FEED Business Worldwide - October / November, 2011
Sumitomo Chemical's first Vietnamese aquaculture seminar
With numerous stakeholders from Vietnam's feed milling and aquaculture sectors in attendance Sumitomo Chemical Japan held its first Vietnamese aquaculture seminar on August 31, 2011 in Can Tho, Vietnam. Integrators such as Thailand's CP, Bien Hoa-based Proconco and Can Tho's agricultural department were all represented. Designed to share aquaculture's best practices, the event also enabled Sumitomo to better understand the needs of its Vietnamese customers.
With output rising from 2.7 million tonnes in 2010 to an expected 3.6 million tonnes in 2015 and 4.5 million tonnes in 2020, both the quantity and quality of Vietnam's aquaculture output is rising quickly.
An overview of its aquaculture industries was given by Dr. Nguyen Van Tien, head of applied biology at Vietnam's Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1. With pangasius and shrimp dominating output, aquaculture's exceptionally rapid growth is challenged by issues relating to feed raw material sourcing and the need to prevent fish diseases in a safe, sustainable manner. 
Dr. Lua Thi Dang from Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1 explained how shrimp diseases such as white spot syndrome decimate its production. Similarly, Dr. Tu Thanh from Can Tho University's College of Aquaculture and Fisheries described how pathogens such as Edwardsiella ictaluri, Aeromonas hydrophila, A. sobria and A. caviae  held back pangasisus output.
The option of using vaccines to prevent disease outbreaks was explained in greater detail by Dr. Takashi Aoki, who was also the event's main speaker. A distinguished professor from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Dr. Aoki highlighted how harmful antibiotic side-effects and their inability to deal with viruses made vaccines a superior means of disease prevention. He also explained the difference between conventional and advanced vaccines.
According to Dr. Aoki, first generation inactivated cell and live attenuated vaccines provide short-lived immunity and carry infection risks. Second generation vaccines based on recombinant proteins provide some protection but do not create a cellular immune response. Only third generation, DNA-based vaccines activate both strong cellular and humoral immune responses without any risk of infection.
He also explained how immunostimulants such as lactoferrin, glucan or chitin prevent disease through their antibacterial activity, stimulating fish white cells or the production of antibodies. Dr. Aoki concluded that a combined approach using third-generation vaccines and immunostimulants was the best strategy for preventing disease outbreaks in Vietnam's aquaculture sector.
Vietnam's otherwise promising aquaculture sector is struggling to break its dependence on conventional disease treatments. Sumitomo's seminar gave the country's seafood producers a valuable opportunity to learn more about advanced disease prevention strategies.
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