Monday, February 19, 2018

20/02/2018: Salmon thriving thanks to new anti-sea lice shields

Leading producer of responsibly-farmed salmon, Scottish Sea Farms, is seeing one of its current crops outperform all previous years following the introduction of new anti-sea lice shields.

The new shields are the latest in a series of proactive, preventative measures by the company to enhance the health and welfare of the salmon under its care.

Specially engineered to suit Scottish marine conditions, each shield consists of a permeable fabric that lets water and oxygen move freely into fish pens whilst keeping natural health threats out. This fabric fully encases the pen to a depth of 6m, providing a barrier against sea lice which are most commonly found in the first few metres below the water’s surface.

The new shields were first introduced at the company’s farm at Slocka, Ronas Voe on Shetland in May 2017. In the nine months since, sea lice levels have successfully remained below the Marine Scotland Code of Good Practice threshold, and the salmon are showing strong growth and biological performance.

Such has been the effectiveness of the shields that Scottish Sea Farms has now invested over £800,000 with two Scottish suppliers – William Milne Tarpaulins in Aberdeen and W&J Knox in Ayrshire – in order to roll-out similar protection to 11 of its other farms.

The company is also working with neighbouring salmon growers to synchronise use of the shields, as part of a farm management agreement for those same areas.

Jim Gallagher, Managing Director of Scottish Sea Farms, commented, “We strive, wherever possible, to replicate the natural conditions that salmon are known to thrive in. As any farmer will understand however, this comes with its own risks as the marine environment presents new challenges all the time. We are continually exploring and investing in new ways of dealing with these challenges, and it’s hugely encouraging to see positive early results such as these at our trial project in Shetland.” 

This latest advance is part of a wider £11.8m investment in 2017 by the company to enhance the health and welfare of its salmon – over 85 percent of which is being spent on non-medicinal approaches.

In terms of controlling the sea lice challenge specifically, key areas of investment include:

  • More than doubling the use of cleaner fish, so-called because they ‘clean’ salmon by eating any sea lice, in the last year – 76 percent of which are now from farmed origin, keeping the company on track to use farmed-only stocks by 2020
  • Developing a new net cleaning pressure pump to keep pens free from marine build-up, simultaneously enhancing fish health and welfare and increasing the effectiveness of cleaner fish
  • Ongoing investment to increase understanding of cleaner fish, with the insights gleaned being shared with the wider industry
  • Co-funding new Thermolicer technology that bathes salmon in such a way as to dislodge and catch sea lice, with up to 95 percent effectiveness.
 In turn, the need to administer medicines has significantly reduced, with six of the company’s farms requiring no sea lice interventions at all during 2017.

The company’s investment in health and welfare doesn’t stop there.

With the UN reporting that the last three years were the hottest ever on record, and Scotland’s rising sea temperatures resulting in new planktonic organisms that are potentially harmful to the health of fish gills, the company has also invested approximately £200,000 in state-of-the-art environmental data monitoring equipment, as well as over £260,000 on new underwater camera systems.

Ralph Bickerdike, Head of Fish Health and Welfare at Scottish Sea Farms, said, “Even a seemingly slight increase in sea water temperatures of 0.5 degrees can have an impact on the marine environment. This new data monitoring equipment is enabling real-time analysis of key markers such as salinity and oxygen concentration, helping us to make informed decisions to maintain high standards of welfare for the fish under our care.

“Complementing this, the new underwater cameras enable us to observe the fish within the pens and respond swiftly should there be any changes in their natural behaviour.”

Visit the Scottish Sea Farms 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

20/02/2018: US consumers want protein raised with the same natural health supplements humans use

Cargill survey indicates popularity of natural supplements to aid digestive health, animal wellbeing 

Millennials, ever interested in where and how their food is produced, want their protein to be raised with the same natural health supplements they would use themselves—and they are driving this trend among the general US consumer base.

Cargill’s latest Feed4Thought survey, which polled more than 1,000 people in the US in December 2017, found 62 percent of millennials want the protein they eat to be raised with the same health supplements used in humans, such as probiotics, plant extracts and essential oils. Consumers in general report they are three times more likely to prefer protein that were fed those natural feed additives to improve the animal’s digestive health and overall well-being.

