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Aquaculture Magazine Volume 46 Number 1 February - March 2020







Riverence Holdings Acquires Clear Springs Foods, Allowing ‘Egg to Plate’ Supply Chain Control.


National Aquaculture Association Notes.v

16 AQUACULTURE STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL News from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

20 AQUACULTURE WITHOUT FRONTIERS Weighing up the future.

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on the

cover Comparative Macro-Algaes dietary effect on growth, immune response, and intestinal microbiota in Litopenaeus vannamei under normal and WSSV challenge conditions


NEWS FROM THE AADAP News from the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership. Volume 46 Number 1 February - March 2020


USDA Releases 2018 Census of Aquaculture Results.


IMPAQT: An eco-efficient approach to IMTA.

Editor and Publisher Salvador Meza info@dpinternationalinc.com

Editor in Chief Greg Lutz editorinchief@dpinternationalinc.com

Editorial Assistant Lucía Araiza editorial@dpinternationalinc.com



Aquaculture Advisory Council Publishes “Second Recommendation on the Future Strategic Guidelines for the Sustainable Development of EU Aquaculture”.

Editorial Design Francisco Cibrián



Designer Perla Neri design@design-publications.com

FAO Issues Summary Booklet on Microplastics in Fisheries and Aquaculture.


Copepods: A feed with high nutritional value.

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Recent News and Events.



Sales & Marketing Coordinator Juan Carlos Elizalde crm@dpinternationalinc.com

Business Operations Manager Adriana Zayas administracion@design-publications.com

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) 8000 0578 - Ext: 8578 Aquaculture Magazine (ISSN 0199-1388) is published bimontly, by Design Publications International Inc. All rights reserved. www.aquaculturemag.com

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Evaluation of suppliers within the Aquaculture Industry. By: Salvador Meza *



The surprising and alarming emerging ideology against aquaculture. By: Dr. Hugh Mitchell *



Climate change and potential effects on salmon farming. By Asbjørn Bergheim






By Amy Stone

Using Cytogenetics to Domesticate Oysters and other Shellfish. By Michael A. Rice*





Institutions: the aquaculture opportunity. By: the fishmonger

Testing of penaeid broodstock for multiple pathogens - should it be mandatory?. By: Stephen G. Newman, Ph.D.*



With Friends Like These… By C. Greg Lutz* Louisiana State University Agricultural Center


s I sit down to write this, many colleagues and friends (and hopefully some readers) will be in Hawaii for the meeting of the USAS/World Aquaculture Society. Presentations will be made on everything from tilapia to salmon to shrimp… and a myriad of other species. Technical discussions will involve recirculating systems, offshore cages and split-pond configurations – to name just a few. Once again, as a global industry we are awkwardly brought together, out of convenience to some extent, but also out of necessity – more so than many would think. Considering the variety of topics the attendees in Hawaii will be exposed to, I tried to imagine a similar situation for the “World Edible FourLegged Mammal Society.” An annual meeting bringing together producers of Cows, hogs, sheep, caribou, goats, rabbits, water buffalo, musk-oxen, and assorted other “minor species.” This type of all-inclusiveness might not actually be much more extreme than what we see at a typical WAS meeting, but there are good reasons to continue to present a united front. The “opposition” to aquaculture is continuing to join forces, even if only to improve their revenues. 4 »

Coalitions have been formed (and even named) after technologies and concepts the principals know absolutely nothing about. In reality, many of these “organizations” are nothing more than latrines disguised as wishing wells to gather coins carrying prayers for mother Gaia, tossed in by well-intentioned citizenry that know even less about the issues in question. It’s not that difficult to see how the opposition can gather material for their PR campaigns – and perhaps for the sake of objectivity I should provide an example. For many years, the US Department of Commerce has conducted a series of annual Administrative Reviews of “Certain Frozen Fish Fillets from Vietnam” in response to serious antidumping concerns raised by the Catfish Farmers of America and a number of US catfish processors. The Department is currently working on its 16th Review, gathering information about the Vietnamese industry in general and more specifically from selected companies referred to as respondents. Most of the documents that pass back and forth in the process are protected from public viewing due to business proprietary concerns, but the past

several reviews respondents have complied with Commerce’s requests to make public the “medicines” they include in their production costs. A number of items stand out in these lists to anyone with a background in production aquaculture. I will name just a few here. • KST 5S: According to its commercial website, this product appears to be a form of Monensin. Monensin is a polyether antibiotic not approved for use in aquaculture by the US FDA. Although this antibiotic is widely used in feeds for ruminant animals, accidental (and often fatal) poisoning occurs in horses due to their low tolerance of monensin. • ALPRA: This is a trade name for Alprazolam, a sedative found in Xanax. Not approved by the US FDA for use in aquaculture of fish that will be consumed by humans (or any other fish for that matter). • VIMEGENCO: The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development states that this product is a mixture of Gentamycin and Colistin sulfate. Colistin is an antibiotic used as a last resort for multidrugresistant Gram negative bacterial infections. Gentamycin is used to treat severe bacterial infections in humans and is injected into a muscle, or delivered into a vein through an IV. Neither is approved by the US FDA for use in fish that are destined for human consumption. • LUVOX: This is an “extra label” anti-stress medication used for behavior modification in dogs and cats. The active ingredient is Fluvoxamine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), with an action almost identical to fluoxetine (Prozac). It is not approved by the US FDA for use in any fish for human consumption. • LEVAMISOLE: Levamisole is used to treat parasitic worm infections. It was withdrawn from the American market in 2000 due to its ability to cause serious adverse effects. It is not approved by the US FDA for use with food fish that will be consumed by humans (or any other fish).

There are good reasons to continue to present a united front. The “opposition” to aquaculture is continuing to join forces, even if only to improve their revenues.

• PREDNISOLONE: Prednisolone is an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid often used to treat chronic illnesses such as colitis, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. It is not approved by the US FDA for use on food fish. A number of other chemicals and over a dozen additional antibiotic compounds appear on these publicly disclosed lists, none of which are approved by the US FDA for use on fish destined for human consumption. So… Is there really more to be gained through solidarity in a situation like this? Most aquaculturists throughout the world strive to produce the healthiest products they can. They care about environmental impacts, not only to minimize risks to their families and communities but also to their crops and customers. But

it’s not difficult to see how most consumers will be all too quick to view all of aquaculture with opinions ranging from skepticism to extreme prejudice when presented with information like this. Perception is reality. The public’s perceptions matter. At the next meeting of the World Edible FourLegged Mammal Society I couldn’t blame the caribou herders for wanting to distance themselves from the industrial hog farms.

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. Professor and Specialist with the LSU AgCenter.




Cooke Aquaculture Pacific and Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Welcome Washington State Approval to Farm Trout After a year of extensive scientific review and public input, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has approved an application from Cooke Aquaculture Pacific to sea farm all-female, sterile (triploid) rainbow trout/steelhead in Puget Sound. Cooke applied to locally raise trout in January 2019 in the company’s existing Puget Sound net pens. WDFW approved a five-year permit after conducting a review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). WDFW approved the permit following an extensive State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) public comment period, which saw more than 3,500 comments submitted. WDFW created a detailed document addressing Cooke’s proposal that also serves, in part, as a response to those comments. That document, and other related information, can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/environmental/sepa/closed-final. “We heard from a huge number of stakeholders on this issue, and we appreciate everyone who took time to make their voice heard as part of this process,” said WDFW Deputy Director Amy Windrope. “This permit was approved based on scientific review and is contingent on Cooke complying with strict provisions designed to minimize any risk to native fish species.” Among those provisions: • A comprehensive escape prevention, response, and report plan; • Biennial inspections of net-pen facilities by a WDFW-approved marine engineering firm, to check for structural integrity and permit compliance; • Immediate reports to WDFW of any escaped fish, as well as a unique marking identifying all commercial aquaculture fish; • Sampling and testing of smolts before being transferred to marine net pens, to ensure that they are free of disease; 6 »

• Annual fish health evaluation reports; and • Tissue sampling for genetic analysis of broodstock by WDFW. These are just some of the conditions required under the permit. In addition, Cooke will have to obtain a modification to their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits from the Washington Department of Ecology, and a transport permit from WDFW prior to any steelhead trout being moved into net pens. Last Fall, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe announced a joint venture with Cooke Aquaculture Pacific to rear sablefish (black cod) and sterile triploid, all-female rainbow trout. The two partners are working together to sustainably rear Northwest native species which will require investment in new equipment and technology while supporting local jobs. “This approval to farm trout through marine aquaculture supports our Council’s commitment to diversified economic development as strong stewards of our environment,” said Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Chairman/CEO W. Ron Allen. “The Cooke

team deserves credit for persevering through a rigorous permitting process and never lost sight of our joint goal to demonstrate to state regulators and the public how scientifically sound fish farming is safe. We’re proud to partner with Cooke and look forward to producing top quality seafood for consumers in Washington and across the US.” Washington’s fish farms have operated in Puget Sound since the 1980s under an assortment of owners throughout the years. In 2016, Cooke Aquaculture Pacific purchased the farms, retained all its rural workforce and began investing to modernize the operations. “Since coming to Washington as a Canadian family-owned company, caring for our local employees and environmental sustainability have remained our top priority,” said Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Aquaculture Pacific. “We are very pleased the state approved our trout permit and by working together with the forwardthinking Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, we will continue to provide a fresh supply of healthy seafood and contribute to the local economy.”

2020 Aquaculture Funding Opportunity: Addressing Economic and Market Needs of the U.S. Aquaculture Industry Subject to the availability of funding, Sea Grant anticipates approximately $5,000,000 will be available for research projects and programs that will significantly advance the understanding of the economics of aquaculture businesses in the U.S. and address gaps regarding important market information. The overall goal is to advance business management towards development of a sustainable marine and Great Lakes aquaculture industry in the U.S. Successful proposals will address geographic and/or topical needs and will fully integrate research, extension, and education. Proposals that will support broad, non-proprietary research to address critical gaps with respect to aquaculture economics and market needs; make that information available to U.S. aquaculture businesses and management agencies; and build the capacity of Sea Grant and its partners, including Sea Grant aquaculture extension personnel and industry stakeholders, are preferred. These investments are con-

sistent with Sea Grant’s focus area of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture (SFA) and the Sea Grant Network’s 10year Aquaculture Vision, both which support NOAA and Department of Commerce aquaculture goals. This competition focuses on addressing geographic (e.g., region of the country, state vs. Federal waters, tropical, Great Lakes, cold-water) and/or topical (e.g., shellfish, sea vegetables/ algae, finfish, open-ocean, recirculating systems) research needs with respect to aquaculture economics and markets. The overall goal is to use an integrated approach to advance business management towards development of a sustainable marine and Great Lakes aquaculture industry in the U.S. Successful proposals will fully integrate research, extension, and education to support broad, non-proprietary research for building and/or enhancing U.S. aquaculture. Strong applications will holistically integrate multiple sources of knowledge toward developing solutions to

overcome aquaculture economic and market barriers. Projects should consider building upon existing economic and market research and tools already prepared for or used in aquaculture, fisheries (e.g., IMPLAN input-output model), and/or agriculture, with strong justification and evidence of their applicability to advancing management of aquaculture businesses in the U.S. Principal Investigators of proposals selected for funding will be required to participate in an annual National Sea Grant Aquaculture Symposium to share results of work conducted, discuss challenges, and to plan next steps. All proposals to this competition must be submitted by a Sea Grant program. Other interested entities must submit proposals in partnership with and through a relevant Sea Grant Program. Proposals must also include funding (Federal or match) for Sea Grant extension personnel as collaborators. Industry stakeholder participation/involvement in projects is strongly encouraged.

Alltech Global Feed Survey reveals first production decline in nine years The 2020 Alltech Global Feed Survey estimates that international feed tonnage decreased by 1.07% to 1.126 billion metric tons of feed produced last year, due largely to African swine fever (ASF) and the decline of pig feed in the Asia-Pacific region. The top nine feed-producing countries are the U.S., China, Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, Spain, Japan and Germany. Together, these countries produce 58% of the world’s feed production and contain 57% of the world’s feed mills, and they can be viewed as an indicator of overall trends in agriculture. The global data, collected from 145 countries and nearly 30,000 feed mills, indicates 2019 feed production percentages, by species groups, as: broilers 28%; pigs 24%; layers 14%; dairy 12%; beef 10%; other species 6%; aquacul-

ture 4%; and pets 2%. Predominant growth came from the layer, broiler, aquaculture and pet feed sectors. Overall, aquaculture feeds showed growth of 4% over last year. Per ton, Asia-Pacific grew the most with an ad-

ditional 1.5 MMT. The primary contributors were China, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Europe’s decrease is in large part due to decreased feed production in Russia, which is primarily due to an increase in imports. »



Demand for Sea Bream from Foodservice Industry Accounts for 35% of Total Sales, Says FMI Still in its infancy, the global sea bream market is poised for a healthy growth outlook during the period of projection, 2019 - 2029. With notable growth observed in demand for sea bream from the foodservice industry, global sea bream markets would witness nearly 6% compound annual growth rate during the forecast period according to a new market study conducted by Future Market Insights. As consumers continue to seek healthy food products derived from natural and organic resources, demand for sea bream has been on an upward trend over the recent past. Key Takeaways from the Sea Bream Market Study • Sea bream is perceived as healthy seafood, which matches growing consumer interests supporting healthy lifestyles and healthy food consumption. • Conventional sea bream producers are facing lower sales prices, and many manufacturers are currently not able to recover production costs. • The sea bream market has been segmented on the basis of form, where

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processed sea bream holds the major share. Over the course of forthcoming years, the fresh sea bream segment is expected to show positive growth due to multiple benefits fresh product offers to consumers. • The end use of sea bream in the foodservice provider segment contributes around 35% share in the overall sea bream market. • The market is also witnessing impetus demand from the food processing, animal feed, and pet food industries, in addition to retail and household sectors. • Europe and North America are anticipated to dominate the global sea bream market in terms of value share in the current scenario. • Oceania, predominated by Australia, is also generating high demand for sea bream owing to the increasing consumer demand for premium food products, such as organic sea bream and sea bass. Large number of consumers are gradually shifting to healthier and less processed food in their daily diets. A

sizeable consumer segment is gradually shifting towards seafood. Seafood manufacturers are thus emphasizing authentication of their products to meet evolving consumer demand. Manufacturers operating in the sea bream industry are investing more in merger and acquisition activities to upscale their sales footprints and to serve more consumers around the world. Sea bream manufacturers are increasing their supply chain to meet the demand from end users such as food service providers and the food processing industry. Sea bream is witnessing a growing demand in the food and beverage industry. Food and beverage manufacturers are experimenting to find new technologies by advancing their production processes. This increase in demand and technological advances are collectively fueling the growth of sea bream markets. The trend is expected to continue through 2029, especially in developing regions. However, Europe remains the largest producer of sea bream in the global market.


Riverence Holdings Acquires Clear Springs Foods,

Allowing ‘Egg to Plate’ Supply Chain Control By: Aquaculture Magazine / Staff*


n February 1, Riverence Holdings LLC announced its acquisition of Clear Springs Foods, Inc. The family of businesses now includes Riverence Brood in Washington, Riverence Farms in Idaho, and Clear Springs Foods—Riverence’s neighbor in Idaho’s Magic Valley. With the acquisition, Riverence Holdings is now the largest land-based producer of trout in the Americas. The Magic Valley will continue to be the base of operations for both Riverence and Clear Springs Foods, with the intent to maintain existing brands, team members, and the markets they serve. To-

Clear Springs farm.

Riverence farm.

gether, the companies employ over 450 people. “We believe in aquaculture and sustainable, land-based production of seafood,” said Rob Young, CEO of Riverence. “With this investment, we are deepening our commitment to doing what’s right in support of our communities, the fish we produce, and the natural resources we share. Together, we stand ready to redefine farm-raised fish and the future of American aquaculture.”

Together with Clear Springs Foods, Riverence controls the supply chain from its brood stock to delivery to distributors. The Riverence portfolio now includes 14 farms able to produce more than 15,000 metric tons annually, four brood stations, two processing facilities, a value-added processing facility, a waste recovery plant, and a feed mill, all of which are BAP certified or pursuing certification. Shared resources also include a modern fleet of 12 over-the-road tractor trailer combos providing nationwide market access to all Riverence and Clear Springs products. Riverence’s stated mission is to decrease pressure on wild fish by providing an alternative source of premium seafood. Riverence is an IMPACT partner of the James Beard Foundation and the official trout of the James Beard House, recommended by FishWise and Ocean Wise, and a Monterey Bay Seafood Watch “Best Choice”. Riverence’s reputation for quality and care has quickly earned praise from celebrity chefs such as Andrew Zimmern, and a spot on the menus of restaurants like Tender Greens, GT Fish & Oyster, Sparrow & Wolf, The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, Momofuku, Imoto, and more. »



National Aquaculture Association Notes NAA Posts Updated and Expanded Rebuttal to Marine Aquaculture Criticisms The National Aquaculture Association (NAA) has posted an updated and expanded white paper entitled, Rebutting Marine Aquaculture Myths and Unfounded Criticisms, in anticipation of opposition to the federal permitting of an experimental, demonstration net pen to be located 45 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico funded by Florida Sea Grant.

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Kampachi Farms is funded for one year to construct and operate a net pen demonstration project in the Gulf of Mexico as an educational platform for policymakers, the public and fishing interests. The submersible net pen will float at the surface off the coast of southwest Florida, with an objective of producing 88,000 pounds of marketable almaco jack. On January 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota Florida to receive

additional public comment on the proposed permitting. The NAA attended to express support for the project and its educational and demonstration objectives.

FDA Releases Multi-Lingual Photonovels Encouraging Fish and Shellfish Consumption The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released four new photonovels—or comic-style graphic stories—that share information about eating fish and shellfish while

pregnant and why including seafood in children’s diet can help their growth and development. The photonovels are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese and support the updated advice on eating fish from FDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The photonovels emphasize: • Fish are part of a healthy eating pattern. Fish can have nutritional benefits for children’s growth during pregnancy and childhood. And, as part of a healthy eating pattern, eating fish may also offer heart health benefits and lower the risk of obesity. • Choose a variety of fish that are lower in mercury. It is important to limit mercury in the diets of women who are or could become pregnant or who are breastfeeding and young children. There are many types of fish that are both nutritious and lower in mercury. • Do not eat raw fish. Raw fish is not recommended for pregnant women and young children. These groups often have weaker immune systems and are more at risk for foodborne illnesses.

USAS-CFA-NAA Partner to Showcase US Aquaculture During October 2019, the US Aquaculture Society, Catfish Farmers of America and National Aquaculture Association organized a forum, US Aquaculture: Our Sustainable Food Solution, in Washington DC. The organizations invited House and Senate members, their staff, and federal agency representatives for an in-depth series of presentations to showcase US aquaculture. The forum benefited from the generosity of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance which supported the forum and hosted a working lunch for the participants. The 2019 forum kicked-off a dedicated effort by the partnership to undertake an Initiative on Education that will consist of an annual forum in our Nation’s Capital to present opportunities for expansion and new technologies and address misconceptions and gaps in information. The US Aquaculture Society has posted recordings for each of the presentations which can be viewed at the USAS website.

U.S. Aquaculture: Our Sustainable Food Solution • Welcome: Kevin Wheeler, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, Office of the Under Secretary, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration • Welcome: Dr. Jeffrey Silverstein, Deputy Administrator, Animal Production and Protection, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture • U.S. Aquaculture: Now and Beyond? Jim Parsons, President, National Aquaculture Association • Producer Story Series: Jimmy Avery, Extension Professor and Director, Delta Research and Extension Center, Mississippi State University. Producer Story: Catfish; Producer Story: Oyster; Producer Story: Trout; Producer Story: Crawfish; Producer Story: Baitfish. • U.S. Aquaculture: Economic Opportunities in Rural and Coastal Economies. Carole Engle, Economist, Engle-Stone Aquatic$ LLC. • Aquaculture and the Environment: Craig Tucker, Research Leader,

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Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. • Solutions Through Applied Research and Extension: Caird Rexroad III, National Program Leader – Aquaculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. • Regulatory Reform in Support of Growth of US Aquaculture: Sebastian Belle, Executive Director, Maine Aquaculture Association. Please join the partnership in thanking the sponsors, speakers and farmers that contributed their time, expertise and in-depth knowledge to produce an excellent, informative and persuasive forum. Planning for the 2020 forum is in-progress. Contact the NAA Office if you would like to be involved or support the Initiative on Education by calling 850-216-2400 or naa@thenaa.net.

