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Fish Farmer VOLUME 40

NUMBER 01

JANUARY 2017

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977

FEED SPECIAL

GILL COMPLEX

BANK’S ACCOUNT

EXCELLENT NEWS

Innovations in ingredients from maggot meal to microalgae

Seeking solutions to major health challenge for salmon

Norwegian seafood financiers talk about growth

Scottish industry surveyed over research needs

January Cover.indd 3

16/01/2017 09:56:00


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Contents 4-15 News

What’s happening in aquaculture in the UK and around the world JENNY HJUL – EDITOR

Happy New Year

W

e start the New Year with a look at some innovations in fish feed from across the world. The last time we talked to the Drew brothers of Cape Town about their black soldier fly product they had just scaled up from a pilot project. Since then they have undergone a rapid expansion on their home turf and are launching into other markets, including Europe, which has at last changed its legislation on insect feed. A joint venture between American and Brazilian entrepreneurs resulted in another exciting development in fish feed, microalgae produced in commercial quantities from sugar cane and distributed through one of the big players in the salmon feed business, BioMar. Meanwhile, Aller Aqua is building on its success in Egypt with a new factory beside Lake Kariba in Zambia, an emerging hub of sub-Saharan Africa’s aquaculture industry. Offering insights closer to home, experts from Norway’s DNB Bank talk to Fish Farmer about super cycles and growing the salmon sector - in Iceland. In Scotland, this year could prove to be a turning point as the industry’s vision, made public last October, is transformed, we hope, into action by the powers that be. The team here will begin 2017 without, at least for a couple of months, our colleague William Dowds, who will be convalescing after an operation. I’m sure all his industry friends will wish him, as we do, a very speedy recovery.

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com www.fishupdate.com

Meet the team

Contact us

Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith and Jim Treasurer Editor: Jenny Hjul Designer: Andrew Balahura Advertising Manager: William Dowds wdowds@fishupdate.com Advertising Executive: Dave Edler dedler@fishupdate.com Publisher: Alister Bennett

Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 email: jhjul@fishupdate.com

Cover: Feeding time: Glenarm Organic Salmon farm manager Nigel McClure.

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Welcome - Jan.indd 3

Microalgae

Industry reaction

18-19 Comment

40-41 Feed

Phil Thomas

Marine ingredients

20-21 Comment

42-44 Feed

22-23 ASSG

46-49 Feed

Martin Jaffa

Looking ahead

Research

Danes in Zambia

52-53 Archive

Feed in the Falklands

24-25 SSPO 26 BTA

54-57 Gill Health

Industry meets in Oban

58-59 India

Better carp

Super bugs

28-30 DNB

Norwegian insight

31 Feed

Introduction

Subscriptions

62 Processing News Trout treat

63-65 Aqua Source Directory

Subscriptions Address: Wyvex

Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, Wethersfield, Braintree, Essex CM7 4AY

Printed in Great Britain for the proprietors Wyvex Media Ltd by Headley Brothers Ltd, Ashford, Kent ISSN 0262-9615

36-39 Feed

16-17 Centre of excellence

Spreading the word

Fish Farmer is now on Facebook and Twitter

Contents – Editor’s Welcome

Find all you need for the industry

32-35 Feed

Insect protein

66 Opinion

By Nick Joy

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16/01/2017 10:08:42


United Kingdom News

NEWS...

Scotland could scrap biomass limits BIOMASS limits on Scottish fish farms could be scrapped if proposals by Sepa (the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) are approved. Sepa is due to launch a public consultation in the next few weeks on how it regulates fish farming, according to a recent submission the agency made to the Scottish parliament. This will include plans to drop biomass limits.

Above: Permission to grow

The proposals follow the launch of the industry’s vision for growth late last year, which would

see the country’s aquaculture sector double production by 2030 and increase its value to

New test to detect costly salmon disease SCIENTISTS from the University of Glasgow have discovered a simple test to aid the diagnosis of a significant salmon disease. Working with industry partners BioMar and Marine Harvest Scotland, the group has shown that a simple measurement procedure could be used to detect Atlantic salmon infected with salmonid

alpha virus, which causes pancreas disease. Pancreas disease can cause significant losses in farmed Atlantic salmon due to morbidity, mortality and reduced production. The researchers, who published their findings in a study in the Journal of Fish Diseases, found that salmon with pancreas disease had a major change in the proteins present in the blood, and that these protein

Above: Atlantic salmon

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changes could be detected using a simple procedure. The test, called a selective precipitation reaction (SPR), has been patented by the team and could potentially be developed into a rapid analysis system allowing the disease to be diagnosed much earlier at fish farms. Current testing requires samples being sent to laboratories. Professor David Eckersall, Professor of Veterinary Biochemistry and leader of the research team, said: ‘The serendipitous discovery of the SPR has allowed a potentially powerful diagnostic test to be developed that could have significant applications in the future.’

the Scottish economy from around £1.8 billion to £3.6 billion. The plan – published in the Vision 2030 report in October - was backed by the Scottish government, which promised to set up an ‘industry leadership group’. Sepa said the aim

was to ensure that ‘the regulatory framework more closely matches the growth agenda pursued by the industry by removing imposition of a limit on biomass’. This would enable operators ‘to increase biomass where environmental monitoring demon-

strates that the location is able to cope’, and it would put responsibility for day-to-day management of sites into the hands of ‘responsible fish farmers’. Environmental campaigners, however, say the move would increase disease, worsen pollution and harm wild fish.

Support for young rugby talent A LEADING Scottish fish farmer is helping to fund a new rugby youth academy on the west coast, reported the Oban Times. The £2,000 cash grant from Scottish Sea Farms will help to keep young players engaged with the sport from their late teens to early twenties. The new academy is being established by Oban Lorne RFC to create a link between players leaving high school and starting to play senior rugby. This is a period when many talented players often lose contact with the sport. The Scottish Sea Farms Heart of the Community funding will help to provide specialised coaching sessions, strength and conditioning programmes, cover

some travel costs and assist with new kit and equipment. Jonathan Sayer, an environmental scientist with Scottish Sea Farms, based at South Shian, has been involved with the Oban Lorne RFC - a community club run by volunteers - as fundraising convener and said: ‘This will really help young people stay active and involved with the sport of rugby and means we will have an increase in young players entering the senior squads.’ Murray Hamilton, youth convener of Oban Lorne and PE teacher at Oban High school, said: ‘The idea behind the academy would not just be for students who leave school; we would also like to tackle the drop-off in players from 15 to 21.’

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

16/01/2017 10:13:31


All the latest industry news from the UK

Blueshell grows its mussel business SHETLAND’S Blueshell Mussels has secured ownership of SI Seafarms, adding 15 sea leases and approximately 1,500 tonnes of mussel growing capacity and equipment to its existing capacity. Managing director of Blueshell Michael Laurenson said: ‘We have, since 2010, been carrying out the practical operations for SI Seafarms, Shetland, on behalf of its UK shareholders. ‘We have now fulfilled our long term aspirations to purchase this successful business and ensure the long term security of our workforce.’ The family owned company is based in Brae, while SI Seafarms sites are located mainly off the west side of Shetland, including Walls, Aith, Clift Sound, Weisdale and Tresta. There are two additional sites on the east side. ‘We are pleased to be bucking the trend of recent years, where ownership of many Shetland aquaculture sites has left the islands,’ said Laurenson. ‘By operating the business in tandem with Blueshell, we look forward to achieving significant efficiencies and benefits in the future.’ David Fell, executive chairman of SI Seafarms, said he was very pleased with the sale

Above: More mussels

of SI Seafarms to Blueshell Mussels. ‘The sale of the business to Blueshell is in the best interests of SI Seafarms and its shareholders. Under Blueshell’s control, SI Seafarms will continue to thrive, support jobs in Shetland, and supply an increased quantity of quality

mussels to its customers.’ Although it will be business as usual for both companies, Laurenson will now become managing director of SI Seafarms, which will have its business address relocated to Sparl, Brae.

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16/01/2017 10:18:10


United Kingdom News

SSF reports early success with Thermolicer

Above: The Thermolicer in Shetland waters in July

SCOTLAND’S first Thermolicer has proved highly effective in removing sea lice, achieving 95 per cent clearance, reports a leading salmon farmer. Scottish Sea Farms has treated more than six million fish since acquiring the £4 million Norwegian made technology earlier this year. The company spent months researching and training staff in Norway to use the

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system and is now cooperating with other fish farmers, sharing the use and knowledge of best practice and reducing the requirement for medicinal treatments in Scotland. The Thermolicer has been used across the industry by salmon farmers including Cooke Aquaculture and Grieg Seafood. Marine Harvest Scotland also has one of the machines, made by Steinsvik.

Dr Ralph Bickerdike, SSF head of fish health, said: ‘This has been a real breakthrough in the fight against sea lice – having access to a new tool, which works in a completely different way to our other control measures, is a major achievement for the Scottish Industry. ‘It complements the other innovative solutions we are employing, such as biological control.’ The Thermolicer is a machine that uses zero therapeutants in the treatment of sea lice. The lice have a low tolerance for changes in temperature and the new device uses this fact to use water temperatures to eradicate the parasite. It is a simple and environmentally friendly method that goes beyond the traditional treatments. Assessing the

health status of fish prior to a Thermolicer treatment is an essential part of the decision making process for fish health and welfare. If there is an underlying health issue, due to previous environmental challenges, then other control measures are considered. This strict best practice ensures high standards of fish welfare. The Thermolicer is being used as part of an integrated sea lice management strategy whereby prevention is the priority, together with cycling of different treatments when intervention is required in order to avoid resistance developing to a specific control measure. The machine was bought with funding support from Marine Scotland and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), with partners

Norwegian Veterinary Institute. More than 30 of the machines are currently in use, most of them in Norway. Meanwhile, Marine Harvest Scotland has defended its use of a Thermolicer following reports that fish at one of its Scottish sites had been ‘poached alive’ as the water overheated. The stories, the company said, were ‘completely misleading’. Fish are only exposed to a maximum temperature of 34 deg C for 25 to 30 seconds. ‘It is extremely regrettable we lost fish at Greshornish [Isle of Skye], which we believe was the result Cooke and Grieg, as of treating fish that part of an ongoing had been weakened initiative to deliver from other treatnon-medicinal apments, particularly proaches to control for Amoebic Gill Dissea lice. ease, in the preceding Cabinet Secretary two months. for the Rural Econo‘Human error my Fergus Ewing said: played a part in this ‘I am pleased to see incident. Howevthe impact our super, these earlier port is having – inno- treatments had saved vation in this field is many fish suffering exactly what we want from this environto encourage.’ mental gill challenge.’ Thermolicer The experience technology has been highlights the fine tested over a nineline in judgement year period and is required on how, and recommended by the when, to treat fish.

Aquaculture pioneer dies GRAEME Gordon, one of the founding fathers of the UK aquaculture industry, has died at the age of 86. He was a wellknown and widely respected figure in the industry, the owner of Kenmure Fish Farm on Loch Ken in Galloway, and also instrumental in setting up Scot Trout, later sold to Dawnfresh. Stuart Cannon of Kames Fish Farm described him as the ‘grandfather’ of modern aquaculture and a leading pioneer. The funeral took place on January 12 and an obituary will appear in the February issue of Fish Farmer.

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

16/01/2017 10:19:03


All the latest industry news from the UK

Student ACES master new skills AN international group of students on a prestigious Masters Degree at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS UHI) in Oban is catching the eye of the aquaculture industry. The 25 students, who come from all corners of the globe, are the second cohort to join the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree (EMJMD) in Aquaculture, Environment and Society (ACES), awarded jointly by the University of the Highlands and Islands and University of Crete. The group, all based in and around Oban for an initial six months, represent 19 countries, including New Zealand, Jamaica, Peru, Brazil, Pakistan, China, Colombia and the US. As part of the two-year ACES programme they will continue their studies in Crete next February and in autumn 2017 will move on to Nantes in France, before spending the final six months of their Masters at one of the three partner organisations. The academic course will cover industry relevant aspects of aquaculture, such as environmental issues, governance, technology, life cycles and feed production. Course leader Dr Elizabeth Cottier-Cook, a senior researcher at SAMS, said: ‘The ACES programme provides fully funded scholarships for EU and non-EU students in a bid to

Above: The latest cohort

attract the very best aquaculture students from around the world.’ Marine Harvest sponsors a scholarship for one EU based student, who will go on to complete their studies with the company. The company’s business support manager, Steve Bracken, said: ‘Courses like EMJMD ACES are an important vector to bridge the gap between education, research and development, and applied industry techniques and knowledge.’ Applications are being taken for the third ACES cohort (2017/18).

First in aquaculture management A NEW course in aquaculture management is to be introduced by the NAFC Marine Centre in Shetland, which developed the programme in response to industry demand. The technical apprenticeship the first of its kind in the UK for the aquaculture sector - is aimed at experienced aquaculture staff, to provide them with the opportunity to gain a qualification in senior management while working in the aquaculture industry. The training programme will require up to 24 months of study by online distance learning, supported and assessed by staff at

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

UK news.indd 7

the NAFC Marine Centre, part of the University of the Highlands of the Islands (UHI). The study and assessment methods allow flexibility to fit with candidates’ work and other responsibilities. The programme has been approved by the Scottish Qualifications Agency through the UHI and is certificated by Lantra. It has also been approved for funding from Skills Development Scotland. The new training programme has been developed by staff at the NAFC Marine Centre. Course leader Stuart Fitzsimmons said: ‘Following the successful introduction of our Modern Apprenticeships in aquaculture for new and experienced fish farm staff, we have had a lot of interest from companies in a training programme for their managers. This programme has been designed to meet that need.’

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16/01/2017 10:21:51


European News

NEWS...

Norway 2016 salmon exports hit record high NORWAY’S fish farmers exported salmon worth 61.4 billion kroners (around £6 billion sterling) in 2016, according to the latest figures out today - and on lower volumes. This is the highest export figure ever. The Norwegian Seafood Council said the value of salmon has never been higher. Trout exports also performed well. Analyst Paul T Aandahl said there was a strong demand for Norwegian salmon during the period, mainly from

markets within Europe, the United States and Asia. The average export price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 60.11

New CFO in BioMar Group MOGENS Stentebjerg, CFO in BioMar Group, will retire after more than 30 years in the company. Group finance manager Claus Eskildsen has been appointed the new CFO and assumed his role on January 1. Above: Claus Eskildsen Stentebjerg has for more than 25 years been a key figure in placing BioMar on the map as one of the world’s leading suppliers of high performance feed for aquaculture, first as finance manager in BioMar, Denmark, and since 1995 as CFO in the BioMar Group. ‘I am very pleased that we have managed to grow a strong internal successor for this important change in our executive committee,’ said Carlos Diaz, CEO of the BioMar Group. ‘Claus Eskildsen has during the last four years been working closely together with Mogens Stentebjerg and has proven to be a very strong contributor to our strategic development. ‘I am confident that Claus Eskildsen will be an asset reaching our strategic objectives.’ Stentebjerg will continue working for BioMar during a period of transition to ensure continuity in the handover of his responsibilities, BioMar said.

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per kilo in 2016 - NOK 17.26 million or 40 per cent higher than in 2015, which was also a record year. The average export

price for fresh whole salmon during 2016 varied between 54.34 kroners per kilogram in September and 69.36 million in December.

The average export price in December was incidentally the highest average price ever recorded for a single month. Norway exported 749,000 tonnes of salmon to the EU in 2016, with a value of NOK 45.3 billion, down by 5.5 per cent (43,000 tonnes) in volume terms. In fact, approximately 76 per cent of all Norwegian salmon exports, measured in product weight, went to the EU last year. The biggest markets

were Poland and France, but the largest growth country was Greece. Exports to the US were worth NOK 3.4 billion up by six per cent. Sales to Asia were worth NOK 10.5 billion - up by 39 per cent. Norway exported 68,227 tonnes of trout worth NOK 3.9 billion last year. This is an increase of 29 per cent or 15 400 tonnes, and 69 per cent or NOK 1.6 billion from 2015. The export price for fresh whole trout, increased by 16.14 per kg.

Sea lice laser technology secures $5.2m in funding NORWEGIAN firm Stingray Marine Solutions, which makes a novel sea lice deterrant, has secured NOK 45 million ($5.2m) in funding via a share issue carried out by Pareto Securities, it was announced last month. The money comes from Norwegian investors based in Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger and Oslo, all of them represented by the investment company Altitude Capital. Stingray Marine Solutions is based on entrepreneur Esben Beck’s patented idea from 2010 for the removal of sea lice by means of camera vision and laser. The company is a subsidiary of Beck Engineering, and, from

2013 onwards, it developed independently the technology to combat sea lice. Since then the company has sold more than 50 units, mainly to Norwegian fish farms. The submersible laser fires pulses that kill salmon lice without harming the fish swimming past. Stingray had wished to raise NOK 20-30 million, ‘to strengthen its investments in

technology for the aquaculture industry’, but the issue was increased due to great interest, it said. The Stingray consists of two main parts: a buoy that floats on the surface, and a submersible laser unit attached to the bottom of the buoy. It operates automatically and can be immersed to a depth of 30m. Stingray has also developed a database containing millions of images of salmon

lice from all the units placed in fish cages. This continuously transmit images back to the database. ‘In that way we have developed a generic network, in which the nodes [units] are becoming steadily more effective.,’ said general manager John Breivik. ’Today the nodes are already capable of killing up to 10,000 salmon lice a day. We have not had a single case in which the laser has harmed or stressed the fish.’

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

16/01/2017 10:23:15


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16/01/2017 10:34:04


European News

New group to review Irish aqua licences IRELAND has set up a new body to review the process of licensing for aquaculture and its associated legal framework. Irish fisheries minister Michael Creed announced the establishment of the independent Aquaculture Licensing Review Group Above: Michael Creed last month, as part of its Food Wise 2025 in- said Creed. ‘Ireland’s National itiative and Ireland’s Strategic Plan for National Strategic Sustainable AquaPlan for Sustainable Aquaculture Develop- culture Development aims to sustainably ment. grow our production ‘Our aquaculture across all species by sector has enor45,000 tonnes. mous potential to ‘To achieve that sustainably grow its production of seafood ambition, we need to revamp our aquaculto meet the opporture licensing process tunities presented and its associated from growing world legal frameworks, so demand for safe, sustainable seafood,’ that an operator can

have a decision on an aquaculture licence application within timeframes that compare favourably to our competitors. ‘ But any changes must ensure that all stakeholders can participate in a transparent licensing process and have confidence that any licensing decision complies with all EU and national legal requirements and protects our oceans for future generations.’ Both Food Wise 2025 and the National Strategic Plan identified issues with the current licensing system and recommended an independent review to examine the existing challenges.

Phishing warning from Troutex THE Danish company Troutex reports that it has been targeted by IT criminals attempting to lure customers into pre-paying for fertilised trout eggs. After the launch of its website in 2015, Trouex said the growing number of visits and activity on the site caught the attention of rogue elements. Troutex issued a statement last month saying: ‘The criminals recently launched a fake webpage with a complete copy of the design of our own www.troutex. dk – and in response to inquiries have distributed false offers for fertilised trout eggs using a false email address and our names. ‘In Troutex we take this matter

very seriously. We have contacted the host of the false domain and had the fake homepage and email addresses shut down – and we have also reported this criminal offence to the police. ‘Troutex acted immediately after the fraud came to our attention. We would like to emphasise that this criminal activity is not related to weak IT systems at Troutex.’ The company has asked customers to be alert. ‘Make sure to have the correct contact data of your suppliers. Be aware of any suspicious changes in phone numbers, email addresses and particularly bank account data.’

Funding boost for by-products project A FEED project to exploit the potential of marine by-products has secured NOK 16 million in funding, announced BioMar, a partner in the scheme. The QMAR

project – ‘unlocking the nutritional and technical quality potential of marine by-products in sustainable salmonid feeds’ – starts in January and is funded for four years. According to Hanne Jorun Sixten (pictured), senior researcher at

BioMar’s global R&D Nutrition Requirements Group and QMAR project manager, the project will enable BioMar and its partners to develop ingredients and feed products based on by-products of marine raw materials. In addition, work

on the project, which is supported by the Research Council of Norway, will be conducted on understanding the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of components based on marine raw materials. ‘The project will strengthen BioMar’s

work on sustainability,’ said Sixten. ‘Moreover, it will play a part in increasing the sustainability of both fisheries and aquaculture by creating incentives and solutions for fully exploiting the entire catch.’ Feed feature: page 31

Cermaq backs technology transfer NORWEGIAN salmon farmer Cermaq took part in the recent 2016 Fortune and Time Global Forum in Rome, along with other business leaders, members of the Time 100 and Fortune 500 lists of the world’s most influential people. The forum was inspired by Pope Francis’ call for encouraging an economic system that

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both promotes growth and spreads its benefits more broadly. Cermaq said it endorses initiatives where partnerships can be a driving force for meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Aquaculture, said the company, is a part of the solution, not only in areas of salmon farming, but in general. ‘I have had the unique opportunity to talk with

global influencers of the benefits of aquaculture and the enormous potential for technology transfer to other species and regions,’ said Cermaq CEO Geir Molvik when he returned from Rome. ‘Farmed salmon has a very small ecological footprint compared to agriculture, and we must continue to grow the volumes of this climate friendly

food production in the regions where natural conditions for salmon farming are suited, recognising that salmon is a healthy food and that replacing meat with seafood is good for health as well as climate.’ Only seven per cent of global protein consumption comes from seafood, while the oceans cover 70 per cent of the earth’s surface.

