A landmark aquaculture improvement project (AIP) in Hainan, China, has earned plaudit from the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), a business-focused NGO based in the US.




Chinese tilapia farming project earns plaudit


A landmark aquaculture improvement project (AIP) in Hainan, China, has earned plaudit from the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), a business-focused NGO based in the US.


SFP said the project "embodies the ideal situation SFP strives to see in all aquaculture sectors: A zonal aquaculture approach maintained by industry stakeholders".


It said the project, now maintained by the industry, takes a holistic approach to aquaculture, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that even competing fish farms can share a common waterway without impacting each other, or the environment.


In addition to Chinese companies, US-based buyer The Fishin' Co. is also involved with the project.


The project, according to SFP, is directly responsible for China's first industry-led set of standards for tilapia farming, which includes a strong focus on improved disease management, both on-farm and between neighbors.


"This [project) is the best example of a zonal AIP in the world and also one that has strongly transitioned from SFP to industry-led, with support of a local NGO (China Blue), an international buyer (Fishin' Co.) and many key local industry leaders," said Anton Immink, SFP's aquaculture director.


The project officially began in 2011, with SFP working with producers in Hainan to find ways to make their operations more sustainable. A year later, SFP hosted its first aquaculture policy roundtable, attended by key processors, farmers, and seed and feed producers.


Together, they established the Hainan Tilapia Sustainability Alliance, which continued the improvement project work in the sector. Last year, the Alliance issued the first version of its Code of Good Practices (CoGP) for Hainan Tilapia Farming, with technical assistance from the Pearl River Institute of Aquaculture and Hainan University.


Today, 35 pilot farms are in the process of adopting the code, with technicians working with farmers on site. It is the first-ever regional and industry-led initiative in China to promote sustainable aquaculture practices.


"Han Han, the CEO of the new China Blue and former SFP staffer, has taken lessons from the Scottish salmon industry and other leaders to help steer the industry on a course towards true sustainability", Immink said.


            Tilapia harvest                          PHOTO FROM THE WEBSITE OF HAINAN TILAPIA SUSTAINABILITY ALLIANCE




E-traceability system for Bangladesh shrimps launched


International research organisation WorldFish has launched a new application for Bangladeshi shrimp farmers to manage traceability throughout the production process, from hatchery to harvest. 


According to WorldFish, the app, eServices Everywhere (ESE), transforms the critical work of traceability for shrimp farmers and makes the process faster, easier and more efficient.


The app also helps to get first-hand feedback from farmers, other shrimp value-chain actors and field staff, and identify improvement opportunities for a future larger scale rollout.


Traceability will be implemented with several hundred farmers attached to one collection center. A shrimp buyer will be able to trace the shrimp back to the specific collection center and the farmers who have provided shrimp to the center on a specific day.


The hatchery source of shrimp postlarvae will also be recorded. This will identify all the participating farmers who stocked seed, produced by MKA hatchery in Cox's Bazar, the only hatchery in Bangladesh to produce shrimp which is from domesticated brood stock and which is free from specific diseases.


It is expected that consumers will have preference for shrimp that are more environment-friendly but they will want to have proof, which makes traceability essential, according to WorldFish.


Feed inputs are also recorded, so the project will know which feeds are used. By keeping records farmers will be motivated to use only feeds that are produced by licensed feed mills.


This pilot project, funded by the USAID and implemented by WorldFish, will be conducted for five months from January to May 2016. Around 300-500 farmers will be connected to one collection center.


Although it is a pilot project for a short duration, it is envisaged that the experience will generate valuable learning to develop a sustainable e-traceability program for aquaculture, which can also be utilised in other sectors, WorldFish said.




Disease, high production costs hound India shrimp sector


India's shrimp production this year is likely to slow down as disease issues and higher production costs continue to dog the sector, the Society of Aquaculture Professionals (SAP) said.


Last year production declined by over 10% due to disease outbreaks and flooding, and according to SAP president S. Muthukaruppan, recovery is expected to be marginal due to lower returns from farming. 


"Production may recover only marginally in the current year from the damages caused last year by flooding and prevalence of microsporidian EHP.  Higher costs of production and a sharp decline in prices during the last quarter of 2015 have affected farmers," Muthukaruppan was quoted by The Financial Express as saying.


Anwar Hashim, managing director of Abad Fisheries and former president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India, admitted that the cost of production has increased and new diseases like "slow mortality disease" were affecting production. 


Data from the Marine Exports Product Development Authority showed that Indian farmed shrimp, which accounts for almost 70% of the country's annual seafood exports, totalled 433,448 metric tonnes in 2014-2015, up from 322,684 tonnes in 2013-2014. 




Manual on milkfish hatchery production technology out


A manual for those interested in setting up breeding facilities for milkfish has been published, in response to the swelling demand for the fish in the Philippines, where it is the second top aquaculture species being produced.


The manual title "Development and Management of Milkfish Broodstock" and published by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD), provides developed and refined techniques for the collection and transport of spawned eggs and larvae, as well as larval rearing.


It also describes the necessary facilities for maintaining milkfish broodstock.


Guidelines on transporting broodstock, performing biopsy to determine sex of spawners, collecting and cleaning eggs, packing and transporting eggs to hatchery, incubating and hatching eggs, and packing and transporting of larvae are also provided in the manual.