Seafood in Focus: Phase One Trade Agreement between the US and China On January 15, 2020, the United States and China signed an historic and enforceable agreement on a Phase One trade deal that requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. The Phase One agreement also includes a commitment by China that it will make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years. Importantly, the agreement establishes a strong dispute resolution system that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement. As incomes rise in China, consumption of animal proteins such as seafood is becoming more popular among Chinese consumers. In addition, China is a major partner for U.S. seafood producers who ship raw seafood to China for fur12 »

ther processing. However, in recent years, U.S. seafood exports to China have been hampered by restrictive Chinese regulatory initiatives. The Phase One agreement addresses these limitations and gives U.S. seafood companies increased access to the China market. China has agreed to allow the import of 26 previously unapproved aquatic species through a side letter that accompanies the Agreement. China has also committed to streamline the timelines and procedures for registering U.S. seafood facilities and products, including fish meal and oil, by updating its facility registrations within 20 business days of receipt of a list from FDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration (NOAA). China will ensure the continued use of existing bilaterally-agreed certificates issued by NOAA. In addition, competent authorities in the United States and China will reconvene their technical working group on seafood. The United States estimates these commitments could result in an additional $400 million in annual aquatic product exports to China above current levels. For additional information, visit the Office of the US Trade Representative webpage devoted to Phase One at: https://ustr.gov/sites/ default/files/files/agreements/ phase%20one%20agreement/ Phase_One_Agreement-Commodity_Fact_Sheet-Aquatic.pdf

USFWS Solicits Public Input on Cormorant Management As part of ongoing efforts to address conflicts between double-crested cormorants and wild and stocked fisheries, the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has released a Federal Register describing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) and soliciting public input on future management options. “Balancing the protection of native wildlife with economic and human health needs is fundamental to effective management practices,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “Today’s action starts the process of improving management and further reduces conflicts with double-crested cormorants throughout the United States.” Future management actions built on a strong biological foundation ensure cormorant populations are managed responsibly and in compliance with federal laws and regulations, while balancing economic development, human health and safety, endangered species management and other priorities. “We are building long-term solutions for managing conflicts with double-crested cormorants under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act while maintaining healthy populations of this species,” said Aurelia Skipwith, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “This effort, in collaboration with our partners, will ensure continued good stewardship of our natural resources.” In 2017, the FWS completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) evaluating options for issuing individual depredation permits to provide relief for aquaculture facilities experiencing direct economic losses from cormorants across 37 central and eastern states and the District of Columbia. The EA analyzed options for the issuance of depredation permits for

cormorants where there is either significant economic damage to aquaculture facilities, significant damage to native vegetation, significant impact on a threatened or endangered species, or significant human safety risks. Upon completion of the EA on November 15, 2017, the FWS began issuing permits to aquaculture facility managers and property owners across 37 central and eastern states and the District of Columbia. This review did not include potential damage to recreational and commercial fishing by cormorants. Since the publication of the EA, the FWS engaged stakeholders to assess the biological, social and economic significance of wild fish-cormorant interactions, and to identify a suite of management alternatives. The FWS is also currently working with tribes, state fish and wildlife agencies and other federal partners to assess comprehensive management options for cormorants across the United States. “With nearly 30,000 water surface acres across Arkansas used for aquaculture production, our fish farmers contributed $71.1 million to our state’s economy in 2017. However, the United States Department of Agriculture estimates double-crested cormorants cause more than $25 million in damage annually within the aquaculture industry. These birds have become the foremost antagonists of fish farmers. We need commonsense solutions that allow aquaculture producers to safeguard their fish from these predators,” said U.S. Sen. John Boozman (AR). “I applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for responding to the need of aquaculture producers by increasing the amount of maximum allowable take of double-crested cormorants, and I look forward to working with the Department of Interior and FWS to ensure we can find commonsense solutions to ease the burden for hard working Arkansan aquaculture producers.”

“Arkansans are experiencing the harmful impact of double-crested cormorants across the state. As one of the top aquaculture producers in the nation, Arkansas and its fish farmers are suffering millions of dollars in losses as these avian predators consume critical inventory,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (AR). “I am glad the Department of Interior is taking this problem seriously and hope that further progress will come swiftly.” “Bird predation costs producers millions of dollars every year. I applaud the Department of the Interior for taking this important step to help aquaculture producers address those losses,” said U.S. Sen. Cindy HydeSmith (MS). “The double-crested cormorant has been detrimental to Mississippi’s catfish farmers,” said U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (MS). “I am pleased that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking this issue seriously and is considering options to allow aquaculture producers to manage the populations of these predatory birds that are destroying fish populations.” “I am pleased to see the Department is moving forward in the rulemaking process for the depredation of double-crested cormorants. This is a desperately needed next step for Michigan’s First District, where overpopulation is threatening the health of our free swimming and recreational fisheries,” said U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (MI-01). “I am grateful the Administration has committed to this process to ensure a long-term and effective management plan for Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.” “I am pleased with the efforts and action by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to increase the allowable take of double-crested cormorants. This is a necessary step to mitigate more than $25 million in annual damages to the catfish and aquaculture industry,” said U.S. Rep. Michael Guest (MS-03). “I’m supportive of this proposed rule, which will have a positive » 13


impact on Mississippi’s catfish industry, and I will continue to work with FWS to promote Mississippi’s aquaculture needs.” “Science has consistently proven that managing cormorants is necessary to protect not just aquaculture but fishing as well. I applaud the administration for listening to input, increasing the take and promoting sound scientific practices,” said U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-04). “Double-crested cormorants can pose a significant threat to American aquaculture. The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased to learn that the Department of the Interior is moving forward to help provide farmers the necessary management tools to prevent double-crested cormorants from preying on farm livestock,” said Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “The strong return of double crested cormorants is a significant conservation success. But in the absence of natural predators, cormorants are inflicting substantial depredation on both private and public aquatic resources. This effort by the Fish and Wildlife Service is necessary and appropriate to maintain a healthy ecosystem,” said Dale Hall, Former Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Public scoping for the rulemaking process will continue until March 9, 2020. To promulgate a proposed rule and prepare a draft environmental review pursuant to NEPA, the FWS will take into consideration all comments and any additional information received on or before that date. You may submit written comments by one of the following methods. Please do not submit comments by both. FWS does not accept email or faxes. Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2019-0103. By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to Public 14 »

Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–HQ–MB–2019–0103; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: JAO/1N, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. The FWS seeks comments or suggestions from the public, governmental agencies, tribes, the scientific community, industry or any other interested parties. Areas for consideration include but are not limited to: potential reporting and monitoring strategies of cormorants by states and participating tribes; impacts on floodplains, wetlands, wild and scenic rivers or ecologically sensitive areas; impacts to other species of wildlife, including endangered or threatened species; and impacts on prime agricultural lands. Please see the Federal Register notice for more details. The FWS will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. More information about the rulemaking process, cormorants and meetings, including how to register, will be posted online at: https://www.fws.gov/birds/management/managed-species/doublecrested-cormorants.php.

WOTUS: Navigable Waters Protection Rule Released On January 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) finalized the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to define “Waters of the United States” and thereby establish federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. For the first time, the agencies are streamlining the definition so that it includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters, provides clear exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated, and defines terms in the regulatory text that have never been defined before. Congress, in the Clean Water Act, explicitly directed the Agencies to protect “navigable waters.” The Navigable Waters Protection Rule regulates these waters and the core tributary

systems that provide perennial or intermittent flow into them. Read the pre-publication version of the final Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Under the final “Step 2” rule, four clear categories of waters are federally regulated: • The territorial seas and traditional navigable waters, • Perennial and intermittent tributaries to those waters, • Certain lakes, ponds, and impoundments, and • Wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters The final rule also details 12 categories of exclusions, features that are not “waters of the United States,” such as features that only contain water in direct response to rainfall (e.g., ephemeral features); groundwater; many ditches; prior converted cropland; and waste treatment systems. The final rule clarifies key elements related to the scope of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction, including: • Providing clarity and consistency by removing the proposed separate categories for jurisdictional ditches and impoundments. • Refining the proposed definition of “typical year,” which provides important regional and temporal flexibility and ensures jurisdiction is being accurately determined in times that are not too wet and not too dry. • Defining “adjacent wetlands” as wetlands that are meaningfully connected to other jurisdictional waters, for example, by directly abutting or having regular surface water communication with jurisdictional waters. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of “waters of the United States” consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States.’” This final rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register and will replace the Step One Rule published in October, 2019.

This final action is informed by robust public outreach and engagement on the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, including pre-proposal engagement that generated more than 6,000 recommendations and approximately 620,000 comments received on the proposal. The final definition balances the input the final agencies received from a wide range of stakeholders. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule Materials • Final Rule: The Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” pre-publication version: https://www.epa.gov/ nwpr/final-rule-navigable-watersprotection-rule • Fact Sheets: - Navigable Waters Protection Rule Overview - “Typical Year” and the Definition of “Waters of the United States” - Implementing the Final 2020 “Waters of the United States” Definition - Mapping Fact Sheet - Rural America Fact Sheet • Supporting Documents: - Economic Analysis - Resource and Programmatic Assessment

- Access All Supporting Documents at https://www.epa.gov/nwpr/navigable-waters-protection-rule-supporting-documents Public Outreach Opportunities: Public Webcast - A public webcast discussing the final Navigable Waters Protection Rule will be held on February 13, 2020 - EPA and the Army will hold a public webcast to help explain the key elements of the final Navigable Waters Protection Rule on Thursday, February 13, 2020. Registration can be found here: https:// register.gotowebinar.com/register/4984953028082855948 Visit the NAA website... for informational videos and webinars, to request publications, to download policy statements or to renew or join as a member.

Free Promotion and Marketing Opportunities for U.S. Aquaculture Growers New York Sea Grant and the National Aquaculture Association are working on a project to educate culinary instructors about the benefits of purchasing and using U.S. farm-raised seafood products. As part of that project,

we are conducting an on-line survey of U.S. growers. U.S. seafood (finfish, shellfish and aquatic plants) farmers can complete the survey at: https://cornell.qualtrics.com/jfe/ form/SV_0Hzl21riqvayIo5 The survey information will help us better understand our industry, promote local products, establish communication between growers and local restaurants/foodservice groups, and keep growers informed of opportunities to market and promote their products at no charge. Some growers have already taken advantage of these opportunities. We are asking your help in informing growers of this opportunity to market their products at no charge except for possible shipping charges and cost of samples/promotional literature. Feel free to share the survey and the information with your colleagues. For more information, contact: Michael Ciaramella, M.Sc., Ph.D. New York Sea Grant/Cornell University. Mc2544@cornell.edu 631-632-8730 Linda O’Dierno, The National Aquaculture Association, linda@ thenaa.net » 15


News from the

Aquaculture Stewardship Council Two Thirds of Seafood Consumers Call For “Radical or Significant” Change to Feed Growing Population A major survey of seafood consumers across seven countries in Europe, Asia, and North America has found widespread concern about the environmental and social impacts of food, with two thirds (63%) calling for “radical” or “significant” change to feed the world’s growing population. The survey of over 7,000 seafood consumers in Germany, France, The Netherlands, China, Japan, Canada and the USA was carried out by Globescan on behalf of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) in summer 2019. While it found variations between countries, especially when it comes to the frequency and way seafood is consumed, support for better protection of the environment and workers when it comes to food production was generally high around the world. A major finding of the survey was a significant desire for information about sustainability, as well as independent verification of brands’ sustainability claims. Across the seven countries, 71% of seafood consumers said that supermarkets’ or brands’ claims about sustainability should be clearly labelled by an independent organisation. When it comes to trusted labels, 84% of seafood consumers said they would 16 »

have trust in the ASC label. Further evidence of this demand for more information is in the 63% who said they wanted to hear more from brands about the sustainability of their products. Demand for responsibly produced food also appears to be driving shopping habits, with two thirds (62%) saying they want to shop at a place with lots of responsibly produced seafood. This is tied in with a clear wish among the majority of seafood consumers around the world to do their part to improve food production practices and fight other global issues. Two thirds (63%) want to use their purchasing decisions to

reward responsible seafood farmers, while a similar amount (64%) want to help fight climate change with their food choices. Social issues are also important to seafood consumers, with 69% reporting that it is important that workers in the industry are fairly treated. “Consumers around the world are very aware of the shared challenges we face when it comes to feeding a global population while preserving our natural resources and protecting those that provide our food,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC. “Encouragingly, the majority of people are also keen to make choices to help address these problems.”

The survey also looked at attitudes towards seafood, and eating habits in different countries. It found that over half of seafood consumers around the world (51%) don’t have a preference between wild and farmed fish. Similarly, most (69%) either purchase a mix of farmed and wild fish or are unaware of whether their fish is farmed or wild. Of the rest, 14% said they usually bought farmed and 17% wild. Of those who expressed a preference for farmed fish, the top reason given for this preference was that it can help to preserve wild stocks (29%). “Farmed fish plays an essential – and growing – role in meeting global demand for seafood,” said Chris. “This research indicates that consumers care a lot about whether their seafood was responsibly produced according to a standard that they can trust, and that’s where ASC certification can play a role.” Comparing results between countries suggests some interesting differences. For example, more consumers in Canada and USA expressed a love of seafood (31% and 28% respectively of general consumers said they “really liked” seafood), than in China and Japan (24% and 21% of general consumers respectively). However, Chinese and Japanese consumers were the most likely to say that they consumed seafood every day (16% and 14% respectively of general consumers, compared to a global average of 6%). This suggests that in these countries seafood is seen as a normal part of an everyday diet, whereas in Canada and USA it is seen more as an occasional treat. Overall, the survey suggests an enduring popularity for seafood, with over three quarters (78%) of all consumers saying they had purchased seafood in the past two months. About the survey: In summer 2019, Globescan surveyed 7,000 seafood consumers in seven countries: USA, Canada, Germany, France, The Netherlands, China and Japan.

Seafood consumer is defined as those respondents in a household where someone had purchased seafood in the past two months and/or who regularly eat seafood at home or in a restaurant. A wider sample of 10,000 consumers (not just those who had recently purchased seafood) were surveyed in the seven countries. All results above are taken from the survey of 7,000 seafood consumers, except for those in the final paragraph which are taken from the wider survey of 10,000 general consumers. Survey data is weighted to reflect each country’s demographic composition by gender, age, and education, according to the latest available census data.

New Collaboration Helps Small Scale Farmers Adopt More Responsible Practices Three of the leading organisations in responsible aquaculture have teamed up to help farmers adopt more responsible practices, simplify choices for retailers and consumers, and make better use of their industry data and knowledge. Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Programme, have embarked on the ambitious project, which will focus

particularly on Southeast Asia, but could have a global impact by improving collaboration and efficiency in a sometimes fragmented industry. “While our three organisations are all working to promote responsible aquaculture, we each have different areas of focus which results in necessarily differing approaches. However, there is an opportunity to be more integrated in our data collection and improvement approaches,” said Douglas Tenison-Collins, ASC Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator. “Improving this integration could reduce costs for producers and improve clarity for retailers and consumers, while also allowing us all to benefit from each other’s monitoring and evaluation research.” “We are excited to be partnering with ASC and Seafood Watch to explore new approaches to driving landscape-level improvements in aquaculture,” said SFP Deputy Programs Division Director Dave Martin. “We hope to make the path to sustainability easier for producers and engage more stakeholders, while developing an improvement model that can be recognized by buyers in the same way FIPs are now.” “Seafood is a critical food source for nearly three billion people and provides direct employment for 19 million. Much of that production takes place in Southeast Asia,” said Seafood Watch Senior

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Program Manager Ryan Bigelow. “Engaging with and learning from producers in the region is critical to improving livelihoods, the sustainability of our seafood and the health of our ocean.” The work is funded by a grant from ISEAL, the global membership organisation for credible sustainability standards, and funding from the Swiss Government’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The project will start by conducting an in-depth technical comparison of each programme’s methodologies – highlighting key points of difference and commonality, and opportunities for integration. The project will have a tangible impact on small scale farmers, with the partners developing and launching two joint Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIPs) – one in Indonesia and one in Vietnam, two major producers of farmed seafood. The AIP will include a training program for seafood farmers, providing them with practical guidance on how to farm more responsibly. The project will also look at where inefficiencies can be reduced, messaging to the global seafood markets can be harmonised, and consistency of data they collect can be improved. One of the major benefits of all three programmes is the data they collect about the practices of the industry – data which in many cases was not previously available, and can be used to drive improvements in future. But the process of collecting this information can prove timeconsuming, and there are likely areas of overlap which can be streamlined – potentially saving farmers involved in the programmes time and money, but also making it easier to collate and compare the different programmes’ data. This will help better monitor not only the wider industry but also the ongoing impact that the programmes themselves are having, providing further opportunities for improvement. 18 »

ASC strengthens teams in German speaking areas ASC has expanded its team working in the important markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, while also strengthening its Programme Assurance team with two new members. In the German, Austrian and Swiss (DACH) region, Dennis Wittmann will take care of the concerns of partner companies and ASC supporters as Outreach Manager. Anna Nau will be responsible for consumer-oriented marketing activities as Marketing Manager. The aim is to further increase the range of ASCcertified products and the awareness and popularity of the label in the region. Dennis Wittmann joined ASC in 2016, where he initially worked in the Standards Team and later as Assurance Coordinator in the then newly founded Program Assurance Team. His projects included the development of a new interpretation platform for auditors and producers, the development of farm IDs and the improvement of the report form, in order to improve and simplify the ASC audit process. Last month, Dennis started a new role, and as Outreach Manager he is the contact person for ASC supply chain partners in German-speaking countries.

His passion for aquatic organisms can be traced back to his childhood when he started collecting and cataloging mussels, sea snails and fish. He later studied biology and aquaculture at the University of Rostock. Dennis gained his first practical experience at the trout farm in Hohenwangelin.

customers the opportunity to enjoy sushi that has been responsibly sourced,” said Inger Melander, ASC Commercial Marketing Manager for Northern Europe. “The rigorous and transparent nature of the ASC standards mean that consumers can be confident that ASC certified seafood has been produced in a way that minimises environmental and social impacts. That means they can get on with enjoying their sushi safe in the knowledge that they are rewarding responsible producers.”

Anna Nau also joined the ASC team in the German-speaking countries as Marketing Manager in late 2019. She has extensive experience in both marketing and the seafood industry. She worked at Nomad Foods Europe and Birds Eye/Iglo as Brand Manager for six years. Anna Nau holds a Masters in Marketing from Kingston University in London and recently completed additional training as an online marketing consultant. She also dealt with sustainability issues in the seafood industry in a previous role as Marketing Manager for the MSC. At ASC, Anna Nau is responsible for consumer-oriented marketing activities and is the contact person for all marketing inquiries from ASC partner companies.

Sweden’s First Fully Certified Sushi Chain Opens Sweden’s first sushi chain to be fully ASC and MSC certified has opened this month, with four locations in southern Sweden offering only responsibly and sustainably sourced seafood.

