Friday, January 30, 2015

30/01/2015: Large scale operation to rescue 10,000 fish after UK Canal leak

UP TO 10,000 fish are being rescued from the Droitwich Barge Canal in the UK in a large scale operation to fix a leak, The Droitwich Standard reports.

Two fisherman will be working from dawn till dusk to finish the job by tomorrow morning (Saturday) using a specialist electrofishing technique.
 

http://www.droitwichstandard.co.uk/2015/01/30/news-Large-scale-operation-to-save-thousands-fish-after-Droitwich-Canal-leak-125318.html

Once the works on the 1300 metre stretch, between Hawford Bottom Lock and Ladywood Top Lock, have been completed, engineers will inspect the 17th century timber culvert they believe is causing the leak.

The Canal and River Trust has been working with James and Josh Kirk, from MEM Fisheries Ltd, who are undertaking the rescue.

The pair are expecting to find fish of all kinds including skimmerbreams, roach, perch, gudgeon, eels and crucian carp.

Before the job could be started the canal was drained by just over a meter and two large nets were set up about 50metres apart.

James and Josh then walked up and down the canal with electric wands which send currents through the water, temporarily stunning the fish so they floated to the surface and could be caught with the nets.

Two big sweeps were being carried out with care taken not to harm the fish.

They were then transferred into large bins filled with fresh water before being moved to a nearby unaffected part of the canal.

The pair have to wear full body dry flotation suit which stop them from being electrocuted and from hurting themselves on anything in the canal.

James said: "So far, the biggest fish has been about a pound, around 12 inches, but we are anticipating fish of up to 10 and 12 pounds, maybe even a little bit bigger."

"The water is not very cold at all you do not really feel it in these suits if anything you sweat."

The canal is then drained, a minimum of 600mm or water must be left, and James and Josh have to go back and pick up any remanding fish.

The culvate, which was put in place when the canal was first built, will then be cleaned out with a high pressure water jet and a camera will be used to take a close look at it.

Rick Fowler, The Canal and River Trusts's waterway engineer, said 99 per cent of the fish would be caught saying this was the most cost effective method with the lowest risks.

"It has got to be done with due care and consideration we like to look after the environment and our heritage.

"If necessary we will do it with a layer of ice on the water - if there is an issue then we have to act on it."

Read more HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

Biorigin company profile

http://www.biorigin.net/biorigin/index.php/en/

Biorigin is a Brazilian company which mobilizes knowledge and technology to promote health and quality of life. Using biotechnological processes, it produces natural ingredients for flavor enhancement, sodium reduction, shelf life extension in food market; and nutritional enrichment of feeds and substitutes for antibiotics.

It is a business unit of Zilor, a company with more than 65 years of experience and one of the largest Brazilian producers of ethanol, sugar and electricity from sugar cane.
Biorigin was founded in 2003, and in 2008 acquired the companies PTX Food Corp in The United States and Immunocorp and Animal Health, in Norway, expanding and strengthening its international presence.


Visit the website HERE.


The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

30/01/2015: UK supermarkets failing to stock enough sustainable fish, says report


Some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets are not offering enough sustainably caught fish, despite soaring demand from consumers, according to new research published on Friday, The Guardian reports.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) said the availability of certified fish was at record levels but pointed out a growing gap between supermarkets in terms of how many products they stocked.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/30/uk-supermarkets-failing-stock-enough-sustainable-fish-report

Sainsbury’s, which has topped the MSC’s table since 2010, sold 163 certified products over the last financial year, almost twice the 79 products sold by its closest competitor Waitrose and more than three times the amount stocked by Marks & Spencer.

However, Tesco (with nearly a quarter of the certified fish market) increased its product line by just one, from 17 to 18, since 2010, while Morrisons dropped theirs from 12 to eight and Asda cut theirs from 27 to 21. The popular German discounter Lidl – which at Christmas put on sale the cheapest oysters on the high street (farmed through a Scottish co-operative), languishes at the bottom of the table, with only seven sustainable products ands just 3.7 percent of the market.

The MSC said its data suggested that sustainably fished popular species such as cod, haddock, tuna and prawns were making their way on to UK supermarket shelves in record numbers, driven by the progress made by the leading retailers.

More than one million tonnes of MSC-certified cod alone was caught globally last year, up from 500,000 tonnes in 2010, it said. MSC-certified sales of the UK’s most popular species had increased 300 percent in two years, and its distinctive blue eco-label now appears on more than 25,000 tonnes of cod, haddock, tuna and prawns in the UK. The MSC said growth reflected the increasing number of MSC-certified sustainable fisheries.
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A survey for the MSC last year found that 71 percent of UK consumers thought it important for supermarkets to sell sustainably caught seafood.

MSC senior UK manager Toby Middleton said: “We know that consumers expect sustainable seafood choices in their supermarkets but not all supermarkets are making it easy for their customers. UK shoppers expect sustainability built into their purchase, regardless of their price point. Sainsbury’s has already shown that price need not be a barrier to sustainability, with even their Basics fish fingers MSC certified, at 65p a pack. It’s time for the other retailers to step up to the mark.

“Safeguarding the world’s oceans is essential if we are to maintain healthy fish populations, economies and ecosystems. By choosing MSC labelled fish and seafood, shoppers are helping to transform the way the oceans are fished. Only through the blue MSC ecolabel can consumers be sure that what they choose to put on their plate will be from an MSC certified sustainable fishery. Sainsbury’s and Waitrose recognise the value of third-party labelling that consumers can trust. Others must follow their lead if they want to maintain growth in market share over the long term.

“Claiming to source MSC certified seafood isn’t enough if shoppers can’t see the label on packs. If it doesn’t say MSC certified on the packet, it isn’t MSC certified in the packet.”

