropsis oculata after EPA oil extraction for human supplement) with another DHA-rich (30% of total fatty acids) marine microalga (Schizochytrium sp.), increasingly available at commercial scale, to fully replace FMFO (fish-free) in tilapia aquafeeds. This study builds on recent microalgae aquafeeds research (Sarker et al.) where 33% of FM was replaced with under-utilized N. oculata defatted biomass in a tilapia diet that achieved final weight, weight gain, percent weight gain, specific growth rate, and protein efficiency ratio values comparable to the reference diet containing FM and FO. Furthermore, it was previously reported that Schizochytrium sp. is a highly digestible source of nutrients for tilapia and can fully replace FO in tilapia feed. To examine the commercial viability of using marine microalgae to replace both FM and FO, the researchers conducted a nutritional feeding experiment to compare three microalgal diets to a reference diet containing FM and FO levels found in commercial tilapia feed. Microalgal diets included defatted N. oculata to replace 33%, 66% or 100% 52 »

of FM, and whole cell Schizochytrium sp. to replace 100% of FO (33NS, 66NS, 100NS), see Table 1. The effects of the four diets were measured on growth metrics, in vitro protein digestibility, feed conversion ratio (FCR), protein efficiency ratio (PER), and fillet deposition of n-3 longchain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC PUFAs) and minerals. Furthermore, a hedonic analysis was conducted to estimate the market price of defatted N. oculata meal and whole cell Schizochytrium sp., feed costs, and the economic feed conversion ratio (ECR).

Results Growth, nutrient utilization and proximate composition of tilapia carcass Fish that were fed the fish free diet for 184 days displayed significantly better (p < 0.05) final weight, weight gain, percent weight gain and specific growth rate than the fish fed the reference diet, which contained FM and FO levels typically found in commercial tilapia diets (see Table 2). Growth rates were linear throughout the experiment and weights measured for the fish-free diet diverged from those for the reference diet by day 128. Tilapia fed fish-free feed showed an improved food conversion ratio and

protein use efficiency ratio though differences among diets and were not statistically significant. We detected no difference in survival rate among all diets and all fish appeared healthy (no visual signs of illness or deformities) at the end of the experiment. The whole-body proximate composition did not significantly differ across the dietary treatments; lipid contents ranged from 2 to 5% and protein contents ranged from 13 to 17% across the four treatments.

Discussion These results demonstrate the feasibility of combining commercially available microalgal biomasses to formulate fish-free aquaculture feeds that are high-performing and show potential to become cost-competitive. This is the first report of successfully combining protein-rich-defatted biomass of one microalgal species with DHArich whole-cell biomass of another microalgal species to achieve full replacement of FM and FO ingredients in a tilapia feed formulation. This also is the first report of improved feed utilization metrics, including growth, weight gain, specific growth rate, and of beneficial DHA fatty acid profile in Nile tilapia fed a fish-free microalgal diet compared to DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

a commercial feed formulation containing FM and FO. Production is increasing for both types of microalgal biomass used in the fish-free diet, indicating good potential to achieve economies of scale. This estimate of the ECR for the fish-free diet supports the proposition that biomass from these microalgae will inevitably become cost competitive with FM and FO commodities. Editor’s note: this is a summarized version; too see full results of all the metrics analyzed by this study, please access the full version of the article, link available at the end of this content.

Table 3 Macro minerals and trace elements content (wet weight basis) of fillet from Nile tilapia after 184 days on the experimental diets. a Values are means ± standard errors of three replicate groups (n = 3); each replicate involving pooled whole tissues of 5 fish. b Reference: no replacement of fish meal (FM) and fish oil (FO). c Replacement of 33% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp. d Replacement of 66% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp. e Replacement of 100% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp. f, g Mean values not sharing a superscript letter in the same row differ significantly (P < 0.05) from Tukey’s HSD test. h Not detectable (ND) (< 0.000 μg/g).

Nutritional benefit of combining N. oculata defatted biomass and Schizochytrium in the fish‑free diet The combination of Schizochytrium sp. and defatted biomass of N. oculata in the fish-free feed exhibited two major benefits. First, fish fed the fish-free


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Advancing the use of microalgal

defatted biomass in aquafeeds

Formulated feed cost, feed conversion ratio, and economic conversion ratio of tilapia production. a Median [and 95% confidence interval]. b Mean ± standard error for 3 replicates per diet. c Reference: no replacement of fish meal (FM) and fish oil (FO). d,e Median values throughout the column not sharing a common superscript were significantly different as determined by Tukey’s HSD test, P < 0.05. f Replacement of 33% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp. g Replacement of 66% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp. h Replacement of 100% of FM with N. oculata and 100% of FO with Schizochytrium sp.

would improve the sustainability of aquaculture by reducing its reliance on FM extracted from forage fisheries.

feed had improved growth consistent with prior observations that Schizochytrium sp. is a highly digestible ingredient for tilapia and that elevated levels of Schizochytirum sp. led to improved growth, FCR, and PER. Second, researchers found the highest in-vitro protein digestibility in the fish-free feed, suggesting that protein originating from defatted N. oculata biomass was the most digestible when in the presence of highly digestible Schizochytrium sp., presumably due to the latter triggering certain digestive enzymes, release and activity. Thus, the combination of defatted N. oculata biomass and Schizochytrium sp. appears to be better suited to the digestive enzymes present in tilapia digestive systems than conventional diets with FMFO; and the presence of Schizochytrium sp. may support more

54 »

Feed conversion ratio (FCR) considerations FCR is a key driver of farming efficiency, economic and environmental performance. Improving the FCR of farmed tilapia through improved feed technology would help increase the cost effectiveness of fish-free diets. Tilapia farming can further reduce the FCR close to 1:1 by a variety of means including better feed Impacts of fish‑free diet on mac- formulations using highly digestible rominerals and trace elements feed ingredients, use of appropriate The literature has little data on the el- pellet size for each life stage, and betemental composition of microalgae; ter on-farm feed management pracand this study found that most of tices (e.g., storage and feeding rates). the essential macrominerals and trace Extruded sinking pelleted feed could elements were at higher levels in N. improve overall FCR; moreover, exoculata defatted biomass and Scizochy- trusion or enzymatic processing of trium sp whole cells (see Table 3) than under-utilized, defatted biomass of in conventional terrestrial feed ingre- microalgae, such as N. oculata used in dients. this study, could further improve the efficient digestion of the fish free-feed at the higher inclusion levels of N. oculata defatted biomass. However, further research is necessary to elucidate the digestive enzyme profiles present under different dietary regimes and to assess the differences in the digestibility of microalgal fish-free feeds compared to conventional feed with FMFO.


FCR of fish-free feed, and also help push feed formulated with microalgae towards being cost-competitive with conventional feed.

Economic analysis of fish‑free feed formulated with microalgae blends Authors of the study compared the estimated ingredient prices, the formulated feed prices and the ECR across experimental diets formulated with microalgae blends and the reference diet (see Table 4). This estimate of the market price of defatted N. oculata meal is in good agreement with another study that used hedonic methods to estimate the of market price of defatted N. oculata meal. The similar estimated costs of the fish-free feed (100NS) and reference diet suggest that using combinations of microalgal biomass, that are on track to achieve economies of scale, is a feasible strategy for achieving large-scale production of cost-competitive fish-free diets. An emerging path to economies of scale for the two microalgae used in this study is a biorefinery business model whereby oil rich fractions of the microalgal biomass are marketed as high-value products, such as omega-3 rich human supplements, and other fractions as lower-priced feed ingredients. N. oculata contains an appreciable amount of the omega-3 fatty acid, EPA. The projected global growth of over 14% in omega-3 fatty acids from microalgae in the near future will result in a large supply of defatted biomass. Furthermore, the production of Schizochytrium sp., already at commercial-scale, is also anticipated to grow, as the projected compound annual growth rate of DHA from microalgae sources is expected to exceed 10% in the near future. In order for such high-performing fish-free feed for tilapia to succeed in the market, authors acknowledge that Schizochytrium sp. needs to become cost-competitive with FO sources for aquaculture feeds. Analysts predict DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

ongoing technological improvements and R&D efforts to produce Schizochytrium sp. will quickly make it a cost competitive substitute for FO due to lower production costs and higher market availability.

