Fish Farmer VOLUME 39
Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977
Prince Charles drops in on Marine Harvest
Industry launches long awaited Vision for 2030
Time to comply with the Scottish Technical Standard
A new way to recruit the next generation
November Cover.indd 4
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Contents 4-13 News
What’s happening in aquaculture in the UK and around the world
14 - 19 Vision 2030
JENNY HJUL – EDITOR
Plans for growth
hen we started putting this issue together we knew it would be a memorable one because of the expected launch, at the end of October, of the industry’s eagerly awaited Vision 2030 report. What we didn’t know, almost until it happened, was that Scotland’s biggest salmon farmer was to receive a royal visit during the month. Prince Charles was welcomed by staff at Marine Harvest in Loch Leven, and later by others in the sector for what sounded like a very productive meeting, during a tour that could not have been better timed. The Prince’s interest in two particular aspects of fish farming - the use of cleaner fish to fight sea lice and the drive towards ASC standards - comes just as the industry has produced its own proposals to develop aquaculture in Scotland, based on economic and environmental sustainability. The next few months should see the consequences of both these hugely significant events. The industry will be hoping its recommendations for expansion are met with a quick and favourable response from the government, and that the involvement of Charles will help raise the sector’s profile and do much to improve its social licence. For these reasons, and despite the many challenges that remain, this could well be the beginning of an exciting new era for Scottish aquaculture.
Contents – Editor’s Welcome
43 Containment Introduction
44-45 Containment - Gaelforce
20 Comment Phil Thomas
46-47 Containment - Grieg
48-51 Containment - SASWG
Seal of approval
54-57 Containment - Raptor Anchor better
64-69 Sea Lice
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By Nick Joy
United Kingdom News
Brexit boost for GM crops – in England GENETICALLY modified crops will be grown in England after Britain leaves the EU, under plans being drawn up by ministers. In a move welcomed by scientists, the government has confirmed it is looking at developing new rules to regulate GM technology in the wake of Brexit, the Times reported last month. The move will not affect Scotland, where ministers
banned GM crops last year. At Westminster, it
has been argued that there is no scientific basis for opposition
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to GM crops growing in the UK. But objections by other EU member states has blocked any development here, with only one GM crop being licensed since 1998. The agriculture minister, George Eustice, said that ‘as
part of the preparations for EU exit’ the government was looking at ‘possible future arrangements for the regulation of genetically modified organisms’. He said the government believed that any regulations should be ‘science
based and proportionate’. It is likely to introduce a system of approval that requires companies and scientists to prove that the traits being introduced to GM organisms would not damage human health. The project to cultivate omega-3 producing GM camelina plants could be one of the beneficiaries of Brexit. The result of research at Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture and Rothamsted Research in England, the GM camelina crop could provide a potential fish oil substitute for farmed fish if grown on a large enough scale.
Grant takes over Grieg in Shetland GRIEG Seafood has appointed Grant Cumming as its new managing director of Grieg Seafood Shetland. He will replace Sigurd Pettersen, who has announced his resignation, from December 1, 2016. Cumming (right), who was production manager of the ﬁrm’s Shetland operations, has been at Grieg for 12 years. He holds a BSc (hons) in Zoology (Marine and Fisheries Biology) from Aberdeen University and an MSc in Mariculture. He also has considerable practical knowledge of salmon farming gained during his time working
with other farming companies. Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood, said: ‘It`s important for us to secure and maintain the new strategy for the region that has been implemented by the management team. ‘With Mr Cumming taking over the MD role, we will be able to secure continuity in the strategic plan that has been rolled out. We are very satisﬁed with the work and changes Sigurd has made during these three years and we regret that he now wishes to retire from his position. His strong leadership skills and loyalty will be missed.’ Net worth: Page 46
All the latest industry news from the UK
Loch Duart salmon ‘rich in omega-3’
SCOTTISH salmon farmer Loch Duart says that recent reports about declining levels of omega-3 in salmon do not apply to its fish. The BBC Science report quoted a study carried out by researchers at Stirling University. Professor Douglas Tocher, who led the research, told BBC News: ‘About five years ago, a portion of Atlantic salmon of 130g was able to deliver three-and-a-half grams of beneficial omega-3. This is actually our weekly recommended intake. Now, the level of omega-3 has halved. Therefore, instead of eating one portion of farmed salmon, we would need to eat two portions of farmed salmon.’ The lower levels of omega-3 were attributed to the amount of fishmeal in salmon diets, which has dropped recently, to be replaced by more sustainable alternatives devoid of essential fatty acids. But Loch Duart says its fish feed is derived from the by-product of the Icelandic capelin fishery for any fishmeal. ‘Any marine ingredients used in Loch Duart salmon feed are certified to the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation Responsible Supply Standard,’ says the firm.
Trials underway at £1.7m pilot mussel hatchery TRIALS to get mussels to spawn in a hatchery environment are now underway at the NAFC Marine Centre at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). The trials are part of a two-year research and innovation project to test the commercial viability of a Scottish mussel hatchery. This latest milestone comes after several months of custom-design, engineering
and installation of the core infrastructure, which includes algal culture and water treatment facilities along with tank room resources for spawning, larvae incubation and grow-out. The trial is a collaboration between the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG), UHI, and Highlands and Islands Enter-
prise, with co-funding from the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) and, most recently, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. If the pilot project is successful, the insights gleaned will help build the business case for a national hatchery or series of regional hatcheries. Janet Brown: Page 22
Farmer finalist for catering excellence LOCH Duart has been chosen as a finalist in the 2016 Product Excellence Awards organised by food service trade magazine The Caterer. The Caterer’s product awards, now in their third year, recognise excellence and innovation in food, drink and equipment products within the hospitality sector. Each product is judged by a panel of judges
who use the criteria taste, flavour, texture, aroma, ingredients list, innovation, design, best practice, customer service, packaging, presentation and price to choose the winning product. The judges will also consider the nutritional value of the food and drink product and the success in achieving the supplier’s own objectives for the product.
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Loch Duart is no stranger to awards success this year, having won Export Team of the Year at the HSBC Scottish Export Awards 2016 and been a finalist as Exporter of the Year for the Scottish Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2016. Alban Denton, managing director, said: ‘We’re thrilled with the nomination. Our salmon is mentioned by name on menus of restaurants, hotels, gastro-pubs, pubs and clubs. ‘The food service industry is a vitally important market for us, in the UK and our 20 export markets.’ Lisa Jenkins of The Caterer, said: ‘We look forward to welcoming our shortlisted finalists and their guests to the awards ceremony on December 1.’
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United Kingdom News
Latest Orkney fish farm goes live A NEW Scottish Sea Farms site went live this autumn at Westerbister in Orkney. This major investment of £3.5 million has created six new jobs locally, with five appointments already in place, and the site has brought positive benefits to several Scottish based suppliers. Westerbister has resulted in purchases of a new barge and moorings from Inverness based Gael Force Group, cages from Fusion Marine in Argyll, nets from Knox and on site cameras from Steinsvik GMT. Stewart Graham, managing director of Gael Force, said: ‘We were delighted to build this barge here in the Highlands for Scottish Sea Farms.The contract
Above: The Westerbister team (from left to right): Joe Williamson, Benjamin Weis, Ross Stevenson, Mark Rosie and Billy Brown
sustained up to 14 jobs within Gael Force and our local supply chain.’ The Westerbister site
consists of 16 x 100m cages, with consent for 1,791 tonnes of salmon production, making
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it the second largest Scottish Sea Farms site in Orkney. SSF regional manager Richard Darbyshire said: ‘This will significantly increase production of our quality product farmed in Orkney waters. ‘The smolts that are placed in the water now will be harvested in early 2018. This site will help to support Scotland in delivering
growth to meet an unprecedented global and domestic demand, today and into the future. ‘Westerbister is the culmination of four years of consultation and hard work to ensure that we can grow and create brand new jobs in Orkney and sustain the wider local economy. ‘These new full time jobs come with train-
ing packages and offer real long-term careers in the aquaculture industry. ‘Farmed salmon has one of the lowest environmental footprints of the major protein producers and we have a responsibility to provide a secure food supply for the increasing global population and salmon will do this in a sustainable way.’
Dawnfresh gets go ahead for bigger pens DAWNFRESH, Scotland’s largest producer of farmed trout, has been given the go ahead to increase the pen size on one of its Loch Etive sites and move the farm to deeper water. The changes will help standardise operations and ensure pens are in the best location, said the company, welcoming the decision by the Planning Committee of Argyll and Bute Council. Etive 3 farm, located at Port na Mine at the eastern end of the loch,
can now be moved to deeper water and the size of the pens can be increased to match most of the company’s other pens in the area. The farm is currently comprised of 10 pens of 22m diameter, which will now be increased to 25m and the site moved approximately
100m in to deeper water. Planning officers had recommended that councillors grant approval for the change, which Dawnfresh expects to complete within the next six months. Stewart Hawthorn, farming director for Dawnfresh, said:‘This will help us modernise our operations and continue providing healthy and independently certified trout to UK and international markets.’ Big fish: Page 38
All the latest industry news from the UK
Seaweed group holds first conference THE Scottish Seaweed Industry Association is to hold its first conference in November. A broad range of subjects will be covered, from cultivation to building market opportunities, and from standards to funding the industry’s development. Speakers at the one-day event in Oban include Alex Adrian from Crown Estate Scotland (sponsor of the conference), Fiona Richmond of Scotland Food and Drink, Fiona Houston of Mara Seaweed, and Olavur Gregersen of Ocean Rainforest. Professor Vyacheslav Sova of the Russian Academy of Science will talk about transforming seaweed into products for human and animal consumption, or into food ingredients. And Shona Hutchison of DuPont Nutrition & Health
will look at seaweed harvesting around the world. Mike Bland of Marine Scotland will address licensing issues, while Andy MacLeod of Argyll and Bute Council will explain environmental health considerations in setting up an operation handling, packaging or processing seaweed. The conference takes place in the Corran Halls, Oban, on November 16, from 10am to 5pm.
Another link in salmon supply chain GAEL Force Group has announced the signing of a contract with the Scottish Salmon Company as the preferred supplier of consumables to both farms and processing sites. The Inverness based supplier already services a number of fish farm sites across Scotland with consumables. The firm will create further jobs to meet the needs of the
south west farm sites, enhancing its existing supply chain team of nine full-time staff. Gael Force has also increased the workforce in its Glasgow premises with additional staff and a new delivery route to cover the southern area sites. Increasing its consumable supply chain service strengthens Gael Force’s commitment to the aquaculture market and
Above: Craig Anderson and Stewart Graham
UK news.indd 7
Growing Highlands game
is part of the firm’s strategy for growth, said Stewart Graham, managing director. ‘The added consumables contract fits well with our current development plan within the group’s focus on the aquaculture business. ‘ The Scottish Salmon Company has 60 sites on the west coast and in the Hebrides. Craig Anderson, managing director, said: ‘We are committed to using local suppliers wherever possible – it is a core part of our strategy for long-term sustainable growth. ‘Our new arrangement with Gael Force demonstrates this and will assist in driving efficiencies throughout the business.’
Bught Park Inverness between Scotland and Ireland, with Scotland winning the Marine Harvest Quaich. ‘When we first started sponsoring it kids weren’t playing but now we have proper youth development,’ said Bracken, ‘and women’s shinty has become a big thing, with 16 or 18 different clubs.’
MARINE Harvest has been sponsoring shinty for 29 years and holds an annual awards ceremony – at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, handing out more than 20 awards. This year Marine Harvest’s business support manager Steve Bracken made presentations at the awards night, on October 21, for Marine
Harvest Coach of the Year (PJ MacKintosh, Newtonmore), Marine Harvest Player of the Year (Finlay MacRae, Kinlochshiel), and Marine Harvest Club of the Year (Newtonmore Camanachd). The awards ceremony was followed the next day by the Marine Harvest shinty/hurling international in
Seafood alliance to meet Brexit challenges
Rosyth plant breaks even
A NEW UK Seafood Industry Alliance has been created to help meet the challenges of Brexit. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the Provision Trade Federation (PTF), with the strong support of their seafood members, have joined forces to establish the organisation. UK seafood processors and traders say they have agreed to unite to represent the industry’s interests and campaign for the best possible future arrangements with Europe and other trading partners, following the vote to leave the EU in June. Other seafood companies will be able to sign up.
Above: Major retail customer
MARINE Harvest’s processing plant in Rosyth broke even for the first time in the third quarter of 2016, the company reported. ‘This is a significant improvement from the previous quarter, as well as the third quarter of 2015, when the results were impacted by preparation costs and start-up costs,’ said Marine Harvest. The plant, one of the UK’s largest processing facilities covering 200,000 sq ft, began production early in 2015 and was part of an £80 million investment programme by the group. The plant’s managing director, Bertil Buysse, who replaced Andy Stapley in April, was tasked with turning around the factory’s fortunes. Marine Harvest Group said in the UK it was ‘experiencing strong growth due to full range production for a major retail customer’. ‘We continue our efforts to grow sales through the introduction of new products and through cross-selling of existing products.’
Marine Harvest hits record high - but with rising costs MARINE Harvest Group more than doubled its third quarter earnings for 2016 following a bounce back in Chile, the Norwegian company said on November 2. It achieved operational earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of EUR 180 million in Q3, compared to EUR 78 million in the corresponding quarter of 2015. ‘Driven by seasonally high salmon prices on strong demand and reduced supply, we achieved record high
operational results,’ said CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog. ‘It is especially encouraging to see that our business unit in Chile delivers positive
earnings after many quarters with negative results.’ Marine Harvest Group reported operational revenues of EUR 850
million (EUR 752 million) in the third quarter of 2016. Total harvest volume was 97,215 tonnes in the quarter (down from
105,963 tonnes). Harvest guidance for 2016 is 381,000 tonnes. Scottish volumes decreased by 16 per cent compared to the same period last year, slightly more than expected. Biological challenges related to sea lice and AGD impacted the harvesting volumes. Growth has improved in the third quarter due to a reviewed feeding strategy, but this was more than offset by high mortality in certain areas. Several of the Scottish
sites harvested in the quarter had a high cost level. Biological costs per kg increased by 36 per cent in the third quarter of 2016. Although the sea lice situation has been challenging, increased efficiency of treatments has resulted in a significant reduction of sea lice numbers compared to the second quarter of 2016 and the third quarter of 2015. In Norway, the biological cost of harvested fish increased by 17 per cent.
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All the latest industry news from Europe
Norway’s great export surge marches on
NORWAY has beaten all previous records and exported seafood worth 65 billion kroners (NOK) this year to date, an increase of 26 per cent or NOK 13.2 billion compared with the first nine months last year. September exports marked an all time high, totalling NOK 8.8 billion, an increase of 31 per cent from September 2015. Farmed salmon exports totalled NOK 44 billion so far this year, a 30 per cent rise.
Change in Marine Harvest Group’s management MARINE Harvest has decided to strengthen the management team within farming. Due to biological challenges and succession plans for the current COO Farming, the farming segment within Marine Harvest will be divided into two areas, said the company. Per-Roar Gjerde has been appointed new COO Farming Norway and Chile. He will be part of Marine Harvest’s Group
European News.indd 9
management team and report to the CEO. Marit Solberg will continue to lead the farming activities in Scotland, Canada, Ireland and Faroe Island. The organisational change will be effective from January 1, 2017. Marine Harvest’s Group management team is as follows: CEO: Alf-Helge Aarskog CFO: Ivan Vindheim COO Farming Scotland, Canada, Ireland
and Faroe Island: Marit Solberg COO Farming Norway and Chile: Per-Roar Gjerde COO Sales & Marketing: Ola Brattvoll COO Fish Feed: Ben Hadfield Global Director R&D: Øyvind Oaland Chief Strategy Officer: Glenn Flanders Global Director HR: Anne Lorgen Riise Communication Director: Kristine Gramstad Wedler Above: Per-Roar Gjerde
Vaki bought by Pentair THE Icelandic firm Vaki, known in the aquaculture industry for its biomass measuring frames, has been acquired by the US firm Pentair. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of
this year. The addition of Vaki, which marked its 30th anniversary this year, should strengthen Pentair’s business by broadening its range of systems, products and services in the growing aquaculture market
space. Vaki, based in Kópavogur, is focused on the design and manufacture of fish handling, counting and grading solutions for a variety of aquaculture applications.
Norway exports aimed at South America
Swiss build land based farm in Iceland
NORWAY is pushing the boat out to find new global markets for its seafood with South America the latest region in its sights. Following a recent successful visit to Iran, fisheries minister Per Sandberg was in Brazil and Chile last month. Although Norway exports seafood worth around NOK 928 million to Brazil mainly clipfish - sales have dipped during the past couple of years and he wants to reverse that trend. Part of his mission was to gain a greater knowledge of the Brazilian market and promote clipfish in a large San Paulo supermarket. Sandberg also visited the Aqua Sur
THE Swiss based company Matorka is to build a new land based, 3,000 tonne multi-species aquaculture station at Grindavik in Iceland. It is thought work will start within the next few weeks. The company says on its website that Grindavik is strategically located close to the Keflavik International Airport, and is only a 35-minute drive from the capital city of Reykjavik. Matorka says the new station will utilise the latest of designs, integrating top of the line aquaculture systems and innovative
European News.indd 10
Above: Per Sandberg
aquaculture show in Puerto Montt, Chile, where he met representatives from the main Norwegian companies based in the country. Norway has an estimated 60 companies with operations in Chile, many of them involved in fishing and fish farming. Three weeks ago Sandberg joined a
large Norwegian trade delegation to Iran where he sees major export opportunities now that sanctions have been lifted. During the trip contacts were established between Norwegian exporters and Iranian companies that want to import seafood and aquaculture technology from Norway. Seafood exports to Iran remain fairly modest at around 600 tonnes (worth NOK 31.5 million). One Norwegian salmon exporter, Sverre SĂ¸raa, from the company Coast Seafood, thinks there are tremendous opportunities and that figure will be far higher in the coming years.
technologies, creating a sustainable healthy ecosystem for commercial production purposes. The site will produce Arctic char and salmon - species that demand different temperatures for optimal growth. Arctic char will be farmed at 9-10 deg C and salmon at 13-14 deg C. Matorka says it will use excess geothermal water from nearby power stations. Matorka claims its fish are fed a uniquely sustainable diet, and no antibiotics, chemicals or growth hormones are used during the farming process.
All the latest industry news from around the world
Canada-EU deal ‘great for seafood’ CANADIAN political leaders have hailed the new trade deal with the European Union as a major opportunity for their country’s fishing and seafood industry. Exports of Canadian fish, both farmed and wild caught, to the 508 million people who live in the EU are set to increase following the delayed, but successful signing of the agreement. It could also see Canadian seafood companies taking a closer interest in acquiring rival com-
Above: Increase in Canadian exports
panies in Britain, which is part of the agreement becasue it is still in the EU. Canada exports seafood worth around $120
ister, Justin Trudeau, million to the UK each the signing of year, mainly shrimp, Eiffel said Tower CETA salmon and lobsters. 324 m (Comprehensive Economic Trade AgreeThat figure will almost ment) was ‘a historic certainly rise sharply. occasion’. Canada’s prime min-
BioMar ﬁnds ‘perfect match’ in Chile unit DANISH feed company BioMar has signed an agreement to purchase 30 per cent of the Lenca research centre from Aquainnovo, Chile, broadening its network of global research centres. Renamed Aquaculture Technology Centre Patagonia (ATC Patagonia), the facility has capacity Burj Khalifa for trials on different 828 m species and nutritional projects. The centre can also
be used for research based on genetic resistance challenges and pathogen and parasite trials for therapeutic and preventive All delivered treatments. Steinsvik Barges stacked The 2.5 ha centre, 1800 m located 33 km from Puerto Montt, was created in 2011.
Every 3rd farmed salmon in the world is documented in Mercatus
Did you know Mercatus is in use daily on 600 sites around the world? Half of these sites are in Norway, the rest is spread over 5 continents and 9 different countries. 65 different companies use the software, and these vary from some of the biggest to some of the smallest salmon producers. Mercatus started as a separate company 15 years ago, and has been run by Ocea, and now Steinsvik. Our experience in both fish farming and software development makes us the natural choice for fish farmers around the world.
World News.indd 11
Spotlight on Africa at conference THE World Aquaculture Society takes its annual conference to Africa for the first time in 2017, turning the spotlight on the potential of aquaculture production to support economic development and investment opportunities in the world’s second fastest growing regional economy. Sub-Saharan Africa’s vast inland waters and coastlines – home to a small but rapidly growing aquaculture sector – present a largely untapped opportunity to contribute to the nutrition and socio-economic development needs of the region. Themed ‘Sustainable Aquaculture – New Frontiers for Economic Growth – Spotlight on
Above: Cape Town
Africa’, World Aquaculture 2017 will bring together some 3,000 industry, academic and government delegates from the 100 member countries of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS), in Cape Town, South Africa, from June 26-30, 2017.
Representing the coming of age of African aquaculture and a significant milestone for the global aquaculture community, the WAS plans to launch its Africa Chapter at the conference, whereby the continent will join the United States,
Korea, Asia-Pacific and Latin-American-Caribbean as fully affiliated chapters of the WAS. The conference will balance global and African perspectives, the theme captured in the keynote addresses delivered by leading sustainable aquaculture advocate Dr Rohana Subasinghe and by Dr Sloans Chimatiro, programme manager of Fish Trade at the World Fish Centre, Zambia. Financing and investment in the aquaculture industry will be highlighted by Gorjan Nikolik, senior industry analyst for Food and Agri-business Research and Advisory at Rabobank International, the Netherlands based cooperative bank.
First ASC certified shrimp farm in Africa A LEADING Madagascar shrimp producer has been awarded Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for its aquaculture farm Aqualma, located in Mahajamba, on the north-west coast. It is the first shrimp farm in Africa to receive ASC certification. The producer, Unima, partnered with WWF to develop and implement good social and environmental practices. The company is now being recognised for boosting community development, reforestation and for its sound management of mangrove areas, water treatment and waste management. WWF has applauded Unima’s commitment, saying that it goes beyond the ASC standard, and includes education and health care.
AquaBounty salmon wins new victory THE Federal Court of Appeal in Canada has dismissed the appeal against Canada’s environment and health ministers and AquaBounty, producer of the world’s first genetically modified salmon. With the dismissal of the
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appeal, the ruling passed by the Federal Court of Canada on December 23, 2015, that the ministers were correct to allow production of AquAdvantage salmon in Canada for commercial use stands. The Federal Court had ruled that the ministers had arrived at a decision that was ‘reasonable and made in the manner prescribed by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999’.
Strong growth potential for South Africa SOME 32 aquaculture projects have been initiated in South Africa over the last two years, with 10 projects, valued at R338 million (about £20 million), in the production phase. Since the launch of the Operation Phakisa oceans economy drive in July 2014, the government has invested around R1 billion in
ocean conservation strategist Gcobani Popose. With an exclusive 1.5 million sq km economic zone, the aquaculture sector held significant Above: Gcobani Popose potential and had already exceeded areas including aquaculture and offshore oil expectations. Popose pointed out and gas exploration. This has created 4,903 that the new Aquaculture Bill was currently jobs to date, accordunder review by state ing to Department of law advisers. Environmental Affairs
All the latest industry news from around the world
New health centre to boost global research Nominations ASC sets new standards CARGILL, the US owner of Ewos, opened its new innovation centre in Chile last month with a mission to develop new feed formulas to help fight sea lice. The $10.5 million centre, in the Pacific town of Colaco, Above: Centre for ﬁsh health research represents Cargill’s latest investment in The centre will be able to the aquaculture industry since it conduct four to five times more bought Ewos in August 2015. studies than before, increasExperts from EWOS and ing the global capacity for fish Cargill will focus on developing health research by 30 per cent. functional fish diets and studying ‘Having our own fish health diseases that affect farmed centre will accelerate our prodsalmon in Chile and other major uct development programmes, producers around the world. allowing us to quickly develop The innovation centre will have new customer solutions,’ said more than 30 scientists who Einar Wathne, president of Carwill create tools and additional gill Aqua Nutrition. controls to fight both sea lice ‘We will be able to dig much and SRS, which is caused by a deeper into the primary diseases bacterium responsible for 79 and combat the risks they create per cent of salmon mortalities for salmon producers, and also in Chile and the main reason for apply our learnings across multiantibiotics use. ple species of fish.’