Read the article HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

30/01/2015: No need for food bank as UK fish factory jobs are secure


Church leaders in Peterhead, UK have called off a food drive in support of workers from a disaster-struck fish factory – after company bosses assured staff their jobs are safe, The Press and Journal reports.

The Northbay Pelagic processing plant in Peterhead was levelled by a massive fire on Saturday, January 17, casting doubt over the future of hundreds of employees.

As investigations into the cause of the fire continued last week, supermarket chain Morrisons joined the town’s Apex Church in launching an emergency food bank for stricken staff.
 
https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/north-east/peterhead/473179/no-need-for-food-bank-as-fish-factory-jobs-are-secure/
The fire destroyed two buildings

But last night the delighted team from the Apex Church’s Joseph Storehouse – which acts as both a soup kitchen and food bank for people in need in the town – said there was no longer a demand for their services.

Pastor Neil Cameron said: “We won’t be doing a food collection at Morrisons this coming Saturday.

“We’re delighted to have been passed the news about staff keeping their jobs at Northbay Pelagic.

“We’ve heard that workers have been assured their jobs are safe.

“I just wanted to say thanks to the people of Peterhead for their desire to help out and be involved in supporting the staff.”

The revelation follows a Scottish Government-led task force meeting on Friday to discuss how the public sector can support the firm and its workers.
Aerial pictures show devastation caused to Peterhead Fish Factory by fire. Pictures by Best Viewed From Above

It is understood Northbay Pelagic Ltd senior management met with staff on Monday to discuss the future of the plant.

Company director Chris Anderson was unavailable for comment last night, but a statement on the firm’s website says: “We are currently looking at all of our options going forward and we will hopefully announce our plan of action soon.”

Aberdeenshire Council is hosting another drop-in session today for factory workers with questions about employment rights. The session is being held in the Hot Spot community facility, less than 100 yards from the scene of the blaze.

There was no update on the joint Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service probe into the cause of the incident last night.
Read the article HERE


The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

30/01/2015: Tracking fish easier, quicker, safer with new injectable device

Fish no longer need to go under the knife to help researchers understand exactly how they swim through hydroelectric dams, thanks to a new injectable tracking device described in the journal Scientific Reports, EurekAlert says.

The new injectable acoustic fish tag allows researchers to safely and quickly insert the small device into young fish with a syringe similar to those used to treat humans. Injecting the tag, instead of surgically inserting it as earlier versions required, is less invasive and enables fish to heal faster, which can also provide more reliable information about fish behavior.
 
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-01/dnnl-tfe012815.php
Picture credit: PNNL

"Our new tag essentially allows fish to undergo a quick outpatient procedure," said Zhiqun "Daniel" Deng, a scientist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "Tags have been used to track and evaluate fish movement for decades, but this is the first acoustic transmitter that can be inserted with a simple needle injection."

PNNL began developing its Juvenile Salmon Acoustic Telemetry System, also known as JSATS, in 2001 at the request of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates dams in the Pacific Northwest. That system - which includes tags, sound receivers and software - was initially designed to provide a more accurate picture of how young salmon migrate from their birthplace in Columbia River Basin waters to the open Pacific Ocean. The system's use has since expanded to other fish species, for a variety of waterpower structures, and beyond the Northwest, including in California, Australia and Brazil.

Tags release quiet beeps that are picked up by receivers placed in rivers, lakes and other water bodies as tagged fish swim by. Receiver data helps researchers map out the precise 3-D location of each fish and determine if fish are injured during their travels. That information can help make dams more fish-friendly by revising their operations or altering their physical structure. Hundreds of thousands of young fish have been studied with JSATS tags over the years.

Though the earlier JSATS tag provided a very detailed picture of fish migration, researchers worried that the mere presence of their tag - which was about three times heavier in 2007 than today's injectable tag - could alter fish behavior and make tag-gathered data less reliable for small fish. The earlier tags were also large enough to require surgery, with technicians creating a small incision into each anesthetized fish, manually inserting tags and hand-stitching incisions closed. Studies showed surgically tagged fish might not behave the same as untagged fish if the ratio of the tag weight to fish weight is too big. As a result, PNNL staff worked to make a progressively smaller and lighter tag, with the eventual goal of being able to inject their tag with a syringe.

"Minimizing the impact dams have on fish requires us to study and understand how changes at dams affect their behavior and survival. A critical assumption of any research is that the animals being studied represent their entire population," said M. Brad Eppard, a fisheries biologist with the Portland District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a co-author on the paper. "The new injectable tag helps us ensure the individual fish we study represent the fish in the Federal Columbia River Power System by allowing smaller-sized fish to be tagged."

PNNL's new injectable tag is about as big as two grains of rice placed next to each other lengthwise. It weighs just 217 milligrams when dry, is 15 millimeters long and 3.38 millimeters in diameter. Half of the cylindrical tag contains a tiny 3-volt battery. The other half consists of a miniature circuit board and a transducer, which makes the tag's beeping noise. New features include the addition of a temperature sensor and the ability to adjust sound levels, release two unique tracking codes alternatively, and program the tag to be silent for a pre-determined amount of time.

The injectable tag can intermittently beep as often as every 0.4 seconds, or less frequently, depending on a study's particular needs. Thanks to the new tag's powerful battery, lab tests showed the tag can release sound for an average of 120 days when beeps are sent every three seconds. In comparison, PNNL's previous tag only lasted 23 days under the same conditions.

Inserting the new tag into fish also takes substantially less time than the previous version. Injecting the tag with a syringe takes just 20 seconds, while the old tag's surgery required at least two minutes. The shorter period reduces the cost of fish-tagging studies, as the manual labor of handling fish and inserting tags is the most expensive part of these studies.

During the summer of 2013, about 700 juvenile salmon implanted with the injectable tag were released in the Snake River in Washington state. Initial results indicated survival was higher in fish carrying the injectable tag than those with the older tag. Research is ongoing to fully evaluate how the tags affect fish and to determine the smallest fish that is suitable for safe injectable tagging.