Conclusions These results provide a framework for the development of fish-free feeds and the first evidence of a high performing feed for tilapia that combines two different marine microalgae. Defatted marine microalgae, a protein-rich biomass left over after extracting oil for other products, is currently under-utilized (often creating disposal problems even though it is food-grade), and is increasingly available as the algal-oil nutraceutical market grows. Advancing the use of microalgal defatted biomass in aquafeeds would improve the sustainability of aquaculture by reducing its reliance on FM extracted from forage fisheries. Combining under-utilized defatted biomass protein with DHA-rich marine microalga in the fish-free feed resulted in better tilapia growth compared with fish fed a conventional diet containing FMFO. Furthermore, tilapia fed the fish-free feed yielded the highest amount of DHA in the fillet, almost twice higher than in those fed conventional feed. Thus, feeding a DH Arich, microalgae blended diet

to farmed tilapia is a practical way to improve human health benefits of eating farmed tilapia. Moreover, these results suggest other kinds of microalgae combinations are possible and worthy of future investigation. This fish-free formulation also shows potential cost-competitiveness, given that the ECR of the fish-free diet was slightly lower, though not significantly different, than the reference diet. The microalgal ingredients in this fish-free feed, thus, show potential to supply the expanding aquaculture industry with a stable and affordable supply of healthy protein and oil for fish-free feed, doing so without causing harm to oceans or food security of resource-poor people.

*This is a summarized version developed by the editorial team of Aquaculture Magazine of the article “Microalgae‑blend tilapia feed eliminates fishmeal and fish oil, improves growth, and is cost viable” written by: Pallab K. Sarker, Anne R. Kapuscinski, Brandi McKuin, Devin S. Fitzgerald, Hannah M. Nash and Connor Greenwood, that was originally published on the Nature Scientific Reports online journal (2020) 10:19328 and its full version can be found at: The article was published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. References cited by the authors within the text are available under previous request to our editorial area.

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Mapping diversity

of species in global aquaculture Aquaculture is the world’s most diverse farming practice in terms of number of species, farming methods and environments used. While various organizations and institutions have promoted species diversification, overall species diversity within the aquaculture industry is likely not promoted nor sufficiently well quantified. This study developed by an international group of researchers maps and quantifies the present species diversity in aquaculture and also identifies trends observed since 1980. The advantages and disadvantages for By: Marc Metian, Max Troell, Villy Christensen, Jeroen Steenbeek and Simon Pouil *


iversification is often presented as an option for achieving sustainable development for future aquaculture (e.g., Simard et al. 2008; Teletchea & Fontaine 2014; FAO 2016). Diversification in aqua56 Âť

quantifying species diversification as well as the factors that shape it in aquaculture are discussed. culture can be approached in many ways including production systems, markets and reared species. Species diversification can be addressed at different spatial levels (local, district, country, region) through several main approaches (i) increasing the number

of species being farmed; (ii) increasing the evenness of farmed species; and (iii) increasing the diversity within currently farmed species by developing new strains (FAO 2016). International institutions such as the Food and Agriculture OrganizaDECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

tion of the United Nations (FAO) have recently advocated for stronger aquaculture diversification in regard to species (FAO 2016). To adequately increase species diversity in aquaculture, it is necessary first to have a solid understanding of current diversity. An accurate assessment of the total number of farmed species and to what extent they are being farmed is a complex undertaking; reports that include such statistics are often scant and unreliable. Therefore, national or global quantification of species farmed still remains an approximation (FAO 2018). Variations from this approximation are likely resulting from a misreporting of countries to FAO, and these could be due, for example, to the aggregation of species to genus (or nei) or to the farming of aquatic species without being registered individually to national statistics. It is nevertheless important to obtain reliable information on the temporal and spatial diversity in order to establish a baseline on aquaculture diversification at the global level. This will permit that accurate information is available to resource managers, business people and policymakers to assess the evolution of the industry and therefore plan future businesses. It will be important to understand how the aquaculture industry may become impacted from, for example, climate change and the role diversity can play to help the industry adapt in order to sustaining seafood production.

Quantification of species diversity: trends, maps, index and obstacles The number of fish species increased from 32 species of fish in 1950 to 212 species of fish in 2017 (species APR –annual percentage ratefor 1950–2017 = 2.9). In 2017, 332 species were reported being farmed worldwide. Among these, 212 were fish species (including five hybrids), 65 were mollusks, 30 crustaceans and 20 aquatic plants, three amphibians DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

Fig. 1 Aquaculture production by country in 1980 (top figure), 2000 (middle figure) and 2017 (bottom figure) based on estimates from FAO (2019b). The production unit is in 10 000 metric tonnes and the scale of the legend is not linear.

and reptiles and three other invertebrate species. In addition, some other organisms have also been farmed but have not been described at the species level; FAO usually classifies these as ‘not elsewhere included’ (nei; including potentially already known cultured or new species), with the closest link to the species levels when possible. In 2017, there were 92 nei groups (50 fish groups, 15 mollusk groups, 11 crustacean groups, nine

plant groups and seven others). In terms of production, the total volume of farmed aquatic organisms that has been specified at the species level represented 545, 511 tonnes in 1950 (92,946 tonnes for nei, 15% of the total production) and 74’157,491 tonnes in 2017 (37’789,132 tonnes for nei, 34% of the total production). In comparison with other food production systems, aquaculture has a relatively high diversity of aquacul» 57

ARTICLE Fig. 2 Number of farmed species by country in 1980 (top figure), 2000 (middle figure) and 2017 (bottom figure) based on estimates from FAO (2019b). The scale of the legend is not linear, but provides more resolution for low values.

International institutions such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have recently advocated for stronger aquaculture diversification in regard to species (FAO 2016) for which it is necessary first to have a solid understanding of current diversity.

ture production at the species level. Indeed, as indicated by Troell et al. (2014), today 95% of human energy needs originates from 30 crop species, of which only four (rice, wheat, maize and potatoes) make-up around two-thirds of the total needs. The meat sector is comprised of around 20 terrestrial animal species, of which only a handful is dominant (e.g., cattle, poultry, swine, goat; Troell et al. 2014). Aquaculture production, by contrast, has involved 462 identified species and 145 nei groups listed over the last decades but the production of fish and shellfish is currently dominated by only ca. 20 species that together account for 70% of the total global volume (FAO 2019b). In comparison, the current global crop production originates from ~160 species, and only five of these, namely sugar cane, maize, wheat, rice and potatoes (FAO 2019) make-up more than 50% of production totals. Only a handful of animal species are cultivated for food, but genetic diversity is instead provided by about 7600 different breeds (Troell et al. 2014). The direct comparison indicates that, at least at the species level, aquaculture is more diverse than agriculture even with under-evaluation due to the nei dilemma highlighted earlier. 58 »

