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INDEX Aquaculture Magazine Volume 42 Number 6 December 2016 - January 2017


on the

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ASC Launches Seriola and Cobia Standard. INDUSTRY NEWS

Rock Lobster – Is Sustainable Production Now Possible? Icelandic Enterprise, VAKI, Strengthens Pentair Offer of Products and Services.


Pushing Aquaculture Possibilities - Salmon Farmed in South Korea.


Newfoundland will Develop the Largest Indoor Salmon Aquaculture Facility in the World. Volume 42 Number 6 December 2016 - January 2017


USDA Grants 1.2 Million USD to Boost US Aquaculture.


How Fish Personality Tests Can Improve Reproduction?

Editor and Publisher Salvador Meza info@dpinternationalinc.com Editor in Chief Greg Lutz editorinchief@dpinternationalinc.com Editorial Assistant María José de la Peña editorial@dpinternationalinc.com Editorial Design Francisco Cibrián Designer Perla Neri design@design-publications.com Marketing and Communications Manager Alex Meza amz@dpinternationalinc.com


Farmed Kelp in Alaska continues to gain Attention from Investors, Producers and Granting Agencies.

Sales and Marketing Christian Criollos crm@dpinternationalinc.com Sales Support Expert Gustavo Ruiz sse@dpinternationalinc.com Business Operation Manager Adriana Zayas administracion@design-publications.com





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Commercially Important Aquaculture Species Included in Injurious Species Petition.

Description of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, the Causative Agent of EMS in Shrimp.

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



Peracetic Acid: a Suitable Disinfectant for Recirculating Fish-Microalgae Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) Systems.



A Small Review of Emerging Seafood Preservation Techniques to Extend Freshness and Minimize Vibrio contamination.




R&D Centers



Fisher Piscicultura - Innovation in Brazilian Aquaculture.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

What better way to begin closing this year than with AQUAEXPO 2016?

Latin America Report


Latin America Report: Recent News and Events.

EUROPE report



Europe Report: Recent News and Events.

Aquaculture Without Frontiers Ornamental Actions Assist Women and Trade.

columns Aquaculture Stewardship Council ..............................................................................46 News from the NAA ..............................................................................48 Offshore Aquaculture ..............................................................................50 FISH HEALTH, ETC ..............................................................................56 AQUAFEED ..............................................................................58 Aquaculture Economics, Management, and MarketinG.......................................................62 Aquaculture Engineering ..............................................................................66 SALMONIDS ..............................................................................70 Perspective and Opinion ..............................................................................72 URNER BARRY ..............................................................................76 Upcoming events advertisers Index

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Editor´s comments

So… how’s the view from where you are?

By C. Greg Lutz


ut being the leader is not always so enviable… say, for example, when you’re walking into a mine field. There are many kinds of “leaders” in our industry: research organizations, countries and businesses. The necessary factors for leadership, however, vary greatly among these distinct competitive arenas. For scientific / research organizations, being among the leaders entails some degree of expertise in self-promotion, political persuasiveness and fund-raising savvy. There is a certain momentum involved in reaching leadership status for these organizations. It takes money – and facilities – and staff – to make money (or compete for money), but it also takes a sound reputation and the right contacts. Networking is important. It allows an institution to have advance knowledge of who has money, and for what, and when it will be available. In the competition to become or remain leaders, the stakes are not so high for research organizations as they are in private industry. Even when things head south, most of these

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Press releases are usually pretty cool. Motivating. Inspiring. Everyone plans on being a leader - or at least they like to say so – and that applies in our industry more than in many others. Being a leader, or even a soon-to-be leader, sounds great. And it is great, in some circumstances. Like the saying goes, with reference to sled dog teams, if you’re not the lead dog the view never changes. folks (and institutions, for that matter) land on their feet. Countries are quite different when it comes to aquaculture leadership. For an entire country to become a leader in aquaculture, perhaps the most important requirement is political will. The political will to attain the organization, multi-stakeholder vision, and policy and regulatory reforms that foster industry growth. Mechanisms must be established to encourage positive agendas or cripple self-serving ones. This includes those of government officials and agencies protecting their fiefdoms, NGO’s, and informed or misguided politicians and their parties. A reasonable amount of pragmatism is a key component of the formula for aquaculture leadership on a country-wide scale. Many countries are already recognized leaders in aquaculture (Norway, Ecuador, Thailand, Chile) and others are well on their way to becoming leaders in aquaculture (Scotland, Nigeria), while others (like the US) have made pathetic progress, if any. Certainly, every case is different, but the success stories can serve as convenient guidance for any country that is truly serious about advancing an aquaculture agenda. For a commercial entity, being a leader involves entirely different skill sets. The degree of risk, in terms of economic survival, is constant for these businesses. Competence is required in many disciplines, and all those areas of expertise must be coordinated to provide the optimum results. People man-

agement, biological management, technology, marketing, cash flow… there are dozens of potential vulnerabilities from one day to the next. In many places, becoming a leading aquaculture business involves the capacity to tolerate ridicule from uninformed critics in all quarters – including regulators, politicians, “experts” and activists – both the self-serving and the sincere. The true pioneers – in offshore aquaculture, recirculating systems, shrimp farming, etc. etc. etc. have all lived that reality. Most of these pioneers in aquaculture never issued a single press release, and most eventually closed up shop in the face of what seemed like insurmountable odds. Many never reached the status of “industry leaders” in the conventional sense, but they were the first to venture into the minefields. And for that they deserve our gratitude. Dr. C. Greg Lutz has a B.A. in Biology and Spanish by the Earlham College at Richmond, Indiana, a M.S. in Fisheries and a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science by the Louisiana State University. His interests include recirculating system technology and population dynamics, quantitative genetics and multivariate analyses and the use of web based technology for result-demonstration methods.




Rock Lobster

– Is Sustainable Production Now Possible?


ustralia. - Early in October, scientists from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), of the University of Tasmania, made an important breakthrough in rock lobster aquaculture. After years of research, the Research Hub for Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems, based in IMAS and partly funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), developed a “closedloop” aquaculture system that allows sustainable production of rock lobster (Panulirus ornatus). Until now, despite its high commercial value, this has not been possible due to its complex and long life cycle, especially in the larval stages. The University of Tasmania’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research, Professor Brigid Heywood, mentioned that this breakthrough

not only gives opportunities to Australian companies to establish rock lobster aquaculture ventures, but also opens the door for other species that can benefit from the advances made in hatchery system design, nutrition and disease control. Right now, IMAS’ scientists are keen to test the system in pilot commercial facilities. Therefore, the University of Tasmania is looking for partnership with Australian companies for the construction of a pilot commercial rock lobster hatchery, where they plan to trial the use of the technology in other species like slipper lobster, western rock lobster and crabs, as well as to evaluate the sustainability of the lobster feed formulation and its use in other aquaculture species. Further research is needed to optimize production and allow scaleup, but, for the moment, the juvenile

Dr. Quinn holding a rock lobster (Panulirus ornatus) at the IMA’s facilities.

production in the research facility is suitable for stocking commercial grow-out facilities. For more information about this research project, visit: www.imas.utas.edu.au

Icelandic Enterprise, VAKI,

Strengthens Pentair Offer of Products and Services


AKI Aquaculture Systems Ltd., a leading aquaculture equipment manufacturer from Iceland, has become part of Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems. The Icelandic enterprise based in Kópavogur specializes in the design, manufacture and marketing of hi-tech equipment for aquaculture systems, offering technology for biomass size estimation, fish counting and fish handling, among others. With more than 30 years in the market, VAKI’s products are used in more than 60 countries around the world; its main markets are Norway, 6 »

Scotland, Chile, Canada, along with some Mediterranean countries. “As the aquaculture industries continue to experience rapid growth, the addition of Vaki Aquaculture Systems complements our ability to meet the increasing market

demand for advanced solutions, technology and equipment. Vaki also helps strengthen our position as a comprehensive single source provider,” said Karl Frykman, President of Pentair Water Quality Systems.

Pushing Aquaculture Possibilities - Salmon Farmed in South Korea


outh Korea. – A fishery company, Donghae STF Co., located in Goseong County in Gangwon Province, has successfully farmed 500 tons of silver salmon at a special enclosure located 5 km from the country’s eastern coast. The growing salmon demand around the world drove Donghae STF Co. to explore the possibilities of salmon farming in South Korea. In 2014, the local firm hatched salmon eggs imported from Canada. Once the salmon reached 200-400 grams in size, after 10 months of culture in their inland facilities, the fish were transferred to a sea farm and raised for another 10 months to achieve 5-kilogram mature fish. As salmon need low temperatures to be reared, between 15-18 ºC, a submersible fish

cage was placed in the water up to 25 meters deep, in order to maintain optimal temperatures. Although Japan has managed to fish salmon for many years, this country typically produces salmon that are 6-7 months old and weigh 2 kg. On the contrary, salmon harvested at the South Korean farm were 20 months

old and weighed 5 kg, a more attractive market size. This achievement opens a wide range of opportunities for the South Korean aquaculture sector. It will allow the country to reduce imports of this high-value fish and, in the future, start exporting this product to neighboring countries.

Newfoundland will Develop the

Largest Indoor Salmon Aquaculture Facility in the World


anada. - Grieg NL, a Norwegian company leader in Atlantic salmon fish farming, plans to build the largest hatchery and nursery facility in the world in Newfoundland, Canada. AMG Norway, subsidiary of the Aqua Maof Group, oversees the construction of this state-of-the-art facility that is planned to produce 7 million smolt ranging up to 1500 grams. The construction is expected to be completed in 2017. The project includes the installation of 11 grow-out sites, which will be constructed in 2017. With this project, Grieg NL expects to reach a production of 33,000 tons by 2023, which more than doubles Newfoundland and Labrador’s current Atlantic salmon production. “We are happy to collaborate with AMG

Norway and Aqua Maof for building the world’s most advanced RAS facility. Aqua Maof’s technology will protect our project’s values of sustainability, maintain the highest environmental standards and achieve the most efficient production cost, thus contributing to the project’s overall success. We see great potential in salmon farming in Newfoundland and Labrador, and we plan to leverage Aqua Maof’s experience and technology to deliver the best production results and become a leading producer of fresh salmon products,” Knut Ske-

idsvoll, General Manager of Grieg NL mentioned. Grieg NL has wide experience in salmon farming and has been involved in the industry for over 23 years in different places, such as Norway, the Shetland Islands in Scotland, and the province of British Columbia, in Canada. At present, the company is expanding its operations to Newfoundland, Canada, with the objective of meeting the growing demand for salmon. »



USDA Grants 1.2 Million USD to Boost US Aquaculture


nited States. – With the purpose of enhancing the development of environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture in the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has granted a total of 1.2 million USD to support four aquaculture research and development projects. Year after year, global seafood demand increases and the U.S. is not the exception. Currently, American seafood consumption is supplied mainly by imports (both fisheries and aquaculture) and in a smaller portion by U.S. fisheries and aquaculture. NIFA finds it crucial to enhance U.S. aquaculture production to promote both economic opportunities and a safe, reliable domestic seafood source. Therefore, NIFA, along with land-grant university partners and diverse stakeholders, provides leadership and administers federal funds for aquaculture research, technology devel-

Scientists at Michigan State University will identify strains of common bacteria that threaten farmed rainbow trout, as a step toward improved disease prevention and control.

opment and extension programs. These are the projects that will receive the 2016 awards: • “Identification of the risk of emerging flavobacteria to early life stages of farmed salmonids and development of improved control strategies,” Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, $307,869 USD. • “Why has U.S. aquaculture struggled economically? Identifying key current and future determinants of economic sustainability,” Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, $275,887 USD. • “Improving aquaculture’s value through enhanced nutrient manage-

ment,” Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, $326,250 USD. • “Validation of markers and markerassisted selection of hard clam for resistance to QPX disease,” The Research Foundation of State University of New York, $326,963 USD. NIFA provides leadership, in coordination with federal activities related to aquaculture, through the Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture, under the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Science. More information on these projects is available on the NIFA website.

How Fish Personality Tests Can Improve Reproduction?


nited Kingdom. – Aquaculture researchers from the University of Stirling and the Institute for Food and Agricultural Research Technology (IRTA) in Catalonia recently reported the relationship between the personalities of individual fish and their reproduction performance in captivity. Researchers were able to determine the personality of Senegalese sole fish, both when juvenile and mature, through five individual behavioral tests, where cortisol, glucose and lactate in the blood were measured at the end of each test to determine the stress response. The individual fish responses 8 »

were consistent with the tests, and similar fish behaviors remained consistent when fish of different age groups were compared. Fish which are more proactive and curious, and deal better with stress are more likely to reproduce in captivity, so the selection of these fish in early stages can improve the reproduction in fish farms. Dr. Sonia Rey Planellas, Research Fellow in the Institute of Aquaculture, said, “Senegalese sole is a very valuable fish farmed across Europe; however, first-generation males’ failure to reproduce is still a problem affecting the production of the species. Animals who are proactive and try to explore are likely to reproduce in captivity, so

Senegalese sole fish. Source: University of Stirling, UK (2016).

it’s important that these fish can be identified at a young age.” Although further research is needed, these Operational Behavioral Screening tests (OBST) have the potential of being used for other aquaculture species facing similar problems in domestication and reproduction. The full study can be consulted in the Royal Society Open Science webpage.

Farmed Kelp in Alaska Continues to Gain Attention from Investors, Producers and Granting Agencies


nited States. – For several years, Michael Stekoll, from the University of Alaska Southeast, has carried out research related to seaweed cultivation at higher latitudes and its potential for commercial mariculture in Alaska. Recently, the National Sea Grant College Program granted a total of $418,000 USD to support a twoyear study under his leadership. Part of the grant is funded by a San Francisco-based company called Blue Evolution, also known as Premium Oceanic. Blue Evolution has a seaweed operation in Mexico, and has recently turned its attention to Alaska, due to its optimal seaweed growing condi-

tions. Blue Evolution sells seaweed pasta and seasonings, but this product has also shown a great potential if used as biofuel, in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, or as a carbon offset. In addition, it serves as a buffer for ocean acidification, which can help protect oysters. Stekoll’s study will focus on sugar kelp culture variables, especially when kelp plants become fertile, which is the optimal time to transfer the plants to the ocean. The main goal is to provide useful and practical information for growers, and help them achieve successful production. Another important issue that the study will cover is costs, especially those related to the seeded

string transfer from the hatchery to the farm, in order to increase the viability of kelp farming. Globally, the seaweed industry is growing rapidly, gaining commercial importance year after year. Currently, there is an existing kelp market in the U.S. but Asian countries represent a stronger consumption. In the past, seaweed wasn’t a big part of Alaska’s aquaculture industry, but this is about to change. Last year, two hatcheries received their permits and so far this year, six aquaculture farms growing different species in the region have integrated kelp into their cultures. This trend seems to be continuing due to the shellfish growers’ great interest.




Commercially Important Aquaculture Species

Included in Injurious Species Petition Catfish, tilapia and red swamp crawfish are some of the 43 aquatic

species included in the Center for Invasive Species Prevention’s recent petition to be declared as “injurious wildlife.” The listing of these species could significantly impact aquaculture industries in the U.S.; therefore, it is essential to get informed and participate in the process.


his past September 23rd, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) received a petition from the Center for Invasive Species Prevention (CISP), that could require it to list 43 native and nonnative aquatic species as “injurious wildlife.” The petition includes commercially important aquaculture species like blue catfish (and their hy-

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brids with channel catfish), common carp, grass carp, guppies, red swamp crawfish, and three tilapias - blue, Mozambique and Nile - among others. The petition is based on reports obtained through an Ecological Risk Screening Summary (ERSS), which is a rapid screening tool to evaluate species’ potential to become invasive. If the listing proceeds, the importation

into the U.S. and the interstate transportation of these species and their gametes, viable eggs or hybrids would be prohibited and considered a federal crime, with the exception of strict permitting for scientific research or institutional exhibits.

FWS and the Lacey Act The Lacey Act is a law designed to

protect U.S. wildlife resources; it includes a provision for listing wildlife as injurious species when they have been proven to be “injurious to human beings, to the interests of agriculture, horticulture, forestry or to wildlife or wildlife resources of the United States.” When written in 1900, the list included 81 species; currently, it has 446+ species including 142 species of fish, 1 mollusk and 4 crustaceans. During the Injurious Wildlife Listing process, the FWS gathers information to evaluate factors that may contribute to a species being considered injurious, as well as factors that may reduce the possibility of the invasive species causing harm. This is in order to make a science-based decision, and to take into consideration the pros and cons of listing and possible impacts on productive activities in the U.S.

ERSS For the past seven years, however, the FWS has been developing and utilizing a rapid screening tool identified as an Ecological Risk Screening Summary (ERSS), to quickly evaluate a species’ potential for becoming invasive. In 2015 the ERSS reports for some 150 species, many of which are native species or commonly traded in the United States, were posted on a federal webpage. Despite numerous comments and recommendations by the National Aquaculture Association (NAA) to add a full disclaimer to the ERSS reports that says the findings are uncertain, may contain errors and should not serve as a basis for federal regulation, the webpage remains active and has gained significant attention. All the species included in the recent CISP petition have been identified as “high risk” by the FWS through the ERSS tool. The NAA and other groups have made repeated and concerted efforts to interact and communicate with the FWS on the implementation of the ERSS, biological and climate match errors, and incomplete information within the reports. Recently, the

American Fisheries Society joined the ranks of those expressing concern with the ERSS approach. The NAA has offered expert advice and a list of outside experts to review the reports, agreed to voluntarily cease trade in species that were determined a high risk and not in trade already, identified critical flaws in the ERSS rankings when discovered, and cautioned the FWS that posting the reports to a public webpage will trigger the public to unquestioningly accept the risk evaluations. These very concerns, that ERSS “high risk” evaluations will be inappropriately applied by concerned citizens, have now been realized. In the justification section of their petition, the CISP states that: “the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) itself has provided the detailed foundation for this proposal. The USFWS’s peer-reviewed Ecological Risk Screening Summaries (ERSS), posted on the bureau’s website at: www.fws.gov/fisheries/ANS/erss_high_risk.html, provide a synthesis of data on each of the species evaluated.” The ERSS tool and reports are now being interpreted as a basis for regulation and final determination of invasiveness and injury to our nation and its resources. Why is this of concern? The following is an excerpt from comments provided to FWS by the NAA in a letter dated December 16, 2015: “The guppy and blue tilapia are tropical species with sufficient history of culture

and captivity in the continental U.S. states to indicate where and to what extent either fish will become established or cause harm to aquatic systems or humans. The guppy was first introduced to the aquarium fish hobby in April-May 1911 (Klee 2003) and is well-known to hobbyist and non-hobbyist alike. Nico et al. 2015b have developed and posted to the web a map describing its limited occurrence in the continental United States and, notably, Shafland et al. (2008) report this species is no longer present in Florida. It is inexplicable that this species represents a high-risk to the United States and we know of no state that restricts or prohibits this species; however, when used alone the ERSS tool labels it as a high risk.” The NAA letter also points out serious flaws in the high-risk designation of a number of other aquatic species. One example is the FWS contention, within its own Federal Register notice, that the common yabby could serve as a vector for the crayfish plague and thus threaten na-

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tive crayfish populations. The reality is that native crayfish are carriers of this plague and immune to its effects, while the yabby itself is susceptible.

