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Fish Farmer VOLUME 39

Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977

NUMBER 09

SEPTEMBER 2016

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EAS IN EDINBURGH

STIRLING VET

SHELLFISH SPOTLIGHT

NEW ZEALAND

Scotland hosts Aquaculture Europe 2016

Randolph Richards, professional highlights of a pioneer

Sector takes stock on eve of Oban gathering

Government gets behind growing industry

September Cover.indd 4

05/09/2016 12:03:55


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Contents 4-15 News

What’s happening in aquaculture in the UK and around the world

16-19 EAS

JENNY HJUL – EDITOR

Capital event

Welcome to Edinburgh

A

fter months of intensive preparation, Scotland is ready to host the European Aquaculture Society’s annual conference. To be held in Edinburgh, the event draws aquaculture scientists from around the world but the decision to stage the show in the UK reflects the international reputation of our sector. That is a tribute to Scotland’s fish farmers, equipment suppliers and technical innovators - and to our world class scientific community. In this issue we mark the achievements of the organisation at the heart of the industry’s development, Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, with updates on some of the latest salmon research. We also feature one of the IoA’s founding fathers, Randolph Richards, as this month’s pioneer. Aquaculture cannot thrive without the provision of education and training to nurture future generations. Martyn Haines explains an exciting development in this area, as Europe’s leading fish farming nations embark on a joint skills initiative. Elsewhere, we look at a fledgling project in India, launched by the charity Aquaculture without Frontiers and partly funded by Rabobank. And we talk to the man behind New Zealand’s annual aquaculture conference, which takes place this month. We would love to hear your views about what’s happening in the industry. Please get in touch, via email or Twitter (jhjul@ fishupdate.com or @fishfarmerwd).

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Meet the team

Contact us

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

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Welcome - Sept.indd 3

Measuring up

46-48 Net Services One-stop shop

Hot topics

22 Opinion

50-52 New Zealand

24-25 ASSG

54-57 India

Martin Jaffa

Conference preview

Export potential

New frontiers

58-59 Japan

Caviar market

26-27 Opinion

70-71 Processing News Gastro grows

28 BTA

Turning the corner

30-33 Industry Pioneer Randolph Richards

34-39 Stirling

Salmon symposium

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72 Retail News Pub grub

74-75 Archive

Malta venture

79-81 Aqua Source Directory

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43-45 VAKI

20-21 SSPO

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Fish Farmer is now on Facebook and Twitter

Contents – Editor’s Welcome

Find all you need for the industry

40-42 Training

Skills alliance

82 Opinion

By Nick Joy

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05/09/2016 12:10:12


United Kingdom News

NEWS...

Project to explore avian protein in feed STIRLING’S Institute of Aquaculture is to investigate the use of avian protein in salmon feed in a project with BioMar, Morrisons supermarket and food company SARIA. Although the Chilean and Australian salmon farming sectors have been using avian proteins as an alternative to marine ingredients and plant proteins for more than a decade, there are still concerns about consumer acceptance in the UK.

ingredient policy.’ Dr Karolina Kwasek, product developer at BioMar, said: ‘With data and insights incorporated from a multi-disciplinary research team of social scientists, biochemists, nutritionists and pathologists, the consortium covers the full salmon value chain and the power to influence change Above: Marine Harvest Scotland ‘s Ben Hadfield, Susan Alexander (IoA), Fergus will be greater than Ewing, BioMar’s Karolina Kwasek and SAIC’s Heather Jones in Inverness ever before in the UK. Morrisons’ fishersaid: ‘We are commit- gramme uses methods ‘Working with supwhich are the least ies and aquaculture ted to ensuring our ply chain partners like manager Huw Thomas seafood sourcing pro- detrimental to the SARIA we can ensure marine environment. that the adoption of ‘This project will avian protein into explore decreasing the UK aquaculture our reliance on mafeed industry also rine resources for fish guarantees better use feed. If this concept of food chain by-prodproves acceptable to ucts, resulting in sigour customers, we nificant environmental could change our feed savings through more

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efficient use of local resources and the reduction of imported ingredients.’ The initial six-month phase will focus on collecting data from retailers and consumers to identify the issues related to adopting avian proteins, and will cost £68,144. If consumer perception around avian proteins is found to be positive, later phases of the project could comprise nutritional and fish quality analysis. The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, which is contributing £40,907 to the project, announced new funding packages in Inverness last month.

New tool to probe poor digestion THE link between inefficient digestion and intestinal microbes is the focus of a new study, to be conducted by the University of Glasgow and the Norwegian research institute Nofima, along with industry partners Marine Harvest and nutrition specialist Alltech. Intestinal microbes are known to play a central role in how fish metabolise and harvest energy from feed, and greater understanding of these processes could improve growth in salmon. The team will develop an experimental tool, SalmoSim, to explore the link between gut microbial communities and feed digestion. The University of Glasgow’s Dr Martin Llewellyn said: ‘Once established, the SalmoSim system will be a significant resource and research tool for the salmonid aq-

uaculture industry in Scotland and Europe, as well as for basic science in the region.’ The total project cost is £360,055, of which £101,644 is being contributed by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre. At the project’s launch in Inverness, Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Minister for the Rural Economy, said: ‘I am thrilled to see such innovative thinking as we look for ways to increase sustainable production across the sector. ‘Scottish salmon is Scotland’s single biggest food export and adds considerable value to our economy as a whole. I want to see finfish and shellfish aquaculture continue to thrive, growing sustainably and led by world leading science, innovation and research.’

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05/09/2016 12:18:01


All the latest industry news from the UK

Ocean monitoring process promotes growth MARINE Harvest is embarking on a project to find more efficient ways of monitoring the seabed. In partnership with the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences (SAMS), UHI Inverness College, the Rivers and Lochs Institute, and the Scottish Environmental Agency (SEPA), the 18-month initiative will develop a method of testing seabed diversity using ‘metagenomics’. This is a technique that takes DNA samples direct from the environment and analyses them to see what species are present. It is a departure from the current process of picking out organisms from samples of mud and identifying them visually, a method which can take months to complete. As assessing the environment is a legal requirement of fish farm consent compliance, the present procedure can make it harder for organisations to adhere to consent conditions. Ben Hadfield, managing director of Marine Harvest Scotland, said: ‘The current approach to assessing environmental conditions is time consuming, strenuous to organisations and costs the industry around £1 million per year. ‘Metagenomics is a growing area of scientific expertise and one that the Scottish aquaculture industry can utilise to streamline processes and enable further growth. ‘Our collaborative project will benefit organisations all over the industry, even as far up the

Above: DNA

chain as the supermarkets, as compliance standards are better met and production increases.’ The new metagenomic method, initiated by the industry, will deliver results within days and is set to save around 60 per cent of the cost of traditional analysis. Dr Tom Wilding, lecturer in benthic ecology at SAMS, said: ‘Not only will we see an improvement in the timeliness of the data that can be collected, working with a regulator like SEPA allows us to build in protocols that help the farmers to become more compliant and for SEPA to have a clearer picture of the industry at any one time.’ The project is part funded by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre.

Top geneticist joins Benchmark DR Alan Tinch has joined Benchmark’s breeding and genetics business as technical services director, the company announced last month. Based in Edinburgh, he will be responsible for developing the technical support platform across several aquaculture species. The

newly created role will accelerate Benchmark’s breeding and genetics offering. Tinch, who studied genetics at the University of Edinburgh and the Roslin Institute, brings more than 28 years’ experience in commercial breeding programmes with salmonids, pigs and broiler chickens.

Above: Dr Alan Tinch

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UK news.indd 5

He joins the team from Hendrix Genetics, having previously worked at JSR Genetics and Aviagen. He said: ‘Breeding programmes continue to deliver breeds with greater potential performance and customers require more information to optimise health, welfare and value. ‘I am excited to be joining the Benchmark team to help producers achieve the best performance from their stock.’ Malcolm Pye, Benchmark CEO, said: ‘We are pleased to welcome Alan into our worldclass team and are confident he will play a key role in delivering our ambitious strategy of setting a new benchmark for sustainable food production.’

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United Kingdom News

Helping wrasse adjust to life at sea MARINE Harvest and Scottish Sea Farms have launched a study to find new ways to help farmed ballan wrasse adjust to life at sea. At the cleaner fish production facility at Machrihanish, husbandry staff are looking at novel ways to replicate pen conditions within rearing tanks to help the wrasse prepare Above: Ballan wrasse for their transfer to marine sites, aiming to small tanks, with very reduce the time it takes consistent conditions – for the fish to become such as protected recireffective lice control. culation systems, conCleaner fish already stant light and filtered work well alongside intake water. Hatchery salmon. However, staff have introduced farmed wrasse, unlike a series of features to wild alternatives, can mimic pen conditions take time to settle in in a ‘conditioning tank’ marine cages and begin several weeks before to operate effectively. the wrasse go to sea. At the moment, Hatchery manager, farmed wrasse spend Paul Featherstone said: their lives in relatively ‘The hatchery recircu-

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lation system has subtle differences in water chemistry compared to oceanic water and the feed we’ve been using is different too. ‘We’ve introduced a natural photoperiod, exposed them to oceanic saltwater, given them more laminaria and hides, introduced agar feed blocks instead of pelllets and changed the direction of the wa-

ter flow to make conditions more turbulent, just like in a jacuzzi! Wrasse are creatures of habit and they do not like sudden change, but hopefully we can pre-adapt them to the farm environment, through a transitioning phase.’

Search is on for top aquaculture students LANTRA Scotland, the sector skills council for the land based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries, has opened up nominations for its 2017 Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards. Now in their 14th year, the awards celebrate the hard work and achievements of the country’s most talented and successful Modern Apprentices, trainees, and school pupils, as well as mentors and secondary schools. The awards are open for nominations until November 11 and finalists will be shortlisted in early in 2017, with the winners announced at a ceremony in March next year.

Fishmeal boost from byproducts forecast SCIENTISTS at the University of Stirling have used models of current and future fisheries and aquaculture production, based on FAO data, to provide estimates for the future availability of raw material for marine ingredients. Their work, commissioned by IFFO, the marine ingredients organisation, shows an increasing availability of raw material from by-product derived from aquaculture as that sector continues to grow, but also confirms an under-utilisation of by-product from both fisheries and aquaculture. As the total volume of raw material, and fishmeal and fish oil production increases, by-product is predicted to provide an increasing proportion of the total. Dr Neil Auchterlonie, technical director of IFFO, said: ‘Models such as this are useful in providing an overview of future scenarios for the industry, and are important in managing the security of supply of marine ingredients within global food supply chains.’

Above: Fish oil

Seafish sets up farm forum SEAFISH has set up a new forum and resources for the aquaculture sector. It will attempt to identify opportunities to address constraints in the UK aquaculture industry. The Seafish Domestic Aquaculture Advisory Committee (SAC), which has evolved from the English Aquaculture Working Group, draws together a wide membership of UK aquaculture stakeholders. Seafish said it is updating its aquaculture web pages, and new resources have been announced. The ‘Seafish Guide to Aquaculture’ has also been updated and a comprehensive ‘Who’s Who in Aquaculture’ is also now available. Furthermore, Seafish is supporting two aquaculture focused projects through the Strategic Investment Fund (SIFT) , and has commissioned two new reports pertinent to the UK aquaculture sector.

Above: Xxx

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05/09/2016 12:19:04


All the latest industry news from the UK

Hendrix and Roslin in new partnership

Above: Alastair Hamilton

AQUACULTURE research will be at the heart of a new collaboration between Hendrix Genetics and the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute. Researchers will focus on driving innovations that lead to greater disease resistance in farmed animals, including salmon, and better selective breeding programmes. The agreement builds on existing collaborations in salmon disease genetics between the two organisations. The Roslin Institute already works closely with the salmon breeding company Landcatch, a Hendrix Genetics company based

in Ormsary in Argyll, Scotland. This collaboration has yielded the discovery of a gene that makes salmon more resilient to the viral disease IPN. It has also led to the development of genetic tools that have improved selective breeding for resistance to sea lice. Scientists at the Universities of Stirling and Glasgow, as well as the University of Edinburgh’s sequencing facility Edinburgh Genomics, were also part of the research team that led to these discoveries. The strategic partnership between Hendrix Genetics and the Roslin Institute will strengthen and extend their relationship. It will allow them to explore precision breeding technology. Dr Alastair Hamilton, senior scientist at Hendrix Genetics, will split his time between the Roslin Institute and Hendrix Genetics as part of this partnership. Earlier this month the Dutch owned Hendrix announced it would move its R&D aquaculture department from Stirling to Boxmeer in the Netherlands.

Technical NEWS Flying net cleaner takes off THE new remotely operated FNC 8 net cleaning rig is the result of a strategic partnership between Sperre and AKVA group, Sperre being responsible for development and AKVA for marketing, sales and support. The unique feature of the rig is that it is electrically propelled to ‘swim’ along the net line without traction, making it kinder on the net, says AKVA. The high-pressure sea water is now available for cleaning, providing faster and increased cleaning efficiency than previous models. The FNC8 is based on a patent pending principle that ensures that the rig is in balance regardless of orientation, making it easy for the operator to select any cleaning direction over the whole net. Flying Net Cleaner is built using standard ROV components, and several built-in automated features, such as sensors that monitor cleaning and advanced

camera systems, make it easy to use. A wide range of rig models are available with up to seven cleaning discs. AKVA Group Scotland has also developed a new range of locally produced hi-flow pumps which are suitable to drive up to a seven-head cleaning rig with options available for different applications. The increased flow rate means greater cleaning efficiency, suitable for the most demanding cleaning operations. The original AKVA Dual Head system has also been upgraded to use a belt driven pump, further improving the efficiency and the reliability of the system.

Above: Net cleaner

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05/09/2016 12:19:33


United Kingdom News

Salmon company switches to Scottish bank

THE Scottish Salmon Company recently announced new banking arrangements with the Bank of Scotland. The move marks the first time a salmon farming company has used a Scottish bank to deliver full banking and ancillary services. The £55 million refinancing agreement, including a term loan and asset based lending facilities, is a major milestone in the company’s growth strategy, providing flexible access to working capital.

The company’s Q2 revenues on harvested volume were down on last year’s at £28.5 million (Q2 2015: £31.2 million), and volumes were lower as a result of smaller fish being harvested. Some 6,382 tonnes were harvested compared to 8,199 tonnes in the same period last year, and EBIT/kg before fair value adjustment was £0.47 (Q2 2015: £0.29). Quarter on quarter performance has been stable, with operating profit up at £4.9 million

SSC adds to wellboat fleet

Photo: Iain Nicolson

THE Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) announced a new wellboat contract as part of its longterm focus on increasing harvest capacity. The new vessel includes the latest on-board equipment - including an AGD and sea lice freshwater treatment system - and will be introduced in the Argyll and Bute area by the beginning of 2017. It comes as part of a new partnership with Norwegian based company Sølvtrans. The 1,800 tonne boat, named the Ronja Supporter, is currently being fitted out by Sølvtrans and will be operational on a long term lease. The boat has been built specifically to operate in the southern region. It will join its sister vessel, the Ronja Viking, which supports SSC’s harvesting processes in the company’s north region across the Hebrides. Ronja Supporter is almost double the size of its sister vessel, offering excellent fuel efficiency plus state-of-the-art technology, including an on-board fish grading system and high-speed counting scanner. The new wellboat will allow the company to have three ships continually at sea from the start of next year. Craig Anderson, managing director at SSC, said: ‘This important partnership will support our long-term aim to increase volumes and achieve balanced year round production, as well as our ambitions to further increase our exports.’ Above: Sister vessel Ronja Viking

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(Q2 2015: £4.3 million), said the company, announcing its results last month. Market conditions continue to thrive, with industry prices reaching unprecedented levels. Biological and operational challenges during Q2 have impacted on harvest volumes at a small number of sites, said the firm, but measures are in place to address these challenges. Work is progressing well on a new site at Maragay Mor, Benbecula, which will be stocked in Q3. This will produce an additional 2,000 tonnes of harvested volume. The company has continued to invest in expanding its export business, securing new customers in key markets including the Far East in the quarter. It currently exports to 25 countries, accounting for 42 per cent of revenues in the quarter. A substantial export marketing programme is underway, with a presence at six international trade shows during the first half of the year. Promotion of the Native Hebridean Salmon following its introduction earlier in the year has continued, and a further extension of the company’s Label Rouge was launched in Europe. Craig Anderson, SSC managing director, said: ‘To date, 2016 has presented some challenges and despite this our earnings have remained steady. We are making good headway in developing our new site in the Hebrides – increasing harvest volumes to allow balanced year round production is at the heart of our growth strategy. ‘Our new financing arrangement with Bank of Scotland will be key to achieving this. ‘Biological challenges remain an industry wide issue for salmon farmers and we have continued to invest in collaborative solutions and as part of this have a long term project in place for including cleaner fish as part of our farming programme.’

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05/09/2016 12:21:49


All the latest industry news from Europe

NEWS...

Challenges for Norway organic salmon in EU NORWAY has admitted that companies which have pursued organic salmon production are experiencing challenges when it comes to exporting to EU countries. Norwegian fisheries minister Per Sandberg said: ‘This is an unfortunate situation where the consequences over time can become significant for producers of organic salmon in Norway. ‘We are working to find a solution to this

situation. To resolve the matter, EU legislation on organic pro-

duction and labelling of organic products must be formally

incorporated into the EEA Agreement. ‘Then the challeng-

es for Norwegian organic salmon will be resolved. The regulation for organic production was first adopted in 2007, and has been in force in the EU since 2009.’ The ministry says it is endeavouring to protect the interests of both the organic aquaculture industry and the organic agriculture industry. ‘There is an ongoing process to get acceptance from the EU for some adjustments for the Norwegian organ-

ic agricultural sector in the EU regulations for organic production. This has not been achieved so far,’ said Sandberg. The ministry said Norway is also dependent on Iceland consenting to include the legislation on organic production into the EEA Agreement. Iceland also wants adjustments for its agricultural sector. Sandberg has already raised the problem with his Icelandic colleagues.

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European News.indd 9

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05/09/2016 12:23:10


European News

Brexit tops BioMar marks opening of Turkish venture Norwegian conference agenda

NORWAY’S fishing and aquaculture leaders attended a major conference at the end of August to discuss the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU on their country’s economy. Norway is a major exporter of cod, haddock and farmed salmon to the UK and there are some fears that their products could face tariffs unless new deals are struck. Europe is by far the biggest market for Norwegian seafood. In 2015, Norwegian seafood exports to Britain alone totalled around 140,000 tonnes with a value of about 5.1 billion kroners (NOK). Oslo is inviting businesses to share information about the possible consequences for trade. The meeting was told that Brexit could result in changed access to the British market, which could lead to increased tariffs and trade barriers or, alternatively, to the easing of barriers. The Norwegian Seafood Alliance hopes to eventually get full free trade access in seafood with the UK.

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THE Danish feed company BioMar and Turkish seafood company Sagun officially opened their joint venture feed plant in Turkey last month. Based in Söke, near Izmir, the BioMar-Sagun factory opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by more than 300 guests. The factory has 50,000 tonnes production capacity and will supply locally produced high performance diets, including grower feeds for trout, sea bass and sea bream. Other more specialised feed types in the BioMar-Sagun product portfolio, such as hatchery diets and fry feeds, will be produced at other BioMar factories and distributed through BioMar-Sagun. BioMar-Sagun will mainly serve Turkey, but it will also start export sales to some of the neighbouring countries. Bora Aydemir, general manager of

Above: BioMar CEO Carlos Diaz, centre, at the venture’s official opening

BioMar-Sagun, said that in addition to a complete range of high performance diets the company will provide Turkish fish farmers with technical support to help farmers achieve a more cost efficient production. Turkish fish farmers will receive guidance for appropriate farm management, nutrition and feeding strategies

that will eventually create a more efficient, sustainable and profitable aquaculture activity. The management of both companies said they were very pleased to see their project becoming a reality. The CEO of the BioMar group, Carlos Diaz, said: ‘Turkey is a great country with excellent natural conditions for

aquaculture and a high potential for growth. ‘As BioMar Group, we are delighted to be a part of the Turkish aquaculture industry. We have a great team here in Turkey. ‘We believe in ourselves, we believe in our partners, and together we hope to make a solid contribution to the continued development of the

aquaculture industry and to help realise the full potential for aquaculture in Turkey.’ Sagun’s vice chairman Oğulcan Sagun said they were ‘proud being partners with the global fish feed giant BioMar’. ‘With BioMar’s knowledge and expertise in fish feed, we are determined to contribute to developing and bringing an innovative perspective to the Turkish aquaculture industry.’ Bora Aydemir said the company will utilise the strengths of both partners in the joint venture and strive for the development of a sustainable and profitable future for the aquaculture industry of Turkey. ‘We are here to supply our customers with efficient feed produced at a state of the art factory, and to make a notable difference in the Turkish aquaculture industry. ‘We are here to innovate aquaculture.’

