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Fish F armer CLEANER FISH AUGUST 2021

How to keep them healthy

HARD CELL

Will consumers buy ‘alternative’ seafood?

SEE EU LATER

Why Norway might go its own way

AQUA NOR 2021 What’s coming up

Iceland invests The pace of growth is hotting up

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09/08/2021 13:52:48


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06/04/2021 14:37 09/08/2021 10:21:32


Welcome

Editor’s Editor’s Welcome Welcome

T W

ierra del Fuego, the southernmost province of Argen�na, has a good claim to the �tle “The end world.” henofisthe a fish not a fish? That might sound like a child’s riddle, but when Earlier this month legislature the province voted to ban open net “seafood” canthe beregional made en� rely fromof plant-based ingredients, or grown in a salmonlab farming. Coming on top of the Danish government’s decision last autumn to from stem, it starts to look like a serious ques�on. curtail any further ofof fish farming at we sea,look andat the ongoing struggle of theatindustry In growth this issue Fish Farmer, some of the companies the cu�in ng Canada resist the closure of from farmsthe in the Islands,toit vegan-friendly is clearer than enterprises. ever that the edge of to alterna� ve “seafood”, cell Discovery culture pioneers fiWill sh farming industry needsserious to make its case in for order justonal to stay in business.With issues of these ever represent compe� �on tradi� aquaculture? It’s not all gloom, however. At the North Atlan� c Seafood Forum – held online this year cost, and taste to deal with, it looks as if the answer is “not any �me soon”. – Then Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg reiterated her belief that investment in the blue again, 50 years ago the idea that more than half of the seafood consumed worldwide economy is a route to saving the environment, not harming it. Also at the NASF, chief would be farmed might also have seemed far-fetched. execu� vesfeature and analysts alike of were agreement industry’s biggest challenge We also a roundup theinlatest thinkingthat on the cleaner fish heath. Species such isas fiBallan ndingwrasse ways toand meet the world’s growing demand for their product – arguably, that’s lumpfish were introduced into fish farms in order to control sea licea good problem to have. numbers in an environmentally sustainable way, but all too o�en the cleaner fish themselves In er thisanissue we reportlevel on the and and alsohealth presentissues. the first part of a preview of Aqua Nor suff unacceptable of NASF mortality 2021, one ofresearch the industry’s biggest trade shows. The latest suggests that to a large extent these problems came about because we What’s happening in aq July issue also features a profi le of Norcod, currentlyas the frontand runner racelearned to s�The ll know very li� le about these species. That is changing more moreinisthe being in the UK and around th revive theresearch. cod farming industry. Find out why Norcod’s Chief Execu� ve,take Chris� an Riber, What’s happening in aquacu through Our ar� cle also includes prac� cal steps farmers can to ensure the believes �me theycreatures. have a model that works. w in the UK and around the wo health ofthis these useful We also focus on two aquaculture projects in Guatemala and The Bahamas that are being JENNY HJUL – EDITOR JENNY HJUL – EDITOR We’ve also got the second part of our Aqua Nor preview, and features on Iceland and – supported by elec� Norway’s Kvarøy Arc�c, and on the “Øymerd” project which is se�ng out to ahead of the ons this autumn – Norway. Nicki Holmyard reviews a comprehensive JENNY HJUL JENNY HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR create a fi sh farm based on a fl oa� ng concrete island. new guide to shellfish aquaculture and Mar�n Jaffa takes aim at some of the myths and Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions Nicki Holmyard looks at the shellfi farmers’ misconcep� ons that have grown upsharound seaba� lice.le against tubeworm and this issue also features special industry on Breeding and cs, Transport and Logis� cs and Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions We hope you enjoy thisreports issue and, if you are justGene� back from asector well-earned summer holiday, salmon farming in Scotland, when it was to he focus this month istopictures on Europe, the internati T HE is coincidence that andwhere videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went press, there was sti lltold no offi cialonal Li� and Cranes. thatingyou are refreshed and ready for the months ahead. be thewere subject ofScotti a be parliamentary inquiry, embraced the industry willsent soon gathering the (European salmon to news outletsfor just asjoint the Scotti sh news from the shScotland, parliamentary inquiry into salmon farming sector in when itEAS was tosalmon he focus this month istopictures on Europe, the internati T HE is coincidence that andwhere videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went press, there was sti lltold no offi cialonal opportunity this would provide to explain how it month. operated. Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work at the start of this These farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy Best wishes, be thewere subject ofScotti a be parliamentary inquiry, embraced industry willsent soon gathering the EASinto (European salmon to news outletsfor just asjoint the Scotti shthe news from the sh parliamentary inquiry salmon Best wishes, Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The industry had nothing to hide and, if given aof fair hearing, could Meet thehealth new chief exe conference, to be staged over fi ve days in the southern French images had litt le to do with the current state Scotland’s fi sh and Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held fi ve Robert Outram opportunity this would provide explain how it month. operated. Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament back to work atto the start of this These farming, went conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy Robert Outram address much of the criti cism levelled against it. city ofngs, Asto well asand, highlighti ng the latest technological farms -Montpellier. where sea lice are in decline and, inwe fact, at abe five- Meet meeti in nothing private, tolevels consider their report and must Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had hide if given fair hearing, thehealth new chief executiv conference, to beto staged over days in theaof southern images had litt le do with thefive current state Scotland’s ficould sh and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldFrench five Fish Farmer supported this but at times salmon advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018felt willthat alsohas feature year low (htt p://scotti shsalmon.co.uk/monthly-sea-lice-reports). pati ent. However, waiti ng forview, their recommendati ons been address much of the criti cism levelled against it. city ofngs, Astolevels well asare highlighti ng the latest technological farms -Montpellier. where sea lice in decline and, inwe fact, at abe fivemeeti in private, consider their report and must farmers were being drowned out bywhich theREC noisier elements offarming the sessions on emerging markets and look atinvolves the role ofthe fishusual This latest propaganda campaign, all made harder by leaks from within to anti -salmon Fish Farmer supported this atthe times salmon advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018felt willthat alsohas feature year low (htt p://scotti shsalmon.co.uk/monthly-sea-lice-reports). pati ent. However, waiti ng forview, theirbut recommendati ons been angling lobby, which had called foras the investi gatiRural on. But asngs the farming in alleviati ng poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti anti -aquaculture suspects, came Holyrood’s Economy acti vists. The latest of these (see our news story on page 4) farmers were being drowned out bywhich theREC noisier elements offarming the sessions onpropaganda emerging markets and look atinvolves the role fishusual This campaign, allofthe madelatest harder by leaks from within the to anti -salmon sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such asthat thethe social and Connecti vity committ ee returned the summer recess we to makes grim reading for the industry asfrom itgati suggests committ ee angling lobby, which had called for the investi on. But as farming inThe alleviati ngofpoverty. Increasingly, ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, as Economy activists. latest thesecame (see ourHolyrood’s newsindustry storyRural onmeeti page 4) became more opti misti c.into Weand now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture the contributi on it makes to global consider its draft report the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such asthat the committ social and Connecti vity committ ee returned the summer recess we to makes grim reading for the industry asfrom it suggests ee Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977 food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that is toanti welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens cahoots with -farming Those who want toWe shut down thein asbe shut down this sector, rather than to those who operate became more misti c. now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability ofopti aquaculture and the contributi on ithave, makes toexpected, global consider its draft report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to Also investi gati ngacti initi aties, veswhich inregard thenow developing world, Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry in a Dr favourable stepped their viti involve the within it.up food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that is tobreaching welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens cahoots with anti -farming Those who want to shut down thein asbe expected, shut down this sector, rather thanthe tohave, those who operate Meet the team Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about farming potenti al inthe Fish Farmer: Volume 44 Number 07 Volume 44 Number 08 light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental biosecure environments of farm sites to snatch photographs in Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and, in any case, Also investi gati ngacti initi aties, veswhich inregard thenow developing world, Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry in a Dr favourable stepped viti involve breaching the within it.up their Editorial Board: Nigeria, both in catf ish and ti lapia culti vati on. Editorial Advisory Advisory Board: responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Contact us Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al in light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental biosecure environments of farm sites tosomething snatch photographs ingame Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and, inof any case,ngthe Steve In Scotland, the summer has been a waiti Steve Bracken, Bracken, Hervé Hervé Migaud, Migaud, Jim Jim Treasurer, Treasurer, What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Phil Thomas growth that is sustainable. Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 campaigner fibeen lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for minister, dead haveboth always fortunate to have the support of their Nigeria, catf ish and tilapia culti vati on. responsibiliti seriously and will only ever invest the hope of fies nding incriminati ng businesses evidence against farmers. Onein committ ee’s fiin ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fish farmers Chris while the parliament is inthat recess and thethose members of Holyrood’s Chris Mitchell, Mitchell, Jason Jason Cleaversmith Cleaversmith Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 If the committ ee members, especially who have yet to fi shthat at aEwing, Marine site. Another saidofhea saw ‘hundreds’ Fergus toHarvest growhas sustainably. In Scotland, the summer something ngminister, game of Phil What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Thomas growth isfibeen sustainable. campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always fortunate tobeen have the support ofwaiti their and Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up and Hamish Hamish Macdonell Macdonell Email: shfarmermagazine.com Email: editor@fi shfarmermagazine.com visit aparliament farm, like tothe learn more about the of infested salmon in awould pen, but we only have his word against that But itsalmon should not go unchallenged that some MSPs onsubject the REC while the isroutram@fi in recess and members of Holyrood’s If the committ ee members, especially those who have yet to fi sh at Marine site. Another said hefarming. saw ‘hundreds’ Fergus toHarvest grow sustainably. theaEwing, evidence in their inquiry into salmon We don’tof expect Editor: Outram Editor: Robert RobertRural Outram their we have plenty of good stories in our May Even and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue weigh up Head Offi ce: Special Publica� ons, Fe� es Park, of theinquiry, professional vets and biologists who manage theissue. welfare of committ ee, with their own against the growth of Head Offi ce: Special Publica� ons, Fe� esto Park, visit a Economy farm, like toagendas learn more about the subject ofthetime infested salmon in go awould but we only have his word against that Buttheir itsalmon should not unchallenged that some MSPs on the REC report unti l pen, the autumn but hope the MSPs are using the bett er,farms they could head to Highlands later this month, where 496 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2DL 496 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2DLWe the evidence in their inquiry into salmon farming. don’t expect Designer: Balahura Designer: Andrew Andrewtheir Balahura these on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they wefully have plenty of good stories in ourgrowth May toinquiry, become acquainted with the facts about fithe shissue. farming. of the professional vets andagendas biologists who manage welfare of committ ee, with their own against the of theEven Doug McLeod Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s theirthey report unti l the autumn but hope the MSPs areas using theittiis, meit Ifthey the is proud of its high standards, itsalmon says are inwill aindustry positi on to inflthe uence the future course of farming, Commercial Commercial Manager: Manager: bett er, could head to Highlands later this month, where This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Subscriptions to become fully with the facts aboutof fish farming. biggest fish acquainted farming show. must mount aaquaculture much more robust defence itself, through its and of businesses vital toBracken. Scotland’s economy, we have a right Janice Janice Johnston Johnston Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod they will meet the industry en masse at Scotland’s serving employee, Steve We had no Subscrip� ons Fish Farmer Subscrip� ons Address: Fish Farmer If the isto proud of itsAddress: high standards, as itsalmon says itcollecti is, it ng are in aindustry positi on inflthe uence the future course oftrouble farming, This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore and look jjohnston@fi jjohnston@fishfarmermagazine.com shfarmermagazine.com representati ve body, the SSPO, than it has done to date. The to know who they are, and we hope the industry, through its warm from his friendsdefence and colleagues tohave mark the biggest fishtributes farming show. Magazine Subscrip� ons, Warners Group Magazine Subscrip� ons, Warners Group must mount a much more robust of itself, through its and of businesses vital to Scotland’s economy, we a right serving employee, Steve Bracken. We had nonothing, trouble collecti ng forward toand, seeing many of you there too. campaigners, we now see, will stop at representati ves, will pressure the parliament toand investi gate before Publisher: Benne� Publisher: Alister Alisterrepresentati Benne� milestone along with rest of the industry, thefarmers team We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore and look Publica� ons plc, The Mal� ngs, Publica� ons plc, The Mal� ngs, vethey body, the SSPO, than itthe has done tothrough date. The to know who are, and wethe hope industry, its at Fish warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the should be prepared to fi ght back. the REC report is published. Farmer wish him all the very best for the future. West Street, Bourne West Street, Bourne forward toand, seeing many of the you there too. campaigners, we now see, will stop at representati ves, will pressure the parliament toand investi gateatbefore Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet milestone along with rest of thenothing, industry, thefarmers team Fish Lincolnshire Lincolnshire PE10 9PH should prepared to fivery ghtPE10 back. the RECbe report published. Farmer wish himis all the best9PH for the future.

Conte Conten 4-15 4-14 News 4-15 4-14 News

Fair hearing French connection Farmers must fight back Uphold the code Fair hearing French connection Farmers must Uphold the codefight back

T I A TIA

16-21 16-17 16-22 Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary in 16-21 16-17 16-22 Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary inquir 22-23 18-19 24-27 Salmon market SSPO 22-23 18-19 24-27 Salmon market SSPO

Robert Outram

24 20 20-21 28-29 BTA Shellfish Comment 24 20 20-21 28-29 Comment BTA Shellfish

Cover: Lumpfi Fish farm Cover: sh, maintenance ship Cyclopterus lumpus in Photo: Skanevik� Shu�orden, erstock Norway Photo: Shu�erstock

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Tel: Tel: +44 +44 (0)1778 (0)1778 392014 392014

ons: UK Subscrip� ons: £75 £75 aa year year www.fishfarmer-magazine.com nowSubscrip� on @fishfarmermag Fish Farmer isUK ROW aa year ROW Subscrip� Subscrip�ons: ons: £95 £95www.fishupdate.com year including including Facebook and Twitter Fish Farmer is now postage on www.fishfarmermagazine.com -- All postage All Air Air Mail Mailwww.fishfarmer-magazine.com www.fishupdate.com Facebook andthe Twitter Contact us Meet team

Meet thebybyteam Printed JJ Thomson Printed in in Great Great Britain Britain for for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Media Ltd Ltd Thomson Colour Colour Printers Printers Ltd, Ltd, Glasgow Glasgow ISSN ISSN 0262-9615 0262-9615 Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 Contact us Meet the team

26 22-23 30 Shellfi sh Comment BTA 26 22-23 30 Shellfi sh Comment BTA 28-31 24-25 32-33 SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Far 28-31 24-25 32-33 SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Farms Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Shellfi shfiSea Cleaner sh Far Scottish Comment 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit Shellfi shfiSea Cleaner sh Farms Scottish Comment 13

Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit

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34-35 28-29 32-33 36-41 Comment Cleaner Orkneyvisitfish Farm 34-35 28-29 32-33 36-41 Comment Cleaner Orkneyvisitfish Farm

3 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott HervéLandsburgh, Migaud, Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 Migaud, PatrickJim Smith and Jim Hervé Patrick Smith, PatrickMigaud, Smith, Treasurer and Fax: email: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott HervéLandsburgh, Migaud, jhjul@fi shupdate.com Treasurer, Wiliam Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowdsemail: William Dowds Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New player Dawn new Migaud, PatrickJim Smith and Jim Hervé Patrick Smith, PatrickMigaud, Smith, Treasurer and Editor: Jenny Hjul jhjul@fi shupdate.com Treasurer, Wiliam 12/07/2021 15:32:14 Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowds William Dowds Head Office: Special Publications, Dawn 09/08/2021 13:51:00 Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New player new Designer: Andrew Balahura


Contents

Fish F armer In the August issue... News

What’s happening in the UK and around the world

Processing News

22-23

Update from the processing sector

Comment

24-25

Mar�n Jaffa

SSPO

26-27

Hamish Macdonell

Shellfish

28-29

Nicki Holmyard

Alternative Seafood

30-35

Sandy Neil

Iceland

36-37

Vince McDonagh

Aqua Nor 2021 – Preview

Including a look at the Innova�on award shortlist

Sea Lice Norway

Vince McDonagh

Management, Monitoring and Analysis Digital tools for fish farm operators

Antifouling and Net Cleaning

50-51 52-53 54-55

New ways to deal with an old problem

Cleaner Fish

Understanding what these species need to thrive

What’s New

Monthly update on industry innova�ons and solu�ons

Industry Diary

All the latest aquaculture events, conferences and courses

Aqua Source Directory

56-58 60 62 64-65

Find all you need for the industry

Opinion

66

Nick Joy

38

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38-42 47-49

The latest developments in lice treatment

4

6-21

50

56

www.fishfarmermagazine.com

09/08/2021 14:00:23


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10/08/2021 11:27:07


United Kingdom News

NEWS...

RSPCA Assured clears Mowi of welfare allegations

Above: Mowi vet Ana Herrero checking fish health. Below: Still from Scottish Salmon Watch video

ANIMAL welfare certification body RSPCA Assured has cleared Mowi Scotland, following a complaint of alleged welfare abuse from anti-salmon farming group Scottish Salmon Watch. RSPCA Assured carried out an investigation of four Mowi farms, following the release of covertly filmed video footage which appeared to show dead salmon and cleaner fish, as well as individual fish heavily infested with sea lice. The video was allegedly filmed by Salmon Watch founder and long-time anti-salmon farm campaigner Don Staniford in July. In a statement RSPCA Assured said: “We were concerned by some of the images that were shared with us. As soon as they were brought to our attention, we immediately launched an investigation into those farms we understand are featured in the footage.” “Animal welfare is our absolute priority and the focus of our assurance scheme, therefore any complaints are always taken very seriously and thoroughly looked into as standard practice. “These farms have now been visited by a specially trained RSPCA Farm Livestock Officer and an RSPCA Assured Assessor. During their visit they did not find any of the problems highlighted in the images taken earlier this month and were satisfied that the fish they saw were being properly managed

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UK News.indd 6

and cared for.” The organisation added: “Any allegations of animal welfare issues, or breaches of the RSPCA Assured membership agreement, are taken very seriously and always thoroughly investigated. “Thankfully, welfare concerns on RSPCA Assured certified farms are extremely rare, and many millions of farm animals are having a better life thanks to the work of the charity.” Marine Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) and the Scottish Government’s Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) also looked into the complaint but also concluded that no enforcement action was required. In a statement following the RSPCA’s announcement, Marine Scotland said: “These investigations by FHI, which include considering sea lice information collected weekly from all sites, have concluded that there are no obvious sea lice or mortality issues at a population level at any of the sites involved in the allegation and that appropriate measures are in place to control sea lice, remove mortalities and ensure adequate fish health management at the sites in question.” Don Staniford and Salmon Watch have brought a number of complaints against salmon farms in Scotland over the past few months, but none of these have been upheld by RSPCA Assured or regulators.

When bringing the most recent complaint, Staniford said: “The Scottish Government should immediately close down Mowi’s disease-ridden farms and supermarkets should stop selling RSPCA Assured Scottish salmon. The RSPCA’s stamp of approval is now synonymous with welfare abuse. Shame on RSPCA Assured for endorsing lice infestation, mass mortalities, infectious diseases and unnecessary suffering.” Supporters of the salmon farming industry have welcomed the outcome of the investigations by RSPCA Assured and Marine Scotland. The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation said: “We never had any doubts about the welfare standards upheld by our member companies. Images of sickly fish are distressing, even when they are unsourced. However, they are rare and not representative of the high welfare standards that tens of thousands more salmon benefit from.” Responding earlier this month to the initital allegations, Ben Hadfield, COO of Mowi Scotland said: “We care very much for the welfare of our salmon, every day, and don’t like to see even one animal suffer. “Our experienced farmers are supported by fish health experts and veterinarians that help to ensure animal welfare is attended to every day, and these results are inspected by professional third-party organisations. “While we take claims of poor welfare very seriously, this allegation is from an individual who has never worked in the business, has failed his schooling, has previously made similar unsupported claims, has been found guilty of defamation and was described by the court judge as a ‘zealot’. “If he wants a job as an animal welfare inspector, he should apply for work like everyone else.”

www.fishfarmermagazine.com

09/08/2021 14:04:10


All the latest industry news from the UK

Scottish Government launches review of aquaculture regime will be an essential part of our REGULATION of the aquaculgreen recovery and transition ture sector in Scotland could to net zero. see sweeping reforms, follow“The industry also provides a ing the announcement that source of home grown, nutrithe Scottish Government has tious low carbon protein that commissioned an independent is enjoyed at home and abroad. review of the industry. “However reports and parProfessor Russel Griggs OBE liamentary activity over the has been appointed to lead last few years have made clear the first phase of the review. that the regulatory landscape He has pledged to approach Above: Professor Russel Griggs and Mairi Gougeon is contentious and there is a it with “an open mind” and need for improved efficiency, engage with stakeholders from across the aquaculture speceffectiveness and transparency.” trum. Professor Griggs is a former Executive Director with ScotHe added: “Only by doing this will we be able to deliver improvements in the regulatory landscape in the short-term and tish Enterprise and has had a long career in industry, particularly the pharmaceutical and textile sectors. He is currently identify options for further reform in the longer term.” Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise, the newly created Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Aquaculture is a significant contributor to our rural economy, providing well Economic Development Agency for the south of Scotland, and paid jobs in some of Scotland’s most fragile communities and is an honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow.

