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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thad Simons, Novus president and CEO

Novus will soon celebrate its 22nd birthday! Novus International, Inc. was founded in 1991, but their scientific roots and history originated over 50 years ago. In the 1950s, St. Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto Company began conducting livestock and poultry feed metabolism studies. In 1959, one of its products received FDA approval as an animal feed additive, which helped launch the Monsanto division that would become Novus. In 1991, in an effort to focus on its core businesses—seed, herbicide and biotechnology—Monsanto sold its Feed Ingredients division to Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Nippon Soda Co., Ltd. The new owners saw Novus’s strategic potential for growth.
International Aquafeed had the opportunity in London recently to interview the head of Novus, President and CEO Thad Simons, who says his organization’s Vision is to “help feed the world affordable, wholesome food.”

This interview appeared in the March April edition of International Aquafeed magazine




To set the scene, what are Novus’ principle technologies especially for aquaculture?

Consumer demand for fish-based protein in emerging and developed markets is on the rise. At current market demand, 7 million tons of aquaculture fish are produced annually and this figure will continue to increase. Yet, the traditional model uses ocean fish for producing fish meal to supply aquaculture production. As producers look for cheaper, more renewable feedstocks, vegetable protein, especially soybean, has become an increasingly attractive ingredient in the feed mix. However, vegetable protein requires assistance to increase its bioavailability for aqua species.
Novus technology, which enhances the digestibility of vegetable protein, allows for considerable reductions of fish meal inclusion in aqua diets, up to 80%, depending on the species. This optimised Health-through-Nutrition approach is accomplished through a highly cost efficient feed supplement solution blend. Novus’s proprietary blend of Gut Environment Modifiers influences the gut flora (microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts) of shrimp and other species, effectively enhancing their ability to cope with stressful culture conditions. As a result, animals eat better, digest more and grow faster, all the while reducing the waste of uneaten or non-digested feed into the surrounding system.

Can you put Novus into a global context for feed?

Our total sales worldwide are over US$1.3 billion. Over half this revenue is accrued through methionine product sales, but in terms of growth and over the past ten years we have seen non-methionine products growing rapidly to over US$300 million from US$30 million – this we have achieved not just through internal development but also through acquisition.
Liquid methionine has been on the market for 30 years while methionine itself has been available in powder form for almost half a century. Methionine is a US$1 billion market worldwide and is a very important ingredient in the production of poultry. That is likely to remain and increase as we search for a replacement to Chilean fishmeal in livestock diets. For example, as we start to feed more soybeans as a protein replacement for fishmeal we will need more methionine to help balance the protein in fishmeal-free diets.

Methionine is one product, but what other innovative products are you working on?

From methionine we have developed other products such as chelated trace minerals that can be delivered to animal in an efficient way. These products have the potential to reduce the amount of minerals we feed to animals by improving bio-availability. That will mean less minerals in the diet and thereby reduce the impact on the environment while still remaining competitive. We have now brought this technology to aquaculture and supply the market with both straights as with full organic mineral premixes.
I see the company moving into supra-nutritional products that improve health of animals while at the same time reducing or eliminating much of the drug usage we see today. We have a strong focus in Therapeutic nutrition and our technology portfolio includes organic acids, manufacture red in Germany pre- and probiotics, and extracts of essential oils now coming out of our research and development programmers in Spain. We have been successful in launching and customizing these technologies for aquaculture applications, ranging from vibriosis in Asian shrimp, to enteritis in Mediterranean sea bream or sea lice in salmon.

Are there other non-dietary products under development?

Feed quality can be augmented with mold inhibitors based on organic acids to detoxify raw materials by using a mycotoxin binder. This is a very important area for feed manufacturing, especially in drought years when corn quality for instance is poor and contamination is high.
We are also looking at preserving fat profiles for their nutrient values, using for example, protease enzymes to assist in getting more protein value out of the final feed. We are in partnership with Verenium to developing new heat-stable, phytaze products which will ultimately have applications for aqua feed industry.

How important are differences between markets when it comes to product development?

If we look back 21 years we were clearly focused on the poultry industry which was a very fast growing sector at the time. Ten years ago we increased production and our global footprint by building infrastructure in Asia, mostly through a distribution network supporting the growth of methionine sales coupled with our liquid application systems, which proved highly suitable in feed mills.
Today we are leveraging a deep understanding of nutrient absorption and gut health. Good nutrition can reduce costs to farmers and reduce the amount of waste that is left for the environment to absorb. We are in the ‘waste reduction’ business and by producing products that allow various species to grow to their genetic potential supports that cause.
In human terms it shouldn’t be about taking drugs or multi-vitamins every morning, but to have more control over our health that we can achieve through our own diets.
Even with less quality feed now available we should be able to achieve more through sound diets.

