Sunday, June 30, 2013

Peter Coutteau, Nutriad’s specialised business unit

Peter Coutteau was first introduced to aquaculture as an undergraduate at the University of Gent, Belgium in the 1980s. Since his career has spanned both the academic and business sides of the industry working at the Laboratory for Aquaculture & Artemia Reference Center and the INVE group respectively.
Following a restructuration of the INVE group in January 2009, all activities of INVE Aquaculture related to feedmill specialties and farm nutrition, including the support team, research activities, test centers and product lines of aquaculture additives, were incorporated into Nutriad, global supplier of specialty additives in aquaculture and agriculture.
Coutteau setup Nutriad’s specialised business unit to further develop the feed additive business in aquaculture. Nutriad had been active in aquaculture since the very beginning but lacked a species-specific focus for aqua.

This interview appeared in the May June 2013 edition of International Aquafeed magazine

Natural ingredients and nature play a big role in your products and the promotion of the company. Why this emphasis?

The use of natural alternatives to antibiotics and synthetic products is a growing trend in the feed industry. Our logo ‘Applying Nature’ can be found in the basics of most of our feed additives. The application of natural compounds derived from a variety of sources including yeasts, botanicals, peptides, and animal by-products is at the top of the agenda of our researchers in the different species. The list of activities we source from natural compounds includes bactericide action, digestive stimulation, immune-stimulation, anti-oxidants, anti-parasitics to name a few.


Why/how are Nutriad additives ‘smart’?

Additives are ‘smart’ when they are based on a solid understanding of market and customer needs. Also, they need to be designed through a creative approach to product development, which is combining fundamental knowledge, lab testing and field verification to reach a solution that is satisfactory in terms of efficacy but at the same time realistic in terms of time required to reach the solution and cost for the end-user. The result is an effective solution for animal nutrition and health challenges faced by our customers.

What are the biggest challenges aquaculture faces?

As Nutriad covers all species, the differences in development stages of the industry become more clear. Aquaculture has grown at a staggering speed the past two decades with several species developing from scratch: salmon, penaeid shrimp, bass, bream, tilapia, pangasius.
Aquaculture is a young industry, which in practice means that producers (and their suppliers) in most countries are in the transition between the first and the second generation. The global aquafeed sector is volume wise 25 times smaller than the agri-feed industry and at the same time enormously diverse in terms of species, formulations, culture intensity, climatological and cultural conditions.
This results in a geographic fragmentation of the feed business which makes it much more challenging for an additive supplier to develop a global business. By contrast the live stock business is dominated by monogastrics, swine and poultry, with more commonly accepted farming practices around the world. The aqua business is much more dynamic than the agri business, and is facing still major challenges due to its recent and fast development.
From a technical point of view, reducing the impact of outbreaks of diseases and parasitic infestations on production efficiency is surely one of the biggest challenges, particularly under conditions where cost efficiency is calling for lower cost feeds and higher culture density in the farm.
From a business perspective, aquaculture production of many species is still under full organisation and that affects all the stakeholders in the industry. The salmon industry is the most structured aqua industry in terms of legislation, organisation of the processing chain and export activity, transparency, health prevention and genetic programs. We are seeing similar developments in other major producing countries such as the shrimp industry in Thailand and pangasius in Vietnam but there is still a long way to go and a lot of aquaculture volume continues to be produced in less organised business environments.

How is Nutriad responding to these various challenges?

The aquafeed market offers great opportunities for the development of innovative feed additives. There is still an enormous potential to reduce feed cost and improve health prevention through dietary supplements. The significant improvements in production efficiency and cost observed during field-testing of some of our digestibility enhancers and health promoting additives confirm this potential. However, this industry is fragmented over many different species and regions, each with their specific challenges and problems. Therefore, only companies that invest strongly in innovation and specialised customer support can play a significant role in the development of a more sustainable and profitable aquaculture industry.

Food safety is very important to everyone involved in the industry. How does Nutriad ensure the safest possible products?

Food safety starts from the ingredient selection at the stage of product design. Every ingredient we use is carefully selected for quality and feed chain security. All manufacturing facilities operate to the highest quality standards and systems that are independently audited. We ensure full traceability and product integrity to our customers.

Tell us a bit more about Quorum Sensing Technology.

Nutriad is the first additive company to apply Quorum Sensing technology in practice to reduce pathogenicity of bacterial pathogens in aquaculture and livestock. Recently, Nutriad has launched new products with well-documented activities on the inhibition of quorum sensing of bacterial pathogens which result in significantly improved yields in aqua/agri production.

Friday, June 28, 2013


Just a quick post before I head off for the weekend...

I am delighted to announce that the Aquaculturists has passed 250,000 views!