The CISP So, who are the people behind this effort? The organization’s website states that the CISP “strives to advance policy and non-governmental approaches to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species.” Current focus areas include cleaning up the pathways that spread tree-killing insects and diseases to prevent the next emerald ash borer, working with government, experts and importers to limit the introduction of invasive animals and species that may introduce harmful diseases, providing information resources to national park superintendents to help them prevent the spread of invasive species into national parks, and advocating with the US Department of Agriculture to prohibit the importa12 »

What to do It is important that all stakeholders involved in the aquaculture of these species stay informed about the Injurious Wildlife petitioning process. This process does not have a defined time frame and it could take months to be completed. This will allow the preparation and sharing of informaNAA’s role tion. For example, currently the FWS The National Aquaculture Associa- invites the public to provide informal tion (NAA), along with other groups, input in this stage of the process, has expressed great concern regarding though it will not be part of a forthe ERSS tool and the listing process, mal review. At this point, the resolusince it may lead to incorrect conclu- tion of this petition is uncertain. The sions. The NAA will provide scien- FWS may declare that no action is tific, economic and state regulatory warranted, formally publish a Notice information that will hopefully allow Inquiry, or proceed with rulemaking the FWS to see the real picture of each for all or a portion of the petitioned species’ situation, not only the ERSS species. reports, and to make an informed decision. The matter of invasive species If you want to have more information or keep track of the is a problem around the country and petition, contact the NAA at: Injurious Wildlife Petition National it is necessary to take action and genAquaculture Association erate solutions, but it is important to T: +1 850 216 2400 E: naa@thenaa.net make well-informed decisions. tion of plants that may become invasive under its “Not Authorized for Importation Pending Risk Assessment Program.” The CISP has a Board with three members, whose biographies are presented on this webpage: http://www.cisp.us/meetthe-board2.html

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Description of Vibrio parahaemolyticus,

the Causative Agent of EMS in Shrimp By Moonyoung Choi1, Ann M. Stevens2, Stephen A. Smith3, Daniel P. Taylor1 and David D. Kuhn1

The Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) is one of the pathogens that has most affected the shrimp industry worldwide. A comparative analysis of EMS and two other strains of V. parahaemolyticus, and an EMS pathogenicity assessment were performed in order to increase the knowledge of this disease and provide useful information to generate mitigation strategies.


ver the last years, disease outbreaks in the farmed shrimp industry worldwide have generated substantial economic losses. Nowadays the industry is recovering, but it has become fundamental to know more about the pathogens that threaten shrimp production around the world in order to develop management and control strategies to reduce their negative impacts.

Early Mortality Syndrome – EMS In 2009, a new strain of the marine bacterium V. parahaemolyticus emerged. This pathogenic strain is the causative agent of the Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (AHPND), commonly known as early mortality syndrome (EMS). This pathogen was rapidly recognized due to the mass mortalities it caused in shrimp ponds during the early stages of culture. As of today, there is limited information about the growth and patho14 »

genicity of the different strains of V. parahaemolyticus; consequently, we decided to evaluate three different strains of V. parahaemolyticus in Litopenaeus vannamei, one of the most commercially important shrimp species. The first of the three evaluated strains was EMS (13-028/A3), which was obtained from a disease outbreak in Vietnam. The second strain was RIMD2210633 (RIMD), isolated from a human clinical case of “traveler’s diarrhea” in Japan, in 1996; and the third strain was LM5312 (LM), which was isolated from the environment in Bangladesh, in 1984. In addition to the comparative analysis between V. parahaemolyticus strains, the pathogenicity of the EMS strain in shrimp at different levels of inoculation was evaluated through a disease challenge assay. We especially sought to conduct disease challenge assays that lasted several days, with the aim of obtaining information that could help develop effective mitiga-

tion strategies to minimize exposure and reduce the negative effects of the disease in shrimp farms.

Shrimp and housing The juvenile Pacific white shrimp, L. vannamei, which were used for this study were placed in a 75-liter aquarium equipped with a recirculation filtration system and aeration. Water quality parameters were monitored constantly (temperature, ammonia, nitrites, salinity, pH) and adjusted as necessary. Shrimp were fed daily with a commercial diet at a rate corresponding to 3 % of body weight. Trial preparation The three strains of V. parahaemolyticus were grown in trypticase soy broth or in 1.5 % trypticase soy agar supplemented with an additional 2 % NaCl, to achieve the characteristic salinity of the water used in the shrimp tank (25 ppt). Once the “primers” of V. parahaemolyticus strains were prepared, their

growth curves were obtained using a multimode microplate reader for a period of over 24 hours (Figure 1). All shrimp exposures to V. parahaemolyticus were carried out in a biosafety cabinet (BSC) using biosafety Level 2 laboratory protocols. For the trials, beakers were prepared with salt water to contain the inoculated shrimp. Evaporated water was replaced when necessary and continuous aeration was provided to each beaker throughout the trials’ duration. In order to determine the inoculation feed doses, the size disparity of the shrimp was taken into account to establish a feed dose per gram of weight. Prior to the trials’ start, shrimp were not fed for 48 hours to ensure rapid consumption of treatments. The pellets were covered with the inoculated liquid, previously prepared with the different strains of V. parahaemolyticus, and later fed to the shrimp. Additionally, tissues of shrimp infected with EMS, as well as the control treatment (TSB2+), were taken for histopathological analysis.

Survival: exposure to different V. parahaemolyticus strains Four tests were performed to evaluate the pathogenicity of the three V. parahaemolyticus strains in shrimp under different culture conditions. Pathogenicity levels were estimated according to shrimp survival rates. Âť 15


Results As seen in Figure 1, all three strains showed similar exponential growth rates. Although the EMS strain had a delayed growth phase at the beginning, at the end it achieved a higher growth yield with higher optical density (OD). In Table 1, the number on the side of the treatment name (e.g. EMS, 5x108) represents the number of viable cells (CFU ml-1) registered in each treatment. In trial A, the EMS strain achieved a higher number of viable cells compared to the other strains in the same culture period. This suggests that RIMD and LM strains lose viability during the stationary phase of growth (plateau of curves in Figure 1), while the EMS strain remains viable; evidence of this is that 48 hours after inoculation in trial A, a 0 % survival was registered with the EMS strain, compared to 100 % for the other two strains. With the purpose of achieving a more calibrated comparison of the three strains’ pathogenicity, they were grown to an equivalent mid-exponential phase of growth with similar viable numbers of cells at OD600=0.5, prior to inoculating shrimp (trial B, Table 1). Control and RIMD treatments registered a 100 % survival, and there were no significant differences between survival rates of the strains compared to the control treatment. In trial B, the EMS strain was the most virulent but not as virulent as in trial A; this reflects varying levels of toxin production at different stages of bacterial growth. In trials C and D (Table 1), the RIMD and EMS strains were cultivated for 12 hours or at OD600=6.0, respectively, before being exposed to shrimp. The LM strain was not used in this trial; since it was isolated from the environment, it was not possible to cultivate it in a solid medium. Additionally, in the previous trials, it showed the lowest levels of virulence. In both trials (C and D), the EMS strain was the most lethal; in trial C, the shrimp exhibited 100 % mortality within 24 hours of exposure; and in trial D, a mortality of 100 % was registered at 16 

the end of 96-h trial. The RIMD strain had no mortality in any of the trials; this suggests that its toxins are not effective in shrimp, a similar situation to that of the LM strain.

EMS Pathogenicity Since there is a clear dose dependency between the number of viable EMS cells and the severity of the disease, it was necessary to develop a lethal or sub-lethal disease challenge assay, for

which two independent trials were performed, with a duration of 96 hours each. Dilutions of 18-hour culture of EMS strain were used in these trials, and five treatments were defined with five replicates each: negative control (TSB2+), EMS without solvent (positive control), 1/10 diluted EMS, 1/100 diluted EMS and 1/1000 diluted EMS. At the end of both trials, the negative control treatment TSB2+ registered a survival of 100 %, and signifi-

cant differences in survival rates were observed in shrimp fed with feed inoculated with the positive control treatment and 1/10 in comparison with the negative control treatment (TSB2+). However, there were no significant differences in survival rates of 1/100 and 1/1000 treatments compared to the negative control treatment (TSB2+) in both independent trials.

Figure 3. Representative histopathology of the midgut caeca of L. vannamei from the feed inoculation bioassays. (a) Normal/healthy midgut caecal tissue (control). (b) Moderate pathology in shrimp fed with feed inoculated with the EMS strain of V. parahaemolyticus, showing sloughed tubular cells and an infiltration of haemocytes in the surrounding tissues. (c) Sever pathology in the midgut caeca of shrimp fed with feed inoculated with the EMS strain of V. parahaemolyticus demonstrating numerous necrotic epithelial cells, sloughed cells and haemocytes infiltrating the surrounding tissues.

Histopathology Histopathology of hepatopancreas of EMS-infected shrimp was similar to previously published findings (Tran et al. 2013; Nunan et al. 2014). It was reported that haemocytic infiltration increased as a result of EMS presence, since hemocytes are able to detect invading diseases using pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMs), such as lysozyme and lectin. This suggests a disruption in digestion, as B cells are the main producers of digestive enzymes. Besides confirming that EMS mainly affects shrimp’s hepatopancreas, necrosis and sloughing of tubular epithelial cells with haemocytic infiltration was observed in the tissues surrounding the midgut caeca, which had not been reported previously for EMS disease. Conclusions A notable achievement of this study was the establishment of a protocol for sub-lethal disease challenge assays by decreasing the number of viable cells from the EMS strain used in the inocu 17

lation. Usually, short term 100 % lethal toxicity testing are only used to detect general toxicity and disease effects, and are often too rapid and do not provide realistic information for developing potential mitigation strategies in the laboratory for realistic applications. This study demonstrated that the EMS strain achieves higher concentrations of viable cells for longer periods of time, compared to the other two strains of V. parahaemolyticus evaluated, RIMD and LM. As expected, the EMS strain was the most virulent, since it produced higher levels of acute pathogenicity in shrimp. And for the first time, the adverse effects of EMS in the midgut caecum of exposed shrimp were reported. 1Department of Food Science and Technology, 2Departament of Biological Science and 3Departament of Biomedical Sciences and Pathology, Virginia Tech Institute, USA. Moonyoung, C., Stevens, A., Smith, S., Taylor, D., Kuhn, D. (2016). Strain and dose infectivity of Vibrio parahaemolyticus: the causative agent of early mortality syndrome in shrimp. Aquaculture Research, 1-9.


Peracetic Acid:

a Suitable Disinfectant for Recirculating Fish-Microalgae Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) Systems By Dibo Liu1, Sascha Behrens1, Lars-Flemming Pedersen2, David L. Straus3, and Thomas Meinelt1.

have shown great performance at removing ammonia and nitrite and, as an added benefit, the algae biomass can be harvested as a byproduct and used for fish feed or biofuel. As potential combinations of species and diversity in IMTA systems are very broad, this study focuses on a recirculating fishmicroalgae IMTA system. Fish-microalgae IMTA systems are promising for sustainable aquaculture production, yet one constraint that has been identified is the risk of fish being infected by different pathogens, and algae being affected by phytoplankton-lytic bacteria. To control this, disinfectants are regularly used as prophylaxis or for treatment. However, it is fundamental to find disinfectants that are effective against these threats but safe for fish and microalgae.

Peracetic Acid (PAA) For years, Peracetic Acid (PAA) has For decades, IMTA systems have been developed to increase been used as a disinfectant in the food productivity and sustainability in aquaculture. In recirculating fishindustry, but recently it has been recognized as a sustainable disinfectant microalgae IMTA systems, biosecurity has been identified as a constraint. in aquaculture. It degrades completely In search for solutions, this study has proven that using Peracetic acid as within several hours after application, and results in harmless residues. Ana disinfectant is safe and effective. other sustainable disinfectant is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). However, quaculture plays an im- ity and environmental sustainability. the effective concentration of PAA portant role in the strate- IMTA systems intend to mimic na- is less than 2 mg L-1 against diverse gies developed to ensure ture, where one species benefits of pathogens, while H2O2 needs a much food security for the plan- the waste generated by another spe- higher concentration (>20 mg L-1) to et’s growing population. At present, cies. Over the years, many IMTA sys- achieve successful disinfection. many practices used in aquaculture tems have been developed and tested, worldwide have significant environ- some with more potential than others, mental impact and compromise aqua- and each with its own limitations. culture production in the long term. One example of an IMTA system Therefore, it is necessary to develop is aquaponics, where the aquaculture sustainable aquaculture, in order to wastewater is used as fertilizer for hyensure fish supplies and minimize droponics. One limitation of these environmental impacts. This is where systems is that hydroponic systems integrated multi-trophic aquaculture need a lower pH than aquaculture, (IMTA) systems come in the picture so the aquaculture water needs to be as a viable and sustainable alternative acidified and buffered, thus resulting for fish production. in higher production costs and limited nutrient recycling. IMTA Systems Conversely, algae are great candiFor years, IMTA system development dates for IMTA, as they can be culIn a fish-microalgae IMTA system, as a byproduct, the algae biomass can be used for fish feed or biofuel. has sought to improve productiv- tured at the same pH as fish. They


18 Âť

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As we know, in most cases toxicity depends on the dose. Therefore, this study aimed to test if PAA at effective disinfection concentrations is toxic to microalgae cultivated in controlled conditions and, consequently, to determine if it is safe to use PAA as a disinfectant in recirculating fishmicroalgae IMTA systems.

PAA products evaluated There are many PAA products in the market. These are a mixture of PAA and H2O2 in a water solution, and the proportion of H2O2/PAA varies between products and brands. If these products are applied considering only the PAA concentration, this can result in different values of acute toxicity. Therefore, it is important to take into account the H2O2/PAA proportion. In this study, four commercial PAA products with various PAA and H2O2 concentrations were tested (Table 1). All the other chemicals used were analytical grade and purchased locally. Algae culture For the study, a Tetraselmis chuii culture was used and cultured in F/2 medium. The algae were cultured for two months, prior to the beginning of the experiment, in an incubator at 18ÂşC, with light cycle control (16 h light / 8 h dark), and refreshment of the F/2 medium once per week. All the procedures in this stage were performed under strict sterilized conditions to avoid compromising the experiment.

tometric method was used, based on a linear relationship between concentration and absorption. However, as the DPD method could not measure the H2O2 concentration in the Lspez 1 and 2 mg L-1 solutions, the iodometric tritration method was also used.

Measuring PAA and H2O2 concentrations Treatment and sampling To determine PAA and H2O2 conThe experiment consisted in the excentrations, the DPD (N, N-diethylposure of Tetraselmis chuii culture, p-phenylendiamine sulfate salt) phoonce per day for four days, to four PAA products with different H2O2/ PAA proportions, at two concentrations (1 and 2 mg L-1). In parallel, H2O2 solutions at equivalent total peroxide (H2O2+PAA) concentrations were tested. Before each exposure, a 2 mL sample was taken for growth and photosynthesis analyses. In addition, the 3-h degradation of PAA and 20 Âť

equivalent H2O2 concentrations was measured in all treatments, in algaefree F/2 medium.

Measuring growth and photosynthesis With the aim to assess the T. chuii growth, the absorption and direct

Tetraselmis chuii is a marine unicellular with high lipid levels, their amino acids stimulate feeding in marine organisms.

counting cell density of T. chuii of each treatment was measured. The absorption method was based on the linear relationship between cell density and absorption peak (@677 nm). Particles within the size of 7-15 μm were directly counted as T. chuii; each sample was measured three times and the main value was obtained. To evaluate photosynthesis, the maximum quantum yield was used as a measurement parameter, because it determines the efficiency with which light is converted into fixed carbon. For this reason, a chlorophyll fluorometer in a dark room was used to measure the maximum quantum yield of the algae suspension.

nus Tetraselmis are able to degrade H2O2 thanks to their antioxidant systems, which enables them to degrade oxidizers and reduce exposures that may harm them. Therefore, this study can probably be considered as representative for other marine microalgae.

Conclusion This study allowed confirmation that the use of commercial PAA products with a low H2O2/PAA proportion as disinfectants in recirculating fish-microalgae IMTA systems is safe and effective, at concentrations up to 2.0 mg L-1. Further studies should focus on the use of PAA in recirculating fish-microalgae IMTA systems and the assessResults ment of the performance of fish, algae and the biofilter, as As mentioned before, the H2O2/PAA proportion between well as the generation of more data on the behavior of T. products and brands varies. In the case of the evaluated chuii exposed to concentrations of PAA between NOEC PAA products, the E400 had the lowest proportion, fol- and LC100 . Wofasteril , Kesla Pharma Wolfen GmbH, Greppin, Germany. lowed by AC150, E250 and Lspez, which had 30.0 mg L-1 Applichem , AppliChem GmbH, Darm-stadt, Germany. -1 H2O2 when the concentration of PAA was 1.0 mg L . Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany As expected, the PAA in all four products and both dosages showed a rapid degradation (>50 % within 3 h) DTU-Aqua, National Institute of Aquatic Sciences, Section for Aquaculture, North Sea Research Centre, Denmark in comparison to the H2O2 degradation, which was quite U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Harry K. Dupree— slower (>25 %). This suggests that the toxicity of these Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center, Stuttgart, USA products should be measured first on the combined efD. Lui, S. Behrens, L. Pedersen, D. Straus, T. Meinelt (2016). Peracetic acid is a suitfects of PAA and H2O2 and, after the complete PAA degable disinfectant for recirculating fish-microalgae integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems. Aquaculture Reports 4 (2016) 136-142. radation, on the H2O2 concentration by itself. As shown in Figure 1, the estimated daily proportional change of the density of T. chuii treated with three of the PAA (E400, AC150, E250) products had a similar behavior as the control treatment and the equivalent H2O2 concentration treatments, with a similar case applying for the cell density. The maximum quantum yield of these treatments was similar too. On the other hand, the Lspez treatments and their corresponding equivalent H2O2 concentration treatments showed a significant reduction of the estimated proportional change of density and cell density of T. chuii. After the first application, the photosynthesis in these treatments was undetectable (maximum quantum yield= 0), the algae lost their green pigment, and the individual cells lost their normal cell components and viability, without showing any sign of recovery after interrupting the treatment. The fact that the E400, E250 and AC150, and equivalent H2O2 treatments did not show significant differences in the growth and photosynthesis of T. chuii, demonstrates that the doses were less or equal to the non-observed effect concentration (NOEC), contrary to both Lspez treatments (1 and 2 mg L-1) and equivalent H2O2 treatments, which led to cell death, culture collapse and undetectable photosynthesis, meaning that the tested concentrations were above lethal concentrations (L100). In this study, T. chuii showed a stronger resistance to peroxide (PAA and H2O2), in comparison with fish pathogens and daphnia. It has been found that algae of the gea






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A Small Review of

Emerging Seafood Preservation Techniques to Extend Freshness and Minimize Vibrio contamination The increasing demand for seafood products around the world has led the food processing industry to innovate and develop preservation techniques to ensure the supply of safe, fresher-tasting and more Jennifer Ronholm1, Fiona Lau2, and Swapan K. Banerjee1

nutritious seafood.


n recent years, we have witnessed the growth of seafood production along with an increase in the variety of seafood products available in fishmongers and supermarkets. Global seafood consumption per capita increased from 9.9 kg, in the 1960s, to 19.7 kg in 2013 (FAO 2016), and this trend is expected to continue. Aquatic environments are natural shelters for a number of microorganisms, some of which, like Vibrio spp., are harmful to humans. After being harvested, seafood products are transported long distances, and sometimes for long periods of time, during which food must be kept fresh and pathogen proliferation must be minimized. The current trend of consuming raw or barely cooked seafood, whether for culinary or nutritional reasons, has increased these challenges for the seafood industry. Additionally, consumers are becoming more aware of their food choices and regulations are stricter, so the seafood industry has undertaken the task of developing preservation methods that comply with regulations, extend shelf life and result in minimal changes to the taste, texture, and nutritional content of the final product. 22 Âť

When we talk about seafood, we refer to a wide variety of products like mollusks, crustaceans, finfish, marine mammals, etc.; some of which require more care for their preservation and represent greater risks for human health. Among all seafood products, oysters represent the highest risk of infection for two reasons: first, because they feed by filtering large volumes of seawater, a process in which they can accumu-

late and concentrate pathogenic microorganisms, and secondly, oysters are commonly eaten raw for culinary reasons. Evidence of this is that, between 2001 and 2006 in western Canada, 122 cases of V. parahaemolyticus infections were reported, and 66.7 % of them were due to raw oyster consumption.