Gael Force signs net deal with FISA AQUACULTURE supplier Gael Force has agreed an exclusive deal with net manufacturer FISA to provide nets for fish farming in Scotland. FISA (Fibras Industriales SA) is headquartered in Peru, with a warehouse and sales office in Chile. Established in 1943, it employs around 700 people and produces high-quality netting products, including Supra HDPE high tenacity containment and predator nets, Raschel polyester and nylon containment and protection nets, and Twisted Knotless Muketsu nets. Gael Force said the inclusion of nets in its product range means that the company will further enhance its capability to offer a complete turnkey supply of high-quality marine equipment, technology and supporting services. The partnership will also see FISA exclusively manufacture a new SeaQureNet which will be a key element of Gael Force’s turnkey offering. Gael Force has also established cooperation with and engaged the services of, John Howard of Boris Nets, a longtime partner for FISA in the UK with extensive experience in aquaculture. Gael Force has also committed to establishing a net servicing station in the UK. Stewart Graham, Group Managing Director at Gael Force, said: “We have worked alongside FISA in the market for several years and we have been extremely impressed with the consistently robust quality and reliability of their netting products. Together, our partnership is an excellent strategic fit, and by combining our resource and wealth of experience we can jointly

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UK News.indd 7

develop containment solutions while offering competitive pricing and high service levels.” Yoni Radzinski, FISA Owner and Director, said: “We have been seeking a partner with a strong market position and reputation, and the capability to provide turnkey installations and service the market - we are delighted to have found that in Gael Force. We are excited about the opportunities ahead to support Gael Force in reinforcing their competitive turnkey offering to customers and to supply, design and manufacture robust aquaculture nets which will play a critical part in future of sustainable fish farming both in Scotland and internationally.”

Top: Stewart Graham. Above: Supra Net

7

09/08/2021 14:04:41


United Kingdom News

OTAQ reports good profits growth MARINE technology group OTAQ has reported a strong increase in revenue and profits for the year to 31 March 2021. OTAQ, which makes the SealFence deterrent system as well as a variety of monitoring and analysis technology for the aquaculture sector, has reported an 18.5% increase in revenue, year on year, to £4.05m (2020: £3.42m) and a 17.3% increase in gross profit to £2.3m (2020: £1.96m). EBITDA was up to £542,000 (2020: £451,000). The company also reports cash balances of £3.1m following the drawdown of a five-year £2m CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption

Above: OTAQ technology

Loan Scheme) facility. During 2020/21, OTAQ acquitted the trade and assets of electronic systems design business ROS Technology, added revenue-generating contracts and made a strategic investment in Minnowtech, taking 15% of that company’s equity. New product develop-

ment included the live plankton analysis system for detecting algal blooms, in partnership with Blue Lion Labs LLC, and entering the shrimp biomass detection market through the investment in US-based Minnowtech. Alex Hambro, Non-Executive Chairman of OTAQ plc, commented: “Despite the general market backdrop and challenges, this was still an extremely productive period for the Group with positive movement across all of our key financial metrics. Importantly we continued to position ourselves for future growth, having invested in broadening our product suite and reach.”

Cashman swaps spring water for salmon

Above: David Cashman

COOKE Aquaculture Scotland has appointed David Cashman as its new finance director. Cashman was previously head of finance at Highland Spring – the UK’s leading bottled water producer – where he led the finance function for the £100m turnover business, responsible for all end-to-end activity within the division from transaction services, commercial finance to the year-end audit and preparation and submission of statutory accounts. He has worked in senior finance and operations roles for household brands including HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Sky, where he was integral to the £200m acquisition of Telefonica’s domestic broadband and home phone capability, the roll-out of Sky Q and Sky Mobile – two of Sky’s largest product launches. Cashman will be based at the firm’s corporate office in Bellshill, with responsibility for finance and

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accounting staff throughout the UK. His predecessor, Alan Marshall, who is retiring, will stay on for a handover period. Colin Blair, Managing Director of Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, said: “We’re really pleased that David is joining us. He has a wealth of experience in senior finance roles in financial services and food production and we are very confident that he will help us to meet our ambitious business goals in the future. “I’d also like to thank Alan Marshall for his invaluable contribution to our success over the past 25 years. Alan will ensure a comprehensive handover of the finance function before he retires later this year.” Cashman said: “I am really thrilled to join Cooke Aquaculture Scotland. The company’s values, especially their commitment to communities in which they operate, their environmental stewardship of the marine environment and, of course, the quality of their salmon were key drivers behind my decision to move from Highland Spring. “I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to help Cooke Aquaculture Scotland to grow, and ensure that the UK business remains on a very strong financial footing.”

Experts address climate change issues for aquaculture AS the world’s leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow later this year for the COP26 climate change summit, Fish Farmer magazine and online content business InterMet have teamed up to present a webinar on Aquaculture – Meeting the Threats of Extreme Weather & Climate Change. The free webinar will take place live on Wednesday 19 August and a recording will also be available to view later. The panellists will be presenting their perspectives on climate change and taking questions from the from the aquaculture sector. Our panel members are: Anne Anderson, Head of Sustainability & Development with Scottish Sea Farms, one of the country’s leading producers of premium farmed salmon. Daniel Fairweather, Executive Director, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries with insurance company Gallagher and a member of the Gallagher UK ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) Committee. Lynne Falconer, researcher at the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, with over 10 years’ research experience in the field of aquaculture and the environment. Jonathan LaRiviere, Chief Executive of Scoot Science, an ocean analytics and forecasting business based in Santa Cruz, California, which aims to help fish farmers protect assets, operate sustainably, and increase profits by enabling a more complete assessment of local ocean conditions. The issues the webinar will cover include: Emerging climate-related threats for the aquaculture sector: including raised sea temperatures, with implications for cold water fish like salmon and cod; increased risk of harmful algal blooms and reduced oxygen levels; increased frequency and severity of storms; flooding and/or drought for inland farms. Possible mitigation strategies including: relocation of sites; strengthening standards for cages and moorings; better real-time monitoring of marine conditions; relocation further offshore or to land-based RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems) facilities. The role the aquaculture sector can play in combating climate change. e.g. aiming for ‘net zero’ in the production cycle; switching from diesel to electric/hybrid power for vessels and farm sites; using renewable energy or heat from other industries to power RAS sites. The opportunities for innovative new and existing businesses to develop solutions to meet the challenges facing aquaculture from extreme weather & climate change. To register free of charge or for more information, go online to www.intermet.digital/intermetdigitalwebinar4/ We welcome your questions – please contact Ian Harper, InterMet at ian@mediageneration.co.uk

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09/08/2021 14:05:48


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09/08/2021 10:27:35


United Kingdom News

Trio of Investors in People awards for SSF SCOTTISH Sea Farms has been recognised for its commitment to jobs, training and employee wellbeing with three Investors in People awards. The company retained its We Invest in People Platinum Award, first achieved in 2018, has been retained, and its We Invest in Young People Award at Gold level. SSF also scored Gold for the first time in the We Invest in Wellbeing category, making it one of just two companies in Scotland to have achieved this level. The Investors in People (IIP) awards, which require companies to apply for re-accreditation every three years to ensure continual professional development, are seen as the global benchmark in people management. SSF gained its first IIP accreditation in 2012. Head of Human Resources Tracy Bryant-Shaw said: “We have worked hard over the past three years to build on our 2018 performance and reach even higher standards.” She added that the introduction of a comprehensive new health and wellbeing strategy has been key. The strategy was already under way prior to the arrival of Covid-19 but gathered new

Above: Scottish Sea Farms staff

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momentum in the months thereafter, she said. Bryant-Shaw added; “‘During the pandemic, when we couldn’t see everyone, we looked at what more we could do for our employees and their families. “We are now able to offer a really wide-ranging suite of support: from our employee assistance initiative and various training programmes to new innovations such as a dedicated wellbeing app, as well as one-to-one help with employees’ physical, mental or financial health. “We’ve also added staff wellbeing to our health and safety meetings as a further way of checking that we’re doing everything we can to support our people.” The initiative has included the introduction of a “real living wage” (above the official National Living Wage); a Young People’s Council to get younger staff members involved in shaping the future of the business; an Aquaculture Academy and Management Academy; and a move to online learning. SSF has also developed training partnerships with the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), Argyll College UHI and local schools.

National strategy ‘fails to address seafood’

Above: Henry Dimbleby

UK Industry body Seafish has criticised a report on food strategy for its lack of focus on seafood. The National Food Strategy report, commissioned by the UK Government and led by businessman Henry Dimbleby – co-founder of the Leon chain of restaurants – was published last week. It called for a tax on sugar and salt and for GPs to be allowed to prescribe fruit and vegetables to encourage healthy eating. Marcus Coleman, CEO of Seafish, the body which supports the UK seafood industry, conceded the report was both interesting and well researched with some excellent insights into the social challenges associated with the UK food system. But he added: “I was surprised that the role that seafood can play in addressing these challenges is not addressed. Seafood is sidelined with a one line explanation on page 6 (in the report): we have deliberately narrowed our focus onto the land.” He continued: “We’re disappointed that the positive attributes of seafood do not feature more prominently in the report. “After all the nation eats over four billion seafood meals each year. For us it’s clear that seafood has a vital part to play – both in providing a healthy food source and in future food security. “Many in the seafood industry get out of bed every morning because we truly believe ‘seafood is the way forward’. It’s not just a clever strapline; it’s our reason for being because when the seafood sector thrives, the whole nation thrives.” Coleman said: “Sustainable aquaculture also offers another way to meet the food needs of our growing population as well as delivering wider environmental benefits such as improving water quality and carbon storage. He pointed out that the seafood processing sector was investing in research to reduce the use of single use plastics and to make sure that the packaging used to transport seafood can be recycled. “Those of us working in the seafood sector know all about the extremely positive contribution that seafood can make. It contributes to healthy eating (and reduced health costs), has a lower environmental impact than other animal proteins, and supports sustainable coastal communities,” he emphasised.

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09/08/2021 14:07:28


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09/08/2021 10:33:14


European News

NEWS...

Mowi reports higher harvest volumes

Above: Mowi salmon

MOWI Scotland has delivered a higher harvest and operating profit during the AprilJune second quarter period this year, the group’s trading update shows. The group also saw increased volumes in Canada and Chile, but a slight fall in Norway. The Scottish harvest figure for Q2 is 19,000 tonnes, up 31% from 14,500 tonnes in Q2 last year. The operating EBIT or profit through the value chain was approximately €1.55 per kilo, up from €1.00 in Q2 2020. However, analysts in Norway are suggesting that this figure is lower than what had been anticipated. Globally, the group says it expects an operating profit of €137m, which some industry observers say is around €15m down on earlier predictions. The total harvest was 108,000 tonnes, slightly down on 12 months ago. Mowi said: “Farming Canada East recognised a loss in the second quarter of EUR €15m

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equivalent to €0.14/kg for the Group mainly related to harvesting out ISA [infectious salmon anaemia] fish in Newfoundland.” The operational EBIT in consumer products was €16m (€23m Q2 2020) and feed €3m in Q2 2021 (€6m in Q2 2020). Farming Norway produced a harvest of 56,000 tonnes (56,500 tonnes in Q2 2019) and an operational EBIT of €1.65 per kilo (€1.05). Farming Canada produced 13,500 tonnes (11,500 tonnes) and an operational loss or EBIT of €0.5 a kilo (2020 loss of €0.65). Farming Chile produced 15,000 tonnes (14,000 tonnes) and an operating EBIT of €1 per kilo (€0.80). Farming Ireland produced a harvest of 2,000 tonnes (4,000 tonnes) and an EBIT of €1.85 per kilo (€3.85). Farming Faroe Islands produced a harvest of 2,500 tonnes and an EBIT of €1.90, the same as Q2 2020. The full Q2 2021 report will be released on 25 August.

Bakkafrost behind launch of new air freight service A new air freight company is about to be launched with the backing of the Faroese fish farmer Bakkafrost. The company, which has yet to be given a name, is being set up to expand the export of seafood from the northerly island archipelago. However, as the Faroe Islands’ largest fish farmer, Bakkafrost will be the main user of outbound flights. Bakkafrost CEO Regin Jacobsen will be the airline’s chairman while Bakkafrost chairman Rúni M. Hansen will take a seat on the board. Birgir Nielsen has been named as CEO. Hanus Jacobsen, head of Bakkafrost USA, told the Faroese press that the company is present in markets where a direct air route would benefit both the company and the environment. The company’s salmon was currently exported by sea to the British mainland or to Denmark before being trans-shipped on flights across the Atlantic. The new carrier is planning to purchase or charter a cargo plane as soon as possible. Vágar, the main airport in the Faroes, said that while Bakkafrost would occupy most of the outbound capacity, there would be guaranteed room for importers to the islands. CEO Regin Jacobsen said the inbound flights should also create opportunities for Faroese importers as well as opening new possibilities for businesses in Scotland. Bakkafrost owns the Scottish Salmon Company. He added: “The challenge would be to fill up the inbound capacity. We would probably not be able to fill a cargo airplane in a regular route between the USA and the Faroe Islands. But then the plane could possibly fly via Glasgow back to the Faroes. That would make it possible to fill the capacity to Scotland, and the flying time from Glasgow to Vágar is Above: Regin Jacobsen only one hour.”

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09/08/2021 14:09:38


All the latest industry news from Europe

Iceland’s aquaculture output shows big rise

THE export value of Iceland’s farmed fish products totalled just over ISK 3.2 billion (£18.4m) in June, according to preliminary trade figures from Statistics Iceland. This represents a 67% rise in ISK terms on June last year and is another sign of the country’s growing strength in aquaculture, which is now 4% up on a year ago. It is also the highest June figure so far. The export value of marine products, which includes fish of all types, was up 17.9%, an increase of ISK 4.1bn (£24m), mainly due to the increased value of pelagic fish such as mackerel and herring. Marine products now account for almost half of Iceland’s total exports. Statistics Iceland says that increased activity in fish farming is also showing through in the labour market, with tax data indicating a significant increase in the number of people receiving wages from this industry.

The figures show that the aquaculture workforce averaged around 540 during the first four months of this year, which is high in a country with a population of only 357,000. Statistics Iceland believes the outlook is for a further increase in aquaculture related activity both on land and on coastal sea sites. The total Icelandic harvest is likely to be around 43,500 tonnes this year, increasing to 55,000 tonnes by 2023. In comparison, the total fish catch by Icelandic vessels last month was 49,000 tonnes, with cod accounting for about 20,000 tonnes. The volume is down by 21% on a year ago and the country has just cut its annual cod quota by 13% to just over 222,000 tonnes for the new fishing year which starts on 1 September. Above: An Icelandic fish farm

Fürst Medical Laboratory swoops for Patogen

Cod mortality ‘was not disease’

FISH health company PatoGen has been acquired by Norway’s Fürst Medical Laboratory, which has promised to continue developing the business. PatoGen is a leading provider of preventive and diagnostic analysis for the aquaculture industry in Norway and Scotland. It has operations in Norway – in Ålesund, Oslo and Bodø – and Oban in Scotland. In total, PatoGen has nearly 60 employees and its revenue in 2020 was just under NOK 100m (£8m). Fürst, which is the largest medical laboratory in Norway, has acquired 100% of PatoGen’s

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shares. The deal brings it into the aquaculture market for the first time – its core business is providing analytical services to the healthcare sector. The CEO of Fürst, Håvard Selby Ebbestad, said: “Fürst has a long lasting and solid experience running effective laboratories and diagnostics. Becoming owners of PatoGen, we also get exposure to preventive and diagnostic analyses in fish. This is an attractive market for us, and we are confident we can make a valuable contribution to the aquaculture companies to improve their fish health and fish welfare.”

THE Norwegian cod farming company Statt Torsk which suffered the loss of more than 48,000 cod last month, says tests have shown no sign of fish disease. A full report was sent to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority following the incident at the company’s site at Stokkeneset which affected two of its three pens. Statt Torsk (sometimes referred to as Stadt Torsk) said it has received negative results on all its tests for disease, which underpins its earlier belief that external factors caused the sudden mass death. There was no indication of any other biological issues.

Given the way the fish died, the company says, the most likely explanation for the mortality, is that they were somehow frightened, possibly by the appearance of a large predator. Statt Torsk says: “Such accidents are regarded as very rare and are not connected to a specific species in fish farming.” It adds: “The incident will not result in any change or delay in the company’s plans and ambitions.” The news will come as a big relief to this company which made its debut on the EuroNext Growth market three months ago when it raised NOK 115m (just over £9m). Below: Statt Torsk cod farm

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09/08/2021 14:10:09


European News

Kvarøy Arctic scholarships awarded

Above Bxxxx

TWO aspiring aquaculturalists, from Nigeria and Portugal, have been named as the recipients of the 2021 Women in Aquaculture scholarship programme, run by Norwegian salmon farmer Kvarøy Arctic. Oyebadejo Augustina from Nigeria and Marta Carvalho from

Portugal will each receive a $10,000 award and a handson opportunity to spend time at Kvarøy Arctic’s farm sites in Norway. The initiative is hosted in partnership with Seafood and Gender Equality (SAGE). Oyebadejo Augustina comes from the coastal town of Badagry, near Lagos. She commented: “This scholarship will help me with practical skills and knowledge of efficient fish production. I think this is a way to build aquaculture in my country and influence the economy positively while saving a lot of lives.” Marta Carvalho is a native of Porto, Portugal. She holds both a BS and MS in Aquatic Sciences from the University of Porto and is currently pursuing her PhD in Sustainable Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. She said: “We need men and

women together to progress and to make aquaculture a sustainable and a healthy way of consuming fish. I really believe that sustainable aquaculture is the future and I’ve developed a special interest in omega-3 nutrients, which are so important for humans as well as for fish. “I’m pursuing a deeper knowledge of these nutrients and how they can contribute to fish health and welfare, farm productivity,

and an increased nutritional value for human consumption.” Kvarøy Arctic CEO Alf-Gøran Knutsen said: “We hope these scholarships are an example of how our industry can uplift the next generation, and serve as an inspiration for other companies that support our diversity and impact goals.” Left Oyebadejo Augustina Below Marta Carvalho

Danish Aquaculture draws up IHN action plan

Above Brian Thomsen

THE Danish aquaculture sector has drawn up a plan to prevent the spread of the deadly salmon disease infectious haematopoietic necrosis, commonly known as IHN. The trade association Dansk Akvakultur and the six Danish fish

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farms that were infected with IHN in May have handed over the plan to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. Their intention is to re-establish the country as being free of the virus. The outbreak, which hit Denmark for the first time earlier this summer, also sent a scare throughout the fish farming sector in Norway. Danish Aquaculture director Brian Thomsen said his organisation was solutionorientated and he had nothing but praise for the affected fish farm owners who were working with the rest of the sector to deliver a concrete plan for IHN control. He said the plan was based

on companies getting their slaughterhouse solutions approved as soon as possible, and on ensuring that the value of the facilities is taken into account and sufficient time is given for the fish to be removed and handled correctly. This is only fair, he said, because an emergency slaughter of

infected fish entails significant economic losses for those farms hit by the disease. He added: “Fortunately there are no signs that the infection has spread to other farms and this means that 95% of Denmark is free of IHN. We believe that with effective and rapid action we can fight the IHN virus.”

