Thursday, April 30, 2015

Norel Animal Nutrition company profile

We are an innovative company whose business is focused on the development, manufacture and trade of additives and raw materials for animal nutrition.

At Norel our main aim is to meet and satisfy the needs of our customers.

Visit the website HERE.

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

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

Reed Mariculture Inc company profile

Reed Mariculture is the world's largest producer of marine microalgae concentrates for larval fish, bivalves, crustaceans and other filter feeders. Their Instant Algae® larviculture feeds are used by over 500 hatcheries, universities, and marine ornamental operations in more than 80 countries around the world. They also produce and distribute pathogen and ciliate free rotifers, Parvocalanus copepods, and Otohime and TDO weaning feeds.

Reed Mariculture's Instant Algae products are closer to nature than any other feed on the market. They produce whole-cell, whole-food microalgae feeds and enrichments from marine algae using proprietary processes. Their products provide fish, bivalve and shrimp hatcheries with clean, convenient, long shelf-life feeds that are superior choices to replace or supplement live microalgae. Their feeds ensure stable and rapidly-reproducing rotifer populations with superior rich nutritional value.

Visit the website HERE.

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

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

30/04/2015: Marist College earns MSC Chain of Custody certification for wild-caught, sustainable seafood

Marist College, located in Poughkeepsie, New York, in conjunction with dining services partner, Sodexo, has achieved Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody certification, the world’s most recognized certification program for wild-caught, sustainable seafood.

MSC Chain of Custody certification ensures that seafood products that bear the blue MSC ecolabel can be traced back to a fishery that has been certified as sustainable and well-managed against the global, science-based MSC standard.
© Marist College, New York

Marist Dining Services by Sodexo offers more than 3200 students, faculty and staff MSC certified sustainable seafood in the Student Center Dining Hall, which serves over 3600 meals on a daily basis. A variety of seafood comprises up to 15 percent of dining hall menu items and includes MSC certified cod, halibut, pollock and salmon.

MSC Chain of Custody certification assures that in every step of the chain – from the fishers, to the processor, to the distributor and the end user – MSC certified seafood is not mixed with or substituted for non-certified seafood. To achieve MSC Chain of Custody certification, Marist College Dining Services by Sodexo worked with MSC Chain of Custody certified seafood supplier, Sysco Albany, to ensure complete traceability through the supply chain.
Sustainability is fundamental aspect of commitment to environmental stewardship

“Sustainability is a fundamental aspect of our overall commitment to environmental stewardship at Marist College and we are proud of the achievement of attaining MSC Chain of Custody certification,” said Steve Sansola, Marist College’s Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Co-Chair of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Committee.
“By offering MSC certified sustainable seafood, students, faculty and staff are provided with high quality sustainable seafood products and our procurement contributes to the health of the world’s oceans by choosing seafood from fisheries that have been certified as sustainable and well-managed.”

Marist Dining Services’ additional sustainability initiatives include extensive purchasing of local and regional food products, cooking oil reclamation for bio-diesel or repurposing, promoting zero-waste catering events with compostable products and water-bottle filling stations.

A recent renovation of the dining hall resulted in the installation of a vegetative roof, reduced energy and water use through high-efficiency ovens, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashing system, and a new hyper-accelerated food decomposition system which processes organic kitchen and dining hall food waste into organic rich water.

Demonstrated leadership helps to ensure sustainable seafood for future

“We congratulate Marist College Dining Services by Sodexo on attaining MSC Chain of Custody certification and the leadership demonstrated by their sustainable seafood commitment,” said Geoff Bolan, MSC’s U.S. program director.

“By looking for the blue MSC ecolabel and choosing MSC certified sustainable seafood, students and faculty are able to make a difference and help to ensure sustainable seafood for this and future generations.”

Read more HERE.

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

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

30/04/2015: Concern over plan to spray new pesticide on Washington, US oyster beds

For years a group of men have worked the tidal flats in Willapa Bay, Washington, USA, manicuring them for oyster growth, the King 5 website reports.

"Four of the guys, including myself that mowed it, we came down with cancer. Lymphoma. Two are dead," said Keith Stavrum with the Moby Dick Hotel, Restaurant and Oyster Farm.

Stavrum blames pesticides used to kill tiny burrowing shrimp - the arch nemesis of oysters because their digging softens oyster beds. 

"And if that ground's too muddy and soft, they sink in, suffocate and die," said Bill Dewey with Taylor Shellfish.
Image: Kent Wang
It's why Dewey says his company needs to use pesticides. The one they used for decades was outlawed for dangerous side effects. So, they've secured a new one: Imidacloprid, now permitted by the Department of Ecology. 

"We are confident that any impact that would occur would be brief and consistent with the Clean Water Act," said Rich Doenges with the Department of Ecology.

Imidacloprid is commonly used in flea medications and farm insecticides, but it's not used commercially in US waters.

The permit allows its use on 2,000 acres in Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay. About 25 percent of US oysters come from these two bays.

Both US Fish & Wildlife and NOAA have raised concerns. NOAA's letter to the Department of Ecology says they're worried about "delayed, lingering, and latent effects."

US Fish & Wildlife asked for a longer trial period because experiments "failed to meaningfully and adequately address a number of outstanding issues." 

EPA signed off on the use for specific purposes because they believe tests have shown that this particular formulation of imidacloprid will not cause residual problems.

"This is insane! This is wrong!" said Fritzi Cohen, who quoted her friends. 

Cohen, proprietor of the Moby Dick Hotel, owns the tidal flats and no longer sells the oysters because of chemicals.