Farming costs ‘unacceptably high’ says Marine Harvest FARMING costs were up in the second quarter of 2016 and have ‘become unacceptably high’ said Marine Harvest CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog. ‘Compared to the second quarter of 2015, costs are up in all regions. Marine Harvest continues to have the utmost focus on cost reduction throughout the organisation and

supports new methods and innovative solutions to combat the cost escalation.’ The substantial rise in raw material prices resulted in a drop in operational EBIT for Marine Harvest Consumer Products to €-4.8 million (€5.5 million last year). However, the group reported record earnings in the second quarter of

2016, based on the sharp rise in salmon prices. Operational earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) was €149 million, compared to €84 million in the same period in 2015, up 77.4 per cent. The Oslo based group’s operational revenues were €832 million, total

harvest volume was 87,159 tonnes, down from 104,158 tonnes. Harvest guidance for 2016 is 400,000 tonnes. ‘Driven by unprecedented prices due to strong demand and reduced supply, we achieved all time high operational results,’ said Aarskog. The company said, notwithstanding a loss of €3.5

million, performance at Scotland’s Rosyth processing plant has improved. Marine Harvest has high hopes for its new aquaculture joint shipping venture with Deep Sea Supply. ‘I am pleased that the aquaculture shipping joint venture has contracted two new builds - one wellboat and one harvest vessel,’ said Aarskog. ‘This represents an interesting opportunity to reduce cost and at the same time improve biology for Marine Harvest.’

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05/09/2016 12:29:19


All the latest industry news from Europe

AKVA reports best first half ever AKVA Group has had its best first half ever in 2016, with revenue in the second quarter at NOK 408 million (€44.9 million), up from NOK 402 million in the same period last year. EBITDA was NOK 43 million (NOK 41 million). The group also has its highest ever order backlog of NOK 822 million. ‘AKVA Group continues to be on track and has completed the best second quarter and first half ever with regards to revenue, EBITDA and order backlog,’ said CEO Trond Williksen. ‘The recent year’s transformation of AKVA Group to become a better performing and more diversified group is reflected in the Q2 results. Operationally and financially AKVA group is well positioned for further growth.’ Cage based technology (CBT) NORDIC CBT had a good performance in Q2, the main products being AKVAsmart sensors and feed systems, barges, Polarcirkel cages, service and rental. There has been low activity in Chile in Q2 and AKVA also experienced reduced service sales in the quarter. Canada had an unusually slow quarter with some shift of deliveries and revenue to next quarters. Australia continues to be a small, but profitable operation. The UK had a decent first half of the year and continues to have a high level of OPEX based revenue.

Turkey had a very good first half of the year and the group is experiencing increased activity in the sea bass and sea bream industry in the Mediterranean. Exports to emerging markets experienced a decent quarter, with increased activity in some markets, especially in Iran. Emerging markets are dominated by a few but large contracts.

first half of 2016. AKVA group Denmark A/S had another decent quarter, but there is still potential for further improvements financially.

Software AKVA group Software and Wise lausnir ehf experienced improved performance year on year in Q2. Wise Blue, a Norwegian subsidiary of Wise, is a small but profitable business. Software continues to invest in new product modules, which is expected to strengthen the financial performance of the software segment further.

Order backlog THE order inflow in Q2 was NOK 533 million (€57.62 million), up from NOK 348 million last year.

Eiffel Tower 324 m

Land based technology (LBT) BOTH Plastsveis and Aquatec Solutions had a good

The land based segment ended the quarter with a record high order backlog, 53 per cent of the total in the group. Land based increased its revenues year on year by 74 per cent and was 23 per cent of total revenues in Q2 2016.

The order backlog at the end of Q2 2016 was NOK 822 million (NOK 493), the highest order backlog ever for AKVA group. Atlantis Subsea Farming IN partnership with the companies Sinkaberg-Hansen and Egersund Net, AKVA established Atlantis Subsea Farming in February with the purpose of developing submersible fish farming facilities for salmon on an industrial scale. Atlantis Subsea Farming has applied for six All delivered development licences to enable large-scale deBurj Khalifa Steinsvik Barges stacked velopment and testing of the new technology and 828 m 1800 m operational concept. It is now awaiting a decision from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries.

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.

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European News.indd 11

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European News

Bakkafrost ‘satisfied’ with Q2 despite VAP drop THE Bakkafrost Group announced positive results for the second quarter of this year, although its value added products (VAP) section has struggled during the period. The Bakkafrost group delivered a Q2 EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) of 307.1 million Danish kroners (DKK). This compares with DKK 303 million for the same period last year.

CEO promises there will be ‘no whalemeat in feed’ BAKKAFROST has declared that whale meat will not be used in its feed. Along with Iceland and Norway, the Faroe Islands is one of three Nordic states which continue to hunt whales – an activity which has been going on for more than 450 years. This activity has brought strong criticism from conservation groups such as Sea Shepherd, the anti-whaling organisation that has regularly targeted Faroese vessels, leading to clashes and arrests. Faroese fishermen catch around 800 pilot whales a year, and the Torshavn government argues that scientific research has shown the whale population in the North Atlantic is abundant. It maintains that whale hunting is strictly controlled and monitored regularly. There have also been calls to boycott seafood products from these three whaling nations. Bakkafrost has issued a statement which says: ‘The Faroe Islands have large areas of unspoiled nature, and Bakkafrost has farming sites and activities all around the islands. ‘It is our responsibility to ensure a sustainable production and to minimise any negative impact that we could have on the environment. ‘Whaling in the Faroe Islands is a community based, private activity, and is as such totally separated from the business activities of our fish farming industry. ‘Bakkafrost hereby declares that none of our fish farming activities are associated with whaling. No boats or other assets owned by Bakkafrost are utilised in whaling activities, and our employees are not allowed to participate in whaling activities during their work hours. Bakkafrost hereby declares that no whalemeat is used in our feed.’

Harvest volumes were 13,000 tonnes gutted weight. The company transferred 1.9 million smolts in Q2 2016. The farming segment made an operational EBIT of DKK 357.9 million for Q2 2016, which corresponds to DKK 34.47 per kg. The VAP segment made an operational EBIT of DKK -68.4 million for Q2 2016. The high spot prices in Q2 2016 had a negative effect on the operational EBIT in the VAP segment. The combined farming and VAP segments made an operational EBIT of DKK 289.5 million for Q2 2016, which corresponds to NOK 27.88 per kg. The FOF segment (fishmeal, oil and feed) made an operational EBITDA of DKK 45.4 million for Q2 2016. CEO Regin Jacobsen said: ‘We are very satisfied with the result for Q2 2016. The salmon spot price has been record high in the quarter and the biological performance has been good. ‘The VAP segment has struggled, but we maintain our strategy to sell a share of our production as value added products. ‘The development in our fishmeal, fish oil and fish feed segment in the quarter was also good. ‘The five year investment plan was updated in June on our Capital Market Day, and the hatchery in Viðareiði is starting production at the moment, the new harvest plant has started operation, and the construction of the new hatchery in Strond has commenced.’ Market outlook The global demand in the salmon market continues with strong growth rates. The market balance will be tighter in 2016, compared to 2015. Global supply of Atlantic salmon is expected to decrease by approximately four per cent in volume during 2016, compared to 2015. The decrease is expected to be eight to nine per cent in the second half of 2016. Production capacity is close to full utilisation and further expansion relates to high investments.

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Farming The outlook for the farming segment is good. The estimates for harvesting volumes and smolt releases are, as always, dependent on the biological situation. Bakkafrost has acquired the remaining outstanding shares in Faroe Farming, effective from July 1, 2016, a salmon farming company operating in the southern part of the Faroe Islands. Faroe Farming holds three farming licences in Suðuroy, and the total harvested volumes for 2015 were 4,681 tonnes gutted weight, and the harvested volumes for H1 2016 were 2,054 tonnes gutted weight. Faroe Farming, consolidated into Bakkafrost, expects to harvest 1,000 tonnes gutted weight in the second half of 2016. Together with Bakkafrost’s unchanged expected harvest (excl. Faroe Farming) of 48,000 tonnes gutted weight, the total harvest for Bakkafrost Group in 2016 will be 49,000 tonnes gutted weight. The number of smolts released is one key element of predicting Bakkafrost’s future production. Bakkafrost forecasts a release of 10.4 million smolts in 2016, compared with 11.3 million smolts released in 2015 and 10.4 million smolts released in 2014. The biological situation is Bakkafrost’s most important risk area. The suspicion of possible pathogenic ISA virus in on of Bakkafrost’s farming sites on July 14, 2016, draws the attention to the importance of good animal welfare and biology to reduce the biological risk. Bakkafrost is focusing on the biological risk continuously and has made several new investments and procedures to diminish this risk. Value added products Bakkafrost has signed contracts covering around 79 per cent of the VAP capacity for the rest of 2016. This corresponds to around 39 per cent of the expected harvested volumes for the rest of 2016.

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

05/09/2016 12:30:51


All the latest industry news from Europe

Record quarter for Leroy and Grieg too NORWEGIAN salmon farmer Leroy made record earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) in Q2 of 2016 of NOK 760 million (€82.1 million), double the corresponding period in 2015. The Bergen based group reported a 28 per cent rise in sales to NOK 4.26 billion (€460 million). Harvest volume was 41,132 tonnes, up slightly from the same period last year. ‘The price of Atlantic salmon reached a record high in the second quarter, which was the key driver in Leroy Seafood Group achieving is highest revenue and operating profit in any quarter in the Group’s history,’ said CEO Henning Beltestad.

being taken to improve efficiency is to set out bigger smolts, which will make it possible to shorten the production time in the sea. An increase in the number of smolts is also decisive to achieve growth and lower costs. There is strong underlying demand for salmon and good prices are therefore expected during the remaining months of 2016 and Above: The industry aims to improve efficiency by shortening production time at sea into 2017. However, the market may come unthe UK activities had per cent in Q2 2016 As Q2 started, the Meanwhile, Grieg der sporadic pressure and is expected to rise been considered, but market was historicalSeafood also posted during some weeks in the improvement in to 52 per cent in Q3. ly strong. In Europe record results for the The low harvest volume operations in the region the course of Q3 2016, prices strengthened second quarter – NOK ‘has not been reflected which could result in in Q3 will increase the further throughout 312 (€33.7 million) to a sufficient extent in lower prices during contract proportion in the period, but the US EBIT. Revenues were these periods. offers received’, said this period, and it will market came under up by 44 per cent The US market is Grieg. some pressure towards fall in Q4. to NOK 1.68 billion expected to develop The group aims The company’s Shetthe end of Q2. (€181.5 million). particularly well in the to reduce costs and land farms recorded In Norway, the Last year, Grieg made increase production by second half of 2016 due improved operating proportion of sales a loss in this period of 10 per cent annually in to a reduction in offers results, to NOK 22 based on fixed price NOK 21 million (€2.3 from Chile. 2017-2019. One step per kg. The sale of contracts stood at 31 million).

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World News

NEWS...

Salmon and oyster farmers in seaweed enterprise AUSTRALIAN salmon farmer Tassal is teaming up with Tasmanian seaweed specialists to trial seaweed farming on fish farm leases, ABC news reported. Kai Ho, a company established by Ashmore Foods Tasmania and botanist Dr Craig Sanderson, is to trial the farming of three native seaweeds on eight salmon and oyster leases in the state. Other partners in the six-month trial include oyster hatchery Cam-

eron of Tasmania and Seaweeds Tasmania. Dr Sanderson said it was a win-win, with the macroalgae extracting nutrients from the ocean, enhancing marine habitats, and producing edible seaweeds and alginates for industrial uses. ‘In 2020 they are forecasting that, worldwide, seaweeds are going to be a $20 billion industry,’ Dr Sanderson said. ‘The trial will be based on three fast

growing native seaweeds — Lessonia corrugata, Ecklonia radiata and Macrocysts pyrifera — that are suitable to grow on a longline. ‘It has to be a scientific trial to find out which are going to be the best species and the best place to grow them. We would rather be growing local species.’ For Cameron of Tasmania, the trial is a diversification strategy, after the industry

Above: Macrocysts pyrifera

suffered massive losses following the arrival of the Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome in

Grieg go ahead for Newfoundland farm sites SALMON farmer Grieg won approval from the province of Newfoundland last month to set up new sites in Placentia Bay, and a hatchery, in what will be one of Canada’s biggest fish farming operations. Grieg NL Nurseries and Grieg NL Seafarms are planning to construct and operate a land-based hatchery for Atlantic salmon in Marystown’s marine industrial park and 11 marine based farms in Placentia Bay. Environment and Conservation Minister Perry Trimper gave his conditional approval for the pro-

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ject to move forward in July, the Southern Gazette reported. The $251 million plan, which also involves partnering with Ocean Choice International to process the salmon in St Lawrence, is dependent on Grieg stocking triploid salmon to avoid potential breeding with wild populations in the event of escapes, and the use of cleaner fish to help with sea lice control. It has been reported that the hatchery will produce up to seven million triploid smolt and a harvest of 33,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon a year. The project has met with opposition, with groups such as the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) expressing concerns about the release of the plan from further environmental assessment. The group said Grieg NL Seafarms’ proposal to produce up to seven million farmed fish annually has the potential to wipe out the remaining wild Atlantic salmon in Placentia Bay through disease, sea lice infestation and interbreeding. However, the company defended its use of triploid technology ‘This aspect of modern aquaculture ensures wild stocks are protected and the aquaculture industry can thrive in harmony with the environment. Sterile salmon have been used in Norway for years with success and it’s part of the ongoing effort to minimise the industry’s impact on the environment.’

earlier this year. ‘The question is if can it be economically done down here,’ Dr

Sanderson said. ‘Definitely at the upper end of the market it can be profitable.’

Buying into shrimp breeding

BENCHMARK has expanded in South America with an agreement that gives it control of aquaculture breeding programmes in Colombia. Under the company’s subsidiary Genética Spring it will operate breeding programmes previously owned by Ceniacua. The £1.67 million acquisition adds a third species, shrimp, to Benchmark’s aquaculture breeding business in salmon and tilapia. The business, based in Punta Canoa, operates breeding

programmes for the species (L. vannamei) dominating the global shrimp sector, as well as for the marine finfish species cobia and grouper. The advanced shrimp selection programme has been particularly successful, and has bred populations with high levels of resistance to major diseases affecting the shrimp industry worldwide. It is estimated that up to 40 per cent of tropical shrimp production (worth more than $3 billion) is lost annually to disease.

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

05/09/2016 12:37:32


All the latest industry news from around the world

NZ invests in growing aquaculture industry THERE may soon be an opportunity for Kiwi investors to own a stake in New Zealand’s estimated $180 million salmon industry. The world’s largest producer of king salmon, New Zealand King Salmon, has confirmed its intention to undertake an initial public offering of shares in New Zealand and a listing on the NZX Main Board and ASX. The proceeds of the offer will be used to repay debt, fund future investment and working capital, and to enable investor Direct Capital and some other shareholders to realise some or all of their investment. Current majority shareholder Oregon Group first invested in New Zealand King Salmon 20 years ago. Together with existing shareholders, including current and former members of the senior leadership team and directors, Oregon Group will retain a

Above: CEO Grant Rosewarne

significant stake in the company following the offer. Chairman John Ryder said: ‘The continuing involvement of major shareholders Oregon Group and others reflects their ongoing support for New Zealand King Salmon and desire to remain invested in the company alongside new investors. ‘The company has a well estab-

lished domestic market presence and share, and a history of successfully selling our products in offshore markets, including North America, Australia, Japan and other parts of Asia, and Europe and other countries. ‘By investing in New Zealand King Salmon, Kiwis will have the opportunity to share in our future as we continue to expand to satisfy growing international demand. ‘My fellow directors and I are confident that New Zealand King Salmon’s senior executive team has the sector knowledge and expertise to continue to deliver for its shareholders.’ New Zealand King Salmon operates under three brands: Ōra King, Regal and Southern Ocean. The company controls all elements of the value chain, from breeding and growing to harvesting and processing, and has been growing and selling salmon to

consumers and chefs for more than 30 years. It owns and operates eight sea farms in the Marlborough Sounds, including three new farms consented in 2014 with a 35-year term. The new farms are expected to enable the company to approximately double annual production eventually from the current 6,000 tonnes. The New Zealand salmon farming industry has been recognised as a global leader in sustainable seafood following New Zealand’s ‘Best Choice’ accreditation in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s consumer guide Seafood Watch, in 2015. In the financial year to June 30, 2016, New Zealand King Salmon generated revenues of $114.1 million and Pro Forma Operating EBITDA of $16 million. Sounds good: page 50

US in online seafood drive THE non-profit Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) has launched the 2016 Seafood Recipe Sweepstakes in the United States to encourage people to incorporate more seafood into regular meals. The 2015-2020 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating seafood at least twice a week and to take in at least 250mg of omega-3s EPA+DHA per day. Currently, only one in 10 Americans follow this guideline. As part of SNP’s three-year public health education Healthy Heart Pledge campaign, the 2016 Seafood Nutrition Partnership Recipe Sweepstakes encourages people to show how easy, delicious, and nutritious fish and

shellfish can be to add to weekly meals. ‘We are excited to introduce this consumer education programme to teach Americans about the critical importance seafood nutrition has in supporting heart and brain health,’ said SNP executive director Linda Cornish. ‘This programme not only highlights the health benefits seafood offers, but also how simple, easy and delicious it is to incorporate seafood at least twice a week into your regular meals.’ During the campaign, running until October 21, people are encouraged to share a photo of a seafood dish prepared using five ingredi-

ents or less (not counting spices/garnishes) on Twitter or Instagram.

Fishmeal for the future A CLEAR message was given from the attendees of the recent international conference on fishmeal and fish oil: there is a big potential for a further development of the sector. Hosted by EUfishmeal and the Nordic Marine Think-Tank at the North Sea Centre in Hirtshals, Denmark, at the end of August, the conference gathered participants from the fishmeal industry, NGOs, fishermen, scientists, the feed industry and civil servants. The objective was to create a direct dialogue

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between the participants, and gain new perspectives on the huge potential of industry, said EUfishmeal. The first panel discussion addressed the issue of the biological foundation for a sustainable fishery for forage fish and called for more direct cooperation between scientists and fishermen in the collection of the data used for quota advice from the scientists. On the second day the focus shifted from management of the fishery to the role of fishmeal and feed in the value chain. The latest research in fishmeal and fish oil was presented and the need for even more research within the composition of feed and the unique characteristics of fishmeal and fish oil was identified by different stakeholders. It is known that the meal and oil contains more valuable ingredients than we can yet substantiate. There was specific commitment from the fishmeal industry and Nofima, the Norwegian Research Institute, to cooperate in gaining more knowledge about fishmeal and fish oil.

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Aquaculture Europe 2016 – Edinburgh

Food for

thought

There’s much to digest at September conference - from cleaner fish research to the genetic impact of escapees

D

etails of Aquaculture Europe 2016 have now been finalised, with the conference – in Edinburgh from September 20-23 – aimed at bringing the latest academic research to as wide an audience as possible. EAS president Sachi Kaushik said the organisers received more than 600 submissions and have had to make ‘difficult but judicious choices to design the sessions for creating conditions for stimulating links between science and industry’. On the first full day of the conference, September 21, there will be a celebration of EAS’s 40th anniversary before the packed agenda gets underway. Among the highlights on day one will be the Cleaner Fish: Biology and Management session, chaired by Stirling’s Herve Migaud, and featuring 16 individual presentations. These will focus on everything from the personality of lumpfish to the ‘history and mystery of ballan wrasse’, and from functional feeds in juvenile lumpfish to the comparative summer behaviour of wild and farmed ballan wrasse. Optimising the Production of Echinoderms, Cephalopods and Crustacea will look at a range of different species, including sea cucumbers, sea urchins, European lobster, white shrimp, octopus, cuttlefish and barnacles. The ARRAINA (Advanced Research Initiatives

Sachi Kaushik

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Herve Migaud

for Nutrition and Aquaculture) projects are the subject of another daylong session, with presentations on early nutritional programming, and the influence of dietary micronutrients on the growth of Atlantic salmon among the highlights. Stirling’s Brendan McAndrew will chair the session on the Application of Genetics and Genomics in Aquaculture, with talks on precocious maturity in Atlantic salmon, comparing the gut and skin microbiome in hatchery reared and wild salmon, and how sex determination in Nile tilapia varies among populations. Advances in Recirculation and Closed Containment Systems will be considered in relation to a variety of species, including Atlantic salmon, sturgeon and African catfish. An afternoon session for students, chaired by Antonios Charlaris, will take an in-depth look at knowledge transfer in aquaculture. Industry perspectives will be provided by SPAROS of Portugal, BioMar and the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation’s Iain Berrill. Later, student award winners will deliver presentations titled ‘Aquaculture as a way of living’, ‘An introduction to aquaculture: stories from the sole’, and ‘Shrimp in biofloc: addressing a viral challenge’. There will then be a panel discussion. Also on the Wednesday, Consumers, Labelling and Certification will be examined, with speakers addressing issues such as the image of aquaculture in the media, attitudes towards farmers in Norway, and the perception of new products. The following day will kick off with Sainsbury’s Ally Dingwall offering a retailer’s perspective, before the parallel sessions get underway. Scientists from across Europe and beyond will present their research on Diversification in Finfish Production. Emerging candidate species for the expansion of European aquaculture, solving the bottlenecks in the commercial production of Atlantic

Ally Dingwall

Bjorn Myrseth

Monica Betancor

The sessions are designed for creating conditions for stimulating links between science and industry

Left: Conference speakers

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05/09/2016 12:41:06


Food for thought

halibut, and improving the egg quality of pike perch are among the topics on the agenda. The session on Mollusc Production and Health, chaired by Emmanuelle Roque, will feature a talk on shellfish farming along the Adriatic coast, as well as the Danish experience of shellfish and seaweed growing. A day-long session on Nutritional Requirements in Marine Organisms will look at the long-term effects of low dietary omega-3 levels on Atlantic salmon health, and the impact of dietary fatty acids on the gene expression of gilthead seabream. Diet will also be the focus in another session on the Thursday – the Gut, its Health and Molecular Nutrition – highlights of which include immune gene profiling of different gut regions of rainbow trout, and the effect of plant based diets on the gut microbiota in salmon. Delousing with hydrogen peroxide, functional feeds, the availability of veterinary medicines, vitamin requirements in fish, and aerobic exercise in Atlantic salmon are among the huge variety of presentations in the Disease Prevention, Treatment and Management session. Meanwhile, Fish Behaviour and Welfare will provide insights into commercial tilapia production in Egypt, triploid smoltification in salmon, and humane harvesting. Hatcheries take centre stage on Thursday afternoon, while the final day of the conference sees Nutrition: New Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids under the spotlight. Jonathan Napier of Rothamsted Research and Stirling’s Monica Betancor will present separate talks on producing plant seed oil from transgenic camelina plants. Arne Fredheim will chair Friday’s session, Farming Operations – Environment and Technology Interactions, and among the speakers

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SAMS CENTRE STAGE Scientists from the Scottish Association for Marine Science will take part in a number of sessions and forums at EAS, highlighting the breadth of research at the Oban-based institute. Prof Kenny Black will chair the IMTA session on Wednesday, September 21, during which Dr Adam Hughes will present the findings of the European-funded IDREEM project. The four-year project set up a number of IMTA test sites to look at how filter-feeding shellfish and seaweed could mitigate the effects of excess nutrients from fish farms. Prof Black is involved in sessions on marine spatial planning (Thursday, September 22), the BBSRC-NERC session on predicting benthic chemistry around marine fish farms (Wednesday) and marine governance and policy (Friday). He will also outline the aims of the Horizon 2020 project Aquaspace, which is looking at making better use of space to help the EU’s flat-lining aquaculture industry. Other SAMS representatives include Drs Tom Adams and Dmitry Aleynik, who along with Prof Black, will talk about the use of models in co-ordinating sea lice treatment schedules and Dr Hughes, Dr Michele Stanley and Prof John Day will present a case study on the Seychelles as an island nation developing through its Blue Economy. Kati Michalek, a SAMS-based PhD student on the EU-funded CACHE programme, will present a talk on mussels, their genotypic variation and climate resilience.

will be Bjorn Myrseth introducing the latest ideas in the innovation of Atlantic salmon farming technology. Martyn Haines’ talk on work based learning (see page 40 for details) is just one of the presentations in the session on Fostering Global Aquaculture Development, which also looks at enthusing today’s youth and fostering tomorrow’s workforce. Sessions on Governance, Policy and Strate-

gic Planning and on Sealice Control are likely to draw big crowds, before the conference closes on the Friday afternoon. To mark its 40th anniversary, the EAS has invited all its past presidents to Edinburgh, many of whom will be present and chairing sessions in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC). For full details visit www.easonline.org.

