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Aquaculture Magazine Volume 44 Number 1 February - March 2018


editor´s comments



14 News from the AADAP

Call For Non-Technical Presentations.

16 article

A Review of Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV).

20 article

Bacillus licheniformis Biofilm Prevention Through Phage Therapy for Litopenaeus vannamei aquaculture.



Abalone Aquaculture – The Basics.


Freshwater species are, and will be, the aquafarming industry that will contribute the most towards ensuring food security in the entire world.

32 38

on the


OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE What kind of “gone” are we talking about here?


SALMONIDS Main factors behind escapes of farmed salmon and trout


Volume 44 Number 1 February - March 2018


The Institute of Agriculture and Food Research and Technology (IRTA).

Editor and Publisher Salvador Meza


Editor in Chief Greg Lutz

Maricultura Vigas Freshness and Sustainability, Key Features to Access the US Specialized Shrimp Market.

44 note

Oregon State University researchers aim to boost efficiency of aquaculture production.

46 article

Estimation of genetic parameters and genotype-by-environment interactions related to acute ammonia stress in Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) juveniles at two different salinity levels.

Editorial Assistant María José de la Peña

Editorial Design Francisco Cibrián

Designer Perla Neri

Marketing & Sales Manager Christian Criollos

Business Operations Manager Adriana Zayas

50 Latin America Report Recent News and Events.

76 Urner barry


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Aquaculture Stewardship Council News from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. By ASC Staff


Offshore Aquaculture

What Kind of “Gone” Are We Talking About Here? By Neil Anthony Sims



Bromophenols and Their Contribution to Seafood Flavor: From Ocean-Like to Iodine. By George Baker



Recent news from around the globe by Aquafeed. com By Suzi Dominy



Main factors behind escapes of farmed salmon and trout. By Asbjørn Bergheim


the fishmonger


Perspective and Opinion

Time to get on the front foot re: mercury.

Making Government a Partner in Aquaculture Development. by Don Webster, Regional Specialist, University of Maryland Extension



Perspective is Everything… and Often Means Nothing By C. Greg Lutz

I admit… I like to watch sci-fi movies. Especially the ones where some hideous bug-like creatures arrive to take our planet and drive us to extinction (or at least, into hiding like cockroaches in the cracks and crevices). What is it, in that cinematic universe (and perhaps in our own) that makes our planet such an attractive target for ill-willed extraterrestrials? Water, of course! Water is life! And for those of you reading this… fresh water in particular, I suspect.


n the same way that so many of us avoid dwelling on the question of what on earth we are going to feed all these fish we need to produce in the future, we also neglect to consider where they can be grown. As pointed out by our publisher, Salvador Meza, the UN’s FAO has stated that freshwater species such as tilapia, carps and catfishes will contribute the most to food security and the eradication of hunger in the coming decades. Well, that’s great… as long as fresh water is available and accessible… and relatively unpolluted. Will that be the case in the regions of the world where sustainable inland aquaculture is becoming ever more critical? Conservation and wise use of fresh water resources is becoming more urgent with every passing day, but in most parts of the world people seem not to notice. So, when it comes to production of animal protein and water use, how do we compare? Well, the numbers are all over the place when you search the literature, but in general, 1,000 4 »

8,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 pound of ‘edible’ beef (no bones, skin, entrails, etc.); about 1,300 gallons for a pound of pork; just over 940 for chicken; and somewhere between 300 and 900 for temperate/ tropical freshwater fish, depending on the species and production system. On top of this, recall that farmed freshwater fish are far more efficient in terms of the amount of feed (largely comprised of terrestrial crops) required to produce a pound of edible flesh (1.1, 1.7, 2.9 and 6.8 for fish, broiler chickens, pigs and cattle, respectively). The fresh water consumed in row crop production of soybeans and corn (and the associated erosion and run-off) provides more animal protein for human consumption through fish production than would be the case for traditional livestock industries. In short, it takes a lot of fresh water to raise fish like tilapia, carps and catfishes, but it takes even more fresh water to raise terrestrial animals.

And freshwater ponds allow for more sustainable protein production with fewer nutrients lost to the surrounding watershed. When freshwater ponds are kept full from year to year and the only discharges are associated with periods of heavy precipitation (as is the case in much of the US catfish industry and in many tropical fish ponds), levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and organic materials are reduced by 80% - 90% or more due to natural nutrient cycling in the pond water column and sediments. I’ve noticed a few other unfair portrayals of aquaculture on the internet in the past few weeks. It seems that unless we find a way to feed the planet with absolutely no adverse impacts to anything or anyone… we are no better than those extraterrestrials that are on their way to wipe us out. One heartwrenching observation relating to animal welfare criticisms suggested that farmed fish are packed into tanks and net pens at such high densities that they are left without enough room to turn around. …it should be so easy, right? The reality, that our livestock are constantly in contact with and impacted by the water in which they are raised, seems lost on these self-appointed critics. Even the toughest fish available to us are much less forgiving and more particular about their living conditions than hogs or chickens. Impacts… are relative. Impacts are inescapable. But perception of impacts… now THAT can be easily manipulated. You won’t see any fundraising advocates on social media deploring the clearing of millions

of acres of land across the North American continent to make way for agriculture. That happened long ago. That was necessary. Perspective is everything, and it often means nothing. I saw the other day where someone was criticizing “aquaculture” for the vast quantities of waste produced by cultured fishes… with no mention of the fact that in the wild they would produce roughly 3 to 10 times as much waste. As an interesting aside… here is an example of the typical approach used by aquaculture “haters”, but in this case, for perspective’s sake, focusing on wild fishery harvests. It usually begins with a fact… and goes something like this: “If we consider that the global wild fisheries harvest is roughly 90 million metric tons, and we adhere to the widely accepted rule that there is a 10:1 ratio as energy moves up the trophic ladder in natural systems… well my goodness, doesn’t that mean those fish were producing some 900 million tons of waste which are now polluting the sea floor??? And those are just the ones we caught and removed??? We need to get ALL those fish out of the oceans and clean our environment up once and for all! Please donate now to help our cause, and we’ll send you this certificate of righteousness and a plush rock, to represent all those rocks that will finally be able to enjoy a clean ocean. Give what you can… the sediments can’t wait another day.” Right? 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.



INDUSTRY researchNEWS report

NEOVIA Acquires EPICORE, a Probiotics-Specialized Company United States. – In December, NEOVIA announced the acquisition of Epicore, a North American company specialized in the production of larval feed and probiotics for the global aquaculture market, specifically, for shrimp. Through the expertise of the two companies and Neovia’s international R&D network, Neovia intends to develop its aquaculture business and offer new natural and sustainable solutions for livestock farming: specifically probiotics. Epicore —founded in 1987 and with headquarters in Eastampton, New Jersey— manufactures feed and probiotics for the shrimp market. In order to facilitate the distribution of its products and services, the company has a subsidiary in Ecuador, the largest shrimp producing country in Latin America and the fourth largest producer in the world, with 400,000 tons of shrimp feed produced per year.

Epicore has expertise in the manufacture of liquid feed for shrimp larvae and in the production of probiotics. Probiotics are living microorganisms that are naturally present in the body. They help balance intestinal flora and stimulate immune defenses. These natural solutions help to reduce stress and mortality rates of shrimp, to promote sustainable growth in shrimp ponds.

This acquisition will allow both companies to benefit from numerous aspects, particularly with regards to R&D and innovation. Neovia’s aquaculture business will also benefit from an expanded portfolio of products and services as well as new expertise in the production of probiotics, first for aquaculture species and then for the Group’s other markets.

Pacifico Aquaculture Acquired by Los Angeles-Based Private Equity Firm United States. – Butterfly, a private equity firm specialized in the food sector, announced the acquisition of Pacifico Aquaculture, the producer of ocean-raised striped bass featured in the August/September 2017 issue of Aquaculture Magazine. Pacifico’s production site is located in Baja California Sur, Mexico, and started operating in 2010. Its striped bass is recognized throughout the US market for its premium quality, flavor and texture, with a market focused on well-known distributors, food retailers and restaurants across North America. “This is an exciting new chapter for Pacifico and we look forward to our partnership with the Butterfly team,” said Omar Alfi and Daniel Farag, coCEOs of Pacifico. “Butterfly understands our business well and shares our vision for the future, and we are excited to have a partner with deep in6 »

dustry expertise in the food sector.” “The future for sustainable oceanraised aquaculture is extraordinarily bright, and we are excited to back the Pacifico team to help expand their ranch throughout North America and around the world,” said Adam Waglay, who co-founded Butterfly alongside Dustin Beck. “We love that Pacifico is committed to sustainable and responsible aquaculture practices and has received numerous sustainability certifications and awards, including the

highest four-star designation from the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program earlier this year.” Mr. Beck added: “Pacifico’s unwavering commitment to innovation, quality and sustainability has created a unique offering that is extremely well positioned for growth. We are thrilled to partner with Omar, Daniel and the rest of the team to help them grow Pacifico into a world-class aquaculture platform.”

ECOAQUA – An Innovative Project that Seeks to Improve Inland Fish Farming in Ireland Ireland. – The National University of Ireland Galway, together with the Athlanoe Institute of Technology, will lead the ECOAQUA project, which seeks to improve production efficiencies and management for inland fish farming. The project is aligned to Ireland’s FoodWise2025 policy, which aims to grow food exports by 85% by 2025. The two-year project has received almost €350,000 ($426,258 USD) in funding from the European Maritime Fisheries Fund, administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). Led by Dr. Eoghan Clifford from NUI Galway and Professor Neil Rowan from Athlone Institute of Technology, and with support from Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s technical aquaculture team, ECOAQUA will address important issues previously identified by industry and aquaculture stakeholders. Such matters include analyzing the environmental and

energy performance of three freshwater aquaculture sites, facilitating water re-use in aquaculture systems, enabling the industry to meet stringent environmental regulation while increasing production in a sustainable cost-effective manner, and piloting technological innovations with industry to ensure technology and knowledge transfer to the aquaculture sector. Dr. Eoghan Clifford shared that other producing countries, such as

Norway, Denmark, Scotland and Northern Ireland, are moving towards using RAS facilities to culture fish. However, these production systems represent higher costs of production. The high costs are mainly associated with feed and energy consumption (mainly due to the pumping of water at particular temperatures). “The project aims to reduce the costs per kilo of produced fish and the environmental impact,” he explained.

Vietnam Province to Invest 93 million USD to Boost Aquaculture and Fisheries Development Vietnam. – Authorities of the central coastal province of Phu Yen will invest nearly 93 million USD to develop aquaculture from now to 2025, in accordance with the master plan on fisheries development. This plan, with a vision toward 2030, will involve processing and building infrastructure for fishing logistics, including breeding stock production with the purpose of boosting aquaculture in the region. The province has set itself the target of reaching an average growth of 5.2% per year by 2030. From now to 2020, the province will invest more than 64 million USD in 13 key projects that aim to boost sustainable aquaculture and fisheries development. These projects include building the Long Thanh

aquaculture infrastructure system, upgrading infrastructure for the Hoa An aquaculture production center in Song Cau town and building a fishing port, a tuna auction market and a tuna-processing factory with capacity of 1,800 tons per year in Tuy Hoa

city. In Song Cau town, the province will also construct a frozen seafoodprocessing factory with a capacity of 3,500 tons per year and a factory to produce feed for lobsters, which can manufacture 1,000 tons per year.



INDUSTRY researchNEWS report

Pacific Seafood –Oregon-Based Oyster Farm– First to Score Four-Star BAP Certification United States. – Pacific Seafood, one of North America’s largest seafood companies, is the world’s first to achieve Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) four-star certification, the highest designation in the program. The BAP third-party certification program is run by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, and assesses the entire aquaculture supply chain (farms, hatcheries, processing plants and feed mills) to ensure healthful food produced through environmentally and socially responsible means. Oysters feed naturally on phytoplankton and naturally occurring organisms in the water; therefore, formulated feed is not required. However, BAP’s mollusk farm standards, published in May 2016, include several specifications for responsible stocking densities and monitoring of natural feeding processes to ensure that re-

sponsible feeding practices are being implemented. Thus, the feed-related star will be awarded to all BAP-certified mollusk farms associated to a processing plant, farm and hatchery, allowing them to achieve BAP fourstar status. Pacific Seafood’s BAP-certified oyster processing plant and farm are located in South Bend, Washington, and the BAP-certified oyster hatchery

is located in Quilcene, Washington. The company plans to certify all its oyster-related facilities. Pacific Seafood also operates a BAP-certified steelhead farm in Nespelem, Washington. The BAP program has recorded a significant expansion during the past years, with the number of BAP-certified facilities reaching 1,864 as of November 2017, 37 of which are mollusk farms.

Hatch – The World’s First Aquaculture Startup Accelerator Norway. – A joint initiative has been established between Hatch, NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster and Bergen Teknologioverføring (BTO)—the Bergen Biotechnology Transfer Office. Hatch, the world’s first startup accelerator focused on aquaculture, is offering funding and business support for talented aquaculture startups. The eight best applications will each receive a cash investment of 25,000 euros (30,621 USD), as well as monitoring, coaching and access to Hatch’s networks. The selected teams will work with seasoned entrepreneurs and experienced industry professionals, and will get direct exposure to the industry’s biggest farmers and suppliers. Hatch also provides access to a unique network of aquaculture investors, ready to invest in the best teams with the highest potential. In addition, it sup8 »

ports start-ups with grant funding within Norway and the testing of their products with its R&D partners across Europe. “We see a need for aquaculture start-ups, especially in the health, nutrition, technology and production sectors, to learn what it means to be ‘investment-ready’ in order to raise the necessary funds to scale and realize their full potential,” said Hatch CEO Carsten Krome. “Additionally, teams will complete significant technical proof-of-concept work, either in the laboratory or with our technology/farming partners. Ultimately,

the primary focus of our accelerator program will be on building capability in our participants and enabling them to scale their company to match their global ambitions. What we require in return from the founders is 100% commitment in terms of time and effort,” Krome concluded. The initiative is open to aquaculture applications from all over the world –initiating its first cohort on 16 February 2018– and offers the chance to participate in its threemonth program, beginning in April 2018 in Bergen. To know more, visit



INDUSTRY researchNEWS report

Billions could be saved in shipping, aquaculture Australia. – Sydney scientists have developed nanowrinkled coatings that could avoid the build-up of damaging biological material and save some of the $320 million annually spent by the Australian shipping industry because of biofouling. A team of chemistry researchers from the University of Sydney Nano Institute has developed nanostructured surface coatings that have anti-fouling properties without using any toxic components. Since the banning of the toxic antifouling agent tributyltin, the need for new non-toxic methods to stop  marine biofouling has been pressing. The new materials were tested tied to shark netting in Sydney’s Watson Bay, showing that the nanomaterials were efficient at resisting biofouling in a marine environment. The new coating uses ‘nanowrinkles’ inspired by the carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plant. The plant traps a layer of water

Biofouling. Photo by International Maritime Orgaization (IMO).

on the tiny structures around the rim of its opening. This creates a slippery layer causing insects to aquaplane on the surface, before they slip into the pitcher where they are digested. Nanostructures utilize materials engineered at the scale of billionths of a meter – 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Associate Professor Chiara Neto’s group at Sydney Nano  is developing nanoscale materials for future development in industry. The slippery surface

developed by the Neto group  stops the initial adhesion of bacteria, inhibiting the formation of a biofilm from which larger marine fouling organisms can grow. The interdisciplinary University of Sydney team included biofouling expert Professor Truis Smith-Palmer of St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada, who was on sabbatical visit to the Neto group for a year, partially funded by the Faculty of Science scheme for visiting women.

Ridley AgriProducts to build aquaculture feed mill in Tasmania Tasmania. – A state-of-the-art aquaculture feed mill at Westbury will create more than 20 full-time jobs and work for 250 contractors during construction. Once complete, the $50 million development by Ridley AgriProducts will manufacture and supply feed to the aquaculture industry  in Tasmania, interstate and New Zealand. Ridley general manager of aquafeed, packaged product and supplements Adrian Lochland said the mill would have a capacity of up to 50,000 tonnes of feed. “It will have all the storage  and warehousing for raw materials and finished goods, so it is able to service the market on a five-day-a-week operation but also has the capability to go up to seven days and grow as the industry grows.” he said. “We’ve designed the plant so it can grow as the market grows, like 10 »

most feed mills you’re looking at a 20 to 30-year horizon, so for us, opportunity to continue to grow with the market and the customers.” Mr. Lochland said Ridley expected to have a development application before the Meander Valley Council “very shortly.” The company services

the aquaculture market from Queensland and will expand into Tasmania to reduce supply-chain costs. The project will be boosted by a $2 million contribution from the state government under the Business and Jobs Attraction Initiative.

KnipBio Advances in Development of Alternative Aquaculture Protein United States. – KnipBio, Inc., a producer of premium aquaculture feed ingredients, announced it has completed a critical development step with the successful production of KnipBio Meal™ single cell protein in a 20,000-liter fermentation vessel. This work, done in cooperation with a major North American contract manufacturer, was designed to demonstrate the scalability of the company’s protein manufacturing process in preparation for full commercial operations next year. According to Larry Feinberg, CEO of KnipBio, “Our team has worked tirelessly since the completion of our last scale-up and it’s exciting to see these efforts come to fruition. Successfully moving from 1,500-liter to 20,000-liter production is a critical pre-commercialization step and offers solid proof that our fermentation

process is highly scalable. By working with a recognized leader in industrial fermentation, we were able to leverage their experience to overcome process challenges and at the same time identify improvements leading to significant manufacturing cost savings. As an added bonus, we crossed the metric ton production threshold, enabling us to provide volume samples to selected industry partners who will be conducting feed trials on a range of aquaculture species.”

KnipBio’s single cell protein closely resembles the amino acid profile of fishmeal and can also be a source of valuable immunonutrients, making it a promising alternative. Feinberg continued, “To be successful in the aquaculture protein market we must be price-competitive with fishmeal and soy protein, so I was impressed that we managed to reduce production costs by more than 15x with this scale-up. Our next manufacturing goal is achieving full commercial-scale production.”

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INDUSTRY researchNEWS report

Marine Harvest Q4 Trading Update Canada. – Marine Harvest recently announced that it had entered into a Share Purchase Agreement to purchase Northern Harvest, a leading East Coast Canadian salmon farmer. Northern Harvest is fully integrated with its own broodstock, smolt/ hatchery, farming sites and processing operations. The potential acquisition supports Marine Harvest’s long term strategy of being a world leading and integrated producer of seafood proteins. The acquisition price on a cash and debt free basis is CAD 315 million, and the intention is that the consideration will be paid in cash using available credit lines under Marine Harvest’s existing revolving credit facility. Northern Harvest is expected to harvest 19 thousand tonnes (GWE) of salmon in 2018, and currently has 45 farming licenses in Newfoundland and New Brunswick. The Company has an additional 13 farming licenses in application mode. Marine Harvest recently announced that it guided a total harvest volume of 111 thousand tonnes (GWE) for Q4 2017. Operational EBIT for the Group was approximately EUR 177 million in Q4 2017 (vs EUR 259 million in Q4 2016).

Salmon smolt. Photo by James Brooks.

