Tuesday, July 31, 2012

George Marco, Director, Aquativ

George Marco has 25 years experience in business management and leadership in a global environment, with a double expertise in the food ingredients industry and the B2B business. Based in the United States for the last seven years, he has also lived and/or worked in Australia, Brazil, Japan, Thailand and France. Most of his career so far has been dedicated to the French Diana group, within which he was SPF Australia General Manager and SPF North America CEO, prior his current position of Aquativ Director worldwide.
Today, George Marco applies his expertise to an ever-widening scope of activities supporting DIANA Group in its strategic move to the Aquafeed industry and strives to develop global R&D, know-how and industrial partnerships.

This interview appeared in the September October 2012 edition of International Aquafeed magazine

What are the greatest challenges the aquaculture industry is facing at the moment?

The first challenge is to be able to follow the market demand for fish, which is around seven percent per year and is expected to follow at least this trend in the future. This demand will be boosted even more by the middle-class increase the Asian markets.
To meet this demand the aquaculture industry will have to increase production as well as improve productivity and work on three dimensions: genetics; better production practices including environmental considerations and; better feed performance.
For this last point, the challenge will be to find a way for fish meal/ fish oil reduction and/or removal in the formulations since fish meal/fish oil are and will be limited in terms of production. Besides the production matter, the market has been driving the industry toward more standards (traceability, quality, sustainability) requiring raw material meeting these expectations.

Can you tell us a bit more about your use of Hydrolyzate?

First of all a Hydrolyzate is by definition a digested raw material meaning it will improve naturally the feed digestibility (meaning the FCR). A functional Hydrolyzate will contain bioactive peptides able to improve the overall physiological status of the animal by acting directly on some key physiological mechanism such as stress, guts performance, growth factors and taste perception.
As per my R&D engineer says, “Hydrolysis is the process which yields the maximum of bioactive peptides out of native proteins”. These bioactive peptides will be produced only under the following conditions: selected raw material (not a mixed of different species); fresh raw material (temperature controlled) and; selected enzyme bioprocess controlled (temperature, time & pH).
How does it affect feed performance?
Thank to these bioactive compounds, the functional Hydrolyzate will bring to the feed formulation: a better physiological status of the animal; a higher digestibility and; a better feed consumption (taste perception). Therefore, a better growth and lower mortality along the production cycle. A ‘concentrate of feed performance’ which allows the feed manufacturer either to increase the performance of its existing feed or to keep the same performance while the feed formulation will be poor in fishmeal.

What others areas does Aquativ work in?

Regarding the functional Hydrolyzate, the next move is to select these bioactive peptides and produce purified fractions which could be used in specific diets. As indicated the understanding of the physiological effect of our bioactive peptides assume being able to identify them as well as demonstrate their activity on the animal. For this purpose we have PhD and partnership with universities.

How DIANA Group is part of the ‘blue revolution’ supporting the aquaculture industry?

Anticipating the needs of valuable protein and supported by AQUATIV development, DIANA Group, has invested a lot in the last few years in marine sourcing by establishing new operations worldwide and strategic partnerships.
DIANA Group’s branding, R&D, performance demonstration and international network brings a ‘go to the market’ dimension to partnerships.
DIANA, through AQUATIV and its strategic partnerships, offers a unique diversified marine range of functional Hydrolyzate becoming a key procurement partner for the industry and is therefore part of the ‘blue revolution’.

New! IAF Article: Noise as source of stress for farmed fish

Today we have an article form the current issue on International Aquafeed by Rogelio Sierra Flores.  Flores' study into the effect of noise and stress levels in cod won the Novartis Animal Health (NAH) best student presentation award at Aquaculture UK earlier in 2012.  Read the full article article here.
Cod escaped from a cod trap heading straight f...
Cod escaped from a cod trap heading straight for the bottom. (Photo credit: Derek Keats)

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31/07/12: Best Aquaculture Practices; Australian prawn R&D; Canadian aquaculture funding