Above: Cermaq CEO Geir Molvik (left) at the Fortune and Time Global Forum in Rome

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

16/01/2017 10:34:40


All the latest industry news from Europe

Gene discovery to tackle trout disease GENE markers to improve the resistance of rainbow trout to a major disease will be available in the UK, Norway and Chile in early 2017. Identified by AquaGen, the genetic markers (QTLs) have significant correlation to flavobacteriosis resistance. Also known as Rainbow Trout Fry Syndrome (RTFS), it is a major problem in rainbow trout production worldwide. It is widespread, occurs frequently, and can cause high mortality and wounds in fry and larger fish in freshwater hatcheries and on-growing sites. Antibiotics are often used to treat stock. AquaGen has identified and implemented several gene markers for disease resistance in Atlantic salmon. They are currently employed to produce salmon with increased resistance to the viral diseases IPN, PD and CMS. Gene markers for resistance to the bacterial disease SRS and to

sea lice have also been identified and put to use. In rainbow trout, AquaGen has found gene markers for IPN - and now flavobacteriosis resistance. AquaGen has implemented a genomic tool that uses thousands of markers in order to select for disease resistance in rainbow trout. In collaboration with Affymetrix and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), a high density SNP-chip capable of genotyping 55,000 SNP markers from one individual fish in one analysis has been developed. It is through the use of this SNP-chip that gene markers for IPN and flavobacteriosis resistance could be identified. In 2014, AquaGen started its work on resistance to flavobacteriosis. A crucial part of this work was the availability of an experimental challenge model developed by a group of scientists at the University of Stirling. Selection for improved resistance to flavobacteriosis is

of relevance to all the major markets for AquaGen rainbow trout. Andrew Reeve, AquaGen sales manager UK/Ireland, said:

‘The new product for significantly increased resistance to RTFS will deliver value by reducing the economic impact for the farmer.’

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16/01/2017 10:36:40


World News

NEWS...

Tanzania to double tilapia production

Above: Ambitious plans to grow aquaculture industry

TANZANIA has ambitious plans to develop a better aquaculture sector by doubling its production of tilapia. Tilapia, second only to carp as the world’s most frequently

farmed fish, live in huge numbers in the Great Lakes (Victoria, Tanganyika, Malawi/ Nyasa) that cover six per cent of the country. But at the moment,

tilapia farming in Tanzania is mostly for subsistence or for small-scale markets and often uses non-native species, such as Nile tilapia. To develop an aqua-

culture strategy, 30 scientists representing Tanzanian stakeholders, as well as international research organisations, met for a three-day workshop in Zanzibar.

The main outcome was a new consortium, committed to establishing a National Aquaculture Development Centre (NADC). The NADC could help triple the contribution that aquaculture makes to the economy, double the production of fish in the country by 2025 and improve access to fish as a protein source - especially for women. Tilapia species from a broad range of ecosystems - including lakes, river systems, reservoirs and fish ponds across the country - will form the focus of the research.

Genetic analysis of 31 species, including 26 that are found nowhere else on the planet, could reveal important traits for creating the country’s own commercial broodstock. Charles Mahika, of Tanzania’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, said: ‘We have a chance to increase our country’s share in aquaculture’s blue revolution, an industry growing faster than any other food production sector in the world. ‘Tilapia production could help meet the nutritional demands of our growing population.’

US to open Pacific to farmers AMERICAN officials are reportedly working on a plan to expand fish farming into federal waters around the Pacific Ocean. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is creating a plan to manage commercial fish farms in federal waters, the area of ocean from three to 200 miles offshore, around Hawaii and other Pacific islands. The programme is similar to one recently implemented by NOAA in the Gulf of Mexico and would help the US reduce its dependence on imported seafood, which currently accounts for more than 90 pent of fish and shellfish consumed in the States. New technologies are being developed for open-ocean aquaculture, but many US companies are having to go overseas to farm, according to NOAA officials. ‘The US’s view is we’d rather have these US companies pursuing these opportunities in a sustainable, environmentally sound way in the US,’ said Michael Tosatto, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service regional administrator. The NOAA plan would create a regulatory and

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permitting scheme for the industry. ‘It’s reasonably common knowledge that the environmental laws are less where aquaculture occurs the most, (that) being China and other South-East Asia countries,’ Tosatto said. Many foreign operations have US companies supplying the breed stock, then the fish are grown and sold back to the US as imported seafood. Farmed fish in 2014 was valued at $1.3 billion, Tosatto said, and constitutes just 19 per cent of the nation’s seafood production. That amounts to only one per cent of the global farmed product. NOAA has been trying to establish an aquaculture industry in federal waters for many years,

but attempts to get legislation to implement open-sea aquaculture have failed. ‘All forms of aquaculture can be done responsibly or irresponsibly,’ said Michael Rubino, NOAA aquaculture programme director. ‘We will need all forms done well to meet seafood demand and healthy ocean objectives.’

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

16/01/2017 10:48:38


All the latest industry news from around the world

Are perch the new wrasse?

PACIFIC perch are proving to be efficient cleaner fish in trials with farmed Atlantic salmon in British Columbia, according to Aquaculture North America. Research so far has produced promising results, said Dr Shannon Balfry, who leads a team investigating the use of local perch as cleaner fish. ‘We expected our

first trial to last two to three months. When we checked back after five days, the sea lice were all gone and so was the evidence [that they were ever there]. ‘We now have so much evidence that the perch eat the sea lice,’ said Balfry. ‘We find the lice in their stomachs and we have video of the

perch picking lice off the salmon.’ This research, at the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Centre for Aquatic and Environmental Research in West Vancouver, is the first of its kind on the west coast. ‘Marine Harvest (BC) phoned and asked if I knew about salmon

farmers in Norway using lumpfish and wrasse as cleaner fish in their net pens,’ said Balfry. ‘We don’t have wrasse or lumpfish in BC, but when I went back through the literature I found several reports from the 70s, of researchers observing cleaning behaviour in local

kelp perch (Brachyistius frenatus) and pile perch (Rhacochilus vacca).’ Balfry says her next work will be in deployment research to determine the optimal stocking ratio of perch to salmon and how to scale up the culture of perch. ‘A perch breeding programme and

hatchery will be needed to stock the net pens, so there is lots of work to do with the perch.’ There is much to learn as well about perch physiology, health and nutrition, she said. The team expects to start cage studies in 2018. Above: Pacific pearch

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World News

Six-year fish plan to feed the poor

Above: Addressing food security in the developing world

THE international research organisation WorldFish has launched a sixyear strategy to boost sustainable aquaculture production and smallscale fisheries in developing countries. The UN backed group will focus on improving breeding and fish feeds, and strengthening fisheries governance. There is increasing acknowledgement that addressing fish supply in developing countries is essential for global food and nutrition security. The UN High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) recently concluded that fish is ‘crucial to any debate and action to reduce poverty and improve food security and nutrition’. The new strategy (2017-2022) outlines how WorldFish will achieve its mission of strengthening livelihoods, food and nutrition security by improving fisheries and aquaculture. Aquaculture is a growth industry, with more than 100 million people, most in the developing world, depending on it for their livelihoods. However, farmers often use poor quality seed, resulting in low productivity. To boost yields, WorldFish will build on its long-running tilapia and carp breeding programmes to develop new knowledge and technology in improved breeds, fish health, aquafeeds and management practices. Projections are that this will directly benefit five million producer households, with targets of increasing sustainable production by another 4.8 million tonnes annually in some of the world’s poorest countries. Nigel Preston, director general of WorldFish, said: ‘Sustainable aqua-

Marine Harvest to resume exports to China MARINE Harvest is to resume exports to China in the first or second quarter of 2017 following the normalisation of trade between the countries, according to Reuters. CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog said: ‘It’s a market with great potential, so we have high hopes for China.’ He forecast that global salmon supply would rise by about three per cent in 2017, and noted that the price of Norwegian farmed salmon hasn’t hit an upper limit, despite the surges seen in 2016. Shares in Marine Harvest rose as much as 2.3 per cent in December, a 13-year high.

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Above: Alf-Helge Aarskog

culture practices offer water, energy, and feed conversion efficiencies superior to any other domesticated animal food production system— and fish is the only animal source food that can be produced in saltwater, offering unique advantages for climate resilient production. ‘The new WorldFish strategy outlines ambitious targets that will maximise the nutritional and livelihood benefits for millions of the world’s most vulnerable people.’ Consumption of fish – a rich source of micronutrients and essential fatty acids – has a critical role to play in boosting dietary diversity. WorldFish will develop and implement novel aquaculture and fisheries production systems, in particular fish-rice systems, research methods to reduce post-harvest waste and losses and continue to develop novel fish based products such as the fish chutney piloted in Bangladesh. The aim is that this work will result in 2.4 million fewer people suffering from micronutrient deficiencies and help 4.7 million more women of reproductive age achieve a more balanced diet. Blake Ratner, director general designate of WorldFish, said: ‘Our strategy focuses on the three interlinked challenges of sustainable aquaculture, resilient small-scale fisheries and enhancing the contributions of fish to nutrition of the poor in the places where we can make the most difference. ‘These challenges will only be met by partnering with the communities, research innovators, entrepreneurs and investors who give fisheries and aquaculture its dynamism and promise.’

Plan to cut antibiotic use in Chile Marine Harvest aims to reduce the use of antibiotics on its Chilean farms by 70 per cent over the coming year, according to reports. The firm plans to decrease the use of antibiotics from 450g per tonne of harvested salmon, to 150g. It will vaccinate all species with a new drug produced by Pharmaq, which has given

positive results, Marine Harvest’s health and nutrition manager in Chile, Jorge Mancilla, said. ‘Marine Harvest is the company in Chile that produces [salmon] with the lowest densities compared to other producers.’ The Norwegian owned firm has also implemented a programme to discover salmon’s

resistance to sea lice drugs. Sea lice cost the Chilean industry an estimated $700 million per year.

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

16/01/2017 10:50:15


All the latest industry news from around the world

Marine Harvest grows Canada business MARINE Harvest has expanded its Canadian operation to Newfoundland and Labrador after acquiring Gray Aqua Group, according to reports. The $15 million deal includes seven farming licences in Newfoundland and Labrador and a processing plant. Newfoundland fisheries minister Steve Crocker said: ‘This is significant news for our province’s seafood industry and for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. ‘Marine Harvest is one of the

largest seafood companies in the world, and is the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon. This is a company that did $4.5 billion in business worldwide last year. ‘We have committed to growing our salmon aquaculture industry to 50,000 tonnes … We welcome Marine Harvest’s interest as yet another testament to the potential for growth in our seafood sector.’ The Marine Harvest investment also includes 17 site applications throughout the province.

Oman to develop aquaculture projects OMAN’S Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is due to announce the winners of largescale commercial aquaculture projects at eight sites, the Times of Oman reported earlier this month. The ministry selected the sites for development in June 2016 and sought applications from potential investors. ‘We will tell investors about the successful applications, and then these companies can start their feasibility studies and apply for environmental permits,’ said Dr Hamed Said Al Oufi, undersecretary of fisheries wealth at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. He said that commercial licences will then be awarded to the winning companies, which were chosen from 40 applications. ‘We are aiming for 200,000 tonnes of high-value fish per annum from aquaculture projects by 2030. These are mostly for export and the local market,’ said Dr Al Oufi. Once the projects begin operating, it will help to eliminate the

The world moves forward

gap in supply and demand in the domestic market as well. He also said that five companies have already received commercial licences for starting aquaculture projects, and these ventures are coming up in different places, including Quriyyat, Sharqiya and Dhofar region. One farm is raising abalone in Dhofar region, another is a shrimp project in Jaalan (Sharqiya) and another is planned in Quriyyat. The shrimp project is expected to produce between 3,000 tonnes and 4,000 tonnes of shrimp per annum. ‘Now they are obtaining equipment, importing cages, and so on,’ said Dr Al Oufi. These five are among 18 projects that received an initial ministry clearance and environmental permits.

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16/01/2017 10:50:40


Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre – Survey

Excellent idea? Plug research gaps but invest in existing facilities first, report finds

A

SURVEY to gauge support for a Scottish aquaculture centre of excellence found that investment should be channelled into existing institutions first and foremost. But there was also ‘strong’ backing for a network of facilities that makes better use of current provision and addresses any gaps that exist. The study, commissioned by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) and conducted by former Marine Harvest Scotland managing director Alan Sutherland, took views from across the industry. There was a response rate of more than 50 per cent (‘over 100 industry members’) to SAIC’s survey, with respondents coming from senior management, academia, industry bodies and government agencies, said SAIC. The five key findings of the report– Exploring the concept of a centre of innovation excellence for Scottish aquaculture – were: • The sector is strongly in favour of a centre of innovation excellence – or network of innovation excellence – for Scottish aquaculture; • Investment should be channelled into existing facilities first and foremost, supported where appropriate by new infrastructure to address any gaps in provision; • Provision of facilities should be coordinated by a single entity, ideally an existing organisation; • Respondents favoured a consortium leadership model with strong industry representation; • Initially, the centre of innovation excellence will require public sector pump-prime funding, but should over time become commercially self-sustaining. Sutherland said: ‘The idea of having a dedicated centre of innovation excellence for Scottish aquaculture has been discussed for several years now, albeit at an informal level. ‘This early-stage study makes the informal formal, confirming that there is

Left: Alan Sutherland. Opposite - Table: 5 Priority Areas chart

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indeed strong cross-sector support for such a concept and identifying perceived gaps in the existing R&D infrastructure.’ Compared to Scotland, many of the other leading aquaculture producing countries have considerably more in the way of support for innovating effective solutions to technical challenges, both in terms of R&D activity and infrastructure, the report found. Norway has a wealth of internationally renowned organisations providing dedicated support, including the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture (Nofima); the Centre for Research based Innovation in Aquaculture Technology (Create); and aquatic research facility, Veso Vikan. Chile, the world’s second biggest salmon exporter after Norway, is home to a number of R&D institutions including AVS Chile, the Instituto de Fomento Pesquero and Intesal, while in British Columbia the BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences is currently developing the concept of a BC salmon centre of excellence. In Scotland, there are various research facilities doing groundbreaking work in the area, mostly within higher education institutions and government laboratories. As a whole, however, current R&D capacity is limited compared to the ambition of industry and ingenuity of academia, according to the study. One result of this is that many of the multi-nationals operating in Scotland undertake their R&D elsewhere. ‘While much of the resulting insights and output can still be used in Scotland, it’s important to recognise that there are significant differences between countries in terms of the marine environment, biological and disease challenges, and the regulatory environment. ‘Add to this the fact that outsourcing R&D to international providers both reduces the supply chain benefits and the innovative capacity of Scotland, and there is a clear case to be made for ensuring that the Scottish aquaculture industry has the capability and critical facilities necessary to test new approaches in the environments for which they are intended.’ All three leading feed firms with a presence in Scotland have research facilities located elsewhere: Skretting in Lerang, Norway; Cargill in Dirdal and Lønningdal, Norway, and Colaco, Chile; and BioMar in Hirtshals, Denmark, and Patagonia, Chile.

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16/01/2017 10:52:30


The issues of sea lice and gill health emerged as a clear priority for producers, suppliers and academics. Environmental challenges were also high on the list, as was sharing best practice and knowledge exchange.

Mortality reduction/improved smoltification

Genetics/breeding for health and quality

Addressing regulatory and planning challenges

Development of new species.

Excellent idea?

TABLE 5: PRIORITY AREAS

What do you see as being the top 3 priorities?

All (%)

Producers (%)

Suppliers (%) Academics (%)

Others (%)

Sea lice and gill health

25

23

28

21

25

Cleaner fish production

7

3

9

7

10

Feed formulation

6

7

5

10

3

Vaccine and medicines

9

10

8

14

3

Production in more exposed locations

11

5

15

12

6

Environmental challenges

17

16

19

14

16

Training

12

18

11

10

3

Other

13

18

5

12

34

The highlighted numbers indicate the highest responses in each category. Note that the responses do not add up to 100% because some respondents were in favour of more than one approach.

‘Yet each has expressed an explicit desire for R&D infrastructure in Scotland that would enable trials of feed related products, in order to support new product development for the local market.’ The report asks if the time is ripe for a Scottish centre of aquaculture “Priorities be aligned to theor a coordinated excellence, be it one should facility comprising different specialisms network of specialist facilities, capable of: industry growth strategy; the focus • Helping develop and test technological solutions that remove the challeng‘We will also offer the study as advisory input to the newly formed Industry es and bottlenecks inhibiting growth in the sector; should becurrently broader than primary Leadership Group tasked with overseeing the actions set out in the recently • Supporting evidence based improvements to the oversight regime under production.” launched Aquaculture Growth to 2030 strategy.’ which Scottish aquaculture currently operates. Download a copy of the report at www.scottishaquaculture.com. FF Respondents thought there was a lack of existing infrastructure to support feed trials and studies for fish in the second half of their growth cycle. A key ‘ask’, therefore, in terms of which facilities would most help Scottish aquaculture businesses to grow, was for the centre of excellence to include seawater and freshwater field trial facilities. TO TAKE THE IDEA FORWARD, THE REPORT While existing tanks, pens, lab space and consents would be utilised wherRECOMMENDS THE FOLLOWING: ever possible, it is likely that new infrastructure would be required in order to 1. Establish a steering group of supportive parties to support industry ambition in this area. explore how best to take the centre of excellence concept Respondents were asked to identify their three main priorities for a centre of excellence, selecting from an eight-strong list of major industry issues. Sea to the next stage, as a precursor to lice and gill health emerged as a clear priority for producers, suppliers and any further commitment; academics. Environmental challenges were also high on the list, as was sharing 2. Conduct a gap analysis to identify and map existing best practice and knowledge exchange.

I think we might find another name for the initiative that better describes what is required

WHAT NEXT?

research facilities in Scotland that could potentially support centre of excellence activities; Funding challenges 3. Review existing UK/Norwegian centre of excellence While there was cross-sector enthusiasm for a centre of excellence, equally models, as well as Scottish industry leadership groups, there was cross-sector concern that it might duplicate existing activity, involve expensive new facilities or structures, or dilute existing investment in Scotland. seeking any lessons that can be learned; There was also concern about the sustainability of funding – possibly in the 4. Prepare a database to identify companies and individuals absence of EU support; that the centre of excellence, once established, might who stated a willingness to collaborate in developing the face future challenges in meeting ongoing running costs. new infrastructure required to support a One (anonymous) respondent said: ‘If you could link together better the centre of excellence; existing facilities, you could have a real powerhouse.’ 5. Draw up a list of commercial projects for the Another (also anonymous) said: ‘There are a number of organisations activecentre of excellence; ly and successfully delivering relevant work, and it may be more appropriate to look at linkages and profile.’ 6. Create a list of companies requiring resources for While a third said: ‘I think we might find another name for the initiative that innovation activities, then cross-reference with those better describes what is required, that is a network of facilities and compeoffering the relevant resources to enable SAIC to tencies that enhances opportunities for applied research and development investigate opportunities for collaboration; relevant to the needs of a growing aquaculture sector.’ 7. Identify candidate sites/facilities suitable for SAIC CEO Heather Jones said: ‘The report recommends establishing a steeracquisition or lease; ing group of supportive parties to explore how best to take the centre of excellence concept to the next stage, as a precursor to any further commitment. 8. Write a business plan for the centre of excellence and ‘We look forward to contributing to the work of that steering group wherevexplore possible funding opportunities. er we can, further helping ensure that industry priorities are addressed.