"Because I couldn't look [customers] in the eye and say, 'OK they're great.' I didn't believe they were," said Cohen. 

There are also concerns about bee populations.

Evergreen State College Emeritus Faculty Member Dr. Steven G. Herman raised questions about shore birds.

Read more and see the video HERE.

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

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

30/04/2015: Engineering the ultimate robotic fish

When Professor Maurizio Porfiri looks at fish, he sees more than just a bunch of aquatic animals - he sees an animal that could someday replace the rat as the key to better studying and understanding human and animal behaviors in laboratory research. But fish can be unpredictable, which is why Porfiri has dedicated his life's work to building the ultimate robotic fish.

See more Motherboard videos HERE.

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

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

29/04/2015: Rotifers

They often evoke a love-hate relationship, but you just can’t get away from them.    
by Rohan Mak, ZM Systems

First published in International Aquafeed, March-April 2015
The green water encouraged by the traditional carp farmers in the Far East and then Europe would be rich with live infusoria including cilates and freshwater rotifers for first feeding. The marine fish industry has had to look at marine rotifers and recreating the plankton soup as many larval species are too small to take newly hatched Artemia. The leading research labs using fish in medical and ecotoxicology projects that have relied upon lab-grown Paramecia cultures are revisiting rotifer culture to maximise fry survival rates.

Whilst attempts have been made to replace livefoods with artificial diets, the protocol of co-feeding live and processed diets cannot be ignored. Through careful enrichment, rotifers can be used as a smart nutritional package to aid the development of gut bacteria, boost health and support early larval development.
Do your research and plan ahead
The Plankton Culture Manual by Frank Hoff of Florida Aqua Farms is an invaluable introduction to live food culture including microalgae, rotifers, and Artemia culture. The practical examples shown in this book are based on the experience gained from the creation and development of Instant Ocean Hatcheries and operating a commercially viable marine fish hatchery. The biggest mistake we have seen customers make is not planning ahead and not having well-managed cultures in place.

Where to get rotifers from

Live resting rotifer cysts are available to establish cultures and can be shipped internationally by courier or airmail service. Two rotifer species are normally available: Brachionus plicatilis (L-strain) for brackish-marine work and Brachionus calyciflorus, used for freshwater cultures. The resting cysts are stored in vials and may be frozen for long-term storage and may be stored until you are ready to inoculate a starter culture. The dehydrated cysts will first need to hydrate in a Petri dish before completing the incubation process and hatching 48 plus hours later. 

For the UK market we can supply live B.plicatilis starter cultures at different salinities for different applications. The smaller marine S-strain Brachionus rotundiformis is sometimes available for specialist projects where a smaller prey item is required.

How to view rotifers
A basic binocular dissecting microscope with at least 20x magnification is an essential tool in managing rotifer cultures and even monitoring the density of any live microalgae present. Right from resting cysts to adult rotifers the behaviour, feeding and breeding condition of a culture can be observed. Once the rotifer culture has been transferred to a larger vessel, a simple torch can often be used to illuminate and monitor culture densities.
Rotifer management and harvesting
Under optimal conditions rotifer cultures breed asexually with daughter cells produced. The life cycle is normally 6-8 days; L-strain rotifers are most prolific with a salinity at 22ppt and at optimal temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius. Only light aeration is normally applied to avoid fast water movement that may strip the daughter cells off the adult rotifers.

Batch culturing rotifers in four to five vessels has proved a straightforward protocol and allows a culture to develop over four to five days with one vessel harvested each day. Normally two thirds of a mature culture is harvested for feeding and one third retained to establish a new culture. This culture setup limits water quality becoming an issue, the vessels are cleaned between uses, and any background build-up in ciliate populations that may compromise the rotifers can be kept in check.

Single vessel culture setups with pH, ammonia control and biological filtration can operate within a compact area, yield high rotifer densities and allow daily harvesting. Careful management of single vessel cultures is still required to avoid ciliate population build up and water parameters being exceeded through laziness. This setup will represent ‘all your eggs in one basket’ so your hatchery will be at risk if the culture does crash and need replacing.

Food options for rotifers:
Live microalgae have traditionally been cultured for feeding and enriching rotifer cultures.  Starter cultures can be established from microalgae plates that can be stored in the fridge and shipped internationally by courier. Normally Nannochloropsis and/or Tetraselmis is used for a day-to-day rotifer feed and Isochrysis used as a DHA enrichment just prior to using the rotifers as a larval feed. Microalgae culture technique remains a useful skill to know and may be applied to other specialist livefood cultures including copepods.

The use of marine algae concentrates and prepared solutions have proved convenient and have aided the design of high-density rotifer rearing systems. The ability to cold-store concentrates and feed by peristaltic pump on a timer leads to regular feeding, a more stable culture and a major labour-saver. 

The development of formulated dry yeast invert feeds was the next progressive step and these can be mixed daily and fed in the same way as algae solutions. In their nature prepared algae solutions have a lower percent dry matter nutritional content, making it easier for the new dry diets to offer a higher contribution and cost savings. 

INVE Aquaculture’s latest S.parkle product is an evolution of the Culture Selco range based on deactivated yeast. As a separate development S.presso is the latest HUAF emulsion/suspension enrichment product to evolve from the Easy DHA Selco range and now has protocols for both Artemia and rotifers.
Harvesting rotifers:
Rotifers are normally harvested with 53-micron nylon mesh strainers, smaller than the standard 120-micron used for newly hatched Artemia. For breeding projects requiring specifically small rotifers a 25-micron mesh strainer can be used to grade out the smallest individuals.