Thank you to everyone for reading and here's to the next 250,000.
Celebrate (Photo credit: Furryscaly)
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Video: The future of salmon farming

Is closed containment the way to go for sustainable salmon farming in Canada?
This Living Oceans Society is certainly a fan.
What do you think?

28/06/13: Protecting child workers in aquaculture; development of NZ aquaculture; what aquaculture means to my community

Governments need to take measures to protect children from harmful work in small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, say the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

According to a guidance document published jointly by the two UN agencies, almost every country has signed international conventions to protect children, but many have not translated these agreements into national legislation.

As a result, the document says, many children working in small-scale fisheries and aquaculture remain exposed to harsh and hazardous working conditions. They may have to dive to unsafe depths - often at night; work long hours in unsanitary processing plants where they are at risk of contracting infections; or handle toxic chemicals and dangerous equipment or gear. Girls working in fish processing depots are also at risk of sexual abuse.

"Work of this kind is intolerable", Árni M. Mathiesen, FAO Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, said. "It affects children's health and learning abilities, and often prevents them from attending school."

Aquaculture in the top of the South Island, New Zealand  has received a boost following the signing of a formal agreement between Cawthron Institute and Wakatu Incorporation

“This new partnership represents a long-term investment in the aquaculture sector and symbolises an ongoing commitment by Cawthron Institute and Wakatu to economic development in the Nelson Tasman region,” says Ian Kearney, chairman, Cawthron Institute.

Wakatu-owned seafood company Kono has been based at the Cawthron Aquaculture Park since 2003, working with Cawthron Institute at an operational level on shellfish research and development. The new agreement between the boards of directors of both organisations marks a shift to strategic level planning and sets out terms around the leasing of land, shared resources, collaborations and infrastructure at the park.

The winner of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association first annual scholarship competition for high school graduating students prize has been announced.

Students in the region were asked to submit an essay of 750 words or less on 'The Benefits of Aquaculture to my Community'.

Alyson Roberts of Hermitage scooped first place  and she will be awarded a $500 scholarship towards her entrance to Memorial University in 2013.

Nelson, New Zealand
Nelson, New Zealand (Photo credit: zinjixmaggir)

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Arvotec is targeting global markets with an adjustable multi-purpose feeding system for fish farming. The company has many years' experience in feeding automation and practical fish farming and  for several years it has developed a computer-based control system for fish farming. This has resulted in a product which simultaneously controls feeding, takes the necessary measurements and warns of unexpected changes. Click on the image to visit the Arvotec website.

Event: AquaNor

With just over six weeks until the AquaNor, plans are well underway for the event which takes place in Trondheim, Norway, August 13-16, 2013.

According to event organisers, the international interest in AquaNor has never been greater. This is due to a number of factors including the growth in aquaculture worldwide and the 'discovery' of Norwegian aquaculture technology.
More information...

Norway map
Norway map (Photo credit: BlueAndWhiteArmy)

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

First ASC and MSC labelled product reaches Dutch stores

Sales of responsibly sourced seafood are on the rise in the Netherlands. Now Dutch shoppers can enjoy even more choice as the first product carrying the ASC logo for responsible aquaculture and the MSC ecolabel for sustainable wild-catch hits the shops. From this month, Queens Panga & Shrimp Noodles Red Curry, combining farmed pangasius and wild-caught shrimp, will be available in major Dutch retailers.

Harry Hoogendoorn, Queens’ managing director said, “At Queens we want to have all our fish and fish products from sustainable sources, farmed or wild caught. Currently, we are not yet succeeding 100 percent, but we are almost there. Our four fish meals have an ASC- and/or MSC-label. We are proud to be the first to bring the ‘Panga & Shrimp Noodles’ to the market with ASC certified pangasius and MSC certified cold water shrimp. We have supported the MSC and the ASC for a number of years, and we have been working closely with both organisations to promote the best choice in seafood for Dutch consumers.”

“We are thrilled to introduce a product that combines our goal for fish farming with little to no adverse impact on the environment and local communities with MSC’s work towards sustainable seas and oceans,” said Chris Ninnes CEO of ASC.

“ASC’s philosophy is to use efficient market mechanisms that create value across the chain. By cooperating with organisations such as MSC we can make it easier for consumers to make responsible and sustainable seafood choices. I would like to congratulate Queens for pioneering their product and supporting the industry’s drive toward environmentally sustainable and socially responsible practices.”

Camiel Derichs, Regional Director Europe of MSC, says, “It is great to see the MSC label and ASC logo together on a seafood product. It demonstrates that all fish in the product is originating from sustainable fisheries, and responsible aquaculture. Shoppers cannot miss it and it communicates a very strong and easy to understand message. The fact that Queens now offers this as a ‘world first’ is a testament to their pioneering spirit and commitment to sustainability.”