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16/01/2017 10:54:19


Trade Associations – SSPO Comment

BY BY PROFESSOR PROFESSOR PHIL PHIL THOMAS THOMAS

Underpinning Here’s to provenance the future Do we think gives the Scotland mustenough not clingabout to thewhat political industry its edge inworld key markets? past in a post-Brexit

RI

unning andcally overcorrect the holiday t may not up be to politi to sayperiod so at three but particular caught my eye and present farmeditems Atlanti c salmon would me to reflect. notcaused have become Scotland’s leading food Thewithout first item ‘Exploring thepositi Con-ve export thewas Crown Estate’s cept of a Centre of Innovation Excellence for engagement with aquaculture development Scottish Aquaculture’, an independent scoping back in the 1980s. study Alan Sutherland, former MD of Marine Now,byaquaculture is a signifi cant part of the Harvest Scotland. agency’s marine leasing portfolio and is reguThiscelebrated report, published SAICEstate’s (the Scottish larly by the by Crown Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre), provided a Marine Aquaculture Awards event. This year’s highly significant statement of the Scottish inevent in Edinburgh on the 11 June was the dustry’s commitment to a long-term strategy of usual highly successful showcase for Scottish developmental research, based on ‘science into aquaculture and a rare opportunity for induspractice’ and a national investment in the retry to join together to mark its success. sources necessary to drive that process forward. The Crown Estate is presently at the centre Inevitably, there is a lot of work still to be done of further devolution discussions between the before the concepts expressed in the report can UK government and Scottish government. The be fully reflected in action on the ground. long-term future of key Scottish functions reHowever, the confidence and commitment set mains unclear and professional expertise could out in the document provided a strong insight be squandered in the process of organisational into the Scottish industry’s vision for the future change. and reflected a mature and highly encouraging Bothofthe Crown and Estate’s core expertise and sense direction purpose. the Marine Aquaculture Awards are imporScotland’s politicians and development agentant in maintaining the disti ncti ve coherence cies should take heed: Scotland needs strong of Scotland’s aquaculture and it would be a industrial growth sectors and aquaculture tragedy if to they casualties ofnational political continues be became a high public-return change. development opportunity. Thissecond year’s Awards wasreport hostedofby The item wasevent an early the triactress, writer and comedian Jo Caulfi eld,also an als being conducted by Scottish Sea Farms, inspired choice by whoever madeAquaculture, the booking. involving Grieg Seafood and Cooke She was thermolicer, very funny and entertaining and kept of a new introduced to Scotland in the proceedings going with a swing. Only once summer 2016. did she studies, stray, when she wondered what ‘proveThese which reflect the kind of innonancedevelopment actually meant’. vative highlighted in Sutherland’s In a room full of folk livelihoods report, are looking verywhose promising. The unit, which treats fish through a 30-second exposure 12 above sea temperature water, is reported with

18 SSPO.indd 12 Phil Thomas.indd 18

The slow “process

whereby the should EU We negotiates be organdeals isingwith our other training and tradingon educati blocks has provisions caused much widespread better frustration

””

depend on the provenance of their products she quickly sensed an audience response and moved to safer comedic material: there are some things you just don’t joke about! However, her remark left me asking myself whether we think enough about the underpinning of the provenance of Scottish farmed fish – and for me that’s farmed salmon. There is no doubt that Scottish provenance is important to our industry – it gives us the edge in all our key markets. Provenance can be defined in various ways but most people will agree that it goes beyond the appearance and sensory qualities of the final product: flavour, texture, visual presentation and product consistency are always key factors in consumer appeal but provenance is about tomuch remove 95 to 98 per cent of sea lice and allow the treatment of about more. 40 It tonnes of per hour. reflects fish a wider concept of consumer quality assurance, including: No one should ever anticipate a magic bullet technology for dealing the place where the fish is grown and processed; the professional with sea lice. However, coupled with the new developments in cleaner integrity of the production and processing methods; and the quality, fish technology and other engineering solutions, such as freshwater hycommitment and care of the people involved – the professional skills, drolicer technology, the thermolicer looks to add significantly to the toolexpertise, passion and dedication of the producers themselves. box of sea lice treatments, and to support the industry’s drive towards In Scotland our ‘place of production’ gives us a huge natural advanbiological sea lice control. tage because we grow fish in the pristine coastal waters of some of The information on the trials released to date represents good news; the most beautiful and wild scenic areas of the world, and our brand is further publication of results from the trials in 2017 will be awaited with protected by its PGI status. considerable interest. Likewise, adoption of the Scottish Finfish Code of Good Practice The third and most high profile item was ‘Scotland’s Place in Europe’, allied with the industry’s deep commitment to a range of independent the much trumpeted Scottish government analysis of options following farm assurance programmes, RSPCA sh welfare the EU quality referendum. This document was including essentiallythe political infipurpose scheme, builds on the underlying strength of our statutory regulatory and it gained some justifiable praise for being the first such document systems to assure our producti on systems. produced by any tier of government in the UK. Disappointingly though, Finally,the thesharp skills,analysis expertiand se, passion and detail dedicati on of our farmers it lacked quantitative needed to contribute can be demonstrated in abundance day in and day out – and they were more than a punctuation mark in the ongoing Brexit debate. showcased by the recent awards event. Unfortunately, it also suggested a persisting Scottish government tendenHowever, being wholly objecti ve than and forward looking, it is the thisnew third cy to cling to the political past, rather moving on to address area of provenance where the Scotti sh industry has greatest scope circumstances and potential opportunities presented by the Brexit result.for systemati c development. is not say that skills It is stating the obvious to That say that thetopublic can our onlyindustry’s address the and professional experti se are not of the highest calibre, but it is to specific question asked in a referendum, and a majority of Scots were recognise our vocati onal educati onal than and training clearly savvythat enough to vote ‘remain’ rather ‘leave’ instructures, the EU and referendum. www.fishfarmer-magazine.com But now that the UK as a whole has voted to leave, the questions to be

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com 03/07/2015 14:31:33 16/01/2017 11:04:15


Here’s to the future

asked have changed and the public’s options and choices are potentially wider and subtler. Faced with this new situation there seems a good prospect that the best options for negotiation post-Brexit will find substantial convergence of interest across industry sectors and among the general public throughout the constituent countries of the UK. On the objective of gaining best possible access to the EU single market, dissent between UK countries is unlikely, although the terms and barriers related to any agreement will remain critical areas for the post-Brexit negotiations. Full engagement in the EU customs union – to ensure that no customs tariffs are levied within the EU area and common tariffs are levied on all goods entering the area – is a different matter because it incurs a prohibition on the UK establishing any independent trade deals with other countries. The cumbersome and painfully slow process whereby the EU negotiates comprehensive all-sector trading deals with other international blocks has caused widespread frustrations in parts of UK industry, Above: Post-Brexit including aquaculture. opportunities for On this, the benefits of separate UK bilateral negotiations may be aquaculture significant but, if so, they are likely to apply equally across all UK constituent countries. On the wide range of other trade, environmental, social and other policies that might be affected post-Brexit, it is difficult to identify areas where Scottish and UK policies differ fundamentally in their primary objectives, although there are some devolved policy differences, and

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

Phil Thomas.indd 19

differences at the technical or institutional levels. Fishing policy may be a special case since Scotland will have such large fisheries under its potential control post-Brexit. However, this will generally be seen as a significant Scottish opportunity. Finally, Scotland is distinctive because of its low population density, ageing population and need to address specific skills gaps, including in a growing aquaculture sector. But any immigration policy that is developed for the UK must take into account both the development needs of different parts of the country and the essential requirement for continued free movement within the UK as a whole. Thus, while the need to develop rational policies for the international movement of labour and for broader immigration are a challenging priority, the policies developed can only be sensibly conceived on a UK basis, unless we are prepared to accept regional employment constraints. Unquestionably, 2017 is likely to bring interesting times. Let’s hope they are also rewarding and profitable! FF

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16/01/2017 11:04:39


Comment

BY DR MARTIN JAFFA

Drop in the ocean Solution to sea bass and sea bream crisis is in hands of producers

F

alling prices, ruthless competition and markets flooded with too many fish will characterise yet another difficult year for the Mediterranean sea bass and sea bream industry, the web-based news service Intrafish predicts. According to the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers, production of both species totalled just over 300,000 tonnes across eight different countries. Compared to salmon production, this is just a drop in the ocean and it seems absurd, given the popularity of both species, especially for eating out in restaurants, that sea bass and sea bream producers cannot get on an even keel. Many years ago, when the salmon industry in Scotland was in a trade war with Norwegian producers, I suggested that the problem then was not caused by over production but rather under marketing. Sea bass and sea bream now reminds me of the salmon industry of the time although sea bass and sea bream production has had the added burden of the financial crisis that has crippled much of the Mediterranean region. Although the sea bass and bream industry has been damaged by the financial crisis, the solution to the cyclical nature of sea bass and sea bream farming is largely in the hands of the producers themselves. Investment needs to be made to address the under marketing and bring the industry out of these cycles. Back in 2014, Bjorn Myrseth, then president elect of the European Aquaculture Society, spoke at a workshop organised by FEAP about the differences between marketing salmon and sea bass and sea bream. He said that 90 per cent of sea bass and sea bream are sold in domestic or local markets while only 20 per cent of salmon is consumed locally. Norwegian salmon is now present in 160 markets worldwide, including most of those countries producing sea bass. He noted that across Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, salmon had achieved 15 per cent growth (2010-2012), while seabass and sea bream had achieved only eight per cent in these markets. He also pointed out the importance of Brazilian, Russian, Indian and Chinese markets, with salmon reaching a total of 300,000 tonnes compared to just 6,000 tonnes for sea bass and sea bream (mainly in Russia). He said that, put simply, salmon has become a global commodity, while sea bass and sea bream have not. Finally, he said that whole fish represent only five to ten per cent of the salmon market, compared to more than 90 per cent for sea bass and sea bream. I am not so convinced that it is so simple to compare the salmon market with that for sea bass and sea bream because there are some major differences between the two. For example, the market for salmon is for

20

Martin jaffa.indd 20

portions because consumers don’t necessarily want to buy a whole 4kg salmon when they are making just a meal for two. By comparison, most sea bass and sea bream are sold whole because the fish are typically 300-400 g in size. I am a great advocate of added value but when the fillet yield on sea bass/ bream is just 45 per cent, the opportunities for adding value to sea bass and sea bream are limited. Mr Myrseth argued that generic marketing has helped the salmon industry and would do so for sea bass and bream producers. I am not so convinced. Generic marketing Is not the solution for sea bass and sea bream simply because there are too many countries involved in production and marketing across borders is fraught with difficulty. I believe that the real opportunities for sea

Above: Sea bass. Opposite: Sea bream

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

16/01/2017 11:10:13


Comment

bass and sea bream lie in changes to the industry’s approach to production. The Times newspaper recently reported that fisheries ministers across the EU have agreed to combat a sharp decline in wild sea bass populations, which have halved since 2010. Consequently, the Times says that sea bass are now off the menu. This is a typical response resulting from an ill informed media and environmental sector. Sea bass are not off the menu at all, only wild sea bass. Yet because the environmentalists who have campaigned for a stop to the fishing of wild sea bass are not supportive of the aquaculture industry, there is an absence of encouragement to ensure that the sea bass that consumers buy is farmed. Fortunately, the reality is that most sea bass bought from the retail sector anyway is farmed. The wild catch goes mainly to specialist fish-

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Martin jaffa.indd 21

mongers and restaurants for one simple reason and that is the wild fish tends to be much larger than farmed. This means that it can be filleted or steaked or served as a centrepiece for more than one person. The farmed alternative is usually a one portion sized whole fish. Although there has always been an opportunity to farm larger sized sea bass, the loss of the wild fish means that this opportunity is greater than ever. In addition, the production of larger fish opens up the potential to produce a greater range of added value products. This is a clear win-win situation, especially as larger fish brings greater revenue. Moving away from one portion sized fish also widens the market since there are many people who simply don’t like being presented with a whole fish complete with head, eyes and fins.

Although there “ has always been an

opportunity to farm larger sea bass, the loss of the wild fish means this opportunity is greater than ever

The solution to the sea bass and sea bream crisis is about investing in what the consumer wants, not what the producers think the consumer wants. FF

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16/01/2017 11:10:36


Trade Associations – ASSG

BY NICK LAKE

What a year!

ability to cross check any spurious results, and based on historic data would indicate a potential downgrading of some classifications but with no direct link to food safety as it is just that - historic data. Hence we are currently in discussion with FSS to ensure a robust system can be developed prior to going ‘live’ and causing issues for industry. The advice from Seafish regarding the introduction of Codex standards into shellfish harvesting waters classifications only applies to other areas of the UK and not Scotland. This will be subject to further consultation by FSS with the Scottish industry.

Shellfish sector confident of growth at this critical stage of development

I

imagine that over the quiet periods of the festive season many pollsters will have been looking for other work opportunities, given the tumultuous year we have just experienced. The week after Brexit I was contacted by a French journalist to comment on the impact expected for the Scottish shellfish production industry. My response was simply that we had no information upon which to make a judgement. Suffice to say, the position is the same now as it was then. The one point I am clear on is that whatever system of trade and engagement emerges, we need to find the opportunities for our sector to develop. Interestingly, the outcome of the US elections puts another potential perspective on Brexit. Will we be at the back of the trade queue as previously suggested or, under the new regime, be invited to the front? I suspect neither but it does raise the question of where cultivated Scottish shellfish may find its market interests lying in the years to come. This has implications for the technical details and controls we may need to implement at the farm level to access markets. What are the requirements of the US Food and Drugs Administration in allowing live or processed Scottish shellfish into North America? Surely it has to be more straightforward than the years it has taken to get haggis back on the menu stateside. I will come back to the question of exports but it does relate to our EU focused provisions for bivalve mollusc food safety which we are discussing with our own Food Standards Agency. Codex The word Codex may not have meant much to producers in the past but has now been brought into sharp focus. The advice collated by Seafish in relation to the new testing standards for E.coli under Codex should have been received by all members ahead of the January 1, 2017, UK implementation. (See the following link http://www.seafish.org/media/publications/ LBM_End_Product_Testing_2016-11-28.pdf ) It should be stressed that Codex introduces an international standard of testing into the EU legislative framework for bivalve mollusc food safety, and in this respect should present opportunities to access markets in countries both within and outwith the EU. While the introduction of Codex standards for End Product Testing is at an EU level, it is for the various competent authorities in member states to determine the process required for the classification of shellfish harvesting waters. Within the UK, the FSA has opted to implement the Codex standard as part of the shellfish harvesting waters classification system. In Scotland, the importance of maintaining class ‘A’ shellfish harvesting waters cannot be under estimated, especially for product supplied to the multiple retail sector. Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has brought forward such a revised system based on the Codex standard. However, this has raised issues regarding the

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Investment While on the EU theme it is always good to see that use is being made by our sector of the structural funding opportunities coming through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Brexit seemed likely to have a negative impact on access to this funding back in June but recent announcements from the Scottish government and the Treasury have clarified that this scheme will be honoured through to the intended completion date of 2020. This is welcomed as we are at a critical stage of development in our industry and confident we can push up outputs both from existing farm sites and also new ones.

Opposite: Small but

significant

Shellfish forum Not only is public sector investment required, but also private finance through the commercial banking system and investors equity. This was an issue raised back in September at the Scottish Government Shellfish Forum convened by Fergus Ewing, Minister for the Rural Economy and Connectivity. The need for access to commercial funds recognising that shellfish stock and equipment in the water are tangible assets and that the growout duration in Scotland is lengthy are issues the minister subsequently discussed with a group of high street banks. The door is now ajar for our sector to discuss in greater detail both our operational needs and our growth prospects with those investment institutions. We have moved on considerably as a sector over the last couple of decades and possibly we have not spent enough time assuring potential investors of the professional status of the current industry. We operate as food businesses under a stringent set of regulations which provide consumer

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What a year! confidence in our products. The controls and status of our market and supply chains should also give investors confidence in our ‘green’ and ethical sector. What is daunting to those from outside the industry is the wait to see returns and the perceived risks of leaving all your investment hanging on a piece of rope unguarded in the sea. We have to become more effective at explaining our industry to the private sector. The public sector has understood for a long time that it means jobs in the rural economy and increasingly in supply, distribution and processing sectors. Other investors either don’t have us on the radar as a business opportunity or perceive a risk profile which exceeds other, safer places to make money. The shellfish summit was a good venue to better explain the workings of our industry and we were able to present the development message to both the minister and representatives of the Scottish Investment Bank. What we will now be undertaking is a follow up meeting with those high street banks which have an interest in listening. Vision 2030 In line with the wider development opportunities for aquaculture recognised by the Scottish government, the industry has launched an ambitious growth strategy. This is not just from a producer’s perspective, but recognises the important role to play of all the associated support industries and the infrastructure requirements. The headline grabbing theme is the desire to see what is currently a £1.8 billion industry of salmon, trout and shellfish double its value by 2030. Obviously, we are a small but none the less significant part of this figure and through reviews already undertaken we are well on the way to achieving a shellfish output target of 13,000 tonnes by 2020. The Vision 2030 report has recommendations covering six themes of industry leadership, regulation, innovation, skills, investment and infrastructure.

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The most prominent recommendation, and one which has already been adopted by the minister, is for the creation of a new Industry Leadership Group (ILG) to drive alignment between industry and government in order to deliver growth. Industry Leadership Groups already exist for other sectors and so the process is formalised and seen to be an effective way of operating. From our own viewpoint, the success of this initiative should see a greater alignment of government agencies and the roles of bodies such as Marine Scotland, SEPA, FSS and SNH, with the objective of enabling rather than disabling sustainable growth for the benefit of Scotland plc and the rural economy. The question This brings me neatly back to the question of whether we will or, in fact, can currently export Scottish shellfish to the US. If so, what are the export requirements of the US Food and Drugs Administration or indeed other administrations around the world? Currently, it appears that not one body within the UK can answer this question for us! If we want to develop our sector we need to be far smarter at developing our trading links and ensure our regulatory controls are fit for purpose. Changes afoot One institution which has supported our industry from its inception has been the Crown Estate. As it is responsible for granting and agreeing lease conditions, development of the devolution of powers in Scotland is of direct interest and commercial significance to growers. The formation of an interim body to manage the assets of the Crown Estate in Scotland has recently taken a step forward with the appointment of an interim chair. Next year should see a review of our rents, which has previously been undertaken on a five-yearly basis. This process has been fair and transparent, with wider economic factors taken into account in the setting of lease rates. It is reassuring to know that the primary principle established by Scottish government for the transfer process is continuity and stability, with existing staff and resources transferred to the new interim body. We will obviously be keen to continue working with the new Crown Estate Interim Body which takes over control of the management of the Scottish assets in April 2017. There will be a further consultation on how the assets of the Crown will be managed in Scotland in the longer term. It will be important that shellfish businesses respond to this as it will form part of the future of our sector. Nick Lake is CEO of the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers. FF

have “notWespent

enough time assuring potential investors of the professional status of the industry

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Trade Associations – SSPO

Taking a

stand

New leaders learn the significance of Scottish salmon farming

T

he Scottish parliamentary elections last year and the reshuffle of the SNP cabinet saw several new MSPs enter office for the first time in 2016. In response to such a significant change in structure, the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) took the opportunity to hold a week-long exhibition in the Scottish parliament at the end of November to promote the importance and value of farmed salmon to Scotland. Tavish Scott, MSP for Shetland and long-time supporter of the salmon farming industry, sponsored the exhibition, which was ideally positioned in the members’ lobby, immediately outside the debating chamber. The exhibition stand - manned throughout the week by the SSPO’s technical and communications teams, along with Scott Landsburgh, SSPO chief executive, and Anne MacColl SSPO chair - provided a focal point where

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MSPs could learn more about the industry and its importance to Scotland. As well as the opportunity to engage with SSPO personnel, the exhibit allowed MSPs and parliamentary staff to see the industry’s latest promotional video, filmed in Orkney and showcasing the entire value chain, from production to retailer. This was complemented by a number of short cookery films featuring a selection of recipes made from Scotland’s number one food export. There was the opportunity to discuss the industry with MSPs from all political parties, including those who are members of current parliamentary committees relevant to salmon farming. Those who came to talk to the team included, among many others, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment Roseanna Cunningham, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party Kezia Dugdale and Presiding Officer Ken MacIntosh. Iain Berrill, research and data manager for the SSPO, said: ‘There was good overall support for the industry, with MSPs acknowledging the key contribution salmon farming makes to the Scottish economy, in particular in rural areas. ‘Questions set to the SSPO team covered the industry’s plans for sustainable growth, the importance of safeguarding jobs, especially in rural areas, and the industry’s views on Brexit. ‘Of course, no one knows exactly how Brexit will impact Scotland, the UK or, for that matter,

the salmon farming sector. ‘The exhibition was a big success and has helped the industry forge greater relationships with key MSPs for the sector. ‘Importantly, it has also helped us to engage with those MSPs who reside outwith traditional fish farming regions, but who should still be kept abreast of developments within the industry.’ FF

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16/01/2017 11:14:53


Taking a stand

VITAL LINK WITH EUROPE ‘Blue Growth’ is firmly on the agenda thanks to the formation of the long awaited Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC), providing a direct link between aquaculture specialists and the European Commission (EC) and Parliament. The role of the new group is to provide information and advice regarding issues affecting finfish and shellfish farming and on policy areas such as blue innovation, circular economy, bio economy, food 2030 and climate change. The first meeting and official launch of the AAC took place at the organisation’s general assembly in Paris last month. The council will operate in three working groups, meeting regularly to prioritise and complete a work plan. Some 60 per cent of the AAC comprises operators who represent different stages of the aquaculture value chain, including primary producers in the shellfish and finfish sector, fish feed manufacturers, processors and distributors. The remaining 40 per cent is made up of representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with an interest in aquaculture, such as Seas at Risk, Client Earth, Birdlife Europe and Compassion in World Farming. All members will agree information and advice put forward to the EU commission and parliament. Richie Flynn, from Irish Farmers Association Executive responsible for aquaculture, has been elected chairman. He has 20 years’ experience in the sector representing shellfish and finfish farmers. Jamie Smith, executive committee member of the AAC and technical executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, said: ‘It has been a complex group to set up and we’ve faced some hurdles along the way, but now it has launched, we anticipate it will operate similarly to the Regional Advisory Councils for Capture Fisheries. ‘Establishing formal communication channels will make it easier to promote the industry and acknowledge the community and social benefits which sustainable aquaculture brings. ‘We hope this will encourage the future development of policy at a European level, with the aim of increasing responsible sustainable aquaculture production in the EU.’ All members of the council are from EU member states. Above: Jamie Smith Below: The group’s launch in December