Reported net interest bearing debt (NIBD) was approximately EUR 835 million at the end of the quarter. The complete Marine Harvest Q4 2017 report will be released on 14 February at 06:30 CET.

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News from the AADAP

Call For Non-Technical Presentations


ADAP is looking for 2-3 individuals to present information at the 24th Annual Aquaculture Drug Approval Coordination Workshop to be held in Bozeman, Montana on June 19, 2018. The topic would be on how your facility, program, or agency utilizes the fish medicine chest to achieve your fisheries management goals. The non-technical presentations would include information on what you use, what fish species are treated, why they’re treated, and the benefit of treatment. Whether using an FDA-approved drug, an Investigational New Animal Drug, or a deferred regulatory status drug and whether the drug is used to control fish mortality or reduce parasitic infestations, to spawn fish, or mark skeletal tissue of fish, we’d like to

hear what you use, how you use it, and perhaps most importantly, how use allowed you to meet your fisheries management goals. The  Annual Aquaculture Drug Approval Workshop will be held in conjunction with the 59th Annual Western Fish Disease Workshop during one of the most spectacular times to visit SW Montana and surrounding areas like Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.   If you are interested in presenting, please contact  Molly Bowman at

Availability Of Halamid Aqua In 2018 Syndel USA has been working some magic to make sure they have an adequate supply of Halamid Aqua (chloramine-T) available for fish culturists in the United States. Due

Altantic Salmon at Maritime Aquarium. Photo by: Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

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to issues with the overseas product manufacturer, Syndel USA requested the U. S. Food and Drug Administration grant an emergency shipment of 6,000 kg of Halamid Aqua. This past November they were granted authorization for the shipment which they received, but have now gone through about half of the supply. Syndel USA anticipates that they have a 3-4 month supply of the product and will have to request another 6,000 kg emergency shipment. Be forewarned that you might need to act fast to ensure that you can purchase Halamid Aqua from the supplier for the upcoming disease season.

New AADAP Research Team Infographic Unveiled The AADAP staff has embraced various methods to disseminate informa-

tion to a broad target audience. Infographics have become more common because they are brief, focus on a handful of salient points, and tend to be visually appealing.  Working with the USFWS Fish and Aquatic Conservation Communications Branch, we created and are proud to unveil our  new AADAP Research Team Infographic. See it at https://www. Final_508_Infographic.pdf .

Looking for a little light reading? …and an opportunity to find out what the AADAP research team has been doing? Check out the recently published AADAP Drug Research Information Bulletins that will soon be posted on the AADAP website. Contact Jim Bowker for a reprint.   • Bowker, J.D., M. Bowman, N. Wandelear, J. T. Trushenski, and David Burbank.  2017.  Effectiveness of AQUI-S®20E (10% eugenol) to Lightly Sedate Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, and Chinook Salmon. USFWS AADAP DRIB 52.   • Owens, C., J. Bowker, and N. Wandelear.  2017.  Use of AQUI-S®20E, Tricaine-STM, and AQUACALMTM to Sedate Rainbow Trout to Handleable. USFWS AADAP DRIB 53.   • Bowker, J. N. Wandelear, and C. Silbernagel. 2017. Use of AQUI-S®20E to Sedate California Yellowtail and White Seabass to handleable.  USFWS AADAP DRIB 54.   • Wandelear, N, J. D. Bowker, and G. Eckerlin. 2017. Efficacy of Terramycin 200 for Fish (Oxytetracycline dihydrate) to Control Mortality in Tiger Musky Due to Columnaris.  USFWS DRIB 55. We want to hear from you! What topics would you like to see covered in an upcoming issue of the AADAP Update? Please, send us your suggestions. » 15


A Review of

Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) M.D. Jansen1 and C.V. Mohan2

Tilapia lake virus (TiLV) is an emerging infectious agent that has recently been identified in diseased tilapia in countries on three different continents: Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel and Thailand. Although it does not represent a direct risk to human health, its known distribution gives significant cause for concern regarding its propagation risk and the potential impacts on livelihoods and food security.


n some countries, TiLV outbreaks have been well documented, i.e. Israel and Thailand; however efforts are being made to determine the presence and significance of TiLV in other countries. By now, Israel and Taiwan have made a notification of TiLV as an emerging disease to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and a disease card for TiLV has been released by the OIE. Additionally, a Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) disease alert (NACA, 2017), a CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-food Systems factsheet (CGIAR, 2017), a FAO Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWs) special alert 338 (FAO, 2017), as well as several website warnings have been released. These publications highlight the urgent need for further knowledge of TiLV and its possible implications, as well as the importance of international collaboration. Published studies have shown that infected tilapia with TiLV show variable levels of morbidity and mortality. This article summarizes the currently available scientific information on TiLV, covering clinical signs, diagnostics and epidemiology.

Let’s learn a little more about TiLV Viral Properties. - The virus is a single-stranded RNA virus with 10 segments encoding 10 proteins and a diameter between 55 and 100 nm. The largest segment, segment 1, contains an open reading frame with weak sequence homology to the influenza C virus PB1 subunit. Viral particles are sensitive to organic solvents (ether and chloroform), due to their lipid membrane. Experimental infection (both intraperitoneal injection and cohabitation challenge) has produced clinical disease resembling that of natural outbreaks, including high levels of mortality (up to 80%) within 10 days post infection. Fish surviving disease outbreaks have been found to be resistant to subsequent outbreaks. 16 

TiLV replication and transcription occurs at sites of pathology (i.e. the liver in samples with liver lesions and the central nervous system in samples with central nervous system lesions). In samples collected from Thailand, in situ hybridization yielded positive signals in multiple organs (liver, kidney, brain, gills, spleen and muscle connective tissue), while in samples originating from Ecuador, a viral predilection to the liver and gastrointestinal tract was observed.

Host factors Susceptible Species. – Among the affected aquaculture species are hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus x O. aureus hybrids) in Israel; Nile tilapia (O. niloticus) in Egypt, Ecuador and Thailand; and red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) in Thailand. In addition infected wild tilapines from various species (including sarotherodon galilaeus, Tilapia zillii, Oreochromis aureus, and Tristamellasimonis intermedia) have been identified in the Sea of Galilee, in Israel. Co-cultivated grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) carp (Cyprinus carpio) and thin-lipped mullet (Liza ramada) were found to be unaffected during outbreaks in Egypt and Israel. Susceptible life stages In Israel, mortalities have been observed over a wide weight range, whilst, fingerlings have been affected in Ecuador and Thailand. A study in Thailand using archived and fresh samples collected between 2012 and 2017 from four hatcheries found fertilized eggs, yolk sac larvae, fry and fingerlings to be positive for TiLV. Geographical distribution In Israel between 2011 and 2013, TiLV isolates were obtained from sampled wild stocks in the Sea of Galilee, as well as from farmed stocks in major aquaculture areas. In Egypt, 37% of randomly selected fish farms were affected by summer mortalities when sampled in 2015. In the case of Latin America, TiLV has been detected in a single farm in Ecuador where fingerling-samples were  17

taken between 2011 and 2012. No case description has been provided for TiLV-positive samples from Colombia. In Thailand it has been reported that 22 out of 32 farms, located in ten different provinces and sampled between October 2015 and May 2016, were TiLV positive. Additionally, TiLV was found in archived samples in Thailand dating from 2012.

Clinical Signs Reported clinical signs include lethargy, ocular alterations,


skin erosion and discoloration in Israel and exophthalmia, discoloration, abdominal distension, scale protrusion and gill pallor in Ecuador. In Thailand, loss of appetite, lethargy, abnormal behavior (e.g. swimming at the surface), pallor, anemia, exophthalmia, abdominal swelling and skin erosion have been reported. In Egyptian farms experiencing summer mortality, affected fish showed hemorrhagic patches, detached scales, open wounds, dark discoloration and fin rot. Mortality levels of above 80% have been observed in affected farmed populations in Israel, while no such level of mass mortality has been reported in wild stocks from which positive samples have been obtained. In Thailand, mortality levels between 20% and 90% have been reported, with mortality usually seen within the first month after transfer to grow-out cages and peak mortality rates observed within two weeks of onset of mortality. Similarly, the case in Ecuador showed onset of mortality from four to seven days post transfer to ongrowing ponds, with mortality ranging from a low level of 10–20% to a high level of 80%, depending on the fish strain. In Egypt, the average mortality level at farms experiencing summer mortality has been found to be 9.2% but the mortality attributable to TiLV infection is currently unknown.

Map showing the geographical distribution of tilapia lake virus (TiLV). Until now, five countries have reported publicly the presence of TiLV: Ecuador, Colombia, Thailand, Israel and Egypt. Green and light green represent countries with high and low risk of TiLV spread through infected tilapia fry/fingerling trade. (Dong et al., 2017)a

Co-infections Reported co-infections in TiLV-positive fish from Thailand were Flavobacterium, Aeromonas and Streptococcus and external monogenean parasites (Gyrodactylus and Dactylogyrus) and ciliated protozoa (Trichodina). The relative significance of TiLV and any coinfections have not been determined; however infection experiments have shown mortality levels up to 80% in experimental TiLV-infected populations. The relationship between summer mortalities in Egypt and TiLV has not yet been determined; however four out of eight farms sampled in 2015 and three out of seven farms sampled in 2016 that had experienced summer mortalities were found to be TiLV positive. In addition, multiple Aeromonas spp. (A. veronii, A. ichthiosRisk factors for disease mia, A. enteropelogenes and A. hydrophiloutbreaks Clinical outbreaks have been reported ia) were also identified. during the hot season, at water temperatures of 22°C to 32°C in Israel, Diagnostics And Diagnostic Tests ≥25°C in Egypt and 25°C to 27°C in Histopathology Ecuador. In Egypt, large farm size, Cases in Israel showed the most severe high stocking densities and tilapia- central nervous system lesions while mullet polyculture have been iden- cases in Ecuador and Colombia had tified as risk factors for TiLV out- major liver lesions. Both liver and cenbreaks. Variations in mortality have tral nervous system lesions have been been reported from Thailand, rang- reported in cases from Egypt. Obing from around 20% in farms with served lesions in affected fish in Israel mixed stocking of red and Nile tilapia include congestion of internal organs in earthen ponds to around 90% in (kidneys and brain), foci of gliosis and Nile tilapia farms and those with red perivascular cuffing in the brain cortex, and ocular lesions (endophthalmtilapia in open floating cages. 18 »

itis and cataractous). In affected fish from Egypt, histopathological findings include gliosis, encephalitis and mild perivascular cuffing in the brain, multifocal chronic hepatitis and multifocal interstitial hemorrhage in the kidney. Hepatitis was also reported in samples from Colombia and Thailand.

Socio economic impact Fish farms affected by TiLV reported mortality levels that may reach above 80%. Estimates from Egypt indicate a production loss of 98,000 metric tons, at a value of around USD 100 million, due to the summer mortality syndrome in 2015. In the Sea of Galilee in Israel, the annual wild catch figures for the main edible fish in the lake, S. galilaeus, decreased from 316 metric tons in 2005 to 8 metric tons in 2009, 160 metric tons in 2013 and 140 metric tons in 2014. The contribution of TiLV infection to this decline has not been determined; however TiLV has been identified in samples from several wild tilapines, including S. galilaeus. Major knowledge gaps – a need for strong international collaboration TiLV is a global problem for farmed tilapia. Increasing our knowledge and scientific documentation on multiple aspects of TiLV and the resultant dis-

ease are urgently needed. Due to the large international trade of tilapia, a more widespread distribution of the virus could be considered likely. Some researchers released in 2017 a map of 43 countries that may be at risk due to tilapia imports from TiLV-infected countries. According to the FAO, multiple countries have initiated official screening and surveillance programs. FAO recommend biosecurity measures that countries need to follow when translocating live tilapias, for countries found positive for TiLV and for countries with an unknown TiLV status. International collaboration on such screening/ surveillance efforts may initiate knowledge generation while local diagnostic capacity building is being undertaken. Conducting TiLV import risk analysis should be encouraged in countries with significant tilapia production where TiLV has not been detected. Competent authorities of some concerned countries are in the process of collecting more information and conducting laboratory tests to validate the scientific findings that reported the presence of TiLV.

Given the importance of tilapia as a protein source in parts of the world, TiLV-associated losses may constitute a significant risk to food security. In addition, its presence is likely to affect international trade in tilapia. Socio economic impact assessments should be encouraged in order to quantify the impact of disease as a result of infection with TiLV. There is little scientific knowledge available regarding important epidemiological aspects of TiLV. Knowledge on factors such as viral properties, methods of transmission, susceptible host life stages, survival of TiLV outside the host (in water and in fresh/frozen products), risk factors for disease outbreaks and presence of any nontilapine hosts/carrier species need to be investigated in the countries where TiLV has been detected. The possibility of a variation in risk factors between different countries/ regions should be evaluated. Given the long-term efforts that have been invested in producing genetically improved strains of tilapia, susceptibilities for TiLV need to be thoroughly investigated under field conditions.

Descriptive, observational and experimental studies should be conducted to address such knowledge gaps. Based on the generated information, improved biosecurity measures, as well as intervention and containment programs, should be designed to minimize the impact of TiLV in the affected countries and regions and reduce the risk of further spread to other areas. With a multi-continent presence of TiLV, there is a need for regional capacity building within all stakeholder groups. Strong international collaboration on diagnostic capacity building should be prioritized to increase diagnostic efficiency. The development of new or improved diagnostic methods (e.g. ELISA, rapid antigen strip test and real-time RT-PCR) to increase screening efficiency and sensitivity should be encouraged. Collaborative programs between the private sector and relevant governments should be promoted to limit the impact of TiLV and the associated disease. With ongoing vaccine development efforts, an effective, safe and affordable vaccine could be available in the near future. In the long term, improved biosecurity measures may be possible to combine with an effective TiLV vaccine and possibly also specific pathogenfree fish. With rapid dissemination of new knowledge and efficient national and international collaboration, improved TiLV mitigation and control strategies should hopefully be within reach.

This is a popular version of the article originally published as: Jansen MD1 and Mohan CV2. 2017. Tilapia lake virus (TiLV): Literature review. Penang, Malaysia: CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems. Working Paper: FISH-2017-04. Acknowledgment: CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems Norwegian Veterinary Institute 2 Worldfish


References: Dong HT, Ataguba P, Khunrae T, Rattanarojpong T and Serapin S. 2017. Evidence of TiLV infection in tilapia hatcheries in Thailand from 2012 to 2017 reveals probable global spread of the disease. Aquaculture, doi: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2017.2017.06.035. a

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Bacillus licheniformis Biofilm Prevention Through Phage Therapy for Litopenaeus vannamei aquaculture


armed-shrimp is one of the most important commodities, by value, in global seafood trade. According to FAO, in 2030 the world shrimp industry could reach 11-18 millions tons, doubling its current production. The farmed-shrimp industry has grown exponentially in the last decades, and this trend is expected to continue. However, disease outbreaks caused by virus and bacteria are one of the main barriers to the growth of the industry worldwide. Bacterial infections, the most prevalent during the first life stages of shrimp, are hard to eradicate. Due to the risk of antibiotic resistance, the use of most antibiotics is not permitted; additionally, vaccines do not represent a viable option because of the fact that shrimps do not have a specific immune system. In the last decade, new bacterial pathogens have emerged causing catastrophic economic and production losses, i.e. AHPND (Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease). In Colombia, the Colombian Research Center of Aquaculture (CENIACUA) studied an outbreak of high mortality (up to 70%) of L. vannamei caused by Bacillus licheniformis. Although, Pseudomonas and Vibrios are common pathogens in aquaculture worldwide, B. licheniformis is not. B. licheniformis is a gram positive, facultative anaerobe bacterium, belonging to the subtilis group. B. licheniformis produces extracellular enzymes (proteases and amylases) of significant industrial importance. Even several Bacillus species have been used as probiotics in the shrimp industry due their capacity to decrease pathogen populations. 20 Âť

Phage therapy holds great promise in the prevention and control of bacterial disease in aquaculture, especially in hatcheries. Here, we evaluate the biofilm control capabilities of the phage preparation FBL1, a novel native Colombian bacteriophage preparation.

Particularly, B. licheniformis is currently commercialized as a probiotic for aquatic animals, poultry and swine, among others. Nonetheless, some B. licheniformis strains can produce exotoxins with strong hemolytic activity having a negative impact in aquaculture production. In the Colombian case of L. vannamei mortalities in maturation tanks, B. licheniformis was never used as a probiotic; however, the bacterium was

identified as the cause of the disease. The bacteria could have been introduced in the tanks through water, aerosols and/or laboratory material or tools. The recurrent appearance of infections caused by this bacterium led to the suspicion that a permanent contamination source might exist inside the culture tanks. In addition, no effective methods of treatment are known, and the search for alternatives is crucial.

Biofilm Biofilms are microbial communities that are irreversibly associated with a surface and enclosed in a matrix of primarily polysaccharide materials. Bacteria are able to form these types of structures in many kinds of environments (highly common in aqueous environments), being an essential and protective life strategy for them. The slow cell growth makes them more resistant to antibiotics and chemical agents. Biofilm formation involves three steps: (1) adherence, (2) growth and (3) detachment and colonization of new surfaces. Accordingly, if B. licheniformis can form biofilms, the recurrent shrimp infections could be caused by the cell dispersion during the last stage of biofilm maturation. Phage Therapy Phages, short for bacteriophages, are bacteria-specific viruses that are used as treatment against pathogens.

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The discovery of phage therapy goes back almost a decade before the discovery of penicillin, however its application did not go further due to poor documentation of use and variable successb. Phage therapy relies on the use of naturally occurring phages to in-

fect and lyse specific bacteria at the site of infectionb, while replicating in the process. Phage therapy holds great promise in the prevention and control of bacterial disease in aquaculture, and especially in hatcheriesc. The successful use of phages for the control of biofilms formed by patho-

genic bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes, among others) has been previously reported. This study was carried out with the objective of assessing the biofilm control capabilities of the novel native Colombian phage preparation FBL1. To do this, first it was necessary to evaluate the biofilm formation ability of B. licheniformis and standardize a new method for its biofilm quantification.