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09/08/2021 14:11:19


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09/08/2021 10:50:32


European News

Lobster farmer gets claws into green energy project THE world’s first business to produce land-based farmed lobsters and Norwegian data specialists Green Mountain have teamed up in a ground-breaking energy project. Norwegian Lobster Farm has entered into an agreement with data centre Green Mountain on the reuse of waste heat from the IT business. The project represents an innovative example of the circular economy, with waste heat from the data centre reused for the

lobster farm’s RAS (recirculating aquaculture system). The announcement follows the unveiling of a similar partnership earlier this month between Green Mountain and land-based trout farmer Hima Seafood. The farm’s lobsters need a temperature of 20°C for optimal growth. This is exactly the temperature of the seawater that has been used to cool the IT equipment in Green Mountain’s data

centre. This heated wastewater can therefore be delivered directly to the fish farm. Cooling a data centre usually accounts for an additional 40-80% of the electricity required to power the servers. Green Mountain uses an innovative fjord cooling solution. The plan is to build a new production facility adjacent to the data centre where this heated seawater can be used directly in the

breeding of lobsters. The CEO of Norwegian Lobster Farm, Asbjørn Drengstig, said: “In practical terms, this means that we can scale up production, reduce technical risk, and save both CAPEX and OPEX. In addition to the environmental benefits, of course.” Below From left: Tor Kristian Gyland

(Green Mountain), Alf Reime and Asbjorn Drengstig (Norwegian Lobster Farm)

AKVA wins Iceland feed barge contract ICELANDIC salmon company Ice Fish Farm has chosen the AKVA group to supply two AC600VR feed barges for its aquaculture operations in the east of the country. AKVA says it expects the deal to consolidate its position as the leading feed barge supplier in Iceland. Ice Fish Farm, which is now majority owned by the Norwegian company Måsøval, is one of Iceland’s fastest growing salmon businesses. It is currently in exploratory merger talks with Laxar Fiskeldi, in which Måsøval also has a big stake. Commenting on the feed barge deal, Kjartan Lindbøl, production manager at Ice Fish Farm, said: “For us, it is important to think long-term and prepare for the future. We need flexibility at the locations we operate in, and some of our locations are exposed to waves and bad weather conditions. “The AC600VR model from AKVA group was the best choice as it is the most robust barge model in the market in terms of design. In addition, AKVA group has adapted the barges

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with a flexible feeding system and we see great advantages with that.” Lindbøl added: “The fact that AKVA group has been established with a base and a service offering in Eskifjordur on the east coast of Iceland is a great advantage for us.” AKVA is now a well-established name in Iceland, with eight feed barges in operation throughout the country. The AC600VR model has been developed for exposed locations and was first introduced to the market at Aqua Nor in 2019.

Roar Ognedal, AKVA general manager for southern Norway and the Nordic market, said: “We are very grateful that Ice Fish Farm chose AKVA group as a supplier of feed barges, and I think they found a great model as well. “The VR series is the most robust feed barge model in the market, with a design we are proud to have developed.” He added: “The feed barges will cover Ice Fish Farm’s needs, both today and in the future, and I am sure that they will be very satisfied when the barges are in operation.”

www.fishfarmermagazine.com

09/08/2021 14:18:08


All the latest industry news from Europe

Colleagues pay tribute to Denis Constant Proven th a ousand times over!

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THE team at DSM Nutritional Products in Village-Neuf, France have expressed their gratitude to Denis Constant for his outstanding contribution to the company, on the occasion of his retirement in July, after more than 30 years at DSM. Denis Constant joined DSM as an aquaculture technician to become a member of the Aquaculture Innovation R&D team as Trial and Facility Manager. He started his working career at Ifremer in Brittany, France, where he discovered the joys of fish and simultaneously started a climbing career with as much energy, scaling the cliffs at Pen Hir Point on the Crozon peninsula. In a tribute to Constant, DSM said: “Denis’ work ethic enabled the development of our well-known carotenoids, health premixes, and eubiotic solutions, which are used the world over. Simultaneously, Denis has been key in the development of our understanding of new generation ingredients for aquafeeds supporting our drive for the sustainable growth of aquaculture. Denis developed a deep knowledge of aquafeed formulation and production. His skills, together with his accuracy and accountability in the running of each animal trial has been a great support for our Aquaculture Innovation Team and certainly accelerated the development of our product portfolio. “Throughout his career at DSM, Denis worked with tremendous passion, energy and interest. Owing to his attention to detail, Denis was a master of feed extrusion and produced our high-quality feeds essential for our fish trials. In a similar vein, Denis bred our rainbow trout, carp and tilapia guided by his extensive spreadsheets to guide him through grading, fish allocation, and precision feeding. Denis achieved the highest quality internal fish trials, on which we so depended for the success of our Nutrition and Health innovation pipeline.” Constant’s colleague Ester Santigosa, Global Innovation Lead Aquaculture at DSM, said: “It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to have Denis on our team and we wish him a long and enjoyable retirement. It may be the end of the fish, but we know with his boundless energy the climbing career will continue, bonne retraite Denis!”

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09/08/2021 14:12:35


World News

NEWS...

Barramundi set for Oslo listing

Above: Cone Bay Ocean Barramundi Right: Kuhlbarra Barramundi

AUSTRALIAN aquaculture business the Barramundi Group is planning to list its shares on the Euronext Growth Oslo exchange. If the listing goes ahead, Barramundi would be the first Australasian company, as well as the first aquaculture player specialising in a tropical species, to be listed on the Oslo exchange. The company is one of the largest barramundi producers in the world, operating through a unique end-to-end aquaculture model, with comprehensive in-house capabilities ranging from vaccine development,

product innovation and processing, to hatchery facilities. Barramundi operates three ocean farm sites situated across Australasia, from which it plans to more than double its capacity over the next five years. It also operates sites in Singapore and Brunei. Its chilled barramundi products are marketed under a number of brands including Kuhlbarra, Fassler Gourmet and Cone Bay Ocean Barramundi. Mr Andreas von Scholten, Chief Executive Officer of Barramundi Group said: “This listing is a significant milestone for Barramundi Group as it marks the first step in our plan for transformational growth. The organic developments we’ve been able to build through the engagement of global brand-name clients and intermediaries in the last few years demonstrate the large commercial potential that resides in barramundi as a premium white fish. “We believe that this listing will enable us to fully capitalise on the growing global middle class and skyrocketing demand for high-quality proteins that

are raised responsibly, with minimal carbon and oceanic impact.” The offering will take the form of an equity private placement that is expected to be followed by an immediate listing at Euronext Growth Oslo. A number of prominent institutions and family offices in both the Nordics and Asia have already pre-committed themselves to participate in the transaction, the company said. DNB Markets and Pareto Securities will be joint bookrunners for the listing, with Wikborg Rein, TSMP Law and BAHR as legal advisers.

BC farmers highlight innovation in the industry A report from the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association has highlighted the sector’s advances in technology on a wide range of fronts, from ocean-based containment systems to sea lice treatment and clean energy. The 2021 Innovation and Technology Report Update follows on from an earlier report in 2019, and underlines the industry’s case for its defence at a time when the Canadian Federal Government is ordering the shutdown of open-net salmon farms in one of British Columbia’s key regions, the Discovery Islands. The report update highlights the BC salmon farming industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The publication also emphasises the scale of new technologies and innovations being deployed at all stages of the salmon production life cycle – from land-based hatcheries and in-ocean farms, to

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improvements in fish processing. John Paul Fraser, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association, said: “Despite the fact the Federal Government’s actions over the last several years have led to unprecedented levels of uncertainty and stress for many coastal communities, the salmon farming sector’s commitment to British Columbia has never wavered. “Continuous improvement is what our industry is all about and we’ve been rapidly evolving and innovating for years. “We are excited and proud to be releasing this report as it shows our dedication to environmental responsibility, and what innovation looks like today in our sector on BC’s coast.”

Left: BC Innova�on cover

www.fishfarmermagazine.com

09/08/2021 14:23:49


All the latest industry news from around the world

Oregon set for sea lion cull to save salmon FEDERAL funding has been secured to support a targeted cull of sea lions in the US state of Oregon, with the aim of protecting wild salmon. The cull will make use of a provision in the US Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) that allows the killing of protected species in exceptional circumstances. The MMPA normally forbids any culling of marine mammals such as sea lions and seals, even when they pose a nuisance to commercial fish farms and fisheries. As the Act imposes import sanctions on any regions outside US jurisdiction that permit culling, it has the effect of imposing a similar ban on culls in other locations such as Scotland and Norway. A spokesperson for the US National Ocean-

ic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explained: “The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits the lethal ‘take’ (i.e. killing) of marine mammals, but provides a few limited exceptions including when local officials can

lethally remove animals that are impacting Endangered Species Act-listed species or pose an immediate health and safety risk to people. “MMPA Section 109(h) provides for the protection or welfare of the animals or public health and welfare by allowing federal, state, or local officials to humanely euthanise marine mammals that are suffering or causing immediate danger to people. This provision also allows for the non-lethal removal of an individual nuisance animal by local government officials, but not culling of an entire population.” Permission for a take permit under the MMPA must be obtained from NOAA. Above Sea lion eating salmon

Brazilian meat giant snaps up Australia’s Huon BRAZILIAN meat processor JBS has entered into an agreement to buy the Huon Aquaculture Group, Australia’s second largest salmon farmer. JBS will acquire all of Huon’s issued shares at a market value of AUS $425m (£225m) or 1.64bn Brazilian reals. Huon is based in Southern Tasmania and owned by the Bender family. Huon’s board, including major family shareholders Peter and Frances Bender has unanimously recommended that all other shareholders vote in favour of the agreement in the absence of a superior offer. Gilberto Tomazoni, CEO Global with JBS, said: “This is a strategic acquisition, which marks the entry of JBS into the aquaculture business. We will repeat what we did previously with chicken, pork and valueadded products – to make our portfolio even more comprehensive.” JBS, headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil is the world’s largest meat processor and already owns a processing business in Australia. Above: Huon Aquaculture

Ocean seaweed business attracts green investors

Above: Sea6 AgroGainx

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AN Indian business aiming to harvest seaweed from artificial islands in deep ocean waters has attracted finance from AquaSpark, a fund set up to invest in sustainable aquaculture. The investment from Aqua-Spark is part of a $9m (£6.5m) funding round for Sea6 Energy, which started as a spin-out from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and is now headquartered in Bangalore. Sea6’s SeaCombine is a fully mechanized cultivation system that can simultaneously harvest and replant seaweed in deep ocean waters, enabling cost competitive production at scale. The system means less labour

is required to harvest and seed seaweed, and it can do this directly on the sea. In addition, the SeaCombine allows farming in deeper and rougher waters than traditional methods would allow. Sea6 has also developed proprietary processing technologies to convert fresh seaweed into novel products for agriculture, animal health, food ingredients, bioplastics and renewable chemicals. Aqua-Spark is the first investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture. It is the lead investor in Sea6’s $9M Series B round, alongside co-investor, Singaporebased Silverstrand Capital.

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09/08/2021 14:24:38


World News

NZ mussel farms count cost of storm damage MANY of New Zealand’s mussel farms are cleaning up after huge storms wreaked havoc across the South Island. The cost of the damage is reported to run into millions of dollars and the weather has

left a trail of devastation that could take weeks to clear. Extreme bad weather poses one of the biggest threats to fish farming operations as salmon companies in Scotland, Iceland and

the Faroe Islands can readily testify over the past two years. This time the storms, which brought 25 feet high waves and were the worst in over 15 years, hit the Tasman Bay area at the top end of the South Island, leaving a trail of tangled mussel lines and building damage. One Tasman bay company, MacLab which is located near the port of Nelson, said more than half of a 670 acre farm was torn out of the seabed. The company said it was now in the repair phase of the operation but around half of its mussel lines had been seriously damaged. Most of the crop affected was half way through its growth cycle which has added to the cost. The country’s Marine Farming Association president Jonathan Large said a number of farms in Golden Bay and the Marlborough Sounds also suffered severe damage, but those in Tasman Bay bore the brunt of the weather. “It was a one-off event really, I’ve never seen anything like it, just consistently big seas that went through Tasman Bay,” he added. Left: Mussels

Grieg to cull a million Canadian salmon after ISA scare GRIEG Seafood is being forced to cull around a million salmon and postpone its first transfer for almost a year after discovering a single case of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) at its farms in Newfoundland. The company said the decision is being taken as a precautionary measure in a bid to reduce risk. It intends to develop salmon farming operations in Placentia Bay “gradually and responsibly”. The discovery of suspected ISA in just one fish followed a routine sampling that was due to be launched from its Marystown facility earlier this summer. A further 295 samples were collected and analysed by the Newfoundland veterinary authorities and all gave negative results. No ISA was found. The Grieg statement continued: “While it would be possible to transfer the fish to sea under restrictions, Grieg Seafood Newfoundland has decided to apply the precautionary approach and not transfer fish to sea... almost one million fish that were scheduled for sea transfer this summer, unfortunately will be culled. “All of these fish are in

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the same RAS [recirculating aquaculture system] as the one fish with the detection, and the company would not have been able to maintain its fish health and welfare standard in sea should the virus exist in this fish group.” The company said it now plans to carry out a thorough review to find out why ISA was detected and would also take measures to avoid similar

incidents in the future. Knut Skeidsvoll, Managing Director of Grieg Seafood Newfoundland, said: “We have said from the beginning that we will develop our farming operations in Placentia Bay gradually, responsibly and sustainably. As such, we believe it is right to apply the precautionary approach in this situation and postpone the transfer to sea to the spring of 2022.

“Even though none of the additional 295 samples detected any virus, we do not want to risk introducing ISA into the environment and possibly farm fish in the sea without optimal conditions for fish health and welfare.”

Below: Grieg smolt facility

Marystown

www.fishfarmermagazine.com

09/08/2021 14:25:55


All the latest industry news from around the world

AquaBounty announces new site for GMO salmon

Above: AquaBounty fish

US-based GMO salmon farmer AquaBounty has selected an appropriately named venue for its first full scale site – Pioneer, Ohio. AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage fish are the first GMO (genetically modified organism) salmon in commercial production. The new farm represents an important milestone for the company. It will be AquaBounty’s first large-scale commercial facility, with a planned annual production capacity of 10,000 tonnes – approximately eight times the size of its existing farm in Albany, Indiana, which has an annual production capacity of 1,200 tonnes. The company is finalising the design for the estimated 479,000 square foot facility and expects to invest over $200m (£143m) in the project. Construction is slated to begin in late 2021 and the company anticipates commercial stocking of salmon to commence in 2023. Once in operation, the farm will bring more than 100 new jobs to the region, the company says. The AquAdvantage fish are Atlantic salmon whose genetic makeup also includes elements of

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two other fish species, Chinook salmon and ocean pout, in order to achieve faster growth and more efficient feed conversion. The salmon are reared in land-based RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) facilities. This year saw the company’s first commercial harvest AquaBounty’s Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Wulf, said: “We are excited to announce Pioneer, Ohio as the location of our next farm. After an intensive analysis of the site data and the completion of substantial due diligence, Pioneer met our selection requirements. The Village of Pioneer, Williams County, the State of Ohio, JobsOhio and the Regional Growth Partnership have all been a pleasure to work with and are highly supportive of the economic benefits we plan to bring to the community.” The state of Ohio is now finalising a package of economic incentives to support AquaBounty’s location at the Pioneer site, Wulf added. The plan for the new farm is contingent upon the approval of state and local incentives. AquaBounty expects to begin construction by the end of this year.

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09/08/2021 14:26:59


Processing News

Scottish Government pledges cash for seafood sector The Scottish Government has promised £1.8m to help seafood businesses sell to markets in the UK and overseas

Above: (From left) James Robertson, Mairi Gougeon, Kevin McDonell, Donna Fordyce, Simon Robertson and Michael Robertson

THE initiative is intended to help the sector recover from the twin impacts of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. It was announced by Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon on a visit to processors

Joseph Robertson in Aberdeen last month. The funding, managed by trade marketing body Seafood Scotland, will support businesses to access new markets within the UK and abroad, including campaigns

in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. The work will also include developing a strategy to encourage sustainability and improve quality assurance and accreditation of sea-

food produce. Seafood Scotland hopes that, as major international trade events begin again, together with a number of virtual online events, these platforms will enable it to engage with buyers to experience first-hand the broad range of seafood available. In Scotland, “buy local, support local” campaigns will also encourage growth in the domestic market, capitalising on rising demand for seafood provenance and quality. Seafood Scotland will form close links with leading chefs, working alongside

ing for businesses in the seafood sector who have faced significant losses due to hospitality closures from Covid-19 and a The last raft of new trade barriers and bureau16 months cracy following Brexit. have been “The seafood sector devastating for is a crucial part of our rural economy, supbusinesses porting jobs in coastal communities and our priority has been to protect people’s livelihoods. “While we continue to work to resolve them to make Scottish some of the export seafood a prized, pre- issues the sector faces, this new mium item on menus funding will help the across the globe. Mairi Gougeon said: sector’s longer term recovery from these “The last 16 months recent challenges.” have been devastat-

Fish processors air problems with the PM REPRESENTATIVES of the fishing and fish processing industries in Scotland met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 5 August to share their concerns over quota nego�a�ons and labour shortages. The mee�ng took place in Fraserburgh, in north east Scotland. Chief Execu�ve of the Sco�sh Seafood Associa�on, Jimmy Buchan outlined how Brexit and Covid-19 had combined to create a perilous situa�on for companies in the seafood sector, with produc�on and export capacity severely reduced. He demanded urgent ac�on from the Prime Minister to help address the issue of labour shortages within the sector. Also at the mee�ng, representa�ves from the fishing industry called on the PM to nego�ate a be�er deal for the UK sector’s alloca�on of quotas, and raised concern that the drive to exploit renewable wind power along the coast could have an impact on offshore fishing grounds. A�er the mee�ng, Jimmy

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Buchan said: “I along with others from the catching sector made it plain to the Prime Minister that the Brexit deal had fallen far short of expecta�ons. And most per�nently for the processing sector, I sought an assurance that the Government would work closely with us to resolve the cri�cal shortage of labour. He agreed that a campaign was required to encourage young people into the industry and on the need for direct ac�on to stem the haemorrhage of overseas workers that has occurred since 1 January.” Jimmy Buchan agreed to carry out further discussions on how to move forward with Scotland Office minister David Duguid. Elspeth Macdonald, chief execu�ve of the Sco�sh Fishermen’s Federa�on also commented: “The Prime Minister has spoken previously of an El Dorado of fish from 2026 onwards but we are seeking a commitment from him to deliver much be�er opportuni�es for the Sco�sh fleet in

the mean�me as well as in the longer term.” “In the short term it will be a case of survival for the industry, but we want to thrive, and to ensure that we can build back this industry we need to start planning now.” As well as Brexit, food processors have been hit by Covid-19 self-isola�on rules – the so-

called “pingdemic” – with many workers having to stay at home a�er being no�fied that they have been in proximity to an individual who has tested posi�ve. Last month, the rules on isola�on were changed to allow priority workers in the food supply chain to take daily Covid-19 tests if they have been “pinged”, rather than having to isolate.

Above: Boris Johnson (2nd from right) meets fishing and processing chiefs

www.fishfarmermagazine.co.uk

09/08/2021 14:29:06


Processing News

Salmon boosts Marel’s earnings MAREL, the interna�onal fish and meat process equipment group, has reported a strong order book during the second quarter of this year, thanks in part to record demand in the salmon sector. The current order book now stands at €499.1m, up from €439m a year ago, while the profit was €23.3m against €30.7m in Q2 2020. But the profit for the January to June half year period was marginally higher at €44.5m, with orders up by well over €100m to 740.7m. CEO Árni Oddur Þórðarson added: “The second quarter was good for Marel. Our ambi�ous team tackled challenges with op�mism and perseverance in close collabora�on with suppliers and customers. “For the second quarter in a row, we are delivering a record order of 370 million euros. It is gra�fying to see strong orders coming in to serve the poultry industry, the meat industry was in line with expecta�ons and

we are seeing record orders coming into the fishing industry where sushi and other salmon products were clearly on the menu. “A strong and well-composed order book is the basis of our goals for increased revenue with improved margins looking ahead. Pipe-

Arnarlax gets BRC seal of approval

ICELANDIC salmon company Arnarlax has been awarded the all-important British Retail Consortium (BRC) food safety certification for its processing operation in Bíldudalur in the Westfjords region. BRC Food Safety certification gives the company, which trades internationally under the name Icelandic Salmon AS, a key to the potentially lucrative UK retail market. As the BRC Food Safety standard is recognised by the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative), the certification also provides businesses with international recognition for food safety. Many retailers, manufacturers, and food service companies will require a

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third-party food safety certification such as BRC Food Safety as part of their supplier approval process. Arnarlax said: “We are proud of this supplement. This certification confirms that hygiene, quality and safety standards in the processing are at the highest international level. Behind a certification like this lies a lot of work and preparation and with a good team, the goal was achieved!” Arnarlax, which is now largely owned by the Norwegian salmon giant SalMar, is planning a major expansion in output over the next few years, reflecting growing confidence in Iceland’s aquaculture sector.

line sales projects, which are not yet confirmed in the order book, con�nue to grow in all industries.” In July, Marel announced plans to buy Valka ehf, a salmon and white fish processing equipment business also based in Iceland.