The theory: diversity improves resilience Enhanced diversification in aquaculture could result in improved capacity to adapt to changes – that is, towards building resilience. A more diverse production at different scales (farms to global production) is recognized as beneficial (Lin 2011; Troell et al. 2014) as diversity is a

critical aspect of resilience of a system’s performance (Holling 1973). However, diversity can never fully prevent a system from collapse but a resilient system may more quickly recover from a disturbance. Although Downing et al. (2012) mentioned diversity in the context of ‘wild’ systems, some of the advantages related to resilience capacity may also be obDECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

tained in more diverse cultivation systems. The application of ‘resilience thinking’ on production ecosystems has been discussed, mainly in agriculture (Naylor 2008; Lengnick 2014) but also in other production systems (Rist et al. 2014; Troell et al. 2014). In this case, the resilience of the production system (so called ‘coerced resilience’; Rist et al. 2014) is largely determined by technological human inputs (e.g. fertilizers, feed, energy, etc.) that, for example, increasingly replace natural processes (e.g. intensive monoculture systems). The coerced resilience implies that the system can, after a disturbance, regain its production if available human capacities are in place (economy, social, knowledge, material, etc.). Fostering coerced resilience may in the long run result in a stressor that has been successfully shut out generating a bigger impact on the system compared with more natural dynamics (including disturbances) being allowed (e.g. like controlled forest fires, Drever et al. 2006). Aquaculture, like all agriculture sectors, is vulnerable to exogenous shocks that affect production. GenDECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

erally, when production is distributed more evenly between species from different groups (e.g. fish, crustaceans, mollusks and aquatic plants), one would expect that it reduces the risks related to production failure from, for example, diseases or weakening markets, at least at a national level (Elmqvist et al. 2003; Gephart et al. 2017). Thus, a diversified production should be more resilient to future perturbations, although it depends on the type, severity and duration of disturbance (Walker et al. 2004).

Building resilience may involve building preparedness for general disturbances (general resilience) or for a specific disturbance (specific resilience; Folke 2006). In aquaculture production, widespread outbreaks, a global drop of a specific commodity demand, or an intense competition at global market levels could, for example, put a single species production country into crisis. This can become a larger problem (of social and economic impacts) if a region or a country is highly de-

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An accurate assessment of the total number of farmed species and to what extent they are being farmed is a complex undertaking; reports that include such statistics are often scant and unreliable. Therefore, national or global quantification of species farmed still remains an approximation.

pended on the affected production (Gephart et al. 2017). Building resilience within the aquaculture sector would imply increasing the species diversity. This could be facilitated by a set of policies (principles, rules and guidelines) formulated or adopted by countries or organization to reach this longterm goal. Past and current aquaculture policies indicate a willingness to push for species diversity at different spatial scales. FAO (2011) highlighted, for example, the existence of this global political willingness: ‘incentivizing efforts on research and development and promoting aquaculture diversification programs’. Diversification also requires successful development and transfer of technologies to practitioners as well as educating consumers and providing them with adequate information about new species and products. National and global policies can facilitate aquaculture diversification while strengthening the consolidated species (i.e. species well established in aquaculture; Cochrane et al. 2009). In the context of government policy, Pingali and Rosegrant (1995) detailed the key elements of a long-term strategy to facilitate commercialization and economy-wide diversification as: 60 Âť

(i) research and extension in order to generate productivity and incomeenhancing technologies; (ii) economic liberalization, including trade and macroeconomic reform and deregulation of agriculture; (iii) development and liberalization of rural financial and general capital markets; (iv) establishment of secure rights to scarce resources, including land and water, and development of markets in these rights; (v) investment in rural infrastructure and markets; and (vi) development of support services, particularly health and nutrition programs.

The practice: few species dominate production FAO indicated a trend towards a higher diversity of farmed species

(i.e. through increasing number of farmed species; FAO 2016) and this is also confirmed by the results of this study in the Shannon Diversity Index that has globally increased from 1980 to 2017 (see full version of article for details). However, Teletchea and Fontaine (2014) highlighted two important facts: (i) 28% of 313 species produced in 1950 were no longer being produced in 2009; and (ii) 18% produced in negligible quantities (<100 tonnes). The reasons explaining that a large proportion of species were reared only for a short period of time are currently unknown and would require further investigations. Moreover, it is now well established that global aquaculture production is still dominated DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

by just a few key species (see Troell et al. 2014) and recent statistics confirm this: 20 species represent 70% of the global production in 2016 (fish, crustaceans and mollusks; FAO, 2019b). As a likely explanation, we assume that a focus on one or a limited number of species allows rapid innovation and improvement of techniques and efficiency.. Indeed, enhancing success rates of a ‘new species’ and its viability require time and market demand considerations (Muir et al. 1996; Paquotte et al. 1996; Muir & Young 1998). Extensive zootechnical research into new species is necessary before being able to farm ‘new species’ at a largescale and at low cost. According to Paquotte et al. (1996), the best options for success in aquaculture are both (i) fastgrowing species at low costs; and (ii) products acceptable to consumers. In practical terms, aquaculture output is likely to remain based on a limited number of key species and market changes stimulated to expand demand of these core species rather than to develop demand for other species (i.e. occupying other market niches; Muir & Young 1998). There might be occasionally some excep-

tions but this seems to be marginal when we look at the biggest aquaculture species produced.

A concluding perspective: the right balance to strike? Overall, aquaculture is expanding in terms of new areas and species as well as intensifying and diversifying the product range of species and product forms to respond to consumer demands and needs (FAO 2018). Based on these results, Asian aquaculture and particularly China’s aquaculture production is the most diversified. This is not surprising considering that diversification of cultured species has been a major goal of China’s aquaculture development program (Liu & Li 2010) as well as for some surrounding countries such as Vietnam (Luu 2011) or India (Sathiadhas et al. 2006). Increased demand for seafood and expected farreaching climate change impacts have also been suggested as main drivers of aquaculture diversification in Asia (FAO 2016). In this continent, diversity of species created local social benefits to small scale farmers, offering both biological and economic benefits in aquaculture (Liao 2000).

However, aquaculture production in many countries outside Asia is mainly driven by a handful of species – reflecting market demand. A broad and diverse aquaculture portfolio of a country may be able to mitigate potential shocks from rapid changes in markets or environmental conditions (Troell et al. 2014), but to what extent will also depend on how the farmed species differ out from a functional perspective (Elmqvist et al. 2003). Diversification will depend on political willingness and also close partnership between research and the aquaculture industry. According to Liao (2000), the exploitation of new native species and introduction of exotic species are two means for aquaculture diversification. Using non-native species can, however, lead to harmful environmental impacts that are difficult to reverse or mitigate. The transfer of non-native species constitutes a risk for wild populations (e.g. Naylor et al. 2001; De Silva et al. 2006; Laikre et al. 2010) resulting in FAO and other international organizations recommending diversifying aquaculture through the use of indigenous species (Bartley & Casal 1998; De Silva et al. 2006). Knowledge about present species diversity within the aquaculture sector, and how this has changed trough time are important for guiding its future development. This paper identifies challenges for accurate quantification of diversity and also discusses benefits and trade-offs for different diversity managements. Global aquaculture production is dominated by a few dozen species, something that may erode resilience against future challenges such as diseases and climate change. *This article is a summarized version from the original publication” Mapping diversity of species in global aquaculture” by: Marc Metian , Max Troell, Villy Christensen, Jeroen Steenbeek and Simon Pouil. The review was originally published in the Reviews in Aquaculture Journal (1-11, 2019) from Wiley Online Library and its full version can be found at: References cited by the authors within the text are available under previous request to our editorial team.