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open for seafood champions
THE Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has completed its seriola and cobia standard after more than eight years’ development by farmers, scientists and conservationists. ‘The completion of the seriola and cobia standard allows the ASC to get ever closer NOMINATIONS for the to our ultimate goal of transforming global 2017 Seafood Cham- aquaculture to a more sustainable basis,’ pion Awards are now said Chris Ninnes, CEO of the ASC. open, said organiser Seriola are commonly known as amberjack, SeaWeb. yellowtail kampachi, hamachi and hiramasa. Four finalists and The standard was developed for both seriola one winner will be and cobia because production methods for chosen for each of the the two species are similar and the knowlfollowing categories: edge and expertise necessary to create a Seafood Champion standard are the same. Award for Leadership; Seafood Champion Award for Innovation; Seafood Champion Award for Vision; and Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy. Nominations close on December 3, 2016, and the awards will be presented at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit from June Above: Cobia 5-7 in Seattle.
Industry sets out radical measures to reform bureaucracy and double growth
NEW industry leadership group will be formed by the aquaculture sector in Scotland under ambitious plans to double growth by 2030. The industry-led strategy Vision 2030, launched in Fort William on October 28, also recommends a radical shake up of government regulatory body Marine Scotland, in a move to streamline the regulatory and planning process. The emphasis of the report – which has been compiled by representatives from ﬁnﬁsh and shellﬁsh bodies, private companies and public sector organisations – is on economic development. The industry could grow from £1.8 billion to £3.6 billion and create and extra 9,000 jobs if the Vision 2030 recommendations are adopted, say its authors. Finﬁsh production could grow to 300,000 -400,000 tonnes by 2030, mussels to 21,000 tonnes, and oyster production could signiﬁcantly increase too, while the number of jobs in the sector could increase to 18,000. The group, which formed earlier this year and was co-chaired by Stewart Graham of Gael Force Group and Dennis Overton of Aquascot, took soundings from across the industry. It also wants to see the introduction of ‘innovation sites’ permitted by regulators to trial cutting edge equipment, technology and ﬁsh health measures. Scotland needs a strategic vision to better compete with countries that have huge ambitions and more competitive regulatory frameworks, said the report. ‘The delivery of sustainable growth by the industry also requires a ﬁt-for-purpose planning framework that provides better consistency of response and speed of process. ‘The framework should enable regulators to keep pace with innovation and change in the
Vision 2030.indd 14
Below: Stewart Graham presents the Vision 2030 report to Fergus Ewing and industry leaders
industry – not just in ﬁnﬁsh and shellﬁsh production, but in emerging areas such as seaweed growing or harvesting. ‘We recommend that Marine Scotland’s industry development remit would sit more logically with the Scottish government’s Food, Drink and Rural Communities Division and that Marine Scotland could focus on regulation. ‘We recommend that, in regulating the sector, Marine Scotland use a proportionate and enabling approach, with decision making and weighting that take account of aquaculture’s potential economic contribution to the Scottish economy.’ Apart from Scotland’s economic considerations the Vision talks of the role of aquaculture in global food security. This is a sector in which Scotland can be world leading, but only if all stakeholders – government, industry, academics, regulators – address the industry’s challenges. The global market share of Scottish salmon has fallen from around
Roadmap to change 10 per cent in 2005 to less than seven per cent, as other aquaculture nations raise productivity. A variety of factors have slowed production growth in Scotland and – without work to address them – will continue to do so. There are 20 recommendations in all, also covering skills development, investment, and infrastructure. The report was launched at a ﬁnﬁsh summit hosted by Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing, and attended by 43 industry members and government oﬃcials. During the meeting Ewing gave his commitment to industry growth: ‘We are serious about achieving real change,’ he reportedly said. ‘Industry must lead; government must listen; we will facilitate not police you. Public bodies are the servants not the masters; they must enable economic growth.’ Heather Jones, CEO of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), said it was an ‘excellent’ summit, and possibly ‘the ﬁrst time industry has come together in that way and issued a clear call for action that they’re inviting the government to support’. The managing directors of all Scotland’s producers took part in the summit, along with the bosses of major suppliers Gael Force Group, Fusion Marine and AKVA, with Benchmark, the Fish Vet Group, Ronnie Soutar from the British Veterinary Association, the feed companies, and shellﬁsh leaders. Also there was James Withers of Scotland Food and Drink, Anne MacColl from the SSPO and Ally Dingwall of Sainsbury’s. ‘There was a call for a change in culture, a change in mindset, in the regulators,’ said Jones. ‘Mindset has to come ﬁrst because even if you change the structures, if the mindset hasn’t changed it doesn’t make any diﬀerence.
‘The industry has said to government that Scotland needs to grow or it will be left behind in terms of global market share. ‘We need to ﬁnd ways to support and incentivise growth and if innovation can help do that then that’s the path we should be going down.’ One of the leading salmon producers present made the point that the industry had been in similar kinds of conversations with the then Scottish rural aﬀairs minister back in 2009; ‘we need to see some change’ he said. Ewing said: ‘I am committed to supporting development in this key sector as part of my determination to build growth in all parts of the rural economy. ‘I warmly welcome the Vision 2030 Group’s report which is a strong signal of business conﬁdence and highlights the signiﬁcant further potential in the sector. ‘The Scottish government will now work with the industry to consider their detailed proposals and I have agreed to establish an Industry Leadership Group to help take that forward.’ A copy of the strategy can be found at www.foodanddrink.scot/media/78119/lr-sfd-aquaculture-doc_spread.pdf. FF
Public bodies are the servants not the “masters; they must enable economic growth’ – Fergus Ewing ”
At a glance Industry Leadership Group (ILG) The creation of a new Industry Leadership Group to drive alignment between industry and government in order to deliver growth – by July 2017. This proposal has already been accepted by the Scottish government and could meet for the ﬁrst time before Christmas. It will comprise about 12 members representing the wider stakeholder group including the supply chain and the public sector. A number of successful sectors in Scotland, from technology to tourism, have Industry Leadership Groups (ILGs). These are pivotal to developing and delivering industry-led sector strategies and to creating productive collaboration between government and industry. The aquaculture ILG should have clear objectives for growth and monitor progress through quantiﬁable outcomes and impacts. These will include the measures set out in the Vision 2030 report and its successors and be updated from time to time. The implementation of these recommendations, through the formation of the ILG, will ensure eﬀective implementation of this Strategic Plan. We expect an aquaculture ILG will work closely and collaboratively with, and form part of, the food and drink sector wide ILG, Scotland Food and Drink Enabling and proportionate regulation A restructure of the role of Marine Scotland - the government agency that regulates the sector – is proposed to maintain its regulatory
Vision 2030.indd 15
role but to remove its industry development role into the Scottish government’s Food, Drink and Rural Communities Division – by July 2017. In setting policy and applying regulation, it is important that government and local government consider what aquaculture means for Scotland’s economy and communities and take into account that sustainability has three pillars: economic development, social development and environmental stewardship. All three pillars should be given equal weight by public sector stakeholders in their determination and implementation of aquaculture policy and regulation. The delivery of sustainable growth by the industry also requires a ﬁt-for-purpose planning framework that provides better consistency of Above: There is potential response and speed of process. to double output from The framework should enable regulators to keep pace with innovation farms and change in the industry – not just in ﬁnﬁsh and shellﬁsh production, but in emerging areas such as seaweed growing or harvesting.
Vision 2030 We recommend that, in regulating the sector, Marine Scotland use a proportionate and enabling approach, with decision making and weighting that take account of aquaculture’s potential economic contribution to the Scottish economy. Consenting processes Under the current system of consenting for aquaculture activity, there is perceived duplication, with overlaps between the input of Local Planning Authorities (LPAs), Marine Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and other bodies. These can cause delays, expense and avoidable uncertainty of outcome. The Independent Review of Scottish Aquaculture Consenting (IRSAC), published in 2016, made eight quick-win recommendations to reduce duplication and cut timeframes for consenting. An action plan has been prepared by the current Capacity Working Group for the implementation of these quick wins; the issue is the time taken to implement them, since many should have been implemented long before now. We therefore recommend the implementation of all the quick-win recommendations in IRSAC within six months. Longer term improvements to planning The Independent Review of Scottish Aquaculture Consenting considered ﬁve options for change to the consenting approach, in addition to the quick-win recommendations referred to above. Longer term, we believe the sustainable growth of aquaculture is not eﬀectively served within the Town and Country Planning system as it currently stands. The planning of most marine activities, other than aquaculture, is controlled through the marine planning framework. Given that the industry is now developing open water aquaculture sites, it is timely to address this anomaly. Accelerating innovation Research, development and innovation in Scotland must address the challenges faced by the aquaculture industry. We therefore recommend that regulators consider how to enable the growth of the Scottish industry through the selective use of Innovation Site status for controlled trials and development of equipment, technologies or disease control measures and regulation. Proposals could be invited from the market for Innovation Sites with applicants stating the potential social and economic beneﬁts to Scotland along with the Environmental Impact Assessment. Applicants should also state what aspects of current equipment and practice are to be trialled, how they propose to share the learning and how that would beneﬁt the Scottish aquaculture industry and its supply chain as a whole. Collaborative developments would be encouraged.
Vision 2030.indd 16
Sea lice The biological challenges facing producers in Scotland are well known and also face producers in competitor nations. The salmon industry in Scotland has been investing almost £30 million annually over the past ﬁve years in measures to improve sea lice control and it is driving forward industry academic collaboration through the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). We support the industry’s continuing commitment to investing in innovative methods to control sea lice. A diverse industry While Atlantic salmon will continue to dominate the Scottish production for the foreseeable future, there is an opportunity to increase the value of other farmed ﬁsh including halibut and trout, and shellﬁsh and seaweed. There are also opportunities to support diversity of ownership. Evidence from other sectors suggests that resilience is strengthened if business ownership across the value chain extends from global groups to micro-enterprises. This requires a regulatory and ﬁnancial landscape that supports the growth of innovative SMEs across the value chain and allows for new entrants and new business models. Growth in scale Production growth in the salmon industry will be facilitated by new and expanded farms, including the development of exposed sites and new site architecture. Crucial for this will be a planning framework that enables innovation and a faster decision making process. Within the shellﬁsh sector, production will be more balanced across the regions, with current low-volume production areas gaining critical mass to support new infrastructure in these locations. The current permitted capacity in Scotland will be almost fully utilised. At least one commercial hatchery will be in operation providing mussel and oyster seed along with spat for new farmed species.
Above: Atlantic salmon
Equipment manufacturing and supply sector Increased scale will also encompass the aquaculture supply chain. This will have at least doubled in size, having grown its market share of goods and services for Scottish suppliers to Scottish aquaculture by 2030; it will have developed export markets for these goods and services of similar scale to its Scottish market and there will be a substantial number of new, well-paid technology based jobs in the sector
Roadmap to change
Sea lice battle boosted by £1.76m grant
Research, development and education World class science is the foundation for a successful industry. The higher education courses relevant to aquaculture and provided by Scotland’s universities (on-site or remotely) will be regarded as the gold standard at home and abroad. Scottish research establishments will operate at the highest international research levels, collaborating closely with the industry on commercially-relevant applied research. A skilled and diverse workforce Aquaculture recruits will have a range of relevant qualiﬁcations or experience, including in ﬁsh health and husbandry, engineering, environmental science, software development and business management. Aquaculture in Scotland will be seen as an attractive and responsible industry, oﬀering compelling career prospects and development opportunities. We recommend the formation of an industry skills group within the Industry Leadership Group to liaise with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Highland and Island Enterprise (HIE). Finance Access to ﬁnance is an ongoing challenge for many SMEs in the sector. Scottish equipment manufacturers’ ability to compete with overseas competitors is hampered by overseas competitors’ ability to oﬀer ﬁnance and by restrictions on the export ﬁnance available to Scottish manufacturers. A further limit on growth is lack of awareness among investors of the growth potential in Scottish aquaculture. We recommend the launch of a dedicated investment fund for aquaculture, through Scottish Enterprise, HIE and the Scottish Investment Bank. We recommend that consideration be given to the creation of an export ﬁnance scheme comparable to that available in Norway which would allow Scottish manufacturing companies in target sectors to extend credit ﬁnance to customers in target markets with shared risk.
FFORTS to control sea lice on Scottish salmon farms have received a £1.76 million boost from the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The award is part of £2.5 million from the fund announced for Scottish aquaculture projects. Loch Fyne Oysters, Charron, Dawnfresh Seafoods and Fassfern Mussels are among the companies beneﬁting from the grants. The sea lice award will enable a range of alternative technologies and approaches to be trialled in Scottish waters so that they can be evaluated for their ability to reduce sea lice, which currently costs the global industry more than $1 billion a year. Coordinated by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) on behalf of 11 companies, the funding will further trials with hydrolicer technology, which uses low pressure water jets to dislodge sea lice, and Thermolicers, which bathe ﬁsh in warm water to detach the parasites. Jim Gallagher, managing director of Scottish Sea Farms, which is involved in Thermolicer trials, said: ‘Everyone is clear on the real and urgent need to reduce sea lice. However, signiﬁcant capital investment is required to trial new solutions. ‘The EMFF award is contributing additional resources to those invested by industry, enabling Scottish trials on a commercial scale. ‘The new equipment will be accessible by many companies in Scotland’s salmon sector, supporting the industry’s common purpose in accelerating the widespread adoption of eﬀective sea lice controls.’ Other technologies will also be investigated with the EMFF money, said SAIC CEO Heather Jones. ‘The technologies being explored are capital intensive and their outcomes in Scottish waters are as yet unknown, therefore the ﬁnancial and operational risks to industry are signiﬁcant. ‘By reducing those risks, this EMFF award will help catalyse trials on a commercial scale as opposed to an ad hoc or local basis.’ As part of the EMFF award, SAIC will also commission a research project to capture the lessons learned, and share best practice with the wider sector and supply chain. There is also the potential to develop next generation technology for sale at home and abroad. The European funding was oﬃcially announced at the farmed ﬁnﬁsh summit hosted by rural economy minister Fergus Ewing in Fort William on October 28. Ewing said: ‘Aquaculture is one of our real economic success stories and the industry is on track to grow to a value of well over £2 billion annually to the Scottish economy by 2020, supporting 10,000 jobs. ‘I am committed to supporting continued growth to 2020 and beyond as part of my wider priorities to build growth in the rural economy.’
Crown Estate fees The Scottish government has committed to ensuring that coastal and island communities beneﬁt from net revenues from Crown Estate property in Scotland from marine activities out to 12 nautical miles. We recommend going further, with all Crown Estate lease fees channelled back to host communities. This would ensure that communities across Scotland are incentivised by and share in the beneﬁts of a growing industry.
Vision 2030.indd 17
Driving force Stewart Graham explains how gaining government support was crucial
tewart Graham, managing director of Gael Force Group and co-chair of Vision 2030, describes the industry strategy he spearheaded as a roadmap that could ‘make a transformational impact on Scotland’s economy and our rural communities’. The ﬁrst step along that road is the formation of an Industry Leadership Group, which the minister, Fergus Ewing, has already supported. He is now considering proposals for its structure and will give his feedback, hopefully by the end of November. The Scottish Salmon Producer’s Organisation is also be considering the proposal. Graham said Ewing will be part of the ILG, ‘a kind of a ﬁgurehead’, and he has given a commitment to attend every meeting, diary permitting. Although the details are not ﬁnalised it is expected that Graham himself will co-chair the group along with the managing director of one of the leading producers or a senior executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation. These and the remaining positions in the
Vision 2030.indd 18
Below: Stewart Grahamewart Graham Opposite page: Fergus EwingFergus Ewing
group were voted on in a Survey Monkey ballot of about 40 industry leaders, said Graham. Also proposed are an SSPO member, a small ﬁnﬁsh producer, Michael Tait of the ASSG, James Withers of Scotland Food and Drink), the director of Marine Scotland, the chief executives of SEPA, HIE, and SAIC. There may also be a retail player, as well as someone with a planning role. ‘We’re expecting by the end of November to have the names announced, and hope before Christmas to have an initial workshop to set up the rules, the governance. ‘Then we’d expect the ﬁrst meeting around the end of January/beginning of February. My proposition is that in the ﬁrst year we may need to have six meetings but certainly no less than four to keep the momentum going.’ The ﬁnﬁsh summit, where Vision 2030 was launched, went ‘extremely well’, said Graham. ‘The Cabinet Secretary was very forceful in his determination to help the industry achieve this growth. ‘He also made no bones about the fact that the industry needs to do its bit, of course, particularly in ﬁnding solutions to sea lice. The industry can’t expand unless we can get on top of the problem.’ The Vision 2030 strategy calls for a radical shake-up in structures and a shift in attitudes, but Graham said he is ‘certain that we will get the change we want’. ‘At the beginning of this process I had a discussion with the First Minister, looking for support. I think the fact that we’ve seen the appointment of somebody like Fergus Ewing to look after the aquaculture portfolio would endorse the support we’ve had at First Minister level.’ Nicola Sturgeon’s brief to Ewing was to grow the rural economy, and with that mandate and instruction, Graham said he can’t imagine how that won’t lead to change. The industry’s request to split up the functions of Marine Scotland is waiting for a response from the government. ‘It makes no sense to have the policy making function of the industry sitting inside the regulator and we are the biggest food producer in Scotland so it’s entirely sensible that it sits with the food policy unit in Scottish government. No one questions the logic of that. The implementation and timing we need to hear back on. ‘Beyond that, when we have the rump of Marine Scotland that retains its regulatory function, we would also expect to see aquaculture escalated within the management structure within Marine Scotland to give it the resource and prominence that is commensurate with the opportunity that is presented here. ‘No one is saying we want anything but a robust regulatory framework but it needs to be proportionate and enabling.’ This choice of words was Graham’s own and reﬂects his frustration that the current system has been anything but proportionate and enabling. ‘There are a number of areas in planning policy where the term sustainability is used – but it’s very vague. ‘We’ve proposed that these interpretations are changed to use one that’s already in the planning policy, which is economic sustainability.
Economic sustainability takes into account economic development, social development and environmental stewardship in a balance. That’s what we need to see embodied in all policy making and implementation. ‘In some places it’s in the policy but isn’t enforced and I would expect the chief planner to remind people in the planning system that this is their obligation and their duty, to take into account the three pillars of sustainability – that is, their definition of sustainability not just a bandied around word which seems to be interpreted as absolutely no impact on the environment at all – that’s just not a possible, credible or practical way for us to live our lives.’ He has made it his personal goal to drive the industry strategy – ‘I’m very confident it will happen – as long as I’m involved in it - the questions is how much time it will take. ‘We all realise change takes time. From the mission statement of the organisation or the chief executive’s outlook, down to the fingertips of the guy pressing the keyboard, takes time. But I’m confident it will be delivered.’ He said that while the Industry Leadership is not a decision making board, it can make recommendations. ‘The ILG doesn’t have authority as such – we can take initiatives but can’t actually make things happen. We need to sell the benefits and make the case. ‘We’d expect sub groups to be set up so those from the ILG best placed to deal with, say consenting, sit, with the authority of the Cabinet Secretary, with officials to get commitments to getting changes made.’ On the recommendation for Innovation sites, he said it will be up to the ILG to put together what it thinks these sites might look like. ‘I think a reference to Norway’s green sites would be a good starting point there. There’s a lot of work to do to see how this works. ‘Let’s at least challenge the boundaries of any regulation. That’s the point of innovation beyond equipment and work practices – pushing the boundaries of regulation and if the findings step over the mark then you pull back and re-establish where the line is. But if you don’t push it out you can never find a new territory.’ When asked where he thinks the main objections to the report’s recommendations will come from, Graham pauses for the first time. ‘Look at my rose tinted spectacles,’ he says, ‘I can’t see any obstacles on the horizon, I can only see positive things!’ However, if six months down the line nothing has changed he admits he might not be so optimistic. ‘I’m hugely encouraged by every agency body, person, individual organisation, company that we spoke to in nine months of consultation.
Vision 2030.indd 19
‘There was nobody – even the difficult players that are sitting right in the middle of constraint – none of them were voicing any dissent to making progress and getting the growth. They were simply doing their own bit in their own silo. ‘It’s very important that the big producers consider the wider stakeholder group including supply chain, value chain, the wider economy, Scotland plc, when making decisions. ‘I think as they have been doing that and as we’ve been doing that through the Vision 2030 group we’ve started to see much more traction and it’s important that that view is maintained and the perspective is much broader than from a narrow self-interest – you could say that of any stakeholder, SEPA, Marine Scotland, or a supplier.’ He said one of the recommendations, about returning Crown Estate fees to host communities, embodies the spirit of the way the industry should be going forward, which is to be more inclusive and ‘make sure the wider stakeholder group is taken care of and that host communities see the full benefit’. ‘I’m hugely optimistic about the people participating in this at all levels.’ FF
I’m hugely optimistic about the people participating in this at all levels
Trade Associations – SSPO Comment
BY BY PROFESSOR PROFESSOR PHIL PHIL THOMAS THOMAS
Enterprise, skills and Underpinning the art of politics
Timing of industry review may help give it momentum
cotland has traditionally favoured an economy in which the government plays a role in steering the ship, safeguarding the wider interests of society and supporting industrial development through its enterprise agencies. Thus in 2007, when the SNP government published its ﬁnot rst Scotti sh Economic Strategy it served t may be politi cally correct to say so at to reinforce an established positicon. present but farmed Atlanti salmon would Firstly, therebecome was a clear statement of the food govnot have Scotland’s leading ernment’s purpose-the to create a successful country, export without Crown Estate’s positi ve with opportuniti es for all of Scotland to ﬂourish, engagement with aquaculture development through back in increasing the 1980s.sustainable economic growth. Secondly, the strategy sixpart priority Now, aquaculture is highlighted a signiﬁcant of the economic sectors (including food and drink) in agency’s marine leasing portfolio and is reguwhich Scotland was to have a competi tivesh larly celebrated byjudged the Crown Estate’s Scotti advantage and towardsAwards which industrial policy Marine Aquaculture event. This year’s should beEdinburgh directed. Thus the enterprise agencies event in on the 11 June was the had a clear policy framework within which to plan usual highly successful showcase for Scotti sh and undertakeand theira work. aquaculture rare opportunity for indusMove on now to Julytoofmark this year, and to the try to join together its success. Supporti ng Economic Growth report which The Crown Estate is presently atinthe centre Audit Scotland examined the roles of the Scottish of further devolution discussions between the government and its agencies, High- The UK government and Scottishincluding: government. lands and Islands Scotti Enterprise; long-term futureEnterprise; of key Scotti shsh functi ons reScotti Development International; Skills Develmainsshunclear and professional experti se could opment Scotland;inScotti Funding andonal be squandered the sh process ofCouncil; organisati VisitScotland. change. As always with Audit Scotland the tone of the Both the Crown Estate’s core expertise and report was very measured, but there was a less the Marine Aquaculture Awards are importhan ringing endorsement of the current entertant in maintaining the distinctive coherence prise agency arrangements and several areas for of Scotland’s aquaculture and it would be a improvement were highlighted. tragedy if they became casualties of political The Scottish government responded promptly change. and established an Enterprise and Skills Review, This year’s Awards event was hosted by which published its phase 1 report on October actress, writer and comedian Jo Caulﬁeld, an 25. This addressed some points raised by Audit inspired choice by whoever made the booking. Scotland and made a ﬁrm commitment to a step She was very funny and entertaining and kept change in the enterprise and skills support for the proceedings going with a swing. Only once Scottish industry. Above: Growth has did stray, there whenappear she wondered what ‘proveAt she this stage, to be no proposals for slowed nance actually meant’. major structural changes or mergers of agencies. In a room full of folk whose livelihoods However, a board to oversee all the agencies is being established, and this seems likely to be tasked 12 reducing overlap, removing duplication and with
Do we think enough about what gives the industry its edge in key markets?