Bacterial Strains B. licheniformis strain 52 was used for the biofilm assays. This is a virulent strain isolated from L. vannamei haemolymph. Host range tests were performed using five additional strains of B. licheniformis, isolated from L. vannamei, and nine other strains from the Bacillaceae family. Subsequently, bacteria were grown at 30ÂşC on nutrient broth under 250 rpm agitation. Incubation on nutrient agar for 34-36 hours allowed colony observation. Bacteriophage Isolation and Characterization Phages were isolated from fresh water and sediment samples from shrimp ponds. Selective enrichment of the samples was done in nutrient broth, 22 Âť

quently, a novel method to evaluate the biofilm formation capacity in this Bacillus sp. was developed. B. licheniformis 52 biofilm formation was standardized using a microdip solution administration set that simulated an aquatic flowing system. This was the first report of B. licheniformis biofilm observations and quantification. Three different times for biofilm recovery after bacterial inoculation were tested: 24 h, 48 h and 68 h. Biofilm surface structure was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). At 68 h of incubation, a complex and continuous biofilm was observed in the SEM images. Therefore, 68 h was selected as the time for biofilm incubation for the control of B. licheniformis biofilm by the phage preparation assay.

where 1% B. licheniformis 52 was previously inoculated. The enriched culture was incubated over night (30ºC, no agitation), and then chloroform was added to the cultures followed by another incubation period (2h, room temperature, 100 rpm). After this second incubation, the enriched culture plus chloroform was centrifuged, the supernatant was filtered and stored (@4ºC). This filtered supernatant was named “phage preparation.” Sixteen phage preparations were obtained. It was not possible to guarantee that they contained only one type of phage. Due to the fact that these phages were difficult to concentrate and did not show isolated plaques in serial dilution plating using the double layer agar method, they were planted by the spot-test method in double agar overlay plates to characterize them by host range

Control of B. licheniformis biofilm by the phage preparation FBL1 Once the biofilm formation assay was standardized, experiments were set up to assess the effect of phages on the biofilm formed by B. licheniformis 52. For this, recovered biofilm was measure after being treated with the phage preparation FBL1 at three different times: 0 h (simultaneous inocutest, against the fourteen strains of lation of bacteria and phage suspenthe Bacillaceae family. As the phage sion), 24 h, and 48 h after bacterial preparations were different from each inoculation. Biofilms were recovered other, the FBL1 was chosen for the 68 h after bacterial inoculation; the subsequent experiments due to its dry weight of recovered biofilm was specificity, infecting apart of the B. li- compared between treatments and cheniformis, only one of the other nine controls. Plus, the surface of the 68 hBacillaceae strains. It was also effective biofilms treated with FBL1 at 0 h was against the most virulent strains of B. observed under SEM and compared licheniformis (Table 1). Later, the struc- to the appearance of the 24 h and 68 ture of the viral particles from phage h control biofilms. preparation FBL1 was characterized Regarding to the mode of action by transmission electron microscopy of FBL1, two situations were expect(TEM). ed, on the hand one that it could remove the formed biofilm and on the B. licheniformis Biofilm Formation other that it could prevent biofilm forInitially, the biofilm formation was mation by killing the planktonic cells. analyzed using the microtiter plate as- If the phage preparation removed the say, the most common method used biofilm, it would cause the disperto evaluate biofilms. Nevertheless, the sion of planktonic cells, resulting in biofilm obtained was thin and lacked a higher biomass weight compared to adherence to the well walls, causing controls without phage preparation its loss during the procedure. Conse- treatment. Whilst, if the FBL1 killed » 23


the planktonic cells, it would cause the biofilm formation cycle to take longer, resulting in a lower biomass weight in the disposal compared to controls, because the biofilm would not reach its mature stage. To assess the FBL1 mode of action, an experiment was carried out with and without phage treatment, measuring the biomass differences in the disposal aiming to evaluate which of the expected situations was correct. FBL1 was inoculated at three different times (0 h, 24 h and 48 h) after B. licheniformis strain 52. In every assay, 68 h after the bacterial inoculation, the accumulated disposal biomasses were recovered, freeze-dried and weighed. Additionally, to assess the extended life cycle of the biofilm, the experiment was conducted as described previously, inoculating FBL1 simultaneously with the bacterium

and recovering the biofilm at 68 h, 92 h and 116 h. The weight of the recovered biomasses was compared to controls without FBL1.

Results The capacity of B. licheniformis to form biofilms was not previously reported; however, this study demonstrated the capacity of this bacteria to form robust, complex and abundant extracellular matrices within 24 h. This breakthrough provides a viable explanation for the recurrent outbreaks in L. vannamei tanks. In Figure 2, it is possible to observe the structure of the biofilms recovered at different times after inoculation and the control treatments. As it can be observed, with longer incubation time, the biofilm increased its structural complexity, as well as its biomass. In Figure 2 it is possible to

observe that the phage-treated biofilm showed a less complex structure (Fig. 2D). When the effect of phage preparation FBL1 on B. licheniformis 52 was assessed, it was observed that FBL1 reduced the dry weight of the biofilm with a variation according to the time of inoculation. The best result (53.3%) was obtained when the phage treatment was applied simultaneously with the bacterial inoculation, and the worst (0.79%) with the more delayed treatment of 48 h post-inoculation. In regards to the mode of action of the FLB1 on the biofilm, it was shown that the phage preparation killed the planktonic cells. Also, it was demonstrated that when the bacteria were injected at the same time as the FLB1, the biofilm life cycle was extended resulting in a lower biofilm growth rate. Previous studies have reported the use of bacteriophages to control bacterial biofilms; however, the capacity of Bacillus spp. to form biofilms and the use of phage therapy to treat them had not been assessed. This study is the first time that the observation, standardization and quantification of B. licheniformis biofilm is reported; it also offers an alternative to control bacterial pathogens in the shrimp industry. This is a popular version of the article originally published as: Prada-Peñaranda C.1, Salazar M.2, Güiza L.2, Pérez M.I.3, 3 1 Leidy C. y Vives-Florez M.J. (2018) Phage preparation FBL1 prevents Bacillus licheniformis biofilm, bacterium responsible for the mortality of the Pacific White Shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. Aquaculture 484 (2018) 160-167: Department of Biological Sciences, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia


Center for Aquaculture Research in Colombia (CENIACUA), Colombia


Biophysics Laboratory, Physics Department, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia



References Donlan, R.M. (2002). Biofilms: Microbial Life on Surfaces. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2002 Sepember 8(9).

Lin, D.; Koskella B.; and Lin Henry (2017). Phage therapy: An Alternative to Antibiotics in the Age of Multi-Drug Resistance. World J Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2017 August 6;8(3):162-173. DOI: 10.4292/ wjgpt.v8.i3.162



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Wilf A. (2017). Phage Therapy in Aquaculture – Hopes and Challenges. Oceanography & Fisheries 2017 March 2(1).

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Abalone Aquaculture

– The Basics

Although abalone culture continues to advance, the basics have not really changed all that much. This summary was adapted from the University of California Cooperative Extension publication ASAQ-A10, by Susan McBride, UC Sea Grant Extension Program, and Fred S. Conte, Department of Animal Science, UC Davis.


balone culture was first attempted in the US at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station at Pacific Grove, California in 1940. Initial efforts focused on spawning adult red abalone and studying the larval stages. California’s commercial abalone industry began as research and development (R&D) near Morro Bay in 1964. For over 20 years commercial R&D efforts continued, with additional research being conducted by the California Department of Fish

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and Game and the University of California. By the late 1980s the first commercial abalone farms were in transition from R&D to commercial viability. California abalone growers have cultured nearly all of the state’s native species. However, because of their value and adaptation to culture technology, the red abalone and, to a lesser extent, the pink and green abalone have been the principal species grown in California aquaculture facilities. The pink and the green abalone are of greatest interest to growers in

southern California because they can be grown at relatively higher water temperatures.

The Abalone Hatchery Eggs and Larvae Adult male and female abalone are maintained as broodstock, and then induced to spawn using either ultraviolet irradiated seawater or a solution of hydrogen peroxide. Both methods stimulate mature female abalone to release unfertilized eggs (called ova) and males to release sperm. An 8 inch mature female abalone may release in excess of 11 million ova of which 6 to 8 million will be fertilized and become viable eggs. Each ova is about 200 µ (1.0 µ = one micron = 0.001 mm = 0.000039 inch). The ova are mixed with a concentration of sperm and seawater, and the fertilized eggs begin cell division within two hours. During the hatchery phase, the fertilized eggs are hatched and reared through the trochophore and veliger, free-swimming larval stages. The larvae are contained in flow-through water systems equipped with screens to prevent their escape. To protect the young abalone hatcheries use filtered and UV-treated water for all sensitive, early life stages. During this period the developing eggs and larvae derive nutrition primarily from yolk reserves. Some nutrient material is obtained from dissolved organic materials in the seawater. Eggs and larvae are reared in seawater at a temperature of about 15°C (59°F). The rate of development is temperature-dependent. Warmer water temperatures increase the rate of larval development, but increase the risk of bacterial infection in the culture systems. At 15°C the eggs hatch and release ciliated, free swimming trochophore larvae within 16 to 20 hours. Within 26 to 30 hours after fertilization, the trochophore larva secretes a protective larval shell and transforms into the veliger stage. The veliger is characterized by a retractable velum, a ciliated leaf-like organ used for locomotion and respiration.

As the veliger continues to develop, it forms an apical cone, undergoes a “typical” gastropod torsion (twisting of the body), the larval foot begins to form, eyespots develop, and the tentacle buds can be seen. Hatchery operators use these observations to judge the development and health of the larvae. When the veliger larva begins to “test” the substrate with its larval foot, the hatchery operator knows that it is ready to leave the water column and begin the crawling phase of its life cycle. Once settled, the veliger sheds its cilia and develops the juvenile shell and body form, and the characteristic abalone foot. Juvenile Abalone: The first two months following settlement are the most critical to survival of juvenile abalone in culture systems. Juvenile abalone are reared in flow-through tank systems, and control of the environmental conditions such as temperature, water quality, and feed are essential. In general, water temperature is species-dependent, but usually ranges between 15 to 18 C. Water quality is determined by initial site selection in an area with an oceanic influence and water of 30 to 35 ppt (parts per thousand or g/liter) salinity. It should be free from harmful contaminants and monitored for temperature, pH, oxygen, and ammonia, and only filtered and UV-treated water used during these early life stages.

Natural Diets Because all postlarval abalone are grazers, the animals are fed benthic microalgae that is seeded into the tank prior to introduction of the abalone. These diatoms form a thin surface film in the tank, (on multiple vertical PVC plastic “plates”) that is grazed by the young abalone. Maintaining a continuous supply of these diatoms in volumes sufficient to feed commercial densities of abalone is critical to a successful commercial operation. Research suggests that the abalone also derives nutrition from bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms associated with the diatoms. Commer-

cial operations producing ½ million to 1 million seed abalone per year sometimes have difficulty sustaining a healthy diatom growth in the culture tanks, but algal species such as Ulvella are generally well-adapted for this purpose.

Artificial diets Because of the uncertainty that always exists when feeding living diets to aquaculture animals, there is great interest in abalone nutrition and development of artificial abalone diets. The essential ingredients for an abalone diet are fairly well established. Developmental diets contain about 30 to 50 percent protein, 30 to 40 percent carbohydrate, and about 5 to 6 percent each of fat, fiber, and ash. The protein source can be fish meal or milk by-products, and the car-

bohydrate is usually from seaweed. Sometimes minerals and vitamin supplements are added. Research is also being conducted to determine the value of the combination of benthic algae and artificial diet as feed for young abalone. All abalone-producing countries have had one or more university research groups or commercial businesses involved in the development of abalone diets at one time or another, and dry formulated feeds are common in the industry in many parts of the world. Many producers have found artificial diets particularly useful for abalone between 3 and 6 months of age.

Abalone Intermediate or Weaning Systems When juvenile abalone are about 4 to 6 months of age and about 6.4 to

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13.0 mm (¼ to ½ inch) in shell length they are called “seed abalone”. The seed abalone are transferred from the hatchery to intermediate culture systems, usually consisting of tanks with floating plastic mesh baskets containing fiberglass or PVC structures on which the abalone crawl. This stage of culture is sometimes called “weaning” since the abalone are typically weaned from their earlier diets to a diet of the giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, or other large brown kelp such as Nereocystus luetkeana. Kelp is a natural food of many species of abalone, and at this size the abalone’s mouth parts are sufficiently developed to graze on the thicker, tougher fronds of the kelp. The abalone are held at high densities, and kelp is literally stuffed into the baskets around the internal structures, thereby providing the abalone with easy access to the new food. From this point forward, the abalone are maintained on a diet of kelp. The seed abalone are held in the intermediate system for 2 to 6 months or until they reach about 15.0 to 25.0 mm (½ to 1.0 inch) in shell length. At this point they may be sold as seed abalone to another company or transferred to a growout system within the parent company.

Abalone Growout or Production Systems Growout systems have evolved from modifications of a number of designs pioneered by early growers in a number of countries. Growout systems have included near-shore submerged and screened concrete pipe culverts, fifty-five gallon plastic barrels, and off-shore cage culture. Contemporary growers primarily use cage culture and land-based, flow-through tank systems. Cage culture system The cage culture system evolved from early barrel culture methods. Rectangular cages have proven more efficient, easier to handle, and give better survival rates than barrels. The 28 »

concrete or fiberglass tanks of 1000 to 2000 gallon capacity that are plumbed for flow-through seawater and forced air. They should include secondary back-up systems for pumped seawater and forced air to provide the necessary oxygenated water essential to abalone survival. Energy expenditures to operate the seawater pumping and aeration systems are a major cost for land-based systems. In both cages and flow-through tanks, it takes 3 to 4 years for abalone to grow to a commercial market size of about 7.6 to 8.9 cm (3 to 3 ½ inches). This is the most capital intensive and timeconsuming portion of abalone aquaculture, and labor and feed costs are a major consideration for both types of culture systems. cage culture system is used by several commercial operations in California and in Mexico’s Baja California. Many abalone cages are built by abalone growers, but commercially constructed cages are also available. Cages are often constructed from PVC frames covered with heavy gage plastic mesh. Additional surface area is provided to the abalone by securing plastic or fiberglass plates in the cages. The cages are suspended from

Source of Kelp Kelp for abalone intermediate and growout production is typically harvested from offshore kelp beds, and regulated under permits issued by local authorities. An abalone farm may have the option to harvest kelp using its own vessel and operators or to purchase kelp from a licensed kelpLand-based, flow-through tank harvesting company. Kelp is harsystems vested in many countries, for use in Land-based growout production sys- a number of products ranging from tems usually consist of reinforced ingredients used to culture bacteria to stabilizers for ice cream. Whether harvested from open or leased beds, kelp should only be cut at a depth of 120 cm below the surface in order to maintain a sustainable resource. Commercial growers also collect, dry and store kelp to prepare for feeding during times when seas are too rough to collect fresh kelp, but the nutritional value of this food source is reduced significantly. longline systems or from floating docks that provide access. Additional economic considerations should include costs for boat, motor, fuel, access time, and hydraulic wench to lift the cages for feeding, maintenance, and harvest.

An excellent resource for more detailed information on abalone culture is available online from the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries at: https://www. Manual-for-intensive-hatchery-production-of-abalone.pdf

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Freshwater species are, and will be, the aquafarming industry

that will contribute the most towards ensuring food security in the entire world. Freshwater species, like carp, pangasius, and tilapia, will be responsible *Salvador Meza. Editor & Publisher of Aquaculture Magazine.

for most of the increase in aquafarming production and will account for 60% of the total production in 2025” FAO.


ccording to the latest data of the FAO, production of fish from marine and coastal aquaculture was 6.9 million tons at the closing of 2014, a figure that represents only 43% of the world’s production of inland aquaculture species, which was 16 million tons at the closing of that same year. This international organization expects the production of freshwater species, such as carp, pangasius, and tilapia, to become the aquafarming cultivation sector with the greatest growth rate in the next 7 years, and that these species will represent up to 60% of global aquafarming production by the year 2025. This information could provide some orientation to the aquaculture policy makers in many countries, so they can define their Aquafarming Promotion strategies in accordance with the objectives of the FAO’s Agenda 2030, which seeks the worldwide eradication of poverty and hunger by the year 2050. In an industry like aquaculture, which presents infinite possibilities for the development of species amenable to commercial production, State priorities often lose out to multiple discretionary efforts in terms of 1) the interests of the government employees in power, 2) the ideas and projects of the academic officials closest to them, or 30 »

3) the incisive influences of businessmen. At the end, when the damages are tallied, the results suggest there is and has been an excessive squandering of public resources in developing production of all sorts of species with meager and limited results, and which typically contribute very little to the growth of aquafarming in the countries in which the references are made. On the basis of these predictions from the FAO, supported by scientific studies and economic models, we already know that if a State intends to contribute to ensuring food, the aquafarming species it should prioritize are mainly carp, tilapia and pangasius. In

countries with high malnutrition rates and zones with high marginalization and poverty, public resources should be oriented towards the consolidation of the production of these species and towards their processing, industrialization, distribution and commercialization. The amount of direct and indirect jobs that can be generated with the development of these species, including the entire production chain up to commercialization, is unparalleled in any other industry from the primary sector. Salvador Meza is Editor & Publisher of Aquaculture Magazine, and of the Spanish language industry magazine Panorama Acuicola.

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The Institute of Agriculture and Food Research and Technology (IRTA)


RTA is a public entity of the Government of Catalonia, linked to the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and Natural Environment (DAAM). Since its establishment in 1985, the Institute has aimed to contribute to the modernization, improvement and promotion of competitiveness and sustainable development in the agriculture, food and aquatic sectors, providing safe, quality foods to the final consumer and contributing to the global improvement of human welfare.

IRTA – Sant Carles de la Ràpita IRTA’s Aquaculture Program (AP) operates from the IRTA - Sant Carles de la Ràpita Centre, located in the southern bay of the Ebro River Delta (Tarragona, Spain), the most important aquaculture area in Catalonia. The main objective of the Aquaculture Program is to carry out strategic research in the aquaculture field and facilitate its efficient transfer both to official agency bodies and indus32 »

IRTA – committed to aquaculture development and aquatic ecosystem conservation in Catalonia through innovation, development and technology transfer. try. The program seeks to increase the number of cultivated species, improve current processes and help preserve biodiversity from an interdisciplinary approach, fostering collaborations and synergies both internally and externally. The AP was defined in 2009, when IRTA’s new scientific structure was established, and it covers activities that have been evolving since 1999. The AP is integrated within two subprograms: Aquatic Cultures (AC-sP) and Marine Monitoring (MM-sP). Aquatic Cultures (AC-sP) focuses its activity on the aquaculture sector, feed and additives producers, fish farm designers, producer associations and governmental agencies. This subprogram seeks to work with species of relevance in the Mediter-

ranean, whether for commercial value or conservation; and covers fish, mollusk and crustacean culture. The main work lines are related to reproduction, larval rearing, nutrition, health and engineering, which are addressed from different methodological approaches. The Marine Monitoring (MMsP) subprogram has two main axes: marine environment and food safety. It focuses on the environmental survey of coastal waters to assure the food safety of aquaculture and fishery products, and to favor development of the aquaculture sector. As part of the scientific strategy, the MMP-sP has selected specific subjects and research activities with the commitment to better understand aquatic toxins, their impor-

tance in ecosystems and their impact on public health and aquaculture in three main areas: (i) development of methods for aquatic toxin detection, (ii) identification and characterization of toxins in water, microalgae and food, and (iii) field work related to phytoplankton and toxins in coastal ecosystems.

Aquatic Ecosystem Program (AEP) Its main objective is to improve knowledge and above all, the capacity to predict the effects of global change on the aquatic ecosystems of the Mediterranean (including deltas, coastal lagoons, bays and estuaries) in order to preserve their biodiversity, ecological functions and processes, and the services that they provide, as well as maintaining a sustainable balance between human activities and the natural environment. IRTAmar® For more than fifteen years, IRTA researchers have been working on designing recirculation modules (IRTAmar®) with practical and real applications that adapt to the needs of any aquaculture facility, such as hatcheries, nurseries or grow-on sites, with the possibility of working in marine, freshwater or brackish environments.

