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International Aquafeed - Volume 21 - Issue 01 - January 2018

- The increasing usage of alternative fishmeal sources - Essential fatty acids in aquaculture - Breeding diversity into the future of aquaculture - Engineering shrimp aquaculture - Expert topic - Tilapia Proud supporter of Aquaculture without Frontiers UK CIO

January 2018

THE EDITOR Croeso - welcome

‘noise’ dictate different approaches for such studies. Also I am very wary of experimental A Happy New Year to all of our protocols that offer ‘snapshot’ data, readers and best wishes for 2018. where investigators might measure I am writing this editorial from the selected gene expressions and/or the offices of Perendale Publishers in gut microbiome of aquatic organisms Cheltenham, England, catching up and extrapolate to a wider context. with various commitments and projThere is a fine balance between data ects. It has been a very busy time for presentation in papers and interpretame over 2017, and this New Year will tion, and it has become almost standard be no exception for certain. Professor Simon Davies practice to include advanced molecular My role as an academic, and in International Aquafeed Editor ‘tools’ as a ‘bolt-on’ to fundamental external research and consultancy, nutritional studies. This is quite attracrequires good health and stamina tive when writing grants, but is open to for those increasing deadlines for writing reports. As well as meeting the needs for comprehensive criticism when the knowledge basis is scientifically weak in the information acquisition for peer reviewed papers, whether I am discussion section. forwarding to journals or acting as a reviewer. My latter func- Care and thought must be taken to whether conclusions from tion allows me to have a privileged insight into novel areas of trials are meaningful and repeatable, or even necessary to research in the best academic scientific journals, covering aqua- meet the needs of the general aquaculture practitioner or feed culture nutrition and feed technology. It is here I can give advice producer? towards improving manuscripts for subsequent publication, as In 2018 we will continue to publish our popular monthly magwell as unfortunately on occasion advising rejection (when data azine and the online editions. We engage with you on many or the written manuscript does not conform to the highest stan- platforms and also directly at trade shows, conferences and symposia. The magazine is a serious provider of advances in the dards expected). One area to mention, is the duration of fish feeding trials where aquafeed industry with regular news topics, interviews and speauthors conduct the study for a period where the fish have grown ciality features on fish and shrimp nutrition and feed ingredients by a small margin, and often less than double the initial biomass. (both in science and technology) or developments in commodiInferences are made regarding growth rates and feed conver- ties sourcing, raw material markets, and trending news. sions, where it is difficult to find strong statistical evidence to We continue to include our expert species topics as well as our popular photo-shoots. The advertising provides a basis for ‘who support claims. The increasing number of investigations relating to feed addi- is in the know’ in sales and the current commercial profile of this tives and supplements seek to find significant benefits to growth rapidly growing and lucrative sector of the agri-business area. and feed utilisation, but we need much more resolution and rep- I am sure that when I write the January 2019 editorial (my 10th lication power in such experiments with small inclusion levels. year) as your editor I will be looking back to a very eventful year It is quite difficult to find such gains and meeting economic merit and one of optimism and positive outputs. for fish or shrimp production in intensive systems, under both Please enjoy our first edition of this year and keep your articles laboratory or field conditions. The background variations and flowing!



NORWAY: Technology plays ... in aquaculture - page 40

STRESS RESPONSE: The increasing usage of alternative fishmeal sources - page 14

NORWAY: Ground-breaking fish stunning technology - page 44

FATTY ACIDS: Essential fatty acids in aquaculture - page 16

NORWAY: Improving salmon production in fish farms using light - page 46



EXPERT TOPIC: Tilapia - page 22

EXTRUSION: The aquafeed extrusion short course- page 52

Tilapia is the common name for nearly 100 species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. They are mainly freshwater fish, which inhabit shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes and less commonly found living in brackish water.

January 2018 Volume 21 Issue 01

Perendale Publishers Ltd 7 St George’s Terrace St James’ Square, Cheltenham, Glos, GL50 3PT, United Kingdom Tel: +44 1242 267700 Publisher Roger Gilbert



Editor Prof Simon Davies Associate Editor Dr Albert Tacon International Editors Dr Kangsen Mai (Chinese edition) Prof Antonio Garza (Spanish edition) Erik Hempel (Norwegian edition) Editorial Advisory Panel • Prof Dr Abdel-Fattah M. El-Sayed • Prof António Gouveia • Prof Charles Bai • Dr Colin Mair • Dr Daniel Merrifield • Dr Dominique Bureau • Dr Elizabeth Sweetman • Dr Kim Jauncey • Dr Eric De Muylder • Dr Pedro Encarnação • Dr Mohammad R Hasan Editorial team Zasha Whiteway-Wilkinson Alex Whitebrook International Marketing Team Darren Parris Tom Blacker Latin America Marketing Team Iván Marquetti Tel: +54 2352 427376 New Zealand Marketing Team Peter Parker Nigeria Marketing Team Nathan Nwosu Design Manager James Taylor


Industry News

22 Expert Topic - Tilapia 50 Industry Events

60 The Market Place

62 The Aquafeed Interview 64

Industry Faces

Circulation & Events Manager Tuti Tan Development Manager Antoine Tanguy

COLUMNS 4 Antonio Garza de Yta 6 Ioannis Zabetakis

©Copyright 2017 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. More information can be found at Perendale Publishers Ltd also publish ‘The International Milling Directory’ and ‘The Global Miller’ news service

10 Clifford Spencer

FEATURES 14 The increasing usage of alternative fishmeal sources 16 Essential fatty acids in aquaculture 18 Breeding diversity into the future of aquaculture 34 Salmon genetics: A new dawn in aquaculture biotechnology

THE BIG PICTURE - NORWAY The development of commercial aquaculture in Norway began around 1970, considering that Norway is predominantly coastal it is so no surprise that the intensive farming of Atlantic salmon is a very important activity, accounting for more than 80 percent of the total Norwegian aquaculture production. Now, although salmon is what Norway is famous for in the aquaculture circles, Norwegian technology suppliers have become more and more involved with warm-water aquaculture over the past decade. This leads on into what is now the world’s largest aquaculture technology exhibition, Aqua Nor. More on page 32

FISH FARMING TECHNOLOGY 38 Technology on display - Norway 40 Technology plays ... in aquaculture 44 Ground-breaking fish stunning technology 46 Improving salmon production in fish farms using light 48 Green technology makes sludge profitable

Bluestar Adisseo announces the acquisition of Nutriad


Antonio Garza de Yta Innovation: Key to the development of the economy and blue growth

irst of all, I would like to thank the 1,298 participants from 32 countries that attended the LACQUA 17 event in the City of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, last November. The resounding success obtained in Mexico ratifies LACQUA as the most important aquaculture technical event in the Latin American and Caribbean region. I am sure that the following editions in Colombia (2018) and Costa Rica (2019) will serve to continue consolidating the event internationally!! Congratulations!! Today I would like to talk with you about my last experience in Australia. My friend Roy Palmer, Executive Director of Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) worldwide, invited me to participate in the World Innovation Congress organised by the International Society for the Professional Management of Innovation (ISPIM for its acronym in English). I imagine you wonder what the hell did two aquaculture promoters do in a place where the most wonderful technological ideas are presented worldwide. Two things basically: The first, talking to a different audience than we always have. I think it is important to convince other actors at the global level of the relevance that aquaculture has in this world and the impact it will have on future generations. Second, talking about the Economy and Blue Growth. Recall that the Blue Economy is a concept adopted within the Rio + 20 Conference in 2012, where it is emphasised that the conservation and sustainable management of the oceans is a basic premise for healthy ocean ecosystems and a key point for the sustainability of ocean-based economies. Subsequently, FAO generated the Blue Growth initiative to support the development of this economy and exploit the potential of the seas. This initiative is based on four pillars: 1. Aquaculture 2. Fisheries, 3. The Value Chain and 4. Ecosystem Services. The idea, although not very recent, is quite innovative, and this is also why UTMarT is basing its future and development on this concept. It is amazing to see how people who have nothing to do with fishing and aquaculture radically change their way of seeing the future of world food; It is invigorating. We must continue talking about the future, about what we do, about what we are going to do. We have to keep imagining how, in not many years, we will be producing seaweed in the middle of the ocean in areas the size of Australia itself, moving resources sustainably through barges powered by solar energy and using that production to feed all kinds of cattle and fattening animals, including those produced through aquaculture; in addition to those directly intended for human consumption. We must also continue talking about how by 2050 aquaculture will be the most important source of animal protein and with the smallest environmental footprint on the planet and we are aware that to achieve this innovation will be a fundamental part of our lives. The world is changing, we spend a lot of time on things that do not get us anywhere, and sometimes we forget the primordial things. All of us involved in aquaculture have to adopt the economy and blue growth as our creed. Our success depends that the more than nine billion souls that will inhabit the world will feed on the best and most sustainable way possible. Let us dare to dream, to think big, and live according to our dreams; Let’s innovate and make them come true!

Antonio Garza de Yta, Ph.D in Aquaculture from Auburn University, President of Aquaculture Global Consulting, Director World Aquaculture Society and creator of the Certification for Aquaculture Professional (CAP) Program. He is currently Rector, Universidad Tecnológica del Mar de Tamaulipas Bicentenario. 4 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed


luestar Adisseo Company (“Adisseo”) announces the acquisition of Nutriad, a global feed additives producer. This transaction is part of Adisseo’s strategy to become one of the worldwide leaders of specialty additives in animal nutrition. Nutriad, a multinational company headquartered in Dendermonde, Belgium, operates four laboratories and five plants located in Belgium, Spain, the YK, China and the USA. The business generates gross sales of about US$100 million per year. A manufacturer of feed additives for more than 50 years, Nutriad has a solid product range in palatability, mycotoxin management and digestive performance. Next to poultry and swine they are also present in aquaculture, dairy and cattle. Adiesseo is convinced that a combination between Nutriad and Adisseo represents a highly attractive opportunity for both companies to build a strong worldwide franchise leveraging on complementary strengths. Nutriad’s product range, the species addressed, and its target markets are highly complementary to Adisseo’s and will allow the combined business to implement integrated solutions and offer even more value to customers. Jean-Marc Dublanc, CEO, Adisseo, commented, “Today we take another major step forward in delivering our strategy and we are thrilled to welcome the Nutriad team as they join the Adisseo family. We look forward to welcoming the Nutriad employees with their great knowledge and expertise. The acquisition of NUTRIAD supports our ambition for accelerating growth of our Specialties business in order to address our customers’ needs.” Together, we will set up an efficient organisation that should allow us to strengthen our global product portfolio’s competitiveness and its overall efficiency. We will also mutually benefit from respective strengths and global commercial coverage for product registration, sales, marketing and worldwide distribution network, with combined sales in more than 100 countries. Erik Visser, Nutriad, CEO, “We are excited to become a part of Adisseo because both companies are driven by the same ambition – to deliver the most innovative and practical fed solutions to our customers.”

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he 2018 Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards are now officially open for entry, enabling individuals and companies from all aspects of the industry to pit themselves against the crème de la crème of the UK’s aquaculture sector. The awards present a unique opportunity to recognise individuals, companies or organisations that have made the most significant contribution to the UK’s aquaculture industry over the last two years and entries and nominations are invited from the country’s producers, suppliers and academic institutions. Not only are they a means of celebrating and sharing best practice across the industry but they will also showcase the industry’s achievements to a wider audience, culminating in a spectacular awards dinner on the May 23, 2018, during the Aquaculture UK 2018 exhibition in Aviemore. Organised by 5m Publishing, and supported by a number of commercial partners as sponsors, all categories are free to enter. The awards, previously run by The Crown Estate, consist of 12 categories, including three brand new ones, and reflect the diversity of the UK aquaculture industry. As well as a thriving salmon sector, which is breaking all manner of records in terms of sales, the UK is also currently seeing a boom in the production of wrasse and lumpsuckers, an increase in farmed halibut and trout and new highs in mussel and oyster production.

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Enter now! Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards

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For this same spirit of recognition and reward to continue under the new Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards can only be a good thing for the sector, further fuelling ambition to not just deliver but continually drive forward best practice,” he adds. “We are delighted that the awards have been resurrected and will definitely be putting in an application for the same category this year,” says Dougie Johnson, sales director of Akva Scotland, who won the Supplier of the Year award in 2015. At a time when a new generation is being attracted to aquaculture it is also important to pick out the likely future leaders of the industry, whose potential is being celebrated through the debut inclusion of a Rising Star Award. And, while the winners of 11 of the categories will be chosen by a panel of eminent industry judges, this year a new award, ‘the People’s Choice’, will be chosen by the wider industry, giving all those present at Aquaculture UK, and further afield, the chance to vote for the people who’ve helped to inspire their careers in this thriving sector. These awards are open to everyone involved in the UK aquaculture industry, no matter how large or small. To find out more about each of the categories and to enter or nominate please visit and complete the online forms. All entries and nominations will be dealt with in the strictest confidence, the closing date for entries Monday March 5, 2018. The shortlists will be announced in early April and followed by the awards ceremony on Wednesday 23 May 2018 during the Aquaculture UK exhibition in Aviemore.


Periodic business matching program riend of the Sea will organise the new edition of its periodic business-matching program among certified seafood producers, processors, distributors and HoReCa companies. Friend of the Sea (FOS), one of the most important international scheme for the certification of products from aquaculture and fishing activities, chooses Aquafarm 2018 – February 15-16, 2018 at Pordenone Exhibition Center, Venice. The protagonists will be on one side fish farmers and fish producers certified by FOS and on the other side processors (e.g. preserving companies), distributors (Great Distribution) and users (HoReCa industry). The matching program will be organised in a dedicated area in the Aquafarm exhibition pavilion. The products certified by FOS come from all over the world and they include the most commercialised species, feed and Omega 3 products based on fish oil. Nowadays the companies that produce certified products are more than 500 from more than 60 countries. The products are more than 2000 belonging to more than 150 species. Paolo Bray, Friend of the Sea Board Director declared, “The first edition of Aquafarm has been an important moment of meeting with the leading market players. We decided to share with our certified companies an interesting business opportunity and valorise our presence through the organisation of business meetings with potential buyers interested in certified sustainable seafood. We trust that it will be an opportunity to discover the sustainable salt and freshwater products.” International Aquafeed - January 2018 | 5

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Ioannis Zabetakis 2018 and lipid polarity

018 is going to be a great year; a year where the myth of cholesterol, statins and Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) will become much weaker and research will further focus to other cardiovascular risk factors different to cholesterol. At the end of the day, cholesterol has been wrongly demonised and it is high time to put this right: what other factors are actually important in relation to the onset of CVDs? One of them is the lipid polarity. Polar lipids are actually active in preventing atherosclerosis and thrombosis in our arteries. Our group has recently reviewed all the relevant literature that suggests that marine polar lipids are strongly active against CVDs. We have evaluated the functional properties of phospholipids in relation to inflammation and inflammation-related disorders. That review paper was divided into three sections: Section 1 presents an overview of the relationship between structures and biological activities (pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory) of several phospholipids with respect to inflammation. Sections 2 and 3 are dedicated to the structures, functions, compositions and antiinflammatory properties of dietary phospholipids from animal and marine sources. Most of the dietary phospholipids of animal origin come from meat, egg and dairy products. To date, there is very limited work published on meat phospholipids, undoubtedly due to the negative perception that meat consumption is an unhealthy option because of its putative associations with several chronic diseases. These assumptions are addressed with respect to the phospholipid composition of meat products. The structural composition of phospholipids of marine origin is discussed. Extensive research has been published in relation to ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and inflammation; however, this research has recently come under scrutiny and has proved to be unreliable and controversial in terms of the therapeutic effects of ω-3 PUFA, which are generally in the form of triglycerides and esters. Therefore, we focused on recent publications concerning marine phospholipids and their structural composition and related health benefits. Finally, the strong nutritional value of dietary phospholipids are highlighted with respect to marine and animal origin and avenues for future research are proposed. This research trend is not good news for the manufacturers of neutral omega-3 esters and free fatty acids but actually, it is great news for the Aquaculture sector. At the end of the day, we eat food and this food contains polar lipids that are cardioprotective. Why not building on this evidence and promote the consumption of fish and polar lipids? May 2018 be a year where polar lipids gain some positive publicity based on real data and not “fake news”! Happy New Year! Related publication - Phospholipids of Animal and Marine Origin: Structure, Function, and Anti-Inflammatory Properties Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1964; doi:10.3390/molecules22111964



Currently working on Food Lipids at the University of Limerick, Ireland, focusing on feeds, food and nutraceuticals against inflammation, Ioannis is a co-inventor in two patents, has edited a book on marine oils, and has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles (h-index 19). He is currently writing a book on "The Impact of Nutrition and Statins on Cardiovascular Diseases" for Elsevier.

World first electric aquaculture support vessel


new vessel will provide a full eighthour shift with no fuel and emissions as announced by Plan B Energy Storage. The company announced the milestone project in the aquaculture industry, as the award of the contract for energy storage aboard the electric fish farm vessel; Elfrida underscores the on-going trend toward adoption of green technology in Norway. Roger Bekken, Managing Director of Salmar, the vessel’s owner and Norwegian aquaculture company commented, “We see this as crucial preparation for a low-carbon future. In keeping with our forward thinking management, and focus on operation efficiency, adding battery technology to our vessels brings cost savings and environmental stewardship together in one package.” He continued, “The PBES battery system onboard Elfrida was one of the first we installed in a working vessel and proves the technology is well suited to fish farming,” said Grant Brown, Vice President of Marketing, PBES. “We envision the entire fleet of Norwegian aquaculture and fishing vessels to either run as hybrid or on full battery propulsion.” In operation since February 2017, the vessel provides up to 12 knots speed and a full eight-hour shift per charge. Not only does the system eliminate emissions, the fact there is no noise, vibration or diesel fumes provides greater crew comfort, less fatigue and leads to safer working conditions onboard. Best of all, the vessel requires no diesel fuel, dramatically reducing operating costs.