The exhibition has helped the industry forge greater relationships with key MSPs

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SSPO - Freshwater Workshop.indd 25

Clockwise from above: Scott Landsburgh with Roseanna Cunningham; and with Tavish Scott; the SSPO’s Iain Berrill; Landsburgh and the First Minister

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Trade Associations – British Trout Association

Super strategy Sector combines high welfare standards with low antibiotic use BY DOUG MCLEOD

A

ntimicrobial Resistance (AMR) happens when microorganisms- such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites- change after exposure to antimicrobial drugs (antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics). Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as ‘superbugs’. As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others. New resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases, resulting in prolonged illness, disability, and death. Without effective antimicrobials for prevention and treatment of infections, medical procedures such as organ transplantation, cancer chemotherapy, diabetes management and major surgery (for example, hip replacements) become very high risk. Welcome to what is probably the number one issue for health and disease treatment in this (relatively) new century. The above description is courtesy of the World Health Organisation (WHO), but could have been taken from almost any relevant governmental website in recent years, as there is global concern at the highest level, transcending politics, over AMR. The WHO also notes: Antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally over time, usually through genetic changes. However, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is accelerating this process. Antimicrobial resistant-microbes are found in people, animals, food, and the environment (in water, soil and air). They can spread between people and animals, and from person to person. Poor infection control, inadequate sanitary conditions and inappropriate food handling encourage the spread of antimicrobial resistance. AMR- and antibiotic resistance in particular – is therefore an issue of great concern to all food producers, including those involved in aquaculture. Narrowing our focus down to the UK, there is great interest in the annual release of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) survey ‘Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance and Sales Surveillance Report’. I believe that the latest publication for 2015 data includes a good news story for the aquaculture sector, certainly in comparison with other food pro-

Here is “ certainly one food issue where the aquaculture industry should be applauded

Left: Good news story for aquaculture

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ducing sectors. Firstly, it reports that the fish sector consumed no more than 700kg of antibiotics, placing it way below the main agricultural sectors of cattle, poultry, pigs, as shown in Figure 1. The reduction in the fish sector from the 2014 level of 2.4 tonnes was some 71 per cent, the highest percentage reduction of any sector. The 2014 usage for fish was actually the highest of the previous five years, indicating that 2014 and 2015 were not exceptional years of low use, but pretty typical of current use in UK aquaculture. The data shows that the aquaculture industry’s strategy of focusing on vaccine development, stress management, stocking density and feed management has been remarkably successful in reducing antibiotic use to levels below virtually all other food producing industries – a record of which I believe the sector should be proud. However, it is clear that having reduced antibiotic use to an extremely low level, any crisis in fish health would show a significant increase in consumption. There are some members of the industry who feel this would generate negative publicity, but I don’t believe this should be a major concern for operators; short-term use for health/welfare/survival of the fish in their care is totally defendable, in contrast to prophylactic and/or indiscriminate use of these veterinary medicines. To advocate or guarantee a nil use policy would be indefensible on welfare grounds alone – acceptance of a roller coaster level of annual usage is required, and should be defended as the corollary of the hugely successful strategy of securing fish health through the development of vaccines and medicated feed. We have a solid, positive story here, one that clearly offsets some of the negative spin that swirls around the industry – here is certainly one food issue where the aquaculture industry should be applauded for its leadership and concerns about the impact on human health of its products, along with the welfare of the animals under its care. And hopefully 2017 will continue to illustrate the benefits of the long-term strategy of the sector, combining high welfare standards for the animals under care with the expansion of the sector, while continuing the current low-level use of antibiotics. FF

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16/01/2017 11:17:15


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16/01/2017 11:20:51


Interview – DNB Bank

Price of success

Norway’s salmon sector has seen a new dynamic but financiers find fresh frontiers

C

onfidence in the Norwegian seafood industry is a given for the country’s senior bankers and it’s not hard to see why. Last year turned out to be a bonanza for the sector, with seafood exports exceeding NOK 90 billion (£8.47 billion) for the first time and salmon exports up by 29 per cent to NOK 61.4 billion. With the price of salmon at unprecedented levels throughout 2016, the banks acknowledge that the former cyclical nature of this business has been replaced by a new dynamic. The average price for whole fresh salmon in November was NOK 61.90 (£5.83) per kg, compared to NOK 44.86 (£4.22) per kg in the same month last year, but ‘that doesn’t mean things will be super duper forever’, said Dag Sletmo, senior analyst at DNB Bank. Sletmo, who joined DNB from Cermaq, and Anne Hvistendahl, head of seafood, bring a wealth of experience to their bank, which is among the world’s leaders in the fisheries market. Their extensive knowledge and what DNB calls ‘obligation’ to the seafood industry afford them a commanding view of the sector globally. In aquaculture, Hvistendahl notes the shift in government support in others countries. In 2016, DNB lost one of its Scottish clients when the Scottish Salmon Company announced a refinancing deal with the Bank of Scotland. ‘We have such a large part of the UK market because we finance the big players there, and it is good for the industry if the local banks also take part,’ Hvistendahl told Fish Farmer. ‘I can’t comment on client relationships but it is a huge difference in knowledge between DNB and most other banks when it comes to seafood, that’s for sure. But banks don’t compete

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only on industry knowledge, we also compete on prices and terms . In that respect they have got a better package than they had at our bank. ‘Our selling point is that as industry specialists we can help find good solutions tailored to each client’s unique business profile and that we keep our heads cool also if things turn out less well than planned. ‘We have seen upturns and downturns many times before and know how to get through the difficult times in a constructive way.’ She has observed a political change in Scotland lately, and in Canada, which may lead to more local financing in fish farming. ‘The politicians are much more in favour of this industry than they used to be and that also influences the local banks. ‘It’s always been a factor that the government in Norway has been very much behind the development of the industry and your government has been slower to catch up.’ She said politicians have traditionally favoured older industries in Norway and to an even larger extent in the UK and Chile. But the downturn in the oil industry has forced a rethink. ‘I think the change is based on the oil price. It has hit our bank and I suppose the Scottish banks too if they are into the offshore industry. So it’s good to have a balanced portfolio. ‘Even in our bank, the Norwegian kroner is so linked to the oil price so when there is a weak oil price there is a weak kroner, which is extremely good for the seafood industry, both the fish farming and the wild catch. ‘And that makes this industry counter cyclical; when oil is down fish is good! That makes it a good industry for our bank to take part in.’ The recent agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countries to cut output is expected to strengthen the oil price and ease the slump. DNB Bank, said Hvistendahl, predicted oil could soon rise to $60 a barrel, ‘and that could of course strengthen the kroner a bit’ during 2017. But there is no immediate reason for concern in the aquaculture market: today they earn so much money, she said, that it’s a question of earning a huge amount or a really huge amount! With reduced production in 2016, and low production expected in 2017 too, ‘whatever happens to the currency it will still be good or extremely good for them for the next year and part of 2018’. ‘But I think in the long run things will normalise. The price of salmon is linked to other sources of protein. Now we have a kind of super cycle but growth will come sooner or later and then you will have another kind of

Above: Anne Hvistendahl and Dag Sletmo (inset)

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16/01/2017 11:22:35


Price of success

balance between supply and demand.’ The Norwegian target for growth is even more ambitious than Scotland’s – it is expected to grow five-fold by 2050, according to a 2012 report by Sintef - but this won’t be achieved overnight. ‘Growth takes time because you have to plan and get an okay from the authorities and then you have to build and it takes time before the salmon is ready to be harvested,’ Hvistendahl points out. The whole industry is eagerly awaiting the outcome of the new government scheme for development licences. If all the applications for these were granted, the increase in production would be 25 per cent of the current capacity, Sletmo estimates. ‘Of course, that will not happen but it could add a couple of percentage points of growth maybe for a few years. ‘The big question is, if one or several of these concepts truly work in addressing sustainability issues, then there could be much higher growth because the government could start increasing the number of licences on a more general basis,’ he said. Only a handful of licences have been approved so far, including Marine Harvest’s ‘egg’ concept. They have an ‘okay but in a smaller scale than they applied for’, said Hvistendahl. As for financing the new developments – the applications amount to a total of around NOK 15 billion in investment so far – the companies are in very good shape. ‘They are generating so much cash now it is not difficult to finance these investments,’ said Hvistendahl. ‘It is the big players with inherent cash flow that are applying so it is not tricky for a bank; it is just part of the general financing. ‘This is still a young industry, which is why we are excited here. This move from the government may move the industry into an even better position.’ Hvistendahl has said before that the bank is in the backseat, it doesn’t

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there is a weak oil price there “isWhen a weak kroner, which is extremely good for the seafood industry ”

drive growth. But in the past year ‘there have been other types of growth which will be more challenging to banks ‘. These mostly involve new geographical regions, such as Iceland, where four Norwegian salmon farmers have recently become part owners of Icelandic companies. ‘We’ve done a lot of financing of the wild catch sector in Iceland but we had to wait to see if the industrial players invested, and that we have seen throughout this year,’ she said. ‘Of course, if they are our customers we would like to help.’ With growth restricted elsewhere, Hvistendahl said it’s natural to look at other countries like Iceland, which was described as the ‘new frontier in salmon farming’ by Norway Royal Salmon’s CEO Charles Hostlund, now co-owner of Iceland’s Arctic Fish. Iceland could one day become the new Scotland, with the large Norwegian companies forming subsidiaries there and sharing their expertise. ‘Salmon farming has been tested in Iceland before and it hasn’t been successful,’ said Hvistendahl. ‘Why do we think things are different now? We used to say up north in Norway, in Finnmark, it was also impossible to do salmon farming and now that is one of the most profitable areas.‘ The fact that farmers are putting bigger smolts into sea pens has

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Interview – DNB Bank

made it possible to farm in the colder waters of Iceland, and in Finnmark and in region 12 in Chile too. Iceland can also provide energy quite cheaply, which makes the land farming stage of production more cost efficient. Arctic Fish is now building a new hatchery with a capacity of seven million smolts a year of 300 to 500g. ‘The current is stronger and the water is colder there, things that can be challenging, But the technology and the way fish is farmed is better now than it was some years ago, so Iceland could be doable,’ said Hvistendahl, adding that Icelanders are very good at marketing their fish, thanks to their fishing experience. Salmon production is small at around 10,000 to 20,000 tonnes, said Sletmo, but he predicts this could rise to 100,000 tonnes with Norwegian involvement – ‘some players are talking even bigger but then you have to open up new areas in Iceland’. Hvistendahl said: ‘You have to invest and wait for a long time before you get the salmon. The cash flow out today is next to nothing but it will grow gradually before it reaches 100,000 tonnes, we think in five years.’ DNB has a longer established interest in North America, with an office in New York, and has financed fish farming for most of the salmon companies in Canada. ‘We have done some new financing in Canada this year but we have been with some of the Canadian players for a long time and the Norwegian owned ones,’ said Hvistendahl. The Canadian government is now promoting investment in the sector, a relatively recent development and, as in Scotland, one that is linked to the oil industry. The market potential for suppliers worldwide to the fish farming industry is large. There are many markets that could be developed

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over time. One example is Iran, which Norwegian fisheries minister Per Sandberg visited in September. His Iranian counterpart said: ‘We have had 80 per cent fisheries and 20 per cent aquaculture. Now we want 50/50 and we need help from Norwegian companies. You are pioneers and very good at technology.’ Hvistendahl and Sletmo said they are not currently engaged with Iran, though that might change. Two Norwegian companies, AKVA Group and Aqualine, have signed a deal to supply technical equipment to help Iran expand its aquaculture production. ‘Iran is eager to increase their fish farm sector. In order to do so they would like to have a lot of good equipment,’ said Hvistendahl. ‘They are interested in Norwegian technology and competencies – if you are a country that wants to develop this area it’s natural to look for Norwegian suppliers.’ There is also huge investor interest from Asia to buy Norwegian companies, following the acquisition of Cermaq by the Mitsubishi Corporation in 2014. Hvistendahl said: ‘It is difficult for us to find a lot of Asian companies where we can be relevant as a bank to finance. But we have a lot of contact the other way round.’ FF

we “haveNowa kind of super cycle but growth will come sooner or later

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16/01/2017 11:23:30


Feed – Introduction

What’s the alternative?

Industry meeting demand for new ingredients

T

HE growth of the global aquaculture industry provides obvious commercial opportunities for fish feed manufacturers but also challenges. Further expansion depends on the sustainability of the sector and that involves a search for high quality alternatives to finite marine ingredients. Fishmeal and fish oil remain essential compo- Right: Finite resources nents of aquafeeds for most fed species for at least some part of the production cycle, as Neil Auchterlonie of IFFO, the Marine Ingredients Organisation, points out (page 40). But all the big feed companies have embraced research into other sources of nutrition and many of these innovations are now being put to the test. Following the groundbreaking production of omega-3 fish oils from genetically modified camelina plants – by scientists at Stirling University and Rothamsted Research in 2015, a new GM feed trial was launched last year. Feed giant Cargill believes it could provide a sustainable alternative source of EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acids from a type of canola. In feeding trials conducted with salmon in Chile, Cargill was able to completely replace fish oil in feed rations with oil from EPA/DHA canola. ‘As a fish feed producer, we need to reduce our dependency on marine resources,’ said Einar Wathne, president of Cargill Aqua Nutrition. ‘This new canola can create tremendous opportunities across the global food and feed markets, and we believe it is critical for the growth of aquaculture.’ The new canola, which is genetically engi-

We “ believe this

new canola is critical for the growth of aquaculture

neered to make long chain omega-3 fatty acids, will offer a more sustainable alternative as it eases pressure on marine resources. Testing and regulatory approval for both the canola and the EPA/DHA enhanced canola oil is underway and it is expected to reach the market some time after 2020. ‘Cargill’s EPA/DHA omega-3 plant based product is the only one we know of with a clear path to commercialisation in the industry,’ said Mark Christiansen, managing director for Global Edible Oil Solutions-Specialties at Cargill. Wathne said trials using feeds containing the GM oil have been positive. ‘We have made full-scale tests throughout the life cycle of salmon in Chile. It has worked well and, more importantly, is safe and good for the fish,’ he said. Cargill, which took over the feed company Ewos in 2015, is also collaborating with the US biotech company Calysta to produce the novel protein FeedKind. Over the following pages we look at some of the other exciting developments in the feed market, from maggot meal to microalgae, as well as cutting edge research from our leading scientists. FF

NEO GREENNEW!

HIGH PERFORMING FISHFEED 100% free of Fish meal & fish oil

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Feed – Insects

Lift off for

flies

Waste not want not say brothers behind alternative protein source

T

he search for alternative sources of protein has created a new breed of entrepreneurs, whose business acumen is matched by their eco passion. Fitting this mould perfectly is Jason Drew, co-founder of a fast growing South African based venture that makes feed from black soldier flies. Described by his brother and partner David as ‘a militant environmentalist’, Jason said he prefers ‘environmental capitalist’. ‘In the industrial revolution you had to be schizophrenic to be an environmentalist and a capitalist. In the sustainability revolution, which we’re in, you need to be both. ‘Any environmentalist who doesn’t understand the markets will fail in their endeavours…and any business person who doesn’t understand that their business is subservient to the environment will fail in their ambitions.’ The Drews set up their insects for feed enterprise AgiProtein in 2009, to produce protein for poultry and fish, and since then it has evolved from a laboratory pilot to an expanding international concern, with the prospect of fly factories on almost every continent. Jason is probably not exaggerating when he says: ‘I think we’re in with a chance of causing quite a revolution as an industry in the protein supply side.’ His company, which began commercial production last year, is certainly in the forefront of the insect meal revolution. AgiProtein’s factory north of Cape Town is the world’s largest fly farm, using 8.5 billion flies to turn 250 tonnes of waste a day into 14 tonnes of MagMeal and six tonnes MagOil, just over 5,000 tonnes a year. Last month, further investment of US$17.5 million increased the company’s worth to $117 million, making it the most valuable in its sector, and enabling its further global expansion. ‘Other people are doing things in different parts

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of the world,’ said Jason, ‘but we just got to the point where we were confident enough to be able to scale.’ He said they are using their 9,000sq ft factory in South Africa as a model, rolling it out to a number of different locations, mainly through licensing. The firm now has a presence in North and South America, Asia and Europe, with another three plants under licence in Africa, and has recently granted the Australian Twynam Group licences to build 20 fly factories across the Australasian region. The brothers also won an AUD 450,000 environmental award in Australia, which David

Clockwise from above: Jason (top) and David Drew; maggots; cage of black soldier flies.

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Lift off for flies

accepted on behalf of the company in December. They will put the money into fish farming trials and product development in shrimp and various finfish species in the region, around the Indian Ocean and up to Vietnam. ‘The seas are really challenged there because people are extracting far too many fish and using them not only for human consumption but also for fishmeal production, putting it into shrimp farms and so on,’ said Jason, Progress in Europe until now has been hampered by regulations over the use of insects in feed but a change in legislation last month lifts this restriction, opening the door to development for pioneers such as AgiProtein.

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we’re in with a chance of causing “I think quite a revolution as an industry ”

Jason said the move ‘brings insect protein into the mainstream of ingredients permitted in animal feed. This is a big step forward for the environment and for world food security’. David Drew told Fish Farmer last year they would ‘follow friendly legislation around the world’ and perhaps in anticipation of a change in EU thinking, he relocated from South Africa to Frankfurt in December, to head up the firm’s European operations.

Jason said AgiProtein’s factories in Europe will initially feed protein into the pet food markets, then ‘as soon as the legislation catches up we’ll divert it into production for the human food chain’. The company’s timing is spot on because some of the big feed companies have been talking recently about insect meal as a viable source of protein for farmed salmon. A scientist at Cargill, which owns Ewos, sug-

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Feed – Insects gested recently that the UK and Norway could be feeding salmon diets containing insects by 2018. At a Network on Insects in the Circular Economy (NICE) meeting in Bergen in December, May-Helen Holme said Cargill is looking at several new ingredients to meet the increasing demand for sustainable aquafeeds. ‘Insects are suited for salmon farming in Europe,’ she said, but the regulations would have to be in place, and so would the appropriate volumes. ‘We would need at least 40,000 tonnes [of insect meal] before we can look at it,’ she said, adding that Cargill would like to participate in developing such feeds. Jason Drew has no doubt that the capacity is possible. ‘Really, 40,000 tonnes isn’t that much and I think we as an industry will get there within the next five years,’ he said. ‘The salmon industry is very important, it’s a key part of the food chain and very technically and scientifically advanced as an industry, and we would like to supply into that industry over time and build partnerships with the industry for different types of fish and life stage feeds. ‘We’re not interested in making feeds, we’re just interested in supplying the protein into those feeds. ‘One of my ambitions is to help build the first zero fish in to fish out fish farm, replacing fishmeal with insect meal.’ He believes he and David have established the beginnings of ‘a well-structured industry’. Meeting South Africa’s regulatory standards and completing the EIAs (Environmental Impact Assessments) ‘took a long, long time – I think our submission was 800 pages’. ‘Now we’ve got not only that documented evidence of what we’ve done but we’ve also got a site we can show people. They can walk around and see what a fly factory looks like. The roof isn’t going to blow off and infest central Berlin, or wherever it might be, with billions of flies!’ He said they have made a lot of mistakes along the way but have worked through them and now feel they are ‘beginning to make a difference’. ‘We’re not making a difference in the feed market yet – we would need three or four factories here to begin to have an impact on the protein side. But on the waste side there’s a huge amount of waste that’s not now going into landfill.’

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WHAT IS IT?

Black soldier fly eggs collected from AgiProtein’s fly rooms are sprinkled on to organic waste, and the maggots are then dried and defatted and ground into a high quality protein meal that can replace up to 100 per cent of fishmeal. This MagMeal can be blended into a variety of animal feeds, can lead to a reduction in required antibiotic use, and has been shown to result in healthy fish

“is aEUbigmove step

forward for the environment and for world food security

and poultry. It also results in improved feed conversion rates compared to fishmeal and soymeal, and can nutritionally replace both in monogastric animal diets, including chickens, pigs, fish, and companion animals. MagMeal larvae are washed and dried under strict environmental conditions to yield the highest quality protein. The protein content of the final product is higher than whole dried larvae with a fat content below 10 per cent. MagOil is a natural fat extracted from whole dried larvae, and is highly palatable to animals. It is produced when whole dried larvae go through the extrusion process and becomes MagMeal. The extruded fat is purified and available as a feed ingredient.