IRTAmar® is a patented, multifunctional and automated recirculation and water treatment system used in aquaculture research facilities, semi-industrial aquaculture production sites and aquariums. It is specifically designed to cover a wide spectrum of possibilities with a single unit, and its main characteristics are versatility, reliability and traceability. The system can be used for the culture of fish, mollusks or crustaceans in all their growing stages –larvae, fry and broodstock, from 1 kg of biomass to 0.5-1.0 metric tons. IRTAmar® has a programmable logic controller (PLC) that allows users to monitor, control and record parameters such as flow, oxygen levels, temperature, salinity, pH, feed consumption, RedOx potential, photoperiod, total gases saturation, and other factors. These data can be modified according to the study protocol, and constantly monitored via Internet. In addition, all units are connected to a centralized PLC. Currently, IRTA has 36 different recirculation modules, although 100% of the Institution facilities can operate as recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) if needed. Additionally, this system has been successfully installed in different research centers and private companies around the world, including: • CREMES (Sonora, Mexico) • ATZI (Spain) • CSIC (Spain) » 33


tanks (500 liters), 1 square tank (2,000 liters), and 8 rectangular tanks (125 liters). Additionally, they have twentyseven aquariums of 20 liters, nine of 11 liters and sixteen of 200 liters with temperature control. Both units are designed to work both as flow-through systems or RAS systems. The flow-through system allows adjusting the temperature between certain ranges depending on the season (winter, 8-15ºC). On the other hand, the RAS allows monitoring and control of oxygen, salinity, temperature (8-22ºC throughout the year), water flow (1-30 m3/h), pH, and total dissolved gases (TDS). • ITACyL (Spain) • ITENCAS (fish farm in Spain) • PISCIMAR (fish farm in Spain)

Wet Laboratories The IRTA wet laboratories area consists of an indoor section—housed in a 1,500-m2 building—and outdoor facilities composed of 1,200 m2 of greenhouse, and 3 ha of ponds with more than 420 tanks from 100 to 65,000 liters. The research carried out in the laboratories is focused on pathology, nutrition, molecular biology, marine monitoring, histology, ecosystems and climate change. IRTA researchers are able to work with almost any aquatic organism thanks to sources of salt water, fresh water and brackish water, and the possibility to work under strict biosecurity conditions in the quarantine and challenge room where effluent disinfection is provided.

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The main species that IRTA has worked with are: gilthead sea bream, European sea bass, sole, zebra fish, common dentex, meager, Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, tilapia, European eel, sturgeon, common carp, tench, oysters, clams, mussels, spider crab, bull frog, clown fish, artemia, rotifers, copepods, and a wide variety of algae.

Quarantine & Challenge Room The bio-containment building (500 m2) includes a combined quarantine and challenge room. All the wastewater is sterilized with an ozone system before entering the challenge room and quarantine room outlets in order to guarantee the removal of any potential pathogens. These sections have 64 cylindrical tanks (100 liters), 56 cylinder-conical tanks (500 liters), 6 cylindrical tanks (1,500 liters), 3 cylindrical tanks (4,000 tanks), 3 square

Hatchery The facilities at IRTA – Sant Carles de la Ràpita also include: hatcheries, nurseries and pre-growing units, including large-scale phytoplankton production with technical and scientific profiles to produce fish, crustaceans and seed of different bivalves, such as oysters, clams and mussels. The hatchery and nursery are fully equipped for broodstock maintenance and larvae production. A pre-growth unit is available for generating knowledge and zootechnical approaches for any new species. Mollusk Hatchery. – IRTA currently produces oyster and clam seed using new zootechnical approaches to minimize mortalities due to a virus disease affecting stocks around the world. These seed are sent to local producers that used to depend entirely on foreign suppliers. However, the IRTA strategy is to generate synergy with local companies in order to maximize the benefits in the community. Fish & Crustacean Hatchery. – Located in an air-conditioned building of 1,200 m2, it has 22 RAS units (IRTAmar®) with more than 180 tanks from 100 liters to 5,000 liters. The facilities and the highly qualified staff make it possible to hatch any commercial species – salt water or fresh water, warm water or cold water– throughout the year.

The Oceanographic Boat Service IRTA also offers an Oceanographic Boat Service to support all the internal research teams or other institutions or companies that need to make observations in the Ebro Delta and its coastal zone for sampling, testing, site study facilities, and installation or dismantling of installations at sea. The Service covers the research and/or transfer needs in coastal areas, where larger boats have restricted access. The Service has four different-size vessels with navigation equipment (VHF radiotelephone, GPS and probe, Furuno radar, compass, anchor and winch motor) and oceanography equipment (hydraulic crane plus electric winch, 5 L NISKIN bottles with messengers, portable generator, converter, laptop computer to support the CTD, OUTLINER, bottom water extraction pumps, YSI probes, etc.). Products and Services IRTA and its Aquaculture Program have developed strong links with the industrial, academic and productive sectors of Catalonia and Europe, both with private organizations and government agencies, offering a wide range of services and products. Additionally, the service provision represents one of its main funding sources. Here below are some of the services offered by the Aquaculture and Aquatic Ecosystems Program: • Cultivation techniques for species of interest and new aquaculture species • Aquatic animal health

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• Nutrition of fish, crustaceans and mollusks • Larval culture and Nutrition • Genetics • Environmental marine survey and food safety • Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) • Oceanographic boat service • Production systems and management • Consultancy service for the transfer and innovation of technology in aquaculture • Aquaculture scientific program In 2015, IRTA obtained the “HR Excellence in Research” award granted by the European Commission through the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R). This recognition distinguishes IRTA as a provider of a high standard working environment for researchers; particularly, it recognizes the equitable recruitment and appraisal procedures and its commitment to implement the principles of the European Chapter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

IRTA in the Coming Years In the upcoming years, IRTA will continue contributing to the modernization, competitiveness and sus-

tainable development of the Catalan aquaculture sector through different research approaches, such as fish farming, mollusk culture, population dynamics and marine monitoring, in addition to seeking to offer integral services to the industry, while taking advantage of the human capital and infrastructure of the different research centers. Regarding fish farming, research will focus on reproduction, larval production, nutrition and stock enhancement of important species in the Mediterranean. Regarding reproduction, some specific topics are: • Chemical communication and spawning behavior • Endocrinology and control of fish reproduction • Broodstock nutrition • Genetic selection of cultured fish • Cell biology of fish gametes • Preservation of fish gametes and embryos • Development of genomic and proteomics tools • Genomics of desiccation resistance in fish embryos In relation to the production of larvae and nutrition, research will focus on zootechnology, nutritional requirements, fish quality and nutrigenomics, with a strong emphasis on nutritional requirements and their

impact on larval quality. It will also be important to evaluate the effects of diet components on the performance of larvae and the establishment of their optimal nutritional requirements. Another research axis is the effect of alternative diets on the regulation of appetite/food intake in important production parameters. Mollusk production is an important activity in Spain; therefore, IRTA is working on shortening the biological cycle of species of commercial importance in the region, as well as on the improvement of their growth, fattening and disease resistance, along with their stock enhancement. With this, IRTA expects to benefit local producers, the regional economy and other research centers. On the other hand, subjects like epidemiology and diseases in mollusk culture will be also addressed. Research and risk assessments of diseases, such as Marteilia sp., which affects oysters, clams and mussels in the region, will be performed, as well as the development of diagnostic techniques and the study of parasite lifecycles with the aim of generating adequate prevention measures. Additionally, the Marine Monitoring Program will continue in order to guarantee safe shellfish, protect human health, support the aquaculture production sector in Catalonia and preserve the marine environment. Research efforts will focus on phytoplankton population dynamics in the region, in order to characterize toxins and chemical contaminants via microbiological tools and their effect on food and water quality, as well as the development of algae culture. Certainly, IRTA will not stop contributing with knowledge and technology to achieve the sustainable development of aquaculture and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems in the region. To know more about IRTA, visit: Contact: Dr. Dolores Furones, Directora del Centro Sant Carles de la Ràpita T: +3497 7745 427 E:

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Maricultura Vigas

Freshness and Sustainability, Key Features to Access the US Specialized Shrimp Market Through technological innovation, Maricultura Vigas has managed to produce high quality and antibiotic-free shrimp via a zero-discharge production system, which has led the Mexico-based company to establish a share in the US sustainable seafood market, which pays a premium up to 80%.


he demand for more socially and environmentally ethical food options and consumers’ desire to know more about the food they eat are two trends that are becoming stronger every day. Sustainable food is a consolidated trend in the United States, which has led Maricultura Vigas to pursue this particular niche market. Mariculture Vigas exports fresh, peeled and headless Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, into the United States through the Agua Blanca Premium Seafood brand. The company has a presence in some of the major cities of the US, such as Miami, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, among others. In a recent interview, Daniel Russek, CEO of Mariculture Vigas, shared some details about the process of gaining ground in this sustainable seafood market, the production system they use, and other aspects of the history and projects of this young Mexican company. 38 »

Mexican Shrimp Makes its Way into US Gourmet Cuisine In 2017, Maricultura Vigas began exporting shrimp into the US. Since the beginning, and aiming to keep it the simplest way possible, the company exports single size (from 45-50 to 3640), fresh, peeled and headless shrimp. The product is packed in one-gallon buckets placed in coolers equipped with frozen gel packs in order to maintain the temperature. Then, the sealed coolers are transported by land from Oaxaca to Mexico City, and from there they are shipped to Miami by plane. Once in the US, the product is distributed via cold chain throughout the country. Compared to shrimp from traditional aquaculture operations, Maricultura’s shrimp has shown several advantages. On the one hand, it has proven to have a longer shelf life; the fresh shrimp from traditional farming systems has a shelf life of five days without freezing, while the fresh and sustainable shrimp from

Maricultura Vigas lasts from 10 to 15 days. Russek shares that they attribute this to the Biofloc Technology (BFT) used for production and the bacteria that comprise it. The target market of Agua Blanca Premium Seafood is food service, i.e. restaurants and catering. The main reason to focus on this market is that it involves reachable decision-makers; in other words, they can directly contact the persons in charge of decisionmaking, and this is a market made up of professional food buyers. Their “prototype” consumers are chefs that identify with their creations, with their menu and the ingredients that compose it, so ingredient selection is not a decision taken lightly. Another advantage of this market is the lower number of intermediaries. Fresh, sustainable and high-quality shrimp consumers are willing to pay a premium of 80% compared to similar products. “In the market, the product we sell —40/50 peeled, deveined and headless shrimp— is

sold at about $4.70 USD per pound, while we sell ours at $8.20 USD per pound,” shares Russek.

received advice from designers and marketing specialists, among other professionals.

Doing Things Right Opens Up Opportunities Demand for sustainable products is accompanied by greater transparency in the food production chain, meaning that consumers like to know what they are buying and where it comes from. Maricultura Vigas has managed to transmit this information to its buyers through media material and the open invitation to their clients to visit their facilities, which conveys reliability in the product they receive. The media material aims to communicate the complexity of the production system used and to make the company’s history easily known. “One of our skills, in addition to producing shrimp, has been to know how to market it in order to obtain this 80% over price,” adds Russek. To attain the successful commercialization of the product, the company

Who Is Behind Maricultura Vigas? Maricultura Vigas —located in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico— produces shrimp in hyper-intensive systems with Biofloc Technology (BFT). The company was formed by a group of businessmen and is organized as a biotechnology company applied to marine species production. The company was established in 2010 as a project financed with a similar scheme to that of Silicon Valley startups, in which different capitalization rounds took place, as well as venture capital investment; i.e. the company is formed by professional technology investors, who have contributed to generate business models, leverage the potential of its resources, and link them to other professions. “Currently, we are eleven partners and we all have different backgrounds. In

fact, none of us had been involved in aquaculture before. Some of us come from the financial sector, others are involved in the pharmaceutical industry or are experts in business intelligence and business analytics, which bring different visions to the table,” shares Russek. The first step for the company’s establishment was the formation of a scientific committee with specialists from Israel, Spain, USA, Brazil and Mexico. During this stage, the technological development was financially supported by the National Council on Science and Technology (CONACyT) of Mexico and the Trust Funds for Rural Development (FIRA) established by the Mexican Government as part of Banco de México (the Central Bank of Mexico). In 2015, a group of Brazilian specialists, with greater knowledge of BFT, joined the Maricultura Vigas team. In 2016, they started to develop the software Atarraya, based on production protocols that have proven » 39


“Achieving zero discharge in aquaculture systems is one of the most complicated aspects to ensure sustainability in the industry; it is the future and we have been able to achieve it.” Daniel Russek. effectiveness. Finally, in 2017, exports to US markets started.

Shrimp Production with Biofloc Technology Agua Blanca Premium Seafood shrimp is produced in Tonameca Aquaculture Park, on the Pacific Coast of the state of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. In fact, this is the only shrimp farm in the state. Shrimp are produced in a hyper-intensive system using Biofloc Technology (BFT). It is a zero-discharge system with minimum water exchange; only evaporated water is replaced. In aquaculture production systems there are two main issues identified: oxygen and nitrogen concentrations. Strategies to control dissolved oxygen concentrations are well known and understood. However, in traditional shrimp farming systems, a frequent practice to control the nitrogen levels in the water is large-volumes of water exchanges. In a traditional extensive shrimp farm, this represents large volumes of water, hampering the treatment of the water that enters the system. Conversely, the fact that zero water exchange systems require small water volumes allows sanitizing every liter that enters into the system, which prevents entry of disease. “The con-

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stant water exchanges are the source of the most important challenges of our activity: disease outbreaks and sustainability”, expresses the director of the Oaxacan company. Currently, the farm has 65 production units: 40 fattening tanks and 25 pre-fattening tanks. The cultivated area totals 2.3 hectares, with an annual yield of 60 tons/ha. With the current installed capacity, the estimated annual production is 150 tons. Thanks to the climate stability of the region, it is possible to produce throughout the whole year. With the aim to harvest every week, the production has been staged in 9-10 four-month cycles per

year. “We have divided our production into three: every six weeks we stock one of them in order to harvest each week,” shares Russek.

Atarraya: Technology Transfer Based on Experience Because the nature of biofloc technology is very complex, strict monitoring and control of diverse variables is required, and decisions must be made in real time according to the behavior of these variables. Russek and his team realized that in order to scale up production, they needed a tool that allowed them to deal with the complexity of data. This tool was devel-

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oped little by little with the advice of IT professionals, until it became Atarraya, a software for aquaculture production unit management. “Atarraya is a tool that transversally crosses our entire operation: it organizes our employees, the payroll, the supplies… it organizes everything”, shares Russek. “Over time we realized how useful it was in our farm, so we decided to develop it as a tool for the entire sector; we believe that only with this type of tools will it

be possible for technologies like BFT to take off,” he adds. “We are about to launch the product as a tool for the management and gradual modernization of any type of farm. It works for the management of any type of shrimp farm, from an extensive farm with a yield of 1.4 ton/ha, to one like ours, where we harvest more than 60 ton/ha.” Atarraya has been developed based on the experience gained during the operation of Maricultura Vigas, so it

integrates certain “producer sensitivity.” That is, learning acquired from situations like the presence of disease in tanks, resource management, water quality monitoring, among others is incorporated over time. Atarraya is a tool that will help with the transition to cleaner production systems so companies that use obsolete technology will be able to migrate towards production systems that are efficient, and socially and environmentally responsible.

Market Potential The fresh and sustainable shrimp market in the US has a great potential and represents a great opportunity for the US and Mexican shrimp industry. Daniel Russek shares that currently they have the capacity to supply 2,000 pounds per week and that they get purchase orders from 10 up to 15 thousand pounds per week. “Only the channel we have developed could absorb 70 thousand pounds per week.” Since the design and construction of an additional production site from scratch requires a lot of time and money, and aiming to take advantage of the market’s potential and the in42 »

stalled capacity of Mexico’s shrimp industry, Maricultura Vigas has decided to seek to partner with other shrimp producers and increase its levels of productivity through technological transfer and update of their culture protocols. In this process of transition to cleaner production systems, Atarraya plays a key role, as it allows the transfer of BFT to be more efficient.

Mexico and the Sustainable Shrimp Market Trend “Mexico was one of the first countries to produce shrimp in controlled conditions in aquaculture systems;

later, the Asian countries learned and exceed us. To reposition ourselves in the global market, we cannot replicate what they do. We have to reinvent the game, use technology to take advantage of the opportunities that the sustainable market presents. This is how we can go back to having the relevance we had 20 years ago and to be an example to follow,” expresses Russek. “Producers who do not adapt to the sustainability trend are missing out on the best opportunity in our sector: the sustainable seafood market, which has grown ten times faster than the commodity market in the

last ten years. Current sustainability certifications include culture practices that most producers in Mexico do not meet. These certifications will only become stricter and, at some point, will include zero-discharge,” shares Russek. The shrimp industry in Mexico is still on time to adopt new technologies and lead, in Russek’s opinion, what will be the international standard in the future. The intention is to put the Atarraya system at the service of the shrimp farming industry and contribute to reposition Mexican shrimp in the global market as the “most sustainable in the world.” For all the above, Daniel Russek feels confident in stating: “In a few years, getting on the sustainability boat will no longer be optional. Today, there is a tendency to reward clean, responsible and intelligent production. This trend points us to the future. We are already there and we want to help the Mexican shrimp farming industry to get there too.”

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Oregon State University

researchers aim to boost efficiency of aquaculture production Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) are developing a new

technology to deliver water-soluble nutrients to aquaculture-raised fish, oysters, clams and shrimp that will boost their growth rates and reduce the high rates of mortality that plague the industry.


s much as 80 percent of hatchery-reared larval marine fish die in their early life stages and researchers aren’t exactly sure why, according to Chris Langdon, a professor of fisheries at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and principal investigator on the project. One prevailing theory, he said, is that the critical water-soluble vitamins and amino acids rapidly leach from their tiny food pellets into the water.

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“We’re having some success by packaging water-soluble nutrients into liposomes that we use to enrich the live feeds – for example, brine shrimp – or put inside of food pellets,” Langdon said. “The next step is to expand the project and look at how it affects different fish species, and whether we can make it costeffective.” Langdon and his colleagues have received a three-year, $630,000 USD grant from the National Sea Grant

program to conduct further tests. The study is important, scientists say, because the United States has a major seafood deficit, importing more than $11 billion USD of seafood products annually from other countries. Aquaculture will be critical in the future to produce protein for the world’s growing population because many wild stocks of fish have already reached their peak levels of sustainable harvest, Langdon noted. However, most marine fish hatcheries are not efficient models of production, he added. The key to the preliminary success by the OSU scientists, which include post-doctoral researcher Matt Hawkyard, lies in production of liposomes, which are tiny vesicles, or bubbles, made out of the same material as a cell membrane. These liposomes are very efficient in containing nutrients – and other products – despite their small size. For example, the pellets used to feed larval aquatic animals are often smaller than a grain of sand, making them difficult to enrich. Over the past 5-6 years, however, OSU researchers have done just that, by incorporating liposomes that are filled with nutrients. They also use those same liposomes to boost the

If we can halve that mortality rate – and I think we can – it would be a game-changer,” Langdon said.

nutrient power of live feeds, such as tiny “rotifers,” which are planktonic organisms that larval fish consume. That may just be the beginning, Langdon said. “We also can fill the liposomes with other substances, such as growth-promoting agents, vaccines, or vitamins to boost the animals’ immune systems and reduce stress,” he said. “In addition to aquaculture for food species, there is a potentially huge opportunity to improve the

survival and health of ornamental fish for the aquarium industry that is worth billions of dollars.” Langdon and Hawkyard are working with the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in San Diego to broaden the scope of their study, focusing on improving growth rates and reducing losses in California yellowtail, sea bass and ornamental fish.

