Page 20

FEATURE

GROWTH TRIAL AND CHALLENGE TESTING FACILITY OPENS IN THAILAND New facility can accommodate confidential, replicated growth trials designed to client specific protocols for freshwater, brackish water and marine shrimp and fish species

F

ollowing the successful launch of its disease diagnostics laboratory facilities in Bangkok, Thailand in July 2014, Fish Vet Group Asia Ltd has now opened wet laboratory and challenge testing facilities in Chonburi, 90 minutes south-east of Bangkok. The facility can accommodate confidential, replicated growth trials designed to client specific protocols for freshwater, brackish water and marine shrimp and fish species and both bacterial, for example Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and viral, including WSSV challenge tests.

Best bio-security practices

The unit, under the watchful eye of aquatic veterinarian Dr Leo Galli, is operated under best biosecurity practices. All incoming stock are screened at source and regardless of any accompanying specific pathogen free (SPF) status certification are only allowed into the facility after reconfirmation of their SPF status by conducting tests in the FVG Asia Ltd disease diagnostics laboratories in Bangkok.

Additional mandatory practices on site, include disinfection of incoming water, pipework and facility equipment.

The facilities

A series of 400-litre external nursery tanks are used to grow seed (shrimp PL’s or fish fry) to the preferred client stocking size before transfer into the external grow-out tank system which consists of 32 200-litre tanks. Each grow-out tank has its own internal bio-filter, and aeration supply and is an individual separate bio-secure unit. The growout unit has a double skinned roof and an external roof water sprinkler system to keep the ambient temperatures steady and at least 10 degrees centigrade less than the external midday air temperatures. Facilities, therefore, are ideal for feed/ growth trial work. Alarms alerting staff to disruption of the electricity supply, a back-up petrol generator and switch over back up air pumps ensure that electrical power is provided in the rare event of a power cut, or if there is a failure in any of the in-line air and water pump systems.

18 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | September-October 2015

High quality technical supervision

Day-to-day management of the unit is under the charge of Dr Andy Shinn, Senior Scientist, ably supported by three wet lab’ technicians who provide 24-hour operational coverage when required. An on-site laboratory is used for the preparation and evaluation of test diets, the evaluation and monitoring of stocked animals, preparation of samples for histology, and, the testing of routine water quality including pH, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, salinity and dissolved oxygen. Automatic data loggers routinely record water and air temperature and light intensity – this system will shortly be upgraded to the automated and real time iWise environmental monitoring system in the coming weeks.

Challenge tests

The facility has two challenge test suites for both bacteriology and virology-based work among other trial work. As with the external system, the rooms allow for the bespoke needs of each trial, but each can accommodate, for example, between 24 to

Sep | Oct 2015 International Aquafeed  

The September October edition of International Aquafeed