‘It’s an extraordinarily circular business. We take waste and convert it back into protein and use up all the nutrients we would otherwise throw away. We have a very positive impact on landfill.’ Wherever they set up factories they try to make protein sourced from local organic waste. ‘Organic matter going into landfill is a disaster,’ said Jason, ‘because you don’t have flies in the ground, you just have bacteria, and that’s why you end up with bacterial soups. Landfills do eventually leak because nothing lasts forever. ‘Around the world they are increasingly banning organics in landfill. In the Middle East they are doing it hard and fast because much of their drinking water comes from their ground water. And they are finding that their landfills are posing a risk to their water tables. So they’re very keen to take the organics out. ‘And that’s where we come in – there are really only two things you can do with organics, one is to make biogas and the other is to recycle the nutrients into usable protein. ‘I think our real challenge is more food security based than energy based as we move forward into the next decades. People can live without a bit of air con and light but they can’t live without food.’ AgiProtein has conducted extensive trials feeding its MagMeal to tilapia, abalone and trout in southern Africa, and it is also looking at salmon trial opportunities in Chile. It ships products to various different places to help develop local markets before people build plants so that when a factory comes on line it can start to make a dent. But the brothers agree that selling MagMeal is easier than making it. ‘If we had ten times our production we could sell it all the same day,’ said Jason. ‘It is about making it. One part is the biology part and we’ve got that well under control. Our engineering side we couldn’t get right at first. ‘We’ve now got it right and we’ve got more work to do in terms of product finishing and polishing so we can make a product with different levels of protein in it, from 55 per cent up to 68 per cent, by using different processes to extract more oil. ‘We have to find out exactly what our customers want and then make our products to meet those requirements. We are using production to

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Lift off for flies

MAGIC PROPERTIES

do trials and come up with variations. And as our next plants come on line we’ll know exactly what we want to do and how we want to present that finished product.’ AgiProtein employs about 80 people in the factory in South Africa and about 20 in research and in the international development team. ‘We’re adding people in Europe and in Asia - in Hong Kong and in two key factories that are going up in Vietnam and Indonesia,’ said Jason. ‘We’re having a lovely time building a great business. Every day when I get up I see the trucks arriving and think, great, some stuff not going to landfill. And every time I see a truck going out I think, great, there’s some alternative protein starting to happen in the food chain. It’s just exciting.’. FF

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Feed - Insects.indd 35

Left: Nutritional qualities. Top: The black soldier fly. Opposite: Trucks load up with MagMeal.

Maggot meal is not only rich in omega 3, it also has healing properties, said Jason Drew, who has written two books on the broader subject, The Story of the Fly and How It Could Save The World and The Protein Crunch. ‘Larvae, of course, have the world’s most up to date antibiotics. Genghis Khan knew very well he would never go into battle without flies. They would lay eggs on the rotting material on the back of his wagons and he’d take the larvae, put them on to the wounds of his soldiers, and they would disinfect them and clean them up.’ Part of AgiProtein’s mission is ongoing research, with a commitment to understanding the antibiotic nature of larvae in feed. ‘If larvae are processed carefully so as not to denature the proteins that cause the antibiotic effect, that’s quite interesting. We’ve noticed quite a lot less mortality in chickens fed with larvae (MagMeal) rather than fishmeal.’ With research partners at Guelph University in Ontario and at Stellenbosch in South Africa, the company’s scientists are exploring the antibiotic qualities of feed and the genetics – ‘how we maintain genetic diversity without losing the traits we’ve bred for’. ‘We breed flies for egg laying, size of the offspring, speed of growth of the offspring, all that type of thing,’ said Jason. ‘We can see a path of eight to ten years. If you look at an efficient industry such as the salmon industry, their biological efficiency is quite high and ours is still quite low. ‘We’re making some quite interesting breakthroughs quite often, which I suppose is easy because we’re such a new industry and we have so much to learn. We don’ even know what we don’t know yet!’ To find out more, they attract students doing their masters or PhDs by helping out with their fees. Dr Cameron Richards, AgiProtein’s head of research, currently has ten students working on various projects.

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Feed – AlgaPrime

Micro matters Salmon bosses impressed by new alternative marine ingredient say joint venture team

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new microalgae feed ingredient high in omega-3 was launched in 2016 after years of research, a joint venture agreement and getting the right experts together at the right time - ‘an alignment of the planets’, no less, according to its creators. AlgaPrime DHA can be produced in large-scale commercial quantities at competitive prices, setting it apart from other alternatives to marine ingredients. It is now being fed to salmon in Scotland, Norway and Chile through BioMar, whose global sustainability director, Vidar Gundersen, said he considers microalgae ‘to be the most sustainable raw material available for the production of salmon feed’. The companies behind the plant-based algae oil feed are Terravia, a former biofuel business based in San Francisco, and Bunge of Brazil, which produces sugar cane alongside its microalgae fermentation tanks in San Paulo. Here, Terravia’s Dr Walt Rakitsky and Bunge’s Dr Miguel Oliveira explain the product’s development and potential to Fish Farmer. Was farmed salmon the target market when you developed the product? Walt: From the beginning we intended to attack the aquaculture market with this product because

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we felt there was a real need for a new alternative source of omega-3 at a scale that we could deliver on, based on our factory in Brazil.

Above: Dr Miguel Oliveira. Left: AlgaPrime barrels. Opposite: Bunge’s fermentation tanks

Did the idea come from Brazil or from San Francisco? Miguel: It’s something that has been going along for a while but as we evolved into the joint venture with Terravia in 2012 we were looking for other markets where we could use the capability that we had. I’ve worked for Bunge for a long time and have a PhD in fish feed production from Norway. We have over the years worked on many projects trying to address the needs of that industry and this one fit perfectly because Terravia also had inherited a lot of great people who had experience with DHA – like Walt – so all the planets lined up about two years ago when we started this project. You launched this into the UK very recently. Is AlgaPrime at a fully commercial level now? Miguel: Since the middle of 2016 it’s been a commercial product. Walt: As we speak we are running our joint venture factory in Brazil rmaking product. Delivering on the promise of omega-3 means making it available at a scale that makes sense to the industry, in particular to the salmonid industry. My background is a combination of business and technology and my expertise in algae fermentation dates back to the early 1990s when a previous company I was with actually started the first large scale industrial fermentation experiment. Is BioMar an exclusive distributor for AlgaPrime? Walt: We recognised that we needed to align ourselves with a key

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Micro matters partner to help drive the penetration of AlgaPrime DHA into the salmonid industry so we went out and researched the major players in the industry and decided that BioMar by far was the key strategic partner for us, that shared our aspirations for bringing new sources of omega-3 to the industry. They take our product and incorporate it into their salmon feed formulation with a number of other ingredients. Miguel: We have a developing relationship that allows us to sell to them and eventually to sell to others through other agreements. BioMar is using it in feeds with specific farmers. How has the product been received? Walt: We’ve had very positive feedback about how well the product has been received, from both a sustainability aspect as well as an enhanced nutrition aspect. Work done at the University of Stirling showed that omega-3 levels in farmed salmon have dropped off considerably over the last five to ten years as the industry has had to make do with a static supply of fish oil and an ever increasing demand. We’re introducing, at a relevant scale, a new source of omega-3 that can help with this falling off of levels in farmed salmon. You claim your product could completely replace marine ingredients and fish would still get the same levels of omega-3? Walt: We can deliver omega-3 from our product in the same way that marine products like fishmeal and fish oil deliver omega-3. We look at this as a complementary product to what’s already out there because the industry is expanding and it needs more new sources of omega-3. Some alternative ingredients people say they look forward to the day of zero fish in feed. Do you? Miguel: There are sustainable fishmeal and fish oil products being made today and this industry is going to be around for a very, very long time. Trying to take a whole industry out doesn’t sound very achievable. But we have to reduce the pressure on the resources and that’s what we’re trying to do. Walt: There are people experimenting with the idea of using the algal

We’ve been to many meetings in Norway and Chile and you can see people’s eyes light up

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Feed – AlgaPrime

derived source of omega-3 to provide all of the omega-3s in the feed and that work is ongoing and we’re optimistic that they’ll get good results. But right now, based on what we know, our objective here is twofold: to allow the industry to continue to expand in a responsible manner by providing a new alternative source of omega-3, and for those who are concerned about the falling omega-3 levels in farmed salmon, to provide a responsible way for them to enhance nutrition. Can you compete in costs with other alternative ingredients, such as soy? Walt: The two omega-3s that are very beneficial to fish and us are the long chain omega-3s, ETA and DHA, which are found almost exclusively in seafood products or seafood ingredients. There are other omega-3s, like ALA, that are found in plants but they are short chain omega-3. Our focus is on providing a new source of long chain omega-3s that are found pretty much only in the seafood type ingredients. There are three things we think about related to cost: one is the efficiency of the AlgaPrime DHA product. This has 30 per cent DHA in it which is significantly higher than other new sources of omega-3s in terms of DHA content. The second thing we have is a large scale plant capable of producing tens of thousands of tonnes, which gives us a scale that is un-

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are other people trying to do the “Theresame thing but usually on a smaller scale ”

Clockwise from above: Fish farm; BioMar’s boat; Walt Rakitsky with BioMar sales director Hans HalleKnutzen and global sustainability director Vidar Gundersen at Aquaculture Europe 2016 in Edinburgh; AlgaPrime; oils plant.

matched in the industry today. And the third is that our plant is located adjacent to Bunge’s flagship sugar mill in Brazil which gives us a dedicated supply of sugar at absolutely the best possible cost, given that we’re growing it right around the plant. All of those things contribute to what we believe is having the best cost structure of any new source of omega-3 being offered to the industry. Miguel: Our joint venture sits beside our biggest and most modern sugar mill in Brazil, the Moema mill. Bunge manages all the cane that is used in the process – plants it, raises it, harvests it and uses it to make sugar and ethanol and energy. The joint venture is using the sugar from the cane, but also all the heat and all the electrical power that we need comes from the biogas, from the same cane. The system runs on 100 per cent renewable energy – that is why it is unique. Why has nobody thought of doing this before? Miguel: You need the people that know the stuff; you have to have one of the largest fermentation facilities in the world; you have to be sitting with that fermentation facility at the most sensible and reasonable place which is raising your own cane and using it to produce all the

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Micro matters

energy and the steam. There are other people trying to do the same thing but usually on a smaller scale and they’re sitting in the mid-west of the US using coal and gas and GM corn and all sorts of other things and would not be able to replicate this without massive investments. Many people are trying to get into this market but we have a factory that is running now and producing in significant large commercial quantities a product that is unique. We already have a leg up on the market. Would it be possible to add capacity at the Brazil facility or would you have to build elsewhere? Miguel: We can add capacity there – we have the energy, the sugar and the space to do so and that would likely be the most reasonable option. But we can also replicate the design now that we know that it works and it functions and we can do that in other places that we have. At the moment we only have sugar mills like that in Brazil but we have eight of them so we could do it elsewhere too. What is your current production? Miguel: Our rate is 10,000 tonnes a year production, but we haven’t sold that yet. How long before you’re up to full capacity? Walt: When Bunge and Terravia first designed the plant in Brazil our main target capacity was 100,000 tonnes. As we’re now using a different

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Feed - Terravia.indd 39

microalgae than we were originally using to make the oil, the capacity really depends on how good the microalgae is and how you feed it and everything. So rather than talk about 100,000 tonnes of capacity for the AlgaPrime DHA, I think we’re more comfortable talking about being able to make tens of thousands of tonnes in that factory today. If BioMar, or another company, said they wanted more, could you ramp up production quickly? Walt: We have the plant, we have a number of fermenters. It just depends on how many we’re going to run on the AlgaPrime versus other products that we’re making for other customers. Miguel: We have five fermenters that are seven storeys tall each, 625,000 litres each, 625 cubic metres each. There is nothing like that anywhere else. Walt: In summary, we are making AlgaPrime DHA at commercial scale today. We are shipping the product to be incorporated into aquaculture feeds via our partner BioMar. We are not thinking about it, we’re not planning to

do it, we’re doing it! Miguel: Walt and I have been to many, many meetings – in Norway and Chile - and you can see people’s eyes light up. Walt: As part of our strategic relationship with BioMar we have been invited by them to participate in very high level meetings with their customers, which I think is the ultimate sign of mutual respect and enthusiasm on both of our parts. In my conversations with some of the CEOs of the largest salmon farmers in the world, they are impressed by the fact that we’re ready to go. We will work together to drive the incorporation of this new algal source of omega-3 as broadly as we can to meet their needs as well as the needs of their customers and consumers. FF

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Feed – IFFO

BY DR NEIL AUCHTERLONIE

Balanced diet Marine ingredients get a bad press but they are important in past, present and future fish farming

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t IFFO, the Marine Ingredients Organisation, we have seen a representation of marine ingredients in the media, especially for fishmeal and fish oil, that has been largely negative over 2016. In some instances, re-hashed arguments and criticisms which go back decades have again been given attention, despite the fact that they were proven to be inaccurate many years ago. Even the once common criticism of ‘how many kilograms of wild fish does it take to grow a kilogram of farmed salmon’, encapsulated in the Fish In:Fish Out ratio (FIFO), raised its head recently, along with the recurrence of statements of a ratio of 5:1, which had years previously been shown to be incorrect. Why is a sector that can show something approaching 45 per cent of global annual supply to be independently certified – a percentage volume well in excess of other animal feed ingredients- the continuing subject of negative stories when the reality is very far from the accusations? Fishmeal and fish oil were the major ingredients in aquafeeds for several decades, and thus the mainstay of diets supporting the development of the fed aquaculture industry. There is a long history of their use in aquafeeds. In the early years of modern aquaculture, feed was manufactured predominantly from these two ingredients only. Feeds for the cultivation of carnivorous fish species such as salmon, bass, bream and shrimp in particular, were regarded as being reliant on marine ingredients to provide the species’ nutritional needs, and logically it is easy to understand why fishmeal may be regarded as ‘nutritionally complete’ for carnivorous species. Marine ingredients are therefore the foundation of modern fed aquaculture, and hold

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Below: Strategic ingredients. Opposite: There is some pressure on supply of marine ingredients into aquafeed

an important position in past, present and future farmed fish cultivation. Some authors had pointed out the potential risks that were associated with this situation as it is well understood that global annual supply of marine ingredients is finite. In fact, a restriction to global aquaculture growth through the constrained supply of marine ingredients has not happened principally because the use of fishmeal and fish oil has been optimised through their partial substitution with alternative feed ingredients. The partial substitution of both fishmeal and fish oil has mitigated the risk of the ‘fishmeal trap’ occurring, where aquaculture development was predicted to stall due to the lack of marine ingredients. Fishmeal and fish oil remain essential components of aquafeeds for most fed species for at least some part of the production cycle. At IFFO we recognise that continued aquaculture growth cannot be achieved with marine ingredients alone, because there just isn’t enough of these high quality materials to go around. We note that there is a strong case for other aquafeed ingredients supporting aquaculture development, but we say ‘as well as’ rather than ‘instead of’. IFFO has been describing fishmeal and fish oil as strategic ingredients rather than commodities for more than 10 years, implying their targeted use at key points in production cycles to optimise performance from growth, quality and health perspectives. These are high-value materials and their use in aquafeeds remains essential from a nutritional perspective. Including fishmeal in aquafeed is much more than merely a supply of crude protein and fat, as it provides an excellent amino acid profile for carnivorous fish as well as a range of important vitamins and micronutrients. Fish oil provides the omega-3 fatty acids essential to the health of farmed salmonids, and ultimately the health of the consumer. There is also fish oil present in fishmeal at a level dependent on fish species but commonly between eight per cent and 12 per cent. The reduction in marine ingredients in aquafeed associated with the development of the salmon industry since the 1990s is well documented, and salmon feed manufacturers now often quote percentage inclusion rates for fishmeal in single digits for a grower diet. For salmon production in Europe, the alternative ingredient focus to date has largely been on materials of vegetable origin. In 2013, Norwegian salmon diets were reported as being comprised of vegetable origin materials showing approximately 67 per cent of the total feed composition. The vegetable material included in European

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Balanced diet

The partial “substi tution

of both fishmeal and fish oil has mitigated the risk of the fishmeal trap

salmon feed recently includes soy meals, corn gluten meal, sunflower meal and wheat gluten meal, so it is clear that a range of products are being used. In regions outside of Europe, animal (avian) protein sources have been included as alternative ingredients for salmon and farmed fish species. Clearly, all these ingredients have different nutritional profiles, different digestibilities, and notably for some of the vegetable based ingredients, potentially the presence of Anti-Nutritional Factors (ANFs), all of which can affect the performance of fish feeds. At least some inclusion of fishmeal is still required in grower diets, however, to support the farmed fish’s supply of essential nutritional requirements. Science is advancing knowledge in this area all the time- for example, a threshold level of 15 per cent fishmeal has been suggested for another farmed carnivorous species, barramundi, Lates calcarifer, and more recently revised to 10 per cent, but the point is that it is an important constituent of the diet for that species. It may well be the case that commercial grower feeds for Atlantic salmon are generally near the threshold for the species as well, and there are some interesting technical discussions developing around the influence of feed composition on the gut microbiome and subsequent effects on fish physiology, including immuno-competence and the ability to cope with disease challenge. In the Faroe Islands, there is at least an association between higher level marine ingredient inclusion in salmon feed and good biological performance, and where this is not an important factor it is clear that some farmed salmon standards and markets, for example Label Rouge, still call for premium quality salmon produced with a high(-er) marine ingredient inclusion feed. Fish oil is certainly near the threshold of its inclusion in European salmon feeds, and a focus on the omega-3 content of farmed Scottish salmon prompted by a recent scientific publication from Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture has brought the issue into the media spotlight. Of the fish oil volume that is available annually, IFFO estimates about 200,000 tonnes comprises the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid

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(EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), so it is understandable that there is more pressure on this resource. Although a proportion of this supply goes to direct human consumption in the form of nutraceuticals (IFFO estimates 21 per cent in 2015), aquaculture in general and the salmon farming industry in particular takes a major share (approximately 58 per cent of the aquaculture share in 2015). Somewhere, the message about continuing and optimising utilisation of marine ingredients has become confused. We have seen many instances of the academic community, in particular, providing statements on fish-free diets in press releases, such as outputs from published papers, funding awards for new science projects, or even in competition awards for producing fish-free feed of commercial quantities. This probably grabs an (uninformed) reader’s attention, but is not constructive in achieving a balanced and optimal supply of feed ingredients for aquaculture in the future. It is clear that there is some pressure on supply of marine ingredients into aquafeed, and this pressure will continue until novel sources, such as insect meal or vegetable oils containing EPA and DHA derived from GM technology, become a commercial reality. Even when that occurs, the next point is to provide commercially relevant volumes, and for the foreseeable future that is the sole domain of marine ingredients. Dr Neil Auchterlonie is technical director of IFFO, the Marine Ingredients Organisation. FF

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Feed – Research

BY DOUGLAS R TOCHER, MICHAEL CLARKSON AND JOHN F TAYLOR

Off to a good start Programming salmon to improve utilisation of sustainable feeds

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tudies in mammals and humans have shown that dietary influences exerted at critical developmental stages in early life, such as neonatal and weaning nutrition, may have long-term consequences on physiological functions in later life. This phenomenon is known as ‘nutritional programming’ and has been studied mainly in mammalian models in relation to diseases that are currently prevalent, such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes. However, the concept of metabolic programming was also likely to exist in fish as it was known that the function of some metabolic pathways in juveniles depended upon specific nutritional signals during early larval stages. This, therefore, raised the possibility of being able to influence specific key metabolic pathways or functions in juvenile fish, for example to improve the use of alternative feed ingredients and thus promote the development and application of sustainable feeds in aquaculture. As a consequence, validating the concept of nutritional or metabolic programming in farmed fish species became an important part of the recently completed EU FP7 project, ARRAINA (Advanced Research Initiatives for Nutrition and Aquaculture). In practical terms, nutritional programming involves giving the fish a nutritional ‘stimulus’ early in life that will enable the fish to have an improved response to a similar ‘challenge’ later in life. Figures (Nutritional programming) At the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, we investigated the concept in Atlantic salmon with our stimulus/challenge being a feed with very low levels of the marine ingredients, fishmeal and fish oil, and, consequently, very low levels of the omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, EPA and DHA. The trial design involved initially feeding two triplicated groups of salmon fry for three weeks from first feeding with either a stimulus diet (V),

STIMULUS

3 weeks

MARINE PHASE

15 weeks

Below: Identical diets after the first three weeks

CHALLENGE PHASE

Diet M Diet V

6 weeks Fig. 1

42 Fig.1. Trial design

Feed - Douglas Tocher.indd 42

containing just 10 per cent fishmeal and no fish oil, or a marine diet (M), containing 80 per cent fishmeal and four per cent fish oil (Fig. 1). The isoenergetic feeds were both 57 per cent crude protein and 12 per cent crude lipid, formulated by Dan Leeming (BioMar UK) and manufactured at the BioMar TechCentre, in Brande. After the short stimulus phase, all fish were fed the marine M diet for 15 weeks (marine phase) before all fish were challenged by being fed the V diet for a further six weeks (challenge phase) (Fig. 1). Therefore, it is important to note that in the entire six-month trial the fish had almost identical nutritional histories apart from the first three-week period when they were fed either the M or V diets, termed M-fish or V-fish, respectively. Growth performance, feed intake, feed efficiency, and nutrient retentions were determined in the marine and challenge phases of the trial. The early nutritional stimulus had clear, significant effects on fish growth and feed efficiency. In the marine phase, the M-fish showed the higher thermal growth coefficient and feed efficiency but, in the challenge phase, this was completely reversed with the V-fish showing significantly higher growth and feed efficiency (Fig. 2). The effects on growth were not dependent upon feed intake, which was not different between the M- and V-fish during either marine or challenge phases. However, protein, lipid and energy retentions were all significantly higher in V-fish during the challenge phase (Fig. 3). This was the reverse of that observed during the marine phase when protein, lipid and energy retentions were all greater in the M-fish. It should be noted that the stimulus/challenge

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(a) Growth Rate

1.6

a

1.4

1.8

1.2 b*

1.0

1.6

a

b

0.8 0.6 0.4

Feed Efficiency

Thermal Growth Coefficient (TGC)

Off to a good start

1.4 1.2

b*

0.6 0.4

0.0

0.0

diets were not essential fatty acid (EFA) deficient as they were formulated with rapeseed oil and so the levels of linolenic (18:3n-3) and linoleic (18:2n-6) acids far exceeded the reported EFA requirement levels (~ 1 g/ Kg diet) of Atlantic salmon. However, the V diets contained only very low levels of EPA and DHA, around 0.3 g/Kg, tenfold lower than in the M diet (3 g/Kg).

b

M-fish V-fish

0.8

0.2

Challenge phase

a*

a

1.0

0.2

Marine phase

(b) Feed Efficiency

Marine phase

Challenge phase

At this point it is important to remind ourselves that the only difference between V- and M-fish is that the V-fish were exposed to this low level for just three weeks at the beginning of the trial. However, this short exposure had a huge impact on fatty acid metabolism in the fish, with EPA and DHA retentions being considerably higher in V-fish compared to M-fish in the challenge phase (Fig.4.). As expected, retention of DHA was far greater than that of EPA, irrespective of dietary history. The results of this study suggested that the ability of salmon to grow and thrive on a diet with very high levels of substitution of fishmeal and fish oil, far exceeding current replacement levels, was improved by exposing the fish very briefly to this feed early in life, specifically first feeding. The fact that growth and feed efficiency were both affected without any significant effects on feed intake highlights that this was not due simply to differences in palatability and/or effects on appetite between the diets. This, and the results of the nutrient retention analyses, clearly suggested that the effects were at a metabolic and/ or physiological level and, therefore, would appear to validate the concept of nutritional programming. The precise biological mechanisms whereby the nutritional programming event can be effectively ‘stored’ until later in life could

Fig. 2

Fig. 2. Growth rate and feed efficiency during the marine and challenge phases.

means ± SEM 3) based nutritional history during the stimulus phase (M-fish Theare early nutriti onal(nsti=mulus hadonclear, “Data significant effects on fish growth and or V-fish). Superscripts denote significant differences (p 0.05) between dietary history and feed efficiency ” asterisks denote significant differences between feeding phases.