What Makes us Sick? It has been identified that the main

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pathogenic bacteria associated with seafood poisoning are of the genus Vibrio, specifically V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus. These bacteria are found naturally in marine environments and, with the exception of V. cholerae O1, are not associated with fecal contamination. Among Vibrio infections, those by V. vulnificus are the most severe and less common. V. vulnificus infections may include acute gastroenteritis, necrotizing wound infections or invasive septicemia, and have a mortality rate of 50 %, which makes this bacteria the leading cause of seafood associated mortality. Less severe but more common, are infections associated with V. parahaemolyticus, which manifest as acute gastroenteritis. In Canada, between 2007 and 2013, 330 cases of Vibrio infections associated with seafood consumption were reported, 2 % of which were caused by V. vulnificus and 57 %, by V. parahaemolyticus. A similar situation can be found in the US, where 60 % of seafood poisoning cases in 2013 were caused by V. parahaemolyticus.

Preventive Measures In the seafood industry, it has been

proven that simple measures to prevent contamination of products and regulate temperature control through the supply chain are highly effective in reducing product spoilage and extending shelf life. Nowadays, measures such as using sterilized water for washing, soaking and preserving, cooling seafood after it has been boiled, maintaining fresh seafood at <10ÂşC, and not consuming seafood within 2 h of being removed from refrigeration may be considered obvious or routine measures. However, a few years ago those measures were not practiced often. In 1998, Japan registered a record number of cases (12,318) of V. parahaemolyticus infections. After this, new regulations related to seafood handling by commercial companies were released; some of these measures are mentioned above. The implementation of these measures reduced cases of seafood poisoning by 99 % after just one year. The main goal is to supply raw seafood, particularly oysters, that are safe, fresh-tasting and nutritious. Innovative and non-thermal technologies are required for this and, in the following paragraphs, we discuss

Figure 1. Emerging seafood preservation techniques and their mechanisms of action..

24 Âť

and compare briefly a few of them, focusing on treatment efficiency, mechanism of action, bacterial cell effects, effects on the food itself, and safety of use for oyster preservation, a species that requires more care and represents a higher risk. Ozone Treatment Ozone acts by oxidizing various components of the cellular membrane, leading to leakage of the cellular contents and eventually death. It also has high biocidal activity. Ozone treatment requires a short contact time and it can be applied at aquaculture facilities or on the final product. Ozone can be found in gaseous or dissolved forms, and it can be applied in different ways, such as baths with ozone-treated water or direct applications in seawater or to final products. Ozone treatment is one of the most effective sanitizing methods and it has allowed extending shelf life of various seafood products. As an example, shucked and vacuumpackaged mussels treated with ozone exhibited a shelf life of 12 days, significantly higher than the 9 day-life of mussels without treatment (Manousaridis et al. 2005).

served when depuration is implemented in combination with phage treatment. The application of phage pVp-1 to contaminated oyster meat, both as a bath immersion and directly, resulted in decreases in V. parahaemolyticus populations. The bath immersion treatment registered a reduction from 8.9×106 CFU/g to 1.4 CFU/g after 72 h, while direct application eliminated almost all contaminants in less than 12 hours at 18ºC (Jun et al. 2014).

Natural Organic Treatments It has been reported that the use of essential oils, tea polyphenols and organic acids can extend shell life in seafood and limit pathogen proliferation, while offering a final product free of synthetic preservatives. Essential oils include thyme, oregano, rosemary, turmeric and shallots. Their application in seafood has proven to reduce levels of non-pathogenic spoilage, while tea polyphenols (catechism; epigallocatechin gallate, EGGG; epicatechin; among others) have shown great antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Finally, the application of organic acids, such as citric acid (300 mg/ml) and lactic acid (150 mg/ml) in oysters reduced growth of spoilage organisms. In addition to this, a reduction of V. vulnificus was reported; it went from an initial level of 6.0 log/g to a level of 1.0 log/g (Mahmoud, 2013). Phage Treatment Phages are viruses that specifically infect bacteria and are harmless to humans, animals and plants (Sillankorva et al. 2012). Phages have been used as biocontrol agents; in seafood, two different groups have shown good performance in controlling V. parahaemolyticus: a Siphoviridae phage pVp-1 and the VPp1a phage isolated from V.  parahaemolyticus. The surface area of oysters is large and uneven, limiting contact between phages and bacteria, which can restrict the effectiveness of this type of treatment. Depuration is a common practice in mollusks; it consists in keeping them in potable water (previously treated with chlorine, ozone or UV light) for a few hours before consumption. This is a very effective method to reduce coliform counts, but not as effective when it comes to vibrios, unless it is carried out at low temperatures and for several days. However, positive results have been ob» 25

High Pressure Processing High pressure processing (HPP) is commonly used as an alternative to thermal processing. HPP treatments as short as 1-2 min on oysters can increase shelf life for up to 11 days. HPP is regularly used in pressure ranges between 200-600 MPa. Regarding the ability of this treatment to minimize or eliminate pathogenic bacteria such as V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus, considerable differences have been identified in pressure resistance between V. parahaemolyticus strains. Differences of 17 log have been reported, depending on different treatment variables (pressure, suspension medium, time, temperature, and whether the whole oyster or half of it is processed). It has been reported that HPP is more effective against V. parahaemolyticus at low temperatures; for example, if the temperature is lowered from 20ºC to 1.5ºC, the pro-


cessing time can be reduced from 10 min to 5 min and the pressure can be lowered from 300 MPa to 250 MPa. During storage, low temperatures do not affect the resistance of V. parahaemolyticus to HPP; however, V. vulnificus increases its resistance to HPP due to the low storage temperatures, as the percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acid in the cell membrane increases. The use of HPP in seafood makes meat opaque and affects its appearance when cooked, which may represent a constraint in consumersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; acceptance. The latter, along with the different conditions necessary for an effective elimination of the different pathogenic bacteria and strains, makes this method difficult to standardize and create recommended guidelines.

Irradiation Irradiation is a physical treatment that consists in the application of ionizing radiation to food to improve innocuity and extend shelf life. This 26 Âť

emerging technology serves to prevent foodborne illness, increase time of preservation, control insects, and minimize or eliminate microorganisms (FDA 2016). One of the advantages of irradiation is that it can be used on frozen food, without the need for thawing. There are three sources of radiation approved for use on food: gamma rays, X-rays and electron beam. The use of gamma rays and X-rays has become increasingly common in live oysters to eliminate pathogenic bacteria such as vibrios. Jakabi et al. (2003) reported that when gamma irradiation dose levels between 0.5-3.0 kGy were applied to live oysters, 3.0 kGy did not kill the oysters or affect any sensory attributes. Simultaneously a reduction of 6-log in CFUs of V. parahaemolyticus was observed. On the other hand, to obtain a reduction of 6-log of V. vulnificus with X-ray irradiation in oysters, 1.0 kGy was required for half oysters and 3.0 kGy for whole shell oysters (Mahmoud, 2009).

Conclusion It is noteworthy that all techniques mentioned above should be considered as supplemental measures to proper seafood handling throughout the supply chain. All preservation techniques reviewed here have their own advantages and constraints, and should be used/selected considering the type of seafood, the effects of the treatment on the final product and the effectiveness, among other variables. All products are different, as well as their culture, harvest, transport and processing conditions. Therefore the validation of each sanitation strategy is of paramount importance, in order to find the one that best meets your requirements.

Microbiology Research Division, Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, Canada.



University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Ronholm J, Lau F and Banerjee SK (2016) Emerging Seafood Preservation Techniques to Extend Freshness and Minimize Vibrio Contamination. Front. Microbiol. 7:350. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00350

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- INNOVATION IN BRAZILIAN AQUACULTURE Fisher Piscicultura seeks to revolutionize fish farming in Brazil with its innovative TRGV Fishers®, a large volume cage that integrates several parts of the supply chain of tilapia farming. The use of this technology has resulted in better yields and less environmental impacts.


Company History razil has an enormous potential for aquaculture. The country already stands out in other livestock industries like cattle and chicken and is one of the largest grain producers. Brazil’s environmental conditions, labor availability and a growing internal market in conjunction with 5.5 million hectares of fresh water in reservoirs make aquaculture activities extremely promising in the country. Fisher Piscicultura (Aquaculture) was established in 2011 by members from agribusiness, the Brazilian electricity industry and water resource specialists (engineering and environmental studies). This combination of expertise was a key differentiator of the company at the time of formatting its business plan. Based on previous experiences of success in fish farming and the extensive knowledge of the members of the Brazilian hydroelectric sector, Fisher developed a methodology for the selection of optimum fish farming production sites. Fisher’s methodology includes the analyzes of labor availability, physical 28 »

variables (area, volume, flow, depth, water renewal, level fluctuation in dry periods), water quality (temperature, dissolved oxygen and nutrients), legal impediments (indigenous reserves, protected areas), targeted market and last but not least, existing infrastructure (roads, energy). Previous experience in fish farming allowed the partners to format the Integrated Production Unit (UIP, in Portuguese), which vertically organizes the chain of fish farming including cages, feed mill, processing plant, rendering plant and infrastructure in a single site. This concept has been designed, implemented and operated successfully in the Zippy Piscicultura Project in the Ilha Solteira Reservoir, state of São Paulo, Brazil by one of the Fisher partners, producing 300 tons per month of tilapia. The UIP presents competitive advantages in terms of production cost reduction (eliminates freight, reduces the tax burden and incorporates the profits of the various links of the value chain) and is also modular and replicable. In addition, the UIP allows an improvement

in the quality of products, as the feed used is always fresh and the processed fish in the processing plant have just been harvested. The processing capacity of the UIP is 6,000 tons of fish per year. Fish production for each UIP will be shared with partner producers. The in-house production is 3,000 tons per year of fish in each UIP, that is, 50 % of total capacity. Once the mode of production was defined, knowledge of the Brazilian reservoirs was essential to define sites for the projects. Initially, a comprehensive study of Brazilian reservoirs to identify the best areas for aquaculture production was performed. In the southeastern region alone, thirtysix reservoirs of different river basins were analysed following the site selection methodology established by Fisher. From 2011 to 2014 Fisher developed activities related to Água Vermelha UIP project, including the engineering design, the environmental licensing and the concession process to obtain the grant for the use of the selected area (the slow and bureau-

TRGV Fisher® in operation.

cratic licensing process is one of the biggest barriers to the development of aquaculture in Brazil). The company also invested in research and development of a large volume cage, named Tanque Rede de Grande Volume Fisher –TRGV Fisher®.

The Água Vermelha project Fisher Piscicultura Água Vermelha Ltda. (Fisher AV) was established in April 2013 as a subsidiary of Fisher Piscicultura. The project was designed as an Integrated Production Unit (UIP). The total output of the unit was expected to be 6,000 tons of fish per year, partly in house production and partly from the integration process with other producers, using the same model of the chicken and pork integrated production chains. These projections were based on the performance observed in UIP Zippy by one of Fishers’ partners, although the integration process was not yet implemented in this unit. The internal production of 300 tons per month (3,600 t/year) of tilapia was expected to be produced using 45 TRGV Fisher® units.

Innovation: the large cage - TRGV FISHER® Fish farming in Brazil has a great potential, but currently the industry is still highly informal, employs rudimentary techniques and has low technological levels. This diagnosis is supported by studies published by the Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES, 2012) and Rabobank (Rabobank, 2013).

The most important innovation of the Água Vermelha project is the TRGV Fisher®. Presently, there are few enterprises in Brazil which use large volume cages (over 100 m³), still there is a growing tendency to use this equipment to scale-up production and reduce investment costs per m3. Brazilian fish farms that use large volume cages have imported technology, these models are difficult to adapt to Brazilian fish farming conditions, since they were developed for other production conditions. Specifically, imported large volume cages are not adapted to the presence of the golden mussel. The golden mussel (Limnoperna fortunei) is a freshwater bivalve mollusk, this invasive species is native to southern Asia and it has spread through rivers and reservoirs in several states of Brazil, becoming a pest in many reservoirs. In fish farming, these mollusks are extremely harmful because they adhere to the cage wireframe, causing clogging, blocking the entrance of water and leading to fish death by asphyxiation (COSTA et al. 2012). In addition, they can damage the wireframe and even make the cage sink due to excessive weight.

TRGV Fisher® - Automatic Feeding System.

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TRGV Fisher®

For instance, large cages used in the northeast of Brazil are made with high density polyethylene structures (HDPE). In such cages, fish sorting and harvest operations require divers and do not allow cages to be lifted or removed for cleaning. Therefore it is difficult to use them in waters where the golden mussel (Limnoperna fortunei) is found (such as the southeastern ones near the concentration of the main consumer markets of fish). The platform type cage used in Chile for the production of salmon at sea concentrates the area of cultivation. In Brazil, as tilapia production is mostly conducted in reservoirs, fish growth is impaired by dissolved oxygen depletion and mortality risk is increased. It is fundamental to develop machinery and equipment suited to local culture conditions. Therefore, after years of observing traditional fish farms and their management and monitoring difficulties, Fisher focused the TRGV Fisher® design on the mechanization and automation of routine activities of a fish farm in order to make its operation more efficient. Once the concept was developed, the equipment engineering design was prepared and the patent application submitted. A prototype was built and tested by Fisher, in partnership with researchers from the Agência Paulista 30 »

de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios de São Paulo (Agribusiness Technology Agency of the State of São Paulo), led by João Donato Scorvo Filho, Ph.D. The tests were partly funded by the innovative research program in small companies of the research support foundation of the State of São Paulo (PIPE – Programa de Pesquisa Inovativa em Pequenas Empresas da FAPESP – Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo). These tests were successfully completed in October 2015. A later feature added to TRGV was the automatic feeding technology developed by Professor Claudio Angelo Agostinho, Ph.D., from the Animal

Science Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) Botucatu. The TRGV Fisher® is a 450 m³ cylindrical cage, 12 m in diameter and 4 m deep, structured with rigid aluminum. Its competitive advantages are: • Economies of scale (less intensive labor) (Table 1). • Improved performance in production (precocity, better conversion rate and lower incidence of disease and mortality). Individual feed silos in each TRGV allow the installation of automatic feeders. • Studies of UNESP Botucatu with automatic feeders showed that the increase in the frequency of feeding (e.g. 12 times per day) enables reduction in feed conversion rate to 1.3 kg/kg of tilapia in cages. • Easy handling (sorting, fish removal, feeding and cleaning screens are performed through simple operations, based on fundamental physical principles, without the need for divers). • Reduced production costs (Table 2). Summary of TRGV Fisher® innovations: • Redondel: a mechanical device that allows sorting and collecting fish, and also screen cleaning. • Rigid structure: allows operation of the Redondel and raising the TRGV for cleaning.

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TRGV Fisher® in operation.

UIP Santo Antônio, Rio Modeira Porto Velho - RO UIP Canabrava, Rio Tocantions Minoçu - GO

UIP Itoporica, BA UIP Água Vermelha, MG UIP Água Vermelha, Riolôndia -SP

Planned Integrated Production Unit (UIP) localization.

TRGV Fisher® and Slice Cage emerged for maintenance and cleaning.

• Slice Cage: an auxiliary cage to collect, transport and release the sorted fish into another TRGV unit without removing fish from the water. It is also used for the fish harvest. • Independent feed silo: allows automatic and controlled feeding, powered by a photovoltaic system. The TRGV Fisher® operation has shown that: • The operation requires only 45 TRGV units and 25 employees for 32 »

the production of 300 tons of fish per month; • It can be operated in the middle of the reservoir (main river channel), where water renewal is constant, as it is large and robust, made of aluminum; • Feeding is fully automated; the amount of feed can be fixed daily and fractionated in 48 times per day, avoiding competition for food and abrupt changes in the available oxygen for consumption during the digestive process; • The feeder is regulated by sensors that record temperature and DO levels of culture water, reducing or interrupting the supply of feed, if necessary; • The Redondel allows sorting the fish in the water, which simplifies and speeds the handling, with very low stress for the fish; • The Slice Cage allows the transfer from one tank to another or the fish harvest at the end of the fattening cycle, keeping the fish in the water during the whole operation. TRGV Fisher® characteristics, which prevent stress and help balance oxygenation, have already bro-

ken the mortality paradigm, lowering significantly this index (from 20 % in the 30 g to 900 g cycle in traditional fish farms to less than 5 % in cycles performed by Fisher). Additionally, the high perimeter edges of the TRGV Fisher® prevent the loss of rations very effectively. Altogether, these characteristics have reduced feed conversion to levels which were not commonly achieved. The importance of it is highlighted by the fact that feed accounts for 70-80 % of the cost of fish production in these systems. Besides the obvious economic gain in the rational use of feed, it is also worth noting the environmental aspect, since all food waste results in unnecessary increases of organic loads in the reservoirs, which is detrimental to water quality.

The future of Fisher Fisher’s Expansion Plan anticipates the implementation of 5 UIP units within the next 10 years, producing 30,000 tons of fish per year, which would place the company among the national leadership of the aquaculture industry. The plan is based on a self-sustaining model that allows for unit replication. The first step in this ambitious plan is the Água Vermelha Project, in the city of Riolândia, state of São Paulo. The reservoir conditions are ideal for aquaculture and it has a strategic location, near the largest consumer market in the country, excellent road infrastructure and availability of feed ingredients. The future of Brazilian fish farming will be reliant on economies of scale of the projects. Fisher’s activities are based on the belief that innovation and sustainability are the answer to how the aquaculture industry can develop and reach its full potential.

For more information, visit www.fisherpiscicultura.com.br or write contato@fisherpiscicultura.com.br

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R&D Centers

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

The 30-acre Aquaculture Development Park at FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

“For more than four decades Harbor Branch has been working to refine the boundaries of what’s possible in aquaculture.”

F History

lorida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, which is located on the Indian River Lagoon estuary on Florida’s east coast, was founded as a private research organization in 1971 with a vision of marine science and engineering working together toward the betterment of mankind. One of the Institute’s focus areas is warm water marine aquaculture, and some of the earliest research projects combined engineering and science expertise to focus on nutrient conversion and polyculture. Examples include a U.S. Department of Energy-supported effort to study marine and freshwater seaweeds grown in treated wastewater as a fermentation source for methane gas production, and a Sea Grant program assessing the benefits of culturing shrimp and lobsters together with seaweed. Other priorities as the program grew and diversified included the development of culture techniques for food, restoration, and ornamental species, and the advance-

ment of aquaculture technology to increase efficiency and reduce waste. For a time in the early to mid-1980s, Peace Corps volunteers learned pond aquaculture techniques at Harbor Branch. Our workforce development commitment began to expand in the late 1980s when a federal job-training grant was directed to help the Apalachicola Bay oyster farming industry recover after a series of extreme weather events smothered the natural beds. We introduced more than 350 underemployed seafood workers to hatchery, nursery and growout tech-

niques, including a patented flexible oyster culture system developed at Harbor Branch. In a subsequent initiative, the Florida Department of Labor supported the introduction of clam farming to the Cedar Key area affected by a localized fishery closure, and called upon Harbor Branch, in partnership with University of Florida’s Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences, to provide instruction and materials to create new businesses for nearly 140 participants. A similar yet significantly expanded program stemmed from an approval by Florida voters of a near-shore net

Dr. Susan Laramore conducts a tour during a shrimp culture workshop.

34 »

ban affecting primarily small-scale commercial fishermen, consisting of a series of workshops and training programs in locations on the east and west coasts that included more than 700 participants. At about the same time Harbor Branch broke ground on a 30-acre Aquaculture Development Park and the Aquaculture Center for Training, Education and Demonstration (ACTED) to facilitate vocational programming on its campus. Today, clam farming is one of Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most outstanding agriculture success stories, with an annual impact that has grown from $1.2 million in the early 1990s to $38.7 million in 2012. ACTED remains dedicated to developing a highly skilled workforce, and has since partnered with Indian River State College to offer a premier aquaculture vocational degree program.