When harvesting rotifers it is important to limit physical damage; for example, when using a strainer to harvest rotifers, aim to have the mesh submerged as long as possible. When siphoning a rotifer culture from one tank to another, limit the head difference so water velocity is reduced.
Rotifers, like Artemia cysts, can get everywhere and cross contaminate cultures including microalgae cultures if you are not careful. Ideally rotifers and microalgae should be maintained in separate rooms and staff should thoroughly wash and dry their hands in between any maintenance work. 

If you wish to be ultra-careful start the day with water quality work on reservoir water stocks, follow with microalgae work, and then follow with live rotifer or copepod work with hand-washing in between each session. When working with both S-strain and L-strain rotifer cultures cross contamination may be reduced by running S-strain cultures at higher salinity and temperatures to L-strain cultures.

About the author
Rohan Mak has 27 years’ experience in aquaculture, aquatics, biotechnology, research holding systems, specialising in early feeding, live-food and microalgae culture. He trained at Sparsholt College, Hampshire and the University of Plymouth for his M.Sc. in Applied Fish Biology. He was subsequently employed at the University of Southampton on transgenic Nile tilapia and at Kings College, London and University College, London on zebrafish for developmental biology and medical research studies.

ZM Systems are ZM fish-food and fishroom equipment UK distributors for INVE products including Sep-Art Polarised Artemia, S.parkle, S.presso enrichments, Florida Aqua Farms microalgae culture plates and fertilisers, resting rotifer cysts and the Plankton Culture Manual. 

Their customers include developmental biology, biomedical and ecotoxicology research laboratories, government and commercial fish hatcheries and public aquaria.
In 2015 they are due to sponsor the first UK Artemia Workshop at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, currently being planned by John Rundle.

Read the magazine HERE.

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

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

Dr Eckel company profile

Dr Eckel have specialised in a high quality program of alternative feed additives and supportive applications. The prerequisites for the firm's success are not only the outstanding quality of their products and the partnerships with first class suppliers, but also their philosophy: the profound knowledge of science and the market coupled with first class consulting and exceptional customer service.

Visit the website HERE.

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

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

29/04/2015: The inexorable rise of the fish farm

In 2050, there will be two billion additional people living on Earth. India will be the largest country in the world, and more people will call Nigeria home than the United States. The average life expectancy for developed nations will be 89, developing nations 81, Matt Hansen writes for The Week.

These predictions from a 2012 United Nations demographic report on world population growth raise some big questions that could eventually cut across economies, borders, and national politics. But for researchers looking at the world's food supply, a spike in world population prompts the most essential question of all: How will all these people find enough to eat?
Image: i a walsh
That answer is complicated, said Christophe Béné, who studies food security at CGIAR, an international think tank. It involves much more than simply nutrition and access, touching on everything from climate change to economic demand to pressure on shrinking resources. Traditionally, food policymakers have looked to agriculture and proteins like chicken and beef as solutions, he said.

But earlier this year he compiled research that pointed to another food source that hasn't been considered as widely: fish.

He said studies have been lagging into fish, even though it has tangible benefits. For one, fish have a lower environmental impact than beef and pork, and adding even small portions of fish to a meal can also raise the amount of nutrients in a person's diet. And fish don't have to consume much feed to produce something edible, as opposed to the heavy diets of farm animals, he said.

Perhaps most importantly, more people around the world are already eating higher amounts of fish than any other animal.

"When you start putting together figures, when you look at fisheries and aquaculture together, fish is two times more important than chicken and three times more important than beef," he said.

Read more HERE.

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

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

29/04/2015: Ni hao/Bom dia: Zhengchang Brazil opens for business

Today Zhengchang is holding its official opening party to celebrate the establishment of Zhengchang Brazil.
Image: Preifetura de Olinda
The party is at the Madalosso Restaurant, Curitiba, from 19:30 to 23:00.

Mr Hao Bo, Chairman of the Zhengchang Group, will be there in person.

Visit the Zhengchang site HERE.

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

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

29/04/2015: Yara reports strong first-quarter results

Yara International ASA delivered strong first-quarter results, with higher deliveries and improved margins reflecting lower gas costs and a stronger US dollar. The Lifeco write-down had a negative net income impact of NOK 929 million.

"Yara reports strong first-quarter results with higher deliveries and improved margins, reflecting continued lower natural gas cost and a stronger US dollar," said Torgeir Kvidal, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of Yara.
"Ammonia and finished fertilizer production increased significantly in the quarter, benefitting from improved reliability and debottlenecking."
Image: Dave Young
Yara reports first-quarter net income after non-controlling interests of NOK 729 million (NOK 2.65 per share), compared with NOK 1773 million (NOK 6.40 per share) a year earlier. Excluding net foreign exchange loss and special items, the result was NOK 10.51 per share compared with NOK 7.03 per share first quarter 2014. First-quarter EBITDA excluding special items was NOK 5742 million compared with NOK 3830 million a year earlier.

Global Yara fertilizer deliveries were up 3 percent from first quarter 2014 due to the acquisitions of OFD in Latin America and Galvani in Brazil. Excluding OFD and Galvani, deliveries were slightly lower than last year. In Europe, fertilizer deliveries were down 3 percent mainly due to a more normal spring this year compared with an early spring last year. Fertilizer deliveries outside Europe were up 8 percent, however excluding OFD and Galvani, deliveries were in line with last year. Industrial sales volumes increased by 11 percent compared with first quarter 2014.

Yara's margins benefitted from lower energy costs and a stronger US dollar in the first quarter. While Yara's average realised urea prices decreased 10 percent, realised nitrate prices were down 5 percent and compound NPK prices decreased on average 3 percent com­pared with first quarter 2014. Industrial margins were higher compared with a year earlier.