FF

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AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2016 Exhibition Hall EXHIBITION HALLLennox Lennox Suite Level (-2) Suite Level (-2)

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Food for thought

AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2016 EXHIBITORS

Booth

Company

1................Tropical Marine Centre Ltd. 3................OxyGuard International A/S 3................Sterner Aqua Tech UK 5................Industrial Plankton Inc. 6................TfI Marine 7................WATER - proved GmbH 8................XpertSea Solutions Inc. 9................Gael Force Group 10..............AQUAGEN AS 11..............Norsk Fiskeoppdrett AS 12..............Meercat Workboats Ltd. 13..............Minnesota Department of Agriculture 14..............Leiber GmbH 15..............Institute of Aquaculture 17..............Aquaculture Partners 18..............Ictyopharma 19..............AquaTT 20..............Ridgeway Biologicals Ltd 21..............International Aquafeed 22..............FITCO S.A. 24..............Faivre SAS 26..............Microphykos 27..............Calitri Technology 28..............SOLEVAL (AKIOLIS Group) 29..............APRIA Systems S.L. 30..............Biorigin Europe NV 31..............W & J Knox Ltd. 32..............C-Feed AS 33..............StressChron UGent/ILVO 34..............IMV Technologies 35..............Water Insight 36..............Evonik Nutrition and Care 37..............Aller Aqua A/S 39..............AquaBioTech Group 41..............Noba Vital Lipids 42..............Marine Scotland 44..............Pacific Trading Aquaculture 45..............Research Councils UK 47..............AKVA Group Scotland 48..............Wieland-Werke AG 49..............Tianjin Intra Technologies Co., Ltd. 50..............Aqua Culture Asia Pacific 51..............Scotland Food & Drink www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

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Booth

Company

52..............The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 53..............TUNATECH GmbH 54..............Biomark Inc. 55..............IntraFish Media 56..............Kunststoff-Spranger GmbH 59..............Xylem Analytics 63..............ADM Animal Nutrition 64..............Sparos Lda. 65..............Hatchery International 66..............European Commission 68..............BioMar A/S 69..............IMAQUA 70..............Smith-Root Inc. 72..............British Trout Association 73..............European Aquaculture Society 74..............Springer 75..............Norwegian Weather Protection AS 76..............TheFishSite.com/The University of St Andrews 77..............EWOS 79..............SDK Sp. z o.o. 80..............Sonac - Darling Ingredients 81..............Sorgal, SA (Aquasoja) 82..............Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre 84..............Skretting 86..............Kongsberg Maritime 87..............Calysta, Inc. 91...........FISH FARMER MAGAZINE 92..............Trovan RFID Systems Ltd. 94..............GePro 97..............AquaSmart

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Trade Associations – SSPO

Salmon

sessions Positive response to technical workshops secures new programme of events

T

he overwhelmingly positive reaction from fish farmers to a series of technical workshops run by the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation has secured a further programme of events over the next 12 months. The organisation’s technical team, Dr John Webster, Jamie Smith and Dr Iain Berrill, have run two large workshops and a series of smaller sessions with fish farmers to discuss the latest on topical issues, such as the use of cleaner fish, gill health and sea lice management. Iain Berrill, SSPO research and data manager, explained how the

cut “theShort learning process and help all to deliver the best and latest methods

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workshops came about: ‘Knowledge exchange is the motivating factor behind the workshops. Key frontline people have been brought together to discuss the industry’s hottest topics, to share personal experience and knowledge, driving forward best practice, to address some of the biggest challenges industry faces today. ‘We have invited specific people, including farmers, fish health experts, vets, researchers and feed and pharmaceutical companies, to attend these meetings and they have shared their own experience of dealing with some of the industry’s key challenges, through short presentations, helping to facilitate productive discussion across the industry. ‘Our focus has been to develop a programme for each workshop that includes short talks, but also has plenty of time for questions and answer sessions, along with networking in the sidelines, over lunch and coffee. ‘Feedback from participants has always encouraged us to have as much time possible for networking, as this is often where people can gain the most from these events. ‘This is our ultimate goal – to bring people together and help them to exchange ideas, and we hope this can lead to significant benefits for the industry in the long term.’ The first workshop, in December last year, focused on cleaner fish and the second, in late spring, brought together 100 specialists working in the area of gill health. Alongside the SSPO’s technical meetings, the industry is also adding to its existing information exchange activities where sea lice are concerned, by holding smaller, more frequent meetings of industry health teams. These allow SSPO member companies to exchange experiences, share best practice and discuss some of the new and emerging technologies that are helping to support sea lice management, such as cleaner fish and the equipment, such as the thermolicer and hydrolicer. Jamie Smith, SSPO technical executive, said: ‘We hope that by hosting these types of events, the members can share experiences and practical knowledge to deal with some of the challenges we have as an industry. It is important to learn from others and not ‘re-invent the wheel’.’ Reaction from the industry has been both welcome and encouraging. Chris Hempleman, Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) biological control manager, said: ‘SSF has been represented at many of the workshops organised by

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

05/09/2016 12:44:54


Trade Associations – SSPO

the SSPO, in particular the health managers’ meeting on AGD and sea lice management. ‘We have found these extremely valuable as it allows frontline fish health managers to talk openly and share experience. This can short cut the learning process and help all to deliver the best and latest methods. ‘These are industry issues so the sharing of experience ensures we can all have best practice in the health and welfare management of our stocks.’ Other delegates included specialist suppliers and stakeholders with a particular interest in the topics under the spotlight. They also welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the discussions and understand the industry’s point of view. John Avizienius, aquaculture and ruminants technical manager for the RSPCA, said: ‘In my view, holding technical workshops where information is willingly shared is an effective way of trying to address some of the common issues that the industry currently faces.’ Ian Armstrong, a provider of management services for Pulcea, said: ‘The initial SSPO technical workshops have been excellent at delivering value to the broad range of industry representatives attending. ‘They have helped people listen to alternative views and catch up with their neighbours in an informal and collaborative setting. They are the equal if not better than those of other salmon farming industries overseas. ‘For those with operational responsibility, these workshops are an excellent way of either confirming their current optimal practices or

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SSPO - September.indd 21

Opposite page clockwise from top left: SSPO chief executive Scott Landsburgh, Iain Berrill, Jamie Smith, Fish Vet Group’s Hamish Rodger. Top and above: Networking at an SSPO meeting

of suggesting commercially sensible alternatives. Such knowledge gains help keep the Scottish industry at the forefront of international best practice.’ Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of the SSPO, said: ‘The SSPO has a vast technical expertise, with many years’ experience of academic R&D and an understanding of hands-on fish farming. ‘This combination makes our technical resource incredibly useful to our members and I’m delighted that the team’s expertise is recognised.’ Planning is now underway for two more large workshops and smaller events dedicated to emerging issues. The next event, in November, will cover freshwater farming, followed by a workshop next spring discussing emerging technologies to aid lice management. For more information visit www.scottishsalmon.co.uk FF

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05/09/2016 12:45:27


Comment

BY DR MARTIN JAFFA

All at sea? Scotland’s first commercial land based salmon farm has much to prove

I

T is now two years since the august newspaper the Campbeltown Courier broke the news that the first salmon farm to be built on land in Scotland was coming to the community owned Machrihanish Airbase, outside Campbeltown in Kintrye. The newspaper reported that the Norwegian company Niri would begin production later in 2014 with two tanks in the former NATO base’s ‘Gaydon’ hangar, each producing 1,000 tonnes of salmon a year. The two tanks were expected to be built within weeks. Now, two years on, the company has announced that the first tank of its ‘revolutionary’ recirculation design, holding 1,500m3 of water, has been stocked with 26,000 smolts. This tank will produce 120 tonnes of salmon a year. The company said that it plans to build another seven tanks capable of producing 960 tonnes a year. It does seem that this is yet another example where the hype of closed containment and the reality appear to so widely differ. The new tank is only capable of producing less than an eighth of the tonnage promised in the original set up. Even if all the new tanks, in this first phase, are built, it is still only half of the planned output. Above: Filtration unit A second phase of up to forty 6,000m3 tanks is planned which would be capable of producing 40,000 tonnes a year. In theory, each 6,000m3 tank should allow for the production of 480 tonnes, which is the equivalent of 19,200 tonnes, unless these new tanks are stocked at twice the density of the first phase tanks. Perhaps the new revolutionary design allows for such increased density in higher volumes of water? Niri claims the revolutionary design keeps costs down because the water is not pumped outside the tank for treatment but instead is processed inside the tank. This means each tank is a stand-alone unit. The company claims that the fish do not have to be touched during the six to nine months they are held in the tank. The way the water is treated is currently secret and a short video of the new tank does not reveal anything.

It is not surprising that there is still uncertainty that closed containment can deliver all it promises

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Martin Jaffa.indd 22

However, single tank recirculation systems are not new. In fact, they are extremely commonplace and can be found in almost every city throughout the world. Ornamental fish are kept in such closed systems in millions of homes. The Niri system appears to be just an advance version of the home aquarium. The pictures suggest a central core which presumably holds the filtration unit and similar versions are available for home use. The company says that it has proved that its technology has worked in Scotland and it has shown that salmon farms can be built anywhere in the world and that it will help solve the problem of feeding a growing world population. This seems somewhat over optimistic. After all, Niri has yet to produce the first 120 tonnes of salmon at this new farm and to demonstrate that the fish can be produced in a way that is commercially viable. The company originally planned a two-tank farm producing 2,000 tonnes a year but it is so far a long way from achieving this promise. It is not surprising that there is still uncertainty that closed containment can deliver all it promises and that the future of salmon farming still lies at sea. FF

Fish Farmer welcomes feedback from readers - please get in touch either by emailing the editor: (jhjul@fishupdate.com) or via Twitter @fishfarmerwd

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05/09/2016 12:56:50


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05/09/2016 09:37:08

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Contact the Europharma Scotland Team for further information:


Trade Associations – ASSG

BY NICK LAKE

Seeds of growth Conference considers how industry can build on past success

I

hate to point this out, but the nights are drawing in! The positive thing, though, is that we are nearing our annual conference in Oban on October 6 and 7. The theme in this, our 30th anniversary year is ‘Scottish Cultivated Shellfish - Past, Present and Future’ and we will be considering the success of the industry and how we build on this. Opening the conference will be Gareth Baird, Scottish commissioner for the Crown Estate. The Crown Estate’s attitude - that their marine assets are simply areas of rocks and mud covered by seawater unless they encourage individuals to create businesses using those assets - has ensured a positive working relationship with our industry over the years. Lessons from the past Sometimes it is worth looking backwards to make sure lessons have been learnt from past successes - and failures. We are looking forward to a light hearted presentation from one member who has managed to develop a successful family business from shellfish production and who has contributed to the growth of our sector. Expect to see some old photographs of members with hair (long hair), sideburns, and flared trousers! Plus some sage comments about what our sector has achieved over the last 30 years. Vision 2030 The present and where we are as a sector can often be overlooked in the daily activities of maintaining and sustaining a shellfish cultivation business. However, it is the views of these individual businesses that need to be captured to chart the way ahead.

Expansion will clearly push us towards the international market place

Left - top row: Gavin Burnell, Gregg Arthur, Carter Newell. Bottom row: Gareth Baird, Michael Tait, Tom Ashton

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Scotland Food and Drink are engaged in determining a forward outlook – called Vision 2030 - for all Scottish primary production sectors and we have been given the opportunity to contribute to the aquaculture section. This includes a look at not only the production characteristics but also all the support services (transport, hatcheries, research, infrastructure, training, and so on) which contribute to our industry. Michael Tait, managing director of Shetland Mussels, who has represented the shellfish sector on the Vision 2030 group, will look at our present constraints and ask the question, ‘Do we have room to grow?’ He will outline where, from a shellfish perspective, the Vision 2030 initiative could help remove current or likely future ‘blockers’ to our sector’s continued growth. Investment and commercial finance Traighe Mhor Oysters in Barra has been successful in raising private finance for expansion of its oyster production and we will be hearing from Ian Wright, finance director, on the challenges of dealing with both the commercial and private financial sectors. And, importantly, how such investment has influenced the set-up of growing operations and dealing with markets. Future opportunities for Scottish businesses Environmental sustainability is a key feature of shellfish production - no feed, no chemicals and one of the lowest carbon footprints for emissions of any high grade protein production. We need to promote this more, and obviously in recent years we have been getting ever more exposure through the media and through supermarket sales in terms of our high operating credentials. However, there is more to our sector’s footprint in terms of how we produce and the scale of individual businesses. The consumer has an avid appetite for being reassured that what they are purchasing is not in any way damaging planet earth. I am confident that this is the case but

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05/09/2016 13:00:02


Season’s meetings

we need to have others judging us and providing consumer confidence. This is the role of various commercial certification schemes, not just for our sector but increasingly used by all primary food production industries. We will be hearing from Morven Robertson, project development officer for one such scheme, Friends of the Sea (which has already been adopted by the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG)). Seed supply Our future production opportunities will be very much dictated by the quality and type of seed which is available to support our ever expanding production outputs. Back in 1986, when the ASSG was established, if it had been suggested that we needed a shellfish hatchery in Scotland for the production of seed mussel it would have been the subject of great mirth. Then, the salmon farming industry was having issues at many sites with keeping their anti-predator nets clean of mussel spat and getting rid of large tonnages of settlement which was constricting water flow through cages. Dropping the nets to the seabed was a way of allowing crabs to clean them up but hardly an efficient process. Even today, anyone who puts a buoy or any other structure in the sea will realise just how productive it is, with mussel settlement likely to be high in most locations. So what has changed and why are we looking at a mussel hatchery? Well, fundamentally our industry has expanded and intends to keep expanding and in order to do that we need a consistent supply of seed. The developments in Shetland, sponsored through the SSMG, will be described by Gregg Arthur, programme leader at NAFC, in terms of the challenges in reliably replicating what most see as an annually occurring force of nature. While producing shellfish seed is one element of moving our industry forward, there is the question of how we select these shellfish seed to ensure we get adults which meet our needs

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for meat yield, shell shape and thickness, and maximum growth rate. It has become obvious in recent years that even the blue mussel has shown up in a range of guises in Scottish waters, with other members of the Mytilus family having had an impact on our ‘native’ stock. These sorts of issues will become increasingly more important, as the terrestrial food production industry exemplifies - with hundreds of years of stock selection to improve the production characteristics of cows, sheep, and pigs. We are fortunate to have in Scotland leading experts in this field and Dr Tom Ashton, director at Xelect, St Andrews University, will describe the opportunities arising from current work being undertaken with mussels, oysters and scallops. Shellfish as part of integrated aquaculture There has been a range of recent initiatives to spread the risk of production and to look at opportunities for rural diversification through co-production of other plant and animal species alongside both finfish and shellfish production. Dr Gavin Burnell from University College Cork has had considerable experience in looking at development opportunities in this field and we look forward to hearing of opportunities open to Scottish producers and investors. Scottish shellfish on the international stage? There is the general appreciation that as our sector has developed over the last 30 years we have outgrown purely farm gate sales, although these have a clear role to play in start-up business operations and smaller businesses in rural locations. Currently, our industry is successful in supplying a domestic market within the UK. However, future growth and expansion will clearly push us towards the international market place and the challenges in costs and quality that this brings. Considering how production developments in

other countries are in line with our own is a very useful exercise and we are delighted to welcome Dr Carter Newell, president of Pemaquid Mussel Farms in Maine, to give us a view from across the pond. There is no one better than Joe Franklin Jnr, who supplies equipment around the world to shellfish cultivation businesses, to sum up the growth and future developments of the international industry. While it may seem far removed from production in Scotland, knowledge of how other countries are faring in developing production techniques and, importantly, tonnages is crucial to our oversight of our own sector. If it is cheaper to import into Europe a mussel meat from Chile than to harvest our own stock we have to ask questions regarding both our production efficiencies and where we see our markets being sustained or developed. Finally, while the shellfish perspective of the Vision 2030 initiative will have been discussed earlier in the conference, we are pleased to have Dennis Overton, chair of the group, detailing how the ‘vision’ is intended to shape the direction of all primary food production sectors in Scotland, and how the Scottish government through Scotland Food and Drink wishes to support this important sector. Without the sponsorship from the Crown Estate and Seafish we would be severely constrained in being able to entertain such a diverse range of speakers and we are extremely grateful for this continued support. We look forward to welcoming participants to our conference, and sharing the pleasures of Scottish shellfish in the lunches and dinner, all integral to the success of the conference. Dr Nick Lake is CEO of the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers (ASSG). FF

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05/09/2016 13:00:37


Comment Trade Associations – SSPO

BY BY PROFESSOR PROFESSOR PHIL PHIL THOMAS THOMAS

Underpinning Food is back on the menu provenance

Can government intervention make us change our diets?

I I

n the late 1990s, when the Labour Party was in the ascendancy, Tony Blair asked Philip James, then director of the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, to advise him on how food safety and food standards should be organised in the UK. Thus, days after his correct success to in say the so UK at t mayseven not be politi cally General Electi on of 1997, Blair was handed a present but farmed Atlantic salmon would document which led to the foundati on in 2001 not have become Scotland’s leading food of the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) - a new export without the Crown Estate’s positive body established at arm’s length from governengagement with aquaculture development ment, with branches in Scotland, Wales and back in the 1980s. Northern Ireland. Now, aquaculture is a significant part of the Events preceding the James report are seared agency’s marine leasing portfolio and is reguin the UK’s food history. For over a decade, larly celebrated by the Crown Estate’s Scottish the country had been plagued by a series of Marine Aquaculture Awards event. This year’s significant high-profile ‘food scandals’. Public event in Edinburgh on the 11 June was the confidence in the UK food system and in the usual highly successful showcase for Scottish government’s management competence was at aquaculture and a rare opportunity for indusa low ebb - something needed to be done. try to join together to mark its While James’ recommendati onssuccess. were radical, Theproved Crownlargely Estateuncontroversial, is presently at the they withcentre the of further devoluti on discussions between sole exception of a proposed role for the FSA the in UK government and Scottish government. The nutriti on. long-term future oforganisati key Scottions sh functi ons reOn this, consumer and pubmains unclear professional experti se could lic health bodiesand were in favour but industry be squandered in the organisati was against, fearing theprocess nutritionofremit wouldonal Opposite page: Scots should change.FSA from its main purpose and also distract eat more oily fish Both the Estate’s core expertise and impinge on Crown personal food choices. the Marine Aquaculture Awards arewas imporIn the event, a British compromise tant in maintaining distiancti ve on coherence reached: the FSA wasthe given nutriti remit ofconjuncti Scotland’s and it would be a in onaquaculture with the government health tragedy if they became casualti es of politi cal departments, and in Scotland this was tweaked change. to allow for slightly different departmental This year’s Awards event was hosted by structures. actress, writer and comedian Jo Caulfi eld, an This situati on conti nued with some success inspired choice the booking. unti l 2010, whenby thewhoever incomingmade Conservati ve/ She was very funny andonentertaining kept Liberal Democrat coaliti radically andand unilatthe proceedings swing. Only once erally changed thegoing FSA’s with remitain England. did she on stray, when sheon wondered ‘proveNutriti policy, nutriti labelling what and advice nance actually meant’. 26In a room full of folk whose livelihoods

Do we think enough about what gives the industry its edge in key markets?