Investing in expansion of aquaculture facility


r Eckel’s aquaculture facility for feeding trials in Niederzissen has been in operation since 2012. It is the only producer of feed additives with its own trial facility for fish and crustaceans in Germany, it can test new feed concepts and product innovations on site, This will in future be faster and more flexible. The new aquaculture facility in Niederzissen came into operation last month and currently houses 1,500 tilapia.

6 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed

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New aquaculture project in Abu Dhabi


MT has been appointed by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) to determine the environmental carrying capacity of three new aquaculture sites off the coast of Dalma Island in the Arabian Gulf. Mohamed Hasan Ali Al Marzooqi at EAD remarked, “BMT offered clear advantages over its competitors based on the quality of their products and service. Their excellent track record in Australia – arguably one of the toughest regulatory environments in the world – was also very attractive to the EAD team.” BMT will deliver a state-of-the-art EIA approach to assess the potential impacts of sea cage operations in each of the three proposed sites. It will use the same advanced modelling techniques that it used to enable a major Australian aquaculture facility to secure approval by the Western Australia Environment Protection Authority Dr Glenn Shiell, Marine Scientist at BMT Oceanica commented, “Proposed aquaculture developments such as these, however important to food security, must be undertaken using the best possible tools for predicting both the instantaneous and cumulative effects of aquaculture, to provide the EAD with confidence that the impacts are negligible, or if not small and entirely manageable.” The company will integrate its existing water

8 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed

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column and benthic biogeochemical numerical tools to undertake an environmental carrying capacity assessment. This will enable the team to determine how many tonnes of sea cage fish stock can be sustainably cultivated in the marine environment and analyse any impacts on the seafloor under the proposed sea cages. Through its suite of modelling tools, they will also be able to determine how long it will take for the environment to recover once the fish farms are fallowed – this is a key consideration for the environmental management strategy. Dr Shiell continued, “This is a fantastic achievement for the team and reinforces our market presence in the Middle East where we have been working for the last ten years. We will ensure that we deliver against the EAD’s requirements and provide a robust EIA approach which they have absolute confidence in taking forward to the next ariculture, Inc. | 2018 Advertising | Theme: The Plankton People Ad | Design: A | Version: 1 step.” They will also support the EAD in nt: International Aquafeed magazine | Size: Half Page | Dimensions: 190mm X 132mm the development of an environmental management framework for the marine environment to ensure the on-going operations are sustainable, as well as provide targeted training of EAD staff in all the tools used in this project.


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International Aquafeed - January 2018 | 9


Clifford Spencer Part two: Getting radical with aquacultural technology

... continued from december 2017 o further assure the public over environmental safeguards in aquaculture production, and to give massive reductions in water use then with these Recirculating Aquacultural Systems and Biofloc Technology based fish farms. It is technically feasible to employ a slow-sand filter for final wastewater discharge, particularly if these farms still generate reduced waste streams. In the event of fish “spillage” into rainwater runoff channels/ditches there would be the discharge of all rain water runoff collected from the catchment of a particular RAS or BFT farm to exit via a slow sand filter. Like everyday use on modern pig and poultry farms enhanced biosecurity measures includes the use of foot dips, suitable perimeter fences, restricted access conditions, good security procedures and the use of regulated and supervised visitor access. The farm is a declared biosecurity zone, where livestock would not be allowed to leave the farm site expect under regulated procedures overseen by the regulating authority. Professionally engineered and managed bio secure fish farming operations, can exist in ecologically sensitive areas without impacting the environment or threatening biodiversity. We can now safely farm any fish species in any geographical locality of the world without posing a risk to neither the environment nor the biodiversity make-up of ecosystems. As often is the case the holdback in the fish-farming sector (in what is permissible) falls at the door of policy makers and regulatory authorities. These bodies continue to ignore innovations that leading industry practitioners can provide and which can positively change lives. The innovations such as those described should be incorporated as a priority - into sound polices to urgently accomplish enhanced food safety with accompanying biosecurity and food security. All this can be achieved without impacting our environment or compromising biodiversity for future generations. Finally, it is a little known fact that nearly 20 years ago Tilapia went into space with Senator John Glenn on the Space Shuttle and the Tilapia eggs on board hatched into tiny fry whilst still in space. The Aquaculture in Micro gravitational orbit (AMIGO) project was born and after the Space Shuttle’s return to earth AMIGO was studied to record any effects on the fish. So Tilapia was studied all that time ago to see if it represented an appropriate use for aquaculture in space programmes to keep our treasured astronauts well fed in extended space flights and Tilapia is recommended as an ideal food source for astronauts. All this emphasises the critical need for a greater uptake of technology in the aquaculture sector so that it can provide safe, nutritious and environmentally superior food for us all. 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.

Turkish fish will grow in America


ılıç Deniz started their first production in the aquafarm that they bought in Dominican Republic. Transferred from Turkey to Dominican Republic, fish juveniles will join North and South American dishes when they grow up. Not only Turkey’s, but also world’s biggest bream and bass producer, Kılıç Deniz bought an aquafarm in Dominican Republic and started growing breams and basses. Being grown in the facilities since July, fish juveniles will be sold in North and South America in 2018. Stating that they also invested in Dominican Republic after their salmon facilities in Albania and fish-feed raw material production in Mauritania and underlining that they are making researches on some African countries such as Somali, Kılıç Deniz Products Deputy President of Board İhsan Bozan

explained, “We and some other Turkish companies already export Mediterranean fish to US market. In order to sell more to American market, we chose Dominican Republic that provides transportation advantages and is suitable for growing Mediterranean fish. We would like to carry our knowledge and experience in aquaculture there and reproduce local species as well.” Pointing out that they made their first fish export to Italy, Kılıç Deniz Products Deputy President of Board İhsan Bozan underlined that they exported to 37 countries by July. Bozan resumed as follows, “We export Turkish fish all around the world, notably to Europe and Russia. Currently we grow a total amount of 60,000 tonnes of bream, bass, drum and salmon and export 70 percent of our production.”

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he World Aquaculture Society is holding a Student Logo Contest for the 2020 World Aquaculture meeting in Singapore. They will hold a competition to design a logo for the World Aquaculture 2020 meeting that encompasses the location (Singapore) and the theme (Next Generation Aquaculture: Innovation and Sustainability will Feed the World). The deadline for submitting an entry is March 30, 2018 and all entries will be judged by a panel of the WA 2020 Steering Committee. You do not need to be a WAS student member to submit a logo for this competition. Logo submissions will be eligible for this competition from any student (not strictly University Students) currently enrolled in courses or research hours. Designs must be submitted electronically and be preferably in colour and .jpg format. You don’t have to be a professional artist to participate. Submissions can be hand sketched and after evaluation will be submitted to a third party of graphic designers for construction and finishing. In addition to the logo submission each student must provide proof of their student status (student ID or verification by an advisor). The winner of the logo competition will receive a free one year WAS student membership AND free conference registration to World Aquaculture 2020. Entries should be received via email at until March 30, 2018. The logo chosen from this competition will become the property of The World Aquaculture Society since it will be used as identification and promotion of the World Aquaculture 2020 conference. The winner will be required to sign a release form giving permission for WAS to use the logo in all conference materials.

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Student logo contest for World Aquaculture 2020

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Biorigin sponsor Aquafarm 2018 iorigin will be the sponsor and one of the exhibitors at the second edition of Aquafarm, an international conference and exhibition focused on technologies, products and best practices for sustainable fish production, to be held on February 15-16, 2018, at the Pordenone Exhibition Center, Italy. During the event Biorigin will be at the booth 5.25 and will show natural solutions for fish health, such as MacroGard, a beta 1,3/1,6 glucan product that balances natural defences, proving efficient protection against viral, bacterial and parasitic challenges, resulting in higher resistance and better performance. ActiveMOS, containing mannan oligosaccharides, contributing to the maintenance of the intestinal integrity of fish, particularly during growing stages and challenging situations, preventing the penetration of pathogens and favouring nutrient absorption, will also be one of the highlights of Biorgin’s stand at the fair. On February 16, at 1530, Baldassare Fronte of the University of Pisa, Simona Rimoldi and Genciana Terova of the Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, will present the results of experiments with HiCell, an autolysed yeast, tested as an alternative nutritional source to fishmeal, and derivatives and its effects on performance and the intestinal morphology of fish.

International Aquafeed - January 2018 | 11

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$56 million aqua feed production facility proposed


ioMar Australia have released plans to develop a $56 million aqua feed production facility in the state’s north, providing a significant boost to the local economy, job creation and the state’s growing aquaculture industry. Paddy Campbell, Managing Director of BioMar UK, Australia

and the Northern Sea Region said the AUS$56 million proposal would bring world class, state-ofthe art fish feed innovation and production facilities to Wesley Vale in northern Tasmania. Dr Campbell commented, “Once operational, the facility will produce up to 110,000 tonnes per annum of aqua feed product to support the aquaculture industry, expecting to create 55 full time jobs and an additional 30 jobs across the region through indirect support, operational, port services and logistical roles.” The BioMar Group are looking

forward to welcoming Australia in to their global network. BioMar holds a well-established position in Tasmania as the leading supplier of high-quality fish feed for Atlantic salmon, since entering the local market in 2003. At present one in every three farmed salmon in Tasmania is fed BioMar fish feed products, which are currently being exported from Scotland. Dr Campbell continued, “We are very grateful for the Tasmania Liberal Government’s commitment of AUS$$2.3 million towards this project and the support and of the Office of the Coordinator-General in securing the site in Wesley Vale.” He also remarked that BioMar were proposing to construct the aqua feed production facility on the site of the former particle board manufacturing mill located at 329 Mill Road in Wesley Vale. He summarised, “This development proposal will also remediate and revitalise the Mill Road site, which has remained empty and abandoned for some time now,” he said. “We are currently in conversation with the local community to seek their input and feedback on the proposal concept, and we look forward to continuing this conversation throughout the development and construction phase of the project.”

Zhengchang group chairman participates in the APEC summit


n November 2017, the APEC-CEO summit was held in Da Nang, Vietnam. The theme of the summit was, ‘to build new power, create a Shared future’. Zhengchang group chairman Hao Bo was invited to attend the event where more than 2000 companies from around the world discussed issues such as food security and sustainable development. At the APEC meeting, the Asia-Pacific Hao Bo, CEO and President economic of ZCME, a leading Chinese integration not equipment manufacturer, attends the APEC CEO Summit 2017 in Da only deepened Nang, Vietnam in early November the impression as a People's Republic of China for huge representative development potential, but also realised the importance of Chinese enterprises to go global. At the APEC-CEO summit Zhengchang realised it has a new period of development opportunity to enhance the Asia-Pacific market’s confidence and motivation. Zhengchang will play to the industry for many years, accumulating deep reserves of strength and depth into the national ‘one belt, one road’ development.


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Affecting the stress response in fish:


The increasing usage of alternative fishmeal sources ith the surging need for animal protein due to a world population projected to increase markedly, aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food-production branches in the world. A milestone was reached in 2014 when the contribution of aquaculture to the supply of fish for human consumption overtook that of wild-caught fish

by Dr Johan Aerts, Head Stress Physiology Research Group, Ghent University and Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Wetenschapspark 1, 8400 Ostend, Belgium

for the first time. The increasing importance of the aquaculture sector renders a constant intensification of the production process conspicuous, which elicits chronic stress in the cultured fish. In this framework, the demand for protein and oil sources is already greater than fishmeal and fish oil production can supply, making testing and unravelling the effect of high-quality alternative protein sources on the stress level of fish in time a key factor in rendering aquaculture development more sustainable.

Novel protein sources

Fishmeal is considered the best protein source for fish as it

14 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed


contains an amino acid profile most closely meeting the amino acid requirements of the fish. In addition, it provides essential lipids (oils), minerals and vitamins in a highly concentrated and easily digestible form. The continuously increasing need for sustainable development of the industry has resulted in a variety of affordable alternative protein sources. The inclusion of marine-based ingredients in feed for aquaculture was around 70 percent in the 90s, but has currently decreased to around 25 percent. In this framework, soybean meal is considered one of the most appropriate plant protein sources for fishmeal because of its comparatively balanced amino acid profile, availability and reasonable price. Minimising the use of fishmeal and fish oil while maintaining production performance is the ultimate goal, however, achieving this throughout the entire production cycle has proven to be difficult.


Measuring production performance

Besides the growth rate, also feed conversion ratio or efficiency, the health status and mortality rate are considered essential parameters in assessing the overall production performance of an aquaculture stock. Teleost fish faced with environmental and internal perturbations activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal (HPI) axis, leading to the release of cortisol. A series of physiological and behavioural reactions, referred to as the stress response, then follows. Cortisol helps fish to cope with the perturbed situation. Short elevations of cortisol are normally adaptive and help restoration, whereas long-term elevations are detrimental and compromise growth, immunity and reproduction. Feed constitutes the largest cost in any animal production system, making the optimisation of all ingredients pivotal. At present, most alternative protein sources do not result in a similar production performance compared to fishmeal-based diets. As a suboptimal diet negatively affects the ability of the fish to react to pathogens hereby making them more susceptible to disease, the latter not only affects fish welfare but also results in a higher mortality. In all, it is increasingly recognised that stress, in particular chronic stress, affects the overall performance and welfare of fish making it’s quantification, subsequent mitigation, and monitoring pivotal in optimisation of aquaculture systems. Though, Aerts et al. (2015) published the use of cortisol in fish scales as an innovative biomarker for chronic stress in fish, its use in testing and optimisation of fish feed had never been tested until recently. At the European Aquaculture Society congress (October 18 – 20, 2017), the effect of high levels of lupine meal inclusion in diets on the chronic stress level in European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) was presented. Hereby, the cortisol content in ontogenetic and regenerated scales was proven to be an innovative biomarker for chronic stress induced by a plant protein based diet. These findings offer ample applications for the industry in the optimisation of fish diets throughout the production cycle including but not limited to testing: (i) the influence of different combinations, concentrations, origins, etc. of single or multiple ingredients; (ii) new ingredients; and (iii) the effect of pre-and probiotics as well as other supplements on the stress level experienced by fish in time and subsequently on the overall performance of the fish in time.

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Essential fatty acids in aquaculture

by Christopher C. Parrish, Department of Ocean Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, A1C 5S7 Canada s the fastest growing food sector, aquaculture is evolving in terms of technological innovation and adaptation to meet changing requirements. One of these is to reduce the dependence on fishmeal and fish oil, which provide feed ingredients for many aquaculture species. Currently, around 15 percent of the landings from fisheries are used for the production of fishmeal and fish oil or for direct feeding. This level of use is unsustainable since capture fishery production has been relatively static since the 1980s. Aquaculture’s reliance on threatened marine resources constrains its profitability and growth and has led to the development of diets that incorporate a significant amount of terrestrial plant oils. Plant oils and fish oils contain different types of fatty acids in terms of omega (ω) family and in terms of chain-lengths. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats and oils and among the many that occur in cultured organisms and their food, the focus has been on the long-chain fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6ω3), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5ω3) and, to a lesser extent, arachidonic acid (ARA, 20:4ω6). These fatty acids contain 20 or 22 carbons and between four and six double bonds and they belong to two families, the ω3 series and the ω6 series. Because they have more than one double bond they are called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and because they are required by organisms for optimal health they are deemed essential. They maintain membrane structure and function and are precursors of bioactive compounds in vertebrates, invertebrates and plants.

Definition of essential fatty acids

The use of the term ‘essential fatty acid’ originated from work with rats more than a half century ago when it was shown that the 18 carbon PUFA, linoleic acid (LNA, 18:2ω6) and α-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3ω3) could eliminate deficiency states in rats that had been fed fat free diets. The ensuing search for fatty acids with essential fatty acid activity showed there were a variety of PUFA of the ω6 and ω3 series that could remove deficiency symptoms, some of which are shown in Figures 1 and 2. When provided with sufficient ω3 and ω6 fatty acids in the diet, most animals can make other ω3 and ω6 fatty acids by inserting double bonds and by chain elongation, but the ω3 and ω6 series are not interconvertible in animals except in the case of transgenic animals. So, while LNA and ALA have physiological roles in and of themselves, their major role is as precursors of long-chain PUFA. The extent to which a given species can convert one ω3 fatty acid to another or one ω6 fatty acid to another leads to degrees of essentiality. Thus, while DHA, EPA, and ARA are the most important PUFA which could be supplied in the diet, many

animals have at least some ability to synthesise them when sufficient quantities of suitable shorter chain precursors, such as LNA and ALA, are available. This capability in marine fish appears to be low and so they need to be provided one or more of the three important long-chain PUFA at some minimal level, which may change according to age or growth temperature.