Fergus “Ewing has
already welcomed We should the be report, organwhich is a ising our good signand training
education provisions much better
20 SSPO.indd 12
Phil Thomas.indd 20
depend on the provenance of their products she quickly sensed an austreamlining the system, better totomeet needs. dience response and moved saferindustry comedic material: there are some This might have seemed a very good ti me for industry to express its priorithings you just don’t joke about! ties;However, and fortuitously, right on 28 sawwhether the launch the report, her remark leftcue, me October asking myself weofthink enough Aquaculture Growth to 2030.of the provenance of Scottish farmed ﬁsh – and about the underpinning Theme working co-chaired for that’sgroup, farmed salmon.by Dennis Overton (Aquascot) and Stewart Graham (Gael Force), with ves from across the industry, provided There is no doubt thatrepresentati Scottish provenance is important to our indusa try broad assessment of the opportuniti es for substanti al growth in Scotti sh – it gives us the edge in all our key markets. aquaculture by 2030, along the but perceived to that Provenance can be deﬁwith ned an in analysis various of ways most barriers people will agree growth that itbeing goesachieved. beyond the appearance and sensory qualities of the ﬁnal In overview, their report makes thepresentati case for a on coordinated industrial product: ﬂavour, texture, visual and product consistency development policy for Scotti sh aquaculture (including ﬁ nﬁ sh, shellﬁ sh and are always key factors in consumer appeal but provenance is about seaweed), supported by an Industry Leadership Group, working with the much more. Scotti sh government its agencies. It reﬂ ects a widerand concept of consumer quality assurance, including: Those familiar withthe Scotti nﬁsh farming will ﬁnd much agree with in the place where ﬁshshisﬁgrown and processed; theto professional the report, which travels over very familiar and well recognised integrity of the production and processing methods; andtechnical, the quality, regulatory and planning territory. commitment and care of the people involved – the professional skills, It makes 20 recommendations, some of which seem readily achievable and expertise, passion and dedication of the producers themselves. others which will require a signiﬁcant degree of optimistic vision. In Scotland our ‘place of production’ gives us a huge natural advanHowever, the report’s timing and juxtaposition with the Scottish governtage because we grow ﬁsh in the pristine coastal waters of some of ment’s Skills and Enterprise Review may create political synergy and help the the most beautiful and wild scenic areas of the world, and our brand is momentum of the recommendations made. protected by its PGI status. Fergus Ewing, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, has already welLikewise, adoption of the Scottish Finﬁsh Code of Good Practice comed the report, which is a good sign. allied with the industry’s deep commitment to a range of independent The fundamental concern is that whilst Scottish aquaculture has grown sucfarm quality assurance programmes, including the RSPCA ﬁsh welfare cessfully over the last decade, its rate of growth has been less than required scheme, builds on the underlying strength of our statutory regulatory to maintain our global share of production. systems toves assure our producti onon systems. Any initiati to reverse that situati can only be judged by their impact Finally, the skills, experti se, passion and on. dedication of our farmers on the rate of growth of primary farm producti can becally, demonstrated inrate abundance andtechnical, day out –regulatory and theyand were Realisti an increased of growthday willin need showcased by the recent awards event. other advances, some of which are already in-train or are being introduced. However, being wholly objecti ve anddevelopment forward looking, it iswill thisremain third However, irrespecti ve of these advances, planning area of provenance where the Scotti sh industry has greatest scope a key growth rate determinant, and one in which politics as well as planningfor systemati c development. That is not to say that our industry’s skills practi ce creates barriers to progress. and professional experti se are industrial not of thepolicy, highest but it is to So, as Scottish politicians ponder theycalibre, might recognise recognise that our vocati onal educati onal and training structures, and that their role in shaping the country’s economic future goes beyond simply providing support for enterprise and skills. It also might involve them in the FF art of politics and investing some political capital. www.fishfarmer-magazine.com
www.fishfarmer-magazine.com 03/07/2015 14:31:33
Trade Associations – British Trout Association
Regulation – a necessary burden But red tape is number one cause of stagnation BY DOUG MCLEOD
egulation is essentially the application of societal standards as reﬂected and implemented through agencies that are democratically accountable, in practice somewhat equivalent to good management with enforcement powers! And it is clear that regulation is a pretty wonderful thing, in view of the positive and supportive aspirations that regulators incorporate into their strategic objectives. In Scotland, there is even an overarching regulators’ ‘Strategic Code of Practice’ which identiﬁes the generally accepted principles of regulation, namely that ‘regulatory functions should be exercised in a way that is transparent, accountable, proportionate, consistent and targeted only where necessary’. Food Standards Scotland (FSS) identiﬁes further high level outcomes that include ‘responsible food businesses ﬂourish’, ‘irresponsible food businesses are dealt with eﬀectively’. The Environment Agency (EA) aims to ‘create better places for people and wildlife, and support sustainable development’ in England and Wales, while the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) aims to regulate businesses ‘in ways that improve their proﬁtability and long term viability’, . To an outside observer it must therefore be strange to ﬁnd that whenever aquaculture industry representatives across the EU are asked to identify the problems that are leading to the stagnation in production, number one is virtually always ‘regulation and administrative burdens’. Indeed, the European Commission has seen this issue as the prime constraint that has resulted in the decade of stagnation in ﬁnﬁsh aquaculture production since 2005. A 2009 report by the European Commission (DG Internal Policies) concluded that the primary constraint on aquaculture (at the EU level) was a ‘lack of any common approach to licensing, leading to various issues with the conduct of licensing procedures at the local level, including delay, inconsistency, reluctance to approve, etc’. Below: Illustration of Speciﬁcally for the UK the constraints were identiﬁed as “delay in licensing comparative licensing process, uncertainty of applications; disproportionate use of the precautionregimes ary principle; high threshold for EIAs”. Several years later, despite strategies and EU-level policy initiatives, the problems appear little changed. As a further example, the EU funded Project ‘Aquainnova: Vision for European Aquaculture in 2030’ highlighted as major potential constraints on future expansion ‘inadequate regulations (raw materials, drugs, additives, feed ingredients) [and] new environment/planning policies limiting production growth and/or investments’. Returning to Scotland, one of the recommendations from the Vision 2030 for group is for ‘enabling and proportionate regulation’, as compared to the current situation. So there do appear to be unresolved issues with the implementation of regulation of the aquaculture industry, despite the high level strategic aspirations. And if we expand the deﬁnition of ‘regulation’ to include local authority planning, an entire additional set of regulatory constraints are added to potential aquaculture developments, particularly marine sites. Certainly in Scotland, and indeed across the EU, there appears to be a clear dichotomy between the views of industry and regulators on the impact of
and EUlevel policy initiatives, the problems appear little changed
the regulatory structures and enforcement on the development of the sector, despite positive aspirational strategies from the agencies. The explanation may be that there appears to be a disconnect between the high level aspirations and practical implementation at the local level, where the industry/regulator takes place. In many cases there appear to be inadequate levels of resources, expertise and understanding of the industry, resulting in time consuming and costly requirements for detailed and duplicated documentation and monitoring information (both pre-application and ongoing) and excessive constraints on operational activities. Delays in approval, both of new sites and expansion of output, combined with the divergence of resources to satisfying regulatory demands, inevitably reduce the expansion in production operations- which may explain the EU-wide stagnation in ﬁnﬁsh volumes since 2000, including rainbow trout. If the Vision for 2030, including signiﬁcant growth for the trout farming industry, is to be fulﬁlled, it will be essential for the high level regulatory aspiration of support for businesses to be transformed into more pragmatic application of the policies at regional and local levels. This does not imply an easing of standards, but recognition of industry’s positive record of compliance, an expansion in resources and expertise at the local levels of decision making and an acceptance of the high level regulatory objectives throughout the regulation agencies. Doug McLeod, Seafood Safety Assessment FF
ring it more upsecure an extensive interview with Scotland’s recently apl columns from pointed Minister for the Environment, Paul Wheelhouse. est aquaculture Looking further aﬁeld there are also interesting insights – ASSG SG and SSPOTrade – to Associations into oyster growing around the globe and also an t topics of theTrade day Associations overview–ofASSG the Hungarian aquaculture industry, which is ors respectively. beginning to evolve from production of carps to higher d we hope you’ll value predatory ﬁsh. We hope you enjoy all the changes. FF
has 0 years of the stry. Now ournalist, er food magazine.
BY JANET H BROWN
Rob Fletcher News Editor
Paul Wheelhouse is Scotland’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Change and is an MSP for the South of Scotland.
Janet Brown works to support and promote all aspects of sustainable shellﬁsh culture and restoration via The Shellﬁsh Team and edits The Grower.
Growing The otherbetter side of the pond
Scottish shellﬁsh future assured, conference told Can the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers learn anything from 8 the t was the ASSG’s 30th anniversary so only right that the sun shone conway America’s Eastconference Coastmarking Shellfish Growers Association is organised? stantly during the annual the event, from October
6-7. The theme was ‘Scottish cultivated shellﬁsh – past, present and future?’ The conference was opened by Gareth Baird, the Scotland commissioner RobertEstate, B Rheault – more commonly for ther Crown an organisati on that has been involved from the very known as ‘Skid’ being start. In fact, we learntRheault that the (Rheault ﬁrst shellﬁ sh farming lease was granted in pronounced or Bob up the that tenant was sitting 1972 for a fee of £5‘row’) per year and, –byset serendipity, Coast Shellfish right inEast front of the speakerGrowers - and stillAssociation a lease holder. ols (ECSGA) in 2004 and has been executive The Crown Estate is tasked withitsnot just being landlord but also producdirector forand six its years. ing returns response to this has been one of understanding the d Skid became the knowledgeable idea of an as- about the activity. business rather involved than just in being sociation because he had been working as an sub-sector group and this To this end it has established the aquaculture oysterconsiderably farmer in a in state anon aquaculhelps the without collaborati necessary to make aquaculture industry at the time – Rhode Island. ﬂture ourish. rectory ‘I had to be active the state level to This spirit of very cooperati onon was brought into being fairly early, as pointed get by things going,’ heinsaid. ‘I established state the Scottish Shellﬁsh out Walter Speirs reminiscent mood,awhen growers’Herve association with few allies, started Growers Associati on had toachange toand the ASSGHughes because the Scottish asurer, Steve Bracken, Miguad, Sunil Kadri Ken writing an industry newsletter and sent it to all n: Andrew Balahura the state legislators, brought in guest speakers wds wdowds@ﬁshupdate.com Publisher: Alister Bennett from other states where things were going Fax: +44 (0)well 131and 551where 7901 e-mail: editor@ﬁshfarmer-magazine.com nary a negative word was .com www.ﬁheard. shupdate.com Eventually we got some traction and regulations thatEH5 were2DL holding back ettes Park, 496fixed Ferrythe Road, Edinburgh industry.’ er’, P.O. Box 1, the Crannog Lane, Lochavullin Industrial Estate, Oban, Argyll, PA34 4HB 0) 1631 568001This led on to a larger consortium, with a number of growers getting together at various Clockwise from top right: of world £95 including postage. All Air Mail. ECSGA meeting; oyster; meetings and the idea of establishing an East ietors Wyvex Coast MediaShellfish Ltd by Headley Ltd., Ashford, ISSNB0262-9615 Dr Robert Rheault. GrowersBrothers Association was ban- Kent died about. They had seen how well organised the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association m (PCSGA) had become, how effective they could be in meetings with regulators, how they focused government research dollars toward key problems – they wanted that. While setting up the ECSGA, Skid continued to run his own company, farming and marketing oysters trading as Moonstone Oysters working out of Narragansett, Rhode Island, and he is still an adjunct faculty member in the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. He established the East Coast Shellfish Research Institute and has been successful in attracting several
Below: Nick Turnbull and Walter Speirs share the honours substantial federalofresearch grants to address critical industry research cutti ng the celebratory priorities. cake mark 30th grown and is it still growing? Howto has thethe ECSGA anniversary of the We grow in membership by about 10 to 20 per cent a year and we ASSG. Right: Winners had a sharp increase this past year, but we still only have a small fracof the best Scottish tion of the industry as members. Of the estimated 1,300 farms on the shellﬁsh, (from left) East Coast, we only Craig Archibald, best have about 15 per cent. The nature of the industry is such that many gigas oyster, Tristanfarmers are very small, part-time operations who won’t pay dues. Hugh-Jones, best There native are few large farms, and several of these believe they don’t need to join an association. They can hire their own lobbyist. oyster, and Michael Salmon What aremussels. the main issues facingGrowers ECSGA?Association had been estabTait, best just four yearswith earlier! Photo: Janet aBrown We spend lot of time lished and energy dealing shellfish sanitation
The reminiscing continued with Nick Turnbull issues. Vibrio parahaemolyticus control seems to dominate much of my Isle ofwar Mull Oysters giving an can time. We are also trying to rectify theoftrade with the EU so we account theinhistory of the five ASSG, restore some of the lucrative connections weofhad EU markets some of the problems experienced, years ago. We are trying to get acknowledgement for the ecosystem tin beingand thewe ﬁrstare and posservices we provide through nutrienttri-butyl credit trading, consibly the focus for establishing the stantly working to improve water quality and expand harvest areas. new associati Are there different chapters in the ECSGA or areon. members mainly As the aquaculture industry grew, oyster folk? andfarms, with it 40 theper regulators, it became We represent about 60 per cent clam cent oyster farms more apparent that the shellﬁ sh and there is a nascent mussel industry. growers one voiceof repreI have heard you talk at conferences about needed the importance lobbysenting the industry. ing – what do you advise? Withregulators a view to don’t the future, Michael It is really important to ensure that the put you out of Tait of Shetland Mussels followed business. If you are not involved 3 in the process of writing the regulaon with a presentati onthat already tions, then the law of unintended consequences dictates theygiven will at the recentYou farmed nﬁsh summit probably hurt you if you don’t protect yourself. needﬁto participate by rural economy minister in the scientific research, the public hosted outreach and the education of your Fergus Ewing. legislators. By demonstrating the growth in green jobs, the sustainable 08/02/2013 11:24:01 Michael’s view seafood production and the ecosystem benefits, we was can that enlistbuilding the help a sustainable to beofthe of politicians when the regulators get crazy, or if industry we have has a need rewatchword and ‘if task. we can do itisright, search dollars. Educating the legislators is a constant There huge we can it forever’. turnover and they know nothing about yourdoindustry. If you don’t have The shellﬁ is well time to do it then you need to pay someone to sh doindustry it for you. Thisplaced is why for thisassociations. with its low impacts on the busy professionals are members of trade no inputs to the sea, a low Is export a major interest for your seabed, growers? carbon footprint with the added We are experiencing an explosion in the market forand oysters right ts of acti now, so there is not a lot of surplusbeneﬁ production to vely sendimproving overseas,water but quality and being able to happily co-exist with other marine users.
Vision 2030, launched at the summit, is essentially a forward looking exercise but not simply one in how the industry should grow but how it becomes more eﬃcient as well. Michael illustrated that if all mussel lines operated at full potential there could be a substantial increase in harvest without increasing farm size. The development of the mussel hatchery is one way to ensure this. One of the limiting factors highlighted at the shellﬁsh summit – an earlier meeting hosted by Ewing - was the topic of the next speaker, Ian Wright of Traighe Mhor Oysters, who had had the job of sourcing funds for their farm development. The takeaway message appeared to be that an aspiring farmer should assume that whatever task is planned ‘it will take twice as long and cost twice as much’. This aphorism was certainly repeated on several occasions throughout the conference. The problem remains that until commercial banks understand the values in shellﬁsh farms better the picture is not so promising. Traighe Mhor did however get funding from HIE but this took more than a year to reach agreement and elicited a bill of £24,000 from the lawyers. They managed to reduce this by 25 per cent but it is still a signiﬁcant amount to be missing from their development budget. The second day of the conference looked at
future opportunities and also brought in illustration from overseas to provide an international perspective. Dr Federica Colombo of Friend of the Sea talked about seafood certiﬁcation and how this is becoming more of the essential requirement for access to markets, and Prof Gavin Burnell talked about thinking outside the box for other associated activities with shellﬁsh aquaculture. Possibly one of the most potentially far reaching presentations was a neat placement of two talks, one on the development of the mussel hatchery in Shetland and the other on genetic selection. Gregg Arthur of NAFC, harking back to the theme of the conference, suggested that 30 years ago, or even 10 years ago, it would have seemed ludicrous to imagine building a mussel hatchery, but the need for securing seed supplies has been found in recent years to be essential. He illustrated this by saying that if the seven million metres of rope currently in use in Scottish shellﬁsh farming were all in full production it could provide an extra £5 million to farm value. The hatchery leans heavily on the successful blue mussel hatchery in Tasmania, Spring Bay Seafoods, which they visited in February 2015. They have two years’ funding, at the end of which they hope to be in a position to advise on the commercial viability of such a hatchery. With the development of commercial hatcheries, selective breeding becomes possible and Dr Tom Ashton of Xelect spoke on what is, to lay people, the baﬄing topic of genetics and made it accessible. He explained how some genetic traits are more rapidly selected depending upon the degree of heritability they show (for which there is a mathematical formula) and demonstrated a ‘relatedness matrix’ whereby the breeder could select optimal broodstock combinations to avoid inbreeding (a real hazard for shellﬁsh breeders with such fecund broodstock) and maintain genetic vigour. He gave two examples of where selective breeding could be eﬀective based on current knowledge. The ﬁrst related to studies of the native
If all mussel lines operated at full potential there could be a substantial increase in harvest without increasing farm size
Trade Associations – ASSG
oyster: where huge variation in growth rates is found, there seems to be a heritable factor in the fastest growing specimens. The second example was for variability in rates of uptake of domoic acid in king scallops. Domoic acid is the causative agent in amnesic shellﬁsh poisoning and if a grower could farm stock less likely to accumulate this toxin it could be an advantage. The scientiﬁc beneﬁts continued into the next talk with Dr Carter Newell, from Maine, talking about progress since his last visit to Oban 15 years ago. One aspect of his work since has been to put data into a GIS map and eﬀectively make the marine equivalent of a soils map of the land which could allow for the best positioning of what can be grown where. He introduced us to a new term – to be ‘ducked’, which is when the eider ducks come and take all your harvest ready mussels, not an unknown phenomenon for Scottish mussel farmers. The Maine farmers use rafts for this reason. He had some very valuable information from buoy systems that can indicate best growing areas. The international input continued with a world tour of mussel farming areas with Joe Franklin of Quality Equipment of New Zealand. The conference was brought to a close by Dennis Overton of Aquascot and Scotland Food and Drink who, in an upbeat presentation, told the audience to lose the question mark from our conference theme because, essentially, the future for Scottish shellﬁsh was certainly assured!. FF
Clockwise from top: The diﬃcult job of judging best Scottish shellﬁsh, from left, Patrick Blow, John Ogden and Doug McLeod; besides giving an excellent talk Carter Newell provided an exhilarating musical interlude at the conference dinner; Gregg Arthur; Federica Columbo of Friend of the Sea. Photos: Craig Burton
PRESENT WINNERS The first day saw the usual staging of the best Scottish shellfish competition - very much the ‘present’ of the industry now. The judges with this diﬃcult job were Doug McLeod of Seafood Safety Assessment, Patrick Blow, Cowrie Associates and M&S aquaculture specialist, and John Ogden, who runs the top rated Seafood Hut in Oban. This year there were prizes not just for the best shellfish in each category, gigas oyster, native oyster and mussels, but also a highly commended class. The prizes are kindly sponsored by HIE. The winners this year were Michael Tait, Shetland Mussels, Tristan Hugh-Jones of Loch Ryan Oyster Fishery, and Craig Archibald, of Islay Oysters. Hugo Vajk was highly commended in both gigas oysters and native oysters while Cameron Maclean of Inverlussa Mussels was highly commended for mussels.
BY DR MARTIN JAFFA
Tasteless attack Feed ﬁsh ﬁshmeal – and ﬁnd suitable alternatives for pets, poultry and pigs
he Landward programme on BBC Scotland recently visited a sheep farm at Glendareul on the Scottish west coast to see and taste the hogget (lamb over a year old). The special aspect of the meat was that the animals had been raised on a salt marsh. The marshes are ﬂooded by the daily tides, providing a habitat for a rich and varied ﬂora, which in turn impart a unique ﬂavour on the meat. Celebrity chef Nick Nairn cooked the meat for tourists who all said that they had never eaten ‘lamb’ with such ﬂavour. Salt marsh lamb is produced in a couple of other locations in the UK and is highly regarded and commands a premium price. The special nature of the meat comes to mind after reading reports from the recent GOAL meeting at which Giovanni Turchini of Deakin University in Australia told delegates that ﬁshmeal is not needed for use in aquaculture feeds. He said that the reduction of ﬁshmeal to the levels used today is for economic reasons rather than environmental. Feeds can be formulated from a wide range of ingredients and balanced without the need for ﬁshmeal and ﬁsh oil. He said that by 2030, ﬁshmeal will no longer be the primary protein in aquaculture feeds but will be just a speciality ingredient used for palatability and key essential nutrients. He pointed out that no ﬁsh or shrimp needs any ﬁshmeal. None of this is news. Feed formulation has always been about balancing the nutritional proﬁle of the ingredients with the nutritional requirements of the ﬁsh. The inclusion of any ingredient in the mix is a balance of nutritional proﬁle, acceptability and price. With a broad range of ingredients, it is possible to formulate without any speciﬁc ingredient, including ﬁshmeal. Fishmeal has been a key ingredient in feed formulation from long before the development of modern aquaculture. It is packed with key nutrients and is rich in protein. Its nutrient proﬁle, availability and price has meant that it has been widely used in feeds for many years. In fact, at one time it was so widely used in poultry feeds and at such high levels that consumers complained that their chickens tasted ﬁshy. This, together with the evidence from salt marsh lamb, shows that there is more to feeds than just meeting the nutritional proﬁle. Giovanni Turchini’s claims about ﬁshmeal free feeds are totally misguided even if the reason for using less are economic rather than environmental. However, the two can get confused. When the environmental groups ﬁrst complained that the state of cod stocks were so depleted that consumers should avoid eating the ﬁsh, processors substituted so called sustainable Alaska pollock. They quickly saw
Martin jaffa.indd 25
the advantage of this in that the pollock was so much cheaper. The use of Alaskan pollock became widespread. However, once cod stocks recovered, Alaskan pollock started to go out of favour, even though it has high environmental credentials and is value for money. Consumers simply preferred cod and haddock and consequently there has been a resurgence in the use of these two species. It is more about taste than value or sustainability. As with salt marsh lamb, salmon’s ﬂavour and texture comes from the food it eats, not from the basic nutrient building blocks that can be provided. Price and availability do aﬀect the ingredients used in the feed but acceptability has grown in importance, at least in some circles. Pressure from the environmental sector has increased, demanding a reduction in the forage ﬁsh used. Unfortunately, the aquaculture industry is an easy target, unlike other uses of marine proteins and oils. Fishmeal was ﬁrst manufactured as a fertiliser before being used in terrestrial farming for pigs and poultry feeds. Fishmeal is still used for these but the environmental groups remain strangely quiet about asking why they are still being used in this way. Even more concerning are the 2.4 million tonnes of ﬁsh that are fed to pet cats each year and yet the environmental groups never question why. Surely, if we want to protect the oceans we need to ensure that the food chain remains in the ocean and not in some pet cat’s feeding bowl. If all the ﬁsh used in pet food was redirected to aquaculture, together with ﬁsh ingredients from terrestrial farming, then the need to remove ﬁshmeal from aquaculture feeds would be not the issue that Turchini thinks it is. Meanwhile, most consumers would undoubtedly prefer their salmon to taste of salmon, not of some tasteless ingredient mix. FF
need “toWeensure that the food chain remains in the ocean and not in some cat’s feeding bowl
Above: Fish feed is about balance
Health – Medicines
Freedom for fish vets With Cascade system profession must ensure safe use of products BY RONNIE SOUTAR
riting about medicines available to fish vets in the August edition, I mentioned the prescribing Cascade. Recent discussions about medicines usage in aquaculture suggest that perhaps this area of the veterinary medicines regulations is less well understood than might be helpful, even among those who seek to regulate the industry. In the UK, medicines for the treatment of animals fall mainly within the remit of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, an executive agency of Defra. The VMD’s website will tell you that it exists ‘to promote animal health and welfare by assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines’. What that perhaps doesn’t make clear is the agency’s major role in protecting human health, principally through assuring that medicines administered to food producing animals leave no residues which could harm the consumer. The VMD also has a significant role in ensuring that medicine usage does not negatively affect the environment. All veterinary medicines sold and used legally in the UK will have received Marketing Authorisation by the VMD. Anyone involved in the pharmaceutical industry will tell you that ob-
Ronnie Souter.indd 26
taining an MA is a long, arduous and expensive process - that’s reflected in the price of the medicines we use! At the end of the process, the medicine will be licensed for use and its Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) listed on the directorate’s website (vmd.defra.gov.uk). The SPC is like a user’s guide - it tells you what’s in the medicine, how it should be handled and administered and any safety precautions. It also says who is allowed to prescribe the medicine (not all products have to be prescribed by vets) and, importantly, how long after treatment you have to wait before any part of the animal can be sold for human consumption – the withdrawal period. So if a medicine is prescribed and used in accordance with its SPC, we should be confident that it has been thoroughly assessed as being safe for the animal, the consumer, anyone handling the product and the environment.