  • The Best Aquaculture Practices program continues to expand with the recent certification of several seafood-reprocessing plants in the United States.  In addition to repacking plants, more than 430 aquaculture facilities around the world are currently certified. More information...
  • Australian prawn farmers back government R&D plans. 
  • Innovative aquaculture in Prince Edward Island, Canada receives federal funding.  Somers Island Blues Inc. received $80,000 from Fisheries and Oceans Canada to develop and assess a prototype system designed to mitigate the impact of vase tunicates on mussel farms.  Read more...
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Certified Sustainable Cold Water Shrimp
Certified Sustainable Cold Water Shrimp (Photo credit: Walmart Stores)

Monday, July 30, 2012

EXPERT TOPIC - promoted to the Scribd rising list

We are happy to report that the International Aquafeed EXPERT TOPIC on Tilapia has been promoted to the rising list on www.scribd.com - to see the article in full please take a look at

A big thank you goes out to all of our readers that have enjoyed the article on scribd!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Event: World Nutrition Forum

Best-selling authors of Megatrends unveiled as guest speakers at the World Nutrition Forum 2012
International best-selling author, John Naisbitt, and the Director of the Naisbitt China Institute in Tianjin, Doris Naisbitt, will deliver their guest speech on Day One of the 5th World Nutrition Forum in Singapore.

With less than three months until the doors open on one of the world’s most sought-after events in the animal nutrition industry, the World Nutrition Forum 2012, BIOMIN has announced the attendance of Doris and John Naisbitt, authors of international bestsellers such as Megatrends and Mind Set.
John Naisbitt's first book Megatrends (1982), the result of almost ten years of research, was on the New York Times bestseller list for two years, largely topping the list at #1. Megatrends was published in 57 countries and has sold more than 9 million copies. His international bestsellers sold more than 14 million copies.

After his studies in Utah, Harvard and Cornell, John Naisbitt worked as an executive for IBM and Kodak. In 1963 he went to Washington where he became the Assistant Secretary of Education to President Kennedy, and Special Assistant to President Johnson. Since the global success of Megatrends, another 12 books have followed. He is the recipient of 17 honorary doctorates in the humanities, technology and science.

Widely acknowledged as the World's Leading Futurist, John Naisbitt's current focus is on China, which he has been studying and visiting for more than 40 years, first in 1967. A former professor at Nanjing University, he is currently professor at Nankai University, Yunnan University, Yunnan Normal University and Tianjin University of Finance and Economics.

Doris Naisbitt, an observer of global social, economic and political trends, is the Director of the Naisbitt China Institute in Tianjin, China and co-author of the bestseller Megatrends China: Eight Pillars of a New Society. She holds professorships at Nankai and Yunnan University, and at Yunnan Normal Universities in China and Skolkovo Open University. In her biweekly column in China Youth Daily, China’s second largest newspaper, she addresses China’s young generation. The column is also published in Youth Digest, the largest Youth magazine in China.

Based on the research of the NAISBITT CHINA INSTITUTE John and Doris Naisbitt are currently working on an analysis of China’s key economic, cultural and political transformations and their impact on the global business landscape. This will also be the topic of their guest speech on the first day of the World Nutrition Forum.

John and Doris Naisbitt will join a list of over 40 industry experts already confirmed to speak at the World Nutrition Forum, including John Gilbert (Foodlife International, UK), Barton S. Borg (Murphy Brown LLC, USA), Julian MADELEY (International Egg Commission, UK), Wentzel GELDERBLOM (PROMEC, South Africa), and many more.

The congress will be attended by more than 700 industry representatives and opinion leaders from all over the world, opening the floor to challenging discussions on and around “NutriEconomics®: Balancing Global Nutrition & Productivity”.

International Aquafeed editor, Simon J Davies will also be at the event event representing the magazine.  
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The friday video: Protecting aquaculture against shark attack


Its Friday again, so the perfect time for another video highlight before the weekend is underway.

This week we have a video about net systems to protect valuable fish from being predated upon and subsequently escaping from open ocean aquaculture projects.