You can read an interview with Chris Ninnes in the next issue of International Aquafeed.

Chris Ninnes, ASC, Harry Hoogendoorn, Queens Products, Camiel Derichs, MSC.

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Parasite lost as science tackles sea lice menace

The aquaculture industry has moved closer to its ‘Holy Grail’ due to a major scientific breakthrough by a Scottish company.

Farmed salmon have been made more resistant to the menace of sea lice by Scottish leaders in the field, Landcatch.

The company’s genetics experts have pinpointed a major gene that controls how susceptible individual fish are to sea lice infestation.

The genetic markers have already been used to screen broodstock selected in 2012 and have been introduced to the company’s egg production this year, ensuring the next generation of farmed salmon is more resistant to the parasites.

Sea lice are one of the long-term challenges facing the aquaculture industry and affect production across the world. Genetics is set to play a key role in tackling the issue, along with advances in husbandry, nutrition and medical treatments.

Landcatch, which has its headquarters in Ormsary in Argyll and a five-strong genetics team based at Stirling University Innovation Park, is pioneering work in the development of genetic and genomic tools for improving farmed salmon.

Genomic technology uses information from DNA to better understand inherited traits and predict performance of individual animals

Landcatch was the first aquaculture company to pinpoint genes controlling the susceptibility of salmon to Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN). As part of a strategy to improve robustness, the firm’s scientists also proved that sea lice resistance is inherited and produced more resistant juvenile fish and eggs.

Neil Manchester, Managing Director of Landcatch, said, “We have located a major gene - or Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) - controlling resistance to sea lice. This is mapped using variations in DNA sequences, or Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), which act as biological markers and help scientists identify individual salmon that are more robust for breeding and egg production in Europe and Chile.

“This is a significant milestone for Landcatch and the aquaculture industry. This is available now, and the fact that we’ve achieved this breakthrough a year ahead of schedule is to be welcomed.

“Many thought it would be another decade to get this far, so we are proud to be at the cutting edge and this far ahead in an important area for the industry.”

Landcatch is at the forefront of genomic research developing new markers for important traits. In collaboration with researchers in Scotland and the biotechnology company Affymetrix, it has developed a high density SNP Chip - glass slides used to analyse SNPs which act as biological markers and help scientists improve the accuracy of genetic predictions of resistance to disease and other commercially important traits.

Dr Alan Tinch, director of genetics, Landcatch, said, the latest discovery is another important advance in the development of more robust farmed salmon.

“Genetic markers and genomic selection using the Landcatch SNP Chip for sea lice resistance are major steps forward in developing a sustainable improvement in sea lice resistance with resulting enhancement of the welfare and performance of Landcatch Atlantic salmon.

“Our genetic strategy is to improve disease resistance in salmon and sea lice resistance is a core part of this. Genetic resistance will act alongside advances in husbandry, nutrition and medical treatment to reduce the thorny problem of sea lice.”

Samples from the Landcatch breeding programmes in Chile are also being screened to determine if the major gene is also effective against the Chilean form of sea lice.

Dr Tinch added, “The species of sea lice are different in Europe and Chile but the discovery we made in Scottish salmon may still apply because Atlantic salmon  around the world share the same origins.

“Whether we see the same effect in Chile or not will be interesting and help significantly in our understanding of the biology of sea lice infestation.”

Landcatch, which is part of the global Hendrix Genetics multi-species food production organisation, supplies genetic services and Atlantic salmon eggs and smolts to the aquaculture industry. It uses selective breeding to develop strains of salmon which can perform to ever higher levels at every stage of production from eggs to adult fish.

Genomic selection using SNP Chips is already routinely applied in crops, cattle, pigs and chickens but Landcatch is the first company to apply the science to salmon. 

English: Male and female Lepeophtheirus salmonis
English: Male and female Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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27/06/13: Blue Growth strategy to create EU growth and jobs; last call for Global Aquaculture Innovation Award; aquaculture firms fund cinema

The European Commission has welcomed the backing from the EU's General Affairs Council for the progress made in delivering the EU's Blue Growth Strategy. This Strategy aims at creating sustainable economic growth and employment in the marine and maritime economy to help Europe's economic recovery. 

The Council conclusions stress the importance of the Action Plan for the Atlantic Maritime Strategy to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Blue Economy of coastal Atlantic regions. The Conclusions also welcome the progress made in the EU maritime policies, such as the agreement on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, the adoption of Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture or the adoption of the LeaderSHIP 2020 strategy which gives new impetus to innovation and diversification of the shipbuilding industry.

Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs said, “Today's endorsement of the Council shows that delivering the potential of the Blue Economy in terms of growth, jobs and competitiveness is a European commitment. Blue growth is a long term political strategy and the support for its first steps is very encouraging".