We should be organising our training and education provisions much better

12 Phil Thomas.indd 26

were transferred to the Department of Health and country of origin labelling to Defra, effectively bringing those functions back ‘in house’ for government. The move caused consternation in Scotland and led, in 2015, to the foundation of Food Standards Scotland (FSS), an agency with a remit more or less mirroring that originally held by the UK FSA. Over theon period from 2001 unti the present, authoritati ve voicean audepend the provenance of ltheir productsthe she quickly sensed and accessible consumer informati on provided bymaterial: the FSA and its are related dience response and moved to safer comedic there some bodies, together with their ‘Farm to Fork’ oversight of food safety, has things you just don’t joke about! helped to build confi dence in UK food supply. However, herpublic remark left me asking myself whether we think enough Alongside there haveofbeen cant industry changes in food about the this, underpinning the signifi provenance of Scotti sh farmed fishpro– and ducti risk management and food quality for on metechnologies, that’s farmedHACCP-based salmon. control systems. There is no doubt that Scottish provenance is important to our indusSome the most signifi UKour food risk problems have been confined try – itofgives us the edgecant in all key markets. to history, although known-pathogen cases of food are sti ll agree Provenance can be defined in various ways butpoisoning most people will esti mated to be over half million per year, and more if unknown pathothat it goes beyond theaappearance and sensory qualiti es of the final gens and non-reporti ng of cases taken into product: flavour, texture, visualare presentati onaccount. and product consistency Most of these illnesses are of short duration but some are serious and are always key factors in consumer appeal but provenance is about can be life threatening. Numerically, campylobacter, Clostridium perfrinmuch more. gens and norovirus are the most commonly identified causal organisms. It reflects a wider concept of consumer quality assurance, including: However, small numbers of Listeria and E coli O157 cases still occur, and the place where the fish is grown and processed; the professional Salmonella infections lead to about 2,500 hospital admissions per year. integrity of the production and processing methods; and the quality, About half all food related illnesses are linked to poultry meat, and a commitment and care of the people involved – the professional skills, further 20 per cent to vegetable foods and to red meat. expertise, passion and dedication of the producers themselves. However, no foodstuff is entirely immune from risk and although it In Scotland our ‘place of production’ gives us a huge natural advancommands less column inches than in the past, food safety remains a key tage because we grow fish in the pristine coastal waters of some of consideration for everyone involved in any area of food supply. the most beautiful and wild scenic areas of the world, and our brand is On the nutrition front, there is a different picture, and one likely to protected by its PGI status. command a great deal of press and public debate in the coming period. Likewise, adopti oncsofshow the some Scottish sh Code of Good Practiceand Government statisti 62 Finfi per cent of adults in England allied with the industry’s deep commitment to a range of independent 65 per cent in Scotland are now overweight, making them more vulnerafarm quality assurance programmes, including the RSPCA sh cancers. welfare ble to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes and a wide rangefiof scheme, builds on the underlying strength of our statutory regulatory In England, 28 per cent of children are also overweight and in Scotland systems to31 assure our producti onsti systems. the figure is per cent. These stati cs are concerning not only because Finally, the skills, experti se, passion and dedicati of our farmers of their public health implications but also because ofon their indicati ve can to bethe demonstrated in abundance costs National Health Service. day in and day out – and they were showcased awards event. Once again, by wethe arerecent in a ‘something must be done’ situation. However, However, being wholly objecti ve andare forward looking, it is this third the problems of overweight and obesity complex and deeply interarea of provenance where the Scotti sh industry has greatest scope woven with socio-economic factors, societal inequality and deprivation.for systemati c development. is not to say that our industry’s skills They are not easy problems That to resolve. and professional expertise are not of the highest calibre, but it is to recognise that our vocational educational and training structures, and www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com 05/09/2016 13:03:09


Food is back on the menu

Much of the government policy to date has focused on public education and better-eating campaigns. However, it has become apparent that Public Health England (PHE) would favour a much more interventionist approach, deploying the full spectrum of government powers to legislate, tax and otherwise shape the market supply, marketing and consumer purchasing decisions relating to foods. In their most recent sally they have addressed the need to reduce sugar consumption by providing, in 2014 and 2015, two substantial ‘Sugar Reduction’ reports with potential options for action. The UK government’s response to these emerged in mid-August and consisted of a Plan of Action on Childhood Obesity based largely on: introducing a levy on sugary soft drinks (to be re-invested in children’s exercise and improved nutrition projects); some measures to assist and encourage manufacturers to reformulate, portion reduce, or otherwise persuade consumers to opt for low sugar alternatives; and a set of relatively low key measures to support the general objectives of persuading consumers to eat less sugar. Predictably, the massed ranks of public health nutritionists and consumer health bodies expressed outrage at what they perceived as a lack of teeth in the government’s approach, seemingly rejecting the more interventionist approach favoured by PHE. In Scotland, health campaigners called on the Scottish government to take a tougher and more interventionist line - and given the propensity of Holyrood to seek to do something different from Westminster, such calls might not go unheeded. But caution might be advisable since on some matters the Scottish

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Phil Thomas.indd 27

modest goal is increasing “oilyOnefishveryconsumpti on to one portion per week ”

public has a dogged determination to make up its own mind; and leaders always need followers. Scotland does in fact have significant scope to shape its own future in this area. The FSS in its highly commendable 2015 publication ‘The Scottish Diet: It needs to Change’ seemed to summarise the Scottish problems in a simple communication message: ‘As a nation we have a high fat, high sugar, high calorie diet and it’s making us sick --- we are failing to eat enough nutritious healthy foods like fruit and veg, oil rich fish and high fibre carbohydrates’. Moreover, FSS has set what look to be realistically achievable goals for dietary change – including a very modest goal of increasing oily fish consumption to one portion (140g) per week! Given the intimate dynamics of public discourse north of the border, there is a distinctive opportunity to use the FSS to spearhead a public programme of dietary change which will enlist the population country wide to make change happen. I may be ever-the-optimist but that’s the kind of government intervention that I believe could find strong and coherent public support in Scotland – but perhaps with a wee bit more fish! FF

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05/09/2016 13:03:31


Trade Associations – British Trout Association

The risk

ratio

The sector may have turned the corner in creating a more positive future BY OLIVER ROUTLEDGE, BTA CHAIRMAN

T

he consideration of the recent history of rainbow trout production (Fish Farmer, August 2016) concluded with the view from the British industry that the main constraints on the sector’s growth – both nationally and across the EU- are difficulty in obtaining appropriate sites and regulatory burdens, compounded by relatively low market prices and rising operating costs (the latter two issues combining to create an environment of slim profit margins). When the possibility of major losses from Above: Trout: need to disease, equipment failure or flooding/drought is improve the image additionally factored into the commercial equation, the overall risk:reward ratio does not appear particularly attractive compared to alternative investments. Achieving access to sites is not only a geographical issue, but is a reflection of the complexities, constraints and costs associated with the planning regime. Achieving consent is more than the statutory application (potentially six months), but necessitates the execution of initial baseline surveys, which are both costly and time consuming (potentially 18 months). In addition, where planning permission is required, this can generate a further portfolio of responses, all of which absorb both energy and time. While the burden of regulation is not simply the expense and effort required to comply with the requirements, there are only 24 hours in a day, and if a significant number of hours are absorbed by satisfying these demands then there are fewer hours for the actual farming of fish! The recent expansion in volumes (both the UK and EU) may reflect an industry that has finally come to terms with the current paradigm of regulation and has gained experience in responding to the regulatory requirements and thus can satisfy these demands more swiftly. However, there is always a concern that the future may hold further regulatory requirements to satisfy.

There is “a need for

positive policy measures from government which will encourage expansion

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On the cost of production issue, a positive factor has been the continuing advance of technology, with cost cutting innovation in mechanisation of the farming process. On the issue of relatively low market prices, the UK emphasis on quality and focusing on large trout production appears to be raising gross revenues – although there remains much to be done to represent trout to the consumer, particularly the introduction of a wider range of added value products. Therefore, for the sector to expand significantly in Europe and approach closer to its potential, there is a need for improved access to appropriate sites, both freshwater and marine, an easing of the planning and regulatory environment, for both expansion at current operations and the establishment of new farms. Equally, there is a need for positive policy measures from government – not only at a European and national level but all the way through agencies and local authorities – which will encourage expansion in the sector rather than inflict increasing costs and constraints from regulators, particularly with regard to charges for water abstraction and discharge that severely impact upon the economic viability of the typical SME trout farming operation. In order to combat disease there is a need for improved availability of veterinary medicines, including improvements to the ‘cascade’ system, to create equality with terrestrial farming. In terms of profitability, there is a need to improve the image and status of trout vis-a-vis competing fish products and alternative sources of protein, objectives which will require sustained marketing and promotional effort from all elements of the supply chain (farmers, processors, retailers), with a conscious drive to move trout from the wet fish counter to the chill cabinet. In summary, we need a dramatic improvement in the overall risk:reward ratio in order to convince current producers to expand their operations, for investors to develop new sites and for the next generation to view trout farming as a worthwhile career choice. Although there’s a glass half full/half empty element to the situation, I believe that overall there are indications that trout farming in the UK and across the EU may have turned the corner and am confident that, having learnt from the difficult experience of the past decade, the industry has every opportunity to create a more positive future, as long as the public sector recognises the need for and effectively implements a more supportive regulatory environment. FF

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Industry pioneer – Randolph Richards

A class of

his own

Professor is awarded highest professional honour but it’s his students he treasures most

R

andolph Richards, Emeritus Professor at Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, was awarded the highest honour that can be bestowed on a vet when he received the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Queen’s Medal in July. He has travelled far to reach the pinnacle of his profession, especially if you count an undergraduate expedition to the Amazon as part of the journey. Even back then he stood out as a future leader among his peers, attracting attention not just for his work in the field - but also as an unlikely advertising model. Just before he led a team into the jungle, as part of his second year research as a student vet at Cambridge University, he was approached by the soft drinks company Canada Dry. ‘They were looking for unusual people to feature in their adverts and had read about the expedition,’ said Richards. They asked him to take Canada Dry with him and when he came back they took lots of pictures for a campaign that subsequently appeared in the weekend supplements. That might have made his face famous at the time, but he soon also started making a name for himself in veterinary circles. During the Amazon trip he and his team, working with the FAO, looked at the possibility of farming native animals. ‘In that part of the Amazon people lived on whatever was about

The citation for the Queen’s Medal ‘A long-time advocate of animal welfare, particularly the often-neglected fish, Randolph’s commitment to research and influencing policy has made him one of the most highly respected veterinarians in the profession. ‘In 2008, Randolph was recognised with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire award for his service to veterinary science, particularly the major role he played in the development of the Institute of Aquaculture [at the University of Stirling] and the emerging aquaculture industry in Scotland. ‘From 1989 he served as veterinary advisor to a succession of key industry associations, including the Scottish Salmon Growers Association, Scottish Quality Salmon, and the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation. His work has not only enhanced the welfare of the fish that form ‘the meat’ of the industry, but contributed significantly to Scotland’s economy by helping to change the landscape of the entire Scottish salmon farming industry.’

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and the concept of farming was a bit strange. So we set up small farms and caught capybara and other animals. We attempted to catch the pregnant females because they couldn’t run as fast! ‘Because of my interest in fish I made a collection of various fish species I found in the area and one I recognised immediately was a new species of Corydoras panda, a little exotic catfish. It’s now a common aquarium fish.’ Richards had kept tropical fish as a boy growing up in North Wales, but he hadn’t intended making fish his career. He wanted to practise as a vet, dealing with cats and dogs and farm animals. But a chance encounter changed his mind. ‘In my final year of college I had to give a talk to the assembled vet school. I was rather worried and had plenty of Dutch courage to help me. But I chose a topic I knew a bit about, fish, and talked about UDN (ulcerative dermal necrosis).’ It was the project that the fish vet Ron Roberts had been working on and when, several months later he turned up to the vet school to give a talk on the same subject, the two were introduced. ‘He was about to go to Stirling to set up the Unit of Aquatic Pathobiology and asked if I wanted to come up and do a PhD.’

They were “looking for unusual people to feature in their adverts

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05/09/2016 13:05:50


A class of his own After fulfilling a commitment to go into practice for a few months, he headed to Stirling, about six months after the unit had been established, and embarked on his PhD with Roberts as his supervisor. After completing it, he still didn’t plan to stick with fish but then ‘everything started happening’. ‘All that there was farm wise were a few rainbow trout farms so I did my PhD on wild brown trout because that’s where the opportunities lay at that time, there was very little farmed fish. ‘When the farms started to take off, we developed diagnostic services at Stirling. ‘It was fantastic to work in the period when aquaculture really started developing. We had no text books and very few scientific papers so it was a case of working it out from basic principles.’ Much of his work then was visiting farms, trying to identify disease problems as they arose. ‘It was a mixture of diagnosis and looking at the influence of nutrition – there were quite a few issues about trying to get the diets right. No one really knew apart from what wild fish eat. ‘We went quite far afield – we set up a diagnostic service that employed three or four vets and did more or less what the Fish Vet Group are doing now. We ran the whole of the Irish industry, for instance, and I used to go round all the farms in Ireland for years.’ The development of the industry and the

research community went hand in hand. The Stirling team made an effort to get to know the pioneering farmers and many became personal friends. Once the vets had worked out what the major issues were, they applied for grants to the various research councils and managed to get funding. They started taking on PhD students and trying to find out more about these individual diseases – and Richards gradually spent more time in the lab and less on the farm. Although he missed the more traditional veterinary role of the farm work, the Unit of Aquatic Pathobiology was evolving and so was his part in that. ‘The Unit of Aquatic Pathobiology was just that, a number of fish health experts. We were not doing the rest of the topics related to aquaculture but very quickly realised that disease goes hand in hand with things like environment, nutrition and so on. ‘From a core group dealing with disease – the first masters’ course was on aquatic veterinary diseases – we started branching out and became the Institute of Aquaculture and brought in nutritionists, environmentalists and so on.’ That was in 1982 and Richards has remained at the Institute, only retiring, officially at least, last year. He doesn’t hesitate when asked about his greatest achievement. ‘Training a generation of extremely good scientists who have gone on to lead companies and be principals of universities and have senior ministry jobs, right round the world. We have built up a fantastic network and I think that’s the crowning achievement.’ From the early days, Stirling attracted overseas students, mainly, said Richards, because of Ron Roberts’ work with the Ministry of Overseas Development. ‘It remains the case today – we don’t have to advertise the courses, it’s just word of mouth because everyone knows us so well. If you go to conferences there is always a big core of people from Stirling.’ Richards had major administrative responsibilities as director of the Institute from 1996 to 2009, but on top of playing a key role in

Opposite page: Professor Richards after receiving the Queen’s Medal. Right: As a student on an expedition to the Amazon

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Industry pioneer – Randolph Richards

Above: Richards becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Left: With Bradley Viner, President of the RCVS, at the Queen’s Medal ceremony Opposite page: Advertising Canada Dry

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Industry Pioneer - September.indd 32

the development of the Institute of Aquaculture, he has served as a veterinary adviser to key industry associations, including the Scottish Salmon Growers’ Association, Scottish Quality Salmon and the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation. He has also been an active member of a number of joint government/industry working groups and has contributed to the development of industry codes of practice, the Scottish Framework for Sustainable Aquaculture and the Scottish Aquaculture Bill. As a leading fish disease specialist, he has coordinated large EU research programmes on fish diseases, advised the FAO, led projects around the world and remains a director of the Moredun Research Institute at Edinburgh. In 2008 he received a CBE for his services to veterinary science.

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05/09/2016 14:09:23


A class of his own

The latest “ developments with

cleaner fish are a great example of thinking differently

There have been challenges along the way, the greatest perhaps being getting ‘really good control of sea lice’. ‘They are a very clever parasite and if you use various treatment chemicals they become resistant to them. We know a lot about the lifecycle now and what influences them in the environment, but it’s a constant challenge trying to keep on top of it. ‘The latest developments with cleaner fish are a great example of thinking differently again. There is no single answer though, no magic bullet.’ Of the most recent project at Stirling searching for a sea lice vaccine, he said: ‘We did some extremely good research but didn’t come up with an answer. We knew it would be difficult but it was worth a go.’ How optimistic is he about a vaccine being found? ‘I would say hopeful rather than optimistic! We did a lot of work looking at a large number of antigens and probably the next phase should be looking at different methods of administration. ‘We were using IP injections and it could be that if we could crack oral vaccinations and find out exactly how the immune system works that would be a very elegant way of controlling it.’ If he was entering the IoA today is that what he would be drawn to? ‘Aquaculture has developed so widely internationally there are lots of things to look at now in different countries, many where they are just starting out on the development of aquaculture, the opportunities are immense for scientists.’ He cites Brazil as a good example -’they’ve got a fantastic range of their own species that are food fish’ - but aquaculture there is in its infancy. He believes the relationship between researchers and industry is still good, but the level of applied science is much better now. ‘In the past, when we were looking for funding for projects, we had to go to the traditional research councils where the bias was more towards pure science. Now I think there’s a realisation through the research funding system that there needs to be some impact of the work, so it tends to be a little bit more applied than it used to be.

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‘A lot more industry people are sitting on boards and suggesting what they would like to be done. SAIC is a good example where it’s industry that’s running this and obtaining significant funding, partly of course from the industry. They contribute equally or more than the research councils. ‘The big difference in the last few years is that the industry is making money. We had such big problems with losses in the early days that people weren’t making money and research becomes a bit of a luxury.’ Richards also credits the government in Scotland for backing the industry –‘in the past eight or nine years, they’ve grasped the fact that aquaculture is important’. But he agrees the planning process is very frustrating – ‘it’s time consuming and takes a lot of effort and progress seems slow’. Richards is in too much demand to fully retire. Between zoo visits - he is one of two veterinary inspectors in Scotland – and regular

diagnostic work, not to mention conference papers and research projects, he continues to work ‘half time’, he said, from his home in Alloa. His chair at Stirling was funded by the insurance industry, which he has been involved with for 40 years, and he still carries out investigations and updates them on the disease situation. He doesn’t miss running an academic department but he does miss his students. He keeps in touch with many of them and after talking to Fish Farmer was about to go to Portugal to visit another of the Stirling alumni who had been running the Lisbon Vet School. ‘Anywhere we go they are always pleased to see us; we always had a great relationship with the students.’ He must have been a good teacher? ‘Yes I think I was, I got great enjoyment out of it,’ he said. FF

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05/09/2016 13:07:00


Institute of Aquaculture – Research

Stirling shines

spotlight on

salmon Scientists, students and industry gather to hear updates on huge range of projects

T

From top: Brett Glencross;

Sandra Adams; John Taylor; Douglas Tocher

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HE development of sea lice and AGD vaccines, unlocking the potential of triploids, and discovering alternative feed ingredients were among the highlights of the Stirling Salmon Science Symposium, organised by the Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) on August 12. Fourteen scientists from the institute delivered talks on subjects related to salmon farming, with the overall aim of facilitating the interaction between the university and the industry, said Brett Glencross, IoA director of research and professor of nutrition. As well as members of the institute’s teaching staff, many students were present at the talks, along with representatives from leading salmon companies, feed firms, the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre – nearly 100 in all. ‘We have mixed up the subjects so everyone listens to everything to get a broad overview of the whole industry,’ said Glencross, an Australian who has both an academic and commercial background, having worked for the feed company Ridley and for CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation). Such is the range of current research into farmed salmon that the symposium could have been twice as long, said Glencross, who added that a similar session will be held again next year. Several of the scientists will also be present at Aquaculture Europe 2016, the European Aquaculture Society’s conference in Edinburgh from September 20-23. Among the presentations, Sandra Adams gave an overview of fish vaccine progress, while Sophie Fridman discussed more specifically the development of vaccines for amoebic gill disease. John Taylor presented his findings into triploid

salmon potential, and Ben Clokie spoke about his work with light and how it influences growth and smoltification. Douglas Tocher and Monica Betancor both discussed the prospects of genetically modified omega-3 supplies as the industry looks to further reduce its use of fishmeal and fish oil in aqua feeds. Armin Sturm addressed the subject of drug resistance in sea lice and reminded the audience that it had been 15 years since the last new anti-sea lice product was introduced – ‘we really should try to get some new drugs’. FF

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05/09/2016 13:37:02


Stirling shines spotlight on salmon

Overview of fish vaccine development – from salmon to cleaner fish

Professor Sandra Adams pointed out that the Institute has been working on vaccines for more than 30 years and they are still a major growth area in aquaculture.