Scope Our primary significance has been the extent to which we have been able

Infrastructure from the decade-long partnership with USDA-ARS continues to advance aquaculture.

to advance aquaculture for industry. Areas of achievement have included developing culture techniques for numerous animal and plant species, improving recirculation technologies, and providing vocational training and continuing education for the aquaculture workforce. We were the first in the continental U.S. to design, construct, and operate a closed-system hatchery for

raising Specific Pathogen Free Pacific white shrimp, producing broodstock for our research and for sale to hatcheries. We also pushed the boundaries of low-salinity shrimp aquaculture and have developed similar techniques with other species including Florida pompano, a high-value food species. The latter work was part of a 10-year partnership with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, which

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R&D Centers

We were the first in the continental U.S. to design, construct, and operate a closed-system hatchery for raising Specific Pathogen Free Pacific white shrimp, producing

Experimental feed tanks at the Zeigler Aquaculture Research Center at FAU Harbor Branch.

broodstock for our research and for sale to hatcheries.

also produced numerous advances in recirculating culture technology, nutrition for low-salinity culture of marine species (including reduction of fish meal use), and husbandry techniques spanning egg to product. The USDA work and previous seaweed, polyculture, and husbandry studies led to our present land-based integrated multi-trophic aquaculture research focus. The core technology is a novel recirculating system that employs a computer-controlled huband-spoke architecture to distribute nutrients to separately cultured species. Now in its fifth year of operation, the system has enabled us to test several combinations of fed (e.g., fish, shrimp), extractive (e.g., urchins, sea cucumbers) and assimilative (e.g., macroalgae, Salicornia) culture species and to study numerous associated harvest yield, nutrition, animal health, energy use, and nutrient cycling issues. Some of this work is being transferred and extended through partnerships with seafood start-ups dedicated to sustainability. Developing viable species and techniques for restoration and stock enhancement is another primary research focus. Seagrasses provide several functions that are critical to ecosystem health, and they are vulnerable to factors such as degraded water quality and coastal development. Our research into seagrass culture and restoration techniques goes back decades and continues to the 36 Âť

The assimilative species portion of the integrated multi-trophic aquaculture system is located outside.

The FAU Harbor Branch Aquatic Animal Health Lab offers a range of molecular-, microbial-, and histologybased service.

Results of Florida pompano growth experiments are assessed.

present day with a particular focus on the estuary just beyond our back door. We also have worked with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Institute of Technology, and Mote Marine Laboratory on land-based technology and techniques to culture redfish for stock enhancement of this prized sportfish species. These partnerships helped lay the groundwork for a current collaboration with the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust to develop bonefish culture techniques and stock enhancement strategies to improve the fisheries in the flats of the Florida Keys.

nological and feed innovations have increased the yields and reduced the resource and environmental costs of aquaculture production. We expect that as global demand for seafood continues to rise, our past and ongoing efforts will continue to shape aquaculture practices and help enable future generations to meet their nutritional needs. The Harbor Branch Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) has served the shellfish (shrimp, bivalves) and shrimp feed industry since 2000, providing certification for pathogens of industry concern that enable movement of product domestically and internationally. Using a combination of molecular, microbial, and histological techniques, the laboratory also provides diagnostic services to shellfish and fish producers experiencing unknown or suspected health issues, and is one of only a handful of U.S. laboratories providing these services to the aquaculture industry at large. In addition to certification and diagnostic services, AAHL is equipped to conduct related studies such as challenge and feed trials important to the welfare and growth of the aquaculture industry, and has also partnered with state and local agencies concerned with the health of natural populations of aquacultured species such as oysters.

Impact For more than four decades we have been working to refine the boundaries of whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possible in aquaculture. This has included establishing culture practices for several dozen aquatic species for food, stock enhancement, restoration efforts, and the aquarium trade. In addition to seeding the Florida clam farming industry by providing aquaculture training and supplies, we domesticated a new species, the Sunray venus clam, that has diversified and strengthened this sector. Our shrimp research has helped enable businesses in the U.S. Midwest, for example, to perform low-salinity, highdensity shrimp aquaculture thousands of miles from the oceans. We have conducted studies demonstrating the Crosscurrents business potential of large-scale cul- As a research organization, we see ture of Florida pompano. Our tech- collaboration as a goal and competition as counterproductive to the efficient development of technology needed to advance aquaculture in the United States. Aquaculture deOur technological and velopment is an area that requires a feed innovations have diversity of ideas. A primary focus for us is transfer of techniques and increased the yields and technology, and the value of our efreduced the resource and forts is demonstrated by the uptake of these products by industry. The environmental costs of rate at which this occurs can vary aquaculture production. widely: Commercial adoption of a newly domesticated aquaculture species may take decades, whereas animal health and nutrition advances are

Sea lettuce from the integrated multi-trophic aquaculture system is harvested and weighed.

likely to be integrated much more quickly. One validation of our results is the fact that Zeigler Bros. earlier this year decided to locate its Zeigler Aquaculture Research Center at Harbor Branch. We are also very proud of how our workforce development efforts have helped produce careers and businesses for so many.

Future Perhaps the most significant longterm challenge we face is the expansion of aquaculture to help satisfy an expected doubling in the global demand for food over the next 40 years. Much of our research is dedicated to minimizing resource inputs and maximizing production outputs in the production of a safe and healthful food supply, which becomes all the more important as demand continues to grow. We also are dedicated to selective domestication of brookstock for marine species, which remain underrepresented in aquaculture in relation to fish consumption patterns. To know more about us please visit: www.fau.edu/hboi/

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What better way to begin closing this year than with



he past 24 - 27 of October, Guayaquil, Ecuador welcomed members of the shrimp aquaculture industry from Latin America and all around the world with one main goal: to discuss and get to know current and future directions in shrimp production. Guayaquil, the economic capital and the most important port of Ecuador, hosted the XVIII Ecuadorian Aquaculture Conference & AquaExpo 2016, which was held at the Hilton Colon Hotel. The event was organized by the National Chamber of Aquaculture (CNA, for its acronym in Spanish) along with the Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL).

AQUAEXPO 2016 One of the characteristic aspects of this event is its trade show, which had more than 155 booths this year, bringing together 110 companies related to the aquaculture industry. An estimated 3,000 daily visitors had the opportunity to know about the products and services offered by the different companies. The event aims to connect producers, processors, traders and other participants in the shrimp farming production chain, and provide them with knowledge of the latest advances so that they can improve their technological processes of production, processing and marketing. 38 »

The Ecuadorian Aquaculture Conference & AquaExpo 2016 has become the event no one wants to miss, where all stakeholders involved in farmed shrimp production in Latin America gather to discuss issues like new technological and nutritional advances, trends, and strategies for the following years. In its XVIII edition, the event proved why it is one of the most important in Latin America, surpassing all attendees’ and expositors’ expectations. By walking around the trade show area, it was possible to perceive the current importance that feed and feed additives have for the development and growth of the industry. More than a third of the exhibiting companies were focused on these topics, offering a new range of feed formulations and feed additives to improve shrimp performance and resistance to disease and other challenges. Another group of companies that stood out in the trade show area were equipment suppliers, both technology developers and traders, which represented another third of the companies exhibited. The trade show also served to introduce new technologies to the industry. This was the case of the Spanish company, Forbos, which presented a range of drones that can aid in shrimp production with surveillance tasks, such as the control of avian pests or physicochemical and biological parameters. Large aquaculture companies take advantage of this event to display their best booth designs. This year,

the leading feed company Vitapro won the best booth award for the 3rd consecutive year, although the twofloor booth of Skretting had a very good rating among visitors.

XVIII Ecuadorian Aquaculture Conference The event featured a first-rate conference program, in which over 1,100 attendees had the opportunity to listen to 32 lectures given by 32 speakers of international stature. This accounted for almost 19 hours of conferences with relevant shrimp farming themes, such as advances in nutrition and dietary practices (24 %), shrimp market and economic efficiency (10 %), mariculture and diversification (19 %), innovations and trends in shrimp farming (15 %), and disease control (32 %). The event was mainly focused on shrimp farming, but it is well known that diversification is key to sustainable aquaculture production in the upcoming years. The conference “Mariculture and diversification” addressed

Eng. Henry Roncal, National Coordination of R&D, Farmavet.

Alexandra Vasconez, Head of Marketing & Communications, and Piero Botteri, Commercial Manager of SKRETTING.

Eng. Max Ruiz, Sales Manager of FERTIVIN.

During the four days of the event, Cargill ofered a lounge area highly occupied at all times.

Marcos Carrera Táboas, CEO of Fobos.

topics related to mollusk farming and its potential to recover natural beds; the culture of sea cucumber, a species with high potential for aquaculture; as well as the advances in marine fish farming in Colombia and Ecuador. The conference cycle concluded with a session related to the control of disease in shrimp farming. Speakers from Ecuador, Mexico, France, Belgium, Saudi Arabia and Thailand spoke about the current situation of diseases in Asia and Latin America, functional feed, alternatives to antibiotics, monitoring and control measures, genetics and other topics related to the threat that disease represents for the shrimp farming industry worldwide.

UNIDO workshop Parallel to AQUAEXPO 2016, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) organized a workshop in which representatives of the aquaculture industry from Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico and Ecuador met to develop specific strategies to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the aquaculture industries in each of their countries. Another topic discussed at the workshop involved possible strategies to improve the environmental sustainability of the industry (energy and water efficiency). Cargill invests in Ecuador The Monday before the event, Cargill

Louie Owens, president of AQUA-LIFE PRODUCTS.

announced a total investment of 50 million USD for the construction of a shrimp feed plant and an R&D facility, which will be located in Guayaquil. The feed plant is expected to produce 180,000 tons and to start operating in May 2018. Its production is intended to supply the Ecuadorian shrimp industry, which is currently largely supplied by imports from Peru and Chile. During the four day event, Cargill offered a lounge area where attendees gathered to share experiences, close negotiations and even watch a “classic” Ecuadorian soccer match.

Latin America’s potential The FAO and the World Bank consider Latin America a future leadingregion in aquaculture production. This event is evidence that companies and governments in this region are working towards exploiting this potential. One of the highlights of this event is the exchange of ideas carried out in the conference rooms and the exhibition area halls, as well as the negotiated and closed business deals that take place during the event. Attendees of this event are mainly stakeholders of the farmed shrimp industry that are determined, proactive, and have clear objectives when attending. So now you know, if you are interested in Latin America’s shrimp farming industry, this is one of the events you might want to schedule for 2017! » 39

Latin America Report

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

BioMar Acquires Research and Development Center in Chile Chile. – The Danish company specialized in aquafeeds agreed to acquire 30 % of the Lenca Research Center of Aquainovo, located 33 km from Puerto Montt, in Southern Chile. From now on, this research center will be called Aquaculture Technology Center Patagonia (ATC Patagonia). This research center, built in 2011 and later renovated in 2015, has been characterized by its high standards with regard to quality, monitoring, control and biosafety. It is considered one of the most modern and complete R&D centers in South America. Matias Del Campo, General Manager of Aquainnovo, commented: “Aquainnovo has a state-of-the-art infrastructure and proven record of applied trials. Our team of specialists is permanently supporting our customers by effectively developing solutions to the main technological challenges in the industry. This initiative will strengthen the technological development thanks to the synergy of knowledge that is being brought in from both companies.” The installed capacity of the ATC Patagonia allows executing more than 16 tests simultaneously; its facilities include reception, quarantine and special areas to perform trials at different scales, nutrition and feeding, parasites, pathogens and other multi-use areas. The center operates under strict biosecurity standards, water treatment systems and standardized management practices to reduce environmental impacts and ensure fish welfare. ATC Patagonia will increase the exchange of knowledge and generate solutions to the current challenges that the aquaculture sector is facing 40 »

The acquisition of ATC Patagonia is part of BioMar’s continuing efforts to improve their innovation capacity. BioMar’s researchers will focus on the development of functional feeds and fish welfare.

worldwide. This acquisition will increase BioMar’s R&D efforts and its quest to provide functional feed to the aquaculture industry.

Ecuador and the European Union Sign Trade Agreement Ecuador. – On November 11, 2016, at a ceremony held in Brussels, representatives of the European Union (UE), Ecuador, Colombia and Peru signed the protocol of Ecuador for the EU’s existing free trade agreement with Colombia and Peru, which has been functioning since 2013. Once applied, this agreement will boost trade between the two countries and increase price stability of market products. The signed agreement will allow the entrance of a set of Ecuadorian products such as shrimp, tuna, other seafood products, cut flowers, coffee, cocoa, fruits and nuts to the EU market free of tariffs. The agreement also includes commitments on the enforcement of labour and environmental standards. For the moment, the Ecuadorian shrimp exports to the EU market en-

joy duty preferences (3.6 %), which expire at the end of this year. Signing this agreement will allow shrimp export to the UE free of tariffs, preventing Ecuadorian shrimp producers from paying a 12 % duty. In the case of tuna, the agreement allows this product to continue entering the EU market with 0 % duty, instead of 24 % duty that it would have to pay once the preferential tariffs expire. The signing of this agreement was of paramount importance for Ecuador, since, if the trade agreement was not approved and the 12 % duty was applied, it was estimated that economic losses for the Ecuadorian shrimp sector could reach US$7 million monthly, as the EU is the main destination of Ecuadorian exports.

AquaChile is one of the main fresh tilapia suppliers for the US. In 2015, the Chilean company produced 17,990 tons of tilapia in its farms located in Costa Rica and Panama, and its sales achieved a market share in the US of close to 20 %.

This agreement will not only boost Ecuadorian exports and, consequently, its economy, it will allow an exchange of technology to enhance yields, productivity and lower production costs in the farmed shrimp industry.

AquaChile is Targeting Mexico to Increase Exports to the US Chile. – According to information published by The Economist in early November, AquaChile is exploring the possibility of producing tilapia in Mexico, in order to strengthen its exports to the US market. AquaChile is one of the main farmed salmon companies in the world and one of the main fresh tilapia suppliers in the US. The Chilean company has tilapia farms in Costa Rica and Panamá, whose production is destined to supply supermarket chains, distributors and restaurant

chains in the US. According to the company’s Annual Report for 2015, tilapia production in Costa Rica and Panama reached 17,990 tons and had a contribution of 8 % of the company’s total sales. Fresh tilapia imports into the US mainly come from Costa Rica, Ecuador and Honduras. While frozen tilapia are imported from China and other Asian countries like Taiwan and Indonesia. Since tilapia has positioned itself in the US market and its demand increases year after year, with a registered growth rate of 12 % between 2001-2013 (AquaChile Annual Report 2015), AquaChile seeks to produce tilapia in Mexico to supply the US market, and, perhaps in the future, to venture into the European market, which has shown a great potential.

According to FAO data, the world average fish consumption is 18 kg per capita per year, while in Latin America it’s barely 9 kg per year, and in Central America and the Caribbean 6 kg per year. The FAO recommends a minimum consumption of 12 kg per capita per year.

Strengthening of FAO School Feeding Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean Panama. – On November 15th 2016, the Sub-Regional Forum on the Inclusion of Fish in School Feeding was held in Panama City. The event was organized by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education of Panama, along with FAO’s Sub-regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. During the forum, the progress in promoting the inclusion of fish in school meals in Central America was discussed. The event included the participation of FAO School Feeding Programs (PAE, for its acronym in Spanish) leaders in the region and representatives of Fisheries and Aquaculture agencies of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The main objectives of the forum were to share successful experiences of the incorporation of fish in PAEs between countries, and to design strategies with interinstitutional approaches for incorporating fish, small fish and aquaculture producers to these programs. The PAEs, implemented in thirteen countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, seek the development and strengthening of local and sustainable public school feeding policies. It has been proven that fish provides great nutritional and health benefits at all stages of life, and its inclusion in school diets can contribute to reducing childhood malnutrition. Besides this, the inclusion of fish in the PAEs will promote aquaculture development and consumption of local products, thus improving the economy of rural communities. “We have found that, in the same conditions of poverty, the levels of child malnutrition in indigenous communities near the coast are much lower than in those villages in the sierra, where they only eat chicken and pork as animal protein,” said Alejandro Flores, FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer in Latin America. » 41

Europe Report

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

PESCANOVA Plans the Construction of a New R&D Center in Galicia Spain. – The Spanish company PESCANOVA will invest in a new R&D center, which will be located in Galicia, Spain, and be named Pescanova BioMarine Center. This new project is part of the group’s expansion strategy and will be the most important private facility of its kind in Spain, and one of the three largest in Europe. With a total investment of $4.9 million USD the center, which will cover 4,000 m2 and is planned to start operating in 2017, will be built at El Grove, where the company holds a turbot grow out operation. The R&D center will carry out research activities focused on the species cultivated by the group at its different locations around the world, such as turbot, L. vannamei, and tilapia. Likewise, the center will work on research related to genetics, nutrition, management, health and the diversification of species with potential for aquaculture.

PESCANOVA is one of the strongest L. vannamei producers in Nicaragua.

The Spanish group intends to make Galicia an international point of reference at the forefront in aquaculture research and development. In order to achieve this goal, the group is working on integration with academic institutions, technological research centers, industry members and representatives of the public and private sector involved in the aquaculture industry.

Ireland Recognizes Aquaculture Companies at the “BIM National Seafood Awards 2016” Ireland. – This November, the Irish Sea Fisheries Board (BIM) celebrated the 2016 BIM Awards in Dublin, where Irish companies from the seafood industry were recognized for their excellence and outstanding contribution in different areas. After an open process of entry, the 38 finalists of the inaugural National Seafood Awards were announced on October 19th. The panel of judges selected the finalists under four categories: skills, sustainability, innovation and competitiveness across the 42 »

fishing, aquaculture, seafood processing and retail sectors. After nearly a month of deliberation, the judges announced the winners during a gala event on November 17th. Within the different categories, aquaculture companies were recognized for their contribution and effort towards the development and growth of the sector. The winners of each category are shown below: • Sustainability – Aquaculture Environmental & Social Responsibility Award: Blackshell Farm • Innovation – Innovation in Aquaculture: Dungarvan Shellfish Ltd • Competitiveness – Aquaculture Enterprise of the Year: Kush Seafarms Ltd The evening ended with the BIM Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to the family of the late Martin Howley, a recognized leader of the fisheries industry. During the event, BIM presented its new corporate identity. Both the awards and the new image of the agency are part of BIM’s strategy to boost the seafood industry under its

four key priorities – Skills, Sustainability, Innovation and Competitiveness. With the main objective of positioning Ireland as a world leading supplier of high value differentiated seafood products it promotes safe, responsible and sustainable seafood production practices. For more information about the finalists and winners, visit: www.bim.ie

The Scottish “2030 Aquaculture Strategy” Scotland. – In early November, “the 2030 Aquaculture Strategy” was launched; this plan is the result of the work done by a group of leading industry members and organizations of Scotland’s aquaculture industry, and it includes a set of actions necessary for the growth and development of the sector in the upcoming years. The new growth strategy intends to double the economic and social contribution of the aquaculture industry by 2030 and to establish Scotland as a global leader in the industry. The “2030 Aquaculture Strategy” establishes a series of recommendations which revolve mainly around six themes: industry leadership, regulations, innovation, skills development, investment and infrastructure. Among the recommendations mentioned in the plan, there are three that have been identified as critical: (1) the creation of a new industry leadership group, with the aim of aligning all stakeholders involved, from industry and government, with the purpose of achieving industry development; (2) a restructuring of the role of Marine Scotland, the government agency that regulates the sector, to maintain its regulatory role but to remove its industry development role; and (3) the construction and promotion of research and development centers to trial innovative equipment, technologies and fish health strategies. Scotland’s aquaculture industry is well known for salmon farming, the main component of its industry and the country’s top food export. Nevertheless, Scotland’s aquaculture is

The strategy plan intends to double the aquaculture economic contribution from $2.24 billion USD (£1.8bn) this year to $4.48 billion USD (£3.6bn) by 2030, as well as to increase the social impact of the industry by generating more than 9,000 new jobs.

quite diverse, from salmon and other finfish species, to the production of mussels and oysters and the culture of seaweed. The new strategy intends to exploit the full potential of aquaculture in Scotland. When commenting on the strategy, Stewart Graham, Group Managing Director of Gael Force Group and co-chair of the Working Group, said “This new strategy reflects the industry’s ambition to drive sustainable growth and for Scotland to be a world leader in aquaculture. We have developed a roadmap to 2030, which can make a transformational impact on Scotland’s economy and our rural communities.”