Novus

Novus International, Inc. creates Health through Nutrition products for livestock, pets and people.
Novus has employees working in over 90 countries, serving more than 2,500 customers worldwide. Based in St. Charles, Missouri, Novus has facilities including corporate offices, research and development laboratories and manufacturing operations in more than 35 countries, as well as smaller offices with field staff in an additional 60 countries. Click on the image to visit the Novus website.

New! IAF article: Challenges facing the aquaculture industry

We talk to feed producers about the challenges that the industry is facing, what products they are currently developing and what the future holds.

Click to read the full article.

Challenges facing the aquculture industry

30/04/13: European Commissioner calls for aquaculture cooperation; blue revolution in Canada; Asian carp in the USA

The European Commissioner has called for cooperation between Member States to help boost EU aquaculture. A new set of guidelines presented today will help coordinate efforts across all Member States. They do not create new legal obligations, but present a series of voluntary steps that Member States, the Commission, and stakeholders can take to promote an industry that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and provides consumers with healthy, high-quality seafood.
“Today, obtaining a licence for a new farm can take up to three years, which obviously deters investors,” said European Commissioner Maria Damanaki. "I want to work with Member States to cut red tape and help the competitiveness of this sector building upon the high level of consumer and environmental protection we currently have".

Canada needs a blue revolution if aquaculture is to compete with agriculture, says a study by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.
In this opinion piece, Brian Lee Crowley, managing director, Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Canada,  argues that aquaculture should be as synonymous with Canada as beef or wheat. What do you think?

The introduction of non-native species into aquaculture systems can have both positive and negative impacts. At the moment there is some concern over the introduction of Asian carp into US waters. At present there are seven varieties farmed to help control weeds and parasites in aquaculture systems. However, escapees have begun to dominate the Mississippi River, potentially threatening wild populations and water quality.
English: Downloaded from http://fl.biology.usg...
English: Downloaded from http://fl.biology.usgs.gov/pics/nonindig_fish/nonindig_fish/nonindig_fish_24.html Credits : US Geological Survey -- Florida Integrated Science Center, Gainesville (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Event: Rick Hansen named as Honorary Chair of ISS7

Rick Hansen, founding chair of the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society (FRSCS) and Co-Chair of the Rick Hansen Foundation, will open the plenary session as Honorary Chair of the 7th International Sturgeon Symposium (ISS7) July 2013 on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Expected to attract more than 600 delegates from around the world, the symposium is co-hosted by Vancouver Island University’s International Centre for Sturgeon Studies and the City of Nanaimo.

Under Hansen’s leadership, the FRSCS develops and promotes education, public awareness initiatives, award-winning research programs and recovery plans for the Fraser River white sturgeon population.

Hansen received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Vancouver Island University in 2009 for his leadership and inspiration to millions of people around the world.

“Champions are required to lead important causes, and we are honored to have Rick Hansen accept our invitation to be Honorary Chair of the ISS7,” said Dr Ralph Nilson, President and Vice-Chancellor of VIU.

“His trail-breaking work to support white sturgeon conservation through the FRSCS is yet another remarkable example of the value to society that a champion like Rick Hansen can play by mobilizing public support and involvement on critical conservation issues.”

Dr Harald Rosenthal, president of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society, said, “Rick’s work in public engagement is one of the few examples we have that vividly demonstrates what public participation can achieve in species conservation. The public world-wide needs to hear about these living dinosaurs which may face a dire future without the much needed conservation efforts promoted by FRSCS and its leader. Rick Hansen’s efforts serve as a model for other jurisdictions and efforts should be globally coordinated with the few already travelling the same path.”

“I am truly honored to be selected as Honorary Chair of this event,” said Rick Hansen. “As part of a collaborative team, we’ve spent more than a decade investigating issues that affect the recovery of Fraser River white sturgeon.  This symposium will make a difference – it represents the next step in attaining world awareness of preserving vibrant, diverse, ecosystems and developing a healthy planet.”