And ... its got sharks in it - what more could you want.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book: Fisheries, Aquaculture and Biotechnology

Fisheries, Aquaculture and Biotechnology
Author: D. Thangadurai, S. G. Hall, A. Manimekalan & G. Mocz

To address social, environmental and economic challenges of the ever expanding world population, efforts to build a global knowledge based bio-economy by exploiting newer and modern biotechnologies are of immense use. Manipulation of DNA and other cellular constituents through biotechnology in fisheries and aquaculture offers significant economic and environmental benefits from fertilized eggs to the finished consumer products. Aquaculture now accounts for more than 40% of the global production of fish for human consumption. Fisheries, Aquaculture and Biotechnology explains the science and application of biotechnologies to fisheries and aquaculture and what other newer technologies like transgenics and genomics can potentially offer. This book also aims to provide various approaches in biotechnology and their potential impact on global fisheries and aquaculture research and will be most useful for advanced students and researchers in fisheries and aquaculture.

ISBN: 9788177543810
YEAR: 2009
PAGES: 315
SIZE: 16 X 25 X 2.5 cm.

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New! IAF Article: Noise, stress and farmed fish

The International Aquafeed article today is on noise as a cause of stress for farmed fish.  Written by award-winning scientist Rogelio Sierra Flores of the University of Stirling, the piece examines the effects of noise on cod.  Read the full article here.
First Course: Scottish Cod
First Course: Scottish Cod (Photo credit: ulterior epicure)
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Advert: Biomin AquaStar

IAF Article: Expert Topic: Tilapia

Tilapia is the Expert Topic in the July/August 2012 issue of International Aquafeed. 
We have some excellent articles written by well-respected authors including Eric Roderick of FishGen, Han Han of the Sustainable Fisheries Project and Ingrid Lupatsch of Swansea University, UK.  All of the articles take a different approach to this incredibly important species and are informative and intelligent - in short, totally absorbing.  So grab a coffee, and get stuck in.  Read the full features here.
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Tilapia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

25/07/12: Shrimp disease in Vietnam; sustainable aquaculture courses; seafood funding

  • Fresh disease outbreaks strike shrimp farms in Vietnam.  Disease include hepatopancreas caseation disease and white spot disease, probably caused by environmental changes in the summer season, according to the Directorate of Fisheries.   Read more...
  • Seafood industry body loses Queensland, Australia government funds.  Read more...
English: This photo shows from top to bottom: ...
English: This photo shows from top to bottom: pieces of the carapace of an Whiteleg shrimp; a healthy Whiteleg shrimp as harvested (i.e., the animal is dead; size 66, 17 grams); a dead Whiteleg shrimp infected by the Taura syndrome virus (TSV). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Facebook page for International Aquafeed

The International Aquafeed Facebook page and undergone some maintenance work and has emerged brighter and slicker then ever.  For those of you who use Facebook, the page is a great place to find out what International Aquafeed and it’s associated titles, the Aquaculturists and the Aquaculture News service, are up to across various platforms.

You can also find out information about out publishers, Perendale Publishers Limited and its other titles.

Check it out here.
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

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New! IAF Article: Raising barramundi in tough waters

This is one of my favourite times of the International Aquafeed production schedule: a new issue of the magazine is at the printer and is online.  So it is with great relish that I can post the first article form  Jul/August 212 issue: Raising barramundi in tough waters by Robert Taylor of Marine Produce Australia.  Ir's it worth a look for the stunning images alone.  Enjoy!
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Barramundi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

24/07/12: Thai shrimp row; NOAA's app; the expanding appeal of caviar and more...


  • Details of NOAA's iPad and iPhone app to help mariners avoid right whales.  Read more...
  • This article in the New York Times charts the growing popularity to caviar.  With demand rising in destinations as far flung as China, Spain and the UAE, one thing's for sure: caviar is not just for Russian oil tycoons.  Read more...
  • Some good news!  The case study in this article from the Walworth Country Today highlights the positive impact relaxation of aquaculture laws has had on fish hatcheries in Wisconsin, USA.
  • Thai shrimpers cry foul over Vietnam.  Thai traders are complaining that Vietnam is buying up low-priced shrimp from Thailand for re-export. Read more...

Mother of Pearl spoons with sturgeon caviar an...
Mother of Pearl spoons with sturgeon caviar and salmon roe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Monday, July 23, 2012

IAF Article: New issue online now

The July/August 2012 issue of International Aquafeed is at the printers but if you can't wait to get your hands on a paper copy, fear not!  The latest issue is available online here.  
There are some cracking features including the effects on noise on cod by award-winning scientist Rogelio Sierra Flores.