Innovative aquaculturists have until July 15, 2013 to apply for the first Global Aquaculture Innovation Award. The application deadline has been extended the competition has been opened up to all farms. 

Organised by the Global Aquaculture Alliance and sponsored by Novus International, the competition is intended to recognise innovative aquaculture practices. Innovations can span the full range of farm activities, including wetlands conservation, feed management, water-quality management, effluent reduction, energy reduction, staff training, community relations, animal welfare, and health and nutrition.

The prize package includes US$1,000 cash and an all-expenses-paid trip to GAA's GOAL 2013 conference in Paris, France.

Scottish Sea Farms and Fusion Marine have donated £8,000 to Oban Cinema to allow cinema-goers to enjoy the 3D experience. 

Oban Cinema can now let patrons enjoy the 3D experience with the help of local Scottish firms, Fusion Marine and Scottish Sea Farms. The companies have donated £5,000 and £3,000 respectively and this cash is being used to help the cinema with the costs related to the new digital technology.
Fiona Shaw, artistic director and CEO of the cinema, said, “The support and generous donations from both Fusion Marine and Scottish Sea Farms could not have come at a better time for the cinema. We have only recently installed a brand new digital projector to replace the old 35mm one and this additional help with funds allowed us to also install a 3D system at the same time. We were able to opt for the best 3D system available, Dolby 3D, which audiences will see offers an exceptional viewing experience alongside our new Dolby 7.1 surround sound system which the money also helped see us secure.”

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Marine Harvest after Cermaq: Focus on other Chile, Norway salmon expansion

Marine Harvest’s failure to secure fellow salmon farming group Cermaq will see the company look to other expansion options in farming in Norway and Chile.

In a stock exchange release, Marine Harvest outlined its plans following the collapse of its attempt to buy Cermaq and the sale of the remaining shares it had acquired in the group, in which the Norwegian government is now upping its stake.

“Marine Harvest will, in line with what we have communicated earlier, focus its resources on the development of green field feed capacity in Norway, expansion within Norwegian and Chilean farming as well as the forthcoming integration of Morpol,” said Marine Harvest.

The combination of salmon processor and farmer Morpol with Cermaq and Marine Harvest was part of the company’s plan to create a leader in salmon feed, processing and farming.

Marine Harvest is also in the process of building a 220,000 metric ton salmon feed facility in Bjugn, Norway, at an estimated cost of NOK 800m and with production scheduled for 2014.

Oncorhynchus gorbuscha
Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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26/06/2013: OriginOil technology; subprogramme to promote aquaculture; Hawaii Oceansphere™

OriginOil, Inc's., water sanitising and algae production technology will soon be implemented by New Global Energy.

“Following OriginOil’s field demonstration earlier this month, we have concluded that this technology is a strategic asset in our drive to restart the California aquaculture industry,” said Perry West, chairman of New Global Energy.


The Angolan Ministry of Fisheries has designed a subprogramme to develop aquaculture and counteract marine fish stock depletion.

According to Vitória de Barros Neto, Angolan fisheries minister, the subprogramme will include projects on fish farming experimental station construction, incubation centres for the production of marine and freshwater species, and feed mills and community aquaculture development.


Hawaii Oceanic Technology, Inc., has received a Canadian patent for its Oceansphere™, Automated Positioning and Submersible Open Ocean Platform for Fish Farming.

The patent characterises the company’s environmentally responsible system for growing seafood in the open ocean. U.S. and Philippine patents have been granted and the company is expecting patents in the EU, Japan and Australia to be granted soon.


National emblem of Angola (1990-present)
National emblem of Angola (1990-present) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Almex specialises in single screw extrusion equipment, from the extrusion unit to complete installations. Their products are used worldwide within the fishfeed, oil extraction, petfood, animal feed plant, food and the processing and chemical industries. Click on image to visit company website.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

25/06/2013: Rapid growth in Tasmanian aquaculture; Zebrafish could help multiple sclerosis; An emerging power in the Mediterranean

Since 2012, the Tasmanian seafood sector has grown by up to US$200 million in two years, and is now valued at US$861 million a year.

Neil Stump, chief executive of the Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council, says that, when the multiplier effect of the industry is factored in, Tasmania's seafood and food service industry is worth over US$2 billion a year.

An examination of Zebrafish has revealed how their nerve network protects itself. Scientists have discovered how the body produces myelin, a fatty sheath that insulates and protects nerve fibres.

Sharing more than 80% of the genes associated with human diseases, the species has also been shown to respond to drugs in a similar way to humans.

Andromeda Group is one the fastest growing group of companies in the Mediterranean Aquaculture industry, with activity across Europe and with worldwide export power as well.

Achieving dynamic growth with the support of Global Finance, Andromeda is developing into a dynamic group of companies aimed at establishing itself as the leader in Mediterranean Aquaculture.