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Feed - Douglas Tocher.indd 43

Above: The early stimulus had clear effects. Left: Feed

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Feed – research 140

Retention (% intake) Retention (% intake)

M-fish V-fish

a

120 100 140 80 120 60 100 40 80 20 60 0 40

b* a

a*

b

b

a b*

a

b* a

b

b

Protein

Lipid

Energy

a*

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Energy

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M-fish V-fish

a

Fig. 3

0

‘programmed’ fish, and with retentions of theEnergy Fig. 3. Nutrient and energy retentions duringthethe marine challenge phases. Data are Protein Lipid important omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, being particularly Challenge enhanced. phase While these results are highly positive and means ± SEM (n = 3) based on nutritional history during the stimulus phase (M-fish or Vencouraging, there is still a need for further re-

include adaptive changes inProtein gene expression such as epigenetic (non-geLipid Energy netic) phenomenon such as DNA methylation, histone modification, or microRNA, preferential clonal selection of adapted cells or programmed Marine phase differential proliferation of tissue cell types. In the present study, liver gene expression was examined using microarray technology in fish at the end of the challenge phase. Preliminary data have indicated that V-fish showed up-regulation of pathways of intermediary metabolism, such as oxidative phosphorylation, pyruvate metabolism, TCA cycle, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis and amino acid metabolism, as well as key pathways of lipid metabolism, including polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis and elongation, antioxidant defence and immune system. Epigenetic analysis is currently in progress and will hopefully provide further insight into the biochemical and molecular mechanisms of nutritional programming. Overall, the present study confirmed that nutritional programming can operate in Atlantic salmon and lead to metabolic adaptations that 800 the capability of the fish to utilise alternative, non-marine may enhance a dietary ingredients. These adaptations led to improved nutrient and energy retentions in

search into the concept of nutritional program-

Fig. 3. Nutrient and energy retentions during marine and challenge Data are Other ming the in farmed fish. For instance, other results phases. fish). Superscripts denote significant differences (p < 0.05) between dietary history and from within the ARRAINA project have indicated

Retention (% intake) Retention (% intake)

results have means ± SEM (n = 3) based on nutritional history during the stimulus phase (M-fish or Vindicated asterisks denote significant differences between feeding phases. that the fish). Superscripts denote significant differences (p < 0.05) between dietaryinitial history and stimulus asterisks denote significant differences between feeding phases. phase can be much shorter 600 800 400

a

600 200

200 -200 0 -200

a

b

b

EPA

V-fish

M-fish V-fish

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400 0

that the initial stimulus phase can be much shorter than that used in the present study, perhaps only three to six days. This would minimise the potential for the stimulus phase itself to induce any phenotypic changes in programmed fish, and could facilitate the application of the nutritional programming concept in commercial farming operations. Douglas R Tocher, Michael Clarkson and John F Taylor, Institute of Aquaculture, University of M-fish Stirling. FF

DHA

Above: Protein, lipid

and energy retentions were all significantly higher in V-fish during the challenge phase. Left: Retention of DHA was far greater than EPA as expected.

b

EPA DHA Fig. 4. EPA and DHA retentions during the challenge period. Data are means ± SEM (n = 3) 44 www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

based on nutritional history during the stimulus phase (M-fish or V-fish). Superscripts Feed - Douglas Tocher.indd 44

16/01/2017 11:47:13


FishMagazine Farmer Fish FarmerFish Farmer VOLUME 39

NUMBER 11

Wellboats– Introduction

sponsored by

All well and good

sponsored by

NOVEMBER 2016

VOLUME 38

NUMBER 03

All well and good

MARCH 2015

Wellboats play an increasingly important role in the running of marine salmon farms, from the beginning through to the end of the production cycle

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Serving worldwide aquaculture since

ROYAL VISIT

Prince Charles drops in on Marine Harvest

1977

DOUBLING GROWTH

Industry launches long awaited Vision for 2030

Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977

TRAINING MATTERS

NO ESCAPE

Time to comply with the Scottish Technical Standard

the next TRAINING A new way to recruit Aquaculture courses that bridge generation the skills gap

MIDDLE EAST

Special focus on a fast growing industry

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PROCESSING UPDATE

Preview of Seafood Expo Global in Brussels

COMMUNITY FARMS

Harvesting sea cucumbers in Madagascan villages

A

s the salmon industry becomes more consolidated, and vertically integrated, wellboats are now being used routinely for a variety of essential tasks that help with the efficient running of salmon farms. Custom designed, wellboats are used to transfer smolts to sea water sites, to grade fish, transfer fish between seawater sites and to carry fish to harvest. Wellboats are also sometimes used to carry out bath treatments for sea lice.

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dead-haul of fish to processing plants should be treated on-shore; that all water should be filtered prior to discharge into the sea; and that of wellboat transport water be proposed as a priority for the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre. For their part, the wellboat manufacturers are already working hard to address these issues, and the modern wellboat is a technically sophisticated piece of kit, with a number of features that address issues of biosecurity. For

There are a number of risks associated with the use of wellboats, in particular the transfer of pathogens to live fish within the wellboat, and into the sea as a result of discharging potentially infected water. In Scotland, these issues have been acknowledged with the establishment of the Wellboat Technical Standards Working Group in 2013. Amongst its recommendations include: that all marine vessels should log and record their position and the status of their valves; that all water from

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example, Sølvtrans, the world leading company within transport of live salmon uses a closed valves system, ensuring that when they transport live fish, no water is loaded or discharged to the sea during transportation or unloading. Its new vessels are also equipped with lice filters with 150 μ for circulated water, which collect lice and other organic materials from the water, minimising the risk of any transported fish being contaminated by diseases, infection, sea lice etc from the nearby fish farms. FF

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Under control

Norway – Research Council

The environment is more stable and the fish use less energy adapting to it

Under control

Above: Project participants at the centre’s opening. Right: CtrlAQUA scientists. Photos by Terje Aamodt/Nofima.

Joint approach between scientists and industry to address challenges of closed-containment systems

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our Norwegian research institutions, two outside Norway and several industry partners from technology and the aquaculture industry have started operations at a centre for innovation in closed-containment systems. The centre, CtrlAQUA, has been given NOK 200 million and eight years to reach its goal of making closed-containment systems for salmon up to one kilogram. Innovations in closed-containment, where the salmon is separated from the outside environment by a tight barrier, can be important for the further development of the industry,

001_ff03.indd 4

helping to address challenges such as sea lice, diseases and escapes, as well as reduce production times. Closed systems can be land-based, where water is recycled, or sea-based, in which large floating tanks receive clean water from depth. In CtrlAQUA, the research will deal with both approaches. The main focus of the centre is innovation in closed-containment systems for the most vulnerable periods of the salmon production cycle, such as the first sea water, post-smolt, phase. The centre will also contribute to better production control, fish welfare and sustainability

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in closed-containment farms. This will happen through the development of new and reliable sensors, minimising environmental impact through recycling of nutrients and reducing the risk of escape, and diseases transmission to wild stocks. Senior scientist Bendik Fyhn Terjesen, from Nofima, who is the director of the centre, said that closed-containment systems for salmon up to one kilogram have further advantages than simply preventing lice and escapes. ‘We can control the environment in which the fish lives in a closed-containment system. The environment is more stable and the fish

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use less energy adapting to it. This means that the salmon has more energy available for growth and good health.’ Closed systems for strategic phases in salmon farming can help to make the Norwegian vision of an eight-fold growth in value creation from aquaculture possible, and lead to an increased number of jobs and the production of healthy seafood. In the centre there will be three departments: technology and environment, led by Dr Fyhn Terjesen; preventative fish health, led by Harald Takle, also from Nofima; and fish production and welfare, led by Lars Ebbesson of Uni Research. CtrlAQUA is one of 17 Centres for Research-Based Innovation (SFI), a major programme created by the Research Council of Norway. The primary goal of the SFI programme is to strengthen companies’ capacity for innovation, and to develop leading industry relevant research. Nofima is accompanied by five solid institutions in CtrlAQUA: Uni Research, the University of Bergen, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the Freshwater Institute in the US and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. The University of Bergen will have principal responsibility for research education at the centre. The total budget for CtrlAQUA will be

NOK 196 million, spread over eight years. Industrial partners from the supplier industry are Krüger Kaldnes AS, Pharmaq Analytiq, Pharmaq AS, Oslofjord Ressurspark AS, Storvik Aqua AS and Aquafarm Equipment AS. Participants from the aquaculture industry are Marine Harvest ASA, Grieg Seafood ASA, Lerøy Vest AS, Cermaq Norway AS, Bremnes Seashore AS, Smøla klekkeri og settefiskanlegg AS, Marine producers Norway AS and Firda sjøfarmer AS. The formal opening by the Research Council took place at the end of May at Nofima, Sunndalsøra. Norwegian fisheries minister Elisabeth Aspaker, present at the ceremony, said the goal of the CtrlAQUA SFI is perfectly compatible with the government’s ambitions for the aquaculture industry. ‘I have great expectations for the achievements of CtrlAQUA. Even though eight years is a long time, it is urgent that we find solutions to reach the goals. CtrlAQUA is an important part of this.’ The director of innovation in the Research Council, Eirik Normann, presented the SFI plaque to Fyhn Terjesen, saying: ‘You have put together a very strong consortium. I want to point out that the committee that evaluated the application was fascinated by the innovation that the concept brings with it, and it believes that the centre will probably produce important innovations within aquaculture.’ FF

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NOFIMA FACTS With 360 employees and customers from 49 different countries, Nofima’s turnover in 2014 was £527 million The company is currently engaged in 620 projects worldwide. Nofima has several laboratories and pilot plants, which it uses for research, including: BioLab – an accredited contract and research laboratory; NAMAB – a flexible minifactory; and Patogen Pilot Plant – Europe’s first highsecurity production hall. Nofima carries out research for the fisheries, aquaculture and food industries, including: breeding and genetics; capture-based aquaculture; fish health; and consumer and sensory sciences. Each year Nofima organises several symposia, courses and seminars in which its scientists share their expertise.

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Feed – Lake Kariba

Into Africa

Danish firm builds Zambian factory to supply tilapia farmers

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LLER Aqua is expanding its African business with the construction of a new feed plant in the Zambian town of Siavonga, on the shores of Lake Kariba. The Danish feed firm has already established a firm foothold on the continent, with a fast growing operation in Egypt, and sales bases in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. The family owned group, with headquarters in Christiansfeld, exports to more than 60 countries worldwide, from factories in Denmark, Poland and Germany, as well as the facility in Egypt. It is also building a US$10 million feed factory in China, due to be completed this year. The latest development in landlocked Zambia follows an agreement with the country’s biggest tilapia producer, Yalelo, owned by Oakfield Holdings, which has a licence to farm 30,000 tonnes over the next few years. This will provide a base for the feed plant to grow and supply the surrounding area. With a production capacity of 50,000 tonnes a year, it will be the most technically advanced fish feed factory in Southern Africa, says Aller Aqua. Zambia has the resources to be the leader in regional fish production, according to Yalelo, and Siavonga could emerge as the aquaculture capital of sub-Saharan Africa. Henrik T. Halken, vice chair of Aller Aqua Zambia, said the group has a clear and expansive strategy for Africa. The company has invested US$10 million in the African factory, which should be completed by September

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this year. ‘With the investment in Zambia, we will be the market leader in Africa in terms of modern and environmentally friendly fish feeds for aquaculture,’ he said. ‘This will enable us to expand our sales not only in Zambia but also the surrounding countries.’ Aquaculture in Zambia is developing at a rapid pace, backed by government support, with the creation of the new Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, as well as the Aquaculture Development Association of Zambia. But exporting feed from Europe is ‘simply too expensive’, so it made sense to supply the burgeoning industry from a local source. About 95 per cent of the raw material – mainly soy and corn - for the feed facility is produced in Zambia, said Halken. ‘There are a lot of smallholders in Zambia but the problem is there is no good quality of fish feed and if there is no good feed then you are not able to grow many fish. ‘The Zambian government has a huge focus on growing more fish because there are a lot of imports coming from China and they want to produce their own in Zambia. ‘They prefer to have fresh fish rather than frozen – that’s their market. And if you can grow more fish you can put more people into work, if you can get more people out of poverty then I think we have a very good case in Zambia. ‘The country has about 15 million inhabitants but the surrounding countries will also be served from the new factory.’

Above: The first board meeting of Aller Aqua Zambia. The meeting took place at IFU’s (Investment Fund for Developing Countries) headquarters. From left to right: Adam Taylor (CEO of Oakfield Holdings and chair of Aller Aqua Zambia), Henrik T. Halken (group vice president, Aller Aqua Group), Johnny Hansen (IFU regional director, Africa) and Carsten Jørgensen (group vice president, Aller Aqua Group). © Aller Aqua Group A/S

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16/01/2017 11:51:00


Into Africa

Zambia aims to be self-sufficient with farmed fish and also export to neighbouring countries such as Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Tanzania and Congo. Aquaculture is expected to play a significant role in African food security and lakes such as Kariba, Victoria and Volta offer great potential. The African market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The number of inhabitants is rising quickly and the population will need healthy food which is high in protein. Fish farming and locally produced fish is part of the solution for this, and fish farming can further help people get a livelihood and get out of poverty. Based on their success in Egypt, Aller Aqua Zambia will demonstrate the cost efficiency of its extruded feed to potential clients. ‘Our feed is better but it’s more expensive and you have to utilise it in the best possible way,’ said Halken. ‘We meet the clients and explain how things work. We have to do the calculations for them and show that maybe instead of growing x amount per hectare of ponds

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Feed - Aller.indd 47

The “ government has a huge focus on growing more fish

they can grow x times two if they have the right feed. ‘In Egypt we have set up a trial farm testing our feeds against the less environmentally friendly feeds and showing that it’s worthwhile investing more money in the feed because they can grow fish faster.’ Aller Aqua will also set up a trial farm in Zambia and people are welcome to see the Yalelo farm in action, said Halken. ‘In Egypt we are growing capacity with a third feed line. We have been training people and supporting the clients, we have been able to produce more fish with less feed. It’s more cost efficient. The way we are working in Egypt, and the way we are working in Africa in general, is exactly the same as what

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Feed – Lake Kariba

we’re going to do in Zambia. ‘There is a lot of direct contact with clients, a lot of seminars and basic training to bring them up date and to use the feed in the right way.’ He said the construction of the Zambia factory is on schedule and ‘a fantastic team’ is in place, including a manager from South Africa, Leon Gunter, who will oversee 70 to 80 employees. ‘Obviously, there are many challenges when building in Africa compared to Denmark,’ said Halken, pointing out the political problems in neighbouring Zimbabwe. ‘It’s not a walk on the beach! There was a huge devaluation of the currency in Egypt, and also a big devaluation in Nigeria. People don’t have enough foreign currency to pay out for raw materials.

Above: Visualisation of the finished factory - © Aller Aqua Group A/S. Left: The Zambian factory under construction, December 2016 - © Aller Aqua Group A/S

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16/01/2017 11:51:47


Into Africa

SKRETTING INCREASES AFRICAN STAKE

see opportunities “Ifwewetake them...we are quick in making decisions

‘But the strength of the Aller Aqua Group is if we see opportunities we take them. We are quick in making decisions. ‘There will be some bumps on the road but we will overcome these. Bear in mind that when we started in Egypt we had a revolution a few years later!’ Africa is going to be a core market for the Aller Aqua Group in the future, he said. ‘We are quite certain, as in Egypt, if you produce the right quality, support your clients and teach them how to use the feed, then we will be successful. I’m quite convinced this is going to take place in Zambia as well.’ FF

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Feed - Aller.indd 49

NUTRECO, owner of Skretting, is also building a feed plant in Zambia in conjunction with London based investor Africa Century Foods (ACF). Skretting Zambia, which will produce tilapia feed, is believed to have started construction on the new facility. The lack of high quality feed has been a bottleneck in the further development of the Zambian industry, which is primarily tilapia. The Skretting plant will also be located in Siavonga, which is where the major fish farms in Zambia are based, and with an initial capacity of 25,000 tonnes, will be on a smaller scale than Aller Aqua’s factory. A substantial part of the capacity will be used to supply the Zambian and Zimbabwean tilapia farms of joint venture partner ACF, Africa’s largest fish producer with tilapia farms in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda. Plant capacity will be expanded in a second phase, with the aim of supplying the wider south-east African region. Harm de Wildt, managing director for Nutreco´s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said when announcing the new venture last year: ‘This joint venture is a new step in our commitment to the African market, adding to recent fish feed investments in Egypt and Nigeria. ‘The production of high quality, extruded fish feed will further support the development of aquaculture in this region. ‘It will help our customers to increase efficiency and profitability, and as a result will also mitigate the environmental footprint of the sector. ‘In ACF we have found the right partner to establish a strong foothold in the south-east African market.’ Henry Pitman, CEO of ACF, said: ‘Having consistent supplies of high quality feed is critical to the success of our aquaculture operations in Zambia and Zimbabwe. ‘This new feed mill will allow us to expand our operations from the current production levels of 10,000 tonnes and help to reduce our cost of production in line with our strategy to become the lowest cost producer of tilapia in the region. ‘Furthermore, we will be able to increase our support to the development of aquaculture across the region. In Skretting, ACF is partnering with a worldwide leader in aquaculture feed.’ Skretting has also been expanding in Egypt, and is producing around 150,000 tonnes of tilapia feed a year. ‘Tilapia farmers are professionalising at a rapid pace, which is increasing demand for extruded fish feed,’ a spokesman said. ‘Through the investment in extruded fish feed capacity and regional R&D, we can support more customers in increasing their efficiency and profitability.’ Egypt is the second largest producer of tilapia in the world, and the government has a target to increase total aquaculture production by around 35 per cent by 2018 to 1.8 million tonnes.

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16/01/2017 11:52:10


Feed – Research

Glasgow launches artificial fish gut trials

S

CIENTISTS and industry leaders are embarking on a new project to build an artificial salmon gut with a view to better understanding fish digestion. Launched last month and led by scientists at the University of Glasgow, the three-year project, named SalmoSim, will work in collaboration with the Marine Institute and University College Cork (Ireland), Nofima (Norway), Alltech and Marine Harvest. SalmoSim’s aim is to explore the link between gut microbiota and the development and digestion of salmon. Gut microbiota, the bacteria that colonise the intestine, are known to play a vital role in digestion and nutrient absorption across a wide variety of different organisms. Understanding how these microbes can facilitate the efficient absorption of novel feeds in salmon is of vital importance. Dr Martin Llewellyn, from the University of Glasgow’s School of Life Sciences, said: ‘The experimental gut system, once established, will represent a powerful tool for carrying out basic and applied research into fish digestion. We’re really excited that it will be based here at Glasgow.’ Alltech already operates a successful equivalent ex vivo gut model for dairy cows and a number of nutrigenomic platforms in its applied research capacity. However, there is currently no system available for fish. Alltech’s international project manager for aquaculture, John Sweetman, said: ‘The combined forces of customer demands for sustainable and ethically reared fish, profitability and regulatory pressure for therapeutic free aquaculture drives this research initiative. ‘The potential for improving feed efficiency and maintaining optimal health status will benefit the industry and consumer alike.’ The initial project will run for just over three years. However, the tool that will be established should be a valuable test-bed for novel feeds and feed formulations for many years to come. The work will take place in state-of-the-art bioengineering laboratories in Glasgow, and at marine aquaculture trial centres in Norway, as well as in a unique experimental river system at Burri-

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shoole, County Mayo, Ireland. The project has several components funded variously by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). SAIC announced funding for the project last summer, along with another feed research initiative, spearheaded by BioMar, the University of Stirling, the supermarket Morrisons and food company Saria.