Hansen, along with president Nilson and Dr Rosenthal, will welcome delegates to ISS7 at the opening reception in Nanaimo on Sunday evening, July 21, 2013.  The next morning, Hansen will deliver the opening address of the conference, entitled “Public involvement as a necessary force/strategy for sturgeon conservation.”

For more information...


Rick Hansen, founding chair of the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society
 


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Norel

Norel makes a range of products for aquaculture species including pellet binders, organic acids, organic minerals and flavours.
Click on the image to visit the Norel website.

International Aquafeed product showcase 2013

The aquaculture industry is undergoing rapid growth and the number of aquaculture-related products is also expanding. International Aquafeed magazine takes a look at the some of the latest innovations as well as some old favourites.

Click to view them all.

International Aquafeed product showcase 2013

New! IAF article: Expert topic - cobia

Each issue of International Aquafeed takes an in-depth look at a particular species and how its feed is managed. This issue we turn our attention to cobia. The main article by Jorge A Suarez, Carlos Tudela, DrewDavis,  Matthew Taynor,  Lindsay Glass, Ron Hoenig and Daniel D Benetti looks at developing economically viable feeds for cobia.

Read the full feature here.

Expert topic - cobia


Previous expert topics include trout, tilapia, shrimp, salmon and Arctic char.

29/04/13: Canada special

An aquaculture company in New Brunswick, Canada has been charged $500,000 after pleading guilty to two charges connected to the deaths of hundreds of lobsters from a pesticide three years ago.
Kelly Cove Salmon, a division of Cooke Aquaculture, was fined $100,000 and was also ordered to pay $350,000 to the University of New Brunswick's environmental studies programme and an additional $50,000 in trust to the environmental damages fund. The penalty is the largest ever sum imposed in New Brunswick for environmental violations under the federal Fisheries Act.

AgriMarine has announced it has agreed a $5 million loan deal with Dundee Agricultural Corporation
The money will be used for the purchase and deployment of further AgriMarine System™ tanks.

Opposition liberals in Canada are calling for the resignation of the aquaculture minister Mike Olscamp alleging he interfered with an investigation into deputy premier Paul Robichaud's brother.
New Brunswick, Canada
New Brunswick, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Muyang

Headquartered in the famous historical and cultural city of Yangzhou, P. R. China, Muyang Group has since its founding in 1967 grown into a prestigious group corporation, whose activities cover design, development, fabrication and installation of the machinery and engineering of the following industries such as feed manufacturing, grain milling, environment protection, food processing, bulk solids handling and storage, steel structure building as well as industrial automation.  Click on the image to visit the Muyang website.







Friday, April 26, 2013

Video: Developing aquaculture in the USA

With 85 percent of fish imported in the USA, there is considerable opportunity for home-grown fish. In this video, Superior Aquacutlture Systems proposes that small-scale RAS systems, sustainable fish feed and local transport could all be used to create a profitable aquaculture industry in the USA. Is this method really superiors?  What do you think?

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The Aquafeed Interview: Thad Simons, Novus

Novus recently celebrated its 22nd birthday!

Novus International, Inc. was founded in 1991, but its scientific roots and history originated over 50 years ago. In the 1950s, St. Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto Company began conducting livestock and poultry feed metabolism studies. In 1959, one of its products received FDA approval as an animal feed additive, which helped launch the Monsanto division that would become Novus.

In 1991, in an effort to focus on its core businesses—seed, herbicide and biotechnology—Monsanto sold its Feed Ingredients division to Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Nippon Soda Co., Ltd. The new owners saw Novus’s strategic potential for growth.

International Aquafeed had the opportunity in London recently to interview the head of Novus, President and CEO Thad Simons, who says his organisation’s Vision is to “help feed the world affordable, wholesome food.”

To set the scene, what are Novus’ principle technologies especially for aquaculture?
Consumer demand for fish-based protein in emerging and developed markets is on the rise. At current market demand, 7 million tons of aquaculture fish are produced annually and this figure will continue to increase. Yet, the traditional model uses ocean fish for producing fishmeal to supply aquaculture production. As producers look for cheaper, more renewable feedstocks, vegetable protein, especially soybean, has become an increasingly attractive ingredient in the feed mix.
However, vegetable protein requires assistance to increase its bioavailability for aqua species.

Novus technology, which enhances the digestibility of vegetable protein, allows for considerable reductions of fishmeal inclusion in aqua diets, up to 80 percent, depending on the species.