Water inlet in Cockle Creek, South East Tasman...
Water inlet in South East Tasmania, Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Event: Sonac International Aqua Event

On the occasion of the re-introduction of Processed Animal Proteins (PAP) in aquafeeds, Sonac, a major European rendering company, organised a seminar at their production location in Burgum on May 29, 2013. Around 40 invitees, representing the major aquafeed producers in Europe, attended the seminar.

First, Gert Mulderij, sales and marketing director Vion Ingredients, welcomed the attendees. He also explained the recent developments, whereby Vion Ingredients will be separated from Vion Food.

To give some background around the decision for the re-introduction, Rik Herbes (NVWA, Dutch Veterinary Authorities), was invited. Rik Herbes has 25 years of experience in feed safety. He first gave some information about the role and responsibilities of NVWA and then explained the history of the legislation to deal with BSE. The extended feed ban started in December 2000 and is now lifted for Aquaculture. The problems associated with this lift are mainly political will and consumer trust, while sustainability of PAP compared to fish meal and GMO Soybean products should be a strong argument for their utilization. He also stressed the importance of a dedicated production line and process, to avoid any future contamination, which would seriously affect the credibility of the industry.

Eric De Muylder (CreveTec), aquafeed specialist first gave a general overview about the aquaculture and aquafeed market globally. He then gave some information about the potential and advantages of the utilization of PAP in different fish and crustacean diets. Finally, there will be three major challenges in the future aquaculture industry: diseases and bio-security, limiting the effect on the environment and availability of enough raw materials to produce feeds for this fast growing market. PAP will be part of the solution, not only as widely available protein sources, but also to limit the environmental impact of aquaculture, through a higher digestibility of its protein and phosphorus content.

Next, Jacques Wijnoogst (Tema-International), an expert in aquafeed production and factory design, talked about the difficulties when changing raw materials and introducing new raw materials in a production line. A successful introduction is only possible through an intense cooperation between the nutritionist and process technologist, whereby the mentality should be “if there is a problem, we will solve it” instead of “we don't know this raw material and we don't have experience with it, so we don't want it”. After all, the future is for the companies who are always trying to be better than the competitors, through innovation and keeping all options open.
After the break, Dr Dominique Bureau gave an overview of the research he has been doing during more than 20 years on utilization of animal proteins for salmonids at the University of Guelph. Initially, the low digestibility values measured of those products, hampered their inclusion in aquaculture feeds. However, there are huge differences in quality of PAP, due to different processing methods and choice of raw materials. A cooperation between the rendering industry and the University of Guelph resulted in a better understanding of processing methods leading to the production of highly digestible animal proteins.

Sürreya Özkizilcik (Nutra Yem), Nutrition consultant, gave an overview of the nutritional requirements of Mediterranean fish species, with a focus on the functionality of hydrolyzed proteins, determination of nutritional requirements, the protein to energy ratios, calculation of metabolisable and digestible energy and how to decide on feed ration.

Finally, Carine van Vuure, manager Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs Vion Ingredients, gave a detailed description of the products produced and developed by Sonac specifically for Aquaculture feeds. There is a wide variety, from animal fats as energy source, blood products, hydrolysates and PAP as protein sources to Calcium Phosphates as mineral supplements. Research performed by Sonac has shown that Poultry and Porc bone oil, processed to contain more unsaturated fatty acids, can replace partly fish oil in diets for trout without affecting growth or the taste of the fillet. Another trial showed that digestibility of blood products for seabream mainly depends on the processing method. Spray-dried hemoglobin powder does not affect digestibility of the diet when replacing fish meal. The same result was obtained for Hydrolyzed feather proteins. 

Sonac produces several hydrolyzed proteins: Gelatin, MucoPro, Gelko, Kerapro and recently Phosterol. MucoPro and Gelko has been used successfully to replace fish meal in diets for trout larvae, fingerlings and shrimp. Recently, Sonac developed Phosterol, a natural combination of cholesterol, phospholipids and hydrolyzed proteins, which has proven to reduce FCR in a trial with shrimp. For the re-introduction of PAP in Aquaculture feeds, Sonac is offering a Porc meal with 60 percent proteins and Poultry meal with 70 percent proteins. Apart from the nutritional and cost benefits of these products, a study performed by Ponsioen and Blonk (2010) showed a significantly lower carbon footprint for poultry meal, compared to traditional protein sources such as fish meal and soybean meal. The same picture has been drawn for poultry fats compared to vegetable fats.

After the seminar, the attendees were invited to tour the factory, guided by the production management. The facilities in Burgum have separated production lines for Poultry meal, mixed meal, hair meal, blood meal, hydrolyzed feather meal and a new line for Mucopro, for which a completely new technology was developed.