“We’ve seen a rise in the popularity of digestive health supplements for humans, which is echoed in the demand for protein raised with natural supplements,” said Chuck Warta, president of Cargill Premix and Nutrition. “People want natural, wholesome and sustainable ingredients. In turn, they are increasingly seeking out protein options in line with their values and personal natural health routines.”

Additional results from the Feed4Thought survey include: 
• Probiotics were the most well-recognised natural supplement for animals (43 percent).
• Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents were aware of the availability of natural health products to feed animals.
• More than 80 percent of respondents reported adjusting or supplementing their diet to achieve better gut health.

Investing in Natural Feed Additives 
Other consumer research confirms this trend, which is driven by rapidly increasing demand for quality animal products. A recent MarketsandMarket™ study projects the total probiotics animal feed market will reach about $5.07 billion by 2022, growing at a rate of nearly 8 percent per year. Meanwhile, a senior industry analyst from Nutrition Business Journal, said global supplement sales for humans will also grow steadily through 2020.

“It’s important for the animal agriculture community to remain in touch with food trends so that we can continue to provide the choices consumers demand,” said Hannah Thompson-Weeman, vice president of communications at the Animal Agriculture Alliance. “Just as human health supplement offerings expand and improve, so do the options to raise animals with natural supplements. Consumers can now find the meat, milk and eggs raised with the same natural health supplements they personally use.”

“Cargill is expanding its efforts in healthy, naturally supplemented protein,” Warta said. "We are doing that through our acquisition of Diamond V and equity investment in Delacon. These two global businesses are leading the way in the production of sustainable and wholesome food that consumers want.”

Iowa-based Diamond V produces natural immune support products for animal feed, contributing to an overall safer and more sustainable food supply. Austria-based Delacon makes phytogenic feed additives, which use ingredients like herbs, spices, and other plants to improve animal performance.

“Our mission is to develop products that are natural, research-proven solutions that help optimise animal health and productivity,” said Diamond V’s president, Jeff Cannon.

“Our technology works naturally with the biology of the animal to strengthen the immune system, which supports benefits beyond health and performance.”

Visit the Cargill 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

20/02/2018: Technology plays in aquaculture

by Philippe de Lapérouse, HighQuest Consulting

Since 1960, global demand for seafood has increased 3.2 percent annually, outpacing the one percent annual growth in the world’s population over the same period. Per capita consumption of seafood during this period has increased from 10 kg to over 20 kg today. 

Image credit: High Quest Consulting
Overall demand for seafood protein is driven by demand in developing markets, particularly in Asia where fish has historically been a traditional source of protein in the diet, and in developed markets, due to the trend toward healthy lifestyles.

Given the restrictions on wild catch fisheries due to depleting wild fish populations, production of fish and seafood protein in farmed systems has increased substantially over the past decade to address the increasing demand. The eight percent growth in aquaculture production since 2010 is dramatic compared to the growth in production of land-based food animals (poultry, swine, and cattle).

Norway’s salmon industry – A model for leveraging technology
To meet this growing demand, the aquaculture industry is investing in the development and adoption of new technologies that will dramatically transform how fish and seafood protein are produced sustainably.

The development of the Norwegian salmon industry is recognised as a model for how new technologies can be leveraged to meet growing demand. Starting as a small-scale industry in the 1960s, the Norwegian salmon industry has emerged over the past 50 years as a world-class producer of salmon, with operations extending from Scandinavia to Chile, Scotland, Canada, and the Faroe Islands, that together export over one million metric tonnes of salmon products annually. This success was built on innovations in breeding (genetics), management systems, health products, and novel technology for production systems.

Technology clusters in Norway have developed solutions for addressing the limitations of oxygen in production systems, feed distribution, and disease control and treatment to increase the scale and efficiency of production sites. The industry also has shifted from using wooden cages to the current industry standard of polyethylene (PE) cages in open water, and is now beginning to adopt hinged-steel cages.