PNNL intends to transfer the new injectable tag to a commercial vendor that will independently manufacture and sell it. Discussions are ongoing with several companies that have expressed interest in licensing the technology.

Deng and his team are continually working to improve their fish tag. An even smaller tag is being developed for juvenile eels and lamprey, and a longer-lasting tag was made for sturgeon last year.

Read more HERE
(IAF1502)

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

Thursday, January 29, 2015

29/01/2015: Torgeir Kvidal appointed acting CEO of Yara International ASA

First published in International Aquafeed, November - December 2014

Torgeir Kvidal is appointed Acting CEO effective 7 October 2014, and Jørgen Ole Haslestad has resigned as Yara CEO.
 

http://issuu.com/international_aquafeed/docs/iaf1406_w1/66?e=1620985/10049203

"Yara's Board have concluded that Haslestad is not the right person to lead the company going forward, also in light of the on-going talks with CF Industries. Haslestad would not have a role in a potential merged company," says Leif Teksum, Chairman of the Yara Board of Directors.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jørgen for his contribution to Yara, first as a Board member and since 2008 as CEO. Yara has made considerable progress under Haslestad's leadership," says Teksum.

"The discussions with CF Industries will continue with Kvidal leading the Yara team, with support from the Board and in particular from me as Chairman," says Teksum.

Torgeir Kvidal (born 1965) has served as Chief Financial Officer since May 2012 and was Head of Supply & Trade from 2011 to 2012, having joined Norsk Hydro in 1991. Mr Kvidal holds a Master's degree from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH).

Read the magazine HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

Amlan International company profile

http://www.calibrinzforems.com/

Calibrin-Z is a bacterial toxin control product that protects vital digestive organs from the damaging effects of Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) in shrimp. EMS is caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus (V.p.) exotoxin. When the V.p. bacterium enters the body, it secretes a toxin that kills the hepatopancreas cells, a critical digestive organ necessary for growth and development of healthy profitable shrimp.

As part of your ongoing feeding regimen, Calibrin-Z works by absorbing the V.p. bacterial toxin in the body, increasing the rate of survival in your shrimp crop. Recent studies conducted by a leading researcher of EMS have shown significant improvement in survivability of shrimp fed Calibrin-Z when challenged with the V.p. bacterial toxin. All combined, these studies show that under a V.p. toxin challenge shrimp survival increases up to 84 percent versus controls. To date, no other product has shown results as positive as these.


Amlan International knows and understands toxin absorption. This knowledge has led to a full line of products that mitigate toxins and reduce the negative effects of disease in multiple livestock species. Through the use of Amlan International products producers, nutritionists, veterinarians and farmers around the world are able to achieve peak operational performance.


Visit the website HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

29/01/2015: Sixty thousand fish killed as pollution hits five mile stretch of UK Canal

Up to 60,000 fish have died in a massive pollution incident on a five mile stretch of the Grand Union Canal, Leicestershire, UK, The Leicester Mercury reports.

They were poisoned by a suspected leak of farm slurry from waterside land somewhere between Kilby Bridge and Kibworth.
 

http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/thousand-fish-killed-pollution-hits-mile-stretch/story-25935270-detail/story.html

But action by the Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency and Natural England has saved more than 100,000 fish.

They were alerted nearly four weeks ago after large numbers of dead fish were seen floating in the water.

They closed the polluted section of the canal and started pumping air into the water.

They removed surviving fish northwards along the canal towards Bumblebee Lock, near Kilby Bridge.

A spokeswoman for the Canal and River Trust said: “In total we think about 50 to 60,000 fish died.

“Thankfully we did manage to save more fish that we think have died. The numbers for this are in the region of about 100,000 fish.”

The trust’s acting waterway manager Neil Owen said: “It is going to take time for the fish stocks to recover but hopefully over time the fish relocated further along the canal will make their way back to this stretch of canal.”

Environment Agency incident commander John Dronfield said: “While the incident resulted in thousands of fish deaths, the outcome could have been far worse.

“I’m pleased to announce that the vast majority of fish were saved and the Site of Special Scientific Interest on the Kilby-Foxton Canal was protected.”

The canal was closed to boats for three weeks and three days as the water was aerated to remedy some of the damage caused. Thousands of fish were plucked from the polluted stretch and moved to safer areas.

Fresh water was then pumped into the affected area from the river Sence and from further upstream in order to dilute the pollution until the water quality was back to normal.

He said an Environment Agency investigation team was seeking to identify and take action against any individual or business that contributed to the pollution.


Read the article HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

29/01/2015: Australian fish moving south as climate changes, say researchers

Australian scientists have assessed how 35 common fish species are coping with climate change, finding that most have to deal with new conditions and many are moving towards polar waters to find suitable habitats, The Guardian reports.

Research led by the University of Tasmania’s institute for marine and Antarctic studies analysed the climate sensitivity of fish found off the south-east coast of Australia. The region is one of more than a dozen global ocean ‘hotspots’ – others include off Brazil, in the Indian ocean and the North Sea – where the water is warming much faster than the global average for the world’s oceans.
 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/29/australian-fish-moving-south-as-climate-changes-say-researchers

The 35 species of fish and other sea life, ranked for their importance to the commercial fishing industry as well as their ecological significance, had a varied response to increasing sea temperatures and changing levels of nutrients and plankton.

Species such as abalone, blue swimmer crab, southern calamari, southern rock lobster and western king prawns will experience a high impact from changing temperatures.

Australian salmon will face similarly large changes due to altering winds and currents, while black bream will have to cope with changed freshwater flows.

Species were assessed on their distribution, how many eggs they lay and their capacity for movement.

Researchers stressed that not all of these changes would be disastrous for fish, but that most of the studied species will have to alter their habits or range of habitat in some way, with many shifting towards cooler waters near the poles to survive.