responsibility and “oneIt isthata heavy we do not take lightly ”
Freedom for fish vets The trouble is, there isn’t a licensed medicine for every disease in every species of animal – particularly if that animal happens to be a farmed ﬁsh! That’s where the Cascade comes in. The Cascade allows a vet to prescribe unauthorised medicines if there is no suitable veterinary medicine authorised in the UK. The VMD has issued a series of guidance notes on veterinary medicines and Note 13 covers the Cascade. If you want more detail after reading this, you’ll easily ﬁnd that note on their website. The bottom line is, to avoid unacceptable animal suffering, a vet may prescribe in accordance with a particular sequence, which has a descending order of priority: • A veterinary medicine authorised in the UK for use in another animal species or for a different condition in the same species. • If there is no such product, the next option is either – a medicine authorised in the UK for human use, or a veterinary medicinal product authorised in another member state for use in any animal species. When vets use the Cascade to prescribe for farmed ﬁsh, to ensure consumer safety we may only use medicines which are authorised in a food producing species. For the same reason, no matter the licensed withdrawal period, the vet must specify an
appropriate WP for each Cascade use. Where the product is administered to a species not identiﬁed on the SPC, or to an authorised species but at a higher dosage than recommended, a minimum statutory WP of 500 degree days must be used. So, what does this mean in practice? Well, if I prescribe Paramove to treat AGD rather than lice infestation (which is what it is licensed for), that’s Cascade use. However, if I use it at 1300 ppm for AGD, that is less than the 1500 ppm used against lice, taking everything I know about the product into account I can use the WP in its licence - that is zero degree days. On the other hand, if I prescribe Salmosan or Azasure to treat lice on rainbow trout rather than Atlantic salmon, I have to stipulate at least a 500 degree day WP because neither product is licensed for trout. That’s pretty clear cut. What might be less immediately obvious is whether a suitable authorised medicine is available. If, for example, I know that the development of resistance in sea lice on a speciﬁc farm means that prescribing Slice in accordance with the product’s SPC will not kill those lice, I have in effect no available authorised medicine. However, I can use the Cascade to prescribe Slice at a higher daily dose or for a longer period. In doing so, I must consider all potential risks, I must prescribe an appropriate (not excessive) regimen and I must stipulate a withdrawal period which is at least 500 degree days. I might also take further action, such as stipulating a post-treatment residue monitoring protocol. No matter what the SPC says about who may prescribe a given product, only a vet may use the prescribing Cascade. Opposite page: Vets value That vet will assume responsibility for the safe usage of the product, Cascade’s clinical something which would normally lie with the licence holder. freedom That is a heavy responsibility and one that the veterinary profession does not take lightly. I see this as part of our job because I value the essential clinical freedom which the Cascade facilitates. Ronnie Soutar is managing director of Aqualife. FF
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Innovation – SAIC
BY HEATHER JONES
Progress made possible Pooling of resources key to driving industry development
ou can tell a lot from producing an annual review, and not just the obvious things like how well you, as an organisation, are performing. You can also tell a lot about those you are working with – in our case, about our funding partners and their genuine desire to help Scottish aquaculture innovate and thrive; about Scotland’s research community and the truly world leading nature of its work; and, most of all, about industry and its appetite for change and growth. Quite simply, without the ongoing input and support of these diﬀerent stakeholders, the progress made by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovations Centre (SAIC) in two short years wouldn’t have been possible. Of the £10.35 million, 13-strong project portfolio amassed to date, industry has contributed £6.92 million, with the remainder coming from SAIC (£2.75 million) and academia (£680,000). It represents a very deliberate pooling of resources, designed to share the risk of innovative R&D, enable more businesses to invest in the areas that will help them grow and ensure that SAIC’s £11 million public funding delivers maximum beneﬁt. It also tells you everything you need to know about the very real commitment to removing barriers to growth – nowhere more so than among industry – and, linked to this, the willingness to share knowledge and best practice. Investing in industry priorities Delve a little deeper and look at where this money has been invested, and the priorities for industry are clear. Some 69 per cent has been invested in improved sea lice control, 22 per cent in reliable mussel spat production,
four per cent in alternative sustainable feeds, three per cent in rapid diagnostics and two per cent in our ﬁrst demonstration project. All of which mirrors the areas identiﬁed back at the outset by an industry workshop as being the priorities for innovation, validating the SAIC business model of channelling our time and resources into the areas we know to be genuine priorities. Innovation at all levels We are seeing everything from Rapid Response projects, so-called because they have a project lifetime of less than one year, to projects that will take up to three and a half years. Short or long-term, large-scale investment or small-scale investigation, each and every project has one thing in common: it unites industry know-how with specialist academic expertise, something that SAIC works hard to encourage by helping forge the connections necessary for mutually beneﬁcial collaboration on areas of common interest. Already, 19 diﬀerent industry partners are collaborating with ﬁve diﬀerent academic partners on co-funded projects, and all the signs are that these ﬁgures will continue to grow – not least with the recent announcement that the bid for £1.76 million EMFF funding, coordinated by SAIC on behalf of 11 companies, has been successful, enabling further collaboration on novel approaches to sea lice control. Industry partnering industry It’s not just a case of industry partnering academia. We are also seeing industry partnering industry, with nine out of our 13 co-funded projects involving more than one company – and some involving as many as six companies. Collaboration at this level speaks volumes about industry’s determination to ﬁnd innovative solutions to long standing barriers to
Left: SAIC’s Jason Cleaversmith with Ian Armstrong (Pulcea), David Cockerill (Marine Harvest) and Michael Tait (Shetland Mussels). Right: Cleaner ﬁsh (top) and SAIC chairman Jack Perry at the recent consortium
Progress made possible
Collaboration at this level speaks volumes about the determination to ﬁnd innovative solutions to barriers to growth
R&D. Our industry partners are fairly evenly split: one third multi-nationals; one third large companies headquartered in the UK, and one third SMEs investing a mix of cash and in-kind support. So it truly is a sector wide eﬀort.
growth and deliver value across the whole sector. This is a sentiment that is particularly evident with regards to improved sea lice control, where new and more eﬀective approaches would be to everyone’s beneﬁt. Nor, as some might expect, is it the case that only multi-nationals are investing in innovative
Proﬁtable, sustainable growth At our recent consortium event, where we launched our 2015/16 annual review, the feedback from partners was that SAIC helps make the process of collaboration easier, whether that’s via our connections, our specialist knowledge or our project management. As we push on into year three, we’re working hard to build on this by connecting with new and existing partners, supporting more projects and, from the insights gleaned, shaping and sharing best practice. Of course, the true measure of success will be the positive economic impact made - something that will accumulate over time. However, an independent report by economic and social research consultancy EKOS estimates that our ﬁrst ﬁve-year funding cycle could result in almost 1,200 new jobs, net additional sales of £272 million and net gross value added of £93 million by 2025. We don’t want to stop there. A recent review
of Scotland’s Innovation Centres, chaired by Professor Graeme Reid, calls on the Scottish government to commit to supporting the programme for the long-term, proposing a minimum 10-year period of investment to partner industry and accelerate economic growth. That’s a vision we would really love to see become a reality. SAIC’s 2015/16 annual review, ‘Charting our progress towards 2030’, is available to download from scottishaquaculture.com. Heather Jones is CEO of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre. FF
Royal visit – Marine Harvest
Prince’s trust Salmon farmers engage Charles with environmentally friendly initiatives BY ELLIE FORBES. PHOTOS: IAIN FERGUSON.
RINCE Charles spent a day with Scottish ﬁsh farmers last month, visiting Marine Harvest’s site at Loch Leven and holding talks with leading industry representatives. It is believed to be the ﬁrst royal visit to salmon pens and will be seen as a major boost for the sector’s environmental credentials, given the Prince’s championing of green causes and organic farming. Charles took a particular interest in the use of cleaner ﬁsh, which the Loch Leven farm has deployed as a biological means of controlling sea lice. The farm, south of Marine Harvest Scotland’s HQ in Fort William, is chemical free and was the UK’s ﬁrst to receive ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) accreditation when it was certiﬁed last year. Charles requested the farm visit on behalf of his International Sustainability Unit (ISU), which he set up ﬁve years ago to resolve some of the key environmental challenges facing the world. He took a boat out to tour the Loch Leven sea pens, which hold wrasse and lumpsuckers as well as salmon, and dropped in on the Marine Harvest shore base to see how a modern farm operates. Steve Bracken, business support manager for Marine Harvest Scotland, said: ‘We had a couple of plastic tanks and in one we had salmon and
Right: Charles at the lumpﬁsh tank with cleaner ﬁsh manager Ronnie Hawkins (left) and veterinarian David Cockerill
wrasse – the salmon had been anaesthetised – and then in the other tank we had the lumpsuckers in with artiﬁcial kelp so he was able to pick up a ﬁsh and have a look at it. Prince Charles was very interested and asked a lot of good questions ‘We want to move away from medicinal methods of removing sea lice, and we have also been working with new technology to get rid of the sea lice using high pressure water jets or warm water. ‘We are delighted that His Royal Highness has come to look at our cleaner ﬁsh project because we have had such success in using these smaller ﬁsh to get rid of sea lice. ‘This is a really welcome opportunity for Prince Charles to come and visit and I hope he will be impressed by our welfare standards.’ Farm manager Andy Martin said: ‘It was a great honour to meet the Prince, who was very interested in hearing more about our work with wrasse. ‘It was great to be the ﬁrst salmon farm in the UK to be ASC approved and we were really pleased the Prince came to visit to ﬁnd out more about what we have achieved here.’ At the shore base, the Prince was shown a video clip of a wrasse nibbling a salmon and he also saw the feed monitors. ‘I think he understood – because he’s a farmer – about feed conversion ratios and so on,’ said Bracken. Charles also spoke with Marine Harvest veterinarian David Cockerill and Ronnie Hawkins, the cleaner ﬁsh manager. Cockerill said: ‘We have 40,000 to 60,000 salmon in each cage here. We try to make all our sites sustainable in terms of feed and getting rid of parasites.
We were really pleased he came to find out more about what we have achieved here
Royal visit – Marine Harvest
Above: Charles at the wrasse tank and, below, handling a lumpsucker
‘This non-medicinal way of managing sea lice is a natural solution to problems facing the salmon industry. ‘We feel that we understand the spawning process of the wrasse and lumpfish, and now the goal is to be able to use cleaner fish on all our farms. ‘About three-quarters of our cleaner fish are farmed at several hatcheries across the UK. We think by 2018 we will have sprouted enough for our farms, and by 2020, 100 per cent of our cleaner fish will be farmed as opposed to caught wild. ‘I have worked as the vet here for 10 years and non-medicinal methods of getting rid of sea lice is the way forward.’ Hawkins said: ‘Prince Charles was very excited about it, as am I and all of my colleagues. This could make a big difference to the way we
work. I was impressed with his engagement with the whole process. We have used wrasse since 2012 with 100 per cent success. ‘Today we have 12 farms stocked with cleaner fish and next year this will rise to 22.’ Hawkins, who has overseen the introduction of cleaner fish (both wrasse and lumpfish) to seawater farm sites across Scotland, has previously credited the impressive results to increased understanding. ‘We’ve had to learn how to care for a completely different species of fish, which means understanding how they live, how they rest and how they feed. ‘We’ve had to think on our feet, and use some tried and tested techniques to help us find the most appropriate husbandry practices to encourage cleaner fish to thrive in the farmed environment.’ Loch Leven salmon farm is run by a team of eight staff who grow up to 2,655 tonnes of salmon in each 20-month growing period. FF
Game changers Sustainability at heart of new drive to support aquaculture
FTER his tour of the Marine Harvest farm site, Prince Charles attended a meeting at the Ballachulish Hotel, chaired by John Goodlad, senior fisheries advisor to the International Sustainability Unit (ISU). Also present were Chris Ninnes, CEO of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, Beth Hart, Sainsbury’s head of fresh and frozen food
Above: Marine Harvest business support manager Steve Bracken shares a joke with Charles
product development, and Marine Scotland officials, as well as Marine Harvest’s Steve Bracken. The purpose of the discussions was for HRH to hear from industry experts about measures to make the sector more sustainable. As patron of the Atlantic Salmon Trust, and a keen angler, Charles is closely associated with
Royal visit – Marine Harvest
the wild salmon lobby, and his presence among key aquaculture figures has been welcomed by the industry. The genesis for the meeting came about a year ago, it is understood. Charles tries to identify examples of good practice in terms of sustainability and environmental responsibility, and encourage further development. ‘We’ve done a lot of good stuff with marine fisheries and over the last year or so, clearly there’s a lot of really interesting stuff happening with fish farming,’ said an ISU source. ‘The two big potential game changers are the ASC standard, which is almost like the MSC standard for marine fisheries being applied now to fish farming; and the cleaner fish initiative, which is very much an alternative to putting chemicals in the sea or in the fish and is a natural solution to a problem as opposed to a chemical solution. ‘So both of these were issues that the ISU was interested in and which Prince Charles had expressed an interest in.’
We’ll be “seeing how
we can encourage more farms to adopt the ASC standard and run with the cleaner fish initiative
The visit was to highlight the good practice by Marine Harvest in pioneering these two initiatives and the meeting provided an opportunity for Prince Charles to hear more detail on both. ‘It gave him a chance to engage with Marine Harvest, the ASC and the industry more generally on progress that has been made and, perhaps most crucially of all, how quickly we can see these two great initiatives being scaled up within the industry,’ said the ISU source. Marine Harvest has two sites ASC approved, one which is pending approval, expected within the next few months, and another three farms coming into the programme next year. Cooke Aquaculture has one site in Orkney approved. Marine Harvest Scotland managing director Ben Hadfield said ASC accreditation ‘is an exceptionally tough standard to meet and achieving it has involved a lot of people within Marine Harvest, from fish health managers to environmental specialists’. In 2013 Marine Harvest signed up to meet the ASC criteria in all its operations across the world. It is committed to achieving this by 2020. The ASC standard sets out strict guidelines covering a range of issues including environmental impact, sea lice management and community engagement. The many compliance points are inspected by at least two auditors before any approval is granted. This allows the producer to label their products as ASC accredited. The ASC scheme has been in existence since 2012 and now operates in 43 countries.
‘Charles knew that ASC was a sister organisation to MSC and was beginning to do some good work, but he was able to find out so much more about its global reach and how the uptake has been in terms of other salmon farming countries, or what the particular issues are in Scotland,’ said the ISU source. ‘What the ISU does is to convene people
together to look at examples of best practice so it will be looking at what it can do to add to the debate to see how we can encourage more farms to adopt the ASC standard and a bigger number of farms to run with the cleaner fish initiative.’ There are believed to be 40 or 50 farms in Scotland using some kind of cleaner fish. ‘He comes from a background of organic farming and a natural way of doing things and the cleaner fish were hugely engaging for him because
Above left: Charles with Steve Bracken (left), David Cockerill, Andy Martin and David MacGillivray. Above: Cleaner fish close up
Royal visit – Marine Harvest
the natural diet of wrasse and lumpsucker is sea lice oﬀ ﬁsh. It’s exactly what they do so it’s using nature to ﬁght a problem of parasitic infestation rather than fighting against nature with chemicals. ‘The ISU would like to see both of those things adopted more widely. How we actually do it, whether it’s convening meetings or follow-up discussions between different parties, we’ll have to decide.’ It is the ISU’s intention that the event in
Loch Leven wasn’t an end point but ‘the end of the beginning of a process’. It is understood that Charles plans to host a meeting next spring, in Scotland, between the industry and wild fisheries interests. Clarence House, the Prince’s private office, said the visit had been ‘very enlightening’. Charles has a track record speaking around the world on the blue economy and the ISU led meeting looked at how the unit can be more supportive of aquaculture in the future. Bracken said: ‘It was great to have the opportunity to explain in a bit of detail about how we’ve got to where we are today with cleaner fish generally and then talk about what the future will be and also to talk about the ASC and the importance of that.’ FF
Above (clockwise from top): Charles at the farm; meeting Sainsbury’s Beth Hart and ASC’s Chris Ninnes; signing the visitor’s book with farm manager Andy Martin
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Farm visit – Loch Etive
Dawnfresh lures globetrotting farm director back home
tewart Hawthorn likes being back in Scotland. After 26 years overseas, he returned in the summer, settling with his Canadian wife and family near to the farm operations he now heads. Despite the lengthy absence, he seems perfectly at home, relishes the Scottish culture, with its history and even its ghost stories – ‘we didn’t get much of that abroad’, and his new role at Dawnfresh. He has taken over as farming director, replacing Gideon Pringle (now at Marine Harvest), and had been in post for just two months when he invited Fish Farmer to visit. ‘I’m enjoying being part of a smaller company again where you can be close to everything that’s going on,’ he said. ‘Every level gets more exposed to every bit of the business and you get a more rounded sense of the whole business. It really feels like we’re
Dawnfresh farm Visit.indd 38
producing food here.’ Dawnfresh, which is part of a wholly Scottish owned company chaired by Alastair Salvesen, is the largest farmer of trout in the UK and its current production capacity is around 5,000 tonnes. In Hawthorn’s last job, at Grieg Seafood in British Columbia, where he was regional director for ﬁve years, he was responsible for around 15,000 tonnes of salmon a year. But despite the diﬀerence in scale, his past and present positions both have a focus on quality. At Grieg he developed the premium Skuna Bay Salmon, and at Dawnfresh he will be continuing the ﬁrm’s reputation for rearing a unique product. ‘Dawnfresh focuses on providing customers with what they have ordered – and grows ﬁsh to their demands rather than the other way around,’ said Hawthorn. ‘We have to get the size of ﬁllet right so it’s a nice shape, that’s very important in the retail market.’ The company grows rainbow trout in its freshwater farms and larger loch trout, up to 8kg, in its seawater sites in Loch Etive. Most goes to the domestic market, but larger ﬁsh are exported, mainly to the US, Middle East and Asia, and Hawthorn said they are always pursuing new markets. When he originally became interested in ﬁsh farming it was against a backdrop of overﬁshing in Europe and depleted stocks – ‘there weren’t enough ﬁsh’. He knew then what has now become the mantra of the aquaculture industry. ‘There are 7.5 billion people in the world, getting wealthier, and they know the best choice for the planet is to eat farmed ﬁsh. What we do is an honourable profession and I’m proud of it.’ He is highly sceptical of the anti-farming lobby, saying most people ‘know we should farm ﬁsh – the issue is not should we any more, but how we do it’.
Hawthorn studied marine biology at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh and then went to work for Marine Harvest on Skye. He must have had a taste for adventure though because he joined the VSO and ended up on the other side of the world, in Papua New Guinea, where he encouraged the local people to farm their own protein by rearing carp in ponds. After a brief spell back home, studying for his masters at Stirling, his next move was to
being part “ofI’maenjoying smaller company
again where you can be close to everything that’s going on
Canada, to work for Jail Island Salmon in New Brunswick as production manager. He then left for the Antipodes to raise Chinook salmon, spending 14 years as general manager for aquaculture for New Zealand King Salmon, until returning to Canada in 2010. He says he has no plans to be anywhere else but Scotland now, and since August has been busy reacquainting himself with the west coast. On the day of our visit he had just been to Lochgilphead with Dawnfresh technical manager Alison Hutchins to see the planning department there. This was not, he said, to put in a new application but a courtesy call, to make the necessary introductions. ‘The local council of Argyll and Bute are supportive, as is the Scottish government - and so
Dawnfresh farm Visit.indd 39
they should be,’ said Hawthorn. ‘This is a genuinely renewable resource. In the last 30 years we’ve learned a lot about ﬁsh farming and we’re going about doing it in a responsible way.’ He stresses the company’s environmental credentials, saying he is committed to making people understand that Dawnfresh has freshwater lochs. There are also three hatcheries – in Brechin in Angus, in Stirling, and in Northern Ireland. There are now three farms in the loch, which has seen a relatively recent change from several smaller sites to fewer, 10-pen operations. Etive 3, located at Port na Mine at the eastern end of the loch, got the go ahead from Argyll and Bute Council just last month to be relocated to
Opposite: Stewart Hawthorn (left); seawater site manager Martin Collins. Top: The AKVA feed barge. Above: John Keeney of Dawnfresh (centre) with Meercat’s Jim Mair (left) and Tim Bailey
Farm visit – Loch Etive
Dawnfresh puts 300-400g ﬁngerlings into Etive, which would be big smolts if this was a salmon farm. The ﬁsh are in the pens for 18 months, a slightly shorter grow out time than for salmon. ‘We’re doing what the salmon industry is moving towards by putting bigger ﬁsh into seawater – and maximising these farms for producing healthy ﬁsh,’ said Hawthorn. Collins conducts a tour of the barge, which is equipped with an AKVA feeding system, software, and blowers. There are six, 40 tonne silos for the 10 pens, which hold 35,000 to 40,000 ﬁsh each, and the slightly deeper water and for the size of its pens to be increased to match fully automated system can deliver 60 kilos of most of the company’s other pens in the area. feed a minute at full pelt. The farm is currently comprised of 10 pens of 22m diameter, which will At any one time there are two or three now be increased to 25m and the site moved approximately 100m in to diﬀerent feed types so the ponds can be fed deeper water. separately to suit diﬀerent sizes of ﬁsh. Planning oﬃcers had recommended that councillors grant approval for The barge can take 55 to 60 tonnes of feed on the change, which Dawnfresh expects to complete within the next six board a week, after it is delivered from Invermonths. gordon by contract boat. Hawthorn said: ‘Changing all of our pens to be the same size is Collins, who manages all three Etive sites, something we have been wanting to achieve for some time and we are has been with the company for nine years. He pleased that Argyll and Bute Council have granted us permission to do so. says his feed barge has made a big change from ‘This will help us modernise our operations and continue providing lugging 25 kilo bags by hand on to the boat healthy and independently certiﬁed trout to UK and international marevery morning. kets.’ Inside his ‘oﬃce’ he keeps a close eye on The site we visited, Etive 6, has deeper water and is tucked away from several screens at once. One logs average loch traﬃc, making it more suitable for growing ﬁsh. And, Hawthorn said, weight and enables Collins, and his team of the ﬁsh are certainly growing better, which might also have something to four, to observe growth. Developed by Vaki, the do with the feed barge now permanently moored there. Biomass Daily system involves putting frames This, supplied by AKVA, is the pride and joy of seawater site manager in very pen. These frames can get as many as Martin Collins. He says he cleans the barge every day, which explains why 1,000 ﬁsh passing through a day. it looks pristine more than a year after delivery. ‘It’s very beneﬁcial and has made a big diﬀer-
Dawnfresh farm Visit.indd 40
Above: AKVA feed distributors; Meercat workboat. Right: Etive 6 farm; Dawnfresh technical manager Alison Hutchins; new Meercat workboat
FROM MASTERS TO MANAGERS
ence,’ said Collins, who can access all his computer equipment from home – which happens to be across the loch, within sight of the farm. Feeding depends on the weight and age of ﬁsh and water temperature but Collins and Hawthorn agree that the most important thing is to try to do the same thing every day…the ﬁsh like consistency. Hawthorn said the FCR is better since the barge arrived, and less feed is wasted. ‘But a good system can produce bad results and vice versa – it’s the person operating the system who makes the diﬀerence,’ he said. ‘A sophisticated feed barge still needs experienced ﬁsh farmers to operate it. All technology
Dawnfresh farm Visit.indd 41
is only as good as the people using it.’ The biggest variable in the loch is salinity. Loch Etive has a lot of freshwater feeding into it, running oﬀ the hills and from rivers and burns. This is great for trout, which cope very well with change, but salmon wouldn’t be able to thrive in such changeable salinity, said Hawthorn. The other good thing about low salinity is there are a lot less sea lice, he said – ‘our ﬁsh are very healthy’. And there is no predation really – ‘cages are well weighted, morts are removed quickly and there is no need for eco nets. We haven’t had to shoot any seals,’ he said, just as a seal swam into view in front of the pens. FF
Dawnfresh employs 70 staff in farming out of a total of 450-500, many of whom work in the company’s processing facilities in Uddingston in Lanarkshire. Stewart Hawthorn is particularly proud of the company’s graduate programme, which has been running for about three years. Candidates are selected from stiff competition and spend 18 months on the scheme. Stephanie Horn, one of two youngsters just completing the programme, joined after finishing her masters degree at the Institute of Aquaculture at Stirling University. She has worked in everything, from the hatchery in Stirling to the freshwater site at Loch Earn, and most recently in Etive, with area manager Greig MacPhail. As well as leaning all aspects of farming, she has taken on specific projects, ‘to better the business’ she said, including one looking at feed management. Now she has found a full-time job at the Scottish Salmon Company. ‘It’s been a really good stepping stone and great to get shown the ropes in every aspect of the business,’ she said. Hawthorn thinks the scheme, which is now recruiting its next two graduates from a list of applications, is fantastic. ‘It’s important to have a balance between the existing staff, with their experience, and graduates. ‘Stephanie is staying in the industry and hopefully she’ll come back to us one day, especially as this is the best place to deal with sea lice!’ Other graduates have remained at the company - one vet came straight from Stirling and one person from the scheme is now an assistant manager in Dawnfresh.