T

here has been a huge increase in commercial vaccines for fish – there were two in 1981 and more than 25 by 2016, many developed in Stirling. The university continues to work with the industry to try to reduce the use of antibiotics, which were a big problem in the 1980s when aquaculture was taking off in Scotland. Now, antibiotics are at a low level, both here and in Norway - where their use has reduced by 99.5 per cent. This doesn’t mean we won’t produce more vaccines, said Adams. There are still diseases emerging and of course not all diseases are bacterial diseases. Our main problems are actually parasite diseases now and viral infections too. At the IoA, there are currently seven funded vaccine projects, and seven associated PhD students. These include one project on sea lice, two on cleaner fish (one in wrasse and one in lumpfish), two on AGB, and two focused on mucosal vaccine development. ‘It’s only in the last five or six years we’ve appreciated that mucosal immunity is so important in fish,’ said Adams. ‘Some of our approaches using injection vaccines were not working because we should have had a mucosal approach. Maybe this is what we should be doing for our parasite vaccine.’ Stirling is involved with one project, with the Universities of Aberdeen and Queen’s in Belfast, to develop novel oral vaccination strategies, looking at basic mechanisms of mucosal immunity. The wrasse project, one of the two big cleaner fish investigations, involves a large number of

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Stirling Symposium.indd 35

people and industry partners looking at the whole industry for producing wrasse ‘so we don’t have to catch them’. On the health management and vaccination side, the focus is on health screening. One of the main pathogens is atypical Aeromonas salmonicida and the team’s task is to develop vaccines against this particular infection. The lumpfish project is a similar story to wrasse, a big project with many partners. The focus on health is looking at the immune system of the lumpsucker because we know very little about that, said Adams. There will be updates on all the projects at the European Association of Fish Pathology at Stirling (September 15-16) and at the Aquaculture Europe 2016 conference in Edinburgh (September 20-23).

We “ know lit-

tle about the lumpsucker’s immune system

Below: Wrasse

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Institute of Aquaculture – Research

SALMOTRIP:

unlocking the potential of triploid Atlantic salmon in culture

D

r John Taylor presented what he described as ‘a whistle stop tour of eight years of research’ into the potential of triploids. In a European funded project that began in 2008, the researchers embarked on a threephase approach. They started off looking at production traits, what were the negatives and the positive attributes of triploids, and then investigated nutrition. In the current and third phase of the project, they are bringing all the research findings together and examining commercial upscaling. Triploids, said Taylor, are not genetically modified but genetically manipulated. They are not introducing any foreign DNA; however, what they are able to do is induce sterility in culture. It occurs spontaneously in nature, he pointed out, with populations of eggs containing between 10 and 30 per cent triploids. Scientists have been artificially inducing sterility for a long time - with seedless grape varieties, oysters, and rainbow trout, for instance – and there is great interest in applying the technology to Atlantic salmon. Sterility, in theory, means that more energy goes into growth. Obviously, a sterile animal can potentially reduce the impact on escapees, said Taylor, and ‘if we could capitalise on the higher growth rate we could potentially reduce the production cycle’. Those are the advantages. The disadvantages include lower survival rates and the occurrence of deformities. At the start of the SALMOTRIP project, the team reviewed what had been done in the past and it became clear that triploids had been treated like diploids. A departure from this Above: No foreign DNA mindset has led to several successes. ‘Our research priority areas have been reducing malformation and we’ve done that through dietary approaches,’ said Taylor. One key problem was spinal and jaw deformities. These tended to visually manifest them-

We are seeing how they perform in commercial conditions

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selves in seawater so were treated as seawater issues. However, the research focused on freshwater and, in particular, the early diets. The scientists worked on improving mineral and nutrient requirements and found that if they fed triploids bespoke triploid diets rather than diploid diets they created a much more robust fish. ‘Triploids fed diploid diets as smolts have high llevels of malformation but when they are fed bespoke triploid diets we reduced the level of malformation to that of diploids. ‘We conducted a series of trials feeding triploids in freshwater and seawater with different diets. ‘At the end of 2014/beginning of 2015 we applied both freshwater and seawater triploid specific diets and we ended up with the lowest rate of malformation – a level that we would normally find in the diploid stock. ‘We also looked at the thermal tolerance – triploids have lower thermal optima than diploids. ‘By simply lowering the temperature to six degrees or less from the point of fertilisation to eyeing we get a massive improvement in survival of eggs and we can almost completely remove jaw malformation. ‘Also, by slowing embryogenesis we are allowing them the potential to build a better body… with higher growth potential.’ If they get all the factors right, the potential is for 30 per cent bigger smolts. And in seawater, in early trial work, they’ve ended up with up to 10 per cent larger harvest weights. ‘What we are now seeing is how they perform in commercial conditions. With our commercial partners, what we’re looking at is achieving harvest weight seven weeks earlier and growing a potentially larger fish,’ said Taylor. There were other positive results: mortality during this commercial phase was the same as for diploids. ‘There is a common assumption that triploids keel over as soon as they see any form of challenge. We conducted experiments with key diseases and parasites and there has been actual field exposure. To date, we’ve seen more or less comparable resistance to sea lice, AGD, SAV and so on.’ And the results so far on vaccine delivery produced a comparable response too. Where triploids may be a little bit more sensitive is to the environment itself and the team is currently looking at stress factors, such as handling and crowding, and considering new production protocols. With two more years of the project to go, the key challenge is the commercial upscale – looking at producing higher volumes of eggs; working on the selection criteria to understand diploid breeding programmes; looking at the inheritability of other traits of interest; more work on refining diets. There are going to be a lot more field trials, said Taylor.

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05/09/2016 13:39:27


SALMOTRIP: unlocking the potential of triploid Atlantic salmon in culture

‘One of the big things for the industry is the cost benefit analysis – we need to ensure there is sufficient gain from using triploids.’ Diets could be more costly for example, and market perception is important too. ‘As it stands at the moment, triploids could be considered a different

species and have the potential to inherit faster growth and prevent deformity. To unleash their potential, we have to have the right diets and the right environment – then we could be looking at significantly shorter cycles and thus reduce the potential for disease exposure and also reduce the impact of escapees.’

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IMO

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OMRI

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05/09/2016 13:40:36


Institute of Aquaculture – Research

Omega-3s and salmon – where are we now?

M

atthew Sprague presented his research into the levels of omega-3s in salmon. As an oily fish, Atlantic salmon is renowned for its high levels of long chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. But salmon are inefficient at converting shorter chain fatty acids into EPA and DHA and must therefore acquire them through feed. Traditionally, the feed comprised of marine ingredients fishmeal and fish oil, but these are finite resources. Between 2000 and 2012 the global fed aquaculture industry increased from 15 to 35 million tonnes but the amount of fish oil produced from wild stocks in this period remained at 800,000 tonnes a year. So as aquaculture is increasing, fish oil is being spread thinner and thinner, and more and more of the diets have been substituted with alternative sustainable ingredients such as vegetables. But many types of vegetable oils are devoid of any EPA and DHA. As such, because the fatty acid profile of the salmon reflects that of the diet, the increased use of these sustainable feeds will also have an impact on the nutritional quality of the final product. The average omega-3 levels in farmed Scottish Atlantic salmon in 2006 were around 3g per 100g, falling to 1.37g in 2016. In Norwegian salmon they are 0.81g though. In Faroese salmon they are around 1.03g. This suggests the Norwegians are using more vegetable oils in their feeds. Levels of fish oil have decreased dramatically in Norway. They are a global powerhouse for salmon production so it makes more sense from a production strategy that they replace more fish oil with vegetable oils. The Scottish retail industry on the other hand can be more bespoke and there are different value ranges. How much salmon should we now eat? We are told by global health authorities that we should be consuming two portions of fish per week, of which one should be oily. Based on a portion size of 130g, is it going to be sufficient with EPA

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Salmon are high in omega-3 compared to other species

Above: Salmon’s fatty acid profile reflects its diet

and DHA levels decreasing? There is no global consensus on recommended intakes of these fatty acids but let’s say 500mg a day is what we should be aiming for. In 2006 one portion of salmon would suffice but this has now doubled to two portions. With Norwegian salmon, it would be about four portions. What about wild fish? Between 2006 and 2010 it was found that EPA and DHA levels were similar because the levels of fish oil in the diet then reflected what salmon naturally eat. In 2015, however, this had changed as the diet in farmed salmon had gone more from fish oil to vegetable oil. But despite this decrease, farmed salmon still supply a significantly higher amount of EPA and DHA than their wild counterpart. This is due to the differences in lipid levels, with wild about four per cent and farmed about 12 per cent plus. Wild salmon are capable of accumulating lipid levels similar to farmed salmon. It’s just that when we catch them all the lipids that have been accumulated in the sea are mobilised into energy to be used for migration. On a bigger scale, salmon are high in omega-3 compared to other species. The only fish with higher levels is mackerel. Putting it even more perspective, we’d re-

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05/09/2016 13:41:12


Omega-3s and salmon – where are we now?

Monkfish

Mackerel

quire one portion of mackerel of 130g to get our 3.5g of EPA and DHA, right down to about 36 portions of monkfish, then ‘the joker in the pack’ is pangasius at 220 portions or 28 kilos. But pangasius is not known as an oily fish and of course there are other benefits in eating this kind of fish. Future sources of EPA and DHA will be

Pangasius dependent on new technology – microalgae cultivation, for instance. Or terrestrial GM crops that can synthesise EPA and DHA, but there’s still some way to go, with changes in legislation and public attitudes needed before these can be produced commercially.

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Stirling Symposium.indd 39

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05/09/2016 13:41:43


Training – Sector skills alliance

BY MARTYN HAINES

Common learning curve

The dawning of a new opportunity in European workforce development

O

ver the summer, just as Team GB were embarking on their epic journey towards a record medal haul at the Rio Olympic Games, the news broke that the Norwegian led Erasmus + bid to establish a European Sector Skills Alliance for Aquaculture, known by the acronym BlueEDU, had been successful. A week later, it was confirmed that a Strategic Partnership (Optimal), designed to pioneer the development of ‘cutting edge’ work based assessment practices, had also been selected, to the jubilation of all involved. As a result of these two Norwegian led projects, the majority of Europe’s fish producing

countries now have the opportunity to tackle their workforce development challenges in partnership, over an extended time period. This is a first, and something worth reflecting on. BlueEDU ‘kick off’ A carefully planned and phased approach is envisaged as these two Erasmus+ projects are complementary and initially span three years. From the kick off meeting in November 2016, the BlueEDU alliance will support a two-year research phase, designed to establish current and future skills needs and the nature of industry demand for education and training in 12 European countries. This includes Norway, the project lead, Scotland, Ireland and the Faroes, all largely dependent on salmon production, along with eight Mediterranean countries, more orientated towards sea bream and bass. A reliance on cage farming technology is the common denominator, increasing the potential for good practices and learning resources to be shared and transferred, once discovered. The evaluation of the supply of education, training and qualifications from the public and private sectors, including in company schemes, will form a major part of the study. The net will be cast wide in the search for innovative and effective education and training approaches and willing collaborators. Recognising the industry’s knowledge and skills Concurrently, the Optimal Strategic Partners, Norway, Scotland and Ireland, will focus on the development of systems for what educationists refer to as the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). The partners share a vision of a future where experienced aquaculture staff can have their knowledge and skills recognised and validated, ultimately contributing towards the completion of trusted aquaculture qualifications. A well designed RPL system enables providers to personalise educa-

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Left: Highly technical Opposite top: The Blue Competence Centre, a partner. Opposite below: Norwegian fisheries minister Per Sandberg at the opening of the centre near Trondheim

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05/09/2016 13:45:40


Common learning curve

tion and training to match the needs of individual learners, both motivating them and cutting staff development costs. The advances in the application of emerging ‘learning technologies’ to support the development of RPL have been showing great promise in Norway and the ‘Optimal’ partners look forward to piloting their methods in Scotland and Ireland, leading to an RPL specification to suit the partners’ needs and practicalities. Innovative education and training developed in partnership After the completion of BlueEDU in October 2018 and during the third and final year of the Optimal RPL project, the results will be used to inform a larger bid for an additional three-year period within which the education and training required by industry, including more innovative approaches, can be developed collaboratively. If all comes to fruition as intended, in total, a six-year research and development period will be provided. It is envisaged that a plethora of pan European education and training partnerships will form, and, through the provision of accessible, high quality, cost effective work based learning, a new working relationship between providers and the aqua-

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Martyn Haines.indd 41

The net will be cast wide in the search for “innovati ve and effective approaches and willing collaborators ”

culture industry will be forged.

Industry involvement The industry has been involved directly

and indirectly during the 15-month lead in period to both bid submissions. From this point onwards, industry involvement will be widened to fully engage everyone in the

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Training – Sector skills alliance

From now on industry involvement will be widened to engage everyone, from fish husbandry to the CEO

BLUEEDU AQUACULTURE SECTOR SKILLS ALLIANCE

- CORE PARTNERS AND DELIVERY TEAM producer and aquaculture supply companies, from fish husbandry to the CEO, in order to make the best of the opportunity. The Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) as a core partner will be instrumental in raising awareness of the project aims, as well as disseminating project outcomes on an ongoing basis, through regular communication to their European producer organisation members. A wide range of communication media will be deployed, including; articles in fish farming journals, aquaculture conferences, meetings with industry leaders, industry group seminars and demonstrations, web sites and social media, to ensure everyone can have their say. Aquaculture is a rapidly advancing and highly technological field, and the systems we deploy to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding of both the new entrants and more experienced, need to become more responsive, flexible, targeted and efficient, leading to relevant, reliable and respected qualifications. The BlueEDU partnership looks forward to working with you all over the coming years to transform the way we support our growing workforce. Martyn Haines is director of Pisces Learning Innovations, an education consultancy and partner within the BlueEDU Aquaculture Sector Skills Alliance. He will be presenting ‘Good practices in work based assessment’ at the Aquaculture Europe 2016 conference in Edinburgh on Friday, September 23, and welcomes your attendance and questions. He can be contacted by phone (01387 840697) or at info@ pisceslearning.com FF

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Norway • Lead partner - Norwegian University for Sciences and Technology (NTNU) • Froya VET school • Federation of European Aquaculture Producers

Greece • AQUARK

Scotland • University of Stirling Institute of Aquaculture • Pisces Learning Innovations

OPTIMAL STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP Above: Skills forecasting will become more important as technological advances accelerate

- CORE PARTNERS AND DELIVERY TEAM Norway • Norwegian University for Sciences and Technology • Blått Kompetansesenter (BKS) • Froya VET School

Scotland • Polaris Learning • Pisces Learning Innovations

Ireland • Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB) • Teachers Union of Ireland

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

05/09/2016 13:46:22


Vaki – advertorial

In the frame

Measuring system a ‘game changer’ that farmers can count on

I

celandic supplier Vaki has a 30-year background in aquaculture and an ever growing presence in Scotland since establishing an outlet in the UK last summer. Headed by David Jarron, a Scot who has been based in Iceland for 15 years, the company has been busy spreading the word about its unique Biomass Daily system to an increasingly receptive Scottish client base. More than 200 Vaki frames are now installed on Scottish farms with the Biomass Daily software, which provides farmers with the most sophisticated sample weighing information on the market. ‘Nobody yet has found a means of measuring every individual fish that’s swimming around in a sea cage but everyone is keen to know average weights and distribution and gauge from that how the fish are growing and performing,’ said Jarron. The Vaki Frame, a non-intrusive electronic tool that is placed within the cage, was first introduced about 25 years ago, and with the experience acquired from this, Vaki developed what Jarron describes as its ‘game-changer’, the Biomass Daily. Rather than relying on spot samples, the system, launched eight years ago, involves leaving the frame in the pen, measuring constantly. ‘It is in the water all the time, constantly updating every hour, and provides

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Vaki - PED .indd 43

Below: Biomass Daily provides sophisticated measurements

a measurement every day which can then be compared to previous days,’ said Jarron. If so much data sounds confusing, Jarron said most of Vaki’s product development has been invested in making the system as user friendly and as simple as possible. ‘The information is presented to the farmers in a way that’s very easy to analyse and determine whether the sampling is good or not.’ A big part of what Vaki is doing in Scotland since establishing a base here is training and after sales service. ‘We realised that was maybe a weakness, just giving people the system and letting them get on with it on their own,’ said Jarron. ‘It’s good to have somebody on the ground to make sure everybody is happy and understands how to use the system. And as personnel change in companies, we make sure the new site staff are up to speed with the system.’

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Vaki – Advertorial Jarron was trying to do this – ‘with varying degrees of success’ – from Iceland and that’s ultimately why Vaki decided to set up in Scotland. The Biomass Daily is the company’s biggest single product and it is the only provider of such a system. He said much of the strength of the Biomass Daily is not so much in the sampling tool itself but in the online reporting system software behind it. Some 200 million fish have been measured since its introduction and all the information is stored online, accessible to the user. Every week more than 1.5 million fish are measured, from farms in Scotland, Norway, Chile and Tasmania. Vaki’s expertise and knowledge is with Atlantic salmon, though the system has been tried out with other species. The frame takes a silhouette image of each fish, using LED transmitters and receivers, like a net of beams that the fish breaks and that then creates a shadow. The frame software can read from this the dimensions of the fish and convert that to a weight; anything from 1,000 fish a day are measured. As the technology has improved Vaki has made the frame bigger than the original models, which allows it to ‘catch’ more fish. There is also a smaller frame for hatcheries, in use in Norway but not yet in Scotland. The farmer can use the software to set user parameters so that they can exclude fish that aren’t salmon – for instance, cleaner fish – and to dictate what size fish they want included in the reporting system.

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Above: Vaki frame; David

Jarron

‘You can’t measure every individual so it’s a sample – but one you can have as much confidence in as possible,’ said Jarron. ‘This sample gives a good indication of the whole population and because we’re doing it over and over again you build up that confidence.’ It’s like an opinion poll, he said, though more scientific and with a much bigger and ever increasing sample. The system can also send emails with an overview, say to an area manager, so he can identify any problems. Disease would be indicated by a lower growth rate or a change in the behaviour of the fish and the farmer would then be able to investigate further. At Vaki headquarters in Iceland, the team can monitor Biomass Daily systems anywhere in the world online. At each site, the farm manager might be responsible for operating the Biomass Daily, or the feeding specialist, who would be able to see the results of his feeding represented in the growth shown in Biomass Daily. Vaki recommends putting a frame in every cage, for as long as possible – as soon as the fish hit the sea water. If one cage was out of sync it would identify a problem, alerting the farmer. ‘There’s a big difference between having one frame and moving it around – spot sampling – and having one in every pen,’ said Jarron. Vaki’s challenge is to persuade salmon companies that there is value in having one frame per cage, and that the decisions they can take as a result of the Bimass Daily data make it more than worth the cost of installing the system. Last month, Marine Harvest signed another contract, and Scottish Sea Farms and Dawnfresh are also customers. Perhaps the best endorsement of the product comes from the farm managers who have used it. Hugh McKinnon, Marine Harvest’s manager in Localsh, said in July: ‘The Vaki Biomass Daily system, as a forward planning tool, enabled us to achieve the highest RGI (relative growth index) ever in Marine Harvest’s history and gives us the

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05/09/2016 13:49:14


In the frame

BIOMASS confidence to feed to such high levels.’ Jarron said McKinnon was able to see a much more detailed picture with Biomass Daily, which allowed him to target the right cages to harvest at the right time. And he could use a bigger grading panel and just harvest the bigger fish so his actual harvest weight was much higher than expected. ‘He immediately grasped the advantages and identified quite quickly how he could this information, not just for reporting reasons but for making decisions that would improve performance. ‘It is a tool and you need to understand how to use if for your benefit. That’s why we’ve made the big step of starting our own company here and having other people get to the same level Hugh has managed to get to on his own.’ Vaki has appointed Gareth Hammond to the UK team as a customer consultant and he will join Jarron in going round farms. The next stage, being trialled in Norway, is to input feed usage directly into the system and calculate the FCR based on real measured growth and actual feed used. ‘Technically, it’s easy to do but you need to get authority to access the data from whoever supplies the centralised feeding system,’ said Jarron. ‘We have such a wealth of data now and there are so many ways we could be data mining because we have these millions upon millions of fish measurements. We can do comparisons of different cages in different farms in different years.’ FF

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Vaki - PED .indd 45

DAILY FACTS Total overview of all the cages on a screen Daily size measurements from each cage

Larger samples give more accurate average weight, size distribution and condition factor Daily growth over selected time period

Automatic reporting of data and system status via Vaki based report and email Better information – motivation for operators

Automated sampling, more time for other things

Above: Gareth Hammond

Biomass Daily, as a forward planning tool, enabled us to achieve the highest RGI ever in Marine Harvest’s history

Real time comparisons between cages and sites

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05/09/2016 13:49:36


Advertorial – Net Services Scotland

Scottish solution Scalpay factory and net service station offers farmers a local one-stop shop

T

HE opening of the Scalpay Bridge in 1997 – by Prime Minister Tony Blair – was a gateway to much needed employment for the 430 inhabitants of the island. It generated new businesses, among them the Stolt Salmon processing factory. This later closed but the site remained within the aquaculture industry when it was taken over by Net Services Shetland, in association with Marine Harvest. In February 2009, the company Net Services Scotland was formed, with Ian Macleod as its manager and a staff of 12. Today, the Scalpay plant has facilities to wash, sterilise, repair and coat salmon cage nets, and bird nets are also manufactured on site.

Left: Marine Harvest Scotland managing director Ben Hadfield at the Scalpay plant. Right: The Net Services Scotland base

In Scotland, there are currently three salmon net service stations, two of which are owned by Net Services Scotland (NSS). Three years ago, the company started selling the patented Flexilink mooring system developed by Morenot Aquaculture in Norway. The mooring equipment is fabricated and supplied from NSS in Scalpay, and in the past two years it has supplied 30 systems to Scottish customers, with very good results reported. Another recent change in operations on salmon farms - net washing in situ - has led NSS, along with partner company Vicrapore, to develop a new net coating. This coating (Vi-Cote) has been developed specifically to help seal the nylon nets to stop marine growth getting deep into the fibres. This also helps the net cleaners clean the nets faster and more easily, and the coating gives added abrasive resistance to the netting. Vi-Cote is now available through the Morenot Aquaculture group in Scotland, Norway, Spain and Canada.