Reko Sushi and Bowls opened with a fully certified menu on January 2 – perfect timing for anyone with New Year’s Resolution to ensure more of the food they eat is responsibly produced. “We have a lot of experience working with sushi, but now we’ve taken responsibly produced sushi to a new level,” said Daniel Joannou, Creator and Founder of Reko Sushi & Bowls. “By only using ASC and MSC certified fish and shellfish we are able to serve our customers the most delicious sushi without compromising on environmental considerations. We are all really exciting to be leading this trend in Sweden.” Reko Sushi & Bowls have restaurants in Malmö, Lund, Helsingborg and Ängelholm. The owners previously operated the Rå Epok sushi chain, which had previously committed to not serving red-listed or endangered fish. The newly refurbished restaurants of Reko Sushi & Bowls take this commitment further. “We’re thrilled that Reko Sushi & Bowls have given their Aquaculture Magazine

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Weighing up the future

With established organizations in the USA, Australia and Mexico there has been a determined focus on ensuring that all are part of a family. They need to operate and meet all regulations in their By: Roy D. Palmer *


o that end SCALES International Limited has been established enabling Aquaculture without Frontiers (USA/Australia/Latin America) to be part of a much larger footprint. The need to responsibly share common resources and goals globally is essential. Appreciating that many similar organizations already exist, the opportunity to collaborate and engage with them, especially in countries where AwF does not operate, and connect them with aquaculture and/or with our expertise is an opportunity not to be wasted. Collaboration is the key in moving forward, and sharing information, knowledge and resources is vital. As a group we are stronger. We can put projects together and engage in funding initiatives to maximize our joint expertise and to have other countries engaged in the SCALES network creates many advantages. SCALES International Limited operates globally but it has been established in NSW, Australia as a new Environmental Not for Profit organization – a company limited by guarantee not having share capital (ACN 634 399 429). This public company is established for beneficial society with its sole objective as an Environmental Organization.

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established countries, but also come together and share resources.

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Mission SCALES will create partnerships throughout the developing aquatic world with other like-minded organizations that see benefit in joining forces, creating collective knowledge and collaborating on projects and programs that connect to the UN Sustainable Development Goals – addressing the global challenges, especially including those related to poverty, inequality, gender, climate, environmental degradation, education, prosperity, and peace and justice. One of the most exciting aspects to this is the ability to form partnerships to build information and knowledge about many countries and their specific needs and assist in creation of plans and projects. SCALES will promote our partners and sponsors in any relevant activities they engage and share their goals and news throughout our media platforms. Partnership will not entail any complicated process - a form is provided on the new website (http://scalesalliance.com/ ) and there are no membership fees currently. MatureDevelopment from The Hague, Netherlands have become the first partner in SCALES. Paul van der Heijden, who became AwF’s EU Ambassador in 2018, is the founder of this exciting organization. Paul shares strong beliefs in profitability of sustainable business and due to his personal development, he retreated from this industry and initiated MatureDevelopment in 2000. With MatureDevelopment he has created a company with a strong emphasis on sustainable and system innovation; ‘innovative innovation’. Paul is committed in understanding that we cannot take our knowledge with us so is constantly pushing buttons that see his younger people engaged. All our work is connected to relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG’s) as that is the global agenda which drives activities. Additionally, we are working 22 »

with the Association of International Seafood Professionals on making educational tools and resources available. The goal is online 24 hours per day and in many languages. The SCALES Foundation is being created, a special FUND, which enables people, companies, organizations, etc. to engage in aquatic food chain development through SCALES. This may be carbon related in respect of our concepts of coastal development particularly in the re-establishment of mangroves and sea grasses, but it may be supply related to other aquaculture or seafood activity. There will be lots of networking and some planned Meetings & Events.

People can communicate through our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/scalesalliance/ and our Twitter @ScalesGlobal. Our first major event will be the 1st Global Rural Aquaculture Conference to be held 19-20 May 2020 in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Rural Aquaculture offers an opportunity in the search for Food Security, however, one of the main challenges is in the increase in production and through chain processes. The objective is to increase the availability of food and everything that involves its production and commercialization through dedicated value chains, generating positive economic

outcomes in places that are normally of high and very high marginality. The delegates at the conference will discuss why it is necessary to promote crops with low production costs and identify the regions where they can be carried out. Where the producers who currently carry out the activity have opportunities to increase their production and have the means to start profitable and sustainable economic cycles will be additional subjects. SCALES will offer groups the partnership opportunity which assists them with online education. Working in collaboration and understanding the learning needs will help build resilient aquaculture initiatives. Katherine Hawes, Chair, Aquaculture without Frontiers (Australia) Limited, said “We were looking for a name that connected what we do with aquaculture and the concept of bringing people together to make the activities stronger. Of course, the main reason that a fish has scales is to provide external protection to its body and provide flexibility. They are hardy, slippery and tough making them excellent protection for the environments that fish live in. Scales, like a suit of armour, enable for fish to be flexible. In today’s environment all our businesses and associations need to have such connection in order to become sustainable. That gave us the idea.” Katherine added “SCALES is our general name, but it could be referred to as an acronym for Sustainable Community for Aquaculture Learning, Education & Skills (SCALES).

SCALES – taking the letters of SCALES we have: Sustainable (sustaining, strengthening and supporting physically or mentally. Covering species, population, community, ecosystem and biosphere). Community (condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common). Aquaculture (aquatics as food chain culture – covering fishing and aquaculture in all aspects of the aquatic food chain). Learning (education, training, technical development, improvement of systems, transfer of knowledge). Education (ensures empowerment, environment and economic - uplifting people, supporting equality including gender and ecosystems). Skills (brings security -food security and nutrition; security of rights; ensuring long-term welfare).” *Roy D. Palmer, Executive Director Aquaculture without frontiers. For background on our strictly volunteer charity organization please visit our website www.aquaculturewithoutfrontiers.org which has all the information about our history, projects and who is on our Boards. AwF has established organizations in Australia (Charity) and Mexico (NGO), but the mainstay is our organization incorporated in California #2671553 exempt from State and Federal taxes as a US501(c)(3) public charity. We run several networks on social media - School/Students; Women/Gender; Global Indigenous; Aquaponics; Aquarium Fish, Latin America and recently Small Island Development States.

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News from the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership, AADAP


appy New Year! The AADAP team is looking forward to another year of working with our partners to advance aquaculture drugs through the approval process. 2020 is going to be an exciting and productive year!

Our Newest Hire: We’re excited to announce that AADAP has filled a term position in the INAD program! Paige Maskill began her appointment with AADAP on January 6th, 2020. Paige earned her BS in Biological Science-Organismal Biology from Montana State University in 2015, and is working on her MS in the Dept. of Ecology-Fish and Wildlife Management at Montana State University. She has over five years of fisheries research experience, most recently as a graduate research associate with the Montana Fisheries Research Cooperative Unit in Bozeman, MT and Castlegar, B.C., Canada, where she studied the reproductive physiology of a hatcheryCutthroat trout fry for future INAD study. Credit: USFWS. origin population of white sturgeon, and also conducted radioimmunoassays to quantify blood plasma sex ste- mon carp pituitary (CCP) INAD roid concentrations. We are excited continues! Argent Aquaculture LLC to have Paige on board! has agreed to work on advancing the CCP INAD in hopes of a drug apAnnouncements from the proval, and while they’re working on National INAD Program: this, will be able to supply CCP under 1) The 2020 INAD Program is now the INAD. 3) AADAP has reactivatopen and ready for enrollment! Be- ed the catfish pituitary (CP) INAD fore any 2020 study requests can be and will work with Hybrid Catfish created, investigators must enroll for Company (sponsor) and the FDA the 2020 calendar year. 2) The com- toward a potential drug approval. 24 »

The INAD is limited to use on various catfish species and the CP will be sold by Hybrid Catfish Company. 4) Please visit https://www.fws.gov/ fisheries/aadap/inads.html for links to the INAD fact pages. These pages contain the study protocol, contact information to purchase INADs, treatment regimens, and more information for investigators to review so INADs are being used correctly.

erated during this study is intended to support a label claim for sedation of seawater finfish. AADAP is currently analyzing the data and compiling a report that will be submitted to FDA-CVM for review. We’d like to thank the staff at the Manchester Research Station for their time and effort in helping move the drug approval process forward!

Approved Aquaculture Drug Facts: Did you know Chorulon® by Merck State INAD participant using the Aqui-S 20E INAD to Animal Health (Chorionic Gonadosedate fish for surgery. Photo Credit: Ryan Mann/ Arizona Game and Fish tropin) is approved for the improvement of spawning function in male and female brood finfish? Did you Recent AQUI-S 20E seawater know that Romet® (Sulfadimethoxine & Ormetoprim) is approved for study: In November 2019, AADAP’s Re- use in salmonids for the control of search Program worked with staff furunculosis (Aeromonas salmonicida) at the NOAA Northwest Fisheries and in catfish for the control of enScience Center’s Manchester Re- teric septicemia (Edwardsiella ictaluri)? search Station to conduct a pivotal For more information on dosing efficacy study on sablefish using the and limitations, please see AADAP’s anesthetic AQUI-S® 20E. Data gen- Quick Desk Reference Guide to

Injecting the hormone into a ripe striped bass. All striped bass, males and females, are injected with a pellet hormone to induce spawning. Gulf strain striped bass restoration continues throughout the AppalachicolaChattahoochee-Flint River Basin. Credit: Warm Springs Regional Fishery Center, GA\USFWS.

Approved Drugs for Use in Aquaculture. In addition, please check AADAP’s Resources Page for recent drug approval updates. *The AADAP is a branch of the USFWS Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program.

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USDA Releases 2018 Census

of Aquaculture Results By: Staff / Aquaculture Magazine *

According to the 2018 Census of Aquaculture (CoA) released December

19 by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), total reported sales of aquaculture products in 2018 was $1.5 billion, an increase of 10.5% from 2013. In 2018, there were 2,932 responding aquaculture farms with sales in the United States, down 5% from 2013. Five states – Mississippi, Washington, Louisiana, Virginia, and California – accounted for 51% of reported aquaculture sales and 37% of responding aquaculture farms in 2018.


ome data highlights from the CoA include: • The average sales per farm was $516,944. • Sales of food fish were $716 million, a decrease of 2% from 2013. • Sales of mollusks were $441.8 million, an increase of 34% from 2013.

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• Crustacean sales in 2018 were $100.4 million, up 18% from 2013. • Catfish and oysters were the top species in both sales and number of farms. • Catfish sales, valued at $366.8 million, accounted for 51% of all food fish sales in 2018.

• Oyster sales, valued at $284.9 million, accounted for 64% of mollusk sales in 2018. • Mississippi led the nation in total aquaculture sales in 2018 with $216 million. For purposes of the CoA, an aquaculture farm was defined as any place from which $1,000 or more of aquaculture products were produced and sold or distributed for restoration, conservation, enhancement, or recreation during the census year. Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic products caught or harvested by the public from non-controlled waters or beds are considered wild caught and are not included as aquaculture. “The 2018 Census of Aquaculture updates important information about the industry that we last produced in 2013,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “These valuable data tell the story of U.S. aquaculture, following and expanding on the Census of Agriculture. The information in the report helps trade associations, governments, agribusinesses, and others learn about aquaculture and make informed decisions that have a direct impact on the future of the industry.” However, in an appendix to the Census results NASS discussed the

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NASS deserves credit for its efforts to document the value and impact of aquaculture in the US. However, the industry must take more responsibility to insure its importance to the nation is accurately reflected and not underestimated.

statistical methodology involved in coming up with the findings presented, casting some doubt on their value. The purpose of a census is to enumerate all objects with a defined characteristic. For the CoA, that goal was to account for any farm or operation from which $1,000 or more of aquaculture products were produced and sold, or produced and distributed for restoration, conservation, enhancement, or recreational purposes during the census year. To do this, NASS attempted to develop a mail list of aquaculture operations that potentially met the farm definition, collected information from those operations, reviewed the data, corrected or completed the requested information, and combined

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the data to provide information on the characteristics of aquaculture farm operations at the national and State levels. According to NASS the 2018 CoA was conducted primarily by mail. It was supplemented with Electronic Data Reporting (EDR) via the Internet, telephone calls, and personal enumeration. Enumeration methods were similar to those used in the 2013 Census of Aquaculture. The target population for the census of aquaculture was composed of all aquaculture farm operations that reported any amount of aquaculture activity on their 2017 Census of Agriculture report forms. An effort was made to identify additional aquaculture operations of

significance from new sources, but no details were provided concerning these procedures. The initial mailout took place in December 2018. According to NASS mail packets were mailed to approximately 3,800 farms thought to have produced aquaculture in 2017. Telephone follow-ups, conducted from a NASS Data Collection Center, began in February 2019 to non-respondents who were mailed a report form. In spite of a determined effort to obtain aquaculture information from every operation on the 2018 Census of Aquaculture mailing list, not all operations responded. A “nonresponse adjustment factor� was used to account for active aquaculture operations on the list that did not respond to the 2018 Census of Aquaculture. NASS states that there are two main types of estimation error that affect all estimates obtained from almost any survey, and that these errors make it unlikely that estimates obtained from the 2018 CoA will exactly match the true value in the population for a given farm characteristic. The first type of error, referred to as non-observation error, occurs in any estimate generated from a survey in which nonresponse occurs or data are not potentially obtainable from every unit in the target population. Statistical weighting is used to reduce the effects of this type of error.

Figure 1 Although NASS made significant efforts to capture the scope and economic impact of US Aquaculture, due to lack of participation some segments may have been underestimated in terms of volume and value. Louisiana Commodity Crawfish State data CoA data Oysters1 State data CoA data Catfish State data CoA data Baitfish State data CoA data Misc. sp. State data CoA data TOTALS State data CoA data

Producers 1,677 450 947 28 <4 7 <3 3 54 36 2,682 522

Estimated Production










The second type of estimation error is called non-sampling error. There are many sources of non-sampling error. Respondent reporting errors, data collection errors, data keying errors, and data editing errors are all examples of errors of this type. Quality controlled data processing is used to keep the effect of non-sampling errors to a minimum. Response rate is one indicator of the quality of a data collection. The response rate for the 2018 Census of Aquaculture was 83.7 percent. In comparison, the response rate for the 2013 Census of Aquaculture was 90.2 percent. NASS evaluates the measurement of error due to sampling in the current period by the coefficient of variation (CV) for each estimated item. Coefficient of variation is a measure of the relative amount of error

Estimated Farm Value $210,595,073 $50,322,000 $84,340,449 $29,008,000 $543,375 N/A (confidentiality) $55,200 $241,000 $107,511,100 $54,600,000 $403,045,197 $135,712,000

associated with a sample estimate. This relative measure allows the reliability of a range of estimates to be compared. A number of estimates from the 2018 Census of Aquaculture have corresponding CV’s published in the statistical methodology appendix. NASS has identified the following index to use when evaluating coefficient of variation for the 2018 Census of Aquaculture: • High Reliability Estimate: Coefficient of Variation (CV) less than 15 percent. • Medium Reliability Estimate: Coefficient of Variation (CV) between 15 percent and 29.9 percent. • Low Reliability Estimate: Coefficient of Variation (CV) of 30 percent or higher. NASS states that caution should be used when using these estimates in any form.

Of the 176 Coefficient of Variation values reported in the CoA appendix on statistical methodology, only 29.5 % (52) fell into the High Reliability category, while 8.5 % (15) reflected Medium Reliability levels. Fully 62 % (109 CV values) were considered Low Reliability Estimates by NASS criteria. Other CV information associated with Census results can be found at https://quickstats.nass.usda. gov/results/FA74A670-8A0D-3D97AC9E-389D2B780787 A quick comparison of 2018 CoA values with those of Louisiana highlights these reliability issues. Each year Louisiana develops estimates of the number of aquaculture operations, the acreage in production, commercial harvests and farm-gate value. Estimates are generated for every Parish (County) through input from locally based Extension personnel, State Specialists, industry associations and government agencies. While imperfect, these estimates reflect the best available information from the most informed local sources. State-compiled data indicates Louisiana’s 2018 farmed crawfish crop was worth $210.6 million, while CoA data suggests the value was only $50.3 million (see Figure 1). To provide some perspective, Louisiana’s farmed crawfish crop has exceeded that value every year following 2005, when a total of 73.8 million pounds were harvested with a farm-gate value of $40.6 (averaging $0.55 per pound for the season). NASS deserves credit for its efforts to document the value and impact of aquaculture in the US. However, when the next CoA takes place, the industry must take more responsibility to insure its importance to the nation is accurately reflected and not underestimated. To access the 2018 Census of Aquaculture results and other agriculture census data, visit www.nass. usda.gov/AgCensus.

Based on the census report published at www.nass.usda.gov/AgCensus .

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An eco-efficient approach to IMTA Integrated Multi Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), is acknowledged as a promising solution for sustainable development of aquaculture. The concept of IMTA is to farm species of different trophic levels, complementary to each other. As yet, IMTA is not widely adapted at a commercial level. It has only been tested at a very small scale in Europe and the management of large-scale areas remains challenging. This project called IMPAQT aims to promote the eco-intensification of aquaculture by demonstrating the eco-efficiency and minimization of environmental impacts of the activity.

By: Aquaculture Magazine Staff *


ajor challenges to EU aquaculture growth can be summarised as adaptation to market changes and competition, as well as need for technical improvements (maintaining health / welfare of livestock, integration of activity with the environment, optimizing resource use and spatial planning). The production of aquaculture food and equipment must be supported by the most advanced research and technology, and the EU must maintain a strong research and technological edge to stay at the forefront, and improve the competitiveness, of the aquaculture sector by using innovative technologies and management techniques. Integrated Multi Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), is acknowledged as a promising solution for sustainable development of aquaculture. The concept of IMTA is to farm species of different trophic levels, complementary to each other, so that the wastes and by-products of one species become the feed, fertiliser and energy source for another. As yet, IMTA is not widely adapted at a commercial level. It has only been tested 30 Âť

at a very small scale in Europe and the management of large-scale areas remains challenging. Culture of extractive species with fed species in the same aquaculture sites is encouraged, and this practice is shown to remove waste materials from fed species and lower the nutrient load in the water. IMPAQT aims to promote the eco-intensification of aquaculture by demonstrating the eco-efficiency

and minimization of environmental impacts, enabling socio-economic benefits and ecosystem services, and promoting the transition towards a circular economy business model. IMPAQT is developing and deploying novel sensors and data sources, together with smart systems required for long-term autonomous monitoring in the field. IMPAQT also aims to provide an advanced IMTA model

for users, which yields spatially explicit information on how the different farm components interact with the environment on the scale of an ecosystem and can be used for planning decisions by both farmers and regulators. In aquaculture systems, the fish feed is a key driver for different environmental impact categories, such as energy consumption, resource use or climate change. In this sense, IMPAQT helps to reduce the carbon

footprint by means of increasing the efficiency of the feeding systems. Concretely, the Integrated Management System (IMS) will alert users on the best time to feed, feeding duration and quantity of feed. Therefore, in line with the European climate change the project promotes the approach of the industry to the carbon neutrality concept. In addition to this, a potential reduction on the eutrophication potential is expected, not only due to more efficient feeding systems

but also for the incorporation of nutrient extractive species on the multi trophic systems. Within IMPAQT, the environmental benefits associated to the multi-trophic systems are quantified through the implementation of a life cycle assessment, providing recommendations to the industry for increasing the ecoefficiency of aquaculture farms. Moreover, the life cycle thinking is complemented with an Ecosystem Services Assessment, where the impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems are addressed, enabling us to understand the effects and benefits of the IMTA systems in comparison with monoculture. IMPAQT is carried out under a holistic perspective, where the benefits of the new production systems are assessed considering the environmental, social and economic dimensions. As is well known, societal concerns related to sustainable aspects have increased during the last decade. In this context, the project facilitates the acceptability of aquaculture products, since the IMTA products might be potentially commercialized as environmentally friendly seafood. Meantime, the reduction of natural resource use contributes not only to the reduction of environmental impacts but also significant cost savings. In addition to this, the additional cocultured species could increase profit potential, developing new sustainable commercial models for IMTA systems. IMTA access to the European Market is a key factor in achieving the objectives of the European Union, not only commercially and in terms of achieving independence from food exports but also for the fight against climate change, where circular economy is fundamental. *Information source and images: IMPAQT project IMPAQT is a European-funded project, which aims to develop and validate in-situ a multi-purpose, multisensing and multi-functional management platform for sustainable Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) production. More information and resources are available at: https://impaqtproject.eu/

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Aquaculture Advisory Council Publishes “Second Recommendation on the Future Strategic Guidelines for the Sustainable Development of EU Aquaculture”

In their recent Recommendation document, the Aquaculture Advisory

Council (AAC) cites the failure by public authorities throughout Europe to address specific key challenges and insufficient implementation of previously identified guidelines as primary causes of the stagnation of European Union aquaculture. The AAC proposes that the revised EU guidelines, to be drafted in 2020, be more focused and agile with an 18-month, revolving-review period. The AAC stresses the importance of the guidelines aiming to increase sustainable growth and reflecting By: Staff / Aquaculture Magazine *

sectorial, societal and environmental needs.


y way of background, in 2009 the European Commission published A new impetus for the Strategy for the Sustainable Development of European Aquaculture as a follow up to the EU aquaculture strategy of 2002. The Commission concluded that EU aquaculture had not grown since 2002, and the 2009 communication aimed “to identify and address the causes of this stagnation”. The communication pointed to key challenges. In 2013, the Commission published their Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture. The Commission concluded again that EU aquaculture production was stagnating and addressed four priority areas to unlock the potential of EU aquaculture. The European Parliament, in 2018, published an own-initiative report Towards a sustainable and competitive European aquaculture sector. This re32 »

port also states that EU aquaculture is stagnating and that the strategic guidelines “were not a match for the sector’s expectations”. The report points to many challenges. In 2020,

the Commission will draft new guidelines for the sustainable development of aquaculture in line with the Member states’ update of their national strategic plans.