Scottish Sea Farms Ltd starts operating its new site in Orkney Scotland. – This autumn, Scottish Sea Farm Ltd just started operating a new salmon farm, located in Wester-

bister, Orkney. The construction of this new site took 4 years of hard work and a $4.37 million USD (£3.5 million) investment. The site consists of 16 x 100 m cages, and has an estimated production capacity of 1,791 tons. The cages are already stocked and the smolts in place are expected to be harvested in early 2018. This site is the second largest Scottish Sea Farms site in Orkney. Its construction and operation represent a boost to the local economy, since it has been a source of employment and the company has sought to consume services and products from regional suppliers, aiming to contribute to the regional economy. The salmon production obtained in this new site will help Scotland to meet the increasing demand, global and domestic, of this fish in the present and the future. » 43

Aquaculture Without Frontiers

News from

Aquaculture Without Frontiers ORNAMENTAL ACTIONS ASSIST WOMEN AND TRADE Aquaculture Without Frontiers recently announced Dr. Amonrat

Dr. Amonrat Sermwatanakul.

Sermwatanakul as their WoM for October (delayed in respect for the much revered King of Thailand). A well-deserved nominee, as she is the National focal point for fisheries in Thailand having over 30 years’ experience in aquaculture extension and research.


monrat is renowned for her outstanding work empowering women to improve their livelihoods by developing ornamental fish farms. As an expert in ornamental fish Dr. Sermwatanakul has transferred her knowledge by initiating training courses not only for ornamental fish farming but online marketing for small scale fish farmers. This has had a tremendous impact allowing women to sell their fish all over the world. Her entrepreneurship in the online world also led to the creation of ‘DrNoi.com’ a social networking think tank and global communications tool for the ornamental fish industry. This site assists not only fish farmers but retailers and exporters. Ornamental fish production in Thailand continues to be a steadily growing industry. High quality fish have been produced, facilitated by a richness of natural resources and traditional experience. As a specialist in the Thai Department of Fisheries, Amonrat’s long-term expertise in ornamental fish includes the development and breeding of new varieties. Raising awareness and interest in ornamental fish particularly in the village areas has led to the initiation and establishment of numerous small scale fish 44 »

farms, creating an additional source of income for rural folks. In particular, empowering village based women by providing training in intensive production of ornamental fish has boosted their livelihoods. Since 2013 she has played a key role teaching women how to produce Betta splendens (Siamese fighting fish) on a commercial scale. This has become a success story as a lot of woman farmers are engaged in this business, bringing in additional income to support their families. Part of this training includes how to classify their product and market it effectively to international customers. She has done this by setting up training sessions and closely working with the farmers, assisting them to network, communicate and coordinate their efforts. In the last two years remarkable change has occurred in that some 1,500 farmers in Thailand, particularly women have become self-sufficient. Dr. Amonrat has not only been recognized in supporting the farmers in Thailand, but also for supporting the Network for Promotion of Gender in Fisheries Management and Development in the Lower Mekong Basin (NGF) for 10 years. In 2008 Amonrat was awarded the Department of Fish-

Dr. Amonrat Sermwatanakul (yellow).

eries government award for National Outstanding Work for Gender Ability. In 2015, Amonrat was recognized by the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) for her contribution to in-country assessment and gender analysis in the aquaculture value chain of small-scale shrimp farming and tilapia cage culture in Thailand. Previously, Amonrat received the outstanding senior official level award from Thailand Department of Fisheries in 2015. A true gender champion!




wF has formalized the working relationships between the different AwF Groups to ensure that there is consistency and cohesiveness in the worldwide operations of AwF as a charity. At present there are three (3) affiliated AwF organisations around the world – USA (Americas region), Australia (Oceania region) and recently Latin America (based in Mexico). The new executive group is the ‘Aquaculture without Frontiers International Council’. All national and regional offices have decided to follow an agreed global campaign strategy but work independently within their regional/local context and in seeking the necessary financial support from donors, programs and grants to fund their work, etc. We need organisations in different countries to create tax benefits

for donors and to be eligible for any local funding. Whilst most countries talk about global engagement, it is very clear that they are only funding and engaging their own registered organizations and people – it is true to say that aid funding is more strategic than it has ever been. The AwF International Council will comprise our global executive director and two members from each organizational board (USA, Australia and Latin America) on a rotation basis of three (3) years. Each of the current regional organizations is responsible for its own funding with consideration being made by them in funding the Executive/Secretariat on a fair and equitable basis. Any new regional group must seek, and be granted written approval, from the International Council before using the organization’s brand, logo, etc. There will only be

one website (www.aquaculturewithoutfrontiers.org) and all of the social media hubs in which the organization members engage must also be approved by the AwF International Council. The approved social media hubs will be listed and linked on our new website. The current AwF International Council comprises Dr Albert Tacon, Dr Meryl Williams, Dr Antonio Garza de Yta, Citlali Gomez Lepe, Katherine Hawes, Dave Conley and Roy Palmer.

Information can be seen at http://www.aquaculturewithoutfrontiers.org/about/international-council/

» 45

Aquaculture Stewardship Council

News from the

Aquaculture Stewardship Council ASC Launches Seriola and Cobia Standard he Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) announced on November 1 that the Seriola and Cobia Aquaculture Dialog is complete. The final Seriola and Cobia standard is the result of more than 8 years of development by farmers, scientists, conservationists, and others with a shared vision of ending practices that can cause harm to the environment and negatively impact workers, in order to move the overall aquaculture industry towards sustainability. “The completion of the Seriola and Cobia standard allows the ASC to get ever closer to our ultimate goal of transforming global aquaculture to a more sustainable basis,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC. “This standard is a testament to the hundreds of professionals who joined in the Dialogue and gave of their time and expertise throughout this extensive process. We are pleased to have worked with them to deliver a standard that will protect the environment and help farmers, workers, and local communities.” “As one of the leading seafood retailers in Japan, AEON welcome the ASC Seriola and Cobia Standard,” said Kinzou Matsumoto, General Manager, Seafood Department, Food Merchandis-


ing Planning Division, AEON Retail Co., Ltd. “Both species are widely consumed in Japan, and AEON will supply this responsibly farmed seafood to a wide range of customers. This will help to familiarize them with ASC certification, and allow AEON to strengthen their commitment to sustainability and carry on Japan’s rich food traditions to the next generation.” Seriola are commonly known as amberjack, yellowtail kampachi, hamachi and hiramasa. The standard was developed for both seriola and cobia because production methods for the two species are similar and the knowledge and expertise necessary to create a standard are the same. Most Seriola is farmed in Japan, but farms can also be found in Australia, South America and the United States among many other regions. Cobia production has increased greatly in recent years and it has become an important aquaculture species in the United States, Puerto Rico, Belize and many parts of Asia. The Seriola and Cobia Dialogue formally began in Seattle, Washington in early 2009 with a public meeting to set the goals and objectives of the Dialogue. As the process continued, several additional public meetings were held in locations around the world, including Mexico and Japan. Over the

course of the Dialogue, participants identified the key environmental and social impacts associated with the farming of four types of seriola (S. rivoliana, S. quinqueradiata, S. dumerilli and S. lalandi) and cobia. The information was used to determine the principles most important to addressing the impacts of Seriola and Cobia farming and the indicators to measure the extent of each impact. This information provided the framework for creating measurable, performance-based standards for the responsible farming of the two species. All reports, presentations and documents related to the Dialogue were publically posted online. The process also included multiple periods for public comment to the draft principles, criteria, indicators and full draft of the standards for seriola and cobia as each become available. The ASC is responsible for setting and maintaining the standards, but farms must undergo an audit to determine whether they are eligible to become certified by an independent certification and assessment body (CAB). Auditors, and the CABs that employ them, are fully objective and not connected to the ASC. Only CABs that have been accredited and monitored by another independent accreditation organization, Accreditation Services International (ASI), can determine whether a farm meets the ASC standard criteria to become certified.

Shrimp farmer and packing plant in Ecuador recognized for its responsible aquaculture On November 3, the shrimp farmer Sociedad Nacional Galapagos (SON46 »

GA) received the official ASC certificates for its cluster farms Naturisa Farm, Josefina-Rio Nilo Farm and Camaron Camino Real Farm, as well as for its Lebama Farm, all situated in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The certificates were handed over to SONGA by Jing Dong of Control Union, the independent certification assessment body (CAB) that carried out the farm assessments, during the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo 2016 in Qingdao, China. The nowcertified sites were assessed by Control Union Peru this spring together with another two farms, Agromarina and Salmo, which are also expected to gain ASC certification. “SONGA is proud to be certified to the highest standard for shrimp aquaculture. It is increasingly important to be able to show to our clients around the world that we use responsible farming methods and minimize the impacts of our operations, and being certified to ASC standard allows us to do so. We have seen a growing interest in certified shrimp from the US, Europe, China and other Asian countries and our certification will help us grow in these important markets,” said Rodrigo Laniado, SONGA CEO. SONGA operates shrimp farms that represent 75 % of its production, two hatcheries, a research facility and a processing plant with the help of its 1000 employees. In 2014, the farm produced more than 12,000 tons of shrimp, which has allowed it to become

one of the main shrimp exporters in Ecuador as well as a reliable supplier to the European, North American and Asian markets. In 2015, SONGA was the number one Ecuadorian shrimp exporter to the US, South Korea and mainland China. Aquaculture certification is as an integral part of SONGA’s production process, allowing them to guarantee high quality and safety to their customers. There are currently 63 farms certified against the ASC Shrimp Standard across the globe producing 91,076 metric tons of certified shrimp, and another 22 shrimp farms in assessment waiting for the outcome of their assessments. Out of the farms certified, 8 farms originate in Ecuador with a further 15 farms in Latin America (8 in Belize, 8 in Honduras and one in Nicaragua).

Japanese retailer Kasumi launches responsibly sourced processed oysters One of the largest retail chains in Japan, Kasumi Co. Ltd., which operates 178 stores in the north region of Kanto Plain, has introduced certified responsibly farmed processed oysters sourced from a local farm. To highlight the new assortment of ASC and MSC labelled seafood, an exclusive in-store promotional display was launched at their flagship store, Food Square Tsukuba Style in Tsukuba city. The marketing display will be a permanent fixture in the store and has been created in collaboration with MSC Japan and features a new set of claims. The claims have been developed to be easily understood by all age groups, in particular children, to give consumers a better understanding of the certified seafood products they purchase. “We believe that the consumers in our region are highly conscious about environmental

issues. So we focus on providing products that reflect this demand such as ASC certified oysters with processed packages”, said Hiroyuki Akao, Kasumi’s Manager of Fish Merchandise section. “We are expecting that our customers’ response will be stronger to the added value of ASC certification. As we operate in a limited area we can also quickly offer a wider assortment of seafood which meet the customer’s demand in our region. This sets us apart and allows us to create originality in our stores.” Three ASC labelled products are now on sale at the Food Square Tsukuba Style store, steamed oyster in tray pack, smoked oyster in tray pack and jarred oyster confit. The oysters are produced in the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, in the north east of Japan that is still recovering from the devastating Tōhoku earthquake disaster five years ago. In recent years, the oyster farms have improved their environmental performance to gain ASC certification. Their efforts have been great for the ecosystem of the region and those who work on the farm and it has resulted in this new sales opportunity. The Kasumi’s certified seafood assortment also includes Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) labelled products. Kasumi is planning to expand its certified product range to more stores with a step-by-step approach. They have a strong relationship with their seafood supplier whose support has been instrumental in helping Kasumi launch their new line of certified seafood. Kasumi has plans to launch ASC certified Atlantic salmon and Whiteleg shrimp in stores soon. ASC Staff http://www.asc-aqua.org/

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News from the NAA

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Denies Double-Crested Cormorant Depredation Permits


owever, even more troubling is the fact that FWS will not agree to use an alternative solution to protect fish farms from cormorant depredation. The court that instructed FWS to suspend the depredation “order” wrote that FWS could be permitted to issue “farm-specific depredation permits” to allow control of cormorants while the “order” is under review. In response to a legal challenge led by an organization, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, against the FWS for its five year extension of two depredation orders that had been in place since 1998, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia remanded the 2014 Aquaculture Depredation Order (2014 Order) for the double-crested cormorant and directed the FWS to expand its consideration of alternatives that had been included in its prior National Environmental Policy Act review. In its subsequent May 2016 opinion, the Court noted the opportunity for FWS to issue individual permits and appeared to rule in favor of vacatur because of the availability of individual permits. In explaining his decision, the judge concluded that the FWS had “...not made a compelling case that rescission [of the depredation order] will cause significant consequences to aquaculture because the forecasted harms are imprecise or speculative.” In effect, the FWS failed to provide the court with details of how seriously fish farmers would be impacted without the ability to control cormorants. The double-crested cormorant is a large water bird that feeds mainly on fish. Commercial fish ponds are stocked at high densities ranging from 2,000 to 60,000 catfish per acre and 50,000 to almost 200,000 bait fish per acre. These production practices make fish farms highly susceptible to bird predation, particularly by cormorants. 48 »

Numerous U.S. fish farms are at risk of severe cormorant predation and devastating financial injury that could have been avoided. After losing the first round of a lawsuit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has been prevented from extending the recently expired depredation order for double-crested cormorants. The FWS was found to have not properly performed a required review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As a result, a depredation order available to farms since in 1998 cannot be reissued.

A study conducted prior to the 2014 Order estimated cormorant related production losses on catfish farms in the Mississippi delta region at 18 to 20 million fingerlings per winter. A 1996 USDA survey of catfish producers indicated that birds were responsible for 37 % of catfish losses. Cormorants cause additional economic hardship by spreading fish parasites. The 2014 Order represented smart government through collaboration between the FWS’s biological experts and the on-farm assistance provided by the USDA Wildlife Services. The 2014 Order allows commercial freshwater fish producers in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas that hold a permit issued by the FWS to take double-crested cormorants when the birds were found

committing or about to commit depredation on aquaculture stocks. Farmers are required to implement non-lethal techniques as a precondition to being permitted to use lethal take under these permits. Most of the farms affected are family-owned and located in rural areas. These fish farmers pride themselves on being conscientious environmental stewards that are producing high quality food fish or bait fish for U.S. consumption. The NAA urges all fish farmers to contact the office of their congressional representatives and request that FWS be requested to reconsider and issue depredation permits to individual farms. Contact information for Representatives or Senators is available from http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and http://www.senate.gov/index.htm, respectively. For additional information, please contact the National Aquaculture Association at 850-216-2400 or naa@thenaa.net.

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Offshore Aquaculture

CI, ASC, RAS, the Seriola Cobia Standard,

and the future of earth as we know it In the lead-up to the just-passed Presidential election, journalists in

America were beset by paroxysms of anguish over how to cover the campaign equitably. Journalists who had been taught to always strive for balance were struggling to find what they considered a reasonable reflection of the issues; what was fair game, and what was giving By Neil Anthony Sims*

voice to the venal and the vitriolic.


e asked them – and they asked of themselves - why do journalists always feel so pressed to present such opposing viewpoints? What if you convened an argument, and everyone agreed? (Or almost everyone … there is always some bleating in the background, but it is rarely based on anything but anger and bitterness). This question is not just for American political ethicists (if that’s not an oxymoron), but it is also germane to those of us who are deeply committed to furthering the cause of offshore aquaculture. And we have seen this issue in stark relief in recent months: a number of news stories that addressed the issue of advancing aquaculture in U.S. Federal waters – both in the Gulf of Mexico and the Western Pacific regions – have drawn heavily on carping criticisms from the Recirculating Farms Coalition, yet have widely and blithely ignored the

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Marine fish are highly consumed around the world, and until now, offshore aquaculture has been the only production method that is consistently producing more than 1,000 tons/year.

preponderance of opinion from most respected academics, and most of the science-driven conservation NGOs. …………… The tipping point for aquaculture’s image – when the veil was finally lifted - was most probably the publication of the Blue Frontiers study in 2012, by Conservation International and Worldfish Center together. Prior to that, aquaculture – and fish farming, in particular – had been the whipping boy of most of the marine-focused NGOs, maligned for every imaginable ill, and many that were unimaginable. Blue Frontiers was the most visible manifestation of the conservation community’s collective re-think; an objective review of what the data truly meant. This full Life-Cycle Assessment of the whole range of animal protein production systems had concluded that hands down, far and away, aquaculture was the least impactful of all. This conclusion was incontrovertible, and overwhelming in terms of its implications for future land use, water use, energy use and – most compellingly – greenhouse gas emissions. Extrapolation from the study’s findings left no room for continued vilification of fish farming. If the 3 billion people projected to rise into the middle class in the next 35 years are eating beef, then the planet is, to use the French, screwed. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions

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from terrestrial farm animals – particularly cattle – would push the Earth’s atmosphere closer to Venusian. And water and land use would …. well, they wouldn’t. They couldn’t. There simply is not enough arable land or fresh water to support that many cows. Those environmental and conservation organizations that allow science to drive their agenda took very good note. (And we do need to give them credit for that!) In a meeting soon after the publication of the study, the head of one leading ocean-focused conservation group even recited to me – pretty much line and verse – the extrapolation of outcomes in the paragraph above. He, too, saw the importance of expanding responsible aquaculture, to meet global protein needs, while avoiding these consequences. They had to follow the logic to these conclusions. It was solid science, and it was published by Conservation International: there is no finer pedigree for objective assessment of environmental policy. Any conservation group or environmental activist who might exhort a cleaner, greener energy policy for the planet (“Yay, wind! Boo, coal!”), based on the best available science was therefore now compelled, to remain consistent, to also embrace the previously unfashionable notion of promoting farmed fish over GHG-belching bovines of our past pastoral idylls.

Offshore Aquaculture

Ever since, there has been growing momentum behind the movement for more fish farms. Or, more correctly, for more better fish farms. WWF had long ago led with the formation of the Aquaculture Dialogs. These then evolved into the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards – a mechanism for unbiased assessment of the impacts of aquaculture operations, and of mitigating and eventually minimizing those impacts. ASC then also provided a mechanism for rewarding the farmers for their efforts by according them market recognition – a little blue logo on their retail package, and better market access, or shelf position, or perhaps price.

And what about standards for marine fish? Back in 2008, the Ocean Stewards Institute – the open ocean aquaculture trade association - and other fish farming advocates suggested to WWF that standards should also be developed for marine fish, to allow offshore aquaculture to be accorded this “gold standard” of approval. We in the industry were keenly conscious of our need for objective air-cover; for multi-stakeholder-endorsed science to demonstrate how well we could do this. Seriola and cobia were identified as “the most likely to succeed.” Some eight years later, and our collective perseverance has been rewarded, with the recent release of the Seriola-Cobia Standard for ASC certification. This now provides opportunity for marine fish farms to have unbiased audits affirm the minimal footprint of their operations. There are also efforts now under way to use the Seriola-Cobia standard as the template for other farmed marine species. Snapper and grouper stakeholders have held a dialogue, and barramundi farmers are keen to move forward as well. This is all good news; this is real science, applying meaningful metrics, where previously there had been much misinformation and deliberate distortion. 52 »

There is not enough arable land or fresh water to allow the 3 billion people projected to rise into the middle class in the next 35 years to eat beef as their main animal protein source.