Stress levels soar for food chain workers during pandemic NINE out of 10 frontline food produc�on and supply workers report worsening mental health since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a study carried out for SAMH (the Sco�sh Associa�on for Mental Health). The research, carried out by 3Gem on adults in Scotland employed in the frontline food produc�on and supply sectors, also found that younger people aged between 25-34 have been the hardest hit. Increased feelings of stress and anxiety were reported by over three quarters (81%) of those surveyed. Among the main barriers preventing frontline food produc�on and supply sector workers from accessing mental health support include wai�ng �mes (39%), not being sure where to look (39%), feeling too busy (33%) and feeling that the problems they have are not serious enough (33%). SAMH is now offering a mental health support service, Time For You, in associa�on with Glasgow Caledonian University. Fiona Benton, Assistant Director of Delivery and Development at SAMH, said: “We know from the research that frontline workers feel they would benefit from help such as talking therapies like cogni�ve behaviour therapy and access to self-help resources, so we hope that Time for You will be a valuable resource for many people. We urge anyone who is struggling to reach out and take the first step – it’s OK to not be OK.” The Time for You service will be resourced to support up to 4,000 people and as well as food and supply workers, is open to frontline workers in the health, retail, social care and public transport sectors. Right: Fiona Benton

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09/08/2021 14:29:53


Comment

BY DR MARTIN JAFFA

The truth about lice Campaigners who suggest that the open sea is infested with lice do not understand the parasite’s life cycle

I

f you had to urgently find a person who would help save your life and knew nothing about them, then what you might do is to go out into the street and stop everyone who passed by in the hope of bumping into them. However, you could be looking for ever. It might be be�er trying to narrow the field, by for example, if the person you sought was a doctor and then you might reduce your search area by targe�ng the local hospital. You might further reduce the search by finding out whether the doctor you need works on the day or night shi�, so you could be there at the right �me. In much the same way, it makes no sense that sea lice larvae would be carried on the sea’s currents and �des in the hope that a

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poten�al host in the form of a salmon smolt will swim by. The seas around Scotland cover a huge area and sea lice larva are microscopic. Yet, campaigners argue that salmon farms pump out millions of sea lice larvae into the open sea and these infest passing salmon. They say that these infested fish will then die, and this is why wild salmon stocks on the west coast have declined so rapidly. It seems so unlikely that a parasite like sea lice has developed a life strategy that depends on a chance mee�ng with a host. Most parasites have developed very complex life cycles to maximise their prospects. One of the more interes�ng fish parasites is Cymothoa exigua, which targets a variety of fish species, but its main target is the rose snapper that lives in the Gulf of California. The parasi�c isopod infiltrates the gills of the fish and latches on to its tongue. It then proceeds to consume the organ, which it replaces with its own body, and it then acts as the tongue for the host fish. The ini�al parasite is a male, but if the fish is infested by a second male, the first one turns into a female and the two breed. Once the eggs develop and are released then the female lets go of the host and without a tongue the fish eventually dies and having successfully bred, so does the female parasite. Sea lice are not as complex as Cymothoa, but they too must find their host. In the wild, the most likely place for sea lice to meet a host fish is at a river mouth where freshwater meets the sea. At this point, the area through which the fish must pass is �ny compared to the open sea. Migra�ng smolts also slow down as they leave the river in order to adjust to the changing salinity, so they become easier targets. Sea lice are phototaxic – a�racted to the light – and are drawn to the surface layers through which fish are most likely to pass. There is also likely to be some sense of smell or movement involved, as found in freshwater fish lice, but this is less clear in the marine species. Unfortunately, most research on sea lice has been directed on the interac�ons with salmon farming. The full life cycle of the lice was only discovered as late as 2013. There is

The lice larvae appeared to be “ aware that a ready food source was on their doorstep ”

Above: Smolt on their way out to sea Left: Sea lice on salmon Right: Sea lice

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09/08/2021 14:33:25


The truth about lice

clearly a lot more to discover, including a be�er understanding of how the lice locate their host in the wild. It is also thought that larval sea lice arrive at river mouths and estuaries when adult salmon return to freshwater to spawn. Sea lice do not survive the journey into freshwater and drop off as the salinity decreases so effec�vely comple�ng the natural marine life cycle. The ques�on is how does the sea lice’s natural life cycle translate to salmon farming? Industry cri�cs have concluded that there is an alterna�ve scenario in which larval sea lice dri� the seas in the hope of finding a moving host. Yet, there is probably a be�er chance that such cri�cs will win the lo�ery. A paper by Emily Nelson and others in

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Martin Jaffa.indd 25

2017 found concentra�ons of larval sea lice in the sea dropped away sharply in a very short distance from salmon pens. The lice larvae appeared to be aware that a ready food source was on their doorstep and stayed around the pens rather than dri� away. With so many poten�al hosts in the salmon pen, it makes li�le sense to move away. This leaves the ques�on as to how salmon pens become infested, and the likelihood is that lice on passing salmon or sea trout recognise a new host is nearby and transfer to it. It is known that some sea lice stages move from one fish to another, as some fish recaught in sweep ne�ng sampling have a lower lice count than when ini�ally caught. As the fish in salmon pens or experimental sen�nel cages are effec�vely tethered in one place, the chance of infesta�on increases compared with those hosts that are free swimming. We s�ll don’t know that much about the biology of sea lice, but it seems that those whose narra�ve suggests that the seas around Scotland have become a soup of infec�ve sea lice seem to know even less. FF

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09/08/2021 14:33:54


Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation

BY HAMISH MACDONELL

All eyes on Glasgow COP26 represents an opportunity for the fish farming sector to make its case

Y

ou have to go back 16 years to find the last �me Scotland hosted an event with as much global significance and profile as the COP26 summit, due to be held in Glasgow this November. In 2005, it was the G8 at Gleneagles. I remember it well as I was part of the media swarm buzzing around inside the event itself. There were so many images and memories that stand out: there was the huge media hangar, with na�onal flags hanging from the roof, showing which long bank of desks was for each country. There was the dis�nctly surreal experience of standing on the balcony of the media bar, gin and tonic in hand, watching protesters ba�le with riot police outside the perimeter, just a hundred yards away. There was the sight of Bono – plus entourage – rushing between mee�ngs of world leaders; but there was also the shocking and tragic end to the summit brought about by the 7/7 bombings in London. Like that G8 mee�ng, COP26 will be a mixture of massive interna�onal stories and small human interest events. There will be protests which will capture immediate but flee�ng coverage, there will be stunts – some imagina�ve, some plain crass – and everywhere there will be someone trying to grab the media’s a�en�on. It will be a circus and there is li�le point in any fringe group or organisa�on going to COP in the expecta�on of making any sort of media splash because the story will always be elsewhere. However, there is considerable merit in being there if you have a

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clear but limited aim in mind. That is why we in the Sco�sh salmon sector will be at the COP26 conference and why we hope our involvement will mark the start of a shi� in percep�on about our sector. To appreciate what we are doing and why, it is worth considering what COP26 actually is. Although similar in size, scale and influence, COP26 is very different from the G8. Where the G8 was a leaders’ forum, an event to bring the migh�est economic powers from around the world together, COP26 is an event pitched somewhere between a global movement and a statement of intent. Indeed, it could almost be described as a global campaign in the form of a governmental conference. It feels as if COP26 is a grassroots event which has been taken out of the hands of the people and handed over to government and, as such, it carries with it a huge weight of expecta�on: it is designed to set the tone and the direc�on for climate change ac�on for years to come. But it is precisely because it is so much more than a mee�ng of the G8 that it ma�ers so much to sectors like ours. We want to be at COP26 for one reason and one reason only: we want to be seen as part of the solu�on to the environmental problems the world faces. Some of our cri�cs are determined to porAbove: Sunrise aerial view tray salmon farming as part of the problem. of Glasgow We have railed against that and we will con�n- Left: COP26 ue to do so. A�er all, we have a great environmental story to tell with our low carbon footprint, low water use and terrific feed conversion rate. Indeed, salmon farming should be at the forefront of environmentally friendly protein produc�on plans.

www.fishfarmermagazine.com

09/08/2021 14:35:40


All eyes on Glasgow

will “beCOP26 a mixture

of massive international stories and small human interest events

Too often, though, we are not. Too often, we are smeared with allegations from our critics that we are part of the problem. Well, our task at COP is simple, it is to position the Scottish salmon sector right at the heart of the climate change agenda – as part of the solution. We don’t expect to force our way into the macro media agenda during the event but being in Glasgow, having people at our events and being part of the wider discussions should place us where we need to be – on the right side of the argument. The sustainability charter which the SSPO published last October was the first concrete step the sector took in making this approach real. An update on progress, one year on, will be published in time for COP showing how far we have come in just 12 months to meet the commitments announced last year. But we will also have new nutritional studies completed, analysis of our sector’s carbon footprint and other key baseline information – including on the use of biodegradable and

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Hamish MacDonnell.indd 27

recyclable packaging. When all this is added to the work that has already been done, it will add up to a compelling picture of a sector which is ready and able to help lead Scotland’s green recovery. The UN gets the Blue Economy and its importance in feeding the world. The Scottish Government also gets the Blue Economy and its role in a sustainable and long-lasting recovery from Covid-19. All we want is to be seen as being part of that discussion. We want to be viewed as a key piece of the jigsaw which will start to come together at COP in Glasgow this November. Back at Gleneagles in 2005, I spent a frustrating evening arguing with White House press spokespeople, trying to find out if President George W Bush had indeed fallen off his bicycle while trying to wave to someone, as I had been told he had (he had, it turns out). Although I would have had the scoop of my life had I managed to stand up that story before anyone else, my ambitions for COP26 this year are much more modest. All I want is for salmon farming in general and the Scottish sector in particular, to be placed where it should be in the ongoing discussions over climate change, the environment and feeding the world – as part of the solution. It is a simple aim but also an ambitious one because, if we can get this right, then we will not just be on the right side of this discussion, we will be on the right side of history too. FF

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09/08/2021 14:36:19


Shellfish

BY NICKI HOLMYARD

Aquaculture by the book A new guide sets out everything you wanted to know about shellfish aquaculture

M

olluscan Shellfish Aquaculture: A Practical Guide, edited by Sandra E Shumway, is a highly readable and comprehensive overview of the biology, culture techniques and harves�ng methods used for a host of shellfish species. It also covers site selec�on, business planning, hatchery construc�on, diseases and pests, biofouling, water quality, gene�cs, best management prac�ce, cer�fica�on and regula�on, along with informa�on on the environmental and socio-economic aspects of the industry. This book is wri�en and edited by some of the most widely known and respected academics and industry prac��oners, covering mussels, clams, edible and pearl oysters, scallops, cephalopods, abalone and gastropods such as marine snails and conch. The extensive reference sec�on offers readers the opportunity to take a deeper dive into par�cular areas of interest, making it invaluable for students, researchers and regulators, as well as current shellfish farmers and anyone looking to enter the industry. “I hope this book will prove to be a useful manual that will provide newcomers with the informa�on necessary to spark their imagina�on and con�nue the global effort to grow and u�lise shellfish to their fullest poten�al,” Shumway told Fish Farmer. In the preface, Shumway points out that culture of bivalve molluscs has been carried out for centuries, but it only began to prosper in the past few decades, when technological advances started to be made in land-based hatchery systems and coastal grow-out techniques. Progress began with RRL Guillard, who isolated and cultured phytoplankton as a food source for bivalve larvae in the 1950s, and opened the door for the establishment of shellfish hatcheries. Today, hatchery produc�on is normal prac�ce for many species, and gene�c and molecular techniques are rou�nely used to improve broodstock and combat disease. Technology has also crept in, with the use of sophis�cated models to help shellfish growers with site selec�on and carrying capacity, while real-�me data monitoring is being used to assist with stock management decisions. The chapter on farming oysters for food and profit, includes a sec�on on the effect of climate change on oyster growth. The authors point out that the oyster industry in many parts of the world is dealing with issues caused by changing oceanic and estuarine carbonate chemistry condi�ons, which are impac�ng on the ability of larval oysters to form proper shells. They suggest that for oysters to thrive in changing environments in the future, hatchery produc�on may need to be moved on-land into recircula�on systems, and breeding programmes take mul�ple

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Shellfish regula�on may seem “ unfathomable, overwhelming and maybe a li�le discouraging ” www.fishfarmermagazine.com

09/08/2021 14:38:53


Aquaculture by the book

Left: The front cover This page, from top:

Mussel farm; Sandra Shumway; Scallops; Oyster farm

stressors into account, including thermal stress and hypoxia. An important chapter on water and shellfish quality concerns, points out that one of the major challenges shellfish aquaculture businesses face, is that of ge�ng to grips with the regulatory infrastructure. “To the unini�ated, the world of shellfish regula�on may seem unfathomable, overwhelming and maybe a li�le discouraging,” Gregg W Langlois and Jorge Diogène Fadini say. Welcome to my world! They also conclude that ul�mately, it is the responsibility of shellfish growers to deliver a safe and wholesome product to their customers and suggest that understanding public health concerns and having control strategies in place to manage them is vital to the success of a business. The sec�on on design and construc�on considera�ons for a molluscan shellfish hatchery, provides a comprehensive analysis of the fundamental principles and key criteria applicable to simple family companies growing a limited number of seed of one species, right through to large, corporate opera�ons producing billions of seed, using automated systems. A sound piece of advice is given at the end of this chapter, which is to “expect the unexpected,” which as any shellfish farmer knows, happens just about every day in this business! Prac�cal worksheets are appended as a useful aide-memoire on how to size hatcheries, nurseries, larval units, algal culture and broodstock facili�es, depending on the desired species and outcome. Peter Cook, in the sec�on on business planning, highlights the fact that no ma�er how much �me, effort and funds are put into an aquaculture enterprise, the opera�on is doomed to fail if the shellfish cannot be sold

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at a reasonable price. Assessing the size and loca�on of a market, and having a clear handle on produc�on, processing and delivery costs, is essen�al before star�ng out on a new venture. This may seem obvious, but poor financial planning has been the downfall of many shellfish businesses, the world over. Marke�ng and the global market for molluscan shellfish is covered by Carole R Engle, who illustrates the complexity of the sector, due to the wide range of species, varie�es and product forms produced. In 2017, according to figures from the Food and Agriculture Organisa�on of the United Na�ons (FAO), 211 countries reported farmed produc�on, with China being the largest overall producer of shellfish. While wild and farmed shellfish have always competed in the marketplace, farmed product began to exceed the wild harvest in volume and value in 1983, since when it has grown at an annual average rate of 6.6% per year. in 2017, the total volume of farmed product was nearly seven �mes greater than that from the wild, with clams and cockles accoun�ng for 36% by volume, oysters for 36%, mussels 14%, scallops 13% and abalone 1%. This excellent book leaves one in no doubt that ours is a worldwide industry that is frequently overlooked in comparison to fisheries, and offers enormous poten�al for future development. Shumway said: “As the global popula�on con�nues to increase, the need for sustainable, affordable food will also rise. Shellfish provide mul�ple benefits to the environment and a high-quality source of protein. Shellfish aquaculture can be large scale or sustenance level and provide jobs in developing regions. I hope the mul�ple benefits of shellfish aquaculture will con�nue to be recognized and expand globally. Shellfish aquaculture is good for the economy, good for the environment, and good for you!” Molluscan Shellfish Aquaculture: A Practical Guide (5m Books, £150) FF

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Alternative seafood

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www.fishfarmermagazine.com

09/08/2021 14:44:06


I can’t believe it’s not salmon!

I can’t believe it’s not salmon!

Does ‘seafood’ grown in a lab or created from plant-based materials represent real competition for fish producers?

BY SANDY NEIL

W

hen is “seafood” not actually seafood? This month, Fish Farmer explores the alterna�ves to wild-caught and farmed seafood, from plant-based vegan smoked “salmon” to lab-grown salmon sushi that has never been part of a living animal. With global fisheries under pressure as never before, can cultured cells provide fresh fish without the catch? And as interest in alterna�ve seafoods among consumers, brands and investors grows exponen�ally, with cellular agriculture projected to become mainstream in the next decade, should salmon farmers be worried? “Last summer, we gathered with friends, chefs, journalists, and others at Olympia Oyster Bar in Portland, Oregon, to taste the world’s first cellbased salmon,” vaunts the Californian start-up Wildtype, which has been working since 2016 to produce cultured salmon grown in a lab. The dinner was heralded as the largest tas�ng of labgrown meat, featuring a menu of ceviche verde, Hawaiian poke, and salmon tartare. Wildtype’s pilot plant in San Francisco is on “a mission to create the cleanest, most sustainable fish on the planet, star�ng with salmon”, because oceans are being stressed by overfishing. A single fish could provide food for thousands of people while leaving wild popula�ons untouched. “We’ve now taken a second big step,” Wildtype announced this summer. “We couldn’t be more excited to unveil the next batch of Wildtype seafood: sushi-grade pacific salmon that’s perfect for sashimi, nigiri, or your favourite salmon roll.” The product is “incredibly similar to conven�onal salmon with regard to flavour, aroma, texture and degree of fa�ness,” said Wildtype co-founder Aryé Elfenbein. It can be baked, served as raw sashimi, and cold-smoked. Just like the technology used to growing meat

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Alternative seafood - Sandy.indd 31

cells for burger or steak, food scien�sts are now making fish using stem cell biology and �ssue engineering. A researcher extracts a biopsy-sized sample of muscle �ssue from an animal and isolates pluripotent stem cells, that is cells that are capable of giving rise to more than one different type of cell. These mul�func�onal stem cells proliferate in a bioreactor stew for�fied with a proprietary mix of nutrients (sugars, salt, amino acids, vitamins). When the muscle cells have replicated to a large enough popula�on, they are gra�ed to form skeletal muscle-like structures using techniques originally designed for medical applica�ons. “We start with cells from Pacific salmon and feed them the same nutrients that they would receive in the wild (sugars, fats, proteins, and minerals),” explains Wildtype’s other co-founder Jus�n Kolbeck. The salmon cells are fed the nutrient broth in stainless steel tanks, of the kind you might see in a microbrewery, before they are harvested and affixed to plant-based structures, called “scaffolds”, to direct the cells’ growth. These help to create the moist, flaky texture of a real fish fillet. “The result is real salmon, grown directly from cells, with the same nutri�onal profile and taste as conven�onal salmon,” Kolbeck adds. “Our

It is incredibly similar to conven�onal salmon

Opposite: Wildtype sushi salmon Below: Wildtype sushi and packaging

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Alternative seafood

hope is to eventually price Wildtype sushi-grade salmon to be competitive with conventional salmon in both restaurants and grocery.” The company already has a waiting list for seafood fans, chefs and restaurateurs interested in its product. From the cell stage to harvesting, it can take between three weeks to three months. Conventional fish farming can often take upwards of a year before the fish can be harvested. Should fish farmers be worried about alternative seafoods like cell-cultured salmon? “While aquaculture provides an important alternative to the declining stocks of wild-caught fish, there are several challenges,” Kolbeck opines. Not least is the fact that a significant share of the feed used in aquaculture comes from wild-caught fish. “As there is a finite limit to the number of fish we can sustainably pull from our oceans and rivers, aquaculture unfortunately does not solve our global scarcity challenges.” He says Wildtype’s cell-cultivated seafood is just one solution in an “all of the above” approach to sustainable seafood that includes more sustainable aquaculture practices and plant-based seafood. “Until now, we have not had a seafood alternative that can substitute for wild-caught or farmed seafood,” says Elfenbein, Wildtype’s other co-founder. “Wildtype was founded on the notion that if we give people a delicious, nutritious alternative to conventionally produced seafood, there would no longer be a reason to continue placing undue strain on the biodiversity of our oceans and waterways.” Fewer than 10 companies in the world are working on this kind of technology. Most are just a few years old, and only a handful of people have taste-tested their products. But already they are promising to have

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Alternative seafood - Sandy.indd 32

cell-cultured seafood on consumers’ plates within the decade. That is, in part, because developing a soft and flaky fish fillet is more straightforward than growing the tough muscle tissue of a beef steak, explains Lou Cooperhouse, president and chief executive of cell-cultured seafood company BlueNalu. “Ultimately, it will be a simpler process to replicate the sensory characteristics of seafood versus red meat,” he said. “Red meat is, literally and figuratively, very tough.” BlueNalu is hunting the holy grail of the cell-cultured fish industry: bluefin tuna. One of the most overfished species in the world, they are now so rare that prized specimens can sell for well over a million dollars. Growing bluefin tuna fillets on demand would transform its market, Mr Cooperhouse argues. Earlier this year, BlueNalu raised $60m from its investors, and is building its first pilot production facility in San Diego, where it is based. Cooperhouse estimates the firm could be rolling out fillets of mahi-mahi, yellowtail, red snapper and bluefin tuna to customers in the UK within the decade. “Fish derive omega-3s and other nutritional benefits from what they eat,” he says. “As a result, the cell-cultured seafood we produce will have the same nutritional profile as conventional seafood.” In November 2020, Shiok Meats, the world’s first cell-based crustacean meat company based in Singapore, showcased the world’s first ever

“is aThere finite

limit to the number of fish we can sustainably pull from our oceans

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I can’t believe it’s not salmon!