Don't know where to start?  How about Alistair Lane (Executive Director, European Aquaculture Society) and Petter Arnesen (Marine Harvest) telling IAF about AQUA 2012?  Read the full interviews here.
Sea turtle visits for lunch
Sea turtle visits for lunch (Photo credit: micahcraig)
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23/07/12: sustainable aquaculture course; aquaponics; trout conference and more...


The daily digest has a bit of a north American feel to it today.  No special reason, it seems all the best stories are coming from the states today.
  • Aquaponics in the spotlight at Californian State Fair.  Read more...
  • Learn about business strategies for sustainable fish farming operation at Ohio State University Extension.  Read more...
  • USA Trout Farmers Association Conference details announced. 
And one story from India.
  • Indian researcher to study Atlantic salmon.  Shiba Shankar Giri will investigate the effects of alternatives to fish oil can enable fish to produce the same levels of omega three.  Read more...
Atlantic salmon
Atlantic salmon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Friday, July 20, 2012

20/07/12: Daily Digest Video Special (Part Three)

Aquaponics is creating a bit of a buzz at the moment.  Projects can range from growing tilapia and lettuce at home to more commercial operation such as this one in Taiwan.  This video is worth watching for the calming music alone.  Sit back, relax and be inspired.

20/07/12: Daily Digest Video Special (Part Two)

The second video of the day also comes from the TED Talks.  David Gallo shows some mind-blowing footage of sea creatures.  The octopus at the end is amazing.  Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

20/07/12: Daily Digest Video Special (Part One)

As regular readers will know, the Aquaculturists love a good video.  Today we have devoted the whole Daily Digest to the most interesting and entertaining aquaculture clip we can find.

First up, are the TED Talks, AKA the Aquaculturists' current obsession.  In this video chef Dan Barber discusses how to keep fish on the menu. As the blurb on the TED website says, 'with impeccable research and deadpan humor, [Barber] chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie's honeymoon he's enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain.'

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

19/07/12: FDA's pathogen genome database; fisheries in flooded areas of India; Canadian salmon virus saga continues

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to create public database of 100,000 foodborne pathogen genomes to help speed identification of bacteria responsible for foodborne outbreaks.  The FDA will collaborate with other organisations on the project.  Read more...
  • Fisheries are a viable farming option for the farmers in water logged areas in India says additional deputy commissioner Baldev Singh.  Read more...
  • Lab tests suggest contagious salmon virus may be on supermarket shelves in British Columbia, Canada.  Read more...
English: Logo of the .
English: Logo of the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Event: Offshore Mariculture: FAO confirm keynote speaker

Alessandro Lovatelli, Aquaculture Officer, Aquaculture Management and Conservation Service (FIRA), Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO of the UN will give a keynote speech entitled ‘Moving further offshore: FAO’s perspective on technical, environmental and policy implications’ at the forthcoming  Offshore Mariculture Conference in Izmir, Turkey. 

The Conference will be chaired by Neil Sims, Kampachi Farms, and the full conference programme is now available to view online at www.offshoremariculture.com.  The Conference will bring fish farmers, research organisations, suppliers and industry associations together to network, discuss topical issues and exchange information and ideas on the business of offshore fish farming.

Papers at the conference will include:

• Sustainable planning and development of cage farming and shellfish farming

• Development and integration of new species

• Feed for high energy cages

• Development and integration of: wind energy projects, mariculture of seaweeds, open ocean   culture of macroalgae

• Latest developments in cages and netting

• Turkish offshore aquaculture: planning, execution and success stories

The specific focus on Turkey is expected to attract Government officials from farming nations looking to learn how they can adapt Turkey’s successful spatial planning policy into their own Ministries of Fisheries/Environment and Tourism. In addition international farming companies and suppliers looking to enter and/or invest in the Turkish market are expected to attend. The Conference is supported by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, the Central Union of Turkish Aquaculture Producers as well as the European Aquaculture Society, the European Technology and Innovation Platform, the Global Aquaculture Alliance and the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers.