The newly released Recommendation lists specific actions that have been agreed by consensus in the AAC. These actions have been classified according to the entity responsible for addressing them: the European Commission, the Member states or the AAC itself. These actions can also serve as a starting point for industry stakeholders in other countries and regions when drafting strategic planning and policy documents. Some of the recommended actions include:

1. Securing sustainable growth in aquaculture through optimising the licensing procedures Actions for the Member states: • Put in place coordinated spatial planning for waters and land and secure an adequate allocation of space for sustainable aquaculture growth. • Base aquaculture planning on an ecosystem-based approach. • Identify licensing best practices and margins for improvement. • Put in place measures to reduce the time and documents needed for obtaining an aquaculture licence and other authorisations. • Collect information about the number of institutions involved, the length of the process and the costs for new and existing farms. • Perform a screening of the main administrative burdens (time/costs) involved in the different types of aquaculture.

The newly released recommendation lists specific actions that have been agreed by consensus in the AAC. These actions have been classified according to the entity responsible for addressing them: the European Commission, the Member states or the AAC itself.

• Collect information on the number of new licences granted in 2014–2018, the success rate of the applications for licences and the main reasons for refusal. • Involve (regional and other) authorities with competencies in areas not directly related to aquaculture – but in related fields, such as the environment, management of river basins – in the implementation of these guidelines. Actions for the European Commission • Organise annual best-practice seminars. • Prepare a guidance document addressing ‘environmental space’ for aquaculture in relation to the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. • Identify licensing best practices and margins for improvement. • Prepare a guidance document aimed at speeding up the screening exercise under the Habitat Directive for SMEs. • Collect information about the number of institutions involved, the

length of the process and the costs for new and existing farms. • Perform a screening of the main administrative burdens (time/costs) involved in the different types of aquaculture in the Member states. • Reach out to second-level, competent authorities to make them aware of the Commission’s guidance efforts to promote sustainable aquaculture. • Disseminate studies and experiences to help Member states in their planning.

2. Enhancing the competitiveness of EU aquaculture Actions for the Member states • Encourage improvements to welfare practices in all forms of aquaculture. Growth should concentrate on those forms of aquaculture that are sustainable and provide ecosystem services and higher animal welfare potential. • Ensure that the funds of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) are appropriately allocated to support sustainable aquaculture, including the development of sustainable aquaculture products. » 33


• Provide the highest level of EMFF aid to Producer and Interbranch organisations and other EU-recognised schemes. • Introduce national strategic plans to promote aquaculture’s effective actions to reduce the administrative burdens related to aquaculture. • The issue of a single act by one institution to authorise aquaculture activity is valid as long as the lease/ ownership act is valid and the specific legislation is abided by. • Encourage Producer and Interbranch organisations and other officially recognised schemes to increase consumer information about the values of the EU’s sustainable aquaculture products. Actions for the European Commission General governance • Ensure the National Strategic Plans for Aquaculture address the reduction of administrative burden. • Provide the highest level of EMFF aid to Producer and Interbranch organisations and other EU-recognised schemes. • Ensure that the next EMFF is introduced in a timely fashion. • Draft guidelines on how to define ‘sustainable aquaculture’. • Promote the transfer of EU research project findings.

The AAC proposes that the revised EU guidelines, to be drafted in 2020, be more focused and agile with an 18-month, revolving-review period. The AAC stresses the importance of the guidelines aiming to increase sustainable growth and reflecting sectorial, societal and environmental needs for the aquaculture sector.

34 »

• Reduce bureaucracy at the Member state level by identifying best practices for the administration of the EMFF. • Coordinate and support research and technological development and innovation for aquaculture through all the relevant EU programmes and funds, including assessments on the climate impact of EU aquaculture. • Organise annual best-practice seminars on the EMFF.

• Ensure that fish welfare standards are a part of the communication on the high quality of EU production. • Encourage Improvements to welfare practices should be encouraged in all forms of aquaculture. Growth should concentrate on those forms of aquaculture that are sustainable and provide ecosystem services and higher welfare potential.

3. Establishing a level playing field Animal welfare Actions for the Member states • Ensure that fish welfare is included • Implement and control labeling in the work programme of an EU (consumer information) requirereference centre for animal welfare to ments and provisions. co-ordinate and disseminate research, • Support the development of Prodevelop species-specific guidelines ducer and Interbranch organisations, and produce training packages. including at the transnational level. • Develop a strategy to improve fish welfare, in line with the intentions of Actions for the European ComEU legislation on farm animals and mission to encourage and support aquacul- • Ensure that EU farming regulature operators to exceed the legisla- tions are included in EU audits of tive requirements whenever possible. third-country imports and in third This includes developing effective party auditing schemes for imports. parameters for the humane slaugh- • Launch a communication campaign ter of farmed species; ensuring that on the strengths of EU aquaculture. the equipment is effective and stun- • Highlight the differences between ning is delivered; developing suitable the aquaculture products that are input/output indicators for the range farmed in the EU and those that are of farmed species; developing best- imported (on traceability, sustainabilpractice guidelines on fish welfare; ity, fish welfare, workers’ welfare and and ensuring coherence between ex- the societal benefits of the EU’s selfisting regulations. reliance on food) in any decision.

• Come to a lasting solution with the Turkish government to ensure a level playing field on the import of Turkish-farmed fish. • Improve the transparency of markets and disseminate markets’ information on trends. • Ensure that labeling rules (consumer information) are fully implemented. Actions for the AAC • Facilitate self-regulatory initiatives and help communicate them to the consumer. • Support the structuring of aquaculture production and marketing, including certification and labeling. • Contribute to improved market intelligence on the sector.

4. Improving the social acceptability of aquaculture and its products Actions for the Member states • Promote awareness of EU aquaculture among the public. • Use the public procurement of seafood to drive improvements in fish welfare and sustainability. • Promote gender equality in aquaculture. Actions for the European Commission • Promote awareness of EU aquaculture among the public.

• Recognise and valorise certain types of pond fish and shellfish farming. • Promote gender equality in aquaculture.

5. Improving the integration of aquaculture into the environment Actions for the Member states • Set up aqua-environment schemes to support the delivery of the nature and ecosystem services of aquaculture practices, such as pond fish, shellfish and algae farming. • Promote short consumption chains of locally produced fish by integrating aquaculture into the local economy. • Encourage an increase in the sustainability of fish feed by improving the sourcing of all feed ingredients. Replace ingredients when viable ingredients are known (e.g. promote the use of byproducts and trimmings, algae, insects, vegetable proteins and oils).

mings, algae, insects, vegetable proteins and oils). • Investigate opportunities to support the EU’s aquaculture organisations in updating the Product Environmental Footprint and Organisation Environmental Footprint guides for aquaculture. • Promote a reduction in the environmental footprint of aquaculture. Action for the AAC • Contribute, through support analysis, to the ecosystem services of aquaculture.

6. The specificities of shellfish farming Actions for the European Commission • Take legal action to force Member states to take action on water quality. • Monitor the implementation by the Member states of articles 6 and 8 of the WFD and its annex IV.1ii (the establishment of a register of proActions for the European Com- tected areas (article 6, theorical deadmission line 2004) with programmes for the • Recognise and valorise certain types monitoring of water status (article 8, of pond fish, shellfish and algae theorical deadline 2006) as well as the farming. establishment of river-basin manage• Encourage an increase in the sus- ment plans (theorical deadline 2009, tainability of fish feed by improving review 2015)). the sourcing of all feed ingredients. • Ensure more coherence in the Replace ingredients when viable in- Member states’ implementation of gredients are known (e.g. promote the various EU regulations relevant the use of byproducts and trim- to shellfish farming. • Set a requirement for Member states to bring existing and potential aquaculture sites up to A-class water standards. • Specify the current method (or if specification is not possible, develop a new method) of detection for infectious forms of the Norovirus, so the method of detection can recognise different Norovirus genotypes. • Encourage Member states to focus on the fight against pathogens in shellfish. • Support research on the detoxification of molluscs. *For more information on the Aquaculture Advisory Council, and the Second Recommendation in particular, please visit: www.aac-europe.org

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FAO Issues Summary Booklet

on Microplastics in Fisheries and Aquaculture By: Aquaculture Magazine Staff * The public interest and the scientific literature on microplastics in the aquatic environment is increasing. Publication trends suggest that the topic of marine microplastics pollution will gain further attention by the media, consumers, environmental NGOs, academia, authorities and industry. Considering the growing concern on its impacts in relation to fisheries and aquaculture products, in 2017 FAO responded to the international call to take stock of the knowledge available in this field. From a FAO perspective, issues of particular concern are the potential contamination of seafood by microplastics and the health implications for consumers, as well as the need for a better understanding of the impacts of microplastics on fish populations.


he 2017 report looks into the issue of microplastics from the fisheries and aquaculture perspective. It is based on existing scientific literature and benefitted from the contribution of a group of experts who assessed the potential impact of microplastics and related contaminants on fish consumersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; health and the ecological implications for aquatic organisms. The more recent booklet, however, summarizes the main findings of the report at the attention of policy makers and general audiences. The booklet explains that plastic is a general term for a range of polymer materials with different properties. Depending on the requirements of the end product, these polymers are mixed with different additives to enhance their performance (plasticizers, antioxidants, flame retardants, ultraviolet stabilizers, lubricants, colorants). There are many types of plas36 Âť

Photograph credit: NOAA CREP.

tics but five dominate the global production: polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride, polystyrene, and polyethylene terephthalate (GESAMP, 2015). Microplastics are small particles and fibres of plastic. There is no recognised standard for the maximum particle size but they are generally considered to be particles measuring less than 5 millimeters in diameter, a classification that includes nano-size plastics which are fragments measuring less than 100 nanometers. They are largely classified by their morphological characteristics: size, shape and colour. Size is in particular an important factor when studying microplastics as it dictates the range of organisms that may be affected. Initially, microplastics were derived from abrasion, degradation, and physical breakdown originating mainly from land-based sources. More recently, manufacturing of plastics at

the micro- and nanoscale have further exacerbated environmental occurrence and potential risks. First reports of plastic contamination from plastic debris of various sizes occurred as early as the 1960s, based on studies of stranded seabirds. In the fisheries and aquaculture sector, plastic is commonly used for manufacturing fishing gears, cages, buoys, as well as boat construction and maintenance. Boxes and packaging material of plastic are used for the transportation and distribution of fish products. In addition, abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gears (ALDFGs) are considered one of the main maritime sources of plastic marine litter. These uses of plastic in the fisheries and aquaculture sector are all potential sources of microplastics. However, there is no quantification available on the contribution of the sector to the overall input of microplastics in the marine environment.

Microplastics can be found in the following five main compartments of the aquatic environment: the ocean surface, the water column, the seafloor, the shoreline and in biota. However, there is a lack of data on the amount of plastic in each compartment and almost no knowledge about the fluxes between these compartments. There is even less known about microplastics in freshwater environments. The movement of microplastics is complex and driven by many factors including winds, buoyancy, biofouling, polymer type, size and shape, local and large-scale currents, and wave action (GESAMP, 2016). Areas of major presence of microplastics are in the Mediterranean Sea, the Seas of East and Southeast Asia and in the equatorial convergence zones (gyres) of the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Microplastics contain additives, a mixture of chemicals added during manufacture that can leach into the surrounding environment. Microplastics also efficiently sorb persistent bioaccumulative and toxic contaminants (PBTs) that are present in the marine environment, such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Observations of microplastic uptake by aquatic wildlife have been reported in a range of habitats, including the sea surface, water column, benthos, estuaries, beaches and aquaculture facilities. Over 220 different species have been found to ingest microplastic debris in natural conditions. Excluding birds, turtles and mammals, 55 percent are species (invertebrates to fish) of commercial importance, such as: mussels, oysters, clams, brown shrimp, Norway lobster, anchovies, sardines, Atlantic herring, Atlantic and chub mackerels, scads, blue whiting, Atlantic cod, common carp and Acoupa weakfish, among others (GESAMP 2015, 2016). Adverse effects of microplastics ingestion have been observed in aquatic organisms under laboratory conditions, usually at very high exposure concentrations that exceed current environmental concentrations by several orders of magnitude. Under Âť 37


Origins of marine plastic pollution. Source: FAO.

such conditions, and when individuals were chronically exposed, microplastics have shown to have a negative effect on fecundity, larval survival and suitable development. However, little is known about the capacity of microplastics to alter ecological processes and to accumulate through trophic transfer in natural conditions.

Fish fillets and large fish are two of the main consumed fishery products, and these are not a likely or significant source of microplastics, because in most cases the gut, where most microplastics are found, is not consumed. Therefore, small fish species, crustaceans and mollusks that are eaten whole and without de-gutting are the main concern when talking about dietary exposure to microplastics through consumption of fisheries and aquaculture products. It is expected that in the near future, microplastics contamination can only increase and will add to the current environmental stresses on fisheries resources. Filling the research gap on microplastic impacts at population and species assemblage levels would help understand better the implications for fisheries and aquaculture resources. The toxicity of several additives and contaminants associated with microplastics that may be present in seafood is well established and the human health risk due to consumption of fishery and aquaculture products is known to be negligible. However the toxicity of the most common plastic monomers and polymers present in these products and some of the plastic additives has not been evaluated. Cutting the sources of plastic is a collective effort involving all sectors (transport, industry, sewage, maritime â&#x20AC;Ś). For the fisheries and aquaculture

Small fish species, crustaceans and mollusks that are eaten whole and without de-gutting are the main concern when talking about dietary exposure to microplastics through consumption of fisheries and aquaculture products.

38 Âť

Size range and impacted marine life. Source: FAO.

sector, seeking and finding valid alternatives to plastic use where feasible, eliminating the discard of plastic at sea (e.g. fishing gear, strapping bands, gloves, styrofoam fish boxes, aquaculture buoys, etc.), modifying gears or fishing practices to minimise risk of fragmentation (e.g. ground ropes) and accidental loss would contribute to a decrease in the sources of microplastics. This includes the minimization of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gears (ALDFGs) that are currently the main source of marine litter coming from the sector. Risk assessment, communication

Microplastics toxicities. Source: FAO.

and management of microplastics in seafood need to be well-targeted and cost-effective in order to provide reliable results in various contexts taking into account pollution intensity and local and regional seafood consumption patterns.

Take-Home Messages • Microplastics are everywhere and numbers are likely to increase in the near future • Fisheries and aquaculture are relatively minor contributors compared to other sectors • Experimental studies show some negative impacts on marine animals (at very high exposures), but there are currently no reliable data on wild populations • From a food safety point of view, ingestion of microplastics through seafood consumption is responsible for an exposure to contaminants that is negligible compared to other sources • Future research as well as risk analysis and management need to focus on the smaller particles (small microplastics, micro-fibres and nanoplastics) that have the capacity to enter and cross cell membranes • Fisheries and aquaculture products are important in many diets as a source of essential nutrients. On the basis of current evidence, the risk of not including fish in our diets is far greater than the risks posed by exposure to plastic-related contaminants in fish products. *The FAO booklet is available at http://www.fao.org/3/ca3540en /ca3540en.pdf under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO license.

Initially, microplastics were derived from abrasion, degradation, and physical breakdown originating mainly from land-based sources. More recently, manufacturing of plastics at the micro- and nanoscale have further exacerbated environmental occurrence and potential risks.

Photograph credit: Florida Sea Grant, use of image licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Cutting the sources of plastic is a collective effort involving all sectors. For the fisheries and aquaculture sector, seeking and finding valid alternatives to plastic use where feasible and eliminating the discard of plastic at sea would contribute to a decrease in the sources of microplastics.

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Comparison and evaluation of four species of Macro-Algaes as dietary ingredients in Litopenaeus vannamei under normal rearing and WSSV challenge conditions: effect on growth, immune response, and intestinal microbiota

By: Jin Niu, Jia-Jun Xie, Tian-Yu Guo, Hao-Hang Fang, Yan-Mei Zhang, Shi-Yu Liao, Shi-Wei Xie, Yong-Jian Liu and Li-Xia Tian*

Macro-algae have been used to replace animal ingredients in terrestrial animal feeds, as a source of pigments, to enhance antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, to improve gut function, and for other uses. Seaweeds are now gaining increasing attention as a dietary supplement due to the abundant bioactive compounds and nutritional value in aquatic species like rainbow trout, sea bass, guppy, Penaeus monodon and Litopenaeus vannamei. To some extent, feeding macroalgae has led to enhanced performance, including improved pellet quality, feed efficiency, and animal product quality.


esearchers have investigated seaweeds focusing on nutritional and nutraceutical effects and binder functions. However, the optimum inclusion level may differ among species of algae or consumers. Reduced growth performance occurred in sea 40 »

bass with diet containing over 10% Gracilaria bursa pastoris. The optimal inclusion of Undaria pinnatifida (UP) in diets for P. monodon has been reported as 2.17–2.87%. L. vannamei fed with diets supplemented with Gracilaria lemaneiformis (GL) at 2–3% had significantly higher growth

performance than shrimp fed diets containing 0–1% or 4–5% GL. L. vannamei fed diets supplemented with lower Sargassum filipendula levels showed higher cumulative survival compared to those fed the control and higher inclusion diets after thermal shock. Production of macro-algae has been increasing in the last few decades but it is limited to a few species which are cultivable on commercial scales. However, China is rich in algae resources with more than 100 varieties considered to have economic value. To our knowledge, there have been no studies about Porphyra haitanensis (PH), Saccharina japonica (SJ) and GL as ingredients in shrimp feeds in combination. Therefore, the present study was to evaluate the four marine seaweeds, PH, UP, SJ and GL as dietary ingredients and their effects on growth, immune response, intestinal microbiota and resistance to WSSV injection in L. vannamei.

Materials and methods All the four macro-algae samples were supplied by the National Algae Project Technology Research Center of China. Samples were initially dried and finely ground. Nutrient composition of each of the macro-algae meals are shown in Table 1. The feed formulations are shown in Table 2. Note that D1, as the control diet, did not include any macro-algae. Diets D2â&#x20AC;&#x201C;D5 were formulated with added PH, UP, SJ, and GL, respectively. The feeding trial was conducted at Sanya, Hainan Province. Before the trial, L. vannamei juveniles were acclimated to a control diet for 2 weeks. After the acclimatization period, 600 shrimps were starved for 24 h, weighed, and randomly distributed to 15 fiberglass tanks with similar size (IBW 0.65 + 0.01 g). The feeding period lasted for 56 days. After the rearing trial, feces were collected for apparent digestibility coefficient analysis. Measurement of macro-algae carotenoids was conducted, and mois-

Table 1 Nutrient composition of the experimental algae meals.