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Scottish solution

We are thankful to NSS for giving us this service in Scotland and the outer isles, where there are a large number of sites

Being part of Morenot Aquaculture provides NSS with the wealth of knowledge a large group can bring - in all areas of aquaculture – and makes NSS a one-stop shop for sales and services. NSS can supply data analysis through the consultancy department in Norway for mooring systems, and from Scalpay it can offer complete mooring systems ready to install on site. Cage nets made from nylon, HDPE or Dyneema; predator nets in HDPE, nylon or Dyneema; and bird nets can all be delivered directly from the NSS factory in Shetland. Another Morenot owned company, Delta Aqua Redes in Spain, can also supply new nets through NSS. This year alone, more than 200 nets have come from Spain, with plenty of capacity for more to meet market demand. Net servicing is also available from both Shetland and Scalpay, where nets can be turned around, washed, sterilised and repaired in a matter of days,

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Advertorial – Net Services Scotland

During 2008 Marine Harvest, Net Services Shetland and Morenot embarked upon a collective project to start a dedicated net cleaning and servicing business. MHS had the confidence to put most of its net service requirement with NSS and Morenot and NSS in turn invested and brought the installation rapidly up to speed. NS Scotland was located in the centre of MHS’s operations, with good seawater access. The project was well run from the start and has matured now to provide a focused and valuable service to the salmon industry. NSS Scalpay has become an important employer in the area and has secured many benefits to MHS, ranging from reduced logistics cost, biological performance improvement and improved stock containment. Ben Hadfield, COO, Marine Harvest The NSS operation in Scalpay offers: • Net services such as washing, disinfecting, repairs, anti-fouling and coating; • Mooring systems, both the conventional ones and the Mørenot Group’s own Flexilink® mooring grid; • The database services MMCD (Mørenot Main Component Database); • Top nets, dead-baskets, grading nets, predator nets; • Employment to 13 staff.

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Top: The company offers a range of services. Left: Quick turnaround

NSS customers include Marine Harvest Scotland, Scottish Sea Farms, Loch Duart and Grieg Seafoods Shetland. Net Services Shetland and Mørenot Aquaculture are pleased with the Scalpay service station and the cooperation with Marine Harvest Scotland. A Marine Harvest spokesman said: ‘We are thankful to Net Services for giving us the opportunity to have this service in Scotland and the outer isles, where there are a large number of sites - not only Marine Harvest Scotland sites, but also other Scottish fish farming companies.’ FF

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05/09/2016 13:53:24


NET SERVICES SHETLAND LTD

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NET SERVICES

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www.morenot.com

05/09/2016 09:53:26


World – New Zealand

Sounds good! Country’s Chinook salmon sector looks to exploit growing markets

T

he New Zealand salmon farming industry may be small compared to the sector in Norway or even Scotland but its ambitions are big and its increasingly collaborative approach is impressive. During the recent AquaVision conference in Stavanger in Norway, the NZ delegation included fish farmers, industry leaders and politicians, united in their mission to expand king salmon production so that it becomes the country’s next $1 billion primary industry. The plan is to achieve this target by 2025, and Gary Hooper, CEO of the industry body Aquaculture New Zealand, believes the potential can be exploited if ongoing legisaltive reforms enable up-scaling. ‘We certainly have the potential in terms of space. Some of the reforms we’re working on with the government will need to occur to permit the scale,’ said Hooper. ‘The biggest part of our industry currently is mussels but with finfish, the smallest amount of

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incremental space would provide the largest chance of growth. ‘We have new technologies for offshore growing systems for mussels. With finfish, we’re watching with a great deal of interest other people’s efforts and new farming systems.’ The New Zealanders used their trip to Norway to observe some of the most advanced salmon farming technologies. ‘We’re only a 12,000 tonne salmon producer and we were visiting factories, such as Marine Harvest’s processing facility north east of Stavanger, that had a 50,000-tonne capacity annually. It’s a different scale, highly automated.’ The delegation had a good look around the Rogaland region, visiting research facilities and a new recirculation system at Cermaq. But this is not a route the industry at home is going down at the moment. ‘We’re not in a position of high growth and recirc, like any other technology, we keep a close eye on but it’s not part of our immediate plans because I’m not aware of anyone who’s been able to do it viably. ‘We saw some recirc systems on other sites too, mainly hatcheries. We popped across to Iceland and the recirc systems were pretty small. In the north, we saw one

Left: Gary Hooper. Below: Mussels. Opposite top:

Prime Minister John Key. Opposite below: New Zealand salmon farm

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05/09/2016 13:55:09


Sounds good!

Producing a different species has “ given New Zealand farmers a unique selling point ”

system producing Arctic char. They probably have easy access to water and cheap energy and are possibly subsidised. It’s not the sort of thing we’d look to at the moment.’ The New Zealanders were also fascinated by Norway’s offshore innovations, although many of these have yet to be proven. ‘I don’t think we’ll be at the leading edge of that sort of stuff – their motivations are different, driven by sea lice, for example.’ Hooper acknowledges that the Atlantic salmon industry’s focus on controlling sea lice sets it apart from operations in New Zealand. ‘Even some of the presentations at AquaVision talked about getting the fish to a certain size before putting them in the water and open sea pens – to minimise the exposure to sea lice. ‘And there’s a whole economy around cleaner fish – we are very fortunate with the serendipity of our conditions and the species that we farm, exclusively Chinook, so sea lice touch wood! - isn’t an issue.’ Producing a different species has given New Zealand farmers a unique selling point, particularly in the US market. As Hooper says, ‘we’ve got our own provenance story – New Zealand is clean and green, unspoilt’. ‘A couple of years ago we started engaging with Monterey Bay Aquarium [which produces the consumer guide Seafood Watch], trying to understand their reservations around any farmed salmon. We said their issues didn’t apply to us – there are no wild salmon stocks in New Zealand, for instance. ‘We gave them every encouragement to look at us a bit closer, and after their comprehensive assessment we became the first country to get

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their best choice. This made a massive difference to our sales in America. ‘Before we did the Monterey Bay we talked to high end food service chains, IT companies and high tech manufacturing firms that provide everything for their staff, and they said unless we had Monterey Bay it’s not worth having the conversation. ‘Consumers are more discerning, and buyers are looking for integrity and a story they can tell.’ Hooper said he admires the provenance story of Scottish salmon too. ‘A fish from Scotland is not a million miles from a fish from Norway, but when it comes to the marketing of it, Scotland has a rich history. When you buy Scottish salmon you buy a bit of Scotland, likewise with the whisky and shortbread and the hospitality.’ New Zealand has its own branding successes – with the Ora King label, for example, from New Zealand King Salmon. But further growth depends on acquiring more sites. New Zealand King Salmon recently expanded with the opening of three new sites in Marlborough Sounds, the main salmon farming region (Fish Farmer, August 2016), but Hooper said it was ‘a very long process for everyone involved’. Now, though, streamlining the planning process is high on the agenda, and the industry seems to

have the all important political backing. MPs Stuart Smith from the Marlborough region and Sarah Dowie from Invercargill, who were both in Stavanger, have thrown their weight behind farmers and the Prime Minister, John Key, is opening the September conference. ‘The right aquaculture in the right places is a very compelling proposition,’ said Hooper. ‘The quality, the highly nutritional product - like with our wine, we have our own brand that appeals to visitors. This is a wonderful opportunity for New Zealand to add to its portfolio of products that we export. ‘And aquaculture, in terms of protein production, has an incredibly light touch on the environment by most measures. ‘But even in little old New Zealand some people aren’t aquaculture fans, so you just have to have mature and informed discussions with those who don’t understand us,’ said Hooper. Is the environmental lobby a big problem there? ‘Not in numbers but it’s noisy and in some cases they have legitimate issues, about the siting of some farms that were established 30 years ago. We know a lot more now about the benthos and conditions that we didn’t back then. ‘As a forward looking industry we have to be very conscious of those things and if there’s a

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World – New Zealand

chance for a farm to relocate to a better area so everyone is getting a win, we should explore that, and we’re doing so with some of the people who are less enthusiastic about finfish aquaculture. ‘The collective approach we’ve adopted is a relatively recent thing, successive governments have been supportive of aquaculture but it’s not something you can just legislate for these days, there are highly consultative processes you need to go through. ‘It’s not only the ecological stuff, it’s the cultural amenity, landscape, natural character, biodiversity impacts, understanding all those things.’ In the past, each interest group ‘scrummaged to get the best possible position for themselves’, with the result that someone would lose out. ‘The wisdom of that is it ended up in the court system and a bunch of expert advisers were doing very well but everyone else was getting bruised. ‘A more recent approach, in the last 18 months or so, has been to get everyone together and collectively make informed decisions. We have a range of different projects in different locations across the country and there’s a much bigger alignment of values from the get go. ‘Everyone wants a healthy ecology and everyone wants to engage in some sort of economic activity, which is the lifeblood of communities. Communities also need recreational amenities. These are not all mutually exclusive so we have to look at how to get all of them.’ The issue at the moment is to identify the best is quality sites, something the industry undertaking in concert with the government and with the provincial areas which conduct planning reviews. ‘We work closely with those councils to find out which sites are appropriate for aquaculture, which areas aren’t appropriate and which areas we aren’t quite sure about. ‘Previously, there were vast amounts

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Everyone “wants a

of grey…it could take a long time and cost you a heck of a lot of money and come up with absolutely nothing.’ It is still an ongoing process but the hope is that applications for consents can be made ‘with a greater sense of certainty as opposed to having to run the gauntlet every time’. All attention for now is on the conference which, said Hooper, is regarded as the best primary sector event in New Zealand, ‘one of the best conferences you could ever go to; it never seems to be anything else but a raging success!’ There is a research day and a technical day, as well as the plenary sessions which address the broader issues facing the sector and ‘the best analogies from other sectors and other jurisdictions’. One of the guest speakers this year is Anne MacColl, chair of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation. Hooper liked the fact that she has export experience and he is interested in hearing about the sector from her perspective. Volker Kuntzsch, CEO of Sanford, New Zealand’s largest seafood company, is another of the keynote speakers. The conference theme is ‘We’re for good’, a celebration both of the long-term prospects of the industry and the fact that it is good for all. ‘My catch cry is ‘good enough is not good enough’,’ said Hooper. ‘We always have to try to excel.’ FF

healthy ecology and everyone wants to engage in some sort of economic activity these are not mutually exclusive

Above: Volker Kuntzsch. Below left: The SSPO’s Anne MacColl. Below: Ora King Salmon

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05/09/2016 13:56:05


World – India

species for both domestic and export sales and empowering those who engage. AwF’s Roy Palmer, recently back from Vakkom, said: ‘We first engaged with Organic Life’s Geeji Madathil Tharanath and Renjith Rengaraju last September when they ventured to Chennai for our meeting. ‘From there we were able to get to Vakkom late in November and meet with the people. We were then able to get the interest of AwF board member Gorjan Nikolik, who introduced us to the Rabo Share4More Foundation. Having secured this support for training development it was necessary to revisit and create some more detailed plans. ‘A visit was planned and along that journey we were able to meet a number of important state government leaders, including the minister, who mentioned this in her inauguration speech at the one-day seminar

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at the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS). ‘The event, headed by KUFOS new vice chancellor Dr A. Ramachandran, was an excellent ending to the visit. ‘Dr K.K. Vijayan, director of the Central Institute of Brackish Water Aquaculture (CIBA), gave the keynote speech, highlighting that we all need to ensure that we take every opportunity to work collaboratively and to ensure that the potential of aquaculture was not wasted. ‘Dr Madhumita Mukherjee, additional director of Fisheries, West Bengal, and P. Sahadevan, executive director, FIRMA Govt. of Kerala, gave important updates on activities and the challenges that face the state.’ There were further presentations from Dr Daisy C Kappen, director of Extension and associate professor of KUFOS, Dr Devika Pillai, associate professor KUFOS, and Dr Zynudheen A.A, principal scientist at ICAR-CIFT, along with a discussion on nanotechnology led by Shiva Balivada, co-founder of NanoLand Global UK. ‘Prior to the seminar we had made a visit to Kannur where we were able to meet T. Purushothaman, president of the Kerala Aqua Farmers Federation, and Shri.Mathachan K.J, president of the All Kerala Freshwater Cultured Pearl Oysters Farming Association,’ said Palmer. ‘It was good to see them at the seminar making passionate speeches about the importance of their organisations’ activities. ‘Overall, it was an extremely interesting and rewarding visit, where we established some excellent foundations for long-term activities to

Above: AwF meeting with the Kerala Aqua Farmers Federation. Left: The KOFUS seminar

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

05/09/2016 14:00:36


World – India

New frontiers Charity aims to empower women in Kerala with its latest aquaculture initiative

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05/09/2016 13:59:22


New frontiers

V

AKKOM is a small coastal village located at Thiruvananthapuram District, the capital of Kerala, south western India. Three sides of the village are surrounded by the backwaters of Anchuthengu, which is connected to the Arabian Sea through the estuary. The lake is being inundated daily by tidal waters and gets a high rate of water exchange from the sea. Vakkom has a population of around 17,640 people, of which 7,996 are male and 9,644 female, with an effective literacy rate of 95 per cent for males and 83 per cent for females. The population density in the village is 3,150 per sq.km. Coconut has been the major crop in the village, with Vakkom popular for the production of high quality coir since the 18th century. This industry was the major source of livelihood for the people. Hundreds of small ponds were constructed adjacent to the backwater for the purpose of soaking (retting) the coconut husk. The majority of workers in the industry were women but in recent years the coir trade has lost its way due to the unavailability of the raw materials, hike in the production costs and reduced market demand as people turned to cheaper plastic alternatives. This crisis made many people jobless and plunged their families into distress because of reduced income levels. Being far away from the urban area, Vakkom

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AwF.indd 55

It was an extremely interesting and “rewarding visit, where we established some excellent foundations for longterm activities

Left: Viewing shrimp at a Kerala farm. Above: the minister for fisheries Smt J. Mercykutty Amma with AwF’s Roy Palmer (opposite)

has not been able to attract other new industries, with the result that the village economy is in penury and can be revamped only through serious interventions. The charity Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) stepped in after securing funds from the Dutch Rabobank, with a project aimed at achieving a sustainable livelihood for the women of Vakkom through aquaculture. Along with the support of Rabo Share4More Foundation, AwF’s partners in Kerala are the NGO Organic Life; the president of Vakkom Grama Panchayat, S.Venuji; the state government of Kerala through the Hon Minister for Fisheries and Traditional Industries, Smt. J. Mercykutty Amma, and the people of Vakkom Grama Panchayat. The agreed objectives are to: • Empower women from socially and economically challenged communities by promoting, educating and facilitating aquaculture business practices for the generation of sustainable income and food for nutrition and trade; • Create cage aquaculture of various brackish water fish by utilising the natural resources and developing sustainable practices; • Improve the livelihood of the participants and the area by creating protein availability, employment opportunity and sustainable trade; • Build a long term solution through sustainable aquaculture activities to create understanding about nutrition of human/aquatic species; operating in a business environment relating to marketing aquatic

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World – India

species for both domestic and export sales and empowering those who engage. AwF’s Roy Palmer, recently back from Vakkom, said: ‘We first engaged with Organic Life’s Geeji Madathil Tharanath and Renjith Rengaraju last September when they ventured to Chennai for our meeting. ‘From there we were able to get to Vakkom late in November and meet with the people. We were then able to get the interest of AwF board member Gorjan Nikolik, who introduced us to the Rabo Share4More Foundation. Having secured this support for training development it was necessary to revisit and create some more detailed plans. ‘A visit was planned and along that journey we were able to meet a number of important state government leaders, including the minister, who mentioned this in her inauguration speech at the one-day seminar

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at the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS). ‘The event, headed by KUFOS new vice chancellor Dr A. Ramachandran, was an excellent ending to the visit. ‘Dr K.K. Vijayan, director of the Central Institute of Brackish Water Aquaculture (CIBA), gave the keynote speech, highlighting that we all need to ensure that we take every opportunity to work collaboratively and to ensure that the potential of aquaculture was not wasted. ‘Dr Madhumita Mukherjee, additional director of Fisheries, West Bengal, and P. Sahadevan, executive director, FIRMA Govt. of Kerala, gave important updates on activities and the challenges that face the state.’ There were further presentations from Dr Daisy C Kappen, director of Extension and associate professor of KUFOS, Dr Devika Pillai, associate professor KUFOS, and Dr Zynudheen A.A, principal scientist at ICAR-CIFT, along with a discussion on nanotechnology led by Shiva Balivada, co-founder of NanoLand Global UK. ‘Prior to the seminar we had made a visit to Kannur where we were able to meet T. Purushothaman, president of the Kerala Aqua Farmers Federation, and Shri.Mathachan K.J, president of the All Kerala Freshwater Cultured Pearl Oysters Farming Association,’ said Palmer. ‘It was good to see them at the seminar making passionate speeches about the importance of their organisations’ activities. ‘Overall, it was an extremely interesting and rewarding visit, where we established some excellent foundations for long-term activities to

Above: AwF meeting with the Kerala Aqua Farmers Federation. Left: The KOFUS seminar

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

05/09/2016 14:03:50


New frontiers

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assist the various communities in Kerala.’ AwF will be working with Organic Life to bring the Kerala aquaculture initiative to fruition but needs donations to make the project (Empowerment of unemployed local women of Vakkom Panchayath, Kerala State, India, through aquaculture intervention) a success. Visit www.aquaculturewithoutfrontiers.org. FF

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AwF has a branch in Australia and is in the process of establishing a base in Mexico, which will be the centre for the Latin American connections and will be chaired by Antonio Garza de Yta, formerly of Conapesca and Auburn. The charity encourages all aquaculture and asks that those interested in its activities join the AwF team of volunteers. AwF’s work is all about building capability and capacity in areas to maximise outcomes for the poor and hungry, so while there is an aquaculture focus there are many other skills required.

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There are a number of AwF networks - Women/Gender; Students; and Indigenous which aim to build global relationships. The Women’s Network has been running a Woman of the Month award. In association with the Mexican university UTMarT, AwF is turning a dying oyster fishing industry into a thriving oyster aquaculture industry, creating a sustainable future in the Tamaulipas region. With Deakin University in Australia, AwF volunteers are working with the indigenous people in Western Victoria to create an aquaculture future.

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And with Tamil Nadu Fisheries University, the charity is collaborating on a project relating to women and gender issues.

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05/09/2016 14:02:04


World – Japan

BY BONNIE WAYCOTT

Caviar: the new sushi? Sturgeon farmers seek international seafood markets

F

ish and seafood are not exactly synonymous with Miyazaki prefecture in southern Japan. The area is better known for Miyazaki beef, with its famous melt-in-the-mouth texture, or balls of rice wrapped in pork that are then seasoned and baked until crispy. But prefectural officials have been turning their attention to seafood and trying to establish a new market for locally farmed white sturgeon. Hopes are high that this fish will become just as popular as some of Miyazaki’s other delicacies. But it’s not the fish’s firm texture and mild flavour that officials are focusing on, and sturgeon sashimi is not the end product they have in mind. White sturgeon is also known for its caviar and, if things go well, this product could bring Miyazaki under the spotlight. ‘We first started selling caviar in Japan in November 2013, but it all began back in 1983 when white sturgeon was imported from the then Soviet Union as part of an aquaculture experiment,’ explained Moto-o Sakamoto, president of Japan Caviar Inc, a company in Miyazaki that sells caviar across the country. ‘People often wonder why the white sturgeon were sent to Miyazaki prefecture, and although other areas were considered, Miyazaki had the necessary technology and research expertise thanks to the Miyazaki Prefectural Fisheries Research Institute.’ Back then there were doubts, especially as the fish from the former Soviet Union had gone from an extremely cold climate to a hot one. Experiments with those fish were unsuccessful, but it gave Miyazaki an opportunity to study a range of areas, such as rearing technology, fish analysis and the relationship between water temperatures and aquaculture, in order to produce caviar. Progress soon came with white sturgeon imported from North America, and in 2011 the Miyazaki Prefectural Fisheries Research Institute created an ideal environment for large scale, full cycle farming of juvenile fish before mass producing white sturgeon fry from eggs and working with fish farms in the area. Commercial harvesting began in 2013 with an initial production of 50kg.