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Event: 3rd Algae World Australia

CMT’s 3rd Algae World Australia in Adelaide, August 26-28, 2013, is the region’s project leaders’ event, presenting timely updates on algae developments and projects aligned with the nation’s growing emphasis on energy independence.

Australia is accelerating its algae developments, tapping on its pro-algae cultivation environment including abundant sunshine and optimal climate. This year, CMT’s Algae World series will be held in South Australia as the zone surges in the race towards commercial algae biofuels production. With Muradel’s pilot plant shifting to Whyalla, South Australia is bound to spearhead algae R&D, becoming the key hub in the region. Other key players with projects in South Australia include Algarythm and SARDI.
Top executives from these three SA players as well as University of Queensland, Aurora Algae, Photonz Corp. and MBD Energy are some of the top speakers confirmed participating at 3rd Algae World Australia, each to share project updates and insights.
Another highlight of the 3rd Algae World Australia is a segment on macroalgae &; microalgae advances for high value products, cost-effective bio-crude oil production, sustainable aviation biofuels and wastewater treatment.
Speaking on advancements in algae-based wastewater treatment, in particular US and Japan perspectives are industry-renowned leaders from SARDI, Flinders University, University of Tsukuba and GO2 Water, including Dr Jason Tanner and Prof Makoto M Watenabe.
International aviation leader Qantas Airways will also speak on new developments in sustainable aviation biofuels, and Prof Wei Zhang from Flinders CMBD will elaborate on sustainable biorefinery technologies for macroalgae HPV. Expanding on new microalgae developments are top researchers from Murdoch University and University of South Australia.
The value-added conference also includes two optional & exclusive site visits to University of Adelaide: Tour of Chemical Engineering Lab and SARDI Aquatic Sciences & Flinders University. Participants can look forward to first-hand experience and insights on industry-leading open-pond algae systems as well as micro- & macro-algal R&D facilities. 
More information...

blue-green algae of genus Synechocystis
blue-green algae of genus Synechocystis (Photo credit: BASF - The Chemical Company)

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24/06/13: NZ Best Fish Guide; algae as art; crowd funded aquaponics project

Fish lovers in New Zealand can now be sure their farmed seafood is sustainable thanks to  Forest & Bird’s new Best Fish Guide.

The guide, which has helped consumers choose ecologically sound seafood since 2004, has been updated to include aquaculture farms. 

Pacific oysters, paua, Green-lipped mussels and both freshwater and marine-farmed salmon have been added to the guide’s ranking system.

We've heard of algae as a feed ingredient, a biofuel and a comestic ingredient but get alage as art is something new to us.

The V&A museum in London is hosting an artist in residence who creates art from seaweed. Julia Lohmann specialises in developing materials from kelp and objects from the materials created.

The 'Department of Seaweed' will be at the museum until September and there will be various open days throughout the summer.

We've reported a couple of times on the rise of aquaponics across the USA and the trend shows no signs of stopping. This article describes how looks at one start up in Texas which is being fundued through crowd sourcing.

English: Seeweed covered rocks.
English: Seeweed covered rocks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Zheng Chang

Zheng Chang, established in 1918, has made constant innovations in feed machinery industry and accumulated a wealth of experience in tackling the various challenges facing feed companies and, more importantly, is able to offer a range of comprehensive solutions. ZCME has now evolved into China’s largest manufacture of feed machinery and has 16 branches in China with over 1300 staff and more than thirty offices all over the world. Click on the image to visit the Zheng Chang website.

British Columbia sea lice count below the threshold for treatment

The sea lice count numbers for May show levels in the Okisollo/Hoskyn Channels area continue to be below the threshold for treatment as required by regulation.

There are a total of nine farm sites in the two channels. These farms are well managed and highly regulated to ensure that wild stocks migrating past these sites are protected, no matter how many of the farms are operating.

Sea lice numbers are monitored regularly and show levels below the threshold levels for treatment as required by regulation.

For the month of May, three farms in the area were in operation. Cyrus Rocks was harvested in May and is now fallow. The final sea lice count is included in the table below. Both the Brent and Venture Point sites were stocked during the month of May – the first sea lice counts will be reported with the June counts.

Regular sea lice counts are proactively shared by BC’s salmon farmers to update the public about sea lice numbers on farm sites in the area throughout the wild salmon outmigration period. These monthly reports will continue through July.

English: From USGS public information leaflet ...
English: From USGS public information leaflet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Video: EU reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

The reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy explained. Featuring Maria Damanaki, commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

21/06/13: EU introduces new fish labelling rules; abalone trafficking ring dismantled; Scottish Fishermen's Federation short-listed for green business award

The European Union has agreed plans for new labelling rules for fish and seafood. The deal will lead to stronger and more competitive producer organisations and that improves labelling of fisheries products to better inform consumers. The regulation for a Common Market Organisation (CMO) for fishery and aquaculture products is a crucial part of the Common Fisheries Policy.
"This was a prime example of how the co-decision process, and a willingness by all sides to find sensible solutions, can result in an excellent deal which promises a good future for the fisheries and aquaculture sector", said Struan Stevenson (ECR, UK), rapporteur for the CMO regulation.

