Monday, September 27, 2010

White spot, a lethal disease and very common

White spot a parasitic infection that affects virtually all species of fish, it has a complex life cycle that has a major bearing on the treatment methods used. The infective agents are know as tomites, the tomites are released from the fish by punching out through the skin. With each cycle of the parasite, about a 1000 tomites are produced and swim off to locate new hosts. Numbers of the parasite increase dramatically, treating the infection is only possible during the time when the tomites are in the free swimming stage. Read more...

UK Tilapia industry hit by new disease

In the UK there are around 12 recirculation farms now in operation specializing in the production of  Tilapia, (Tilapia niloticus), which is considered a perfect species for aquaculture. However its was noticed that low levels of mortality in fry, was accounting for losses of up to 20 percent. After investigation and postmortem by Cefas the bacterial disease was still not identified, but was considered to be a pathogen from the genus Francisella. Read more...
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Hope for new vaccine against white spot

Researchers for the US agriculture research service (ARS) are working on a preventative vaccination for the parasitic infection known as white spot. This parasitic infection costs aquaculture and fish hobbyists about $50 million annually in losses. The idea is to use preventative treatment and rather than dosing fish individually. The aim is to create a vaccine that can be delivered in with the food or direct to the water. A new vaccine would not pose a threat to the environment like the treatment used today which can be harmful environmentally. Read more...

Chef says 'no' frankenfish debate goes on
Chef Rick Moonen is against genetically engineered fish; he does not believe that the new “fish is safe”, as has been suggested by Aquabounty Technologies. His concerns range from, if they escaped what damage would be done to the wild populations to the fact that there is no plan to label them in grocery stores. He also worries that this could cause a larger demand for smaller species to be used as feed for these frankenfish. Read more... 

Farmed fish destroy wild fish

An essay found in this weeks Conservation Biology Journal, suggest that farmed fish are causing wild populations to decline. He suggests that a high density of caged farmed fish, promotes infection that affects wild populations near the fish farm. Sea lice is one example that impacts fish farms and also impacts the wild populations, even though the farmed fish survive the wild populations suffer. And if the sea-caged system is overstocked this can lead to extinction of the wild stocks near by. So do farmed fish destroy wild fish? Read more...
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Oceanfeed: A feed that salmon love

Powdered seaweed or seaweed flour is widely used as an ingredient in terrestrial and aquatic feedstuffs, usually from a single species. Peer reviews over the years have demonstrated a range of benefits including, improved resistance to viral and bacterial pathogens and promoting gut health.
Ocean Harvest Technology Ltd, a Scottish company, have recently launched a new seaweed derived feed product called ‘Oceanfeed®’, a chemical free balanced mix made from several varieties of sustainably harvested seaweeds.


                                            The Marine Harvest test facility at Ardnish, Scotland
Recent trials carried out by Ocean Harvest and EWOS (UK) Ltd carried out at Loch Eilort, 40 miles north of Fort William on the Scottish west coast on mixed sex salmon smolts has proved to be very successful. The trail was carried out on two different feeds an organic feed and Oceanfeed. The feeds were fed to the same species of salmon and monitored.

The results of this trial were encouraging in many ways. The Oceanfeed® diet seemed to result in improvements in Growth Rate, FCR, Mortalities, Fish Flesh Flavour and Texture and lower Sea lice infestation. With different species of seaweed that are carefully formulated to a complex mix with targeted performance improvements that will give a better yields of healthy products that taste significantly better. Of importance in today's climate is the ability to introduce to the public, the use of sustainable ingredients that help create, a healthier happier and tastier product.

For those interested in the technical data and full results of the experiment in the article it will be available in Aquafeed online from the of November 1, 2010.