This optimized health through nutrition approach is accomplished through a highly cost efficient feed supplement solution blend. Novus’s proprietary blend of gut environment modifiers influences the gut flora (microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts) of shrimp and other species, effectively enhancing their ability to cope with stressful culture conditions. As a result, animals eat better, digest
more and grow faster, all the while reducing the waste of uneaten or non-digested feed into the surrounding system.

Can you put Novus into a global context for the feed industry?
Our total sales worldwide are over US$1 billion.  Our heritage is amino acids, through our Alimet and MHA products.  Working from a strong base of scientific understanding of animal health, we have brought to market more than 100 new products over the past decade in categories including minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and pigments. Today the Novus product portfolio provides a holistic approach to Health through Nutrition for fish, poultry, cattle, pigs, pets and horses.

Methionine is one product, but what other innovative products is Novus working on?
From methionine we have developed other products such as chelated trace minerals that can be delivered to animal in an efficient way. These products have the potential to reduce the amount of minerals we feed to animals by improving bio-availability. That will mean less minerals in the diet and thereby reduce the impact on the environment while still remaining competitive. We have now brought this technology to aquaculture and supply the market with both straights as with full organic mineral premixes.

I see the company moving into supra-nutritional products that improve health of animals while at the same time reducing or eliminating much of the drug usage we see today. We have a strong focus in therapeutic nutrition and our technology portfolio includes organic acids, manufacture red in Germany pre- and probiotics, and extracts of essential oils now coming out of our research and development programmers in Spain . We have been successful in launching and customizing these technologies for aquaculture applications, ranging from vibriosis in Asian shrimp, to enteritis in Mediterranean sea bream or sea lice in salmon.

Are there other non-dietary products under development?
Feed quality can be augmented with mold inhibitors based on organic acids to detoxify raw materials by using a mycotoxin binder. This is a very important area for feed manufacturing, especially in drought years when corn quality for instance is poor and contamination is high.

We are also looking at preserving fat profiles for their nutrient values, using for example, protease enzymes to assist in getting more protein value out of the final feed. We are in partnership with Verenium to developing new heat-stable, phytaze products which will ultimately have applications for aqua feed industry.


How important are differences between markets when it comes to product development?
If we look back 21 years we were clearly focused on the poultry industry which was a very fast growing sector at the time. Ten years ago we increased production and our global footprint by building infrastructure in Asia, mostly through a distribution network supporting the growth of methionine sales coupled with our liquid application systems, which proved highly suitable in feedmills.

Today we are leveraging a deep understanding of nutrient absorption and gut health.. Good nutrition can reduce costs to farmers and reduce the amount of waste that is left for the environment to absorb.

Even with less quality feed now available we should be able to achieve more through sound diets.

Novus is committed to having a genuinely global reach. We connect with our customers at the local level, work with them in their own communities and understand their needs in a meaningful way. Novus customers have the unique experience of localized research and development, technical support, customer service and logistics. This commitment to working closely with our customers provides Novus with real-time, hands-on knowledge of current and future customer needs.

We work with our customers to improve their business operations through increased productivity and profitability. Novus’s Health through Nutrition programs support healthy, happy animals that are more productive and generate less waste, reducing their environmental impact. Additionally, Novus products protect the nutritional quality of feed and feed ingredients,  which are farmers’ largest operational investments and most important tools for ensuring livestock health.

And for the next five years, what can we expect from Novus?

We expect to continue to grow our existing markets and expand our footprint in these markets through new technologies and partnerships. We will grow through market relevancy, for example, Over the past 25 years, the salmon industry has achieved an increase in productivity from 15 to 20 percent while reducing nitrogen waste by four fold. Novus probiotics (live microorganisms which confer a health benefit) assist with the stability of pond cultures, thereby helping to maximize pond water carrying capacity and enhancing overall fish health. In this way, more fish are grown with less water, as the water is less toxic, and less overall waste results.

Novus is a participant in the farm-to-table nutrition continuum and because of this, we have a distinct responsibility to the communities we serve. Novus’s Vision is To Help Feed the World Affordable, Wholesome Food and Achieve a Higher Quality of Life. Our performance as a company and our Vision are not separate— each is connected inextricably with the other. In everything we do over the next five years and beyond you can expect to be able to connect our actions with our Vision.