The state government of South Australia has dismantled the largest abalone trafficking ring in its history after a seventh person was convicted in the trafficking of 480 kilograms of abalone.

Minister for Fisheries Gail Gago said the investigation into the trafficking syndicate detected in 2010 resulted in three arrests, seven people convicted with fines totalling AU$28,952, suspended jail sentences for three offenders and a total of 360 hours community service handed down.

Trafficking of abalone is considered one of the most serious offences under the Fisheries Management Act 2007, and carries a penalty of up to $100,000 and four years imprisonment.

The commercial division of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation has been short-listed in the Green Business of the Year category at the 2013 Scottish Business Awards.

SFF Services provides a variety of vessel and support services for the offshore marine sector, particularly the oil and gas industries. Its well-respected marine mammal observation, passive acoustic monitoring and environmental work, combined with sustainability initiatives overseen by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and the Scottish Fishermen’s Trust, has ensured a place on the short-list for this prestigious award.

SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: “It is a fantastic achievement for SFF Services to make the short-list, which underlines the commitment of the fishing industry in helping to protect the marine environment.

English: Blacklip abalone ( Haliotis rubra ), ...
English: Blacklip abalone ( Haliotis rubra ), still alive, harvested from the south coast of New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Scale: shell length = 12.3 cm. Due to over-harvesting, abalone are subject to a strict bag limit of two in NSW (with a fishing licence), and may only be taken if over 11.7 cm. Français : Ormeaux (Haliotis rubra) (Hauteur = 12.3 cm) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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From small-town entrepreneur to worldwide leader  With a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work, brothers Joe and Louis Wenger founded Wenger Mixing Company in a small Kansas (USA) town in 1935. They went on to design a machine that blended molasses with dry feedstuffs and produced pellets in 1948.
Theirs was the first extrusion cooking system and the basic technology for all commercial extruders used today.  The Wenger brothers' novel idea created a worldwide industry. And, seventy-five years later, Wenger Manufacturing, Inc. is still a family-owned business committed to groundbreaking innovation in the extrusion market. Click on the image to visit the Wenger website.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

20/06/13: Licence for yellowtail kingfish research; farms on the equator at greater risk from disease; giant catfish faces dam threat

The state government in New South Wales, Australia has granted a licence for an aquaculture research facility at Port Stephens. The 20-hectare farm will research species such as the yellowtail kingfish and will create up to 15 jobs.

Aquaculture facilities at lower latitudes may be at greater risk from disease outbreaks than operations away from the equator according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Researchers at the University of New England, Australia and the University of Tasmania, Australia reviewed 114 reports on disease outbreaks at fish farms from Norway to South America. They found a greater prevalence of disease outbreaks at facilities close to the equator.

The giant catfish faces a new threat in the form on dams along the mainstream part of the lower Mekong river, according to a study commissioned by the WWF.

The study sheds new light on the status of this elusive species, including data on its numbers, distribution, threats and measures needed to prevent its disappearance. While the exact population size is unknown, there could be as few as a couple of hundred adult Mekong giant catfish fish left.

According to the study, the Xayaburi dam on the Mekong mainstem in northern Laos would prove an impassable barrier for the migratory giant catfish – which are capable of reaching up to three metres in length and weighing as much as 300kg – and risks sending the species to extinction.

“A fish the size of a Mekong giant catfish simply will not be able to swim across a large barrier like a dam to reach its spawning grounds upstream,” said the study’s author and associate research professor at the University of Nevada, Dr Zeb Hogan.
eventual extinction.

Giant Mekong Catfish (Wallago attu)
Giant Mekong Catfish (Wallago attu) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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AgriVision 2013: The shared value in an era of constrained resources

At the seventh AgriVision conference, the world's foremost authority on strategy, competition and competitive advantage, Professor Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School explained the concept of shared value and he showed how companies need to go beyond corporate social responsibility to understand their role in society.

The principle of shared value involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges. A host of factors, such as the scarcity of natural resources, will drive unprecedented opportunities to create shared value.

Michael Porter said, "The purpose of the corporation must be redefined as creating shared value, not just profit per se. This will drive the next wave of innovation and productivity growth in the global economy."

While corporate social responsibility programmes focus mostly on reputation and have only a limited connection to business, shared value is integral to a company's profitability and competitive position. Shared value offers major opportunities in the animal nutrition industry to innovate and grow while contributing to one of the world's most important human needs.