Furthermore, new cage designs have allowed for the circumference of cages to increase from 60 metres to 160 metres, resulting in a tenfold increase in production capacity for raising salmon in a single site.

As the salmon sector has grown, investment in R&D and new technologies has not been limited to addressing production capacity issues but also has focused on enhancing biosecurity capabilities (reduction of bio-fouling), improving feeding technology (design of open water feeding barges managed by remote control), enhancing fish welfare (control of parasites), improving gentle fish handling, and ensuring environmental stewardship.

The industry has focused on integrating knowledge between three core areas: the physical equipment (design and materials) used to farm seafood; operating systems leveraged to produce seafood; and intelligent management systems employed for coordinating the entire production system.

Read the full article, 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

Van Aarsen company profile

Van Aarsen has become a household name worldwide for machinery and turnkey projects for animal feed technology, both for commercial feed producers and for vertically-integrated businesses. 

Quality is of the utmost importance in both sectors of the industry and innovations in feed production are therefore of great interest. 

Thanks to their extensive experience, engineers and technicians are always able to offer tailor-made solutions.

Visit the Van Aarsen 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

Sunday, February 18, 2018

19/02/2018: AgraME’s aquaculture conference to highlight regional investment opportunities and international best practice

Officially endorsed by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, AgraME, which is taking place on 6-8th March at the Dubai World Trade Centre, is set to bring together local and international experts within the aquaculture sector to host a dedicated, free-to-attend, conference on the opening day focusing on the regions burgeoning aquaculture industry

Delivering the first keynote will be Dr Ali Al Shaikhi, Director General of Fisheries Production, Ministry of Environment, Water & Agriculture – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On the back of a number of recent investments to boost environmental capacity in the Kingdom, Ministry representatives will be discussing aquaculture prospects in the Kingdom and look at projects leading toward their Vision 2030 which has gained international headlines in recent months.

“We have received huge support from both local and overseas aquaculture experts and will bring together knowledge sharing from around the globe to help the growth of Aquaculture in the Middle East. Our visitors are excited to hear what The Ministry of Environment, Water & Agriculture- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Innovation Norway and others have to say and the conference will form a great opportunity for learning and networking” said Samantha Bleasby, Exhibition Director, AgraME.

Bringing expertise from Europe, another key session of the day will be presented by Innovation Norway - the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry.

Ole Johan Sandvaer, Regional Director MEA for Innovation Norway will be looking at the development of a sustainable aquaculture industry within the country and how the UAE and Norway are synergistic in their approach to aquaculture; “Norwegian technology providers cover the entire value chain of the aquaculture industry, which includes high-tech products and services and modern management principles. The Middle East is known to go for the latest in technology to meet increasingly demanding consumers with products of highest quality. The aqua farming sector represents no difference.”

“The aquaculture industry has developed very fast for 50 over years and there’s no sign saying this development will slow down. Rather the opposite. One reason is that the search for the highest standards of sustainability in all parts of the aquaculture value chain will become even more important, and in this field Norway is in the lead internationally. This requires the ability to think “new”, which again will enhance innovation in all parts of the value chain”, added Mr Sandvaer.

With a more targeted focus on the Crop Farming, Animal Farming, Aquaculture and Animal Health sectors, AgraME 2018 will attract suppliers and buyers, both locally and internationally, looking to source the latest products and innovative solutions, as well as offer a content platform to discuss ways to tackle the ongoing struggle in regional food security.

For more information on the conference and to register for free, click HERE.

To exhibit at AgraME, contact Samantha Bleasby at

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

19/02/2018: Bluestar Adisseo announces closing of Nutriad acquisition

Bluestar Adisseo Company (“Adisseo”) announces that it has completed the acquisition of global feed additives producer Nutriad

This transaction is part of Adisseo’s strategy to become one of the worldwide leaders of specialty additives in animal nutrition. 

Adisseo and Nutriad planting a tree together
Image credit: Nutriad
 "We are pleased to have quickly brought the Nutriad acquisition to completion and excited to welcome Nutriad talents in the Adisseo team. This complementary combination supports our strategy for accelerating growth of our Specialty products business. Together, we will set up an efficient organisation which should allow us to strengthen our global product portfolio’s competitiveness and its overall efficiency”, said Adisseo CEO Jean-Marc Dublanc.