Click the image to view other articles from International Aquafeed




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26/04/13: NZ sustainable aquaculture update; fishponds in Kenya; Nutreco buys Hendrix Misr

Earlier this month, we reported on the news that the New Zealand government has given the NZ$700,000 from the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) towards sustainable aquaculture projects. This article gives more detail about two of the recipients - the Salmon Improvement Group, which received $600,000 to study deformities in farmed king salmon, and Aquaculture New Zealand, which was given $115,700 to develop fish vaccines. 

One of Northern Ireland's biggest poultry producers, Moy Park, is getting involved in a project to raise funds for Farm Africa's Food for Good campaign. Activities include working alongside farmers in Western Kenya to dig a fishpond.

Nutreco has signed an agreement to acquire the remaining 67 percent share held by its two partners in its Egyptian participation Hendrix Misr. Nutreco entered the Egyptian market in 2001 by acquiring 33 percent of Hendrix Misr which has developed successfully since then. Full ownership of Hendrix Misr offers Nutreco a good base to expand its activities in this attractive growth market. Egypt is the world's second largest tilapia producer after China. The Egyptian market for extruded fish feed is expected to achieve double-digit growth for the foreseeable future.
Hendrix Misr is Egypt's market leader in extruded fish feed (mainly tilapia) which is sold under the trade name Skretting, and a leading producer of poultry feed concentrates. Total revenue in 2012 was approximately EUR 25 million. Nutreco intends to expand the current fish feed capacity of 25,000 tonnes to 75,000 tonnes by 2015.
Viggo Halseth, chief operating officer aquaculture, Nutreco, said, "This acquisition fits in very well with Nutreco's strategy 'Ambition 2016 - driving sustainable growth', which aims to expand in growth geographies as well as in fish feed for non-salmonid species. By moving to full ownership, we are able to accelerate the next phase of our growth ambition in this attractive market."

Nutreco's 'Ambition 2016 - driving sustainable growth' is to grow and improve profitability by providing innovative and sustainable nutritional solutions for its customers and is expected to result in an EBITA of EUR 400 million by 2016. This will be realised by focusing on a higher added value portfolio of nutritional solutions such as premixes, feed specialties and fish feed, and by expanding into the growth geographies of Latin America, Russia, Asia and Africa, which will see the largest increases in both production and consumption of animal protein food products.

Satellite image of New Zealand in December 2002.
Satellite image of New Zealand in December 2002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Yara

Yara delivers solutions for sustainable agriculture and the environment. The company's fertilizers and crop nutrition programs help produce the food required for the growing world population. Yara's industrial products and solutions reduce emissions, improve air quality and support safe and efficient operations. Founded in Norway in 1905, Yara has a worldwide presence with sales to 150 countries. Safety is always a top priority. Click on the image to visit the Yara website.

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New! IAF article: Effect of dietary inclusion of seaweeds on intestinal proteolytic activity of juvenile sea bream

María Isabel Sáez, Tomás Martínez and Javier Alarcón Universidad de Almeria, Spain, describe the effect of dietary inclusion of seaweeds on intestinal proteolytic activity of juvenile sea bream.

In recent years considerable attention has been paid on the use of seaweeds (SW) as a possible ingredient for aquafeeds. Red, green and brown SW can be taken from their natural habitat and brought to the shore by the action of winds and tides. Otherwise, biomass can be obtained from secondary and tertiary treatment of effluents. Wastewater treatment utilising photosynthetic organisms is an interesting alternative to reduce the ecological impact of domestic, industrial or aquaculture effluents. Generally, high-quality algal biomass is yielded from algal cultivation, representing an excellent source of hydrocolloids, carotenoids, and bioactive substances, which allows different industrial applications. In addition, there is currently an increasing interest for the potential of SW in human and animal nutrition.

Click to read the full article.

Effect of dietary inclusion of seaweeds on intestinal proteolytic activity of juvenile sea bream

Don't forget you can read the full magazine online too.

25/04/13: Commander award for Nutreco's Wout Dekker; GAA, ASC and GLOBALG.A.P agree to cooperate; EU Commissioner launches online aquaculture tool

The Royal House of Norway has announced today that H.M. King Harald of Norway has decorated Wout Dekker as Commander in the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for his contribution to Norwegian aquaculture.
The decoration reflects the importance of aquaculture in Norway and Nutreco's contribution to its success. Wout Dekker's commitment to innovation and sustainability was important to the development of the healthy and sustainable Norwegian aquaculture industry of today. The investments made helped aquaculture become Norway's second largest export industry after oil and gas.