Above: Moto-o Sakamoto. Left: Premium product. Opposite page (from top): A rearing tank; white sturgeon in Miyazaki. Picture: Japan Caviar Inc

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Since then, the prefecture has never looked back and now, for the first time, its caviar is about to be shipped overseas. In recent decades, the extremely high economic value of sturgeon caviar has led to the over exploitation of species in the wild. Species such as the beluga in the Caspian and Black seas have been affected, and this has pushed up the demand for farmed fish, while tighter restrictions on wild sturgeon have increased caviar prices and encouraged egg sales from farmed fish. Fortunately, white sturgeon have many necessary attributes, such as a high stress tolerance, fast growth and good feed conversion, to be a successful aquaculture species. They are also reared in land-based, contained aquaculture facilities that minimise potential negative environmental impacts. Depending on the species, white sturgeon can take anything from six to 10 years to reach maturity and for their eggs to be ready. Larger fish can yield about 4kg of caviar. But rearing them is not without challenges. ‘At first it was really difficult to produce a stable amount,’ said Sakamoto. ‘To begin with, only about 2,000 were being produced but now it’s a whole lot more. ‘One important factor is temperature control. It has to be very low because if not, the fish won’t produce eggs. ‘You need to pay attention to so many areaswater quality, feed, everything. We also number each female so we can compare their conditions and see when they are at their most healthy. That’s when we can take their eggs.’ One fish farmer in Miyazaki is Fumiho Hamanaka, who closed his struggling construction business to invest in a sturgeon farm eight years ago. Despite some initial reservations, he decided to begin a new year by trying his hand at a different kind of work. Today, he is the proud owner of 5,000 white sturgeon. ‘I was worried when I started out,’ said Hamanaka. ‘I was taking a huge risk, going into something

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

05/09/2016 14:13:13


Caviar: the new sushi?

one day we can establish “Hopefully, some kind of sales or research connection in Europe ”

that was completely new to me. At first I saw it as a hobby but things started going really well. It’s an amazing feeling when you find that your fish have produced 2 or 3kg of eggs.’ Miyazaki’s caviar can be found at high-end restaurants and department stores across Tokyo, as well as the city of Fukuoka, also in southern Japan. But the international market will be the prefecture’s biggest prize. In the meantime, it’s maintaining connections with research institutions from abroad and dealing with an increasing number of enquiries. ‘We’ve had a substantial amount of people getting in touch from overseas, so much so that we recently hired an English speaking staff member to respond to them,’ said Sakamoto. ‘There are a number of Japanese researchers from Miyazaki in Canada right now because, of course, Canada too is famous for white sturgeon, but we know that Europe is where it’s at when it comes to caviar, so hopefully one day we can establish some kind of sales or research connection there.’

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White sturgeon farming has led to more jobs in Miyazaki, and the prefecture is hoping to further expand its overall fishery production and contribute to the revival of Japan’s aquaculture, in an effort to halt a long-term decline in aquaculture revenue and reverse recent trends for meat consumption. According to EU figures, marine aquaculture production volume in Japan has been stable or slightly declining over the past two decades but its value has been decreasing since the early 1990s. Meanwhile, meat consumption overtook fishery products in 2008 and since then the gap has been widening, raising concerns about the impact a continuing decline in seafood consumption could have on coastal areas where fisheries are vital to sustaining local economies. But amid this situation, hopes are high that Japan’s aquaculture could play a key role. The outlook is also good- figures from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation show that by 2030 farm raised fish will form more than half of what the world consumes, compared to 42 per cent in 2012 and 26 per cent a decade earlier. Caviar may be taking off in Miyazaki, but has it gone down well with the rest of country? ‘I think we still have a long way to go when it comes to the public,’ Sakamoto said. ‘Not many people eat caviar, but fortunately our marketing efforts have paid off and people are now increasingly aware of what we do. ‘Our caviar actually made an appearance at this year’s G7 Ise-Shima Summit- that was quite an achievement. ‘We’re hoping to target more shops, restaurants and department stores in the hope of doing business with them. That may encourage more people to give caviar a try.’ With all eyes on Japan in the run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, perhaps now couldn’t be a better time for the country to try its hand at new seafood products. FF

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05/09/2016 14:13:39


New technology – Humane harvesting

BY NATHAN PYNE-CARTER

Global

stunner

Fast and flexible system from leading Scottish innovator

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Below: The Fresh Corporation machine. Opposite top: Musholm’s harvest vessel. Opposite below: Abick’s HSU

Photo: Courtesy of Fresh Corporation

COTTISH firm Ace Aquatec has developed a universal stunning system for in water pipeline stunning after a need for faster, more reliable and flexible stunning machines was identified. The new system can cope with incredibly high speeds while minimising handling and stress, it can stun in fresh or salt water, and it can achieve 100 per cent stunning across a range of species and sizes. Ace Aquatec is now preparing to ship six new stunners to fish producers around the world. After using the first HSU (Humane Stunner Univeral) at Abick’s Puerto Monte, Chile, factory, the company has gone on to order two more machines. The flexibility of the system

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makes it ideal for Abick, which kills a range of fish species and sizes, from 1-8kg. The two additional machines will ship to new factories stunning Atlantic salmon, coho salmon and sea trout. They take full advantage of Ace Aquatec’s high throughput speeds while ensuring gentle handling of fish, and 100 per cent humane slaughter rate regardless of fish size or orientation into the machine. The first boat based stunner is being installed aboard Danish company Musholm’s harvest vessel this October for stunning sea trout. High throughputs and lively fish make the pipeline system ideal for this application, with fish stunned very close to the point of extraction from the boat. Running from the boat’s generator, the system stuns directly in salt water beside the sea cages and renders the fish unconscious ready for bleeding. Water cooled and IP68 rated, the system is ideal for deployment aboard vessels where equipment must be durable and totally reliable. The first large scale Norwegian salmon stunner ships to Sterner in November ready for installation at one of the Sterner’s customer’s farms in Norway. This machine is built for high capacity stunning in 16in pipes with speeds as high as 75 tonnes per hour. With zero handling and stunning in the fish’s natural element, the HSU achieves low stress on the fish. Because there are no moving parts in the stunning system there is little in the way of maintenance. Similarly, the system is designed to work with industrial cleaning systems and has excellent durability. Since the first yellowtail stunner was installed at Fresh Corporation in Volklingen, in Germany, there has been much interest around the world from yellowtail farmers. The first HSU for Japanese yellowtail will be shipped in November to N&C Corp to supply to its customers. This, like the Fresh Corporation machine, will be providing fish for the highly discerning sushi market, and so special focus will be placed on the quality of the flesh post stunning. Fresh Corporation has found that the sushi market in Europe favours its product, which offers premium quality catch of the day, fresh yellowtail, bass and bream which is offered to the market unfrozen.

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Photo: Courtesy of Musholm AS.

Global stunner

These machines are engineered to the highest standards to achieve the humane slaughter of fish with as little stress as possible. Customers all over the world are looking to this new method to achieve the results that they require for all their fish, not just for a

selection of sizes and species. With new models being shipped for wild fish trawlers, and bass and bream, and a new factory taking on the mass production of these machines from Dunfermline in Scotland, Ace Aquatec will continue to innovate to achieve the best results for farmers and their fish. Nathan Pyne-Carter is managing director of Ace Aquatec FF

Special “ focus will be placed on the quality of the flesh post stunning

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Photo: Courtesy of Abick AS.

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05/09/2016 14:15:41


Advertorial – Eurofusion

Smooth operator Pipe systems that combine craftsmanship with precision engineering

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significant. However, today we see several new projects passing the €100 million barrier. The construction of smolt facilities on this scale provides many challenges related to the pipe systems. There are also issues relating to transportation of the fish between the tanks and in the delivery out to the wellboats. As a result there is an increasing demand for precision engineering specifications and craftsmanship from the installers. A poorly designed fish transport pipe system, combined with a poor installation, can have a direct influence on the health of the fish and ultimately result in reduced profits for the company.

Norwegian company based near Oslo is developing a reputation as a leading player in pipe systems for the aquaculture industry. Eurofusion AS is keen to convey its knowledge of both the challenges and the possibilities of working with plastic pipe systems. The company, known as EFAS, was established 10 years ago and is based 20km south of Oslo in Vinterbro. Its main products are plastic pipe systems for the processing industries, with a focus on aquaculture. EFAS has 10 employees and can offer around 5,000 products from stock, as well as 50,000 different product lines from around the world, to its customers. This year the company is expecting to have a turnover in excess of €6 million. The stated goal of EFAS is to be ‘one of the main suppliers of products needed to build a pipe system in a smolt production facility’. The inspiration for the company came from contacts made with one of the major European suppliers of polyethylene pipes, fittings, flanges, valves and electrofusion couplers. The aquaculture industry has always used a lot of plastic materials in its process systems, both on land and sea, and the founders of EFAS realised that this market was set to grow strongly. The future will see a massive rebuild and a new build of production infrastructure for the sector. The development of smolt production facilities has seen an upturn into larger and larger units. A few years ago a project of €5-€10 million was

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Smooth operator

If the speed of the fish through the “pipes is too fast this will increase the risk of damage significantly ”

The solution, then, lies in ‘smooth piping’. There are several main parameters for an optimum design: There should be no internal edges anywhere in the pipes, neither in between the pipes or in between flange connections. Gaskets have to be in line with the inside pipe level or special stub ends and there should be ‘no gap’ construction. Secondly, attention must be paid to the velocity of the water in the pipe system. If the speed of the fish through the pipes is too fast this will increase the risk of damage significantly. There has also been a tendency, for cost savings, to put in cross sections in the piping that are far too small. The third item of importance is changes of direction in the piping and the use of bends. The keyword here is ‘seamless’. Any change of direction has to be carefully considered. Originally there used to be segmented butt-welded bends with bead inside ground away. This then progressed to bends with long spigots that were electrofusion welded, but

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Left and above: A selection of the pipe cutting technology employed by EFAS

there was still only a bend radius of R=1.0 x pipe diameter. However, the last ten years has seen the introduction of seamless bends assisted by heat that can bend a pipe into different angles providing a 100 per cent smooth internal surface. The most commonly used bend radius has been R=1.5 x pipe diameter. Due to the development towards even larger pipe dimensions, a bending radius of R=2.5 x pipe diameter is something to be achieved in the near future. The fourth step to success is in the cutting of pipe ends. The craftsmanship of the installer is challenged when it comes to the cutting of the pipes. Cutting with a precision tool is mandatory. The use of chain saws, bayonet saws and even hacksaws should not be approved. The correct approach is to use rotating cutting tools with knives or any cutting tool with rotating saw blades. All internal ends should be chamfered with a small radius. Finally, the use of electrofusion couplers to make a pipe joint has been in place for many years and gives the opportunity to establish a very smooth surface for the pipe joints. There is a mid-pipe stop knob inside the electrofusion couplers and these have to be taken away before welding to get the pipe ends to meet end to end in the pipe joint. A fixing tool to prevent the pipes sliding away from each other before the welding completes is also a valuable contribution to the perfect joint. EFAS has years of experience with all of these systems and can offer a complete range of fittings, couplers and tooling to obtain the optimal fish transport system. To find out more visit www.efas.no or call the company on +47 64 00 70 60. FF

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05/09/2016 14:18:21


RAS – AquaBioTech

All systems go Hands on approach helps Malta firm secure contracts in Middle East and beyond BY SHANE HUNTER

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here has been a multitude of reports over recent decades on how land-based fish farming is the future, and how fish and other organisms can be grown at double and even triple the rates of current methods - with no detrimental effects on the environment and with the promise of eventually great financial returns to outweigh the initial large investment cost. So what has happened?

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Where are these amazing high-tech facilities that beckon our future? In a report by CEFAS in 2010 on the state of RAS in England and Wales, 40 per cent of all the RAS facilities registered since the year 2000 had ceased operating by 2010. This begs the question why? In a review of RAS by Stirling University and a presentation by CEFAS, both in 2014, one of the major failings was system design; with the technology providers who built the facilities emphasising management problems rather than the more apparent fundamental design constraints evident. In order to design a RAS facility and ensure its successful long-term operation, you must first understand how it will operate and the biology of the organisms being cultured, and also the practical and logistical implications of running a RAS farm. AquaBioTech Group has 20 years’ experience developing RAS systems at our own R&D facility. As well as carrying out trials for clients interested in pharmaceutical vaccinations, nutrition and genetics, we have tested various pieces of equipment and technologies and have utilised the knowledge and experience of many members of our international team. The systems we design and operate take into account practicability, efficiency and good husbandry on a commercial scale to enable production of realistic numbers and tonnages of fish and other organisms, while always maintaining essential aspects of bio-security, animal welfare and environmental impacts. Our RAS designs come as a result of the collaborative work of RAS farmers, in conjunction with architects, auto-CAD designers and engineers, aquaculture consultants, veterinarians and fish nutritionists - testing and evaluating our systems with the use of our onsite facility in Malta. The fact that we operate the RAS equipment ourselves and handle fish on a daily basis at our facility has given AquaBioTech Group a major advantage over our competitors in this matter. We design our facilities to match the needs of the client, the site selected and the biology and behaviour of the organisms being cultured and, most crucially, provide the aftercare

Left: RAS designed by AquaBioTech. Opposite page: ABTG’s laboratories building design

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All systems go

support to the client for years after to ensure the facility operates as intended and that any problems encountered are overcome and rectified. Recognition of these years of hard work has come in the form of a steady increase in projects undertaken and of the recent awarding of several major contracts to design and build RAS facilities in multiple countries, ahead of the other main players in this field. One of the major contracts that we have recently been awarded is the second phase of the expansion of the Sheikh Kalif Centre for Marine Research in Um Al Quwain, UAE. Fundamental design constraints from the first phase led the client to request our design concept for phase two of the facility. The new facility will consist of several broodstock and hatchery systems that will produce approximately five million fry of commercial species per year. These systems will be versatile enough to deal with the cultivation of multiple species, but grouped in a way that the environmental and husbandry requirements of the similar species are fulfilled. These groupings will consist of Sparidae (for example, silvery black porgy, goldlined seabream and black seabream), Serranidae (such as greasy grouper), Carangidae and Rachycentridae (for example, amber jack and cobia) and other family groups (rabbit fish and snappers). The major objectives of the facility will be fish stock enhancement, fry provision to develop a sustainable aquaculture industry in the UAE, and the stimulation of aquatic research into the flagship species of the region. The facility should serve as a catalyst for UAE aquaculture development. AquaBioTech Group’s experience with the design, construction and operation of its onsite R&D systems, and other projects in multiple countries over the years, is invaluable for facilities such as these as they ultimately consist of a coagulation of several systems and associated laboratories, coming together to make a grand facility. This is where such husbandry practices as biosecurity, strict facility wide monitoring and compartmentalisation are paramount to reduce the risk of potentially spreading disease or parasitical infestations to other parts of the facility. Over the years, we have developed unique Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Technical Information (TI) documentation through practical experience and trial and error methodology to maximise stock

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We provide the aftercare “ support to the client for years after to ensure the facility operates as intended

security and facility operation. The versatility of the group has also allowed us to win another contract in close proximity to this RAS facility, which consists of a multi-lab complex with state of the art laboratories designed to significantly contribute to the advancement of research in aquaculture and other areas. The AquaBioTech Group is now also offering our experience in the form of carrying out the operations of the facilities we design and build, via management contracts, to further enhance the probability of success of the projects we undertake. A fresh approach in RAS, based on ‘hands-on’ experience and operating knowledge of systems, in parallel with husbandry practices that is taken from people previously responsible for fish production in RAS, is essential to ensure that the estimated production target of a designed facility matches the actual, realistic production. Also, more importantly, the people who designed and built the farm, to fulfil a particular target, must work with the client for years after to ensure that the facility operates as designed, any problems are overcome and that the intended production is met. This is what the AquaBioTech Group has set out to achieve, made up of passionate and experienced experts in the field of aquaculture who fully believe in what can be achieved, with realistic targets in mind and full training and support of personnel, instead of the alternative of blaming management problems and allowing fundamental design constraints in our projects. Shane Hunter is technical director of AquaBioTech Group

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05/09/2016 14:22:00


Advertorial – ELOXIRAS

Pure process

Boosting recirculating aquaculture technology with innovative water treatement

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LOXIRAS is an innovative water treatment concept developed to improve the productivity and environmental impact of recirculating aquaculture systems. Based on electrochemical oxidation technology and an advanced oxidation process (AOP), the Spanish SME APRIA Systems is upgrading its concept – Electrochemical Oxidation in the Recirculating Aquaculture Systems – specifically for the aquaculture industry. ELOXIRAS allows the efficient destruction of all the highly concerned

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Below: How the concept works. Opposite page: ELOXIRAS MFF.0601 electrochecmial reactor 3D view. Powered by Magneto Special Anodes

pollutants in RAS, such as total ammonia nitrogen (TAN), nitrite, dissolved organic matter, bacteria and viruses, without the addition of chemicals or heat and with no change in water composition. Uniquely, electricity and the catalytic properties of the electrode materials are required to achieve water purification. The novelty of the ELOXIRAS treatment system is its ability to increase the production of different marine species: 1) Allowing higher cultured densities within the purification controlled limits; 2) Reducing new water intake consumption (and thus proportional wastewater generation); 3) Removing whole key pollutants in an efficient way (>90 per cent); and 4) Increasing by a minimum of 30 per cent the estimated potential benefit (€/year) of the overall process. Besides, ELOXIRAS presents several characteristics that makes it different from numerous electrochemical processes. In most cases, electrochemical oxidation is applied to treat low volumes of water with a high concentration of contaminants. The challenge of ELOXIRAS is the treatment of large water volumes posing low contaminant concentrations in a cost-efficient way. Additionally, ELOXIRAS automatically adjusts the treatment capacity to the cultured biomass and to the hourly change in the pollutant rate production to ensure an efficient energy process. Finally, a secure process is granted by including a water quality monitoring and control system. The next innovative features provide the key

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Pure process

points for the market application of ELOXIRAS:

1) High efficacy and removal of the targeted pollutants, including bacteria and viruses; 2) Compact and modular design; 3) Low energy requirements; and 4) Easy to operate with adaptable capacity to required productivity.

ELOXIRAS is also a modular and versatile solution that will allow its adjustment to different RAS facilities depending on their size. It is easy to operate without efficacy fluctuations and start-up periods, and could also be used on logistics operations to guarantee the best transport conditions from hatcheries to fish farms at high efficiency rates. The following market applications have been developed based on this technology:

The “ novelty of

the system is its ability to increase the production of different marine species

1) ELOXIRAS HYBRID focuses on new or existing large RAS facilities, offering an increment of common or actual productivity with lower water and energy use. Typical culture volume capacities are in the range of 10-20 m3 to several thousands of cubic metres; 2) ELOXIRAS MINI focuses on small scale RAS facilities for final commercialisation of adult aquaculture species, offering compactness and adaptable treatment capacity; 3) ELOXIRAS LOGISTIC focuses on typical truck or wellboat transport operations from hatcheries to growing facilities, offering extended range of distances and bigger biomass capacity due to the compact design of the ELOXIRAS water treatment system that allows its installation in the trucks; and 4) ELOXIRAS BIO focuses on quarantine and biosecurity facilities of any RAS scale, offering control of pathogens (bacteria and viruses) due to the disinfection capabilities and contributing to high isolation levels.

ise the concept in their existing recirculating systems or in their future projects. For this purpose, APRIA Systems has developed SiTELOX, a simulation tool that allows to easily calculate: - The impact of ELOXIRAS on the water quality of recirculating systems. Evolution of the main pollutants over time can be simulated and compared with those estimated for other treatment solutions. - Sizing and integration details within your facilities. - Potential increment of your productivity and reduction on environmental impact. - A first apporach to economics including estimation of investment, operations and maintenance costs and interesting payback scenarios. For further information visit www.eloxiras. com FF

ELOXIRAS customers can be supported by APRIA Systems experts to easily custom-

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05/09/2016 14:23:21


Advertorial – MSD Animal Health

BY CAMPBELL MORRISON

Exploring best practice in Iceland Scottish team gains valuable insights from salmon egg production site

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SD Animal Health’s aquaculture team has just returned from hosting an educational trip for customers to Iceland. Marine Harvest Scotland, Scottish Sea Farms, the Fish Vet Group and Dawnfresh were involved in this Industry collaboration and educational initiative. The team, made up of myself and Dafydd Morris, MSD Animal

Health UK aquaculture business manager, in addition to MSD global colleagues, welcomed the seven customers from Scotland to explore aspects of best practice within the Icelandic fish farming industry. The visit also allowed us to consider how such practices could be adapted for the market in Scotland’s already thriving farmed salmon industry. The event started with a number of roundtable discussions outlining some of the health and productivity challenges, followed by a presentation from Chris Matthews, operations director at the Fish Vet Group, who focused on the emerging diseases in both the freshwater and marine environment. He also shared his insights into the consequences of certain diseases, gill health and best practice on how to avoid such challenges by adopting a range of methods including vaccination, screening and biosecurity. Braving the elements on the second day of the trip, the group visited the Stofnfiskur year-round salmon egg production site. The facility demonstrated how to deliver disease free and robust salmon eggs worldwide to the fish farming industry.

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Advertorial – MSD

It remains incumbent on us all to “produce strong fish which have high resistance to disease ”

Their work includes strong research, selective breeding and top notch production facilities for Atlantic salmon. As our industry knows, keeping animals in a farming environment ultimately puts other demands on the animal’s health compared to living in the wild and it remains incumbent on us all to produce strong fish which have high resistance to disease. We also visited a lumpfish broodstock facility and learnt more about the important role they can play in sea lice control. Following this visit, we continued our educational theme with seminars on sea lice control, both medicinal and non-medicinal, and some of the services which MSD Animal Health offers across all the key stages of fish farming, such as vaccination, pre-transfer, mid production and pre-harvest. It was a busy and extremely productive trip and one which our customers and leaders in the industry valued. It gave us the opportunity to discuss perceived challenges to the industry and identify areas of future focus and innovation that we will strive to work together on in the coming months. The variety of subjects and discussions throughout the trip intro-

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Above: The MSD team and their guests in Iceland. Opposite page: MSD’s Kurt Van Der Heijden, FVG’s Chris Matthews and SSF’s Richard Darbyshire

duced new approaches and generated valuable conversations with our customers. MSD Animal Health remains committed to sharing best practice and collaborating with our partners in the industry and our continuing personal development sessions are just one aspect of that programme. In recent weeks we have also produced a number of vaccination best practice videos and if you’d like to learn more about the services we offer the industry then please contact me at Campbell.morrison@merck.com For more information about MSD Animal Health and the work they do to help improve fish health, please visit the website www. msd-animal-health.com Campbell Morrison is senior key account manager at MSD Animal Health. FF

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05/09/2016 14:33:03


Processing News

Icelandic Seachill job losses lower than feared ICELANDIC Seachill has said the number of jobs to go in Grimsby following the loss of a £50 million Marks & Spencer contract is lower than expected.