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Estimation of genetic parameters and genotype-by-environment

interactions related to acute ammonia stress in Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) juveniles at two different salinity levels Xia Lu, Sheng Luan, Baoxiang Cao, Xianhong Meng, Juan Sui, Ping Dai, Kun Luo, Xiaoli Shi, Dengchun Hao, Guomin Han and Jie Kong


igh concentrations of ammonia are the most common and greatest toxic factor in deteriorating water quality, which does serious harm to crustaceans, mollusks and fish. Much research has been performed to detect the detrimental effects of ammonia to shrimp, and this research has revealed that the accumulation of ammonia in pond water reduces growth, damages the hepatopancreas and gills, increases oxygen consumption, decreases the osmoregulatory capacity, reduces the ability of the hemolymph to transport oxygen, affects the molting frequency, and even causes high 46 Âť

Toxicities that result from deteriorating water quality, such as that from ammonia stress, have lethal effects on juvenile shrimp and can increase their susceptibility to pathogens. mortality. More important than all of the above, increased ammonia in the water can suppress the immune defense system of shrimp and increase their sensitivity to pathogens. We previously we found that the majority of the key genes involved in the response to ammonia stress are potentially involved in immune defense function. Because of this, it is necessary to seek possibilities for culturing shrimp that efficiently tolerate ammonia stress, which might represent alternative methods for reducing mortality and infectious diseases. Knowledge about the heritability of ammonia tolerance in shrimp is a prerequisite to understanding the

potential for the genetic improvement of this trait. Previous studies have revealed that ammonia stress is more toxic to the earlier ontogenetic development of aquaculture organisms, and it has been widely found to exert lethal effects on penaeid shrimp juveniles. We have performed an investigation to estimate the heritability of ammonia resistance in shrimp at the stage with an average body weight of 3.3 g in the normal salinity (30‰), but there are no reports regarding the genetic parameters of ammonia tolerance in juvenile shrimp in earlier stages. Additionally, the phenotype of a quantitative trait is determined by genetic and environmental re-

sources and their interactions; thus, genotype-by-environment (G×E) interactions will play an important role in genetic improvement. L. vannamei is cultured at different salinity levels due to its euryhalinity. However, many studies have revealed that low salinity can increase the toxicity of ammonia to shrimp, and we have also verified that ammonia stress can influence the pathway that is involved in osmoregulation. If the G×E interaction for ammonia tolerance is significant at different salinity levels, the selection response for this trait will vary across different salinity levels. Based on the above reasoning, in the present study we estimated the heritability of ammonia tolerance in L. vannamei juveniles in the early stage (average body weight, 0.5 g) at two different salinity levels (30‰ and 5‰) and estimated the genetic correlations between body length and ammonia tolerance within the two environments. Additionally, we also detected the G×E interaction between the two salinity levels.

Origin of the base population and selection procedure The program was conducted at a Hebei Xinhai Aquatic Biological Technology Co., Ltd. facility located in Hebei province, China. Founders were collected from seven improved commercial strains introduced from different companies in the United States and Singapore, and individuals were tagged using numbered rings placed on one ocular peduncle. A base population (G0) was produced via an incomplete diallel cross experiment. The G0 was constructed with 130 full-sib families using artificial insemination with 114 males and 108 females and included 69 half-sib families. Individual estimated breeding values (EBV) for body weight and the family EBV for survival rate from the test were weighted into the selection index and used to rank the breeding candidates. The families with low selection indices (< 100) were eliminat-

ed from the breeding program and males and females from the remaining families were selected to produce the next generation. The present experimental shrimp were from 91 full-sib families (52 halfsib families) of the fifth generation (G5). Half-sib families were produced by two females mating with one male or two males mating with one female, and all of the families were produced by artificial insemination. At the postlarvae stage of approximately 45 days, approximately 400 post-larvae were

randomly selected from each family and equally transferred into tow net cages (0.5 m3 ) that were separately fixed in two large ponds (60 m3) for separate rearing at the same density for each family. The seawater in one of the ponds was diluted with filtered fresh water from 30‰ to 5‰, over approximately three weeks. However, the seawater in the other pond was maintained at 30‰. Aside from the salinity, other management conditions were maintained identically between the two ponds.

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Challenge with high ammonia Forty individuals were randomly selected from each net cage (each family) and transferred to separate 100 L tanks filled with 35 L 30‰ or 5‰ salinity water. After a period of three days of temporary rearing, the ammonia acute stress experiment was initiated. Based on the results of preliminary range-finding experiments, the concentrations of ammonia required to kill all of the shrimp after 72-h challenges were 32 mg/L and 18 mg/L in the normal and low salinity conditions, respectively. The ammonia dosing solution was prepared using NH4Cl. During the experiment, the shrimp were fed twice per day, and management environments were maintained identically between the tanks. The dissolved oxygen level was no less than 6 mg L-1, the pH ranged from 8.00 to 8.06, and the temperature was approximately 27±0.5˚C. Tanks were cleaned daily by suction to remove feces, and the water that was removed by suction was replaced with clean water with the same concentration of ammonia. Dead shrimp were collected and recorded every hour during the experiment. The family ID and time of death time of each dead shrimp were recorded to quantify individual survival times (STs) and survival statuses (1 = alive, 0 = dead) at the half lethal time (SS50). Because the animals were so small that body weight measures would introduce large errors due to the different degrees of excess water on the shrimp, we selected body length (BL) as an index of growth. Therefore, the individual BLs were also recorded when the shrimp died. Statistical Analysis Variance components and heritabilities were calculated for ST and SS50 using the data from the normal and low salinity conditions and the merged data from the two conditions. Therefore, these variables are denoted as the STH/SS50H, STL/SS50L, and STM/SS50M for the normal salinity, 48 »

based on the CIs (ST, 0.20–0.58; SS50, 0.19–0.57; and BL, 0.35–0.72). These results indicate a strong re-ranking effect for ammonia tolerance and growth between the two environments. The phenotypic and genetic correlations between ST and BL were higher in the normal salinity condition (rp = 0.416±0.017; rg = 0.779±0.037) than in the low salinity condition (rp = 0.298±0.021; rg = 0.568±0.048).

low salinity, and merged data, respectively. The individual animal model was used to estimate the heritability of the ST in the shrimp that were challenged with the high concentration of ammonia. Body length exhibited a linear relationship with ST (P < 0.01) and was fit as a covariate in the model. The homologous ST, SS50, and BL in the different environments were considered to be different traits; thus, the genotype by environment (G×E) interactions were estimated based on the genetic correlations of these traits between environments. Because of the convergence problem, the rg between the two salinity environments for the SS50 was calculated with estimated breeding values. A G×E interaction was measured as the difference between the genetic correlation and 1. Thus, genetic correlations closer to 1 indicated smaller G×E interactions.

Results Descriptive statistics A total of 7221 individual records, including 3624 records from the normal salinity condition and 3597 records from low salinity condition, were obtained and analyzed. The results revealed the SS50 values under acute ammonia stress in the normal and low salinity conditions varied substantially between families, but the variance was higher following exposure to acute ammonia stress in the normal salinity condition. Additionally, the STs under acute ammonia

stress in the normal and low salinity conditions also varied substantially between the families and the overall individuals, but the variance was higher when analyzed at the individual level than the family level.

Variance components and heritability estimations All of the heritability estimates were significantly greater than zero (P < 0.01). The heritability estimate of STH (0.784±0.070) was very high, the heritabilities of STL (0.575±0.068) and STM (0.517±0.058) were high, and the heritabilities of SS50H (0.402±0.061), SS50L (0.216±0.050) and SS50M (0.264±0.050) were medium. The heritability estimate of STH was significantly greater than those of STL and STM (P>0.05). The heritability estimates of ST were all significantly greater than that of SS50 (P < 0.01). The heritability of SS50H was significantly greater than that of SS50L (P < 0.05). The heritability estimates of BLH (0.346±0.052), BLL (0.386±0.054), and BLM (0.291±0.042) were all intermediate. Genetic correlations within and between environments The estimated genetic correlation for BL between the two environments was higher (0.535±0.096) than those of ST (0.394±0.097) and SS50 (0.377±0.098) (Table 2). The genetic correlations for ST, SS50 and BL between the two environments were significantly different from 0 and 1

Conclusions The results revealed that the heritability of ammonia tolerance was medium to high in L. vannamei juveniles, which suggests that rapid genetic gains in terms of ammonia tolerance could be obtained by increasing the selection intensity in our selective breeding program. However, the heritability of ammonia tolerance in the normal salinity condition was significantly higher than that in the low salinity condition. Additionally, a strong G×E interaction for ammonia tolerance was detected between the normal salinity and low salinity conditions, which suggests that salinityspecific breeding programs for ammonia tolerance in shrimp should be purposefully implemented and that the normal salinity environment is a better choice based on the faster rate of genetic improvement due to higher heritability. Additionally, the significant and strong positive correlation between ammonia tolerance and body size suggests that ammoniatolerant shrimp should be selected in the early stage. Adapted from the recent article: Lu, X, et al. (2017) Estimation of genetic parameters and genotype-by-environment interactions related to acute ammonia stress in Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) juveniles at two different salinity levels. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0173835. Xia Lu1,2, Sheng Luan1,2, Baoxiang Cao1,2, Xianhong Meng1,2, Juan Sui1,2, Ping Dai1,2, Kun Luo1,2, Xiaoli Shi1,2, Dengchun Hao1,2,3, Guomin Han4, Jie Kong1,2 1 Key Laboratory of Sustainable Utilization of Marine Fisheries Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Qingdao, China; 2 Laboratory for Marine Fisheries Science and Food Production Processes, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, China; 3 College of Fisheries and Life Science, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, China; 4 College of Ocean, Agricultural University of Hebei, University, Huanghua, China.

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Latin America Report

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

BioMar Announces New R&D Center in Ecuador Ecuador. – Just two months after confirming the acquisition of one of the main Ecuadorian feed manufacturers –Alimentsa–, BioMar announced the establishment of a new trial facility for shrimp. “This is a part of our overall expansion strategy. We basically take the required decisions to build a strong, competitive and innovative foothold in the shrimp market. The investment in Ecuador is a tangible outcome of a much greater plan for innovation in BioMar. The global R&D budget will increase by roughly 20 % in 2018, which comes on top of a dedicated global set-up for R&D implemented over the last years,” Carlos Diaz, BioMar CEO, explains. “We know that the most innovative feed solutions are generated when local market potential is being met with solid scientific methodology, boosted by in-depth knowledge from aquaculture hotspots across the globe. Ecuador has developed into one of the most important shrimp producing nations and has taken alternative roads in many aspects. This makes it a very interesting hub for product development,” explains Carlos Diaz. Tilapia Cage-Farming Operation Begins in Michoacan Mexico. - In December 2017, the first phase of a tilapia cage-farming project in “El Infiernillo” reservoir, located in the state of Michoacan, started to operate. The project will be executed in three phases over the next four years with an estimated production 50 »

of 32,000 tons per year. The project represents a total investment of 6 million USD. The first phase—which represents an investment of more than 2 million USD— consists of 48 cages with a production capacity of 4,000 tons of tilapia per first year. During the inauguration, José Calzada Rovirosa, secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Food (SAGARPA), shared that the annual aquaculture growth in Mexico has an accelerated rate of 15 percent, compared to the 6 percent recorded by this activity globally. He also assured the attendees that aquaculture is a sustainable and lucrative activity for the producers and their families.

Courtesy of PRONUA-Los Belenes.

Moreover, Calzada Rovirosa stated that Mexico currently produces 155 thousand tons of tilapia per year, which represents 25 percent of the national consumption, and that the Mexican product is distinguished for having a better quality than Asian imports. “Currently, we are importing about 400 thousand tons of tilapia from China, Thailand and Vietnam, among other countries, so we need to take action to boost national production in order to replace imports”, he added. SAGARPA is carrying out various actions to promote tilapia production in order to increase the value of harvests and meet national demand.

GAA Announces the 2018 GOAL Conference to Be Held in Guayaquil, Ecuador Ecuador. – During the first days of January, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) announced that the 2018 Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference will be held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from September 25 to 27. This is the first time in seven years that GOAL is being held in Latin America, and the first time in Ecuador. The conference —hosted in conjunction with Ecuador’s National Chamber of Aquaculture (CNA)— will be held at the hotel Hilton Guayaquil, located in the largest city in Ecuador and the hub of its prosperous shrimp farming and processing sector. “Ecuador has become one of the world’s leading shrimp producers and a hotbed for foreign investment,” said GAA President George Chamberlain. “GOAL 2018 will celebrate Ecuador’s leadership, which has redefined the term ‘sustainability,’ with farms that have been in continuous operation for more than three decades. Production efficiency has steadily improved using a unique combination of breeding, high quality feeds, and semi-intensive management without antibiotics. We look forward to bringing many of the world’s aquaculture leaders to

Guayaquil to advance the responsible aquaculture discussion.” “For more than 50 years, Ecuador has proven to be a leader in shrimp aquaculture, complying with the highest environmental and social standards, which has made it a world reference in the industry. For our country and our organization, this is a great opportunity to show other countries and buyers the commitment of this industry in producing a healthy, nutritious and pure premium quality shrimp, farmed in the most sustainable way,” said CAN Executive President José Antonio Camposano.

Brazilian Fish Exports to European Union Temporarily Suspended by Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry Brazil. – The suspension of fish exports from Brazil to the European Union (EU) —announced by the Brazilian Agricultural, Animal Husbandry and Supply Ministry during the last days of December— took effect on January 3, together with an action plan to respond to discrepancies filed by the EU during an audit. The Brazilian Government will request the EU to differentiate the

sanitary requirements for captured fish exporting companies from aquaculture companies. The suspension is a preventive measure in order to avoid a blockade from the EU after several discrepancies were found during a food safety regulations audit —carried out in September 2017— to Brazilian companies that export fish to the EU. The auditors visited ten ships of capture fish exporting companies and detected irregularities in six of them. The EU auditors slammed the sector for not separating the capture of wild fish and fish farming activities. Additionally, the auditors also suggested performing an intensive inspection of ships used by Brazilian seafood exporters. “At this moment, the most appropriate measure is to suspend fish exports until we are able to solve the discrepancies filed. This leaves us in a more favorable position to resume exports and to avoid unilateral suspension by the EU,” said Luis Rangel, Secretary of Agricultural Defense of the Ministry. Brazil’s fish exports to the EU accounted for 21.8 million USD from January to November 2017.

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Aquaculture Stewardship Council

News from the

Aquaculture Stewardship Council Kurose Suisan and Global Ocean Works are First Farms Certified to Seriola Standard


he Japanese farms Kurose Suisan and Global Ocean Works have become the first Seriola producers in the world to earn certifications under the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Seriola and Cobia Standard for responsible aquaculture. The Standard, which establishes strict environmental and social requirements for farmed fish, is quickly gaining traction within the industry. Kurose Suisan achieved its certification on 16 December last year after an independent assessment, following the ASC multi-site approach, of three sites – Kushima, Uchinoura and Nobeoka Farms – by third-party conformity assessment body (CAB) SCS Global Services.Global Ocean Works’ certification was announced one week later on 22 December, following an audit of the Fukuyama Fish Farm by Amita, the local independent CAB.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Kurose Suisan and Global Ocean Works to the growing family of ASC certified farms. I would like to offer my personal congratulations to all those involved in becoming the first Seriola producers to achieve the ASC standard,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC.” Koji Yamamoto, ASC’s General Manager for Japan said: “This is a significant milestone for the ASC. Domestic production of Seriola in Japan is a large proportion of the global total. It is the most farmed finfish species in Japan, and is an integral and historical part of many coastal communities. The arrival of certified Seriola products into the market is a highly anticipated and a significant addition to the ASC line of products from domestic aquaculture. I sincerely wish that this achievement will contribute positively to the future of these coastal com-

munities and that through the market recognition for ASC labelled product this is reinforced. It is pleasing that this market  interest is encouraging other Seriola farms to follow their example.” “WWF Japan would like to express our sincere respect and congratulations to Kurose Suisan and Global Ocean Works for their achievement on ASC certification,” said Aiko Yamauchi, the leader of Ocean and Seafood Group of WWF Japan. “WWF Japan fully understands that producer improvements based on ASC certification were challenging and represent an outstanding accomplishment. We expect this new ASC certified yellowtail will encourage the Japanese market and consumers to support responsible aquaculture broadly.” “We are excited to be performing conformance assessments under this rigorous new standard” said Ja-

Seriola (Seriola lalandi).

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son Swecker, SCS Global Services’ Manager of Sales and Marketing for MSC and ASC Certifications. “We are happy to be part of a process that is propelling the way for responsible Seriola aquaculture practices within the industry.” Kurose Suisan, operated by the Nissui Group network, has been producing Seriola since 2004 under the brand, Kurose Yellowtail, from its farms sites located in Kushima, in the Miyazaki prefecture in the south of Japan. Global Oceans Works, based in Tarumizu City, Kagoshima Prefecture Japan, was established in 2009 with a focus on processing and sale of ‘hamachi’ yellow tail. The ASC Seriola and Cobia Standard, launched just over a year ago, addresses the key negative environmental and social impacts associated with aquaculture of these species. The standard sets measurable, performance-based requirements that farms must meet to be certified, including preservation of local habitats and biodiversity, minimising fish escapes, conservation of water and water quality, minimal use of therapeutics and antibiotics, and responsible sourcing

of feed ingredients, including strict limits on the use of wild fish as an ingredient and full traceability back to a responsibly managed source. The Seriola standard also has a rigorous set of social requirements based on the core principles of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), including prohibiting the use of child labour or any form of forced labour. All certified farms are safe and equitable working environments where employees earn a decent wage and have regulated working hours.