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5 ways

to net a sustainable future for aquaculture Innovation and technology can propel the development of aquaculture

practices’ longevity and sustainability to ensure this industry responds to the current challenge and responsibility it faces to feed a rapidly By: Rumaitha Al Busaidi *

growing global population with sustainable seafood.


quaculture is currently the world’s fastest growing food industry, and now accounts for over 50% of the total global seafood supply. Sustainable aquaculture growth is key to easing pressure on wild fish stocks, which are globally under stress as a result of overfishing. The industry is challenged with the responsibility of feeding a rapidly growing global population, and as worldwide seafood consumption increases, sustainable aquaculture production has to increase to keep up with demand. However, concerns have surfaced about the environmental repercussions of such growth. Thanks to innovation and technology, however, the focus has shifted towards the longevity and sustainability of aquaculture. This article contains five ways we can minimize aquaculture’s environmental footprint and push the industry to be more sustainable as it develops. Each on is explored below:

62 »


Moving aquaculture into land-

based recirculating systems is one of the best ways to reduce or eliminate the environmental impacts of fish farming. The possibilities with land-based RECIRCULATING Aquaculture Systems are endless.


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1.Move inland Moving aquaculture into land-based recirculating systems is one of the best ways to reduce or eliminate the environmental impacts of fish farming. Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) are technologies that create suitable conditions for aquaculture using indoor tanks, pumps, aerators and filters; with new developments, they can be designed to attain up to 100% water recycling within the system. The possibilities with land-based RAS are endless. They not only act as a mitigation strategy for traditional aquaculture’s environmental impacts, but also allow for aquaculture to take place anywhere, including in urban areas and the desert. In fact, desert aquaculture is proving an exciting opportunity for regions like the Middle East and North Africa. 2. Move offshore Here’s a fact for you: oceans make up 70% of our world’s surface but furnish less than 2% of our food supply. Almost all efforts to develop marine aquaculture so far have focused on state jurisdictional waters of the coastal sea, generally situated within three nautical miles of the shore. The open ocean, however, offers deeper water and more powerful currents than in coastal areas; this in turn means that offshore aquaculture systems allow for more efficient dilution of waste produced from the farm system. Not only that, in offshore waters there are fewer nutrients and less biodiversity than in fragile coastal waters, enabling a faster dispersion of fish waste into the marine food web, with less environmental impact. These offshore systems are marine net pens that are placed out in the open ocean far from the coastline, and as a result make it a more environmentally conscious option, if land space is an issue and using the ocean is the only alternative. 64 »


The open ocean offers deeper

water and more powerful currents than in coastal areas; this in turn means that offshore aquaculture systems allow for more efficient dilution of waste produced from the farm system.


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When looking at the bigger

picture, renewable energy sources could lead to a positive shift in the image of aquaculture.

3. Utilize multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) This type of system is a great, costeffective way to reduce nutrient accumulation by using filter feeders to do the job of artificial filters. So how does it work? Well, multi-trophic aquaculture involves farming of species like shellfish, seaweed and carp alongside your target farmed species – salmon, trout, or shrimp. The byproducts from the feed you use for your target species become the feed source for the filter feeders. Consequently, this system reduces waste accumulation and helps improve water quality, all while providing additional economic value to the farm. 4. Invest in new renewable energy sources Some may argue that the cost benefits of using renewable energy sources is still marginal at best. However, when looking at the bigger picture, renewable energy sources could lead to a positive shift in the image of aquaculture. Firms have integrated renewable energy systems and aquaculture in a number of ways, like using wind turbines with installations for shellfish and macroalgae aquaculture, using solar-powered heating and cooling systems, and using of wind-powered 66 »


water pumps. Investing in renewable energy sources to power aquaculture will help to reduce operating costs and boost competitiveness and profitability – and that’s before we even mention the reduced environmental footprint.

5. Eat sustainable seafood Half the fish we eat come from farms. Therefore, making environ-


mentally responsible personal food choices is vital to guaranteeing the future of sustainable aquaculture and fisheries. As a consumer of seafood, being informed on the source of what’s on your plate, and buying accordingly, can make a lot of difference to how food is grown and manufactured. Eating from sustainable sources means you are consuming fish that was raised and caught

in a sustainable manner, and which doesn’t cause overfishing or damage to the ecosystem. In exercising your power as consumers, you are encouraging supermarkets and restaurants to push suppliers to provide healthy, sustainable fish for you. This in turn supports seafood suppliers who work in the most environmentally responsible way. As a result, you will be encouraging suppliers to steer clear of the unsustainable methods of catching and farming that are damaging the natural world. As a buyer, therefore, you can play a major role in securing the future of our oceans and seafood. Aquaculture faces immense challenges in the future. But with the industry simultaneously growing and evolving, the goal of feeding the world in a sustainable manner is certainly attainable. *This article is part of the Sustainable Development Impact Summit of the World Economic Forum, authorship of Rumaitha Al Busaidi, who is the Communications Manager, Middle East of Glass Point Solar. It was originally published through the website in September 2018 under a Creative Commons 4.0. Public license. The original version can be found at: https://www.

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

BioMar continues to invest in the shrimp segment The impact of the COVID crisis experienced in the Ecuadorian shrimp market has not waived BioMar’s strategic plans for the shrimp business. Construction on a new extrusion line has continued unaffected by the pandemic and builds on four decades of BioMar experience in extrusion technology. The new line will bring the factory close to 200,000 tons total capacity. Carlos Díaz, CEO BioMar Group, officially opened the new extrusion line in the Ecuadorian production facility. This investment is one more step in BioMar’s strategic plan for the shrimp business. Since acquiring the Ecuadorian business back in 2017 BioMar increased R&D capabilities with the construction of the ATC Ecuador (Aquaculture Technology Center) in 2018 and a first production capacity expansion in the plant took place in 2019. BioMar has continued to demonstrate a strong commitment to the shrimp sector and believes strongly in its future in Ecuador and other international markets. Together with the inauguration, BioMar launched a new high-end diet, EXIA Maxio, targeting the most intensive part of the Ecuadorian shrimp farming sector. Further information can be found at: ecuador/ World Aquaculture 2021 visits Mexico The World Aquaculture Society is the organization of professionals in the most important field in the world, with members of more than 100 countries. Its annual conference 68 »

is recognized globally as the most relevant for the exchange of knowledge, technology, innovation and professional network training. During WA2021 there will be the participation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other international organizations. There will be multiple presentations, workshops, business meetings, trade exhibition, art gallery, technical visits to farms and process plants in the region, and various events dedicated to building professional networks. Mérida is distinguished for being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, as well as being considered one of the jewels of Latin America. With a wonderful climate, friendly and hospitable people, located in the State of Yucatan, cradle of the Mayan culture; It has various tourist attractions, among which are archaeological centers, beaches, large haciendas and majestic cenotes. The Yucatan International Congress Center is an ecologically responsible building, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, built under the LEED Green Building certification system, it has “El Cenote” in-

side it, an underwater river that makes it unique in the world. Due to the richness of its natural and hydrological resources, Mexico is considered one of the countries with the greatest aquaculture potential in the world. It is an honor for Mexico and a great opportunity that Mérida will become the capital of aquaculture during 2021. This event is expected to be a watershed in the evolution of the activity not only in the peninsula but throughout the country. #AquacultureNow. WA2021 is inviting the national and international organizations and societies to hold their seminar, workshop and meetings during the event in Merida. Further information at: https:// w w w. w a s. o r g / m e e t i n g / c o d e / WA2021



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How do I apply it? by Amy Stone*

The effectiveness of ozone correlates directly with the amount of ozone over a period of contact time, usually expressed as mg/L x CT. The possibilities are endless!


s a continuation of a previous column on ozonation, in this article we will cover different methods of applying ozone to a filtration system. The original column, titled Ozone – Go Zone or No Zone, was published in Aquaculture Magazine 45-2 (AprilMay 2019). In that column the different methods of making ozone were discussed. What do we do with the ozone once it has been made? The possibilities are endless! The effectiveness of ozone correlates directly with the amount of ozone over a period of contact time, usually expressed as mg/L x CT. An example is 1mg/L for 2 minutes contact time. This column will discuss some of the most common options for ozone contact and injection.