THE new figure is 86 compared with the 175 mentioned a couple of months ago. And it could be even lower. The coated fish part of the contract has gone to Grimsby rivals Five Star Fish, while

the remainder is being shared by two out-oftown processors. At first it was thought that Icelandic Seachill might have to cut a large number of jobs, but thanks to some flexible rear-

ranging and possible new business that figure has been halved. Also, Five Star Fish is expected to need to take on at least 70 people to meet its new contract commitments and is likely to recruit some of those leaving Icelandic. Icelandic Seachill also produces the award winning Saucy Fish brand, which is not affected and is now being exported to several countries. And it has a large wet fish operation supplying UK supermarkets. The company said in a statement: ‘Following M&S’s decision to transfer all their business with Icelandic Seachill to an alternative supplier, in June of this year we announced a proposal to close the existing Icelandic Seachill

deli site and transfer production into our coated site. ‘We entered into collective consultations with Unite the union and elected representatives of our monthly paid employees. This milestone has now been reached and the consultations have now broadly concluded. ‘Today, we can confirm that the deli site location is expected to close at the end of March 2017 and remaining products will be relocated to the coated site location. ‘Although any job losses are regrettable, we can report that the final number of redundancies will be significantly lower than originally envisaged, falling from 175 to 86. ‘There is a possibility

Good shape

We have strong and continuing partnerships with our other valued customers

of this figure reducing further as employees take opportunities at our chilled site. However, this will have an impact on the number of agency staff employed. ‘Icelandic Seachill remain in good shape with strong and continuing partnerships with our other valued customers.’

Young’s expands its Gastro range GRIMSBY based Young’s Seafood is to expand its successful Gastro range in the autumn with a new range of fish cakes and fish fingers, including tempura coated fish fingers. The Gastro range is now the UK’s sixth fastest growing FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Group) brand. The company says it is now worth £57 million a year having grown by more than 30 per cent recently. In March, Young’s disclosed that the restaurant inspired dishes have attracted £20 million incremental value to frozen fish, breathing new life into categories that have seen some shoppers leave, such as battered fish (Nielsen & Kantar 52 weeks to January 31, 2016). The new lines are: Gastro smoked haddock arancini style mini fishcakes with a rocket, basil and parmesan dip; Gastro salmon red pepper and mozzarella mini fishcakes with a herby crème fraiche dip;

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Gastro spicy salmon and black bean mini fish cakes with a chipotle chilli salsa; Gastro 10 tempura batter chunky cod fish fingers. The mini fishcakes will be available in Asda and tempura fish fingers from both Asda and Tesco.

Processor embarks on feed project

Young’s marketing director Yvonne Adam said: ‘Gastro is the nation’s favourite premium brand in frozen fish and, building on this success, our latest inspiration is straight from restaurant menus. Tapas is trending in UK restaurants and our mini fishcakes are an ideal choice for making tapas at home.’

TURKISH Bogaz Seafood Industries, a major player in the seafood processing industry, has announced that it is teaming up with a network of international universities to develop a high protein fish feed. The product is a novel feed derived from sustainable and natural resources, and major aquaculture providers will test it within six months of development of the first prototypes. The company expects to start commercialisation in early 2017. Bogaz will be listed on the EuroNext Stock exchange in Paris in Q3 2016.

New name at Nomad NOMAD Foods, Europe’s largest frozen food company, which produces, markets and distributes the Birds Eye, Iglo and Findus brands, has appointed Albert Mathieu as chief commercial officer. Stefan Descheemaeker, CEO of Nomad Foods, said: ‘I have been impressed by his passion for food and the energy that he will bring to the company in this vital leadership role.’

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Processing News

Marel to host second ShowHow After a successful first event in 2015, Marel is now preparing to host the second Whitefish ShowHow, taking place in Copenhagen on November 10. The event caters to whitefish processors from all over the world – in wild and farmed processing. This full-day programme introduces Marel’s processing equipment and software for whitefish processing. The event, at Marel’s plant, focuses on hands-on demonstrations of raw material receiving, fillet handling and value added processing, as well as advanced software solutions designed to improve processes throughout the value chain. A parallel conference programme includes lectures and seminars where guest speakers and Marel’s specialists will address some of the key issues the industry faces.

Above: Processing tips

Fish craft contest may be expanded The British Fish Craft Championships could become a week-long event

Above: Cleethorpes

GARY Hooper from the National Federation of Fishmongers, which organises the event, said he had been approached at this year’s event in the seaside town of Cleethorpes, near Grimsby, to expand the championships in the resort with a bigger and longer show to include more entertainment and pop up fish restaurants. ‘The championships were in Cleethorpes for the third successive year and, thanks to reasonably good weather, it attracted hundreds of visitors over the three days.’

The contest highlights the skills of the UK’s best fish craftsmen and is open to anyone in the fish, poultry or game trade. This year’s champion is Paul Darling from the Smethwick branch of M & J Seafoods, which has a nationwide branch network of fish processing and sales outlets. After the skills show, farmed salmon from Marine Harvest and farmed halibut from Norway’s Sterling White Halibut, along with local Grimsby fish, went on sale.

Welcome to our stand at EAS 2016 Highlights this autumn: • Eggs improved by two generations of genomic selection will be supplied to our customers • All eggs produced using gene marker for increased lice resistance • Quality eggs delivered all year round

AquaGen AS • P.O. Box 1240 • Sluppen • N-7462 Trondheim • firmapost@aquagen.no • www.aquagen.no/en/

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Markets & Retail News

Tenth Seafood Pub for growing group

Scottish seafood on the menu

The Seafood Pub Company has added another pub to its growing portfolio across north-west England, just over a month after an £18 million private equity boost.

Above: (L-R) Jonny Parkinson, Megan Tomlinson and Matt Ward at the Forest in Fence, a recently refurbished pub in the Seafood Pub Company

IT has acquired the Alma Inn in Laneshawbridge, a former 18th century coaching house, the tenth pub venue in the group.

Managing director Joycelyn Neve said: ‘The Alma is a fantastic and thriving business, and we’re absolutely thrilled to welcome

this freehold to the Seafood Pub Company group. ‘We’re not looking to make any drastic changes, we simply want to enhance and improve the wonderful business that is already in place.’ In July the private equity firm Penta Capital bought a large stake in the award winning business, aimed at opening the way for further growth. Penta had arranged an £18 million funding package to support the deal and pave the way for expansion. Fish and seafood make up a substantial part of the Seafood Pub Company’s popular gastro-style menu. The business began less than six years ago with just one outlet and, with this latest acquisition, now has

ten pubs across northwest England. More will almost certainly follow. The Alma Inn was a rural coaching house built in 1725. The original stone floors and beams are still in place. Damien Brierley, general manager at the Alma Inn, said: ‘The Alma has nine en-suite bedrooms on site, and we think it’s important to use these to their full potential.’ Another pub in the group, the Forest in Fence in Pendle, Lancashire, opened last month after an extensive refurbishment. The management team at the Forest is a strong army of expe-

Thriving business not looking “toWe’re make any drastic changes ”

rienced seafood soldiers. Matt Ward joins the team after running the Seafood Pub Company’s site, the Oyster & Otter in Feniscowles, and Jonny Parkinson, restaurant manager, has been with the group for a number of years, working at the Derby Arms and the Barley Mow.

Morrisons seafood nets top title

UK’S top 10 young fish friers revealed in awards shortlist The UK’s top 10 young fish friers were announced last month by the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish. Shortlisted as semi-finalists, are: Elise Boothroyd of Fochabers Fish Bar in Fochabers, Moray; Paul Gunn of The Bay Fish and Chips in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire; Andrew Hillier of Harbourside Fish & Chips in Barbican, Plymouth; James Houlston of Our Plaice in Kidderminster, West Midlands; Maria Magda Illioiu of The Real Food Café in Tyndrum, Perthshire; Sam Parry of Top Chippy in Llanrwst, Conwy; Luke Pope of Bankers FishRestaurant in Brighton, East Sussex; Daniel Straughan of Fish & Chips @ 149 in Barnard Castle, County Durham; Hank Kloppers and George Papadamou of Papa’s Fish & Chips in Hull, East Yorkshire. The next stage of the competition will whittle down the shortlist, establishing the five finalists who will compete to be crowned the 2017 champion on January 26, 2017, in London. Above: Award winning

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MORRISONS won the title of Meat and Fish Retailer of the Year at SuperMeat & Fish Awards 2016 at an awards ceremony in London in the summer. All Morrisons’ seafood manufacturing takes place at dual locations on Europarc in Grimsby. James Judd, fish category director at Morrisons, said: ‘We have improved the range of products produced at our manufacturing

sites. For example, the newly expanded Grimsby seafood site produces the Supermeat award-winning Smoked Haddock Florentine.’ That took best new product to market category. Full production began earlier this year at the former Headland and Kerry Foods plant. It has helped it scale up capacity from 250 tonnes a week to double that, as it edges closer to employing the 500 people it planned.

SCOTLAND’S fish farmers and fishermen will be celebrated during this year’s Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, which is designed to showcase the country’s produce and the people who grow, make, cook and sell it. The focus of the event, from September 3-18, are the primary producers - farmers and fishermen, whose hard work is the foundation of Scotland’s £14.3 billion food and drink sector. The Scottish seafood industry consists of 2,000 boats and 5,000 fishermen, while the worldwide retail value of Scottish farmed salmon is more than £1 billion. Some 65,000 people are directly employed in agriculture and 75 per cent of Scotland’s land mass is under agricultural production. Scotland Food and Drink chief project manager Fiona Richmond said: ‘Scotland is rightly recognised as a land of food and drink and I encourage people to discover for themselves the producers that merit this reputation. ‘With more than 200 events across the country, I urge everyone to get behind the fortnight. Other supporters and participants include supermarkets, independent retailers, farm shops, visitor attractions, food festivals and restaurants so it’s easy to sample produce and learn more about our Scottish food and drink heroes.’

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

05/09/2016 14:35:13


AKVA Flying Net Cleaner a new powerful, remote net cleaner that is easy to operate

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Your Aquaculture Technology and Service Partner

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Archive – July/August 1996

Stirling venture thrives in Malta Roger Halls looks at a commercial-scale marine project offering potential benefits for developing countries

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he commercial advisory and project management company of Stirling University’s Institute of Aquaculture, Stirling Aquaculture Ltd (STAQ), first became involved in Malta’s aquaculture industry in the early 1990s, when they installed a marine fish hatchery. This was located at the National Aquaculture Centre run by Professor Carmelo Agius, himself a former Stirling Institute PhD graduate and research lecturer. STAQ’s managing director is David Scott, who explained their work in Malta: ‘The hatchery was set up to supply fry for the local aquaculture industry. While working on the project we realised that because of advantageous local conditions it would be a good commercial proposition to set up a larger project for the ongrowing of marine species, particularly sea bream, using offshore cages.’ The result of this perception was the creation of Malta Mariculture Ltd (MML), with technical management and the application of the latest technology being provided by STAQ. MML is

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Archive -Sept.indd 74

funded by the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) (65 per cent); European Community Investment Partner (ECIP) (20 per cent); local Maltese interests (10 per cent); and Stirling University (five per cent). The first cages were installed in 1993. One of the principal reasons behind CDC’s interest and investment in the MML venture is the intention that experience gained there in the technology of offshore commercial farming will be transferable to countries in the tropical developing world, where they are most active. ‘It took two years to locate and obtain the best site,’ said Scott. ‘Although water quality around Malta is excellent there are potential problems associated with the exposed nature of most places along the coast. We finally decided on an area between the northern end of Malta and the tiny offshore island of Comino. That gives a relatively sheltered spot free of the prevailing north-westerly winds, but even so we’ve experienced winter swells there of up to eight metres. ‘Water exchange is excellent, though, and the cages are situated only about 1km from the company shore base at the old port of Marfa, where there are purpose-built storage facilities, workshops, packing area and offices.’ The first three years of MML have been principally devoted to the on-growing of sea bream – though some work is also now being carried out with bass, Scott explained. Left: David Scott heads ‘We decided to start with sea bream, as they grow well, are easy to the project which so far handle, and more resistant to disease than sea bass. In a start-up situhas concentrated on ation, when it is particularly critical that performance targets are met sea bream. Above: Sea and staff need to be trained, bream was a safer species to go for, bream crowd to the ‘But we also realise the need to experiment with other species, and surface prior to feeding. Opposite: Fry are delivered last year imported a trial batch of Puntazzo from Italy. Besides working with bass and Puntazzo, we’re also liaising with the National Aquaculto the site aboard the company’s boat ‘Aurata’. ture Centre here in Malta which holds bloodstocks of species such as Yellowtail, which has good on-growing potential but which no-one has yet succeeded in breeding for commercial use.’ But bream it is, for the present. In view of the prevailing sea conditions, the cages have to be robust. The nets are mounted beneath

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05/09/2016 14:37:36


Stirling venture thrives in Malta

Dunlop Tempest 2 frames, which have been tried and tested for many years off the west coast of Ireland. They are deployed in two groups: one of six and one of five, each cage measuring 16m square by 10m deep. The nets were provided by IC Trawl of Ireland, while the mooring equipment was supplied by FPM Henderson of Scotland and installed by Seawork of Scotland. The cages have no walkway, but there are working platforms at each corner from which activities such as hand feeding may be performed. ‘We feed the main stocks two or three times a day using a Norfab spray feeder operating from a Polar Cirkel boat,’ David Scott continued, ‘and for the fry we feed additionally during morning and afternoon.’ Ancillary equipment includes a Fischtechnik grader and a 12m steel work boat, designed by Strathclyde Maritime Design of Glasgow and built in Malta. There are 20 staff in all, 14 of them being involved in main production activities.

‘But that’s no bad thing, as you can see when you look at the survival rates, which are between 85 and 90 per cent.’ The principal problems are bacterial diseases such as vibriosis, but these are readily identifiable and simply treated by the use of antibiotics according to circumstances. Another cause for concern is the high cost of feed relative to fish output, brought about largely by the conversion rate, which ranges between 1.9 and 2.3:1, substantially inferior to that obtained 500 tonnes per annum The installed cage volume is now 25,000cu.m by the salmonids. In view of the significance of such matters, MML partakes in research which, it is planned, will yield 500 tonnes per annum of harvestable fish, weighing 300-400g projects on nutrition with Malta’s National Aquaculture Centre and Stirling’s Institute of each. Aquaculture. These cages must be kept in top condition, ‘The cost of feed represents 25-30 per cent and that demands both time and money because of the need to employ qualified divers of all production costs and is the single largest to investigate the nets and, if necessary, mend expense after the purchase of the fry themselves,’ said Scott. ‘That being so, we’re curthem. ‘You see,’ explained Scott, ‘sea bream have a rently working on research projects to reduce the amounts of fishmeal needed in the diet. tendency to chew holes in nets. Fortunately, ‘The other key area at present is how to there aren’t many predators around, but undetected holes could lead to substantial losses of deliver the feed more efficiently to the fish and avoid waste. At the moment, the cost of stock – so we have to be constantly on guard. offshore auto-feeding is very high and doesn’t ‘It takes from 12 to 18 months for a sea justify switching away fom hand feeding, so we bream to reach harvestable size. Then they are looking at waste feed monitoring systems. are harvested once a week, from Fridays, for ‘Another area in which there’s room for reshipping out on the Sunday following to Italy – search lies in the problem of early maturation our main market.’ of the fish. We find we get higher food converBut where do the fry come from in the first sion rates in larger fish during winter, which place? may have something to do with maturation – ‘We have several main suppliers,’ said Scott. ‘From Spain, Italy and Cyprus. The fry arrive in so we’re looking into that.’ The link with Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculinsulated tanks five or six times each year, from March to October, so we can spread the supply ture, via STAQ, is of particular benefit to MML, giving unique access to specialists in nutrition, of marker size fish to our customers over the genetics, maturation and disease, invaluable year as a whole. ‘The size of each delivery varies according to not only in dealing with day to day problems but also in planning and executing research. the season, but each year we buy in around The first batch of fish, stocked in July 1993, 1.8 million fry for on-growing. Our purchasing policy is very strict, to the extent that we send was harvested in 1994 between August and December and produced over 160 tons. In representatives to check fry quality before 1995 a total of 430 tons was produced. 1996 is they leave the hatcheries. They are checked expected to yield close to the target figure of again on arrival in Malta, in order to ensure 500 tons. that size and deformities are both within The other important aspect of SAQ’s work acceptable limits. In fact, I’d say MML is more in Malta is its commitment to set up a large stringent than any other company I know in commercial finfish hatchery to serve the applying quality controls on fry supplies. growing industry there, known as Gozo Aqua-

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Archive -Sept.indd 75

culture Ltd. The project is a combined venture between STAQ and local investors. The site is a former desalination plant – now obsolete – and is situated on the island of Gozo to the north of the cage site. Soctt again: ‘The advantages are many, including the fact that there are already-existing water intakes and outlets, plus seawater boreholes. Freshwater supplies, power, offices and a large covered area for tanks are available on the site, which the group has leased from the government of Malta. ‘We estimate that the hatchery, when onstream, will produce at least m juvenile bream per annum, of 2g each, between March and October, when demand is highest. Malta as a whole needs up to 10m juveniles per annum for its fish industry, so this hatchery should supply a good proportion of that and should also be able to supply the MML site. ‘That should bring down transport costs dramatically and also decrease the danger of importing disease from abroad.’ So things look good for Malta’s aquaculture industry in the future, with many projects in hand for its development, thanks to the cooperation of so many diverse organisations and the promotional role played by Stirling Aquaculture. FF

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FishMagazine Farmer Wellboats– Introduction

Fish FarmerFish Farmer VOLUME 38

NUMBER 10

VOLUME 38

om www.fishfarmer-magazine.c Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977

Serving worldwide aquaculture since

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CATCHING THE BUG

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Investigating growth potential in fledgling field

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All well and good

MARCH 2015

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

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PROCESSING UPDATE

Preview of Seafood Expo Global in Brussels

COMMUNITY FARMS

Harvesting sea cucumbers in Madagascan villages

A

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

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

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

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

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

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Under control

Norway – Research Council

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

Under control

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

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

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

001_ff03.indd 4

All well and good

sponsored by

OCTOBER 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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80

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05/09/2016 10:03:13


Opinion – Inside track

Hands on BY NICK JOY

I

hope you will forgive someone who started as a farm hand feeder and ended up as a director writing about this subject but it is something I feel passionate about. Two things have reminded me why it is so important to recognise those who can use their hands. The first is the arrival of six Oxford Sandy and Black pigs into our life. I have been outside every day for most of the last month, digging in strainers and fence posts, building an electric fence to keep them in. Since they have been here, I have stock again and am reminded of the sheer pleasure of being responsible for animals (fish too) in your charge. The second occurred at a friend’s dinner, when the usual scenario unfolded. ‘What do you do?’ I reply: ‘I have been a salmon farmer for a long time.’ ‘Oh really? I know someone who fishes on the Tay who says that salmon farming etc etc etc…’ Usually, the person involved works in a bank or is a lawyer and knows all about why salmon farming is worse than the devil and all his works. My temper is sorely tested and with a face like thunder I try to remain polite. This time I contained myself but gently countered with a question: ‘Do you think it’s good that we teach all of our young people that they need a degree and that they should spend the rest of their lives working in an office, facing a computer?’ The reaction surprised me in that, clearly, this was not a thought that had been encountered before. Of course, those who pursue a field sport find it difficult to argue that people who work with their hands are not their equal, though they don’t often treat them as such. Please, all of you people with degrees, don’t assume I think that higher education is a bad thing. That would be ridiculous! My argument is that being well educated and learning to use your brain is as important as learning to work with your hands. Too many people, with very good degrees, cannot even change a light bulb! They think that this is a job for ‘them’ (the people who weren’t clever enough at school) who know how to use their hands. Yet how much food would be on the table, or what sort of house would you live in if someone had not decided that they wanted to work with their hands? There is actually a greater need numerically for people who can work with their hands, yet we target our education to take people away from it. It is regarded as the place for people who aren’t good enough. I am reminded of The Shepherd’s Life (fantastic book), in which the author gets a very good degree and on being asked what he is going to do, states that he is going to be a shepherd. He is faced with

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all “ourShould young

people spend the rest of their lives working in an office, facing a computer?

utter incredulity that someone who is so clever would want to do such a thing. Our society is driven by this disconnect from reality. We have a significant proportion of our society who know the theory of everything and the practice of nothing. In my view, it is why we have so many critics of the countryside and rural environment and so few people who understand how it actually works. This, in turn, results in impractical law and the sort of regulation that bedevils agriculture and aquaculture. So, from an old hand to all those I worked with in my career and all those still frozen in a north easterly, soaked in a south westerly and generally bashed to bits by the waves, there are some of us here who really value what you do. (And don’t tell them, but we don’t value the computer gazers all that much!) FF

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05/09/2016 15:00:57


Ace Aquatec.indd 83

05/09/2016 09:59:19


South American Regional Aquaculture 16 Latin American & Caribbean Aquaculture 16

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Fish Farmer Magazine - September 2016  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

Fish Farmer Magazine - September 2016  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

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