A partial point of view… Unfortunately, not all NGOs are truly interested in the environment, or conservation. Some seem to be steadfastly committed to fostering fractiousness, simply to justify their own existence. There is little other possible explanation for the persistent fearmongering and fish-farm-smearing by Food and Water Watch and their shill, the Recirculating Farms Coalition (RFC). In the above-referenced newspaper articles and blog-posts over the last month or so, the RFC has chosen to

deny the abundant science, and to instead trundle out the same, tired old tropes that have been proven so profoundly wrong. They essentially stand on the same side of the science fence as the climate deniers. This is not an excusable ignorance: Price and Morris; Rust, et al., and Blue Frontiers are all frequently and widely cited. RFC’s attitude is evidently just a single-minded, mendacious venality. They work the web-rabble into a frenzy of fear and anger. Instead of pitchforks and firebrands, they urge

Aquaponics have proven to be an excellent way of producing food, but the global increasing demand of marine fish cannot be achieved through this method of production.

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Offshore Aquaculture Table 1 Comparison of carbon footprints between open ocean net pens and land-based tank production of marine fish (based on data from Kona Blue Water Farms operations in Hawaii) OPEN OCEAN NET PENS Distance from harbor to site 8 Average vessel round trips 2.5 Average time per round trip 1.5 Average vessel power 500 Diesel consumption 50 CO2 Production by diesel engines 22.4 Annual carbon footprint 200 Annual production capacity 720,000 Kona Kampachi® produced 3,586 LAND-BASED TANKS Pump head (lift) Pump volume Pump draw Electricity demand CO2 Production by electricity generation Annual carbon footprint Annual production capacity Kona Kampachi® production demand

5 6,250 0.42 64 0.55

km per day hrs. Hp gallons/day lbs/gal tonnes CO2/yr kg/yr kg/ton CO2 m L/hr Kw.hr/Kgals Kw.hr/day lbs/Kw.hr

5.7 tonnes CO2/yr 10,000 kg/yr 1,743 kg/ton CO2

the reader to send a form letter to a Senator and … oh, yes, please also donate! The RFC argues that we can have our fish, and eat them too, simply by relying on aquaponics. Now, I’m a big fan of aquaponics; some of my best friends are aquaponickers. I would never think to malign their pastime, or impede their enjoyment. Some of the tastiest lettuce and tomatoes I have ever eaten have come from aquaponic systems. But aquaponics will not solve the seafood crisis, nor will it address the pressing animal protein needs we

“Our collective perseverance has been rewarded, with the recent release of the Seriola-Cobia Standard for ASC certification. This now provides opportunity for marine fish farms to have unbiased audits affirm the minimal footprint of their operations.”

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RAS have shown to be a great way to provide improved biosecurity for broodstock, larval rearing and nursery production of marine fish. But RAS systems are capital and energy intensive, hampering the scale up of operations. (Photo by Brenda Jones)

face as a planet. Consider: when was the last time that you heard someone in a sushi bar order tilapia, or carp? If it is not farmed, then sushi patrons will happily pay for wild marine fish, and ignore the Monterey Bay Aquarium color code. If it is not marine fish, then folk will choose the beef. RFC would then instead suggest that we just need to focus more on RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems) to provide us with abundant marine fish. Now, I’m a big fan of RAS; some of my best friends …. etc, etc. RAS is a great way to provide improved biosecurity for broodstock, larval rearing and nursery production of marine fish. But RAS systems are capital and energy intensive (see box). And – as a leading RAS expert pointed out to me, when I asked him why he was now working for a hatchery for a net pen operation – there is (neither to my knowledge, nor to his) not a single RAS system for marine fish anywhere in the world that is consistently producing more than 1,000 tons/year. RAS, currently, simply cannot scale. I would never for a moment suggest that we should stop research on aquaponics or RAS systems, or that we should sue NOAA to stop them from issuing RAS permits. We need all hands to the pumps, here! Every available option for producing tasty marine fish should be pushed and

prodded, invested in and endorsed. Our planet depends on it. Unless and until we can find a way to scalably produce the marine fish that we crave, then those 3 billion future diners will be ordering steak, rather than seafood. And that makes for a very crowded, much drier, less green, much warmer earth. And that will truly be a tragedy. We need our intrepid journalists to bring that truth to the fore in any discussion on open ocean aquaculture policies, and to focus more on – and to quote - the earnest environmentalists and fact-founded conservationists among the NGO community, instead of seeking out the loudest-screaming science-denying fringe. There is good press … and then there is public good. They’re not always the same thing.

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

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“The Risks to Healthy Fish” By Hugh Mitchell, MS.*

We are a risk averse species. Theories contend that this may be because, like most animals, we were evolutionarily programmed to be conservative and “overly-avoid” risk. Those that didn’t adopt this “safe versus sorry” strategy, probably were less prone to passing on their genes to subsequent generations. Although the author is not sure if it has been scientifically proven, this theory does pass the “biological plausibility” criterion.


ales and marketing people (and politicians from all sides!) have known our psychological make-up for years (if not for centuries). Although we like to fancy ourselves as informed shoppers, we tend to not make the best choices in what we buy, or in many of the day-to-day decisions that we make. Instead, marketers know that we are prone to making the LEAST RISKY CHOICE (Fig. 1), and often

Figure 1

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we do so without any notion of the true magnitude of this risk. A product brand that we trust - is a least risk choice. A company that we have dealt with for years - is a least risk choice. If the competition can be portrayed as a risky prospect (again by exaggerating an uncertain magnitude), then we have an excessively strong tendency to stick with the status quo and give that least risky prospect the benefit of the doubt.

This sales and marketing technique is not only used by commercial merchandizers, but also by activists trying to convince the public to rally to their cause: the evils of vaccines, gluten, GMO’s, antibiotics, political points of view, and sometimes: fish farming. In many cases, the seeds of doubt that are planted are enough to cause people to second guess issues and areas without any in-depth follow-up. Searching out supportive information from “Dr. Google” further fans the flames of these preliminary paranoiac notions while opposing factual presentations are ignored or dismissed. Before long, dogma is formed and a certain “truth” settles into a segment of society. Even when the facts are presented by impartial experts that give proper magnitude to the level of risk, the fear is so strong that this dogma becomes extremely hard to shake and put in its proper quantifiable context. We are more apt to think: “But what if...” and “Better be safe than sorry” - tenets that are used to justify a confirmation bias. Solid metrics are summarily dismissed even when they are available.

Risks to Fish Health in Aquaculture What does all this have to do with fish health in aquaculture? Aquaculture is technical, and is a business, or as with stock enhancement facilities, has tight budget constraints. This means that its practitioners are used to metrics. Unfortunately, in the past, these have not been extensively applied to fish disease. The preponderance of fish disease research has often been too “pathogenocentric” (the problem is the bacteria, virus or parasite), when in actuality fish population health (as well as terrestrial animal health AND human health) should more usefully be about risks, risk practices, and risk avoidances. Many seasoned fish culturists have developed an ingrained sense of this and manage it on an instinctual level. For example, they have developed a feel for what den-

Statistics can help an aquaculturist or fish health specialist more accurately gauge the risk of a product or a practice. Instead of guessing, statistics can be generated in order to help a farmer or industry put the proper attention where it should be going, and/or reaffirm risk notions from experience.

sities they need to keep their fish at with their particular water and containers in order to stave off persistent or episodic endemic diseases at their particular facility. However, when margins are thin and/or budgets are tight, risk reducing practices have to be prioritized. How does a farmer ensure that their risk hunches are indeed correct and prioritized? What if there are some hidden, unaccounted for risks that are being missed or under-appreciated? What is not always well studied or utilized in aquaculture are the quantitative tools that have been developed to help aquaculturists decide what really is risky and what isn’t, as well as providing fish culturists ways of prioritizing and dedicating time and resources to what really is important (versus being subjectively risk averse to something that may actually not matter significantly). So, the fundamental question is, and should be, for every fish farmer, given a specific disease: Why is there a variation in impact and mortality

between farms? Why do some sites and fish culture facilities get impacted to a greater extent than others when they all have the “bug”? In other words, why do some facilities seem to be more at risk to the disease and its impact than others? Mention “statistics” and most people’s eyes glaze over or you get comments like: “There are three types of lies - lies, damn lies, and statistics.” This is because most don’t appreciate the incredible tool that statistics is in helping us sort out a probabilistic world. In fact, there is no magic in statistics, it is simply a formal method of presenting data in order to help you decide whether something is probable or not. In medicine, there are many statistical tools that can help an aquaculturist or fish health specialist more accurately gauge the risk of a product or a practice. Instead of guessing on what might be contributing the most to a given disease situation, statistics can be generated in order to help a farmer or industry put the proper

attention where it should be going (i.e.: reduce the guesswork), and/or reaffirming risk notions from experience. It is beyond the scope of this column to be exhaustive on all statistical procedures, but in the next issue examples will be provided in order to show the value of this underutilized tool in fish health research and practice.

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

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Recent news from around the globe by Aquafeed.com

These are some of the highlights of the past few weeks at Aquafeed.com

By Suzi Dominy*

Still more to be learned in probiotics application in aquaculture robiotics in aquaculture have been around for some thirty years, demonstrating benefits in terms of modulation of the host immune system, as well as enhanced survival, feed utilization and disease resistance. And yet there are many who regard their use with some skepticism. In part this is because the term itself, when applied to aquaculture, can be confusing, since the animals live in a microbial laden environment, which has the potential for manipulation. The rearing water can be used as a vector for providing friendly microbes to the target organism, consequently the term “probiotic” has evolved to overlap with the terms “biocontrol” and “bioremediation agents” rather than simply beneficial bacteria applied in feed. Speaking at the Biomin World Nutrition Forum 2016 in Vancouver, Dr. Daniel Merrifield, Plymouth University, United Kingdom said the application of probiotics in aquaculture faced unique challenges not faced by applications in humans, other mammals or poultry. Fish are poikilothermic animals and thus their metabolism, and the metabolism of their microbiota (including the embedded probiotic), is heavily dependent on environmental conditions.


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Although there is sufficient evidence to conclude that most fish species will harbor a core microbiome in their gastrointestinal tracts, evidence also suggests that individual fish of the same species may develop different microbiome phenotypes when reared under different conditions, at different seasons, at different life stages, and/or when fed different diets. The different environmental conditions, as well as the different microbiome phenotypes, are therefore likely to greatly influence the efficacy of probiotic applications in aquaculture operations. This presents quite a challenge when attempting to develop optimal probiotic application strategies. Dr. Merrifield went on to say that future research efforts must focus on three main themes. “Firstly, gaining a better understanding of the normal microbiomes of fish; for a given fish species to what extent does the microbiome composition, abundance and diversity vary across life history stages? Do different fish genotypes harbor different microbiomes? Do different fish phenotypes (i.e. dominant vs subordinate; fast growers vs slow growers; robust vs disease susceptible) harbor different microbiomes?” “Secondly, a better understanding of the functional attributes of the microbiome is required. Not just

Dr. Daniel Merrifield, Plymouth University, UK, during the Biomin World Nutrition Forum 2016 in Vancouver.

which microbes are present in the gut, but what are they doing? With the ever depreciating costs of sequencing, and with the anticipated improvement of databases to include more strains commonly found in fish, this can be achieved through metagenomics and metatranscriptomics in the coming decade.” “Lastly, a better understanding of the localized host responses to the microbiome, and how such respons-

es may change when the microbiome is modulated or manipulated. This is beginning to be addressed through the use of transcriptomic appraisal of intestinal samples derived from probiotic fed fish.” Further research along these lines, as well as proteomic appraisal of intestinal mucus of probiotic fed fish, is warranted. With such information, we can then make more informed decisions as to which probiotics are appropriate for which species, as well as when and how to use them.

A need to re-think the way we approach aquaculture In addition to the importance of biomics, the threat of mycotoxin contamination and the recognition of aquaculture as an important provider of high quality, nutritious protein, were themes that held the attention of aquaculture delegates at the feed additive company’s biennial conference. However, in spite of its

many advantages over other proteins in terms of nutritional benefit, life cycle analyses, input and protein efficiencies, carbon footprint, and nitrogen and phosphorus discharges per unit of protein production, a lot still has to change if we are to feed 9.7 billion people by 2050 and a projected 12.3 billion people by 2100, according to Professor Barry Costa-Pierce from the Department of Marine Sciences, University of New England, USA. The expansion of mariculture will be the most important priority for the world’s protein future, Dr. Costa-Pierce told delegates. However, to realize its potential, management conflicts, due largely to educational deficiencies between fisheries and aquaculture managers, will need to end. “Aquaculture is routinely managed under agriculture, environment or fisheries agencies that have little knowledge, training or experience in aquaculture with its unique policy

Professor Barry Costa-Pierce from the Department of Marine Sciences, University of New England, USA.

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The expansion of mariculture will be the most important priority for the world’s protein future, Dr. Costa-Pierce mentioned. However, to realize its potential, management conflicts, due largely to educational deficiencies between fisheries and aquaculture managers, will need to end.

needs. Aquaculture and fisheries are so separate structurally and functionally in many countries’ governance systems and academic institutions that institutions and professionals have lost track of their common goal of delivering environmentally friendly, safe, sustainable seafood to the people they serve. Sensible regulatory alignment is needed to deliver products that sustain livelihoods,” Dr. Costa-Pierce said. More broadly there is a need for institutions to train the next generation of professionals in foods ecosystems. This would create a generation of stewards working in a new paradigm of planning for the supply of ocean and land foods. These professionals would develop and implement more comprehensive “Earth Foods Systems Plans.” In the ocean professions, especially to fisheries managers, conservationists, and marine science academic institutions in general, aquaculture is a disruptive social ecological set of pioneering technologies. Professional, regulatory, “decision-maker communities” in the aquatic natural resource areas are dominated by fisheries and conservation profession60 »

als. More comprehensive training needed for a sustainable food future would result in the development of a cadre of decision-makers who could conduct the integrated planning for agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, natural ecosystems, and their allied regional social infrastructures. The target areas of the world where this is most needed are where integrated freshwater aquaculture and mariculture can be developed to prevent the untold destruction of terrestrial ecosystems to create more arable lands for terrestrial food production. Costa-Pierce argued that there is an urgent need to develop cooperative, place-based, global centers of excellence in ocean foods ecosystems. The focus of these centers would be multidisciplinary investigations on experimental, but commercial-sized, mariculture systems located in the EEZ of nations that were representative of their ocean region’s social-ecological-economic conditions. There would also be the innovative opportunities to document the positive roles that restoration aquaculture can have in the Earth’s ocean biogeochemical cycles, habitats, ecosystems, and societies

of coastal ocean nations worldwide, as there are numerous examples of aquaculture facilities revitalizing natural aquatic habitats, ecosystems and fisheries, as opposed to degrading the natural environment, as much of terrestrial agriculture is doing. Without such multidisciplinary centers working on real systems, investment plans for the sustainable expansion of mariculture will suffer from a lack of a rational, scientific basis for planning and policy, and continue to be replaced by heresy, junk science, and advocacy, he concluded.

Suzi Dominy is the founding editor and publisher of aquafeed.com. She brings 25 years of experience in professional feed industry journalism and publishing. Before starting this company, she was co-publisher of the agri-food division of a major UK-based company, and editor of their major international feed magazine for 13 years. editor@aquafeed.com

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Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing

Balancing Capital Investment, Cash Flow, and Profits from a New Technology: The Case of Split Ponds and Intensively Aerated Ponds for Catfish Production Aquaculture technologies continue to be developed by researchers and industry personnel. Some of these technologies have resulted in dramatic gains in productivity and are associated with periods of rapid growth of various aquaculture sectors around the world (See Kumar Carole R. Engle, Ph.D. Engle-Stone Aquatic$ LLC Strasburg, VA


here are many reasons why some technologies are adopted widely while others are not. A full discussion of the very large literature of technology adoption in agriculture generally is beyond the scope of this column. Decisions to make the changes necessary to adopt a new technology reflect the fact that each farm is a unique business entity with a different financial position, work force, and different strengths and weaknesses. This column will address the decision by an individual farmer as to whether to adopt a new technology on his/her farm and will draw from studies on the economics of split ponds and intensively aerated ponds for catfish production.

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and Engle 2016 for a summary of technologies that appear to have triggered rapid growth in salmon, shrimp, and tilapia industries).

For many farms, the most attractive new technologies are those that improve some aspect of productivity, with the underlying assumption that greater productivity will result in greater profits. In the case of split ponds and intensively aerated ponds, the substantial increases in yields improve the efficiency of use of land and pond resources, as more pounds of catfish are produced per acre. However, are split ponds and intensively-aerated ponds profitable, given the increased capital investment? For profits to increase for a given sales price of catfish, either variable or fixed costs per pound of production will need to decrease. In the case of split ponds and intensively-aerated ponds, there is little difference in variable costs per pound of production primarily because feed conversion ratios are not generally different as compared to those in traditional open ponds. The effect is primarily that on fixed costs,

as greater yields of catfish raised in split ponds and intensively-aerated ponds will spread fixed costs over a greater total volume of production. The question becomes whether the increased yields are high enough to result in sufficient additional revenue to more than offset the increased fixed costs that result from the additional capital investment. Economic analyses of split-pond (Kumar et al. 2016) and intensivelyaerated technologies (Kumar and Engle in press) developed from a survey of the catfish industry, showed that catfish production must be greater than 11,000 to 13,000 lb/ acre in split ponds and greater than 11,000 lb/acre in intensively aerated ponds to be profitable. Their survey also showed that 83 % of the split ponds and 86 % of the intensivelyaerated ponds observed in the study produced yields great enough to be profitable. Those that were not profitable had not stocked at a sufficient-

A survey of the catfish industry, showed that catfish production must be greater than 11,000 to 13,000 lb/ acre in split ponds to be profitable (Kumar and Engle in press).

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Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing

Figure 1. Paddlewheel circulator connecting the fish containment and waste treatment areas of a split-pond on a commercial catfish farm. Photo courtesy of Ganesh Kumar, Mississippi State University.

ly high density to achieve the yields necessary for profitability. The change in profitability is not the only consideration related to investing additional capital into an aquaculture business. A farm with cash flow problems would be ill-advised to initiate a transition to split ponds. To convert a traditional open pond to a split pond requires taking that pond out of production for an entire year. Thus, that year’s production will be lost which will reduce cash revenue. While split ponds may be more profitable, a farm with cash flow problems needs to improve cash flow first to prepare for the loss of revenue when ponds are taken out of production for conversion to split ponds. If the farm business will need to borrow capital for the investment, then a farm with a weak or highrisk financial position will be better advised to strengthen financial position prior to incurring additional debt. The plan to adopt a new technology must include plans for it to be adequately capitalized, but with a reasonable level of financial risk, to increase the odds of a successful transition. Such longer-term considerations were examined by Kumar and Engle (in press) in their analysis of optimal investment pathways for split-pond and intensively-aerated catfish pond technologies. Results showed that 64 »

farms with limited availability of capital might be better off adding additional aeration first, to generate sufficient revenue and capital to slowly begin to convert traditional open ponds to split ponds over a period of years. Intensifying aeration requires less investment capital, but does require additional operating capital to stock and feed at higher rates and to pay increased utility bills. While less profitable than split ponds, intensive aeration can serve as an intermediate step to intensify the farm while strengthening financial position and possibly correcting cash flow problems until the farm is in a position to have adequate capital to convert to split ponds. More intensive production systems such as split ponds and intensively-aerated ponds also increase production, financial, and possibly marketing risks. Thus, careful thought and analysis must go into decisions related to adopting new technologies, particularly those that require substantial capital investment. Such analysis should include a review of the farm’s business plan and developing answers to questions related to the effects on the farm’s cost of production, cash flow, financial position and solvency, marketing costs, farm-wide operating and management efficiencies, and risks. Key questions related to required personnel include whether the business has

adequate numbers of employees and the right type of employees to successfully transition to the management requirements of a new technology. Adopting new technologies that have been shown to improve productivity can result in improved profitability. However, careful thought and planning, particularly with regard to the timing of the investment as related to cash flow and financial position are needed to choose the most appropriate times and conditions to do so.