“We found a mixed bag – some positive and some negative,” said Dr Gretta Pecl, lead author of the study. 


“Some species are shifting south and increasing their range, while others are already at their tolerance for temperature and as it warms, their range will shrink.
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“In Tasmania, there’s been an increase in snapper and yellow-tailed kingfish, which is great for the fishing industry. But in South Australia, there may be parts of the gulf regions unsuitable for snapper and it may decline there.

“Temperature will be the major factor and off the coast of Tasmania the rate of warming is four times the global average. For species that are highly sensitive to temperature, it will affect the rate of growth, the amount of energy it needs and its oxygen consumption. Almost no aspect will be unaffected.”

Pecl said fish species were being increasingly sighted outside their traditional ranges, such as coral trout seen in New South Wales, a manta ray off north east Tasmania and whale sharks getting as far south as Perth.

International research published in 2013 found that fish species were being pushed towards the poles at a rate of 7kms every year as they chase the climates they can survive in.

The global sea surface temperature has increased by around 0.1C per decade since the 1970s. As well as warming waters, marine creatures have to deal with increasing acidification as excess carbon dioxide is absorbed and lowers the pH level of the oceans.

The research into how fish will cope with climate change was funded by state and federal government agencies and will be shared with other countries to help them manage their fisheries. US and Canadian authorities have already adapted and applied the data.


Read the article HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

29/01/2015: Rothamsted GM omega-3 plants suitable for farmed fish

OIL derived from genetically modified (GM) Camelina plants is suitable for feeding fish, scientists from Rothamsted have found, the Farmer's Guardian reports.

Researchers have been working on the project in the laboratory for the last 15 years and believe the GM Camelina plants will produce the omega-3 fatty acids in a more ‘sustainable way’.
 

http://www.farmersguardian.com/microsite-test/rothamsted-gm-omega-3-plants-suitable-for-farmed-fish/70258.article

The oils have been shown to benefit human health and help protect against coronary heart diseases.

Fish do not produce these oils but accumulate them through their diet in the wild or through fish oil and fishmeal in farmed fish.

Currently there is a gap between supply and demand for fish oils and new sources are required for the aquaculture industry and for direct human consumption.

The research project was a collaboration between the University of Stirling and Rothamsted Research and is published today (Thursday) in the journal Scientific Reports.

Dr Monica Betancor, who carried out the experiments at the University of Stirling, said: “With this work we had the opportunity to test the potential of this novel source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to substitute for fish oil in fish feeds.

“We used three diets, one containing the standard fish oil used routinely in the fish feed industry, one containing oil from Camelina plants that have not been genetically engineered and one that contained oil derived from plants that have been engineered to produce 20 per cent EPA in their seeds. Each diet was tested with three separate groups of Atlantic salmon for seven weeks.

“At the end of the experiment we examined fish from the different treatments and found that the oil derived from the GM plants can effectively substitute for fish oil in salmon feeds. This is highly significant because fish oil is a finite and limited resource, very expensive and the increasing demands for it by the fish farming industry will not be met in the future.”

Prof Douglas Tocher, leading the salmon feeding study at the University of Stirling, added: “The development of these novel plant oils, tailored to human requirements, represent a sustainable way to farm fish with high levels of omega-3 fish oils that maintain their high nutritional value to the human consumer while preserving wild fish stocks.”


Read the article HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

28/01/2015: International Aquafeed 2015 Events Planner and Calendar




The 2015 event wall planner from International Aquafeed magazine. Get your copy free at many trade shows and events throughout the year or by subscribing to International Aquafeed magazine.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

28/01/2015: New Chairman for MSC Developing World Working Group

First published in International Aquafeed, November - December 2014

The Marine Stewardship Council’s Developing World Working Group has appointed Professor Eyiwunmi Augustine Falaye as its new chairperson.


http://issuu.com/international_aquafeed/docs/iaf1406_w1/66

Professor Falaye will oversee a group of stakeholders representing 11 countries from across the developing world. The Developing World Working Group provides advice and guidance to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) on the challenges and solutions to overfishing in the developing world.

It was established by the MSC in 2007 in order to help increase accessibility of the MSC program for sustainable fishing. Fisheries in developing world countries face a unique set of funding, environmental, social and political challenges. The MSC is developing tools and mechanisms to support these fisheries to achieve the high standards required for MSC certification. This could open up new markets for MSC certified seafood from the developing world.

Professor Falaye has a long academic and professional career researching and advising in fisheries management, aquaculture and sustainable environmental development. Former Head of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management at University of Ibadan in Nigeria, Falaye has published over 100 academic and professional papers on fisheries development.

His qualifications include a Ph.D. in fisheries management from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and a post-doctoral fellowship in Fisheries from Bangor in Wales. He has a B.Sc. in fisheries science from Plymouth University and a M.Sc. in Aquaculture and Fisheries Management from the University of Stirling in Scotland.

Professor Falaye has worked with the MSC since 2000 and is an active member of the MSC’s Stakeholder Council, Developing World Fisheries Group and Steering Committee.

Read the magazine HERE.



The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

28/01/2015: FAMSUN company profile

http://en.muyang.com/

Muyang Co, Ltd recently announced changing its brand name from Muyang to FAMSUN starting May 2014. This move is prompted by the idea of better illustrating the company’s business and the farm-to-table industry chain it serves. It is consistent with Muyang’s global strategy and its aim of becoming an integrated solution provider in the agro-industry.

FAMSUN originates from “famous, farm, family, sun and union”; it implies Muyang Co, Ltd’s development concept and vision, which is to build a green and healthy supply chain from farm to table together with its customers and to convert traditional agriculture into a modern, profitable and sustainable business with its integrated solutions in feed manufacturing, grain milling, grain handling and storage, food processing, as well as industrial automation.