Diffusers in an Open Top Tank When I first started seeing ozone applied, it was in Central America at several of the shrimp farms we were working with at the time. In most cases, the ozone was generated and applied directly to the incoming water basins via air diffusers. While this method will work, it also has a few considerations. The most important consideration is that the ozone is off gassing directly to atmosphere and generally in a semi-closed building. This presents both a health hazard and additional wear and tear on the building since ozone is extremely caustic. This is one of the most inexpensive ways to add ozone to a system is through diffusers, such as ultra-fine pore ceramic diffusers, glass bonded silica diffusers or other types. This is true only because the diffusers themselves are inexpensive. However, in terms of efficiency, this can be one of the least effective ways to add ozone to a system since the gas is no longer pressurized once it leaves the diffuser. This is not something that is recommended unless there are no other options, and the proper precautions are taken. From a health hazard point of view, the inhalation of ozone gas will 70 »


happens when very low levels of ozone are used (0.01mg/L). This dosage is not concentrated enough to disinfect. In rare cases, some users have turned their protein skimmers into contact tanks for disinfection which is not the most efficient.

cause irritation to the lungs and throat. It can exacerbate conditions such as asthma, COPD and other lung related illnesses. In high enough doses, it can cause death. Frankly, ozone released to the atmosphere is not something to take lightly since it can cause long term damage to anyone in contact with it. There are some ozone resistant materials which are recommended for use with ozone in the gaseous form. Most building materials are not on that list which means that any ozone gas released to atmosphere will corrode traditional building materials.

Venturi with a Pressurized Contact Tank This is one of the most common ways that ozone is applied in filtrations systems. A venturi is generally an injection molded part that is a short tube with a tapering constriction in the center that causes an increase in the veloc-

ity of flow of water and a corresponding decrease in pressure which is used to create suction. The ozone source is attached to the suction fitting while the filtered water passes through. Once the ozone is injected into the piping, the water enters a pressurized tank where it mixes for the allotted contact time. In most applications, the contact time is set to 2 minutes. For a filtered flow rate of 500 gallons per minute, the contact vessel would be at least 1000 gallons. There are many options for the materials that are used to make these tanks including stainless steel, epoxy coated steel and fiberglass. Different manufacturers have customized the internal fittings for these tanks in the hopes that varying flow patterns will encourage better mixing. We have not seen any discernable differences between manufacturers contact tanks. It really is a function of dosage and contact time. These pressurized tanks are fitted with an off-gassing valve which allows the leftover gas to be removed from the system. Those off-gassing valves are plumbed to an ozone destruct to avoid sending ozone gas into the atmosphere.

Venturi with a Speece Cone This method is not as widely used but does have merit. It uses the venturi to introduce the ozone into the cone vessel. Speece cones are built based on a design developed by Dr. Richard Speece from Vanderbilt University. Basically, the inverted cone allows the velocity of the water to reduce while the undissolved gas rises. As the water travels downward, it shears the gas bubble which keeps the ozone in suspension. Since the entire reaction is done under pressure, super saturation can occur which can reduce the contact time. These systems also do not require an off-gassing valve or ozone gas destruct as the entire volume of gas is dissolved into solution. Speece cones are more commonly used for introducing oxygen but are also a good option to use with ozone. The best part is that the end product of ozone breaking down is oxygen so it can perform a dual purpose of disinfecting and oxygenating. These are only a few options for introducing ozone into a filtration system. Please reach out to an appropriate engineer or designer when adding ozone to any filtration system to avoid inefficiencies and dangerous situations.

Venturi and Protein Skimmers Most, if not all, commercial protein skimmers use a venturi to introduce air and/or ozone. The concept of using ozone with protein skimmers was developed to help encourage more efficient micro flocculation. This only 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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What Makes a

Successful Manager in Aquaculture? By: Carole R. Engle * Engle-Stone Aquatic$ LLC

Hundreds of decisions must be made in the aquaculture business. Incorrect choices in any one aspect of the company can lead to business failure. Successful managers recognize when change is needed and make the necessary adjustments to adapt effectively to changing market, regulatory, and production conditions.

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ad management is often cited as the reason for the failure of aquaculture businesses. It is easy to point to poor decisions made in some businesses, such as purchasing an expensive truck for personal use when more urgent investments are needed or hiring a friend who does not have the requisite skills. However, just because a manager has not indulged in what are obviously poor choices does not mean that he/she is a good manager. Moreover, merely blaming financial problems or failure on “bad management” is not very enlightening because it implies that replacing one individual would have resulted in a successful business. The answers to a successful aquaculture business are rarely that simple. Management is of course quite important, and a good manager greatly increases the chances of success. The problem is that the management input into the business consists of the total set of decisions (or, in some cases, the lack thereof) made across all phases of the business. Hundreds of decisions must be made in the aquaculture business. Incorrect choices in any one aspect of the company can lead to business failure. Extension aquaculture specialists are well aware of examples of aquaculture farm businesses that failed during favorable economic conditions because of poor choices made or because no decisions were taken to adapt to changing economic conditions. Figure 1 depicts general categories of business functions within which decisions must be made on an ongoing basis. Such essential business functions include marketing, distribution, scope and scale, personnel, and financial aspects of the business in addition to the production of fish, shrimp, shellfish, or seaweed. Ultimately, the key to whether individual decisions are correct or not is how well the many decisions made support and contribute to the overall business model and concept. DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

Figure 1

Merely blaming financial problems or failure on “bad management” is not very enlightening because it implies that replacing one individual would have resulted in a successful business.

Figure 1. Business feasibility & profitability: come down to the combined effect of hundreds of decisions that are made by the manager, some on a daily basis.

Marketing decisions begin with the choice of markets to target, specified by geographic location, consumer segment, and market channel. The choice of product form (i.e., fresh or frozen, fillet size ranges, value-added forms), then is made based on preferences of buyers in the targeted markets, but within the context of pricing and positioning the product with respect to other similar products in those markets, as well as logistical considerations related to the ability of the business to manage the variety of products and product lines chosen. Appropriate packaging design, size, and labeling must be selected as well. These various marketing decisions clearly must be made in conjunction with choices of distribution and the scope and scale of the business. Given the economies of scale in aquaculture, smaller farms will be at a cost disadvantage and will need to develop high-priced markets. For example, a small-scale shrimp RAS farm would likely target a relatively small market niche with one or two preferred shrimp sizes. Still, it would not have DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

the capacity to process, freeze, or use sophisticated packaging. The product would be best delivered live or fresh directly to end consumers to capture higher prices. However, if the market selected was large, then advertising or promotional efforts might result in opportunities for competitors whose additional supply might drive prices down. Distribution systems and strategies must be selected that will deliver products efficiently and promptly, maintaining quality throughout the whole value chain. Important tradeoffs exist in transportation costs among air freight, ground transportation, and whether to take advantage of wholesalers or distributors (at a reduced price to the aquaculture company) to provide distribution services. The choice of distribution system further affects production decisions due to volumes per shipment and harvests’ timing to meet shipping deadlines. For an aquaponics farm that plans to sell tilapia to high-end restaurants, for example, frequent deliveries of very fresh tilapia would be

essential. Personnel hired to deliver the tilapia who are not reliable or do not have good interpersonal skills when interacting with the customers receiving deliveries will likely reduce repeat sales. Thus, marketing and distribution choices must be made with respect to personnel and staffing choices as well. Most aquaculture business managers pay great attention to production decisions related to stocking densities, growth rates, and feed types, among others. What is often overlooked is how such production decisions will support the marketing strategy selected. For example, higher stocking rates might result in lower costs of production, but if slower growth from higher densities results in fish not reaching market size in time to take advantage of peak marketing seasons, the business may suffer. Personnel and staffing decisions must address how the business will access all necessary expertise, not just how to raise, harvest, and maintain the health of the fish. Expertise in marketing and sales, customer service, and financial monitoring are equally important. Large aquaculture farms often have specialized individuals to attend to each of these functions, but smaller-scale aquaculture farms will need to either hire out these services (at additional cost) or ensure that farm personnel learn to manage the finances and sales effectively and successfully. » 73