Effects of essential fatty acids

The long-chain ω3 fatty acid content of seafood has implications for seafood quality. In this context, public interest in ω3 fatty acids has increased dramatically over recent years since consumption of EPA and DHA decreases cardiovascular risk factors and has beneficial effects on several diseases and mental health. However, for many, the distinction between ω3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA and shorter chain ones such as ALA is less clear. While ALA is a ω3 fatty acid, it has fewer carbons than EPA or DHA, and humans, like marine fish, are inefficient at converting it to EPA and then on to DHA. Many people know that EPA and DHA are recommended by the American Heart Association, for example, and that they are derived from seafood. However, few people realise that the 18:3


22:6 Figure 1: tStructures of some ω3 polyunsaturated fatty acids present in aquatic animals. Fatty acid notation gives the ratio of carbon atoms to double bonds. α-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3ω3), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5ω3), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6ω3) are all related biochemically because of the location of the first double bond 3 carbons from the methyl end of the chain. 18:2


Figure 2: Structures of some ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acids present in aquatic animals. Fatty acid notation gives the ratio of carbon atoms to double bonds. Linoleic acid (LNA, 18:2ω6) and arachidonic acid (ARA, 20:4ω6) are related biochemically because of the location of the first double bond 6 carbons from the methyl end of the chain.

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main source of these fatty acids is the algae at the base of the food web and they have to be acquired directly or indirectly by animals through their diets. Even fewer know that EPA and DHA are actually essential nutrients for aquatic animals themselves. In finfish, EPA and DHA are important in survival, growth, immunity, stress resistance, and pigmentation. Dietary DHA is also needed for growth in shellfish. In aquaculture, ARA is another equally important fatty acid even though it is present in low proportions, except in echinoderms. This ω6 acid has received extensive attention in the mammalian literature, and it has been shown to be important in sea urchin and finfish eggs and is needed for finfish growth, survival and stress resistance. In addition, ARA and its shorter chain precursor, LNA have been shown to be important in crustaceans. The amount of LNA in salmonid muscle is sensitive to temperature. The tissue fatty acid contribution of LNA (Figure 3) decreased gradually in juvenile steelhead trout with an 8°C increase in temperature, suggesting a significant difference in dietary requirement of this common component of aquafeeds at 10°C and 18°C.

Minimising fishmeal and fish oil in feeds

To date, tests on inclusion of vegetable oils in aquafeeds have shown little influence on fish performance but usually the test diets have included significant levels of fish oil and/or fishmeal. The continued pressure to reduce marine resource utilisation in diets of farmed animals without affecting growth performance and with minimal effects on chemical composition means that the quality and quantity of fatty acids in the substitute oils are very important. Plant oils and fish oils contain different types of fatty acids with more ω6 fatty acids in the former and more ω3s in the latter. In addition, the chain-lengths of the ω6 and ω3 fatty acids tend to differ in the two types of oil with plant oils having more 18 carbon chains and fish oils having more 20 and 22 carbon chains. There is considerable interest in the ω6/ω3 ratio in human nutrition because an inflammatory state may be activated or exacerbated by a high dietary ratio of ω6 to ω3 fatty acids. The ω6/ω3 ratio is estimated to be significantly greater than 10:1 in Western diets. A high ratio has also been associated with declines in mental health. There has already been concern that farmed seafood is not supplying an adequate ratio which is a situation that could be exacerbated as we move to lower and lower inclusion levels of fish oil and fishmeal in aquafeeds. There are a variety of plant oils that are suitable for aquaculture, for example soy, flaxseed, hempseed, canola, olive, palm, corn, sunflower and camelina. Among these only flaxseed and camelina oil have more ω3 than ω6 fatty acids. Camelina sativa

Figure 3. Linoleic acid (18:2ω6) in muscle tissue of steelhead trout fed herring oil diets at different temperatures. Fatty acid proportions that were significantly different among temperatures (p < 0.05) are indicated with different letters (a, b). Data are from Table 3 in Wijekoon. et al. (2014).

is considered to be an important emerging oilseed crop and has recently been the focus of several aquaculture nutrition studies using both the oil and the meal. In cold-water finfish diets the oil can completely replace all the fish oil, but diets cannot contain more than 15 percent camelina meal.


Aquatic animals need certain ω3 and ω6 fatty acids to support optimal health. An absolute requirement for these polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet occurs if there is not a sufficient amount already in storage, if they cannot be made from other fatty acids, or if they cannot be replaced by other fatty acids. Which specific essential fatty acid is necessary at what level will depend on the organism, its life stage and on environmental conditions, such as temperature. Selection of sustainable, economical and nutritionally appropriate sources of PUFA in aquaculture feeds will be important to the future success of the industry.

Further reading

Hixson, S.M., Parrish, C.C., and Anderson D.M., 2014. Use of camelina oil to replace fish oil in diets for farmed salmonids and Atlantic cod. Aquaculture 431: 44–52. Parrish, C.C., 2009. Essential fatty acids in aquatic food webs. pp309-326 in Lipids in Aquatic Ecosystems, Arts, M.T., Brett, M.T. and Kainz, M.J. (eds). Springer, Dordrecht. 377pp. Wijekoon, M.P.A., Parrish, C.C., and Mansour, A., 2014. Effect of dietary substitution of fish oil with flaxseed or sunflower oil on muscle fatty acid composition in juvenile steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) reared at varying temperatures. Aquaculture 433: 74-81.

International Aquafeed - January 2018 | 17


BREEDING DIVERSITY INTO THE FUTURE OF AQUACULTURE Peter Bickerton, Scientific Communications & Outreach Manager, Earlham Institute

Aquaculture is expanding, especially in areas of subSaharan Africa that are home to stunning native biodiversity. How can research in genomics help us to increase socioeconomic output while protecting local ecosystems?


he livelihood of a staggering eight percent of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population relies on fish, a resource that we have overexploited in the seas so much so that many fish stocks are expected to collapse entirely in the not-so-distant future. This situation is as unsustainable for the oceans as it is for people (the average person worldwide now consumes over 20kg of fish per year), with entire ecosystems and a way of life for hundreds of millions under threat from overfishing. However, fish is a nutritious and protein-rich food source with many clear health benefits, not to mention the positive socio-economic impact for millions of people worldwide. Thus, fish farming is becoming more and more widespread, not just on the coast but inland, too. However, with the drive towards aquaculture accelerating throughout sub-Saharan Africa, it is important that we ensure best practice and environmental sustainability long before the damage is done. What has spelt ruin for our oceans cannot happen in our freshwater systems, too. On the one hand, it is important that we produce fish requiring sustainable levels of feed, giving a positive growth ratio and economic benefit. At the same time, we must ensure that breeding programs are well managed, and that we ensure our freshwater ecosystems are not threatened by non-native, invasive species. The African Great Lakes and river systems are a great example of some of the scientific and conservation efforts that are underway,

which aim to increase the output and efficiency of aquaculture, while preserving some of the exquisite biodiversity already present in the lakes and rivers - especially among native fish. There is also a great deal that we can add to scientific knowledge in the process.

Genomics for a more resilient food system

As with medicine, the same stands for our ecosystems: prevention is better than the cure. Alas, along with the clear benefits of large scale farming, including greater productivity, better yields and reduced global malnutrition, we are also witnessing tremendous problems when it comes to the environment. Vast monocultures of crops leave little room for wildlife, other than the pests that we manage with insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, which reduce the loss of valuable food but also mean that wild insect numbers are on the decline, if not plummeting. Our landscapes have been so manipulated by agriculture that formerly native ecosystems resemble nothing of the sort. Only now are we starting to appreciate what biodiversity brings us, not just in terms of maintaining a savoury environment, which our children and grandchildren might inherit, but also as a vital lifeline for the very crops that we require to feed a throbbing global population. Ten thousand years or more of selective breeding has taken us an incredibly long way from humble beginnings. Wild grasses have been transformed into grain-laden crop plants that provide enough calories to support billions of people, with wheat, rice and maize providing most of the essential carbohydrates that vast tracts of the global population rely on. However, our modern farming systems, equipped with fertilisers, machinery, and high yielding crops, are also subject to huge losses due to increasingly unpredictable climate changes, as well as the spread of diseases and pests throughout the globe. Selective breeding has taken us so far, but now, with the advent of modern genomics, we are able to understand what is going on in our food crops at the genetic level, which allows us to increase yields while also appreciating the diversity within the wild plants that grow around them. We now have the capacity to sequence almost any genome on earth. Getting down to the basic code at the heart of life as we know it, we can identify the sections of DNA that give us greater yields, resistance to disease and more. With marker assisted

18 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed


breeding, we can better ensure that these positive traits are carried through, without missing out or losing other vital pieces of the jigsaw. For thousands of years we have been almost blindly mixing up the genetic pack, meaning that we have lost some of the natural defences that our crops had against diseases and pests, such that monocultures are left prone and vulnerable. However, for every potato plant prone to blight, there is a wild relative of the nightshade family that has the proper defences for it. For every wheat plant that may succumb to yellow rust, there is a wild grass that can naturally nip infection in the bud. What is important, especially for aquaculture, is that we can learn from the mistakes we have made in the past. By applying modern genomic methods to aquaculture, we can help fish farmers increase yields and efficiency, while taking measures to prevent environmental damage and better conserve precious ecosystems.

Sustainable development: Applying genomics to aquaculture

One such promising area to begin is in sub-Saharan Africa, where the population is increasing faster than any other region on earth and must find ways to adapt the food supply to ensure people are well fed and nourished. Already, the African continent is home to many of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most malnourished countries, therefore if we are to achieve global eradication of hunger, this is the most vital of regions to target; a region where aquaculture is becoming more and more prevalent. A particularly fascinating region to focus on is Tanzania, both socio-economically and scientifically. Within its borders,

Tanzania hosts the great Rift Valley lakes of Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria, which contain around a quarter of all of the freshwater on earth, as well as one tenth of all of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fish species. Among these species are the cichlids, an incredibly diverse family of fish that boast a vast range of shapes and forms and fill a variety of niches throughout Africa, South America, Madagascar and South Asia. Why this is more interesting in terms of aquaculture is that tilapia is a type of cichlid fish farmed in at least 75 nations worldwide - a practice which is booming in Asia and increasing rapidly in countries such as Tanzania. The main species of tilapia farmed globally is the Nile tilapia, a fish native to Africa, which offers great benefits to African

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aquaculture but also carries threats to native ecosystems. Like any species, when taken out of its natural environment the Nile tilapia can easily become invasive, which presents a threat to the staggeringly diverse populations of native fish in the African great lakes and river systems, which boast over a thousand species of cichlids between them. These fish are of incredible interest to science, not only because there are so many of them, but because of their uniquely adaptable nature. Cichlid fish have an inherent knack of rapidly (evolutionarily speaking) filling various habitats and separating into a vast array of different forms, in a process known as adaptive radiation. What is most special about this is that the process seems to occur in parallel in different lakes, such that cichlid fish in lake Malawi might adopt an almost identical body form to a fish in lake Victoria, or even a fish in a lake in South America, in response to similar environmental challenges. These adaptations can take the form of feeding behaviours, or even in tolerance to different environments, such as the soda cichlids, which thrive in intensely brackish water. Through studying how these fish are able to adapt so readily, and quickly, to a range of environments provides an almost unique opportunity for scientists to discover many of the secrets of genomics. This is where researchers, including Tarang Mehta of the Di Palma and Haerty Group at Earlham Institute, UK, along with Antonia Ford of the University of Roehampton (previously at Bangor University, along with George Turner) and international organisations such as WorldFish, have highlighted a great opportunity to help drive forward the sustainable development of aquaculture. By applying the concepts of modern genomics, such as we have with crops, we can help to inform and improve fish

breeding programmes, while preventing the mixing of different fish species, and thus reducing the impact of non-native species. The introduction of widely cultivated, exotic tilapia species, for example, might not actually be what is best in certain regions, where local fish varieties are better suited to the conditions. By using modern genomics techniques, including next generation genome sequencing, we can research the factors that help local fish adapt and thrive better in local ecosystems, and use this information to find similarities in more widely cultivated species. In this way, desirable traits can be breeded in, created viable hybrid species that are highly adapted to different ecosystems with rapid growth rates, much akin to the Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) strain created by WorldFish. Genomic techniques can also be applied to study and confirm species identity of wild populations of fish (in some cases, where exotic species have escaped), which can help us to identify areas in which to focus our conservation efforts. It would be a tremendous shame to lose the diversity of cichlids found in the African Great Lakes and rivers due to the introduction of exotic species such as the Nile tilapia, not only for local diversity but also for the advancement of aquaculture itself. The information locked inside the multiple, rich, diverse forms of cichlids in the Rift lakes and rivers are as valuable to aquaculture as the study of wild grasses is to farming wheat. By better understanding how cichlids can adapt to a huge range of environments, we can breed tilapia that can withstand a swathe of environmental conditions, and produce fish that use less feed, grow rapidly, produce less waste, and can increase the socio-economic value of aquaculture in one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most impoverished regions.

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by Zasha Whiteway-Wilkinson

Tilapia is the common name for nearly 100 species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. They are mainly freshwater fish, which inhabit shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes and less commonly found living in brackish water. Tilapia have been known to become a problematic invasive species in new warm-water habitats such as Australia, whether accidentally or deliberately introduced, but generally not in temperate climates due to their inability to survive in cold water. Regardless of their temperature sensitivity however, they can exist in and adapt to a very wide range of conditions. One extreme example is the Salton Sea, where tilapia introduced when the water was once brackish, now lives in saltwater so salty it keeps marine fish. The fish are the fourth most consumed fish in the US dating back to 2002. Their popularity boomed due to their low price, easy preparation and the mild taste. Interestingly, the aquaculture of Nile tilapia dates back as far as Ancient Egypt, where they are represented by the hieroglyph K1, of the Gardiner List. They were a symbol of rebirth in Egyptian art, and were in association with Hathor (ancient Egyptian goddess of joy, feminine love and motherhood). It was also said to accompany and protect the sun god on his daily journey across the sky. Tilapia painted on tomb walls, reminds us of spell 15 of the Book of the Dead, by which the deceased hope to take his

place in the sun boat. “You see the tilapia in its true form at the turquoise pool” and “I behold the tilapia in its true nature guiding the speedy boat in its water.” They were also one of the three main types of fish caught in Biblical times from the Sea of Galilee, specifically the Galilean Comb. In Modern Hebrew, the fish species is called Amnon (Ammother, Noon- fish), although it is also known as “St Peter’s fish”. The common name “tilapia” is based on the name of the cichlid genus Tilapia, which is itself a latinisation of thiape, the Tswana word for “fish”. Scottish zoologist Andrew Smith named the genus in 1840. Looking at the characteristics, they typically have laterally compressed, deep bodies. Like other cichlids, their lower pharyngeal bones are fused into a single tooth-bearing structure. A complex set of muscles allows the upper and lower pharyngeal bones to be used as a second set of jaws for processing food, allowing a division of labour between the ‘true jaws’ (mandibles) and the “pharyngeal jaws”. This means they are efficient feeders that can capture and process a wide variety of food items. Their mouths are protrusible, usually bordered with wide and often swollen lips. The jaws have conical teeth and typically they have a long dorsal fin and a lateral line, which often breaks towards the end and starts again two or three rows of scales below. Some Nile tilapia can grow as long as two feet. Finally, tilapia are also known to be a mouth breeding species, this means they carry the fertilised eggs and young fish in their mouths for several days after the yolk sac is absorbed.

22 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed



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TILAPIA EXPERT TOPIC Do tilapia really need these high dietary protein levels?

by Abdel-Fattah M. El-Sayed, professor Oceanography Department, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Egypt


ilapia are freshwater cichlid fishes that, while native to Africa, were introduced into many tropical, subtropical and temperate regions of the world during the second half of the 20th century. They are among the most important farmed fishes in the world, second only to carps. Global tilapia aquaculture has witnessed significant expansion during the past three decades. As a result, the global production of farmed tilapia boosted from 383,654 tonnes in 1990 (2.28 percent of total aquaculture production) to 5,670,981 tonnes in 2015, representing 7.4 percent of global aquaculture (excluding aquatic plants) and 11.63 percent of total finfish aquaculture. Semi-intensive tilapia culture has been adopted in various parts of the world, either in monoculture or polyculture systems. Semi-intensive tilapia culture with other herbivorous/omnivorous fish such, as carps and mullets has seen significant expansion, particularly among smallscale farmers in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Under semi-intensive culture systems, tilapia requires about 25 percent crude protein (cp) or even less. This is because these fish can meet part of their protein requirement from the natural food available in the pond through pond fertilisation. In intensive farming systems, this level might be increased to 28-32 percent during grow out phases. There has been a rapid, global industrialisation of tilapia production in recent years, accompanied by a gradual shift in tilapia culture from traditional, low-input, semi-intensive systems to more intensive farming practices, with an increasing dependence on formulated feeds. In many regions, this has created a disparity between seed supplies and demand, and a concomitant increase in demand for formulated feed. In parallel with tilapia culture expansion, tilapia feed industry has witnessed substantial growth during the past three decades. Piles of studies have also been accumulating on the development of commercial, cost effective tilapia feeds and best feed and feeding practices. The accumulated knowledge reveals that tilapia require about 40 percent protein during their early larval stages, reduced to 25-32 percent during pre-grower and grower periods. These levels have been adopted in commercial extruded tilapia feed production worldwide for many years; and still applied in many parts of the world.