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 cengle8523@gmail.com For additional information, see: Kumar, G. and C.R. Engle. In press. Optimal investment pathways for split-pond and intensively aerated catfish pond technologies. Aquaculture Economics & Management. Kumar, G. and C.R. Engle. In press. Economics of intensively aerated catfish ponds. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society. doi: 10.1111/jwas.12385. Kumar, G. and C.R. Engle. 2016. Technological advances that led to growth of shrimp, salmon, and tilapia farming. Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture 24(2):136-152. Kumar, G., C.R. Engle, and C.S. Tucker. 2016. Costs and risk of catfish split-pond systems. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 47(3):doi: 10.1111/ jwas.12271.

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Aquaculture Engineering

Carbonate Chemistry, Ocean Acidification and Calcium Carbonate: Part 1

In previous columns on carbonate chemistry we looked at how CO2 (as

gas [partial pressure] pCO2, H2CO3, HCO3, and CO3), pH and alkalinity interact, and at how we can sometimes be misled when dealing with recycled aquaculture water. Now I would like to get into the far more complicated story with the same characters, but with the addition of By Dallas Weaver, Ph.D.*


lmost a decade ago, oyster spat production in aquaculture hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest crashed. There was panic in the industry, as even the natural set of baby oysters crashed. Of course, when larval animals die, you can probably find some bacteria associated with the dead animals, however, you seldom know for a fact whether that bacteria was the sole cause or whether it was an opportunist who joined the party which consisted of a bunch of very stressed larvae. As most of us would have done, the oyster culturists chased that bacterial lead into the ground before they examined whether the ocean intake water was changing. The oyster industry had noted the pH of the water was lower and did some initial experiments to correct the pH, but that didn’t fix the problem. Even with the pH and DO being fixed (which would increase the carbonate concentration), the water didn’t work. However the same water flowing over eel grass adding O2 and removing CO2 did produce good water in the afternoon that would get the larva through the initial stages of fast shell growth. 66 »

CaCO3 (limestone) to the equations.

The solution to this mystery required a lot of independent observations, measurements and concepts that ultimately all tie back to carbonate chemistry. To present this story and its resolution, we need various bits of diverse information, all directly or indirectly related to carbonate chemistry in water.

Shifting winds: At the same time as the spat failures, articles appeared in Science (Chan, Barth et al. 2008) about how winds have shifted and created stronger upwellings of deep low oxygen water along the west coast of the US into shallow coastal waters. The low DO of deep water is a product of CO2 being added to the water by the oxidizing of organic materials raining down from algal blooms on the surface. This removes the O2 and increases CO2 in the deep water. When the wind changes, mixing occurs and low DO water comes to the surface near shore. This made its way into the bays, where the oyster hatcheries and production were located. The hatcheries used aeration so the low DO was not an issue. However, along with low O2 were corresponding higher CO2 levels, which resulted in low pH values. This phenomenon shoved the carbonate/bicarbonate towards lower carbonate. Effectively carbonic acid was being added to the system, which decreased the pH and shifted CO3-+ H+  O3 HCO3- to bicarbonate ion. They were detecting intake pH levels as low as 7.6. Forms and solubility of limestone: CaCO3 can exist in many forms, with calcite being the most stable and least soluble. Next in line is aragonite, which is slightly more soluble and amorphous forms that are even more soluble. Animals like oysters often use aragonite in shell building. The equilibrium solubility of aragonite can be represented by:

1) [Ca]* [CO3] = Kar where: [Ca] and [CO3] are the concentrations of calcium and carbonate and K ar is the apparent solubility constant for aragonite. In real water systems, activity coefficients, ionic strength, etc. complicate things, but the basic concept remains the same. We can explicitly include these activity coefficients on the concentration terms with their dependence on the other ions in the solution, or they can be combined into an “apparent” solubility product K value.

Nucleation and crystal growth: In addition, lots of sparingly soluble materials, such as quartz and limestone, only slowly reach chemical equilibrium. When a crystal grows, atoms/molecules are added to a seed crystal and fit into the crystal structure at an atomic level, but when there are no seed crystals or other materials which can match the required atomic spacing and bonding, thermodynamic equilibrium won’t be achieved. However, when

the amount of excess calcium and carbonate in solution becomes large enough ([Ca]*[CO3] > > K ar ), the probability of homogenous formation of very small seed crystals increases. Then the solution approaches equilibrium very rapidly with lots of seed crystals. When you mix a strong base, like NaOH or Ca(OH)2 or Na2CO3, with seawater, you can often see the water go white due to the presence of very small crystals being created. In figure 1, I sampled the water from a small pond where I increased the Ca concentration (with CaCl2) a month ago to 550 mg/l at a pH of 8.24 with an equilibrium pH of 8.45. The pond had a small amount of additional pCO2 from decomposing leaves. Both samples were the same water, but the water in the cloudy sample contained the addition of 3 % of a 1 % Na2CO3 solution, this increased the pH from 8.24 to about 8.5. However, the local area where the solutions mixed created a precipitate that worked as a nucleus for the precipitation of CaCO3 from solution. On aerating both samples for

Figure 1. Samples from a small pond where I increased the Ca concentration (with CaCl2) a month ago to 550 mg/l at a pH of 8.24 with an equilibrium pH of 8.45. Both samples were the same water, but the water in the cloudy sample contained the addition of 3 % of a 1 % Na2CO3 solution, this increased the pH from 8.24 to about 8.5.

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Aquaculture Engineering

about 2 hours, in the cloudy sample, to which I added alkalinity as washing soda, the pH decreased to 8.13 and the measured Ca decreased to 350 (with more time, it will continue to rapidly decrease, but the sample without nucleation won’t change in months). The untreated sample increased in pH to 8.45. When we are dealing with non-equilibrium chemistry and kinetics, the devil is in the details. What I did was reduce the [Ca] concentration and the alkalinity by adding alkalinity. This may sound paradoxical, but [Ca] and [Mg] (hardness) are commercially removed from water by adding calcium as Ca(OH)2 (hydrated lime) and Na2CO3 (washing soda). This shifts the carbonate chemistry towards [CO3] and [OH] while decreasing the solubility of the [Ca] and creating seed crystals for the CaCO3 to precipitate on. This is referred to as lime/soda softening and is a very clever carbonate chemistry manipulation game.

The odd behavior of limestone and supersaturation: Limestone also has the property of being more soluble under greater pressure and lower temperature (unlike most materials, which are more soluble at higher temperatures). That means that limestone in the deep ocean (high pressure, low temperature) will dissolve. Then, when global ocean circulation finally returns the water back to the surface, where it warms up, the water can be highly supersaturated, containing several times more calcium than would be in equilibrium with the amount of carbonate present in the oceans. This phenomenon creates carbonate scale in hot water pipes in large of areas of the country, which in some areas is very useful in protecting the water from absorbing lead contained in old water pipes. We can define that supersaturation as Ωar for the ratio of the actual [Ca]*[CO3] / K ar. In one sense, supersaturation (Ω > 1) is a form of 68 »

Limestone in the deep ocean (high pressure, low temperature) will dissolve. Then, when the water returns back to the surface, it warms up, and the water becomes highly supersaturated. This phenomenon creates carbonate scale.

Supersaturation is a form of chemical energy that animals, such as corals and larval oysters, can use to build their shells or skeletons without spending energy pumping ions.

chemical energy that animals, such as corals and larval oysters, can use to build their shells or skeletons without spending energy pumping ions. Under these non-equilibrium conditions, a crystal will naturally grow if a crystal seed is present, so all the animal has to do is produce a small amount of organic material which matches the desired crystal structure well enough for the crystal growth to start. In essence, the animal creates an artificial organic “seed” crystal. The animal gets its shell for a very small energy investment. When 80 % of a larval oyster’s body weight is CaCO3, it can’t afford to pump ions around.

Dallas Weaver, PhD, started designing and building closed aquaculture systems in 1973 and worked for several engineering/consulting companies in the fields of air pollution, liquid wastes, and solid wastes until 1980. Today, he’s the Owner/President of Scientific Hatcheries. e-mail: deweaver@mac.com

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Amoebic gill disease attacks

in salmon cages are tricky to deal with Outbreaks of the troublesome amoebic parasite, Paramoeba perurans, were first reported in sea cages growing coho salmon in Washington State in the 1980’s. Later on, most reports refer to mortalities in farms growing Atlantic salmon in Tasmania and Ireland, and gradually after the year 2000 in all major salmon producing countries.

By Asbjørn Bergheim*


he extent of the reported outbreaks fluctuates from a single site to epizootic outbreaks with significant mortalities at most farms in a region. In Ireland and Scotland, amoebic gill disease was among the major causes of losses in salmon farms during 201112, where 12 out of 26 sites suffered from such outbreaks. The parasite is characterized as the most significant amoeba in fish and the disease syndrome is normally indicated “AGD.” According to Marine Scotland (2012), AGD-attacks indicate lethargic fish, which breathe rapidly and dwell at the surface. A closer look at the affected gills shows patches of white, swollen tissue and mucus (photos provide by Jannicke Wiik-Nielsen). So-called hyperplasia, coalesced gill lamella, seems to coincide with such outbreaks. Harmed gill tissue impairs the respiratory capacity and leads to asphyxia and death in severe cases. According to experts on AGD, salinity is found to be the single most decisive environmental factor, but long-term outbreaks are always associated with salinity coupled with temperature. Long-term infections in salmonids only occur at high salinity (> 32 ppt) during warm periods at water temperature above 12-15 ºC. Among 70 »

White patches on gill arches caused by the amoeba Paramoeba perurans. (Courtesy: Jannicke Wiik-Nielsen, Norwegian Veterinary Institute)

other associated contributing factors are high fish density and fouling of the cage nets. Losses to AGD as high as 70 % have occasionally been reported (Marine Scotland, www.gaaia.org/gilldiseases). This report also claims that low, but ongoing mortalities can last for up to three months. The highest

indicated loss ever was 86% in a Norwegian salmon farm on the west coast of Norway about ten years ago! Untreated cages in Tasmania with AGDoutbreaks reached mortalities of 50 % (trout and Atlantic salmon) in the late 1980’s, while reported total losses of 5-20 % of the stock are more typical at present.

Scanning electron microscopy image of Paramoeba perurans (magnified 12500x). (Courtesy: Jannicke Wiik-Nielsen, Norwegian Veterinary Institute)

Mortalities, reduced growth and treatment costs connected to AGD represent high costs for the industry. In Tasmania, The Fish Site reports a present annual loss of US$173,465 million (AUS$230 million), while the newspaper Herald Scotland announced that the company Grieg Seafood lost one-third of its total harvest in the country a couple of years ago representing some US$37.79 million (£30 million) in lost revenue. For a long period, Norwegian cage farms seemed to be protected against AGD. Rather low water temperature

compared to that in other salmon producing countries, especially along the northern coast, was thought to be a major reason. Nevertheless, the salmon industry had to reconsider this assumption in autumn 2006 when four farms distributed along the western coast suffered losses due to AGD. The attacked farms were distantly distributed over a coastal stretch of more than 500 km and the experts at The Norwegian Veterinary Institute assumed that the “exceptionally high sea water temperature over a long period previous to and during the disease outbreaks

favoured an amoeba already present in the marine environment.” During the actual period, the sea temperature at the surface was 3.5 ºC above the average level before the outbreaks (i.e. 17.5 ºC in August). As indicated, the amoeba is dependent on high salinity and AGD infested fish are successfully treated with freshwater. Bathing in freshwater for 2-3 hours will remove the majority of the amoebae, but the treatment should normally be repeated in order to avoid re-infestation. In 2-4 weeks after the treatment, the infestation may be reestablished if the source of infection remains. A common procedure in Tasmania is 13 bath treatments in the 15 months of on-growing until harvest. Experts indicate that the salinity through treatment should be below 3 ppt. and soft fresh water with low concentrations of calcium and magnesium is most efficient. In Scotland and Ireland, usage of hydrogen peroxide as a remedy against AGD has become usual over the last years. Freshwater treatment is performed in well-boats or in floating tarpaulin enclosures and injection of oxygen to avoid severe oxygen drop during the treatment is vital.

Dr. AsbjØrn Bergheim is a senior researcher in the Dept. of Marine Environment at the International Research Institute of Stavanger. His fields of interest within aquaculture are primarily water quality vs. technology and management in tanks, cages and ponds, among others. asbjorn.bergheim@iris.no

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Perspective and Opinion

Antibiotics in shrimp Aquaculture Both the USA and Europe have seen recent spikes throughout 2016 in positive detection for antibiotics in imported shrimp. We have all heard about it but why does it keep happening, whom does it really affect and how can we control it?

By Patrick J. Wood


Current Situation he main culprits currently seem to be SE Asian and Indian sub-continent producer countries, and the problem is directly a consequence of the way the industry is set up in that region. The industry is fragmented but that also means that change can be rapid. In these regions complete vertical integration in the supplier chain is not the norm – where it is and where supplemental long term third parties suppliers are used if processing facility lacks raw material, then incidence rates are low. Vertically integrated companies also tend to have long term contracts with their customers/end users and spend more on implementing controls at the bequest of their more discerning clients. Antibiotics testing and updates every six months tend to be the norm. These businesses know the value of their products and their futures are not linked to market perceptions but to actually testing products and inputs along the supply chain. They also tend to use independent certification bodies that help make it harder, but not impossible to “cheat.” That said, many farmers in the these regions, though, are small scale and not vertically integrated. They 72 »

need to get their survivals up and costs down to get maximum benefits. Some feed manufacturers and intermediary distributors (who can adulterate primary products) and who service a local market, are not worried about downstream effects or what is happening in Europe or the USA six months later. They are after market share, and antibiotics plus word of mouth are powerful tools.

Antibiotic testing: a shared responsibility Antibiotic testing by processors on each and every lot of shrimp would be a very costly exercise – especially from multiple smaller suppliers. Antibiotic testing time – which can be quite long - is also a factor as shrimp need to be processed. Farmers tend to get paid immediately for their products and so have no risks and tend to walk away happy. That leaves the export processor holding the baby because, basically, WYSIWYB (what you see is what you buy) from the farmer. BUT under HACCP each and every purchase (should be) logged into the received materials log (and volume consolidators need to breakdown their suppliers) so after the fact traceability should be “built in” to the supply chain.

Some exporters may outsource peeling and primary processing but the same HACCP standards should be implemented. This can only mean that the producers and exporters both or separately are (1) either in on the business or (2) are totally unaware of how antibiotics got into their products. A few bad apples also on the processing/ exporter side might also be gaming the system as they offer lower prices on potentially adulterated products or knowingly use dodgy third party suppliers (precisely because they are cheaper) and then do a chance export.

Only when tests are done on 100 % of shipments do they become more cautious. Short term traders looking for discount prices do not help. So it is of some surprise that the source farmers of antibiotic shrimp found on US/EU borders are not named, shamed or suspended subject to investigation. It seems only the export facilities are â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but does the buck stop there?

Importance of HACCP and traceability Some markets do not even undertake antibiotic testing on imports and shrimp failing entry into certain markets like US/EU/Japan can be rerouted back to other markets. While the exporter is black-listed or put under the microscope and so, hopefully can tighten up its act, business can continue. Loss is not total but reputation may be affected at least until passing through or conforming to all stages of coming out of the FDA/ EU alerts.

A Vietnamese women is calculating her profit after selling her harvest at a local seafood market.

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Perspective and Opinion

So to re-iterate - a container that is detained for detected antibiotics surely should be able to be traced back to the exact aquaculture farmer where the product was purchased. It follows therefore that appropriate investigation can be carried out. That farmer should have logged details of feed suppliers and any husbandry carried out. BUT tracing back is curative and not preventative – it is wasteful and an added headache for all involved. Regardless of independent certification organizations (that do not cover the majority of the industry) taking a HACCP type system back to aquaculture farmers whereby there are records and traceability possibilities should be mandatory for obtaining operating licenses from regulatory bodies. This should also cover feed and feed/suppliers. Those that do not comply do not get licenses, get fined or get sanctioned.

Preventive actions instead of corrective actions A condition for exporting to USA/ EU is the requirement of homologous organizations to undertake testing prior to shipping. Current food safety regulations do not include antibiotic testing, though, as mandatory. When product arrives in an importing country it is too late – which means the HACCP system failed. Again, all curative and not preventative. Perhaps a preventative method would be for farmers to be obliged to send a small sample of their feed used (50g per lot perhaps) to a homologized regulatory body that can cross reference with feed companies, test feed and/or hold for future testing. Also regulatory bodies can do surprise visits to feed manufacturers and also obtain details of where antibiotics are moved within the country. So whom does all this affect – well really only the export/processing facilities but also by association the exporting country reputation. Importers/distributors who have sales and replenishment orders can also 74 »

It should be mandatory for obtaining operating licenses that all parts of the shrimp supply chain, including feed manufacturers and suppliers, provide records and information that enable traceability up and down the supply chain.

be affected – especially if they have opened up lines of credit or otherwise financed a purchase. Shrimp farmers are not pulled over the hot coals. They have received their money and can sell to someone else. They can also wash their hands and say they did not know what exactly was in that feed or fertilizer or “pro-biotic” used.

Regulatory bodies’ and authorities’ role Which brings around an argument about the regulatory bodies’ and the export authorities’ roles in all this and how they can pro-actively stop this. Definitely putting the fear of God up a farmer that their business will be closed down if there is any

In Ecuador, pressure to increase production brought about disease outbreaks that impacted the industry. As antibiotics became an option, producers realized the importance of having open, transparent and selfmonitored systems.

monkey business will have an affect. But in the end it is down to implementing appropriate regulations, monitoring the whole supply chain, implementing a HACCP type system back upstream and covering all inputs. Of course the gatekeepers are those National bodies authorizing the export and licencing the local operations, and exports should only be approved if testing is done to levels required in destination markets. Which may mean, currently, a similar escalation in after-the-fact testing to show willingness while combined with a preventative strategy. Really this is a symptom of a fragmented industry that has grown faster than the (non-existent) rules and therefore is taking advantage.

The Case of Ecuador Take the example of Ecuador. That country went through a similar phase and it was part of the evolution of the industry in that country. Pressure was on to increase production. Diseases hit. Antibiotics offered a way out but not 100 %. No regulation to address these issues, but markets

pushed back also. Supply became less but prices increased. Cowboys meanwhile left the industry. Densities were lowered. Sustainability and balance resulted. Aquaculture producers realized that their very survival depended on having an open, transparent and (self) monitored system for their clients. Without that the industry could not carry on. As in Ecuador, exporters in the Eastern Hemisphere need to work more with farmers and integrate them more into the export process. It is also the responsibility of exporters to educate and make suppliers understand the risks. They are stakeholders after all. This may mean better prices to farmers in exchange for more serious engagement and understanding of the risks to all. It may mean lower stocking densities for the same returns. This will throttle supply but increase prices as well. Shrimp farmers need to look at their long term survivals over short term gains. There is also an aspect to be found in certain parts of the globe about trying to get away with as

much as possible on many technical aspects in the seafood industry. While an aside from the direct antibiotic issue in shrimp it does reflect on the general delivery of an adulterated product below standard. Non conforming products-underweights, non uniformity, over glazing and gross weight issues as well as deformity percentages from these regions are much higher than from Latin America for example. This results in more time and money spent on checking, monitoring and testing – regardless of where in the supply chain. Rebate claims are often made on product quality. This is because while HACCP may be similar, certain processing techniques used in the Eastern hemisphere are not exactly the same as in the Western hemisphere with resultant perceived quality issues.

