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Fish Farmer VOLUME 41

Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977







Industry marks retirement of Marine Harvest’s Steve Bracken

Global aquaculture gathering in the Mediterranean

Exploring potential for growth in Nigerian farms

Norwegian’s theory on the decline of wild salmon

August Cover.indd 4

08/08/2018 15:40:33


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Contents 4-15 4-14 News

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

16-21 16-22 Industry pioneer Parliamentary inquiry


Fair hearing French connection


Steve Bracken The final sessions

HE farming Scotland, when it wasonal to he salmon focus this monthsector is on in Europe, where thetold internati be the subject of a be parliamentary inquiry, embraced the industry will soon gathering for the joint EAS (European opportunity wouldand provide explain how it operated. Aquaculturethis Society) WAS to (World Aquaculture Society) The industry had nothing to hide and, if given fair hearing, could conference, to be staged over five days in theasouthern French address much of the criti cism levelled against it. city of Montpellier. As well as highlighting the latest technological Fish Farmer supported this view, but at times advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018felt willthat alsosalmon feature farmers were being drowned out by the noisier elements sessions on emerging markets and look at the role of fishof the angling which calledIncreasingly, for the investi gation.meeti But asngs the farminglobby, in alleviati nghad poverty. industry sessions progressed, eventually voicesaswere heard, we are broadening their and scope, tackling farmers’ subjects such the social became moreofopti mistic. Weand nowthe believe that on MSPs, perhaps with acceptability aquaculture contributi it makes to global foodexcepti security saving the Greens planet, in a move thatwith is toanti be-farming welcomed. the onand of one or two cahoots Also investigati ngon initi atives inregard the developing world, Harrison campaigners, will, balance, the industry in a Dr favourable CharoThey Karisa ofhopefully WorldFishsee writes thetake farming al in light. will thatabout farmers their potenti environmental Nigeria, bothes inseriously catfish and tilapia cultivation. will only ever invest in responsibiliti and that businesses In Scotland, summer has been something of a waiting game growth that isthe sustainable. while parliament is in recess and thethose members Holyrood’s If thethe committ ee members, especially who of have yet to Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up visit a salmon farm, would like to learn more about the subject of the evidence in their salmon farming. don’t expect their inquiry, we haveinquiry plenty into of good stories in ourWe May issue. Even their report until the autumn but hope the MSPs are using the time better, they could head to the Highlands later this month, where to become fully acquainted with the facts about fish farming. they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s This month also sees the retirement of Marine Harvest’s longest biggest fish farming show. serving employee, Steve Bracken. We had no trouble collecting We will certainly atfriends Aquaculture UK in Aviemore warm tributes frombehis and colleagues to markand thelook forward toand, seeing many of the yourest there milestone along with of too. the industry, the team at Fish

22-23 24-27 Salmon market SSPO

Farmer wish him all the very best for the future.

RisingBrown stars Janet

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Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Migaud, PatrickPatrick Smith and Jim Hervé Migaud, Smith, Treasurer, Wiliam Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowds Editor: Jenny Hjul Designer: Andrew Balahura Advertising Manager: Team Leader: Dave Edler Advertising Executive: Scott Binnie Publisher: Alister Bennett

Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 email:

Cover:Steve AlisonBracken Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: explains farmingfarming director, LochCharles Etive. salmon toon Prince Picture: during hisScott visit Binnie to Marine Harvest in 2016. Photo: Iain Ferguson

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Contents – Editor’s Welcome

48-49 41-43 Brussels Aqua 2018

Salmon market robust Montpellier preview

50-55 44-46 Brussels Aqua 2018

New processors’ Stirling course group

Current Meet thetrends new chief executive

56 48-49 Book review Training

Focus cleaner fish MartynonHaines

57 53-55 Aquaculture Nor Fishing UK

24 28-29 Comment

Introducti on Farming angle

Phil Thomas

58-59 60-63 Aquaculture Australia UK

26 30 BTA

Chris Mitchell Barramundi boom

Doug McLeod

28-31 32-33 SSPO sh Shellfi

32-33 34-35 Shellfish Comment Janet nBrown Marti Jaffa


34-35 36-41 Comment Farm visit

MartinofJaff a era Dawn new

36-39 43-45 Wildcareers salmon decline IoA

69 64-67 Aquaculture UK Nigeria Meet team on Boostithe ng producti

81-82 76-77 Aquaculture UK From the Archive Awards David Little reports

91 78-79 Retail & Marketing Processing & Retail News

Figure 9. Development of salmon nominal catch in southern and northern NEAC 1971 to 2016. Text at top inserted by author. Filled symbols and darker line southern NEAC.

The mackerel hypothesis Sti rling students

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Eat fish jobs Savemore Pinneys

92-93 80-81 Aqua Source Directory

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46-47 40 Brussels Innovation conference

94 82 Opinion

Figure 10. Examples of the young mackerel currently growing up ‘all over’ the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and along the Norwegian coast at the moment. These were caught in a ‘washing set’ by the purse seiner ‘Brennholm’ at an arbitrary position 100 nm west of the Lofoten Isles in January 2018. At this stage these small mackerels are competitors to the postsmolt salmon, Printed in Great Britain for the proprietors Wyvex Media Ltd by J Thomson Colour Printers Ltd,later they will be both competitors and potential predators. The new and abundant availability of juvenile mackerel in the multi sea winter salmon feeding areas may be a good explanation to Glasgow ISSN 0262-9615 why the MSW fishes have such a good condition at present despite their poor early sea growth. Photo JC Holst.

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09/05/2018 08/08/2018 18:05:09 15:36:28

United Kingdom News


Call for working group to support women in aquaculture

THE Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has called for industry support for a working group to encourage more women to join the aquaculture sector. A recent survey conducted by SAIC found overwhelming support for such a group, with nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of respondents saying they would join it if set up. When asked what the purpose of the group should be, nearly nine out of

10 respondents said that it should provide networking support to others already working, or considering a career, in UK aquaculture. Two thirds agreed that it should raise awareness of women working in UK aquaculture through, for example, social media and case studies. SAIC’s survey, launched in May this year, received 173 responses in total, 91 per cent from women and nine per cent from men. The survey attracted

interest across the aquaculture industry, with 67 per cent of respondents working in the private sector, 29 per cent in research or academia, and five per cent in the public sector. Some 88 per cent of responses were from people based in Scotland, and 60 per cent were aged under 40, with 20 per cent self-declaring as students or recent graduates (within the last eight years) so probably under 30. The SAIC survey

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Above: Women in aquaculture - on SAIC’s stand at Aviemore

follows the publication of the Skills Review for the Aquaculture Sector in Scotland report, commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise on behalf of the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group. This showed that aquaculture related subjects at school, such as biology and chemistry, and in further education and training continue to be dominated by males. Ninety per cent of enrolments on fish production and fisheries further education courses in 2015/16 were men, and the vast majority of people starting an aquaculture Modern Apprenticeship were male. SAIC CEO Heather Jones said it was statistics like these that promoted SAIC to conduct its survey, which has ‘clearly demonstrated strong

un-met demand for cross-industry, cross-sector support for women in UK aquaculture’. ‘As well as there being women leaders at the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation and trout company Dawnfresh, there are increasing numbers of brilliant and talented younger women working in aquaculture,’ said Jones. ‘But we need to showcase and highlight their progress in scientific, technical and academic roles, for the encouragement of others. ‘Over half of our survey respondents are willing to contribute to a Women in UK Aquaculture Group, with over 40 per cent willing to offer mentoring to another woman, and another 40 per cent happy to provide advice or guidance to others in

the group. ‘It’s because of this level of support that we are now in the process of bringing interested parties together to get a group up and running, with a view to the industry taking it on to drive it forward.’ Tracy Bryant-Shaw, HR director at Scottish Sea Farms, said: ‘Attracting more women into our company is something we’ve been working hard on in recent years, with great results. ‘Already this year, two of our female employees have been named Finfish Farm Manager of the Year and Rising Star, accolades we hope will inspire others to consider a career with us. ‘So we are fully supportive of this new initiative to encourage, support and develop women at sector level.’

08/08/2018 15:30:20

All the latest industry news from the UK

Marine Harvest farm changes approved MARINE Harvest has won the go ahead to expand two of its farms in Argyll. The company’s plans to merge five sites into four were approved by Argyll and Bute Council at the end of June, the Oban Times reported. In one application, Marine Harvest sought to modify 16 x 100m cages into 12 x 120m cages, and increase biomass to 2,500 tonnes, at Poll na Gille, east of Shuna Island. This is one of the farms earmarked for innovative environets, which have proved successful in tackling gill health problems during trials at Marine Harvest farms on Skye and the Western Isles. There were objections to the proposal from the campaign group the Friends of Sound of Jura but these were overruled by the council. The planning officer said in a report: ‘The company is dedicated to local employment, the training of employees, the use of local contractors where possible and the desire to integrate into the local environs economically and socially.’ The councillors agreed with the planning officer’s recommendation to approve the plan: ‘Although [measures] will not eradicate impacts upon wild fish, they will mitigate impacts to a point which in the officer’s view, and that of most consultees, renders the application acceptable.’ Its impact, the report said, is ‘unlikely to be significant’.

Plans unveiled for salmon visitor centre dation for visitors. Kevin O’Leary, feed plant site manager, told the Press and Journal: ‘This is a stunning location with wonderful views and seems the ideal place for a visitor centre where people can find out more about salmon farming and enjoy a taste of Scottish salmon. ‘Salmon farming is one of the Highlands’ big success stories with a great story to tell and we think a visitor centre would be a welcome addition to Skye. ‘We’re very keen to be good neighbours and will be discussing plans for an impressive facility with local people once the feed plant is up and running at the end of the year.’ Councillor John Finlayson said: ‘As the impressive feed mill continues to move forward apace, it is also encouraging to see that Marine Harvest are thinking ahead with projects that will benefit the local economy and also help support some of the accommodation and housing issues facing Skye. ‘The addition of a visitor centre showcasing the history and working of the fish farming industry, which to my knowledge will be the first of its kind, will also be a welcome tourist and educational attraction.’ Above: The feed plant taking shape at Kyleakin

MARINE Harvest has revealed plans to build a visitor centre near its new feed plant at Kyleakin on Skye, dedicated to educating people about Scottish salmon farming. The company has invested more than £100 million in the feed factory at the Alt Anavig quarry, and it is due to open later this year. Around 170,000 tonnes of fish feed is expected to be produced annually at the site, feeding salmon farms around Scotland, Ireland, Norway and the Faroe Islands. Plans for an adjacent visitor centre were first mooted more than two years ago (Fish Farmer, May 2016), when land was acquired for the development. These plans have now progressed and will reportedly extend to two buildings, one for a visitor centre and café, plus a separate building with accommo-

UK news.indd 5

Above: Shuna Island

In a second application, Marine Harvest planned to boost production at its Bagh Dail Nan Ceann (BDNC) farm, at Loch Shuna, Ardfern, by expanding it from 10 to 12 x 120m circumference cages, and increasing its capacity to 3,500 tonnes. There were 24 objections, including from the Craignish Community Council and the Argyll and District Salmon Fishery Board. Craignish community councillors objected ‘to the creeping incremental increase in capacity posed by this application and the associated application (outwith the area but in the same water body) at Poll na Gille’. They called for a moratorium on expansion until further research on the environmental impacts of salmon farming had been concluded. But the planning report said supporters of the farm had argued: ‘The development of the site will support local jobs, particularly for young people with opportunity for progression, and will help retain working age people in Argyll. ‘In terms of complaints made regarding sound and light pollution, the site manager is approachable and sympathetic to local opinion.’ Councillors again agreed with the recommendation, approving the expanded fish farm. Marine Harvest plans to close its Ardmaddy site as part of the changes and reduce combined capacity from 9,600 to 9,500 tonnes.

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08/08/2018 15:30:39

United Kingdom News

SSPO seeks new team with political skills Industry mourns AKVA man THE Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation is strengthening its team with up to three new appointments, all based in Edinburgh. Although the SSPO is currently headquartered in Perth, it said it is actively searching for premises in the capital for its future HQ. The organisation, which represents six out of Scotland’s seven salmon farming companies, advertised recently for a director of Strategic Engagement to ‘develop and grow relationships’ with the government. Answering to CEO Julie Hesketh-Laird, who took up her post in March, the new director will ‘lead an industry engagement strategy to advance the industry’s interests and profile’. The SSPO said it was looking for someone with experience in communications who will be ‘credible and comfortable’ talk-

Above: Julie Hesketh-Laird, CEO of the SSPO

ing to ministers in Holyrood and Westminster. The director of Strategic Engagement, who will be able to recruit an engagement manager as part of their staff, will be an effective spokesperson in support of the CEO. The SSPO was also seeking to appoint a sustainability director as part of its senior leadership team. The new role involves developing and coordinating an industry sustainability strategy that aims ‘to ensure an operating environment which is conducive to industry growth and resilience’, according to the job advertisement. The role also requires someone with excellent communications skills who is comfortable presenting to a range of audiences, and communicating and influencing senior stakeholders up to government ministerial level in Westminster and Holyrood. Hesketh-Laird said: ‘The organisation is bolstering its capacity and capability to support a growing Scottish salmon farming sector. I am delighted that our members have confidence in a strong future for the sector and its producer organisation. The new roles will be based in Edinburgh close to some of our most important stakeholders.’

AKVA Group Scotland said its UK and Ireland sales manager, Derek Smith, who has died aged 52 after a short illness, was an AKVA man through and through. Diagnosed with an aggressive form of pancreatic and liver cancer in June, Smith remained optimistic and positive to the end, said the company. Highly respected by both his AKVA colleagues and customers, Smith had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the company’s products and was passionate about the aquaculture sector. ‘When not in work, Derek was a family man, with a great love of the outdoors,’ said AKVA’s Scottish team. ‘If he wasn’t fishing, he was mountain biking, if he wasn’t mountain biking, then he’d be out bird spotting, whilst walking the hills and mountains of Scotland. ‘His two other passions revolved around football and music. A Caley Thistle season ticket holder and a staunch supporter of the Tartan Army, he was often found with his wife, Linda, at the home of Scottish football cheering on his team. ‘His tastes in music were broad and varied and he was a huge fan of live performances, the heavier and louder the better!’ Smith’s diagnosis came after he returned from his annual fishing pilgrimage to Simmer Dim on

Above: Derek Smith, fishing passion

Shetland on June 20. His colleagues said he was very focused and good humoured in his last weeks, but ‘the combination of two aggressive cancers was too much for even Derek to fight’. ‘He will always be remembered for his humour, kindness, knowledge and passion for all things fishy,’ said the company. ‘He is a huge loss to AKVA Group, and to his many friends and colleagues. ‘Our thoughts, prayers and sincerest condolences are with his wife, daughter and sisters, who were with him when he passed.’ Smith’s funeral was held on July 27 at Inverness Crematorium. Donations can be made in support of the Highland Hospice and the Pancreatic Cancer research fund.

Merger is measure of Johnson Marine’s success SHETLAND’S largest fish carrier and workboat company has joined forces with a Norwegian counterpart in a move that will eventually see the parent company listed on the Norwegian stock market. Vidlin based Johnson Marine was due to merge with GripShip Above: Growth potential AS to form AquaShip AS in July, but operates well-boats, both companies will harvest vessels and continue to operate workboats for the independently with aquaculture industry, the Johnson Marine with 105 employees head office remaining in Shetland, Scotland, in Vidlin, the Shetland Iceland and Spain. News reported. AquaShip will have Johnson Marine a total of 18 vessels


UK news.indd 6

with GripShip’s three large fish carriers operating in Norway, Ireland and Chile. Combined, the merged companies’ vessels are valued at about £66 million. Johnson Marine

managing director Ivor Johnson will be part of the board of the new firm, along with Johnson Marine co-founder Angus Johnson and financial officer David Leask. GripShip managing director Sverre Taknes will be chief executive of the group. Also onboard will be GripShip chief operating officer Gunnar Brekstad. Ivor Johnson told the Shetland News: ‘Ultimately, it is two small companies going together to leverage finance for going forward.

‘The company that we have gone together with is a privately owned company of similar size and a good fit – so it just made sense.’ Johnson said the company was looking to invest in new and larger vessels as there was still a lot of growth potential, mainly abroad in Iceland and Spain, but also in Chile and Norway. Johnson Marine is currently serving clients such as Grieg Seafood, Marine Harvest, the Scottish Salmon Company,

Cooke Aquaculture, Loch Duart, Culmarex, Laxar, Ice Fish and Arnarlax. Johnson added that locally nothing would change, as Johnson Marine would continue to operate from its headquarters at Vidlin’s Marine Park. The company announced in the spring that it had ordered a new 15m by 10m service vessel from the Norwegian shipyard Moen Marin to service the aquaculture industry in Iceland. The vessel is due to be delivered in spring. next year.

08/08/2018 15:31:01

All the latest industry news from the UK

Medicines body welcomes Brexit blueprint THE body representing the animal medicines industry has cautiously welcomed the government’s blueprint for UK relations with the EU, published last month. The long awaited White Paper sets out government proposals for withdrawing from the EU and plans for future working together, including the establishment of a new free trade area and regulatory alignment. National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) chief executive Dawn Howard said: ‘The proposal includes regulatory alignment in ‘industrial goods and agricultural products’ so is a welcome move for our sector, which is highly regulated.’ NOAH aims to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals. ‘We have previously supported the proposal for a close working relationship, even associate membership, of the European Medicines Agency,’ Howard added. ‘We therefore welcome proposals for an economic partnership and regulatory cooperation, including participation by the UK in the European Medicines Agency. ‘In addition, the recognition of the importance of our manufacturing sector and bespoke provisions for animal medi-

cines, reflecting their unique status, is good news for the future supply of animal health products, animal welfare and food security in the UK. ‘Of course, the devil is in the detail and we wait to see what will be acceptable for our EU colleagues in the negotiations this autumn. ‘We look forward to working to ensure the best possible outcome for the animal health sector, as these proposals are taken into negotiations with the European Union.’

Above: Dawn Howard

Closure threat to Whitstable oysters

Above: Local tradition

THE Whitstable Oyster Festival is threatened after Canterbury City Council served the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company with an order to remove all the oyster trestles from its land within two months. The decision puts the town’s oyster production and 200 jobs at risk. Although the company owns the section of beach on which the trestles are situated, the metal structures have come under scrutiny regarding safety and licensing laws. The company has increased capacity tenfold since 2010 and has 2,500 trestles from which it expects to harvest more than 100 tonnes of oysters this year. James Green, director of the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company, said the move ‘will result in the 2018 Oyster Festival being the last oyster festival where Whitstable oysters will be available’.

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08/08/2018 15:31:21

European News


Arctic Sea Farms in Iceland expansion

Above: Icelandic fish farm

ARCTIC Sea Farms, one of the largest aquaculture companies in Iceland, has confirmed plans for a significant expansion of its operations. According to Morgunbladid, Iceland’s main newspaper, it intends to increase salmon production in Dýrafjörður, a narrow but beautiful fjord near the town of Isafjordur in the north west of the country. Last year, the company received operating licences that allowed 4,200 tonnes


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of production in Dýrafjörður, doubling the previous licence allotment of 2,100 tonnes. Arctic Sea Farms has published a preliminary report on its plans which, with the previous approval, would eventually result in a total production yield of 10,000 tonnes of salmon a year. The company insists the plan will have little or no effect on the local environment, but it will have a major positive impact on the economy of that area,

particularly through extra employment. A few months ago the company submitted a report outlining plans to increase output at the nearby community of Arnarfjordur to produce up to 4,000 tonnes of salmon. It outlined its plans to local people at both Dýrafjörður and Arnarfjordur and believes most of them approved the expansion proposals. Arctic Sea Farms is a subsidiary of Arctic Fish, a company mainly owned by Nor-

wegian interests. But Arctic Fish also has some high profile UK retail names among its customers. In March it became the first Iceland fish farming operation to receive ASC certification. Iceland is now committed to expanding its still relatively young aquaculture industry. A number of other companies have growth plans in the pipeline. The main argument in the country is by how much and where the new farms should be located.

Grieg to scrutinise plastic use GRIEG Seafood has teamed up with the Bellona Environmental Foundation to find ways of cutting down on plastic consumption in the fish farming industry. The nature of aquaculture production means it is a large scale user of plastic, with Norway alone generating almost 30,000 tonnes of waste each year. The Bellona Environmental Foundation is an independent organisation which says it works to solve global climate challenges by attempting to identify and implement sustainable solutions. Grieg is one of Norway’s largest fish farming companies and also has farms in Shetland and British Columbia, Canada. Grieg Seafood CEO Andreas Kvame said the company will look carefully at how it can better safeguard the environment and he welcomed any challenges that Bellona may bring up during the research. ‘We produce safe food today and we want to be doing that 100 years from now, which is why we are serious in our responsibility to take care of the environment,’ he said. Praising Grieg for its forward thinking, senior Bellona consultant Kari Torp said the huge amount of plastic now going into the sea made it imperative for all companies to examine how they use plastic in their production methods.

Right: Andreas Kvame

08/08/2018 15:25:12

All the latest industry news from Europe

Sandberg feels heat over Iran trip POLITICAL pressure is piling up on Norway’s fisheries minister, Per Sandberg, over his recent holiday to Iran with a former Iranian beauty queen. Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg said that she had spoken to Sadnberg and although there may have been a breach of regulations, she had full confidence in her minister. But the issue was debated in the Storting, Norway’s parliament, earlier this month, with probing questions from Sandberg’s political opponents on the left over what is becoming the most talked about holiday in Norway this summer. Sandberg flew out with Bahareh Letnes, a former Miss Iran who now runs a seafood export business. He has confirmed to the Norwegian media that he is in a relationship with the woman, who originally came to Norway as an asylum seeker but had her application rejected at least twice before being finally accepted by Oslo. However, the issue has more to do with the country he visited, and whether he followed the correct procedures, than his travelling companion. The salmon industry is worried the incident could eventually affect Norway’s six billion kroner exports to the United States, its fourth largest market, particularly after Donald Trump’s warning that anyone trading with Iran

tination was changed at short notice - hence the regulations breach. Solberg has said that she had known about his relationship with the Iranian and the fact that he had separated from his wife. Labour Party member Terje Aasland, who said he is not satisfied with earlier explanations, raised concerns about the possible political implications of visiting a country with a poor human rights record.

Fire destroys Brittany factory Above: Per Sandberg

would not be doing business with the US. Geir Pollestad, chairman of the Norwegian Food Committee at the Storting, told the newspaper Dagbladet that visits like Sandberg’s do not go unnoticed in the United States. On the political front, the debate is over whether Sandberg properly notified the prime minister and his own department before his trip. According to the rules, ministers must let Oslo know where they can be contacted at all times. He maintains that he did everything correctly, adding that the message may not have been sent until after he left as his holiday des-

MARINE Harvest’s smoked salmon plant in Brittany was destroyed by fire last month. The blaze spread rapidly, destroying almost all the facilities, including the 7,000 m² production section at the Kritsen factory in Landivisiau. The fire started in the south-west section of the building, for causes that are being investigated, and quickly spread to the eastern section, according to reports. The 146 employees who were at the site were evacuated safely, but two firemen experienced minor injuries. The plant was founded in 1994 and has been a subsidiary of Marine Harvest since 2006. It is a fish processing company known mainly for its smoked salmon, employing more than 300 people, plus a further 200 temporary employees during peak periods.


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08/08/2018 15:26:35

European News

Young people most upbeat about aquaculture

Above: Fish farming finds favour with the young

YOUNG people in Norway are considerably more positive about fish farming than the older population, a survey carried out recently by national broadcaster NRK has shown. The survey was conducted in the Troms and Finnmark regions which are both heavily involved in aquaculture. Just over 67 per cent of those questioned in the 18 to 44 age group said they thought salmon farming was good for the country, and more than half of those were in the younger 18 to 29 bracket. This compares with just over 31 per cent in the 65 and over group. The findings were in contrast to a similar poll carried out in Finnmark two years ago, when less than half of young people were in favour of fish farms.

When asked if more fish farms should be opened, 46 per cent in the 18 to 44 group said yes, while the figure for those aged over 65 was only 21 per cent. Some 70 per cent of the older group questioned said the number of fish farms should be reduced, while the figure among young and early middle aged people was 56 per cent. Lerøy farming executive Stig Nilsen said the figures confirmed the company’s own experiences. ‘We are seeing a very large increase in the number of young people seeking to study for careers in aquaculture. ‘Many are contacting my own company looking for career opportunities. We are seeing a very large increase in the search rate for all studies in aquaculture.’

Go ahead for Europe’s largest land based salmon farm PLANS to build what will eventually be Europe’s largest land based salmon farm have received local authority approval. The company, Salmon Evolution, was given the go ahead to develop a facility that is hoped will produce more than 28,000 tonnes of salmon a year. The development site is at a place called Indre Harøy in Fræna, part of an attractive county municipality in western Norway known as Møre og Romsdal. When fully up and running, the plant will provide more than 80 jobs. A number of former salmon company executives are behind the three billion kroner project. They say they still have to secure the necessary funding, but claim there is a lot of interest in the project and they are currently working on plans to attract new investors. An investment prospectus should be in print by September. The CEO of Salmon Evolution, Ingjarl Skarvøy, said he was pleased the company has obtained the concessions to go ahead. He believes the development of land based farming will eventually become a major game changer for the Norwegian aquaculture industry. He expects the project to gather pace gradually over time. Currently, Europe’s largest land based farm is under construction 40 miles south of Oslo, with Fredrikstad Seafoods, a subsidiary of Nordic Aquafarms, behind the development (see story opposite).

Above: Gathering pace

Norway salmon biomass continues to rise an all-time record, driven by salmon and a surge in demand PRICES may have see-sawed sharply in recent weeks, but from EU countries, including the UK. Norway’s salmon biomass is continuing to increase, according Paul Aandahl, analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council, to the latest data. said: ‘The main increase in salmon demand has come from Seafood Norway, which represents most salmon farming the EU. We have also seen a clear increase in the consumpcompanies, reports that the volume of salmon in cages at the tion of fresh salmon in markets such as France, the UK and country’s fish farms, as measured by weight, rose by six per Italy.’ cent year-on-year in June. Salmon exports for the first seven months of 2018 reached The quantity was estimated at 636,000 tonnes, a rise of 8,000 572,000 tonnes with a value of NOK 37.8 billion, the volume tonnes on the previous month. Norway’s biomass has been up by nine per cent and value up by four per cent on the moving upwards at a steady rate since the beginning of the year. Above: Paul Aandahl same period last year. Poland and France remain the largest Salmon prices have fallen quite sharply in the past two overseas markets. months, but this appears to be a trend during the summer holThe Oslo Stock Exchange, where most Norwegian salmon farming iday season when many farms draw back on production, often just to catch companies are listed, is in buoyant mood. After a fairly sluggish start to the up on maintenance. Analysts believe that over the long term, demand for salmon is growing faster than supply, which is why the industry is not unduly year, the Seafood Index has been the fastest riser with an increase of 41.6 per cent. But prices have fluctuated wildly during the first half of this year, concerned about short term fluctuations. varying from 52 kroners a kilo up to NOK 80 per kilo just three months ago. The industry also hedges itself through such situations with forward The Norwegian Seafood Council believes that growth and prices will be contracts. Exports, especially into Europe, are running at record levels in dictated by strong demand from Asian countries such as China. revenue terms. In fact, seafood exports during the first half of 2018 have hit


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08/08/2018 15:26:58

All the latest industry news from Europe

Nordic Aquafarms to expand ‘ground-breaking’ project NORDIC Aquafarms has received planning approval to build the second phase of what will be one of Europe’s largest land based salmon farms on a 10,000 square metre site, 40 miles south of the Norwegian capital Oslo. Fredrikstad Seafoods, a subsidiary of Nordic Aquafarms, said it has been granted a construction permit for its ground-breaking project, which features new innovations related to efficient footprint, self-cleaning tanks, efficient logistics and environmental standards. The new design removes 99 per cent of most nutrients before discharge. The company said construction will begin when remaining permits are in place, alongside a new smolt facility on the site. Construction of phase one, which will produce 2,000 tonnes of salmon, has been in progress for several months and the first production should be ready by the end of 2019. The phase two expansion will involve an additional 4,200 tonnes

of new production capacity. Fredrikstad Seafoods has also invested heavily in water purification and recycling. It describes itself as a ‘progressive producer’ in land based fish farms, with production facilities in Norway and Denmark. Established in 2014, it has rapidly developed into a considerable business operation with international involvements. Nordic Aquafarms is also behind a $500 million plan to build a huge land based salmon farm near the port town of Belfast in Maine, in the US. CEO Erik Heim announced that the company has hired its first two employees in Maine. The company will submit applications to local and state authorities later this summer for permits to start building. The new employees are Carter Cyr, who will become production manager, and David Noyes, who has been appointed chief technology officer at the new site. Both are natives of Maine and have considerable aquaculture experience.