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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Doctoral student studies oyster beds

A recent study carried out in Rhode Island USA by doctoral student in the URI Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science. As to weather there are too many oyster farms in the area, and if this would impact the ecology of Narragansett Bay and the state's salt ponds. Has found  that there is still room to develop more oyster aquaculture beds. Read More

Indians in Johor seeks funds and land for aquaculture

Fishermen's Association, in the Indian region of Johor is urging the Johor government to allocate more funds and land for aquaculture. Due to the rich natural environment Johor has that was suitable for the breeding of fish, prawns, oysters, cockles, mussels, snails and other marine food sources. Also the willingness of the fishermen to diversify into aquaculture on the shore as the fish stock are declining. Read More
New England USA learns to love mussels

Farmed raised mussels big success in United State, New England blue mussels as popular as their Canadian counterparts by growing them offshore. Once hated by fishermen for gumming up their nets.
Now the mussel is a firm favorite with local's  selling well in stores and restaurants. Read More 
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Photosynthetic algae worlds first

Aurora Algae has manufactured the world first photosynthetic algae based platform, for the production of sustainable, premium product,  as a high-quality and low-cost fish meal that will provide a natural feed source for aquaculture. Along with other uses in other major industries such as pharmaceutical, fuels and nutritional supplements. Read More
Maryland USA rejects changes to oyster restoration plan

Maryland's secretary of natural resources rejects changes proposed by Maryland watermen to the state's oyster restoration plan. Calls for increasing the emphasis on oyster aquaculture and putting 25 percent of oyster reefs off limits to harvesting Some say this will have a big impact on the incomes of local watermen. Read More

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Victoria to host 2012 and 2014 aquaculture conferences

Australia to host two world class conventions, in 2012 and 2014. The International Association of Plant Biotechnology, and Australasian Aquaculture International conference/trade show. Victoria will showcase the excellent work and research being carried out there. The IAPB Congress has never been held in Australia before, but Melbourne’s excellent infrastructure will be the perfect place for both conferences. Read More
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Aquaculture training in South East Asia

The US drug and food administration working with the University of Maryland food safety and Nutrition department, are helping to train Bangladeshi aquaculterists in an effort to improve the standards of the domestic and international aquaculture produce. Using a method first used in 2006 in Vietnam, and used successfully in other countries, such as Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh and recently Malaysia. Known as "train the trainers" this method of training using a combination of, site visits, lectures and demonstrations, has been successful and has helped to improve the standards of aquaculture domestically and on an international scale.


Chinese interest in New Zealand Sea Cucumber farming

New Zealand's Bay of Plenty Polytechnic has met with one of China's largest aquaculture Corporations Oriental Oceans, who has shown interest researching and breeding New Zealand’s Sea Cucumber, which is said to be very similar to the Chinese Sea Cucumber. The proposed venture would research and pilot the production of the Sea Cucumber in ponds based at Opotiki. This joint venture would be a valuable asset for the Eastern Bay of Plenty economy.

Dangers of aquaculture overfeed

One danger of aquaculture is the use of "Reduction" or "Trash " fish species such as Anchovy, Sardines as feed for the carnivorous species like Salmon, Tuna and Shrimp. Using lesser species as feed exerts a heavy burden on the wild stocks of these species, which could cause serious ecological damage. A possible solution to this is used in some Norwegian fish farms where they have multiple complementary species, cleaner fish to reduce the sea lice problem.

A salmon called Frankenfish

Alaska's Senator Begich angered by genetically modified salmon, calling the fish "frankenfish" even thou the US FDA has stated that the salmon is safe to eat. Claiming that it is as safe to eat as wild salmon. Is it safe to eat? Could it affect the wild salmon populations?. There will be major opposition to the future of this genetically modified salmon.

