Friday, December 20, 2013

20/12/13: Seasons greetings and a happy New year from all of the Aquaculturists team!

2013 has been a fantastic year for the Aquaculturists. After a fun-filled year, it's time for the Aquaculturists to clock off for Christmas and prepare for 2014.

From all of us here at the Aquaculturists, we wish you a wonderful festive period and a fantastic new year! 

Roger Gilbert - managing director

International sales team
Darren Parris - international marketing manager
Lee Bastin - marketing communications manager
Tom Blacker - directories coordinator
Ivan Marquetti - sales executive, Latin America
Pablo Porcel de Peralta - social media manager, Latin America
Raj Kapoor - sales executive, India

International editorial team
Professor Simon Davies - editor, International Aquafeed
Richard Sillett - deputy editor
Dr Yu Yu - associate editor, International Aquafeed
Dr Mai - associate editor, International Aquafeed (Chinese language)

Production & distribution team
Tuti Tan - circulation & events manager
James Taylor - design manager
Marnie Snell - production assistant

Reed Mariculture

Reed Mariculture produce marine microalgae concentrates as a food source for the world's aquaculture industry. Click on image to visit Reed Mariculture's website.

20/12/13: New! IAF article: International Aquafeed Industry profiles 2013/14

This article, the last article of the last  edition of International Aquafeed 2013, features the end of year profiles from all of our supporters.
View the full end of year profiles here...

Feature 6

20/12/13: No caviar this christmas; environmental firm purchases prawn company; registration open for Aquafeed Horizons Asia

In order to give highly endangered sturgeon a chance to recover in the wild, caviar should be avoided, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), an international conservation organisation.

As one of the world’s most expensive wildlife product, persistent trade has left Sturgeon on the brink of extinction. 
Full news available here...

Australian environmental services company CO2 Group announced it is further expanding in the aquaculture industry with the purchase of Queensland prawn company Seafarm for AUD$11.2 million.

Speaking about Seafarm, C02 Group said the company was the oldest and biggest fully integrated prawn aquaculture business in Australia, producing prawns sold widely throughout Australia.
Full news available here...

Registration is now open for the Aquafeed Horizons Asia conference, held in association with Victam - the leading international trade show for the animal feed, grain and biomass industries worldwide.  

Now in to its 7th edition, the Aquafeed Horizons Conference will provide participants with the latest processing and formulation information in the aquaculture sector. 
For more information and to register, visit the Aquafeed Horizons Asia website here...

English: Spoon with black caviar (Mother of Pe...
Spoon with black caviar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

19/12/13: Marine recirculation system project; sea scum in Nova Scotia; Mud crab and Milkfish cultivation in Southeast Asia

Australian aquaculture systems specialist RADAQUA recently announced it has partnered with
Quanying (Fujian) Technology Co. Ltd  to develop a two staged multi-species marine recirculation system.

The new project will be based around the commercial production of Coral Trout and Grouper.
Full news available here...

Sea scum has had residents of Jordan Bay, Nova Scotia in a state of bewilderment lately.

Private testing of the substance - which has been floating off Jordan Bay's West Green Harbour this week - revealed it was mineral oil.

Sindy Horncastle, a local Jordan Bay resident suggested that the mineral oil may be a result of use in the aquaculture industry in medicines or treatments.
Full news available here...

Back in 2010, ACDI/VOCA - an international development organisation based in Washington, USA - was awarded a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture under the Food for Progress program to fund a three-year project aimed at cultivating mud crabs and milkfish in the coastal villages of Timor-Leste, an island nation northwest of Darwin, Australia.

The program will also explore the sustainable cultivation of other aquaculture species including milkfish.
Full news available here...

Chano chanos (Milk fish)
Chano chanos (Milk fish) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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19/12/13: Consumer confidence

Roy Palmer, executive director,
Association of International Seafood Professionals
News courtesy of Roy Palmer, executive director, Association of International Seafood Professionals

If we are to change the world and get more people eating seafood then we need so much in our favour. One of the major problems is the need for consumer confidence and to correct perceptions in the mainstream media.

I have just had the experience of being in Vietnam and if ever there was an example to exemplify this issue then Vietnam and its seafood is it.

But first I must relate to something that happened on LinkedIn through our Association page discussions. It is the perfect combination of urgency and principles when looking at extremely poor journalism. The thing we must do is to attack that and embarrass the people involved in the hopes that they will not err again.

We were alerted to an article (I will not publicise it as it does not need more airing but you can follow the postings in the LinkedIn discussions) which basically blamed seafood imported in USA for much of the foodborne illnesses that Americans suffer each year. It was suggested by one of our members, Todd Wendt that we should all communicate with the journalist (?) and let her know our feelings to the poorly researched article. Many members of the Association did this and some contacted the publisher, Scripps media, to ensure they were aware of the inaccuracies. 

In her defence the author replied “the article is referenced to Food & Water Watch, multiple times. It's a non-profit in America that does this research. It's not so my research, it's research conducted by the non-profit in which I reported on so I suggest instead of taking your frustrations out on me, you take it up with Food & Water Watch. It's just my job to report what I find.”

It was pointed out quite strongly that promoting fiction as fact was not a good idea.

The issue was further exasperated by another article written in a US Professional fishing magazine which attempted to defend USA produced seafood.

As another Association member, Matt Briggs, pointed out this article was totally biased (after rightly calling for balance from the previous author) as it went on to say that all domestic American seafood is good and sustainable, and, by inference, only filthy nasty fish from outside America is bad and unsustainable. That is nonsense!

Matt stressed what I have often said – the seafood industry is own worst enemy when it comes to knocking seafood. Matt said ‘remember what happened when the US catfish industry tried to differentiate between (lovely, clean and healthy) US produced catfish, and (nasty, filthy unhealthy and not really catfish at all) Vietnamese catfish? Everyone lost out as all catfish was tarred with the same brush in the consumers mind.’

Anyway back to Vietnam. We had a great Marketing session at Asian Pacific Aquaculture 13 in Ho Chi Minh City where well over 2000 people attended over the 3 days of the conference and trade show.

In the session the aim was to try and set the scene of where we are today and to see how we can improve into the future. I set the scene highlighting how people come to Vietnam for a holiday and when asked what was special about the holiday they generally remark on how great and reasonably priced the food was, especially the seafood. Of that there can be no doubt from my own experiences.

When these people get home the ‘Product of Vietnam’ sign at the fish counter is not an issue but seemingly to some journalists it is like a red flag to a bull! Strange but true. I highlighted how Vietnam had suffered from various PR attacks which had mainly been promoted by others in our industry – we are our worst enemy for sure.

Professor David Hughes had the audience in the palm of his hand as he highlighted the problems of being a commodity driven product comparing Chicken with Pangasius then Dr. Nguyen Huu Dzung from VASEP explained what their plans for the future were and the event was nicely completed by Norm Grant, chairman of the Seafood Importers Association of Australalia, who gave a run down on the Brand Vietnam that was happening in Australia.

All this highlights is that seafood operators are not each other’s enemy – the enemy is chicken, pork, beef, lamb, etc. and that we all need to grasp that strongly and work together. We need to defend the whole industry and understand that if we denigrate any seafood that we are shooting ourselves in the foot.  

Let us all work together to lift consumer confidence – we cannot do that unless we have each other’s backs!