Avian protein

Left: Salmon

This will investigate avian derived protein as an alternative feed ingredient, which could significantly reduce feed costs and, therefore, overall production costs. Although Chilean and Australian salmon farming sectors have been using avian proteins for more than a decade, there are still some challenges around consumer acceptance of introducing these products into the UK’s food chain. Avian products are also used across Europe in feeds for species such as sea bream, sea bass and trout. Morrisons’ ‎fisheries and aquaculture manager Huw Thomas said at the project’s launch: ‘This will explore decreasing our reliance on marine resources for fish feed. If this concept proves acceptable to our customers, we could change our feed ingredient policy.’ During the first phase of the project, the focus will be on collecting data from retailers and consumers to identify the issues related to adopting avian proteins. If consumer perception around avian proteins is found to be positive, later phases of the project could comprise nutritional and fish quality analysis. FF

The potential for improving “feed efficiency will benefit the industry ” www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

16/01/2017 11:58:56


Feed – Advertorial

Battling bottlenecks

Functional feed additives a must-have in today’s aquaculture

BY DR PETER COUTTEAU

A

QUACULTURE is the fastest growing industry producing animal protein. Still, aquafeed production only represents four to five per cent of global animal feed production and is fragmented over many species and countries around the globe. This lack of critical mass limits research developments, particularly for tropical species of fish and shrimp. At the same time, the young aquaculture industry suffers from several bottlenecks. Strong fluctuations of feed ingredient prices, in combination with low market prices for farmed products, have repeatedly affected the profitability of all bulk species. As a result, optimising cost-efficiency of feed is a major issue for aquaculture producers. Formulating feed using increasingly reduced levels of fishmeal and fish oil is proving to be a challenge for carnivorous species. And the profitability of all major species is threatened by a wide range of viral, bacterial and/or parasitic diseases. Solving these bottlenecks requires multi-disciplinary work and combined progress on different areas, including breeding programmes, vaccine development, farm technology, husbandry, zonal hygiene management, and nutrition. At Nutriad, we believe that functional feed additives, powered by natural, bio-active compounds with specific functional properties, are an important component of any solution for these key issues in aquaculture. Functional feed additives that enhance digestive and metabolic processes are crucial to make novel feed formulations work within the limitations of the digestive system of fish and shrimp. Also, a wide range of natural compounds with bactericidal or gut modulating capabilities have shown to be an important component of many disease prevention strategies. Functional feeds containing gut health promotors deliver with every meal

team “Our of aqua

experts works handin-hand with producers around the globe

an adequate concentration of natural antimicrobial activities into the digestive system. However, the success of this approach will depend on the efficacy of the gut health promotor. Natural feed additives combining different action mechanisms, such as direct bactericide/bacteriostatic properties as well as Quorum Sensing inhibition properties at concentrations below MIC, are most promising to reduce the impact from opportunistic bacterial diseases. At Nutriad, our team of aqua experts works hand-in-hand with producers around the globe to identify and resolve bottlenecks in productivity by the application of our innovative functional feed additives. We deliver products and services to more than 80 countries, supported by four application laboratories and five manufacturing facilities on three continents. www.nutriad.com FF

Nutriad. Helping companies (and fish) grow. DISCOVER OUR AQUACULTURE RANGE Nutriad’s multidisciplinary team of nutritionists, micro-biologists and feed technologists focuses on understanding species-specific problems in fish and shrimp. That is the starting point of true innovation. Our senior aqua feed experts have farm-to-fork insight in the aquaculture food chain. They provide world-wide expertise in formulation and processing of aqua feeds. Nutriad’s aqua additives directly contribute to improved productivity and profitability for producers of (feed for) fish and shrimp. Interested? Let’s get in touch: visit nutriad.com for your local contact.

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Feed - News.indd 51

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16/01/2017 11:59:22


Archive – September/October 1986

A special salmon diet for the Falklands

Research at Stirling is leading to tailor-made rations based on local resources in the South Atlantic cost of ongrowing feeds would be critical in proving viability. Fortunately, by that time more had been found out about the local fishery resources, and although preliminary trials by DAFS Pitlochry showed that Falkland mutton meal could be fed to young salmon, there was a better chance of using more fish-based diets. Drs Ross and Muir report that another factor quite clear from the outset was that a dry meal-based diet, although easier to use, was unlikely to be technically or economically suitable, particularly on the small scale anticipated for initial production. Apart from peat, all fuel has to be imported. Additionally, the capital costs involved, and the skill required to make meals, blend and pellet, would be outside those of a small fish farming operator. On the other hand, a silage-based operation would allow collection of raw materials at any time of the year, a low-energy means of preparation and stabilisation, and a relatively simple form of pellet production, by adding an imported binder/supplement mix to make moist pellets as needed, and within the cost constraints. In early 1985 Simon Hardcastle arrived from the Falklands to work with Aquaculture Nutrition staff in testing out diets. He was fresh from a summer of fishing ‘mullet’ (Eleginops maclovinus) for sale to the Stanley fish and chip shop, and brought with him copious supplies of these fish, which are caught readily in the summer months in the numerous estuaries around the islands. The FIDC, who were by now sponsoring the work and supporting Simon, made arrangements to supply the Institute with other materials, such as lobster krill, which were being caught by the local fishing survey. Local ADAS (Agricultural Development and Advisory Service) staff in Scotland, who had direct experience of sheep rearing in the Falklands, advised the researchers of suitable Scots mutton, equivalent to the cast ewes which are surplus in the Falklands. ‘Our suspicions of the unsuitability of the mutton were confirmed when we tried to ensile it,’ report the Institute researchers. ‘Firstly, everything had to be deboned, giving a very poor meat yield. The flesh would not ensile propHELLFISH from the Falklands was available to a select few – mainly erly using conventional formic and proprionic acid treatment. Fat content pressmen – in London during July, and if plans materialise, Atlantic was very high, and inappropriate to the needs of the fish. salmon from the same area could be on sale here in a year or so, ‘Although enzymes could possibly be used to break down the material, and thanks largely to research help from Stirling University. fat could be skimmed, the processes would be too expensive for the relativeThe seafood came from a first trial cargo sent from the Southern Atlantic ly poor product obtained. and the press conference was called by the Falkland Islands Development ‘The mullet proved far better: it ensiled easily, and could be combined with Corporation (FIDC) to announce the results of its first full year of operaa mix of wheat bran, minerals, vitamins and binder, plus supplementary fish tion, during which financial assistance was approved for 86 individuals and and bloodmeal, to produce a diet which performed well with the initial trials. companies. Total investment in projects approved reached £1.26 million. In ‘With krill, however, the high calcium content of the shell buffered the acid addition, investment worth £1.8 million in tangible assets or wholly owned mix, requiring excessive amounts of strong acid to lower pH to allow ensiling. subsidiaries was approved. Finance is provided by the Overseas Development A beautiful pink-red meal was then made of the complete krill, promising Administration. excellent pigmentation, but initial trials showed diminishing growth at more than 10 per cent inclusion, and strangely, little colouration. Question of feeds ‘If it becomes possible to separate the krill flesh cheaply (eg through a Drs Barbara Ross and James Muir of the Institute of Aquaculture, University meat/bone separator), there may be some further potential in this food of Stirling, report that from the outset of plans for salmon production in the source. Falklands the question of feed was critical. Initial studies, by Dr John Thorpe, of DAFS Pitlochry, aiming to produce young fish for release in salmon ranchFishmeal ing operations took up the idea of local raw materials. Mutton was the most ‘By the latter part of the year, the availability of onboard-processed easily identifiable source, as the cost, as well as the practical difficulties, of fishmeal from the international fleet, then fishing mainly squid and hake, beimporting substantial quantities of feeds could substantially affect viability. came apparent. This rapidly changed the situation, as not only could a local As the idea for salmon farming developed, so the importance of local feeds silage be produced, but the fishmeal supplementation could be obtained at increased. When the Institute was asked to investigate the prospects, their relatively good prices. initial studies indicated that although hatchery feeds could be brought in, the ‘An analysis of meal quality indicated satisfactory conditions, and provid-

S

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Archive – September/October 1986

Our suspicions of the unsuitability of the mutton were confirmed when we tried to ensile it

ed this was reasonably consistent, and would continue to be available, the prospects for locally based feed production looked good.’ It is now time to move away from laboratory work. Simon Hardcastle has returned to the Falklands to set up ‘FISH’ (Falkland Islands Salmon Hatchery), a small unit at Fox Bay, West Falklands, which he and Roy Clarke from Stirling built in June this year. The first of the Falkland Islands salmon, now first feeding, will, it is hoped, overcome seasonal confusion, and be ready for the first production trials on the local feeds by next year.

Unit of Aquaculture Nutrition WHILE the Institute of Aquaculture at Stirling University has long been involved in aspects of the nutrition of finfish and shellfish, the formation of an identifiable, and fairly autonomous, ‘Unit of Aquaculture Nutrition’ within the department is a very recent development. In fact, the new unit officially came into being on August 1. At the same time, Professor Allen J. Matty was appointed Professor of Applied Fish Nutrition. The nutrition group currently consists of three academic staff, Prof Matty being the most recent appointment. He was previously head of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Aston in Birmingham and was responsible for the establishment of the fish culture group there. Dr Kim Jauncey has been supported by the ODA (Overseas Development Administration) working on fish nutrition at Stirling since 1979. Dr Barbara Ross has been at the Institute since 1978. She was previously supported by Blue Circle and ODA and is currently supported by MAFF.

Prof Matty’s appointment to this group reflects his fairly long term relationship with the department in which he will now be involved on a part-time basis. Nutrition teaching, research and consultancy at the Institute of Aquaculture have been, and continue to be, supported in part by research grants from ODA, MAFF and, more recently, the EEC and also by direct UGC funding as well as contract research income. Grants from the Wolfson Foundation and the BP Educational Trust made possible the establishment of the new unit. The nutrition group is already undertaking a fairly steady stream of contract work for a variety of commercial sponsors. Current nutrition research embraces studies on species as diverse as salmonids, tilapias, catfish, carp and prawns. Experience has shown that the best way of obtaining data of value to the industry is to run fundamental nutrition studies and applied research programmes concurrently. It is also apparent that nutritional questions cannot be considered in isolation from other factors, such as husbandry conditions and health status. Other groups within the Institute handle these disciplines and equip it, perhaps uniquely, for a multidisciplinary approach. The Institute of Aquaculture possesses both temperate and tropical fish holding facilities on the Stirling campus and also has access to the university fish farm at Howietoun for experimental studies. The nutrition group has produced numerous publications in scientific and technical journals as well as a practical handbook on tilapia feed production shortly to be issued in its second edition. In terms of support to the temperate fish culture industry the Institute has already studied outbreaks of nutritional disease, prepared literate reviews of feed formulation profiles for feed producers and conducted nutritional analyses of fish, fish feeds and feedstuffs so as to advise on their nutritional state and/or quality. The new Unit of Aquaculture Nutrition is expected to allow the group to undertake even more publicity and commercially sponsored work in support of both temperate and tropical aquaculture operations.

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16/01/2017 12:02:47


Gill health – Workshop

Know the enemy Scottish industry tries to tackle problem ‘bigger than sea lice’

W

hen the Scottish salmon industry met in Oban last month to discuss the challenge of gill disease, there was consensus over the scale of the problem and the priorities for research into its causes. Hamish Rodger of the Fish Vet Group spelt out the seriousness of the issue, saying it was something that needed to be addressed urgently as ‘globally it has an impact as significant if not more significant than sea lice’ in salmonid aquaculture. The workshop, organised by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), assembled about 65 representatives from faming companies, academic institutions, government bodies, feed and pharmaceutical firms at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) on December 8.

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Above: The workshop discusses research priorities. Opposite Top: Science update. Middle:SAIC CEO Heather Jones. Bottom: The SSPO’s Iain Berrill

The purpose was to generate research ideas to take to SAIC for funding and there was no shortage of opinions on how that finance should be spent. In three break-out sessions following the main presentations, there was general agreement that the industry needs to ‘know the enemy’ better and understand what exactly is killing the fish. Health managers and fish vets said what they were seeing was such a complex picture that any investigation must be a broad scale project that looks at all the elements together – what’s going on in the environment, what’s going on in the gills, what’s going on with the post immune response, and diets. A big, multi-discipline body of work is called for. There was consensus, too, that relatively recent changes in farming protocols should be examined, especially in relation to biofouling, and also freshwater practice. John Webster, of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, pointed out that ten years ago the industry ‘wouldn’t be sitting in this room discussing this issue so something or some things have changed’. ‘We should rewind the clock and look to see whether there were significant changes in the way fish were produced over that ten-year period.’

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Know the enemy

Norway, Chile and Australia, Sandra Adams of the IoA told the SAIC meeting. ‘From the discussions, people felt that although there was a lot of work going on there was still a lot to be done,’ she said. ‘There was much discussion between the different countries to try to collaborate with each other and not duplicate efforts.’

The meeting was opened by Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, who said gill diseases were in need of solutions and encouraged the experts from across Scotland to apply for research funding. ‘We’re 40 per cent through our project finance so there’s plenty of money left in the pot. That money is there to help the industry to grow by working collaboratively with academic researchers.’ Such is the gravity of gill disease that two recent workshops on the subject had been held before SAIC’s, the first by the SSPO last spring, which was followed by a meeting at Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) in June. Iain Berrill, giving an update on the SSPO gill workshop, said since AGD emerged in Scotland around 2011 the organisation had set up a database, collected weekly and circulated to members. It has also established ‘a very active’ health managers’ group, made up of senior health managers from the leading companies. Berrill said the heightened focus on gills had highlighted ‘health complexes’ and that is what innovation must target, rather than individual health challenges. Stirling’s fourth Gill Health Initiative had attracted 165 participants from Scotland, Ireland,

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A list of what needed to be done included standardisation of diagnostic and monitoring methods, linking environmental factors to gill problems, and the need for standardisation of treatments. And it was decided there was a need for the development of a platform for information exchange between both academia and industry and across industry itself; ‘I guess SAIC is providing part of that with this workshop today,’ said Adams. Hamish Rodger, presenting an overview of gill health, said it has a direct impact and an indirect impact in that people can’t manage and control sea lice and other parasites because of gill problems. He provided an update on the different types of gill disease, from AGD, which most companies know how to control, to Proliferative Gill Disease (PGD), gill disease caused by harmful algae and possibly by biofouling agents as well – something he said needed to be further investigated, and bleeding gill disease. Complex Gill Disease (CGD), the term the industry now uses when more than one gill disease is detected, can be a combination of AGD and PGD. Many cases that vets are dealing with on a regular basis have a CGD problem. Gill disease is ‘dynamic’, he said, changing all the time, and there are many knowledge gaps. We know a lot more about AGD and how to control it but there are gaps in our knowledge of PGD and CGD. Scientists have good molecular microbiology ‘tools’ at their disposal, but don’t necessarily know how to use them to effectively control disease outbreaks. We need to know why CGD is happening, and what the risk factors are; and pathogens need to be identified and isolated so vaccines can be developed, he said. We also need to know more about biofouling risks. ‘We’ve changed the way we clean nets in the

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Gill health – Workshop

last few years and it may be that these methods are contributing to the problem.’ Why chronic disease is developing - and why gills are not getting a chance to repair - must be investigated too. Finally, the industry needs to know how to control and treat these conditions quite urgently. Karin Pittman, from the University of Bergen, addressed the issue of healthy mucosa, emphasising the importance of the protective barrier of skin, gills and gut in fish health.

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Top: Oban. Above: Delegates arrive at SAMS. Opposite top: Karin Pittman from the University of Bergen. Opposite below: Networking.

Farmers know that some feeds make skin slimier and better able to deal with parasites, but have not been able to measure the slime. ‘Despite our knowledge of the mucous layer of fish as a key indicator for stress and fish health, a comparative method for the quantification and use of such data was lacking.’ So what she has developed is a method of assessing the status of mucous cells in response to treatments. Called mucosal mapping, it can measure samples from skin, gills and gut and document slime production for the first time. Pittman’s company, Quantidoc, says: ‘With our method we can document whether the immune defence of the fish is strengthened or weakened at any stage of its lifecycle. ‘Knowledge about the status of the mucous cells and the protection that the slimelayer actually gives will be valuable as a decision tool when fish handling is planned or if unforeseen problems arise.’ The workshop also heard about ongoing research into finding autogenous vaccines to control AGD, presented by Sophie Fridman from Stirling, while Callum Whyte of SAMS talked about harmful algal blooms and monitoring measures. He said they can develop enhanced surveillance but the industry must talk to researchers and say what they need. There was an update on selective breeding from Diego Robledo of the Roslin Institute, and an explanation, by Ross Davidson of Scotland’s Rural College, of how models can be used to inform disease management. Delegates were put into groups to decide collectively what the research priorities should be in tackling gill disease, ahead of funding proposals being submitted to SAIC in the New Year. Discussion ranged from the role of freshwater production and smolt transfer to seawater; the

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Know the enemy

impact of biofouling organisms on cages and cage cleaning practices – and whether there was more than anecdotal evidence that net cleaning in situ is having a harmful effect; the relationship with treatments, and the number of treatments (it is getting more difficult to choose when and which treatment, the health managers present agreed); and changes in water temperatures and the abundance of plankton; One feed company representative said feed has a role to play ‘but it’s not going to be the 100 per cent, magic wand cure. We will be part of the solution’. He also said there was a lot of pressure on feed companies’ R&D facilities because of increased health problems and in the future there would be more emphasis on commercial trials, conducted in tandem with customers. The overall research priorities identified by the SAIC workshop were: Know your enemy – there is not enough information out there about what the pathogens are and how the host responds to them; Changing production protocols over the years, including net practices – what has changed in husbandry practice in last 10 years; Changes in freshwater practice and whether any of these compromised the health of the fish transferred into saltwater; Environmental surveillance and monitoring, treatment and mitigation measures; Stress related to handling and treatment. The longer term benefits of selective breeding were also mentioned but it was agreed that this was perhaps a commercial activity already embarked upon by companies. SAIC is now looking for key themes arising from the workshop and asked for full proposals for its gill health funding call to be submitted by January 31, 2017.

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A decision will be made on which projects to support by February 22 and, said SAIC’s Jason Cleaversmith, vital research could be underway by Easter. FF

We should “rewind the clock to see whether there were significant changes in the way fish were produced ten years ago

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World – India

Queen of

carp

Freshwater aquaculture sees its future in genetically improved ‘Jayanti’ rohu

BY BASUDEV MAHAPATRA

H

olding a matured rohu fish, Labeo rohita, of the genetically improved variety named Jayanti, breeder Debajit Barman has a smile of contentment. This fish has taken his business in the north-eastern state of Assam in India to new heights and brought him several accolades. The species could also revolutionise freshwater aquaculture in India and bring better dividends for farmers, Debajit believes. For Indian consumers, rohu is the most favoured fish among the three major carps, the other two being catla (Catla catla) and mrigal (Cirrhinus mrigala). The popularity and importance of rohu in India and its fishery are evident from mention of the species in ancient Indian literature of 300 AD. Indigenous to northern and central India, this graceful Indo-Gangetic species has been transplanted into almost all riverine systems, including the freshwaters of Andaman. Because of the compatibility of rohu with other Indian major carps, this species is an ideal choice for inclusion in a carp polyculture system.

