In 1997, Brazil produced 2,000 tonnes of tilapia, and by 2017, production reached 290,000 tonnes. This solid growth in the South American country's tilapia farming has made it the fifth-largest farmed tilapia producer among the 127 countries and territories with tilapia aquaculture production as of 2017, according to the latest FAO statistics. How did Brazil make a rapid development of tilapia aquaculture? FAO cites at least four factors.
FROM 12K TONNES IN 1995 TO 290K IN 2017
How Brazil became a leading tilapia producer
Tilapia farming in Brazil has recorded a solid growth through the years, with its share in the global tilapia aquaculture production increasing from 1.9% in 1997 to 4.9% in 2017, making it the fifth-largest farmed tilapia producer among the 127 countries and territories that have tilapia aquaculture production as of 2017, according to the latest FAO statistics.
The data indicate that, on average, tilapia aquaculture production in Brazil grew from 12,000 tonnes in 1995 to 290,000 tonnes in 2017. The Brazilian Aquaculture Association–Peixe BR–has even a higher figure for tilapia aquaculture production in the country at 330,000 tonnes as of 2016.
Tilapia has been Brazil's largest aquaculture item, contributing to nearly half of the country's aquaculture production tonnage in 2017.
Despite being one of the largest tilapia farming countries, however, Brazil has yet to become a major tilapia exporter. There are factors contributing to its being outcompeted by other countries in spite of its various advantages in tilapia production, and one of these is the trade barriers including cumbersome documentation requirements and sanitary/safety issues.
Brazil has in fact various advantages that should favor its becoming a major tilapia exporter, such as abundant supply of tilapia feed ingredients, advanced farming systems and technologies, and geographic proximity to the US, which is the largest international tilapia fillet market.
How Brazil did it
How was Brazil able to make a rapid development of tilapia aquaculture? FAO, in a report, cites at least four factors that have contributed to this, including the improvement of seed quality through the use of fast-growing genetically improved farmed tilapia (GIFT) strains and monosex farming technology, which has shortened the grow-out phase, increased productivity and allowed for the harvest of large-size tilapias that are favoured by local consumers over smaller wild tilapia captured in reservoirs.
Another factor is the adoption of low-volume, high-density (LVHD) cage farming technology, which has facilitated rapid expansion of tilapia cage farming in the southeastern states (São Paulo and Minas Gerais) and northeast states (Ceará, Bahia and Pernambuco).
The third is the development of the animal feed industry, which has provided a stable supply of good-quality feed for tilapia and fish farming in general, while the fourth is the large domestic market, which has absorbed most farmed tilapia production in Brazil.
Tilapias were introduced to Brazil back in the 1950s when Oreochromis mossambicusand Tilapia rendalliwere imported from Africa for restocking hydroelectric reservoirs. More tilapia species, including O. angolensis, O. niloticus, O. aureusand O. urolepis hornorumwere later introduced as restocking species for improving the livelihood of the fishing community, the FAO report said.
Worldwide, tilapia is the most popular aquaculture species item, farmed in over 127 countries and territories. Global tilapia aquaculture production grew 11% annually (or 13% in terms of farmgate value) over the past three decades, from 0.3 million tonnes (US$304 million) in 1987 to 5.9 million tonnes ($11 billion) in 2017.

Vietnam-Australia joint venture invests US$30M in marine farming
Kien Giang's authorities in southern Vietnam have approved a US$30-million marine farming project of Mavin Group at an investment promotion conference on July 29, Vietnam News Agency reported.
The 2,000-hectare seafood farming centre is expected to produce 30,000 tonnes of saltwater fish for export each year, when it becomes operational by 2021.
Modern marine farming technologies including environmental protection and origin traceability will be ensured to meet the European Commission's recommendations to Vietnam about combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Aside from this project, Mavin has signed memoranda of understanding on several others with Kien Giang province, including a breeding centre for mariculture, an aquaculture feed factory and a seafood processing plant.
The total investment in these projects amounts to $50 million, the firm said, noting that they will help it complete the production chain to optimise the manufacturing process and minimise cost.
They will also help turn Kien Giang into a major marine fish farming and processing hub in Southeast Asia, Mavin added.
Besides marine farming, this group is investing in some freshwater fish farming facilities in the Hoa Binh and Tuyen Quang hydropower reservoirs in the northern region. It is also running several animal-feed, veterinary medicine and food-processing factories in the provinces of Hung Yen, Ha Nam, Nghe An, Binh Dinh, Tien Giang and Dong Thap.

India bans colistin in animal feed, livestock and aquaculture farms
India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in its July 19 notification, has prohibited "with immediate effect" the manufacture, sale and distribution of colistin and its formulations for this purpose.
The Indian Express reported that the move was to curb the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans through animals.
The Ministry has also directed manufacturers of colistin to specify "in conspicuous manner" on the labels, package inserts and promotional literature that these products are "not to be used in food producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements".
A separate report by The Hindu stated that the bulk of colistin (nearly 95%) is imported from China.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), colistin is a "last-resort" antibiotic in treatment for humans and used only in the most serious circumstances, when all other alternatives have failed.
However, colistin has been "highly misused" in India's livestock industry to prevent diseases and to promote growth of such animals, a senior Health Ministry official said on condition of anonymity, adding that it is one of the reasons for antimicrobial resistance in India.
The ban comes months after the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), India's apex drug advisory body, recommended that the drug's use be banned in animal farming industries.