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Containment – Introduction
Standard bearers Industry prepares to meet the demands of the STS
ssues surrounding containment come into sharper focus in the winter, as harsher weather tests farm equipment to its limits. Right now there is perhaps even greater interest than usual in containment as the deadline for enforcing the Scottish Technical Standard, introduced in the summer of 2015, draws nearer. The message from companies is that now is the time to comply with the standard, not when it is about to be made law, but compliance has been uneven and there are calls for greater clarity so that everyone in the industry understands their obligations. Over the next few pages, we talk to leading players on the supply side about how best to meet the criteria of the STS and future proof farm sites. We also talk to those at the forefront of ﬁghting predation on farms and hear how a variety of diﬀerent nets is successfully keeping seals at bay in Shetland. The latest in acoustic deterrents is also explained, and so is the science behind predator behaviour. Scientists say we know very little about how seals behave around net pens and there is a great deal of research still to be done. Encouragingly though, the number of seals culled on salmon farms decreased 66 per cent between 2011 and 2014, according to the Scottish government. ‘All ﬁsh farms which have applied for a seal licence already employ at least one, and many a range of, non-lethal alternatives, with shooting to be used only as a last resort,’ said a spokeswoman.’ FF
Containment - Intro.indd 43
Containment – Scottish Technical Standard
STS is ‘fantastic initiative’ but needs to be reviewed
t is something of an understatement when Stewart Graham, the managing director of Gael Force Group, says it’s been ‘a busy year oﬀ piste’. As the co-chair of the Vision 2030 strategy (see pages 14-19), he has been closely involved in devising ways to grow the aquaculture industry in Scotland. In his day job, as a leading supplier of mooring equipment and barges to the sector, it has been a steady year, he said. ‘There have been lots of issues with sea lice and things and some of the new developments are slow to get traction. But we’ve had a period of long sustained growth from about 2003-2004.’ Gael Force was part of the working group that devised the Scottish Technical Standard (STS) and
Containment - gaelforce.indd 44
Above: Gael Force managing director Stewart Graham
Graham is well placed to see how it is being implemented so far – and, in his opinion, there is work to be done. ‘The STS is a fantastic initiative, a really positive thing for the industry, but we haven’t consistently as an industry got to grips with it yet. ‘I think part of the issue is that we do need to have some clarity around it. The standard has been prepared…and embodies really excellent principles. But we will need to see some more detail on the principles that are there. ‘It’s generic, which is ﬁne – you must start somewhere with a standard. But you then need to drill down into things that are a bit more speciﬁc. ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day! There’s an expectation that the STS will pass into law about 2020, but not a consistent understanding by all the players in the industry that that will be so. ‘Maybe some senior people know that, some will, some won’t, some middle management will know that and some won’t, and the next layer of farm managers probably don’t have a close handle on the thing at all. ‘We certainly should have another review of the standard as it is prior to 2020. We could do with a message of clariﬁcation from Marine Scotland to say what the status is, what the likely timeframe is for law, what the possible consequences are of non-compliance- and asking companies to communicate the principles of the standard to their staﬀ so everybody in the operation is working towards this, and not to leave it until the last minute. ‘This is expected to be law in 2020 and the law will be brought to bear – it’s unclear at the moment what that means. Does it mean only in the case of escapees will law be brought to bear or are we saying that there’ll be some form of audit or checking prior to escapees to ensure compliance? All that needs to be clariﬁed.’ He hoped, he said, that the new Industry Leadership Group (ILG) recommended by Vision 2030 will be formed ‘very quickly’ and that the technical standard is something it could then consider. The Vision 2030 strategy didn’t deal with the STS speciﬁcally because there was so much else to include and this was an area already in hand, said Graham. Does the industry accept there needs to be more detail?
Clarity call ‘I’m not sure if that’s a general view but I know one of the big aspects of containment is around moorings and installation, that’s our speciality, and I know lots of the pitfalls in that aspect of equipment. ‘I don’t think all companies have a consistent approach in complying with the standard to the procurement of moorings equipment, although some do it excellently. ‘We as a company have been organising our documentation and processes and procedures to ensure compliance but we’re very much leading the customers,’ he said. ‘People think it’s three or four years away and have plenty of time to do it.’ If someone doesn’t want to subscribe to that, they opt out – there needs to be greater conformity throughout the sector. Graham said the standard is ‘not hugely onerous and is very easy to comply with’. ‘If at the end of the day it prevents escapes, lowers insurance costs or lowers claims, makes sites viable in areas where they otherwise wouldn’t be viable, it’s eﬀectively a bargain basement commitment.’ Is the equipment they need to comply with the STS already available or is further innovation needed? ‘In general, all of the stuﬀ is there, but it’s how you specify, how you install, how you maintain, how you monitor and how you close that loop from what it is you’re scoping – the environmental conditions and so on – and how you design to that. ‘Someone needs to own the inputs, someone needs to own the design, the specifying, the building, the installation, the maintenance – that’s the virtuous circle and that needs to be sorted out.’ Would big escape incidents be avoidable if the STS was strictly adhered to? ‘The thing with a standard is if you work to that standard and ﬁnd there are losses and failures, you must investigate that and get to the root cause. Then you must raise the bar to cover that issue.
Containment - gaelforce.indd 45
‘With any standard or continuous improvements you look at what was the root cause, then embed it in the standard, lift the bar and close it oﬀ and wait for the next learning experience. That’s the nature of continuous improvement and standardisation. ‘My message would be it’s great to have the standard, there are lots of really good principles in there, but it would be the right thing to have a review of it before it’s brought into law.’ FF
If it makes sites viable in areas where they otherwise wouldn’t be viable, it’s a bargain basement commitment
Containment – Anti-predation
Variety of physical barriers keep seal problem at bay says Grieg
t is a year since Grant Cummings of Grieg Seafoods appeared on an STV news bulletin to talk about seal culling on salmon farms. Back then, the farm manager of the Shetland company – recently appointed managing director - said they had a ‘real determination’ to reduce the number of seals shot at sea pens – and it’s a goal they appear to have achieved. ‘We’ve had no seal problems in the last year in Scalloway or Wadbister – in fact, we haven’t shot any seals since January 2015,’ said Cumming. Grieg Seafood has used different solutions for different sites, with major investments in a variety of nets. It now has something designed to minimise seal predation on all its sites – but has ‘pretty much moved away from acoustic deterrents altogether’, said Cumming, after deciding that physical barriers were preferable. The choice of netting depends on the level of predation – and what other prey is available to the seals. The sites with the heaviest predation, at Wadbsiter, were ﬁtted with 26 EcoNets two years ago and the semi rigid structures are ‘working really well’, said Cumming. They cost £1 million but paid for themselves within a cycle. ‘Wadbister had by far and away the worst seal predation probably in the UK. It was exceedingly bad there,’ said Cumming. ‘It’s right next door to Lerwick harbour and we had a very big population of grey seals that lived in the harbour and we were the ﬁrst port of call. So they’d go up there for their breakfast and supper. ‘I’m not sure where they go now but it’s not to us! They are obviously ﬁnding alternative food sources. ‘I don’t think there are nearly as many seals in Lerwick harbour as there used to be, so I suspect some of them have relocated.’ EcoNets are the most expensive solution but are not needed everywhere. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) predator nets have been very
Containment - Grieg.indd 46
I’m not sure where they go now but “ it’s not to us! They are obviously ﬁnding alternative food sources ”
Top and below: The EcoNets installed at Wadbister have kept seals out. Above right: Willamena looks for food
successful too and are delivering protection at a much lower cost, said Cumming. These were in the water at Grieg’s Scalloway site last year and there has been no seal predation in the area. ‘On sites that are not tidal, predator nets are the best answer,’ said Cumming. ‘But on tidal sites it’s difﬁcult to make them work because you can tension your external net with heavy weights but if you were to put heavy weights on your internal net then it would rub against the external net and make holes. ‘So the internal nets are only held in place with leadline and with lightweights. So if you have a tidal site and you’ve just got the leadline on your internal net then it will blow against your external net and that means the seals can then breach that barrier. There has to be a gap between the two nets. ‘So on tidal sites we’ve gone for a different set-up. We’ve got a single net but it’s a much heavier net than we’ve used traditionally. There’s 150kg breaking strain in the mesh. We’ve got two makes; one is a monoﬁlament nylon and one is a terylene netting. ‘They are both very successful – the terylene is made from Badinotti and the monoﬁlament nylon is made by Hvalpsund. The nylon nets are in St Magnus Bay and they are also on our North Voe Whalsay site. And the terylene nets are on our Setter Ness sites on Yell Sound. ‘The single nets are 150kg breaking strain whereas traditional nets are about 60kg – the big advantage with that is it allows us to tension the nets much more tightly. ‘On the traditional nets you had to make sure that all the weight was supported by the ropes, which meant that you stitched slack into the netting when you were stitching it on to the down ropes of the net. ‘It made it easy for the seals to push those net panels in and they could distort them. Now with the higher breaking strain we can put less slack in the netting and it offers a much tighter barrier so the seals can’t push it in. ‘The HDPE predator net in Scalloway has a traditional nylon inner net with 60kg breaking strain with loose panels or looser panels than we’d have elsewhere. And the HDPE net will have a much higher breaking strain and will be held under tension.’ Cumming says he doesn’t know what other farmers do but thinks they are looking at different options from Grieg. ‘There are still a lot of people out there looking at acoustic deterrents and a lot are looking at false bottom nets. We’ve tried them and haven’t been terribly successful with them, but that’s not to say someone else won’t be more successful than us.’ All the nets are cleaned in situ – ‘we tend to clean them almost as often as we clean our internal nets,’ said Cumming. ‘It’s the same cleaning method – we usually use remotely operated vehicles with net washers attached to them. ‘The EcoNet costs the same to clean but the only problem is right down in the corners be-
Containment - Grieg.indd 47
cause the net washers don’t like 90 degree bends so cleaning right into the corners has been tough. But other than that they are easy to clean.’ The company has some orders in to purchase new nets, which will be anti-predator style netting, but all sites are now covered. It has been a good year production wise, said Cumming – ‘there have been plenty of challenges but it hasn’t been seals. Algae has been an issue and sea lice remain an issue so there’s plenty to keep us busy. But seals have almost become a non-issue for us, which is great. ‘We’re terribly aware that we’re probably not absolutely bomb proof in terms of seal predation but we’ve clearly made it more hassle than it’s worth for the seals. ‘They’ve gone and found the easiest option which is no longer us. It’s possibly other farms, it’s possibly wild ﬁsh availability. ‘There are still a few around but they’re not a problem. We’ve actually got a pet seal now that follows the boys around. She was initially called William, I’m not sure why, but when the boys discovered it was a young female seal they changed her name to Willamena.’ FF
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Containment – Anti-predation
Much seal behaviour around pens remains a mystery
t is well known that seals can attack ﬁsh farms and kill ﬁsh or cause net damage that results in escapes. But what is not fully understood is how seals behave near pens, or the mechanism they use to get at the ﬁsh. Scientists admit they do not have the answers but one research team set out to shed light on the issue, publishing their report in May. ‘Plugging the Gaps- Improving Our Knowledge of How Predators Impact Salmon Farms’ was commissioned by SARF (the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum) and written by Dr Simon Northridge of the SASWG (Salmon Aquaculture and Seals Working Group) and the University of St Andrews, and Alex Coram and Michael Mazilu of St Andrews. Dr Northridge told Fish Farmer that there is much speculation about seals’ tactics around salmon pens. ‘We really don’t know what happens at the seal/net interface, there’s a kind of complete blank of information there about how they go about extracting a salmon from inside a 20mm mesh net.’ The study focused on the interactions between seals and net pens in a controlled environment at the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at St Andrews University, using three grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and three harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) ranging from 35-225kg. The maximum force the six seals were willing to exert on to a typical section of ﬁsh farm netting was measured and the results were used to calculate the theoretical maximum deformation of a typical nylon aquaculture net that a large adult grey seal could achieve. ‘The main conclusions are that the force that
Containment - SASWG.indd 48
Above: Some seals are better than others at helping themselves to salmon
an adult grey seal is able to generate simply by using its body is enough to deform a standard nylon net by at least a foot (30cm),’ said Dr Northridge. ‘Just given the stretchiness of nylon, they can push the net in quite a long way. ‘The second point, though, is that they seem to ﬁnd it very diﬃcult to take salmon through a net, at least a net that is in a plane or ﬂat, and in my opinion they would probably need to have some additional structural help, some deformation in the net for them to make it easier – or indeed possible – for them to take a salmon.’ This could be a deformation they have created themselves, or ‘maybe something that’s been caused by tidal currents,’ he said. While some seals are quite good at helping themselves to salmon, there are plenty of seals around salmon farms where there’s no predation problem. ‘Some of them ﬁgure out how to do this and how they do it is still quite a mystery. I think this study helps prise that open a little bit and gives us slightly better insights into how they might do it,’ he said. However, the report concluded that much remains to be discovered
would “beIt easier
to ﬁnd out what’s going on in the real world
about how seals are able to displace nets in such a way as to guarantee catching and eating a ﬁsh. And yet more remains to be done to explore how the additional tidal forces may help or hinder seal depredation and how changes to net shapes under tidal ﬂows may provide feeding opportunities for depredatory seals. ‘Further work is needed to explore seal behaviour and net conﬁgurations in the real world. This will need the active participation of ﬁsh farming companies. Pool and laboratory based results need to be compared and followed up with observations and tests made in the wild and on ﬁsh farm sites,’ said the report. Dr Northridge told Fish Farmer that diﬀerent netting materials could make it much more diﬃcult for seals to do what they’re doing. ‘HDPE [High Density Polyethylene] does seem to be the netting material of choice at the moment for people who are re-equipping. We haven’t tested HDPE with the seals but it’s less extensible so you would expect them to ﬁnd it more diﬃcult,’ he said. The report concluded that controlled tests of HDPE netting in the context of seal predation would be useful.
Containment - SASWG.indd 49
The researchers had also wanted to put net sensors on pens but no farm would cooperate with the trial. This, as well as placing cameras on sites – actually spying on the seals and ﬁsh, would yield the most fruitful results most quickly, said Dr Northridge. But, as the report noted, ‘some farm managers appear reluctant to participate in experiments involving underwater video of seal behaviour. There may be a perception that results may be used in a negative context to undermine the industry’s eﬀorts to reduce depredation. This is unfortunate because it severely hampers our ability to collect behavioural data which could potentially inform new mitigation measures to help reduce depredation.’ Instead, Dr Northridge says ‘a more tractable but possibly more tortuous route would be to
Containment – Anti-predation
do further trials in our seal pool with captive animals’. ‘It is rather a roundabout way of ﬁnding out what’s happening though. It would be much easier to ﬁnd out what’s going on in the real world. ‘And we have to use dead ﬁsh; we either put
FEEDING FRUSTRATION The report found that motivation for food seemed to be an important factor, with greater ‘leaps of progress’ occurring when seals had recently been fed less. Toward the end of training sessions, when animals were nearing satiation, they quickly became frustrated if they were unable to reach the target, and were more likely to give up. The fact that seals took significant time and persuasion before they would interact with netting suggests that they are not inherently predisposed to try to take salmon by attacking fish farm nets. This indicates that if the initial stimulus for interaction can be removed or reduced, it may be possible to prevent the positive reinforcement of predatory behaviour. There was a clear preference for seals to use teeth and foreflippers in combination to manipulate fish whenever possible. As access to the fish was made increasingly difficult, the effectiveness of this feeding behaviour was substantially reduced. In cases where the fish were placed some distance away from the netting, it proved difficult or impossible for seals to simultaneously manipulate fish with their teeth and flippers. Feeding was far less effective when seals were only able to use their teeth. The fact that increasing the difficulty of accessing the fish led to seals rapidly losing interest in the task indicates that improved containment measures are likely to be an effective solution. The scientists were able to highlight certain depredatory behavioural mechanisms, but the deep gashes and abdominal gouges (‘belly bites’) typically seen during investigations on fish farms were not replicated. Combining this with observations from site visits of recently retrieved still live fish exhibiting these same wounds provides a strong indication that these injuries occur only when the fish are alive. This leaves open the question of the exact mechanism of this type of attack given the difficulty seals had in manipulating or even reaching fish behind a flat net panel. It would seem that this apparent conundrum can only be addressed by in situ underwater recording of seal depredation.
Containment - SASWG.indd 50
them on the net or held them away from the net. We can’t use live ﬁsh because any work involving any animals in any university is extremely carefully controlled from a welfare point of view. ‘There are all kind of things which people might do in industry which a university would never be allowed to do.’ The report, which was presented to industry representatives at a meeting of the SASWG, is unlikely to inﬂuence what equipment farmers
buy, said Dr Northridge. ‘It’s early days, the report has only been out a few months and there’ll need to be discussions and people will need to think about it.’ He said even greater industry cooperation would enable the scientists to take things on. Progress, otherwise, is ‘frustratingly slow’. To read the full report, visit http://www.sarf. org.uk/cms-assets/documents/245877-466609. sarf097.pdf FF
LICENCE TO CULL A licensing scheme was brought in as part of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, and has been in place since 2011, allowing ﬁsh farms to apply for permission to shoot a speciﬁed number of each seal species to protect farmed salmon. The act makes it an oﬀence to kill or injure a seal except under licence (or on grounds of animal welfare), eﬀectively removing the unregulated removal of seals which was previously permitted. Licences are only issued for use by nominated marksmen who hold an appropriate qualiﬁcation in seal management and who are capable of hitting a four-inch circle three times at 100 m range. The licensing scheme makes clear that seal licences are issued only where non-lethal alternatives have been shown to be unsuccessful or have been precluded for other reasons. To accompany the new legislation in 2011, Marine Scotland introduced a code of good practice (CoGP) for seal management. Under the CoGP, ‘a seal should only be shot where, in the opinion of a nominated marksman or licence holder, it is necessary to prevent serious damage to a ﬁshery or ﬁsh farm or to protect the health and welfare of a farmed ﬁsh’. Seals must only be shot from a stable platform, in daylight, and ‘ideally’ in the absence of people (general public) and when there is a good
chance of recovering the carcass. The maximum range permitted is 150m and expanding bullets must be used. The marksman or licensee must take all reasonable steps to recover the carcass so that scientiﬁc data can be collected, and the details must be reported within ten days of the end of each three-month reporting period. The introduction of this licensing scheme has coincided with, or triggered, a period of steep reduction in the number of seals being shot. Data covering the period prior to the licensing system is not available, because records were not required during this time, but it seems likely that this reduction in seal shooting comes at least in part as a result of increased regulatory pressure.
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Containment – Scottish Technical Standard
Future Fusion Ongoing upgrades help ﬁrms improve performance
ood containment is not just about purchasing the best possible equipment, but also ensuring that it is well maintained and regularly upgraded whenever required, says ﬁsh pen manufacturer Fusion Marine. For example, the Argyll based company has been busy over the last few months completing pen upgrades for a number of its customers. Above: Fusion completes These include adding sinkers to pens for pen upgrades Scottish Sea Farms at the company’s site on Lismore, and for Cooke Aquaculture Scotland in Orkney. The Lismore project was aimed at improving net volume in a strong-current environment to ensure optimum quality of the salmon, while the Orkney project was focused on tensioning across the base of the net to discourage seal attacks. Fish pen upgrades have also recently been
carried out for the Scottish Salmon Company at Stronachullin and for Dawnfresh at Braevallich. According to Stephen Divers, managing director of Fusion Marine, steady progress is being made by both ﬁsh famers and suppliers towards complying with the new Scottish Technical Standard by improving the containment of existing infrastructure. ‘From our own perspective, we are continually involved in new development initiatives to enhance containment, especially given the future trend to move to more exposed oﬀshore sites. ‘This has included work to improve the performance of the ﬁsh farm pen ﬂotation collar on high energy and exposed sea sites. ‘We have also been developing new sub-surface components for sinker tube systems to minimise abrasion and other net integrity issues whilst meeting the operational needs of the customer.’ FF
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Containment – Training
online Industry demand leads to e-learning launch of popular module
EMAND from fish farmers for a containment course has led to the launch of an online e-learning version by the NAFC Marine Centre of the University of the Highlands and Islands. The Introduction to Fish Farm Containment course is aimed at fish farm workers and covers a wide range of topics relevant to setting up and maintaining aquaculture facilities to prevent the escape of stock, and complying with relevant legislation and other requirements. The course covers topics including: legislative requirements; causes of fish escapes; cage and net types, designs, weighting, securing; predator netting; inspections; mooring systems and maintenance; statutory record keeping; dealing with losses; and health and safety considerations. The launch of the e-learning version means that students can undertake the course at a time and place that suits them, without having to attend college. Since the face-to-face version was launched in March this year, some 129 students have been certificated in Shetland and Orkney, said NAFC’s aquaculture training section leader Stuart Fitzsimmons. This version will still be available for students who prefer that mode of learning. So far, the course has been delivered to Shetland Above: Saro Saravanan and Orkney, either at the NAFC or at the employer’s work-place. There have been no courses delivered on the mainland yet, said Fitzsimmons, but this can be arranged if there is sufficient demand. ‘We have had a lot of requests from the aquaculture industry for more flexible training,’ said Fitzsimmons, explaining how the online course operates. ‘It is not always convenient for workers to attend college on a fixed date, especially if they live or work in more remote areas, but this new e-learning version means that they can complete the course at work or at home,
Containment - Course.indd 53
not always convenient for workers “Ittois attend college on a fixed date ”
and at any time. It also expands the potential market for this course well beyond Shetland.’ The online course covers all the same material as the conventional course, and will hopefully be as interesting and interactive as classroom delivery, said Fitzsimmons. The e-learning course has been designed and developed by NAFC’s Saro Saravanan from the original version developed and delivered by Kenny Gifford. This introductory training course discusses and outlines the main points of the Technical Standard for Scottish Finfish Aquaculture 2015. It is aimed at marine and fresh water husbandry, site managers and maintenance staff. By the end of the course the candidates should have a better understanding of their site with respect to containing stock and preventing escapes, said Fitzsimmons. The new e-learning course uses the UHI’s ‘Blackboard Learn+’ virtual learning environment. Once enrolled, students will be able to access the course via any internet enabled device (including tablets and smartphones). Simple online instructions guide them through the course, which should take about 10 hours to complete. Students will be able to contact an NAFC tutor for assistance if required. There is a short written assessment at the end of the course. The NAFC Marine Centre is also developing an online e-learning version of its one-day Fish Welfare course. FF
Containment – Moorings
New chain-free anchors will help farmers move to exposed sites
awrie Stove, managing director of Oban based AquaMoor, is behind several new products that could help companies expand into oﬀshore locations. With a background in the marine industry, as well as in salmon farming, and as a member of the steering group that devised the Scottish Technical Standard, he understands the demands of the aquaculture market. When it comes to ﬁsh farm moorings, current technology is very basic, he says, using a chain Right: The Raptor anchor catenary, which is just a big curve under the water that the chain assumes under its own weight.