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Table 1. Dietary protein inclusion levels in tilapia feeds, as recommended by a number of feed producers. Data from the websites of the companies. Company

Dietary protein level (%) Starter (larval) feed

Pre-grower, Grower feed

Aller Aqua









Raanan (Africa)


40 (RAS)* 33-38 (Intensive) 30 (SI)*

RAS = Recirculating Aquaculture System, SI = Semi -intensive System

However, in recent years, some commercial tilapia feed producers have sharply increased the protein, and sometimes lipid, levels in extruded tilapia feeds, far beyond their reported requirements. I do not know whether this increase is justifiable, despite the sharp increase in the prices of feed ingredient, particularly protein source (fish meal, oil seed meals, animal byproduct meals, etc.). As a result of this increase in protein (and, sometimes, lipid) levels in tilapia feeds, prices of these feeds have sharply increased, particularly in Africa. For example, retail price of tilapia starter feed in Tanzania (> 44% protein) ranged from 1400-2700 USD/tonne in 2017. In Kenya, 57 percent starter tilapia feed (Skretting) costed 4000-4900 USD/tonne in October 2017 (depending on particle size). Retail price of feed crumbles (48% cp) was 3000 USD/ tonne, while the price of grow out feed (35-38% cp) was 1300-1360 USD/tonne. Of course, these prices are extremely high, to the limit that enforced many fish famers in different parts in Africa to abandon fish farming.

Feed producers may claim that they produce tilapia feed containing high protein levels based upon farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; request. I believe it is the responsibility and duty of feed producers to provide technical assistance to the farmers and to convince them that increasing dietary nutrients beyond what the fish really needs is not beneficial at all. In fact, excessive protein supplementation may lead to negative results, including deterioration in water quality, particularly ammonia and nitrite increase, possible reduction in growth rates and feed conversion, and, of course, waste of money. Therefore, the reason behind the recent increase in protein contents of commercial tilapia feeds produced by some fish feed producers is not understood and, remains to be clarified.




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Miracle Fish

(Part 1)

by Ramon Kourie, Chief Technical Officer, SustAqua Fish Farms (Pty) Ltd., n the space of 25 years global farmed tilapia production has risen from obscurity to become one of the most important farmed fish species from less than 398,000 tonnes in 1991 to a predicted global production of 6.4 million metric tonnes (MMT) in 2017. Projections indicate an expected growth of 2.6 percent in 2018 to 6.5 MMT, significantly lower than the average growth rate of 12 percent over the period from 2002 to 2012. Most of the global production of tilapia is produced in freshwater pond systems and consumed in producing countries contributing to food security in the developing world where the sector is concentrated. China is the leading producer country followed by Egypt and Indonesia. Production estimates in 2017 have been pegged at 1.7 MMT for China, almost 900,000 metric tonnes (MT) for Egypt and 800,000 MT for Indonesia. Surprisingly, less than seven percent of global tilapia production is internationally traded, the majority of which supplies growing markets in the United States and more recently Africa. Nevertheless, leading industry experts in Norway are optimistic and see tilapia fillets more broadly making inroads into global whitefish markets in developed countries at competitive prices. Whitefish is a market-oriented term categorising white fleshed, non-oily fish where fat reserves are typically in the liver and not in the flesh and guts. Core wild captured whitefish include cod, Pollack, hake, hoki and saithe species and core farmed whitefish include tilapia, pangasius, catfish, cobia and meagre. Tilapia are the most widely cultivated of all species with more than 120 countries reporting some commercial activity.

In addition, tilapia are cultivated in the highest number of production environments from rice paddies and simple fertilised earth ponds to cages in lakes, aquaponics systems, biofloc technology (BFT) tanks and Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS) and are considered easy to cultivate. The progressive expansion of tilapia aquaculture globally can be divided into three phases each marked by technological advances driven by research since the 1980â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. The initial phase (1981-1990) driven by moderately successful hybridisation of parent gene lines creating faster growing hybrids, often red in colour which produced fewer male fish, improved body colour and improved growth rates. Production grew at an annual average growth rate of 14 percent during the initial phase from a lower base. The early growth phase (1991-2000) saw annual production growth of 13.1 percent largely attributed to the dissemination of all-male sex reversal technology of tilapias using androgens to produce close to all-male populations (+95%). Traditional extensive culture methods were replaced with semi-intensive and intensive production systems particularly in Central and South American operations requiring more water exchange, feeding driven by nutritional research and improved quality control. Better management and the ability to supply fresh products to nearby major US cities were advantages that contributed to adoption of these systems in many countries. Such intensive production practices increased tilapia supply in this early growth period of 1991â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2000 from 0.4 MMT to 1.19 MMT. The rapid growth phase (2001-2012) resulting in annual average production growth of 12 percent from a higher base driven by the dissemination of improved gene lines across much of Asia and Central and South America, and to a lesser extent in Africa. The Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) program on Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) lead by the WorldFish Center in Malaysia enabled the rapid scale up of global production. GIFT tilapia accounted for more than half of the production in Asia in 2012. The overall contribution of GIFT and GIFT-derived strains is regarded as the single most significant technological advancement in the global tilapia farming industry. The period since 2013 is marked by falling average annual growth to 8.1 percent year on year, and a further slowing to 2.6

26 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed

EXPERT TOPIC percent from 2017 to 2018. The major reason stems from an oversupply and market maturity of non-exportable second grade quality pond farmed tilapia in China and Egypt the world’s first and second largest producers. Annual tilapia production growth has however been highly unequal displaying huge untapped local production potential in Africa (excluding Egypt) and the Middle East for supply into local and less regulated markets. The medium-longer term prognosis given global finfish supply-demand shortfalls of 50 MMT by 2030 according the Food and Agriculture Organization in 2013 is however telling. These positive market factors are likely to ensure that prices on international markets remain firm over the medium term and gradually increase over the longer term driven by the widening global whitefish supply-demand gap. While emerging and less regulated markets in Africa and the Middle East present ideal opportunities, an almost unlimited market, for tilapia aquaculture particularly for affordable fresh whole fish which commands a premium over frozen product now largely imported into local markets from Asian producers.

Miracle fish?

Known as tilapia today, one of, or both the Jordan Saint Peter’s fish (Oreochromis aureus) and/or the Galilee St. Peter’s fish (Sarotherodon galilaeus) were recorded in all four of the Gospels in the narrative of the “miracle of the five loaves and two fish”. Apart from the biblical narrative, there is substantial reason to believe that the peculiar traits of tilapias lend themselves well to the title ‘miracle fish’. Filter-feeding Oreochromis tilapia species are considered the perfect core whitefish, “every-mans fish”, “the aquatic chicken”


Figure 1: Global Tilapia production output from 1991 to 2019 (forcasted for 1027, 2018, 2019) and percentage year on year annual production growth

and “not unlike the culinary versatility of chicken,” according to Professor Kevin Fitzsimmons, former president of the American Tilapia Association. They capably convert plant proteins, diatoms, algae, heterotrophic plankton (biofloc), bacteria, zooplankton and low trophic level organisms into a valuable, succulent and mild tasting fish enjoyed universally. Indeed, it has been argued that tilapia are perhaps the only truly herbivorous fishes since they possess not only a highly efficient digestive system (3.5 times the length of the fish) but also a highly specialised one, capable of producing pH values < 1 facilitating the digestion of highly refractory plant carbohydrate compounds.

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FishBase has assigned a Trophic Level of 2.0 ± 0.0 to tilapia somewhat lower than the 3.1 ± 0.46 trophic niche ranking of pangasius the nearest competing farmed whitefish species in terms of international volume trade and market niche (Figure 2). Shrimp were ranked first, crabs ninth and clams tenth which were excluded from Figure 2. Under feedlot cage and tank farmed conditions tilapia do equally well on balanced rations made up entirely of terrestrial plant proteins and grains free of any animal proteins. As such, farmed tilapia spare the supply of diminishing marine proteins, fishmeal, derived from marine reduction fisheries and equally spare land and resources in the production of terrestrial animal proteins. Tilapia aquaculture therefore adds to resources that support food security at regional and global scales due to its

favourably low trophic niche status (2.0 ± 0.0). Consequently, “farming down the food web” holds an environmentally positive meaning, while the opposite, “farming up the food web” is believed to be less environmentally sustainable and therefore ethically illogical in the context of global food security. Paul Greenberg, a fish-industry expert and the author of two books about the future of the oceans, ‘Four Fish and American Catch: The Fight for our Local Seafood’ believes that farmed tilapia and pangasius, already the fourth- and sixth most-consumed fish in the US in 2014 respectively, will assume a greater market share moving up a notch or two on the list of Americas top 10 most consumed seafoods in the future (Figure 3).

Market segmentation

The global tilapia farming industry is dominated by second grade product produced in earth pond systems, where fish are highly prone to flavour taints, or often called a muddy taste, caused by blue-green algae and a variety of organisms

Figure 2: Trophic levels of finfish species on the top 10 list of the most consumed seafoods the United States of America in 2014 excluding shrimp ranked first, crabs ranked ninth and clams ranked tenth. Trophic niche status taken from FishBase (Froese and Pauly, 2018)

28 | | January January 2018 2018 -- International International Aquafeed Aquafeed 28

EXPERT TOPIC which thrive in the sludge blanket on the bottom of earth ponds. Such production most often does not meet first grade standards for international markets but nevertheless plays a very important food security role in developing countries where most production is both produced and consumed. This sentiment is supported by surveys conducted by CEMARE at the University of Portsmouth (UK) indicating differing minimum quality standards and market segmentation across the sector. What is clear is that two tilapia markets will coexist in most of the developing world where both production and consumption is concentrated, 1) regulated local and highly regulated export markets for first grade quality tilapia and 2) less regulated local markets absorbing second grade quality production. The highly regulated EU and US markets require quality standards compatible with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system and EU Food Law for entry into US and EU markets respectively. These days highly regulated markets in addition require sustainably produced and responsibly farmed certification(s) such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP) or GLOBAL G.A.P. supplemented by Friend of the Sea add-on labelling. Regulated local markets are those where some compliance may


be required to meet industry food safety standards issued by local regulatory authorities in addition to perhaps voluntary third party certification. Less regulated markets are informal rural markets and sometimes urban markets where few or no quality, or food safety, prescriptions are mandated by local regulatory authorities on unprocessed whole fish for instance. Supply options in attractive less regulated markets in the developing world, where local production falls short of local demand, such as Africa (excl. Egypt) and the Middle East for example, could follow two pathways; 1) Produce a second grade product, often also smaller fish, targeting less affluent and less

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formal markets and therefore sell at more affordable prices, or 2: Aim to produce first grade product differentiated trough branding targeting middle income urban consumers, the catering industry and formal supermarket retailers in the developing world or exports into international markets. Branding will become mandatory to differentiate first grade from second grade product in countries where both regulated and less regulated markets coexist. Stringent compliance standards to meet EU Food Law, traceability, health control, contaminants and labelling, coupled with the successful prior penetration of pangasius at competitive prices has made the EU market less attractive for tilapia suppliers. The EU market for tilapia presents a contrasted picture to that across the Atlantic Ocean displayed in the US market. Tilapia have not been as successful in the EU market. Here pangasius has claimed a 21 percent share of the EU whitefish market and tilapia only 3.25 percent in 2014, according to Erik Hempel, a renowned fisheries marketing expert. Some 31,000 tonnes of tilapia were imported into the EU as compared to some 200,000 tonnes of pangasius in 2014. Distances to the EU market for Asian or South America suppliers is viewed as a disadvantage which makes air freighted fresh fillets less economical for shipment into European markets, unalike the Central and South American fresh fillet supplyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s into southern US cities, Miami, Houston, New Orleans etc. African suppliers could develop and capture the market potential for fresh fillets in the EU, due to proximity advantages, although market forces at present are too favourable for local and regional supply due to huge supply-demand shortfalls in Africa (excluding Egypt) at the moment. This is evident from the 83,000 tonnes of Chinese farmed whole frozen and breaded tilapia imported into African markets in 2016 according the Globefish. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the US tilapia market is well developed and the value-chain more mature importing around 224,500 tonnes in 2016 (Figure 5). Wise sourcing of branded high-quality fresh tilapia products often originating from Central and South American certified commercial operations, just three hours flying time away from Miami, has contributed to their successful dominance of the fresh tilapia fillet market in the US. Many of the top commercial South American producers achieve high compliance standards where fish are often depurated or purged for a few days contributing to the more upbeat market image in North American markets particularly the fresh fillet market. Along with quality and quantity supply provisos, leading commercial tilapia operations in Central and South America have met all the prerequisites for successful penetration into United States market; improved meat colour and flavour properties (free of flavour taints or a muddy taste), consistent volume supply year-round, product diversity, cost/affordability, traceability and finally certifications which have become important in recent years. Negative publicity concerning the ill health effects of tilapia consumption due to higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids was unfortunate and not reflective of the capacity of producers to regulate the final proximate composition of tilapia fillets. The

fatty acid composition of tilapia will generally mirror that of their diets and as such finisher diets consisting of sustainable omega 3 sources such as AlgaPrimeâ&#x201E;˘ DHA, coupled with vitamin E supplementation, greatly shifts the n-3/n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio to more healthy levels in the range 1: 2-3 quite easily. The University of Maryland Medical Centre recommends n-3/n-6 ratioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of 1:4 indicating that finisher diets can offer better ratios than those recommended in a healthy human diet. Unfortunately negative publicity has unnecessarily harmed the image of tilapia in North America and the EU markets, based upon poor and misguided reporting, responsible for a drop in tilapia imports into US markets in 2015 of almost three percent on 2014 volumes (Figure 5). Market opportunities for green growth and special quality tilapia produced using sustainable intensification technologies should be viewed as an opportunity rather than liability. Green growth initiatives, covered in Part 2 to follow, will enable producers to move with the moment and in essence capture consumer trust and market share, while ensuring a sustainable and food secure future.








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NORWAY Å være midt i smørøyet – “To be in the middle of the butter’s eye” A Norwegian phrase, which when translated does not make much sense – but then neither to a rather large number of idioms. But this one is rather a spot on way of saying “To be right in the best possible spot”. And that’s where International Aquafeed is in the first edition of 2018, in the best possible spot. The magazine, which is already translated into Chinese and Spanish is for the first time ever being translated in Norwegian, in an operation headed up by renowned industry expert Erik Hempel, Director of Communications at the Nor-Fishing Foundation. The development of commercial aquaculture in Norway began around 1970, considering that Norway is predominantly coastal it is so no surprise that the intensive farming of Atlantic salmon is a very important activity, accounting for more than 80 percent of the total Norwegian aquaculture production. Now, although salmon is what Norway is famous for in the aquaculture circles, Norwegian technology suppliers have become more and more involved with warm-water aquaculture over the past decade. This leads on into what is now the world’s largest aquaculture technology exhibition, Aqua Nor. As the organisers pointed out, “Few trade shows can offer both land and sea based exhibition facilities. Where the objective is to provide exhibitors with a site where they can display various types of cages or vessels in their right element.” Chad Plesa-Nade, Team Lead, Embedded Systems Engineering at Deep Trekker, spoke to International Aquafeed at Aqua Nor 2017 and explained what the event gave to Deep Trekker and their business opportunities, “I’m Chad, part of Deep Trekker’s Engineering team, here we are in Trondheim Norway, excited to show our aquaculture customers our newly released DTPod. Its key features include a static camera that you can put down into each of your nets for constant viewing of fish health, net maintenance and keeping track of feeding systems. “One important feature about this camera that many other cameras struggle with is the growth of organic material on the actual camera. So we have included self-cleaning wipers that maintain the constant clear visual enabling this camera to be deployed for months on end.”

Describing the Hvalpsund Net safety line also on display at the event, Casper Guldberg Petersen explained what the product would bring to aquaculture practices, “We have made this safety line that is basically a wire attached to the handrail of the pen on the full circumference. When you jump on the pen, you just click into this anchor and then you can walk around the full circumference of the pen and feel safe so that if a wave will shower the pen, you won’t fall off. It’s not brand new but it’s a question of time before it will be an industry standard. It is simply a matter of time before the bar has to be raised on the working safety on the aquaculture pens as well.” Marine Harvest did big business crossing the channel too, “We have just signed a contract for three barges that are going to be delivered to Marine Harvest in Norway in 2018. One barge is going to the North of Norway, one is going to the West and the third is going South. These barges will be in the next generation, approximately 25,000 tonnes of feed, giving us more or less 20 to 21,000 tonnes of good salmon that is going to the market.” These industry faces are just a few examples of the growth and opportunity that Norway brings and will continue to bring to aquaculture and fish farming technology. Aqua Nor sisters with the Fisheries event Nor-Fishing, which although not directly fish farming related, there is a cross over in the technology used for both industries. They are also joined by a common goal, providing the world with a sustainable source of healthy, delicious fish. This edition of International Aquafeed brings to her readers a plethora of in-depth, current articles and news all directly relating to Norweigan aquaculture. A one-off special to celebrate the incredible step into being able to supply the magazine to Norweigan readers in their native language, and it really lives up to the bar that was set for the project. You will see on the adjacent page that the Norweigan Editor, Mr Hempel gives a first class view into the organisation and great benefits of Nor-Fishing, and if you see in the interview feature at the back of the magazine, he gives a truly insightful look into his rich aquaculture history. Norway is the ‘for way’ for the technology to watch out for. This edition will be one to keep as a point of reference for the great things that are undoubtedly coming (and which are here already of course), in Norwegian fish farming technology.