Global nitrogen demand remained strong during the first quarter but con­tinued high urea exports from China resulted in lower commodity nitrogen prices during the quarter. Season-to-date nitrogen industry deliveries are in line with last year in Europe while US nitrogen deliveries are 6 percent higher than the previous season. Based on current forward markets for oil products and natural gas, Yara's European energy costs for the next two quarters are expected to be NOK 800 million lower than a year earlier.

Link to report and presentation HERE.

Link to webcast 24 April HERE.

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

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

28/04/2015: AWF at 10: Gearing up for fresh challenges

by Roy Palmer, Aquaculture Without Frontiers, Australia

First published in International Aquafeed, March-April 2015

Born and bred from the Aquaculture sector in order to create a voluntary organisation to contribute to the alleviation of poverty through small-scale aquaculture, Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF), recently celebrated its 10th birthday with an updated vision and strategy.
AwF was formed by Michael New OBE, having been encouraged by colleagues after delivering a keynote paper at the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) conference in Salvador, Brazil in 2003 (New 2003). 

Michael’s idea was stimulated by reading about the activities of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and two articles published in The Economist (Anonymous 2003a, b). He ventured the idea that people who had retired from a career in aquaculture might wish to volunteer their experience to help those less fortunate than themselves. In fact, Michael found that the idea of voluntary service in aquaculture appealed to a wide spectrum of individuals, from students to retirees.

A gem, run on a shoestring
The board was a veritable ‘who’s who’ of aquaculture and it ran then, as it does now, on a shoestring. AwF is not an organisation built around creating a massive bank of donated funds, creating overheads and paying high salaries to staff but on actually working with the great goodwill of aquaculture people and doing things that create positive outcomes for the poor and hungry of the world. It is the real meaning of what a charity is all about – people give what they can, whether that is a few dollars, or more importantly their time, knowledge and experience. It is a real gem in today’s world of professional NGOs and it is a credit to its founder and all that have or are still serving its needs.

Having said that, there was the need to modify some of the organisation and during these changes there can be no question that we lost some momentum. John Forster, Dave Conley and Cormac O’Sullivan have greatly assisted the organisation with constant input and wise council and have been a strength on the board. It felt like we were going backwards, but sometimes in life these changes need to be made in order to take stock and move forward with greater and stronger steps. Hopefully, that is what we are doing!

Establishing sustainable networks
First was the creation of a strategy and a vision and mission, and clearly the people engaged at the time saw Aquaculture Learning Centres (ALCs) as a major key in the future of AwF.

That means we have eased back on chasing smaller projects and are trying to create a more sustainable model for wherever we tread. It means we are building capability and capacity in one area at a time so that when we leave, essential networks of people are well established and can communicate internally and externally. 

Additionally, we also have taken a broader brush to aquaculture. Education on nutrition (both human and animal) is essential – people need to know why seafood is important in their diet and how feeding their fish the right mixes helps deliver not only excellent fish health but also connects to human health. 

Entrepreneurial activities are also essential and encouraged, as we need to encourage people to want to get out of the poverty trap. Clearly, not everyone can run their own fish farm; there will always be people who are prepared to take the extra calculated risks and who are leaders. As long as they are building enterprises which are employing people and paying them a fair wage for a fair day’s work, and are transparent in their activities, then they are helping improve the world, and need to be encouraged and supported.

Our incredible volunteers
Of course, our business model means we are reliant on our incredible volunteers, and we needed to review our processes on how we manage and work with these fantastic individuals. Slowly and surely, we have built a committee and secretariat which now manage the Volunteer Program. What used to be done ‘with a nod and a wink’ in the old days is not possible today, and our Volunteer Committee - consisting of Cormac O’Sullivan, Ignacio Llorente and Stacey Clarke, with Paul Liew running the secretariat - are working hard on ensuring we have an efficient databank of all the volunteers, and that we are in regular contact, keeping them up to date about activities and opportunities. 

We are always seeking new volunteers, so anyone that is interested in assisting us on the journey we are taking, please complete the form you can find HERE.

Learning centres are key

Our strategic plan is based around building Aquaculture Learning Centres (ALCs), and our first ALC is in Tancol, a suburb of Tampico in the State of Tamaulipas, Mexico, in collaboration with Universidad Tecnológica del Mar de Tamaulipas Bicentenario (UTMarT). Whilst the main centre for UTMarT is at Soto La Marina - La Pesca, about 4 hours’ drive north of Tampico, near to Laguna Morales, this new centre in Tancol will be used to educate students and industry on aquaculture and hospitality, and will have connections to both the Mexican Federal Government (SAGARPA) and the State Government.

All of these ALCs need strong, passionate leaders and, in the case of Tancol, this has definitely been UTMarT’s Director de Vinculación, MC. Héctor Hugo Gójon Báez, who has been supported by the Rector, Dr. Guadalupe Acosta Villarreal, and the Director Académico, MC. Tonatiuh Carrillo Lammens. 

Fresh water is in abundance at the Tancol site and, being an old water plant, there are some excellent - albeit old but well-constructed - inbuilt large tanks. Some of these are being used ‘as is’, but others are being converted, with sailing cloth roof-coverings, to smaller areas, which will be able to be used in research projects for the students.

Government funding

Funding from the Mexican Federal Government has enabled the building of a brand new education centre that will accommodate 200 students, but unfortunately the funds did not stretch to finishing the important hatchery area. Efforts are being made now to find the extra pesos to finish the hatchery area and, importantly, to have it housed in a solidly constructed building. 