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The chain passes a load along the seabed to the anchor, dragging it in a horizontal direction. But when it takes oﬀ from the seabed it comes up to wherever the object is being moored, which in aquaculture is a cage grid or a feed barge. The current industry standard ﬁsh farm mooring anchor is an ineﬃcient design, said Stove, that relies heavily on the dead weight of steel in the anchor shank to provide gravity based holding power. ‘The ﬂuke of these anchors is so small that the design does not scale up well. On larger anchors – one tonne, two tonnes and three tonne, for example - the ﬂuke can be less than 40 per cent of the anchor mass so both the weight and the centre of gravity are in the wrong place to generate fast setting, deep penetration and high holding power.’ It is a system, he believes, that has not kept pace with technical innovation in other areas of the industry. ‘As sites have got larger, so cages and nets have got larger and the biomass on the sites is much greater. Bigger nets create more drag and so the mooring loads are higher. So suppliers are specifying heavier weight of chain and a lot more of it,’ said Stove. ‘And there are new sites that have greater tide and wind driven currents as well as larger potential waves. A harsher and more energetic environment altogether,’ said Stove. These can also be deeper sites. In the last year, Stove has looked at farms on the west coast of Scotland and in Orkney and Shetland that are over 60m deep. ‘To safely and securely moor ﬁsh farm cages and barges at these sites
I’ve looked for transferable “ technologies from other industries that have performance in excess of what is currently available in aquaculture
All our products are designed to withstand the harsh weather and currents of the North Atlantic, and can be tailor made for your specific needs.
Containment – Moorings ogy. It can have a mooring line coming oﬀ it at 22 degrees so you don’t need anything on the seabed. This type of short scope mooring system has a number of additional beneﬁts, but chief among those is the ability to put ﬁsh farms in more energetic and exposed sites, or on rock seabeds that were previously oﬀ limits to farmers. ‘And it can do this while keeping the structural security of the installation intact in all weather conditions, thus providing a reduction in containment risk when compared to traditional technologies. ‘The Raptor rock anchor is pretty much like the principle of a rawlplug – it’s a direct embedment at a speciﬁc point and you can take a load oﬀ it. In eﬀect, the Raptor does the same thing. ‘With a conventional anchor, you drag it along the seabed and the further you drag it, the deeper it penetrates and the more holding power it generates. ‘The Raptor is self-drilling. While drilling itself into the rock, it reams out the top and bottom of the bore and then expands into that bore, creating a mechanical fastening. It will provide very high holding power immediately from installation at a precise location in certain seabeds.’ we’re proposing a diﬀerent sort of mooring system. Holding power is a function of anchor design and seabed composition. ‘If the farm infrastructure being moored is rising up and down on a 7m In oil and gas and renewables applications, high performance anchors or 8m wave height and backwards and forwards 25m or 26m, that’s an have to be used. At 80:1 holding power, the Stingray is an impressive awful lot of movement and in an agitated sea state that can be quite a four times more eﬃcient than any other ﬁsh farm anchors; however, the rapid movement,’ said Stove. Raptor rock anchor is in a diﬀerent league altogether – it has a holding ‘Conventional chain catenary can’t respond fast enough to that so it power of 450:1. generates big shock loads in the system.’ AquaMoor has an exclusive distribution agreement in place with Raptor AquaMoor’s aim is to introduce and develop short scope tension moor- for the aquaculture sector – the anchor is a newly developed product ing systems that have higher performance anchors, synthetic ﬁbre ropes that has been successfully installed this year for the marine renewables and peak load absorbing devices, eliminating the need for a lot of chain industry in Orkney. lying on the seabed. ‘This is a high energy site with nine or ten knots of current, which is ‘It’s possible to not have a chain and move to high performance almost ten times more than you would get at an average ﬁsh farm,’ said synthetic ﬁbre ropes, but when you do that you still need two things, a Stove ‘so installation is not a problem, and Raptor oﬀer the anchors up to reactive force on the seabed and a replacement for the spring self weight 150 tonnes of holding power. of chain. In this instance the Raptor rock anchor is the enabling technol‘At AquaMoor I’ve looked for transferable technologies from other
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Containment - Raptor.indd 56
Less is more industries that have performance in excess of what is currently available in aquaculture.’ He was at the recent Aquaculture Europe conference in Edinburgh to launch the Raptor anchor into the ﬁsh farming market. There was a lot of interest from the industry, he said, but the technology hasn’t yet been tested in the aquaculture industry. Now, though, there is a pilot project getting underway, at an undisclosed farm on the Atlantic coast. Once in place, it will be monitored by the farm company. ‘Everyone is interested in what it can do – it’s an enabling technology that will allow farmers to go to sites they haven’t gone to before because they are too wild. The anchoring technology is proven so it’s more about convincing farmers now. ‘A 150 tonne Raptor anchor will weigh 350kg compared to between two to six tonnes for a conventional anchor of the same holding power, with chain being in addition to this.’ Raptor anchors only work in rock so they are not suitable for all farms. Their use, said Stove, will depend on the seabed. ‘In Argyll, where it’s gentle rolling hills and fertile soils, you can assume the seabeds will be of a similar nature – plenty of sediment. The Raptor wouldn’t work there, but it is perfect for the geology found in the Outer Hebrides and Sutherland.’ AquaMoor distributes other products, including the Stingray, a high performance conventional anchor produced by Jeyco, an Australian oil and gas equipment supplier. Stove has secured UK distribution for that product for aquaculture. It’s a horizontal drag embedment anchor and is a solution for sandy seabeds where there is no rock. He is also the UK manager for TFI Marine (see page 59). Above: The Stingray AquaMoor also has an R&D programme in conjunction with Dundee anchor. Opposite page: University to look at developing another, completely new type of anchor. Raptor being deployed ‘One of the key drivers is to try to make moorings more sustainable and environmentally friendly because at the moment, at a big farm site, they can have huge quantities of chain on the seabed – seven to eight kilometres. That is all interacting with the seabed so it is damaging the
Containment - Raptor.indd 57
benthic environment. We can reduce direct environmental impact on the seabed while also indirectly reducing the carbon footprint of aquaculture moorings, by using smaller amounts of materials in far more eﬃcient ways than they have been previously. ‘An awful lot of eﬀort has gone into making salmon farming sustainable but what goes on under the water in terms of mooring has not received much attention to date. ‘There are solutions available that are smarter and more environmentally friendly than what we currently have and are not necessarily going to cost the earth in comparison with existing technology.’. FF
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Containment: TfI Marine - Advertorial
TfI Marine tethers protect against mooring failure TfI Marine Tethers Mooring failures are major contributing factors to ﬁsh escapes. Mooring failures and damage to cages are an ongoing concern and Protect against Mooring Failure extremely costly for ﬁsh farmers. They occur due to high-load breakage and longer term fatigue failure. Mooring Failures are major contributing factors to fish escapes. Fatigue failures are down to wear and tear in the mooring and bridle lines. The regular inspection of moorings will identify fatigue issues. Mooring failures and damage to cages are an ongoing concern and extremely costly for fish Highfarmers. They occur due to high‐load breakage and the longer‐term fatigue failure. load failures are more difﬁcult to predict and protect against. High load failures typically occur in high sea states with short wave periods. failures are down to wear and tear in the mooring and bridle lines. The TheseFatigue choppy waves cause the highest loads on a mooring structure and regular inspection of moorings will identify fatigue issues. are further compounded by their omni-directional nature.
High load failures are more difficult to predict and protect against. High load failures occur in high sea states with short wave periods. These choppy waves Loadtypically reduction cause the highest loads on a mooring structure and are further compounded by TfI’stheir omnidirectional nature. mooring tethers massively reduce loads when installed on the bridle or mooring lines. They stretch as the loads on the line increase, Load reduction lengthening the line, absorbing energy and smoothing out any snap loads TfI’s Mooring Tethers massively reduce loads when installed on the bridle or that arise. mooring lines. They stretch as the loads on the line increase, lengthening the line, Weabsorbing energy and smoothing out any snap loads that arise. know from our work with ﬁsh farmers that compared with traditional chain catenary mooring, TfI tethers massively reduce peak know from our on work with fish farmers and/or that compared with traditional loadsWe when installed either mooring bridle lines, on cageschain and catenary mooring, TfI tethers massively reduce peak loads when installed on either barges. From current projects on exposed sites, we anticipate reductions mooring and/or bridle lines, on cages and barges. From current projects on exposed of over 70 per cent in bridle loads and over 60 per cent in mooring sites, we anticipate reductions of over 70% in Bridle loads and over 60% in Mooring loadsloads from the tethers. from the tethers.
Bridle Loads With TfI Tethers
Mooring Loads With TfI Tethers
energy and smooth out any snap loads that arise
Fatigue reduction Fatigue failures arise because of longer term wear and tear in the mooring and Fatigue arisearises because longerrelaxation term wear and tearof inchain the links, bridle failures lines. Fatigue from of repetitive and tightening clashing of the chain on the seabed, abrasion and corrosion of metal components. mooring and bridle lines. Fatigue arises from repetitive relaxation and tightening of chain links, clashing of the chain on the seabed, abrasion By keeping the loads more constant as the tether elastomer stretches and relaxes, and corrosion of metalrepetitive components. TfI Tethers eliminate wear on chain links and seabed clashing, reducing By keeping fatigue. the loads more constant as the tether elastomer stretches and relaxes, TfI tethers eliminate repetitive wear on chain links and Cost reduction seabed clashing, reducing fatigue. TfI tethers can be retrofitted to existing moorings using a patented clamping system, offering load reduction without affecting the integrity of the existing mooring set‐
Costup. reduction For new installations, they tted are installed inline, moorings allowing site using owners to reduce the TfI tethers can be retroﬁ to existing a patented size and length of chain and anchors, saving on both capital and operational costs. clamping system, offering load reduction without affecting the integrity of the existing mooring set-up. For new installations, they are installed inline, allowing site owners to reduce the size and length of chain and anchors, saving on both capital and operational costs. World class production TfI’s mooring load management system uses a combination of a tensile
TFI - PED.indd 59
Above: TfI tether on TfI Tether on display at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore display at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore
elastomer and a compressive thermoplastic spring. It is bio-compatible, UV resistant, corrosion resistant and designed for a long working life. The TfI tethers’ rubber component is manufactured by Trelleborg and the thermoplastic springs are manufactured from a DuPont compound. Each unit is tested and certiﬁed prior to delivery. For more information on TfI Marine’s mooring solutions visit www.tﬁmarine.com, Telephone +353 1 9052190 email sales@tﬁmarine.com FF
Containment – Aqua Knowledge advertorial
Smooth transition Norwegian expertise helps prepare Scottish farms for technical standard
qua Knowledge delivers technical consultancy services to the aquaculture industry worldwide. Its team of experienced fish farmers and qualified marine engineers has a combination of skills essential for achieving the best technical solutions for marine farms. The company is based in Norway but a large share of its activity is in Scotland, where the industry is now preparing for the new Scottish Technical Standard. ‘We have great experience from the implementation of the Norwegian standard,’ said Aqua Knowledge’s general manager, Yngve Askeland. He compares the Scottish industry with the Norwegian industry a few years back, except that Scottish farms, in his opinion, look better prepared than Norwegian farms before their Standard NS 9415 was implemented. ‘Technical equipment such as moorings and pens are generally in good condition and it is clear that the Scottish farmers are focusing on maintenance and prevention of fish escapes,’ said Askeland. The biggest change for the Scottish industry will be that it now has to document every single component and that it can`t build up new farms or do major changes to existing farms without having engineers calculate the effect on moorings and net pens. Aqua Knowledge’s technical manager, Øyvind Refsnes, has reviewed the biggest differences between the Norwegian and the Scottish standards and concludes that the Scottish version is not just a copy of the Norwegian model, but in many ways is better thought out. An example is that current measurements are required for a period of 90 days in the Scottish standard, compared to just 28 days in Norway. The amount of data collected over 90 days gives a more precise current value – and the factor used to calculate the
Containment - Aqua Knowledge.indd 60
50-year return period is more adaptable for each site (varies from 1,4 ot 1,87) where in Norway you have a fixed factor of 1.85. The 50- year current speed is a key figure when it comes to analysing mooring systems as most of the loads on moorings are caused by this. There are other differences between the two standards. While ropes and anchors/rock pins have the same factors as in Norway, steel components such as chains, shackles and coupling discs have a much higher material factor in Scotland than in Norway. The reason for this is not clear, but it is a fact that there have been some fish escapes in Norway over the last few years due to certified chains of low quality, and it looks like the industry wants to avoid any of these incidents in Scotland, Refsnes said. The documentation of technical equipment has already started in Scotland even if the standard is not yet being enforced. Two major companies in Scotland - Marine Harvest and Scottish Sea Farms - are now using Aqua Knowledge’s technical database, MMCD, for keeping track of all their technical equipment.
Above left: Øyvind Refsnes and Yngve Askeland. Left: Mooring analysis. Above: MMCD inspection overview (top) and main page
AQUA KNOWELDGE’S MAIN SERVICES TECHNICAL ANALYSIS Aqua Knowledge holds the Norwegian accreditation for mooring analysis. This accreditation is valid for all types of ﬁsh farms and feed barges. The mooring analysis report contains the recommended dimensioning of all mooring components. Aqua Knowledge also performs detailed technical analysis of ﬁsh farming nets to evaluate all loads within the net structure.
WAVE ANALYSIS The company can perform analysis and calculations of wind generated waves and ocean swells, and can also include diﬀraction and refraction analysis according to the Scottish standard.
DATABASES Aqua Knowledge has developed and hosts the component database MMCD. The system keeps track of all technical components on farm sites and helps farmers perform the required inspections and farm maintenance within deﬁned timescales. More than 300 sites in Norway and in Scotland are using the database to document and keep track of moorings, net pens, generators, boats, barges and so on. The company is continuously developing the system and plans to launch several new modules in 2017.
SITE PLANNING AND PROJECT PLANNING Aqua Knowledge consultants have a vast experience in site planning and can contribute towards the application process, when applying for new sites or when planning for installation or rebuilding of sites. The team takes into consideration ﬁsh welfare and technical integrity on farms using advanced chart software and accurate environmental data. The complete ﬁsh farm is modelled in 3D software, including seabed data imported from an external source such as Olex or MaxSea.
R&D PROJECTS Aqua Knowledge participates in several R&D projects that will lead to a safer and more sustainable ﬁsh farming industry.
The database, built for the Norwegian NS 9415 standard, is adaptable for the Scottish standard, which is very similar in terms of certification rules and requirements for documentation of inspections and general technical conditions. To better serve the Scottish market, Aqua Knowledge recruited Carla McVicar earlier this year at Aqua Knowledge’s sister company, Net Services Scotland. She has been busy working on database input with Scottish customers and will now focus on training and start-up for the sites that are ready. ‘We will probably recruit more technical staff in Scotland in 2017 to work with both the MMCD database and other services related to implementation of the standard,’ said Askeland. ‘Most of the Scottish fish farmers are aware that the standard is published and will be enforced in a relatively short time. ‘The farmers who start planning for and implementing the standard now will adapt easier to its criteria - and at a lower cost. ‘Our aim is to contribute to a smooth transition and adaptation to the Scottish Technical Standard.’ FF
Containment - Aqua Knowledge.indd 61
It is clear that “ farmers are focusing
on maintenance and prevention of ﬁsh escapes
Containment – Ace Aquatec advertorial
Cage guard goes viral Portal gives managers full overview of deterrent systems
A Clockwise from above: The Cage Guard Customer Portal gives managers a full overview of their deterrent systems
ce Aquatec launched its Cage Guard rental programme in 2015 and since then customers have been supplied with state of the art technology to help avoid ﬁsh mortalities from predators on their sites. The latest development is the Ace Aquatec Cage Guard Customer Portal, which gives barge managers and area managers a full overview and control of their deterrent systems. GPS locators allow them to see exactly where units are located, as well as control over their settings. From the barge or oﬃce, a site manager can alter the scram rate, select a range of novel deterring sounds, switch systems on/oﬀ, and see historical data about system operation. Cycling sound formations and novel patterns reduce the chances of habituation and improve the eﬀectiveness of the deterrents. Ace Aquatec’s service team, who are located all over Scotland, carry out regular system checks to ensure equipment is properly installed and maintained. Ace Aquatec’s rental sites are guaranteed the latest software and hardware. And servicing personnel have 24/7 access to the Cage Guard Portal allowing them to respond to any issues and to push updates over the net without interrupting scramming. Full log reports and fault alerts are received by the servicing team whenever a device’s status changes, such as dead batteries or a system being disconnected. By connecting the devices to the cloud Ace Aquactec now provides customers and its development team with crucial data about how systems are performing and correlate this with predator mortality data. Cage Guard rental has a three stage response to seal attacks: 1. Deployment of the latest connected US3 deterrent. This plays a
Containment - ACE Aquatec PED.indd 62
Cage guard goes viral
connecting our devices “weBycan provide customers and our development team with crucial data
randomised sound pattern at 194 dB rms. Automatic or user defined sounds can be selected. 2. Deployment of one high volume low frequency RT1 deterrent. This plays randomised sound patterns at 195 dB at lower 1-2 khz frequencies. 3. Deployment of an electric conditioning net which is paired with a low volume noise. This combination trains seals to
Containment - ACE Aquatec PED.indd 63
avoid the nets. To date, no Cage Guard rental site has required a deployment of Stage 3 predator control measures to resolve mort issues. The RT1 system can be offered on sites that have porpoises in the vicinity due to the RT1 making noise outside the sensitive hearing range of cetaceans. Ace Aquatec continues to innovate to provide the most environmentally responsible solution for resolving predation on farmed cages. For more information or to request a quote please contact www. aceaquatec.com.’ FF
Sea Lice – Lasers
s of laser tr Figure 2 The after effect
eatment on a
How an engineer and biologist joined forces to ﬁght pest with technology
BY JANET H BROWN
in a st Figure 3 Lasers deployed
ngineers are adept at ﬁnding solutions. Esben Beck had an idea that sea lice provide This was a one man operation designing and building instrument protoa good target for lasers, so why not shoot types for various medical diagnosis projects. He progressed from this into them oﬀ the salmon? But what engineers industrial automation and special equipment for the oil and gas industry, can lack, in my experience, is any understanding with a slightly expanded company of up to eight employees. of biology. He learnt about sea lice for the ﬁrst time when reading a newspaper So it was a meeting of minds when Esben Beck arti cle in the winter of 2009 and immediately had the idea of lice control met Benedikt Frenzl, a newly graduated PhD using lasers. from the University of Stirling who had spent He says: ‘This idea may have come from experience zapping troublesome four years studying precisely how sea lice can ﬂ ies with a laser pointer when staying in a mountain cottage earlier the successfully infect salmonids. same year.’ He had studied infection success rates but also He had learnt from working with medical instruments a lot about specalternative methods of sea lice control, such as trography and how speciﬁc wavelengths are absorbed diﬀerently, so that it deep feeding, deep lighting and so on. should be possible to ﬁnd the precise wavelength that could heat up a sea He carried out his research at Loch Duich louse yet pose no danger to the reﬂective skin of the salmon. with Marine Harvest, which sponsored his PhD Since Beck Engineering was already in the oil and gas industry they were programme. He was then employed as R&D geared up for making sub-sea equipment; without delay, Stingray Marine manager at Loch Duart for just over a year. Solutions was born. It so happened that Loch Duart’s managing The Stingray laser is fully mobile so its beam can get to wherever ﬁsh are, director at the time, Nick Joy, had suggested they horizontally or vertically. It can spin on its own axis so as long as there are trial these newly developed Stingray lasers, the ﬁsh in front of the laser they can shoot parasites. ﬁrst such trial in the UK. The Artiﬁcial Intelligence (AI) run detector software (developed by So while Benedikt was employed as head of Figure 1 Dr Benedikt Frenzl, the biologist Sti who did hisown PhD soft on sea liceteam) and who is now cally working ngray’s ware automati detects the ﬁsh, and detects if Dr Solutions. Benedikt R&D his only topic turned out to be sea lice with StingrayAbove: Marine there is a louse on it. If positive the laser will ﬁre. Frenzl, the biologist control and this led to his being poached to his The very early stages cannot be detected by the laser; the chalimus 1 who did his PhD on sea current work with the Stingray company, based and 2 stages when anchored on the ﬁsh cannot be attacked, but as soon lice and who is now in Oslo. working with Stingray as they become fully motile adults they are easy meat for the laser beam. But the question before that should perhaps Marine Solutions. By killing oﬀ the male and female adults the whole population can be be who is Esben Beck? He is a Norwegian who Left: Engineer/inventor destroyed. in fact regards himself as an inventor rather than Esben Beck (left) and Similarly, the same detector software has been programmed to actively an engineer, although the company he set up in Benedikt Frenzl with avoid the eyes of the ﬁsh. To date more than four million laser treated ﬁsh 1999 is called Beck Engineering. lasers have been harvested and no laser damage was seen on any of these ﬁsh. I only learnt about this technology because my eye was caught by the company name, Stingray Marine Solutions, at the recent EAS conference in Edinburgh. Since I know stingrays can be a major problem for bouchot mussel farmers as they have a delight in helping themselves to the mussels oﬀ the poles, I had to ask what Stingray was – and then I was extremely curious to know more. Since sea lice would appear to an outsider of the salmon industry as one of the most consuming problems of salmon farming, this sounded a perfect Figure 2 The after effects of laser treatment on adult sea lice, inevitably fatal. solution. But as I spoke to other people at the EAS meeting it was clear there were plenty of sceptics around. One international sea lice expert said: ‘It would never work in the summer in Maine – the phytoplankton is far too dense.’ But it seems Stingray Marine Solutions has a pretty healthy market demand in northern Europe and more speciﬁcally Norway and Scotland.
Figure 4 Left, engineer/inventor Esben Beck and, right, biologist Benedikt Frenzl with lasers. 64
Figure 3 Lasers deployed in a standard grow-out circle in Sogn and Fjordane region, Norway Sea Lice - Stingray.indd 64
itab ent on adult sea lice, inev
Figure 1 Dr Benedikt Frenzl, the biologist who did his PhD on sea lice and who is now wo Worth a shot Figure Figure11Dr DrBenedikt BenediktFrenzl, Frenzl,the thebiologist biologistwho whodid didhis hisPhD PhDon on sea sealice lice and andwho whoisisnow nowwo w with Stingray Marine Solutions. with with Stingray Stingray Marine Solutions. Solutions. Figure 1 DrMarine Benedikt Frenzl, the biologist who did his PhD on sea lice and who is now workin with Stingray Marine Solutions.