In conclusion… What all this points to is that all stakeholders at the country level need to get together and be guided on an implemented strategy. All are rowing in the same direction for the industry to mature correctly and be taken seriously. In marketing speak – the customer is always right and in the case of shrimp the gold rush is over.

Patrick Wood holds a B.Sc. in Soil Science and Oceanography from the University College of North Wales and an MBA in International Business and Strategy from the CASS Business School in London. He has been involved in the international shrimp industry since the early 1980’s, with experience in hatcheries, farming operations, processing, marketing and distribution. He currently works at iRaishrimp S.L. Note: The views expressed in the Perspective and Opinion column do not necessarily reflect those of the staff or Publisher of Aquaculture Magazine. They are presented as food for thought and to promote the advancement of the industry. Please contact us if you have a viewpoint you would like to share.

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urner barry

SHRIMP IMPORT Updates from Urner Barry

After huge August numbers, September shrimp imports are up a modest 1.7 %. YTD imports are 3.3 % higher, more shrimp but seemingly not overwhelming. By: Paul B. Brown Jr.*


September ndian imports are up substantially at 15.1 % for the month and 9.3 % YTD. Last year Indian imports were up 25 % for the year so their shrimp production appears to show a strong upward trend. Most of the other major shrimp supplying countries were also higher with the exception of Ecuador that was way down. Mexico was also down sharply in what, I believe, should be their first farmed production month. HLSO imports including easy peel were up 3.3 % for the month of September and 2.1 % higher YTD. Indian imports in the category were down while Indonesia imports; mostly easy peel, were sharply higher. Under 15 and 21-25 count imports were down for the month. 26-30 through 51-60 were higher while smaller counts were lower. Peeled shrimp were up 3.5 % for

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the month and 7.4 % YTD. Cooked was down 4.4 % for the month but remains 5.3 % higher YTD. Breaded imports are higher for September but slightly lower YTD with China leading the category.

Indonesian shrimp imports were 1.2 % higher for September and 4.4 % higher YTD. Their HLSO imports - traditionally easy peel, surged 44 % higher in September leaving YTD 20.1 % higher. HLSO imports are spread mostly between 16-20 and 31-40 count. Peeled imports are down 24.7 % for the month and 3.2 % YTD. Cooked imports are even for September but up 13.4 % YTD. Thailand imports continue a resurgence, up 4.4 % for September and 14.5 % YTD. Thai imports of both HLSO and peeled were split fairly evenly between the categories and up sharply on a percentage basis. HLSO imports ranged mostly among 16-20 to 51-60 count. Cooked imports were down but they continue to lead the category. Vietnamese shrimp imports were higher both for September and YTD. HLSO imports were lower but peeled

imports were higher and account for the bulk of imports. Cooked imports were also higher for the month and YTD. The Latin American HLSO shrimp market which had been very steady has recently experienced some weakness throughout the count sizes. US spot demand has been sluggish and this has resulted in discounting in order to stimulate sales. In addition, the large spread between large Indian shrimp and the Latin market continues to put downward pressure on large Latin shrimp. Ecuador imports continue lower as production is diverted to Asian and European markets. HLSO imports were on 26-30 count and smaller and centered on 41-50 count. Demand out of China may be beginning to be impacted by currency. The Chinese have continued to allow their cur-

rency to weaken to stimulate their exports. But Ecuador shrimp are sold in US dollars, so the currency change has become a headwind, making Ecuador shrimp more expensive in China. Mexican shrimp imports are sharply lower for September which should be the first month of increased seasonal farmed shrimp production. Production issues and an active domestic demand have limited the availability of Mexican shrimp to the US market. A weak peso in the last few weeks may have provided a few more US offerings. Finally, there are limited supplies from most Central American shrimp producing countries as Asian buying interest reaches them. *President of Urner Barry pbrownjr@urnerbarry.com


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

Overall tilapia imports are down 10 % YTD. Only imports of frozen whole fish are ahead compared to cumulative imports throughout the first 9 months of the year of last year.


Tilapia Fresh Fillets hen removing imports from China (mainland) entirely—but leaving imports from Taiwan— imports in August decreased 3.7 % from the previous month, and 5.3 % from the same month a year ago. On a YTD basis imports are 4.6 % lower compared to last year—again, when removing China (mainland) from the picture. Imports from Ecuador remain 23 % below last year’s figures while those from Costa Rica only at 3.2 % lower. Imports from Brazil have been

increasing as of the last few months with YTD figures at 2.2 million pounds as of September 2016. Shipments from Colombia are down 1 % YTD. From a replacement cost basis, we made some adjustments to the figures published in the past and weighted the import $ USD/lb. including only the top 5 suppliers. What we found is that September’s figures, at $2.77 USD remained flat from the previous month. The market in the U.S. is under downward pricing pressure and the market adjusted lower one week before Thanksgiving. » 77

urner barry

Tilapia Frozen Fillets September imports decreased from the previous month following a seasonal pattern with monthly imports still falling at consistent rate since April 2015. On a YTD basis imports are down 15 % from the last year; imports from China, the largest supplier, are also down 15 %. Supplies in the U.S. remain adequate according to many importers, in addition to offerings from recent harvests also remaining steady to full steady. Replacement prices dropped to $1.55 USD in September, reaching the lowest monthly replacement cost since January 2010. The market in the U.S. remains flat. Over the last 9 years, import volume for tilapia has increased at the same time that the ratio of wholesale prices to replacement has declined. In fact, this ratio reached its lowest point on record in January of this year. Yet, over the last 6 months, falling replacement prices have caused this ratio to move higher; in other words, at constant wholesale prices, falling replacement costs have eased the spread between import and wholesale prices with September ratio reaching 1.20, a level not seen since November 2014. Volume imported has been contracting since 2014, largely due to record high prices that year which could lead us to assume—empirically—that de-

Pangasius and Channel Catfish: Pangasius imports remain at YTD record high totaling 213.8 million pounds. Channel catfish imports managed to add 391 thousand pounds in September 2016 but are still below last year’s figures on a YTD basis. mand for tilapia waned off at those higher prices. If prices are to rise overseas again, as many have suggested due to shrinking margins by farmers and packing plants, the U.S. wholesale market might not be able to absorb high prices with seasonally rising volumes.

Imported Channel Catfish Imports of frozen channel catfish fillets increased as seasonally expected reaching nearly 400 thousand pounds. While this number was significantly higher compared to the same month last year, YTD remain almost 20 %t below last year’s figures. Shipments in August entered the U.S. with a declared value of $3.13 USD per pound, 10 cents down from the previous month. The wholesale market remains steady at listed levels. Pangasius September imports increased significantly from the previous month, totaling 27.4 million pounds reaching

the second highest monthly figure on record. Total YTD imports are at 213.8 million pounds, also a record high and 23 % above last year’s figures. Imports of pangasius are only 2.8 million pounds short from those of tilapia frozen fillets. European data revealed imports of pangasius increased slightly in August (most recent data) from the previous month, and remain below U.S. imports. On a cumulative basis, data shows that U.S. imports are above those from Europe by approximately 32.2 million pounds. Replacement prices dropped significantly in September and reached $1.178 USD/lb. down 77 cents from the previous month, according to the USDOC. Although anecdotal reports suggested replacements costs were bound to move higher into late Q3 and Q4, September’s drop certainly questions such claims; however, we still have to account for all Q4. *President of Urner Barry pbrownjr@urnerbarry.com

78 »


Updates from Urner Barry

By: Paul B. Brown Jr.*

The salmon market continues the year 4.12 % higher YTD. Total month-tomonth data reveals a slight increase of 0.26 % when compared to August. When looking at the same time last year, total imports are 1.39 % higher. Fresh Atlantic wholefish imports are up 2.6 % and fresh fillets are up 6.71 % YTD.


urrently the farmed salmon complex is mostly steady. The European wholefish market remains unsettled with both higher and lower offers noted. The Canadian wholefish markets have been full steady to firm on smaller to mid-sized fish but about steady on 14-up fish. Chilean fillets have been full steady to firming. Overall demand has been moderate to active.

Atlantic Salmon Whole Fish YTD wholefish imports continue into September with increases; up 2.6 %. Canada, the driver of this category, is up 4.7 % YTD. The Faroe Islands continue to see increases this year and they are 18.4 % higher YTD. Norway continues to see decreases throughout this year; down 20.9 %. The monthto-month data reveals a 2.6 % increase when comparing September 2016 to August 2016. Similarly, September 2016 is also 7.1 % lower than September 2015. September imports into the Northeast continue to see a jump compared to 2015. Currently the market in the Northeast is steady. The market trended higher through most of the month of October and has been steady during November. Supplies are adequate for a moderate demand. Imports into the Northeast are at 42.6 million pounds. All sizes listed for Northeast wholefish are trending well above their three-year averages. Imports of European wholefish during September were lower than last year at the same time.

2016 imports from Canada on the West Coast (WC) are slightly below 2015 imports. Currently the market in the West is steady to full steady on smaller to mid-sized fish and barely steady to weaker on 14-ups. Demand ranges fair to moderate. All sizes listed are trending at or above their three-year averages.

Fresh Atlantic Fillets September 2016 imports of fresh fillets continue the year stronger than 2015 at 226.0 million pounds, the highest YTD volume on record. Month-to-month data shows a decrease when compared to August 2016 of 2.6 %. In contrast, when comparing to the same time last year, September 2016 is 1.4 % higher than September 2015. Chile is the driver of these increases and 158 million pounds have been imported thus far for the year which is up slightly to 0.2 % YTD. Norway continues to see double digit increases YTD;

up 27.7 % with 29.2 million pounds imported so far for 2016. Fillet imports from Chile and Europe total 220.7 million pounds, the highest total seen in the past four years. A toxic algae bloom in Chile this spring has affected monthto-month imports; this month imports were down 2.6 % for September 2016.

Frozen Atlantic Fillets & Portions Imports of frozen fillets are down 5.1 % YTD. In contrast, when compared to August 2016 levels, imports are up 3.0 %. Shipments from Chile are up 3.3 % YTD and imports from Norway are down 25.1 %. YTD. Imports of frozen fillet (non-Atlantic) decreased 3.2 % YTD. Similarly, when looking at month-to-month data, there is a decrease of 8.6 %. Shipments from China, the main supplier of this commodity-chum-decreased by 4.0 % YTD and totaling 52.4 million pounds. *President of Urner Barry pbrownjr@urnerbarry.com

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aquaculture events

DECEMBER AlgaEurope Dec. 13 – Dec. 15 Eurostar Madrid Tower. Madrid, Spain. T: +31 033 737 0471 E: p.hoftijzer@dlg.org

MARCH OFFSHORE MARICULTURE 2017 Mar. 6 – Mar. 10 Hotel Coral & Marina. Ensenada, Mexico. E: agalaviz@cesaibc.org W: www.offshoremariculture.com/mexico

JANUARY AQUAFARM 2017 Jan. 26 - Jan. 27 Pordenone Exhibition Center. Pordenone, Italy E: fasolo@fierapordenone.it W: www.aquafarm.show

International Conference on Marine Science and Aquaculture 2017 Mar. 14 - Mar. 15 The Magellan Sutera. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. T: +60 883 20 000 E: icomsa@ums.edu.my

FEBRUARY Aquaculture America 2017 Feb. 19 – Feb. 22 San Antonio Marriott River Center. San Antonio, Texas, USA. T: +1 760 751 5005 E: worldaqua@aol.com W: www.was.org

VIV ASIA 2017 Mar. 15 – Mar. 17 Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC). Bangkok, Thailand. T: +66 2 670 0900 W: www.vivasia.nl/en/

FEED TECH EXPO 2017 Feb. 23 – Feb. 25 New Grain Market. Karnal, India T: +91 184 404 7817 E: feedtechexpo@gmail.com W: www.feedtechexpo.com

SEAFOOD EXPO NORTH AMERICA 2017 Mar. 19 – Mar. 21 Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Boston, USA. T: +1 207 842 5504 E: customerservice@divcom.com

GIANT PRAWN 2017 Mar. 20 – Mar. 24 Asian Institute of Technology Conference Centre. Bangkok, Thailand. E: info@giantprawn.org APRIL AquaME Apr. 10 – Apr. 12 Dubai International Exhibition and Conference Centre Dubai, United Arab Emirates T: +971 4 407 2606 E: Richard.pavitt@informa.com W: www.aqua-middleeast.com SEAFOOD EXPO GLOBAL + SEAFOOD PROCESSING GLOBAL Apr. 25 – Apr. 27 Brussels Expo. Brussels, Belgium. T: +1 207-842-5504 E: customerservice@divcom.com JUNE SEAFOOD SUMMIT Jun. 5 – Jun. 7 The Westin. Seattle, USA E: info@seafoodsummit.org W: www.seafoodsummit.org/

advertisers antibiotics, probiotics and FEED additives Reed Mariculture, Inc............................................................35 900 E Hamilton Ave, Suite 100. Campbell, CA 95008 USA. Contact: Lin T: 408.377.1065 F: 408.884.2322 E-mail: sales@reedmariculture.com / www.reedmariculture.com Zeigler Bros, Inc..................................................Inside cover 400 Gardners, Station RD, Gardners, pa. 17324, USA. Contact: Susan Thompson T: 717 677 6181 E-mail: sales@zeiglerfeed.com / www.zeiglerfeed.com aeration equipment, PUMPS, FILTERS and measuring instruments ADVANCED AQUACULTURE SYSTEMS, INC..................................17 4509 Hickory Creek Lane, Brandon, FL 33511 Contact: Dana Kent T: (800) 994-7599 / (813) 653-2823v E-mail: info@advancedaquaculture.com / www.advancedaquaculture.com AERATION INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL (O2)............................19 4100 Peavey Road | Chaska, MN 55318 USA Contact: Marcos Kroupa T: +1-952-448-6789 | Direct: 952-556-5710 E-mail: marcos.kroupa@aireo2.com Aquatic Equipment and Design, Inc.....................................51 522 S. HUNT CLUB BLVD, #416,  APOPKA, FL 32703 Contact: Amy Stone T: (407) 717-6174  E-mail: amy@aquaticed.com Fresh Flo..................................................................................25 3037 Weeden Creek Rd. Sheboygan, WI 53081 Contact: Barb Ziegelbauer T: 920-208-1500 E-mail: barb@freshflo.com OxyGuard International A/S.................................................63 Farum Gydevej 64, DK-3520 Farum, Denmark Contact: Jelena Kvetkovskaja T: +45 4582 2094 E-mail: jk@oxyguard.dk Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc......................back cover 2395 Apopka Blvd. Apopka, Florida, Zip Code 32703, USA. Contact: Ricardo Arias T: (407) 8863939, (407) 8864884 E-mail: ricardo.arias@pentair.com / www.pentairaes.com RK2 Systems.............................................................................73 421 A south Andreassen Drive Escondido California. Contact: Chris Krechter. T: 760 746 74 00 E-mail: chrisk@rk2.com / www.rk2.com Valterra Products LLC.......................................................1 Mission Hills, CA Contact: Tera Grengs, Marketing Manager. T: 818-898-1671 x11 E-mail: tera@valterra.com / www.valterra.com

80 »


applications such as oxygen, ozone, nitrogen, compressed dry air Adsorptech, Inc...................................................................5 22 Stonebridge Rd. Hampton, NJ 08827 USA. T: +1 908 735 9528 E-mail: sales@www.adsorptech.com www.adsorptech.com events and exhibitions 12th FIACUI.........................................................................61 October 4th - 6th, 2017. Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Information on Booths Contact in Mexico: Christian Criollos, crm@dpinternationalinc.com www.fiacui.com | www.panoramaacuicola.com AQUACULTURE AMERICA 2017..............................................53 February 19th to 22nd, 2017. San Antonio, Texas. USA. E-mail: worldaqua@aol.com www.was.org CHINA INTERNATIONAL (guangzhou) FISHERY&SEAFOOD EXPO 2017.............................................................................31 August 25th to 27nd, 2017. China. www.chinafishex.com SEAFOOD EXPO NORTH AMERICA 2017.................................49 March 19th to 21st, 2017. Boston, Massachusetts. USA. E-mail: sales-na@seafoodexpo.com www.seafoodexpo.com/north-america fEEd additives EVONIK Industries AG..............................................................13 Contact: Cristian Fischl T: + 52 (55) 5483 1030 Fax: + 52 (55) 5483 1012 E-mail: cristian.fischl@evonik.com, feed-additives@evonik.com www.evonik.com/feed.additives National Renderers Association, Inc.................................59 Latin America Offices: Sierra Candela 111 Oficina 501. Lomas de Chapultepec C.P. 11000 México D.F. Contact: Luz María Cano. T: (55) 55 59 80 60 80 E-mail: nramex@nralatinamerica.org VITAPRO / NICOVITA....................................................................23 Av. Jorge Basadre 233, oficina 301, San Isidro.Lima – Perú Contact: Valeria Sandoval Segura T: (511) 377-7370 – ext. 423007 Cell: 943970505 E-mail: VSandovalS@vitapro.com.pe PHIBRO AQUA..............................................................................15 P.O.Box 11079 Zichron yaakov ISRAEL 30900 Contact: Yoav Rosen T: +972 4 6291833 Office 1st’ / +972 52 8587210 Mobile E-mail: yoav.rosen@pahc.com

Information Services Aquaculture Magazine.....................................................69 Design Publications International Inc. 203 S. St. Mary’s St. Ste. 160 San Antonio, TX 78205, USA Office: +210 504 3642 Office in Mexico: (+52) (33) 3632 2355 Subscriptions: iwantasubscription@dpinternationalinc.com Buyer´s Guide & Industry Directory 2017.....................65 Ad Sales. Chris Criollos, Sales Manager crm@dpinternationalinc.com | Office: +52 33 80007595 Cell: +52 (33) 14660392 Skype: christian.criollos Gus Ruiz, Sales Support Executive sse@dpinternationalinc.com | Office: +52 33 80007595 Cell: +521 (33) 14175480 | Skype: gustavo.rcisneros Urner Barry.............................................................................77 P.O. Box 389 Tom Ride. New Jersey USA. Contact: Ángel Rubio. T: 732-575-1982 E-mail: arubio@urnerbarry.com RAS SYSTEMS, DESIGN, EQUIPMENT SUPPORT AQUACARE..................................................................................21 T: 1 360 734 7964 www.aquacare.com WATER TECHNOLOGIES..................................Inside BACK cover 250 Airside Drive - Airside Business Park - Moon Township, PA 15108 - USA T: +1-412-809-6641 Fax: +1-412-809-6512 www.veoliawatertech.com SOFTWARE FOR AQUACULTURE SODISA.......................................................................................33 Lomas del Guijarro, II Etapa, Avenida Berlín, Bloque W, #1301. POBox 2897 Tegucigalpa, Honduras Contact: Fatima Pastrana T: (504) 2239-1508 (504) 9465-1914 E-mail: fatima.pastrana@sodisa.biz tanks AND NETWORKING FOR AQUACULTURE Duro-Last, Inc.........................................................................27 525 Morley Drive, Saginaw, MI 48601 Contact: Jennifer Bruzewski T: 800-248-0280 E-mail: jbruzews@duro-last.com FISA Fibras Industriales.....................................................55 Av. Materiales 2475. Cercado de Lima Contact: Franco Valdez T: 51 (1) 619 6500 Ext: 249 / 51 970472957 E-mail: fvaldez@fisanet.com.pe

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Aquaculture Magazine December 2016 / January 2017 Vol. 42 No. 6  

ASC Launches Seriola and Cobia Standar

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