Knut Nesse,CEO, Nutreco said, "We are very pleased that Michael Porter explains the concept of shared value creation to key stakeholders in international feed-to-food chains here at AgriVision. In a world with limited natural resources and a growing population, there is a rising demand for high quality animal and fish proteins. At Nutreco, we aim to create shared value by providing innovative and sustainable nutritional solutions that best support the performance of farmed animals and fish. At this AgriVision we want to stimulate and inspire stakeholders in the agri-business to go beyond corporate social responsibility and embrace the concept of shared value creation."

AgriVision 2013, organised by Nutreco from June 18-20, 2013, identifies enabling factors and opportunities between a broad spectrum of key stakeholders in the agri-business value chains. 'Feeding the future' is Nutreco's mission and AgriVision explores ways to sustainably feed generations to come.

The global population is growing in number and income; many more people expect to eat more and animal proteins, such as meat, milk, fish and eggs, rank high on their list of preferences. Numbers are predicted to stabilise at around 9 billion people by 2050. Can the world produce enough food and keep on producing that food year after year without jeopardising the environment? What must we do in order to double our food production while halving our footprint?

The AgriVision conference looks at how to provide more food from less of the world's resources through more efficient and sustainable extraction, conversion and use. Shared value can play a role in this.

AgriVision 2013 is organised by Nutreco and sponsored by Evonik, DuPont and Rabobank.

English: Harvard Business School Baker Library...
English: Harvard Business School Baker Library 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

IFFO's Global Standard for Responsible Supply update

“Overall 103 plants in 10 countries are now Global Standard for Responsible Supply (IFFO RS) certified, amounting to 40 percent of world combined fishmeal and fish oil production and 70 percent of that produced by IFFO members,” says Francisco Aldon Head of Standards at IFFO. “More factories are in the process of certification,” he adds, “and sixteen fisheries have been approved as sources of responsible raw materials under the RS standard.”

Progress of the IFFO RS standard is under constant review and development by the IFFO RS Board, made up of representatives  of the value chain, such as fishmeal and oil producers, feed producers, fish farmers, traders, fish processors, retailers and environmental NGOs. At a recent meeting the board discussed improvements to the governance of the RS standard which is critical to its continuing credibility. The potential addition of social and ethical clauses to the standard as well as pollution clauses to reassure the value chain was considered and another key topic was the IFFO RS Improvers Programme (IP). This is progressing with the support of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) and FAO. The IP's main objective is to help improve fishmeal and fish oil producers that are currently unable to meet the standard, either because of issues within the factory or because of problems with the raw material and the associated fisheries.
In order to keep up with the progress of the industry, ensure full traceability and strengthen the RS standard, the auditing process has been extended to include the head offices of companies that own multiple sites where some are RS certified and some not,  and third party storage facilities.  These stores need checks to ensure the IFFO RS certified material is kept separate from non-certified fishmeal and/or fish oil.  
The by-products (guts, trimmings, heads and tails) of 52 species usually destined for human consumption  have also been approved as raw material for fishmeal and fish oil under the RS standard. Thirteen units (storage facilities, fish oil refineries, head offices) have achieved the IFFO RS Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard.
Both the RS Standard and the RS CoC Standard have new logos and there are plans to develop a QR code for each of the certified units in order to give the buyer a means of verifying certification independently.
The IFFO RS programme is also contributing information to 'standard maps'  by organisations such as Seafish Network  which compare and contrast the different seafood standards on the market. For IFFO RS standard these maps are a good way to demonstrate transparency and to ensure as many fish products buyers and consumers as possible see that IFFO members are working in a responsible way.
Mike Copeland, international business and technical director, Oceana Brands, South Africa, has first-hand evidence of the benefits of RS certification to the fisheries in today’s world where retailers and consumers are increasingly engaged in the provenance of their food and the inputs used in its production.   

He commented, “We were delighted when our factories received IFFO RS certification as this demonstrates to our customers that Oceana Brands responsibly sources its raw material and has well managed factories ensuring pure and safe product”.

About the Global Standard for Responsible Supply (IFFO RS) 
The Global Standard for Responsible Supply (IFFO RS) is a business-to-business certification programme that enables a compliant factory to demonstrate that it responsibly sources its raw material from well-managed fisheries and responsibly converts that into pure and safe products.
To be certified fishmeal and fish oil factories must demonstrate sourcing from well managed fisheries and safe and traceable production. Assessments are conducted by an independent certification body and in just over two years, IFFO RS has successfully attracted 90 certified factories, spread across nine countries. Two of the largest sustainably managed fisheries in the world, Peruvian Anchovy and Alaskan Pollock have been approved for supply into the manufacturing food chain including whole fish and by- product raw material to produce certified fishmeal and fish oil.

IFFO RS logo

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