The creative design of the FAMSUN logo features a beveled letter “F”, a curvy letter “A”, a stretching letter “S” and a friendly letter “U”. It will be the only signage representing Muyang’s business, products, service and solutions. Meanwhile, the company will continue to operate in its current structure, provide follow-up service based on relevant agreement, and its business contacts will remain unchanged.


Visit the website HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

28/01/2015: Satellite watchroom targets illegal fishing

Technologists have introduced a novel system they hope can help tackle illegal fishing, the BBC reports.

It meshes satellite and other data to monitor the activities of vessels, automatically triggering alarms when suspicious activity is observed.

The project is a joint venture between the Pew Charitable Trusts and the UK Satellite Applications Catapult.

It is thought as many as one in five fish are landed outside of national or international regulations.
 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30929047

The value of this trade could exceed more than US$20bn (UK£13bn; 17bn euros) a year, according to some estimates.

Much of this theft is perpetrated by industrial-scale pirate operations that think the vast expanse of the oceans can hide their behaviour.

The new system, known as Project Eyes on the Seas, will be operated initially from a ‘watchroom’ at the Catapult's Harwell, Oxfordshire, HQ.

The smart monitoring system does not merely track vessels at sea; it analyses their movements. And by looking at additional inputs like sea conditions and probable fish locations, it can make predictions about what vessels are doing.

Algorithms built into Project Eyes will provide alerts to the watchroom.

"It can use the tracks that are being transmitted to recognise activity that is related to fishing," explained Pew's Tony Long.

"So, for example, we have a proximity alert that tells us when vessels are coming together to perhaps exchange catch; we have a slow-speed alert that indicates when any vessel has come down below five knots, which might indicate it's put fishing gear in the water; and it will also alert us when vessels cross boundaries, like going into a no-take area.

"We've built these algorithms using historical data, and we're now transferring them to the live system."

This is not the first system of its kind, but Pew says the speed of the intelligent analysis to which the multi-layered data is subjected takes the approach to a new level.

Fundamental to the system's operation are the safety and management transponders that are routinely fitted to many vessels detailing their whereabouts to overflying satellites.

Of course, these transponders may not be present on some of the smallest boats, or may even be disabled or "spoofed" even where there are fitted.

But Project Eyes is pulling in satellite radar data as well - from which the larger boats cannot hide. And it is hoped that by targeting these key ‘trans-shipment’ vessels, which conduct the mid-ocean exchanges of illegal catch, that many of the smaller ‘dark’ boats can be disrupted as well.

Chile and the Pacific island republic of Palau will be among the first to use the system to help protect their fishing interests.

Palau is setting up a marine reserve, and with its economic waters extending over an area the size of France, it knows it faces an immense challenge in keeping tabs on a fleet of problematic boats from Asia.

Koebel Sakuma is a senior adviser to the president. He told BBC News: "We've seen an exponential increase in illegal activity in our region in the past two years.

"It's a difficult situation for us in that we're a small country with limited resources and we're responsible for patrolling this vast area with one vessel donated by Australia.

"This technology will allow us to use our assets more efficiently."

And that will be true also of more developed nations. They could access the information to decide when best to send up drones or spotter planes to investigate suspicious trawling.
Consumer pressure

Tony Long reckons even big supermarkets will see a use for the technology.

"Retailers can use this system to show due diligence down their supply chain and start to understand exactly where their fish is being caught by what vessels; and actually by driving fishing vessels to behave more transparently through that supply chain, we'll actually really start to change the behaviour of vessels out at sea."

Already, the German Metro Group, which deals in over 1.2bn euros (US$1.4bn; UK£0.9bn) of fish products a year, has ideas for putting display boards at shop counters that would allow consumers to check, through the sale barcode, precisely where on the seas that fish supper was caught, even providing the name of the trawler involved.

Although the new system focuses on fishing, experts say it could quite easily be adapted to tackle other issues, such as general piracy, drug trafficking, smuggling and ‘bunkering’.

Mark Hampson is the chief innovation officer at the Catapult. He commented: "By bringing different data sources on to an open platform, which is securely constructed so that the data can be kept confidential where appropriate, different users can build different applications on it.

"And we hope that industrial partners will build applications on the platform and go out and address some of these fundable opportunities."

Harwell is a major node for the EU's new Sentinel constellation, a series of satellites being launched this decade to keep watch over Planet Earth.

The Sentinel data will be open and free. The Catapult has been charged with driving new applications for all this information.


Read the article HERE.


The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

28/01/2015: What's the best fish to eat?

It all depends on what the fish has been eating, Scientific American reports.

The FDA warns that if you regularly eat types of fish that are high in mercury, it can accumulate in your blood stream.

Between mercury poisoning, overfishing and the environmental impacts of fish farms or ‘aquaculture’, some might expect to see a “Proceed with Caution” sign above seafood counters soon. Others contend that fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy diet, providing high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends eating up to 12 ounces of fish and shellfish per week, but only if they are “lower in mercury.”
 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-s-the-best-fish-to-eat/

Mercury can be released into the air through industrial pollution and can accumulate in streams and oceans. The FDA warns that if you regularly eat types of fish that are high in mercury, it can accumulate in your blood stream. They add that mercury is removed from the body naturally, but it may take over a year for levels to drop significantly. For this reason, women trying to become pregnant should avoid eating high-in-mercury fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, and gravitate toward low-in-mercury shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s ‘Super Green List,’ fish that are low in mercury and also good sources of especially healthy ‘long-chain’ omega-3 fatty acids include Atlantic mackerel from Canada and the U.S., freshwater Coho salmon from the US, wild-caught Pacific sardines and Alaskan wild-caught salmon (fresh or canned).

Of course, it’s possible to obtain long-chain omega-3s without eating fish. Ovega-3s supplement is derived from a strain of algae that naturally produces high amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the healthiest omega-3s. Although most people think fish are the original source of DHA and EPA, these omega-3s actually come from the algae lower in the food chain.