EU pledges €6 billion to help seafood businesses become more sustainable

THE European Union has set aside more than six billion euros (£5.3 billion) to help fishing and aquaculture businesses move towards a more sustainable future. A total of €6.14 billion will be spread over six years and channelled through a new look European Maritime and Fish-

eries Fund (EMFF). But for the first time, UK businesses will be left out because when the fund comes into force in 2021 Britain will have left the EU and the follow-up transition period will have come to an end. Coastal communities will receive more and broader support to set up lo-

cal partnerships and technology transfers in all blue economy sectors, including aquaculture. The European Commission said: ‘It will also help unleash the growth potential of a sustainable blue economy towards a more prosperous future for coastal communities.’



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Above: ‘Progressive producer’

Warm water prawns from a cold climate A STAVANGER based company is planning to cultivate warm water king prawns in Norway. Magnar Hansen of the Happy Prawn Company is working on a scheme to launch Norway’s first commercial land based prawn farm, and told the website that he was looking at three possible locations in Norway where waste heat was available. He also said he has attracted a lot of interest in the project from potential investors, both inside and outside the aquaculture industry. Using a 12,000 litre tank filled with seawater, the company has been running a small pilot plant producing fresh king prawns for the past eight months, the results of which have proved promising. Hansen said his goal was to have produced 100 tonnes before the end of next year. In the longer term, he is also looking at setting up a farm outside Norway.

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Serving worldwide aquaculture


since 1977

in on Marine Prince Charles drops Harvest


Industry launches long Vision for 2030



Time to comply with Technical Standard


the Scottish


A new way to recruit generation

Under control

Norway – Research Council

the next

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

Under control

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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08/08/2018 15:27:23

World News


Marine Harvest granted injunction against activists

Above: First Nations protesters have conducted a long campaign against salmon farming

MARINE Harvest Canada has been granted an injunction that blocks activists from occupying its buildings on Swanson Island and from boarding any of its farms and docks.

The injunction, granted on July 2, blocks activists from occupying the buildings on Swanson Island, located east of Port McNeill, and from boarding Marine Harvest farms and

docks along Vancouver Island and BC’s coast. The injunction also blocks activists from a buffer zone between Marine Harvest’s farms and buoys. The BC Supreme Court justice allowed

an exception for anti-salmon farm campaigner Alexandra Morton, who is allowed to enter the buffer zone in a boat no longer than 2.6m to collect water samples.

Morton is looking for the piscine orthoreovirus (PRV), but researchers from the BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences and University of BC found that ‘infection studies in BC reveal no mortality of salmon resulting from a heavy PRV infection’, according to a report they prepared in March for the Ministry of Environment. Marine Harvest applied for the injunction after activists occupied its Swanson Island buildings and boarded several of its farms last year, creating an unsafe work environment for its employees. The firm said the activists have interfered with its work.

‘We respect the right to peaceful protest, but have a responsibility to protect our employees from harassment and threats,’ Marine Harvest spokesman Jeremy Dunn said in a statement. ‘We are thankful that the court has helped to preserve a safe workplace where our farmers can focus on raising healthy fish.’ The company operates within the traditional territories of 24 First Nations and has formal agreements with 15 of them and eight First Nation owned businesses. It said that some 20 per cent of its Canadian workforce is of First Nations heritage.

Feed group drives sustainable shrimp farming José Antonio Camposano, SSP representative, THE Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) held its said: ‘We can improve the productivity, and even first Feed Working Group meeting in Machala, Ecuathe sustainability indexes of shrimp farming through dor, on July 4 to discuss how it could help achieve animal nutrition, and at the same time strengthen the its vision of providing a high quality product while shrimp’s immune system. minimising environmental impact. ‘Feed ingredients, therefore, are an integral element The meeting was sponsored by the US Soybean as we look to the future sustainability of the indusExport Council, which is also working to ensure the try, and why we have chosen this as one of our first sustainable sourcing of feed ingredients. places to start working together.’ Leading companies from the feed industry were Carlos Miranda, general manager of Skretting Ecrepresented, including Agripac, Balnova, BioMar, uador, added: ‘The SSP is the first time in the shrimp Inprosa, Skretting and Vitapro. industry there is a platform of producers who are It was agreed that, as a first activity, the Feed WorkAbove: José Antonio Camposano looking to support innovations, support environmental ing Group will review and give comments to the draft improvements, and are willing to work with the supply chain to bring of the Feed Standard of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). ASC certification is one of the requirements members need to meet the these into production. ‘Ecuador is a good place for this to start, given our recent growth quality standards promoted by the SSP initiative, alongside zero use of there, but we look forward to seeing SSP take this work further.’ antibiotics and traceability. The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership, pioneered in Ecuador, The SSP is looking to work with companies in a pre-competitive way comprises leading companies which are committed to transforming on subjects that require joint solutions, as it believes this will drive the future of shrimp aquaculture, through greater collaboration and environmental and sustainable improvements much faster than working transparency. alone.


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08/08/2018 15:22:35

World News

Huon bid to move diseased salmon AUSTRALIAN salmon farmer Huon Aquaculture has asked the Tasmanian state government for permission to move diseased salmon to another site so they can be safely harvested. Salmon in Huon’s pens off the east coast of Bruny Island have been dying from pilchard orthomyxovirus (POMV), the virus that killed 1.3 million fish in Macquarie Harbour a few months ago, ABC news reported. Huon Aquaculture’s David Morehead said the company first found the virus in its fish six weeks ago. He refused to say how many salmon had died from POMV but blamed wild pilchards for spreading it to the captive fish. The diseased salmon are in some of the same pens that broke in storms in May, allegedly resulting in thousands of fish escaping. Huon Aquaculture is asking the government for permission to move the fish from Storm Bay to Norfolk Bay. The company has a lease at Norfolk Bay but doesn’t usually farm fish there. Rival farmer Tassal welcomed Huon’s plans. ‘We were consulted early on on Huon’s need to do this,’ a spokesperson said in a statement. ‘It’s a smart decision from a biosecurity standpoint for the industry. We don’t believe there is any risk posed to our operations.’ However, Tasman mayor Roseanne Heyward said locals on the peninsula were worried it

might be an expansion of fish farming by stealth. ‘Will they be coming into Norfolk Bay permanently? What does it mean with the diseased fish? How are we going to deal with this? Who’s looking at it? What environmental impact will it have? Are these fish going to make the local fish diseased?’ she asked. Morehead said there was no evidence of POMV spreading to most wild fish. Huon Aquaculture hopes to have a vaccine ready to use by next year to protect the salmon from POMV.

Above: Huon’s pens

Krill firms back call to protect Antarctic A GREENPEACE campaign to protect the Antarctic Ocean has received the support of the vast majority of krill fishing companies operating in the region. The move will see nearly all krill companies working in the Antarctic voluntarily stop fishing in ‘buffer zones’ around breeding colonies of penguins, to protect Antarctic wildlife. Krill, eaten by penguins, seals, whales and other marine life, is also an ingredient for aquaculture feeds. It not only has health and nutrition properties but is also a natural source of carotenoids, which give salmon and shrimp their pink colour. The krill companies have also pledged to support the scientific and political process for the creation of a network of large-scale marine protected areas in the Antarctic, including areas in which they currently operate. They are all members of the Association of Responsible Krill harvesting companies (ARK), and represent 85 per cent of the krill fishing industry in the Antarctic. Greenpeace announced its campaign at an event in Cambridge, attended by scientists and Oscar winning actor Javier Bardem, who joined the conservation group’s expedition to the Antarctic in January 2018. Frida Bengtsson, of Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign, said: ‘The momentum for protection of the Antarctic’s waters and wildlife is

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snowballing. ‘A huge movement of people globally has been joined by scientists, governments, celebrities and now even the companies fishing in the Antarctic. ‘This is a bold and progressive move from these krill fishing companies, and we hope to see the remainder of the krill industry follow suit.’ Kristine Hartmann, executive vice president of Aker BioMarine, the largest krill fishing company in the world, said: ‘Safeguarding the Antarctic ecosystem in which we operate is part of who we are. ‘Our ongoing dialogue with ARK members, scientists and the community of environmental NGOs, including Greenpeace, is what makes additional efforts like this possible. ‘We are positive that ARK’S commitment will help ensure krill as a sustainable and stable source of healthy omega-3s for the future.’ Aker BioMarine: Page 42

Chile escape could cost farmer $7 million THE mass escape at a Marine Harvest site in Chile in July could cost the company $7 million, according to reports. The farm, in Punta Redonda, was hit by a major storm which caused extensive damage. The farm is now emptied of fish, and the census shows that around 680,000 fish escaped. About 250,000 of the fish were rescued and transferred to a nearby facility, the company reported in a press release. To put this event into perspective, in

2017, the entire Chilean salmon industry reported escapes of 165,000 salmon. The press release stated that ‘the site was anchored in mid2017, the cages are of recent construction (2017) and designed for exposed conditions’. Marine Harvest, authorities and suppliers are now investigating how the incident could have happened, and all sites will be inspected to ensure they are in accordance with Marine Harvest engineering standards.


08/08/2018 15:22:54

World News

Senator in bid to advance US aquaculture A US senator is championing a new bill aimed at speeding up growth in American aquaculture. Republican Roger Wicker (Mississippi) has introduced the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act. The legislation is designed to streamline the permitting process for fish farms in federal waters, and fund research and development to advance the aquaculture industry. Above: Roger Wicker The bill is co-sponsored by Florida Republican senator Marco Rubio, who unsuccessfully ran against Donald Trump for the US Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Sen. Wicker said: ‘Aquaculture is the fastest growing sector of the agriculture industry. This bill would give farmers a clear, simplified regulatory path to start new businesses in our coastal communities. ‘The AQUAA Act would also fund needed research to continue the growth and success of this important industry.’

He pointed out that more than 90 per cent of the seafood in the United States is imported, 50 per cent of which is derived from aquaculture. ‘Currently, the United States does not have a comprehensive, nationwide permitting system for marine aquaculture in federal waters, and there are no aquaculture farms in federal waters,’ the senator added. The AQUAA Act will eventually establish an Office of Marine Aquaculture within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which would be charged with coordinating the federal permitting process. Additionally, a permit would be established through NOAA that would give the security of tenure necessary to secure financing for an aquaculture operation. Wicker plans to argue that the legislation would also maintain environmental standards and fund research and extension services to support the growth of aquaculture.

Vietnam and South Korea forge closer seafood trade ties VIETNAM’S seafood producers – in both the farmed and wild caught sectors - are moving towards a policy of closer co-operation with South Korea, a country constantly seeking new trade links in fish. It follows a business-to-business meeting in Ho Chi Minh City, which was organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and K-Fish Trade Support Centre, to provide networking opportunities for 12 Korean and 50 Vietnamese seafood companies. Vietnam News says the Korean firms were looking to export raw and processed seafood to Vietnam and import raw seafood to South Korea. Bae Byeong-Cheol, chief representative of K-fish, said: ‘Korean seafood is plentiful in terms of variety, and because of the difference in climate and location, Korea can supply a great deal of high quality products unavailable in Vietnam. We are striving to help more Vietnamese enjoy Korean seafood.’ Consumers in both countries have reacted favourably and would like to try out more of each other’s seafood products, he said. Vietnamese seafood exports to South Korea reached US $390.7 million in the first six months of this year, accounting for 9.8 per cent of the total seafood export turnover of the country.

China lifts Norway regional salmon ban THE Chinese Veterinary Authority has lifted its long standing ban on salmon imports from three county regions in northern Norway. The move now means that almost all Norwegian companies can export to what they see as potentially their most important growth market, although sales to China are still relatively small. The doors had been closed to fish slaughtered on farms in the Nordland, Trøndelag and Troms areas for the past three years, ostensibly for health and safety reasons, with the Chinese fearing infectious salmon anaemia and other diseases. The all-clear was given in a letter last month from the Chinese Veterinary Authority to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. It means that the final trade barrier for the sale of Norwegian salmon to the Chinese market has been removed. Shares in a number of companies with farms in those areas rose on the Oslo stock exchange after the news. Fisheries minister Per Sandberg was on holiday in Denmark when the anAbove: Norwegian salmon nouncement came through, but said the breakthrough had happened sooner than expected. He said it was good news for the industry and he expected solid growth to follow. ‘I was in China at the end of May and I am sure this will now work well for both countries,’ he added. Industry and fisheries secretary Roy Angelvik said there were


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great opportunities for the companies in the three regions, which accounted for 40 per cent of Norway’s total salmon production. It was now up to those businesses to take full advantage of the new situation. He pointed out that despite all the excitement when Beijing lifted the export ban 18 months ago, China was still little more than one per cent of total Norwegian salmon production.

08/08/2018 15:23:49

All the latest industry news from around the world

Seafood fears as Trump trade war grows Training programme to boost Indian aquaculture SEAFOOD companies in the United States are waiting anxiously to see what impact the growing trade war between Washington and Beijing will have on Above: Crab legs their businesses. US tariffs totalling $34 billion on Chinese goods have recently come into effect. China immediately hit back, imposing 25 per cent tariffs on US exports, including some types of fish and seafood. However, seafood sent for processing, as long as it is re-exported back to the US or elsewhere, is exempt. Some fishmeal products will also escape. But a lot of American companies, especially those in Alaska, the largest fishing state in the US, sell directly into China and they are expecting to be hit. Furthermore, it puts them at a competitive disadvantage to rival seafood exporting countries such as Norway and Russia. But some trade analysts in Oslo fear that if the trade war escalates

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further it could eventually impact on Norwegian salmon exports to the US. In the last few weeks, the US seafood industry has pleaded with President Donald Trump to avoid a trade war at all costs, but the plea seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Beijing has accused the US of triggering the largest trade war in economic history. Lu Kang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said: ‘After the US activated its tariff measures against China, China’s measures against the US took effect immediately.’ China is a big market for Alaska, worth up to a billion dollars a year, with half of that figure being sent directly to China for home consumption. Consultant Garrett Evridge, who works closely with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, believes the potential damage to the industry is difficult to guess at this stage, but he warned that the situation was worrying.

EFFORTS are underway to promote and extend aquaculture in the North Malabar region of India, according to a report in The Hindu last month. Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) has already begun extension activities at its regional centre at Payyannur to expand aquaculture in Kannur and Kasaragod districts, which have potential for freshwater and brackish water aquaculture. The centre has begun training programmes for people who are interested in starting aquaculture ventures in households, ponds, and open waters, including rivers and backwaters. A one-day training programme was held at Payyannur on June 10 by the KUFOS regional centre and the Aquaculture Development Co-oper-

ative Society for people interested in the field. ‘The training programme held to draw prospective aquaculture farmers to the field and to give them basic information about the sector was attended by 100 people from Kannur, Kasaragod and Kozhikode,’ KUFOS associate professor and the regional centre’s special officer B. Manoj Kumar told The Hindu . The classes were conducted on freshwater and brackish water aquaculture, ornamental fish culture and also on several schemes of the Fisheries Department,

he said. KUFOS is trying to create a farmers’ database to help prospective aquaculture farmers and categorise them based on the kind of aquaculture they can do. While people from hill areas can do only freshwater aquaculture, brackish water aquaculture will be suitable near the coastal area. Dr Kumar said the regional centre of KUFOS would conduct follow-up training. KUFOS is also promoting household aquaculture that can be done in small landholdings and small ponds.


08/08/2018 15:24:06

Industry pioneer – Steve Bracken

Farewell Mr Marine Harvest Scottish salmon farming’s leading spokesman retires after 41 years


EFENDING the reputation of Scotland’s farmed salmon should be at the top of the industry’s agenda, according to one of the country’s most respected fish farmers, Steve Bracken. As Marine Harvest’s longest serving employee, he would in fact be the best person for the job, standing up for the sector as he has always done, its unofficial ambassador and voice of reason. But there is a problem; Bracken is retiring at the end of this month after 41 years with the company, just as salmon farming comes under renewed attack, its future at a tipping point. ‘I think Scotland will be in safe hands without me!’ he says. However, he is concerned about how the business he loves will progress to the next stage of its development. ‘We’re fortunate at the moment in that Scottish salmon is held in very high regard worldwide and it’s absolutely essential that we maintain that. It’s really down to Scotland the brand and making sure that nothing affects that in any adverse way at all. ‘So we need to be innovative and we need to continue doing what we’re doing and producing a healthy product that is revered because it is Scottish. ‘Consumers worldwide associate Scotland with high quality, whether it’s food or drink. We can’t let anything affect that; we’ve just got to be ahead of the game all the time.’ But it’s not just about producing a world class product, said Bracken, business support manager at Marine Harvest. The industry needs to be saying more about it. ‘We’ve spent a lot of time on the science behind farmed salmon, now I think it’s time we looked at our image and looked at everything else associated with the industry in terms of public perception. And we need to change it for the better. ‘One of the regrets that I’ve probably got is that back in the 1980s there was such rapid expansion and we did make mistakes and they’ve been remembered. I think if we’d just slowed down a little bit and gone about it in a more thoughtful way then we might not have had the legacy that we have today. ‘Huge effort now needs to be put into looking at our image and seeing how we can improve it and getting across the key messages that we’re farming salmon in a sustainable way, it’s available, it’s affordable, and it’s good for you.’ If he were staying in the industry he would make this a priority, with ever greater transparency and greater engagement with the public. Marine Harvest has plans to open a visitor centre near its new feed plant on Skye, and Bracken thinks regular farm tours could also be a possibility – as well as open days, which the company used to host. ‘We need to get back to doing that again,’ he said. ‘People can come in and learn from the farm staff exactly what’s going on, how the farm’s run, how we feed the


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Top: Steve Bracken pictured last year at Marine Harvest in Fort William. Below: Presenting the Marine Harvest WCA National Division trophy to Lorna MacRae. Opposite (clockwise from top left): At a Fish Farmer editorial board meeting; with Stuart Gray in the 90s; with current managing director Ben Hadfield; on a farm site in the 80s.

fish, how we look after them.’ Bracken has escorted countless visitors around Marine Harvest sites, including Prince Charles on his first trip to a salmon farm nearly two years ago. And although his job has been office based in recent years, he says he still gets a ‘real buzz’ being on farms. ‘It’s all the more rewarding when people you’re showing around, who’ve never seen a farm before, get that same buzz and that thrill looking at what’s going on, what’s being used and the skills and the experience of the people involved. Invariably people say it’s not what they expected.’ Bracken’s expectations of the young industry he joined in 1977 were optimistic from the start. ‘I honestly did think there was going to be a career in it because it was just so different, so new, and there was a lot of pioneering work going on. And the fact that it was with Unilever suggested that they weren’t just dabbling in this, it was something that was going to be long term. ‘That’s really what enthused me about it all, the enormous potential that there was if we got it right in Scotland.’ He was part of the team that did get it right but he prefers to credit the people who inspired him, ‘probably some of the finest minds in aquaculture’. He includes on this list former Marine Harvest managing director David McCarthy, Angus Morgan, who had ‘great marketing flair’ and set about getting Label Rouge and then the Royal Warrant, and former finance director John Lister, who had great oversight of the business. ‘He knew what was happening everywhere and that taught me a lot about really getting into the nuts and bolts of something, to really fully understand and appreciate it. ‘I think I’ve been very fortunate to have had a career here with Marine Harvest for the length of

08/08/2018 15:14:17

Farewell Mr Marine Harvest

time that I have had,’ said Bracken. ‘It’s certainly a lot more than a job and I think for me it’s been about the people, and about the area where we live and work.’ Over the years he has seen many changes- in breeding, nutrition, technology, husbandry, welfare and health management, health and safety, and training and skills development. ‘I think since the early days the whole industry has become so much more professional,’ he said. ‘You can see it in pens, nets, moorings, the boats and feed barges and monitoring equipment. Some of these things you couldn’t have imagined back then. ‘Seeing it come to pass now is amazing and I think we’re just scratching the surface on some of these things. It will continue to evolve; the speed of change is incredible within the industry.’ Looking ahead, he thinks the greatest advances will be in disease management, vaccines, breeding, and in the design of offshore farms and closed containment at sea. The latter, he believes, can ‘only be a good thing’ if it opens up more areas to farming. ‘It’s still very, very early days but I think it will open up all sorts of other opportunities,’ he said. Marine Harvest’s Norwegian owners are among the companies developing such novel farming concepts and Bracken agrees that Scotland has to be more adventurous in the future. ‘I think we also need to be alert to the fact that other countries are expressing an interest in salmon farming, most notably Argentina and, of course, Russia.’ The Norwegians, he said, have already been invited down to have a look at Argentina, at government level. ‘These countries thinking about farming in the sea have huge coastlines and we just must be mindful of this because there will be more people getting involved in salmon farming. ‘In addition to this, with the increased tonnages that will come through, we do have to focus on new markets and I think untapped markets like India and Africa, for example, will be massive. But it does come down to smarter marketing, branding and, I guess, convenience.’

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He is immensely proud of Scotland’s achievements, though, producing an internationally acclaimed product, and creating new sites – and permanent, full-time jobs – in Highland communities that had been in decline. Personally, he has relished the opportunity to work overseas and also to live in ‘one of the most beautiful parts of the country, if not the world’. He said he was delighted to get the Crown Estate award in 2009 (for business development and ambassador of the year), and lately the RSPCA award, which recognised his ‘help, time, knowledge and patience’ in the establishment of the RSPCA Assured (formerly Freedom Foods) scheme. And Marine Harvest’s sponsorship of shinty for more than 30 years has also been ‘fantastic…something that all of us in the company are very proud of’. Bracken’s retirement will certainly be a wrench for his colleagues, but how is he approaching the parting from Marine Harvest? ‘As I’ve been working since I was 14 – though not in full-time employment! – I think it’s something very difficult to step out from, but at the same time nothing lasts forever and you have to go and find other things to occupy you. ‘But, that said, I would of course still like to keep my hand in in aquaculture in some way because after 41 years that is extremely difficult to give up.’ There are no definite plans for the future – apart from continuing (we hope) to sit on Fish Farmer’s editorial board- but he said he is ‘keeping an open mind’. ‘It’s great to be in a position where I’m not looking for a second career after Marine Harvest, but if something interesting comes along and I feel I could contribute towards whatever it is, then I would certainly be very interested.’ FF

effort now needs to be put “Huge into looking at our image ”

Seals: unfinished business

THE number of seals killed on salmon farms has decreased sharply in recent years but Steve Bracken said he would like to have left the industry with nothing at all being shot. He was involved in setting up the Salmon Aquaculture and Seals Working Group about 10 years ago and he said a lot of effort had gone into reducing the numbers shot. Chaired by Dr Simon Northridge of St Andrews University, the group has been driven by people such as Andy Ottaway of the Seal Protection Action Group and Alan Knight of International Animal Rescue, and includes the SSPO, SNH, Marine Scotland, the Sea Mammal Research Unit, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marine Harvest and Aquascot. Bracken said there had been ‘a huge improvement from where we were a couple of years ago but it’s unfinished business for me’. The issue has become all the more pressing with new US legislation coming into force that will ban imports of fish from farms which kill marine mammals, including seals. Bracken said people could also start comparing salmon farms in the sea and salmon grown on land and say ‘we don’t shoot seals on land’. ‘If we just stopped shooting it’s a criticism that’s taken away from the industry, it’s as simple as that.’


Steve Bracken started at Marine Harvest aged 24 on May 23, 1977, when it was owned by Unilever, joining as a fish farm assistant, based at Lochailort. Production in 1977 was 250 tonnes and there were three sites Lochailort, Loch Leven and Invergarry. In 41 years’ service he has held many positions, working in both Scotland and on a secondment to Sri Lanka: • Fish farm assistant • Site supervisor, Lochailort • Factory manager, (within two years of starting) at Lochailort • Freshwater manager • Project manager • Freshwater and site acquisitions manager • General manager – Sri Lanka (for three years) • Contract and estates manager • Sea farms manager • Technical support • Business support manager since 2000


08/08/2018 15:14:43

Industry pioneer– Steve Bracken

‘Brilliant ambassador’ will be much missed


Managing Director of Marine Harvest Scotland:

Industry pays tribute to its respected colleague and friend Right: Fish Farmer editorial board of 2012 (l-r) Brian Cameron, William Dowds, Herve Migaud, Jim Treasurer, Alister Bennett, Ken Hughes, Steve Bracken, Rob Fletcher and Sunil Kadri. Below: Bracken signs a new deal with the Camanachd Association in 2017.

‘I think that I can speak for the whole MHS team when saying that Steve’s retirement is bitter sweet. In one way we mark an exemplar career in salmon farming, and at the same time the retirement of one of our most reliable and articulate communications professionals within the industry.’


Managing Director of Grieg Seafoods: ‘Steve took me on as a trainee manager in Marine Harvest in 1994 when he was production manager. He was very supportive of me in my time there and helped me learn a lot. He is a real gentleman and can be relied upon for honest and constructive advice. I was always impressed with his ability to communicate with and learn from people from all walks of life. This has been a huge asset with the work he has done lately, leading constructive dialogue both within the industry and with other stakeholders. He will undoubtedly be a big loss not just to Marine Harvest Scotland but to the Scottish industry as a whole. He will leave behind some pretty big boots to fill and I wish him a happy retirement.’

JIM TREASURER, Ardtoe Research Director, formerly Divisional Health Manager at Marine Harvest: ‘Steve was in Sri Lanka farming shrimps when I joined Marine Harvest and he was always talked about, so it was good to meet him in person when he got back to Scotland. He is always approachable and keen to listen and take views on board. He has been a good negotiator and a great talisman for Marine Harvest and the wider industry. His influence in expanding the farm sites and operations and business and success of Marine Harvest has been immense, colossal in fact! Steve has been popular with the operatives on the farms and in production, and they have welcomed his visits, and that tells its own story. I am sorry in one way to hear that Steve is retiring as he has been ‘Marine Harvest’ over the years, and he will be hard to replace, but his retirement is well deserved. I wish him well for a long and happy retirement.’


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08/08/2018 15:47:36

‘Brilliant ambassador’ will be much missed


Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise: ‘Steve has been a fantastic supporter of the work of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and served on the board of Lochaber Enterprise, where he brought not only a strong business focus but a real understanding of the importance of economic development in remote and rural areas. We have always appreciated Steve’s approach to developing a strong relationship with the public sector – and always with a smile! He has been a pleasure to work with, and has helped ensure that Highlands and Islands Enterprise continues to see aquaculture as a priority.’


former Director of Marine Harvest: ‘I was the general manager of Marine Harvest in the 70s when Steve Bracken joined us. As a student he had worked during the vacations at the salmon netting station of the formidable Willie Muir at Achiltibuie. This very appropriate experience (fish, labouring and west coast weather), together with a degree, made him a strong candidate. But what clinched it for me was his height, something I had asked [sea farms manager] Angus Macphie (in a totally non pc way) to take account of as there seemed to me to be a noticeable lack of it in the seawater staff at the time! Steve, and his great friend and colleague at Achiltibuie Alastair Ferguson, both made quite an impression in the business, and as the company expanded Steve was given more and more responsibility. I cannot now remember what sites he looked after or the various jobs he was asked to take on but I do remember that everything he did enhanced his reputation. So much so that when Unilever was investigating opportunities in prawn farming, Steve and Liz were off to Sri Lanka, where he achieved all or indeed much more than was asked of him. As it happened, at that time I attended a management course with Unilever Sri Lanka. Clearly, Steve had made a great impression with his new colleagues as rarely have I heard anyone described in such glowing terms.