Gulf shrimp landings higher in June, lower in 1st half
Shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico in June were slightly higher at 11.1 million pounds than in June 2018 and June 2017 (10.9 million pounds). However, commercial shrimp landings last month were 33.6% below the prior 17-year historic average of 16.7 million pounds for June.
Although landing volumes appear to have recovered somewhat in June, the commercial shrimp harvest in the first half remains substantially below previous years.
From January to June, 28.6 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf of Mexico, down 34% compared with the prior 17-year historic average of 43.4 million pounds and is the second-lowest amount reported for a January-to-June period since 2002.
The ninth-largest body of water in the world, the Gulf of Mexico's eastern, northern and northwestern shores lie along the US states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The Gulf's southwestern and southern shores lie along six Mexican states, and on the southeast it is bordered by Cuba. It supports major American, Mexican and Cuban fishing industries.
Meanwhile, the Southern Shrimp Alliance—whose members are shrimp fishermen, shrimp processors and other stakeholders in the domestic industry in the eight warmwater shrimp-producing states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas—marked World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30 by promoting resources to help shrimp purchasers avoid sourcing from supply chains that use forced labor, child labor, and forced child labor.
"Consumers play a large role in stopping human trafficking. We can use the Sweat & Toil app developed by the Department of Labor when making purchasing decisions on a variety of products, including shrimp, to avoid supporting businesses that profit from these inhumane practices," stated John Williams, the executive director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. "Many times, the cheapest product costs a lot more than consumers know."
The Sweat & Toil app fits the information of the International Labor Affairs Bureau's three flagship reports into one easy-to-use app.
The SSA also advocates meaningful enforcement of US laws prohibiting shrimp produced through slave, forced or child labor from entering the US market.

Gov't aid fund urged for US$1.5B Maine lobster industry
Four legislators from Maine, USA, want financial help extended by the government to the state's lobster industry, which has been affected by China's retaliatory tariffs.
In a letter sent to the US Department of Agriculture, Senators Angus King and Susan Collins and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden urged he agency to include significant funding for Maine's lobster stakeholders as the it finalises its aid package for agricultural producers specifically affected by Chinese tariffs.
 "We write to ask that as the Department of Agriculture finalises Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) Programme awards under its aid package for producers affected by trade disruption, you allocate significant ATP funding for the Maine lobster industry," they wrote earlier this month.
"Retaliatory tariffs have caused a very significant export market for Maine lobster–China–to all but disappear. ATP funding will help to develop new export markets for Maine lobster, decreasing the blow of Chinese tariffs on an iconic American industry", they added.
The letter marks the Maine Delegation's latest efforts to advocate for the lobster industry in trade negotiations. In February, the Maine Delegation called on US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to make the lobster industry a priority in the ongoing trade negotiations with China.
In June 2018, the delegation hosted a meeting between top US Trade Representative (USTR) officials and members of the Maine Lobster Dealers' Association (MLDA) to discuss the impact of federal trade policies on the state's lobster industry.
Additionally, the Delegation's June letter noted that the trade war is only one of the challenges facing this vital Maine industry. Specifically, the Delegation referenced an impending bait shortage and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's proposed large whale take reduction efforts, which will have a significant impact on Maine lobstermen.
In May, the Delegation wrote a letter urging NOAA leadership to ensure that the science they are relying on is sound and comprehensive, the risk reduction standards are equitable across US and Canadian jurisdictions, and the industry is included and consulted throughout the decision-making process.
Maine's lobster industry generates an economic impact of around $1.5 billion each year.

US rejects 3 antibiotic-contaminated shrimp from China and Vietnam in July
The US refused a total of 85 seafood entry lines, and three of these, or 3.5%, were of shrimp for reasons related to banned antibiotics, the Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA) reported.
In the seven months through July, the Food and Drug Administration refused a total of 50 entry lines of shrimp for reasons related to veterinary drug residues, compared with 53 all of last year and 55 in all of 2017.
"With five months left in the year, the number of shrimp entry lines refused for reasons related to banned antibiotics in 2019 is likely to be the highest reported by the agency since 2016", the SSA said.
The three shrimp entry lines refused in July for veterinary drug residues were from two different exporters in China (with two entry lines refused) and Vietnam (one).
The two shipments of breaded shrimp refused from Zhanjiang Longwei Aquatic Products were the first shrimp entry lines from China refused this year for reasons related to banned antibiotics. Forty of the 50 refusals of entry lines of shrimp contaminated with veterinary drug residues in 2019 have originated either in India (26) or the United Arab Emirates (14).
In addition, the FDA also reported that it had refused two entry lines of shrimp from India for the presence of salmonella in July.