Through the great assistance of Kevin Fitzsimmons (ex-AwF President) and the US Aid Farmer to Farmer program, AwF were able to invite Scott Lindell and Rick Karney to visit Tamaulipas and conduct a survey of facilities as well as have discussions at UTMarT with staff and students, meet industry people and offer some training about shellfish and microalgae aquaculture. This visit was followed up quickly by Daniel Herman and Imad Saoud, who were looking at other aspects and challenges for the ALC.

Prospects for expansion
The opportunity became available at the end of 2014 for a meeting at La Pesca to consider what has been achieved and what the next major steps are in the arrangement.  A report is currently being prepared for further actions during 2015. 

The oyster aquaculture prospects to replace the fishing methods currently adopted in Laguna Morales are a key ingredient to the potential success of the plans. The early work done by AwF volunteers has paved the way for some excited fisher folk, as they can see a future for their business with a more sustainable model than was originally the case.

At the same time, during the visit to Mexico AwF had the opportunity to visit another potential site for an ALC in Sonora. Discussions were had with business people of the area and education institutions, and hopefully this will see AwF have operations on both sides of Mexico in the near future. 

AwF are also very excited about the prospects of two other important ALC centres. One is based in the United Kingdom, and will be a major connection for our plans in the African continent. The other, in Sarawak, Malaysia, could be our first ALC in Asia.

In Malaysia, AwF have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of International Seafood Professionals and STEM States Incorporated, both of which are not-for-profit associations and incorporated in Australia. The latter acts as a forum through which industry, associations, academia and government can come together to discuss Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and innovation, and the role it plays in the needs of industry, export, trade and development.

STEM states
The background to the 'Global STEM States' is as a grassroots movement, with a medley of not-for-profit, academic, industry and government organisations entering into dialogue over the role STEM education plays in a state's future human resource needs, and how this should be implemented.  

STEM States hosts conferences and events around the world every year, and each one plays a role in bringing the international community to the host city, and leaving tangible benefits to the host city. Upon launching in September 2013, five states took up full membership:
• Western Australia (Led by Murdoch University and the Asia-Pacific Society for Solar and Hybrid Technologies)
• New York, USA (Led by the Global Industry Development Network; AwF also is a member of this network)
• Sarawak, Malaysia (Led by STEM States Malaysia and the Department for Advanced Education)
• Saskatchewan, Canada (Led by Tourism Saskatoon, Innovation Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan)
• Nova Scotia, Canada (Led by the Department of Education and the Halifax Convention Centre)
The United Arab Emirates, China, India, Russia, Germany, South Africa, Tanzania and Brazil have also applied to become members at different levels, and the potential for AwF through this association could lead to activities in all those countries. 

The Aquaculture Borneo connection sees AwF possibly involved in working collaboratively on the formation of an Aqua Learning Centre within Malaysia, with the purpose of educating and upskilling locals and people from around the region, and the establishment or introduction of aqua training programs within technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM). 

Additionally, a conference that will take place in Malaysia in 2015 that will have specific track dedicated to the development of the Aquaculture industry in Malaysia and AwF will be creating some guidance for that.

In the UK, a project called REFARM (Research and Education in Foods, Aqua-foods and Renewable Materials) has been started between the Global Biotechnology Transfer Foundation (GBTF), Seafox Management Consultants Ltd (SMCL) and AwF. 

GBTF is an international, not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to promote awareness of the potential for biotechnology to support sustainable, long-term, socio-economic development. It aims to achieve its mission through three platforms: education, demonstration and implementation.

SMCL is based in Grimsby, working closely with the Grimsby and Humber regional seafood processing sector. The business is at the forefront of the seafood cluster and works closely with local groups such as the Grimsby Fish Merchants association, Seafood Grimsby and the Humber Cluster Group, the Seafish Authority and private-sector seafood businesses. It works internationally too with supply-chain support and also represents the North Atlantic Seafood Conference in the UK. Additionally, the business has a particular skill-set towards accessing funding and grants for major projects.

GBTF has acquired a brown-field site at Brookenby, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire which includes buildings and 4 hectares (10 acres) of open land, which provides for significant expansion as well as access to a 130-hectare farm which will be used for crop trial and field demonstrations.

There are many aspects to this partnership, but in summary we want to link developed-world infrastructure with developing-world needs for education, training and technology transfer to develop grassroots entrepreneurs. At the same time, the aim is to be producing a highly nutritious protein for the local market, and by taking an open and transparent path could open the door for the UK to become food-secure on seafood.
The connection to biotech adds dimensions that are not currently happening on any major scale. Given the interactions between Europe and Africa regarding food production and technology transfer, our approach will hopefully be seen as a catalyst for collaboration on the future. If successful, this approach can be copied in other parts of the world using an eco-cluster model.

Networks: gender, students and indigenous people

We are making an effort to broaden the base for AwF to maximise our reach and engage more people in networks. From an internal perspective, initially we have established a Women/Gender Network and have plans to establish a Schools/Students Network and an Indigenous Network. 

Establishing such networks is no easy feat, and takes time and patience to organise well. With members at all ends of the earth, it is always difficult to find the right time and means of communication. Eventually, there is belief that these networks will be a driving force for AwF, so the time and effort put in by all will definitely be worthwhile. There is always the pressure within the groups to set lofty agendas which might be too difficult to achieve in the early days, so tempering expectations and keeping the aims/outcomes on the low side to start is essential until we find our feet.

It has been an excellent start with the Women/Gender network, and some of the leadership group were able to meet in November 2014 at GAF5 in Lucknow, India.
Our Women/Gender network believes there is insufficient awareness, information and action for gender issues in aquaculture. 