32 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed

TECHNOLOGY SPECIAL Nor-Fishing 2018: Connecting our industries Nor-Fishing is an event that will be held between August 21-24, 2018, in Trondheim, Norway. Since 1960, Nor-Fishing has been an important national and international meeting place for the fisheries industry, and today it is one of the largest fisheries technology exhibitions in the world. In recent years, the exhibition has drawn approximately 15,000 visitors from roughly 50 countries. Innovations of importance to multiple sectors of the industry are presented here. The fisheries industry has developed tremendously over the past fifty years, and technology, processes and services related to fishing, processing, transport and marketing have undergone an incredible development. All the major fishing nations are present either as exhibitors, visitors or in official delegations. Erik Hempel, Director of Communications at The NorFishing Foundation gives a little overview of the huge benefits and opportunities that lie in the event, as well as the ultimate difference of benefits between Nor-Fishing and Aqua Nor.

building his own research vessel, - for the moment called REV (Research Expedition Vessel), which will go into operation probably by 2020. This is a private initiative, and could be an exciting addition to the government research and the FAO operations around the world. We hope to present all these activities during a short seminar at Nor-Fishing. What are going to be the real highlights at Nor-Fishing this year? Who and what can we expect to see there? One highlight is the seminar I just mentioned, then there is the presentation of the Innovation Award, which is always exciting, and probably a great number of smaller seminars and presentations. The full information about this will not be available until closer to the summer. As to who you can expect to see, there is practically no limit. Top executives from the industry, technical personnel, researchers, top bureaucrats and a number of top fisheries politicians from several countries. One year, we had no less than eight ministers of fisheries present at the same time.

What separates Aqua-Nor and NorFishing? What could visitors get at one that they may not get at the other? Nor-Fishing is a fisheries technology exhibition, while Aqua Nor is an aquaculture technology exhibition. You Aquaculture is generally considered will find many of the same products and by those in the industry and one of the services in both events, but of course major building blocks of the future for Aqua Nor is focusing specifically on the world’s food security, do you agree modern aquaculture. and how do you think events such as Another difference is that Aqua Nor Aqua-Nor and Nor-Fishing will play is far more international than Nora part in securing a sustainable food Fishing. Nor-Fishing started as a purely Erik Hempel, Director of Communications future? Norwegian exhibition back in 1960, but at The Nor-Fishing Foundation I certainly agree. Aquaculture will be the has evolved into a more internationally largest producer of animal protein in the oriented one later. Aqua Nor, on the other future, and we have so far only scratched the surface. We at the hand, got an international perspective already from the second Nor-Fishing Foundation can contribute by making available exhibition in 1981. a forum for development and dissemination of information, and by getting people together. Sometimes I see our role as Technological advancements in aquaculture are developing that of missionary and pimp, to put it a little humorously. We at a phenomenal rate, last year at Aqua-Nor we saw the are missionaries in the sense that we preach the “aquaculture innovation of the fish stunning technology, what do you gospel”, and we are pimps in the sense that we bring people think we can expect to see this year at Nor Fishing? together for mutual benefit and enjoyment. It is very difficult to catch the trends so early. I know that the One aspect that is very close to my heart, and a central exhibition was sold out already before Christmas, but I do not concept for the Nor-Fishing Foundation, is that of sustainability. know what the various exhibitors have up their sleeves. We work with various organisations, both the FAO and different However, there is one aspect that might be very interesting. research institutions, to promote sustainable aquaculture. We are now working on plans to make a broad presentation of And through the Innovation Award programme, we put marine research from a global perspective. Last year, the new special emphasis on innovation that contributes through the research vessel “Dr Fridtjof Nansen” went into operation by development of a sustainable industry. FAO in cooperation with the Norwegian Institute of Marine You can find out the latest information from the various Research, and this year, the largest ocean research vessel in the exhibitors and institutions, on the Nor-Fishing website here: world, “Kronprins Haakon” will be launched. In addition, the majority owner of the Norwegian company Havfisk, Mr Kjell Inge Røkke, has announced plans that he is International Aquafeed - January 2018 | 33


Salmon genetics

A new dawn in aquaculture biotechnology Professor Simon Davies (Editor, International Aquafeed, Professor of Fish Nutrition & Aquaculture, Harper Adams University) gives his thoughts on the latest research in the ground-breaking area of genetic modification, genetic editing and transgenic modification in salmon fingerlings and fish fry. He reflects on his extensive research and experience in the academic focused PhD research he examined in Norway.


y 2057, fish producers must greatly increase production to meet the rising population and demand for seafood consumption by some 60 million tonnes. As such, aquaculture expansion is largely dependent on good quality fish fry and fingerlings for on growing under a variety of production systems throughout the world. Continued innovations in fish breeding are necessary to provide better strains, which can adapt to new conditions such as containment in closed recirculation systems, like RAS and deep water sea farms. We have seen great advances in fish genetics, with new breeds that have superior growth characteristics, with selection for stamina and robustness to meet the challenges of husbandry and the growing threat of emerging pathogens, and infection from a host of viruses, bacteria and parasites. Although this is the basis for the development of all new aquaculture scenarios, such as the highly successful YY genetically male tilapia as developed by FishGen Ltd in Wales, revolutionising the farming of this fish globally. As well as the introduction of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) shrimp based on advanced selection techniques from the USA. This has now become particularly significant in the iconic salmon and trout industries.

We routinely farm triploid trout and also triploid salmon, which is being scrutinised as I found out when I examined a PhD thesis on the subject in Norway in 2016.

Genetic improvement, gene editing and transgenic modifications: What sets them apart?

Genetic improvement of salmon for a variety of phenotype traits is now well under way and more recently the pioneering work leading to GMO salmon (AquaBounty Technologies Inc.), becoming the first GMO animal to be approved in legislation to be marketed in the USA, making headline news. Such transgenic fish incorporating new DNA insertion into their genome has raised some controversy, but is being slowly accepted by many and may well be a leader towards raising faster growing salmon attaining their harvest size in half the time, with the additional bonus of having superior feed utilisation in terms of protein and energy assimilation and enhanced feed conversion efficiency. Now the advent of more refined technologies such as gene editing, offers an entirely new dimension in modulating the expression of the salmon genome. This is based on the refinement of the existing gene make-up, and by careful regulation of the transcription of specific genes via molecular editing tools. In this way we can create desirable alterations, without introducing foreign DNA into the final product. Although, in my opinion

34 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed


there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with adding DNA, gene editing does not involve such a process and salmon subjected to this technique will not be classed as genetically modified in the normal definition. This contrasts with transgenic modification, where new genes are introduced (sometimes from other species), and RNA interference (RNAi), where DNA is added to effectively turn off or ‘tone down’ gene expression to enable various metabolic processes in the salmon to be controlled such as temperature tolerance and growth rate in typical intensive operations.

‘Cutting edge’ technology using molecular scissors to target alterations in the DNA sequence

Without question, gene editing has the potential to make invaluable contributions to the farming of both fish and shrimp, with salmon perhaps leading the way with new initiatives as being currently promoted by Benchmark Holdings (SalmoBreedTM programme) for gene editing technology, increasing resistance against the infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus. This is thanks to a recent £500K, BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) Industrial Partnership Award led by Professor Ross Houston, and colleagues at the Roslin Institute, Scotland along with colleagues in Norway. Genome editing has the capacity to rapidly increase the rate at which disease resistant salmon can be produced compared to selective breeding programmes. It uses enzyme systems such as CRISPR/Cas9 and TALEN to make precise, targeted alterations to the DNA sequence. This is really cutting edge technology and is analogous to precise ‘molecular scissor’ cutting of gene components in situ. These

enzymes classed as nucleases cause site-specific double-strand breaks (DSBs) at targeted locations in the genome. The induced double-strand breaks are repaired through nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) or homologous recombination (HR), producing targeted mutations (‘edits’) that can modify gene expression in the salmon. This novel approach allows us to inactivate or supress genes from the salmon to produce desirable traits both from a biotic, abiotic and environmental/ stress tolerance perspective with huge implications to nutritional biochemistry, physiology and immunology. Although it is technically the same process as traditional salmon breeding, it is much more efficient akin to the ‘key hole’ surgery approach to manipulate the expression of the genetic code translated into functional proteins at the core of metabolic pathways in this species. Indeed, major commercial private sector companies and leading university laboratories are now engaged in gene editing research within their molecular biosciences programmes. Improving salmon disease resistance would no doubt be one major focus, but other applications, such as the optimisation of carcass quality, fillet yield, texture, flavour and colour of salmon may be feasible when we better understand those genes responsible for these traits.

A new dawn in aquaculture biotechnology

There is no doubting that gene editing is the biggest leap forward in aquaculture biotechnology for decades. Also, it only takes a few months to a few years to develop gene editing to attain the goals desired, as opposed to the incremental changes over time with traditional fish breeding methodology, plus the many years (up to 15) it may take to comply with numerous

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regulatory barriers with transgenic fish. Gene editing is on par with traditional breeding, so there is no real need to assess products originating from gene editing under existing regulatory framework or is there? Researchers transforming animals with the latest genomeengineering tools may be disappointed by draft rules released by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 18, 2017, that may impose new types of statutes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; two days before US President Barack Obama left office. It is not yet clear how the administration of President Donald Trump will carry the proposals forward into his first term, but there will obviously be much more debate before such fish enter the food chain.


Gene Editing can be seen in my opinion, as a fast track pathway to meeting the same end target requirements for desirable traits for farmed salmon as in conventional selected breeding methods. Although it is likely that new terminologies may be warranted for the retailers to promote this type of product in practice. There will be a need to safeguard the technology and promote consumer confidence and acceptance of these fish products, this will be done

by advocating the reliability, transparency and compliance with the highest standards of animal welfare and product quality for salmon. Poultry genetics is very advanced but improved knowledge of salmon genetics will certainly open a new frontier for aquaculture. Gene editing has been described as the molecular biology equivalent of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;moon raceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and I see many advantages that may even stretch our imagination to the endless possibilities. There is a competitive edge in the private sector, which fosters innovation and enterprise. US companies and foreign governments, for instance, have invested heavily in gene editing technologies. SE Asian countries like South Korea and China have also invested vast sums of money in this sector. There may still be challenges ahead for research and applications in the EU and post Brexit Britain, but we must be bold and supportive. Aquaculture pioneers of the next decade must confidently adhere strictly to the science, and not be directed by misinformed public and media opinion. I am very optimistic that gene editing technology will pass the test and be firmly established firstly with salmon and this knowledge in turn transferred to other species when the benefits can be seen both economically and societal. References availible upon request

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Maskon vaccination system

Revolutionising and rationalising the vaccination of fish, the Maskon vaccination system has been developed in close cooperation with the world’s largest salmon producers. The machine can be integrated with an existing anesthetiser or be equipped with Maskons own two-chamber continuous anesthetiser. To secure a steady flow and optimal capacity utilisation the system can be supplemented with a Maskon buffer tank with feeding system. A camera system controls the vaccination units so that the injection point becomes completely exact to every single fish. The injection point’s accuracy is above 98 percent, and the mortality rate is below 0.02 percent. The injection depth adjusts automatically relative to the length of the fish. A sensor in the needle is monitoring the injection performance and that the vaccine has been dosed correctly in every single fish. A vaccine technique is used to hold the fish whilst it is being vaccinated and makes the injection point almost invisible. The vaccine doesn’t have to be tempered before vaccination as a water-jacket, with tempered water, is assuring that the vaccine keeps a correct temperature. Feeding and singulation of the fish is a fully automated process with simple rotational movements, meaning only one operator is necessary to operate the machine. The machine communicates with operators via voice messages sent to a headset on the FM band. When exchanging needles (which is a tool free process), you stop the unit where the exchange is being made, the rest of the machine continues. The fish doesn’t need to be sorted before vaccination. The system will sort the fish and divide it into three weight classes between 25g and 150g, which are decided by the operator. It can also separate fish that are too small, deformed or damaged. Every facility is supported by the Maskon remote via the Internet. Control procedures can be performed in their own programmes and the control system communicates with other systems. The machine is delivered with an operation and service agreement that includes support, service and spare parts.

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AkvaGIS - Thematic maps in the aquaculture sector

AkvaGIS is a specialised tool for managing map-based data in the aquaculture business sector. Utilising geographical information systems (GIS) and cloud computing, AkvaGIS is a powerful way to collect, manage and share data and information. Fish farm companies can establish map-based distribution of fish farm locations and pathogens (cohort, active/non-active, licensing etc), and wellboat companies can quickly plan safe boat routes based on automatically generated buffer zones around infected localities. The map gives an overview of: Active locations sorted by fish generations (spring and autumn); Non active locations; Updated pathogen status (PD, PDV, AGD, AGD amoeb, PMCV, HSMB); Development of pathogen status over time (history chart); Fallow Zones; Recommended wellboat routes from Fishhealth network in the area (open, UV, closed); and AIS monitoring of wellboats and serviceboats. The software is available on stationary and mobile platforms, i.e. computers, tablets and smartphones. This makes the maps accessible wherever you are.

Raw material silos and m3 silos

m3 silos are made from hot galvanised steel and are used for containing fish feed. They are made of bolted steel plates, making for a very sturdy structure. All components – bolts, profiles, ladders and plates – are hot-dip galvanised for long durability in the aggressive marine environment in which the silos are set up. The silos come in various sizes, have a short erection time, are fully waterproof, and they are provided as assembly sets,

for easy freighting up to the site and allowing for the silos to be dismantled and moved.

Raw material silos

These silos are also made from galvanised steel and fitted on to an allwelded painted steel sub-structure. The supply includes complete design, manufacturing, delivery and erection of the silo plant.

BIO-BLOK - Biological wastewater treatment

After extensive experience with polyethylene extrusion techniques, EXPO-NET Danmark A/S has developed a structure filter media. The media has proven extremely efficient in biological treatment of process water within the aquaculture field. The media is made from the environmentally friendly material polythene and consists of net tubes, which are welded together to form a square block. The surface structure of the tubes provides a large accessible surface for enhanced biological growth on the filter media. The filter media is called BIO-BLOK and the surface acts as a substrate for specialised bacterial strains, which in turn are able to treat and degrade a wide range of wastewater qualities. The treatment capacity of a biological filter depends of the quantity of bacteria that the filter can sustain, in other words, the larger a specific surface area, the larger the bacterial population. Future construction, refurbishment or upgrading of biological wastewater treatment plants is merely a matter of creating optimal ‘living conditions’ for the bacteria, i.e. the bacteria must thrive on the substrate in order to work well and ‘do the job’. BIO-BLOK has excellent properties in this respect, and the result is an increase in treatment capacity. The product can be produced with densities from 0.6 to approximately 0.95 g/cm3. By request the BIO-BLOK elements are available in heights (lengths of block tubes) from 40 to 120c. Also available, individual tubes of all types of filter media can be delivered in requested tube lengths.

International Aquafeed - January 2018 | 39



#1 by Philippe de Lapérouse, HighQuest Consulting

As part of the International Aquafeed “Technology Special” focusing on Norway, Phillipe de Lapérouse, Managing Director of HighQuest Partners, looks at how technology in the modern world is playing such a direct part in developing aquaculture as we know it. His insights on the Norweigan aquacultural technology status give an intriguing view on how the global industry could take a leaf from the renowned salmon industry on how “new technologies can be leveraged to meet growing demand.” HighQuest Partners is a leading strategy advisory and consulting firm with offices in Boston and St. Louis. Lapérouse chairs the Global AgInvesting conference series. Mr Lapérouse can be reached at +1.314.994.3282 or pdelaperouse@

TECHNOLOGY PLAYS ... IN AQUACULTURE Since 1960, global demand for seafood has increased 3.2 percent annually, outpacing the one percent annual growth in the world’s population over the same period. Per capita consumption of seafood during this period has increased from 10Kg to over 20Kg today1. Overall demand for seafood protein is driven by demand in developing markets, particularly in Asia where fish has historically been a traditional source of protein in the diet, and in developed markets, due to the trend toward healthy lifestyles. Given the restrictions on wild catch fisheries due to depleting wild fish populations, production of fish and seafood protein in farmed systems has increased substantially over the past decade to address the increasing demand. The eight percent growth in aquaculture production since 2010 is dramatic compared to the growth in production of land-based food animals (poultry, swine, and cattle).

Norway’s salmon industry – A model for leveraging technology

To meet this growing demand, the aquaculture industry is investing in the development and adoption of new technologies that will dramatically transform how fish and seafood protein are produced sustainably. The development of the Norwegian salmon industry is recognised as a model for how new technologies can be leveraged to meet growing demand. Starting as a small-scale industry in the 1960s, the Norwegian salmon industry has emerged over the past 50 years as a worldclass producer of salmon, with operations extending from Scandinavia to Chile, Scotland, Canada, and the Faroe Islands, that together export over one million metric tonnes2 of salmon products annually. This success was built on innovations in breeding (genetics), management systems, health products, and novel technology for production systems. Technology clusters in Norway have developed solutions for addressing the limitations of oxygen in production systems, feed distribution, and disease control and treatment to increase the scale and efficiency of production sites. The industry also has shifted from using wooden cages to the current industry standard of polyethylene (PE) cages in open water, and is now beginning to adopt hinged-steel cages. Furthermore, new cage designs have allowed for the circumference of cages to increase from 60 metres to 160 metres, resulting in a tenfold increase in production capacity for raising salmon in a single site3. As the salmon sector has grown, investment in R&D and new technologies has not been limited to addressing production capacity issues but also has focused on enhancing biosecurity capabilities (reduction of bio-fouling), improving feeding technology (design of open water feeding barges managed by remote control), enhancing fish 40 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed


welfare (control of parasites), improving gentle fish handling, and ensuring environmental stewardship. The industry has focused on integrating knowledge between three core areas: the physical equipment (design and materials) used to farm seafood; Operating systems leveraged to produce seafood; and intelligent management systems employed for coordinating the entire production system.