“When salmon farming began in North America, farmers discovered that without fish oil in their diet, farmed salmon did not contain salmon oil in their tissues,” says Udo Erasmus, PhD, author of Fats that Heal-Fats that Kill.

“Fish get their ‘fish oil’ from the foods they eat. When we trace these supplement oils back to their origin, we find that the oils we call ‘fish oils’ are actually made by plants at the bottom of the food chain. One-celled red-brown algae makes fish oils. Fish oils are actually plant-based products.”

Algae and other plant-based omega fatty acids also will not deplete the ocean’s supply of fish. Industrial overfishing practices have wiped out certain types of fish before they’ve had a chance to repopulate, and unintentionally killed other marine species besides fish—known as ‘bycatch’—in their large nets. Upwards of one million sea turtles, for example, were estimated to have been killed as bycatch from 1990-2008, according to a report published in Conservation Letters in 2010.

The transition to aquaculture, where fish are raised in confined quarters (like the ‘factory farming’ of pigs, cows and chickens) has its own environmental burdens. According to the Mangrove Action Project, an estimated three million hectares of important coastal wetlands, including mangroves, have already been lost in order to make room for artificial shrimp ponds.


Read more HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

28/01/2015: See-through fish discovered under Antarctica's ice

After drilling through Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf, scientists have discovered microbes, crustaceans, and even several kinds of strange fish living in water buried under nearly half a mile (740 meters) of ice, National Geographic reports.

As recently as a decade ago, it was thought that nothing could survive beneath Antarctica's massive ice sheets. The water under the ice sheet is around 33 feet (10 meters) deep, and temperatures hover below freezing.
 

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150127-antarctica-translucent-fish-microbes-ice/

The new finds include several kinds of fish that have big eyes, maybe because the animals live in darkness. Some were orange, others black, but the biggest fish of all had translucent skin through which the animal's internal organs could be seen.

"From a biological perspective, we got the first glimpse of life beneath the ice on the fifth largest continent on our planet—a continent that was previously thought to be nothing more than a benign body of ice," says study team member John Priscu, a professor of ecology at Montana State University.

The new discoveries come courtesy of the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project, an interdisciplinary collaboration of more than 40 scientists.

After using a hot-water drill to punch through 2,400 feet (740 meters) of ice, the scientists lowered a remote-controlled submersible down the hole.

This robot sent back images and video of life below the shelf.

It's not clear yet if the new see-through fish represent a new species, but it's likely that they belong to the suborder Notothenioidei.

These fish, called notothenioids, don't have a lot of company from other animals in Antarctic waters, as they make up 91 percent of the total animals by weight (or biomass) and 77 percent of the species, said Reinhold Hanel, a biologist at the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute in Germany.

Thanks to a combination of geothermal heat and the pressure and movement created by the ice sheets above, these fish live in water that's perpetually 28°F (-2°C). That means the fish have had to develop numerous adaptations to survive.

"Their success is related to key adaptations, such as antifreeze glycoproteins, which prevent their body fluids from freezing at subzero temperatures," said Hanel, who is not affiliated with the WISSARD Project.

As for being able to see their guts, Hanel said the fish are probably translucent as a result of the loss of hemoglobin, the protein that makes blood red.

Finding bug-eyed fish was certainly a happy surprise, but Priscu is even more interested in the microbes.

Last August, Priscu and his WISSARD project colleagues published an article in Nature proving for the first time that microbial life existed beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in Lake Whillans.

The samples from this latest expedition have not yet been analyzed, but Priscu said he's excited to see how the biodiversity of microbes beneath the Ross Ice Shelf compares to samples taken at Lake Whillans, and with others taken in the Arctic.

He's also curious as to whether the microorganisms found living in the mud might produce greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide.

"If so, we could expect to see a large release of these gases as the ice sheets melt," he said.

But climate change isn't the only reason to be interested in microbes. The team's research could also influence the search for life in the cold, dark recesses of space and the way we understand ecosystems here on Earth.

"Ten years ago the Antarctic continent was not even considered to be part of the Earth's biosphere," said Priscu. "We have changed the way we view our planet."


Read the article HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

27/01/15: Lesaffre Feed Additives rebranded to Phileo




Lesaffre is proud to present their new name -- Phileo, which will be unveiled at the industry event, IPPE in Atlanta, GA, today on 27th January 2015.

Read more HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

The Jan | Feb 2015 edition of International Aquafeed is out now!

The January | February edition of International Aquafeed magazine is available to view online, and print copies are on their way to subscribers as well as various industry events all around the world.


27/01/2015: Aidan Connolly appointed as Chief Innovation Officer at Alltech

First published in International Aquafeed, November-December 2014

Global animal health and nutrition leader Alltech has appointed vice president Aidan Connolly as Chief Innovation Officer, connected to the company’s global research department. 

Working closely with Dr Karl Dawson, vice president and Chief Scientific Officer, Connolly will be involved with Alltech’s innovation pipeline and lead the commercialization of the company’s research programs.



http://issuu.com/international_aquafeed/docs/iaf1406_w1/66?e=1620985/10049203

In his new role, Connolly will put together a team within the company’s research department that will primarily focus on developing innovative, nutrition-based technologies. Their new product development will capitalize on the insights gained through the company’s considerable investment in nutrigenomics, the science of how diet affects gene expression.

 
“Giving a rapid and effective response, backed up by cutting-edge scientific research, to the market’s changing needs, has always been one of Alltech’s biggest strengths. It is all about how these technologies are implemented to the market,” said Connolly.


Connolly brings a strong commercial background to Alltech’s research team. He graduated from University College Dublin with a master’s degree in international marketing. He has been with Alltech for nearly 25 years, initially in Ireland, and then in France, Brazil and the United States. From 2002 until 2008, Connolly held the position of vice president of Europe and was most recently based in Washington, DC, as vice president of corporate accounts.