It was launched in Scotland at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore in May and has generated quite some interest, with the company’s general manager, John Arne Breivik, reportedly saying up to 20 lasers would be installed at sites in Scotland by the end of this year. The company is believed to have sold nearly 100 units in Norway. To equip a salmon farm to control the sea lice using the laser system is a considerable investment. The ﬁrst farm to introduce the system in Norway was Suleﬁsk. Loch Duart was the ﬁrst farm to pioneer the system in Scotland, testing and helping the development in several trials in 2014/2015. The laser unit itself weighs in at about 150kg in air and 20kg in seawater. Thus a bespoke buoy with a winch system is provided to deploy the laser, supply electricity and provide access to internet for data manipulation. Up to 10 laser shots are ﬁred per second initially and reducing to about three laser pulses per second at a steady rate. The maximum eﬀectiveness so far recorded is seven adult females zapped with one shot. How do they know this? The system takes a photo immediately before the laser ﬁres and then a video runs after so they know exactly what has happened. All such data analysis, however, depends on internet access and how much support a customer wants. In order to be eﬀective within a farm, at least
Figure 2 The after effects adultsea sealice, lice,inevitably inevitably fatal. Figure 2 The after effectsofoflaser lasertreatment treatment on on adult fatal. Figure Figure22The Theafter aftereffects effectsof of laser treatment on adult adult sea seato lice, lice, inevitably fatal. 50laser per treatment cent of theon cages have beinevitably equippedfatal.
ay have Norw may gn and Fjordane region,
grow-out circle in So Above: Lasers deployed in a standard growout circle in Sogn and Fjordane region, Norway. Above right: The after eﬀects of laser treatment on adult sea lice, inevitably fatal.
with lasers. If there are more than 80,000 ﬁsh in a cage, then two lasers are needed. The annual cost for a laser is around NOK 300,000 (about £30,000) but against this not insubstantial cost can be oﬀset the potential beneﬁts of no further treatment costs, no feeding days lost, no stress on ﬁsh pre and post treatment, no handling of ﬁsh and no environmental impacts. lice alsogrow-out seem tocircle be highly ve (or region, Norway Figure 3 Lasers deployed inSea a standard in Sogninnovati and Fjordane evolving) creatures. Time show if thisregion, Norway Figure 3 Lasers deployed inrapidly a standard grow-out circle in Sognwill and Fjordane Figure Figure33Lasers Lasersdeployed deployedininaastandard standardgrow-out grow-outcircle circleininSogn Sognand andFjordane Fjordaneregion, region,Norway Norway amalgamation between engineer and biologist can successfully combat this plague of the salmon industry. FF
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Sea lice – Science
BY IAN BRICKNELL
Reﬂections from the recent international conference in Ireland
The new analysis showed that sea lice “copepods and nauplii were much more likely to slosh up and down the coast ”
Sea Lice - Ian Bricknell.indd 66
ea lice 2016 in Westport last month began, as is traditional, with a welcome reception where the 300 delegates met and enjoyed some traditional Irish hospitality and a superb new cocktail, created for the conference. I had two and have to admit that the rest of the evening is a blur. The conference proper started with a welcome and introduction from the Irish ﬁsheries minister and the ﬁrst session began with a re-examination of wild ﬁsh returns over time related to aquaculture activity. It was clear from this meta-analysis – by Dr Martin Jaﬀa [see Fish Farmer, October 2016] - that the earlier work that showed declines in wild salmonids, in particular in sea trout and wild salmon, was out of date. The situation has changed quite signiﬁcantly and certain areas were seeing a strong recovery in both salmon and sea trout numbers, while in other regions catches remained depressed. Even Loch Maree, which has been held up as a collapsed ﬁshery for sea trout, has seen signiﬁcant returns of Atlantic salmon recently. What was especially interesting was the analysis of areas impacted by aquaculture compared to areas that have never been aquacultured, showing there was no diﬀerence in the return trends. The next session looked at sea lice biology, certainly a passion of mine. We saw some very interesting papers on the genetic mechanisms of drug resistance and the secretory and excretory products of sea lice in suppressing the immune response. These are areas where there will be much more activity over the next few years. The afternoon began with a session on sea lice genetics - a key presentation was the emerging ﬁeld on non-coding DNA of Caligus rogercressyi and host recognition by C. rogercressyi from the University of Concepcion, where some amazing research is going on with Chilean sea lice. The next session on chemotherapeutics looked at some new drug development, such as lufeneron, and revisited the use of an old treatment, hydrogen peroxide. Certainly, the talk on supporting responsible prescriptions and medications for sea lice was extremely useful for the veterinarians and veterinarian students in the audience as this will help in slowing resistance problems. The potential new classes of treatments such as lufeneron and nicotinic acetyl choline inhibitors should add a few new tools to the sea lice problem over the next few years. Day two revisited sea lice biology. One fascinating paper, by Tor Einar Horsberg and Melanie Andrews [see Fish Farmer, October 2016], looked at
This year’s model
Left: Lumpﬁsh used as cleaner ﬁsh with some good results
salinity tolerance in seawater and presented data that suggested there was a diﬀerence in tolerance to freshwater exposure in three sea lice populations. It was suggested that freshwater tolerance was being selected for due to the increase in freshwater baths in salmon aquaculture. Although there was no direct evidence for this, the data presented certainly suggested that even the most sensitive of these populations was more tolerant than sea lice looked at in the last large scale study back in 2005/06. The next session was highly anticipated and looked at biological and physical sea lice control. There was some controversy here as the role of lumpsuckers as cleaner ﬁsh was called into question, with some groups seeing excellent results, others less so. Kirstin Eliasen, from the Aquaculture Research Station of the Faroes, said they had seen some populations of lumpﬁsh prefer to eat other crustaceans, such as mysids. But these tended to be larger when they went sea and it was not a consistent observation. Of course, engineering solutions played an important role too and we saw some impressive work on the further development of the snorkel cage and cage shielding technology to reduce sea lice settlement. Modelling has been a curse and beneﬁt to sea lice research. Over the last decade we have seen mathematical models that bear no relationship to the biology of sea lice and salmon be presented as fact, seriously mudding the water on the interactions between wild and farmed ﬁsh and sea lice. It was a breath of fresh air to see a series of models presented here that were, at least partially, validated by biological data. Possibly the most controversial at this year’s conference was the paper by Dr Neil Bass that demonstrated that the sea lice concentrations seen around estuaries in the past seemed to be an artifact of the particular model used. The new analysis showed that sea lice copepods and nauplii were much more likely to slosh up and down the coast. If correct then this will have a major impact on our understanding of sea lice biology. The second day ended with a look at sea lice management strategies and the recent advances using ecosystem based models. Many of us in the ﬁeld recognise that sea lice management strategies can be controversial and we
saw some very heated discussions after the ﬁrst talk in this session on risk management, with accusations from the ﬂoor that political interests have overridden salmon conservation. The ﬁnal day started later, which was good as many delegates were nursing hangovers from the banquet the night before which, it has to be said, was an excellent evening. The penultimate session looked at the mechanisms of resistance and how it occurs. This was a very important session for those battling sea lice on a day to day basis, as it is the actions of those in the ﬁeld that will go a long way to developing important strategies to combat resistance. The last academic session looked at immunomodulation. We saw how sea lice are ejected from coho salmon and how this is lacking from Atlantic salmon. Then the last talks looked at the role of functional feeds in improving lice control. The last act of Sea Lice 2016 was the start of the ballot for Sea Lice 2018. Four countries oﬀered to act as venues: Canada, Chile, the Faroes and Scotland. Each team gave a short presentation and went away to prepare their two-page bids, which will be circulated to all of the 2016 delegates, along with an electronic voting form, to decide where we will all be meeting again in two years’ time. All that is left to say is ‘thank you Ireland’, it was wonderful! Ian Bricknell is professor of aquaculture biology at the University of Maine. FF
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Sea lice – Chile
BY DANIEL JIMÉNEZ
Latest developments in non-medicinal strategies for Caligus control
aligus, an ectoparasite, is the most prevalent pathogen of farmed salmon. It is a chronic infection, insidious in nature, for which we lack a single and effective solution. Caligus costs the industry dear, in treatments and productivity losses. Globally, sea lice control is primarily achieved via chemotherapeutants, a suboptimal approach due to the rapid development of drug resistance and high economical costs. All major salmon producing countries in the northern hemisphere have invested in searching for alternatives to the use of chemotherapeutants. Results from research and development have been met with relative success and some non-medicinal treatments are being implemented at a commercial scale as a part of a global and integrated strategy for the control of sea lice. In Chile, research and the application of non-medicinal alternatives is coming at a slower but steady pace. Some solutions are adaptatons from successful examples in the northern hemisphere, whereas others have emerged from local initiatives. The use of oceanographic tools to study the dynamics of spread and infection is limited to few public and private initiatives and it has not been incorporated into the regulatory framework for the integrated management of aquaculture by the Chilean authorities.Two private enterprises, AVS and Cetecsal, in Chile have developed hydrodynamic models to study the con-
Sea Lice - Chile.indd 68
nectivity between farms and determine the risk of Caligus infection. Results from these models have allowed identiﬁcation of farms that act as receivers and spreaders of Caligus. This information can be integrated in the regulatory framework to improve coordination and management of production and health plans within production areas.The main shortcomings are that models have been developed for small areas and are dependent on long-term ﬁnancial support to provide regular and real-time data on the hydrodynamic and environmental conditions. New non-medicinal alternatives need to be low cost and relatively effective to become an attractive option to the industry.The most exciting research from Chile comes with the identiﬁcation of potential cleaner ﬁsh and the development of ultrasound technology. The Patagonian blenny (Eleginops maclovinus) has been experimentally tested in cohabitation with salmon and shown to reduce Caligus levels up to 48 per cent in experimental tanks, and similar results were obtained in ﬁeld studies. However, the same study suggests that delousing efﬁciency is dependent on the level of infection pressure.The current research is focusing on the artiﬁcial production of cleaner ﬁsh, standardisation of the methodology to determine delousing efﬁcacy and optimisation of ﬁsh size and the proportion of cleaner ﬁsh in pens.
Seeking solutions Another exciting discovery is the identiﬁcation of a new candidate species which has shown promising potential as a biological control of Caligus.This is the result of a collaborative effort between Marine Harvest and Aquabench. The company Usonic has applied ultrasound technology as an alternative treatment against Caligus. Ultrasound effectively destroys the non-chitin stages of Caligus (Nauplius I and II) and extends the normal development and maturation of ova from 30 to 75 days. At a commercial scale, it has been shown to reduce Caligus levels by 20 to 30 per cent, although this claim is not entirely met by others’ work. For example, Marine Harvest has been unable to show the beneﬁts of this technology in a centre with a very high infection pressure. Another company, Europharm, has developed a transducer that reduces Caligus levels by up to 70 per cent in controlled experiments. But the applicability of this approach at a commercial scale is limited. Today’s focus is to determine physical determinants of ultrasound (potency, wavelength and frequency) for killing Caligus and adapting the applicability of this technology to the marine environment. Studies on the biology and interaction between the parasite and host species are critical for understanding, designing and evaluating new strategies against Caligus. At the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research for a Sustainable Aquaculture (INCAR), Cristian Gallardo’s work focuses on the interactions between host and parasite using OMICS (transcriptomic studies). The main purpose is to identify the genes and global expression patterns of host immune system and Caligus antigens (proteins) that modulate the immune responses in salmon. Some of these antigens could be potential candidates for the development of a new generation of vaccines such as the ones recently developed in Chile. Centrovet,Tecnovax-Anasac and Marine Harvest have produced vaccines that in controlled experiments show reductions in Caligus levels of 35 per Left: Caligus costs the cent (Centrovet), 57 per cent (Marine Harvest) and 70 per cent (Tecnoindustry dear vax-Anasac).The one with the highest efﬁcacy,Tecnovax, is an injectable live vaccine that was launched last year in Chile. The international cooperation to sequence the Atlantic salmon genome has received investment of US$10 million from partners in three countries
(Canada, Chile and Norway) to sequence and build the reference genome for the Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout.This interdisciplinary work has enriched understanding of salmon biology. Private and public consortiums have beneﬁted from this work. In Chile, several companies are working on the selection of genetic traits that confer resistance against Caligus.Three landmark companies in Chile - Aquagen Chile (Blue Genomics), Aquainnovo and Landcatch - are developing the genomic tools to improve the efﬁciency of their breeder selection programmes. The information from a large number of DNA markers is used to calculate the genetic value of breeders and select for those families with genomes that confer more resistance to Caligus, which can be later tested in phenotypic studies. We now understand the unlikeliness of a single approach to effectively control Caligus infections.The work of two prominent scientists in Chile is furthering our knowledge. Dr Fernando Mardones’ insightful research has characterised the management factors that increase the risk of ﬁsh to disease and outlined the best strategies for its mitigation. Meanwhile, Dr Jorge Dredsner has developed an economical model to calculate the impact that strategies for controlling Caligus have on aquaculture production costs. He is now working towards deﬁning the appropriate management plans and strategies that effectively reduce the cost of Caligus treatments in different settings. Dr Daniel Jiménez is head of area analysis at INTESAL de SalmonChile. FF
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Tomorrowâ€™s people Pamela Ernstberger explores ways to engage youngsters in aquaculture careers
xploring Diversity in Aquaculture (EDA) is an online programme that focuses on aquaculture immersion, targeting secondary school students. Since I started facilitating the programme in the US more than three years ago, Iâ€™ve been developing the course and expanding its reach. I lived in the US for more than 10 years and during that time taught at Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture School, in Connecticut, an aquaculture vocational technology and science school. My main role was teaching aquaculture biology and running the extensive RAS lab, which housed a variety of aquatic species including tilapia, barramundi, koi carp, shellfish and seaweed. Many of these were used as part of collaborative projects between industry and academia.
Students were encouraged to take part in these projects and work alongside graduate students and research staff, as well as our industry partners who had an interest in learning new techniques to diversify their business, such as seaweed growing. Even though this was an excellent job I missed the access to finfish aquaculture sites; southern New England is known for its shellfish aquaculture and while students visited and worked on catfish ponds in Alabama, I felt students missed out on seeing what a salmon farm out at sea or sea loch looked like. Above: Completion of Last year we were able to organise a trip to Scotland and visit Marine Sea Survival Training by Harvest as part of the programme. It was one of the highlights for the students from Groene students taking part. Welle, with Thijs Rutters My aim is to get more young people interested in aquaculture as a (standing second career pathway; less than five per cent of the students attending the from left) and Pam Bridgeport Aquaculture School ended up pursuing studies or careers in Ernstberger a related field. I was up for a new challenge to continue teaching at a vocational level and still work with the same target age group (16-year-olds) and above. With this in mind I decided to return to the UK last year, taking up a
Training position as lecturer in Fisheries and Aquaculture Management at Shuttleworth College in Bedford. Although the BTEC Level 3 in Fish Management was at a practical level, there was still a lot of content to get through and many students were not prepared to take on the challenge of the intensive course work that was prepared for them. Added to that, the facilities at the time were not adequate to meet the demands of the programme. But it was through a partnership between the college and a vocational training college in the Netherlands, Groene Welle, that I ﬁrst got to meet Thijs Rutters and his colleagues. It was good to see a similar set up to the one I had worked in back in the US. After attending a workshop at Groene Welle, organised by Thijs, with students from Shuttleworth, I saw a great potential for collaboration with the school through the online programme. The online programme would oﬀer them an opportunity to explore the wider network with the aquaculture industry in Scotland, as well as give them more ﬂexibility without overstretching their own programme that was oﬀered to the students. EDA is a hybrid or blended course, meaning it contains modules or theory that is delivered online (activities, topic-speciﬁc readings, videos, discussions, mini quizzes, and so on) and is supported by practical application where
students get a chance to apply what they’ve learned in the course out in the ﬁeld, or in the lab. After I began to teach the EDA programme, student engagement and achievement during that time proved to be more successful than the regular class I taught; I got a lot of positive feedback from students. Earlier this year, I teamed up with Pisces Learning Innovations (based in Scotland) and have been focusing on developing the EDA to meet the needs of students not only here in the UK, but also further aﬁeld and, most importantly, focusing on what the industry requires. Youth engagement has been my primary focus in this programme, not only to create more awareness of what the industry is about but
Left: Groene Welle students. Right top: Students with the Scottish Salmon Company staﬀ team at Ulva Ferry site. Below:EDA students from Connecticut visiting Marine Harvest, 2015
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LIFE CYCLE DATA LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS
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convinced that the most eﬀective way “toI became teach this broad subject was online learning supported by practical application ”
also to show what options it can oﬀer as a career path. It’s a very exciting ﬁeld that is multi-disciplinary and growing rapidly at a global scale. With this growth there is a great need for a new workforce and perhaps that’s the biggest challenge the industry in Scotland has to meet. The EDA programme is designed so students participate in discussions and complete assignments that require them to collaborate in exercises, which also help them develop their soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving. You have to learn to think on the spot and the nature of some of the jobs, especially as a ﬁsh farmer on site, can be as unpredictable as the weather! Recently, students from Groene Welle took part in a pilot for the EDA programme. Collaborating with Thijs, I developed a module which speciﬁcally targets the requirements of their ECVET curriculum in Fish Management Level 3 and 4 as well as meets the requirements of the EDA course. Up until now, EDA has oﬀered students college credit (four credits) on completion of the programme. Since I have been developing the programme, I have been modifying it to meet the local curriculum and standards. This works well for now, but hopefully
one day it will be a recognised certiﬁcation. The module focuses on socio-cultural aspects of the work and the community environment of the ﬁsh farming industry in Scotland, in particular the Isle of Mull. It also allows the students to demonstrate their understanding of the practices within the industry, including staﬀ responsibilities, man-
agement, and environmental responsibility. The Scottish Salmon Company accommodated the students and gave them two weeks’ work experience alongside experts in the ﬁeld. Students also had to complete sea survival training, which was part of their learning experience and preparation for working on farm sites.
Above: EDA students from the US working on catfish ponds, Alabama, 2014. Inset: RAS lab facilities at Bridgeport Aquaculture School
Giving them the opportunity to work on salmon farms in Scotland provides them with an all-round experience and hopefully will spark more interest and career moves towards the industry. The EDA programme has been running for some time, ďŹ rst initiated in 1999 and was an after-school programme. It received funding
until 2015. The programme went online in 2013, when I started collaborating with the EDA programme coordinator, Elizabeth Kendall from Manchester Community College in Connecticut. Through the programme many students have had the opportunity to participate in an intensive study of aquaculture and learn about its inďŹ‚uence on the cultures where it is practised, exploring the industry in a wider context. The two weeks with the Scottish Salmon Company have been an inval-
The “ Scottish
Salmon Company staff have been great role models uable experience and one that exceeded our expectations as students’ learning has been enhanced through a more interactive, real-time approach. The staff have been great role models for these young people, demonstrating leadership, excellent communication skills and a willingness to share their knowledge and expertise, as well as their enthusiasm for their jobs. It’s been a great team building experience for all involved and one
that I think should continue for the industry to move forward in its goal to hook young talent and lure them in!
For more information on the online programme contact Pamela Ernstberger (pam. email@example.com) or visit www. exploringdiversityinaquaculture.com.. FF
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Skretting – Advertorial
BY ALAN BOURHILL
Protect your fish Addressing gill health challenges with functional feed
he gill health challenge is common to all salmon producing regions. It has become evident, following the focused effort by industry and research organisations in each country, that the root causes of gill disease are complex. All three classes of pathogens - bacterial, viral and parasitic - as well as several non-infectious causes have been identified as agents in gill disease outbreaks in recent years. Most fish farmers nowadays are fully aware of the important role gills play in a number of key physiological processes in fish. Gills are the site for the exchange of the respiratory gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide). They also play a part in excreting salts and waste, and are key to the immune structure in fish, undertaking both innate and adaptive immune functions when attacked by microorganisms. Maintaining the structure and function of
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this life sustaining organ enables fish to perform to their full potential. Unfortunately, many farmers have first-hand experience of the impact on health and welfare when these important organs are disrupted by disease and environmental challenges. In late 2015, following several years of research and development into the role of functional ingredients and immune function in fish, Skretting launched Protec Gill in the Norwegian and Scottish markets. Protec Gill was and still is the only nutritional solution in the market place solely focused on supporting gill health and recovery during disease, environmental and treatment challenges. Gill health: Scotland Gill health became a particular focus for Scottish salmon farming during 2011 and through 2012 when Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD) occurrences grew in frequency and severity, with farms in nearly all Scottish produc-
Above: Freeze fractured image of an amoebae
Customer feedback has been universally excellent, with reports of improved appetite
Skretting – Advertorial
well established in Scotland. Since its launch the uptake of Protec Gill has been widespread and is employed alongside other Skretting functional feed solutions when and where it is needed. Currently, nine sites in Scotland are employing structured feeding plans where Protec Gill is fed a minimum of two weeks in advanced of known risk periods, at the ﬁrst sign of developing gill issues and in combination with bath treatments, to good eﬀect. Production data analysis and the feedback from company veterinary and health managers has further demonstrated the eﬀectiveness of incorporating Protec Gill, and the immune system support that it‘s function ingredients confer, into such a planned approach to gill health management. Gill health: Norway In Norway, while AGD outbreaks have increased in frequency tion regions being aﬀected. since 2012, the spread and impact of AGD has not been as severe as The consensus in the industry is that improved Above: Gills expected. However, other gill issues including Salmon Gill Poxvirus and AGD management, in particular the early interEpitheliocystis caused by the bacterium Candidatus Branchiomonas vention with mitigation practices, has helped cysticola are current and signiﬁcant challenges. towards limiting the number of clinical cases The Norwegian Veterinary Institute estimates that 100 to 200 farms a since 2012. year are aﬀected by chronic gill disease issues, contributing signiﬁcantly As of now, autumn 2016, reports are of a signiﬁcant increase in gill issues in many regions to the total industry losses attributed to disease. The uptake in the use of Protec Gill in Norway has also been considerain Scotland to a level where they are negatively ble. A total of 31 sites have used the product since its launch. Customer impacting on production performance through feedback has been universally excellent, with reports of improved apdirect losses, impaired growth and treatment Conversely, Conversely, the mucous thecell mucous count cell in Protec count Gill in Protec fed fish Gill increased fed fish increased significantly significantly from from petite and mucus coverage in Protec Gill fed stocks and veriﬁed eﬃcacy costs. Conversely, Conversely, the mucous the mucous cell count cellincount ProtecinGill Protec fed fish Gill fed increased fish increased significantly significantly from from against AGD during outbreaks. use of that functi onal feeds asbetter part of aAGD the start tothe thestart endtoofthe theend trial,ofmeaning the trial,The that meaning these fish these are better fish are able to fight able to fight AGD the startthe to the startend to the of the endtrial, of the meaning trial, meaning that these that fish these are fish better are able better to fight able AGD to fight AGD structured approach health management, infection and infection cope with and cope the damaging with the damaging effects of the effects disease. of thetodisease. Functional nutrition - Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre infectioninfection and cope and with cope the with damaging the damaging effects ofeffects the disease. of the disease. alongside other strategies such as disease monThe role that functional feed ingredients play in supporting farmed ﬁsh itoring and water quality management, is now health has been a major focus for Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) over the last 25 years. Current solutions are built on this accumulated knowledge and understanding of the synergistic eﬀects of speciﬁc functional nutrients in our products. ARC has continued with its in vitro testing programme to assess the survival of a range of amoebae species, including Paramoebae perurans, the causative agent of AGD. The amoebae are cultured with selected dietary ingredients or mucus from ﬁsh fed diﬀerent diets, and their survival recorded. This testing shows positive results with speciﬁc ingredients that are included in Protec Gill. The in vitro work is a collaboration with experts in this ﬁeld: Dr Richard Paley at Cefas and Dr Astrid Holzer at the Institute of Parasitology, BioloGill filamentsGill atfilaments the start of at the the trial start(preof the trial (preProtec Gill filamentsGill offilaments Protec Gilloffed fish Gill fed fish gy Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Gill laments the start of the trial Gill laments ofProtec Protec ﬁsh Gill filaments Gillﬁfilaments at start atatof the start of(prethe trial Gillﬁfilaments Gill filaments of of GillGill Protec fedfed fish Gill fish of infection) showing infection) athe low showing number athe low oftrial number of (pre- showing showing a significantly higher a significantly higher number offednumber The in vitro results support the ﬁndings from the live ﬁsh challenge (pre-infecti on) showing a low number showing a signiﬁ cantly higher number infection) infection) showing a showing low number a low of number of showing a showing significantly a significantly higher number higher number of mucus cells mucus (in blue). cells (in blue). cellsof bythe thetrial. end of the of trial. mucus cells mucus by the end trials in which salmon fed Protec Gill had signiﬁcantly higher survival than of mucus cells (in blue). of mucus cells by the end of the trial. mucus cells mucus (in blue). cells (in blue). mucus cells mucus by the cells endbyofthe theend trial. of the trial. those fed control feed. Recently, state-of-the-art in house image analysis techniques illustrated the progression of AGD in the gills of Atlantic salmon during an infection trial run by Skretting at the University of Tasmania. These imaging techniques showed that the perimeter area of the gill lamellae decreases signiﬁcantly over the duration of an infection, thereby reducing the functional area of the gill as the disease progressed. Conversely, the mucous cell count in Protec Gill fed ﬁsh increased significantly from the start to the end of the trial, meaning that these ﬁsh are better able to ﬁght AGD infection and cope with the damaging eﬀects of the disease. For further information about Protec Gill and how it can be used to support gill health at your site please contact your Skretting technical Pre-infection gills displaying the large Post-infection gills illustrating the gillsthe displaying Pre-infectionPre-infection gills displaying large the large gills illustrating the sales specialist for more information or visit www.skretting.co.uk Post-infection gills illustrating the reducti on inPost-infection surface area due to surface area and disti lamellae Pre-infection Pre-infection displaying gillsdistinct displaying the nct large the large Post-infection Post-infection gillsarea illustrating gillstoillustrating the due tothe area and lamellae surface areasurface andgills distinct lamellae in surface area lamellar reduction inreduction surface due lamellar lamellar fusion caused by AGD. in healthy gills. Alan Bourhill is marketing manager of Skretting UK. FF surfaceexpected area surface and distinct area andlamellae distinct lamellae reductionreduction in surfaceinarea surface due to area lamellar due to lamellar in healthy gills. expected in expected healthy gills. expected expected in healthyingills. healthy gills.
fusion caused by AGD. fusion caused by AGD. fusion caused fusion bycaused AGD. by AGD.
For furtherFor information further information about Protec about GillProtec and how Gillitand canhow be used it cantobe support used to gillsupport health gill health For further Forinformation further information about Protec aboutGill Protec and Gill howand it can how beit used can be to used support to support gill health gill health at your site at your please sitecontact please your contact Skretting your Skretting technical technical sales specialist sales specialist for more for more at your atsite your please site please contact contact your Skretting your Skretting technicaltechnical sales specialist sales specialist for more for more Skretting .indd 78 visit www.skretting.co.uk information information orPED visit www.skretting.co.uk or
The fine art of gill protection
Protec Gill â€“ targeted support for gill health and recovery Developed following extensive Skretting ARC research into the role that functional nutrition plays in supporting farmed fish health and sustainable economic fish production. Extensive commercial use of Protec Gill has further demonstrated its effectiveness in supporting gill health and recovery during disease, environmental and treatment challenges. Contact your Skretting technical sales specialist for more information.