Knut Nesse, Nutreco CEO said, "Substantial investments in R&D and manufacturing facilities for feed were prerequisites for the development of Nutreco's fish feed company Skretting, headquartered in Norway. These investments and belief in the industry secured hundreds of jobs along the coast. Wout Dekker was a key person in this process and he was deeply involved in the strategies and investments that made Norway a leading aquaculture nation."

Standards-setting organisations, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and GLOBALG.A.P. signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on April 22, 2013, to work collaboratively to increase efficiency and reduce duplication in the auditing process.
GAA, ASC and GLOBALG.A.P. agreed to explore ways to reduce duplication of effort for farms, processing plants, hatcheries and feed mills that undertake certification by more than one of the three organisations’ certification programmes.
All three certification programmes share common elements that address the key environmental and social impacts of aquaculture, yet currently audits for each set of standards is conducted separately.
Commenting on the news, Jim Cannon, chief executive, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), said, "SFP welcomes this important announcement and looks forward to supporting this initiative in any way we can. We particularly hope to make contributions in the areas of feed, on-farm benchmarking and convergent IT solutions."


European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, officially launched the new European Market Observatory for Fishery and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA) at the European Seafood Exposition. The Observatory is an EU-wide interactive web-tool offering up-to-date data on volume, value and price of fisheries and aquaculture products throughout the supply chain, from when they land to port to when they are displayed on supermarket shelves.
If you want to know market trends and market drivers for wild or farmed seafood products, the Market Observatory is the tool for you" said Commissioner Damanaki. 
She continued, "what counts today is value, not volume, of production. With this modern tool we empower economic actors through accurate, real-time market information”.



English: Fish cages in Velfjorden, Brønnøy, No...
English: Fish cages in Velfjorden, Brønnøy, Norway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Evonik

Evonik is a leading specialty chemicals company. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of itsstrategy, which is supported by its owners, RAG-Stiftung (74.99 percent) and funds managed by CVC Capital Partners (25.01 percent). Evonik's specialty chemicals activities focus on high-growth megatrends—especially health, nutrition, resource efficiency, and globalization—and Evonik's goal is to enter attractive future-oriented markets. Click on the image to visit the Evonik website.


New! IAF article: The role of bioremediation in water quality management

In this article Goncalo A Santos of Biomin, describes the role of bioremediation in water quality management.

With the expansion and development of the aquaculture industry, several challenges arise. The intensification of production systems increases the pressure on the environment, which can severely affect water quality and as a consequence fish or shrimp performance and the incidence of diseases.

Read the full article here.

The role of bioremediation in water quality management

24/04/13: Ice Age salmon refuge; floatation devices for Scottish fishermen; 20 day fresh packaging

A coastal region in north west France has been identified as the site of an ice-free refuge for salmon   during the Ice Age. Researchers from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom used genetics to trace the migration of salmon species from refuge areas into previously glaciated regions.

Every fisherman in Moray, Scotland is to get a free personal floatation device in a bid to improve safety. The scheme, which is funded by the European Fisheries Fund, will cost £348,000.

The Norwegian food research institute, Nofima, has invented new packaging which keeps salmon fresh for up 20 days.
Superfresh packaging uses a method called Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP). This involves putting salmon on a CO₂ emitter consisting of baking powder and citric acid, and then removing the air from the pack before it is sealed. At a constant low temperature, the fish can stay fresh for up to 20 days or 10-12 days at four degrees above zero.
Although the initial research was intended to find a packaging method specially designed for cod and salmon fillet, the same method could also eventually be used for other types of fish and meat.
Salmon intended for consumption as food
Salmon intended for consumption as food (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Video: Scottish salmon and seals

Last night, the BBC programme the One Show, featured an interesting section on Scottish salmon producers and seals. Seals, which eat up to 5 kg of fish a day, are a problem for both fishermen and aquaculturists as they nets ans cages of salmon are a tasty treat. The seals take bites of the fish but don't eat the whole animal, meaning many fish are killed. Those fish lucky enough to escape an seal attack can suffer from stress which affects the quality if the flesh. 
To combat this problem, fishermen and fish farmers and are allowed to shoot seals. However, this is unpopular with wildlife fanatics and conservationists. The programme is a balanced overview of the strains between food production and wildlife conservation.