Appropriate packaging design, size, and labeling must be selected as well. These various marketing decisions clearly must be made in conjunction with choices of distribution and the scope and scale of the business

The business’s financial statements (profit & loss statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement) will reveal whether the management decisions made are correct or if they are leading the business towards failure. All successful managers moni-

tor financial statements closely, have learned to identify early warning signs, and take corrective action before problems become insurmountable. The indisputable proof of whether decisions made (that form the overall business model/concept) were correct is if the business survives over time. The myriad decisions made across business functions must fit and mesh well together for the business to be successful. There rarely is a single “manager” in the sense of one individual who makes all the decisions. More frequently, several individuals fulfill different functions, and each makes decisions related to those functions. It is vital that individuals who make decisions in the business understand how their functions contribute to the overall business model and how their choices either support or create problems for other, equally essential business phases.

What makes a successful manager of an aquaculture business? Firstly, the top manager must have a clear vision of the entire farm business, how its products fit and compete within the overall market for that type of product, and what that farm business model requires in terms of production, scope and scale, distribution, personnel/staffing, and financial performance. The manager must have a team of individuals (even if unpaid family members) who understand and are committed to that business model and to fulfilling the functions of their assigned role(s). Secondly, the top manager must monitor production and financial efficiencies on an on-going basis, with particular attention to cost controls. Checkbook economics and management (i.e., if there is cash in the account, spend it) are no longer sufficient for aquaculture businesses’ economic survival. Thirdly, in addition to understanding the larger picture of the business model, successful managers must also be detail-oriented because details reveal opportunities to reduce costs, improve performance, and increase the likelihood of success. Finally, successful managers are those that recognize when change is needed and make the necessary adjustments to adapt effectively to changing market, regulatory, and production conditions.

Ph.D. Carole R. Engle*, Engle-Stone Aquatic$ LLC 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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Overcoming consumer barriers to online purchasing By: Sarah Cornelisse*

The year 2020 and accompanying COVID-19 pandemic have

demonstrated the importance and value of e-commerce capabilities and the digital marketing tools that drive online sales, particularly for food and small businesses. As consumers increasingly turn to and rely upon online shopping, it’s critical for businesses to build trusting relationships with customers and ensure those consumers’ concerns regarding online purchasing are addressed.

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uring the last quarter of 1999, e-commerce retail sales were estimated at 0.6% of total retail sales (U.S. Dept. of Commerce). Preliminary data for Q2 2020 estimates e-commerce sales at 16.1% of total retail sales, a 31.8% increase from the prior quarter and a 44.5% increase from the same quarter a year ago (U.S. Dept. of Commerce). For businesses marketing and selling directly to individual consumers, it’s important to understand why they turn to online shopping. According to a consumer survey conducted by Deloitte, the top five reasons for shopping online are: 1) to avoid crowds (65%) 2) comfort of at-home shopping (64%) 3) free shipping/delivery options (60%) 4) 24-hour availability (58%) 5) ease of price comparison (53%) While, overall, online shopping is steadily growing in acceptance and use by consumers, concerns continue


to exist that deter more widespread use. Concerns regarding security, inability to see, touch, or taste products, lack of personal interaction with the business, and poor past online shopping experiences have been identified as deterrents to online shopping (Katawetawaraks and Wang, 2011). There are several steps that businesses can take to counter these concerns and enhance their online presence and encourage online purchasing.

Cultivate a digital mindset Success with digital marketing and online sales requires that you adopt and cultivate a digital mindset. In the rapidly evolving online environment, businesses should be willing to try new technologies, content formats, and approaches. Provide tools to anyone in the industry that is, or will be, involved with online marketing, sales, or customer service activities. One method for creating this mindset is through the solicitation of feedback regarding the online experience. Website and online store appeal can entice or deter consumers from purchasing. White (1996) found that consumers who rated a business’s website appeal highly were more likely to purchase from them. Asking trusted customers, family, or friends to review your website, online store, or social media is a useful way to assess your digital presence and approach them from the customers’ perspective.

Throughout a review, identify what can be done to overcome consumer concerns regarding the inability to see, touch, or taste products and lack of personal interaction. Embedding short videos that demonstrate product use or preparation, providing highly detailed product descriptions, and including multiple product photos are actions that can be taken to improve the consumer sense and feel for products. Videos, photo stories, and regular social media posts about business owners and employees can help to create the sense of a personal connection between consumer and business.

Verify privacy and security With consumer concerns with security being a key deterrent to online shopping, take the time to review your website and online store’s privacy and security features. Consumers expect that when purchasing from online stores, their personal information – email, credit card number, address, etc. – will be well protected from hackers. Surveys have shown that when data is compromised, they blame businesses, not the supporting service providers such as payment processors. If businesses collect consumer information – email, address, birthday, etc. – for purposes not related to online sales, such as loyalty programs or mailing lists, a privacy policy should be readily available online and opt-out instructions clearly provided in every communication. This is particularly important for any business collecting Review your digital marketing information from European Union residents following GDPR impletools Whether your business has a website, mentation in 2018. Specific items to online store, social media presence, review include the server(s) hosting or a combination of these, review your website and online store, your each separately for user-friendliness online payment processor, and dataand completeness. Make sure that base backups. basic information about your busiEnsure quality of online customer nesses is provided. Consumers are less likely to pur- service chase from a business online if infor- High-quality, responsive online cusmation about the company or prod- tomer care is essential year-round and ucts is lacking or insufficient (White, is an integral component of marketing and business success. Research shows 1996). DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

In the rapidly evolving online environment, businesses should be willing to try new technologies, content formats, and approaches.

that “80% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services” (Salesforce, 2018). The impact of your customer e-service can be substantial. In another study, 21% of customers were more likely to buy from businesses they can reach on social media (Sprout Social, 2018). Other research has found that people indicate that they would be less likely to do business with someone who didn’t answer questions on their social media pages. Aspects vital to customer care include timely responsiveness and an understanding of what is motivating a consumer to reach out. Take the time to review customer service processes, developing customer service response plans, or making enhancements as necessary.