STEPHEN DIVERS & IAIN FORBES Clockwise from top left: Angus Morgan (far left) with Bracken (far right) in 1993; with Ralph Baillie; with Ben Hadfield last year, celebrating 40 years at Marine Harvest.

of Fusion Marine:

‘Through his wealth of experience and understanding, Steve has proven to be a brilliant ambassador for the whole Scottish salmon farming sector. His vast knowledge will be missed by many, and we wish him the very best of luck in his retirement.’

Returning to Marine Harvest, Steve continued to demonstrate his forte for tackling the wide variety of jobs he was asked to undertake. I had the opportunity to work quite closely with him on a number of projects and his enthusiasm, commitment and, above all, the quality of his advice were second to none. From the 90s onwards the business went through a number of very significant changes of ownership and thereby direction and priorities, and although I was no longer involved I came across Steve in a number of important roles for the business. What struck me then was his professionalism and his very impressive commitment to Marine Harvest and to his colleagues. He was a very impressive (not just in stature!) advocate for the industry and the business. As a result of the wide range of responsibilities that Steve has been given, and has so enthusiastically and successfully embraced, over the last 41 years, it would be hard to dispute the fact that no one, anywhere, has as complete and expert a knowledge of the salmon farming business since its genesis. I hope he will write a book.’

Steve - Tributes x 4.indd 19


08/08/2018 15:48:02

Industry pioneer– Steve Bracken


‘I have known Steve for 30 years and during that time had the pleasure of working with him on numerous occasions. One of the most honest faces of fish farming and respected as an ambassador within our industry and outside, especially so for his work with Marine Scotland [developing the Scottish Technical Standard]. A thoroughly nice guy who will be much missed by all associated with fish farming.’


Group Managing Director of Gael Force: ‘We have worked and interacted with Steve in his many industry and Marine Harvest capacities for more than 25 years. While always the consummate gentleman, Steve has always been resolute and focused on the job in hand and has worked tirelessly and loyally not only for Marine Harvest but for the whole Scottish industry and, in our representation, Steve has been uniquely ambassadorial. I do hope that we in the industry will still be able to benefit in some way from Steve’s knowledge and experience going forward into his hard earned retirement. We wish him well for his retirement and hope to see him ‘back at work’ in some capacity soon!’


Group Managing Director of Ferguson Transport: ‘We have worked with Steve for many, many years, and he has been a great ambassador not only for Marine Harvest but for the aquaculture industry as a whole, a true gentleman who gained the utmost respect from all those round about him. Wishing Steve all the very best in his well earned retirement, from myself, my co-directors and all the team at Ferguson Transport & Shipping.’


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08/08/2018 15:48:34

‘Brilliant ambassador’ will be much missed


Award Winning Marine Harvest Farm Manager: ‘Steve Bracken is one of life’s gems and I for one feel so lucky to have worked with this wonderful man for many years. But we know that all good things have to come to an end. All the best Steve, we are all going to miss you.’


Marine Harvest Seawater Manager: ‘I see Steve as Mr Marine Harvest and the person who has guided me through endless problems and issues.’

On behalf of the Camanachd Association board, staff and presidents past and present: ‘Steve was our primary contact at Marine Harvest, who became part of our shinty community and was close enough to his front line workforce to recognise that both shinty and fish farming play a significant role in the lives and wellbeing of some of the most remote and marginal communities in Scotland. The CA and Marine Harvest are therefore well aligned in their partnership, but the closeness of the relationship is largely due to the patience and generosity which Steve brought to the role when coping with the vagaries of the shinty calendar. We are eternally grateful to have worked with Steve and look forward to continuing our relationship with him beyond his time at Marine Harvest. Our deepest thanks for all that he has contributed to our nation’s most indigenous and iconic team sport.’

Clockwise from top right: With Prince Charles at Loch Leven; in the 90s; sea farms manager in the 90s; in 2015; at Loch Leven in 2016; supporting shinty; at the Fort William headquarters.

JON GIBB: ‘As a wild salmon fishery manager, I have found it dynamic, constructive and (perhaps most importantly) truly pleasurable working with Steve over the years. Not only a true gent, he was a fish farming pioneer in so many ways - not least as one of the first exponents of the need for both of our sectors to work in partnership in order to achieve our many common goals. As he relaxes in much deserved retirement, I hope that we can carry that vision yet further forward to realise a harmonious and productive future for Scotland’s salmon industry.’

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‘Steve is hugely knowledgeable, very calm, measured and fair. But above all, he has a good sense of fun and has been a tremendous ambassador to the industry.’

Congratulations on your retirement Steve & all the best for the future. Angus, Ivor and all at Johnson Marine 21

08/08/2018 15:49:00

News extra – Market trends

Convenience truth Factors driving salmon consumption in Europe BY VINCE MCDONAGH


ESPITE production volumes being relatively stable over the past five years, the sale value of farmed Atlantic salmon in Europe has increased by almost 40 per cent, says a report by EUMOFA, the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture. And convenience appears to be the main driver behind this revenue growth. First hand sales across the EU in 2017 were worth 8.7 billion euros. EUMOFA says in the report: ‘The salmon farming industry is known for its cyclical ups and downs, but the average earnings have not dropped below break-even since early 2000. ‘The European salmon farming sector went through considerable consolidation over the last decade. Historically, it was made up by small local companies, but has now consolidated to more large seafood groups, often


Salmon Trends.indd 22

Below: Seafood nutrition Opposite: Salmon farm, Norway

listed on stock exchanges.’ The report says the top 10 companies now control approximately 60 per cent of the total production in Europe, while companies listed on the Norwegian Stock Exchange control 58 per cent of all European Atlantic salmon production. EUMOFA is predicting a six per cent increase in the overall production of Atlantic salmon this year to a total of 1.6 million tonnes. ‘This growth is mainly driven by the improvement in biological conditions in the sea during 2017, leading to better productivity in standard

08/08/2018 15:12:49

Convenience truth floating sea cage farming,’ it says. ‘Salmon consumption in Europe continues to be driven by convenience and by the benefits of consuming seafood holding healthy fatty acids. In addition, as consumers’ awareness rises, demand for farmed salmon certified by different schemes that guarantee sustainable production should continue. ‘Salmon is keeping its position as a leading source of seafood nutrition in Europe and will continue to be a staple in the diet to Europeans, as it has been for centuries,’ the report says. It adds: ‘The production systems built today still meet challenges and have not been free from problems, but improving technology and knowledge are making it increasingly feasible to produce salmon on land on a large scale. Europe is the leading continent for land based salmon farming, but still produces only small quantities of Atlantic salmon.’ What the report does not say is that while there are several recent developments in land based salmon farming, none of these have yet been successful in rearing commercially viable quantities, and a greater focus in the industry remains on new technologies for marine farming. The report goes on: ‘Two years ago, the EU imported 830,137 tonnes of salmon, mostly from Norway (695,548 tonnes) and channelled into that market through Denmark and Sweden. ‘The remainder came from the Faroe Islands and Chile, with wild Pacific salmon representing just five per cent of the total import figure. It is a market worth more than 5.5 billion euros today.’ EUMOFA says that earlier disease outbreaks in Chile and, to a lesser extent, biological issues in Norway and Scotland, led to a reduction in the supply of farmed salmon, with the result that the price rose by 25 per cent in just 12 months (2015-2016).This brought a big increase in earnings for farming companies. It says that most EU exports of salmon are from the UK (predominantly Scotland) and totalled around 82,000 tonnes in 2016, worth 592 million euros, with smoked salmon fillets leading the charge. The report continues: ‘The most important European seafood consumption trends are growing demand for convenient products, interest in the health benefits from consuming seafood, an increase in e-commerce and low cost stores and an increased focus on sustainability.’ These trends have led to more food-to-go and ready-to-eat meals becoming available in stores, and the private labelling of products to emphasise quality, health benefits and sustainability. In 2016, the main EU member states where Atlantic salmon was consumed were France, the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. Salmon is the most consumed fish species in France, mainly sold in groceries. ‘However, due to increased retail prices of salmon in 2016 and 2017, consumers have searched for cheaper alternatives,’ said EUMOFA. ‘This trend can also be seen in other main consuming member states, except from Italy, where salmon consumption is continuing to increase.’ On the growth in organic salmon sales, which

Salmon Trends.indd 23

EUMOFA covered extensively in an earlier report, it says: ‘Consumption of organic fish and seafood products has been continuously rising since 2012, with salmon being one of the most important species. ‘This is a result of the increased awareness of the consumers. However, production and consumption of organic fish and seafood today still represents a niche. Retail companies and traders of fish and seafood are adapting to the trend, so more organic seafood is available to the EU consumer. ‘The supply of organic salmon to the EU market consists of internal production (mainly Irish) and imports solely from Norway. Organic salmon provides good sales price premiums, which in most cases cover the extra costs involved in organic production.’ The EUMOFA report points out: ‘The farming of Atlantic salmon dates back to the 19th century, when hatchery techniques were developed in the United Kingdom, which was the first country involved in the production of immature fish to restock rivers for recreational fishing.’ And the report concludes: ‘Salmon is keeping its position as a leading source of seafood nutrition in Europe and will continue to be a staple in the diet of Europeans, as it has been for centuries.’ FF

Due to increased retail prices of salmon in 2016 and 2017, consumers have searched for cheaper alternatives


08/08/2018 15:13:17

Comment Comment


Brexit on a cliff edge Underpinning When politics provenance

What’s the purpose and what’s the price each side is prepared to pay for separation?

Ogets personal I D

VER the past two years, I have not spent much time worrying about Brexit. I have taken the view that the negotiations are in the hands of two responsible and competent teams and they should be able to find a workable compromise to what is unquestionably a very messy situation. Like most people, I have followed the media coverage. As time has gone by, I have become mystified by the apparent belief that there is one right answer, or even one best answer, to the conundrums of separation. depend on the provenance of their products she quickly sensed an aut may not be politically correct to say so at With so many issues involved, the fair compromise outcome will inevitably stability socio-economic cohesion, andcomedic immigratimaterial: on was only one factor. dienceand response and moved to safer there are some present but farmed Atlantic salmon would have winners and losers on either side, but it will be far less damaging to either It is therefore crucial forjoke politiabout! cians to recognise the nuances of the voting things you just don’t not have become Scotland’s leading food side than no agreement. geon’s refusal to support the Withdrawal Bill,made. because of itsthat claimed EPENDING on the yourCrown degreeEstate’s of natural optive decisions thather were voters were simply misled by Brexit However, remark The left view me asking myself whether we think enough export without positi I have always believed that EU reforms would have been easier to achieve (but temporary) ‘power grab’ of devolved powers, looks increasingly mism, the spring-through-summer period campaigning does not stand up to scruti ny and risks not recognising thefigenuabout the underpinning of the provenance of Scotti sh farmed sh – and engagement with aquaculture development if the UK had been a member rather than a leaver. I have become unstatesmanlike. At a timeine when Scotland’s nati onal interests lie in forgis likely to be perceived either as However, of the electorate. forconcerns me that’s farmed salmon. back of in 2018 the 1980s. dismayed by thebefore fixed positi ons that and (untiling veryclose recently) theective working relationships with the UK, the Scottish and eff theaquaculture calm storm or Brussels aspart the dawn There nono doubt thatthat there will be reactions if the voters’toreferendum Thereis is doubt Scotti sh strong provenance is important our indusNow, isthe a signifi cant of the individual member states have adopted. government’s approach looks like gesture politi cs. that heralds a sunlit day. decision leaveusthe is notinrespected. Butmarkets. there will also be strong reactions try – it to gives theEUedge all our key agency’s marine leasing portfolio and is reguTheir thinking about the indivisibility of the the four freedoms movement ofPublic Administration and Constitutional Affairs SeTheofWestminster Against the ever present background if voters feel thatcan the socio-economic problems thatbut galvanised their votes Provenance be defined in various ways most people willare agree larly celebrated by the Crown Estate’sofScotti sh goods, services, capital and of Romeee in 1957, lect Committ has just reported that, a survey of 1,000 people, fewer Brexit negoti ations and thelabour, rangeintroduced of ongoingby the Treaty not going to bein addressed –appearance and many of those have nothing toesdoofwith EU that it goes beyond the and sensory qualiti the fi nal Marine Aquaculture Awards event. This year’s has created unnecessary and unhelpful barriers to progress. than 0.1 per cent think the Westminster and the Holyrood governments politi cal attacks on the details of the Europemembership. product: flavour, texture, visual presentation and product consistency event incan Edinburgh on on the 11 was the being adopted as a basis be no objecti theJune fourpoliti freedoms work well together. Personally, I am surprised the gure was are as high as and not simply along party anThere Union (Withdrawal) Bill to 2017-19, cal At politi cal the fiin arguments divided, arethe always keylevel, factors consumer appeal but provenance is about usual highly successful showcase for Scottish for EU membership, if that is what the member states wish. But for it to be that! uncertainties abound. The shape of things to politi cal more. lines. Elder statesmen such as John Major and Tony Blair have cogently much aquaculture and a rare opportunity for indusportrayed as the only even the best) basis for trading Both relationships with ons are deeply entrenched in doing their own thing in administrati come is anything but(or clear. argued for theaneed to safeguardof the UK’s geopoliti cal and transatlanti c influItfor refl ects wider quality assurance, including: try to join together to mark its success. countries outside the core EU block contrary theand block’s own to way, prospects synergies seemconcept rarely to beconsumer considered. The febrile atmosphere is aff ectiisngshort bothsighted the andtheir ence through EU membership. the place where the fi sh is grown and processed; the professional The Crown Estate is presently at the centre bestand interests. Yet both administrations However, are challenged by the policysimply issueswind – back the clock, by disreUK the Scottish governments in conjoint their thatsame we integrityeducati of theviews producti on should and processing methods; and the quality, ofEqually, further devoluti on discussions between the however, I have been staggered by the apparent inability of the UK the health service, social welfare, on, economic growth, and and wholly separate areas. Both seem to be garding the referendum orof bythe having another one, seem wholly unrealistic and commitment and care people involved UK government and Scotti sh government. The negotiatorstheir to game-plan anpublic effective negotiati ng strategy. Their lack ofmore, capabilso on. What’s in Scotland, these challenges will grow over time – the professional skills, spending reserves of goodwill and potenti ally quite dangerous. experti se, passion and dedicati on oftothe long-term future Scotti sh functiofons ity appears onlyof to key refl ect the fragility UK repolitics,asbut also anand absence of income expenditure controls increasingly devolved theproducers themselves. there is an not underlying feeling that eventually AtIn the otherare politi extreme, the hard-Brexiteers Conservati Party Scotland ourcal ‘place of producti on’ gives usofathe huge naturalveadvanmains unclear andskills. professional experti se could real world business If the latt er is the case, it explains a lot more than the Scotti sh government. there will be a political price to pay. have successfully ledgrow the drive to leave the EU, but they are nowof failing to of tage because we fi sh in the pristi ne coastal waters some be squandered in the process of organisati onal failures in the Brexit First process! Meanwhile, the media conti nues to concentrate its focus onthat theis not full of holes. For many voters, Minister Nicola Sturprovide a post-Brexit strategy the most beauti fuleconomic and wild scenic areas of the world, and our brand is change. Virtually all UK industries appreciate the advantages of the low fricti personal and on political ‘tragedies’ that might happen or have already Their ideas by do its notPGI provide a credible or attractive future model for the UK, protected status. Both the Crown Estate’s core experti se and movement of goods, services and capital. We live in a global market place and to Shona Robison’s (shaky) position as Scottish unfolded. The threat which is wedded to aon European style liberal democracy. Likewise, adopti the Scotti shasFinfi sh Code of Good Practice the model Marineunderpins Aquaculture Awards are importhat our nati onal economy, both nowHealth and forSecretary the foreseeable or to the Thus, recent resignati on ofofAmber Rudd Home with ti me beginning to run short, there are genuine fears a cliff-edge allied with the industry’s deep commitment a range ofof independent tant in maintaining the distinctive coherence future. Secretary are examples. Brexit, which will have massive negative impacts in to the UK and across quality assurance programmes, the RSPCA fishthe welfare ofA Scotland’s aquaculture and it would a EU are Bringing few industries with main markets outsidebethe less concerned aboutdownfarm the issues to this personal level suits the public including and whole of the EU. scheme, builds on the underlying strength of our statutory regulatory tragedy if they became casualti es of politi cal the Brexit outcomes. But for most UK industry the EU is amedia significant market demand for soap opera. However, if fails properly to27, address In a Chatham House lecture on June Blair pointed out that much of the systems our on systems. change. and easy trading is of crucial importance. the underlying issues, which reflto ectassure systemati cproducti failures in our sysUK’s push-back against the EU has also been reflected in recent elections in Finally, the skills,those experti se,relate passion andtodedication of our farmers This year’sthen Awards was bygenerally favour No surprise that event industry andhosted business Brexit outcomes going tems of government, well beyond that solely Rudd. mainland Europe. Rationally, it might be expected that Left: the Amber EU should respond can be demonstrated in abundance day in and day outNicola – and they were actress, and Caulfi eld, an for goods,writer services andcomedian capital thatJolean towards the status MPs quo, irrespecti ve of and MSPs. Opposite: by introducing its own reforms, which would make it easier for the UKSturgeon to showcased the recent event. inspired choice by whoever made the booking. how that may be achieved. The Rudd farrago offremain ers a case inby point. As club. partawards of its routi ne a member of the However, being wholly objectian ve and forward looking, it is this third She funny of and entertaining Thewas freevery movement people (and thereand is ankept important work, difference the between UK Home AffRealisti airs Select eefanciful. exposed apparentcally, Committ that seems Nonetheless, there is an urgent need on area of provenance where the Scotti shOffi industry has greatest scope for the proceedings withissue. a swing. Only once people and labour)going is a trickier ly long-standing failure in public administrati on in the Home ce.key issues: both sides of the negotiating table to address two what’s the pursystemati c development. That is noton to of say that our industry’s skills did shethere stray,iswhen she wondered ‘proveWhile wide acceptance of thewhat case for immigratiJudged on of people with on any terms, the handling of the Windrush generati pose of Brexit and what’s the price that each side is prepared to pay to avoid a and professional expertisenow are not of theit highest calibre,FFbut it is to nance talents actually meant’. special and skills, wider immigration to meet the immigrants needs of the is UKalabour nationalchaoti public scandal, c and hugelyalthough damagingitsplit inappears their 45-year partnership? recognise thatpoliti our vocati educational and training structures, and In a room of folk whose livelihoods market raisesfull greater public concern, although it is economically al. secret among has beenessenti an open elected cians onal for years. The key issue is the introduction of national controls onGiven labourthe movement, adversarial nature of British politics, Rudd’s resignation was 12 this is a concept that several EU countries are having and to come to grips with, inevitable; her lack of knowledge of the basic aspects of her brief was in addition to the UK. wholly damning. It is constantly stated that ‘the people’ decided that Brexit meant Brexit. But 28 ng in many communities reflected a range of concerns about community voti

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

Failures in our systems of government go well beyond individual MPs or MSPs

We should be organising our training and education provisions much better

Unaware“ness of a problem is no defence against failing to deal with it

SSPO.indd 12


UK negotiators’ lack of capability “ appears to reflect an absence of real world business skills ”

03/07/2015 14:31:33

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09/05/2018 16:35:55

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08/08/2018 15:11:12

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08/08/2018 09:44:54

Trade Associations – British Trout Association

A French perspective Wonderful to experience wide seafood selection BY DOUG MCLEOD


ISITING southern France in the summer has allowed me to compare market prices for seafood products, in particular salmon and trout – and to report on prices to allow readers to carry out a comparison with UK retail outlets. In addition to fresh sales, I have had the opportunity to compare smoked product prices for salmon and trout, a harder process in Scotland as there is limited availability of the trout products, especially where I live, on the Isle of Skye. It is a wonderful experience to approach a seafood chilled cabinet and find a wide selection of both salmon and trout products. Salmon from Norway and Scotland and trout from France fills multiple shelves of smoked fish, although the French trout sometimes has a bit of an identity crisis: a closer inspection of some of the ‘product of France’ packs reveals that the fish has been proudly farmed in Spain. This is in no way a scientific or finely measured price report, but simply my personal observations after visits to local supermarkets in the Departement of Aude, with prices taken for packs of four slices (120-130g). Smoked salmon from Scotland tends to enjoy a premium over Norwegian of around 10-12 per cent, with an average price for the mainstream labels of around €50 per kg with a range from €46 to €56 per kg. At July exchange rates this equates to a range of some £44-£50 per kg. The competition from Norway averages around €46 per kg, with a range of €42-€56 (£38-£50). Interestingly, the different brands have significantly different pricing ‘strategies’, with the Scottish premium generally varying between €3 and €10 a kilo, although in a couple of cases the premium favours Norwegian product by €0.5 and €2 per kilo. In the latter incidents there was an even higher premium against Scottish salmon in favour of Icelandic product (a further €2 per kilo). Smoked trout slices- which are available for all the six main brands offering smoked salmon, a very different offering to that in Scottish supermarkets- come in at an average of around €35 per kg (around £32), some 23 per cent lower than the average Norwegian smoked salmon and more than 30 per cent lower than the average for the Scottish salmon product, price differentials that may explain the reported strong demand for French trout, given the French consumers’ love of smoked fish. It would be a fascinating exercise to review the sales figures for the past two years, to assess the impact of the higher salmon prices on consumer behaviour. The elasticity of demand for smoked salmon has long been an issue of interest for salmon farmers, and evidence of a strong switching in the French market would also support the argument for expanding the supply of smoked trout to British consumers. Fresh salmon (virtually always Norwegian in the supermarkets I frequent-


BTA.indd 26

elasticity of demand “forThesmoked salmon has long been an issue of interest for salmon farmers

ed), when not on special offer, is normally priced at around €20 a kilo for fillets, while trout fillets tend to be some €13 per kg, a more significant differential than for smoked products, and perhaps a reflection of the wide variety of fresh fish on offer at most fish counters (and even more so at specialist fishmonger shops). Readers will be able to make personal comparisons with UK prices in their local supermarket. However, my personal view is that although the prices appear to be higher than their British equivalents, the shopping experience- with the range of products available- makes up for any additional expense, particularly if one’s shopping is focused on the daily special offers. FF

Above: Fresh trout and fillet

08/08/2018 15:09:40


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08/08/2018 09:45:39

Trade Associations – Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation took part in the annual Ullapool Regatta, providing a support boat for the day. It’s hard not to be involved in such a close knit community.

Rising stars



Q. What does your job involve? A. I work in our freshwater department specialising in RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems). That involves feeding back the knowledge gained from a 19-month secondment in Norway to aid our new RAS smolt project in Barcaldine, Argyll. I also support our current freshwater operations and am involved in projects including the industry wide Saprolegnia research.

Young fish farmers share their insights into the sector’s growing opportunities


HE Scottish salmon sector is proud to employ people of all ages and backgrounds, and particularly pleased to be able to offer rewarding careers to youngsters starting out in life after school, college and university. Salmon farming is one of the key sectors helping to support the rural economy in the Highlands and islands and provides good career opportunities for young people to stay in the region. With 2018 being the Year of Young People in Scotland, the SSPO spoke to younger employees, or rising stars as we like to think of them, to find out their stories.

Q. What got you into salmon farming? A. After studying Chemistry at Edinburgh University, I went to New Zealand for a working holiday. While there I was involved in greenshell mussel farming for the North Island’s largest producer. I used to read Aquaculture NZ and became very interested in salmon farming too. It seemed like the salmon industry and associated technology was advancing at a very fast rate and I wanted to be part of such an exciting sector. While in NZ, I applied for an environmental analyst’s role with SSF – taking water quality samples had been a big part of my job on the mussel farm, and it tied in with my degree. They offered me a role in the supply chain department, which they thought would suit my skills, and I returned to Scotland in 2014.


Q: What is your job? A: Seawater assistant. The job itself is varied with many different aspects, from hand feeding the salmon to harvesting and swimthroughs. It is also the time when I get involved in our wrasse project which is, of course, very exciting. Q: What got you into salmon farming? A: It wasn’t my first choice but living in a rural area makes it harder to find a full-time job with career opportunities such as salmon farming. The proximity of the company to Ullapool definitely played a significant role in my decision. My grandfather, Guy Sykes, used to work for Wester Ross Fisheries in the 80s and I’m glad I could continue the tradition as a third generation salmon farmer.

Q. What excites you most about the sector? A. The rate at which technology advances are enhancing and improving production, alongside the talented people involved in the sector and their determination to succeed in driving further investment in R&D.

Q: What excites you most about the sector? A: It’s an exciting and growing industry, with many opportunities for local people living in rural areas. The growing sustainability effort brings many educational opportunities for staff and their professional development. Q: Why do you enjoy what you do? A: My job allows me to stay in the community I grew up in; our office is nature. I most enjoy hand feeding salmon and swim-throughs, and the outdoors nature of the job is a big plus. Q: How does technology/digital transformation improve your work? A: Although our way of salmon farming is very much hands-on, we do use technology on certain occasions, like VAKI, a handy biomass counter. It gives us a weight estimate of the salmon judged by the length of each salmon. We also use simple and quick air lift pump systems during the harvest time to minimise stress. All of our farms have acoustic devices to protect stocks. Q: Was salmon farming an opportunity for you to return to, or stay in your local community? A: I considered it to be just a job to start with but now, seeing the bigger picture, it actually allows me to think more about the future. Wester Ross is expanding – it has two new sites thanks to funds from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), so that means more opportunities for its staff; that’s fantastic! Q: How does your company and community work together? A: A few things to mention- building the outdoor classroom for the Ullapool Primary School, repairing a roof of the local leisure centre. And we recently


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The families and communities of these rural locations are the backbone of our success

Q. What advice would you give to other young people considering a career in the salmon farming sector? A. Take the opportunities. Be prepared to work hard but it’s a fantastic industry to be involved in. Try to take on a summer placement in aquaculture while studying, because the hands on practical experience is invaluable. Finally, take an interest and read up on what is going on in the aquaculture industry globally. Q. How does technology/digital transformation improve your work? A. Producing smolt in a RAS enables us to have more control over environmental parameters and ensure we have the optimal conditions for fish health and welfare. We can therefore produce more robust smolts before they are transferred to our marine sites. Q. Was salmon farming an opportunity for you to return to, or stay in your local community? A. Yes, I grew up in Argyll. At 17 I moved to Edinburgh to study, and after graduating I lived in

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Rising stars NZ for three years, before returning to Argyll to work in the salmon industry. SSF then gave me the opportunity to be seconded to Norway to work with our parent companies, Lerøy and SalMar. I am now back and settled in Argyll, near our new facility at Barcaldine. Q. How does your company and community work together? A. We fund local projects, often in the rural locations where we farm, through our dedicated Heart of the Community Fund. We employ lots of people in these areas and it’s important to support staff inside and outside of work, as well as the wider communities in which we operate. A recent example of our local community support took place in May when over 120 people helped raise £52,000, through a triathlon involving staff, family and friends, to purchase a new lifeboat for the RNLI.



Q. What is your job and what does it involve? A. Fish health assistant. I visit both freshwater and seawater sites within Cooke Aquaculture to monitor and assess fish health. This involves observing fish behaviour and providing on site diagnostic services, collecting samples for in-house and external analysis, and performing vaccination audits.

Q. What got you into salmon farming? A. After completing an MSc in Marine Biology, I wanted a career where I could work in a hands on environment as well as progress the skills and knowledge I had already gained during my education. I started out as a freshwater technician with Cooke Aquaculture in 2016, where I worked for two years at one of our hatcheries. This developed my skills and knowledge of salmon aquaculture and when the role of fish health assistant became available, this experience was invaluable. Q. Why do you enjoy what you do? A. I enjoy the variety as every day I travel to sites across mainland Scotland as well as Orkney and Shetland, where I get to work alongside lots of different people in beautiful scenery. I also enjoy being able to see the progression of our fish and assist in their welfare, from hatch at freshwater sites all the way up to harvesting in the sea. Q. What advice would you give to other young people considering a career in the salmon farming sector? A. Gain as much work experience as possible. Cooke Aquaculture has supported young people in carrying out work experience at both its freshwater and seawater sites. Q. How does technology/digital transformation improve your work? A. The company as a whole uses a database for the collection of information. This allows the fish health team to rapidly access relevant information. My role involves a lot of solo working and so the use of smart phones allows the fish health team to discuss and share information and photographs with each other, allowing for faster diagnosis. Q. Was salmon farming an opportunity for you to return to, or stay in your local community? A. I’m originally from the north east of England, so there’s no salmon farming there!