Viewers in the UK can watch the programme online here for the next week. The segment starts at 23.30 minutes.
English: Atlantic salmon. Salmo salar.
English: Atlantic salmon. Salmo salar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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23/04/13: Vietnamese aquaculture firms step up foreign investments; could ocean acidification improve fish hearing?; Aker BioMarine and BioMar extend partnership

Vietnamese aquaculture firms step up foreign investments. According to figures released by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, current foreign investment from the agro-forestry and aquaculture industries totals US$2.5 billion, a 20 percent share of total foreign investment.
The majority of the development is in nearby Laos, Cambodia and China but there is also significant business in parts of Africa including Sudan, South Africa and Mozambique. However, the development is not always easy sailing; Vietnamese companies have run into difficulties as many of these countries have a weak legal system and a lack of skilled workers.
Read more...

Could ocean acidification improve fish hearing? We usually associate ocean acidification, which occurs when carbon dioxide is absorbed by oceans, with negative impacts such as weakened shells on shellfish. However, a study conducted by the University of Miami, USA and NOAA has discovered that low-p-H water could improve fish hearing.
Researchers used 3C x-rays to compare the skulls of cobia raised in either low-pH water or higher-p-H water. They found that fish raised in lower p-H water had larger and more dense otoliths (ear stones). This could potentially lead to better hearing.
Read more...

Aker BioMarine and BioMar have extended their partnership on deliveries and purchases of the QRILL™ feed ingredient. The five-year deal is an extension of the original two-year collaboration agreement.
Read more...

English: A Northern krill (Meganyctiphanes nor...
English: A Northern krill (Meganyctiphanes norvegica). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Dinnissen

With over 150 permanent employees and an extensive network of agents all over the world, Dinnissen is a global player in the feed, food, pharma and chemical sectors. The company is always looking for new and innovative solutions for complete processes, system integrations or standard products – many of which are developed, tested and produced in-house! Click on the image to visit the Dinnissen website.

New! IAF article: Fish escapes primarily caused by equipment failures

Equipment failure or operational errors are behind three out of four farmed salmon escapes. Two out of three escapes are due to holes in sea cage nets according to a new study. Torkil Marsdal Hanssen explains more.

Read full article here.

 Fish escapes primarily caused by equipment failures

22/04/13: Dutch cooperative fishing agency gains Friend of the Sea status; the future of oyster farming; Indian aquaculture projects

Dutch cooperative fishing agency gains Friend of the Sea status. The Cooperative Fishery Organization has successfully undergone Friend of the Sea audit for sole, turbot, dab, cod and brill fished in the ICES Areas IV b and c and in the Dutch coastal waters. Its products can now carry the international sustainability seal of approval which means the fish are from not over exploited nor IUCN Redlisted stocks and with selective methods which do not impact the seabed.

This article is an interesting overview of the transition of shellfish production from wild to something more akin to farming.

The government in Himachal Pradesh, India, has announced details of its 12th five-year aquaculture plan designed to maintain pace and growth in the sector. One of the major projects is the modernisation and construction of inland fish landing centres. In addition, the national government has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 9.18 crore under National Mission for Protein Supplements (NMPS) to extend the Aquaculture Programme in the state.
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A summer afternoon at Khajjiar, Himachal Prade...
A summer afternoon at Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh, India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Video: FAO: how fisheries and aquaculture contributes to global food and nutrition security

A look at how fisheries and aquaculture contributes to global food and nutrition security and how the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries supports the three pillars of sustainable development - environment, social and economic. 

The FAO has a large selection of aquaculture-related videos online.


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19/04/13: Indian aquafeed on the rise; ASC statistics ;Is aquaculture the 'last agricultural frontier'?

A new report by Research and Markets predicts that the Indian aquafeed market will grow by as much as 20 percent by 2015 due to rising demand for fish.

We love a good statistic here at the Aquaculturists. This set of data on the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is very informative. It looks at the whole scope of ASC interests from species and location to where the fish are consumed.

Is aquaculture the 'last agricultural frontier'? Alltech thinks so. Join the company in its 29th Annual Alltech International Symposium in Lexington, USA, May 19-22, 2013.
“Nobody doubts the enormous potential of farming the sea; in fact the spotlight is now on aquaculture and what its contribution will be to the future of food. However, with concerns growing about sustainability and the overfishing of wild stocks, it is essential that we as an industry decide how to move forward,” said Jorge Arias, Alltech’s global aqua director and co-chairperson of the aqua track. “In addition to this we must ensure that the end product is as safe and as healthy for the consumer as it is currently renowned to be.”
Tilapia caught in Lake Hora, Debre Zeyit, Ethi...
Tilapia caught in Lake Hora, Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Buhler

Bühler is a specialist and technology partner for plant and equipment and related services for processing basic foods and manufacturing highgrade materials. The Group is a global market leader in the supply of flour production plants, pasta and chocolate production lines, animal feed manufacturing installations, and aluminum die casting systems. Click on the image for more information.