Table 2 Composition and nutrient levels of five experimental diets (%DM basis).

Âť 41

ARTICLE Table 3 Primer sequences for intestinal cytokines analysis by RT-qPCR.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the four marine seaweeds, PH, UP, SJ and GL as dietary ingredients and their effects on growth, immune response, intestinal microbiota and resistance to WSSV injection in L. vannamei.

ture, crude protein, crude lipid, and crude ash of the macro-algae, diets, fecal samples and shrimp were analyzed by standard methods. Yttrium (Y) was measured by inductivity couple plasma mass spectroscopy. After the feeding trial, shrimp were starved for 24 h. The whole number and total body weight of shrimp in each tank were calculated, weighed, and recorded. Hepatopancreas samples were collected and frozen in liquid nitrogen. Antioxidant and immune response parameters were also measured. Total DNA of microbes in intestine was extracted directly with the E.Z.N.A. Stool DNA Kit (OMEGA,

United States) according to manufacturer’s instructions. DNA samples were sent to Novogene (Beijing, China) to carry out the 16S rRNA highthroughput sequencing. The WSSV used for injection challenges was originally derived from infected L. vannamei shrimp imported from Thailand in 1996. A stock solution of virus was produced and 15 shrimp from each treatment were challenged for six consecutive days until a total of three shrimp (or more) were left surviving in any of the treatments, to ensure sufficient samples for subsequent analysis. Mortality in each tank was recorded daily. After the WSSV injection challenge test, hepatopancreas and gut samples were collected and frozen in liquid nitrogen for further analysis. Total RNA extraction, reverse transcription, and quantitative realtime PCR were conducted. The prim-

ers are shown in Table 3. b-Actin was used as the reference gene. qPCR analyses were performed and quantified on the LightCycler 480 (Roche Applied Science, Basel, Switzerland) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The following variables were calculated: • WG (%) = 100 x (final mean weight - initial mean weight)/initial mean weight. • SGR (% day-1) = 100 x (Ln final mean weight - Ln initial mean weight)/number of days. • Survival rate (%) = 100 x number of final shrimp/number of initial shrimp. • FCR = dry feed intake/wet weight gain. • FCR = dry feed intake/(final body weight - initial body weight). • PER = 100 x (final body weight initial body weight)/(total amount of the feed X protein content in the feed). • ADCs (%) = 100 x [1 - (trioxide yttrium content in feed/trioxide yttrium content in feces) x (nutrient content in feed/nutrient content in fecesi)]. All data are presented as means + SEM and subjected to one-way and two-way analysis of variance to test the effects of experimental diets using the software SPSS for Windows, version 16.0.

Results Growth Performance Survival rate was in the range of 99–100% among all treatments with no significant differences (P > 0.05). Growth performance of shrimp fed 42 »

Table 4 Effect of five experimental diets on whole body composition (%) of L. vannamei juveniles.

diet D5 was significantly higher than that of shrimp fed the control and D4 diets (P < 0.05) but significantly different from other diets (P > 0.05). Final body weight of shrimp fed the D5 diet was significantly higher than that of other groups, except for D3 (P > 0.05). FCR of shrimp fed the control diet was significantly higher than that of shrimp fed diets D2, D3, and D5 (P < 0.05) but not signifi-

cantly different from that of shrimp fed the D4 diet (P > 0.05). Protein efficiency ratios showed the inverse trend compared to FCR values. Whole body composition trends are shown in Table 4. Apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) of dry matter from the D2, D3, and D5 treatments were higher than those from the control and D4 treatments (P < 0.05) (Table 6). ADC of pro-

tein from the D5 treatment showed the highest value and was significantly higher than that of the control, D2, and D4 treatments (P <0.05) while not significantly different from the D3 treatment (P > 0.05). ADC of lipid from the D4 treatment was significantly lower than the other treatments (P < 0.05), but there was no statistically significant difference among the other four treatments (P > 0.05). There was no significant differences in superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA), and carbonyl protein contents activity among all diets treatments (P > 0.05) in trial 1 (Table 5). While total antioxidant status (TAS) and prophenoloxidase (ProPO) activities of shrimp fed the macro-algae containing diets were sig-

Table 5 Effect of experimental diets on immune response (TAS, Îźmol g-1 organ; SOD, U mg-1 protein; PO, O.D.490 nm; MDA, nmol mg-1 protein; carbonyl protein, nmol mg-1 protein) of L. vannamei both during the 8 weeks rearing period and after the WSSV injection challenge test.

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nificantly higher than those of shrimp fed the control diet (P < 0.05), no significant differences were found in TAS and PO activities among shrimp fed the four macroalgae-containing diets (P > 0.05). In the first trial, ProPO, IkBa (nuclear transcription factor inhibitor), and TGF-b (transforming growth factor B) gene expression levels of shrimp fed macroalgae-containing diets were significantly higher than

Results indicated that the optimal inclusion of macroalgaes would contribute to attenuate hepatic oxidative damage through strengthening hepatic antioxidant capacity.

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those of shrimp fed the control diet (P < 0.05), while no significant differences were found in superoxide dismutase, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), interleukin 1B (IL1b), interleukin 6 (IL6), and interleukin 8 (IL8) gene expression levels among all diet treatments (P > 0.05). There were no shrimp dead in all treatments in the first day of the WSSV challenge trial. Shrimp started to die from the second day onward, and the mortality of shrimp in D1 was significantly higher than that of shrimp fed other diets during challenge days 2-3 (P<0.05). More shrimp died in the fourth day and the mortality of shrimp in D2, D3, and D5 groups was significantly lower than in D1 and D4 groups during challenge days 4â&#x20AC;&#x201C;6 (P < 0.05). The death rate was lower in shrimp in the D2, D3, and D5 groups after the challenge test. The SOD activity of shrimp in D2, D3, and D5 groups was significantly lower than that of shrimp in D1 and D4 groups (P<0.05). TAS

and ProPO activities showed the reverse trend. TAS and ProPO activities of shrimp fed the D2, D3, and D5 diets were significantly higher than those of shrimp fed the D1 and D4 diets (P < 0.05). The MDA contents of control diet shrimp was significantly higher than that of shrimp fed other four macro-algae containing diets (P < 0.05), while carbonyl protein content in D1 and D4 groups was significantly higher than in D2, D3, and D5 groups (P < 0.05). In trial 2, ProPO gene expression level in D2, D3, and D5 groups was significantly higher than those in D1 and D4 groups (P < 0.05), and the lowest value was found in D1 group. SOD, IkBa, TGF-b, TNF-a, IL1b, IL6, and IL8 gene expression levels showed the same tendency. SOD, IkBa, TGF-b, TNF-a, IL1b, IL6, and IL8 gene expression levels in D2, D3, and D5 groups were significantly lower than those in D1 and D4 groups (P < 0.05), and the highest values of these gene expression levels were found in D1 groups. Total an-

tioxidant status of shrimp in trial 2 showed lower activities compared with shrimp in trial 1, while SOD and PO activities as well asMDA and carbonyl protein contents exhibited the opposite tendency.

Discussion The present results showed that shrimp fed the GL diet had the highest growth performance and were significantly higher than shrimp fed the control and the SJ diets, which suggested that dietary GL is more suitable as a feed ingredient than the other three macro-algae species. The results suggested that low level inclusion of macro-algae in diets exerted a general beneficial effect on shrimp. The results showed that the overall digestibility was influenced by various kinds of macro-algae. In the present study, shrimp fed the PH, UP, and GL diets had higher ADC of dry matter compared to shrimp fed the SJ diet. The relatively lower ADC of dry matter of the SJ diet could be explained by the more indigestible polysaccharides and ash compounds in the ingredient, which are digested by L. vannamei with difficulty as shown in other studies. The higher ADC of dry matter for PH, UP, and GL could be attributed to more digestible starch compounds that can be better absorbed by shrimp. SJ meal had the highest ash content, and fiber structures may act as physical hindrances between digestive enzymes in the digestive tract and nutrients, leading to lesser availability. The present experiment showed that the highest ADC of protein was in shrimp fed the GL and UP diets and the lowest ADC of protein in shrimp fed the control and SJ diets. High ADC of protein is probably because of the well-balanced amino acid profile in GL and UP diets. When shrimp were challenged with WSSV the results suggested that WSSV induced the oxidative damage to hepatopancreas, and hepatic antioxidant defense was partly destroyed.

Results indicated that the optimal inclusion of macro-algaes would contribute to attenuate hepatic oxidative damage through strengthening hepatic antioxidant capacity. This study also provides evidence that macro-algae regulated the expression of immune-related genes effectively. Macro-algae were antiinflammatory, which was shown by the expression of inflammatory factors. Findings indicated that dietary macro-algae enhanced intestinal immunity of shrimp, and immuneenhancement by macro-algae could partly be associated with the inhibition of NF-kB activation in intestine. In this study, WSSV challenge stimulated the increment in expression level of TGF-b, drastically aggravating inflammation response in intestine. While during the normal rearing period, the increases in TGFb expression levels in macro-algae groups demonstrated their certain anti-inflammation activity. Intestinal microbiota supplies the host with nutritional and energy benefits, acts as a pathogenic barrier, and exerts great influence on the maintenance of immune homeostasis. Dietary macro-algae increased diversity of microbes in the intestine compared with the control group in this study. The present results suggested that some unknown immunostimulants contained in the macro-algae could act with a prebiotic-like role to decrease NF-kB activation and retain microbial homeostasis in intestine. Immunostimulants could hinder the invasion of pathogens by way of enhancing microbial diversity and ease microbial disturbances. Dietary macro-algae obviously reduced the growth of Flavobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria and increased the proliferation of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, especially from the GL diet group. In this study, intestinal microbiota community compositions of shrimp fed different macro-algae were significantly different, as well as the regulation

Macro-algae regulated the expression of immune-related genes effectively and were anti-inflammatory, which was shown by the expression of inflammatory factors.

of intestinal immune responses. The mechanisms by which dietary macroalgae regulated intestinal microbiota composition and further maintained intestinal homeostasis needs to be studied further. Dietary macro-algae, especially GL, PH, or UP attenuated oxidative damage to intestines in L. vannamei. Dietary macro-algae supplementation improved intestinal immunity, and dietary macro-algae modified intestinal microbiota. Results suggested that macro-algae could be used as functional ingredients or for a prebiotic-like role in preventing intestinal oxidative damage in shrimp, whether under normal rearing or WSSV challenge conditions.

Adapted from an article of the same title in Frontiers in Physiology, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). Published: 09 January 2019. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01880 Jin Niu, Jia-Jun Xie, Tian-Yu Guo, Hao-Hang Fang, Yan-Mei Zhang, Shi-Yu Liao, Shi-Wei Xie, Yong-Jian Liu and Li-Xia Tian are affiliated with the Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, Institute of Aquatic Economic Animal and Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Aquatic Economic Animals, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.

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Copepods: A feed with high nutritional value

By: Megasupply production staff*


n November 2019, a survey research was carried out in Honduras and Nicaragua in several shrimp hatcheries, with the purpose of knowing the opinion of shrimp larvae production technicians about the efficiency and acceptance of FrozenOcean® Sterilized Frozen Copepods. The following table summarizes the results obtained when replacing Artemia cysts with FrozenOcean® Frozen Copepods in the feeding of shrimp postlarvae (PLs):

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The product has had a very good acceptance and the following conclusions may be drawn: • The replacement of Artemia cysts with FrozenOcean Frozen Copepods results in important reduction in feeding costs without compromising animal quality and production. • A better postlarvae size distribution is achieved.

• Until now, no negative comments have been made about FrozenOcean Frozen Copepods. The manufacturer, FrozenOcean, gives the following recommendations for using its Frozen Copepods: FrozenOcean suggests to start substituting 50% of the Artemia cysts, in a proportion of two kilograms of frozen copepods for each

kilogram of Artemia cysts. Once the desired results are obtained, the Artemia cyst substitution percentage can be progressively increased until reaching 100%. The following feeding table was used during the tests carried out:

Discover all the benefits of FrozenOcean feeds on the websites of its distributor Megasupply (www.megasupply.com) and of the manufacturer (www.frozenoceanfeeds.com). You may also contact Megasupply directly through the phone numbers shown on its website or via email at orders@megasupply.net.

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Latin America Report: Recent News and Events Chinese and Mexican governments sign an agreement to propel the development of offshore aquaculture MEXICO. A Memorandum of Understanding was developed with the aim of promoting collaborative research on aquaculture between both nations. Representatives from INAPESCA (Mexico’s National Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture) mentioned that fish feed ingredients and formulas, as well as genetic development for aquaculture species, are topics of interest for this alliance. Also, the MoU contemplates • the creation and consolidation of scientific research infrastructure; • technological development and innovation for offshore aquaculture as well as dissemination of science and technology in the field; • joint applications for relevant international cooperative programs; • technical assistance and • strategic coordination and information actions. This initiative corresponds to strong links between Mexican agricultural development and Chinese international relations that have been successful for many years and continue to be active. Tilapia farming in Brazil raises interest of foreign groups for investment BRAZIL. Foreign groups see an extraordinary potential to increase the production of tilapia in Brazil’s immense freshwater reservoirs. At the head of this movement there are companies such as Aquabel, acquired in 2016 by the German group EW, a global player in fish farming. 50 »

In addition to the practicality of flesh without pin bones, tilapia meets some requirements considered as standards for future genetic improvement, such as fillet yield, rapid growth, feed conversion and survival. For this reason, the species is considered the “aquatic chicken.” Tilapia is the world’s second most cultivated species group, just behind the carps. In Brazil in 2017, production was 357 thousand tons. It was in that year, with a 10% growth, that the country became the fourth largest producer in the global market, surpassing traditional culture leaders such as the Philippines and Thailand. “Today Brazil is the fourth largest tilapia producer in the world and has the prospect of becoming the second. This requires very large growth in the coming years. This is going to happen anyway. It is not a possibility, but a necessity,” mentions Ricardo Neukirchner, Aquabel’s CEO to Revista Global Rural de Brazil.

Peru imposed an open-ended ban on anchovy fishing, and fishmeal suppliers are worried PERU. Recently, Peruvian institutions announced an indefinite extension to the 10 day ban of anchovy fishing that extends 30 kilometers away from shore and roughly 700 kilometers along the country’s coast. According

to authorities, the ban was necessary due to the high prevalence of juvenile biomass in the area. This could significantly alter the global supply picture of anchovy for fishmeal production, impacting aquaculture producers around the globe.

A new resolution authorizes food additives for fish; an increased supply of derived products is expected BRAZIL. A recently approved resolution establishes that food additives and technology aids are authorized to be used in fish and fish products as well as through the ingredients used in their feed formulations, in their respective functions and maximum limits. This will fully comply with the specifications for identity, purity and composition established by the Joint Committee of Experts of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO / WHO), Food Chemicals Code, the European Food Safety Authority and the European Union. “With the resolution, in 2020 we will have an increase in the offer of new ready and semi-ready fish products on the market” informs Francisco Medeiros, executive president of the Associação Brasileira da Piscicultura (Brazilian Fish Culture Association, or Peixe BR).

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Evaluation of suppliers within the

Aquaculture Industry

Global analyses on aquaculture growth have omitted the importance of professionalization within the industry supply chains. Global aquaculture is supported, to a large extent, by micro- and small scale suppliers which would not pass any â&#x20AC;&#x153;competencyâ&#x20AC;? test in more developed industries, although aquaculture is expected to continue evolving in this direction.

By: Salvador Meza *


ndustrial aquaculture is a relatively new activity with a history of no more than 70 years, so its supply chains are often still incipient. Production technologies have been gradually developed based on trial and error in the first farms and in some research centers as several species began to be domesticated for aquaculture production. As a result of these activities certain cultivation practices were established and began to demand products and services that did not exist. In this way the supply availability for aquaculture grew, from the adaptation of existing equipment and products (many of which were used in agricultural and environmental practices, especially in water quality evaluation) such as measuring equipment for oxygen, temperature, salinity, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, etc. 52 Âť

When it was understood that aquaculture had significant future growth potential, new companies emerged and began to develop, in addition to equipment, new services and products that could meet the demand for technology that aquaculture farmers needed for their own growth. Many of these companies were founded by aquaculturists who had succeeded in designing and solving technological challenges on their own farms. Later on, other companies from the livestock sector began to detect business opportunities in the aquaculture industry, and started to adapt some of their products such as: antibiotics, probiotics, growth promoters, enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, etc. All of these focused on the nutritional development and health status of aquaculture species. Step by step they were defining the management plans of these inputs

within the crop cycles of each species. And new aquaculture areas were born within multinational animal health companies that were already supplying the pig and chicken production industries. Afterwards, other new companies arose from the initiative of technicians and scientists who, working in research centers and universities, developed products to optimize aquaculture production and decided to launch their own businesses to scale this production at an industrial level. Other suppliers from other industries also saw opportunities in aquaculture and gradually developed adaptations for products like: water pumps, fish and shrimp pumps, filters, heaters, chillers, tanks, aquariums, feeders and even complete water recirculation systems. As a result of this growth trajectory of suppliers, there is now an important number of companies

of relatively recent creation that, with much enthusiasm but little experience and business culture, have functioned as one of the pillars supporting the growth of aquaculture production worldwide. The majority of suppliers for the aquaculture industry are companies

New companies arose from the initiative of technicians and scientists who, working in research centers and universities, developed products to optimize aquaculture production and decided to launch their own businesses to scale this production at an industrial level.

that range from micro-businesses to small and medium-sized firms, lacking well-defined process structures, especially in quality control and response to complaints, and most do not have a fast response to changes or increases in orders. Many such companies do not have a well-trained technical staff of vendors that can assist the producer in the technological adaptation of new products or services into their farms, and when they do it is insufficient at best. Additionally, most are financially weak, so despite having an important technological value for the market, many of them sell their products below that value in order to stay afloat. The final result is a variety of companies and products with great potential but which are in the middle of the development process, with moderately trained personnel, marginally stable finances and with “sort of defined” future development plans. In the face of an industry crisis, few of these businesses would survive.

It is important that governments and world development agencies consider the growth and strengthening of the supply chains of the aquaculture industry as a determining factor for any possible expansion and growth of this activity. Aquaculture is included in the UN agenda, and in the perspective of financial and investment funds, as an industry whose destiny is to grow and grow. However, the supply chains of goods and services for aquaculture production are currently “square wheels” that are preventing that growth. The investment at this point in time must be directed there.

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

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The surprising and alarming emerging ideology

against aquaculture We live in interesting times with today’s ultra-connected society still being a mosaic of ideologies. An online dictionary (Collins) definition of ideology is: “a set of beliefs, especially the political beliefs on which By: Dr. Hugh Mitchell *


ow we arrive at these ideologies is probably a complex phenomenon for psychologists to tell us about. But, a lay-observation seems to indicate that the maintenance of an ideology is greatly aided by echo-chamber reinforcement of the internet. There, it is easy to find support and like-views to confirm any doctrine of your bias. Religious

people, parties, or countries base their actions”. ideologies, especially fundamentalist ones are strong examples. Others that seem to be making headlines today include: anti-vaccines; pro-gun rights; “natural is better”; pro-life; anti-GMO; pro-free enterprise; anticorporation; Climate change believers; Climate change deniers; Flat earthers; animals are sentient; veganism; animals are not sentient -they act on reflex; etc. etc.

With each of these, there is most often an uncomfortable reaction if any challenge is made, or any evidence presented that might contradict some of the basis for their beliefs. If they represent a dichotomy of opposing viewpoints, each side can accuse the other side of being unreasonable, ignorant, malicious and of extreme and unmovable bias. More often, there is a real hesitancy

An Alaskan stock enhancement net pen system. Hatcheries are responsible for about a third of the wild salmon catch in Alaska (see previous article on Aquaculture Magazine 45-3 June – July 2019).