Ensure mobile compatibility Mobile phone usage by consumers continues to grow. Whether you use a website builder (e.g. Wix, Weebly, Squarespace) or have a custom-built site utilizing a different platform, businesses must ensure their websites, e-newsletters, and online stores are accessible, readable, and mobile userfriendly. Take the time to read your email newsletters and browse your website and online store using different devices of different sizes. » 77


Utilize social commerce Social media platforms are continually evolving with their features to keep users on the sites and engaged. In recent years, e-commerce features have increasingly been integrated. Currently, Facebook (Facebook Shop), Instagram (Checkout), and Pinterest (buy now pins) are leading the way in developing social commerce functionality within their platforms. Social commerce already has a firm foothold with consumers. The percentage of internet users who had bought directly through social media channels increased from 13% in the last quarter of 2018 to 21% in the third quarter of 2019. Not only are U.S. internet users between the ages of 18-34 the most interested in social commerce, but they have purchased via social commerce the most, with 37% of this age group having used social commerce and 11% using it regularly (Statista, 2020). 78 »

Analyze your data Nearly all digital platforms offer analytics that can be used to assess your goals and gain insight on your online community and customers. Whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Google Analytics, you can gain valuable insight regarding the number of unique visitors, day and time visitors are online, the type of device used, length of visit, pages visited, site navigation, and bounce rate, among other data. Carve out time to regularly analyze the data you collect and/or receive regarding website use and performance and use it to drive decisions for the website, online store, and social media activities or modifications. Summary As consumers increasingly turn to and rely upon online shopping, it’s critical for businesses to build trusting relationships with customers and ensure that consumers’ concerns regarding online purchasing are addressed.

Start by cultivating a digital mindset and a focus on the customer experience by providing substantial, informative product information through online privacy, security measures, and quality customer service.

*Sarah Cornelisse is a Senior Extension Associate of agricultural entrepreneurship and business management at Penn State University in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education. Sarah has expertise in direct marketing, valueadded dairy entrepreneurship and marketing, the use of digital and social media for agricultural farm and food business marketing, and business and marketing planning and decision making. Originally from New York State, she has a B.A in mathematics from the State University of New York at Geneseo, and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics and Animal Science, both from Penn State University. Correspondence email: Editor’s note: references cited by the author within the text are available under previous request to our editorial team.



High levels of biosecurity are critical for sustainable shrimp farming

Consumers are being sold on systems that might deal with some

aspects of sustainability, i.e., water quality and quality of the production environment, but that do not deal with the movement of pathogens between populations. So, at the risk of being repetitive, what is the definition of biosecurity, what does complying entail, and what are the By: Ph.D Stephen G. Newman*

real-world benefits going to be?


iosecurity is essential for sustainability. Yet, as I have wandered the planet, working with farmers in dozens of countries, what I have found is that the term biosecurity has essentially become an empty term devoid of meaning. Much as the terms sustainability, eco, green, etcetera have. They are used for marketing purposes with the leeway that marketing allows in terms of claims, etc. I tell farmers at every opportunity that they have to take personal responsibility. They cannot expect that they will be protected in any other way. Knowing what needs to be done and should be done is a powerful tool. Expecting that others will be looking out for you is unfortunately naive and at the root of most of the problems that plague shrimp farmers everywhere. What would the reader think, though, if I told them that I am not aware of any third-party audits (I am open to learning that I am missing something) that claim their system is the path to true sustainability that includes biosecurity? DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

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One does not need to look very far to see what I mean. The constant and consistent introduction of new diseases and the spread of existing endemic diseases should tell those who rely on this as a marketing tool that something is not quite right here. Consumers are being sold on systems that might deal with some

For shrimp farming to offer the level of biosecurity that it must for it to become sustainable, there will have to be a change in how business is conducted. The most important step is that all broodstock must be developed and held in nuclear breeding centers (NBCs).

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aspects of sustainability, i.e., water quality and quality of the production environment, but that do not deal with the movement of pathogens between populations. So, at the risk of being repetitive, what is the definition of biosecurity, what does complying entail, and what are the real-world benefits going to be? Disease is a result of interactions between the environment, the pathogen, and the host. The interplay between these is what determines, if a pathogen is present, what impact it will have. Susceptibility is variable and may include environmental perturbations that cause stress and disturb the balance resulting in animals that are weakened and make them more susceptible to disease. The consistent problems being reported with diseases such as white feces (no one has yet to publish that the pathogen has been identified in a peer reviewed journal although some claim that they have identi-

fied it), and Enterocytozoon hepatopenai (EHP) (which ironically came from a purported nucleus breeding center) demonstrate this beyond any doubt. Shrimp farmers either cannot grasp the concepts needed to ensure the highest levels of biosecurity due to their own perspective. There is a saying in English that one can lead a horse to a trough but cannot make the horse drink. This is what we are seeing. The tools are available for ensuring very high levels of biosecurity, but they are largely ignored. As I have written in prior articles, for shrimp farming to offer the level of biosecurity that it must for it to become sustainable, there will have to be a change in how business is conducted. The most important step is that all broodstock must be developed and held in nuclear breeding centers (NBCs). The criteria for being a NBC are not flexible. If they are not followed in their entirety, then you do not have a NBC. DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

They must be constructed to prevent the introduction of pathogens from all possible avenues. Each unit must have positive airflow that prevents airborne pathogens from entering. Each unit must be isolated in the sense that any problems are contained to that unit and cannot be spread because of commonalities (water

Disease is a result of interactions between the environment, the pathogen, and the host. The interplay between these is what determines, if a pathogen is present, what impact it will have.


source, staff, etc.). No live feeds can be used for the broodstock. While these may be irradiated or treated in some other manner, this is not a guarantee that no pathogens cannot be present. The only way to be sure of this is to stop feeding squid, polychaetes, etc. While one can argue that there are ways to mitigate the risksthis misses the point. This is about eliminating risk to as large of a degree as possible and not about compromising with small risks being OK. NO risk that is controllable is acceptable. When animals are first brought in, they must be tested INDIVIDUALLY for all known pathogens, not just those that the OIE requires. This requires ensuring that one has the primers available not only for the known pathogens but also for those that are being looked at by academia, private researchers, etc. These animals are held in quarantine in a facility with no possible way short of deliberate sabotage of any airborne,

waterborne, feed borne pathogen entering the system. Anything positive is destroyed immediately. Animals are tested repeatedly throughout the one year period that they are being held. Any dead or dying animals are tested and must be examined closely by board-certified histopathologists for telltale traces of pathogens. When animals are spawned, it must be done in a manner that is consistent with following the PLs from each female as a separate group. Adults need to be surface disinfected prior to spawning, eggs collected and washed and disinfected, followed by the nauplii. These animals will form the basis of your founding families. As with the animals that one started with, those animals that are the ongoing source of PLs need to be tested individually as well. Testing animals as a group by pooling samples is not acceptable. If this is done, then you are not operating a NBC. Statistically, using the current criteria published Âť 81


Given that the global industry struggles daily against the onslaught of diseases, both familiar and as of yet not characterized, and that the annual losses to these diseases can be well over a billion dollars, the cost-benefit of using this PCR technology is truly a paradigmchanging tool.

in the AFS Bluebook for determining sample sizes ignores one critical point. The only way to be sure that pathogens are not present is to test everything. Even a 1% chance is not acceptable for animals in a NBC. Once these animals are adults and ready to spawn they can be considered to be truly free of all pathogens (APF). The term specific pathogen free (SPF) is not applicable if one’s testing is limited to certain pathogens and population subsamples and not all of those for which primers are available, then you are not operating a NBC. No animals can ever be brought into the facility unless that come from another NBC and are transported in a manner that is consistent with ensuring this. Far too many companies offering animals that they claim to be from NBCs are not offering clean animals. The moment an animal is exposed to an external open environment (water from any other source but the NBC), movement in open containers with air coming from outside, etc. they cannot be considered to be from a NBC. Regardless of what testing says etc., they can no longer be considered to be equivalent from a biosecurity standpoint. 82 