Today, Connolly is an adjunct professor of marketing at University College Dublin and a professor of agribusiness at the China Agricultural University in Beijing. He is also an executive board member of the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF), the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), the National Chicken Council, the National Turkey Federation, and a former board member of the European Union Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures (FEFANA).


“As Alltech is moving forward to become a US$4 billion company in the next 4-5 years, it is crucial that the company’s research and technical teams work hand-in-hand with sales and marketing. With Aidan joining our group, we will be even more strongly placed to support the industry with science-based nutritional solutions,” said Dr Karl Dawson, vice president, Chief Scientific Officer at Alltech.


Based at Alltech’s Center for Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition at Alltech’s corporate headquarters near Lexington, Kentucky, Connolly will also maintain his current responsibilities as vice president, corporate accounts at Alltech. Connolly is well-known as the architect of Alltech’s annual global feed survey, which assesses global feed tonnage in more than 130 countries.


Read the magazine HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

Evonik company profile

http://corporate.evonik.com/en/Pages/default.aspx

Evonik is one of the world's leading specialty chemical companies. 

Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of our strategy, which is supported by our owners, RAG-Stiftung (74.99 percent) and funds managed by CVC Capital Partners (25.01 percent). Our specialty chemicals activities focus on high-growth megatrends—especially health, nutrition, resource efficiency, and globalization—and our goal is to enter attractive future-oriented markets.

In 2011 Evonik’s roughly 33,000 employees generated sales of €14.5 billion and an operating result (EBITDA) of €2.8 billion. More than 70 percent of sales are generated outside Germany, providing convincing evidence that our business is global.

Visit the website HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

27/01/2015: Don't eat fish that fell off the back of lorry in Belfast, warn health chiefs

Health chiefs have warned people not to eat fish lifted off a road after a lorry shed its load of mackerel, The Belfast Telegraph reports.

Photographs showed people putting the mackerel into plastic bags to bring home to eat after hundreds were spilled amid bizarre scenes on Belfast's Ravenhill Road on Saturday night.

Health chiefs, however, have advised against eating the fish.



http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/dont-eat-fish-that-fell-off-the-back-of-lorry-in-belfast-warn-health-chiefs-30939597.html

A Belfast City Council spokeswoman said: "We would strongly advise against the consumption of food where you are not clear as to its source or if it is safe to eat.

"In any event, there is a possibility of the fish being contaminated through direct contact with the road, rendering it unfit for human consumption."

The Council spokeswoman said its street cleaners helped remove up to 600 mackerel from the Ravenhill Road close to the junction with My Lady's Road.


"Responding to a call on our environmental health line, and to ensure traffic was able to flow freely, City Council cleansing services helped remove up to 600 mackerel," said the spokeswoman.

Resident Tommy Bardsley said he bagged 25 mackerel.

"It's all fresh fish, I'll have some for dinner and freeze the rest," he said. "I know fish and can tell they were just off the boat."

At a chip shop close to the scene of Saturday night's fish spill, staff said yesterday afternoon that their trade was not down.

Shelley West from the Chip N Fish was asked if there had been any adverse effect on business, but she replied: "No, not at all".

It is understood that local people teamed up to help clean the area ahead of official road cleaners being drafted in.

One said: "Some people are embarrassed that people who live here were seen lifting the fish off the road to bring it home, but most just stood at the side of the road.

"Local people came out with brushes and stuff to help in a big clean up and it was a real community effort."

Police said the driver of the fish lorry did not stop and may not have been aware what happened.


Read the article HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

27/01/2015: How to farm a better fish

In a dark, dank warehouse in the Blue Ridge foothills of Virginia, Bill Martin picks up a bucket of brown pellets and slings them into a long concrete tank. Fat, white tilapia the size of dinner plates boil to the surface. Martin, president of Blue Ridge Aquaculture, one of the world’s largest indoor fish farms, smiles at the feeding frenzy.

Each day Mr Martin sells 12,000 pounds of live tilapia to Asian markets from Washington, DC, to Toronto, and he’s planning another farm on the West Coast, National Geographic reports
 

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/aquaculture/?sf6240394=1&sf7054074=1

“My model is the poultry industry,” he says. “The difference is, our fish are perfectly happy.”

“How do you know they’re happy?” I ask, noting that the mat of tilapia in the tank looks thick enough for a man to walk on.

“Generally they show they’re not happy by dying,” Martin says. “I haven’t lost a tank of fish yet.”

An industrial park in Appalachia may seem an odd place to grow a few million natives of the Nile. But industrial-scale fish farms are popping up everywhere these days. Aquaculture has expanded about 14-fold since 1980. In 2012 its global output, from silvery salmon to homely sea cucumbers only a Chinese cook could love, reached more than 70 million tons—exceeding beef production clearly for the first time and amounting to nearly half of all fish and shellfish consumed on Earth.

Population growth, income growth and seafood’s heart-healthy reputation are expected to drive up demand by 35 percent or more in just the next 20 years. With the global catch of wild fish stagnant, experts say virtually all of that new seafood will have to be farmed.

“There is no way we are going to get all of the protein we need out of wild fish,” says Rosamond Naylor, a food-policy expert at Stanford University who has researched aquaculture systems.

“But people are very wary that we’re going to create another feedlot industry in the ocean. So they want it to be right from the start.”

There are good reasons to be wary.

The new ‘blue revolution,’ which has delivered cheap, vacuum-packed shrimp, salmon, and tilapia to grocery freezers, has brought with it many of the warts of agriculture on land: habitat destruction, water pollution, and food-safety scares. During the 1980s vast swaths of tropical mangroves were bulldozed to build farms that now produce a sizable portion of the world’s shrimp.