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to engage anyone who would even question or bring up an opposing view because of an anticipated and abrupt “hand in the face” reaction. We have all heard tales of, or experienced, the division within families precipitated by discussions at Thanksgiving dinner. Ideologies get set as dogma and people get absolutely convinced that these are definitive and obvious truths and if “you don’t go along, then you just don’t get it – case closed”. Some contend that science itself has become ideological.

The Profiting- and Aesthetic Detractors of Aquaculture With its roots regarding Atlantic salmon culture in the Pacific Northwest, there is also a developing ideology against aquaculture. Unfortunately, this is having a halo effect to all of farmed fish. Certainly, some of the same aspects against corporate terrestrial farming are mirrored, but the backlash against aquaculture has taken on a life of its own. There are some ulterior motives and sideideologies behind some of the antifarmed sentiments (commercial and tribal fishermen resenting the competition: “Taxis vs. Uber”) or those who are morally against animal protein for food, but there still seems to be a specific anti-fish farm sentiment emerging. Part of this detraction movement includes some Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGO’s) and fisheries science researchers, and both groups seem to profit from fear-mongering the relatively new field of aquaculture as a threat to be saved from. These ENGO’s and researchers portray themselves as the saviors from the threat (oldest marketing game in the book). ENGO’s can actually benefit monetarily from frivolous lawsuits against fish farmers or government agencies that are responsible for regulating the farms. Researchers can fear-monger the threat to complex ecosystems way out of proportion in

order to secure funding for continued research into the threat. Often, peer-reviewed articles are published in journals of various reputability levels (“peer-review isn’t peer-review isn’t peer- review”), with hypotheses being rhetorically argued into theory without being tested as the scientific method mandates. These hypotheses are then quoted in the popular media and online as if they are proven theories, often curiously promoted as such by the researchers themselves. This is an extreme portrayal, but various experiences in recent years certainly reinforce the insidiousness of their motives. I will label this entire group as the “Profiting Detractors” of aquaculture. There is also a group with an ideology against fish farming because they simply believe it is wrong. This group doesn’t have any clear financial benefits for their viewpoints, which are largely derived by the onslaught of what they see and then propagate in traditional and social media. I will call these: “Aesthetic Detractors”, because their views are more visually-based - superficially derived using a more subjective than thorough and quantitative analysis. Unfortunately, many of these “Aesthetic Detractors” get “exploited” by the “Profiting Detractors” and the two, with overlapping members between them, have become a formidable force against fish farming, especially against net pen Atlantic

With its roots regarding Atlantic salmon culture in the Pacific Northwest, there is also a developing ideology against aquaculture. Unfortunately, this is having a halo effect to all of farmed fish.

salmon aquaculture. Hatcheries that produce stock-enhancement native fish species have also been caught in their crosshairs (i.e.: nothing but naturally reproducing fish are acceptable). This latter topic warrants a whole separate essay. As an industry, although many of us aren’t in this field primarily for the financial aspect (“Q: How do you make a million-dollar fish farm? A: Invest 2 million”), we have to be careful we don’t get caught up in our own echo-chamber trap. Most of us involved in this field got into it for several reasons: it is an exciting frontier agriculture-sector; it is a noble supplement to our insatiable seafood appetite; it is a way of conserving our wild fish and aquatic ecosystems; it is THE most efficient

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The enhancement of marine flora and fauna around and under net pens is not fully appreciated. Fish farm net pens attract all sorts of marine wildlife which can actually enhance their populations. In Maine, the author has seen an abundance of lobster and scallops underneath the pens. In Puget Sound, Washington State, Turnbills from Alaska temporarily use the mooring and piping structures of net pens as a winter base.

and eco-friendly way of producing animal protein, etc. etc. etc. Most of us who have dedicated our careers to the development and success of aquaculture are perplexed by the backlash (within our pro-aquaculture ideology!). What is annoying and frustrating about this is that allegations against fish farming are often fueled by repeated visceral imagery and non-quantitative or pseudoquantitative/scientific arguments with limited context. The discussion ends up about changing hearts versus heads (a defining characteristic of ideology). Many of us involved

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in this field are rooted in scientific background and procedure and we can be steadfast in the notion that “truth will prevail”. Unfortunately, it appears that, increasingly, facts may not matter and “truth” still has to be sold or it can be out-marketed. In order to understand the mistruths, beliefs, and approaches behind the detractors’ ideology, let’s briefly examine some of their many allegations against aquaculture. Most of these are against net pen Atlantic salmon of the Pacific Northwest, but, again, the “halo effect” follows somewhat to the entire “farmed fish” brand.

Some Allegations Against Aquaculture by the Detractors The anti-movement certainly seems to have a lot of time to volley a litany of fish farm hazards allegations. What is not genuine about their efforts is that they often use these unquantified “hazards” as reasons why a particular aquaculture industry should be banned, instead of framing the risks. A more constructive and genuine approach would be a call to get together, assess, and quantify real and perceived risks, and then work to mitigate the risks to as low as reasonably achievable and acceptable, instead of calling for the elimination of the hazard (indicative of an ideological motive). The unreasonable “Precautionary Principle” calls for “no risks are acceptable” or “prove the negative” and is not how society works. It is a rhetorical tactic, not a reasonable and workable one. We don’t eliminate automobiles or airplanes because they crash, we work at reducing the risks of accidents or the consequences of accidents. Below are some of the areas where detrac-

one example of where larger operations are actually at less risk is the poultry sector. Backyard chickens are far more at risk and problematic for some of the controlled diseases transferred to and from wild birds, than the strict air-controlled and sanitized larger operations. In general, “factory fish farms” are not as “evil” as portrayed by the detractors. As for the corporate part, unfortunately, that seems to be the direction all businesses go: amalgamation of smaller ones as the industry matures. Paradoxically, in aquaculture, regulations have had an effect to help precipitate this effect by forcing larger operations and economies of scale in order to survive and afford complying with an almost overwhelming set of requirements and regulations (see below). Detractors should be made to point out what regulations applied to corporate aquaculture are inadequate, with risk-based justification.

tors have flung mud with the overall goal of trying to portray some forms of aquaculture as unacceptable hazards. Some quick comments are provided with perspectives on how real each alleged hazard actually is. Each one could justify more thorough discussion.

1) Too much of aquaculture is “factory farming” by large corporations For various reasons, there is a repugnance from a portion of society against today’s animal agriculture. Within this ideology, there seems to be a tier of acceptability: “backyard” and “mom and pop” animal husbandry is far more preferred than larger operations, especially those owned by large corporations. Part of this comes from the mindset that although we adore technology as it is applied to transportation, communication and entertainment technol-

2) Aquaculture pollutes the lakes, rivers and oceans ogy, a portion of society does not It has been stated that aquaculture is seem to have a palate for technology one of the most environmentally bewhen it comes to our food, which nign industries. With the visual and corporate farming is more able to fi- visceral rhetoric against net pens like nance and embrace. The central no- “floating pig farms” or “sewage like tion seems to be that larger opera- a small city” there appears to be a tions cannot have as sound animal stark dichotomy in perception. The welfare or environmental impacts, fact is that the only real significant and animals housed are more prone waste from a fish farm are fish feces to disease and therefore require more antibiotics and medicines. This is simply not true. Although this author is not aware of any specific study, larger facilities are more Allegations against fish visible, especially to regulatory authorities, and their welfare and enfarming are often fueled by vironmental standards need to be repeated visceral imagery and more extensive than with smaller operations. Furthermore, health non-quantitative or pseudoand welfare go hand in hand and, quantitative/scientific together with the expense and production disruption of medication, arguments with limited there is tremendous incentive to context. strive for good husbandry with larger operations. On the disease front, » 57


and urine, or organic nitrogenous effluent and that this is processed by the ocean’s own natural biofilter. Nitrogen is a required nutrient for primary production at the bottom of the food web. The key is to keep the amount to a level that is: 1) insignificant to all other sources; and 2) doesn’t overload the nearby surrounding aquatic system. First of all, it is in the farm’s and the fish’s best interest that this doesn’t happen because poor water quality is expensive to an operation. Secondly, net pen leases require continuous monitoring and net pens have been moved if overloading is detected. Third, several studies have looked at the level and impact of nitrogenous wastes released from net pens and it is insignificant. Any benthic enhancement is temporary (and often positive!), with minimal footprint, and studies have shown that any signs disappear 6 months after net pen removal. Detractors should be made to document why current environmental monitoring protocols and regulations are inadequate.

3) Aquaculture spreads diseases to wild fish This is not a significant risk, and by far, the transfer of pathogens is from wild fish to the farmed stock. See my 3-part article starting in Aquaculture Magazine April 2018 for more details on this. The specter of disease is a scary one, and Hollywood certainly has helped stoke the fears. One of non-medical detractors’ favorite targets is to portray an epidemiologically naïve picture of disease organisms multiplying exponentially until all wild fish are wiped out. They fail to take into account disease transfer principles as outlined in the Reed-Frost concept of herd immunity, where diseases are limited as they move through populations that become no longer naïve. Farmed fish have naïve immune systems to most wild pathogens. Vaccines help to reduce immune naivety to some diseases, but they don’t work for all. 58 »

For wild fish, they are most often continually exposed and populations have both herd immunity and are carriers to known and unknown pathogens. So-called “amplification” from farms back to these wild fish is really not a proven concept and doesn’t make much sense using epidemiological principles. First instinct is a flippant visceral reaction to suggest that detractors should be made to attend an accredited veterinary school, and have some background beyond that in epidemiology. Suffice it to say, unqualified or pseudo-qualified detractors should not be allowed to fear-monger on this topic without being held accountable by the medical community, which needs to be transparent, inclusive and realistic about disease risks and potential consequences.

4) Aquaculture needs to be regulated more stringently Sebastian Belle of the Maine Aquaculture Association has put out a typical list of regulations and agencies that the Maine industry is governed by, and it is pretty substantial. Dr. Carol Engle has published her studies showing the costs of regulations to US aquaculture, and the conclusion is that they are contributing to the industry’s burden and lack of growth (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/ jwas.12604). Suffice it to say, the quality and suitability of the regulations to adequately cover concerns are never specifically addressed by detractors with the purpose to reduce any perceived or real risks. In fact, it appears that most detractors are ignorant of the regulations or choose to ignore them, not wanting them to get in the way of their ideological or vested interests. Most aquaculturists would agree that too many redundant and senseless regulations have been imposed on them and their fish. The intended effect of many of these regulations to protect the environment and the seafood consumer are ei-

ther inconsequential or unnecessary impositions. Whether detractors or regulators, the need for specific regulations needs to be justified, impacts measured, and sunset clauses put in place.

5) Aquaculture feeds fish to fish and is therefore unsustainable This is an interesting allegation, as it contains cannibalistic connotations with its intended notion of unsustainability. Yes, fish and/or fish meal are necessary for carnivorous fish, including both wild and farmed salmon. Salmon farmers really feed planktivores to carnivores. The “closer to the sun” smaller fish are usually from sustainable fisheries, and not as sought after by seafood consumers. Although a substantial portion of fish meal and oil is used in global aquaculture, a greater proportion goes to less elegant and efficient uses such as lubricants and fertilizers. Nevertheless, the backlash has precipitated feed companies to seek alternative sources. This has resulted in a continual decrease in the amount of fish weight used in meal to produce a pound of farmed fish. For salmon, it approaches 2 to 1. Interestly, for wild salmon the amount of fish needed for this carnivorous

A more constructive and genuine approach would be a call to get together, assess, and quantify real and perceived risks, and then work to mitigate the risks to as low as reasonably achievable and acceptable, instead of calling for the elimination of the hazard (indicative of an ideological motive).

species is that of the movement through a trophic level, or 10:1! Added to this is that fish do not need to produce heat or fight gravity. Fish are some of the most efficient animals at converting feed. Detractors need to be reminded that feed conversion has to be kept in context with other (wild) sources of seafood (which consume public resources).

6) Farmed fish isn’t as healthy or wholesome There is a continual barrage from detractors on this front, with some glaring examples of real “below the belt” tactics. a. Fed antibiotics and chemicals All production food animals need to be given antibiotics and medicines from time to time. Diseases are natural and take advantage of a production setting. A farmer’s job is to avoid the risk factors that lead to this, as the result is both expensive and causes production disruption. There is a lot of misunderstanding about use and abuse of antibiotics in food animals. Suffice it to say, their approval and use are strictly controlled, and have been through exhaustive human and environmental testing. There are tremendous disincentives to use them, and when used, strict scientifically-established withdrawal periods are mandated by law in order to make sure there are no residues in the final food product. Detractors and the lay-public need to be educated on what antibiotics are, what they do and the judicious use principles that are in place. b. PCB’s and Mercury levels in the flesh The allegations of farmed fish having higher levels of contaminants in their flesh are simply not true. One example of fraudulent scientific research involves a study that was a published note in Science in 2004. Headlines came out that farmed salmon have Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB’s) levels 10 times that of

wild salmon, after the researcher published the article. The research paper failed to contextualize that this environmentally persistent industrial organic pollutant (banned in 1974) was of low acute toxicity and in most foods below 100 ppb, with an US Food Drug Administration limit of 2000 ppb. The authors also failed to mention that previous studies found levels of salmon, both wild and farmed were between the acceptable ranges of 25 to 50 ppb. This was consistent with their measurements of farmed salmon. Their summary for wild salmon was an inexplicably low 5 pbb, until care-

ful examination showed that they “cherry-picked” most of their wild fish from returning low-fat pink and chum salmon and included very little fatty, fish-eating Chinook, Coho and Sockeye, skewing their results. Nevertheless, the headlines and the devil without the details stuck with the perpetuation of this false dogma, being in the interest of the detractors. What is often left out of the discussion is that if anything ever IS a concern, contaminated fish meal and oil in the farmed diet can be “washed” of these and nutritional content altered. This is not possible » 59


We absolutely need both stock enhancement and “egg to fork” aquaculture. The narrative must be retaken.

with wild fish. Detractors’ junk science with an obvious agenda needs to be exposed. Aquaculture ideologues should be careful not to commit the same egregious bias. c. Color-added Without anti-oxidant nutritive carotenoid pigments in their diet, wild and farmed salmon flesh is white. They obtain this from crustaceans/ zooplankton or algae in fish stomachs that they eat. Farmed salmon have these same molecules put in their diet, which is formulated to approximate their nutritional requirements. Detractor activists noticed that the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act required foods to be labelled “Color-Added” and sued the FDA to require this of farmed salmon product. The connotation to consumers that salmon farmers dipped their fish in some red dye, instead of a natural nutrient carotenoid was deliberate. These kinds of Detractor tactics need to exposed and publicized. Laws need to be changed so that these kinds of loopholes don’t get falsely utilized for ulterior motives.

Solution to Fending off the Detractors Combatting ideologies is a tough thing to do. Facts don’t matter without a good publicity campaign. And 60 »

sometimes, with a good campaign, facts don’t matter either. So, how do aquaculture proponents promote our message more effectively and stave off this emerging anti-aquaculture sentiment? First, again, we have to be careful not to fall into confirmation bias as the detractors seem to. It’s an affliction that we all possess. We need to make sure that we are backed up with legitimate and unbiased facts when we put forth our belief that aquaculture is the answer to saving the oceans … not the threat! We need to insist on and use legitimate and contextual metrics in order to make a case. We need to double check and challenge our own assumptions and biases. We have to admit when there are legitimate concerns. We should insist that scientific details are presented, not just rhetoric, and that we engage the detractors in addressing the risks of a hazard, not just calling for the elimination of that hazard (e.g.: planes because they crash and kill people). Next, we have to take a lesson from the detractors, and “Marketing 101”. We like to take the high road and present all the good about aquaculture. Unfortunately, most of the “feel good” stories are not noticed. “They don’t sell”. So, what sticks out is the opposite – dirty laundry and risky stuff. The anti-aquaculturists know this and that is why there is a continual litany of bad press. We pay attention and even shop for the “lowest risk” product, not the best, so the best marketing strategy is one which portrays a product as the least risk choice (i.e.: the false idea that farmed fish is more risky, … etc). Also, marketers know that the more something is repeated, the more we tend to believe it (whether it is true or not). The notion of how critical aquaculture is to both our seafood supply and saving our aquatic ecosystems is a right and just one. Stock enhancement aquaculture is absolutely es-

sential for the maintenance of wild sport and commercial species. It is naive to think that wild habitat and ecosystems can be restored so that natural runs of salmon and other species will fully meet our expanding seafood demands, or that this trend can be curbed. We absolutely need both stock enhancement and “egg to fork” aquaculture. The narrative must be retaken and a litany of real science-backed, vivid messages, soundbites and memes generated, with a continual barrage to drive home the ideology that “the risk to our future is too great if we don’t farm aquatic species”.

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


Climate change and potential effects

on salmon farming The ideal water temperature for salmon appetite and growth is in the

range of 8 - 14°C.

By Asbjørn Bergheim*


ncreasing sea temperatures could affect performance under farming conditions: if the water is warmer than 16°C, salmon get stressed, eat less and their growth can be reduced. Atlantic salmon living at 19°C reduce their feed intake by 50% compared to salmon living at 14°C with the growth occurring at the same rate as observed for 3°C conditions. Salmon may die at temperatures above 23°C. When the temperature rises, dissolved oxygen con-

tent generally drops while the oxygen consumption of the fish increases. Additionally, algal blooms and salmon gill disease are considered more prevalent in warmer water. Since the 1980s, the open sea temperature off the Norwegian coast has increased by 1 ˚C. The temperature will continue to rise due to humancaused climate changes. This is bad news for farmed Atlantic salmon, which will be vulnerable to these temperature changes. Nevertheless,

Atlantic salmon have higher tolerance to warm water than Pacific salmon and some other species in the genus Salar such as Arctic charr and brown trout. Among other things, warm water can reduce fecundity and growth, and increase susceptibility to disease. “Salmon farming as an industry with high technological integration could react to mid- and long-term changes but may not be prepared to face sudden or temporary changes in parameters such as surface tempera» 61

SALMONIDS Figure 1 Water temperature at all of Mowi’s salmon farm sites in Scotland: January – November 2019 compared to the prior 10-year average (www.fishfarmingexpert.com).

When the temperature rises, dissolved oxygen content generally drops while the oxygen consumption of the fish increases. Additionally, algal blooms and salmon gill disease are considered more prevalent in warmer water.

ture, salinity or near-surface stratification. The latter, for example, may trigger harmful algal blooms or enhance hypoxia events that cause direct mortality or produce conditions that deteriorate performance and health in farmed fish” (Reviews in Aquaculture, 2019).

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Stress-inducing and growth-depressing conditions can occur in late summer and autumn with high temperatures, low early morning oxygen levels and peak biomass in the salmon cages. Such conditions affecting salmon cages were observed during the warm summer/autumn of 2002

along the Norwegian coast, where many farms suffered high mortality and low growth. A similar situation occurred during the same period in Maine and along the coast of British Columbia. Mowi Scotland recently reported increased mortality in 2019. Last

Figure 2 Chile regions.

year’s sea temperatures were the second highest of the last decade and provided ideal conditions for harmful algal blooms in the third quarter of 2019 (Figure 1). The high mortality losses at several farm operations

coincided with an algal bloom and increased sea lice levels. Significantly increased temperatures also represent a health and welfare challenge to the cleaner fish stocked with salmon, especially to the commonly-employed cold water lumpfish species. As part of an EU-funded project (ClimeFish) performed by researchers at Nofima and the University of Stirling, the effects of climate model scenarios on salmon farming along the Norwegian coast over the next 50 years have been assessed. Climate adaption measures will in many cases be farm-specific, e.g. use of deeper nets or changes in stocking strategy. More advanced solutions will be required in other locations, such as transfer to semi-closed containment systems (S-CCS) supplied with deep water or the introduction of selective breeding programs to produce temperature tolerant strains. The climate conditions along the Norwegian coast vary greatly across 13 degrees of latitude, from 58˚ to 71˚ north. At the southernmost farm locations, measurements of surface water show a large number of days with temperatures above 16 ˚C during summer – early autumn, and several days reaching above 20 ˚C. In the next decade, the projected surface water peaks in one location (according to ClimeFish) will occasionally approach 28 ˚C! Increasing temperatures in Mid-Norway are likely to affect production, however, the nearfuture extremes are not projected to be as high as at the southwestern coast site. Increased temperatures at northern sites will reduce the number of days with readings below 4 ˚C, especially in the 2030s and onwards. This may lead to improved growth in this region but it may also increase the prevalence of diseases and parasites (e.g. sea lice) more common at higher temperatures. The study report indicates the importance of considering the direct and indirect impacts of temperature change throughout the year.