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Book Review - Aquaculture and Fisheries Biotechnology Genetic Approaches

     ISBN 0 85199 596 9

     In this 2004 book by R A Dunham: Aquaculture and Fisheries Biotechnology Genetic Approaches: He, address biotechnology in aquaculture and also the interrelationships with fisheries. Since he points out that aquaculture and fisheries are not antagonistic as they are portrayed, but are infact equally important to each other, and this interrelationship is important for the biotechnology. The biochemical and molecular genetic tools can be applied to both aquaculture and fishers.
    The books concept attempts to relate theory with reality, providing a strong review of the current status using many examples of past and up-to-date research and results. He provides a strong view of the biotechnology within aquaculture and the importance of it with in fisheries as the fisheries is the main genetic pool for aquaculture.
     In chapter 1 he look at the history of biotechnology genetics in aquaculture and fisheries referring to the long history of aquaculture some 2000 years or more in China and the Roman Empire. But even with this long history, aquaculture has only in the last few decades become such an important tool in support of the fisheries since fish stocks in many of the world’s oceans are over fished and in serious decline.
     In chapter 2 he points out that the effects of the environment are equally important and is often an area of research, which is ignored in aquatic genetics and biotechnology. So he looks at the environmental effects and phenotypic variation. The science of this publication though complicated has been written in such a way by Dunham, that it is understandable to student and teachers as well anyone with an interested in aquaculture and fisheries.
     In my opinion, Dunham has presented a very interesting view of biotechnology in aquaculture and fisheries showing how the need to understand all aspect of the science is important to the future of  aquaculture and fisheries.
    Later chapters deal with such diverse material as population Genetic and interactions of hatchery and wild fish, Gene Expression, Isolation and Cloning. Looking at the commercial application of fish biotechnology within the industry as well as strategies for genetic conservation, gene banking and maintaining genetic quality.
     In the final chapter Dunham shows that constraints and limitations of genetic biotechnology can be split into several key areas such as development, biodiversity, political and economic issues.
     He makes recommendations that genetic improvement of cultured fish should be important along with the need for more training programmes and education for aquaculture geneticists especially in the developing countries. Some of the main constraints he mentioned are environmental issues such as environmental risk of genetically altered aquatic organisms, biodiversity and genetic conservation.
     Also other issues he identified are the funding and training of scientists and impact assessment: such as dissemination, food safety and consumer perceptions.
     I have found this book, to be an interesting and informative read, even though it is about genetics and biotechnology, which is a complicated subject. Dunham has presented the subject material in an easy and understandable format. This book is a must for students and biologists, fisheries and farmers alike. Well done R A Dunham.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Book Review - OECD Insights: Fisheries – While Stocks Last

     OECD Insights: Fisheries – While Stocks Last
     by Patrick Love

     ISBN 978-92-64-07737-9 (print)
     ISBN 978-92-64-07991-5 (PDF)

    This recently published OECD insights publication, Fisheries – While Stocks Last - by Patrick Love, looks at the fishing industry and the recent effects of the global recession, which arose from the ‘credit crunch’. Also affected during this time was the aquaculture industry.
    Fishing and its impact on the biodiversity within the oceans has long been a major issue and are well documented. Also looked at in this publication is the effect of an ageing population on the work force of the fishing industry and what it means to smaller coastal vessels. Other external factors such as urbanization, pollution and climate change have direct impacts on the industry as a whole.
     Over the course of the book the author looks at the state of several sub sectors of the fishing industry from industrial fishing to aquaculture. He also describes Dutch fishers and Basque fleets that were involved in fishing off the coast of Newfoundland hundreds of years ago. 

    He focuses on European fishers and northern fisheries as the forerunners of the modern fishing industry. As well as looking at the historical side of the industry he looks at how different countries today affect and change the fishing industry from the fish markets to fish production.

    An interesting part of this publication looks at the contradictions in the industry and at the controversies that arise from the terminology being used: That there are people trying to be proactive and force change from the fishers to the people that buy the fish in the supermarket.

    At the end of the book the author attempts to bring all the parts together and look at the future challenges facing the industry and how they will respond to it overall.

     The basic idea of this book is to help the reader better understand the nature of the fishing industry and all of its complexities. We at International Aquafeed would recommend this to anyone involved in marine fishing and even to those in aquaculture to and aqua policy development as a foundation document for future decision-making. Well done Patrick Love. 
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