Alltech – Advertorial
Tailored nutrition and health programmes allow aquatic producers to raise healthier ﬁsh
rom health conscious consumers to animal feed companies, we are all searching for healthy and aﬀordable sources of alternative protein and nutrients. The aquaculture industry is no diﬀerent. It is increasingly looking for safe, sustainable nutrients and alternatives to the use of ﬁsh oil for farmed ﬁsh. At the same time it is facing challenges, such as mineral absorption, feed costs and eﬃciency, while maintaining the healthy omega-3 content of the ﬁsh. Alltech is taking innovative strides to address these challenges with new technologies. For the last two decades, Alltech’s aquaculture research, both internal and with some of the world’s leading aquaculture research institutes, has focused on addressing the common challenges limiting the health and productivity of various aquatic species. This data has led to the development of several innovative technologies adopted by aquaculture feed producers and farmers alike to enable cost eﬀective solutions to everyday challenges.
Alltech - PED.indd 80
One new technology that addresses the demand for products to meet the growing need for sustainable production is the use of algae based DHA for marine feeds. Alltech has developed patented algal technology for application in aquaculture nutrition at its unique algae facility in Winchester, Kentucky, in the US. In fact, the Alltech algae facility is one of the world’s largest commercial algae production sites. Algae are gaining attention for their application to the feed and food industries as a highly sustainable source of protein and DHA omega-3. Not only are algae the fastest growing plant organisms in nature and extremely diverse, but they can naturally produce carbohydrates, oils, protein, vitamins and organic minerals. When used in ﬁsh diets, algae can increase immunity, fertility and the overall health of ﬁsh. Alltech produces heterotrophic microalgae, cultured in stainless steel fermenters in a fully closed system at its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. This system reduces the risk of heavy metal and dioxin contamination typically seen with photosynthetically grown algae. Just as with all other Alltech products, the algae are fully traceable, consistent and compliant with the highest standards. The technology used by Alltech allows the algae to be produced eﬃciently in large quantities and in a strict quality controlled growing environment. Alltech’s Algae based technology is subject to the Alltech Quality System, a rigorous quality assurance programme. In June this year, Alltech acquired Coppens
International, a respected leader in aquatic feed solutions focused on maximising feed eﬃciency. The company’s specialties include temperate and tropical marine and freshwater diets for a variety of juvenile and adult species. Coppens International also produces top quality ornamental, specialty and bait feeds. Active in more than 60 countries around the world, Coppens International has expert knowledge that guarantees high quality, innovative aquatic feed that is developed for each ﬁsh species at all stages of life. The Coppens International product range is now further enhanced with the integration of Alltech’s microalgae and protein solutions, thereby providing customers with cutting edge sustainable technologies pertinent to success in today’s demanding aquaculture industry. With Alltech’s primacy in science and Coppens International’s strong distribution network, this new aquatic combination is a winning formula for moving ﬁsh nutrition forward to greater feed eﬃciency. Improved nutrition is a pressing need for the productivity of the world’s aquatic food chain. By improving nutrition, aquatic producers are able to realise a signiﬁcant increase in feed eﬃciency. Alltech’s continued commitment to tailoring nutrition and health programmes allows aquatic producers to raise healthier ﬁsh through a process that is better for ﬁsh, consumers and the environment. With the welcome addition of Coppens International to the Alltech family of companies, ﬁsh producers around the world can expect nutritional, eﬃcient and eﬀective ﬁsh feed. FF
Algae are gaining attention as a “ highly sustainable source of protein and DHA omega-3 ”
Above: The Coppens Research Centre. Opposite page: Alltech Algae in Winchester, Kentucky
• • •
Alltech - PED.indd 81
Provides high quality, sustainable alternative to ﬁsh oil through dietary DHA Helps maintain the immune system Naturally enriches food products with DHA
Biomar – Advertorial
Let’s innovate aquaculture The BioMar Group is one of the leading suppliers of high performing fish feed to the industry worldwide
ioMar was founded in 1962 by a group of fish farmers, who joined forces to establish a feed factory because they wanted better performing feed. The BioMar purpose is rooted in our heritage and our commitment to aquaculture. We are proud that family members of these people are still among our customers. We are proud that they still think that we deliver the best performance. Through cutting edge knowledge and long lasting partnerships with our stakeholders, we strive to develop and deliver truly efficient, sustainable, and healthy feed solutions. Our main business areas are feed for salmon and trout in the United Kingdom, Norway, and Chile, feed for trout, sea bass, sea bream, sturgeon and eel in continental Europe, and feed for shrimp, cobia and tilapia in South and Central America. Roughly one out of five farmed fish produced in Europe and Chile are produced with BioMar fish feed. Worldwide the BioMar Group supplies feed to around 80 countries and to more than 45 different fish species. International expansion is part of our strategy going forward. A new factory was opened in Turkey in the summer of 2016 in a joint venture
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Below and opposite: Developing efficient and sustainable feed solutions
with the Turkish seafood company Sagun. With a production capacity of 50,000 tonnes it will mainly serve the Turkish market, supplying locally produced high performance diets for trout, sea bass and sea bream. A desire to expand into Asia led to the planning of a fish feed factory in China, which is now being built in a joint venture with major Chinese feed manufacturer Tongwei. The new factory is expected to be operational in 2017. BioMar is dedicated to innovating aquaculture. That is our core business and objective. We focus 100 per cent on driving the development of this industry. Our goal is to provide healthy and sustainable growth for aquaculture farmers by creating innovative feed solutions to develop aquaculture worldwide. New feed concepts are constantly being developed in order to cater for new consumer trends and help aquaculture farmers grow their business. As the population continues to grow, consumption of salmon and other oily fish is projected to grow exponentially. Innovation in fish feed is essential for the aquaculture industry’s sustainable growth. In harnessing algae to improve the long chain omega-3 content of fish feed, we can overcome traditional challenges relating to limited feed resources and sustainability. Up until now, access to marine raw materials and omega-3 fatty acids has been a limiting factor. Now BioMar, in partnership with TerraVia and Bunge, has launched fish feed with long chain omega-3 oils from algae, securing access to this essential ingredient and displacing pressure on fish populations to produce fish oil and meal. ‘Global demand for seafood is continually increasing and the only way we can meet this demand without putting further pressure on wild fish
Let’s innovate aquaculture
stocks is through responsible aquaculture,’ said Piers Hart, global lead for aquaculture at WWF. ‘There’s only a limited amount of ﬁsh in our seas to feed us, let alone to make into animal feed. Now there is a sustainable alternative to ﬁsh oil available on an industrial scale, something we could only dream about ten years ago.’ Algae, the original source of long chain omega-3 DHA, is a scalable, sustainable source that does not involve marine ﬁshing. Aquaculture supplies nearly half of all ﬁsh for human consumption globally, and this growth has led to increased demand for omega-3. With algae, we can reduce the pressure on marine resources and ensure that access to omega-3 no longer limits development. ‘AlgaPrime DHA delivers approximately three times the level of DHA compared to ﬁsh oil,’ said Dr Walter Rakitsky, senior vice president, emerging business, TerraVia. ‘On a DHA basis, one tonne of AlgaPrime DHA is the equivalent of saving up to 40 tonnes of wild caught ﬁsh from our oceans. In addition, it goes a long way in addressing consumer and retailer demand for responsibly sourced ﬁsh.’ BioMar has been working towards increased sustainability ever since 1960, ﬁrstly with the introduction of dry pelleted, and then extruded feeds that minimised waste and reduced environmental impact. Other notable ﬁrsts included Ecoline, the world’s ﬁrst environmentally certiﬁed ﬁsh feed, and Ecolife Pearl, the world’s ﬁrst certiﬁed feed for ecological production. More recent developments have seen the launch of Orbit, a special feed for recirculating aquaculture systems which set new standards for reducing the environmental footprint, species speciﬁc supplementary diets for cleaner ﬁsh which are now widely used as a biological solution for sea lice control on salmon farms, and the launch of the ﬁrst (and still
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Our goal is to provide healthy and sustainable growth for farmers
only) probiotic approved for use in aquaculture feeds in the EU. BioMar has developed a concept and framework for adapting and promoting sustainability called BioSustain™. The early development of a tool to measure and evaluate sustainability of raw materials and processes in our production of ﬁsh feed has now been further developed to measure and evaluate sustainability throughout the entire value chain. In order to communicate better with stakeholders, we have created a global sustainability portal, in which we present our sustainability concept and sustainability practices in a more systematic manner (www.biosustain.world). For more information on BioMar, our products, and BioSustain™ please visit www.BioMar. com or contact your local sales oﬃce.’ FF
Markets & Retail News
Grimsby FMA outlines bold new strategy A NEW look Grimsby Fish Merchants Association has emerged as Seafox Management Consultants and the board recently outlined its strategy for the future. In one of its first moves it has brought in an environmental health expert to help members’ training and legislation in this area. Chris Melville, who has more than 30 years’ experience working in the seafood sector, has recently joined the new team. Simon Dwyer, founder and managing director of Seafox, said: ‘Chris will bring a lot of valuable expertise to FMA members on environmental legislation, documentation, training and import and export routines.’ Seafox took over management of the FMA and the weekly fish scheme last month following the
Hip Hop shop
retirement of FMA chief executive Steve Norton. It has also assigned two people, Leanda Ashley and Bridget Benton, to handle the scheme involving transactions worth more than £50 million a year. It is also administering the Grimsby Fishing Vessel
An environmental health expert will help members’ training
Owners Association. The firm has been involved with the FMA since 2014 when it undertook a major review of its operations. One of its key members of staff is Liz Baghurst who has secured European and UK grant funding worth £80 million during her career, including £10 million for the seafood sector. Dwyer said that despite Brexit the European Fisheries Fund will still be available to the industry for some time to come. ‘We are working with major seafood processors through to the mobile van fishmongers, as well as businesses nationally and internationally, and we have written funding applications and business plans for FMA members.’ A former head of Samskip, the Icelandic shipping and logistics company, he founded Seafox six years ago.
Spar chain to stock Saucy Fish THE Saucy Fish Co will continue to expand around the UK, via the convenience store chain Spar, the company announced last month. The Grimsby based processor, part of the Icelandic Seachill group which was recently voted the number one seafood brand in the world by food branding experts, had launched into hundreds of Spar stores nationwide with four products, including the popular Salmon with Chilli, Lime and Ginger Sauce from the Fish and Sauce range. Since launching in 2010, the Saucy Fish Co has gone from strength to strength with a selection of 21 different products across six product ranges in five international territories. The brand has broken into Canada and the US this year. This new listing for the Saucy Fish Co is the latest in a strategic response to consumer shopping patterns shifting from the traditional big weekly shop, to the everyday purchase, a trend preferred by busy young professionals in particular. Andy Hall at Spar said: ‘These lines are ideal for our customers, giving them easy to cook, modern and relevant fish based meal solutions.’
Top of the ﬁsh and chip restaurants The UK’s top 10 fish and chip restaurants were announced in October by the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards.
A NEW seafood experience has been launched in Manchester, with the Hip Hop Chip Shop, based in the Kosmanaut Kitchen in the city’s northern quarter. The menu includes: Fish wrap – battered fish biters, tartare sauce mixed leaves and tortilla wrap; and Ms Fat Butty – battered fish biters, chips, minty mushy peas and brioche
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ORGANISED by Seaﬁsh, the awards showcase the best of the ﬁsh frying industry. The 10 businesses will now compete for the Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year Award and aim to claim to the title of ‘best ﬁsh and chip restaurant’ in the UK. To get to this stage, the restaurants have faced appraisal by industry experts across a wide variety of judging criteria, including ﬁsh sourcing policies, restaurant facilities and appearance, staﬀ training and development practices, menu diversiﬁcation, and marketing and promotional activity. They also received mystery shopping assessments to ascertain customer service levels and the quality of the ﬁsh and chips on oﬀer. Over the coming weeks, the restaurants will be subjected to further mystery shopping assessments and in-depth judging audits. This next stage of the competition will whittle down the top 10 to establish the top ﬁve UK ﬁsh and chip restaurants that will compete for the top accolade to eventually be
presented at the awards ceremony, held in London on January 26, 2017. Marcus Coleman, chief executive of Seaﬁsh, said: ‘This award recognises our country’s best ﬁsh and chip restaurants for their commitment and high level of professionalism across all aspects of running a successful restaurant.’
Archive – Archive – March/April 1997
A way with
Success for professional diver Jane Grant has come the hard way. NICKI HOLMYARD reports
S any shellﬁsh farmer will tell you, the business is time consuming, hard work, risky and not well paid! The rewards come from the lifestyle – living remote from the hustle and bustle of the world, close to nature, and enjoying its simple pleasures. Crofting oﬀers similar hardships and pleasures for those working the land and is a way of life for many Highlanders. When shellﬁsh farming was in its infancy in Scotland it was portrayed as the perfect partner to crofting. However, few folk successfully combined the two as the demands of time and energy from sea and land inevitably led to one side of the business being sadly neglected. One success is Jane Grant, who lives on the Isle of Ewe in Aultbea, Ross-shire. While husband Willie tends the land animals, Jane – ex-merchant navy and professional clam diver – uses her skills and knowledge of the sea to run a successful scallop farming operation. ‘With crofting, it is very diﬃcult to make a living from just one thing; you need to have several strings to your bow,’ she explains. ‘It is also very important to me to put something back into the environment and scallop farming ﬁts this perfectly.’ The demands of scallop farming also ﬁt in perfectly around the busy schedule of her family life. Jane runs her two young boys and other assorted island children to the mainland school in the boat and delivers mail on the return journey. In addition, she lends a hand on the farm where needed and runs charters to bring in ‘some useful extra cash’. ‘The theory is ﬁne, but scallop farming is not as easy as it sounds!’ says Jane, laughing as she remembers early disasters and seemingly unsolvable problems. Initially she began by growing the scallops in lantern nets until they reached marketable size, a process which involves frequent lifting of the nets to remove fouling organisms and adjust stocking densities. Unfortunately, an accident and a crushed vertebra meant net changes became temporarily impossible and in desperation, she tipped the bigger scallops onto the
Archive - Nov.indd 85
seabed to fend for themselves. To her great relief, all age classes thrived, and today Jane prefers to use extensive methods for the two-year plus age classes. Experience has shown that two-year-old juveniles survive well on her particular site if care is taken to remove crabs from the area ﬁrst. ‘Providing I have prepared the seabed properly, I have no worries about emptying the young scallops out,’ she says. Spat was initially bought in but Jane now prefers to collect and over winter her own. ‘At least if I collect my own I am not losing money,’ she explains. ‘For example, of the 30,000 juveniles I bought four years ago, only around 10,000 survived. To lose 20,000 that you have paid for is very disheartening,’ she says ruefully. Last year, Jane collected 25,000 spat from the wild and so far they have all survived. Unfortunately, the best collection area she has found is 13 miles away, across an area of sea well known for heavy swells and diﬃcult conditions. Collecting spat can also be very unpredictable, as Jane found out last year when a very early spawning, followed by a later poorer episode, meant she collected far fewer kings than hoped for, and no queens at all. This year she is hoping to take part in a Link-funded project on spat collecting, coordinated by SFIA, Ardtoe. ‘Ardtoe is providing diﬀerent types of collecting bags, which I will put out at set points and times and monitor progress. Ardtoe will collect data from the farms taking part and hopefully at the end of the programme, come up with the best
Above: Jane uses nets and extensive methods
method of collecting spat and give me a better understanding of my local spatfall,’ explains Jane. Laying scallops on the bottom led Jane to apply to Scottish Oﬃce for a Several Order which would give her legal rights over the stock on a designated area of seabed. Because of the way the current law stands, it is illegal for ﬁshermen to ﬁsh/creel within the area of a Several Order, even though it is to the advantage of the applicant for crab creeling and so on to take place and applicants readily welcome the ﬁshermen. It is for this reason that ﬁshermen’s organisations have objected to every application and a stalemate situation has been reached, awaiting an amendment to the law. In Jane’s case, however, her application initially received no local objections and it is being used as a ‘test case’, supported by the Association of Scottish Shellﬁsh Growers. At the time of writing, Jane was awaiting a ruling on her application from Scottish Oﬃce and was hoping that a fair ruling would avoid the need for a Public Inquiry. (The one commercial Several Order in Scotland, granted to Scallop Kings in Crinan, was only allowed following a costly Public Inquiry.) ‘I hope my case will be allowed through and break the stalemate.’ A Several Order would certainly help her to sleep easier at night, knowing that, in theory at least, her stocks were protected by law. With several dive boats operating regularly in her loch, Jane prides herself on a good relationship with the majority of skippers, but ‘there is always one who couldn’t care less, and I have to watch some dive parties like a hawk!’ Jane’s scallops and queenies ﬁnd a ready market in local hotels, restaurants and B&Bs, and holiday makers frequently beg a few to take home. ‘I know I shall probably have to look further aﬁeld once I start increasing my stock, but so far, I have found no problems in selling my scallops and I just can’t get enough queenies to ﬁll the demand,’ she grins. And the future? ‘I want to make a big success of the scallops. If I can get the farm going really well, it will make a big diﬀerence to my life and hopefully will mean I can stop clam diving,’ she muses. FF
Future secured for growing seafood ﬁrm
Young’s bid to ‘hook’ new consumers
Peterhead based processor Thistle Seafoods has increased its turnover and export sales by 35 per cent and 360 per cent respectively over the last four years.
Above: Famous for its ﬁshcakes
THISTLE Seafoods, based near Peterhead, also increased is staff numbers by 30 per cent. It has announced it has secured a multimillion pound asset-based working capital agreement from the Bank of Scotland to support ongoing operations. The bank said it was
‘confident’ the Scottish food sector would continue to grow. The company now employs 450 people at its headquarters in Boddam. An independently run family business, Thistle Seafoods boasts a number of leading retail and food service customers and produces the
Pride of Scotland wins export award
Above: Leading brand
best-selling fishcake in the UK. The business currently manufactures more than 150 products a year and recently moved into new product areas, such as Gluten Free and Diary Free, responding to the growth in modern eating trends. The working capital
agreement from Bank of Scotland provides a platform that will assist with the business’ ongoing growth strategy. Ryan Scatterty, managing director, said: ‘The business has gone from strength to strength over the past four years, reaching new domestic and export markets.’ Graeme Keen, mid markets relationship director at Bank of Scotland, said: ‘Thistle Seafoods has recorded impressive growth over the last four years and... reflects the confidence and ambition recently reported in Bank of Scotland’s fifth annual food and
Processing News.indd 86
The Scottish food sector will continue to grow
drink report, which strongly suggests that the sector will be able to build on the momentum of recent years. ‘Across the Scottish food and drink industry, firms expect to increase their turnover by an average of 24 per cent over the next five years.’
Chain of custody milestone SALMON specialist JCS Fish has celebrated another milestone after completing independent assessments to several ‘chain of custody’ standards, conﬁrming its credentials as a processor and supplier of sustainably produced and sourced ﬁsh. JCS Fish has now achieved certiﬁed processor status for three key standards: GLOBALG.A.P, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This means that it can legitimately buy, process and label ﬁsh for
ASSOCIATED Seafoods Ltd (ASL) has scooped another export award in recognition of the strong sales performance of its ‘The Pride of Scotland’ premium Scottish smoked salmon. ASL won the export award at the Highland & Islands Food & Drink Awards in Inverness on October 21– the third export award the Buckie based company has achieved this year. Exported to 28 countries in ﬁve diﬀerent continents around the world, ASL’s smoked salmon won the award because of the consistent growth of sales into key export markets. Judges were also impressed by the marketing strategy to help sustain this growth, which included the launch of a new look for the brand. Earlier this year, ASL won the export categories at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards and the Moray Chamber of Commerce awards. Above: JCS’s Andrew and Louise Coulbeck
sale which has been sustainably produced according to the rules of these leading global certiﬁcation programmes. Director of JCS Fish, Louise Coulbeck, said: ‘As part of our development planning for the business we felt it important to achieve certiﬁed supplier status for all the key sustainability schemes. These demonstrate to our commitment to sourcing responsibly sourced ﬁsh and allow us to market it as such to our customers on pack.’
YOUNG’S Seafood has joined forces with the Iceland Group to launch a new range of innovative ﬁsh dishes for Iceland’s latest Food Warehouse store concept. Marketed under the ‘Hooked Seafood Kitchen’ brand, the range is also exclusive to Iceland and includes items such as smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.
Surrey firm buys Grimsby processor NEW England Seafood International (NESI) acquired Albert Darnell, one of Grimsby’s leading ﬁsh processors, at the beginning of this month. New England has acquired a further two acres of land behind the existing 37,000 square foot Grimsby factory where it plans to expand production. Mike Woods, Darnell’s managing director, hailed the deal as very positive for the company, the seafood industry and the area. ‘New England is not only an ideal partner, but a top company with a high quality customer base,’ he said. Based at Chessington, Surrey, New England Seafood is one of the UK’s fastest growing seafood suppliers. With an annual turnover approaching £100 million, its customers include Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
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Aqua Source Directory.indd 89
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Opinion – Inside track
Going bananas BY NICK JOY
don’t suppose you have heard of the Cavendish banana? Quite frankly neither had I but I heard a discussion about growing them in Uganda that was quite refreshing. To give you a bit of background, the Cavendish banana is the one you will buy in the supermarket. It is the one most consumed in the West but there are many related varieties. Identiﬁed around 1834, they were brought to this country by or for the Duke of Devonshire (who was a Cavendish). They were subsequently transported all over the world for cultivation. Now here comes the rub. A disease known as Panama disease started to decimate this variety and it is being destroyed in most of the places it is grown. The answer, by the huge international companies which grow it, is to continue moving it to new countries and grow it there. After a time Panama catches them up and destroys the production. The Ugandan was arguing that it should not come to their country as they have 50 different varieties of banana, from ones that are used as a main course to intensely sweet, small varieties. He argued that their heritage was being destroyed as each plantation of locally sold bananas was replaced with Cavendish in the name of exporting. Uganda is not a rich country and precious exports to the West are needed for their balance of payments. Nonetheless, I would argue that this is exactly the problem we are creating in all forms of agri and aquaculture. In the name of cost and capitalism we suborn variety of diet and the options for our children to taste things we have not. We lose genes and focus genetics on traits that suit us now but have no eye for the future. Too many breeding schemes are cost based and very few are created to keep the essential components of food - taste and wholesomeness. Let’s take the much vaunted family selection, which has been touted on many, many occasions for the broodstocks that I have had in my career. The proposal has always been that this would protect against inbreeding and allow the farmer to select the traits wanted. I have been told on many occasions that this doesn’t have to mean fast growth or good conversion and could mean just the opposite. I am sure that this is true, though I would not vouch that the normal human reaction would not occur, to try to grow bigger, faster. But at no point in all the times that this option was offered to me did any company point out the one huge pitfall in the process. To make it feasible economically you have to limit the number of families. So to make it cost-effective as a means of breeding, you have to throw away an unspeciﬁed number of families to start with. I have been told that these families would be related anyway so it would not matter but this is palpably false. Take a look at your family and then at your cousins. See a family resemblance? Oh you will share genes but you don’t look, act or behave the same. You never know what you have thrown away and so you cannot reverse. One of the reasons I like a car with a reverse gear is that I don’t always know the situation I am going to get into or who or what I might run into.
Opinion - November.indd 90
Too many “breeding
schemes are cost based and very few are created to keep the essential components of food
My heart went out to the Ugandan who was trying to protect something that you and I have never tasted, which is a food loved in that country. We need to protect variety as much as we possibly can. I have always been proud to grow a stock based on a Scottish river, Scottish genes and the Scottish environment. I am sure there are plenty of good reasons to grow other stocks, but remember the story of Aberdeen Angus. Farmers in this country had to go to Canada and bring back the genes in order that farming it could continue. I do not suggest that we should not grow particular species but that we should try to maintain genetic and species diversity in what we farm to give as wide a range of offerings to the global market as possible. If I haven’t managed to make you see the banana connection then I suggest you eat more carrots! FF
Ace Aquatec.indd 91
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
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