As one of the group, Chloe English said, “This deficit is not due to an absence of concerned people, or an absence of potential strategies and policies. As a woman passionate about aquaculture, I identify one key barrier to ‘change-making’ is our capacity to effectively ‘join the dots’ between people and strategy. Change for women working in aquaculture will gain momentum once we have united an engaged network of people and adapted existing tactics.”   

AwF Women and Gender Network could potentially be the podium needed to bring together the tools and people for meaningful change. AwF Women and Gender network hopes to connect women and men in new and diverse ways to find intelligent solutions for gender issues in aquaculture.  

We will start our Indigenous Network through the arrangements in Australia which are outlined below, and the Schools/Students Network which has in one sense started (events in Marine Science Magnet H.S., Groton, CT, USA and Huon Valley Trade Training Centre, Huonville, Tasmania, Australia) yet not been finalised and that will be an important 2015 activity.  

Externally, we have joined the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA), which is strongly aligned with the US AID organisation. VEGA’s 36 programs are located in 28 countries and we hope to continue working with Kevin and the University of Arizona on the Farmer to Farmer programs that they have funded. 

At VEGA we are a non-voting member at this time, primarily to see how this might work for us. AwF are making a presentation to all the VEGA connections at their next meeting in Washington DC in early March. We are the only identity that is specifically involved in aquaculture and believe we will be able to create linkages with some of their larger members who implement programs on their own, and other times in partnership with other members. VEGA’s overall focus for all programs is to build sustainable enterprises that contribute to prosperous economies, so we are all ‘on the same page’ there.

We are also members of the ‘Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition’, which is based at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, and they have a global group of partners with whom we have communication. We are having a meeting with the ‘US Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition’ whilst in Washington DC, to see if there are any mutual opportunities for collaboration. With the recent news that the number of children in the United States relying on food stamps for a meal spiked to 16 million (20 percent of all children in the US) last year, perhaps there are ways for AwF to assist.

Naturally, we are a strong affiliate of WAS, and we highly regard that connection. We are starting to plan more for the WAS meetings, organising sessions on Development, Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, and encouraging our volunteers to engage and put their names forward to put a program together for the regular meetings.  

The connection to all of these will enable us to continue to expand our horizons, to engage with more people and to ensure we have a sustainable long-term organisation.

AwF Australia
Also to that end, we have established Aquaculture without Frontiers (Australia) Limited and are open to establish other such AwFs in other countries. The strong aim is to build around the central model that is established in the USA, but to enable the organisation/brand to be built in other countries. With all such activities there are pluses and minuses, but it is thought that, if there is the opportunity to expand with everyone being aware of the strategy, it will be interesting to see how it all grows and what the outcomes are.

AwF Australia is registered as a business, and it is waiting for its approval from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, which registers organisations as charities. Whilst registration as a charity is voluntary, each organisation must be registered with the ACNC to access any charity tax concessions from the Australian Taxation Office.
The board of AwF Australia is (in alphabetical order): Norman Grant, Katherine Hawes (Chair), Mark Oliver, David (DOS) O’Sullivan, Roy Palmer (Executive Director), Emma Thomson and Meryl Williams; they met for the inaugural meeting in Sydney on 15 December 2014. The aim is to connect Australia’s aquaculture skills and latent resources, along with enthusiastic volunteers, to opportunities to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged people both here and abroad. 

One of its first tasks will be to create awareness of the organisation and to engage with like-minded enterprises and individuals to create projects and programs that will assist in improving the nutrition and health of disadvantaged people and to foster social and economic development. At the same time, it will promote and support responsible and sustainable aquaculture to alleviate poverty and malnutrition and to enhance global food security.

Partnership with Deakin University

The Board acknowledged that there is much to be done in the areas of indigenous and Pacific Islands aquaculture, boosting the status of women in aquaculture and engaging with schools and students in the region, and will be working to roll out plans on these issues in the future; to that end, in January 2015 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Deakin University.

Deakin University will partner with AwF Australia to improve outcomes in disadvantaged communities using sustainable aquaculture farming. Plans are also being put in place to look at incoming training or short course workshops at Warrnambool, utilising Deakin and AwF networks. 

Deakin Associate Head of School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Associate Professor Giovanni Turchini said, “We are excited to partner with AwF, which supports responsible and sustainable aquaculture to alleviate poverty and malnutrition and to enhance food security for disadvantaged people. The partnership will also provide a platform for aquaculture professionals to come together and volunteer their services to achieve these objectives. We are keenly anticipating the opportunities this will provide for Deakin students to undertake student placements and research projects with the support of AwF around the world.”

Deakin’s main aquaculture activities are in Warrnambool, Victoria, and are very close to the birthplace of aquaculture, by indigenous Australians many thousands of years ago. We aim to kick off the partnership with an Indigenous Symposium in the first semester of 2015 as it is important to know how we can assist Australian indigenous people in today’s environment with aquaculture activities.
Worthy work

Fundraising is never easy. The competition is immense, and there are very many worthy causes, so the competition is tough. We strongly hope that the seafood industry and particularly the aquaculture sector will continue to be a strong supporter, and we welcome all and any ideas to assist our great cause. Our work is worthy, not only because of the great outcomes we can give regarding nutrition, food security, alleviating poverty and hunger, but also because it promotes aquaculture as being a force for the future. 

Where we are today is far from the original ideas that our founder had all those years ago, but hopefully it is taking AwF into an exciting and sustainable era. Of course, this will not be possible unless we continue to get support from as many people and organisations in the aquaculture industry, so we continue to seek your support, your ideas and your contributions - whether that be through donating funds or donating valuable time, experience and know-how.