Many companies lament that the costs of testing each animal by PCR for each of the OIE pathogens and for the many others that are in various stages of discovery is too high. From a strictly economic standpoint, this used to be the case. This is, however, no longer the case. The availability of new approach towards PCR has allowed the costs to be cut dramatically. Genics Pty. Ltd. (https://www., an Australian company, has taken the lead in bringing this technology to the average shrimp farmer. The subject of a previous article, they have been able to reduce the cost to well under what

conventional PCR testing companies are charging. It does take specialized equipment, which is much more costly than the equipment required for conventional PCR. Yet even with this, given enough testing and minimal sample pooling, the cost of testing against the OIE pathogens, as well as the many other characterized pathogens is such that individual broodstock can be tested for under $50 each, and pooled samples (depending on how many animals are in the pool) for $25 or less. Given that the global industry struggles daily against the onslaught of diseases, both familiar and as of yet not characterized, and that the DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

formly more susceptible to pathogens than healthy animals. Looking for shortcuts that cost less will not work. This has been shown repeatedly for many other animals. This is one reason why antibiotics have been (and still are) routinely being fed to animals. While they can help under some circumstances, in the long run, the development of resistance to antibiotics is of greater concern than any perceived benefits. Shrimp that are grown outdoors in the “wild” will always have some susceptibility element even if the pathogens are not brought into the systems with the PLs. There are many potential pathogens present in the wild. Moving to entirely enclosed production systems can eliminate these risks. Given that the majority of shrimp farming is a poverty driven paradigm, it is incumbent on regulators and third party auditors that purport to be offering customers truly sustainably produced shrimp to ensure that PLs are not being sold that have even a remote chance of carrying pathogens that can continue to disrupt the industry.

annual losses to these diseases can be well over a billion dollars, the cost-benefit of using this PCR technology is truly a paradigm-changing tool. Based on my more than 40 years of experience with the global aquaculture industry and with PCR (a company I was running offered the first PCR tests for fish pathogens 30 some odd years ago), I am of the opinion that the level of biosecurity that is required to ensure that the global shrimp farming industry can grow largely unimpeded by this constant onslaught of diseases will not be achievable without the use of tools such as what Genics is offering. In Australia, it has been shown DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021

that largely eliminating IHHNV in P. monodon increases results in around US $52K per ha. So even eliminating one pathogen have a profound impact on the bottom line. I can also tell you, that based on my experience, there will be no simple solutions, no sliver or magic bullets. Eliminating pathogens both obligate and opportunistic, from entering the production systems to the optimum extent possible is the only path towards true sustainability. The challenge with the many compounds that have been touted as solutions that do not rely on biosecurity is that they ignore the obvious fact that animals under constant stress are uni-

Stephen G. Newman has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in Conservation and Resource Management (ecology) and a Ph.D. from the University of Miami, in Marine Microbiology. He has over 40 years of experience working within a range of topics and approaches on aquaculture such as water quality, animal health, biosecurity with special focus on shrimp and salmonids. He founded Aquaintech in 1996 and continues to be CEO of this company to the present day. It is heavily focused on providing consulting services around the world on microbial technologies and biosecurity issues.

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aquaculture events

JANUARY 2021 6TH SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE ON SHRIMP FARMING 2021 (VIRTUAL EVENT) Jan. 24 – Jan. 29 T: +52 1 331 466 0392 E: W: FEBRUARY 2021 AQUACULTURE AMERICA 2021 February 21 - 24 San Antonio Marriot River Center T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W: MARCH 2021 AQUASUR 2020 Mar. 03 – Mar. 05 Puerto Montt, Chile E: W:

LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN AQUACULTURE 2021 Mar. 22 – Mar. 25 Guayaquil, Ecuador T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W: APRIL 2021 AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2021 Apr. 12 – Apr. 15 Cork, Ireland T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W:

15° FIACUI – INTERNATIONAL AQUACULTURE FORUM Apr. 21 – Apr. 22 Chiapas, Mexico T: +52 1 331 466 0392 E: W: MAY 2021 3rd. INTERNATIONAL MARICULTURE SYMPOSIUM May. 20 – May. 21 La Paz, Mexico T: +52 1 331 466 0392 E: W:

SEPTEMBER 2021 WAS NORTH AMERICA & AQUACULTURE CANADA 2021 Sep. 26 – Sep. 29 St John’s Newfoundland, Canada T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W: NOVEMBER 2021 RASTECH 2021 Nov. 3 – Nov. 4 South Carolina, USA. T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W:

JUNE 2021 WORLD AQUACULTURE 2020 Jun. 14 – Jun. 18 Singapore, Singapore T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W:

WORLD AQUACULTURE 2021 Nov. 15 – Nov. 19 Merida, Mexico T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W:

AUGUST 2021 WORLD SEAFOOD INDUSTRY 2021 Aug. 25 – Aug. 27 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico T: +52 1 331 466 0392 E: W:

DECEMBER 2021 AQUACULTURE AFRICA 2020 Dec. 11 – Dec. 14 Alexandria, Egypt. T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W:

WORLD SEAFOOD SHANGAI 2021 Aug. 25 – Aug. 27 Shangai New International Expo Center T: +86 21 6127 0392 1 E: W:

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AQUASUR 2021...........................................................................69 Mar. 03 – Mar. 05 Puerto Montt, Chile E: W: GUATEMALA AQUALCULTURE SYMPOSIUM 2021....................................................................75 Cooming Soon, 2021. Santo Domingo del Cerro, La Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala. E: W: LAQUA 2020................................................................................15 March, 22 - 25, 2021. Guayaquil, Ecuador. Tel: +1 760 751 5005 E-mail: WORLD AQUACULTURE 2021...................................INSIDE COVER November, 15 - 19, 2021. Mérida, Mexico. Tel: +1 760 751 5005 E-mail: WORLD SEAFOOD SHANGHAI 2021..............................................5 August, 25 - 27, 2021. Shanghai New internatinal Expo Center. INFORMATION SERVICES PANORAMA ACUÍCOLA MAGAZINE Empresarios No. #135 Int. Piso 7 Oficina 723 Col. Puerta de Hierro, C.P.45116 Zapopan, Jal. México Office: +52 (33) 8000 0578 Contact 1: Subscriptions E-mail: Office: +52 (33) 8000 0629 y (33) 8000 0653 Contact 2: Juan Carlos Elizalde, Sales & Marketing Coordinator. | Cell: +521 33 1466 0392 Contact 3: Claudia Marín, Sales Support Expert E-mail:

AQUACULTURE MAGAZINE...................31, INSIDE BACK COVER, BACK COVER Design Publications International Inc. 203 S. St. Mary’s St. Ste. 160 San Antonio, TX 78205, USA Office: +210 504 3642 Office in Mexico: +52(33) 8000 0578 - Ext: 8578 Subscriptions: Sales & Marketing Coordinator. Juan Carlos Elizalde | Cell: +521 33 1466 0392 Sales Support Expert, Claudia Marín | Cell:+521 333 968 8515 AQUAFEED.COM..........................................................................33 Web portal · Newsletters · Magazine · Conferences · Technical Consulting. AQUA IN TECH, INC......................................................................11 6722 162nd Place SW, Lynnwood, WA, USA. Contact: Stephen Newman. T: (+1) 425 787 5218 E-mail: TANKS AND NETWORKING FOR AQUACULTURE REEF INDUSTRIES...................................................................29 9209 Almeda Genoa Road Z.C. 7075, Houston, Texas, USA. Contact: Gina Quevedo/Mark Young/ Jeff Garza. T: Toll Free 1 (800) 231-6074 T: Local (713) 507-4250 E-mail: / /