The importance of nutritional quality of the diet in relation to the performance of the milkfish broodstock and quality of resulting eggs and larvae is likewise explained in the manual. 


Broodstock feeds are enriched with vitamin C, beta-carotene and other nutrients for better reproductive performance of broodstock and better egg and larval quality. It also offers formula to initially estimate the number of spawned eggs and determine the hatching rate.


The publication of the manual was funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).




Mola fish right for Bangladesh, says WorldFish Center 


             Molaf fish harvest                                                                                            PHOTO BY SCIDEV.NET


A study published in the February 2016 issue of Aquaculture journal promotes the farming of mola fish (Amblypharyngodon mola) in rural household water bodies like small ponds.


The authors of the study told SciDev.Net that mola is an excellent source of micronutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin B12, as well as fatty acids and animal protein, and can prevent diseases caused by vitamin A deficiency (VAD).


The prevalence of VAD remains a serious public health problem in Bangladesh.


"For many years, Bangladesh has been promoting pond polyculture—carp species, and later tilapia and pangasius. Work at the Bangladesh Agricultural University and University of Copenhagen show that mola can be incorporated in carp polyculture in ponds and that this increases total fish yield as well as the nutritional quality of the yield", said Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, lead author and nutrition scientist of the WorldFish Center.


Thilstead added, "The Bangladesh government should promote the culture of mola to increase the frequency and quantity of mola consumption— there is a great potential for this, as Bangladesh has over four million household ponds in which mola can be cultured".


Benoy Kumar Barman, specialist in fish production at the WorldFish Center, stressed the importance of harvesting techniques, saying "Our research shows that harvesting mola fish at the right time can double production. Mola is no luxury food but it can become a staple for the poor if proper methods are used".




Panamanian shrimp farming technology prevents disease


A technology invented in Panama reportedly prevents any disease affecting many shrimp farms in Central America and other parts of the world.


The Caribbean News reported that the technology, created by Panamanian aquaculture scientist Dr Bill McGraw, provides a biosecure, zero water-exchange system for growing shrimp that has a zero percent chance of being affected by early mortality syndrome (EMS) and white spot disease (mancha blanca), among others.


Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Panama have suffered from outbreaks of white spot disease since the late 1990s while EMS spread in mid-2015 to Nicaragua and Honduras from Asia.


The news report said the technology has been proven to be efficient, economically viable and free of disease, using no herbicide and pesticides. Shrimp production does not involve the use of antibiotics.


The system uses lined ponds and recycles shrimp waste in a recirculation system that feeds edible plants and fish, and is entirely self-contained.


The new farming method does not have any impact upon the environment, as it does not release any nutrient-rich water from shrimp ponds, the report said, adding the system is entirely biosecure, with no possible way for disease to be introduced into the shrimp culture facility.




Chile salmon farmer Multiexport's CFO resigns


Chilean salmon farmer Multiexport Foods' Cristian Garcia-Huidobro ceases to be its chief financial officer from April 1, 2016.


A notification to SVS [Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros], the Chilean securities and insurance regulator, stated that Garcia-Huidobro submitted his resignation letter on Jan. 27 and that his resignation would be effective from April 1.


Garcia-Huidobro, an MBA graduate of MIT Sloan School of Management, joined Multiexport Foods in August 2011 as CFO.





TPP to exact seafood product upgrade on Vietnam exporters


The Vietnamese fisheries sector admits that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), which was signed in Auckland, New Zealand, on Feb. 4, doesn't exactly promise a walk in the park.


Le Van Quang, chair of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) Shrimp Committee, said that with TPP, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development needs to improve development and the support policies to meet the requirements of the global market.


Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP general secretary, said that shrimp exporters to the US must also follow the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standards, Aquaculture Stewardship Council standards (ASC) and the Marine Stewardship Council's Chain of Custody (CoC) standard.


Nguyen Phuoc Buu Huy, deputy general director of Cadovimex II Export Processing and Fisheries JSC, which has invested in an export and processing line equipped with BAP standards, said exporters must find more markets instead of exporting to only one market to avoid risks including technical barriers and strict hygiene regulations from importers.


The TPP agreement has set a new standard for global trade and eliminates or reduces tariff and non-tariff barriers across traded goods and services among the 12 signatories—the US, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam.




US shrimp imports rising


US shrimp imports in 2015 totaled 1.29 billion pounds, up 3.3% from 2014. It was the second-highest on record, just 8.9 million pounds short of the all-time high set in 2006, reported.


The 2015 import value per pound, however, dropped 21% from $5.34 in 2014 to $4.21 in 2015.


Shell-on imports were up 1% in 2015, peeled imports up 1.5% and cooked imports up 7.3%. Breaded imports also posted substantial gain.


Cheap price may have contributed to an increase in the consumption of shrimp among Americans. Bloomberg reported that in 2013, Americans ate 3.6 pounds of shrimp per person, compared with 2.7 pounds of salmon and 2.3 pounds of canned tuna, citing figures from the National Fisheries Institute.


Angel Rubio, chief market analyst at research company Urner Barry, was quoted as saying that even in 2015, "we've had so much shrimp," and global output continues to rise "There's just no way prices are not going to go down," he said.

Video >

Follow Us