Significantly increased temperatures also represent a health and welfare challenge to the cleaner fish stocked with salmon, especially to the commonly-employed cold water lumpfish species.

In a recent assessment of climate change vulnerability for the salmon farming sector in southern Chile, reduced precipitation, a change in salinity and increases of air and surface sea temperatures are the most foreseen climate change drivers, especially in Regions X and XI (Figure 2). The vulnerability matrix indicated that communities with higher salmon production concentrations were more exposed (INCAR, Chile). The models employed also allowed the researchers to explore the reduced vulnerability associated with a southward movement of the salmon production towards the Magallanes region.

Dr. Asbjørn Bergheim is a consultant at Oxyvision Ltd. in Stavanger. His fields of interest within aquaculture are primarily water quality vs. technology and management in tanks, cages and ponds, among others. asbjorn@oxyvision.com

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Heating By: Amy Stone, Aquatic Equipment and Design, Inc.*

Heating and cooling can both be big capital expenses as well as big hits to the operating budget; however, they are essential parts of an Life Support System (LSS) when it comes to growth rates, survivability, and year-round profitability.


his article will focus on heating. Temperature control becomes a real concern when the animals that are being cultured have different requirements than the naturally occurring water, whether year-round or just seasonally. There are several ways to maintain water temperature in systems.

150 Ton Chiller for Shrimp Farm Chilling.

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Flow Through Systems Flow through systems require that the heating system be able to increase the temperature of the water in a single pass. Meaning, the heating system will only process the water once and it will never return through the heater. Electric and gas heating can be cost prohibitive in these designs. Large shifts in temperature and high

flow rates add to the expense exponentially in these applications. For flow through systems, the recommendation would be to reduce the heating requirements as much as possible and consider a geothermal approach, which will be discussed later. Geothermal systems can also have a large upfront capital expense, as you need a subterranean well or heat sink and these can be costly. With all flow through applications, you must consider heat recovery as a highly efficient and cost-effective option. Heat recovery involves using the effluent flow of water you have already heated to “pre-heat” the incoming water to your system using a plate heat exchanger. This can typically save up to 50% or more on heating loads and makes using gas/ electric heaters a more viable option.

Recirculating Systems Recirculating systems allow the water to pass through the heating device multiple times, which allows the

Boilers at alligator farm.

heater to bring up the temperature of the water more slowly than if a large change in temperature is required in a single pass. Recirculating systems require larger and more robust filtration systems compared to flow through systems, but the heating system is significantly smaller for a similar sized flow through application.

Heating Calculations In general, it takes 2.44 Watts (8.33 BTU’s) to raise 1 gallon of water 1

degree Fahrenheit. However, depending on factors in the system, it can be anywhere from 2.44 Watts to 24 Watts, or more to achieve that same temperature change. Say what???? Why is there such a big range? How do you design your system properly to keep the animals healthy and growing? It’s more complicated than it may appear at first. First and foremost, what temperature range is required? Most animals can accommodate a range of temper-

atures. It’s important to know what the range is but also keep in mind the optimal temperature range which is where the best growth rates occur. Time is money so it is best to keep the animals in their optimal growth range. For a flow through system, the heating calculation is fairly simple since you are heating up water in a single pass to a desired temperature. A quick calculation you can use is: GPM X ΔT X 60 = BTU/HR *ΔT is equal to your desired water temperature minus your incoming water temperature. As you can see, the higher the flow rate and larger the ΔT is, the higher the BTU load is. Keep in mind in many places the incoming water temperature is not constant. For heating, you need to size your heating system for the lowest temperatures your system will see (typically mid-winter). For recirculating systems, the temperature calculations become a bit more complex. The first parameter to consider is your volume control load. This means in a given 24-hour period, how many degrees do you want to be able to increase the entire volume of water in the system. This number can vary

Temperature control becomes a real concern when the animals that are being cultured have different requirements than the naturally occurring water, whether year-round or just seasonally.

Heating System Pumping skid.

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greatly depending on the size and application of the system. To calculate your volume control load: Volume (GAL) x X/24hr x 8.33BTU/GAL = BTU/HR X = number of degrees F you want to be able to change your system in a given 24-hour period. The next parameter is the ambient (air) temperature that the surface area of the water will be exposed to. Most heat energy in a system is lost through water to surface exchange making this a very significant portion of the overall heat load. This is where most of the calculations fall apart. In many cases, the end user will estimate the lowest temperature without any empirical data. If the estimation of ambient temperature is not as low as the system will actually be exposed, then the heater will be undersized and cause the water to be outside of the recommended range. If the estimation of ambient temperature is too low, the heater will be oversized causing an increase in capital expenditures and possibly causing the heater to cycle more often. This calculation has many factors such as sunlight, wind speed over tanks, air humidity, etc. A couple ways to mitigate surface area heat loss is to control ambient air temps or tent the tanks to create a microclimate to limit evaporation. Finally, considerations need to be made for tank wall thickness, water exchange information, mechanical heat gains, biomass heat gain of fish in the system, aeration and sometimes more factors, depending on the application.

Types of heaters

Immersion Heaters These are relatively small heaters that are immersed directly into the system water, usually in a collection sump or sometimes directly in the culture tank. These units can be electric immersion heaters or water-water heat exchangers. They are available in stainless steel, titanium and other metals. We usually only use titanium to avoid the possibility of corrosion. 66 Âť

Hydronic Buffer Tank & Pumping Skid.

Installed Grid Coil Heat Exchanger.

In hard water, these heaters are prone to calcium build up which can create a hot spot. If this is not cleaned in a timely period, the heater will fail. This also voids any warranty that the manufacturer included. These heaters are available as fully submersible and with a riser tube and junction box on the top. Except for the really small heaters, they all have an external controller. In the units that use less than 15 amps, the controller is available pre-wired and is

considered plug and play. Anything over 15 amps is supplied with a controller that will need to be wired in the field. Gas and Electrical Inline Heaters Inline heaters come in a variety of sizes from the very small units which are slightly larger than the piping up to the larger units which can require significant space. Starting with the smaller heaters, these are comparable to the immersion heaters discussed

A couple ways to mitigate surface area heat loss is to control ambient air temps or tent the tanks to create a microclimate to limit evaporation.

Titanium Immersion Coils.

above. The maximum available size in this style is 120KW. Larger inline heaters are available in propane, natural gas and electric. These vary from simple spa heaters up to larger systems with onboard heat exchangers. There are a variety of options with this style of heater,

but they max out at about 20 horsepower. Boiler Loop For the more commercial systems, it is more effective to set up a hot water loop using a boiler and separate heat exchangers. The concept is similar to

an in-line system, but it is split into separate components. They consist of a boiler, heat exchangers (immersion, shell-in-tube, or plate type), control valves/pumps and individual temperature controllers. The entire system is sized to accommodate the heating load for the entire facility or building and keeps the water in the boiler loop at 125F -180F depending on the heat transfer required and the piping system. At the end of the day, the type and size of heater is really dependent on the application. I want to thank Delta Hydronics for their technical review of this article.

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

Pre-plumbed Boiler skid, Shrimp Farm heating.

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Using Cytogenetics

to Domesticate Oysters and other Shellfish By Michael A. Rice*

One of the key problems faced by oyster farmers in temperate regions

of the world is that the condition of the oysters, or the relative ‘fatness’ of the meat, changes throughout the growing season in response to changes in water temperature and the seasonal availability of phytoplankton in the water as food for the oysters.


uring boreal or austral springtime periods, water temperatures are on the rise and day length is increasing. In combination this causes blooming of phytoplankton populations and a greater filter-feeding response by the shellfish. The result of all this springtime food availability and feeding by oysters results in maturation of their gonads and storage of glycogen, a complex carbohydrate acting to chemically store energy within the oyster tissues. During the late springtime just prior to spawning oysters are the ‘fattest’ with gonads that are ripe and stored glycogen is at a maximum. It is during this time that oysters are the most flavorful and desirable from a marketing standpoint. However, once the oysters spawn during the early summer, the gonads become spent and much of the slightly sweet glycogen is depleted by fueling the spawning process. It is 68 »

during this time that oyster meats become the thinnest and least desirable by knowledgeable oyster aficionados, often leading to a seasonal depression in market prices. Cytogenetics, or the manipulation of the numbers of chromosomes carried by a plant or animal, has been a way to produce oysters that are faster growing and avoid summer thinning of the soft tissues. Animals like humans or oysters (and most plants) are typically diploid, carrying two sets of chromosomes. Oysters and many other bivalves carry 10 pairs of chromosomes in the diploid state, in comparison to the 23 pairs in humans. One chromosome set comes from the mother through haploid egg cells, and the other set from paternal haploid sperm cells, with the diploid state being reconstituted upon fertilization and formation of a diploid embryo. However on occasion, organisms can be induced to carry one or more ex-

tra sets of chromosomes in a state called polyploidy. Polyploid organisms with three sets of chromosomes are known as triploids, and those with four sets are known as tetraploids. Often times, polyploid organisms express polyploid gigantism by growing faster and attaining larger sizes than their diploid counterparts. For instance induction of polyploidy is a frequent practice among plant breeders to create larger fruits, flowers and seeds. Various cultivars of chrysanthemums, for example, may be produced in various polyploid states that have flowers that are much larger than their diploid cousins. Domesticated diploid Einkorn wheat is much more like the wild type wheat from the Middle East, but Durham wheat that is a source for couscous and pasta flour is tetraploid, and common bread wheat with extra-large starchy seeds are hexaploid, carrying six chromosome sets. Agronomists will

Cytogenetics, or the manipulation of the numbers of chromosomes carried by a plant or animal, has been a way to produce oysters that are faster growing and avoid summer thinning of the soft tissues.

induce polyploidy in a wide range of crops to induce seedless varieties (e.g. grapes, watermelons and bananas) or to increase crop yields. It is important to emphasize that cytogenetic manipulation of chromosomes is not genetic engineering, or as it is often called genetic modification (GM), in which there is gene editing by deletion or insertion of genes from other organisms. Cytogenetic manipulation simply duplicates the existing genetic material in the chromosomes. Organisms carrying odd numbers of chromosomes, such as triploids, are often infertile with very little capacity for producing offspring, and this is the basis of seedless varieties of plants. In the early 1980s, the first to investigate the induction of triploidy in oysters and soft-shell clams was Dr. Standish K. Allen of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, along with colleagues, when he was a graduate student at the Uni-

versity of Maineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Darling Marine Research Center [See: Stanley et al. (1981). Aquaculture 23:1-10; Allen et al. (1982) J. Hered. 73:421-428]. His rationale for producing triploid oysters was to potentially prevent oysters from spawning as is done in the seedless fruits, thereby preventing oysters from spawning and thinning out during the summer season, thus preserving their tasty springtime qualities. Stored energy in the form of glycogen could also be directed away from fueling gonad maturation toward the growth of somatic or non-gonadal tissues (Figure 1). Subsequent studies over the last three decades on many species of molluscan shellfish have shown that triploidy can be induced and there is usually a resultant increment in growth performance. A recent meta-analysis of 29 published studies of growth of diploid and triploid oysters has shown that in 126 out of 148 independent experiments, or

85%, triploids outperformed diploid oysters in terms of size and weight gain [See: Wadsworth et al. (2019). Aquaculture 499:9-16]. Although the pioneering work on triploid shellfish was done in Maine, the commercialization of the hatchery production of triploid oysters occurred when Stan Allen moved on to the University of Washington (UW) for Ph.D. studies in the laboratory of Dr. Kenneth Chew (who also served for many years as the shellfish aquaculture columnist for Aquaculture Magazine). Allen collaborated with personnel from a large scale commercial oyster hatchery in Washington to produce triploid Pacific oysters. For nearly 20 years, the mode of production of triploid shellfish developed by Allen consisted of using an alkaloid toxin derived from a fungus (cytochalasin-B or CB) that acted chemically to disrupt the separation and sorting of chromosomes during the process of meiosis. CB acts to prevent the expulsion of excess genetic material from single cell oyster embryos (in a process known as polar body formation) after the haploid sperm cells deliver their haploid chromosomes into the egg cells during fertilization (Figure 2). This retention of genetic material in the single-cell oyster embryo after fertilization is the basis for the formation of what are known as chemical triploids. The problem with CB is that it is difficult to work with in the hatchery and the U.S. Food and Âť 69


Drug Administration regulatory authorities were always a bit wary about its use in individual organisms eventually destined for direct human consumption, even though it would be completely cleared out of the oysters at least two years before they would ever be consumed. CB is known to cause cellular mutations in humans. A major technological breakthrough in the production of triploid oysters happened in the mid-1990s after Dr. Allen joined the research faculty at Rutgers University Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory near Port Norris, New Jersey. Dr. Allen invited Dr. Ximing Guo, a post-doctoral fellow just finishing up his tenure in Dr. Chewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Laboratory at UW to join him in New Jersey, and the two of them set out to solve the problem of how to reliably produce triploid oysters without CB being used on oyster embryos destined for consumption. The idea they pursued was to create fertile tetraploid oysters that could be crossed with regular diploid oysters that would yield mostly sterile triploid oysters as their offspring. These offspring triploids from the diploid and tetraploid cross would have never been directly treated by CB. The trick was how to produce the tetraploid parental stock. What they were able to figure out is that if CB was used to inhibit first polar body formation after haploid sperm fertilization of rare triploid eggs

Figure 1. A comparison of diploid and triploid oysters. Photo courtesy of Louisiana Sea Grant College Program.

Cytogenetic manipulation of chromosomes is not genetic engineering, or as it is often called genetic modification (GM), in which there is gene editing by deletion or insertion of genes from other organisms. Figure 2. Production of triploid oysters by use of cytochalasin-B (CB) to shock and disrupt either the first (PB I) or second (PB II) polar body formation. Without use of CB, normal meiosis proceeds toward the development of two diploid daughter cells.

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Figure 3. Production of tetraploid oyster embryos pioneered by X. Guo and S. Allen. Rare triploid oyster eggs with 3 x10 chromosomes are fertilized by a haploid sperm cell, and cytochalasin-B (CB) is used to inhibit the first polar body formation. Without CB, the regular meiotic processes proceed uninhibited, creating the aneuploid state that are partially triploid and usually not viable.

from triploid parental stock, then tetraploids would be formed [See: Guo & Allen (1994) Mol. Mar. Biotechnology 3:42-50]. A viable tetraploid embryo produced by this process would proceed forward and develop into a fertile adult tetraploid oyster. These tetraploid oysters could then

be crossed with normal diploid oyster stock to produce the mostly infertile triploids [See: Guo et al. (1996). Aquaculture 142:149-161]. However it is important to note that this process of establishing a founder parental line of tetraploid oysters for producing triploid offspring is very

Figure 4. Benoit Eudaline, manager of the Taylor Shellfish Company hatchery at Quilcene, Washington that is a major producer of triploid Pacific oysters. Photo by Kirsten Howard and Allie Goldstein, 2013.

difficult, and takes plenty of patience. But once a founder line of tetraploid oysters is established, it is fairly easy to maintain the genetic line because of the fertile nature of oysters carrying even numbers of chromosomes (as the tetraploids do). Soon after the process to produce tetraploid oysters was perfected, Rutgers University applied for a patent for the process, naming Guo and Allen as the inventors. They were issued patent US5824841A in October 1998, with an expiration date of 21 January 2014 [See: https://patents. google.com/patent/US5824841A/ en]. This technology for producing triploid oysters from crosses of tetraploids and diploids has transformed the hatchery production of oysters, primarily in the West Coast of the United States as well as in France and Australia. Now that the patent is expired, the tetraploid shellfish technology is likely to spread even further, and include research and development of specialized strains of triploid oysters adapted for disease resistance or for better performance in oyster restoration projects, or in marginal habitat areas. Since tetraploid parental stock are fertile, they can be constantly improved through selective breeding programs similar to those used for development of traditional diploid strains and used to produce improved triploid offspring.

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

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Institutions: the aquaculture opportunity By: the fishmonger

Let us be honest, supermarkets have generally not done much good

for the seafood industry and have constantly failed the consumer.


oor displays, lack of trained staff, poor management of counters and much wasted food. And now, consequently, there is clearly a general shift from the ‘fresh fish’ counter to such things as pre-packed, chilled seafood and hot food counters. The UK Grocer magazine recently revealed that Walmart-owned Asda Stores Ltd chain are planning to close all their meat and fish counters. This news follows on from the decision by

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Tesco to close some of their service counters including fish – a potential worrying sign for aquaculture production. Supermarkets are looking at short term profits only, as removing fresh counters means losing the point of differentiation between the larger retailer and the discounters, as fish counters provide a greater variety for consumers. Supermarkets have realised that fish on ice has a much shorter shelf

life compared to pre-packaged fish so they will always point to the move away from fish counters as being driven by the need for operational efficiency and improved waste management. Sadly, few invest in staff training to understand the nuances in setting up counters and engaging consumers and so reap what they sow in that area. If the retailer puts on a poor seafood display, then clearly the informed consumer is either going to buy elsewhere or worse still, buy other protein! As their fish counters have fewer and fewer customers, this impacts the display offering, and evidence shows that downsizing fresh fish counters has been occurring for a while and it is very difficult to reverse. Space is money to supermarkets and if the space is not providing the income then change will occur. The US and UK are experiencing declining home consumption of seafood. Whether this is due to the poor offerings and lack of excitement created at the seafood counters or just a general move to more convenience in the busy lives of consumers no one really knows. But the inevitable is

that fresh fish counters will sadly be a thing of the past. You can blame the seafood industry, as it fails to invest itself, or you can blame the supermarkets for their lack of seafood engagement, but if you are trying to grow your aquaculture enterprise you need to find something more secure than selling to supermarkets. When the Fishmonger stumbled and was injured and needed hospital care, the Fishmonger may have accidentally fallen into what could be an aquaculture producer’s opportunity. Institutional food covers the whole gambit from prisons to hospitals, university campuses to business canteens, and spreads out wider to airlines and sporting stadiums. When researching ‘institutional food’ I came across this explanation – “characterized by the blandness, drabness, uniformity, and lack of individualized attention attributed to large institutions

that serve many people: institutional food”. This says it all – you get what you are given and that’s the end of it. When did you last hear someone say with such food – that was so great I need to go back there for another meal! Mostly it is all about price and mass production and the bottom line is more important than the nutritional content, the quality of the food and/or the dining experience. The initial experience for the Fishmonger was in a Mexican hospital, fortunately one which had a strict ‘no chilli’ policy, possibly a rarity in a country that loves its chillies. The choices were minimal and whilst certainly edible they were pretty much as described above. On the home journey an infection had impacted the Fishmonger’s injury and on arrival it was clear a trip to the emergency hospital was needed. Having ticked the three boxes that triggered the biosecurity quarantine

Supermarkets have realised that fish on ice has a much shorter shelf life compared to prepackaged fish so they will always point to the move away from fish counters as being driven by the need for operational efficiency and improved waste management.