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Trade Associations – Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation Q. How does your company and community work together? A. We operate in a number of rural locations and believe that the families and communities of these areas are the backbone of our success. Cooke regularly participates in and sponsors events, local clubs and organisations within these areas.


Q. What is your job and what does it involve? A. Farm manager at our Portnalong salmon farm on Skye. I lead a team of six fish technicians who grow each crop of salmon for 18-22 months. Our number one priority is feeding our fish, and other supporting jobs include net changes, fish health checks, and general housekeeping.

Q. What got you into salmon farming? A. My mum! Just after my 17th birthday she handed me the newspaper with a job advertisement for Marine Harvest and asked ‘Do you fancy that’? I didn’t know anything about the job or the business but did know a family friend who has worked for Marine Harvest for many years – John Gillies. So I gave it a try and started work in August 2011. Q. What excites you most about the sector? A. Even in my short seven years’ experience, salmon farming has advanced so much, and I’m excited to see where it’s going. The company is very good at providing its employees with much of the in-house training needed for promotion. There’s over 75 unique positions at Marine Harvest, so lots of choice for career paths. Q. Why do you enjoy what you do? A. I really like the challenge of advancement that the company offers, and I enjoy networking and sharing ideas with colleagues and suppliers. And on a nice sunny day, you can’t find a better ‘office’ to work in.

On a nice “sunny day, you can’t find a better ‘office’ to work in

Q. How does technology/digital transformation improve your work? A. Digital information screens, GPS plotters, weather forecasting, and well-boat technology are just a few advancements I can think of that provide us with real-time data. A clear benefit that all these technologies provide is improved safety for our staff and our fish.

formation into an ongoing data set. This can be compared with previous data to determine any changes in the health of the salmon on a site level, as well as for specific populations within these sites. Then we present this data to the appropriate bodies and to the staff to keep them informed about the health of their fish. Q. What got you into salmon farming? A. My interest in the industry started when I was studying Marine Vertebrate Zoology at Bangor University. After graduating, I volunteered at a marine research station in the south of Scotland. I worked there for a few months, and through the many conversations about the industry with the other volunteers and researchers, achieving more knowledge about the scale and opportunities within the sector, my interest in salmon farming developed further. Then I started looking for jobs in the salmon farming industry and found a job as a farm operative with Loch Duart, and I applied! Q. What excites you most about the sector? A. Many things! The topic of salmon farming is a very current focus of much scientific research, mainly looking at how to make the sector more sustainable. As salmon farming is a rapidly growing industry worldwide, I am excited about new ideas coming along for continuing this growth in the future. Q. Why do you enjoy what you do? A. I have always loved marine environments and grew up fishing any time that I could. Being able to be out at sea every day and, in addition, observing fish up close makes my job extremely enjoyable. I like knowing that every day will be different. I am at a different location each day and there is always new information to learn. There are also a lot of opportunities to attend meetings and conferences where I get to meet new people.

Q. Was salmon farming an opportunity for you to return to, or stay in your local community? A. Skye is my home, and this job is probably the only reason I still get to live here. At school I didn’t know where I was going to go, or what I had to offer, so I’m grateful for the opportunity this job has given me – as a career and a lifestyle. At the age of 19 I was able to buy a house on Skye, where my girlfriend Q. What advice would you give to other young people considering a career in the sector? and I now live. A. Go in with an open mind as there are many different opportunities. Get some knowledge Q. How does your company and community work together? of the industry, have an interest and work hard. A. I recently attended the Career Fair Day at Portree Highschool, and it felt really good knowing that I can provide the same opportunities to local students As with any industry, there are improvements that can be made. There will always be room for that I was given. They can find a career near their home town and they can young people with fresh ideas and innovations learn on the job. I also know we are good neighbours and help out when we to improve the sustainability, efficiency and can. It feels good knowing your company supports many clubs, charities and profitability of the industry. events in the Highlands and islands. Even small things can make a positive impact: we have an agreement with the neighbour next to my farm whereby she puts an internet antenna on her house that sends a signal to the farm, and in exchange she gets free wifi. It’s a win-win.

Q. How does technology/digital transformation improve your work? A. Having the resources available to sample the fish when needed and the technology to detect early signs of illness is very helpful. I’m Q. What is your job and what does it involve? particularly interested in swabbing gills for the A. Fish biologist. I look after the health and welfare of the salm- detection of potentially harmful pathogens. on we have on all our sites across the North West Highlands. I Regular gill swabs even on healthy populations also travel to the Western Isles to our other sites at least once improves our work. a month to check the health status of those fish. The advancement in freshwater treatments for Together with the fish welfare team, I go out daily to examgill disease is a very interesting new area. Having ine and collect data on a select number of fish from each site to a treatment which is less harmful to the fish and check their health and condition. We then collate and input this inthe environment is very exciting. The results



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Rising stars from a freshwater treatment are much greater than other treatments being used in the past. Q. How does your company and community work together? A. For being in such a sparsely populated area, Loch Duart employs many people from the local community as well as bringing employees from around the world into the local area. Along with transporting a lot of salmon worldwide, Loch Duart also sells salmon to local hotels and restaurants which helps local tourism. We also organise beach cleans which helps us maintain a close relationship with the public.



Q. What is your job and what does it involve? A. Cleaner fish supervisor. I’m responsible for developing, implementing and supervising the husbandry, health and welfare of cleaner fish. I deal with different stakeholders, carry out trials and monitor the success of our cleaner fish programme. Right now, though, I’m on secondment to our Ardyne site as an assistant marine site manager.

Q. What got you into salmon farming? A. I first became interested during my undergraduate degree, when I took a module focused on aquaculture. I became really passionate about

it and went on to study an MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture. I then decided I wanted to put what I’d learned into practice, working in the Scottish salmon farming industry. Q. What most excites you about the sector? A. Technological advancements within the sector. The pace at which new and novel farming practices, such as cleaner fish, are coming online is really exciting. Q. Why do you enjoy what you do? A. I am very lucky in that I am doing work I have a genuine interest in, and I work with a great team in some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland. Q. What advice would you give to other young people considering a career in the salmon farming sector? A. Find a route into the industry that works for you; there is more than one path into salmon farming – you can study aquaculture, or start off by working on a site or take on an apprenticeship. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach but there are so many great opportunities and a huge variety of roles. Q. Was salmon farming an opportunity for you to return to, or stay in your local community? A. I’m from Glasgow, so taking up a career in salmon farming meant moving away from the city. SSC operates in some of Scotland’s most beautiful locations and having the opportunity to move around has been great. Q. How does your company and community work together? A. SSC runs a number of different programmes which benefit local communities. For example, we have a Community Fund offering grants to local organisations and causes, such as charities, sports teams and food banks. SSC is also a proud supporter of popular local events like Highland Games which take place near our farms. Local people can engage with the staff to learn more about salmon farming and even sample some quality salmon. FF


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SG and SSPO – to t topics of the day ors respectively. Shellfish d we hope you’ll

into oyster growing around the globe and also an overview of the Hungarian aquaculture industry, which is beginning to evolve from production of carps to higher value predatory fish. We hope you enjoy all the changes. FF

News Editor

Shellfish - International focus

has 0 years of the stry. Now ournalist, er food magazine.

ry Board


ons culture


Paul Wheelhouse is Scotland’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Change and is an MSP for the South of Scotland.

Janet Brown works to support and promote all aspects of sustainable shellfish culture and restoration via The Shellfish Team and edits The Grower.

Buoyant The some otherbusiness side of thein pond Put mussels

What do Chinese and Scottish shellfish aquaculture have in common? Reducing salmon liceofinfection it starts – canlearn bivalves help?from the Can the Association Scottishbefore Shellfish Growers anything 8 at the Chinese Academy of Science (IOCAS) visiti ng the Insti tute of Oceanology, ELL, the quick answer to that questi on is that it is not volume of way America’s East Coast Shellfish Growers Association is organised? in Qingdao, plus several conversations, what follows is an insight into a very


production. China outstrips not only Scotland but just about everywhere in terms of production of all types of mollusc. No, what they have in common is that the greater part of the culturer isRobert suspended culture. I had not fully appreciated, until I gave a talk in B Rheault – more commonly China on oysterasaquaculture in the(Rheault UK (Fishbeing Farmer, May 2018), that the Scotknown ‘Skid’ Rheault tish emphasis on suspended a lot pronounced ‘row’) orculture Bob –owed set up theto the quirk of Scottish law that had theEast Crown owning all theGrowers rights toAssociation the oysters and mussels on the seabed. Coast Shellfish ols Why didin the Chinese suspended aquaculture? I assume it relates to (ECSGA) 2004 andtake has up been its executive maximising the producti on by using three dimensions in their very intensive director for six years. d culture. Since weinvolved now bettinerthe understand theasecological benefits of undisSkid became idea of an turbed habitat on theheseabed and the complex that can be built, this sociation because had been working as ecosystem an isoyster a goodfarmer thing toinhave in common. a state without an aquaculTheindustry species are in oneIsland. respect, the Japanese oyster Crassosture at also the the timesame – Rhode gigas. everything very diffto erent. On the basis of one day rectory trea ‘I had to But be very activeelse on appears the state level spent visiting hatcheries in Laizhou (north west of Qingdao) and one morning get things going,’ he said. ‘I established a state growers’Herve association with a few allies, started surer, Steve Bracken, Miguad, Sunil Kadri and Ken Hughes writing an industry newsletter and sent it to all n: Andrew Balahura the state legislators, brought in guest speakers wds Publisher: Alister Bennett from other states where things were going Fax: +44 (0)well 131and 551where 7901 e-mail: nary a negative word was .com www.fiheard. Eventually we got some traction and regulations thatEH5 were2DL holding back ettes Park, 496fixed Ferrythe Road, Edinburgh NTEGRATED multi-trophic industry.’ er’, P.O. Box 1, the Crannog Lane, Lochavullin Industrial Estate, Oban, Argyll, PA34 4HB aquaculture (IMTA) aims This led on to a larger consortium, with a 0) 1631 568001 to reduce the environnumber of growers getting together at various Clockwise from top right: f world £95 including postage. All Air Mail. mental impacts of monECSGA meeting; oyster; meetings and the idea of establishing an East oculture of fish byRobert farming them in ietors Wyvex Coast MediaShellfish Ltd by Headley Brothers Ltd., Ashford, Kent ISSN 0262-9615 Dr B Rheault. Growers Association was banassociation with filter feeding molluscs, died about. They had seen how well organised and so remove particulate waste the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association m material and algae to utilise dissolved (PCSGA) had become, how effective they could nutrients. A further possibility has been considered be in meetings with regulators, how they - that of pest control. It sounds ideal: why not use the siphoning focused government research dollars toward power of mussels or other bivalves to take out the infectious key problems – they wanted that. stage of the sea louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis? While setting up the ECSGA, Skid continued This is a free swimming planktonic stage, the copepodid. Since the size to run his own company, farming and marof this infective stage is around 500μm, it is within the range of particle keting oysters trading as Moonstone Oysters size that can be taken up by mussels, although their normal diet of phytoworking out of Narragansett, Rhode Island, plankton is much smaller. and he is still an adjunct faculty member in Initial trials carried out in the University of Maine demonstrated that the University of Rhode Island’s Department mussels in experimental situations did indeed take up the copepodids. of Fisheries and Aquaculture. He established They were found in the stomachs of mussels but also in other parts of the East Coast Shellfish Research Institute the mussel, but the main point was that they were clearly being removed and has been successful in attracting several from the water column. Researchers further north, in New Brunswick, Canada, looked at a wider 12 range of filter feeding bivalves and also looked at the effects of temperature, shellfish individual size and whether the sea lice were presented on




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own or in association with phytoplankton. small part of Chinese shellfitheir sh aquaculture. The of bivalves were basket The hatcheries I visited were allspecies reminiscent of basicused shrimp hatcheries, cockles, (Clinocardium nutt allii), Pacifi c oysters which they may wellresearch have beengrants once since this area had previously substantial federal to address critical industryconcentratresearch (Crassostrea gigas), mussels (Myti lus edulis and ed on shrimp aquaculture before disease wiped it out. priorities. M galloprovincialis and their hybrids) and Pacific They were all laid out on the same basic lines, with square concrete tanks How has the ECSGA grown and is it still growing? scallops (unconfi rmed hybrids Mizuhopectfor larval rearing, but the scale them wastoimpressive. Theaofhatcheries now We grow in membership byofabout 10 20 per cent year and we en yessoensis x Pati nopecten caurinus), which produce diff erent species in succession using the same systems, scallops, then had a sharp increase this past year, but we still only have a small fracwere obtained fromgastropods, commercial growers in oysters, thenindustry in someas cases abalone andthe other of which tion of the members. Of estimated 1,300 farmsmore on the Island, British Columbia. later.Coast, we only have Vancouver East about 15 per cent. The nature of the industry For theways trials, were provide placed individually The system is integrated in other too.bivalves Scallop shells thewho settleis such that many farmers are very small, part-time operations in two litre containers with 450 copepodids in ment material for the oysters and the oyster spat are sold att ached to these won’t pay dues. There are few large farms, and several of these believe 750ml of water. scallop shells. they don’t need to join an association. They can hire their own lobbyist. Allleast four species were to ingest Theyare settthe le atmain a density of at per shell, butfound often far higher.the They are What issues facing20 ECSGA? larvae, and temperature wasareas not aassignifi cant then grown on in the same tanks as there are no nursery such. The We spend a lot of time and energy dealing with shellfish sanitation factor. Large shellfi sh individuals ingested far shells can then be broken to allow the oysters more room to grow. They aremy issues. Vibrio parahaemolyticus control seems to dominate much of more than small. eventually grown in lantern nets. the trade war with the EU so we can time. We are alsoontrying to rectify Of the species investigated, scallops were Of thesome very many hatcheries ng in Laizhou (of aintotal of 3,000 in north restore of the lucrativeoperati connections we had EU markets five found to take in comm. greaterXiming numbers of2018) larvae, but China and 5,000 in China as a whole – pers. Guo only years ago. We are trying to get acknowledgement for the ecosystem five size for size the cockles consumed the most. are producing triploid through C. gigas. Only one iscredit producing the tetraploid oysters services we provide nutrient trading, and we are con-and In separate experiments, thethough shellfishis were this oneworking hatcherytois improve really controlling the technology even out of stantly water quality and expand harvestitareas. found to consume between 18 to 38 per cent of patent now.different chapters Are there in the ECSGA or are members mainly the hatcheries copepodids to them. While They sell sperm to the other or presented the actual triploid larvae. C. the oyster folk? bivalves took in the larvae regardless of whethhongkongensis the only oyster species in oyster China which We representisabout 60commercial per cent clam farms, 40cultured per cent farmsis er phytoplankton was present or not, they took not hatchery – it ismussel collected after settlement in estuarine areas and has and there is areared nascent industry. in a far higher proportion of phytoplankton proved diffi cult to raise in hatcheries so far. I have heard you talk at conferences about the importance of lobbywhen both present. species scallop grown is the baywere scallop (Argopecten irradians), introingThe – what doofyou advise? This could be related to findings from much duced in the early 1980s, producing more than 800,000 It is really important to ensure that the regulators tonnes. don’t put you out of older work on the behaviour of Chinese sea lice scallop, larvae, This wasIfintroduced because of disease the business. you are not involved in theproblems process with of writing the regula3 wheresince it was shown that the copepodids can and is now the preferred species it can be grown to market size within tions, then the law of unintended consequences dictates that they will take evasive action when they detect the one year. probably hurt you if you don’t protect yourself. You need to participate feeding flowatti field bivalve. This evasive beheard from various sources the tudeoftoaand environmental issuesofhad in Ithe scientific research, thethat public outreach the education your haviour can actually be viewed in this YouTube changed radically in the past fivethe to 10 years, in in that before could legislators. By demonstrating growth green jobs,this thefarmers sustainable 08/02/2013 11:24:01 clip, do more production or less anything, much more controlled now. seafood and but thewere ecosystem benefits, we can enlist the help How can thisrelated be applied in thepracti commercial I was curious to know how this atti tude to hatchery ce. I of was of politicians when the regulators get crazy, or if we have a need resituati on?inThis is more complicated. The first shown what was added to the water the hatcheries. There were two search dollars. Educating the legislators is a constant task. There is huge issue Iiscouldn’t the larvae of L salmonis are positi vely different products although the labels, was told turnover and theyand know nothing aboutunderstand your industry. If youIdon’t have phototacti cseveral and will be found at greater concenthey were diff erent brands of mixes of species of bacteria species time to do it then you need to pay someone to do it for you. This isused why trations in the surface metres of the sea. Above: Mussels as probioti cs. busy professionals are members of trade associations. Thisof behaviour wouldinhave to be accommoOpposite page: Scallops; was strikinginterest was the lack people working the hatcheries; water Is What export a major for your growers? dated for by the placement of theseemed shellfishtobut Pacifi c oysters exchange was manual and place every 12market hours but We are experiencing antook explosion in the forthere oysters right be this is easily possible with suspended culture. almost young around. now, sono there is people not a lot of surplus production to send overseas, but And how effecti veno is longer it likelyviable to be? I was told that many of the hatcheries were as they were Much of the work on IMTA and this being left behind by technology, but there clearly is demand foralso spaton and I saw potenti al control of sea lice has been carried little evidence of much technology as such. out in the north eastern states of the US.may be A visit to IOCAS in Qingdao provided insights into where aquaculture




going. I was particularly interested to see that they were researching the vation of Rapana venosa (Asian rapa whelk), which I had seen being reared in 10:29:56 06/03/2015

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05/02/2018 15:55:48

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08/08/2018 15:03:47

Buoyant business

one of the hatcheries. This is essentially a giant oyster drill and I did get to eat it at the banquet held at the end of the conference. That taste did at least reassure me that it was unlikely to be highly sought after outside China for its gastronomic attractions. In fact, it was the only thing I was offered during my stay that I just couldn’t eat – my teeth were not sharp enough or jaw muscles strong enough. But it is already recognised as an invasive species on the east coast of the US and could be something to be avoided in Europe at all costs. At the other end of the spectrum, IOCAS is also

that the attitude to environmental issues “hadI heard changed radically in the past five to 10 years ”

Opposite page (top): Algal

culture systems. (below): Algal tanks. This page (clockwise from top left): Scallop shells

on strings for oyster spat settlement; closer view of scallop shells being floated in the rearing tanks, providing settlement for oyster spat; Bay scallop culture; adult Rapana venosa seen in IOCAS; Rapana venosa being cultivated; floats supporting the lines of scallop shells with oyster spat on; a typical shellfish hatchery in Laizhou.

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studying the endangered species, the Japanese spiky sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus, and has been very much involved with developing its aquaculture. IOCAS is the leading oceanographic institution in China, with research teams in all major areas of marine sciences. It has been a leading force in developing China’s mariculture industry. One of the well known achievements of IOCAS is the development of bay scallop aquaculture in China. The bay scallop was introduced from the US to China in 1982 by the late Professor Fusui Zhang and is now the number one scallop species cultured in China. Scallops are by any criteria a most attractive shellfish, so you might think it was a case of gilding the lily to produce coloured scallops. But colour is very important in Chinese culture and so they can breed scallops of different shades! However, IOCAS is prouder of the fact that they completed the sequencing of the Pacific oyster genome in 2012, published in Nature, and are very much involved in cutting edge research on oyster genetics and breeding. The shellfish industry in China has been through something of a roller coaster in that it enjoyed high prices at one time when there was demand for shellfish for banquets. This spending in political circles is no longer permitted but the resultant price drop from that decision has been mitigated recently by increased prosperity in general. The shellfish industry in China certainly seemed very buoyant to me. FF


08/08/2018 15:04:22



Million pound

question Instead of closing SARF, it should be used to support short sharp projects


RITING in Scottish Field’s August issue, angling commentator Michael Wigan refers to the Atlantic Salmon Trust’s Missing Salmon Project, which intends to track 1,000 smolts from five major rivers around the Moray Firth out to sea for about 56 miles. Wigan says that the project, which hopes to raise £1 million, has produced an interesting array of opinions, with some saying that tracking up to such a short distance is not far enough to determine what is really happening to salmon at sea. Wigan seems to agree, suggesting that the whole of salmon’s migration should be tracked, and he is probably right. Meanwhile, he says that the AST’s challenge is to make sure the money, ‘if raised’, follows any science with practical recommendations. He poses an interesting question as to whether the AST can meet its funding target. With Prince Charles as patron and a list from Who’s Who in support, funding might seem the last concern for this project. Yet an attempt to crowdfund the first £70,000 only raised £17,685. The AST has relaunched its crowdfunding bid and so far has added just a few hundred pounds. The £1 million goal seems a long way off, although a wind farm company recently topped up the funding with a £300,000 donation. In another initiative, the Scottish government is providing £500,000 to conduct a Scotland-wide electrofishing project to assess the status of young fish in Scotland’s rivers, even though most of the fisheries trusts already do this on a regular basis. The West Sutherland Fisheries Trust is conducting its own tracking project around Loch Laxford and is also seeking help with funding. All this research seems rather haphazard, with much of the effort being duplicated. What appears to be lacking is a national strategy for wild salmon, where there is a single determined effort to uncover why wild fish stocks are in such a perilous state. There are a lot of things that are known already, and they don’t need to be repeated again and again. The real problems appear to be out at sea, as highlighted by Norwegian researcher Jen Christian Holst [see next pages]. He says that competition from massive stocks of pelagic fish may be at the heart of the matter. This seems entirely feasible and should be given real consideration. However,


Martin Jaffa.indd 34

it should be done in agreement across the whole sector, but whether this would be forthcoming is another matter. Salmon & Trout Conservation continues its crusade against the salmon farming industry, demanding that salmon farms declare sea lice counts on a real time basis. Interestingly, Michael Wigan, who has regularly attacked the salmon farming industry, asks in his latest commentary whether the billions of sea lice produced by salmon farms latch on to smolts as they head north. He says that this thousand dollar question could be dynamite for the industry. It seems that there is now an element of doubt starting to creep into some from the wild fish sector as to the impact of salmon farms on wild stocks The Scottish parliamentary committee investigations into salmon farming have suggested that more research needs to be carried out into these interactions, but there is plenty of research readily available that shows that salmon farming is not the cause of declining stocks of wild fish. It is just that those who blame salmon farms won’t accept these conclusions because they don’t support their claims. Long-term smolt release trials in Ireland and Nor-

Above: Atlantic salmon smolt

08/08/2018 15:01:20

Million pound question

If an “ organisation

with Prince Charles as patron is experiencing difficulty raising funds, what chance is there for small scale aquaculture research?’ way have shown that the impact of sea lice on wild stocks is minimal. Was it necessary to try to repeat this work in Scotland at a cost of £600,000, money which could have been better used to investigate other issues? SARF (the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum) is currently being wound up. This is now public knowledge thanks to freedom of information requests made by salmon farm critics. In a letter dated last January, SARF reports that it is in the process of managing an orderly closure, ensuring there is as little of members’ funds left as possible. However, SARF said at the time that it was still a long way from that point and would be launching three new projects, two of which were ‘special’ projects, and that after those were completed there would be no ‘special’ budget left. Yet, SARF has recently managed to find more money to prolong the £600,000 ‘special’ smolt release project despite the lack of any results to date. The letter also mentions that there is always the potential to commission additional ‘short sharp’ projects if funds permit. It was this information which was the most interesting. This is because I believe that it will be a big mistake if SARF is scrapped,

Martin Jaffa.indd 35

whether through an orderly closure or not. I believe that SARF could continue to play a key role in Scottish aquaculture, it is just that no one has recognised the fact. The problem with SARF was that it was run like a private members’ club to which others had no access. For example, SARF stated on its website that it doesn’t accept unsolicited proposals; rather, its research should meet the collective needs of members. This is why the organisation has commissioned some extremely expensive research. I would argue that rather than meeting the collective needs of members, SARF should operate for the industry as a whole, offering smaller amounts for shorter, sharp projects. If, for instance, funding was limited to £25,000, the money used on the smolt release project could have funded 24 projects that might have had more relevance to the aquaculture industry. The last issue of Fish Farmer highlighted work done by one farm manager to develop a system to change nets. Fortunately, he had the backing of his employer, but others with good ideas may not have such support. There is a need for small levels of funding that is not available elsewhere. One of the reasons why SARF is being wound down is because funding is being targeted through SAIC (the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre) and the University of Stirling, but this is unavailable to anyone without collaborative funding. It may work for the big projects but is not relevant for smaller research. The difficulty in raising money for research and development has been highlighted by the Atlantic Salmon Trust in its Missing Salmon Project. If an organisation with Prince Charles as patron is experiencing difficulty raising funds, what chance is there for small scale aquaculture research? FF


08/08/2018 15:01:42

News extra – Hypothesis on Overgrazing and Predation

The mackerel


Are massive shoals wiping out wild salmon stocks?


VER-abundant shoals of mackerel are the biggest threat to wild ‘The coincidence of the explosion in timing, salmon stocks, not sea lice from salmon farms, as campaigners density and range of mackerel numbers with claim. the sharp decline in returning salmon proThat is the theory of a Norwegian scientist, who has produced a vides a possible and feasible explanation,’ said new paper outlining his hypothesis, which he hopes will now be taken Andrews. seriously by politicians. ‘Our knowledge of salmon migration routes Dr Jens Christian Holst, who was formerly with the Institute of Marine and where they overlap with massive mackerel Research in Bergen, believes that ‘super shoals’ of mackerel are competshoals leads to an assumption that overgrazing 7 as they head from ing with young salmon for food and predating them by billions of mackerel could leave little food for Scottish rivers into the North Atlantic. young salmon.’ He claims that mackerel biomass estimates by the International Council Mackerel, a for voracious hunters the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) are wildly inaccurate and therefore The following is an edited version of Holst’s fishing quotas, which are based on ICES’ advice, are inappropriate and hypothesis. be relaxed. 30 cm longmust mackerel will eat at least a 12.5 cm mackerel meaningBelow: a mackerel can eat HYPOTHESES a fish at on the marine factors under30cm mackerel ‘The Hypothesis on Overgrazing and Predation’, which Holst circulated lying salmon collapse are many: marine 12.5cm mackerel east 40% itsinown length (Figure 2). This again means a mackerel at with 50 cm can eat a 20climate, cmthesea June, has won the backing of some in the wild salmon lobby, including in its stomach lice from salmon farms, inbreeding ostsmolt salmon. In other words, mackerel today canTrust, preywhose efficiently postsmolt Tony Andrews, the former director of the Atlantic Salmon of escapees in wild salmon stocks, disease and Photoon courtesy of Ian Kinsey salmon is Prince Charles. first summer at sea. bycatch in pelagic fisheries. uring muchpatron of the postsmolts In a foreword to Holst’s paper, Andrews writes that just five per cent of In parallel with the collapsing European salmon return to their native rivers, a collapse that points to a massive salmon stocks, a collapse has been observed in mortality at sea. western European sea birds eating plankton and small fish, like the kittiwake and puffin. What the salmon and these types of sea bird have in common is that they are direct and indirect competitors with mackerel for food. We have also seen a degrading of the quality of the mackerel fished in the north east Atlantic, at least over the last 10 years; for instance, with the so-called G6 quality (above 600g) more or less disappearing from the catches. Based on what I consider to be strong empiric evidence, the north east Atlantic mackerel stock has grown totally out of proportion due to gross under estimation, leading to overly cautious fishing quotas and under fishing as a consequence. Because of this very large mackerel stock, the food resources of whales, seals, sea birds, salmon, other pelagic fishes, and the mackerel itself, are now heavily overgrazed. Today, a seven-year-old mackerel weighs half of its weight of 10 years ago — a clear sign of the overgrazing and lack of food. This is only one of many signs of an ecosystem totally outside its ‘natural range’. This lack of food has also led to starvation and very slow growth of young salmon at sea, the


igure 2: 30 cm mackerel with 12.5 cm mackerel in its stomach. Photo courtesy of Ian Kinsey. Wild Salmon Decline.indd 36

08/08/2018 14:58:29

The mackerel menace

salmon post-smolt. Post-smolts are now more vulnerable to predation and other natural mortality than before the mackerel ‘explosion’. Too large stocks of pelagic fish have led to a strong overgrazing of the zooplankton and juveniles/small fish in the Norwegian Sea and adjacent coastal and marine areas. The recommended quotas have not been ecologically sustainable. Due to the mackerel’s strong population growth, its opportunistic character and high migratory potential, it has increased its spawning and grazing areas dramatically. In parallel with the decreasing plankton resources, the mackerel has compensated by changing its feeding habits to eat more juveniles/small fish, including salmon post-smolts in the early sea phase.

and western Scotland during this migration period. Mackerel is also abundant in the North Sea and a comparable situation would apply to post-smolts from Wales, England and eastern Scotland. The salmon stocks in the southern part of the north east Atlantic area have collapsed at much higher and more alarming rates than the Norwegian salmon stocks, despite about 1.3 million tonnes of salmon and rainbow trout being farmed in Norway and only about a total of 200,000 tonnes being farmed in two of the southern regions, Ireland and western Scotland, plus 500 tonnes in Northern Ireland. All of the southern post-smolts have to ‘co-swim’ northwards with the now very dense concentrations of mackerel, more than double the distance and period compared with the average Norwegian post-smolts. Following two years of successful mackerel spawning in 2016 and 2017 in the Norwegian Sea and Norwegian coast, these areas are now full of juvenile mackerel. Consequently, the worst may be yet to come for the salmon from the southern European salmon regions.