Nutriad CEO Erik Visser added, “The announcement of the acquisition of Nutriad by Adisseo has been met with overwhelming enthusiasm by our customers, suppliers, distribution partners and employees across the world. Now that we have confirmed the completion of the transaction, the Adisseo and Nutriad teams will jointly work with full energy and passion on the integration, committed to bringing further value adding solutions to the market.”

Nutriad’s product range, the species addressed (poultry, swine, aquaculture, dairy and cattle), and its customers are highly complementary to Adisseo’s and will allow the combined business to implement integrated solutions and offer even more value to customers.

A joint Adisseo/Nutriad project group has been set up and is already working on identifying and implementing the synergies.

About Adisseo 
Adisseo is one of the world's leading experts in feed additives. The group relies on its seven research centres and its production sites based in Europe and China to design, produce and market nutritional solutions for sustainable animal feed. With more than 1,900 employees, it serves around 2,600 customers in over 100 different countries through its global distribution network.

Visit the Adisseo Corporate website, HERE.

About Nutriad 
Nutriad provides feed additive solutions for animal nutrition and health to more than 1,200 customers in over 80 countries, through a network of sales offices and distributors. These are supported by four application laboratories and five manufacturing facilities on three continents.

Visit the Nutriad Corporate 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

19/02/2018: Salmon: A new era in production management, health, nutrition and feed utilisation

by Professor Simon J Davies, Editor International Aquafeed, Professor of Fish Nutrition & Aquaculture, Harper Adams University, England

By 2057, fish producers must greatly increase production to meet the rising population and demand for seafood consumption by some 60 million tonnes. As such, aquaculture expansion is largely dependent on good quality fish fry and fingerlings for on growing under a variety of production systems throughout the world.

Continued innovations in fish breeding are necessary to provide better strains, which can adapt to new conditions such as containment in closed recirculation systems, like RAS and deep water sea farms. We have seen great advances in fish genetics, with new breeds that have superior growth characteristics, with selection for stamina and robustness to meet the challenges of husbandry and the growing threat of emerging pathogens, and infection from a host of viruses, bacteria and parasites.

Although this is the basis for the development of all new aquaculture scenarios, such as the highly successful YY genetically male tilapia as developed by FishGen Ltd in Wales, revolutionising the farming of this fish globally. As well as the introduction of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) shrimp based on advanced selection techniques from the USA. This has now become particularly significant in the iconic salmon and trout industries.

We routinely farm triploid trout and also triploid salmon, which is being scrutinised as I found out when I examined a PhD thesis on the subject in Norway in 2016.

Genetic improvement, gene editing and transgenic modifications: What sets them apart?
Genetic improvement of salmon for a variety of phenotype traits is now well under way and more recently the pioneering work leading to GMO salmon (AquaBounty Technologies Inc.), becoming the first GMO animal to be approved in legislation to be marketed in the USA, making headline news.

Such transgenic fish incorporating new DNA insertion into their genome has raised some controversy, but is being slowly accepted by many and may well be a leader towards raising faster growing salmon attaining their harvest size in half the time, with the additional bonus of having superior feed utilisation in terms of protein and energy assimilation and enhanced feed conversion efficiency.

Now the advent of more refined technologies such as gene editing, offers an entirely new dimension in modulating the expression of the salmon genome. This is based on the refinement of the existing gene make-up, and by careful regulation of the transcription of specific genes via molecular editing tools. In this way we can create desirable alterations, without introducing foreign DNA into the final product. Although, in my opinion there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with adding DNA, gene editing does not involve such a process and salmon subjected to this technique will not be classed as genetically modified in the normal definition.

This contrasts with transgenic modification, where new genes are introduced (sometimes from other species), and RNA interference (RNAi), where DNA is added to effectively turn off or ‘tone down’ gene expression to enable various metabolic processes in the salmon to be controlled such as temperature tolerance and growth rate in typical intensive operations.

Read the full article, 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