cell-based lobster meat, served in lobster gazpacho and lobster terrine. It is hoping to commercialise its cell-based products, which include cell-based shrimp, crab, crayfish, next year. Chief technology officer and co-founder Dr Ka Yi Lang said: “We are commi�ed to bringing this novel technology to the forefront of global food systems, so they are robust enough to feed 10 billion people by 2050.” Avant Meats, based in Hong Kong, is taking a three-pronged approach. To capture the interest of poten�al Asian customers, it has developed cell-cultured fish maw, the swim bladder of a fish that is considered a delicacy in China. It has also developed a fish fillet for Western markets, and cell-cultured fish collagen for use in skincare products. Cell-based meats have developed quickly, but the products s�ll have a long way to go. The technology will need significant advances for companies to eventually mass-produce fillets resembling wild-caught seafood. Making cell-based seafood is technically complicated and extremely expensive. Another cultured seafood company, Cultured Decadence, located in Wisconsin, USA, plans to make lobster meat. A�er a year in produc�on, they can make about half a gram from their reactors. They hope to increase output enough to provide public taste tests in the next 12 months. The cost of nourishing fish cells appears to be the biggest factor limi�ng expansion. The concoc�on of salt, sugars, vitamins, and amino acids necessary for these cells to grow introduces a produc�on expense that these start-ups must overcome to achieve their desired scaleup. In 2019, one cell-based company produced a single salmon sushi roll for US$200 when the market value for wild-caught salmon at the �me was between $5-9 per kilogram. “The current cost of produc�on is significantly higher than the cost of conven�onal salmon,” admits WildType, “And the cul�vated seafood industry will certainly require a re-imagina�on of the underlying design and process of cell cul�va�on in order to bring costs in line with conven�onal seafood.” Greg Murphy, BlueNalu’s Director of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships, said: “Today, seafood market pricing is based on supply, making it variable and unpredictable. A consumer is also paying for the parts of the fish that you don’t typically eat like heads, tails, skin, and bones. With BlueNalu seafood, our products will have 100% yield, and it is our goal to achieve price parity to conven�onal seafood products over �me, while providing a steady supply that is predictable, safe, and consistent to meet demand.” While companies try to find ways to reduce the expense, they are also concerned with whether they will be allowed to call their product “fish”. Producers argue that they have the right to call it meat. The US Federal Meat Inspec�on Act refers to meat as “any product…

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Alternative seafood - Sandy.indd 33

made wholly or in part from any meat or por�on of the carcass,” which seems to jus�fy the label. In the UK, the Sco�sh Salmon Producers’ Associa�on (SSPO) disagrees: ‘It is both misleading and disingenuous to call foods ‘salmon’ or ‘seafood’ when they are clearly nothing of the sort. So our message to consumers is clear: if you want the benefits of a sustainably grown, healthy, nutri�ous seafood then buy Sco�sh salmon. Cell-cultured and plant-based alterna�ves claiming to be salmon are simply poor imita�ons of the real thing.’ Governing agencies worldwide are in the process of deciding how to regulate cellular agriculture. Unlike plant-based meat subs�tutes like Impossible Foods and Beyond Beef, which have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, cell-based, lab-grown meat products have yet to be approved for mass consump�on in the US. In Europe, cell-based products fall under the European Union Novel Food Regula�on. In December 2020, the Singapore government approved the sale of Eat Just’s lab-grown chicken, making it the first country in the world to approve such meat consump�on on a commercial scale. The approval was expected to be a watershed for approvals from other countries, but that remains to be seen. Studies are s�ll being performed on how cultured meats will impact the environment. A 2011 University of Oxford study indicated that cultured meats could generate 96% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than tradi�onal meat. But a later study by the same university suggested that depending on the produc�on and scale, lab-grown meats could lead to higher global temperatures in the long run due to some cultured meat produc�on methods requiring a large amount of energy. “There is poten�al in cultured meat and cultured seafood, but it’s not the solu�on for these urgent problems we are facing now,” says Hanna

Clockwise from above: Wildtype sushi; BlueNalu’s yellowtail; BlueNalu yellowtail prepared four ways; Pacific bluefin tuna

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Alternative seafood

This page from top: Salmon; Wildtype sushi; BlueNalu beer ba�ered yellowtail Opposite: Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Smoked Salmon

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Alternative seafood - Sandy.indd 34

Tuomisto, a specialist in the environmental impacts of food based at the University of Helsinki. “It will take quite long before these products will be available in supermarkets at a price that most people could afford. We cannot wait for cultured foods to solve the problems.” Un�l the costs come down, cell-based seafood will have a difficult �me breaking into the market. And even then, research results indicate plant-based products could be more popular. Surveys gathered from consumers who received informa�on on the sustainability of conven�onal, plant-based, and cell-based meat led researchers to predict respec�ve market shares of 72%, 23%, and 5% for each. A market forecast by the US management consul�ng firm Kearney had a more posi�ve outlook for cell-based meat, and predicted that in the next 20 years the market share would be split about evenly between the three. BlueNalu’s CEO Lou Cooperhouse says he is not looking to replace wildcaught or farm-raised seafood, but is aiming to become a third alterna�ve for vegan and vegetarian seafood eaters. “Consumers are changing. They are looking at health. They are focused on the planet,” Cooperhouse said to NPR. “This is not a fad or a trend — this is happening.” In consumer surveys, people say they take a product’s sustainability into account when making a purchase. This behaviour has increased by 10% during the pandemic, with consumers saying they are now more conscious of the environment. One of the sustainable shi�s many consumers are making is in their dietary choices, ea�ng vegan, for example, to circumvent prac�ces they perceive to be cruel to animals or unsustainable. If conserva�on does not win consumers over, cell-based seafood can certainly claim to be clean. Cells grown in a bioreactor would be free from the microplas�cs and chemical pollu�on now found in almost every wild-caught fish. That could be enough of an incen�ve for fish eaters to convert from conven�onal products. Cultured meat products will compete with conven�onally raised animals for consumer cash, but they will also face-off against the exis�ng plant-based market. Protein sources for plantbased products are rela�vely inexpensive; however, the post-harvest

processing and formula�on advancements needed to duplicate the consumer experience of ea�ng meat can be rather pricey. Plant-based fats, flavour enhancers, and colour addi�ves drive up the cost of these meat alterna�ves. S�ll, they are presently far more affordable than cell-based meats. Although cell-based meats have the advantage of texture and taste being iden�cal to the real thing, the plant-based market is far ahead in terms of establishing a consumer base. Moreover, cell agriculture is not yet vegan. The Vegan Society acknowledges that “labgrown meat and fish have the poten�al to reduce animal suffering and we understand that it has benefits to animal welfare but as an organisa�on we fight for an end to all exploita�on. As it currently stands the process of cul�vated meat and fish is not enough for us to support it. “There is already a myriad of vegan seafood and fish alterna�ves that don’t derive from cul�vated or lab-grown fish – essen�ally there are kinder alterna�ves out there. Lab grown meat and fish is a great excuse to do nothing in the interim whilst wai�ng for an affordable and acceptable alterna�ve.” “Cell culture is not without its challenges,” admits Wildtype: “There are s�ll some animal-based components used in much of the research across the industry and the brewery systems are s�ll quite energy intensive. But it’s very early days and we are confident that these issues will be mi�gated as the technology develops.” Plant-based diets have evolved beyond tradi�onal vegetarian and vegan fare as more people choose to avoid animal protein. An April report for the Good Food Ins�tute states that total plant-based retail sales reached $7bn and grew 27% over the past year—almost double the growth rate in US retail food sales. Many plant-based seafood companies are already vying for our plates. In June, UK food giant Birds Eye expanded its fast-growing plantbased Green Cuisine range with a first-ever a�empt to create a vegan version of its fish fingers. “Shoppers are increasingly looking for plantbased alterna�ves of their favourite foods,’ said Birds Eye senior marke�ng manager Jess Ali. The Green Cuisine brand was launched by Birds Eye in March 2019, and saw sales jump by 321% to £11.3m last year. Last year US feed giant Cargill inves�ng in plant-based fish alterna�ves made by Dutch start-up Bflike, responding to flexitarian consumers’ growing appe�te for plant-based products that deliver a “meat-like” experience’. “Key to Bflike’s innova�on is its patent-pending vegan fat and blood pla�orms,” Cargill explains: “This ground-breaking technology results in plant-based meat and fish alterna�ve products that are virtually indis�nguishable from their animal-based counterparts, with similar visual

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09/08/2021 14:50:20


I can’t believe it’s not salmon!

appearance (both raw and cooked), texture, mouthfeel, mel�ng behaviour and cooking performance.” A new product called Veggie Marine Salmon, made by innova�ve French company Odontella, is made from microalgae and said to cook and taste just like salmon. According to the company, the Veggie Marine Salmon is rich in marine protein, carotenoids, and Omega-3, while at the same �me free from any pes�cides and heavy metals that are o�en found in fish. Sophie’s Kitchen vegan smoked salmon slices meanwhile are a mix of water, olive oil, kanjac powder, pea starch, potato starch, pea protein, sea salt, organic agave nectar, seaweed powder, fenugreek, alginate (from seaweed), paprika, and calcium hydroxide. In a bid to find a sustainable alterna�ve to the 1.4 billion pounds of shrimp consumed in America every year, US-based New Wave Foods is using plants and seaweed to create shrimp’s texture and bite, and briny and sweet flavours. Whether plant-based or cell-cultured, the rise of alterna�ve seafood probably will not spell the end of aquaculture or fishing on the open ocean. But it could offer diners the chance to enjoy a taste of the rarest species – or enjoy a fish dish every day of the week – without a side order of ethical and environmental guilt. FF

It will be “simpler to

replicate the sensory characteris�cs of seafood versus red meat

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Alternative seafood - Sandy.indd 35

1

2021-03-10 10:12:55

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Iceland

BY VINCE MCDONAGH

Northern star

Iceland’s fish farming saga is on the verge of an exciting new chapter

A

NEW force in Atlan�c salmon farming is star�ng to make its presence felt on the world stage: Iceland. From being a mere bit player only a few years ago, the country is fast moving up the aquaculture ladder. Iceland’s aquaculture industry took a major step forward last month when Samherji, the country’s largest conven�onal fishing and seafood processing company, unveiled a £263m plan to build a major land based salmon farm complex on the coast a few miles south of the capital. This innova�ve project, agreed with the generator HS Orka, will be sited next to a geothermal power plant at Reykjanes which will provide the electricity. It will eventually produce 40,000 tonnes of salmon, which is 6,000 tonnes more than the en�re country harvested in 2020. Other companies are lining up with their own plans. There are predic�ons that Iceland’s salmon output could overtake Scotland’s current produc�on total of 204,000 tonnes by 2030. At the moment the focus on this rugged island of 360,000 people – o�en called the land of ice and fire – has been about the spectacular erup�on from the Fagradals�all Volcano, not too far from the planned Samherji project site. But in business circles the talk is about fish farming, how far it can go and its impact on the na�onal economy. Development is s�ll at the jigsaw stage with various pieces coming together,

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and the full picture is far from complete. The two main fish farming regions are at either end of the country – the Wes�jords and the Eas�jords regions, with Samherji’s project somewhat isolated near Reykjavik in the south west. According to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs the export value of fish farming is likely to double in the next two years to US$322m (£232m) a year – and to con�nue rising. While trawler-caught cod remains king, farmed salmon was the second highest seafood export earner for Iceland at the start of this year. According to official figures the country saw salmon produc�on in 2020 rise by over 20% to 34,200 tonnes, which does not seem a lot when compared to Norway, Scotland or the Faroe Islands. But it is only a decade ago that Iceland’s

Above: Iceland Fish Farm Left: Samherji computer image of plant Below: New AKVA feed barge Opposite from top: Wes�jords; Þorstein Mar Baldvinsson

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Northern star

salmon harvest barely totalled 1,000 tonnes. It is no surprise that much of the serious investment is coming from Norway. SalMar owns a majority stake in Icelandic Salmon AS (Arnarlax), while Norway Royal Salmon has taken control of Arc�c Fish. Both companies are planning further significant investment. Not everyone in the government is happy that such an important industry is largely foreign owned. But tradi�onal Icelandic fishing companies and private local investors are now showing increased interest. Last year Iceland’s Fisheries Minister Kristján Þór Júlíusson, confirmed a “risk assessment” figure of 106,500 tonnes of salmon farming in the sea. That total was increased from a previous assessment volume of 71,000 tonnes, and there may be further room for manoeuvre. Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji said in an interview with the newspaper Fre�abladid earlier this year that, within four or five years, three of the largest seafood companies in turnover terms will be salmon farmers. Most of these, he added, will be Norwegian owned. He said: “Norway produces about 1.3 million tonnes (of salmon) and is expected to reach 2.5 million tonnes in a decade. The value of Norwegian salmon farming is now at least 20 �mes greater than of all cod caught off the coast of Iceland.” He was speaking before his company unveiled the Reykjanes power plant project and Iceland ordered a 13% reduc�on in its cod quota due to concerns over stocks The advantage salmon has over wild caught species, he argues, is the ability to deliver on �me and a guarantee of quality. Unlike trawlers, salmon farms do not have to face the rigours of

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Iceland (Vince).indd 37

World leader in char output

weather or the uncertainty of finding fish. Iceland also has a number of important advantages over its rivals, like Norway. Its farms are less likely to be plagued by biological problems such as lice or infec�ous salmon anaemia (ISA). Very few farmed fish escaped into the country’s rivers last year. Iceland is geographically isolated, however, which means expor�ng fish by air is usually more expensive. Despite this, it has been forging important trade links with key markets in the United States and the Far East. The Icelandic government’s a�tude towards fish farming has, according some cri�cs, been lukewarm in the past. Companies regularly complain about the number of regula�ons and the �me it takes to get a decision. The level of taxa�on is another issue that worries par�cipa�ng companies. But a�tudes are changing and the launch of Iceland’s new aquaculture dashboard opening the sector to the country at large in April was a sign of that. The country also boasts some of the finest wild salmon fishing in the northern hemisphere and local sports groups, o�en with large foreign memberships, have consistently opposed aquaculture expansion plans. Some would like to see the industry removed from the country altogether. But this view is not held by most of those who live in the Wes�jords (64,500 tonnes permi�ed) and Eas�jords (42,000 tonnes permi�ed) where the most of the growth is taking place. These were once regions with strong fishing economies that have declined over the years. Today, these communi�es are being transformed thanks to new jobs and investment from fish farming companies. And it is just the beginning. Arnarlax was recently granted permission to build housing accommoda�on for staff working on the company new projects. It is es�mated that within a year or two, more than 1,800 people in the Wes�jords will owe their income to aquaculture in one form or another. To a country like the UK that might not seem a large figure but in a region where urban popula�ons are measured in the low thousands it represents a substan�al propor�on of the workforce. The good news is that aquaculture is a�rac�ng some of Iceland’s youngest and brightest. A few weeks ago ten students from the fishery technology college in Grindavik graduated from their fish farming course. Teachers at the college say demand for aquaculture courses are growing because the industry offers good employment prospects and a�rac�ve salaries. There are some who believe the country could and should have moved faster if it doesn’t want to live in the shadow of its larger rivals. Iceland may not be in the fish farming premier league quite yet, but promo�on beckons. FF

has a number of important “Iceland advantages over its rivals ”

ICELAND is now producing more than 34,000 tonnes of salmon a year, around 85% of all aquaculture produc�on. Just a decade ago salmon output was barely 1,000 tonnes. The country is roughly where the Faroe Islands was in 2010. But it s�ll has a long way to go if it is to equal Scotland’s current annual output of around 204,000 tonnes. Iceland remains the world’s largest producer of another member of the salmon family – Arc�c char, popular with consumers in the United States.

Disease free in 2020 AS Norway con�nues to struggle with diseases such as infec�ous salmon anaemia (ISA), Iceland’s farms reported no new infec�ons last year, and there was only one instance of medicines being used against lice. The country’s veterinary authority said 2020 was, by far, the best year so far when it came to fish disease reduc�ons. The seas around Iceland are among the cleanest in the northern hemisphere and this is thought to be one reason for the success.

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Aqua Nor 2021 – Preview

Best of both

worlds

We talked to some of the businesses set to be represented at Aqua Nor, in person or virtually

A

qua Nor, one of the fish farming sector’s biggest and most influen�al trade shows, is back – in a new, hybrid format incorpora�ng both an in-person conference and exhibi�on and a virtual event with online presenta�ons and digital mee�ng spaces. The physical event takes place over 24-27 August, at the Spektrum conference venue in Trondheim, Norway; while the virtual format will allow a�endees to view presenta�ons and set up digital get-togethers both during and a�er the event. Fish Farmer spoke to some of the companies planning to be there, both digitally and in-person. Aquaculture technology supplier Ace Aquatec will be present both at the exhibi�on in Trondheim and in Aqua Nor’s digital space. As a compa-

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ny headquartered in the UK – which is s�ll restricted in terms of travel to Norway – many head office staff will not be able to make it in person this �me, but Ace will be well represented by its Norway-based staff. Preben Imset Matre, Regional Manager, Northern Europe with Ace Aquatec, says: “Over the past 18 months suppliers have learned how crucial the whole conference, expo tour is. Historically this is not where the bulk of sales are concluded, but it’s

Above: A selec�on of previous Aqua Nor shows Left: Preben Matre Opposite: Mike Spain; Trondheim

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Best of both worlds

where rela�onships are built; for sales, for hiring and for new industry projects, for example. “There is a kind of serendipity when you meet in person.” The key messages from the company explore how its exis�ng award-winning products have been further developed to address new challenges arising in the industry, alongside launching new technologies. For example, Matre says, the Humane Stunner Universal for smolts, parr and fry has proved very successful. It has meant that, when farmers have to cull smaller fish, they are s�ll fit to be used for animal consump�on. In contrast, when chemical anaesthesia is used there are residues in the body and the smolts would not even be suitable for pet food. The system has been successfully trialled in Scotland and New Zealand, and is due to be deployed in Norway. Meanwhile, Ace Aquatec will also be talking about the latest developments in its harves�ng technology. Matre says: “We have been pilo�ng a water-based jet for bleeding in Scotland. It can typically work as part of an automa�c system with in-water stunning.” The Waterjet Bleeder uses automated high-precision jets of water and a robo�c arm instead of tradi�onal physical blades. This results in be�er hygiene, lower maintenance costs, and no manual calibra�on for different fish sizes. The company will also be keen to talk about its latest genera�on of acous�c deterrent devices (ADDs), which are calibrated to “startle” seals and encourage them to avoid salmon pens, without causing harm to them or to other marine mammals. Bogi Nielsen, Sales Manager, Nordics with Danish-based feed business Aller Aqua will also

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Aqua Nor Previw.indd 39

be present at Aqua Nor this year. He says: “It is important to show a physical presence and meet people. It’s not that we do huge deals at Aqua Nor, but it provides an opportunity to meet in a relaxed, social se�ng. You get a lot of great contacts and you can put faces to names.” He concedes, however: “I’ve also been speaking to some farmers who are not going this �me because they don’t want to risk poten�al exposure [to Covid].” Aller Aqua will be talking about its success in developing feed for – in par�cular – halbut and cod – and also about its specialist feed for post-smolts to help ease their transi�on from fresh water to the sea. One of the factors driving change in the feed sector, Nielsen says, is changing consumer percep�ons and concern for sustainability. He comments: “If consumers direct us to seek less input in feed from the marine environment, for example, or to focus more reducing CO2, the industry must move towards that.” The level of investment in land-based recircula�ng aquaculture systems (RAS) is also driving innova�on in feed, he says. Nielsen points out: “RAS is not the same – for example, there is much more emphasis on reducing water pollu�on and faeces. RAS is a growing

There is a kind of serendipity when you meet in person

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Aqua Nor 2021 – Preview market and as they say: ‘If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’. It will be the highest specifica�on for feed.” Aller Aqua will be taking a tradi�onal approach to Aqua Nor, focusing on a physical presence rather than the virtual side of the show. Nielsen explains: “We would need dedicated staff for the online platform. We will have a team who will be present at the exhibi�on and they will be very busy.” SAMS Enterprise – the commercial arm of the Sco�sh Associa�on for Marine Science – will be a�ending Aqua Nor in virtual form only this year. With SAMS being based in Scotland, this was the only op�on as Mike Spain, Head of Enterprise SAMS Enterprise, explains. Spain says: “We have a number of exhibi�ons coming up over the next few months, some in person, some hybrid and some fully remote. “We are lucky that we have an excellent comms team!” He adds: “At Aqua Nor there’s a great facility for se�ng up digital meetings – the in-person event is just one week but the pla�orm will be open for a year, so there’s an opportunity to meet up a�erwards. Maybe we will see more of this hybrid approach in future.” SAMS is involved with a range innova�ve projects in the field of aquaculture. One important talking point for the organisa�on at Aqua Nor will

You get a llot ot of great contacts and you can put faces to names

Aqua Nor 2021 at a glance 23 AUGUST: All-digital conference: “More Food From the Oceans: Blue is the New Green” (organised by the Nor-Fishing Founda�on, SINTEF and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology) 24 AUGUST: Official opening of the Aqua Nor Conference and presenta�on of the Innova�on Award 24-27 AUGUST: Aqua Nor Conference and exhibi�on 25-27 AUGUST: Professional Conference