Opportunities for leveraging technology to increase seafood production

The model used to increase the scale and long-term sustainability of Norwegian salmon production is now being adopted to increase the production of other species of both marine and inland freshwater fish, shrimp, and mollusks. At the same time, new technologies are being developed to increase aquaculture production in land-based, closed loop systems that also address sustainability concerns by locating production closer to consumers, and lessening environmental pressures on coastal waters. An example of the latter is Atlantic Sapphire, which has developed scalable land-based RAS (Recirculating Aquaculture Systems) systems in Denmark to produce what it claims to be the world’s first sustainable Atlantic salmon brand and has purportedly raised funds to build a large-scale RAS facility in Miami, Florida, to produce salmon for the US market. To date, a majority of investments in technology ventures supporting aquaculture have been made in developing novel feed ingredients. This trend has been driven by two factors: first, the increasing scarcity of fish meal – a traditional source of protein and oil for carnivorous marine species such as salmon – has created an economic incentive to find cheaper substitutes. Second, there is a perception among investors that investing in nutrition is less risky than investing in other ancillary sectors supporting the aquaculture industry. A number of companies are engaged in identifying and commercialising innovative ingredients derived from insects, algae, and single cell proteins to produce analogues for fish meal protein and fish oil (DHA), as industry experts concur that algal supplements currently being produced are too expensive to be used as a substitute. “There is still no viable economic substitute for the incorporation of fish oils in fish diets on a 1:1 replacement ratio,” according to Steve Hart, vice president of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, an international non-governmental

organisation dedicated to advocacy, education, and leadership in responsible aquaculture. “Pressure is increasing to find solutions as Omega-3 levels in salmon have topped out due to decreasing inclusion rates of fish meal and fish oil in the diet.” Developing value-added soybean derived ingredients represents a promising area for atypical feed ingredients, and more importantly could ensure the long-term sustainability of aquaculture production. Several companies have developed proprietary formulas for inoculating soybean meal to produce a fermented soy protein that is easily digested by fish species. Prairie AquaTech, based in Brookings, South Dakota, is raising funds to launch commercial production of fermented soybean meal to be used in fish diets. In addition, the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) has invested funds from the soybean check-off program to conduct research on replacing fishmeal in tuna diets with soybean protein concentrates (SPC). Field trials conducted in Panama have demonstrated that substituting fishmeal in the diets of farm-raised yellowfin tuna with SPC has increased the feed conversion rate (FCR) dramatically from 28:1 to 4:14. Adoption of this technology, in combination with the recently developed capability to produce viable tuna fingerlings in hatcheries, will enable the sustainable production of tuna in open cages versus the current practice of raising tuna in ranches, thereby reducing the pressure on wild populations. Health is another area where technology is being harnessed to address production challenges in aquaculture. Investment is being made to develop vaccines to tackle bacterial infections and viruses that cause stress in concentrated fish populations, resulting in mortality and reduced productivity. Conditions such as sea lice infestation, SRS (Salmonid Rickettsial Syndrome), and ISA (Infectious Salmon Anaemia), which affect salmon, and EMS, which affects shrimp, represent major opportunities for companies and investors to develop new solutions for improving productivity. While some of the innovations will be developed by start-up ventures, much of the innovation in this sector will be driven by the major pharmaceutical companies such as Zoetis. Developments in gene editing also holds promise for

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the aquaculture sector. Aqua Bounty, a company based in Canada, has received permission from the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to produce and commercialise Atlantic salmon that has been genetically modified, which will reduce the time required to raise the fish for market from three years to 18 months. Yet, due to media and consumer concerns regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs), this product does not seem to be well received by retailers and consumers in the US. New gene editing techniques such as TALENs and CRISPR/ Cas9, which act as “molecular scissors” to precisely cut into DNA to remove genes and replace optimal genes from the same species, offer the opportunity to increase productivity in aquaculture production by reducing stress and increasing disease tolerance in fish species while avoiding concerns over the use of gene transfer between organisms. Recombinetics, a leader in the gene-editing field, is using these techniques to address productivity issues across a number of food animal species including fish. “Genetic improvements in fish species, along with innovation in the development of novel sustainable feed ingredients will have a dramatic impact on assuring the long-term sustainability of aquaculture production,” according to Max Holtzman, formerly senior advisor to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and currently vice chairman of Capital Peak Asset Management, which has advised and invested in Recombinetics. Dr Francisco Saraiva Gomes, CEO of Pontos Aqua Holdings, a US private equity firm investing globally in across the aquaculture value chain, believes that technology can be harnessed to reduce risks in production operations. “While the aquaculture sector is supported by strong secular trends, it is also subject to very high execution risk,” said Saraiva Gomes. “Aggressive deployment of technology both in production

systems and in the supply chain can contribute significantly to the de-risking of an investment to ensure sustainable profits in what is a commoditised market.” Finally, it is ironic that developments in e-commerce and logistics, rather than science, may have the greatest impact on the aquaculture industry by facilitating traceability in the supply chain. Both Hart and Holtzman see this as a major game-changer in the industry. “The Chinese market is well ahead of the curve on developing e-commerce strategies that respond to consumer preferences to order fresh and frozen seafood for home delivery from a preferred supplier who can confirm the species of fish, country origin, and the way it was raised,” noted Hart. “The Chinese market also is well ahead of the curve compared to how the market currently operates in the US,” Holtzman shared the same vision: “Traceability is going to become a major factor for establishing value for farmed seafood in the future. With 90 percent of seafood consumed in the US imported and 50 percent of that produced on farms, the ability to guarantee origin and the way a fish was raised will become the accepted standard for the industry.”

Investment Opportunities

Given that the aquaculture industry is relatively nascent compared to other food animal production systems, there are many areas that investors can consider for investment. This spans from developing new feed ingredients to replacing declining supplies of fishmeal, to developing new technologies or new genetic strains of fish or management production systems. The following is a typical profile of an institutional investor interested in allocating capital to technology ventures serving the aquaculture sector:

A representative list of companies engaged in developing innovative technologies for the aquaculture sector includes: Company







Fly larvae used as a feed ingredient

South Africa


Breeding/ Genetics

GMO salmon




Single-cell protein feed replacement


Prairie AquaTech


Fermented soybean meal used as a feed ingredient



Breeding/ Genetics

Gene editing




Mealworm protein used as a feed ingredient


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Patient capital provider; Long term fundamental focus; Thematic investment mindset; Seeking inflation protection; and Believes in the “efficient protein” story.

• Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal protein category (+56 million metric tonnes/year7); and • Relatively fragmented and less mature industry (poised for consolidation).

Family offices, sovereign wealth funds, and endowments would be well-suited to consider investing in early-stage companies in the aquaculture sector whereas pensions funds and life insurance companies would be well suited to allocate capital to maturestage investments in the sector which are in the growth stage.

The positive trends in the aquaculture sector

The positive trends which should attract capital over the foreseeable future, include: • World population and GDP per capita growth (specifically in Asia where seafood is a traditional source of protein in the diet); • Healthy and highly efficient source of seafood protein compared to land-based food animals; • Resource depletion (reduced wild fish populations resulting in flat wild catch production trend); • Increasing limitations of other sources of animal proteins (e.g. land and freshwater use, high feed conversion ratios, etc.); • Good overall long-term growth expectations; • Expectation of decoupling from economic cycles (efficient source of protein); • Largest category of animal proteins produced annually (~150 million metric tonnes/year5); • The most global of all animal protein categories with export value (> $100 billion/year6);


Investment in technology ventures that support the growth of aquaculture production promises to be an exciting area over the next decade for investors who are willing to take the time to educate themselves about the industry, and about what type of innovations will be the most transformative. This article was first published in GAI Gazette magazine October 2017, a publication of Global AgInvesting. References 1 The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). http:// 2 “Norway Marine Aquaculture – Challenges and Opportunities.” Presentation by Arne Fredheim, vice president projects SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture, at the Norway-Japan Marine Seminar, 2012. 3 Ibid. 4 “Soy-based diet boosts tuna aquaculture.” April 19, 2017. 5 FAOSTAT. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid.

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#2 Ground-breaking fish stunning technology Innovation award winners Ace Aquatec revealed their incredible new technology at this year’s Aqua Nor 2017 event in Norway. The technology renders fish unconscious before they even leave the water, decreasing fish stress levels and therefore offering a more human alternative to traditional mechanical stunners.

In traditional stunning systems there is a literal fish out of water problem. After taking the fish out of the water that they live and thrive in, they get pumped out of the water and then stunned by pneumatic, percussive or electric devices, often mechanical ones. This can present many drawbacks, including; • There are problems with fish that differ in size – some are not properly stunned. • The fish is stressed, triggering cortisol to release into their body – which is turn lowers the quality of the fillet. • There is a significant limit to how many fish it is possible to stun in a given time – often one at a time. • The systems are often mechanical – requiring spare parts and repairs. • Mechanical systems are also prone to downtime. Ace Aquatec has claimed that with their innovation they have found the solution to all of these problems. The company’s focus is no being directed onto fish welfare and the humane stunning and killing of the fish with the presentation of this new technology.

An unwanted compromise

Nathan Pyne-Carter, Executive Managing Director of Aquatec, who accepted the Innovation Award at Aqua Nor explains, “We saw that fish farmers had to compromise between efficiency and humane stunning. Our system stuns 100 percent of the fish every time. It also stuns them in the seawater – so they are not stressed before they are rendered unconscious. Some methods of slaughter cause fish to die over long periods of time – we wanted to improve this process for aquaculture and wild fishing vessels, for all species including crustaceans.”

What “no one else can offer”

There are other ‘stunning’ technologies on the market. However, as of yet, no one else can offer stunning before the fish is transported through the pump towards the processing line. Typically electric stunners are used after the fish is already on a dry conveyor belt – on their way to be bled. By this time they have both suffered and been stressed. It has taken the engineers at Ace Aquatec close to 10 years to perfect the electric current. Too much, and you damage the flesh. If you stun side to side you can create a current that transfers from fish to fish. Too low and the fish is not properly stunned. Ace Aquatec can now show independent research studies that document both that there is no damage to the fish flesh or skin, and that the fish is 100 percent unconscious before bleeding and slaughtering. Mr Pyne-Carter remarked, “We’re not worried about being copied for quite some time. This is precision work and finding the right settings and equipment is extremely hard.”

Market opportunities

The market opportunities for Ace Aquatec seem to be almost endless. Since the technology works regardless of fish size, it is also transferable to many farmed species other than salmon and trout, such as yellowtail, cod, seabass, seabream, halibut

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and turbot. And, at a lower setting, the system can be used as an anaesthetic for vaccinations. It has also been adapted to stunning crustaceans and prawns. The system only has one limitation when it comes to the stunning rates; the flow speed of the pumping system. How much you get out of the technology depends on the pumping system used by the fish farmer. Ace Aquatec demonstrated one of their pre-pump systems on the stand of their Norwegian distributor, Sterner AS, at this year’s Aqua Nor 2017, where they won the ‘Innovation Award’ at the conference. They said of their nomination, “We think it is really exciting to be nominated for the award. An acknowledgement by such a prestigious body, accompanied by such fantastic companies such as the other nominees, is really a recognition we appreciate. We owe our greatest thanks to our customers. They’ve helped us refine and further develop our technology every step of the way. The final product is nothing more than an expression of what they’ve told us they need.”

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#3 Improving salmon production in fish farms using light by Kristoffer Lindback Larsen, Evolys, Norway

Evolys is a Norwegian company, working to understand how light affects the salmon photoreceptive cells and biology, and how light can be used to improve production of salmon in fish farms. This work is done in cooperation with the leading Norwegian fish farmers and research institutes. Our goal is to use this science and knowledge to develop, manufacture and supply sciencebased products and solutions for optimal fish farming and production of salmon. We see a robust and clear line between relevant literature, research projects, practical trials and the result of our solutions being used by several of the larger Norwegian fish farmers. We have also learned that every project has its unique parameters, which will also affect the light technical requirements, for an optimal result. This also meaning that results we manage to achieve through light in one project, will not necessarily be possible to transfer to another project, without understanding these parameters and making the changes that are needed. Evolys is also build on strong idealistic and humanitarian values, which has its foundation in the core of the company strategy. Our commercial goal is to use science to create the best possible solutions and products, with optimal performance, and also making these available for as many users as possible, through a decent and fair profit margin on the material and production cost of the luminaires. After our experience, we are succeeding with this, also with our products being produced in Norway, through an innovative and cost efficient business model. As a case study and example of our work, we have recently through the most robust and controlled environment practical trial so far, in a modern land based post smolt fish farm in Norway, seen a linear improvement in growth and feed factor, by changing important light technical parameters. As we moved closer and closer against these given parameters, we could see a linear improvement, reaching as an average in the three rounds these trials were repeated, more than five percent increased growth and more than 10 percent improved feeding factor. The most positive with this project was also that we could find the results in line with our hypothesis every time individually, minimising the chance of other and unknown parameters causing or affecting the results. We see work like this as an important step and progress, in the process to learn how and master to use light and modern light technology, as a key contribution and necessary element, to improve and harvest the potential in fish farming. Also when we are now seeing more and more advanced and technology based fish farms, shaping the future, while we at the same time are also facing a global population increase and demand for food, also in need of a sustainable foundation.

Light as an element is equally important and foundational for life on earth, as for example air and water. However, in our eyes, light is the most important of these crucial elements that we replace and produce with artificial human technology.

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Asia’s largest aquafeed technology and aquafeed ingredients event Visit VICTAM Asia 2018 to learn the latest on aquafeed technology and ingredients and additives. Meet over 200 exhibitors and make the most of your time by using our business match-making program.  What’s on show at VICTAM Asia 2018? • Feed production technology • Packaging • Energy efficiency • Auxiliary equipment • Ingredients • Additives • Formulation • Laboratory equipment • Quality control  Visitor profiles • CEO’s • Nutritionists • Feed formulators • Buyers • Mill managers • Directors  From which companies? • Aquafeed producers • Animal feed compounders • Integrators • Co-operatives • Hatcheries • Fish farms, etc.  Industry related conferences • Aquafeed Horizons Asia 2018 Conference • GMP+ Feed Safety Seminar

 Supported by • The Feedstuff Users Promotion Association • Thai Feed Mill Association • The Animal Husbandry Association of Thailand • Animal Health Products Association • Department of Fisheries • Ministry of Industry • The Thai Chamber of Commerce • Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau  Organized by Victam International BV, PO Box 197, 3860 AD Nijkerk, The Netherlands T: +31 (0)33 246 4404 F: +31 (0)33 246 4706 E: Visit our website: See Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or scan QR code


#4 Putting a value on ‘sludge’ in aquaculture Sorbwater Technology has developed a suite of completely biodegradable solutions for industrial, high-performance water-treatment applications. The solutions are particularly Blue Ocean Technology signs suitable for the oil and gas industry as well as aquaculture. long-term agreement with water Through using the Sorbwater technology, utilising natural alginates, total particle emissions treatment solution provider from aquaculture facilities are significantly reduced. Used in combination with Blue Ocean Technology’s organic filter, the combined heavy metal and particle content in the sludge is Sorbwater Technology. Jan Henning reduced by up to 90 percent. Legreid, CEO, Blue Ocean Technology Consequently, the nutritious aquaculture biomass waste (food leftover and excrements/faeces) commented, “The co-operation may be transformed to fertiliser. Unlike various thermic solutions, Blue Ocean Technology enables turning aquaculture sludge into a resource. minimises emissions in water Floating solids in wastewater are captured by Sorbwater’s green flocculation chemical – and puts a value on sludge from Sorbfloc – and other filters. The wastewater is filtered through lamella plates and then through a the aquaculture industry.” special type of dried peat moss imported from Canada. Blue Ocean Technology chief executive Jan Henning Legreid said the moss took 30 days to absorb water, compared to 24 hours for other mosses, a quality that benefited the process. He added that use of the lamella plates to capture much of the sludge meant the moss only needed to be changed every fourth week, rather than twice a week.

International perspective

Svein Egil Steen, CEO, Sorbwater Technology remarked, “We are delighted to have been chosen as Blue Ocean’s partner. It further strengthens our position as a supplier of green technology into this segment. The deal will also help to put us on the map in the fast-growing global fish-farming and aquaculture markets” He continued, “We will provide our green flocculation chemical – Sorbfloc – and separation technology to Blue Ocean Technology, for use in the global aquaculture market.”