Linked sea bird collapse In parallel with the European salmon collapse, we have witnessed a collapse of a large range of western European sea birds depending on Voracious hunters plankton and fish larvae/small fish as main components in their diets. A 30cm long mackerel will eat at least a The worst hit species is probably the surface feeding kittiwake, a small 12.5cm mackerel, meaning a mackerel can eat sea gull, which competes directly with the mackerel in its diet. The a fish at least 40 per cent its own length. This again means a mackerel at 50cm can eat a 20cm collapse of the kittiwake has happened in parallel with the mackerel outburst. post-smolt salmon. In other words, mackerel At the same time, we have seen a strong growth in northern gannet today can prey efficiently on post-smolt salmon populations, a sea bird eating large fish and with mackerel as an imporduring much of the post-smolt’s first summer tant part of its diet. at sea. In general, sea birds competing for food with mackerel are plummeting Mackerel and southern European salmon in parallel with the growing mackerel distribution and density, while sea post-smolts both use the shelf edge currents birds eating mackerel are thriving from the dramatic increase in mackerel west of the European continent to speed up availability. their northern feeding migration in late spring and early summer. The geographic overlap beClimate change tween mackerel and post-smolts in late spring Some scientists claim temperature and climate change are the culprits and summer is evident. for the European wild salmon collapse. In my view, there is no empiric This ‘co-swimming’ of mackerel and salmon basis for such a conclusion. post-smolts during the, on average, 2,000km If we study water temperatures in the main feeding area of ‘southern’ migration from southern European salmon European post-smolts in the Norwegian Sea, they rose from the 1970s to river mouths to north of the Vøring plateau in 2007 and have now dropped to close to or below normal, according to the Norwegian Sea (at 68 degrees north) thus the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Norway. creates the perfect predation opportunity for Temperatures in the Norwegian Sea follow the so-called Atlantic the starving mackerel on the now slow-growing Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). This 60-year climate cycle bottomed in and more vulnerable post-smolts. the early 1970s, peaked around 2007 and is expected to be negative over Knowing that the migration takes about two months, I leave it to the reader to consider what the next 20 years. Climate change will probably lead to higher temperatures at the peaks the combined effect of competition and preand troughs of the coming cycles, but I expect the 60-year AMO cycle dation from mackerel could be on post-smolts from waters off Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain to continue as, for instance, documented in sedimentation layers on the

Wild Salmon Decline.indd 37

The coincidence of the explosion of mackerel numbers with the sharp decline in returning salmon provides a possible and feasible explanation

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Consequently, there is no correlation with temperatures and the collapse of the southern European salmon stocks but there is a very good correlation with the growing mackerel stock and its potential for competition with and predation on the European postsmolt salmon. News extra – Hypothesis on Overgrazing and Predation

my view, be done through an internationally seabed since the last ice age of 10,000 years ago. So, during a period of continuous decline of salmon stocks from, in par- agreed and closely monitored thinning fishery Figure 12. From the Institute of Marine Research report 2017: ‘The Norwegian Sea: The on mackerel, where some of the extra catch ticular, the southern European area from around 1973, temperatures in goes into reductihave on to meal and oil. theseAtlantic main feedingwater areas for along Europeanthe post-smolts have been rising and temperatures in the Norwegian continental shelf since 2013 been By closely following some primary indicators peaked in 2007 and have dropped to around normal today. close to or slightly Consequently, above normal. temperatures 2016 mainly normal, directly linked above with the mackerel stock except on a runthere is noThe correlati on with temperaturesin and the col-were ning basis, one will be able to evaluate almost lapse of the southern European salmon stocks, but there is a very good the south-eastern Norwegian Sea were the temperatures were lower than normal.’ correlation with the growing mackerel stock and its potential for competi- instantly the effect of a lowered mackerel stock and the lowered grazing pressure from it. tion with and predation on the European post-smolt salmon. One good secondary indicator will be the ratio Despite the AMO having turned negative more than 10 years ago, of grilse over multi sea winter salmon in salmon European salmon stocks continue their negative spiral and fishing has stocks, which will start increasing quickly from almost ceased fishery as the stocksfor are close to or under conservation limits, in An international thinning mackerel today’s record low levels as soon as the food particular in the southern north east Atlantic area. Despite the AMO having negative more years European salmon stocks availability for post-smolt salmon improves as a This situatiturned on will probably continue to worsen than until the10 heavy compe-ago 31 result of lowered competi ti on from mackerel. ti ti on and predati on from mackerel is reduced. The reducti on should, in continue their negative spiral and fishing has almost ceased as the stocks are close to or under

conservation limits in particular in the southern NEAC area. Above: The Norwegian Sea: The temperatures in the Atlantic water along the Norwegian continental shelf have since 2013 been close to or slightly above normal. Right: Starting out with three spawning stock biomass indexes at 22, 10.3 or 3.8 million tonnes the ICES stock assessment ends up with a stock assessment at 3.1 million tonnes.

In my view, this situation will probably continue to worsen until the heavy competition and predation from mackerel is reduced. The reduction should in my view be done through an internationally agreed and closely monitored thinning fishery on mackerel, where some of the extra catch goes into reduction to meal and oil.

Opposite (top): Examples of the young mackerel currently growing up ‘all over’ the North Sea. (Below): The figure shows various stock indexes and estimates on the NE Atlantic mackerel produced by ICES.


Wild Salmon Decline.indd 38

Figure 18. Starting out with three spawning stock biomass indexes at 22, 10,3 og 3,8 million tonnes the ICES WGWIDE stock assessment ends up with a stock assessment at 3.1 million tonnes. In addition to the three spawning stock biomass indexes the assessement model uses 08/08/2018 14:59:14

Figure 9. Development of salmon nominal catch in southern and northern NEAC 1971 to 2016. Text at top inserted by author. Filled symbols and darker line southern NEAC.

The mackerel menace

How large is the mackerel stock?

SURVEYS indicate at least a six-fold increase in the mackerel stock from 2008 to 2018, from 2.8 to 16.8 million tonnes. Today we have three biomass indexes of the mackerel stock, all of which indicate a mackerel stock significantly larger than the ICES forecast for the 2018 spawning stock at 3.1 million tonnes. The egg data indicates a stock of 3.8 million tonnes, the trawl survey a stock at 10.3 million tonnes and the tagging data a stock Figure 10. Examples of the young mackerel currently growing up ‘all over’ the North Sea, of around 22 million tonnes. Conclusions Norwegian Sea and along the Norwegian coast 23 at the moment. These were caught in a ‘washing But the ICES scientists have no doubt that the spawning stock inThe hypothesis on overgrazing and predation has been hard to sell set’ by the purse seiner ‘Brennholm’ at an arbitrary position 100 nm west of the Lofoten Islesdex in at 22 million tonnes emerging from the tagging experiments is within the ICES community, in management bodies, with politicians and January 2018.this Atcan thisbestage these small mackerels are competitors the postsmolt salmon, too high and that the 10.3 million tonnes trawl index overestimates my view, due to density-dependent spawning over time, to horizontally and vertically. with the wild salmon lobby. thebe mackerel regulates theand spawning density in a way The we are unable to capture availability in the laterThat theyis,will both competitors potential predators. new and abundant the stock by a factor of two. The reason for this is that the hypothesis challenges one of horizontally, the cores of estimation of egg production. thiswinter way, we lose more and more of juvenile mackerel in the multiInsea salmon feeding areaseggs mayboth be a good explanation to As I see it, we have had a very unfortunate development where ICES’ acti viti es, the accuracy of pelagic stock esti mati on. temporally as the stock increases needs more time,their area and carry whyvertically the MSWand fishes have such a good conditionand at present despite poordepth earlytosea growth. management advice in this field gets more and more distant from It spawning also challenges the hypotheses that seaAnother lice and escaped farmedcan be out the with about the same density of fish. possible explanation Photo JC Holst. what the various investigations tell about the size of fish stocks. strong predation themost eggs serious that is notthreats taken account of in the estimation of egg production. salmon areon the for wild salmon. Nevertheless, in Instead, the scientists trust the model results more and more. There may also be other reasons to the underestimation of the egg production. search of getting our salmon, sea birds and high quality mackerel for the This is despite the fact that the scientists are aware of weaknessmarkets back, every obvious stone must be turned. FF es, sources of error and broken model assumptions behind the results. These motions are poorly communicated and the model results are interpreted as truths by managers, politicians and the public. At the end, model results almost unrooted in reality end up as the basis for socially, economically and ecologically important management measures. This is a very dangerous development. In more and more areas, this practice leads us to an almost purely model based management that is not based on the results of various investigations and the reality of the marine areas we 30manage. ICES needs to take a big step back and simply reset the entire mackerel advisory process. A very serious situation has arisen which has brought a whole tonnes large ecosystem farThis outside its natural of the mackerel stock of around 40 million in 2018. biomass is well in line with range of variation, with grave consequences for all its inhabitants, an experienced skipper who has participated in the trawl surveys previously claimed in a including man as the ultimate predator and manager of the system. conversation: "After This what observed inbe the mackerel surveys, the mac is aI've deep scientific and conflexperienced ict that needs to treated as such. stock can well be between 40 and 50 million tonnes." I have no agenda other than trying to get the hypothesis on overFigure 14. The figure shows various stock indexes and estimates on the NE Atlantic mackerel produced by ICES. The green line is the spawning stock size history as estimated and presented grazing and predation tested in an objective and neutral way, on by ICES in the 2017 stock advice. The red diamond is the 2018 spawning stock projection for behalf of the salmon, the sea birds and the G6 mackerel.

There is no correlation with “ temperatures and the collapse of the southern European salmon stocks ”

2018 taken from the 2017 ICES stock advice. The black squares is the spawning stock biomass index coming out of the triannual western egg survey starting in 1992 as presented by ICES WGWIDE in 2018. The blue line is the biomass index coming out of the IESSNS trawl survey as presented by ICES WGWIDE 2017. The yellow line is the spawning stock development coming out of the tag experiments when equal tagging mortality is estimated for the steel and electronic tags. The first part of this dataseries is from figure 16 in this document. The latter part, after the curve goes outside the y-axis of the graph is reconstructed using the F values in the right panel of figure 16.

About the author

Dr Jens Christian Holst worked as a management scientist on pelagic fish at the Institute of Marine Research in Norway. Today he is an independent fisheries advisor and developer. He started working on the marine ecology of Atlantic salmon in 1991 and moved into general ecosystem based management in the early 2000s. He is also involved in closed containment fish farming projects. Several of his publications and talks on salmon at sea and related ecosystem issues can be found at (including the full text of the Hypothesis on Overgrazing and Predation) or This paper was produced independently.

Wild Salmon Decline.indd 39

Above: Stock estimates of three to 12-year-old mackerel, 1986-2006,

Figure 17. Stock estimates years mackerel, 1986-2006, based on the MERKAN a based onof the3-12 MERKAN andold HAMRE tagging models HAMRE tagging models. The estimates are compared with the official stock estimates (ICE 39 at about 7 2009) and the triannual egg survey (ICES, 2008). The estimates circled in red are million tonnes are the MERKAN og HAMRE estimates for 2005 og 2006 as mentioned in th above. From Tenningen et. al. 2010. 08/08/2018 14:59:35

Aquaculture Innovation Europe – Summit

London calling Start-ups win chance to pitch ideas to investors


WELVE lucky aquaculture start-ups from around the world have been chosen to pitch their technologies to investors at an innovation summit in London in September. The enterprises, selected from more than 25 entries, will feature alongside established industry figures, leading aquaculture investment funds and other emerging companies at the Aquaculture Innovation Europe summit, to be held from September 11-12. The finalists are all start-ups with novel technology or solutions, looking for financial investment or strategic partnerships. They will have a chance to share a synopsis of their innovative advancements to a room full of investors, and compete for the industry’s Award for Innovation. The conference focuses on showcasing and supporting innovation and sustainability initiatives in three key areas of aquaculture: farm management, nutrition and health, across four key species, -salmon, tilapia, sea bass and shrimp. The opening keynote speaker will be Ian Carr, strategic marketing director

THE 12 FINALISTS ARE: Arbiom, which seeks to address protein sourcing and gastrointestinal health by integrating a historically non-food material (wood) into the food supply chain to produce a nutritional, traceable, sustainable protein product for feed and food consumption. Entocycle, which has developed patented technology to industrially farm insects and thus make a new form of protein that can replace traditional proteins such as fishmeal and soy. Jala, which provides a water monitoring system, farm management, and decision support system so shrimp farmers can increase their yields. KnipBio, which is creating a range of premium ingredients from low cost feedstocks that contain high concentration of protein and important immune-nutrients. Manolin, which is creating a digital health analytics platform to accelerate the resource sharing between aquaculture farms to better monitor, treat, and prevent health outbreaks. Mithal, which has developed a robotic net cleaner, Remora, that can be stationed in the pen and with its brushes prevent growth from forming on the net. (See Fish Farmer, May 2018). Planktonic, which has developed a way of cryo-preserving a crustacean nauplii and delivering live feed to marine hatcheries in industrial volumes, so replacing rotifers and artemia. Proteon, which has developed bacteriophage based solutions that significantly reduce or eliminate the need to use antibiotics. Quantidoc, which has produced a decision making tool, Veribarr, that documents fish’s slime cells’ responsive capability, enabling a forecast of robustness and immunity. VakSea, which has pioneered oral vaccines to enable farmers to affordably and effectively protect fish from viral diseases. Verifik8, which is a sustainability analytics platform, where the social and environmental practices of farms are monitored and verified. WSense, which specialises in underwater monitoring and communication systems.


London Summit.indd 40

Above, from top: Ian Carr, Professor Ross Houston; Chris Beattie

of feed group Cargill, who will outline current health and nutrition trends in the industry, looking at the challenges that will define the next five years in aquaculture. Other speakers will include Professor Ross Houston, personal chair of Aquaculture Genetics, at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, who will discuss the advancements in innovation around fish genetics; and Chris Beattie of MSD Animal Health, who will be on a panel of health leaders. Arturo Clement, president of Salmon Chile, Cameron MacLean of Regal Springs Tilapia, and Lara Barazi-Yeroulanios of Kefalonia Fisheries are among the international guests taking part in a panel discussion on making an impact in fish farming. ‘How big data and analytics can increase productivity in fish farming’ is the topic of another panel, with Pharmaq general manager Siri Vike, Richard Sibbit of DBT, and Valérie Robitaille, CEO and co-founder of XpertSea. They will investigate how aquaculture companies can leverage big data and analytics to increase productivity; the effective use of data in precision farming; cost effective ways to acquire and process data; and future opportunities in big data. Meanwhile, Gorjan Nikolik, of RaboResearch (part of Rabobank), will explain why aquaculture is the winning protein to feed a global population, how innovation can help reduce the cost of production, and why aquaculture is a compelling investment opportunity. Among the investors participating in the three ‘innovation showcases’ held over the two days are representatives from Aqua-Spark,Anterra Capital, Wheatsheaf, Rabo F&A Innovation Fund (part of Rabobank), 8C Capital, Impact Capital,Venture IQ, Alimentos Ventures,Trendlines Agtech, and New Protein Capital. They will consider the merits of the selected start-ups and at the end of the conference three innovation awards will be presented to the best nutrition, health and farm management concepts. The second Aquaculture Innovation Europe summit will be held at Copthorne Tara Hotel Kensington. For more information visit www. Fish Farmer readers are eligible for a 10 per cent discount on their pass using code FF10. Contact Jessica Parry at FF

will have a chance to compete for “They the industry’s Award for Innovation ”

08/08/2018 15:59:01

AQUA 2018 – Montpellier

Head to the Med!

Five days of aquaculture science and trade at global show


e R Aquaculture’ is the theme of this month’s conference and exhibition in the southern French city of Montpellier, jointly organised by the EAS (European Aquaculture Society) and the WAS (World Aquaculture Society). ‘We are the producers, the investors, the suppliers, the processors, the vendors, the scientists, the educators, the students and the consumers of farmed aquatic products,’ the organisers say in their brochure. To be held over five days, from August 2529, AQUA 2018 will celebrate the fact that aquaculture is one of the most important food production industries in the world. The event – with a scientific conference, trade show, industry forums, workshops, student sessions, tours and receptions - will highlight the latest aquaculture research and innovation to underpin the continued growth of the sector. The WAS and EAS stage combined shows only every six years, the previous ones being hosted by Prague (2012), Florence (2006) and Nice (2000), and they attract delegates, speakers and exhibitors from across the world. This year, participation is expected from more than 60 countries at the global gathering, and the exhibition will feature companies and organisations from Europe, Africa, Canada, the US, South America, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region. The two keynote speakers, both appearing during the plenary session on Sunday, August 26, will be Robins McIntosh, executive vice president of Charoen Pokphand Foods, and Øyvind Oaland, R&D global director of Marine Harvest. McIntosh has for many years developed shrimp and tilapia aquaculture, first in Thailand and later throughout Asia. His talk, ‘Changing the face of Asian aquaculture’, will focus on the reasons for success and failure, and how to deal with technical issues, disease, certification, socio-economics, public perception, and trade. McIntosh has increased shrimp production at Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF), the largest integrated producer of aquaculture shrimp in the world, from 5,000 tonnes to more than

WAS Intro.indd 41

90,000 tonnes a year. The changes he instituted at CPF - including the introduction of P. vannamei into Thailand, the development of SPF P. monodon, and the modernisation of hatcheries and farms - eventually made their way into most of Asian shrimp culture, turning a stagnant industry into one of the most dynamic growth stories ever in aquaculture. Øyvind Oaland, in his talk on ‘Technological innovation in salmon farming’, will offer insights into the current challenges that Marine Harvest is addressing and how technological innovations and new production platforms will facilitate sustainable growth. A vet by training, Oaland has been with Marine Harvest since 2000, head of the company’s Global Research and Development department since 2008, and is a member of the senior management team. Parallel sessions There will be four days of scientific presentations in Montpellier, running in parallel sessions from August 26-29. These will cover almost the entire spectrum of aquaculture subjects, and will feature everything from freshwater tilapia and catfish farming in sub-Saharan Africa, to the growth of fish farming in Iran, to the latest research in fish breeding and genetics. Several sessions will look at antimicrobial resistance, and health will be at the forefront of many of the presentations, with talks on vaccines, therapeutants, immunology, emerging diseases and diagnostics. There is also a big focus on aquafeed and novel feed ingredients, not just at the conference but in the trade show, where most of the major

event “willThehighlight the latest research and innovation to underpin the continued growth of the sector

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AQUA 2018 – Montpellier feed companies will be exhibiting. The Danish group BioMar is the gold sponsor of AQUA 2018. Other issues, such as poverty alleviation, socio-economics, ‘measuring sustainability in a changing world’, and the social acceptability of aquaculture, broaden the scope of the conference to embrace the increasingly central role of aquaculture in global food security and saving the planet – subjects touched on by the former secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, at the recent AquaVision in Stavanger. Tuna, sturgeon, sea cucumber, and sea urchins get special attention too, as do micro and macro algae culture, and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture. And there are in-depth seminars on recirculating aquaculture systems Right: Montpellier, France and hatchery technologies, broodstock management and larvae and juvenile management – plus much, much more! AQUA 2018, at the Corum Convention Centre in Montpellier, starts with the opening ceremony at 6pm on Saturday, August 25, and ends on Wednesday, August 29. For more information visit FF

‘Unique opportunity’ for innovators ASPRIRING innovators could be in line for funded lab space in a competition launched to support the next generation of life science and marine pioneers. Aker BioMarine and ShareLab have joined forces to discover teams or start-ups with unique ideas or concepts. Innovators will be selected based on a single page executive summary of their idea or concept. At stake is a one-year membership to ShareLab, a new co-working laboratory and office space, tailor-made for life science start-ups, located in Oslo. The winning team will be awarded an Aker BioMarine funded spot in the lab and office facilities, as well as benefit from active mentorship and access to Aker BioMarine’s network. Neither Aker BioMarine, a biotech innovator and Antarctic krill harvesting company, nor ShareLab will retain any ownership or stake in the winning idea. Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine, said collaborative projects and creative environments such as ShareLab are important for the innovation driven aquaculture industry. ‘The way we see it, this is about increasing the value creation from the ocean’s resources,’ he said. ‘To cope with the challenges of the future, it would be arrogant not to believe that some of the solutions may lay within the oceans, especially as our knowledge and utilisation of the ocean is still so limited. ‘ShareLab represents a unique opportunity to foster the development of such solutions. They are on the same mission, to find sustainable and innovative new products. At the end of the day it is about breaking down barriers and removing friction to enable the growth and development of good ideas.’ Esben A. Nilssen, managing partner at ShareLab, said: ‘We are thrilled to see Aker BioMarine sign on as ShareLab partner only months after our official opening by Prime Minister Erna Solberg. ‘This is testimony to our belief


WAS Intro.indd 42

that life science will be a vital part of Norwegian industry in the future. ‘Sustainable development of our oceans and forests, growth of our seafood industry, as well as human and animal health, all depend on life science innovation.’ Aker BioMarine’s continued success will be built on finding new and ground-breaking ways to work, said Johansen. ‘Innovative people and new ideas are the very foundation of our success. We are constantly on the look-out for explorers who think outside the ordinary, while keeping their feet firmly on the ground.’ The deadline for entries to the competition is September 15 and the winner will be announced on October 3. Visit for more information. Aker BioMarine is exhibiting at AQUA 2018 on stand 20-21.

Far left: Matts Johansen. Above and left: Finding new and ground-breaking ways to work

08/08/2018 14:56:36

AQUA 2018 – Montpellier

New research unit for hatchery feed sector DANISH feed group BioMar has increased its hatchery research capabilities with a new marine fish trial unit at its Hirtshals centre. The Aquaculture Technology Centre now houses 24 RAS larval rearing trial units ranging from 50 to 100 litres, all operating under controlled conditions. The new system allows for larval rearing as well as the production of live feed, including rotifers and artemia. BioMar has complete control within the trial units, including temperature, salinity, photoperiod and light intensity, enabling strongly replicated trials and the ability to work on a range of marine species. The opening of the new facility is the second of a three-phased investment plan. BioMar announced last year the establishment of a business unit in Nersac, France, and the expansion of its fry feed production line in Brande, Denmark, expected later in 2019. This year, the company celebrates 15 years of producing hatchery feeds. It has recently streamlined its product portfolio and adopted innovations and functional raw materials in its Larviva hatchery range to maximise health and performance. BioMar said the new research facilities will ensure it continues to drive breakthrough innovation in the hatchery feed segment. ‘We see significant growth potential in the hatchery feed segment,’ said Ole Christensen, vice-president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at BioMar. ‘Our new research facilities will help us continue to evolve our larval feed range while allowing us to respond faster to market and customer needs. ‘The launch of the hatchery trial facility at our ATC Hirtshals is a significant boost to the BioMar hatchery business unit, which will allow us to undertake in-house marine fish larvae feed trials. ‘We look forward to developing and bringing to the market new and exciting innovations in hatchery feeds.’ BioMar is exhibiting at AQUA 2018 on stand 26-27 and 45-46.




Serving worldwide aquaculture


since 1977

Prince Charles drops in on Marine Harvest

November Cover.indd


Industry launches long awaited Vision for 2030





Time to comply with the Scottish Technical Standard



A new way to recruit the next generation


07/11/2016 12:50:03


Top: BioMar Hirtshals hatchey trial unit. Above: Hirtshals hatchery scientist Keshuai Li

WAS Intro.indd 43

For more information E:


+44 (0) 1371 851868 43

08/08/2018 14:56:56

AQUA 2018 – Montpellier

On course for


The IoA experience ‘fantastic’ take up rate for new core course


HE Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) at the University of Stirling launched the first of a series of short continuing professional development (CPD) courses in fish health and welfare in June. The dozen or so delegates who attended the two days of the course provided strongly positive feedback after the course, both in the form of questionnaires informing customer satisfaction, and also in the form of testimonials for the course. The quality of the lecturers, as well as the opportunities for practical hands on training, through lab work and case studies, were highly appreciated from the first cohort of course delegates. The group in June was a stimulating mix of people working in fish farms, research aquarium facilities and pharmaceutical companies. This was the result of the IoA’s successful strategy of designing a core course for all aquaculture stakeholders. By widening the target audience, the institute ensures that professionals with diverse backgrounds and expertise come together and share knowledge for two full days dedicated to fish health and welfare. The added bonus is that, besides the learning experience, the course also becomes an excellent peer to peer knowledge exchange and networking opportunity. The IoA has more than 30 years’ experience delivering training in fish health subjects, though past courses were run in a different, longer format. The current model is based on a short core course conveying the foundations of fish biology and health and the most up-to-date concepts and implications of fish welfare. It can be useful either as a starter crash course for entry level staff or as a refresher for already established professionals. The course brings a combination of classroom based lectures, group work on case studies and practicals, where delegates can improve their dissection and sampling skills. Teaching is provided by a team of in-house researchers who are all leading experts in their fields, and


WAS - IoA.indd 44

further enhanced by external guest speakers from selected leading or innovative companies in aquaculture. In the current CPD training model, the core course is complemented by several advanced follow-on courses that delve in more depth into specific subjects of interest, such as recirculating aquaculture systems, anaesthesia and slaughter, freshwater and marine water quality issues, ornamental and research fish, or cleaner fish. The advanced courses are currently under development and the Institute is listening to stakeholders to make sure they deliver the most meaningful training according to their needs. The advanced courses will be provided from the start of next year. As for the core course itself, it is already at cruising speed, with the next run scheduled for September 6 and 7. There will then be another run before the end of the year, planned for November. The way things have progressed has been quite impressive, with the whole new CPD programme being presented to the industry for the first time only in May at the Aquaculture UK exhibition in Aviemore. The reception was extremely positive and the take-up rate has been fantastic for such a short time frame. Continued on page 46

course “hasThebecome

an excellent peer to peer knowledge exchange and networking opportunity

Right: Delegates in the practical session. Above: RSPCA Assured aquaculture manager Malcolm Johnstone giving his talk.

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AQUA 2018 – Montpellier

Promoting excellence

other parts of the aquaculture world, such as Chile and the Mediterranean. The development of an online distance learning platform is also on the horizon. These are definitely exciting times for professional skills development in aquaculture. The Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, is exhibiting at AQUA 2018 on stand 186. FF

This demonstrates how much the industry is in need of such a service, even more now that quality references such as the RSPCA Assured welfare standards and the SSPO Codes of Good Practice are advocating training in the health and welfare aspects of fish farming. It is to be expected that the foremost aquaculture institute in the UK, and one of the most respected worldwide, should foster the development of the national (and international) workforce. The fact that the IoA has received course registrations from the US to New Zealand is proof of the far reaches of its reputation. The mid- to long-term development plan is to expand the CPD offer to other markets in


WAS - IoA.indd 46

Left: The June delegates with some of the speakers. Above: Dr Johanna Baily demonstrating how to collect blood from a fish. Below left: Speakers Dr Alex Pargana, Professor Jimmy Turnbull, and Professor Simon MacKenzie.