First cobia farm becomes ASC certified The Open Blue farm in Panama has become the first cobia producer in the world certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard. To attain certification, the farm was assessed by an independent auditor against a set of robust requirements stipulated by the ASC Seriola and Cobia Standard. “I would like to extend my congratulations to Open Blue on their achievement in becoming the first cobia farm in the world certified against our standard. Welcoming the first co-

bia producer to our programme marks an important milestone for the ASC,” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO. “Open Blue’s certification shows leadership in responsible aquaculture and sets an example for cobia producers around the world. Farms certified to ASC standard contribute to the health of the environment, protect local communities and care for workers. I look forward to welcoming more cobia farms to our programme in the future.” Situated in the open waters of the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Panama, the Open Blue farm is fully submerged at depths of up to 100 feet. With a head office in Panama City and other offices in Miami, Los Angeles, Nova Scotia and throughout Europe, Open Blue is an international company that not only see the value in caring for the environment but also for its workers and the communities within which it operates. “Achieving these key certifications marks a major milestone for us and for our customers for 2018,” said Chris Perry CEO of Open Blue. “Our innovative approach is to raise and harvest fish miles offshore in their natural ocean habitat in a responsible and sustainable way that honors and protects our sensitive ocean ecosystems and respects the workers and the communities around us.” The Open Blue farm gained its certification following a successful audit last September by certifier SCS Global Services, which is accredited to carry out assessment against the ASC farm standards. “As our independent assessment confirms, Open Blue is deeply committed to responsible aquaculture practices and minimizing impacts on marine ecosystems,” said Juan Aguirre, SCS Project Manager of Sustainable Seafood. “Congratulations to Open Blue on being the first to demonstrate conformance with ASC’s stringent cobia standard.” ASC Staff

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Offshore Aquaculture

What Kind of “Gone” Are We Talking About Here? By Neil Anthony Sims*

There’s a Country and Western song from a few years back which

relates the befuddlement of a cowboy after his woman has just stormed out of the house.


e didn’t hear quite clearly, but she said something about “ … gone!” as she slammed the door on the way out. He ponders through the refrain: “There’s gone, and there’s good and gone, and there’s gone with the long before it … I wish she’d been a little more clear … I mean, what kind of “gone” are we talking about here?”1

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This question might also be germane to the paroxysms of ire that swirled around the recent loss of up to 180,0002 farmed salmon from a net pen in Puget Sound. This tragedy is now causing “…Native groups, environmental groups, legislators and others to voice their concerns about ocean aquaculture operations as a whole,” with calls from Federal poli-

ticians “to stop all permitting for new net pens … nationwide”3. Really?! In the same way that we questioned the wisdom of poultry farming, and halted permits for new chicken farms after the Hawaiian Island of Kauai was struck by Hurricane Iniki, resulting in the escape of thousands of domestic chickens? (No, we didn’t flinch … we just stuck our fork in another Foster Farms thigh, and kept eating.) To justify, say, a halt in coal mining nationwide, we would accumulate a preponderance of science that showed that greenhouse gas emissions can impact global climate, and we would develop models that showed the likely impacts on ecosystems and human society. So then, in like manner, should we not also ask for some objective analysis of impacts from Atlantic salmon escaping in the Northwest Pacific? What precisely is the problem? What kind of “gone” are we talking about here? The only ones who gain any pleasure from escaped salmon are the seals, sea-lions, orcas and other predators that feed on the poor fish that

find themselves on the outside of the net pen, having to fend for themselves for the first time in their lives. Perhaps it might also please some of the fishermen who load up their holds with the escapees… and perhaps also the anti-aquaculture Luddites, who see sweet validation in any misfortunes that befall marine fish farms. But which of us are truly negatively impacted, and how? Aquaculture opponents recount a litany of offenses: negative impacts on fishermen; interbreeding with endangered native salmon; outcompeting native

Some might call that a gift. And flavor? Costco

farmed Atlantic salmon was preferred over all others in an objective study of salmon palatability preferences

salmon for food and spawning beds; and dispersal of diseases to native ecosystems. But is there any real evidence of these impacts? And if so, is it enough evidence to support shutting down an entire industry (… albeit a fledgling one …)? Some of the Puget Sound salmon fishermen may complain that they are forced to catch these foreign farmed fish instead of their preferred native salmon, but in a world of limited wild stocks and tight quotas, shouldn’t free fish be considered a bonus? 180,000 salmon, at around 4 kg, and maybe $7 / kg is equal to $5 million worth of fish. Some might call that a gift. And flavor? Costco farmed Atlantic salmon was preferred over all others in an objective study of salmon palatability preferences4. The potential for ecological impacts from escaped farmed Atlantic salmon have been studied in extensive detail by a group of scientists sponsored by a multi-stakeholder process (the WWF-sponsored Salmon Dialogue5). However, the information in that report, which could defray

many of the public’s fears, has simply not been widely shared. Or perhaps people have chosen to not pay much attention to it. (I guess we all stand accused of selecting self-reinforcing sources of information these days.) “Genetic pollution” concerns are bandied about ad libitum. This would be a real issue if these escapees had slipped loose into their native North Atlantic Ocean, where they might then interbreed with endangered salmon runs. Similarly, if the farm escapees in the North Pacific were native Pacific salmon, then this would also incur risks of blurring the genetic granularity between wild runs. But Atlantics in the North Pacific? It would seem to be an advantage that they are not native. There are – reassuringly - no reported cases of hybridization between Atlantic salmon and Pacific salmon, and the “probability of successful hybridisation … seems remote”6. There is a lot of hand-wringing about ecological niche competition - that the farmed Atlantics will exclude the native salmon from their » 55

Offshore Aquaculture

spawning sites, or outcompete them for prey. But Atlantic salmon are lousy colonizers7. The species never became established in the rivers of Washington State or British Columbia, despite repeated, concerted attempts to introduce them there over the decades. Atlantics are Chile’s most abundantly farmed species, but it is only Pacific salmon that have become established in the wild there. And Atlantics haven’t become established in Tasmania, even though they have been farmed there for over thirty years. The potential for escapees to have a significant impact on lo-

There are – reassuringly - no reported cases of

hybridization between Atlantic salmon and Pacific salmon, and the “probability of successful hybridisation … seems remote” 56 »

cal prey organisms is probably also overblown. The only food that the farmed salmon have ever known, all their lives, is for pellets to literally fall from the sky, at regular intervals during the day. Studies suggest that, at most, only 20% of Atlantics turned loose in the North Pacific can learn to catch their own dinner8. And if the ecological impact of 20% of some 180,000 escapees is indeed a

genuine concern, then why is there so little debate about the food web impacts of the 5 billion Pacific salmon smolts9 that are willfully released from hatcheries into the North Pacific for stock enhancement. (These smolts are released into rivers after about a year of being farmed in net pens; though it’s not clear how many of the “wild” Alaskan salmon devotees are aware of that fact.)

Horrific scenarios are also conjured up about the potential for farm escapees to spread diseases among wild stocks. However, while farms may (or may not) be implicated as proliferative loci for parasites, once the fish are let loose, these concerns should be diminished, not amplified. Diseases are usually most problematic in monocultures at high densities; i.e. when the fish are confined to the net pen. The escapees – ipso facto – are at much lower densities, and are no longer a monoculture, so the potential for disease proliferation is greatly reduced. Critics might then complain that the escapees can act as vectors to spread diseases further afield. But this is the marine environment - currents can already do that. And most farmed fish acquire their pests and parasites from the wild stocks – not the other way around. So when the fish are “gone,” what else have we lost? The farming company has lost maybe $5 million in revenue. That’s gotta hurt! But the biggest detriment to us as a society, that could result from this escape event, would be if we let our emotions and our unfounded fears drive our ocean policies, and if we stopped developing ocean mariculture. If we did so, we would then be forcing Americans to be increasingly reliant on imported aquaculture products. We would be abdicating our responsibility to move towards less impactful animal protein production systems10. And we would be ignoring the science, which would be a real loss. Something, then, would truly be gone. References Chris Cagle: 3 4 html?utm_term=.53c56aac8977 5 Thorstad, E.B., Fleming, I.A., McGinnity, P., Soto, D., Wennevik, V. & Whoriskey, F. 2008. Incidence and impacts of escaped farmed Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in nature. NINA Special Report 36. 110 pp. This report was produced by Technical Working Group on Escapes of the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue, which was sponsored by World Wildlife Fund. Available at 6 Page 68 in Thorstad, et al., op. cit. 7 Thorstad, et al., op. cit. 8 McKinnell, S. & Thomson, A.J. 1997. Recent events concerning Atlantic salmon escapees in the Pacific. ICES Journal of Marine Science 54: 1221-1225; and McKinnell, S., Thomson, A.J., Black, E.A, Wing, B.L., Guthrie, C.M., Koerner, J.F. & Helle, J.H. 1997. Atlantic salmon in the North Pacific. Aquaculture Research 28: 145-157. 9 10 Aquaculture is recognized, in Conservation International’s Blue Frontiers study, as the least impactful animal protein production system: publications/Pages/blue_frontiers_aquaculture.aspx 1


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

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Bromophenols and Their Contribution to Seafood Flavor: From Ocean-Like to Iodine By George Baker

Bromophenols are compounds found in low concentrations in wild

seafood that contribute to key seafood flavors and are sometimes added to aquaculture feed, either directly or indirectly.


romophenol compounds in aquaculture feed are either added directly from manufactured chemical sources or indirectly by using 10% or more shrimp head meal or other crustacean by-product meals (Whitfield 2002). It is postulated that depending on the type and concentration of bromophenol compound mixtures and the component tissues in seafood that bromophenols are found (i.e. fatty tissues or moisture) they have either pleasant “ocean-like” flavors or “iodine-/ phenolic-like” off-odors. For example, shrimp containing no to very low concentrations of total bromophenols are said to have a “bland” sensory profile. Low concentrations of bromophenols in shrimp provide “ocean-like” aroma and taste in cooked shrimp. However, at total bromophenol concentrations (TBC) above 23 µg/kg, the sensory perception of “iodine-like” flavor in shrimp is apparent (Savoie 2008). Whole wild shrimp reportedly have a TBC that ranges from 9.5 µg/kg to 1114 µg/kg dependent on species, 58 »

location, and what time of year they are harvested (Whitfield 2002). Seawater itself has an average bromine concentration of 65 µg/kg (Savoie 2008). Wild sources of bromophenols are found in the diet of shrimp by way of their consumption of polychaetes, different types of algae, sponges, and worms of the Annelida phylum. Moreover, Whitfield (2002) found that 2,6-dibromophenol and 2,4,6tribromophenol added to shrimp aquaculture feed individually did not have that much impact on producing “ocean-like” or “crab-like” flavor, but when added together contributed to “briny” and “iodine-like” off-flavors.

Figure 1. Chemical Structure of 2-bromophenol. Source: By Yikrazuul - index.php?curid=6899888

Other investigators noticed dramatic increases in the sensory detection threshold of individual bromophenol compounds when prepared in an oil versus aqueous matrix.

What Are Bromophenols? Bromophenols are brominated phenolic compounds found in certain types of marine algae, marine worms, sponges, bryozoans, food ingredients, agricultural chemicals, and even plastics. Reported bromophenol classes in seafood include mono-, di-, and tribromophenols and their isomers. Bromophenols have been reported to have natural nutraceutical properties that prevent diabetes mellitus in humans because of their high alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity (Kim 2008 – Phytochemistry). Certain bromophenols have been shown to possess antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-thrombotic effects in humans (Liu 2011). Alternatively, not all bromophenols show beneficial health effects. Some bromophenols such as

2,4-dibromophenol and 2,4,6-tribromophenol, used as flame retardants and fungicides, are suspected to show negative impacts on human and animal health, depending on concentration. One example of negative marine animal health considerations associated with bromophenols was reported by Deng (2010) and others, where they found that some isomers of tribromophenols may impair zebrafish reproduction.

Taste + Aroma = Flavor There are major differences between how humans perceive tastes and aromas. The human tongue, soft palate, and various other areas of the mouth that contain taste receptors are responsible for the detection of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter flavors. These taste signals are converted to a neural code that the brain can interpret. An aroma, or odor, comes from a mixture of chemical compounds released inside the mouth and nasal cavity that bind to smell receptors and are processed in the brain by a combination of signals and memories. When we eat something, we combine taste and aroma which results in flavor. Some chemosensory scientists believe that roughly 80% of overall flavor comes from the contribution of aroma compounds. Other considerations in sensory analysis to note for the purposes of this article are the threshold concentrations at which “an odor or taste of a substance will not be detectable under any practical circumstances, and above which individuals with a normal sense of smell or taste would readily detect the presence of the substance” (American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Method E-679-79) (2008). This is often called an absolute or detection threshold. A detection threshold concentration of individual aroma compounds is the concentration at which a person is able to detect some odor or aroma without identifying what it is. Further,

recognition thresholds are the concentration at which something can be recognized or identified by a sensory panelist. Finally, difference thresholds compare the lowest concentration that two stimuli can differ for a subject to perceive them as different.

Bromophenols and Their Contribution to Flavor Volatile bromophenols are widely distributed in seafood harvested from saltwater. Freshwater fish are not known to contain any detectable bromophenols. Boyle (1993) states that bromophenols in an aqueous matrix are generally perceived as “iodinelike”, “phenolic”, or chemical. However, when bromophenols are added to edible oils, the flavors become “fishy”, “shrimp-like”, “crab-like”, and “sea salt-like”. Boyle (1992) suggests that increases in bromophenol concentration associated with “ocean-like” aromas of seafood already containing them will not be noticeable to sensory panelists until a recognizable “iodinelike” aroma change is apparent. Flavors Caused by Bromophenols Depend on a Number of Factors The odor detection threshold for isolated 2-bromophenol was reported by Boyle (1993) at 180 times higher in oil compared to water, based on multiple studies conducted in the 1980’s. 3-bromophenol and 4-bromophenol were also reported as having an odor detection increase of 360 and 170 times when in oil versus water, respectively. However, Kinsella and Srinivasan (1981) suggest that bromophenols found in shrimp tissues from a feed source may bind to proteins or reside in cellular fat thereby suppressing overall bromophenol associated flavors when compared to the addition of chemical standards in a laboratory setting. Other more recent research suggests that iodine-like taint is dependent on when a shrimp last consumed bromophenol compounds and decreases over time due to leaching from their muscle tissue. This suggests that shrimp harvested » 59


Raw scallops. Photo by Naotake Murayama.

When we eat something, we combine taste and aroma which results in flavor. Some chemosensory scientists

minerals the bromophenols interact with, the type of bromophenol, and/ or mixture of bromophenols all contribute to the flavor (and off-flavor) of seafood.

Conclusions Although most seafood produced is believe that roughly 80% of of high quality with no discernable overall flavor comes from sensory issues, “iodine-like”, “chemical”, and “phenolic” off-flavors are a the contribution of aroma persistent seafood quality issue that compounds. has not been fully resolved. Yet depending on the type, concentration, immediately after feeding will be more and mixture of bromophenol comlikely to have “iodine-like” off-flavors pounds in seafood tissues, they also that dissipate over time. Therefore, promote positive “ocean-like” senthe seafood matrix consisting of a sory attributes, which is why they are mixture of water, fat/oil, protein, car- sometimes directly or indirectly added bohydrates, cholesterol, vitamins and to aquaculture feed. This is a tremen-

dously complex issue with many great scientific minds who have spent much of their careers attempting to solve it. Research involving bromophenol contribution to seafood flavor has spanned many decades, but further research in this area should be continued and/or rapid post-harvest bromophenol screening methods designed to assure that the “sweet spot” concentration of bromophenol mixtures for different seafood species and seafood products is obtained. Or is the solution to minimize offflavors due to bromophenols simply by its consideration in good aquaculture practices or other methods at the farm-level? The solution may be to create an inexpensive diagnostic bromophenol screening method combined with feed application procedures to reduce the prevalence of bromophenol-associated off-flavors in seafood products.

Dr. Baker is the Florida Sea Grant seafood science and technology specialist in University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Science extension program. He has been a faculty member in the Food Science & Human Nutrition Department at the University of Florida since 2009. Dr. Baker provides extension services, such as seafood HACCP and other seafood quality and safety training courses, to seafood processors and retailers. Additionally, his research involves the technical aspects of seafood and aquaculture product safety and quality using instrumental flavor and odor profiling and sensory analysis techniques.  References are available from the author at:

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Recent news from around the globe by By Suzi Dominy*

The 11th Aquafeed Horizons Asia Conference, taking place on the first

day of the feed and grain industries trade show, Victam Asia 2018, will bring together fish and shrimp feed processors, nutritionists, buyers and other industry professionals from throughout the region and beyond to learn about the latest developments in aquafeed production. Extrusion technology Generally, fish feed, and increasingly shrimp feed, is produced by extrusion. Different types of feed are subject to different demands, for example, the feed’s functionality on fish farms in terms of floatability or sinkability and the pellets’ durability to assist mechanical handling without generating fines. This complex

Wenger extrusion research facility.

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and nuanced technology is the focus of the processing talks at Aquafeed Horizons Asia 2018, where technical experts from leading technology companies will discuss latest developments. Thomas Ellegaard Mohr (Andritz) will explain how changing trends in raw materials also present new challenges that extrusion technologies and process control must

meet. According to Rob Strathman (Famsun), factory performance is hindered by inflexible and unreliable hardware and software used in the extrusion systems of today. However, we can redesign the systems of the future, allowing significant improvements in factory performance to be realized. He will point out that the need to find efficiency in every aspect of production has driven other manufacturing industries to dramatically change course; the future of aquafeed production will be digital. Micro aquafeeds, in the 0.5mm to 1.2mm dia. range, are required in the nursery phase of aquaculture. Their manufacture involves a series of meticulous steps to be followed, from the selection of high quality ingredients to specific grinding, sifting, mixing, precision twin screw extrusion and optimal drying process. Ramesh Gangatharan from Wenger will explain how advanced computer controls, variable frequency drives, unique die designs and specially selected dryer screens all contribute to a smooth process at high production capacities. In-line moisture and density monitoring systems can be fixed at critical points to monitor the production process so as to minimize production of out of spec product and to have a final product which is uniform in size, shape and density. Recent research on the drying of extruded feed, particularly as related to technical product quality, has identified a connection between drying parameters and mechanical durability. The initial phase of drying is important to avoid early and spatially uneven glass transition following evaporative cooling. It follows that high air velocity, high temperature and high humidity are recommended. Obviously, extruded feed products start to flash off and dry, immediately when exiting the extruder. Hence, focus needs to be put on the design and operation of the different transport mechanisms, immediately upstream of the dryer.

Validated model simulations visualize how many existing airlifts and conveyor belts could damage the pellets when transported to the dryer. Different process design options for new as well as existing production lines, will be presented by Anders Fjeldbo Haubjerg, PhD, Process Engineer at Graintec and Assistant Professor, University of Southern Denmark, and compared in terms of energy efficiency, capital and operational expenditure, impact on mechanical durability, flexibility and hygienic design. The airlift using heated air is superior for durability of the product for existing production lines. Energy efficiency can optionally be optimized by invoking recirculation of the transport air. For new production facilities, process designs facilitating stacked dryer and extruder layout are superior.

Mycotoxins No conference on aquafeed production, especially in Asia Pacific, would be complete without addressing the threat of mycotoxins. There is an increasing trend towards plant ingredients in aquaculture feeds, and

a commensurate rise in the risk of mycotoxin contamination. These toxins are produced as secondary metabolites by fungi and can have serious detrimental effects on fish and shrimp, ranging from mortalities in severe cases, to economic impacts such as reduced growth, reduced immunity, decreased feed efficiency. They can be caused by a single mycotoxin, or as is more common, by more mycotoxins working together synergistically, causing even more damage. Clinical signs of mycotoxicosis can easily be overlooked or misinterpreted, often leading to a wrong approach in dealing with the negative effects, Maarten Jay van Schoonhoven (Olmix) will explain. Knowledge and awareness of the role of mycotoxins in aquaculture feed production is necessary, just as adequate strategies with a wide spectrum are necessary to deal with mycotoxin risk management.