For hundreds of years, it has been cultured in freshwater ponds of the north-eastern, eastern and southern states of India. According to available data, while Indian major carps contribute the lion’s share of freshwater aquaculture production - around 80 per cent by volume - rohu alone has a share of about 35 per cent. But despite its popularity, the species has a slower growth rate and higher disease susceptibility compared to the two other Indian carps. So, these two traits needed to be dealt with scientifically to make the culture of rohu - and, also, the future of Indian freshwater aquaculture more profitable. In 1992, India embarked on a programme for selective breeding of rohu under a collaborative project between India’s Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) and Akvaforsk of Norway. ‘Growth is the economic trait. It is also susceptible to diseases. So the main objective has been to develop a disease resistant, fast growing rohu,’ said CIFA director Dr P Jayasankar while showing the farm ponds of the institution, where the programme is being carried out. ‘Take a good male and a good female and then breed, so that the seeds are healthier,’ Jayasankar said, emphasising that the programme is for genetic improvement only and not for genetic modification or engineering. Under the selective breeding programme, the seeds of rohu are produced from the best of the species collected from different riverine sources. According to the scientists, multi-location field trials in different states have confirmed that the improved variety rohu developed at CIFA grows much faster than the local rohu. Dr Kanta Das Mahapatra, principal scientist in charge of the programme at CIFA, said: ‘Everywhere we have found its growth supremacy, and marked 18 per cent faster growth per generation on average.’ The eighth generation seeds produced through selective breeding

main objective has been to “The develop a disease resistant, fast growing fish ” 58

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Queen of carp

are now being made available to the farmers. This generation has shown 100 per cent faster growth in many cases, according to the scientists. This improved variety of rohu is named ‘Jayanti’ as its first release in 1997 coincided with the ‘Swarn Jayanti’ or golden jubilee year of Indian independence, attained in 1947. The benefit of Jayanti rohu is that it attains the marketable size – that is, between 1 and 1.5 kg - at least two months earlier than the normal rohu, says Jayasankar, highlighting that ‘by this, the farmer saves the feed bill for two months’. It also offers the farmer an opportunity to start growing the next crop two months earlier than usual, he adds. With disease resilience and a faster growth potential, the improved Jayanti rohu certainly boosts India’s blue economy aspirations. CIFA predicts that, 10 years down the line, at least 30 per cent of rohu cultured in India will be Jayanti rohu. But supplying the farmers with genuine good quality seeds still remains a challenge. Morphologically, the seeds of Jayanti and normal rohu

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Clockwise from above: Fish breeder Debajit Barman of Assam holds a wellgrown Jayanti rohu; catching of Indian carps (source: ICAR); Jayanti rohu (source: ICAR); Dr P Jayasankar, director, CIFA; Jayanti rohu in a culture pond (source: ICAR).

look quite similar. It is even difficult to differentiate or segregate seeds where hatcheries breed Jayanti rohu along with normal rohu. In order to ensure that farmers get quality seed, CIFA has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with specialised breeders to set up multiplier units to breed Jayanti rohu exclusively. ‘We hope this will ensure supply of good quality seeds of the improved variety and help in reducing risk on the part of the farmers,’ said Mahapatra. Because there is a constant demand for rohu in the market and the Jayanti rohu grows faster and is less susceptible to diseases, it brings huge possibilities for freshwater aquaculture in India, said Denajit Barman, who has recently signed the MoU with CIFA for a multiplier unit in Assam’s Nalbari district. Seed supplier Nayanmani Talukdar, an associate of Debajit, said: ‘I recently supplied seeds to farmers in Manipur and Maharashtra and there is still more demand.’ The demand is not limited to India alone. South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka have also shown interest in Jayanti rohu. But, according to experts, it cannot be supplied to any foreign country without certification from the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) as it is a genetically improved variety. Once the NBA certification is obtained, Jayanti rohu can become the queen of freshwater aquaculture in the subcontinent, Mahapatra hopes. FF

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16/01/2017 12:20:12


Advertorial – MSD Animal Health

Looking

ahead

Survey designed to improve future health of fish

M

SD Animal Health, the market leader in aquaculture welfare (known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada), has created its own fish survey to help further develop industry insight and improve its customer relationships. More than 350 customers of the fish health experts have received the survey in a bid to improve the service and products provided by the aquaculture team at MSD Animal Health. In addition to working closely with Scotland’s leading salmon producers, the team want to find out first-hand how they can further improve the services provided and learn about what additional support their customers want. The aquaculture team used their knowledge from all sides of the business, including veterinary, sales and overall industry expertise, to create a survey that will highlight areas of suggested improvement or changes that might help make using the products more efficient for fish farmers. Questions in the survey include assessment of product value, health challenges, technology development, customer service from the MSD team, most effective communication methods and areas in which MSD could provide further input to help improve the overall service provided. Dafydd Morris, business manager of aquaculture at MSD Animal Health, said: ‘We invest heavily in research and development and this survey plays an important part in allowing us to continually improve our services. ‘As a team we decided to create a survey that would go out to people working in the industry

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MSD.indd 60

“effItectiis anve

way of collecting information about potential challenges

Top: MSD’s Dafydd Morris. Above right: Preventative measures

to try and further understand how we can improve our offering and learn more about what the future looks like for our customers. ‘Our team works with fish farmers on a daily basis, but we are always looking to continually improve what we can do for the people that matter most in our organisation, our customers. ‘The survey is an effective way of collecting information about potential health challenges that the people working on the front-line are concerned about over the coming years. ‘This allows us to work on the possibility of preventative measures and ultimately improve the future health of fish.’ The deadline for completed surveys to be returned to the MSD team is the end of January. Following this, MSD will analyse the data in early 2017 and, as a team, act accordingly to address any areas of potential improvement. FF

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

16/01/2017 12:22:00


Markets & Retail News

Fish smoker signs Sainsbury’s deal ONE of Scotland’s oldest fishmongers, RR Spink & Sons, is moving into supermarkets for the first time following an initial £60,000 deal with Sainsbury’s. Currently available in a number of high end food halls and luxury delis, the new listing will see the firm’s Hot Smoked Salmon and Hot Smoked Rainbow Trout products hit 30 Sainsbury’s stores across Scotland. Founded in 1715 in Arbroath, RR Spink has been smoking fish by hand for more than 300 years. Many of the techniques used today, including curing and hand finishing, remain as they were in the 1700s. The firm has a large production facility in Arbroath, employing 190 people - an increase of 60 workers since last year. The firm also holds a Royal Warrant as fishmonger to the Queen.

Above: Spink’s sales executive Alisha Goodwin by Arbroath harbour

The company is part of trout farmer Dawnfresh Seafood, and its trout is sourced from Loch Etive on the west coast near Oban. All the firm’s salmon is sourced from Scottish companies. Danny Cairney, sales manager at RR Spink & Sons, said: ‘We are delighted to see our Hot Smoked Salmon and Rainbow Trout products in Sains-

Scottish source to “seeWeourareHotdelighted Smoked Salmon and Rainbow Trout products in Sainsbury’s

bury’s stores across Scotland. ‘Rainbow trout, in particular, has often been underrated and eclipsed by the popularity of smoked salmon, but in fact our hot smoked trout is delicate in flavour, high in protein and high in omega 3 – it is a tasty and healthy addition to any meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.’

New fish sustainability chief at Co-op

New boss for Seafood Scotland SEAFOOD Scotland, the organisation that promotes the industry in the global market, has appointed a new chief. Patrick Hughes, who takes up his new role this month, joins from Above: Patrick Hughes SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College, where he was senior food and drink consultant. Of his new role at Seafood Scotland, he said: ‘I am particularly looking forward to tackling some of the significant challenges facing the seafood sector over the next couple of years. ‘In an ever changing landscape, we don’t yet know what form these challenges will take, so we will need to be adaptable, nimble and receptive to the opportunities that change could bring. ‘My remit is to transform Seafood Scotland into a sustainable organisation that will continue to support and grow the sector.’

Family firm lands bumper Aldi deal AN Aberdeenshire family firm has secured a £50,000 deal to supply Aldi stores in Scotland with freshly prepared cullen skink. Downies of Whitehills will supply its chilled cullen skink from now until April and has already picked up a national Gold Quality Food Award in the Prepared Fish Category. Managing director Alan Downie said: ‘We’re especially proud of this cullen skink and all that goes into it.’

Top of the fish and chip shops

The Co-op has appointed a new fish sustainability manager, with responsibility for wild caught and farmed fish AISLA Jones, who has an MSc in Marine Biology from Bangor University, previously worked for the World Wildlife Fund, with experience in a number of seafood sustainability initiatives, particularly Above: Aisla Jones tuna. Jones, from Flintshire, North Wales, said: ‘The Co-op’s reputation in responsible sourcing is second to none, so I’m very excited to be joining such a well established team that has a proven

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track record in helping deliver ethically produced food.’ Ciara Gorst, the Co-op’s senior agriculture manager, said: ‘Aisla is a genuine expert in the field of sustainable seafood and marine life and has a global perspective, having worked in several developing countries, particularly in Africa. ‘We’re delighted to welcome her to the Co-op and are confident that with her extensive knowledge we will continue to lead the way in fish sustainability.’ The Co-op constantly monitors its own-brand fresh and frozen fish ranges and says it uses the latest scientific advice on the stocks of wild fish, as well as independent assurance schemes for farmed fish, to ensure they are sourced from well managed fisheries and farms. The retail chain has been a member of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) since 2011.

THE National Fish & Chip Awards, celebrating some of the UK’s best seafood businesses, will be announced this month at a ceremony in London. Now in their 29th year, the awards encompass more than a dozen categories, recognising everything from traditional takeaways to mobile operators, and from young fish friers to excellence in staff training and responsible sourcing. Marcus Coleman, chief executive of awards sponsor Seafish, said: ‘The fish and chip trade continues to go from strength to strength.’ The Park Plaza ceremony is on January 26.

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Processing News

Grimsby area processor closes AT least 50 people are feared to have lost their jobs after the Lincolnshire fish processing company Fishgate closed down over the festive period.

THE company is located on a former RAF jet fighter air base at Binbrook, near Grimsby, which has been turned into a trading estate with a

large fish processing operation. The staff received the bombshell as they were preparing to close for the Christmas holiday. They

were given the news by a note on the door as they turned up for work; it said further details would be sent by first class post. They were then asked

to contact their line managers. Fishgate is a seafood supplier to the Iceland frozen food retail chain, which has confirmed that the site is no longer producing for them. Fishgate is thought to have lost more than £200,000 last year. It mainly makes prepared fish meals and dishes. Cash reserves are also thought to have fallen since a year ago. West Lindsey, the local district council that helps companies set up on the Binbrook trading estate, said it had a team able to offer advice and assistance. No one from the company was avail-

Bombshell

Staff were given the news by a note on the door as they turned up for work

able for comment over the Christmas and New Year period. One of the directors is thought to be Ken Bottomley, who is well known in the seafood business in the Grimsby area and a former director of Young’s and Sealord. He was also unavailable for comment.

Hopes rise in Icelandic Trout tasting treat for residents fish strike HOPES were rising as Fish Farmer went to press that a solution to the long running Icelandic fishing dispute could at last be in sight. Above: Sxxxx A spokesman for one Above: Heiðrún Lind Marteinsdóttir of the unions described a meeting held on January 10, which was lobbied by dozens of protesting fishermen, as friendly, with both sides negotiating on good terms. The strike involving larger trawlers began on December 14. Heiðrún Lind Marteinsdóttir, director of the Icelandic Federation of Fisheries, said the fact that the two sides were still talking was a positive development. ‘In that sense, we can be optimistic,’ she said. The strike has brought serious problems for fish processors at home and abroad, and already workers in Iceland are being threatened with lay-offs. There is also a shortage of popular varieties such as cod and haddock.

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Processing News.indd 62

SOME 40 residents from Oban and around Loch Etive took part in a trout tasting event last month, sampling fish farmed locally by Dawnfresh. A range of hot and cold trout products were provided, all prepared onsite by a Dawnfresh chef at North Connel Village Hall. All of the trout was farmed from one of Dawnfresh’s nearby sites on Loch Etive. Dawnfresh has five sites at different points in Loch Etive, from Port na Mine in the east to Ardchattan House in the west.

Above: Dawnfresh dishes on display

Tributes to seafood expert

The company, which employs more than 550 full time staff, with up to 200 additional temporary workers at key periods, is Scotland’s largest trout producer. It supplies major UK retailers as well as exporting across the globe. Stewart Hawthorn, farming director, said after the tasting session: ‘It was fantastic to see so many people take time out of their evening to come and sample some of the products made from fresh fish produced right on their doorstep on Loch Etive.’

TRIBUTES have been paid to the internationally renowned seafood expert Peter Howgate, who died on Christmas Eve. Howgate joined the Torry Research Station in Aberdeen in 1955 and was instrumental in helping to establish Torry as one of the leading global institutions in fish processing and quality. Research activities in this field included the development of methods for measurement of quality by sensory, chemical and physical methods; the measurement of storage lives of chilled, frozen, and pre-packed products; the study of sensory properties of fish and fishery products and the effects of storage and processing on sensory properties. After the Torry years Howgate carried out many consultancies, working for UN agencies in Africa, South America, and the Far East. He saved a good part of the Torry library, and most recently he created FishTechDB, an online bibliographical database of topics related to fish technology. The database is now available as a public service to the global seafood community via Seafood Network Information Centre.

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

16/01/2017 12:27:19


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DIVING CAGESSERVICES & NETS

A powerful disinfection option

THE NET RESULT  IS QUALITY  Custom manufacture of  all types of nets. 

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       Fish grading, Counting Specialise in the manufacture and supply of: & Size Fish grading, Counting Aeration Equipment - Estimation Fish Feeders

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082-083_ff07.indd 82 049-051_ff11.indd 49 APOLLO A/S T TE Expert genetic services at IMPEX IMPEXAGENCY AGENCY Graders forprices live fish IMPEX AGENCY since 1965 affordable NT since 1965 Drumfilters since 1965 TY/PRICE • Marker assisted selection

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Mobile: 07715 007964 w: m-dive.co.uk E: sales@aquacultureequipment.co.uk e: mdiveltd@live.co.uk t: 01680 812913/07585 801906 W: www.AquacultureEquipment.co.uk

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ment Ltd

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e and supply of:

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Demonstrate your Commitment to Sustainability • Partner with Bureau Veritas Fish grading, Counting Specialise in the manufacture and supply of: Certification to prove your & Size Estimation Custom manufacture of Aeration Equipment - Fish Feeders Fish grading, commitment to Counting sustainability. ••Sock/Side Sock/SideWeight WeightRemoval Removal&&Attachment Attachment & Size Estimation - Oxygen Monitoring Systems We offer a large range of & Size Estimation - Oxygen Monitoring Systems all types of nets. & Size Estimation ••Cavi CaviBlasting Blasting certification i.a. Round PE Rearing Tanks Round PE Rearing Tanks • Moorings/Inspections/Reports • Moorings/Inspections/Reports Net sterilising, washing, repair, Bespoke Fabricated Tanks ASC • MSC • Global Gap Bespoke Fabricated Tanks ••Barge Barge&&Hull HullCleaning Cleaning - Depuration Equipment - Lobster renovation and antifoulant - Depuration Equipment - Lobster ••Dive DiveDrills Drills Please contact us for- further Holding Systems - Oyster Baskets Holding Systems Oyster Baskets retreatment. information. ••High HighSpec’ Spec’Video VideoFootage Footageofofevery everydive dive Aquaculture Equipment Ltd Aquaculture Equipment Ltd Bureau Veritas Certification professional &&highly trained teams MOHN• AQUA GROUP The Enterprise Park, Forres, IV36 2AB, Scotland, UK • Dedicated, Dedicated, professional highly trained teams 6 576280 G B M A RI MOHN36, AQUAFoxdenton GROUP The The Enterprise Enterprise Park,Middleton, Forres, IV36 IV36 2AB, 2AB, Scotland, Scotland, UK UK MOHN AQUA GROUP Park, Forres, Lane, MOHN AQUAFoxdenton GROUP The Enterprise Park,Middleton, Forres, IV36 2AB, Scotland, UK .B Tel +44 (0) 1309 678270 Fax +44 (0) 1309 673615 info@mohnaqua.com 36, Lane, 47 Denmark Tel +44 +44 (0) (0) 1309 1309 678270 678270 Fax Fax +44 +44 (0) (0) 1309 1309 673615 673615 info@mohnaqua.com info@mohnaqua.com Tel Tel +44 (0) 1309 678270 Fax +44 (0) 1309 673615 info@mohnaqua.com Manchester M24 1QG Manchester M24 1QG + 45 77311000 Tel: +44(0)161 6835869 www.bureauveritas.dk MOHN GROUP Tel: +44(0)161 6835869 M Java Craignure MDive DiveLtd. Ltd.11 11AQUA JavaHouses, Houses, Craignure MOHN GROUP +44 AQUA (0)1772 322200 MOHN AQUA GROUP MOHN AQUA GROUP The Enterprise Park, Forres,PA65 IV36 2AB, Scotland, UK 07715 007964 Isle of Argyll 6BE Isle ofMull, Mull, Argyll PA65 6BE MOHN AQUA GROUP TheMobile: Enterprise Park, Forres, IV36 2AB, Scotland, UK Mobile: 07715 007964 MOHN AQUA GROUP The Enterprise Park, Forres, IV36 2AB, Scotland, UK TelFax+44 (0) Tel +44 (0) 1309 678270 +44 (0) 13091309 673615 678270 info@mohnaqua.com Tel +44 (0) export@evansvanodine.co.uk Tel +44 (0) 1309E: 678270 Fax +44 (0) 13091309 673615 678270 info@mohnaqua.com sales@aquacultureequipment.co.uk www.egersundnet.no TelFax+44 (0) Tel +44 (0) 1309E: 678270 +44 (0) 13091309 673615 678270 info@mohnaqua.com sales@aquacultureequipment.co.uk t: 01680 812 420 m: 07585 801 906 t: 01680 812 420 m: 07585 801 906 info@mohnaqua.com W: www.AquacultureEquipment.co.uk info@mohnaqua.com www. evansvanodine.co.uk e:e:mdiveltd@live.co.uk W: www.AquacultureEquipment.co.uk mdiveltd@live.co.uk info@mohnaqua.com

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» Expander12:08:50 14/11/2014

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63

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64

Aqua Source Directory.indd 64

SALT

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16/01/2017 12:33:11


Opinion – Inside track

A reminder for New Year BY NICK JOY

S

o another year passes and what a year! Brexit, Trump and a host of changes in a fast moving world. Who knows what this one will bring, maybe an independence referendum….no, I really doubt that. Nonetheless, our industry has seen a very high price period with little sign that the market is contracting. Too often we forget that we are competing in a world with declining sources of seafood. When I look at the prices of other fish in the fishmongers, I am often shocked. Beef prices are up and lamb. The naysayers suggest that we will see a market contraction but they have said that every time the price has risen. I am sure we will lose some sales but I doubt it will be hugely significant. So here’s hoping for a great 2017 with less sea lice, less AGD and good prices for all fish farmers. Looking back (and I hope you will allow me that) at the extraordinary development of an extraordinary industry, we have come an enormous distance in a very short time. I got my first job on a salmon farm in 1983 and, apart from two brief periods, have never been out of work in an industry that makes every day interesting, though not always in ways that we wish! I was recently looking up the production when I started and it was 4,000 tonnes a year. It is so low that on the modern graphs of salmon production history it barely shows as a blip. There are sites now producing that much, which is an incredible feat of engineering let alone farming. Pen sizes then were tiny. We thought that an 8m pen was difficult to handle and feed hoppers carried 50kg and were pulled out into the middle of the pen every day. A bit later on I operated a 250-tonne farm with a landing craft with a two-tonne payload. Even I am stunned by that now. We worked with equipment that was from other industries and that was often ill suited to our needs. The guys I knew then were multi-skilled and trained in other industries. I have worked with people who have worked in the whaling industry, sheep farming, fishing and even a doctor who wanted a change. The skills required then were mostly problem solving. We had to mend our own nets, make dip nets, repair pens (wooden), rig and set moorings and all of the other normal every day skills of going to sea. Smolts were delivered and transferred into nets and towed to site, a difficult, risky and extremely slow task. It often led to health issues and made it hard to get the smolt to start feeding. Having said that, diets were hardly what they are now and growth to 3kg was slow and many farms would happily have taken an annual average of 3.5kg. I don’t write this with a sense of nostalgia. I was incredibly lucky to get into this industry then. The economy was not doing well and there were very few jobs in a tiny industry. It was hard work, very poorly paid and often quite dangerous. For someone like me, who was primarily trained in agriculture, the

66

Opinion - January.indd 66

“ofThethissize

industry, the investment, the sheer will of the people involved boggles the mind

sea was exciting and different and I knew then that we were at the cutting edge. Now we exist in an established, mature industry, which has professional people and equipment. I find it extraordinary to see the developments that have come. From 160m circles to 400-tonne capacity barges, the size of this industry, the investment, the sheer will of the people involved boggles the mind. Yes, we have still got some problems, some that we had then, but it is hardly surprising considering the speed by which we have got here. Salmon farming is a phenomenal success story. Scottish salmon is something that we should be truly proud of. So, as we encounter 2017, let’s try to remember our roots and how far we have come. We still have a long way to go to achieve the sort of potential that this industry could really have. FF

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

16/01/2017 12:34:18


Ace Aquatec.indd 67

16/01/2017 12:35:04


Forging New Frontiers

Aquaculture AMERICA 2017 February 19 - 22, 2017 San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter San Antonio, Texas SPONSORED BY:

Associate Sponsors American Tilapia Association • American Veterinary Medical Association Aquacultural Engineering Society • Aquaculture Association of Canada Asian Fisheries Society • Catfish Farmers of America Global Aquaculture Alliance International Association of Aquaculture Economics and Management Latin American Chapter WAS • Striped Bass Growers Association US Marine Shrimp Farming Association • US Trout Farmers Association

In Cooperation with: Texas Aquaculture Association

For More Information Contact:

Conference Manager P.O. Box 2302 | Valley Center, CA 92082 USA Tel: +1.760.751.5005 | Fax: +1.760.751.5003 Email: worldaqua@aol.com | www.was.org

OBC.indd 68

16/01/2017 12:36:48

Profile for Fish Farmer Magazine

Fish Farmer Magazine january 2017  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

Fish Farmer Magazine january 2017  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

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