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at the hospital, was worse to follow? The Fishmonger was not expecting to find any great change to the hospital culinary journey having been experienced during hospital stays in the past, but thankfully a new awakening was waiting. Seafood is good for your health and well-being and hospitals, you would think, would have been the first place to set you back on the road of recovery. And they should be providing the best nutritional input, but

Institutional food covers the whole gambit from prisons to hospitals, university campuses to business canteens, and spreads out wider to airlines and sporting stadiums.

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alas you fear ordering the fish. The experience, sadly, has been generally woeful, with overcooked and flavourless offerings. It generally takes a good day, sometimes longer, in hospital to get organised with food choices as it is not seen as an important issue. You are therefore at the mercy of whoever is in charge or organising the food. Being told your first meal would be ‘the fish’ there is not the excitement as might be felt if you were in different circumstances. Wow…. the meal arrived and it was a Grilled Atlantic Salmon fillet and it was cooked to perfection. Something you would have been more than happy to receive in a fancy restaurant. Surely the Fishmonger was dreaming (or maybe it was the drugs…) as nothing this tasty and nutritious could be served in a hospital! Soon the Fishmonger was given control of the very modern computerised food ordering system that is aligned to each hospital room, where you can book from a large menu and allotted times. The question for the Fishmonger was: does he put the initial fish meal down as a mirage and leave it in the memory bank knowing it cannot be surpassed… or does

he go back to the ‘fish’ and order the Steamed Barramundi to see if it is a consistent offering. The Fishmonger loves his seafood, so he had to tempt fate and hit ‘Barramundi’ on the menu button, and he was not disappointed. In fact, he was so impressed that, over the few days he was in hospital, he constantly pushed the seafood meal button and after discharge organised to meet the people responsible for the food. Preet Singh, Executive Chef at Epworth HealthCare, is clearly a culinary and food safety professional. He has over 15 years of experience in the health care catering and hospitality service industries and leads a team which produces 2,500 meals per day on average. Preet has come through the organisation’s program, during which he engaged heavily in training, working hard to move up the ladder and finally overseeing the massive changes that have taken place. Of course, hospitals, like all institutions, operate on tight budgets but clearly, as Preet has shown at Epworth it does not mean that you cannot produce fine food. Preet indicated that they have a proven track record of working within budget for

food and labour costs and, importantly, exceeding expectations at an organisational level, department level and, amazingly, at a patient level. Investment in new technology, both with cooking equipment and menu management software (Delegate and Buckeye were mentioned) and dedicated well-trained staff pays off, but having the ability of getting consistent quality raw material is an essential element to the finished product. That clearly is where aqua-

culture producers can excel and become major direct suppliers to the institutional organisation. As CAPT Joseph Hibbeln, M.D., USPHS, a Clinical Investigator and currently Acting Chief of the LMBB/ Section on Nutritional Neurosciences at the National institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (SNN at NIAAA) has told us – ‘Fish is a food with unique psychotropic properties and consumption of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, rich in seafood,

“It generally takes a good day, sometimes longer, in hospital to get organised with food choices as it is not seen as an important issue.” - The fishmonger.

reduces depression, aggression and anger while improving mental wellbeing. Seafood contains a host of balanced nutrients and if we have a seafood deficient diet it means the brain isn’t getting enough nutrition and data collected showed nutritional deficiencies caused by not having omega-3 in your diet results in the harm it intends to prevent.’ We mention CAPT Hibbeln as he has been involved in many studies on many people within institutions. He particularly has pointed out in a paper ‘Suicide Deaths of Active US Military and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Status: A Case Control Comparison’ that Omega-3 Fatty Acid levels are extremely low among US Military personnel. If all Government controlled institutions had policies favouring farmed seafood sourced in their own countries and aligned that with forward thinking food specialists like Preet Singh, then we would create not only terrific opportunities for aquaculture producers, but a far better world! Pleased to say the Fishmonger is no longer on drugs but the dream lives on…. Happy Fishmongering! The Fishmonger

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Testing of penaeid broodstock for multiple pathogens

- should it be mandatory? Shrimp farming has expanded rapidly over the last three decades.

Current estimates are that somewhere between 3.5 and 5 million By: Stephen G. Newman, Ph.D.*


uch of this is the white shrimp, Penaeus vannamei. Most production is from a handful of countries with the crown for the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest producer shifting as quickly as can the score in a football game. The reasons for this are complex but tend to center around costs of production. The lower the cost of production the lower the potential selling price. Some producers cannot produce shrimp profitably unless

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metric tons of farmed shrimp are produced annually. the prices are high. More often than not this is because of the impact of disease on the crops. This reduces survival rates and can dramatically increase costs. It was recognized some years ago that Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) broodstock, known to be an effective tool in terrestrial agriculture, could be of benefit. It is important to appreciate that SPF does not mean free of all pathogens. It also has no bearing on the susceptibility of these animals to

the specific pathogens that they are free from, although tolerance and resistance can be present in SPF stocks. These are not population traits that result from being SPF. Creating SPF animals is a process, not a claim based on periodic testing. Constant screening and history are both needed to establish that a population is truly SPF. Selling SPF shrimp broodstock has become big business. With well over one million adults being sold annually as the source of post larval

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shrimp (PLs) for farms all over the world and a myriad of companies focusing on developing strains of shrimp that are uniquely theirs, the risks are significant that exotic diseases can and will be spread. This is not necessarily a result of inherent dishonesty, although as with any business â&#x20AC;&#x153;caveat emptor-let the buyer be awareâ&#x20AC;? is always the wisest approach to take. Most shrimp broodstock companies use conventional approaches towards screening for the presence of pathogens. Long term histories of the performance of PLs from a given source of broodstock is a critical element in ensuring that one is not moving pathogens between shrimp and is essential in the process of developing SPF animals. This data is very hard to get at and in most cases of limited usefulness as farmers do not routinely engage in proactive animal health practices and are unaware of what is killing their shrimp. Very few companies can claim to have this data. The conventional approach to testing entails the use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This is a powerful technique that allows one to detect very small amounts of specific DNA/RNA via amplification with homologous nucleic acid sequences. The overall test utility is based on sampling of a population and blue book fishery statistics that are applicable to fish populations. These were derived for using PCR to test for the presence of specific pathogens in fish and were not developed for screening broodstock on a population basis. PCR is not a viable tool for this and its widespread use in shrimp farming has done little to stem the movement of pathogens across borders. Given that this was the only tool available for many years the perception has been that it is better than doing nothing. That may have been the case but conventional PCR testing is ready to be replaced by a better tool. Some of the reasons for this are explained in Table 1: 78 Âť

Table 1 The myth

The reality

When you test a population for the presence of a given pathogen and the sample is negative it means that the pathogen is not present in the population Testing at a 95% to 98% level of detection is good enough.

All one can say is that a given PCR result is positive or negative. It cannot be used to state that a given pathogen is not present in the population if the test result is negative. The sample is negative- not necessarily the population. To achieve this level of detection requires at least three things. One is that the sample is random. This is not as simple as it seems. The second is that the technology is 100% accurate. Most PCR tests are highly sensitive and accurate (specific). However that does not mean invariably that they are used properly. As an example, detection of the WSSV requires that the animals being tested are held at water temperatures that are consistent with development of a viremia. Most PLs and broodstock held at 31 C or above will test negative. The third consideration is that pooling samples reduces test sensitivity. Pooling animals, while it saves money, reduces the value of the results. For broodstock, where even a single animal can result in the presence of undesirable pathogens in PLs and end up on the farm affecting animals, 95% to 98% detection is not good enough. If one tests post larval shrimp using 150 PLs and pools them, and the individual tests that are performed come back negative, for each 1 million PLs being tested, even if the 98% detection were accurate, there could still be 20,000 PLs carrying a given pathogen. Pathogens are often present in the absence of pathological processes that are the result of active disease. While it is important to know if a given pathogen is growing in a population of animals and how this impacts production, the mere presence of the pathogen does not mean that disease will be the inevitable outcome.

The presence of a pathogen means that the population is diseased.

The next step in PCR testing In the last few years a new technology has appeared. This allows one to screen for a large number of potential pathogens from single samples at levels of specificity and sensitivity that are equal to or better than single tests. This multiplex technology uses a different approach for quantifying amounts of DNA or RNA present in the sample and has resulted in a dramatic drop in the costs to perform real time PCRs. Currently testing for 13 pathogens in a single sample, the price per individual PCR (based on testing for all 13 at once) is low enough to test EVERY individual broodstock. This is a powerful tool that ensures, when done properly, that a given pathogen is not present at any level in a population. Since the term SPF is not widely appreciated as being the result of a process that includes consistent and constant screening, historical information and pond performance of the offspring, some companies selling SPF animals are potentially selling broodstock that still contain pathogens, and in some cases they are using inadequate PCR detection

technologies to test for the presence of these pathogens. This multiplex technology was developed in Australia by CSIRO and has been validated repeatedly (Genics Pty Ltd.). Recently, shrimp farmers in Australia have been able to use it to largely eliminate the negative impact of a shrimp virus that, prior to development of this technology, historically has been widely described as being endemic: IHHNV. This has resulted in consistent increases in profit.

It was recognized some years ago that Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) broodstock, known to be an effective tool in terrestrial agriculture, could be of benefit. It is important to appreciate that SPF does not mean free of all pathogens.

Creating SPF animals is a process, not a claim based on periodic testing. Constant screening and history are both needed to establish that a population is truly SPF.

Âť 79


Figure 1. There are three basic steps involved in PCR (polymerase chain reaction). • Denaturation at 94oC. By heating the mixture up to 94 degrees C, the DNA to be copied is forced to “denature” (unwind and become single stranded). Also present are other ingredients such as primers (to cut the DNA at pre-determined points and allow subsequent replication), the Taq polymerase that provides the synthesis of replicated DNA, and raw materials for synthesis (known as nucleotide triphosphates or NTP’s). • Annealing at 55oC. Cooling the mixture down to 55 degrees allows the primers to anneal to the DNA, meaning they stick to complementary sites on the DNA that we wish to replicate. • Extension at 72oC: Raising the temperature to 72 degrees (which is the temperature optimum for Taq polymerase) starts the “extension” process, where Taq polymerase will work off the primers provided and generate new DNA strands, making each strand of the original DNA double stranded again. The entire process is repeated several-to-many times to create a potentially enormous amount of DNA, all copied from the section of interest in the initial double strand.

The impact of shrimp diseases on the global industry has been and continues to be significant. Over the last decade many billions of dollars in lost revenues have been directly attributable to disease. While efforts have been made to limit this, these efforts are weakened by the use of random sampling and testing regimes of broodstock using conventional approaches. The ability to cost effectively screen each brood animal and populations of PLs and shrimp in production ponds for a very low cost should open the door to widespread testing of, at the very least, entire broodstock populations. Unfortunately this is slow to catch on. Having worked with the industry for almost 30 years I think that I understand why. First of all, for many it is better not to look. That way you do not have to deal with the consequences of finding pathogens where they are not supposed to be. It is easy to test for certain pathogens and not others and claim animals are SPF. The second reason has to do with being short sighted. Why test each animal when you do not have to? Why screen for the whole range of potential pathogens when

Long term histories of the performance of PLs from a given source of broodstock is a critical element in ensuring that one is not moving pathogens between shrimp and is essential in the process of developing SPF animals.

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Given that PCR testing was the only tool available for many years the perception has been that it is better than doing nothing. That may have been the case but conventional PCR testing is ready to be replaced by a better tool.

Figure 2. Photograph courtesy Genics Pty. Ltd.

you do not have to? No one is forcing it and regulators seem unable to appreciate the importance of ensuring individual testing, at least until it can be established that a population is indeed SPF for all of the OIE notifiable pathogens. It is certain some of the pathogens that impact farmed shrimp come into the farm in PLs that are carrying them, typically as a result of broodstock carriers and inadequate efforts taken to exclude a given pathogen.

If the global industry is truly serious about preventing the movement of these pathogens between shrimp populations then multiplex screening is absolutely essential. At the very least, broodstock companies that do not track the performance of their strains on their customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; farms should test each animal until an adequate history is established to ensure that the PLs from these broodstock are not carrying any known pathogens into the production system with them. All companies that buy broodstock to sell PLs should be required to test each individual brood animal for the complement of known possible pathogens. Responsible providers of broodstock, without adequate histories, should elect to do this voluntarily and build the costs into the price of the broodstock. While this is not the only avenue that needs to be addressed, it is the only way to ensure that shrimp farming will ever becoming truly sustainable. Conventional screening based on testing small, often pooled, samples should not be acceptable to regulators. The risks are real and until the industry stops the movement of potential pathogens between stocks there is no chance that shrimp farming will ever move away from this endless cycle of massive global disease outbreaks. No one is invulnerable to this.

Stephen G. Newman has a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree from the University of Maryland in Conservation and Resource Management (ecology) and a Ph.D. from the University of Miami, in Marine Microbiology. He has over 40 years of experience working within a range of topics and approaches on aquaculture such as water quality, animal health, biosecurity with special focus on shrimp and salmonids. He founded Aquaintech in 1996 and continues to be CEO of this company to the present day. It is heavily focused on providing consulting services around the world on microbial technologies and biosecurity issues. sgnewm@aqua-in-tech.com www.aqua-in-tech.com www.bioremediationaquaculture.com www.sustainablegreenaquaculture.com

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Imports of Frozen Channel Catfish (Ictalurus) Fillets November imports of frozen channel catfish fillets increased as seasonally expected reaching 1.7 million pounds. This number was significantly higher compared to the same month last year, however after two back to back months of significant import volume increases, YTD figures are now recorded 20.4 percent below 2018 levels when just 2 months ago, YTD volumes were recorded at 39 percent below 2018. Shipments in November entered the U.S. with a declared value of $1.99 per pound, registering a $0.26 drop from the previous month; this is the lowest monthly import price per pound since December 2013, when this price registered $1.96. Shipments into the U.S. are rebounding, coming in above the previous 3-year average when most of 2019 had fallen below. Currently, demand is reportedly moderate, however some industry players have reported domestic prices falling, which could impact the sales of imported catfish. Imports of Frozen Pangasius (Swai) Fillets November imports fell 6.2 percent from the previous month and by almost 50 percent compared to the same month last year. Total YTD imports were at 108 million pounds, the lowest level since 2009 brought in 99.7 million pounds for the first 11 months of the year. In looking at pangasius and tilapia frozen fillet market share, pangasius imports equate to one-third of overall volume. 82 Âť

European data revealed higher imports of pangasius through November compared to the U.S. On a YTD basis pangasius imports in Europe totaled 141.5 million pounds. In looking at monthly November imports, Europe (10.6 million lbs.) was relatively flat to the previous month, gaining 146,606 pounds while the U.S. (9.5 million lbs.) imported 624,749 pounds less. According to the data from the USDOC, replacement prices for November 2019 fell $0.08 per pound from the previous month, recording at $1.39, the lowest price since January 2017. Replacement prices have fallen for most of the year with a high of $2.17 recorded in February.

Tilapia Imports Frozen whole fish imports increased 6.1 percent in November, registering 22 percent above the 3-year aver-

age. On a YTD basis, frozen whole imports remained 7 percent higher compared to last year. Imports of fresh fillets in November fell from the previous month by 15.3 percent and declined 20.0 percent compared to the same month a year ago. This is seasonally normal as November tends to be the lowest month of imports of the year. However, on a YTD basis imports were 7.9 percent lower, recording the lowest YTD volume since 2004. November frozen fillet imports increased from the previous month by 8.6 percent, also following a seasonal pattern. On a YTD basis imports were down 8.4 percent from the last year but imports from China, the largest supplier, were up 17.6 percent.

* Liz Cuozzo lcuozzo@urnerbarry.com Lorin Castiglione lcastiglione@urnerbarry.com


UPDATES FROM URNER BARRY By: Jim Kenny, Gary Morrison *

U.S. Imports All Types, By Type November imports showed a 1.4 percent decline in total volume; the eleven-month total at that time stood just 0.6 percent ahead of Jan-Nov 2018. Of the top seven trade partners, India (+25.8%), Indonesia (+5.2%) and Ecuador (+7.0%) shipped more while Vietnam (-6.9%), Thailand (-22.1%), Mexico (-12.0%) and China (-76.1%) sent less shrimp to the U.S. In terms of product form, the U.S. imported more headless shell-on, which includes easy peel (+5.9%) and peeled (+1.7%) in November; but less cooked (-14.3%) and breaded (-29.7%). India: With the 25.8 percent yearover-year gain, India remained the clear frontrunner in terms of trade partners, sending more than double the amount of shrimp to the U.S. compared the next nearest competitor. In fact, the U.S. imported more shrimp, 570.6 million pounds, through November than the record setting 546.3 million through full year

2018. The figures were on-pace to shatter 600 million pounds. Indonesia: November was another month of gains for Indonesian shrimp imports, with product brought into the United States a wider 5.2 percent gain which helped year-to-date figures stay near even with 2018. Ecuador: While November import figures slipped to fourth overall, the 7 percent gain from last year solidified its third place position yearto-date. In fact, the top three markets were the only major trade partners that saw gains. Gains in shell-on (+18.4%) outpaced declines (-17.5%) in peeled. Thailand, Vietnam and China: November imports from Vietnam (-6.9%) and Thailand (-22.1%) were lower, and not surprising given the recent trends China (-76.1%) was sharply lower. * Jim Kenny jkenny@urnerbarry.com Gary Morrison gmorrison@urnerbarry.com

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FEBRUARY AQUACULTURE AMERICA 2020 Feb. 09 – Feb. 12 Honolulu, Hawaii T: +1 760 751 5005 E: worldaqua@aol.com W: www.was.org

AUGUST WAS NORTH AMERICA & AQUACULTURE CANADA 2020 Ago. 30 – Sep. 02 St John’s Newfoundland, Canada T: +1 760 751 5005 E: worldaqua@aol.com W: www.was.org

MAY 1ST GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON RURAL AQUACULTURE May 20 – May 21 Tampico, México T: +61 419 528 733 E: comms.awf@gmail.com W: www.aquaculturewithoutfrontiers.org

SEPTEMBER LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN AQUACULTURE 2020 Sep. 7 – Sep. 10 Guayaquil, Ecuador T: +1 760 751 5005 E: worldaqua@aol.com W: www.was.org

JUNE WORLD AQUACULTURE 2020 Jun. 08 – Jun. 12 Singapore, Singapore T: +1 760 751 5005 E: worldaqua@aol.com W: www.was.org

WORLD SEAFOOD INDUSTRY 2020 Sep. 23 – Sep. 25 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico T: +52 1 331 466 0392 E: crm@dpinternationalinc.com W: www.panoramaacuicola.com

AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2020 Sep. 29 – Oct. 02 Cork, Ireland T: +1 760 751 5005 E: worldaqua@aol.com W: www.was.org NOVEMBER RASTECH 2020 Nov. 16 – Nov. 17 South Carolina, USA. T: +1 760 751 5005 E: worldaqua@aol.com W: www.ras-tec.com AQUACULTURE AFRICA 2020 Nov. 28 – Dec. 1 Alexandria, Egypt. T: +1 760 751 5005 E: worldaqua@aol.com W: africanchapter@was.org

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AQUAFEED.COM..........................................................................27 Web portal · Newsletters · Magazine · Conferences · Technical Consulting. www.aquafeed.com URNER BARRY........................................................................83 P.O. Box 389 Tom Ride. New Jersey, USA. Contact: Steven Valverde. T: (732)-575-1967 E-mail: svalverde@urnerbarry.com REEFER CARGO MSC.........................................................................................1 T: +52 55 5091 7070 www.msc.com/seafood TANKS AND NETWORKING FOR AQUACULTURE REEF INDUSTRIES..................................................................25 9209 Almeda Genoa Road Z.C. 7075, Houston, Texas, USA. Contact: Gina Quevedo/Mark Young/ Jeff Garza. T: Toll Free 1 (800) 231-6074 T: Local (713) 507-4250 E-mail: gquevedo@reefindustries.com / jgarza@reefindustries.com / myoung@reefindustries.com www.reefindustries.com

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Aquaculture Magazine February-March 2020 Vol. 46 No. 1