Replacing fishmeal New technologies are emerging to take on the growing opportunity to replace fishmeal in whole or in part. Aquacopia co-founder and now

CEO of NovoNutrients, David Tze, will argue that given the relative simplicity and efficiency of microbes, compared to reduction fishery species, plants, or insects, it makes sense to consider the merits of various microbial single cell protein technologies. These newer technologies include fermentation of bacteria, microalgae, yeast, and other fungi. The substrates may be purchased or received as waste streams. Those inputs might be solid, liquid, or even gas. But there are questions: What challenges will these new technologies face as they break from the lab and race to scale up to commercialization? What advantages does each have? Can any be economically produced? If so, what global scale are they likely to achieve? What might be the effect on the feed industry and players within it? Insects are a natural source of nutrients for many fish species and can be produced sustainably. The EU has approved the use of processed insect proteins in aquaculture since 1 July 2017 as it is convinced this new feed ingredient can be produced in a safe manner and offer the quality Âť 63


needed for robust performance and health of the fish. Tarique Arsiwalla, founder of Protix, will focus on the use of insect proteins in diets for shrimp, Atlantic salmon and trout. Trial results will be shown, as well as first commercial use of the products in Europe. The opportunities for the Asian market include the use of not only insect proteins, but also insect lipids in diets for young animals and challenged species. The potential for antibiotics reduction will also be touched upon.

Functional feed The optimal nutrient profile of a shrimp feed depends on many factors, including the culture density, environmental conditions (temperature, salinity, oxygen, etc.), productivity of the pond water, the stability of the feed, feeding method, frequency, etc. These factors often differ depending on the season, region, farm or even pond, which makes the selection of the ideal feed rather a complex and often unstable decision for the farmer. As a result, research in optimizing feed formulations under practical conditions continues to be a major objective for feed producers. Also, we can expect a wide variety in nutritional specifications among commercial shrimp feeds as composition may depend on the target market. Increasing cost and fluctuating availability of raw materials in

64 Âť

combination with an increasingly competitive market is demanding a creative mind from the shrimp feed formulator. The nutritional strategy is key to maintaining or gaining market share. Aside from that, diseases like white spot, vibriosis and white gut/faeces are an emerging risk during the production cycle of shrimp in India and require good nutritional support to the animal. Alexander van Halteren (Nutriad) will present a study that investigated the different nutritional strategies in commercial shrimp feeds in India during 2016, when the number of shrimp feed suppliers increased sharply. Feed samples of 8 major brands were collected in the market and analyzed for proximate composition as well as a number of essential nutrients (amino acids, phospholipids, cholesterol, n-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids). Some of the nutrient levels detected during the survey revealed the potential for functional feed additives to optimize nutrient utilization in shrimp feeds in India. Beneficial bacteria, probiotics, are becoming increasingly popular in aquaculture. Amongst other benefits, probiotics can boost im-

munity, improve disease resistance, reduce feed conversion ratio, improve growth performance and survival and improve water quality. The benefit obtained is largely dependent on the probiotic formulation. Different probiotic strains have different modes of action; thus, they can bring different benefits to the host. For example, Bacillus spp. are capable of producing enzymes contributing to improved digestibility and feed conversion, whereas lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have functions in intestinal colonization and immunity. However, since probiotics are â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;liveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; microbial components, they are sensitive to heat and pressure, which makes their inclusion in aqua feeds difficult, regardless of whether pelleting or extrusion technologies are used. Generally, post pelleting application (PPA) is necessary. Benedict Standen, PhD, (Biomin) will tell delegates how, using PPA, a novel application for probiotic usage in fish and shrimp feeds has been developed that guarantees high probiotic viability without compromising the shelf life of the compound feed. This presentation will discuss the benefits of in-feed probiotics and

summarize results from recent trials, including probiotic application at the feed mill. Applying innovative solutions such as immunomodulation through nutrition and the use of bioactive peptides as a functional, high-quality source of hydrolyzed protein can contribute to achieving health benefits in marine species. The beneficial effects of dietary nucleotides of yeast origin and bioactive peptides from intestinal mucosa have already been demonstrated in several studies in shrimp, salmon, tilapia, meager and sea bream among other species. Nonetheless, further research studies are still warranted. Francisco González (Bioiberica) will discuss scientific studies currently focused in evaluating the effects of bioactive peptides on growth, nutrient utilization, digestibility, intestinal health and meat quality of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fed with high levels of vegetable protein, and

the effects of dietary nucleotides in white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) affected by Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (AHPND). Besides that, new product developments are also undergoing and should soon lead to specific formulations for other marine species of high commercial value, such as sea cucumber. In recent years, there has been increasing attention to natural immunostimulants or organic acids or other bio-active compounds for antibiotic free production. Immunostimulants are naturally occurring compounds that modulate the immune system by increasing the host’s resistance against diseases caused by pathogens under duress. Several products such as beta-glucans, chitins, mannoproteins, peptidoglycans, alginates, bacterial compounds (lipopolysaccarides - LPS) and some phytogenic compounds are being used as immunostimulants. Jefo’s Kabir Chowdhury, PhD will cover mainly

the stress related factors in major farmed species and some relevant immuno-stimulatory solutions available today to the industry. Aquafeed Horizons Asia is’s international technical conference. It will take place March 27, 2018 at BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand. For full information, visit:

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

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Main factors behind escapes of farmed salmon and trout

Escape figures from Norwegian land-based farms and sea cages By Asbjørn Bergheim*


igh numbers of escaped fish are connected to ‘large-scale escape events’ in which more than 10,000 fish are involved. For example, 175,000 salmon escaped in connection with delousing from a cage farm in Mid-Norway some years ago. The SECURE project (Securing fish – farming technology and operations to reduce escapes) analyzed all escape incidents through 2006 – 2009 reported by Norwegian fish farmers. As much as 91% of all escaped fish were attributed to large-scale events (Dr. Ø. Jensen, SINTEF, project leader). Despite annual fluctuations, the reported number of escapes shows a decreasing trend over the last decade (Figure 1). A preliminary survey based on reports from the farmers last year shows a very low escape number, totaling 10,000 salmon and 6,000 trout

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strongly fluctuate from one year to another. per November 2017. For salmon, this number is the lowest ever reported, while escapes from trout cages have been even lower before. The stocked number of trout in Norwegian cages only constitutes some 5% of the predominating salmon; ca. 20 million trout vs. 320-360 million salmon are recruited annually. Large escape incidents have obviously been reduced in recent years. Such events are commonly a result of equipment failure including problems with mooring lines, collapsed floating collars and holes in cage nets. Ten years ago, structural failures were the dominant reasons for fish escapes. Between 2008 and 2010, net holes formed by wear damage between the sinker tube and the net represented more than 50% of the total escapes, while escapes due to mooring and floating collar failures, especially un-

der bad weather conditions, became less frequent (Dr. Ø. Jensen). In a recent survey of categorized causes of reported escapes in 2016 (L. T. Skår Hosteland, Norsk Fiskeoppdrett) structural failures still represented close to 100,000 escaped individuals or 53% of the total (190,000 salmon and trout). Net damage from sinker tubes led to 50,000 escapees. The survey includes both land-based farms producing fry and smolt, and grow-out cage farms. In land-based facilities, about 50,000 fish escaped because of insufficient safety measures. Operational errors may happen during activities, such as handling of cage nets under delousing and transfer of fish, and this resulted in 59,000 escaped fish. Another 14,000 escapees were connected to external causes, e.g. service vessel collision with cages or predator attacks.

Figure 3. 115 escape reports from fish farmers in 2016 categorized by causes (source: The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries)

Figure 1. Reported escaped salmon and trout from Norwegian land-based and cage farms 2001-2017 (source: The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries).

to work well. Last year’s all-time low figures were no consequence of fewer reported incidents. Øyvind Lie, Head of The Directorate of Fisheries, indicated recently the fish farmers’ awareness to report smaller incidents and ‘close calls.’ The authorities are nevertheless aware of possible unreported escapes. In January 2018, around 200 salmon identified as farmed fish (fin erosion, etc.) were captured in fishing nets in the same region in Western Norway. These facts are reasonable grounds for suspicion of a recent, unreported large escape from a local cage farm.

Figure 2. Recaptured salmon of 5-8 kg escaped from a cage farm in a Norwegian fjord July 2015 (courtesy: The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries).

The distribution of the 115 reported escape incidents in 2016 is illustrated in a pie chart (Figure 3). Eightytwo incidents were marked ‘specified causes’ (external, operational, structural). The severity of the incidents seems to be highest for structural fail-

ures, expressed as number of escaped fish per incident, since 21% of the reported incidents constitute more than half of the number of escaped salmon and trout. All typically performed preventive measures to reduce fish escapes seem

Dr. AsbjØrn Bergheim is a senior researcher in the Dept. of Marine Environment at the International Research Institute of Stavanger. His fields of interest within aquaculture are primarily water quality vs. technology and management in tanks, cages and ponds, among others.

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the fishmonger

TIME TO GET ON THE FRONT FOOT RE: MERCURY The connection between seafood and health is undeniable, yet information available to consumers can be confusing and conflicting.


octors, nutritionists, and federal agencies recognize that seafood is indisputably a healthy part of the human diet. Seafood generally is a low-fat source of high-quality protein and is the best dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. With a few exceptions for selected species, fish is usually low in saturated fats, carbohydrates, and cholesterol. The above is not a wild whimsy of ‘The Fishmonger’ but actual words issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on their website – see it yourself here - html . And yet…even though ‘Doctors, nutritionists, and federal agencies recognize that seafood is indisputably a healthy part of the human diet’ the

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authorities continue to confuse consumers, and it has got to the point that you must consider that this could be happening deliberately. Why if you know that something is ‘indisputably’ healthy would you continue to ‘confuse’ people? One of the major areas of confusion has been on the vexing issue of methylmercury (generally referred to as just ‘mercury’). Consider the current situation with the testing of methylmercury and the advisories to pregnant women – this is not an area where we can err, but it is The Fishmonger’s strong opinion that we are currently erring so badly that the decisions are seriously impacting the health and welfare of our future

children, and with that, seafood consumption. So, who are Codex Alimentarius and what is their role? The Codex Alimentarius (Latin for “Food Code”) is a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to foods, food production, and food safety. As you can see from https:// its name is derived from the Codex Alimentarius Austriacus. Its texts are developed and maintained by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a body that was established in 1961 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), was joined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1962, and held its first session in Rome in October 1963. The Commission’s main goals are to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the international food trade. The Codex Alimentarius is recognized by the World Trade Organization as an international reference point for the resolution of disputes concerning food safety and consumer protection. Unfortunately, too few people in the seafood industry have engaged in

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the fishmonger

this area. The decisions get made by others to impact the destiny of seafood when it comes to such standards. With today’s modern technologies and science, we are seeing constant improvement – testing can be done more efficiently, cheaper and with far more detail than it could when Codex started. The decisions that are made at Codex are essentially ‘top of the pyramid’, once agreed upon there they trickle through country legislation and eventually they become regulations in your country. Unless you are at the ‘top of the pyramid’ you cannot influence such decisions. Trying to amend such decisions later requires a truly massive effort and the difficulties are immense. For many years mercury testing has been done by all countries but as far as I can see there is no formally published data. It would be hard to imagine what the costs of such testing could have been, into the realms of many millions of dollars plus time/effort in doing such tests, which generally have added costs with traders having to embargo product until clearances are received. This is big business to laboratories. Let us now understand the background with mercury. The full history of the discussion on methylmercury dates to 1992 and by 1995 there was a Standard in place:

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‘CODEX GENERAL STANDARD FOR CONTAMINANTS AND TOXINS IN FOOD AND FEED’. The primary mercury horror story came from Minamata city in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan, in 1956. It was caused by the release of methylmercury in the industrial wastewater from the Chisso Corporation’s chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968. This highly toxic chemical bioaccumulated in shellfish and fish in Minamata Bay and the Shiranui Sea, which, when eaten by the local populace, resulted in mercury poisoning. While cat, dog, pig,

and human deaths continued for 36 years, the government and company did little to prevent the pollution. A second outbreak of Minamata ‘disease’ occurred in Niigata Prefecture in 1965. The original Minamata disease and Niigata Minamata disease are considered two of the four big pollution diseases of Japan. It is reported that as of March 2001, 2,265 victims had been officially recognised as having Minamata disease (1,784 of whom had died) and over 10,000 had received financial compensation from Chisso. By 2004, Chisso Corporation had paid $86 million in compensation, and in the same year was ordered to clean up its contamination. On March 29, 2010, a settlement was reached to compensate as-yet uncertified victims. Then, in late 1971 we had the Iraq poison grain disaster which was a mass methylmercury poisoning incident. Grain treated with a methylmercury fungicide and never intended for human consumption was imported into Iraq as seed grain from Mexico and the United States. Due to many factors, including foreign-language labelling (even though it had skull and cross bones on the sacks) and late distribution within the growing cycle, this toxic grain was consumed

as food by Iraqi residents in rural areas. These were desperately malnourished people and they suffered the severest consequences. The recorded death toll was 459 people, but figures at least ten times greater have been suggested. Use of methylmercury as a fungicide was subsequently banned. This had nothing to do with fish but is cited in the fish/methylmercury issue. You can appreciate there is reason to fear consuming methylmercury but as you can see these were not normal circumstances – these are cases of industrial pollution and poor governance and actions. Joseph Hibbeln, M.D of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIAAA) has for many years been studying lipid biochemistry, epidemiology and public health policy and now has a research focus on clinical treatment and prevention trials in alcoholism, substance abuse disorders, postpartum depression, suicide, and violence. You can see his work at and you will note that it includes documented evidence published in Lancet. 2007;369(9561):578-85 Maternal seafood consumption in pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood (ALSPAC study):

an observational cohort study - Hibbeln JR, Davis JM, Steer C, Emmett P, Rogers I, Williams C, Golding J where the final interpretation was “Maternal seafood consumption of less than 340 g per week in pregnancy did not protect children from adverse outcomes; rather, we recorded beneficial effects on child development with maternal seafood intakes of more than 340 g per week, suggesting that advice to limit seafood consumption could actually be detrimental. These results show that risks from the loss of nutrients were greater than the risks of harm from exposure to trace contaminants in 340 g seafood eaten weekly.” Eminent brain and lipid specialist (now Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London) Professor Michael A. Crawford PhD, FRSB, FRCPath says “There is not a scrap of evidence (today) of eating fish as a cause of neuro-toxicity in a human foetus. To the contrary, there is a lot of evidence of eating fish and sea food benefiting IQ and health.” The Fishmonger, having a suspicious mind, gets concerned when CODEX want to extract answers/ support quickly. It is not known for speed so when there is a rush for approvals of new testing protocols over

the Christmas/New Year period it has an odour of trying to get something approved when it needs to be investigated thoroughly. In fact, at this time, there should not be any changes because there is now good solid evidence that CODEX is addressing the Fish/Seafood Mercury issue incorrectly and that it is time for a total review with the aim being to minimise risk (and costs and benefits) and to maximise the outcomes for the health and well-being of people and ensure safety, quality and fairness of food trade (which is what CODEX is all about). There is evidence now that we are looking at mercury in ISOLATION whereas we need to be looking at this with new eyes. We used to look at managing fish resources fish species by fish species then it was realised that you cannot manage fish by fish - you need to manage the eco-system that the fish are engaged - the same applies here with testing mercury in isolation. People do not take a piece of fish and eat only the mercury part... Additionally, the new recommendations mention potential changes to Consumer Advice and talk of expansion of testing into all aspects of international trade. The implications and impacts on the global industry could be enormous. What is potentially dangerous now is that the species list is growing larger for testing - for example Amberjack is now getting mentioned. This is a major Aquaculture industry which is a growing business. Amberjack is a member of the Seriola family which includes Yellowtail Kingfish and there is considerable funding locked into the production and harvesting of this species in many countries. There are many things they are missing in the new mercury story that in The Fishmonger’s opinion need to be raised, and we will address them in the next issue. Until then, happy fishmongering! The Fishmonger

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Perspective and Opinion

Making Government a Partner in Aquaculture Development

by Don Webster, Regional Specialist, University of Maryland Extension*

Maryland has had an oyster industry for over 150 years. Its first aquaculture law was passed in 1830, authorizing an acre of leased subaqueous bottom for residents to bed and raise oysters.

Scott Budden of Orchard Point Oyster Company tends bottom cages in the Chester River.

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hat amount was increased to five acres in 1865 and a “modern” lease law known as the Haman Act was passed in 1906 that included a mandate to survey and reserve natural beds for public harvest. Charles Yates, the person assigned to carry out the survey, was convinced that there would be about 100 thousand acres in public domain and 200-300 thousand acres leased and in private production. He was wrong. Commercial oystermen in Maryland disliked the idea of tracts being leased to private use and began a century of placing legislative obstacles in the way. The Shepard Act in 1914 allowed any harvester to protest a lease in court and swear that he had made “at least one day’s work off the ground in the past five years.” The lease would then be declared void and the grounds would then be classified as natural oyster reef. Other legislation restricted people to a single lease, mandated minimum and maximum sizes, prevented corporations from leasing and barred non-residents as well. Slowly, actions were taken that kept the most productive counties from having further leases issued. By 1987 oyster diseases, overharvest and mismanagement had all but finished the industry. From the 2.5-3 million bushel harvest of the period that began in 1930, it declined to be only about ten percent of that, where it remained for the past thirty years. As harvesters left the water and processing plants closed, it was clear that change was needed. In 2008 Governor Martin O’Malley, urged by Department of Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin, moved to revise the lease laws to encourage private investment and attract capital to rebuild the oyster industry. Agencies and institutions worked together to strip as many of the former restrictions as possible from the laws. When completed, the new legislation was passed unanimously in both houses of the legislature. During the next year, it was

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Perspective and Opinion

Seed sorting and grading at 38º North LLC, a MD oyster company using multiple culture methods including bottom cages and surface floats.

combined with a new statewide oyster management plan that accentuated private cultivation. The new laws stripped away county prohibitions on leasing, as well as those on corporations and non-residents. There were no restrictions on the number of leases or their sizes. Instead, an “active use” program was developed. In concept, a person can apply for as much area as they wish. They file a production plan indicating how it will be managed and annual reports on active use are required with payment of annual rental fees at the conclusion of the year. If the ground

Workers at Metompkin Seafood in Crisfield MD remove cages with newly set spat from one of the company’s six setting tanks for transfer to planting vessel.

has not been used, the lease can be terminated. For efficiency, leasing was centralized in a single state agency and staffed with people committed to industry development. The Department of Natural Resources Aquaculture and Business Development unit is led by Director Karl Roscher and has seven full-time positions dedicated to processing lease applications, coordinating with the US Army Corps of Engineers for federal permits and providing oversight for lease use. Lawyers in the Office of Attorney-General have gained important

Initial float culture operation of 38º North LLC using OysterGro floats; farm has been expanded several times this size now.