Norwegian Innovation in key aquaculture markets

Jan Henning Legreid explained, Aquaculture and fish farming are increasingly vital industries for Norway, indeed the world, moving forward. We are extremely happy to be working with our trusted and valued partner Sorbwater Technology in such an exciting area, bringing Norwegian innovation to these important markets” He summarised, “Our technologies and know-how combined truly show that green solutions can be profitable solutions. And in addition to turning waste into a resource, it enables the production of larger biomasses – as the restricting factor tends to be the waste emission quota.” Although currently based in Norway, Mr Henning said that his company had plans to promote the technology in Scotland, Canada and Chile. Image 1: Svein Egil Steen (L) and Jan Henning Legried (R) sign long term agreement to minimise emissions in water

Image 2: 3D image: Blue Ocean Technology/Nagelld visualisation

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Industry Events Events listing n 5 – 7/02/18 - VIV MEA 2018 UAE WEB: n 8 – 10/02/18 - Feed Tech Expo India WEB: n 15-16/02/18 - Aquafarm Italy WEB: n 18 – 22/02/18 - Gulfood UAE WEB: n 19-22/02/18 - Aquaculture America 2018 USA WEB: n 6 – 8/03/18 - AgraME 2018 UAE WEB: n 11-13/03/18 - Seafood Processing North America USA WEB: n 13-15/03/18 - Oceanology International 2018 UK WEB: www.oceanologyinternational. com n 14-16/03/18 - ILDEX Vietnam 2018 Vietnam WEB:

AquaFarm hosts debate How to define soilless culture products: organic, biodynamic, or simply better in all dimensions? AquaFarm hosts the debate on certification protocols of methods and products from vertical farming, aquaponics and soilless crops. Dedicated session on opening of the second edition of the show, February 15-16, 2018 at Fiera Pordenone.   In the United States the debate raged for months, with overtones coming from the “pure organics” side. At the end, soilless and aquaponics supporters won: it remains possible to certify as Organic a hydroponic farm and tag its products with the white-and-green label. In Europe the situation is very different and all hydroponic is excluded from certification, since the EU definition of “organic” implies that the crops roots are supported by soil in direct contact with the baserock. But, it still makes sense to focus on the “organic” label, in a world where population grows, and still more grows the request for good, safe, sustainable, accessible and affordable food? The chronicle is filled of news of “organic” products retired from the market for a problem or the other. Problems not caused by farmers not respecting the organic protocol, but by totally unrelated causes. And so, what’s really important? On the first day of the show, AquaFarm will offer its contribution to the debate on which are the available answers to a crucial question for the planet future. The opening session is devoted to “post-organic, the certification of soilless crops”, with speaker of the highest standing coming from all Europe.

For more industry event information - visit our events register The chairman will be Paolo Battistel, internationally renowned agronomist and consultant that operates in locations as diverse as the Siberian steppe and Sahara desert. Battistel will frame the problem and explain the state-of-the-art of the discussion. Next speaker will be Peter Jens, Director of Pura Natura Foundation, since ten years on the leading edge of the fight for an official European recognition of hydroponics as an “organic” method of agriculture. Mark Horler, operations manager of the Association for Vertical Farming, will describe, for the first time in Italy and the second in Europe, the AVF project for vertical farm certification, from techniques to products. AVF is an active and essential partner of AquaFarm and collaborates to attain the show goals to divulgate the vertical farming and soilless farming and facilitate the building of a community of knowledge and interest out of the diverse actors. Beyond “organic”, both in Italy and internationally do exist other certification protocols appliable to vertical farms and soilles crops, with a focus on sustainability. One, Italian, is the Sistema di Qualità Nazionale di Produzione Integrata (SNPQI, National Quality System of Integrated Production), a voluntary certification scheme for all agriculture and food products farmed with integrated production techniques (in hydroponics, for example, with recyclable substrates). Internationally it is available the voluntary scheme Friend of the Earth, that will be illustrated by Paolo Bray, founder and director of the renowned Friend of the Sea scheme for sustainable fishing and aquaculture.





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Feed quality is one of the most important parameters for fish farming. This one-day course will provide better understanding to attendees about raw materials, extrusion, pre and post operations. Participants who are attending VIV Middle East, this will be an ideal opportunity to attend both events at the same time. Aquaculture is one of the fastest developing sector in the world, now accounting for nearly 50 percent of the world's fish supply. Currently 100 percent of floating feed and about 60 percent of sinking feed is made by extrusion technology. Traditionally, single-screw extruders are widely used for producing the feeds for low protein adult fishes such as tilapia, catfish, grass carp, etc. Basic extrusion technology has been around for a long time. It has been used in one form or another in the food and feed industries. There has been no revolutionary or significant development in extruder design. As the aquaculture sector grows, there is increasing aqua feed demand in the market. Thereby aqua feed making business is also the promising industry throughout the world. There are hundreds of species of fish which require a wide range of feeds. Some species need floating feed (catfish, carp), some of them need slow sinking feed (salmon, trout) and some

of them need fast sinking feed (shrimp). The quality of the feed has a direct effect on fish reproduction, maturation, growth rate, uniformity of growth, resistance to stress and diseases, mortality and water quality. The feed industry experiences constant change to meet the needs of an evolving market. New processing technologies provide this industry the flexibility and efficiently to process a wide spectrum of foods that are trending toward increased complexity. Due to the rising demands of food production and necessary food per person, the consumption of fish increases dramatically. In this one-day course participants will learn about current status of aqua feed globally, principles and introduction to extrusion technology, selection of raw material and their properties for making aqua feed, grinding of raw material for making good quality pellet, extrusion of aqua feed, drying and cooling of aqua feed, optimising aqua feed quality, and latest technology for the ingredients and finished product analysis. This course has been organised by the International Aquafeed magazine and Dr Mian Riaz, world leader in extrusion technology from Texas A&M University.

52 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed

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A warm welcome to

Aquaculture America 2018 Las Vegas - Nevada, US February 19 - 22 Bringing all Players to the Table

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Participants of the Monaco Blue Initiative 2017 - Monico


Marine Protected Areas can benefit from aquaculture Nearly 1.5 billion people live around tropical coastlines. They have the most to lose from overexploitation and climate change and the most to gain from sustainable management. Marine conservation will only achieve the necessary scale if it engages and provides benefits to local communities. Aquaculture is an important tool to catalyse that, but building the social structures to manage and make it autonomous in the long run will take time and investment. The 8th edition of Monaco Blue Initiative, held in April 2017 in Monaco, reviewed aquaculture and its impact alongside Marine Protected Areas in a key session with the outcome that more data needs to be gathered to support aquaculture integration with the growing number of MPAs. The 9th Edition takes place in Scotland on April 8-9, 2018.

onaco Blue Initiative is a platform for discussion on ocean management and conservation which bring together all sectors involved in the marine environment - from government policy makers, international organisations and those working in and around the oceans and includes fishing and aquaculture, science, the private sector and civil society itself. Launched in 2010 by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, this initiative is being co-organised jointly by his Monaco Foundation and the Oceanographic Institute. Members of the MBI meet annually to discuss interactions and synergies between marine conservation and socio-economic development and its 2017 meeting took the debate further with regard to aquaculture and its future alongside Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The 2018 meeting which takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland from April 8-9 will follow-up the 2017 wide-ranging discussion and presentations with more focused networking involving invited representatives only. The MBI is located in Monaco but every second year is held outside the Principality. In 2016 the meeting was held in San Paulo, Brazil.

Wide ranging discussions

The 2017 one-day conference was broken into five sessions with aquaculture featuring strongly in two and having a mention in others. ‘Aquaculture and Marine Protected Areas’ was a session chaired by Doris Soto a senior scientist with the Inter-Disciplinary Centre for Research on Aquaculture in Chile. This was the session that focused most closely on how the future management of aquaculture might benefit MPAs. On her panel were four presenters: Francois Simard, the deputy director of Global Marine and Polar Programme IUCN; Thierry. Chopin the scientific director of the Canadian IMTA Network; John White the development director for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council and Kitty Brayne the programmes manager for UK Conservation ‘Blue Ventures’.

Aquaculture’s contribution

The scene was set when the group jointly recognized that aquaculture while responding to the world’s growing demand for fish at a time of depleted wild stocks, also threatens marine eco-systems when practiced irresponsibly. MPAs are one of the most effective means of preserving ocean eco-systems, the panel believe. It discussed ways of how aquaculture could be conducted in a ‘sustainable way’ alongside or within MPAs themselves and that in some ways could even contribute to restoring marine environments. Ms Soto explained that pressure from aquaculture on MPAs is often unavoidable as people have no alternative livelihood to that of aquaculture. Today, aquaculture makes up half of all fish consumed worldwide, and is growing rapidly, she explained. “The challenge is to develop aquaculture in ways that assist MPAs while providing crucial protein sources and livelihoods.” 54 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed

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Integrate aquaculture

Francois Simard’s organisation IUCN has identified synergies between aquaculture and MPAs, reconciling ‘friends of fish’ and ‘friends of fishing.’ He says there are six types of MPAs and in those where economic activity is allowed, aquaculture can help restore damage or depleted coral and fish stocks while providing livelihoods and food security. He suggests that future MPAs should integrate an aquaculture component from the start and should be seen as a positive. But what of farming non-native species within an MPA? That’s a thorny issue, she added. But with proper care its possible and cited an example of Mayotte. “Our aim is to bring together the MPA and aquaculture communities using available tools such as the eco-system approach, marine spatial planning and integrated coastal management.”

Multi-trophic aquaculture

Following on was Thierry Chopin who provided an overview of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) and its potential in MPAs to help make eco-systems and local economies sustainable. IMTA takes advantage of natures trophic relationships within a circular economy approach where waste from fed fish provide nutrients to other organisms. IMTA also provide jobs in coastal communities without displacing populations, provide local nutrition security and improve socio-economic resilience, he says. It can also counter climate change and he quoted seaweed as an example of a net producer of oxygen, sequester carbon and reduce local acidification. He says the development of IMTAs is hindered by obsolete policies and regulations. However, if teamed up with MPAs the two systems would validate both concepts. He says that following the 2016 MBI meeting in Brazil his organisation teamed up with EMBRAPA to combine marine and freshwater IMTAs in Brazil. Today, local communities use nutrient-rich waters from fish farming to fertilise their land. Alongside seaweed aquaculture, eco-tourism and cosmetic products the program provides diverse, quality food for local populations.

A sustainable feed standard

John White of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council highlighted the potential role for certification in developing aquaculture in and around MPAs. “When done badly aquaculture is very damaging to the environment and biodiversity and conflicts with the objectives of MPAs, but when done well it can reinforce them,” he says. The linkage between fish farms and MPAs has a real physical sense – while MPAs have legal boundaries their waters are porous. All farming operations can have an impact on water quality, species and habitats within MPAs, he adds. The ASC’s certification and labeling programme tackles many of the hazards of aquaculture. It currently has eight standards covering 12 of the world’s most commercially-prized species. These standards are based on scientific knowledge and best practices. Certification can make a significant difference, he says. While working with the Marine Stewardship Council, ASC is developing a seaweed standard that should soon be completed as well as a sea bass-sea bream standard. Even more important, he adds, is the work to promote a sustainable aquaculture feed standard. This will address some of the key problems around the current lack of sustainability of

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco summarizing the day-long meeting said, “The creativity shown and the wide variety of solutions that have been put forward … testifies to the very widespread mobilization not only of government and international organisations but also civil society. New ideas need to be put forward one-by-one in order to allow them with time to become established. But we must also seize opportunities, make innovative proposals when they are appropriate in their timing.”

many plant and land animal feed ingredients, but especially that of marine ingredients. “Looking ahead we must encourage more positive integration between spatial planning for MPAs at a macro level and fish farmers’ efforts to improve practices.” He says certifiably responsible aquaculture is good for MPAs, good for fish, good for farmers and good for the future, he concludes.

Promising aquaculture

Kitty Brayne leads conservation programmes for the UKbased social enterprise Blue Ventures. She shared her practical experiences in the Indian Ocean developing community-based aquaculture models as a catalyst for local marine conservation. She reported on ‘locally managed marine areas’ (LMMAs where communities manage fisheries and other resources for long-term benefits. However, success depends on finding ways to help overcome the opportunity cost communities face in implementing conservation measures, she says. Aquaculture is very promising but we need low-cost, lowtechnology models that have a low impact on the environment, are resistant to shocks from disease or weather and that fishers can implement with limited supervision. Blue Ventures is developing two models of community-based aquaculture in Madagascar. The other project is the first community-based aquaculture trial of sea cucumbers. Sea cucumbers are vital to the health of marine eco-systems but are being overharvested in the wild to supply demand in Asia. Blue Ventures have developed a ranching model where community members grow sea cucumbers in the sea in front of their villages, bringing significant revenue. It’s a model that can be scaled and replicated around the world.

Other sessions

The conference day also featured keynote speeches from France’s Minister of Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, Ségoléne Royal, Karmenu Vella, the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Gian Luca Galletti, the Italian Minister for the Environment, Protection of the Territory and the Sea. Other sessions on the programme included ‘The High Seas’ beyond national jurisdiction, ‘Marine Protects Areas and Climate’ the role of MPAs in improving biological resistance to climate change, a review of ‘Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Mediterranean’ and ‘Updates on tropical issues’. The closing address was given by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

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Industry Events

Feed for thought: Celebrating GMP+ International’s 25th anniversary


by Rhiannon White, International Aquafeed

n November 2017, global leader for feed safety certification, GMP+ International, invited around 100 delegates from around the world to a special conference that celebrated its 25th anniversary. It was fittingly held at The Beurs van Berlage in the center of Amsterdam, a historic venue of 19th to 20th century corn and grain exchange. Over the two days, rather than grain itself, over 20 experts exchanged their insights about challenges, solutions and future aims for feed safety and sustainability, through a mixture of short presentations and lively debates. Alongside the conference, delegates were treated to a walk-in exhibition of artist and photographer, Laurent Bellec’s imaginative and unique photography that he has spent the last seven years producing. His photographs capture feed mills in all their glory from around the globe and his publications offer a thoughtprovoking vision of the future relationship between feed milling and our everyday lives. In recognition of the interdependent relationship between feed and food safety and security, this report focuses on highlights from six of the presentations given. They discuss the imminent effects of climate change, the promise of big data, the increasing global demand for protein, the need for novel feed and the potential approaches towards achieving sustainability within the feed industry, all without compromising feed safety.

The GMP+ International journey

All the way back in 1992, several incidents involving contamination in feed materials in the Netherlands provoked the Dutch feed industry into developing a code for best practices, otherwise known as ‘Good Manufacturing Practices’ or GMP. In 2000, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points was included in the scheme, which made the system more preventive and proactive. Realising however, that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, it was also decided that a GMP+ FSA certificate was to be required from suppliers, which later expanded to include transporters, intermediaries and storage companies. Introducing the Early Warning System and Tracking & Tracing has further helped companies to react quickly in the case of

incidents. Also, since GMP+ certificated businesses can only trade with companies that are certificated as well, corporations of other countries started joining the scheme. Having this independent international standard for safe feed was a crucial step because often national legislations can vary from country to country. In response to increasing importance of sustainability, in 2014 the Feed Responsibility Assurance was launched as an add-on certificate to GMP+ FSA, as proof of a sustainable and responsible work method. In 2016, an impressive 350 companies received this certificate. By 2017, the Feed Fraud Program was launched with the aim of encouraging companies to be alert to the potential risks throughout the production chain and to raise concerns in order to control them. Today, across the globe over 17,000 companies in the feed chain are GMP+ Feed Safety Assurance certified although the company advocates that feed safety is a culture and mentality as much as it is a certificate on the wall. We caught up with Johan den Hartog, Managing Director of GMP+ International to gain a personal insight into the journey, “When I look for collaboration in a non-competitive way I always look to see if there is a common interest. A lot of companies realise that feed safety is not a competitive issue because when a big company has control over feed safety and its competitor, maybe a smaller one, does not have it, and something happens, the big one also faces the problem of losing trust from the market. So it is a common interest.” Acknowledging that it’s important in general to make clear to the downstream market how the chain works, Mr Hartog explains, “Transparency is also about traceability; it should contribute to trust and also it’s important that a company is able to act quickly when something occurs. Not everything can be avoided but when something occurs you should be able to act very quickly so that the downstream chain will not be provided with contaminated feed. “Whilst transparency should create trust, enabling companies to act as soon as possible, the system put in place by the company to control the risks is what is important rather than transparency itself.” Mr Hartog pointed to the fact that consumers expect and assume the safety of feed to be high quality so really it is a businessto-business communication so that businesses can guarantee customers that their product is safe. “More than has been done so far, we need to communicate on the kind of systems in the production chain that we need to put in place. For us, it is also important to emphasise we cannot solve all problems. We facilitate companies dealing with the control of feed safety. It is the owners of each company who must realise it and we will help. For us, it’s important to see how we can facilitate companies to predict risk in feed safety in a non-competitive way.” He comments that the world is moving quickly and we have to renovate and challenge ourselves from time to time, which this conference offers. “This conference is the start and opening of the door for a new phase of GMP+ International. Together with our new vision initiative, we will introduce a more ambitious goal of feed safety worldwide and to mark this, next year we will launch a new logo.”