Read the magazine HERE.

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

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

Jefo company profile
Jefo is a world leader in the field of non-medicated performance feed additives for the poultry, swine, ruminant and aquaculture sectors. Founded in Canada in 1982, today Jefo has offices on 5 continents, and specializes in the design, manufacturing, warehousing and JIT-distribution of an array of animal nutrition specialty products.

Jefo is a pioneer in the green revolution taking place in animal nutrition. Our commitment is to providing effective alternatives for optimal performances in animal nutrition.

The Europe / Africa division of Jefo was created in 1998 and is headquartered in Nantes, France. We market a line of original products including vitamins, enzymes, organic acids and essential oils.

Visit the website HERE.

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

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

28/04/2015: VAKI Riverwatcher optical counter praised by Scottish Natural Heritage
According to research carried out by Scottish Natural Heritage, optical counters such as the VAKI Riverwatcher suffer less than current resistivity counters from false counts, as an outline of the object responsible is recorded for the operator to verify. A camera add-on can also reduce the possibility of false counts.
The report also states that since optical counters can estimate the size of each fish with a reasonable degree of accuracy, they are more reliable than resistivity counters for distinguishing between Atlantic salmon and Sea trout.

Tests conducted by the Icelandic Institute of Freshwater Fisheries on the River Blanda found the VAKI Riverwatcher Counter to be 98.9 percent accurate, whilst a more recent time-lapse video validation study on the Itchen in England found the counter to be 93 percent accurate in counting fish. Furthermore, when debris, turbidity and air bubble entrainment were kept to a minimum the accuracy increased to 100 percent.
Visit the VAKI site HERE.

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

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

28/04/2015: Format International to present papers at Victam 2015

Format International will be present at Victam 2015, which will be held in Cologne, Germany on 9th to 11th June 2015. We welcome both new and existing customers to our stand, G059, in the main hall. We will be showing the latest version of Indigo as well as the most recent advances in non-linear optimisation tools.
Image: Nic McPhee
In addition, two members of Format will be presenting at conferences associated with the exhibition:

  • Ian Mealey, Head of Operations, will be presenting a paper entitled 'Practical manufacturing constraints and their impact on feed formulation resource allocation models' on 9th June 2015 at the Aquafeed Horizons International 2015 conference.
  • Rick Kleyn, Format’s agent in southern Africa, will be presenting 'Diet formulation: Making use of non-linear functions' at the FIAAP International 2015 conference, also on 9th June 2015.
Visit the Format International website HERE.

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

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

28/04/2015: EWOS: Annual Reports for 2014 published

On April 22, 2015, the Board of Directors of EWOS Group and EWOS Holding approved the financial statements for 2014. The financial statements are adjusted compared to the preliminary and unaudited 2014 results reported by EWOS Group and EWOS Holding on February 25, 2015. See HERE for details.
Image: Joshua Davis
The adjustments resulted in increased equity for EWOS Group and EWOS Holding by NOK 131.9 million as of December 31, 2014 and by NOK 129.3 million as of December 31, 2013 on a consolidated basis, and by NOK 144.8 million as of December 31, 2014 and by NOK 129.3 as of December 2013 for EWOS Holding AS on a stand-alone basis.    

There are no other changes in the financial statements.

Further details can be found in the Annual reports 2014 and Financial Statement release today published on the EWOS reporting portal

The next conference call will be held in connection with presentation of results for the 1st quarter 2015, on May 27th. Conference call details will be announced one week prior to the presentation.

Visit the EWOS site HERE.

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

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

Monday, April 27, 2015

27/04/2015: Immunostimulation in aquatic animals

by Philippe Tacon, Global Aquaculture Manager, Phileo

A survey made at the end of an aqua industry forum meeting in Vietnam last year has shown that for 63 percent of the participants, the most limiting challenge for developing aquaculture was health and disease management. Indeed, in recent years, we have seen numerous diseases appearing and impacting aquaculture production, such as WSSV and EMS in shrimp, or Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) in salmonids. Working around the classic Host-Pathogen-Environment triad, new technologies and management techniques have been developed to better control diseases in aquatic animals: vaccination, which has led to the decrease of antibiotic use in salmonids; biosecurity procedures in hatcheries and in farms; biofloc technology. All of these technologies have proven successful. Their further development and expanded use will certainly improve the way aquatic animals are farmed.

Another strategy is to increase the health of the animal through feeding, and this magazine might be a good place to discuss it. Well balanced diets can certainly improve the health status of a fish or a shrimp, but in some challenging conditions, like a pathogen infection, the use of immune stimulants can be required to enhance the response of the immune system.

When studying immune stimulation, it is important to understand that the immune system of aquatic animals differs not only between theirs and the mammalian one but also between teleost and crustacean. Fish are the first group in which a specific immune system appears in the evolutionary tree. The fish immune system therefore has a greatly inferior performance to that of mammals (see Tort et al 2003). It is less specific, less sensitive and has only oneclass of antibodies (IgM).

Fish being poikilothermic animals, it is highly dependent on temperature, low temperature slowing down the immune response up to 10 to 12 weeks. Fish rely by then more on their non-specific immune system (also called innate immunity) to fight against pathogens. The innate immune system recognises non-self molecules that could be of foreign origin - also called pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMP) - and molecular patterns exposed though damage to the host. These patterns are recognised by germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRR) or pattern recognition proteins (PRP). These molecular patterns can be for example peptidoglycans and lipopolysaccharides from bacteria cell walls, fungal b1, 3-glucan, viral double-stranded RNA and bacterial DNA (see Magnadottir 2006 for an overview of fish innate immunity).