AQUANOR.NO/EN/

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be NewDEPOMOD, our “deposi�onal modelling” tool – es�ma�ng, based on marine condi�ons, number and density of fish stocking and other factors such as feed, what will be the level of deposits of fish waste at a given farm site. The model is used by the Sco�sh Environment Protec�on Agency (SEPA) to calculate what the parameters should be for each farm site. Spain says: “It also allows the farmer to increase stocking, helping produc�vity, if the model can show that deposits will be within the parameters allowed. “We are focused on enabling produc�ve oceans, while protec�ng the environment.” SAMS is working with the Sustainable Aquaculture Innova�on Centre and the Sco�sh Salmon Producers Organisa�on to apply its model in Scotland, and SAMS is also independently adap�ng the model for the deeper waters off Chile and Norway, and even for tropical loca�ons. Spain says of Aqua Nor: “It is one of the most important events in aquaculture, not only because Norway is one of the major producing na�ons but also so many of the key players elsewhere in the world are headquartered there.” UK-based aquaculture technology business Gael Force Group will also be par�cipa�ng in a strictly virtual capacity. A spokesperson for the company said: “Back in January we took the decision to not exhibit physically at Aqua Nor. It was around about the �me when uncertainty was s�ll pre�y rife and at a stage where we needed to start making

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09/08/2021 14:59:56


Best of both worlds

commitments to stand contractors and suppliers, something we clearly couldn’t do. In hindsight, it was definitely the right decision to make given that travel remains an issue for many. “While it won’t be a match for mee�ng up face-to-face, we are hopeful that our first foray into digital exhibi�ng will s�ll help provide our customers with updates on our latest equipment and technology.” One of the developments Gael Force will be highligh�ng this �me is the 2022 model of the SeaQurePen 500. Tougher, stronger and even more “SeaQure” than before, the 2022 model is based on research and development which has taken mul�ple loca�ons and farming condi�ons into considera�on to produce a fully integrated system for high-energy sites. Gael Force says: “What we have delivered is an evolu�onary, tough pen system taken from our clear understanding of those customer challenges, in-depth research and development techniques, and a high level of in-house knowledge. SeaQurePen reduces pen furniture and related maintenance and increases reliability which will lower farming costs.” The company will also be revealing more about “an exci�ng update” to its Pellet Detec�on so�ware including video demonstra�ons. And its new, exclusive partnership with the net manufacturer, FISA, puts Gael Force in a strong posi�on to offer fully turnkey, single-source supply of equipment, technology and services. Gael Force will be spelling out the benefits to customers from using a single Opposite from top: Ace supply partner for installa�on. Aquatec technology; Also showcasing cu�ng-edge technology SeaQurePen 500, from at Aqua Nor 2021 will be Nagell D, which Organic Sea Harvest Above: A reminder of past specialises in delivering virtual reality-based Aqua Nor shows visual content for the aquaculture and mari�me industries. The company’s technology makes it possible to hold team mee�ngs in VR format

and also makes use of interac�ve, user-friendly 3D anima�ons. Norwegian company SIMONA Stadpipe, a leading specialist in innova�ve piping systems, will be talking about its growing exper�se in landbased RAS facili�es, while Norwater Freshwater will also be showcasing its RAS technology. Net specialist FiizK will also be among the exhibitors. Aqua Nor itself has had to be innova�ve to deal with the restric�ons imposed by the pandemic, and it will be interes�ng to see whether the model developed for 2021 may become a template for future shows. To register, or for more information on Aqua Nor 2021, go online to Aquanor.no/en/ FF

Freshwater Po t a b l e wa t e r f ro m S e awa t e r

P ro u d ly m a n u fa c t u re d i n N o r way

References – Live Fish Carriers; Sølvtrans: “Ronja Storm”, “Ronja Fisk, “Ronja Vest” Hordalaks: “Hordagut”, “Horda Pioneer” Nordlaks: “Bjørg Pauline” Migdale Transport: “Marsali” DESS Aquaculture: “Aqua Skye”, “Aqua Havsøy”, “Aqua Homborøy”, “NB52”, “NB53” Rostein: “Ro Server”, “Ro North”, “Ro West”, “Ro Fortune” Seistar: “CEMRE NB77”

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E nv i ro n m e n t a l f r i e n d ly s o l u t i o n s

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Aqua Nor 2021 – Preview

One thing that has not changed for Aqua Nor 2021 is the Innovation Award, which will be presented as part of the show’s opening THREE companies have been shortlisted for the award, which comes with a prize of NOK 100,000 (just over £8,100). They are: Noras Global SA, based in Torres Vedras, Portugal; SeaRAS AS, based in Bergen, Norway; and VAKI (a part of MSD Animal Health), based in Kópavogur, Iceland. All three companies are nominated for their innova�ve solu�ons, promo�ng either safety or fish health in the aquaculture industry. Noras Global has developed a unique lifebuoy, U Safe. The buoy can be thrown into the sea where it automa�cally ac�vates. It is remotely controlled by a joys�ck so that it can quickly reach a person in danger. The buoy has two effec�ve turbine motors and is symmetrical, to ensure it works efficiently regardless of how it lands in the sea. Effec�vely, U Safe is an aqua�c robot adapted to life-saving. U Safe is manufactured in Portugal. It has been adopted by marine, government, first response and tourism organisa�ons all over the world and is patented in 71 countries. SeaRAS AS was shortlisted for SeaRAS Aquasense, a new method for measuring and monitoring water parameters and especially H2S – otherwise known as hydrogen sulphide – at low levels in fish farms and tanks in wellboats. H2S is a major threat for fish farming and RAS (recircula�ng aquaculture systems) in par�cular. Eldar Lien, General Manager at SeaRAS, told Fish Farmer: “This is the only system that can monitor H2S down to this level, 0.05µg/L (micrograms per litre). H2S is a big threat and there is a lack of knowledge about its effects. It is a silent killer over �me, as well as being associated with mass mortali�es causing huge financial losses. Even low doses over a long �me can effect fish health.” Using Aquasense, alarms can be set to go off when the level of H2S reaches a given level. The system is already installed in many RAS farms and is also

used in some wellboats to control levels of H2S in tanks before live fish is pumped on board and during transport/treatment. Lien adds: “Real-�me monitoring (repor�ng) is a must. It’s not enough to sample water in a RAS system a few �mes (once) a day. Traceability in real �me of water quality for each fish group is now available and you can make sure you have a fish that is fit and not handicapped by the water quality.” VAKI, part of the MSD Animal Health group, has been shortlisted for the Density Control feature in its SmartFlow SystemTM. This is a game changer as it automates, controls, and monitors fish density to maximise fish welfare, and to enhance fish handling processes in aquaculture. “The main benefit is the ability to monitor, control and op�mise the balance of live fish and water into a fish handling system at the outset when moving fish for transport, coun�ng, grading, or vaccina�on,“ says VAKI managing director Benedikt Hálfdanarson. The Density Control feature maintains a consistent and pre-set ra�o of live fish and water during the fish handling process. The regulator thins out the flow if the volume of fish in the pipeline surpasses a certain density, eliminating overcrowding. Density Control is an integral part of the SmartFlow System, and it can be controlled automa�cally or manually. The outcome is a very even fish flow which op�mizes the capacity of both grader and counter and the outcome is more accurate than ever. The SmartFlow System allows customers to gather and store informa�on about all measured fish for easy comparisons of size and number VAKI devices can be controlled and fine-tuned to achieve high levels of efficiency and accuracy. Density Control comes in handy for different areas of aquaculture. For instance, when vaccina�ng, users can control the number of fish that flow into the vaccina�on sta�on. The en�re process can be automated. “At the end of each session the system then generates a detailed report which shows how gently the system has been running,” says Benedikt. “It proves that you have been running the fish transfer under maximum capacity and the outcome is lower stress on the fish.” The shortlist, in conjunc�on with Aqua Nor 2021, was selected by the jury for this year’s awards: Kjell Maroni, R&D Director, Aquaculture with FHF; Jan Henrik Sandberg, Senior Advisor in The Fishermens Associa�on; and Oddvar Staulen, Financial advisor in Innova�on. Above: VAKI Density Control Left top: Noras Global’s lifebuoy, U Safe Left: SeaRAS Aquasense

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ANCI – client content

In the pink

Panaferd-AX is the natural choice of pigment for salmonids

Natural carotenoids “ provide an efficient and natural solu�on ”

carotenoids themselves, they need to find them in their diets. Pigments can be of two sources, however, either synthe�c or natural, which is something that is, unfortunately, barely men�oned. Natural carotenoids such as PanaferdAX provide an efficient and natural solu�on.

Photo: GLENARM Organic farm

T

he colour pink is without doubt the symbol of salmon. This quality criteria affects consumer preferences (Parisenti et al, 2011), giving a significant added value to the products. The salmon industry has so far been quite secre�ve about the origin of the pigment used, when demands from customers lean towards more natural and sustainable products, free of any synthe�c addi�ves. As salmonids cannot metabolize

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Above: Smoked salmon Opposite: Panaferd®-AX is a

healthy and natural choice for salmon and seafood

1. Sources of carotenoids In nature, wild salmon get carotenoids from various primary producers such as micro-algae, bacteria or yeast and also from live food. In an aquaculture situa�on, dry feed is generally the only source of carotenoids. Various feed addi�ves containing carotenoids such as astaxanthin are available from two major origins: a) the synthe�c astaxanthin, chemically engineered through complex reac�ons from crude oil-based components. This synthe�c pigment only contains astaxanthin under various isomeric forms, not exis�ng in nature. Considered as a “chemical dye” by some, synthe�c astaxanthin cannot be consider as natural, nor iden�cal to carotenoids found in wild salmon. It is therefore clearly not authorized in the EU organic aquaculture standards and tends to be less used by premium farms and even banned by some food stores. b) natural carotenoids can be extracted from the bacterial micro-organism Paracoccus carotinifaciens, be�er well known under the brand name Panaferd-AX®. This has the advantage of containing various carotenoids such as astaxanthin, adonirubin, canthaxanthin and adonixanthin. The table 1 features the main specifica�ons and differences between Panaferd-AX and synthe�c astaxanthin. 2. Efficacy of Panaferd-AX® for salmon In a study conducted in Scotland (ENEOS Corpora�on data), the efficacy of Panaferd pigment

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09/08/2021 11:02:35


In the pink

Table 1: Compara�ve table between PANAFERD-AX and synthe�c astaxanthin

of carotenoids of Panaferd-AX in salmon as detailed in table 2, without any difference between natural and synthe�c astaxanthin. In the smoking process, similar results were found by Lerfall et al, in 2016 and largely confirmed by the well-known quality of the smoked Sco�sh salmons. As detailed in table 2, significant quan��es of other carotenoids such as adonirubin in the salmon flesh are very typical of Panaferd®-AX use, while synthe�c based pigment contains only one form of carotenoid. Recent studies have proven the strong an�-oxida�ve, an�-tumour-promo�ng, and an�-carcinogenic ac�vi�es of adonirubin (Maoka et al.2013). Panaferd®-AX carotenoids such as astaxanthin are present as free and same isomeric forms (3S-3’S) as wild salmon. In synthe�c astaxanthin, astaxanthin is a mixture of enan�omers, not exis�ng in nature. This difference can be used to dis�nguish between farmed and wild salmon through an approved method by the FDA (Turujman, 1997). Graph 1: Roche Colour score a�er 17 month growing period

at different standard pigment rates (40 and 70 ppm) in Atlan�c salmon (Salmo salar) was compared to synthe�c astaxanthin. A stability study was also performed to evaluate the carotenoid stability of salmon fillets under freezing condi�ons (-25°C) over a period of six months. Atlan�c salmon smolts from the same gene�c strain and hatchery were raised up to market size. Pigmented diets contained astaxanthin levels at 40 or 70 either from Panaferd-AX ppm (PF1 and PF2 respec�vely) or synthe�c form (SA1 and S2). At the end of the trial (triplicates), no significant differences in growth, SGR and FCR were observed either during the growing period demonstra�ng there was no rela�onship between pigment source (synthe�c versus Panaferd-AX) or carotenoid concentra�on. Regarding the results on the flesh quality, all Panaferd®-AX groups performed very well and reached, a�er 17 months, a colour level on the Roche SalmoFan® (an industry-wide chart used to grade salmon colour) in accordance to the market expecta�ons as shown in graph 1. The test stability results at freezing temperature (-25°C) also confirm the excellent stability

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3. Market development for natural colour In Australia, a recent media controversy regarding salmon farming has reopened the sensi�vity of the debate about salmon colour origin and transparency in labelling. Most Sco�sh farms such as Loch Duart have long ago switched from synthe�c pigment to Panaferd-AX as a reliable source of pigment. As fresh or smoked, the Sco�sh salmon ranks at the top of the list for

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ANCI – client content

Photo: LOCH DUART

Table 2: Carotenoids in the salmon flesh (mg/kg) during the test stability at freezing temperature (-25°C)

its quality and is easily dis�nguished by its a�rac�ve deep pink colour. Ireland has based its development on the organic aquaculture segment led by MOWI group, with incredible results, and it has a promising future.

Photo: KVAROY ARTIC Norway

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As synthe�c pigment is banned for organic produc�on, all organic farms use Panaferd-AX. Major Norwegian farms such as Kvarøy Arc�c base their strategy on premium salmon for the US market where the demand for naturally pigmented salmon is growing fast. In Iceland, the industry well understands that it is in its interests to target added value in the premium segment by using natural pigment. RAS farms such as Atlan�c Sapphire have also well understood the advantage of being be�er linked to nature through the use of natural pigment. Panaferd®- AX represents a reliable and stable pigment for salmonids. On the market side, consumer purchasing trends for more natural food, free of synthe�c addi�ves are now more prevalent. Natural pigment allows access to all markets worldwide in the premium salmon segment. Unfortunately, in many countries opponents of aquaculture will look for any weaknesses in farming prac�ces to stop the industry’s development. Synthe�c pigment always poten�ally exposes our industry to nega�ve cri�cs. As colour is the symbol of salmon, it deserves to be natural. FF

Author: Dominique Corlay, Eng, MSc Aquaculture Natural Solutions, FranceEmail: ansaqua.dc@gmail.com All references available on request. For any technical and commercial information: Arkadiusz Borowiec, Sales Manager Europe, Panaferd®-AX, Tel: +33 44 227 76 24, Email: arkadiusz.borowiec@anciglobal.com

Most Sco�sh farms… have long ago switched from synthe�c pigment to PanaferdAX

Above: Fresh salmon Left: Panaferd®-AX is a unique natural source of carotenoids used to provide natural an�oxidants, nutrients, and colour to salmon

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09/08/2021 11:04:48


Sea lice

Treatment

without stress

Innovation is the key weapon in the war to keep fish safe from parasites BY ROBERT OUTRAM

A

quaculture biotech company Benchmark has welcomed the arrival of the first CleanTreat vessel in Norwegian waters, ahead of its ini�al commercial deployment. The CleanTreat water purifica�on system is heralded by Benchmark as a poten�al game-changer in the struggle to control sea lice. It removes the chemicals used to treat lice in a closed system on board before the water is returned to the marine environment, as well as organic ma�er such as dead lice and egg strings, and is intended to operate alongside Benchmark’s controversial Ectosan lice treatment, which was censured earlier this summer in the European Parliament. CleanTreat and Ectosan (also known as BMK08, or generically as imidacloprid) have been cleared for commercial use in Norway a�er more than a decade of research and trials. The new vessel has a full mari�me crew as well as eight Benchmark technicians and chemists. Trond Williksen, CEO of Benchmark, said, welcoming the arrival: “I am pleased to welcome the first CleanTreat vessel in Norway. As an innova�ve aquaculture biotechnology company, we are truly excited to bring this much-needed solu�on to the vital salmon industry in Norway. It will drive sustainability and increased yields through improved animal welfare, while also protec�ng the environment. I want to thank my teams who have been working �relessly to bring this innova�ve and essen�al product to market.” Neil Robertson, Head of Opera�ons, Benchmark Animal Health, said: “Today marks a major milestone in Benchmark’s journey to support a more sustainable aquaculture industry and create a future where no chemicals are applied directly to the sea. I am proud to finally see the CleanTreat® system now ready for commercial use, following over a decade of research, development and trials. We look forward to working with our customers and partners in the deployment of this innova�ve new solu�on in Norway in the coming weeks”. Last month, the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for Ectosan Vet was adopted into the Agreement of the European Economic Area (the EEA Agreement), and subsequently entered into Norwegian legisla�on. The MRL was previously agreed by the European Commission, but it remains to be seen whether the Commission will listen to the Parliament and withdraw its authorisa�on. Thermal treatment is s�ll one of the main weapons against sea lice for the fish farmer, such as Op�mar’s Op�licer. Earlier this year Norwegian salmon farmer Alsaker Fjordbruk took delivery of the Kristoffer Tronds, a wellboat nearly 300 feet long, which houses the biggest Op�licer yet built. Op�mar Sales Manager Per Vidar Lange says: “Kristoffer Tronds was the largest wellboat in the world when they started planning. Of course the Op�licer had to be the biggest one in the world too. We call it Op�licer Ultra.” The Kristoffer Tronds can handle transporta�on, delousing , heat

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INTRO - Sea Lice.indd 47

Above: CleanTreat vessel Far left: Neil Robertson Left: CleanTreat system

treatment and sor�ng of the fish on board. The Op�licer Ultra can handle 600 tons of fish every hour, double the capacity of the original Op�licer. Lange explains: “The Op�licer delivered to Kristoffer Tronds also uses an RSW-system [refrigerated sea water], which makes it possible to use refrigerated sea water to cool down the

This is an important step in the “ direc�on of a more sustainable thermal delousing process ”

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Sea lice tanks. The recovered heat from engines and exhaust is used to heat the Op�licer. This is an important step in the direc�on of a more sustainable thermal delousing process.” Project Manager with Alsaker Fjordbruk, Olav Nygård, adds: “We have already run the Op�licer on one of our loca�ons and sent 2,000 tons of fish through the system. The results are really good.” Mowi Canada East also uses a Thermolicer treatment to control sea lice. While normally the process is not suitable for smaller fish below 500g, Mowi and its service provider, 360 Marine, have adapted the Thermolicer to treat fish as small as 250g. In Mowi Canada East’s Insite newsle�er, Amanda Borchardt, Fish Health and Welfare Director, explained: “This is a real step forward for us in terms of our fish health programme. We have a range of tools available to us to manage the challenges presented by sea lice but in Canada East, we have found using a thermolicer to be extremely effec�ve. If we can treat fish so early in their lifecycle, then it means we are giving them the best start to grow and develop into strong healthy salmon.” Despite the ongoing pandemic, Mowi and 360 Marine were able to adapt the Thermolicer equipment onboard 360’s vessel. Joel McGee, Technical Project Manager at Mowi, says: “360 Marine is part of a very small rural community in Newfoundland. The fact that Fabian and his team were able to step up and provide the support we need is incredible. There is great communica�on between our farm teams and the team of five that 360 Marine provides to operate the vessel.” Using a non-chemical treatment with warm or fresh water to remove sea lice can s�ll be hazardous to the fish, simply because handling them and moving them to and from wellboats can be very stressful. The nature of the pumps and pipes used to transfer the fish is crucial. Ireland-based SeaQuest has developed a Live Fish Pump, specially designed to minimise stress. A 400mm inlet and outlet allows the pumping even of larger species without the risk of any harm. SeaQuest says that recent vet tes�ng in Norway has shown that using this pump entails 300% less stress on the fish during the process compared to tradi�onal pumping processes.

This page from top: Pulcea lab; Kristoffer Tronds; inside the Op�licer Opposite page from top: SeaQuest fish pump in ac�on; SeaQuest Live Fish Pump

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The SeaQuest Live Fish Pump can be delivered with either Electric or Hydraulic drive op�ons with the main components manufactured from marine grade aluminium and all steel components are treated by shot blas�ng, metallising and then coated with several layers of marine paint. The pump is designed to cater for all varia�ons of installa�on and the outlet can be set to eight different posi�ons to allow easy installa�on to exis�ng systems. Norwegian manufacturer Smir also produces pumps designed to minimise stress. Smir designed the Hydrolicer system and operates its own delousing vessels. Smir’s own fish pump, the Hydroflow, is specially developed to accommodate larger fish. The ejector pump has no moving parts and provides a gentle way of moving the fish through the system. The Hydrolicer itself delouses fish in a closed column of water. Radial water turbulence is created, causing the lice to lose their grip on the surface before being flushed away. Throughout the en�re process, the fish are only exposed to minimal pressure varia�ons. One of the most effec�ve ways to protect farmed fish from sea lice is simply to prevent the lice from entering the pens. Lice skirts can prevent the lice, which are generally found in the levels of water closest to the surface, from passing through. Tom Morrow Tarpaulins, which has long experience in lice barriers, has developed a new style of freshwater screen. The company’s new screens, developed in conjunc�on with key industry partners, make use of an impermeable top layer. They afford the same func�onality as tradi�onal barrier screens, while also allowing the top por�on of the tank to be filled with freshwater for feeding and delousing. Meanwhile, a project funded by the European

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09/08/2021 15:04:25


Treatment without stress

“treatIf wefishcanso

early in their lifecycle, then it means we are giving them the best start

Union is looking to develop a radical new delousing treatment based on hydrogen peroxide and sound waves. The BREEZE project aims to bring to market a residue-free preven�on and control system for sea lice management, to contribute to increasing resistance to diseases, while increasing awareness of animal welfare and minimising environmental impact. BREEZE is run by a consor�um comprising Aqua Pharma Group (Norway), Pulcea (UK), University of S�rling (UK) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway).

