August 30, 2016

BIOMIN Aqua Days: Mycotoxins represent real risk to aquaculture


"Mycotoxins represent a real risk to aquaculture," according to Rui Gonçalves, scientist for aquaculture at BIOMIN.


He cited recent data from a recent peer-reviewed scientific study showing that deoxynivalenol and fumonisins were the most common mycotoxins found in finished aquafeeds (Gonçalves et al. 2016). A full 76% of samples tested contained two or more mycotoxins. A total of 41 finished aquafeed samples from Europe and Asia were analysed.


Recognizing the threat

 "Though it may be a relatively new topic for the industry, mycotoxins are important to aquaculture in terms of the negative effects in animals," said Gonçalo Santos, R&D manager for aquaculture at BIOMIN. "While each mycotoxin has its own structure and particular effects, we know that generally mycotoxins reduce growth, increase mortality and decrease weight gain," stated Michele Muccio, the company's mycotoxin risk management product manager. 


Immune suppression


Anwar Hasan, technical manager for aquaculture, noted that "aquaculture producers in Asia Pacific countries face challenges such as EMS or white feces syndrome." Each year, the shrimp industry suffers losses of more than US$1 billion due to early mortality syndrome or acute hepatopancreatic necrosis (EMS/AHPND), an emerging disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus.


"Mycotoxins have an immunosuppressive effect, making fish and shrimp more vulnerable to opportunistic pathogens," Gonçalves said. The remarks were made within the context of 2016 Aqua Days hosted by BIOMIN. More than 60 aquaculture industry members from 16 countries attended the event on August 23-25 in Austria.


The programme consisted of conference sessions on important topics affecting the aquaculture industry, an overview of the R&D activities at BIOMIN along with on-site tours of the BIOMIN Research Center in Tulln, Austria.
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