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Seas are changing for the Australian Seafood Industry

Clifford Spencer

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Part two: AwF development in Malawi

o breed catfish first involves collecting breeders, both male and female, from fish ponds and then checking if the females have well matured eggs. The ones with well matured eggs that are at the correct stage in the next few days are put together with males of similar size who are ready to fertilise and are taken to a hatchery. But before putting them together a hormone is injected which induces the laying of eggs and affects the male ones to fertilise within 12 hours of the injection. The fish are left overnight and in the morning they are checked to see if the female has released the eggs and the eggs have been fertilised. Immediately, the female and male breeders are taken back to the pond and the eggs undergo a process of aeration for two to three days after which they hatch. For the smallholder farmers who may get scared with these demands and requirements of this business, AwF has heard their words and realise they can farm minus the part of developing their own hatchery. That requires a massive capital investment, which is beyond them and even more technical. There is a way to go around that by adopting an outgrowing system where they can just buy fingerlings from people who breed them in their hatcheries. Another factor that is holding back a majority of famers is the cost of the feed used making it beyond the reach of majority of rural smallholder farmers. On this front AwF will lobby/encourage the government’s assistance to come and help as the government already recognises the need to develop aquaculture in the country. It is felt that now is the time that government looked at subsidised aquaculture feed just like they did with fertiliser in maize production. The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development recognises the challenges the sector is facing, which among them is low access to capital for investment in fish farming and limited availability of improved fish production technologies. There are also a number of complimentary challenges affecting the fisheries industry in Malawi. It suffers overfishing along lakeshores and in shallow water bodies, partly due to weak enforcement of fishing regulations and unexploited deep-water fish resources, and insufficient production in addition to the stated lack of access to quality fingerlings and feed for aquaculture. Also South Africa, which is running aquaculture programmes recognises that Malawi is taking a lead and recognises that collaboration at country and institutional level will assist it tackle some of the challenges that it is currently facing. Whatever the outcome the potential in integrated fish farming is there for all to see and there is undoubted potential for Malawi to get to a position not only of self-supply of its own markets but also to export fish and fish products to enable the sector make a significant contribution on the country’s GDP. I also met with a member of the AwF US board in September for discussions centred on collaboration on our rapidly expanding portfolio of requests for assistance. This trend, which started at our stand at the very successful, WAS conference in Cape Town has since continued in that vein and collaboration within the AwF charities will be the key to ensuring all smallholder enquiries can be met with appropriate action. Part one of this column appeared in the October editions of International Aquafeed

Currently Mr Spencer leads the Global Biotechnology Transfer Foundation (GBTF), which is dedicated to promoting the potential for biotechnology to support sustainable, longterm, socio-economic development. He is also Chairman of Trustees for Aquaculture without Frontiers UK.

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n September the Conference Centre for Seafood Directions 2018 saw over 350 delegates from mixed industries participate in discussing the 'Sea the Future' and be introduced to ground-breaking new technology, research and ideas. Margy Osmond, Chief Executive Officer of Tourism & Transport Forum Australia urged the industry to recognise the potential of tourism for seafood businesses and to utilise the power of promoting Australian seafood to international tourists. For the first time at Seafood Directions, aquaculture had a dedicated stream, which was opened with a keynote by Thibault Giulioli, Chief Executive Officer of Indian Ocean Trepang (IOT) who addressed the audience on how IOT is transforming coastal communities in Madagascar for the better by teaching them Sea Cucumber farming techniques. Patrick Hone, executive director of Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, delivered the conference wrap-up featuring a series of challenges for industry to accomplish by Seafood Directions 2019. The conference concluded with the passing of the baton for Seafood Directions 2019 to Seafood Industry Victoria.

Finalists for 2017 Leadership and Innovation awards

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FFO is proud to announce the finalists for their 2017 Leadership and Innovation Awards. The winners of the awards will be announced at the Gala Dinner of the 57th IFFO Annual Conference, held in the vast and historic city of Washington DC. Once again, applicants came from a wide cross section of IFFO’s membership, showing examples of success from both small and large producers and traders from across the globe. The finalists have been chosen by the IFFO Management Board and are as follows: Aller Aqua Group, American Seafoods Co., Bioceval GmbH & Co. KG, High Fortune (China) Group Ltd, OMAURCI, SA and Sea Pride LLC. Andrew Mallison. Director General, IFFO commented, “This is now the third time that we have held the IFFO Awards and yet again we had a strong list of candidates.  These finalists have demonstrated impressive examples of leadership and innovation, traits that will ensure that our industry continues to go from strength to strength.”

10 | November 2017 - International Aquafeed

NOV 2017 International Aquafeed magazine