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precedents in Maryland law relating to leasing which has greatly served to help the industry develop. In addition, a series of support programs were developed to help the industry grow. University of Maryland Extension was supported by NOAA funds to develop wide ranging training programs to build the skills needed by new growers in production operations, business management and seafood technology. The University’s hatchery at the Horn Point Lab, believed to be the largest in the world for the eastern oyster, was a focal point for much of the work. It

J.D. Blackwell (left), owner of 38º North LLC, shows the operation of his seed nursery to interns from the UMD Horn Point Oyster Hatchery.

included a program to teach remote setting techniques to growers to produce spat on shell for planting bottom leases. It features thirty-eight tank systems in eight locations around the Bay for growers to use in two-week periods during summer to produce seed. The program expanded from twelve growers producing 33 million seed oysters in 2011 to 45 producing 390 million in 2017. Hatchery staff provide counts of newly set spat to calculate setting rates which are provided to growers to justify the active use requirements for leases. The goal

Stacey Willey of the University of Maryland Horn Point Oyster Hatchery monitoring the setting of larvae on microcultch for the production of cultchless seed.

is to teach producers how to use the systems and then provide consultation services to build their own, sized to their operation. Low interest loans are available from an agricultural lending agency. Quarterly interest payments at a low rate are required while the oysters are growing. When harvest begins, interest is increased but, if the quarterly payments have been made, a twentyfive percent reduction in principal is applied, making it a very good deal for the producer. Loan funds are available for lease development as well as

UMD Horn Point Oyster Hatchery staff monitoring spawning oysters.

for remote setting systems, although the latter are currently restricted to commercial license holders. The Aquaculture Coordinating Council meets bi-monthly and is comprised of representatives of state agencies and institutions, legislators, the aquaculture industry and commercial harvesters. It provides policy oversight, working to solve problems of regulations and laws that restrict growth. An annual report is submitted to the Governor and chairs of the legislative committees on the environment on ways to “advance Maryland aquaculture.” It has been very successful since its formation in 2005. Since revising the leasing laws, over 6,500 acres have been brought into active production with over a hundred applications still being processed as more arrive monthly. Many growers with small initial leases have requested expanded areas as market demand has outrun production. The number of leases, total acreage and annual production have risen successively in each year. Some companies have expanded into equipment fabrication and sales, opened oyster bars and restaurants and developed similarly innovative businesses. With demand for product and leases still very strong, Maryland is poised for continued growth in shellfish aquaculture. As the words placed on all the training material by UM Extension state, development of this industry provides benefits to the “Economy, Employment and the Environment.”

Dr. Donald Webster is a Senior Agent with the University of Maryland’s Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources and Sea Grant Extension Programs. His expertise includes Marine Science, Commercial Aquaculture, Pond Management and Aquatic Vegetation Control. Reach him at

» 75

urner barry

PANGASIUS AND TILAPIA Tilapia imports surged nearly 13 percent in October with all three commodities—frozen and fresh fillets, and frozen whole fish— advancing. Still, overall imports remained nearly 10 percent down on a year-to-date basis compared to 2016.

By: Paul B. Brown Jr.*

Pangasius and Channel Catfish After contracting steeply in September, Pangasius imports managed to increase 20 percent. Still, on a YTD basis, imports remained lower. Meanwhile, October imports of frozen channel catfish fillets decreased nearly 44 percent from the previous month following a counter-cyclical trend. In addition, monthly figures fell below the four and eight-year average. On a YTD basis imports were nearly 52 percent greater. Shipments in October entered the U.S. with a declared value of $2.76 per pound, registering a $0.12 drop from the previous month; this is the lowest monthly import price per pound since March 2015, when the price registered $2.81. The wholesale market remains steady to about steady.

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Pangasius: After falling steeply in September, October imports managed to rise 20 percent. However, when compared to the same month last year imports were a dramatic 62 percent lower. Again, the surge in imports in July and August can be mainly attributed to the USDA’s inspection deadline set for September 2nd. So, it makes sense that such a decline is directly attributed to what was reported during those months; from delays, to rising replacement and administrative costs due to inspections, etc. Imports on a YTD basis were nearly 18 percent below last year’s figures or about 43 million pounds. European data also revealed lower imports of pangasius through September. On a YTD basis pangasius imports in Europe were down 25 percent.

According to data from the USDOC, replacement prices rose to the highest level since August 2011. Many in the industry say that these costs will continue to show an upward trend in the following months. Please consider that the replacement cost we publish from the USDOC is not Delivery Duty Paid (DDP); therefore, if we are to properly assess this cost we must add extra to this price per pound. This means that besides delays and administrative hiccups — among other issues which have forced many traders to hold inventories closely and thus further increasing prices upwards — the market holds a full steady to firm undertone.

Tilapia Tilapia Whole Fish: Imports of frozen whole fish increased as seasonally expected. On a YTD basis imports were 14 percent lower compared to 2016 and the lowest since 2012. Tilapia Fresh Fillets: Imports in October increased slightly from the previous month by only 2.6 percent but declined 7 percent compared to the same month a year earlier. On a YTD basis imports were 2.8 percent lower recording the lowest YTD volume since 2006. Imports from China were nil once again. October imports from Colombia recovered from the steep drop the previous month; imports from this country remained well above last year’s figures on a YTD basis. Imports from Costa Rica contracted significantly over the previous five months when compared to the same period a year earlier. Imports from Honduras, the largest supplier of this

commodity, increased slightly from the previous month and remained 9 percent lower through October compared to the same period in 2016. Total imports of this commodity were only 2.8 percent lower on a YTD basis through September. From a replacement cost basis, as well as the adjustments made to weighted import price per pound (which includes only the top five suppliers), we found that the October figure of $2.84 increased $0.09 from the previous month. The market in the U.S. managed to firm in December

Salmon By: Paul B. Brown Jr.*


due to short supplies from a couple of suppliers. The undertone into 2018 is full steady. Tilapia Frozen Fillets: Imports in October increased from the previous month, in addition to surpassing imports from the same month a year ago by 20 percent. YTD imports were 9.6 percent below those recorded in 2016, the lowest since 2009. Replacement prices declined slightly to $1.55 in October, retreating $0.03. We must remember that when costs overseas advance, it is likely that U.S. importers will try to pass the increase onto the

U.S. market. These replacement prices adjusted lower throughout 2015 after reaching record high levels in 2014. Since then, imports trended lower and prices remained steady at approximately $1.80 in the U.S. wholesale market. Demand in the U.S. remains weak relative to at least the last five years. Meanwhile, imports of Pangasius have surged since then, but this species is likely to hit some obstacles as the USDA takes over mandatory inspection. *President of Urner Barry

Overall salmon imports in December were 3.09 percent higher on a YTD basis. Total imports on a month-to-month basis were up 4.46 percent compared to the previous month.

he overall salmon market in December was steady to firm. Canada and Chile saw prices increase. The European market, Norway in particular, remained volatile; however, we saw those markets firm up as well.

Imports of Fresh Whole Atlantic Salmon YTD imports through October were up 6.3 percent from 2016. Canada was down 10.1 percent YTD, while Norway and the U.K were up 88.6 and 97.1 percent, respectively. Canada’s total market share was down to 61 percent from 2016’s 72 percent. imports; however, they experienced a 7.4 percent decrease in YTD imports. Imports of Fresh Atlantic Fillets Imports in October 2017 were 14.3 Pricing, Fresh Atlantic Salmon percent higher than the previous Fillets month, while total YTD imports con- Despite large volumes of wholetinued to contract; 3.0 percent down. fish out of Europe and falling prices Chile, the main driver in this category, throughout the first quarter of 2017, continued to see decreases; imports prices for Chilean fillets in the weekwere down 0.3 percent YTD. How- to-week negotiated/spot market reever, on a month-to-month basis, mained relatively flat most of the year. imports out of Chile increased 21.7 Prices trended lower through the rest percent. Overall, when comparing of the summer but were fairly stable to October 2017 to October 2016 there lower through the fall. For December, was a 7.0 percent increase. Fresh fil- pricing was steadily rising throughout let imports out of Norway saw a 0.8 the month. Supplies were barely adpercent increase in month-to-month equate for an active demand. 2-3s and

3-4s were under last year’s pricing, but still above the three-year average.

Frozen Atlantic Salmon Fillets & Portions, Imports and Price Imports of frozen Atlantic fillets increased 8.1 percent in October compared to the previous month. In addition, on a YTD basis imports were 19.9 percent higher. Imports from Chile decreased 10.3 percent from the previous month but were 11.8 percent above levels on a YTD basis. Imports from Norway increased 85 percent compared to the previous month, and were 47.2 percent higher on a YTD basis. We must mention » 77

urner barry

that we assume this HS code includes frozen portions. As import volumes increase, we are now starting to see a reaction in frozen fillet and portions pricing.

Frozen Fillet Salmon (Other than Atlantic) Imports, All Frozen Fillet & Portion Pricing We are seeing the frozen fillet, especially portions, adjusting lower as prices in the fresh market trended lower throughout the fall. Still, lower offers are noted on frozen portions. As we move into 2018, the amount of frozen fillets and portions offered to the spot market looks to be increasing as 2017 saw increased fro- To start 2017, there was a large difference in UB price versus the averzen imports. age retail price, but as the year progressed, retail prices reacted to the Retail Data, Pricing vs. UB Retail prices in December 2017 were higher UB prices and spiked in late lower than December 2016 in all ar- May. Since then retail prices, along eas of the U.S.; down 0.61. The ratio with UB prices have been trending of retail ad prices to wholesale prices lower. was trending basically flat, which was a change from the prior sev- InfoTrade, Chilean Exports of eral months. This ratio is still quite Salmonids and Atlantic Salmon to low compared to where it was back the U.S. (in MT) in 2015 and the beginning of 2016. According to Chilean data, exports of


By: Paul B. Brown Jr.*

Peeled imports were 24.4% higher in October, with YTD imports 15.7% higher. Cooked and breaded imports were also higher. The market for Asian white shrimp has seen weakness throughout the category in November and December especially for 26-30 count and larger shrimp. Ample inventories and only a fair spot demand have weighed on the market while most report regular foodservice and retail program activity. The undertone is unsettled awaiting the pull through of holiday demand on inventories.

U.S. Imports All Types, By Type October shrimp imports are up a sharp 16.6% in October, pushing yearto-date imports 10.5% higher. Average aggregate import value of shrimp in October 2017 was $4.70/lb. versus $4.57/lb. a year ago. Indian imports were 44.9% higher in October. Most other key shrimp importing countries were also higher, with the exception of Ecuador and Vietnam. Argentine shrimp imports in October were Shell-On Shrimp Imports, 98.7% higher than a year ago. Cyclical & by Count Size Monthly Import Cycles by Country The price of overseas replacement offerings have moderated somewhat (All Types) HLSO imports, including easy peel, but many anticipate declining import were 14% higher in October; leaving volumes in the 1st quarter amid lower YTD imports a moderate 3% higher. seasonal production and the possibil78 Âť

Chilean salmon to the world contracted 1.8 percent through October 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Shipments of fresh Atlantic fillets to the U.S. were also 5.8 percent down on a YTD basis.

*President of Urner Barry

ity that buyers will sit on the sidelines.

Value-Added, Peeled Shrimp Imports Black tiger shrimp have carried a mostly steady tone given strong and limited replacement offerings. However, given the weakness in the white shrimp market some lower offerings are noted for all but the largest shrimp. Cooked, Breaded & Other Shrimp Imports Latin American white shrimp have also weakened somewhat over the last two months despite limited Ecuador imports. A sluggish spot demand and pressure from lower priced Asian HLSO shrimp has forced importers to discount available inventories in order to stimulate buying interest. In addition, Mexican offerings of larger count shrimp have been available at

lower prices while Ecuadorian product is offered at higher levels.

U.S. Shrimp Supply & Gulf Situation A few scattered premiums have been emerging for Gulf shrimp. Higher replacement pricing and growing supply concerns continue to be price supportive, but at the same time, sellers remain cautious in their approach to pricing given the somewhat dull climate that has existed. The bias continues to be full steady to firm. The

National Marine Fisheries Service is reporting November 2017 landings (all species, headless) of 8.898 million lbs. compared to 9.063 million in November 2016. The cumulative total now stands at 93.75 million lbs.; 5.7 million pounds or 6.5 percent above the Jan-Nov 2016 total of 88.03 million lbs.

*President of Urner Barry

Âť 79


aquaculture events

MARCH SEAFOOD EXPO NORTH AMERICA Mar. 11 – Mar. 13 Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Boston, USA T: +1 800 803 5804 E: W: OCEANOLOGY INTERNATIONAL LONDON 2018 Mar. 13 – Mar. 15 ExCel London, London, UK T: +44 0 20 8439 8858 E: W:

5TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON GENOMICS IN AQUACULTURE Mar. 21 – Mar. 23 Grande Real Santa Eulália Hotel, Algrave, Portugal E: W: APRIL SEAFOOD PROCESSING GLOBAL 2018 Abr. 24 – Abr. 26 Brussels Expo, Brussels, Belgium T: +1 207 842 5590 E: W: MAY 10º INTERNATIONAL ABALONE SYMPOSIUM May. 8 – May. 12 Xiamen International Conference Center Hotel, Xiamen, China E: W:

1ST INTERNATIONAL SIMPOSIUM ON MARICULTURE May. 16 – May. 17 Caracol Science Museum and Aquarium, Ensenada, Baja California, México E: AQUACULTURE UK 2018 EXHIBITION May. 23 Macdonald Aviemore Resort, Aviemore, Scottland, UK T: +44 0 7880 230399 E: W: JUNE AQUAVISION 2018 Jun. 11 – Jun. 13 Stavanger, Norway W: JULY 22ND INTERNATIONAL SYMPHOSIUM ON FRESHWATER CRAYFISH Jul. 9 – Jul. 13 Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, USA W: AUGUST CENTRAL AMERICAN AQUACULTURE SYMPOSIUM (SIMCAA) Ago. 21 – Ago. 24 Choluteca, Honduras E: W: AQUA 2018 Ago. 25 – Ago. 29 Le Corum Congress Centre, Montpellier, France T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W:

SEPTEMBER 8th INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON AQUATIC ANIMAL HEALTH ISAAH 2018 Sep. 2 – Sep. 6 Delta Prince Edward Hotel & Convention Center, Charlottetown, Isla del Príncipe Eduardo, Canada W: 13º FIACUI Sep. 26 – Sep. 28 Hotel Presidente Intercontinental Guadalajara, Jalisco, México W: OCTOBER AQUASUR Oct. 17 – Oct. 20 Puerto Montt, Chile E: W: NOVEMBER LAQUA 2018 Nov. 14 – Nov. 17 Havana Convention Center, Habana, Cuba T: +1 760 751 5005 E: W: XIV FENACAM Nov. 20 – Nov. 23 Natal Convention Center, Natal, Brazil W:

advertisers AUTOMATED BIOREACTORS INDUSTRIAL PLANKTON...................................Inside BACK cover Tel: 1-844-818-0304 E-mail: www. antibiotics, probiotics and FEED additives Lallemand Animal Nutrition................................................43 Contact: Bernardo Ramírez DVM Basurto. Tel: (+52) 833 155 8096 E-mail: aeration equipment, PUMPS, FILTERS and measuring instruments, ETC AERATION INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL (O2)................back cover 4100 Peavey Road | Chaska, MN 55318 USA Contact: Marcos Kroupa T: +1-952-448-6789 | Direct: 952-556-5710 E-mail: All-Aqua Aeration.....................................................................1 Bob Advent. 1111 Kennedy Ct. Suite 11. Titusville FL 32780 T: 01 407 376 4543 E-mail: Aquatic Equipment and Design, Inc.....................................35 522 S. HUNT CLUB BLVD, #416,  APOPKA, FL 32703. USA. Contact: Amy Stone T: (407) 717-6174  E-mail: aquaFUTURE e.K........................................................................13 Dietmar Firzlaff Hans-Böckler-Str. 5 D-57223 Kreuztal Germany. T: ++49 (0)2732-6535 F: ++49 (0)2732-6371 Mobil: 0171 260-5060 Skype: aquafuture-d RK2 Systems.............................................................................65 421 A south Andreassen Drive Escondido California, USA. Contact: Chris Krechter. T: 760 746 74 00 E-mail:

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Valterra Products LLC...................................INSIDE COVER Mission Hills, CA Contact: Tera Grengs, Marketing Manager. T: 818-898-1671 x11 E-mail: events and exhibitions 1st INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON MARICULTURE.............37 May 16 and 17, 2018. Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Caracol Science Museum and Aquarium. E: 13th FIACUI.........................................................................25 September 26th - 28th, 2018. Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Information on Booths Contact in Mexico: Christian Criollos E-mail: OFFSHORE MARICULTURE CONFERENCE, ASIA 2018.................11 May 15 - 18, 2018. Marina Mandarin Singapore. T: +44 1329 825335 E-mail: XI INTERNATIONAL SHRIMP CULTURE SYMPOSIUM & TRADE SHOW-Challenging the early mortality Syndrome (EMS)...........41 February 28 - March 2, 2018. Panama. T: 507-3801-590 E-mail: XII SIMPOSIO CENTROAMERICANO DE ACUICULTURA............9 August 21 -24, 2018. Choluteca Honduras. E-mail: WAS AQUA 2018..........................................................................31 August 25-29, 2018. Montpellier, France. P.O. Box 2302 Valley Center, CA 92082 USA T: +1 760 751-5005 F: +1 760 751-5003 E-mail: John Cooksey Trade Show: / farming equipment Continental Western Corporation....................................17 2855 Miller Street San Leandro, CA 94577, USA. T: (800) 292 7717

Information Services Aquaculture Magazine............................................61 & 69 Design Publications International Inc. 203 S. St. Mary’s St. Ste. 160 San Antonio, TX 78205, USA Office: +210 504 3642 Office in Mexico: +52(33) 8000 0578 - Ext: 8578 Subscriptions: Ad Sales. Chris Criollos, Sales Manager | Office: +52 33 80007595 Cell: +521 33 14660392 Skype: christian.criollos Web portal · Newsletters · Magazine · Conferences · Technical Consulting. Urner Barry.............................................................................79 P.O. Box 389 Tom Ride. New Jersey, USA. Contact: Ángel Rubio. T: 732-575-1982 E-mail: RAS SYSTEMS, DESIGN, EQUIPMENT SUPPORT GEMINI FIBERGLASS...................................................................45 3345 N. Cascade Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80907. USA. Contact: Michael Paquette, President T: 858-602-9465 Email: / www. tanks AND NETWORKING FOR AQUACULTURE REEF Industries.......................................................................21 9209 Almeda Genoa Road Z.C. 7075, Houston, Texas, USA. Contact: Gina Quevedo/Mark Young/ Jeff Garza. T: Toll Free 1 (800) 231-6074 T: Local (713) 507-4250 E-mail: / /

Aquaculture Magazine February-March 2018 Vol 44 No 1  

FARMED FISH ESCAPES OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE What kind of “gone” are we talking about here? SALMONIDS Main factors behind escapes of farmed sa...

Aquaculture Magazine February-March 2018 Vol 44 No 1  

FARMED FISH ESCAPES OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE What kind of “gone” are we talking about here? SALMONIDS Main factors behind escapes of farmed sa...