The treatment being pioneered involves hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down harmlessly into water and oxygen during the process. Oxygen bubbles a�ach to the lice and sound waves cause the bubbles to oscillate, effec�vely shaking the lice off the fish without stressing the fish themselves. The funding, announced earlier this year, comes from EIT Food is one of the eight “innova�on communi�es” set up by the European Ins�tute for Innova�on & Technology (EIT). Its aim is to create a sustainable and future-proof food sector. FF

Proven to be 300% less stressful on pumped fish compared to traditional methods. Available with Straight, 90 degree Electric or Hydraulic Drive See us at Aquanor! Stand D-383 www.fishfarmermagazine.com

INTRO - Sea Lice.indd 49

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Norway

After Brexit, is Nexit next? A party that wants to pull Norway out of the EU Single Market is doing well in the polls BY VINCE MCDONAGH

W

hen Norwegians go to the polls to elect a new government next month, a group of business leaders will be wai�ng nervously for the result. They are the country’s fish farmers who fear a change of government could have a profound impact on their finances and on the way they operate in future. Aquaculture has been a phenomenal success story for this country of fewer than six million people. In less than 50 years it has grown from scratch to become the world’s largest salmon farmer, expor�ng more than a million tonnes worth NOK 70.1 bn (£6.1bn) last year and providing secure employment for dozens of coastal communi�es. But not everyone is cheering. Norway is home to a strong environmental lobby which would like to end open net farming and poli�cal par�es, mainly on the le�, which believe that aquaculture companies have been making handsome profits and should be paying more in tax. The elec�on is scheduled for Thursday, 13 September with Labour strongly �pped to win back control from Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s Conserva�ve-led coali�on a�er an eight year absence. Norway’s propor�onal representa�on system means there is rarely an outright winner, so if Labour does well, it will probably need support from other le�-leaning par�es. This is where it becomes interes�ng for poli�cal pundits, but deeply

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Above: Erna Solberg Opposite from top:

Jonas Gahr Store; Trygve Slagsvold Vedum; Geir Ystmark

disturbing for the salmon companies. The more immediate threat to the industry doesn’t come from the le�, however, but from the euro-scep�c Centre or SP party whose popularity has been rising sharply in the polls. It is a strong supporter of farmers, fishermen, food producers and local communi�es. Led by the experienced Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, SP believes Norway made a mistake in joining the European Union. The party has been clear that it would like to see the country renego�ate membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) – and broadly follow the UK’s Brexit policy of going it alone. Norway, while not a full EU member state, is a member of the European single market. This means it has to follow many of Brussels’ rules, a situa�on which does not go down well with a sizeable sec�on of the popula�on. The Centre Party’s poli�cal stance has been hard to define having supported both right and

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09/08/2021 15:06:51


After Brexit, is Nexit next?

While “trying to

remain poli�cally neutral, Seafood Norway stresses that the EEA agreement is vita

le� alliances in the past. It has risen to around 18% in the poll of polls, three points behind the Conserva�ves and six points behind Labour. This is not enough to form a government by itself, so it is likely to make demands if invited by either side to join a coali�on. It is the party’s views on EEA and single market membership that have set alarm bells ringing in the offices of seafood companies and the employer organisa�on Seafood Norway. The Conserva�ves have accused SP of pursuing a dangerous path, and point to the chaos and near disastrous impact on Sco�sh seafood exports following Brexit. The Conserva�ves argue that transport costs could be up to NOK 500m (£48m) higher if Norway quits the EEA, adding: “Then we have to look at what trade agreements the EU has with other countries, to see what is realis�c. “The (other) most important difference for the aquaculture industry is that through the EEA agreement we have joined the EU veterinary system, and that the EEA agreement provides access to important labour,” says the party. While trying to remain poli�cally neutral, Seafood Norway stresses that the EEA agreement is vital for the future prosperity of the seafood industry – and aquaculture in par�cular. “Through the EEA, we have a seamless trade that means that we avoid test and border problems. But the EEA agreement also provides increased tariffs with increased processing because the fish is not fully included in the EEA agreement,” said Seafood Norway CEO Geir Ove Ystmark recently. S�ne Akselsen, head of business at Seafood Norway said the agreement ensured trade in seafood could take place without border controls. She warned the Centre Party’s policy of “throwing the EEA agreement overboard “should not only scare the industry”, but also those coastal communi�es where fish farms and fishing ports are located. The EEA is also one of the few areas of agreement between Erna Solberg and Labour leader and prime minister hopeful Jonas Gahr Støre. Solberg says: “We do not need that uncertainty. The more we weaken the EEA agreement by vetoing and saying no to various areas, the more we weaken our nego�a�ng posi�on vis-à-vis the EU. “What I am most afraid of is [that while] being a guarantor of the EEA agreement, we may also undermine the same agreement. “Not that I think Jonas [Støre] will terminate the agreement, but that his friends in government will weaken it.” When asked directly, Støre said he would like to remove processing du�es which would help seafood, but admits that would be difficult if Norway insists on protec�ng its own vulnerable industries. Seafood Norway said both Solberg and Støre were quite clear that they wanted more seafood processing to be carried out at home, which was a good star�ng point. But it was unclear as to how far they would go to achieve that aim. Even if the Centre Party further increases its posi�on in the polls in the run-up to elec�on day, it will find few backers for its an�-Europe views in either of the two main par�es. It is more likely to chip away on Europe by seeking allies from the smaller

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Norway and the EU - Vince.indd 51

par�es on either the le� or right un�l, like Brexit, the voters are on-side. Then there is the issue of taxa�on. Un�l the coronavirus pandemic hit earnings, Norway’s salmon farmers were making big profits which are now showing signs of returning. Many Norwegians believe the big farmers don’t pay enough taxes. There were howls of protest from the industry a couple of years ago when a (Conserva�ve) government-appointed committee recommended a 40% flat rate tax – dubbed the salmon tax – should be levied on companies. Some businesses warned that if this tax became law they might take future investment to Scotland and other fish farming countries. The plan was quickly shelved with even Labour coming out against a flat rate tax. However, it is in favour of a new tax based on output or on how much land or �ord water companies used. The industry is likely to be nervous about such an idea because of its open ended possibili�es, arguing it has taken a big financial hit during the pandemic. There is a month to go before the elec�on and the arguments will undoubtedly become fiercer and uglier. Erna Solberg’s party may be lagging in the polls, but she remains a popular prime minister even though she was fined for breaching her own Covid rules by a�ending a family birthday party. A lot could depend on her mending fences with the more right wing Progress or FrP party. The two fell out two years ago when the government allowed an ISIS-suppor�ng mother back into the country. Her biggest threat, however, may come not from her opponents but from sheer voter fa�gue. FF

PR AND THE PARTIES The Norwegian Parliament known as The Stor�ng consists of 169 MPs, but its mul�party system makes it very difficult for a single party to gain an overall majority. So a coali�on government with either Conserva�ve or Labour at the head is usually the order of the day. The poli�cal spectrum is wide ranging from the ultra-conserva�ve Progress (FrP) party at one end to the Red or Communist party at the other. Small groups such as the Chris�an Democrats, Liberals and Greens all have seats in the Stor�ng under Norway’s complex propor�onal representa�on system.

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09/08/2021 15:07:37


Management, monitoring and analysis

A new era in data

Making sense of the growing amount data coming in from farm sites will be crucial

M

onitoring what is happening at a farm site – from fish behaviour to water quality – used to entail having a member of staff heading out on a boat for a physical inspec�on. Analysis of, for example, oxygen content in the water might require taking a physical sample and taking it back to a lab somewhere on the mainland. Increasingly, however, monitoring is real-�me, remote and automated. Now, a consor�um of research partners in Scotland has been awarded a £250,000 funding package to revolu�onise the collec�on, interpreta�on, and use of data on fish farms, with the development of a new digital pla�orm that will enable ac�onable insights. Led by R3-IoT, the group will develop a so�ware system that automa�cally captures large volumes of con�nuous sensor data across aquaculture sites securely in one place, where it can be processed, stored, and ac�oned. The digital pla�orm will be developed in parallel with R3-IoT’s satellite communica�ons solu�on, which brings seamless connec�vity to remote and rural areas. The project is funded by the Seafood Innova�on Fund, with support from the Sustainable Aquaculture Innova�on Centre (SAIC); Northern Light, the aquaculture consultancy; The Data Lab, Scotland’s innova�on centre for data science and AI; CENSIS, Scotland’s innova�on centre for sensing, imaging systems, and Internet of Things technologies; Edinburgh Napier University; the University of S�rling’s Ins�tute of Aquaculture; and the Sco�sh Salmon Producers Organisa�on (SSPO). The new pla�orm will automate the collec�on of data on metrics like oxygen, temperature, and salinity, from a range of sensing technologies already in place, allowing fish farms remotely manage their opera�ons more efficiently. It will also enable organisa�ons to regularly share environmental and opera�onal data with regulators, supply chain companies, researchers and other stakeholders. Allan Cannon, CEO and co-founder of R3-IoT, says: “Having data is only the first step – you also have to unlock its poten�al, which is what the digital platform we are developing through this project will deliver.

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“The technology will help fish farmers understand opera�ons across different sites and loca�ons wherever they are, providing them with increased visibility and improved quality of, and access to, �mely informa�on. It will also allow them to remotely and quickly respond to data-driven insights to improve business performance.” Heather Jones, CEO at SAIC, added: “This digital tool could bring another level of intelligence to aquaculture, allowing site teams to understand condi�ons on site even if they are working remotely. Using sensor data they could, for instance, iden�fy issues with a par�cular area of the farm being affected by �dal influx with increased levels of plankton and chlorophyll. “Fish farmers will be able to decide the metrics and parameters that ma�er to them. When industry professionals see this in ac�on, they may want to take it further and could even explore concepts such as preventa�ve maintenance type models… ul�mately, it could be a powerful tool for fish farmers.” Meanwhile, Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim has commi�ed to implemen�ng the company’s 4.0 Smart Farming ini�a�ve in all of its Norwegian farms by no later than 2025. Using advanced imaging technology and intelligent sensors, Smart Farming will enable real-�me

Top: Mowi Smart Farm control centre Above: Heather Jones Opposite: Mowi Smart Farm real �me monitoring

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09/08/2021 15:09:14


A new era in data monitoring of biomass, lice coun�ng, autonomous feeding and tracking of fish welfare. The data will be fed into remote opera�on centres, where Mowi staff will be able to get a real-�me picture of what is happening at the farms, taking ac�on where necessary. It will not just be human beings monitoring the data, however. Smart Farming will also involve machine learning and ar�ficial intelligence, so that the system itself is constantly improving. As well as saving on staff requirements – recruitment is a challenge in Norway – the approach should also be beneficial for fish welfare. The company says: “By constantly tracking fish behaviour and fish health, Mowi can be proac�ve instead of reac�ve when it comes to ac�ng on biological issues.” Of course, relying on real-�me, remote monitoring at farm sites means that the technology itself must be capable of delivering what it promises. James Hu�on Ltd (JHL), the commercial arm of the James Hu�on Ins�tute, is now offering an assessment which can test the claims of new technology and provide assurance for customers and investors. Environmental Technology Verifica�on (ETV) is an interna�onal standard, ISO 14034, aimed at providing credible, reliable and independent verifica�on of environmental technologies which have an impact or added value for the environment. As Gareth Newman, Service Delivery Manager with James Hu�on Ltd (JHL) explains: “The technology concerned must involve innova�on and should represent an improvement on exis�ng technology. For example it could mean using less power, con-

suming less in terms of resources or having be�er recycling op�ons at the end of a product’s life.” Typically, the ETV process will mean looking at technologies such as water and waste water treatment or monitoring water quality. It could also involve online, in situ monitoring to replace the typical process of taking a sample back to a lab for analysis – meaning the whole process has less of an environmental footprint. He says: “It’s an impar�al assessment, so James Hu�on should not have an interest in the company concerned or even be involved in the process of any compara�ve analyses for proving the technology works.” The verifica�on service from JHL is s�ll new and the first assessment process is currently under way. Newman adds: “This is a growing segment of the market.” In a separate ini�a�ve, JHL is also working with the aquaculture industry to find ways to detect the lowest possible concentra�ons of emamec�n benzoate – a pes�cide used to control sea lice – in sediment on the seabed. FF

could be “aItpowerful tool for fish farmers

Problems, solved

James Hutton Limited is segueing into sediment analysis for aquaculture

P

erhaps better known as an analytical laboratory for the oil, gas and manufacturing sectors, Aberdeen based, James Hutton Limited, is putting the chemical analysis skills of its world-leading team to good use for the aquaculture sector. Current work includes the development of a method to detect the lowest possible concentrations of the lice treatment emamectin benzoate in sediment. Business Development Manager Rodger McGovern says: “Being the commercial subsidiary of the James Hutton Institute puts the business in an enviable position, with unsurpassed access to people and equipment providing a unique offering. Our researchers, analysts and accredited techniques play a crucial part in monitoring many aspects of the environment particularly sediments, water and soils, so we are well placed to offer up expertise in support of problem solving for a range of industries. “With method development a specialty, we are often tasked with creating new analytical solutions and we’re very excited to work closely with the aquaculture industry to develop this method for emamectin benzoate detection. “Our other forays into aquaculture include our dedicated lipid laboratory, Mylnefield Lipid Analysis, which specialises in the analysis of omega-3 and fatty acids, plus a number of industry collaborations including an investigation into the potential of seaweed as an ingredient in livestock feed and another purporting fava beans as an alternative protein for fish feed. There are several techniques we can offer for contaminant analysis and I would urge anyone interested to take a look at our website, huttonltd.com”

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INTRO - Management, Monitoring & Analysis.indd 53

Above: Combined skills and experience of James Hu�on analysts offer more precise, interpreta�ve results Right: James Hu�on Limited works alongside the aquaculture industry on a number of collabora�ve projects

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09/08/2021 15:10:02


Antifouling and Net Cleaning

Net benefits

Robots, copper and genetics could all be part of the solution for fouling issues BY ROBERT OUTRAM

F

ouling with algae and crustaceans is a major problem for any piece of kit that has to be left in the sea, and fish farmers’ nets are no exception. The Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) sites at Kishorn and Nevis on the west coast of Scotland have been using two “Flying Net Cleaners” from AKVA.The FNC8s ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) are installed on the service vessels Lady Christine and Solas Na Mara.They are equipped with in-built cameras and sensors that enable operators to see the whole net while cleaning. Innes Weir, Regional Production Manager for the Mainland with SSF, told the company’s in-house newsletter, The Source: “The FNC8s provide us with several advantages over our manually operated systems.They allow our dedicated net hygiene staff to operate and view the nets from inside the wheelhouse or purpose-built console, improving safety by keeping them out of the elements. “They provide full visibility and video footage of the net cleaning process and have already assisted in increased containment security on our farms.And they have superior cleaning over our current systems, particularly with the new HDPE SealPro nets, fitted to prevent predator attacks.They also effectively clean the entire base of the net, and are faster and more reliable than manual systems.” The ROVs can clean eight cages in a day compared with five under the previous system, SSF says, and each ROV requires only one person to operate it, while the manual system required two people at a time. SSF notes that younger staff members, raised on console gaming, take very quickly to the ROV controls. Another net washing robot, the AutoBoss from Trimara Services, is now available in Chile following the appointment of aquaculture technology and services business Grupo Ersil as Trimara’s agent in the region. Grupo Ersil was established in 2009 and is based in Puerto Montt, Chile. The AutoBoss is a fully automated net washing machine now used by fin fish farms in Canada, USA, Scotland, Norway, New Zealand, and Greece. Included in the purchase of an AutoBoss is a commissioning and training package. Operators and local mechanics are trained in daily operations as well as routine servicing operations. Ersil will provide these services in Chile as well as sales and marketing backup. Trimara is based in Stirling, Scotland and promotes the AutoBoss in markets around the world. Stewart Hawthorn, Director,Trimara Services, says:“The AutoBoss is a fantastic machine. It is designed to be reliable, user-friendly, and independent.Trimara provides excellence in commissioning, training, and on-going post-sales support.We want to ensure that our AutoBoss customers in Chile will get the same great support that we deliver in other parts of the world. Our new partner, Ersil, is the perfect fit.” As well as on-site washing, nets still require a thorough clean to get rid of fouling at the end of the production cycle. Norway-based Mørenot, which produces nets and moorings for the aquaculture sector, also provides an onshore net cleaning service. Mørenot has a net cleaning facility on Shetland and another in the Western Isles, servicing customers such as Mowi, Scottish Sea Farms and Grieg.

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Right: Stewart Hawthorn Below: The AutoBoss Opposite from top: Sco�sh Sea Farms, Solas Na Mara; The AutoBoss washing automa�cally

David Goodlad, Managing Director, Scotland with Mørenot, says:“Location is key. Mørenot is the only local service provider with its own dedicated piers, which cuts down on time and on the need for road haulage, reducing our carbon footprint.” Customers have access to the Aquacom module, NETS, free of charge. Integrated with the company’s internal systems, this app provides a full overview of the nets’ conditions throughout their whole lifespan. It can track every piece of equipment, providing alerts when inspection or replacement is due, and it can also automatically book in nets for cleaning when the customer is ready, saving time. But can fouling be reduced in the first place, making cleaning easier? Copper has long been used as an antifouling agent for vessels and nets.The introduction of copper bottomed ships, which were faster and did not need to return to port frequently for cleaning, was an early advantage for Britain’s Royal Navy in the days of sail. One solution has been to use copper-based antifouling paint, but this tends to chip off and sink, with copper residue drifting to the seabed, potentially harming benthic organisms. Net maker Garware Technical Fibres has come up with a copper composite yarn,V2, which combines high density polythene (HDPE) with metallic copper.This allows the slow release of copper ions, creating added resistance to biofouling.