New! IAF article: Towards aquafeeds with increased food security

Ioannis Zabetakis, assistant professor of food chemistry, University of Athens, Greece for explains how the industry can work towards producing aquafeeds with increased food security.

From both nutritionist and aquaculturist points of view, our aim is to sustainably produce aquatic food with superior sensory properties and high cardioprotective properties. The reason is that although preventable, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) remain the top global cause of death and stroke. The prevention of atherosclerosis is, therefore, a major objective of modern medical and biochemical investigations into the mechanism of atherosclerosis and how the structure of food components determines their role in the mechanism(s) involved. The composition of aquafeeds and their impact on the nutritional value of aquatic food is a focal point of today’s research and development both in academia and industry. 

Read full article here.

Towards aquafeeds with increased food security

18/04/13: Funding for sustainable aquaculture in NZ; counting sea lice in BC; from gravel pits to salmon habitat

Five projects focusing on aquaculture will benefit from the latest round of Sustainable Farming Fund grants, Minister for Primary Industries, New Zealand, Nathan Guy has announced.
“New Zealand seafood is a premium product and it’s great to see groups looking to improve their production and value by developing aquaculture,” says Guy.
The projects with funding are:
• Koura Aquaculture, by Wai-Koura South: $119,420
• Farming Premium Salmon, by the Salmon Improvement Group: $600,000
• Management of the GLM9 Greenlipped Mussel Spat Resource, by GML9 Advisory Group: $20,000
• Tuna (Shortfin-eel) Aquaculture, by Te Ohu Tiaki o Rangitane Te Ika a Mauri Trust (MIO): $600,000
• Aquaculture custom bacterial vaccines, by Aquaculture New Zealand: $115,686.
“Addressing information gaps is a focus for four of these projects. They will investigate how to reduce skeletal deformities in farmed salmon, develop best-practice guides for raising freshwater crayfish and manage the wild greenlipped mussel spat resource.
“Importantly, the eel project will focus on learning more about young glass short-fin eels so we can raise them successfully and sustainably.
“The other will focus on developing New Zealand’s capability, in this case to manufacture vaccines for Chinook salmon.”
The projects will commence July 1, 2013 and run for one to three years.
More information...

Regular sea lice counts being proactively shared by BC’s salmon farmers will help speak to recommendations made by the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of the Fraser River Sockeye.
For the fourth year, the BC Salmon Farmers Association will update the public about operations and sea lice counts on a site-by-site basis in the Okisollo/Hoskyn channel area –found in the Discovery Islands region discussed in recommendations made by Justice Cohen in his final report last fall.

“The amount and quality of information that our members produce was identified as helpful and important to the commission. With our ongoing goal of transparency, we are eager to continue sharing with the public,” said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BCSFA.
This will be the fourth year that the BC Salmon Farmers Association updated the public about sea lice numbers on farm sites in the area throughout the wild salmon outmigration period. These reports will continue through July.
Okisollo Channel is located just north of Campbell River and is home to five farms: two of Marine Harvest Canada’s, two of Mainstream Canada’s and one operated by Grieg Seafood. Hoskyn Channel, on the east side of Quadra Island has four Marine Harvest Canada sites. All three companies have agreed to an area management plan for the channel.
Currently there is only one farm in the area under operation: Cyrus Rocks. A sea lice count was also reported for March on Marine Harvest Canada’s Okisollo farm site, though the farm is now fallow following a regular harvest.

Sea lice counts - March 2013

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 (see table above).
More information...

River restoration isn’t the only technique to help rebuild fish populations. That’s why California is looking at an innovative method: reclaiming abandoned gravel pits as habitat for salmon.
In the video below, take a look at how NOAA, along with the state of California and other partners, is exploring this technique in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. By removing levees, reshaping banks, and re-contouring the river bottom, the team is looking to reconnect more than 350 acres of habitat. This would help restore the natural processes that will allow for the creation of habitat where juvenile salmon and steelhead could live.
More information about the video...

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