The 4th Offshore Mariculture Conference will be held in Izmir, Turkey on 17-19 October 2012 and following two days of technical presentations and discussion, delegates will also have the opportunity to visit an offshore fish farm.  The early bird delegate rate is available until 30 July 2012 and delegate places can either be booked online or by calling +44 (0) 1329 825335.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Video: Environmentally friendly aquasystem (Reuters)

With very little water and no discharge, Israeli marine biologists say they have developed the world's first environmentally friendly aquaculture system, using enclosed tanks to raise organic fish anywhere in the world. Reuters investigates...Watch video here

What do you think?  Is environmentally sound aquaculture possible?  And how would you measure such a thing?
English: Fish cages in Velfjorden, Brønnøy, No...
English: Fish cages in Velfjorden, Brønnøy, Norway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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18/07/12: Canada's salmon problems; Yangtze wetlands; PEW certifying sustainable seafood


  • You are probably familiar with the recent spate of salmon viruses in parts of Canada.  On July 6, 2012, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed an outbreak of infectious salmon anemia at Gray Aqua Group's salmon farm in Butter Cove.  The disease is deadly to fish but armless to humans which lead to concern that the salmon being eaten by humans (as the comments on this article show).  Now, Newfoundland and Labrador's Fisheries Minister, Darin King, has confirmed that the infected salmon will not be destroyed and will not enter the human food chain.   Read more...
Salmon intended for consumption as food
Salmon intended for consumption as food (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • In 2002 the WWF initiated a programme to restore the wetlands of the Yangtze Basin, China.  Flood damage from floods in the 1990s resulted in up to thousand of deaths and billions of dollars in damage. Find out how the programme got on...
WUHAN, CHINA - JULY 16:   Swimmers swim across...
Swimmers swim across the Yangtze River  (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

  • What does it take to accurately certify sustainable seafood?  The PEW Charitable Trust and others share their ideas.  Read more...

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

17/07/12: algae 'green tide'; China; skate

  • The massive algae 'green tide' which has been clogging up the shoreline in China's coastal resort of Qingdao, is set to continue.  Thousands of tons of the material has been cleared since the tide first appeared in June 2012.
  • 'Is China's taste for luxury a threat to sustainability?' asks mark Godfrey of SeafoodSource.  Let's find out... 
  • A UK project to understand the population and movements of skate has recorded its first tagged fish thanks to a South West fisherman.  Read more...

QINGDAO, CHINA - JULY 06:   A fisherman cleans...
QINGDAO, CHINA (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

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IAF Article: Maturation diets for shrimp

According the FAO , shrimp production was worth US$10 billion in 2008.  With production booming, getting the correct diet is vital.  In this article from IAF May/June 2011 Dr Sagiv Kolkovski and Judith Kolkovski of Nutrakol examine maturation diets and the possibility of alternatives to natural food.  Read the full article here.
A steamed tail-on shrimp.
A steamed tail-on shrimp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Monday, July 16, 2012

IAF Article: Natural ingredients in sustainable aquaculture

Check out this article from IAF May/June 2011.  Staff from Beneo-Animal Nutrition look at the how to use natural ingredients in sustainable aquaculture.  Read full text here.
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Sea Trout September 2008
Sea Trout September 2008 (Photo credit: kasperbs)

16/07/12: Darin King interview; FAO; Cermaq; Malaysia


Here's the news stories which have got us talking today:
  • Malaysia is to double its fish and seafood exports.  According to the Fisheries department annual exports are set to rise from 380,000 metric tonnes to 800,000  metric tonnes.  Read more...
  • Challenges to Canadian fisheries industry.  Read interview with minister Darin King here.
  • FAO: 30% of fish stocks are over-exploited. 
  • Cermaq in discussion with Chilean fishing company CMCH over take over bid.  Read more...
 What do you think?
Fisheries industry in Beruwela
Fisheries industry in Beruwela (Photo credit: Dhammika Heenpella / Images of Sri Lanka)

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Friday, July 13, 2012

13/07/12: South African abalone; herring, China, seafood and travel...

  • Farmed abalone to be regulated in South Africa.  Farming was banned in 2008 after.  Read more...
  • Aquaculture production safe and sustainable in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada says government.  Read more...
  • Herring can give us even more food says Swedish researcher.  Read more...
Have a great weekend

herring (Photo credit: landotter)

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