08/08/2018 14:54:13


An ingredient for superior health and increased growth Read more QRILLAQUA.COM

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08/08/2018 09:48:29

Europe focus– Training and education


United we stand How better mobility could address recruitment bottlenecks


OW we cater for our future aquaculture learners warrants careful consideration, particularly against the backdrop of the ongoing Brexit negotiations and Britain’s eventual exit from Europe. With the release in May of the Skills Review for the Aquaculture Sector in Scotland, commissioned on behalf of the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group (AILG) and undertaken by HIE (Highlands and


Training - Martin Haynes.indd 48

Above and opposite: There

is a growing appetite in both Scotland and Norway to explore the mobility exchange opportunities

Islands Enterprise), there is much to reflect an act on. This autumn also sees the completion of the Erasmus+ BlueEDU Aquaculture Sector Skills Alliance Lot 1 project, researching the education and training needs of 12 EU countries that cage farm finfish. Clearly, a wealth of opportunity awaits us, some of which is European in nature. Whatever Brexit ultimately means, the UK government has reassured us that we can partake in the coming 2019 and 2020 Erasmus+ bid rounds. On leaving the EU, the completion of any outstanding projects will be UK funded during transition.

08/08/2018 14:50:31

United we stand So, for now at least, we remain in play as members of the European community and it is business as usual with our existing and future European partners. It seems appropriate that during this record breaking summer we make hay while the sun still shines! A problem shared Having been party to many discussions in Scotland and other European countries over the last two to three years regarding aquaculture education and training, one thing is certain: there is more to unite us than divide us. Our education systems face many of the same challenges, and one theme has become prominent. Aquaculture is conducted in the most inaccessible peripheral regions of Scotland and Europe and this presents challenges when it comes to recruiting, educating, training and retaining high quality staff. In Europe’s coastal zone, the main resource base for most of our fish production, those challenges are the most acute. You only need to look at a map of the Scottish west coast and Norway to see that coastal geography is going to be a major barrier for anyone trying to access aquaculture courses offered at a facility. Even in Norway, despite having 14 upper secondary schools working closely with the industry, there are difficulties with access. Therefore, our European educators and trainers would be well advised to think even more innovatively and collaboratively, and work closely with industry, to increase access to nationally recognised qualifications. There are many ways we can learn from each other and enhance our education provision for the benefit of aquaculture learners through collaboration, including the large proportion that are work based while seeking to become qualified. We will return to the opportunity for the collaborative development of aquaculture education and training systems and resources under Erasmus+ Key Action 2 – Innovative Vocational Education and Training (VET)- in future articles, but for now, let’s reflect on ‘mobility’ within Europe, supported under Erasmus + Key Action 1, and all that it offers. Long term mobility To many educationists, one of the best features of our EU membership has been the access it has provided to programmes promoting mobility and exchange for both staff and learners. There has been a recent shift of emphasis by the Brussels Commission regarding learner mobility. Erasmus+ Key Action 1 (KA1) has been funding mobility for some time now, but most of it has been short term in nature (two to four weeks) and has commonly involved exchanges of students between education institutions. These have been beneficial, exposing learners to new cultures, ways of working and learning opportunities they could not get at home. The more mature partnerships, through the application of ECVET, a system designed to support the ‘recognition and transfer of learning outcomes’, have formalised the education and assessment process, so the activity undertaken by students can make a significant contribution towards the achievement of their qualification once they return home. In the meantime, Brussels has become increasingly focused on work based learning, and particularly apprenticeships. It has been recognised that Europe has a lot of vocational education and training going on in the workplace that it defines as ‘informal or non-formal’. This basically means it does not contribute towards a quality assured qualification that can be recognised nationally or within Europe. Incidentally, the recent HIE survey confirmed that the same phenomena dominate aquaculture training in Scotland currently, and many in the industry are ready to address this significant issue. The impact on the mobility of labour, a cherished cornerstone of European policy, is minimal as, intentionally or otherwise, many company training schemes hold staff captive and discourage mobility between companies, let alone within Europe. Incentives are being created by the Commission, and while long term mobility has always been possible to date within KA1, relatively little activity has been established that extends beyond a few weeks. And there is even less that involves employers as an active and essential part of the mobility programme, by design. This is what the Commission wishes to change. Fortuitously, the benefits of mobility exchanges of both short and long

Training - Martin Haynes.indd 49

duration have crept in to some of my aquaculture sector discussions recently, initiated by others. Clearly, there is a growing appetite in both Scotland and Norway to explore the mobility exchange opportunities. Both fish producer and technology supply companies have voiced the notion that ‘knowledge exchange’ could be significantly bolstered if it became an integral part of mainstream education and training programmes. This goes hand in glove with the recognition by some of the largest Norwegian companies that many of the practical aquaculture problems they face are best solved through fostering collaborative approaches, both within the company between farms and with other companies. There is a growing realisation that there is no competitive disadvantage when solving problems collectively, as this in effect makes European aquaculture more competitive. If learners were moving within their programmes more freely between countries, the entire process could be strengthened, and the development of the aquaculture sector accelerated. This is real food for thought and when Scottish education and training stakeholders start to set out a vision for the future of Scottish aquaculture education and training with industry representatives in the autumn of 2018, I am sure this will feature within discussions on aquaculture VET design. The practicalities There are, of course, many practicalities to consider, especially if an aquaculture long term mobility programme wished to include ECVET principles. This can benefit two main target audiences, apprentices who are learning and being assessed while in full time employment, and graduates needing experience after they have completed their academic studies. Bearing in mind the commitment of time by all involved (three to six months) it is hard to see how the recognition and transfer of learning outcomes achieved abroad can be excluded from our thoughts. But then again, as we are still mostly farming fish in cages using the same technology and similar production systems, is this so scary? It cannot be too difficult to define common learning outcomes that could be gained, evidenced, and transferred to impact on a learner’s national qualifications, irrespective of the country where the learning took place, especially when the English language is so favoured and ubiquitous. With Brexit looming, there are many who will claim that this is all very unrealistic within the present political climate. I disagree, and for one simple reason: aquaculture is a successful and profitable sector in many European countries, with a keen eye to future opportunities, risks and challenges. If it makes sense to act collaboratively now, it still will a few years’ hence- even if the initial catalyst, in the form of Erasmus + funding, is unavailable. Once a good idea is out there, it grows arms and legs and industry demand will ensure its continuation. John Bostock (Stirling University) will give a talk at AQUA 2018 in Montpellier on the Erasmus+BlueEDU Sector Skills Alliance. This will take place in the Non-food Aquaculture session (Sunday, August 26, 12.40pm). FF

There is a growing realisation that “there is no competitive disadvantage when solving problems collectively’ ”


08/08/2018 14:50:56

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08/08/2018 11:35:14

AQUA 2018 – Africa

Growth in Africa Focus on the commercialisation of sector across the continent

topic “This and a


SPECIAL session, ‘Setting a new agenda for applied research needs for African aquaculture’, will take place in Montpellier, focusing on the growing commercialisation of the industry across the continent. Organised by SARNISSA (Sustainable Aquaculture Research Networks for Sub-Saharan Africa) and Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, the session will feature a panel of key stakeholders from sub-Saharan Africa’s commercial, development and research sectors. They will discuss and propose a new, up-todate applied research agenda, and priorities for universities, government and private sectors in support of the now growing commercial aquaculture sector across all levels. The panel, to be chaired by Stirling’s Professor Dave Little, will also include Dr Katrina ole-MoiYoi of Victory Farms Kenya and an affiliated scholar of Stanford University, Dr Marc Oswald of Association Pisciculture Rural en Afrique (APDRA), and Professor Charles Ngugi of Mwea Fish Farm and Karatina University Kenya. Professor Little will open the session in the morning, with Will Leschen, of the Institute of Aquaculture, then providing a historical and current perspective of the commercialisation of aquaculture in Africa, looking at the past


WAS Africa.indd 52

special session dedicated to it at a major international aquaculture conference is long overdue

and present influence and effectiveness of the research sector to support this development. Katrina ole-MoiYoi will present a case study of Victory Farms, describing the evolution of Kenya’s largest commercial aquaculture producer, from initial concept to design and subsequent development. This will be followed by a case study from the NGO sector, with Marc Oswald of APDRA explaining how an organisation such as his can benefit smaller scale, lower income, entrepreneurial individuals and help them grow into financially viable, sustainable aquaculture businesses - the ‘missing middle’. The session, to be held on Tuesday, August 28, from 9am to 1.30pm, will include a questions and answers session with the expert panel, and discuss and agree on future priorities and an applied research agenda, focused on increasing sustainable farmed fish production, sales and consumption across the continent for the exciting years ahead. Leschen, who runs the SARNISSA network, said: ‘We believe that this topic and a related special session dedicated to it at a major international aquaculture conference is long overdue.’ SARNISSA now reaches more than 4,500 people on a daily basis and it is hoped the Montpellier discussion will attract an audience from the research and commercial aquaculture sector, across Africa and internationally. Following the conference, a summary report will be compiled, covering the key points raised in the presentations, the focus groups and in the final panel discussions and recommendations. FF

Above: Nursery ponds at Kenya’s Victory Farms. Left: Victory’s tilapia operation, a commercial success story.

08/08/2018 14:48:24

Nor-Fishing 2018 – Trondheim

Farmers show up

Increasing aquaculture presence at Norway’s fishing exhibition


or-Fishing, the big international exhibition for the fisheries industry held in Trondheim every two years, will feature a significant presence this August from the aquaculture sector. Although aquaculture companies get their own biennial show in the city, increasingly they are finding a common market, especially in high end technology, with fishing firms. Nor-Fishing, which launched in 1960, is one of the largest fisheries technology exhibitions in the world. In recent years, it has drawn around 15,000 visitors from about 50 countries. Innovations of importance to all sectors of the industry are presented during the four-day exhibition and seminar programme. This summer, the latter will include talks aimed at fish farmers as well as fishermen. For example, the seminar ‘International financing of fisheries’, on Wednesday, August 22, will address financing investments in fisheries and aquaculture in Norway and abroad, according to the Nor-Fishing website. Atle Bjørkheim of the GIEK (the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency) and Export Credit Norway will be among the speakers. Also appearing to talk about the ‘blue economy’ will be Arni Mathiesen, assistant director general of the FAO; representatives from the World Bank talking about financing development; and fisheries analyst Blessing Mapfumo on fisheries financing in Africa.

Above: High end technology

Advances in processing technology, relevant to farmed and captured fish, are on the agenda at Nor-Fishing’s Research Plaza in Hall T. Eight research and innovation institutions have pooled their resources to create the research hub, which will be officially opened by Norwegian fisheries minister Per Sandberg on the first day of the exhibition. At the Research Plaza, research and innovation expertise within fisheries and seafood, management and technology will be found in one place, say Nor-Fishing’s organisers, and there will be mini-seminars at the various institutions’ stands. Subjects covered will include vessel technology, ocean environment, sustainability, bio-economy, processing technology, seafood markets and quality. Among the institutions involved are the Institute of Marine Research, Nofima, Sintef/NTNU, University of Troms – Norway’s Arctic University, the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund, Innovation Norway, and the Norwegian Research Council. (The





Nor Fishing.indd 53

+47 51 22 84 40



08/08/2018 14:46:17

Nor-Fishing 2018 – Trondheim

The industry needs to attract the best heads in order to develop further

Research Plaza can be found at stand T-153 B.) Nor-Fishing’s traditional Student Day on the final day of the exhibition will appeal to all fisheries sectors and it provides an opportunity for potential employers to meet new recruits. ‘The fisheries and aquaculture industry needs to attract the best heads in order to develop further,’ the programme says. ‘You and your company can now register to participate at this year’s Student Day to get to know the students better.’

After previous Nor-Fishing shows, companies employed students they had met during Student Day. This year, a new communications platform will be launched during the exhibition- NTNU Bridgehead Fisheries and Aquaculture – as part of the project, Bridgehead Fisheries and Aquaculture 2050. This will make it easier for students and companies to establish contact, to discuss study theses, summer jobs and other types of projects. Even before this year’s Nor-Fishing gets underway,

a tour is planned to aquaculture sites. On Monday, August 20, delegates can visit state of the art aquaculture and fisheries industries on the coast of TrøndelagAgain, in close cooperation with the exhibition organisers, the Nor-Fishing Foundation. The programme will include visits to salmon farmer SalMar’s Ocean Farm, a pilot installation based on technology from the oil and gas industry; Innovamar, SalMar’s modern processing facility for salmon slaughter and production; Hitramat & Delikatesse AS, producers of shellfish, primarily common crab; and Aqualine’s new production facility for salmon cages at Sandstad. Aqualine is one of several exhibitors this year which will be promoting products and services for the aquaculture industry. Others include CFlow, Garware Ropes, Damen Shipyards, Marin Design, Moen Marin, HS Marin, Haarslev, Frionordica, AAS Mek Versted, and Bureau Veritas. Nor-Fishing 2018 runs from August 21-24, at Trondheim Spektrum. FF

Room for all in new hall TRONDHEIM Spektrum is building a large new exhibition hall, expected to be ready for next year’s huge aquaculture show, Aqua Nor 2019. It will cover 5,000 m², with a ceiling height of 18m, to accommodate the growth of the fisheries sectors. ‘We are looking forward to having a new hall with considerably more space, brand new facilities for exhibitions and conferences, as well as new meeting rooms,’ said the organisers. However, the new hall will not be completed in time for Nor-Fishing and so a plastic hall of 6,000 m² is being constructed. Demolition of halls A, B, and C started during the autumn of 2017, and these halls will be replaced by the new hall. Nor-Fishing 2018 will therefore be held at Skansen (the outdoor area in the harbour), in halls D, F and G, and in the large, plastic hall located on the sports arena adjacent to the existing exhibition area. Most of the exhibitors will be located in this temporary hall (see drawing).


Nor Fishing.indd 54

Above: How this year’s exhibition space will look

08/08/2018 14:45:07

Farmers show up

Danish address production efficiency TRADITIONALLY, salmon slaughter lines are operated manually or are half-automated, which slows the processing time in production. At Nor-Fishing 2018, Au2mate is launching a digital process control system uniting data collection and reporting from multiple facilities into one system. The new solution ensures production efficiency and standardisation. ‘The solution has recently been installed at a new salmon slaughterhouse, where it integrates more than 70 different systems into one process control system, with data collection and reporting,’ said Jacob C. Jensen, divisional sales director at Au2mate. ‘At the same time, the digital system combines three different smolt plants along with a packaging system. This way, operators have an overview of the entire production, including the fire alarms and ventilation systems within the building.’ The digital system from Au2mate includes overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), which measures the effectiveness of the different parts of the processing line. ‘When you collect all data into one system, it is

easier to locate the ineffective equipment quickly and thereby improve and standardise the entire production,’ said Jensen. ‘For example, in a packaging system, operators can measure if the system is packing 20,000 fillets an hour, or if it slows down the process at any time. Also, it is possible to monitor how much of a specific product have been produced and ensure reliability of delivery.’ Au2mate, which has 100 employees at offices in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, UK and Dubai, can supply complete, fully customised solutions for controlling entire factories, as well as for control of specific process sections. In addition to equipment effectiveness, the digital system includes MES (manufacturing executions system) functionality for controlling and monitoring of the production. ‘MES lets operators know when a customer orders, for example, tonnes of fish or fillets, and when it is time to execute the order into the process,’ said Jensen. ‘And later, the system reports the order has

Above: Au2mate is launching a digital process control system to the fishing industry ensuring production efficiency

been produced and is being stored for delivery. ‘This means that the entire process is automated from the receipt of order to execution with the right factors in play.’ Au2mate is launching the new digital process control system at Nor-Fishing 2018 in hall T, stand 130.


Above: Cabinplant is introducing fully automatic weighing and batching of fish and seafood ensuring five times less give-away and thereby reducing production costs

Nor Fishing.indd 55



‘At the same, the design is more hygienic than comparable solutions to IN the fish and seafood industry, products from the processing lines must be weighed and batched for the fish and seafood industry because it is made from 100 per cent stainless delivery. Accordingly, speed and accuracy are key steel and other food approved materials.’ Cabinplant is introducing the Multibatcher at Nor-Fishing 2018 in hall T, factors to optimise production. To meet the demands, Cabinplant is present- stand 130. ing a fully automated solution for weighing and batching large portions of fish and seaNET SERVICES food, ensuring five times less give-away and, SHETLAND LTD thereby, reducing production costs. ‘With other solutions, the weighing accuracy of a 20 kilo batch can be up to +/- 200 grams, while the Multibatcher has a give-away of a maximum 40 grams per weighed out portion,’ said Søren Hansen, technical manager of Fish and Seafood Processing at Cabinplant. ‘This way, it ensures up to five times less give-away than other systems. The significant reduction of give-away is directly tied to the production costs, which of course depend on the value of the product. ‘For example, a product is valued at $/kg 2.92 with ten batches a minute. If we add up the reduction of give-away on a yearly basis, it comes to a total reduction worth $210,000.’ The fully automatic Multibatcher performs accurate high-speed linear combinatorial weighing and handles portion sizes of between two and 30 kilos of whole or processed fish. ‘Usually, weighing portions are between 4.8 and 5.2 kilos. The system then calculates which of the weighing pans are most suitable for obtaining accurate portion weight at 20 kilos,’ said Hansen. ‘For example, the weight empties two portions of 4.8 kilos along with two portions of 5.2 kilos and transfers the four portions to packaging in standard fish boxes or typical Multivac thermo forming machines. This way, the Multibatcher handles up to 20 batches a minute with more accuracy compared to other weighing systems.’ In addition to high-speed and weighing accuracy, the solution requires mini«Supplier of groundbreaking net technology in OF1» mal spare parts maintenance and costs. ‘The Multibatcher does not have a lot of spare parts and, therefore, it is easy to maintain and clean,’ says Søren Hansen.


Five times less give-away with automated system


08/08/2018 14:44:15

Alternative species

New chapter for halibut Nick Joy reports from a recent visit to two Norwegian farms Halibut fry

the fish to lie in very large numbers within a pen. When the feeder goes off, the fish leave the high-rise stacks and only return when they are sated.The buoys that hold up each stack sink to a level corresponding to the weight of fish that settle on to the stack. This system has been used in other sea farms but here it has been honed to the maximum efficiency. Halibut farming will never be as simple as salmon farming, but it is very clear that the farming systems are developing and improving. While it still takes a long time to grow a fish to market, the technical problems are being solved. In a world fish market heavily dominated by farmed salmon, perhaps a new chapter is about to FF be written. Sterling White Halibut site at Hjelmeland


Fully stocked stack of halibut

3g Halibut fry TERLING White Halibut today produces around 2,000 tonnes of

halibut, but once upon a time it was not so easy. Halibut farming stalled in the 2000s. Market opportunity looked good and production seemed to be progressing, but all was not well, and several large companies divested their halibut farms. The usual suspects in marine farming were to blame. Unreliable juvenile production meant that regular market supply was difficult and held back market development. The positives were that once the juvenile phase was over, the fish were very robust. Also, the market loved the meaty clean taste of a farmed halibut. These issues remain, in that it takes five years to grow a 4.5kg fish, and broodstock only mature after 10 years.This should hardly matter as few marine species currently being farmed are fast growing, and the rewards are high, with halibut sometimes fetching 15 euros at wholesale level. While the juvenile phase held the industry back, at Sterling White Halibut’s farm near Rorvik at Reipholmen,Walter Ryum Olsen, in charge of juvenile production, believes he has the answer. He started working with halibut in 1995 and has seen its ups and downs, but around 2013 the discovery of an aquareovirus in the broodstock led to amazing results in juvenile production. The company culled any carriers of the virus in the broodstock and since then juvenile production has become much easier, with much better survival. For a species like halibut - with microscopic eggs, metamorphosis from vertical to horizontal, and conversion from live to dead feed - it will never be easy. Nonetheless, Olsen and his team have achieved amazing results. In one year they have managed to produce as many as 920,000 juveniles. As juvenile production was one of the major reasons for the decline in production, this is an exciting development. Sterling White Halibut uses a mixed growing system of tanks, and pens at sea that look just like salmon pens to the uninitiated. In fact, they are very different. Halibut will swim and shoal to some degree but mostly they want to rest on a horizontal surface. So a pen offering only one surface (the bottom) would not hold very many fish. However, an ingenious design of flat discs of net attached together allows


Halibut - Nick Joy.indd 56

An “ ingenious

Halibut feeding

design of flat discs allows the fish to lie in very large numbers within a pen

Halibut stack before going into the pen

Fully stocked stack of halibut Sterling White Halibut site at Hjelmeland

Top left: 3g halibut fry. Top right: Halibut stack before going into the pen. Middle: Sterling White Halibut site at Hjelmeland. Bottom: Halibut feeding

Halibut feeding

Halibut stack before going into the pen

08/08/2018 14:42:08

Halibut is not an easy fish to cultivate but the innovation that Glitne shows with their raceway system in Ortevik is novel development in a novel field. Current production levels are low as they build up stock but the potential is big, according to Jan Arne, intending to reach 800T. But Glitne are not just investing in ongrowing, their hatchery and broodstock site at Saetre is being completely redeveloped. Sigbjorn Hjetland who has been with Glitne since school, is in charge of the project and believes that it will give the company a stronger future. Though they currently buy eggs from Nordic Halibut, Glitne also have their own broodstock and intend to grow their own production.

Raceway system fed from depth of fjord IT IS not often in this young industry that you meet someone who says he learnt fish farming from his grandfather, but so it is for Jan Arne Brekke from Glitne halibut farms. And whatever he learnt seems to be very inspiring as he and the team are developing the business quickly. Having started with a 1,000 m2 farm at Slantevika, growing to 10,000 m2 at Ortevik, they are now starting on a 40,000 m2 project, hoping to complete it in the next few years. The development requires a strong financial commitment.The water at Ortevik has to come from 90m down in the fjord, nearly a kilometre offshore, in order to get the cleanest supply with a stable temperature – a 15 million NOK investment. Despite the high capital cost, Brekke believes that halibut farming is much more suited to onshore farming. Discharges can be controlled and there is very little risk of escapes. He believes the fish thrive because everything is so much more controllable. Jan Arne Brekke and Knut Brekken Halibut is not an easy fish to cultivate but the innovation demonstrated by Glitne in Ortevik with its raceway system is a novel development in a novel field.The design is Brekke’s closely guarded secret but involves ensuring an even flow to each fish and a certain level of water re-use to ensure maximum efficiency. Current production levels are low as they build up stock but the potential is big, according to Brekke who intends to reach 800 tonnes, which would make the company the largest onshore producer of halibut in the world. But Glitne is not just investing in on-growing; its hatchery and broodstock site at Saetre is also being completely redeveloped. Sigbjorn Hjetland, who has been with

Ortevik site

Top: Jan Arne Brekke and colleague Knut Brekken. Above: Ortevik site. Left: Sigbjorn Hjetland

Halibut - Nick Joy.indd 57

Glitne since school, is in charge of the project – which has so far reared around 20,000 juveniles - and believes that it will give the company a stronger future. Halibut broodstock only mature when they are ten years old, so the development of your own stock is a major commitment, but having to rely on other companies for eggs or juveniles is not a sustainable policy. Brekke has developed the farm using as natural materials as possible and trying to keep the farm sustainable. Sometimes this means uncomfortable decisions; at Slantevika a beautiful outcrop of rock makes the site difficult to manage but Brekke wants it to stay there, reminding us all that we have to work with nature rather than force it to our will. He believes this attitude will produce the best halibut for the best restaurants in the world and who could possibly argue?


08/08/2018 14:42:38

Innovation – Sea lice


Trap on trial Norwegian start-up puts its novel idea to the test


HE Norwegian aquaculture innovation company Blue Lice is running a series of commercial trials this summer to test the effectiveness of its sea lice traps. It is a development which the founders of the one-year-old business believe could play a major part in helping salmon farming to start expanding again. ‘For the past six years, salmon farmers have been unable to increase production, with sea lice being one of the key reasons for the industry’s standstill,’ Blue Lice CEO Karoline Sjødal Olsen told Fish Farmer. ‘If our trials prove successful, however, we would expect to be ready to launch our traps commercially later this autumn.’ The Blue Lice idea is based on taking natural factors which sea lice find attractive, such as certain aspects of light and smell, amplifying them and incorporating them into a system of traps which the sea lice will hopefully find irresistible. ‘The aim is that sea lice will choose to go to our trap system rather than attach themselves to the salmon,’ said Olsen. ‘For that to happen, we have to make the sea lice believe that our traps are more attractive ‘salmon’ than the salmon themselves. If we succeed in doing that then it will be possible for farmers to take care of the sea lice before they


Blue Lice.indd 58

have the chance to become a problem on the salmon. ‘The uniqueness of our development is in the design and combination of the attractors we have created to draw sea lice into our traps. Two of the key attractors we use are light and smell.’ Olsen declined to reveal any further details of the trap system until the patent, which is currently pending for the design, is secured. She did say, however, that early test results had been sufficiently encouraging to generate both venture capital funding and industry involvement in support of the current commercial trials. The sea lice trapping idea first emerged during an innovation accelerator programme called Blue Revolution, which was run in Norway by X2 Labs, a so-called start-up factory which seeks to ‘develop start-up teams to co-found companies with serious growth ambitions’. Olsen, along with fellow programme delegates Lars-Kristian Opstad, Gry Løkke and Kjetil Rugland, took on the challenge of salmon’s sea lice issue, listening first to what farmers had to say about the problem. ‘We then examined available sea lice research publications from Canada, Scotland and Norway, all with a view to seeing whether or not it might be possible to draw the sea lice away for the salmon and into traps instead,’ she said. ‘A presentation given during the programme by Skretting also helped, revealing that sea lice use smell and near sight to find their way in the water column when looking for salmon.’ Putting all the research and presentation pieces together, the four delegates formed themselves into Blue Lice and set about creating a prototype trap. With that first trap yielding promising results, work began on the building of a commercial model for use in the more detailed trials which are being run this summer.

Left: Early results have been encouraging. Opposite: Blue Lice CEO

Karoline Sjødal Olsen and COO Lars-Kristian Opstad. Far right: Lars-

Kristian Opstad (near right) and his Blue Lice team.