Fish innate immunity starts with first barrier defences such as mucus; it traps pathogens and includes lysozymes, antibacterial peptides which can eliminate pathogens. Neutrophils and macrophages are key cells of the innate immune complex  as they can phagocytose pathogens (a mechanism which is not temperature dependent) and release Reactive Oxygen species, which are toxic to pathogens. Completing this cellular response, the humoral response implicates the synthesis and release of antimicrobial components.

In shrimp, where the picture is even simpler as they rely only on innate immunity, we find the same type of mechanisms in place as in fish with phagocytosis performed by granulocytes (a specific form of the blood hemocyte cells) and humoral response. However the most effective mechanism of invertebrates (as arthropods) is cellular melanotic encapsulation. This requires the combination of circulating hemocytes and several associated proteins of the prophenoloxidase (proPO) activating system. Recognition of PAMPs such as LPS and β-1, 3 glucans by PRPs is an essential step for the activation of the proPO cascade (Amparyup et al 2013).

Stimulation of the innate immune system, which would enhance the speed and the effect of the immune response, is therefore possible by mimicking the effect of PAMP on PRR and PRP. In that regard, beta glucans have been studied for a long time in aquaculture and seem ‘the ideal’ immune stimulant in aquaculture (see Meena et al 2013 and Ringo et al 2012) as they can specifically activate macrophages in fish and the proPO cascade in shrimp.

Parietal fractions, such as Safmannan® are extracted from a selected Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain respecting strict EU manufacturing control standards. They contain beta glucans, mannan oligosaccharides that are all activators of the immune system (Song et al 2014).

Earlier internal trials have shown that yeast cell walls and parietal fractions have different effects in mycotoxin binding and immunity in aquatic animals. Indeed several trials done at the Hellenic Center for Marine Research in Greece have shown that yeast fraction products with similar manna/glucan ratios from Phileo, Lesaffre Animal Care Business Unit, have very different effects in the stimulation of immune parameters and in survival following challenge in Vibrio anguillarum.

It looks like not only the mannan and glucan content is of importance, but the strain and the drying processes are also key parameters to ensure a good effect in aquatic animals. Another concept that came out of these trials was that there is a threshold of yeast material to be ingested before it starts to kick in and improve the immune system. Product origin, quality, dosages and duration of treatment are all clearly linked.

A trial has been undertaken to further study a dose response of Safmannan® in a marine species. The objective was twofold: investigate the influence of parietal fractions in diets with a reduced amount of fishmeal, and determine the dosage needed for an optimum immune response (Yu et al 2014).

Six diets were designed (see table 1): a high fishmeal diet with 38.5 percent fish meal inclusion and no soybean meal (HFM) and 5 diets with 25 percent fishmeal and 20 percent soybean meal. These diets were supplemented with 0 (SBM), 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 g/T of Safmannan®. Juvenile Japanese seabass (18 g) were selected and distributed into 280 L tanks after 24 h starvation with 30 fish per tank, and six tanks per treatment. The water temperature was maintained. Fish were fed to apparent satiation twice daily at 08:00 and 15:00 for 72 days.

At the end of the treatment period fish were anesthetsed, weighed and viscera and blood were sampled. Intestine samples from the FM, Y0, Y4 and Y5 groups were removed from 2 fish in each replicate tank at the end of trial (12 fish per treatment) and processed for histology analysis (H & E staining). Morphological parameters associated with SBM-induced enteritis of anterior and distal intestines, including the height of mucosal folds (HMF), width of mucosal folds, lamina propria and connective tissue were quantified.

After all samples were taken, 40 fish of each treatment (6–7 fish per tank) were divided into 2 groups and transferred into a still water system with temperature at 26 ± 1 °C. The fish were fed as before and recovered from weighing and sampling stress by a 2-week acclimation. Then they were challenged by intramuscular injection with Aeromonas veronii (CGMCC No. 4274) at 8 × 104 cells/100 g body weight. Ten fish from each tank were sampled for plasma immune parameters two days after challenge and the others (20 fish per treatment) were recorded for 7-day cumulative survival rate without any food.

This study showed a lower growth of SBM diets as expected compared to HFM diets, but an even lower growth with the 500g/T treatment, and a much better growth at 2000 g/T (Fig1). These results can be correlated to a wider width of mucosal folds in anterior and distal intestinal in SBM diets compared to HFM diets suggesting a negative effect of these diet on intestinal health, and also to a higher height of mucosal folds in the 2000 g/T group (Fig1). This suggests that Safmannan® at 2000 g/T was able to compensate the negative effect of soybean meal and increase gut health leading to a better growth.

The study also shows that IgM levels were significantly elevated after the bacterial challenge in the diet containing parietal fractions at 500g/T (Fig2) indicating a strong immune stimulation. The levels decrease as the yeast parietal fraction concentration is increased showing a potential fatigue of the immune system. This is confirmed by the survival of the fish after the challenge. The optimum dosage was 500g/T of Safmannan®, whereas higher dosage did not improve survival. Remarkably, we can see this optimum dosage for immune stimulation was also the one giving the lowest growth, confirming hypothesis that the strong stimulation of the immune system is at the expense of the growth potential of the fish.

This study highlights the duality of role of parietal fractions in fish depending on the dosage and feed composition: they can be used either as gut health enhancer (high dosage) or immune enhancer (low dosage).

Formulators and farmers can benefit from using this efficient and sustainable solution against pathogens but they need to choose quality products and work with proper (and proven) dosages and administration durations.

Read the magazine HERE.

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

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

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