Aquacultural pollution—a putrid cocktail of nitrogen, phosphorus, and dead fish—is now a widespread hazard in Asia, where 90 percent of farmed fish are located. To keep fish alive in densely stocked pens, some Asian farmers resort to antibiotics and pesticides that are banned for use in the United States, Europe, and Japan. The US now imports 90 percent of its seafood—around 2 percent of which is inspected by the Food and Drug Administration. In 2006 and 2007 the FDA discovered numerous banned substances, including known or suspected carcinogens, in aquaculture shipments from Asia.

Nor have fish farms in other parts of the globe been free of problems. The modern salmon industry, which over the past three decades has plunked densely packed net pens full of Atlantic salmon into pristine fjords from Norway to Patagonia, has been plagued by parasites, pollution, and disease. Scottish salmon farms lost nearly 10 percent of their fish in 2012 to amoebic gill disease; in Chile infectious anemia has killed an estimated two billion US dollars’ worth of salmon since 2007. A disease outbreak in 2011 virtually wiped out the shrimp industry in Mozambique.

The problem isn’t the ancient art of aquaculture per se; it’s the rapid intensification of it. Chinese farmers started raising carp in their rice fields at least 2500 years ago. But with that country’s aquacultural output now at 42 million tons a year, fish pens line many rivers, lakes, and seashores. Farmers stock their ponds with fast-growing breeds of carp and tilapia and use concentrated fish feed to maximize their growth.

“I was very influenced by the green revolution in grains and rice,” says Li Sifa, a fish geneticist at Shanghai Ocean University. Li is known as the ‘father of tilapia’ for developing a fast-growing breed that’s become the backbone of China’s tilapia industry, which produces 1.5 million tonnes a year, much of it for export.

“Good seeds are very important,” Li says.

“One good variety can raise a strong industry that can feed more people. That is my duty. To make better fish, more fish, so farmers can get rich and people can have more food.”

How to do that without spreading disease and pollution? For tilapia farmer Bill Martin, the solution is simple: raise fish in tanks on land, not in pens in a lake or the sea.

“Net pens are a total goat rodeo,” says Martin, sitting in an office adorned with hunting trophies.

“You’ve got sea lice, disease, escapement, and death. You compare that with a 100 percent controlled environment, possibly as close to zero impact on the oceans as we can get. If we don’t leave the oceans alone, Mother Nature is going to kick our butts big-time.”

Martin’s fish factory, however, doesn’t leave the land and air alone, and running it isn’t cheap. To keep his fish alive, he needs a water-treatment system big enough for a small town; the electricity to power it comes from coal. Martin recirculates about 85 percent of the water in his tanks, and the rest—high in ammonia and fish waste—goes to the local sewage plant, while the voluminous solid waste heads to the landfill. To replace the lost water, he pumps half a million gallons a day from an underground aquifer. Martin’s goals are to recirculate 99 percent of the water and to produce his own low-carbon electricity by capturing methane from the waste.

But those goals are still a few years away. And though Martin is convinced that recirculating systems are the future, so far only a few other companies are producing fish—including salmon, cobia, and trout—in tanks on land.

Eight miles off the coast of Panama, Brian O’Hanlon is going in the exact opposite direction. On a calm day in May the 34-year-old president of Open Blue and I are lying at the bottom of a massive, diamond-shaped fish cage, 60 feet beneath the cobalt blue surface of the Caribbean, watching 40,000 cobia do a slow, hypnotic pirouette above us. The bubbles from our regulators rise up to meet them; one pauses to stare into my mask. Unlike Martin’s tilapia or even the salmon in a commercial pen, these eight-pound youngsters have plenty of room.

O’Hanlon, a third-generation fishmonger from Long Island, grew up with New York City’s famed Fulton Fish Market as his playground. In the early 1990s the collapse of the North Atlantic cod fishery and the import tariffs imposed on Norwegian salmon bankrupted the family business. His father and uncles kept saying that the industry’s future was farmed fish. So as a teenager, O’Hanlon started raising red snapper in a giant tank in his parents’ basement.

Now, off Panama, he operates the largest offshore fish farm in the world. He has some 200 employees, a big hatchery onshore, and a fleet of bright orange vessels to service a dozen of the giant cages, which can hold more than a million cobia. A popular sport fish, cobia has been caught commercially only in small quantities—in the wild the fish are too solitary—but its explosive growth rate makes it popular with farmers. Like salmon, it’s full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and it produces a mild, buttery, white fillet that O’Hanlon claims is the perfect canvas for picky chefs. Last year he shipped 800 tons of cobia to high-end restaurants around the U.S. Next year he hopes to double that amount—and finally turn a profit.

Maintenance and operating costs are high in offshore waters. Although most salmon operations are tucked in protected coves near shore, the waves over O’Hanlon’s cages can hit 20 feet or more. But all that rushing water is the point: He’s using dilution to avoid pollution and disease. Not only are his cages stocked at a fraction of the density of the typical salmon farm, but also, sitting in deep water, they’re constantly being flushed by the current and the waves. So far O’Hanlon hasn’t had to treat the cobia with antibiotics, and researchers from the University of Miami have not detected any trace of fish waste outside his pens. They suspect the diluted waste is being scavenged by undernourished plankton, since the offshore waters are nutrient poor.

O’Hanlon is in Panama because he couldn’t get a permit to build in the US.  Public concerns over pollution and fierce opposition from commercial fishermen have made coastal states leery of any fish farms. But O’Hanlon is convinced he’s pioneering the next big thing in aquaculture.

“This is the future,” he says, once we’ve said goodbye to the cobia and are back aboard his orange skiff.

“This is what the industry is going to have to do in order to keep growing, especially in the tropics.” Recirculating systems like Martin’s, he says, will never produce enough biomass.

“There is no way they can scale up to meet the market demand. And to make one profitable, it’s like a cattle feedlot, where you cram so many fish in you’re just trying to keep them alive. You’re not providing the best environment possible for them.”


Read more HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news