08/08/2018 14:40:31

Trap on trial

have “toWemake

the sea lice believe that our traps are more attractive ‘salmon’ than the salmon themselves

‘The full-scale pilot in which we’re currently involved features four trap systems,’ said Olsen. ‘These are being tested near Stavanger in collaboration with the Norwegian farming company, Bremnes Seashore. ‘Our summer objective obviously involves assessing the effectiveness of the traps. To do that, however, we need to gain a better understanding of how many sea lice are present across the trial area. ‘We are therefore gathering new data each week and combining it with statistical data on how many sea lice are actually swimming in the water. ‘We need to know this in order to be able to assess the efficiency of our traps, as the ultimate

commercial judgement on our solution will depend on the percentage of sea lice which end up in our traps instead of on the salmon.’ If all goes well, the Blue Lice plan is to sell the first commercial traps this autumn, ahead of full manufacturing early in 2019. Karoline Sjødal Olsen spoke to Fish Farmer after Blue Lice was named as one of the top 10 finalists in the 2018 Nutreco Feed Tech Challenge, held at Wageningen University as part of F&A Next, a specialist event designed to enable agri and aqua startups meet potential sector investors. FF

Positive progress for young businesses AQUACULTURE start-ups MicroSynbiotiX and Hexafly are both making good progress, one year on from gaining prominence as winner and finalist, respectively, of Nutreco’s 2017 Feed Tech Challenge, writes Colin Ley. The two innovation businesses have each raised early stage development funding in the region of $1 million, money which they’re putting to good use according to Paul Finnerty, chair of the Irish division of the Yield Lab, an agtech investment company which is supporting both start-ups. ‘We invested in four businesses last year and are in the process of setting up investments in four more this year,’ he told Fish Farmer. ‘MicroSynbiotiX and Hexafly were two of our first four and they’re both doing well.’ MicroSynbiotiX’s winning idea is an oral vaccine development and delivery process, created in San Diego in the US, and Cork, Ireland, by co-founders Antonio Lamb and Simon Porphy. Their process involves the use of a genetically modified microalgae as a delivery vehicle for administering vaccines to farmed fish, potentially enabling producers to move away from injection based vaccinations. Hexafly, based in Co Meath, Ireland, uses waste from the distilling industry as a breeding base for flies, kept within a carefully contained environment, from which it produces a high protein aquaculture feed, alongside two other products. ‘Our model is to invest EUR 100,000 in early

Blue Lice.indd 59

stage developers, alongside other co-investors, while also giving mentoring support to our selected start-ups,; said Finnerty. ‘There is a crushing requirement for capital for such businesses at this stage in their development. ‘As part of our first-year mentoring programme, we took all four of our companies to St Louis, US, (the Yield Lab’s north American base) to introduce them to potential partners and follow-on investors, an operation which has worked well for them.’ MicroSynbiotiX is currently nearing the completion of challenge trials for its process, while Hexafly recently moved from a test facility into its own premises in preparation for future production. ‘Agtech developments are always driven by need, which is certainly true of both these companies,’ said Finnerty. ‘The world needs to produce food more sus-

tainably and in a more environmentally friendly manner than we are managing at present, and these two processes hit those targets.’ The big hope for MicroSynbiotiX and Hexafly is that they will be able to progress along similar lines to the 20 businesses already supported by the Yield Lab in the US. ‘The 20 companies we’ve backed over the last four years in the US have gone on to raise a total of $90 million of next stage capital between them,’ said Finnerty. ‘While finding early stage funding is a hardship, therefore, it’s good that capital is more readily available for the follow-on process. It definitely gives our companies somewhere to go next. ‘It is a complex business, however, even for those who start out with very good people and a very good idea. You also need all the other component parts, such as equipment suppliers, marketing teams and potential customers, to come together at the right time as well.’ Above: Nutreco 2017 Feed Tech Challenge jury members with the winning team (left to right) Adam Anders, managing partner at Anterra Capital; Viggo Halseth, chief innovation officer at Nutreco; Kwang-Chul Kwon, MicroSynbiotiX; Antonio Lamb, MicroSynbiotiX; Prof. Daniel Berckmans of KU Leuven; Prof. Johan Verreth, Wageningen University and Research, and Dr. Jason Clay, senior vice president market transformation at WWF.


08/08/2018 14:40:59

World news – Australia

Barramundi on the move

Family run farm in Australia’s remote Northern Territory has big plans


OB Richards admits that he didn’t quite know what he was doing when he took on a barramundi farm in a remote corner of Australia’s Northern Territory, more famous for its crocodiles than its aquaculture. Today, his family owned business, Humpty Doo Baramundi, is the largest producer of salt water barramundi in Australia and has recently secured a $28.7 million loan from the federal government to fund a major expansion. In 25 years, Bob, his wife and business partner Julii Tyson and their sons have built up the farm from an annual harvest of 300kg to 3,000 tonnes and they have ambitions to grow this to 12,000 tonnes. Talking to Fish Farmer at the recent AquaVision conference in Stavanger, which attracted about 50 Antipodean visitors, Bob said they continue to co-exist with the crocodiles - regular visitors that are treated with ‘great respect’ - but now operate an increasingly sophisticated farm. This includes computer controlled feeding technology and advanced fingerling production, in an enterprise that contributes $10 million to the regional economy and employs 50 staff, with a further 150 people in supporting industries. Bob first became involved in 1993 after a friend was looking for investors for the fledgling farm, located in a tidal salt water estuary on the banks of the Northern Territory’s Adelaide River, halfway between Darwin and Kakadu National Park. He had a background in agricultural science and had been working for the Northern Territory government as an environmental regulator. His kids had grown up and he was getting bored so he decided to quit the day job. When the other investors eventually pulled out, he took over the farm himself. ‘It was an enormously ambitious project,’ he said. ‘We used our own labour and improvised. There was no infrastructure, no road, no power supply or water supply.’ They had to carry water 6-7km in the dry season, and they used a generator for power. Later, they put in a water pipeline, and mains power arrived, and an all-weather road. ‘But the other thing was we didn’t know what we were doing!’ Sourcing juveniles was a major problem. A government hatchery supplied these to begin with but it was not a reliable supply. ‘Then, when we did get them we didn’t know how to look after them,’ said Bob. When at night they had to adjust the hydraulic connection to the river, Bob said they shone a torch around to see if the crocodiles were there. Added to the potential dangers, there were flies and mosquitoes everywhere in the tropical landscape – ‘it was far from an ideal set-up’, he said, but he persevered because ‘I believed in it and it was an adventure’.


Humpty.indd 60

Above: Dan and Bob Richards at Humpty Doo. Right: Dan, Julii and Bob at the AquaVision conference in Stavanger in June

08/08/2018 14:37:26

Barramundi on the move

There was much trial and error in the early days. His brother in law, one of the shareholders, was a mechanic by trade so he improvised a lot of the technical side of things, and transport was provided by another shareholder who was the truck driver. His sons, Dan and Jim, would help out with farm operations on weekends and during vacations while studying at university, and Bob and Julii would get up before dawn to pack the fish in Styrofoam beneath the house. A major turning point for the company, said Bob, came when the World Aquaculture Society held its first conference in Australia, in Sydney in 1999. He could hear others’ stories and then, in 2002, he won a Churchill Fellowship which funded an international study tour of leading aquaculture systems around the world. It was during this that he acquired the knowledge to develop Humpty Doo’s unique production system. There was significant progression in getting a

Humpty.indd 61

reliable supply of fingerlings when Marine Harvest set up a farm nearby and the government started a hatchery. Bob had tried to hatch his own fry but this proved unsuccessful. These days he buys them at around 0.1-0.2g from commercial hatcheries in Australia. They grow them on to 50g in their nursery and then stock them, aged three months, in earth ponds. There are 46 of these, around 80-90m square, and the fish are on-grown for another six months to 600g to be sold portion sized. Some fish are kept back for a further three months or until they are around 3.5g. Orders come in from different customers, mostly wholesalers who sell them on to restaurants or the food service industry, with the main markets being in Australia. The BAP certified farm has strong environmental credentials, and uses no antibiotics, no hormones, and no artificial growth promoters. And water is re-used, circulating through a purpose built wetland system which cleans the water before it re-enters the ponds, minimising the need to release water back into the Adelaide River. There was a significant expansion of the farm in 2012, and hand sorting has given way to a state-of-the-art fish sorting and packing facility with custom designed chiller room, installed in 2014. The farm has been growing at the rate of 30 per cent a year, said Bob, and the low interest government loan, part of a scheme to develop

was “farItfrom

an ideal set-up but I believed in it and it was an adventure

” 61

08/08/2018 14:37:45

World news – Australia

White fish equivalent of salmon AUSTRALIA’S barramundi industry has reached a watershed moment, said Dan Richards in his Nuffield scholarship report. He used his scholarship to test the legitimacy of industry claims that barramundi could become the next Atlantic salmon, travelling to 20 countries looking at different aquaculture operations. ‘The industry is on the move, and I wanted to use my Nuffield scholarship to unearth opportunities and work out how we can capitalise on them as an industry,’ he said. At a scholarship conference in Cavan, Ireland, he discovered the potential created by genetics. ‘Genetically, barramundi is a hardy and adaptable animal to farm across a variety of farming systems,’ he wrote. ‘They are tasty to eat, have good growth rates, and while there is potential for them to experience some skin and flesh discolouration, research and development has been limited and I’m confident that vast improvements can be made in this area. ‘Beyond genetics, I wanted to understand what the most successful aquaculture nations were doing and my time in Norway, a major salmon producing nation, was very informative. Norway are completely dominant in aquaculture. We’re doing well, but to put it in perspective, our barramundi production today is as high as Norwegian salmon production was in 1979. ‘Norway has a number of natural advantages that are key to the industry’s success, like ample clean water, a protected coastline and a sparse population. ‘However, they have also been heavily focused on research and development, regulatory improvements and product marketing. ‘In particular, the salmon industry have been adept at developing a range of consumer ready products that are easily identifiable in the market,’ he said. In Australia, market differentiation of barramundi based on its attributes, country of origin labelling and point of difference is lacking. ‘We don’t do a great job of labelling our fish. Ninety per cent of Australians think they are eating Australian barramundi when they consume the fish in Australia, despite the majority of barramundi consumed domestically being imported. ‘The demand and market potential is there, but the management of this potential needs improvement,’ he said. The report also touches on the significant risks posed to the Australian aquaculture industry by imported barramundi products. ‘Travelling in South East Asia, I encountered barramundi farms that are threatened by serious diseases that can lead to mass fish mortality,’ said Dan. ‘The threat is so prevalent that these farms have to vaccinate regularly during production. ‘At present, there are few serious viral diseases endemic to Australia, but if these diseases were to make their way here the impact could be significant. ‘Prevention is always better than cure, and enhancement of our biosecurity regulations around imported barramundi is a simple first step that we need to take. ‘There is significant opportunity to grow the Australian barramundi industry and capitalise on the natural advantages we already have. ‘If we can get these things right, we are extremely well positioned to become the white fish equivalent to salmon, and the industry has the potential to become a significant contributor of fresh food, employment and revenue,’ he said. To read Dan’s report visit Above: Humpty Doo barra crispy fillet


Humpty.indd 62

08/08/2018 14:38:22

Barramundi on the move And it inspired him to think big: in his subsequent report (see box) he suggested that barramundi was well positioned to become the white fish equivalent to salmon. ‘The industry in on the move,’ he said. FF

Loan will help boost production

There is “ opportunity

to grow the industry and capitalise on the natural advantages we have’

HUMPTY Doo Barramundi was given a loan of $28.7 million from the Australian government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), spread over five years and matched by funding from external sources such as banks. The company will also match the NAIF loan with its own $28.9 million investment in a three stage project to expand its facilities, introduce solar power generation, improve aquaculture practices and increase production. northern Australia and provide employment The assistance through the NAIF loan enables the Richards family for indigenous people, will likely see them take to keep Humpty Doo Barramundi as a family farm without the need on more staff. for private equity or foreign investment. There is a big transient population in the The fifth generation Northern Territory family will also use the Northern Territory – a state of one million NAIF loan to provide opportunities for long term employment and people that is physically half of Australia - and Humpty Doo often hires young people passing training for more than 100 full time employees in the Northern Territhrough, offering them jobs and then sponsor- tory aquaculture industry over the next five years. The three stage project supported by the NAIF loan will: ing their residencies. • Expand the Australian grown barramundi aquaculture industry, The company regularly supports local Charles helping to make Australia self-sufficient in barramundi supply Darwin University aquaculture students and reduce the need to import barramundi and the associated through work placement opportunities, and biosecurity risks into Australia – currently, around 60 per cent of has worked with the Australian government to ‘barramundi’ consumed in Australia is imported; provide employees with nationally accredited • Enable Humpty Doo Barramundi to create skills training and emtraining. ployment opportunities for indigenous Australians and enterpris‘Investing in the right people and building the es in line with its Indigenous Engagement Strategy; capacity of our team is a major focus of the • Provide the opportunity for Australian grown barramundi to be business,’ the company says on its website. recognised as Australia’s premium white fish; Humpty Doo also has an Indigenous Engage• Enable the Northern Territory to become the main supplier of ment Strategy to develop and deliver opportu100 per cent Australian grown barramundi; and nities for Aboriginal people in aquaculture. • Improve Humpty Doo Barramundi’s already impressive sustainCommunity engagement extends to farm ability credentials with the move to day time carbon neutral visits – Dan Richards said he sometimes takes operations by developing a four megawatt solar farm. four groups out in a day to see the farm and he welcomes television cameras, chefs, politicians, ‘anyone who is interested’, including Saudi entrepreneurs who came to look at the farm before investing some $200 million in their own project back home. And Humpty Doo also works with the Palmerston Game Fishing Club to run a skills workshop for their junior members on the farm. Dan said they are able to co-exist with sports fishermen and the wild fisheries sector mainly because Bob ‘is always talking to them and explaining what he is doing’. Like his father, Dan, who joined the company as a full-time employee in 2007, was also given the opportunity to broaden his experience when he was awarded a Nuffield scholarship two years ago. This allowed him to travel extensively and observe aquaculture operations Above: Barramundi around the world.

Humpty.indd 63


08/08/2018 14:38:39

World news – Africa

Nigeria, catalyst for change Overcoming challenges to boost catfish and tilapia production BY HARRISON CHARO KARISA


IGERIA is Africa’s second largest producer of farmed fish with an annual production of about 300,000 tonnes. Total fish consumption in the country is about 2.1 million tonnes per year, with aquaculture and capture fisheries together contributing 55 per cent, while some 800,000 tonnes (45 per cent) of the deficit is offset by imports. With the high population growth (Nigeria now stands at 184 million people), this deficit is likely to increase unless remedial measures are taken. Nevertheless, the current level of fish consumption by the rural poor is low, due to prohibitive costs, and its contribution to nutrition is unknown. Inadequate consumption of fish affects the health of many rural poor, including children, who are often stunted. In Nigeria, 80 per cent of all farmed fish production consists of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus), with Nile tilapia just emerging but predicted to be a major player in the future. Compare this with Egypt - Africa’s largest producer of farmed fish – where 80 per cent of farmers are engaged in the production of Nile tilapia. With more than one million tonnes of Nile tilapia production, Egypt is the third largest producer of this species in the world. Egypt and Nigeria are the leading producers, respectively, of Nile tilapia and African catfish in Africa, the two leading aquaculture species on the continent.


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Below and right: Cage culture in Nigeria - tilapia may one day overtake catfish production

Research organisation WorldFish (see box) is now developing a programme in Nigeria geared towards fostering strong partnerships that will help further the country’s aquaculture sector. WorldFish has in the past pioneered innovative scientific solutions to fisheries and aquaculture challenges globally. Best known for the Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT), which was developed in the Philippines, WorldFish has spread this technology to many parts of the world with impressive results. The introduction of selective breeding programmes for Nile tilapia in Egypt led to an improvement of almost 30 per cent in growth and yield (Rezk, et al., 2009; Ibrahim et al., 2013). But while selective breeding has helped increase tilapia productivity in Egypt, Nigeria has had no such programme for any species, and has relied on local, unimproved strains or on erratically imported African catfish elite strains.

08/08/2018 14:29:30

Nigeria, catalyst for change

For improved production and food security, the development of improved strains of these species and creation of a selective breeding programme is required. Nigeria can act as an important catalyst for this change in the continent as long as constraints that affect its production are dealt with. Challenges The aquaculture sector has remained relatively small in the country due to a number of challenges and constraints. These include: i. Poor seed performance, which results from the use of genetically poor and mismanaged parent stocks for both African catfish and Nile tilapia. Furthermore, there appears to be a general lack of identification of individual brooders during mating, allowing the effects of inbreeding to set in quickly. Fish hatcheries have exacerbated the problem by bringing a number of different strains into

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the country without proper management systems or knowledge of the sources. A case in point is the importation of the Chitralada strain of Nile tilapia from Thailand, purporting to be GIFT. Both the Chitralada strain of Nile tilapia from Thailand and TilAqua from the Netherlands were introduced without a broodstock management plan, although the fish came in through a quarantine facility and with government approval. To stop further genetic erosion of germplasm, WorldFish will work with partners to establish selective breeding programmes for Nigeria based on local strains or on elite strains such as GIFT, establish a system of dissemination and teach hatcheries and farmers how to handle the fish at different levels. ii. Cost of feed is too high – and this is compounded by poor feeding and feed management methods that are not in line with the best management practices (BMP). Fish feed is the most expensive component in fish farming operations and can take up to 70 per cent of the total costs. As a result, fish farmers have been known to utilise a mixture of better quality commercial (but often expensive) and cottage or on-farm made feed (often low-cost but of inferior quality). To lower costs further, a diversity of feed ingredients are used with-

Nile “ tilapia is just

emerging but predicted to be a major player in the future


08/08/2018 14:30:38

World news – Africa

out knowing whether they fulfil the nutrient requirements of the species or whether they lead to fish fillets with all the necessary human requirements as food fish. Such practices eventually affect the quality of the final product in terms of the fatty acids composition, protein content and other carcass traits. Furthermore, the lack of feed standards makes it difficult to meet quality assurance requirements. WorldFish will lead in the formulation of high quality fish feed using local sources of ingredients to lower costs and improve quality. iii. Weak farmer associations: two major farmer associations exist in Nigeria, targeting African catfish and tilapia farmers. They are the Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN) and the Tilapia Aquaculture Developers Association Nigeria (TADAN). These are both registered societies representing thousands of farmers in Nigeria. CAFAN, for instance, supports and promotes catfish farming and addresses issues pertaining to catfish farming at a national level by engaging with the government,


Nigeria.indd 66

and has direct access to farmers throughout the country. These associations are important partners for WorldFish to engage with in its fish programme. However, they need further strengthening to ensure that they truly represent the small-scale farming sector in Nigeria. iv. Dependence on few culture systems: more than 90 per cent of the farmed fish in Nigeria is earthen pond based with a few tanks and recirculation systems. Apart from high cost of construction, ponds have the least yield per unit area and are more vulnerable to climate change. Cage farming of tilapia has been undertaken in Lake Oyan since 2005, with different investors testing the farming of a variety of tilapia from diverse sources. Cages allow for higher stocking densities of 100 kg/m3 tilapia and grow-out to between 500-800g on average in eight months. WorldFish will work towards ensuring optimisation of the culture systems and reduction of environmental footprints through capacity building and the training of farmers in best management practices.

Catfish will likely continue to be farmed in earthen ponds, tanks and recirculation systems but not necessarily in cages. The vision for Nigeria tilapia farming is that it should grow just in the same way as Nile tilapia farming in Egypt, so tilapia farming could surpass the culture of African catfish in the country. In the past year, WorldFish has worked with partners to bring about a number of key developments in the establishment of its Nigeria programme. These include the country scoping and completion of the value chain assessment led by the University of Ibadan, and the approval for funding of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) programme by the Board of the African Development Bank. The aquaculture value chain compact under TAAT, which is being led by WorldFish, will be undertaken in several prioritised African countries - Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria, from where it will be coordinated. Since Nigeria also hosts the Regional Aquaculture Centre of Excellence, under West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), CORAF

08/08/2018 14:32:06

Nigeria, catalyst for change

and nutrient use efficiency in 200,000 tonnes of annual farmed fish production; * 110,000 ha of ecosystems restored through more productive and equitable management of small scale fisheries resources and restoration of degraded aquaculture ponds. Harrison Charo Karisa is WorldFish country director for Egypt and Nigeria. FF

Role of WorldFish in developing vital sector WorldFish is an international research organisation focusing on fisheries and aquaculture research and development. The mission of WorldFish, a member of the Consultative Group of International Agriculture Research organisations (CGIAR), is to strengthen livelihoods and enhance food and nutrition security by improving fisheries and aquaculture. In line with CGIAR’s research programme on fish agrifood systems (FISH CRP), WorldFish’s strategy for 2017-2022 prioritises the expansion of research programmes into focal and scaling countries in Africa. This is a means for responding to emerging opportunities for partnerships, influence and impact in fisheries and aquaculture development globally. Nigeria has been chosen as one of WorldFish’s focal countries. With over 25 per cent of Nigerian youth currently unemployed, it is hoped that the full development of the aquaculture value chain will go a long way to creating much needed jobs.

is “tooThehighcostandof feed this is

compounded by poor feed management methods

will have a major role to play in establishing the WorldFish research programme in Nigeria. Future targets for Nigeria include: * 350,000 producer households adopting improved breeds, aquafeeds, fish health, and aquaculture and fisheries management practices; * 190,000 people, of which at least 50 per cent are women, assisted to exit poverty through livelihood improvements related to fisheries and aquaculture value chains; * 120,000 people, of which 50 per cent are women, without deficiencies of one or more of the following essential micronutrients: iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin A, folate and B12; * 130,000 more women of reproductive age consuming an adequate number of food groups; * 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and 10 per cent increase in water

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Above: More than 90 per cent of the farmed fish in Nigeria is earthen pond based

but cage farming of tilapia could grow in the same way as Nile tilapia farming in Egypt


08/08/2018 14:34:15

AquaGen – Advertorial

Graze anatomy

Sustainable production of lumpfish through breeding


TLANTIC salmon and rainbow trout breeding company AquaGen is taking on the challenge of breeding a healthy and efficient sea lice grazer. In collaboration with Namdal Rensefisk, one of the largest lumpfish producers in Norway, AquaGen has established a breeding programme for lumpfish as part of its sea lice protection strategy for Atlantic salmon. AquaGen is responsible for the development of a genetically improved breeding stock, and Namdal Rensefisk for broodfish for egg production. ‘We are delighted to have initiated a collaboration with Namdal Rensefisk, which is a dedicated and successful lumpfish producer,’ said AquaGen’s CEO, Nina Santi. ‘AquaGen’s high-end egg product GEN-innovaGAIN provides our customers with a salmon that has been selected for superior growth, high handling tolerance and sea lice resistance, compared to other products available today. ‘Combining GEN-innovaGAIN with an improved lumpfish will give customers an additional preventive tool in their sea lice protection strategy.’ Namdal Rensefisk started producing lumpfish in July 2016, and by June 2018 had produced more than 2.5 million fish. The company now anticipates an annual production of two million fish per year. Namdal Rensefisk is owned by salmon farming companies Bjørøya Fiskeoppdrett, Marine Harvest, Midt Norsk Havbruk, Nova Sea, Emilsen Fisk, and AquaGen. The aim is to produce an improved lumpfish for the


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Top: Namdal Rensefisk production biologist Nina Iversen. Right: Lumpfish milt frozen in liquid nitrogen. Opposite page (top): Head of lumpfish breeding programme, Maren Mommens; (below): Project worker Mona Rostad checks milt activity

owners, but fish will also be made available to other salmon farmers. ‘A state of the art broodstock unit has been built alongside the production facilities, and this will play an important part in the new breeding programme,’ said Santi.

08/08/2018 14:26:47

Graze anatomy

‘We have a strong focus on biosecurity, which is essential for producing healthy broodstock for egg production. ‘The new facility will also enable us to control maturation in our broodfish, which in turn will help us to meet the desired delivery time frames of eggs to market.’

Our goal is to reduce the high mortalities we see in lumpfish today

Knowledge based breeding AquaGen has developed a knowledge based breeding programme for Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout over the past 40 years, contributing significantly to the profitability and sustainability of the fish farming industry. The company’s extensive experience in developing and implementing traditional and modern breeding technologies is now being used to advantage in the new lumpfish breeding programme. Similar to the establishment of the AquaGen Atlantic salmon strain in the early 1970s, the new lumpfish broodstock will originate from several locations along the Norwegian coastline. This will ensure a high genetic variation, which is the key to a breeding programme. ‘As a first step in the development of genetic tools for the new breeding programme, we have already sequenced the lumpfish genome,’ said AquaGen researcher Tim Martin Knutsen. ‘This was achieved through an existing collaboration with the Centre for Integrated Genetics (CIGENE) in Ås, Norway, where we were able to use state of the art sequencing technology to produce a high quality genome. ‘The lumpfish genome will be used to identify

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genetic differences for traits such as disease resistance and sea lice grazing. ‘These genetic markers will then be used to select broodstock candidates to produce a new generation of improved lumpfish that carry these desired traits.’ Identifying genetic markers that will lead to resistance against Aeromonas salmonicida and Vibrio sp., the two most common infectious diseases in lumpfish in recent years, is one of the first goals in AquaGen’s breeding programme. ‘Our focus is on improving lumpfish health, since the survival of these fish is essential if they are to effectively control sea lice infection levels on salmon farms,’ said AquaGen researcher and lumpfish breeding programme coordinator Maren Mommens. ‘We will also identify the best sea lice grazers and use them as broodstock candidates.’ In Norway, the focus on cleaner fish welfare has increased and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has started a dedicated campaign that will improve monitoring of cleaner fish welfare over the next year. ‘Our goal is to reduce the high mortalities we see in lumpfish today, which in turn will reduce the need of salmon farmers to stock their net pens with cleaner fish throughout a salmon production cycle,’ said Mommens. Salmon farmers can look forward to the first generation of improved lumpfish from AquaGen and Namdal Rensefisk in 2020. FF


08/08/2018 14:27:09

Teijin Aramid – Advertorial


than steel Durable netting material helps decrease bio-fouling and reduce cost of farming

FF. What is Endumax? JK. Endumax is an ultra-strong Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) material produced in the Netherlands by Teijin Aramid. Eleven times stronger than steel, this material has been used in various applications requiring top-tier performance and reliability, ranging from ballistics protection to rope protection and nets. FF. How is Endumax different from other high-performance materials, including regular UHMWPE? JK. Unlike other UHMWPE materials, Endumax is not manufactured as a regular multifilament based yarn, but as a thin, ultra-strong film. In combination with the strength of UHMWPE, Endumax offers much higher wear and tear resistance, and better long-term stability.The production process makes it the most durable UHMWPE material available.That’s why Endumax is particularly effective in applications where longevity plays a vital role – in aquaculture nets, for example. FF. What is the background of Teijin Aramid? JK. Being a part of the Japanese based multinational enterprise,Teijin Group, Teijin Aramid has, over decades, evolved into the world’s leading producer of high-performance aramid fibers.Teijin Aramid is not only known for being a high quality producer of aramids, but also for complementing its products with other top tier materials such as Endumax UHMWPE, which is well known for its resistance qualities. FF. What led you to the development of Endumax for aquaculture nets? JK. It all started, quite by coincidence, with a discussion with local fishermen about the problems they encounter in their work. In particular, the abrasion and shrinkage of their nets. Realising the opportunity, and knowing the


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strengths of Endumax, we began collaborating with respected netting producers on fishing net designs, and we received very positive feedback from their customers. Building on this initial success, we then expanded our focus to include the aquaculture industry, where we felt we had even more to offer. FF. How is Endumax different from other materials used in nets for farming operations? JK. Generic UHMWPE material has already been used in aquaculture nets for some time and represents the strongest material at the lightest weight. It enables the use of the thinnest twine diameter; a significant improvement over materials such as nylon or HDPE. But the advantages of Endumax UHMWPE go much further. Endumax provides not only excel-

Top: Endumax material Above: Jakub Kral (business development Endumax). Below Benefits of nets made with Endumax for farming operations Opposite: Fish farm.

08/08/2018 14:25:06

Stronger than steel

It all “ started by

coincidence with a discussion with local fishermen about the problems they encounter

lent strength but, no less importantly, long-lasting strength stability, extraordinary durability and very low water adhesion. Moreover, Endumax visibly decreases bio-fouling activity on nets and makes them more efficient to clean. FF. How does all this translate into fish farming operations? JK. First and foremost, aquaculture nets made with Endumax reduce operational costs for fish farmers and make their operations more profitable.Thanks to the material’s durability qualities, nets last longer, require fewer repairs and inspections and still provide very good protection against predators and fish escapes. In addition, the structure of Endumax leads to less bio-fouling, hence lower expenditure on net coatings – or even none at all – and less cleaning. Last but not least, aquaculture nets made with Endumax are truly sustainable – both operationally and for the environment. FF. You say that nets made with Endumax are the most durable.That’s quite a bold statement – how did you arrive at it? JK. Improving the durability and wear resistance of applications has always been the cornerstone of Endumax material.The durability of nets is determined by many factors.These include the net’s long-term strength, abrasion and biting resistance, and chemical resistance. Because of its film struc-

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ture – and also the fact that nets with Endumax are high-pressure cleaned less often and, consequently, less abraded – Endumax outperforms other netting materials on each of these aspects, representing the best material for long-term achievement. FF. Bio-fouling is one of the biggest problems fish farmers face. How does Endumax help them tackle this issue? JK. Together with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), we discovered that the structure of Endumax is beneficial not only in extending the lifetime of aquaculture nets but that it also reduces the negative effects of bio-fouling on nets.Thanks to the lower surface area of net twine, fewer particles adhere to the nets and the volume of harmful anti-fouling coatings is significantly reduced, or even fully eliminated. Lower growth on nets means lower cleaning frequency, but it also allows cleaning to be more efficient, with less water being consumed. FF. Sustainability is one of the positive effects of Endumax nets; could you tell us more? JK. We do not see sustainability as a marketing tool like some companies might do. But, when we look at how Endumax helps the environment, the real results from operations and production matter to us. First of all, Endumax is produced solvent free, unlike regular UHMWPE yarn.The fact that no – or less – coating is required on the nets makes them easier to recycle. Second, with improved durability of nets and with less frequent cleaning, the amount of harmful coatings released into the environment is reduced or even fully eliminated.. FF. What are your future plans for Endumax in the aquaculture industry? JK. Our ultimate goal is to provide fish farmers with aquaculture nets that will uplift their operations and contribute positively to the environment.We will continue to put our best efforts into achieving this mission. Meanwhile, along with our partners, we will continue exploring other related applications where the longevity of Endumax could be beneficial, such as super-resistant lice skirts, capture fishing nets, and protective rope covers. For further information, contact Jakub Kral at or visit the company’s website at FF


08/08/2018 14:25:30

Neptune – Advertorial

Neptune barge in to Canada Artist impressions of the salmon delousing barge.