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09/08/2021 15:14:44


Net benefits

Farmers “were able

to reduce cleaning frequency by up to 50%

Garware says that trials during 2019-20 showed that farmers were able to reduce cleaning frequency by up to 50%. NetKem’s Netwax Greenline E5 also uses copper – copper oxide in this case – to help nets resist fouling and UV damage. It is even certified for use at organic farms. Meanwhile, research carried out by Norway’s SINTEF Ocean and the Cawthron Institute in New Zealand (Efficacy testing of novel antifouling coatings for pen nets in aquaculture, Nina Bloecher & Oliver Floer, March 2020) put various alternatives to copper coatings to the test. The study compared the efficacy of six novel antifouling coatings for fish farm nets (two with reduced copper content, three with alternative biocides and one biocide-free coating) against a popular commercial copper coating and uncoated samples. The performance of one of the new coatings with lower copper content was similar to the commercial copper control while the rest were colonised by biofouling faster and/or at higher abundances. However, none of the tested products were able to prevent biofouling entirely, underlining the importance of the search for alternative and improved antifouling technologies, the researchers say. More radically, a team at New York University’s Abu Dhabi associate has suggested that genetics

could provide an answer. Their study (GPCR Genes as Activators of Surface Colonization Pathways in a Model Marine Diatom, Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani and Weiqi Fu, NYU Abu Dhabi ,August 2020) looked at the genes which signal changes in morphology (shape) in diatoms, microscopic algae which play a major part in biofouling. By introducing changes in the diatoms’ genetic makeup, the scientists suggest, the algae could be induced not to bond with surfaces like nets. In the meantime, however, net cleaning looks like a chore which will be with the industry for some time to come. FF

Solutions to sustainably harvest food from the sea www.morenot.com

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09/08/2021 15:15:45


Cleaner fish

Lumpfish need love too Lumpfish and Ballan wrasse have their own welfare issues, which should not be ignored

F

ish species such as lumpfish and Ballan wrasse, are increasingly being used as cleaner fish to help control the numbers of sea lice in salmon and trout pens. Of course, the cleaner fish themselves also have welfare issues. They cannot survive on sea lice alone, and can suffer high rates of mortality when simply placed in a salmon pen without a proper feeding and welfare regime. Clearly, tackling one welfare (and ethical) challenge is not helpful if it simply creates another problem. Harves�ng wild wrasse and lumpfish for this purpose also depletes fish stocks, so these species are now also being farmed. Unlike salmon, for

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example, which have been domes�cated for 50 years, lumpfish and wrasse have been farmed for a much shorter �me and there are s�ll gaps in the industry’s knowledge about them. A group of researchers at Swansea University, including Professor Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, Chair in Aqua�c Sciences and Biosciences, drew on the exper�se and experience of par�cipants from the fish farming sector, animal welfare, academia and regulators to assess consensus on the main

Above: Lumpfish

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09/08/2021 15:20:12


Lumpfish need love too

challenges and poten�al solu�ons for lumpfish welfare. The study (Addressing the welfare needs of farmed lumpfish: Knowledge gaps, challenges and solutions, July 2021) used a “Delphi” approach to see how the experts viewed the usefulness of five behavioural and 12 physical welfare indicators. The Delphi method is a quan�ta�ve, ques�onnaire-based technique that aims to iden�fy a consensus among experts. The researchers did indeed find a consensus, iden�fying for example that fin erosion and body damage were the most useful and prac�cal opera�onal welfare indicators, while blood parameters and behavioural indicators were seen as the least prac�cal. One thing that became clear was – to state the obvious – lumpfish are not Atlan�c salmon. Applying a common set of welfare standards and standard opera�ng procedures to both species, even if they are co-habi�ng in the same pens, is not likely to be in the interests of the cleaner fish. The researchers also iden�fied 16 prac�cal solu�ons for improving the welfare of lumpfish. In summary, these are: 1. Adopt welfare guidelines specifically developed for this species. 2. Train staff in their use and implementa�on. 3. Monitor fish o�en and look for early signs of poor welfare. 4. Watch for underweight fish and adjust feeding

ra�ons, feed frequency and feed delivery accordingly. 5. Monitor mortality rates regularly and inves�gate whether mortality exceeds the norm (defined by the median and the 10th-90th percen�le historical benchmark 114. 6. Keep densi�es within op�mal values for the species, typically 7. Screen-out lumpfish with deformed suckers at the earliest opportunity. 8. Reduce poten�al disturbance and handling as much as possible. 9. Provide shelters and cover in tanks. 10. Check water quality regularly. 11. Grade frequently, as adequate for the size and condi�on of the fish. 12. Vaccinate against infec�ous diseases. 13. Avoid areas with strong currents or outside the op�mal thermal niche. 14. Avoid prolonged transport whenever possible and check water quality during transport. 15. Be prepared to cull fish with subop�mal welfare under veterinary advice. 16. Slaughter lumpfish humanely. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of S�rling’s Ins�tute of Aquaculture have also been addressing the lumpfish issue. Their conclusion is that measuring growth weight is a be�er indicator of health than commonly used indicators such as fin damage. The Ins�tute team also developed a new tool to assess lumpfish welfare, which should help fish farmers to detect problems and take remedial ac�on where required. Dr Sonia Rey Planellas at the Ins�tute of Aquaculture has established a

sh can some�mes grow very fast, which “Lumpfi leads farmers to introduce them too early ”

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INTRO - Cleaner Fish.indd 57

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09/08/2021 15:20:47


Cleaner fish

correla�on between lumpfish growth weights and health outcomes. She says: “At the moment, in the UK we use Opera�onal Welfare Indicators (OWIs) for fish welfare, but lumpfish are a different shape to many other fish, so it’s about iden�fying the best indicators for each species. “Fin damage is typically the indicator that is used, but in this study we found a more useful indicator was the correla�on between growth weight rela�ve to size and welfare.” The researchers developed four indices based on weight and length comparisons, correlated with the OWIs for lumpfish, to develop a formula that calculates an overall score of above or below 2.8 (for other fish the figure is 3). Above 2.8 means the fish is fine, below means the condi�on is sub-op�mal and farmers must take remedial ac�on. Farmers input their measurements into a free online tool. “It can help farmers calculate op�mal �mes to introduce the lumpfish to the salmon, for example,” says Dr Rey Planellas. “Lumpfish can some�mes grow very fast, which leads farmers to introduce them too early, when the waters are s�ll too cold. This is not good for welfare outcomes.” Lumpfish are quite dis�nct from most farmed fish in terms of their body shape and behaviour, so the OWIs used to assess the health of salmon, for example, are not necessarily good indicators of cleaner fish health. The researchers collected data from 456 fish from two different environments: a hatchery at Ardtoe in Scotland and in salmon sea cages in the Faroe Islands and Scotland, in condi�ons approved by the University of S�rling’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body. The paper, Using model selection to choose a size-based condition index that is consistent with operational welfare indicators, is published in the Journal of Fish Biology. The project was a collabora�on between the University of S�rling, including modelling by lecturer Bruce McAdam; the Sco�sh Aquaculture Innova�on Centre (SAIC); the Fisheries Society of the Bri�sh Isles (FSBI) and several salmon companies. Jim Treasurer, a scien�st with Fai Farms near Fort William, worked on the study. He says: “This tool will help farmers iden�fy fish that are below average condi�on for the popula�on in the cage, and will indicate a need for prompt, remedial ac�on, such as modifying feed.” Ralph Bickerdike, Head of Fish Health and Welfare at Sco�sh Sea Farms, who par�cipated, adds: “The welfare indicators iden�fied from the project have since been adopted at those of our farms using lumpfish to help control sea lice levels and have proven hugely helpful in ensuring high welfare standards among our cleaner fish.” Meanwhile a study by a group of researchers is aiming to determine the best possible condi�ons to help Ballan wrasse to grow and thrive. The project builds on more than 10 years of Ballan wrasse research led by the University of S�rling’s Ins�tute of Aquaculture and will explore a range of nutri�onal and environmental factors. O�er Ferry Seafish, BioMar, Sco�sh Sea Farms, Mowi, and the Sustainable Aquaculture Innova�on Centre (SAIC) are suppor�ng the research, which could improve the robustness, welfare and resilience of Ballan wrasse when

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deployed into salmon pens. Ballan wrasse display complex behavioural traits throughout their lifecycle, culmina�ng in their sea lice foraging ac�vity. Scien�sts believe hatchery processes during their early development may not only impact on their performance and welfare, but also their ability to become effec�ve delousers at sea. Determining the op�mal condi�ons – par�cularly as they grow in hatcheries – could be transforma�onal for the sector’s approach to sea lice treatment. The outcomes of the research project could also be used to scale up hatchery produc�on. Professor Herve Migaud from the University of S�rling’s Ins�tute of Aquaculture says: “Years of research have taught us that Ballan wrasse are a complex fish species. Their behaviour can be significantly impacted by environmental factors from a very early developmental stage including the nutrients they are given, especially as they have a rudimentary diges�ve system without any stomach. “In the wild, it can be a case of survival of the fi�est, and the fish tend to develop a level of resilience that we are aiming to understand and recreate in a controlled environment. Exploring the impact of different variables in the hatchery process, in par�cular, can help us to create the best possible condi�ons to help the fish thrive and prepare them for when they are deployed into a salmon farm. “The demand for cleaner fish is growing and the aim is to get to a point where we can meet the demand for healthy and effec�ve hatchery-reared Ballan wrasse and enable the sector to reach full reliance on farmed rather than wild cleaner fish in coming years, ul�mately helping salmon farmers with a sustainable solu�on to sea lice.” Researchers will also look at the nutrients in the feeds, such as vitamins and minerals, needed by Ballan wrasse from the first feeding and weaning stages to support bone and car�lage health and minimise the risk of deformi�es, exploring the use of supplements, immunos�mulants and func�onal feeds to improve resistance to bacterial disease. These will help to be�er prepare Ballan wrasse for what they experience in the waters of a fish farm. The private sector is also finding ways to help care for the cleaner fish. Feed companies have developed bespoke feeds for cleaner species – for example, World Feeds’ VAF Fee Blocks have been developed to provide a balanced diet, delivered in a formula that suits the cleaner fish’s natural grazing behaviour. Meanwhile Norway-based Aquasolu�ons offers bespoke “recapture hides” to help with the efficient and gentle recapture of wrasse and lumpfish – recrea�ng the kelp in which the cleaner fish like to shelter. Cleaner fish play an important role in protec�ng farmed fish, but their own welfare should also be an important considera�on. FF

Years of “research

have taught us that Ballan wrasse are a complex fish species

Top left: Ballan wrasse Above: Herve Migaud Below: Jim Treasurer

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09/08/2021 15:21:47


World Feeds – client content

Cleaner fish feed that works VAF Feed Blocks can save fish farms valuable time and money

W

orld Feeds’ VAF Feed Blocks are becoming well established as the go-to solu�on to sea lice and cleaner fish management. Their complete, balanced feed block diets are tailored to wrasse and lumpfish, with extensive studies recording considerable improvements to general health and welfare while simultaneously improving their efficacy in the control of sea lice. Major salmon farming companies in Scotland and Norway have already contracted and converted to using VAF Feed Blocks as their sole cleaner fish feed using World Feeds’ innova�ve feeding strategies to revolu�onise the day-today opera�ons of cleaner fish management. While the welfare and nutri�onal benefits of the feed blocks have been well-documented, another significant advantage of VAF is the mul�tude of �me and cost savings afforded by these unique feeding systems. The large feed blocks (which are supplied individually foil wrapped within an easily carried and fully recyclable bucket) can be stored in a cool, dry place – requiring no refrigera�on. One company noted that each of their sites had removed their large chest freezer systems which were no longer needed - subsequently elimina�ng the 24/7 electricity cost of running of each unit and saving on space. Energy savings such as this naturally pose a hugely posi�ve long-term impact on a site’s daily opera�onal costs as well as their carbon footprint. The company noted that these energy savings combined with the minimised need for medical treatments and restocking of cleaner fish (a result of the nutri�onal benefits of the feed block diet) had saved them more than double the annual cost of the actual feed blocks. VAF Feed Blocks even boast a twoyear shelf-life, meaning fish farmers are able to house several months’ worth of cleaner fish feed without the need to constantly re-order. Consequently these �me savings allow staff to reallocate their �me to more produc�ve on-site tasks. In comparison to other gel type products on the market, the feed blocks require no mixing or prepara�on and can simply be loaded onto the bespoke MLD (Manual Line Deployment) feeding

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World Feeds Limited - PED.indd 59

sta�on in-situ at the side of the pen, directly out of the pack. This in turn saves �me in unpacking, preparing, recycling and transpor�ng the feed to site. The MLD itself is also far more prac�cal, efficient and quicker to use than the net bags that might otherwise be employed. Each unit is supplied with 11 metres of polysteel rope, allowing feeding versa�lity as sta�ons can be strategically placed at various posi�ons and depths around the pen. This is designed to disperse the cleaner fish among the salmon, reducing aggression during feeding while significantly increasing their range and exposure to the sea lice. The feed blocks are designed to promote and facilitate natural grazing behaviour throughout the day and once a block has been consumed, the bright yellow float indicator is designed to float to the surface; enabling staff to easily keep track of when feed needs restocking. With the increasing financial and staffing pressures being felt by businesses since the advent of Covid-19, VAF Feed Blocks present aquaculture opera�ons with a viable and sustainable solu�on to the pervading sea lice issue while considerably reducing the cost of daily opera�ons and effec�vely giving fish farm managers and personnel the gi� of �me. FF

The feed “blocks are

designed to promote and facilitate natural grazing behaviour

Left: VAF Feed Block loaded onto an MLD Below: Lumpfish grazing in Norway

59

09/08/2021 11:07:09


Products and services Introducing the new HYDROTECH VALUE SERIES

Smarter, stronger, More than 50 improvements more economical drum filters Monthly update on industry innovations and solutions from around the world

What’s NEW

Lice - it’s all about prevention!

FIIZK is a major supplier of treatment tarpaulins and lice skirts. We have developed our products together with fish farmers and research institutions such as Sintef Fiskeri and Havbruk. Prevention is key and our lice skirts are tailor-made to suit customer preferences and environmental conditions, to keep sea lice out and protect the cage environment. Our treatment tarpaulin is designed to promote effective treatments using less medicine, putting fish welfare and the environment first.

The way to become market leader in any industry is to give customers a quality product that fits their exact requirements at the best possible price. That is why we have developed the new Hydrotech Value series of drum filters. The Hydrotech Value drum filter series focuses on reduced maintenance, increased component quality and simplified operation – all to give your plant maximum filtration performance at a minimum operational cost.

Contact us! Call +46 (0)40 42 95 30 or visit www.hydrotech.se

For more information visit our product pages at www.fiizk.com/en or contact us at info@fiizk.com

Filters that offer real value for money

Benchmark Genetics strengthens the fish health team ØYVIND J. Brevik has been hired as Fish Health Manager, 20210302 HDFV FF Half page Landscape - 130mm high x 190mm wide.indd Salmon with responsibility for fish health in all the global production units connected with the Benchmark Genetics breeding programmes for Atlantic salmon. Before joining Benchmark and for more than 10 years, Øyvind had the role of Senior Researcher and worked as part of the global R&D fish health team at Cermaq. In this role, his focus was on emerging diseases, improving diagnostics, biosafety and fish welfare. Øyvind has an MSc in Aquamedicine and a PhD in Intracellular Bacterial Fish Pathogens from the University of Bergen. www.bmkgenetics.com

1

THE Hydrotech Value drum filter series is a new generation of cost-efficient drum filters focusing on reduced maintenance, increased component quality, and simplified operation – all to provide maximum filtration performance at a minimum 2021-03-10 10:12:55 operational cost. Hydrotech Value drum filters offer features such as brackets, cable ducts and more, to make installation and operation as cost-efficient and user-friendly as possible. They are delivered ready for upgrades such as high-pressure washing, chemical pipes, etc, to make customisation easy, efficient, and cost-effective. There are more than 50 technological improvements in the new Value series, compared to the previous series, that make these filters excellent value for money. To find out more, click on the video link below. www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0dd69T5wfU

Pipe firm joins ‘premier league’

THE Norwegian company SIMONA Stadpipe has evolved into one of the country’s leading specialists in innovative piping systems. In recent years, the company has worked on several major fish farms in Norway. “We have always worked with land-based fish farming facilities but, in recent years, have also become part of the journey towards developing land-based RAS facilities together with the aquaculture industry,” said Nils-Per Sjåstad, CEO of SIMONA Stadpipe. In the last few decades, the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) has become increasingly established in the fish farming segment. He added: “This has taken us to the ‘premier league’ when it comes to supplying piping systems.” In July 2020, SIMONA AG purchased a majority stake in SIMONA Stadpipe. This has resulted in a new injection of expertise in both products and materials, and an international presence which also provides the company with the opportunity to contribute to projects outside of Norway. Sjåstad said: “We expect exciting times ahead and I look forward to SIMONA Stadpipe taking progressive steps forward together with the sector.” www.simona-stadpipe.com

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What's New - August 21.indd 60

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09/08/2021 11:22:50


Looking to

recruit?

Post your vacancy on www.fishfarmermagazine.com for only £199 (+vat) per job posting. Contact Janice Johnston 0044 (0) 131 551 7925 jjohnston@fishfarmermagazine.com

Coming in the next issue... SEPTEMBER ISSUE

• Boats and Barges • Training and Careers • Cages, Pens, Nets and Moorings • Sustainability • Aquanor REVIEW • EAS Madeira Preview For more information on opportunities for advertising with editorial content around these subjects please contact: Janice Johnston 0044 (0) 131 551 7925 jjohnston@fishfarmermagazine.com

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09/08/2021 11:13:39


Industry Diary

Industry DIARY The latest aquaculture events, conferences and courses AUGUST 21

NOVEMBER 21

RASTECH CONFERENCE

RAStech 2022 is the venue for learning, networking and knowledge sharing on RAS technologies, design and implementation across the world.

Hilton Head Island, SC, USA March 30-31, 2022

AQUACULTURE AMERICA 2021 This show will be the largest aquaculture trade show in the Western Hemisphere and one of the largest anywhere in the world with nearly 200 booths! This is your opportunity to inspect the latest in products and services for the aquaculture industry.

San Antonio,Texas, USA August 11-14, 2021

AQUA NOR.

Trondheim, Norway August 24-27, 2021

WORLD AQUACULTURE 2021 Merida, Mexico November 8-12, 2021

DECEMBER 21 WORLD AQUACULTURE 2020

The event will be held in Singapore this year with involvement from countries throughout the Asian-Pacific region and around the world. Aquaculture is growing rapidly in the region and therefore 2021 is the perfect time for the world aquaculture community to turn its focus here. Singapore December 5-8, 2021

AQUACULTURE AFRICA 2021

APRIL 22 SEAFOOD EXPO GLOBAL /SEAFOOD PROCESSING GLOBAL www.seafoodexpo.com/global

Fira, Barcelona, Spain April 26-28, 2022

MAY 22 AQUACULTURE UK 2022

Alexandria, Egypt December 11-14, 2021

FEBRUARY 22 AQUACULTURE 2022 OCTOBER 21

San Diego, California, USA February 27 - March 3, 2022 Aviemore will once again be the venue for this biennial trade fair and conference. It is undoubtedly the most important aquaculture exhibition held in the British Isles. The show has a tremendous following and with increased investment for 2022 it promises to reach even further across the broader aquaculture markets in both the UK and Europe.

AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2021 Madeira, Portugal October 4-7, 2021

MARCH 22 2022 SEAFOOD EXPO NORTH AMERICA/ SEAFOOD PROCESSING NORTH AMERICA Boston, Massachusetts, USA March 13-15, 2022

62

Industry Diary.indd 62

Aviemore, United Kingdom May 3-5, 2022

AUGUST 22 WAS NORTH AMERICA & AQUACULTURE CANADA St John’s Newfoundland, Canada. August 15-18, 2022

www.fishfarmermagazine.com

09/08/2021 11:27:24


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09/08/2021 11:35:59


Opinion – Inside track

Unintended consequences BY NICK JOY

W

hen all of this palaver started about coronavirus, I was one of the people who consistently mispredicted what the outcomes would be. I simply could not believe that any government, whatever the shade, would be dim enough to shut down the

economy. Even at the beginning the average age of people dying was well over 80 and as life expectancy in the UK is around that figure, I assumed that, when this was balanced against the sort of tax penalty that will face the young, the government would opt for very strong advice but let the economy continue. I watched with dismay as share values crashed and the government borrowed huge sums of money. Last winter, again I predicted that the government would never lock the economy down again as they must have learned from the first time. Wrong, wrong and wrong again! As I am one of those older people (not quite 80 yet!) I feel that I must apologise to all of the young folk who will pay the consequences in the form of tax for a long time to come. I did not choose the government’s way but that is the way of a democracy. The law of unintended consequences is usually quoted in relation to bad things that come unexpectedly from a decision intended to be good. I will define it, however as this: there is rarely a decision that does not have unforeseen consequences. In this case, a bad decision (in my view) has had a number of good consequences. To give a general example, the stamp duty exemption was supposed to be extremely expensive to fund for the government but the rise in house prices has meant the exchequer has received around the same income that it normally would from this source. For the area in which we farm, one unintended consequence has undoubtedly been the increase in “staycations”, a horrible word and – for where my old farms are – the wonder or nightmare of the North Coast 500. Hotel and B&B prices have gone through the roof, as I’m sure readers know, and the flow of money to these fragile areas has increased radically. How this plays out in the long run defies prediction, but even with my history I am going to try! My guess is that it will stabilise and then decline a bit over time as foreign holidays become available again. The prices of UK holidays have risen sharply and this will make foreign competition more attractive. The decline in air travel inevitably means that flights will become more expensive, however, so it will take time for this change and there will be a new normal. I used to travel from Inverness to Scourie in the 1990s and early 2000s. Leaving early I would rarely see more than 10 cars on the whole trip. Now I would expect to see that per mile at the least. As I am travelling to Orkney on Monday, I will be experiencing the joys of the North Coast 500 for myself. Meanwhile, will there be any hope for the poor guy trying to go to work past endless campervans and holidaymakers? I’m afraid I doubt there will be for some time, as

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Nick Joy.indd 66

What a “fantastic

opportunity to get our own message, and the truth, out there!

there is no time to upgrade the infrastructure and no indication that government is particularly minded to, even if they could afford it. Maybe there could be some good that comes out of this boom. We now have people from all over the country coming to our farming areas. These people have been bombarded with bad reports about the environmental impact of our industry. What a fantastic opportunity to get our own message, and the truth, out there! Are we targeting all of the local hotels to use our product? Are we offering leaflets and information about the local farms? I don’t know, as I have been travelling to other parts of the country, hopefully soon to be rectified. I miss it very badly. However, we all know there are numbers of people travelling to our areas who know little about what we do. Surely it is not a complicated thought to suggest this is the time to start thinking about how we can take advantage of this obvious opportunity. Having said that, how about creating a series of open farms up the West Coast to allow people on holiday with little to do, to visit and learn how we do what we do. Given that some deluded regions of the world are stopping the development of marine fish farming, surely it is better to spend this money now before we find ourselves in the headlines again. Perhaps we do have to accept the decisions of government and their unintended consequences, good or bad, but maybe we can create a few intended consequences of our own! FF

www.fishfarmermagazine.co.uk

09/08/2021 15:28:10


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Profile for Fish Farmer Magazine

Fish Farmer Magazine August 2021  

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