‘Feed safety and food security, a close connection’

A view from: Angela Booth, Director of Feed Safety, AB Agri “So in terms of where we are today, the subject is very much food security given the growing population, growing demand for livestock products and the pressure that is putting on food security.” Mrs Booth insisted that we’re going to have to be more efficient as a livestock industry, which means greater efficiency from fewer resources. She says this puts its own pressure on whether we do

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this through technology, but also creates the opportunity for the arrival of innovation and novel products. So what four things cause a feed safety incident? “Firstly, ignorance and not being aware that a hazard exists. Secondly, incompetence, ineffective control systems and procedures, although quite often you find there are effective control systems and procedures it’s just they are not being followed. Thirdly, irresponsible acts - so the intentional breach of good practice for whatever reason be it sometimes time, cost or ease. Lastly, illegal acts and the breach of statutory regulations, whether knowingly or not.” She says another thing relevant to food security is that we have different expectations in terms of different supply chains around different parts of the world. Giving the example that there are still parts of the world today where human therapeutic drugs are being used as growth promoters, she states we need to make sure that our expectations are the same and that we operate to consistent standards worldwide. “The supply chain is still a challenge. We have to put our emphasis on challenging proactivity, communication and keep on working on it, going back as far as we can to understand the risks and ensure they are controlled at every stage. “One of the things that really worries me in terms of food security is that the demand for feed safety expertise is not going to decrease, it’s only going to increase and where do you find that feed safety expertise? Three elements worry me - the blend of skills that are required, the level of appropriate training that’s needed and lastly, how do we inspire a generation to get them involved in our industry? “I’m quite passionate, particularly in the UK, about trying to develop some postgraduate training on feed safety where we can have professional people with an appropriate qualification.”

‘Climate change and its impact on sourcing and feed safety’

A view from: Dr Berhe Tekola, Director of Animal Production & Health Division, FAO “This 25th year anniversary is being celebrated not only by GMP+ International but also by the whole globe because the advantages are spread all around the world.” Dr Berhe reinforced other speakers’ notions that without taking care of feed safety, we cannot talk about food safety. He says we need to be realistic. “There are campaigns against the livestock sector but we need to keep on educating those to be realistic. Not everyone can be vegetarian even if they wish to. In 2050, the population of the globe will be about 9.6 billion - can we feed this population only by crops? It’s impossible. Can we command the productivity of crop by double and triple, we cannot – the land is limited and the resources are from time to time scarce.” The answer for Dr Berhe is livestock. “In a limited area of a hector we can double, sometimes triple and quadruple when it comes to quantity. We must also address

livelihood, climate and the environment. Business can be successful when we address livelihoods, when we address the whole community, developing the capacity of the small modern farming system to market-oriented kind of production. When you talk about animal welfare, it’s not only for the economic impact, and it’s not only for the social point of view, it benefits the environment because less stressed animals emit less methane gas.” He says the impact of climate change on crops and livestock varies from continent to continent, and its impact upon the demand is different as well. “In many regions production is already being adversely affected by the raising of temperature, or temperature volatility and changes in the level and frequency of precipitation. In 2012, drought in the US created $30 billion in agricultural losses, which had both a domestic and international impact. “How is the feed safety issue being addressed in different parts of the world? I think we are quite successful in North America, in Europe and some of the Asian countries, but not in the majority part of Africa. We have to be transparent and rules will not work unless we implement them.”

‘Climate change and its impact on sourcing and feed safety’

A view from: Marcelo Martins, Managing Director EMEA, Cofco International “With temperature increasing, we’re going to see an impact on all production areas and more risk of contamination especially with mycotoxins. Therefore, it is something we will need to work together on all throughout the chain. Our role here is to help producers protect their crops to know how to overcome the burdens that they have and at the same time to help the feed industry to understand what we are supplying, what kind of raw material we are consuming.” According to Martins, fast consumer growth is in countries that are not necessarily capable or equipped to handle it and they need help. “For example in Bangladesh, there are 350 million people but conditions for storage are not at optimal level so even if we do all we can before to secure safety, if when we get there the raw material isn’t handled well, it means that we’re still going to have the risk of contamination. “Going forward, there are many actions to take. We need to look for technologies that can prevent the spread of mycotoxins and we need to be more engaged with the key producers and help them to develop the practices that can improve the quality of foods they are producing.”

‘How data will challenge and secure feed safety’

A view from: Professor Dr Leo den Hartog, Director R & D and Quality Affairs, Nutreco NV “Without feed safety, there is no food safety. Also there are a lot of facets surrounding this such as animal welfare, social aspects and the environment and they all have an impact.”

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Regarding new technology entering the market, Hartog drew the delegates’ attention to the fact that we are now able to use one hair or one drop of blood to see if offspring will perform well, rather than having to look at the offspring like we would have done in the past. So now we can approach things much faster. Also with nutrition, he says we can impact the animals to produce more and in the coming 10 years, there will be more changes. “We know that 60 percent of the cost on a farm is nutrition, so it means that precision and giving the animal what it needs is important. “Nowadays it is stated that 25 percent of world food crops are contaminated with mycotoxins but I think personally it is even more. With a changing climate, this will be an issue for the future of feed safety. This is why we have developed the MycoMaster because you can go to the customer and right away show if there are mycotoxins in the raw materials. “Four or five years ago we started up a lab and now are the first company who has in the pipeline and capabilities and competences in-house to analyse the microbiota in the animals to show the moment of action and to see what is going on. Then you get the big data spectrum, you have a lot of sequences of all the bacteria, which are there, and this allows us to understand how feed additives and feed affects the animal. With these databases, you can connect data and get more insights.” Hartog concluded that although we live in a very challenging world, emerging technologies have an enormous positive effect on feed and food safety and quality and animal health.

‘How data will challenge and secure feed safety’

A view from: Dr Dries Berckmans, KU Leuven/CEO Soundtalks NV “Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) is when you want to manage in a different way on a farm so you monitor different aspects environment, production, reproduction, health, welfare and you do so in an automated, continuous way in real-time. For example, we are detecting automatically in real-time continuously and it’s a very good indicator for respiratory health problems in pigs and by giving early warnings, you can change management, you can do something about it and this is the answer that allows us to use less antibiotics for example.” “Similarly, we looked at what would happen if you don’t feed the broilers an unlimited amount and instead tried to control the amount of feed you give. What was demonstrated in the university in the commercial barn is that you end up with the same endweight but you do it in a much more controlled way, it’s a lot more efficient, and you have a lot less mortality. But by growing more gradually, you give them the time to develop the bone structure and incur less problems overall.” He called upon the audience to remember that “animals are not machines so farmers, builders, farms, animals, they’re all individually different and we can clearly see our technologies also give different results and that should be taken into account.” He adds that no one actually really cares about data because what people want is information. But to get there we need reliable data. “Therefore, in my opinion what you have to do is to transfer data into relevant information at the lowest level possible for example in the microphone, close to the camera but not in the cloud for example and then you combine a lot of relevant information later on for example we combine information about number of coughs per hour, we combine temperature, humidity, the weather information etc. “For the first six months after we installed the technologies on farms, we were really shocked because nobody was using them and nobody cared about it. So we did one-day training sessions and

the farmers became very interested in working with the system. So training is crucial if we want these technologies to be used. “What was made clear for me is that there is a clear need for a service industry around using these technologies because they are too complicated to use without it. But then the big question comes, who owns the data? In my opinion, the farmer owns the data although I know there are a lot of different opinions on this. I think information needs to be shared and so do profits.”

‘Feed safety benefits from need for sustainability’

A view from: Ruud Tijssens, member of the Executive Committee, IFIF “The starting point of sustainable development is safe feed and food. That is indeed a no-brainer, a clear connection. Feed safety is about managing potential risks throughout the supply chain. “We have developed all kinds of management systems and ways to manage risks, and we have clear systems for how this information is travelling backward through the supply chain from the feed mill. We implement on top of that legislation, and protocols coming from companies like GMP+ International.” He says that our footprints, and our ‘feedprints’ are starting to matter. “I’m working in a Dutch company and we have to deliver in the dairy chain from next year, actual figures of our CO2 feed print, so what we are delivering to the farmers, through the supply chain. That type of information is going to be requested. “Another important subject in Europe is the development of PEF, the Product Environmental Footprint. It’s an obligatory legal framework of how you have to calculate your footprint and somewhere in time and it’s not clear how or when but this obligatory framework is going to be implemented.” Therefore, he suggests that you can clearly see that the origin of our raw materials is also going to matter and it matters how it is being processed. He predicts that sustainability is going to be about what we know about the origin of our raw materials. The question of course is are we ready for that? “It is clear to me that in the long run, information and region of origin is going to matter and the feed safety industry is going to benefit from that. “The whole process of raw materials should be based on risk assessment and I see exactly the same logic we have for feed safety because the criteria applies around the globe and are applicable for every raw material. “Why should I discuss about crop rotation when they have already two or three crops a year? Why should I discuss about pesticides when they have no problem with pesticides? Why should I discuss about child labour when there are no problems with child labour? “I am saying that the approach should be risk based otherwise you are never going to implement something tangible.”


As the two-day conference drew to a close, delegates did not leave hungry – in body nor mind. Over a plentitude of delicacies at the close of day, the cornucopia of ideas that had been presented over the last two days were being digested and discussed by all creating an animated buzz around the hall. Faced with an unprecedented number of mouths to feed by 2050, the food industry is going to rely inherently upon the feed industry to ensure production chain safety and sustainability. It goes almost without saying that the GMP+ International journey is one of tremendous success for citizens on all continents and that the future is looking even healthier with the development of the industry in the hands of dedicated, driven and above all, collaborative experts.

58 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed

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International Aquafeed - January 2018 | 61

the interview Erik Hempel, Director of Communications, The Nor-Fishing Foundation Erik Hempel has been involved with The Nor-Fishing Foundation for 10 years where he is now the Director of Communications. He describes his entry into aquaculture as almost an accident, remarking, “I just happened to stumble into fisheries, back in the late 1970s, a short-term consultancy for the FAO led to a job with the FAO at INFOFISH. Aquaculture at that time was not such a big thing, but as it grew, we all started to pay attention to it, me included.” Mr Hempel trained initially as a Political Scientist before embarking on his career in aquaculture, in his most recent role he will be officially serving as the Editor of International Aquafeed magazine, Norwegian edition.

How have you seen Norwegian aquaculture practices evolve in the past decade? I think the technological development has continued with force. Particularly in the last few years, we have seen the introduction of very sophisticated technology in Norwegian fish farming. It is fair to say that aquaculture has become even more science-based in its approach and in its practice. In addition, we have seen very profitable operations, thanks to a very high salmon price. Finally, the industrialisation of aquaculture in Norway has continued. It is now first and foremost a business, and is dominated by very large companies. Consequently, we have seen the entry of a number of “new” professions, at least in relation to aquaculture. The big companies are now run by economists, finance people, and lawyers, and not so much by biologists and the traditional fish farmers. Norway is a relatively small producer in terms of volume. Secondly, we were a late-comer in the game. But the most important characteristic of Norwegian aquaculture, and the field where Norway has probably been in the forefront, is the systematic, scientific approach to the industry. Modern aquaculture is now an “information industry” in the sense that all aspects are developed with a basis in science, and we are applying a number of scientific fields to make this a smooth-running, profitable and sustainable industry.

Aqua-Nor is recorded as the world’s largest aquaculture technology exhibition; do you think it will maintain this position next year? I believe we can for a few more years. The reason is simply that it is a forum that more and more people in the industry, worldwide, are coming to. As organisers will have to do our part, we must continuously make sure that fish farmers in other regions of the world and those working with species other than salmon, or even finfish in general, will find something of interest at our exhibition. We must attract people from other regions and other parts of the industry, and I think the way we do that is by offering an interesting programme of mini-seminars and discussions. Some years ago, we asked ourselves the question: “Do exhibitions have a future at all, or will it all be taken over by the net?” By analysing what our exhibitions meant to the exhibitors and the visitors, we arrived at a simple formula. Our exhibitions, both Aqua Nor and Nor-Fishing, provide three important things to the industry: A display window for new technology; this is where you will find the latest technology on display, and you will be able to meet those who created it and discuss with them. Secondly, Aqua Nor and Nor-Fishing are meeting places. It is a fantastic networking place, where you can meet lots and lots of people in the industry in the span of very few days. Finally, it is a place where you can get a professional update on the industry. This is where the mini-seminars and the miniconferences come in By facilitating these three simple things, we believe that we can remain interesting to the industry.

How important is networking for the future of aquacultural technology?

I believe this is the most important aspect of the exhibition. Therefore, I should have liked to have more to offer in terms of

restaurants, lobbies, etc, where people can sit down and talk. However, we have to give priority to the exhibitors, and I know that there is an awful lot of networking going on at each and every stand in the hall.

You have a long and rich history in the industry, how would you recommend it as a field for young professionals to get into?

To young people, I can only say: this is the future. Whatever your educational background, the industry will need you all. We need bright young people to develop our industry further, and we must do our utmost to recruit them. At the Nor-Fishing Foundation, during the exhibitions, we dedicate one day, - Friday, the last day of the exhibition -, as “Student Day”. We invite students from all over and run a special programme for them, including the very popular “speed dating” between students and companies that are looking for young recruits. This has become phenomenally popular, both among the students and the companies, and last year we had no less than 350 students participating.

What do you think the biggest problem threatening aquaculture is and what do you think can be done to tackle it?

Sometimes I get very upset with the argumentation of various special interest groups that fight aquaculture. Various environmental groups come to mind. While they pretend to be fighting for the environment, I suspect they do not always know what they are talking about, and sometimes I even suspect that they have an agenda which is quite different from the one they say they have. There are exceptions, of course, and I think that environment groups like WWF and Bellona have chosen a much more constructive course than most other such groups. These organizations focus on solving problems together with the industry, rather than fighting the industry. But there are threats within the industry itself, too. Lack of knowledge, or just pure greed, can make some operators pursue the wrong practices. Each and every fish farmer has to think about the environment and about sustainability. Those who do not, are sawing off the branch they are sitting on, so to speak. So what is needed, both within the industry and in relation to the general public, is more information, true and accurate information.

Given your widespread experience, what other activities are you involved in globally and why?

My job keeps me very busy, and what little time is left I like to spend with my grandchildren. I now have five grandsons, and I try to see them regularly. But I am involved in a number of development projects around the world as part of my job. I do a bit of work for the FAO under the GLOBEFISH banner, and I am involved in some other conferences here and there. Then I take on the odd consultancy project, particularly in Africa and Asia. In Vietnam, for example, I am involved with the newly established Vietnam SeaCulture Association, which is planning to develop a marine aquaculture industry and wants to cooperate with us in Norway in this effort. This work does mean a lot of travel, but I have now developed a new hobby when I am travelling: I keep sending postcards (no, they are not yet out of fashion!) to my grandsons.

62 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed

THE INDUSTRY FACES Bringing two decades of experience to Scottish Sea Farms


esley Dougall, formerly with the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), has joined Scottish Sea Farms as Communications & Marketing Manager.

With 20 years’ experience, Ms Dougall has held a number of senior communications roles, both within creative agencies and client-side.

Lesley Dougall

She commented, “My two years with SAIC opened my eyes to just how important aquaculture is, not just to the prosperity of Scotland and the wider UK, but also in terms of global food security.” She summarised, “In my new role, I will be working with Scottish Sea Farms to champion that importance: from the healthy, nutritious salmon it produces and exports around the world, to the livelihoods it supports and the remote communities it helps sustain. There are so many positive news stories to be shared.”

IFFO new Vice President


nne Mette Bæk Jespersen has been announced by the IFFO as the new Vice President, commencing from January 1, 2018.

This came following elections for the new IFFO Management Board, the organisation were pleased to announce that the incoming Vice President is Anne Mette Bæk Jespersen.

Anne Mette Bæk Jespersen

IFFO’s Producer members elected representatives for their countries to the board in September and Vice President were confirmed at the IFFO Board Meeting on 23rd October. Following the announcement she commented,”Innovation and sustainability and getting the right products to the right markets are key to the future development of the fishmeal and fish oil industry. I consider international cooperation vital for the long term success of the industry and I look forward to working closely with the president, the board and the secretariat in the interest of all IFFO members.”

Aquabotix appoints Chief Executive Officer


avid Batista has been announced as UUV Aquabotiv Ltd’s Chief Executive Officer. The Company’s current CEO and founder, Durval Tavares, will assume the role of Chief Technology Officer. In his new role as Chief Technology Officer, Tavares will lead development of the company’s underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) and Hybrid AUV/ROV (autonomous underwater vehicle/remotely operated vehicle) technology.

David Batista

He is the former Senior Managing Director of independent financial services firm Viriathus Holdings LLC. He has more than 20 years of experience working with small-cap listed companies, both in the U.S. and Australia. While at Viriathus Holdings, Batista closed more than 40 investment and M&A transactions for domestic and international clients. A graduate of C.W. Post College, Mr Batista also has several post-graduate qualifications from The New York Institute of Finance.

IFFO announces President


duardo Goycoolea has been announced as the incoming President for the IFFO following elections for the new IFFO The Marine Ingredients Organisation.

This change takes place commencing from January 1, 2018. IFFO’s Producer members elected representatives for their countries to the board in September and the President was confirmed at the IFFO Board Meeting on 23rd October.

Eduardo Goycoolea

Following his appointment, incoming President Eduardo Goycoolea stated, “I look forward to leading such a well renowned and important organisation. I have worked closely with IFFO for decades and watched it become the networking heart of our industry, while also being a driver for change. Working with our Management Board and the IFFO Secretariat, I hope to continue its vital work to ensure that as an industry we remain ahead of the curve.” 64 | January 2018 - International Aquafeed













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JAN 2018 - International Aquafeed magazine  
JAN 2018 - International Aquafeed magazine