(high resolutions pictures are available upon request)

New vessel has 100 per cent environmentally friendly delousing system


HE salmon farm company Cermaq Canacombat the problem of sea lice infestation of salmon stocks, a problem da has commissioned Neptune Marine, faced by aquaculture companies the world over. the Netherlands based boatyard, to build Fish delousing will be carried out using Hydrolicer equipment from a new salmon delousing barge. The non the Norwegian company of the same name. This technique, develself-propelled vessel will be equipped with a oped in co-operation with CFlow Fish Handling, uses seawater under 100 per cent environmentally friendly Hydrolpressure to gently dislodge the sea lice. Because no chemicals are used, icer fish delousing system. the method is 100 per cent pollution free and thus environmentally Cermaq Canada is based in British Columbia. friendly. It farms Atlantic salmon at 28 sea sites around The Hydrolicer system can handle 50 tonnes of fish per treatment the coast of Vancouver Island. The company line. Cermaq’s vessel will be initially installed with four lines, with space is part of Cermaq, a globally operating salmon for an additional two lines if required. farming business that also has operations in The combination of Hydrolicer’s delousing system and a Neptune built Chile and Norway. vessel has already yielded successful results, according to Neptune Neptune is building the barge, which is 31m Marine’s Paul Kriesels. long, at its yard in Aalst in Holland. The Euro ‘We delivered a fish delousing barge with Hydrolicer equipment last Special Purpose Pontoon, to give it its full title, is year,’ he said. due for delivery in the first quarter of 2019. ‘It’s a great example of the co-operation between Hydrolicer, CFlow ‘We are very excited about the prospect of and Neptune – a combination that has a proven track record with exceldeploying an unquestionably environmentally lent production figures. sound solution to sea lice management,’ said ‘We have designed this vessel so that fish handling operations and Cermaq Canada’s sustainable development the control of the ship’s systems can be performed from one operator’s director, Linda Sams. chair. This will allow Cermaq personnel to prioritise their tasks effective‘We chose Neptune because of its commitly – and focus fully on the fish.’ ment to people, theof environment fish The logistics of Cermaq Canada’s salmon farming operation means Artist impressions the salmonand delousing barge. friendly innovation. We are committed to that its crews will not only work on the vessel but they will also sleep operating at best practice on board. Neptune will therefore be making the living accommoda(high resolutions picturesand areprotecting availablethe upon request) oceans in which we farm.’ tion as comfortable as possible, as well as ensuring that the vessel is Cermaq Canada will use the new vessel to self-sufficient.

Fish “ handling

operations and the control of ship systems can be performed from one chair


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08/08/2018 14:22:34

Neptune barge in to Canada

Above and opposite: Artist impressions of the salmon delousing barge

To accomplish this independence from shore-based supplies, the vessel will have water making and energy generation capacity. ‘We are very pleased to welcome Cermaq Canada as a new client,’ said Kriesels. ‘We understand the needs of the aquaculture industry and, by work-

ing once again with Hydrolicer and CFlow, we are looking forward to demonstrating our skills with system integration.’ You can find out more about the project and the company by visiting FF

Marine solutions that work for you

We design, build, repair, convert and mobilize vessels for the maritime industry including offshore, renewables, marine infrastructure and aquaculture. It is our aim to offer you the best solution through creativity, cooperation and flexibility. In other words, we work together. Neptune. Marine solutions that work for you.

T +31 (0)184 621 423

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08/08/2018 14:22:54

Nutriad – Advertorial

Feeders Digest

Replacement of marine ingredients moderates economic pressure on farmers


LOBAL aquafeed production is following the exponential expansion of aquaculture and reached close to 40 million tonnes in 2017, with a predicted annual growth rate of 5.5 per cent between 2015 and 2025 (Tacon and Metian, 2015). The increasing production volumes resulted for many aquaculture species in a continuous challenge of the farm gate prices and the profitability of the farm operation. In addition, all major aquafeed ingredients-including fishmeal, fish oil, vegetable proteins and oils, wheat flour, feed phosphates, additives, vitamins and minerals- have shown significant price fluctuations over the past years. The increasing replacement of marine ingredients by those of vegetable origin has moderated the economic pressure on farmers and feed manufacturers and allows for a continuing supply of aquafeed that can meet the volume required for the developing industry. Despite economic and volume considerations, feed formulations are not only about price, and the nutrient supply, absorption and utilisation from the new ingredients must be contemplated. The increasing inclusion of vegetable ingredients requires supplementation with essential nutrients such as cholesterol, omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA), phospholipids, amino acids, and trace minerals to compensate for the nutritional gaps introduced when replacing marine ingredients. A recent survey comparing commercial shrimp feeds manufactured in India shows that the increasing inclusion of plant ingredients between 2014 and 2016 led to an overall reduction of 16 per cent and 24 per cent in the levels of n-3 LC-PUFA and cholesterol, respectively (van Halteren and Coutteau, 2017).

(Figure 1)

Oils and fats are important sources of essential lipids and energy. Enhancing lipid absorption and utilisation is important to maximise the performing efficiency of the plant ingredients contained in commercial aquafeeds. A first group of digestibility enhancers that target the lipid components of the feed is emulsifiers. Phospholipids are well-known emulsifiers, with lecithin likely as the most common form of phospholipids used in animal nutrition. These are composed of one hydrophilic head group, consisting of phosphate group and glycerol, and two lipophilic fatty acid tails (Figure 1). The high lipophilic characteristic of phospholipids makes them excellent emulsifiers for water-in-oil emulsions (that is, limited amount of water is added to a lipid rich environment) such as production of margarines, but weak emulsifiers for the oil-in-water conditions (limited amount of lipids is added to a water rich environment) such as those of digestion in the gut.

You invest, they digest.

FORMULATE MORE WITH LESS Nutriad’s aqua team designed a unique range of functional feed additives to enhance digestive and metabolic processes. Species-specific solutions such as AQUAGEST® as well as a complete range of natural emulsifiers like LIPOGEST and AQUALYSO. They offer more options on ingredient choice, improving protein efficiency and creating a more sustainable aquafeed with less environmental impact. We would like to share our in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience with you. It’s good for you, and great for your fish and shrimp.

A AQ008-23

Interested? Find your local contact at


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08/08/2018 14:20:38

DISCOVER NUTRIAD’S AQUA HEALTH PROGRAM Nutriad’s aqua team works together with researchers and producers around the globe to develop an innovative range of health promotors and optimize their application under today’s challenging production conditions. Based on natural ingredients, these specialty additives reduce the impact of diseases and parasites on the productivity of fish and shrimp. Today, our aqua-specific product lines SANACORE®, APEX®, Digest AQUASTIM® and BACTI-NIL®, are applied in premium brands of functional feeds for fish and shrimp. Feed is much more than justFeeders nutrition.

Interested? Visit our booth #12 at EAS 2017, October 17-20, Dubrovnik

(Figure 2) More efficient emulsification in the gut environment is achieved through the use of lyso-phospholipids, a derivative of phospholipids following enzymatic hydrolysis. Lyso-phospholipids contain only one fatty acid tail (Figure 1). This structure makes them more hydrophilic than phospholipids, which translates into better capacity to disperse lipids, form smaller and increased number of micelles, and consequently into better absorption. The supplementation of the lyso-phospholipid based Aqualyso at 0.1 per cent and over 75 days to feed carnivorous European sea bass, with only 16 per cent fishmeal and the remainder vegetable protein, resulted in five per cent improvement in specific growth rate (SGR %/day) and four per cent reduction in feed conversion ratio (FCR) in relation to control (Figure 2). A second type of emulsifier is bile salts. Unlike phospholipids and lyso-phospholipids, the emulsifying capacity of bile salts originates from the flat steroidal structure, with the hydrophilic hydroxyl groups on the concave side and the lipophilic methyl groups on the convex side (Sarkar et al., 2016). The emulsification properties of bile salts are superior to phospholipids in that a high bile salt:phospholipid ratio promotes the formation of small size micelles that are more quickly transported to the enterocyte surface (Cabral and Small, 1989). Besides lipid emulsifiers, bile salts are

Oils and “fats are

important sources of essential lipids and energy

the major-end metabolites of cholesterol, and participate in cholesterol homeostasis and in the activation of the pancreatic lipase that enables fat hydrolysis into monoglycerides (Buchinger et al., 2014). These improvements in nutrient digestion, particularly of lipids, make bile salts a valuable tool when aiming to reduce the lipid inclusion levels in the feed formula. In a low temperature diet for trout, lipid reduction from 27 per cent to 23 per cent and supplementation of bile salts (Lipogest) reduced the cost of feed by five per cent without affecting growth and conversion efficiencies. Current trends in aquafeed formulation promote the application of digestibility enhancing additives such as lyso-phospholipids and bile salts which improve the absorption efficiency of major nutrients, particularly lipids, and the increasingly limited levels of essential nutrients. This implies the possibility of extracting more nutritional value of each kilogram of feed, and is particularly important when aiming to compensate for the depressed fat utilisation derived from high plant formulations and to reduce dietary fat levels without impacting performance. References can be requested from the authors (; w.nuezortin@

GENETIC SOLUTIONS FOR AQUACULTURE Family selection Marker assisted selection Genomic selection Triploidy validation

Sex determination Gene expression Pedigree calculation SNP discovery

your expert genetics partner

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08/08/2018 14:20:58

From the archive – September/October 1993

Success with sex reversed tilapia seed Dr David Little, seconded to the Asian Institute of Technology by the Overseas Development Administration UK, reports


ESEARCH, over the past eight years, at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), near Bangkok, Thailand, has refined techniques for producing predictable quantities of Nile tilapia seed that are suitable for hormonal sex reversal. The work built on earlier interest and studies in both the USA (Auburn) and the UK (Stirling) and is now producing results in the field with commercial hatcheries using the methods and stimulating the widespread adoption of sex reversed tilapia by farmers. The Nile tilapia is a huge, and largely unsung, success in Thailand. Government statistics show that after its introduction in 1965


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the Thai tilapia, known as the Chitralada strain, now ranks as the most important cultured freshwater fish in the country. The evidence is also on the streets and in the markets, with this low-cost fish present in large amounts and sold at a cheap price. Tilapia appears to be filling Below: Concentrating an important niche in providing low-cost animal protein to poorer broodfish in the hapa urban and rural people. for seed harvest. Opposite Quality is a problem, however, with growers reporting inconsistent (top): Size selected tilapia performance and seasonal shortages of seed fish. being sold. More than A recent seminar organised by the Thai Department of Fisheries and 50 tonnes are handled daily at Bangkok’s Sapan Charoen Pokhaphand company indicated the great interest in export Bla central fish market. of tilapia and a general upgrading in culture techniques. (below): Harvesting seed The sex reversed fish has established itself over the last two years from the mouths of among commercial farmers, particularly in Bangkok’s ‘tilapia belt’ – incubating females. the provinces surrounding the capital. Two large hatcheries, both producing 2-5 million fry/month, have developed the market for the fry using AIT’s technical assistance. A standard hormonal sex reversal technique is used, in which 17 alpha methyl testosterone is incorporated into a good quality, fine feed and fry are raised in hapas (originally simply inverted mosquito nets) over the first few weeks of life. After such treatment, fewer than 1 per cent of the fish are functional females, which effectively controls breeding in the pond as the fish mature. The wholesale price of MT-treated seed is approximately five times the price of untreated fish of the same size (US$0.8/100 fry compared to US$0.16/100 fry). The large numbers of first-feeding fry required to make this process economic are produced by the frequent harvest of seed from incubating female broodstock after natural spawning in large (120m2) nylon hapas. The undeveloped egg and yolk-sac fry are then incubated under hatchery conditions until the first feeding stage, when hormone treatment begins. This is different to the way most tilapia seed are currently produced in Thailand, whereby vast numbers of large fry are seined from shal-

08/08/2018 14:18:28

From the archive – September/October 1993

low earthen ponds in the border area between Chonburi and Chacoengsao Provinces in Eastern Thailand and sold via fish seed trading networks all over the country. These fish are of variable age and size, and unsuitable for sex reversal. Earthen ponds can be used to produce seed suitable for treatment, if first feeding fry are skimmed very regularly from the edges of ponds, but output/unit area is low and management needs to be intensive to maintain regular output and quality. There are many reports of producing tilapia seed in more intensive tank systems, and such methods have been compared with hapa-inpond and pond methods at AIT. Greater control over water quality allows the condition of broodfish and intensity of breeding to be maintained for longer periods, but start-up costs are much higher than the other two methods. In areas constrained by a lack of land and water, tank systems may well be viable, though. Hapas have been used most in the Philippines for spawning and holding tilapia fry. Normal practice is to remove fry after natural spawning and incubation. This limits the productivity of individual female fish and increases early losses, particularly through cannibalism. It has long been appreciated that early ‘robbing’ of eggs from incubating females reduces the interval between spawning, but this practice has only recently been scaled up to commercial proportions at AIT. The low female fecundity of tilapia means that any boost to individual productivity through improved broodfish management can have a great impact on system output. Large numbers of broodfish are, nevertheless, required for mass production and this influences the size of spawning units and their management. Traditional hapas are small and use considerably more hapa material and harvesting labour than the long and narrow ‘jumbo’ hapas used at AIT. The shape and size facilitates both the concentration of broodfish and removal of seed, as well as reducing costs. The locally made nylon material is cheap and durable and costs around US$1/m2 of hapa area. A major constraint on the commercialisation of such systems has been poor success during artificial incubation of Oreochromis eggs. Earlier research at the University of Stirling had shown the eggs to be very sensitive to infection, particularly by bacteria common in hatchery systems, and that this was exacerbated by poorly designed incubators. The UV light sterilisation units and inverted, round bottomed (soft drink) bottles developed to solve these problems have since been scaled up at AIT to handle the large numbers of eggs produced under commercial conditions. Poor incubation can be related to variable and often low egg fertilisation during natural spawning (usually around 60 per cent). The infertile eggs quickly encourage a bacterial broth in any incubator with a poor water exchange and/or poor filtration. Oreochromis eggs are heavy and yolky and suffer mechanical trauma if movement in the incubator is too turbulent, particularly close to hatching. High egg densities in suitably designed incubators are desirable, as the egg to egg contact promotes physical cleaning, rather like pebbles on a beach, and is more akin to the incubation process in the mother’s mouth. Twenty litre plastic drinking water bottles have been modified into incubation vessels and an improved version is under development. Recirculated water for the incubators is passed through slow sand filtration to maintain water of high bacteriological quality. After hatching, the fry are held until yolk-sac absorption in shallow, aluminium trays for first feeding. The natural reproductive biology again favours intensification, since fry are crowded during natural

Archive - Aug.indd 77

oral incubation at this stage of the life cycle. Fry density and flow rates are regulated to maintain gentle movement and the shallow tray design promotes rapid water exchange and optimal water quality. These techniques produce fry of a proven quality for sex reversal, as well as high seed productivity for a given pond area and number of broodfish. Losses through cannibalism and incomplete harvesting are minimised, as broodfish are handled intensively. In addition to careful management of egg and larval incubation, the sustained high output of fry requires the use of good quality broodfish feeds and the maintenance of good water quality. FF

Tilapia appears to be filling an “ important niche in providing low-cost animal protein to poorer urban and rural people


08/08/2018 14:18:59

Processing and Retail News

Scottish government urged to take on Pinneys

Loch Fyne teams up with garden centre chain

The Scottish government is being urged to buy the Young’s Seafood Pinneys factory in Annan which faces closure within a few months with the loss of more than 400 jobs. THE demand came from two Conservatives, the Scottish Secretary David Mundell MP and his son, MSP Oliver Mundell, who have also urged Young’s to release the site at a ‘knockdown price’. The two politicians said the ‘last thing Annan needed was the factory being left to slowly deteriorate’. They said they were writing to the Scottish government urging it to take on the ownership, management and marketing of the site. Meanwhile, the Scottish government repeated its pledge that it remains fully committed to looking at all options to keep

The Scottish government said it has been working to identify and support any potential new investor in the site. It recently announced £250,000 to help with the delivery of the Annan Action Plan and regenerate the local Above: David Mundell and Oliver Mundell area following the whatever form, back on closure of Pinneys. the factory operating the site.’ as a seafood producThe government Oliver Mundell tion centre. statement said the David Mundell (Dum- (Dumfriesshire) added: multi-agency Partner‘The Scottish governfriesshire, Clydesdale ship for Action on Conment has taken on and Tweeddale) said: tinuing Employment ‘The new South of Scot- sites in such situations (PACE) helped support land Enterprise Agency before. In the case of a dedicated jobs fair in loss making Prestwick or Scottish Enterprise the town. Airport, they bought should promote or ‘We remain absolutely redevelop the factory. the business as well as committed to explorfacilitating financial A pro-active approach ing all possible options support to other comis needed if we are for the site and are panies.’ going to get jobs, in working hard to try and

Young’s buys site for Grimsby expansion YOUNG’S Seafood is thought to have spent more than £1 million buying a 13acre site in Grimsby in readiness for future expansion in the town. The land is a former cold store and logistics base less than two miles from its main fish dock production factories. The site was on the market at £1.5 million, but the final

Above: Grimsby


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selling price is not known. However, it is clear that Young’s is preparing for a long term expansion of its Grimsby operation. The site originally belonged to Christian Salvesen, the former Scottish fishing and transport company, before passing to the French logistics business Norbert Dentressangle. It was bought by XPO Logistics three years

ago, but closed down in the spring of 2017. Young’s has enjoyed a roller coaster ride since the beginning of the year, with rising sales and profits from its operations both at home and in the United States. In April, it was put up for sale by its private equity owners with the hope that a deal can be completed before Christmas.

Knockdown price approach “Aispro-active needed if we are going to get jobs back on the site

achieve a positive outcome in this regard.’ Labour MSP Colin Smyth (South of Scotland) said he thought the site should be handed over by Young’s with no suggestion of any payment being made for it. Young’s has yet to comment.

New processing role created

YOUNG’S has announced the appointment of Billy Storer as head of operations at its Humberstone Road site in Grimsby. He will take on responsibility for all manufacturing operations at Humberstone Road and Annan Port Street (scampi) sites. The new role will oversee the expansion of the Humberstone Road site as it becomes the company’s largest facility. With more than 30 years of leadership experience across food and drink manufacturing, Storer joins Young’s from 2 Sisters Food Group where he was site director for its Ready to Eat and Ready to Cook factories in Derby. He has previously held senior operational roles across Premier Foods, ABF, United Biscuits, Kraft Foods and Molson Coors. The creation of this new role follows recent growth at the Humberstone Road and Annan Port Street sites. ‘Increased volume at our Annan scampi capacity, new contract wins in natural salmon and coated fish and the construction of an extension at the Humberstone Road site will be managed by Billy to meet the business’s growth and strategic objectives,’ said a company press release.

LOCH Fyne Seafood has teamed up with one of Britain’s largest garden centre chains in an enterprising deal . Visitors to more than 30 Dobbies Garden Centres across the UK will now be able to purchase fresh oysters, mussels and smoked salmon with their clematis and lawnmowers. The partnership was unveiled at the first Loch Fyne seafood counter based at the Dobbies outlet in Livingston, West Lothian. Under the arrangement, fresh seafood will be regularly delivered to each store and staff, specially trained at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar and delicatessen in Argyll, will be on hand to advise customers about the seafood products on offer. Cameron Brown, managing director of Loch Fyne Oysters said: ‘Dobbies’ customers can now go home with smoked salmon or fresh oysters knowing that exactly the same products are being served to diners in the finest hotels in the world.’

08/08/2018 14:14:52

Processing and Retail News

Icelandic group seals Spanish deal ICELAND Seafood International (ISI) says it has finalised the acquisition of Solo Seafood (the company which owns Icelandic Iberica), enabling it to become a fully integrated European industry powerhouse. The deal creates a combined group with sales of more than €400 million. Icelan-

dic Iberica is one of the leading seafood suppliers in the southern European market, with a turnover of €120 million and pre-tax profits in excess of €4 million. With its extensive product range, including cod (bacalao), Argentinian shrimp, cuttlefish and hake, and processing capacity in

Spain and Argentina, the company has seen strong growth in sales and profit in the last few years. Solo Seafood is a company owned by various interests comprising Sjávarsýn, Fisk Seafood, Jakob Valgeir and Nesfiskur, Ásgeirsson. along with Icelandic The combined venIberica‘s managing dor group will become director, Hjörleifur

long term shareholders and suppliers of Iceland Seafood

International. Iceland Seafood International said it will continue its strategy of acquiring strong value added companies in key markets. It will now operate seven factories globally. ISI has a fully integrated seafood supply chain with 3,000 customers in 45 countries, including Scotland.

Saucy Fish lift for frozen sales THE award winning Saucy Fish brand has given frozen seafood sales a huge boost in many of Britain’s best known supermarkets. The business, owned by Seachill, said that since launching into frozen last year and securing listings with Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Ocado and Amazon Fresh, some 69 per cent of its spend has been incremental to the frozen fish category as a whole, according to Kantar WorldPanel.

In other words, the brand is attracting new shoppers back to frozen at some of the UK’s biggest grocers. The Grimsby based company said it has continued to grow its frozen following at Tesco, for example, by attracting younger and more affluent consumers to frozen fish. Its ‘Frozen Just Got Cooler’ marketing campaign reached more than 105 million consumers, using innovative formats to capture Saucy’s new gener-

Hull celebrates seafood restaurant arrival

A NEW seafood restaurant has opened close to where Hull’s once famous fishing fleet was based. Humber Fish Co has been launched in a former fruit and vegetable warehouse by local restaurateurs James and Paula Stockdale. The couple have invested £100,000 in their new venture, saying they aim to create an experience and environment to rival the best seafood restaurants in London. Chef James, who has almost 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, said: ‘With Hull’s maritime heritage, it’s really surprising no one has opened a trendy fish and seafood restaurant that reflects all that history. We’re putting that right.’

Processing News.indd 79

ation of frozen shoppers online. Sales and marketing director Amanda Webb said: ‘The past 12 months have been game changing for the Saucy Fish Co. We’re absolutely delighted to have introduced a new generation of younger shoppers to frozen fish, a category they wouldn’t usually consider.’ The Saucy Fish Co’s products are now available across the UK, and in Ireland, the US, Canada, France and Denmark.

Consumer expert to lead Seafood 2040 will bring all sectors of the CONSUMER affairs expert seafood industry together Alison Austin is to lead to lead and support the Seafood 2040, a strategic work set out in the Seafood framework for the seafood 2040 strategy and to hold supply chain in England. all partners to account for Austin, who is also a its delivery. Seafish board member, has ‘I am absolutely delighted more than 25 years’ expeto have been appointed as rience in various aspects the chair of the Seafood of the consumer issues, including a spell with Sains- Industry Leadership Group,’ bury’s. Seafood 2040 (SF2040) has been set up to identify how the industry can grow to meet the recommended consumption level of two servings of fish per person per week, while ensuring continued sustainability of supply in both the wild caught and aquaculture sectors. Austin will head a seafood industry leadership group to ensure delivery of the plan. When esAbove: Alison Austin tablished, the group

said Austin. ‘I look forward to forming the Seafood Industry Leadership Group and working to create a thriving industry, as well as encouraging consumption of fantastic, sustainable seafood.’ UK fisheries minister George Eustice said: ‘Alison’s proven commitment, passion and commercial expertise will stand her in good stead for delivering the vision of the Seafood 2040 project and I would like to congratulate her on this new role. ‘As we highlighted in our recently published fisheries white paper, Seafood 2040 will play an important part in supporting the long term sustainable growth and future economic success of the seafood chain in England.’


08/08/2018 14:15:17

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Industrial washing & drying

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08/08/2018 10:05:34

Opinion – Inside track

Plastic our problem too BY NICK JOY


HEN I was a young manager I was called to a site where two members of staff had apparently come to blows. When I arrived, the two men were sitting in the bothy, chatting and not looking as though there had been any fists exchanged. (Though I have seen a few fights and always marvelled at how unlike the Hollywood version they are and how few blows are landed.) Anyway, on discussing the matter with them and various other witnesses, it appeared that it happened like this. The two had spent the morning taking feed out to the pens. In those days it was exclusively plastic 25kg bags, and after each delivery they gathered up all the bags, rolling them tight into another bag to stop the possibility of releasing them. At lunch, one guy ate a packet of crisps and threw the bag into the sea, which inflamed the other guy, who asked: ‘When we have spent all morning packing bags to stop plastic going into the sea, why did you just do that?’ The crisp packet thrower replied: ‘That’s my packet and I can do what I want with it!’ – enough to provoke the other man, who said a few rude words and the fight ensued. As a society, we are extremely good at pointing out what everyone else should do. My wife and I spent a good bit of time one weekend recently cleaning up the rubbish left behind by campers at our local beauty spot. By rubbish I mean tents, burnt chairs and other various bits left in open sight. I will not go into the worst aspect of it, but it was a good example of how people like to see a lovely place but not look after it. I bet they would have complained a lot if they had arrived to find the site in the state they left it. We know so well what others should do. As fish farmers, we see the result of the throw away society. Every time a storm passes through we are left with piles of plastic bottles, and every other form that plastic can be made into. We have cleaned it up and cleaned the beaches only to watch another storm bring a new delivery. But I think we have an important tale to tell as an industry that has reduced its use of plastic hugely. There are very few plastic 25kg bags in the industry now. We do use tote bags and I am not sure if they are recycled, but I doubt that many of them end up in the sea. I have seen a fishmeal company that re-uses them on site and even repairs them. However, we still use too much polystyrene, despite trying to find alternatives, and if you add the packaging, then we, like many other foods, deploy a very large amount of plastic. It is time we spent a concentrated effort on this as, unlike agriculture, whatever plastic we use will come back to haunt us in the form of microplastics. These tiny pieces are spreading throughout our oceans and are found in many fish, and we need to start to innovate and find a way to avoid the damage. I was once taking a customer, who happened to be an ardent environmentalist, for a walk near our sites in Sutherland. We were walking in woods and I was waxing lyrical about why we had our company name put on to our bags. The idea was that people would know it was us and that we were responsible. In this way, we were accepting responsibility for


Nick Joy.indd 82

need “We to take

responsibility for the waste we create

disposing of our own rubbish. Imagine my horror when I looked over her shoulder and saw one of our polystyrene boxes impaled on a branch with the company name and logo printed on the side. It must have blown away from the head office, and although I had never seen one lost before or since, it was a chastening experience. As farmers, individuals and citizens we need to take responsibility for the waste we create. We have to pioneer new boxes to wholesale and new packaging on the shelves. We need to sponsor research into better packaging and encourage our customers to think along these lines. The reasoning is very simple: if we do not do this then we will be the recipients of the world’s mistakes. I need hardly point out the effect of PCBs and dioxins on our industry. They were released into the atmosphere by burning plastics but the people who did it didn’t see an effect in their market. If we want better behaviour this time then we must start encouraging it ourselves. FF

08/08/2018 14:11:01

Ace Aquatec.indd 83

08/08/2018 10:06:22

Latin American & Caribbean Aquaculture 18

Aquaculture for Peace October 23 - 26, 2018 Bogotรก, Colombia รgora Bogotรก Convention center

For more info on the CONFERENCE: For info on TRADESHOW & SPONSORSHIP:

The annual meeting of Hosted by OBC- Laqua 18.indd 84

08/08/2018 10:07:06

Fish Farmer Magazine August 2018  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

Fish Farmer Magazine August 2018  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977