Indonesia now ranks second in farmed fish output despite the country's use of only 7.38% of its total potential area for aquaculture and the fact that more than 80% of its fishery enterprises in 2014 were still traditional household enterprises and fishermen, using minimal technology. What if its full potentials are harnessed?
A sleeping aquaculture giant
Aquaculture in Indonesia is largely untapped. Even then, the archipelagic country of 17,000 islands already ranks among the top four countries in farmed fish output. This virtually makes this archipelagic country of 17,000 islands a sleeping aquaculture giant. It is treading toward this reality as its prospects for continued strong growth remains bright, according to forecasts.
A report released in August and prepared by market analyst Ipsos says Indonesian aquaculture has registered a strong growth over the last five years. From 2011 to 2014, it posted a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.7%. Contrast this with the 2.8% CAGR for capture fisheries.
From 2015 to 2020, the estimated CAGR for Indonesian aquaculture is 3.7%, much higher than capture fisheries' estimated 0.4% CAGR.
In 2014, Indonesia's aquaculture output trailed only that of China and was slightly ahead of India. This, despite the country's use of only 7.38% of its total potential area for aquaculture and the fact that more than 80% of its fishery enterprises in 2014 were still traditional household enterprises and fishermen, using minimal technology.
Among key aquaculture commodities, shrimp generates the highest revenue on a per-kilogramme basis, according to the Ipsos report entitled "Indonesia's Aquaculture Industry: Key Sectors for Future Growth".
"Shrimp export value has also exhibited the most rapid growth overall, growing at 16.6% CAGR in 2011–2014 period while fish and seaweed has grown at 1.4% and 12.8% CAGR in similar time period", the report said.
The shrimp export market, showing higher demand than the domestic market, grew at a CAGR of 6.9% during the period 2011–2015, compared with the domestic market's 5 %.  Majority, or 60%, of Indonesia's shrimp production was shipped to major markets such as the US, Japan and the EU. Indonesia is estimated to consume only around 40% of its shrimp production volume.
Ipsos estimates that the export market for Indonesia's shrimp will continue to register a healthy growth of 6% yearly from 2016 to 2020.
Ipsos said Indonesia would growingly rely on aquaculture—which comprises mainly shrimp, fish and seaweed—as growth of capture fisheries stagnates.
It advised companies looking for stronger growth opportunities to cater to the rapidly growing shrimp industry, whose 2014 export value reached US$2.3 billion. This exceeds that of fish and seaweed industry combined.

Diseases deal heavy blow on Asia shrimp sector
Thailand has become the face of the Asian shrimp tragedy caused by diseases. The early mortality syndrome (EMS), which is more appropriately called acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND), has taken a toll on Thailand both in terms of reputation and export revenues. From No. 1, Thailand has fallen to just being the world's No. 4 shrimp exporter. Thai shrimp exports are in fact expected to decline in 2016 for the fifth year in a row.
Andy Shinn, Fish Vet Group Asia Ltd. senior scientist based in Thailand, said AHPND and other diseases have cost the Thai and the Asian shrimp industry at least US$20 billion in losses over the last decade.
Speaking at the recent TARS (The Aquaculture Roundtable Series) 2016 in Phuket, Thailand, Shinn said, "Shrimp disease has resulted in huge national income losses—despite compensatory price rises in response to supply shortage—amounting to billions of dollars annually and at least US$20 billion globally over the last decade".
Shrimp productivity in Thailand dropped from 10.6 tonnes per hectare in 2010 to just 4.13 tonnes/ha in 2013 following the AHPND outbreak. According to a report by the Far Eastern Agriculture, AHPND contributed to a loss of $1.84 million for monodon (giant tiger prawn) and $8.92 million for vannamei (whiteleg shrimp) in the Mekong Delta in 2015, which are roughly shortfalls of $796 and $3,867 per hectare, respectively.
Asian farmed shrimp production last year declined to an estimated 2.2 million tonnes compared with the pre-AHPND production of 3.2 million tonnes in 2011.
White spot syndrome virus is another shrimp affliction that usually results in an 80-100% loss of stock. Infections in 3,907 ha of shrimp ponds in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam last year resulted in losses estimated at $8.02 million, Shinn said at the TARS 2016, which was held on Aug. 17-18.
Shinn also said that the fungal microsporidian enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP) has affected shrimp growth. EHP spores are persistent and can be transmitted between shrimp. Shinn cited a survey of Thai 150 pre-stocked ponds that were found to have prevalence of 49%.
Shinn noted that with the consequential slowed growth and early harvest, production costs are not covered and losses are around $32,000/ha per culture cycle.

Japan, S. Korea asked to invest in India aquaculture
Japan and South Korea, two formidable forces in the seafood sector, are reportedly interested in investing in Indian aquaculture, a top Commerce official said.
Trade representatives of both countries have been invited by Indian Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitaraman to visit the aquaculture farms in India, particularly the leading farmed fish producer Andhra Pradesh state, according to The Economic Times.
Speaking at the 20th India International Seafood Show, held on September 23-25, Sitaraman said the Indian government intends to increase the value addition of Indian seafood exports, which have amounted to Rs300 billion (US$4.5 billion) annually. "They (Japan and Korea) can bring the technology and best practices from the world over and implement it here in a cost-effective manner,'' she said.
She also said all the coastal states would each establish a coastal agency for the development of aquaculture and fishery under the leadership of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (Mpeda).
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, meanwhile, said he hoped to transform his state into an aquaculture hub of the world. Andhra Pradesh accounts for 45% of India's total seafood exports. "We want to increase it to 60 to 70% in the next couple of years. We have already increased allocation for the seafood sector'', he was quoted as saying in The Economic Times news report.

Japan meat consumption rising, fish declines
Japanese consumers' appetite for meat is rising while that for fish is sliding. But it seems the shift has been forced by economic forces including the rising prices of fish.
Fish consumption is now 30% less than it was at its peak in 2001. It was overtaken by meat consumption about six years ago, and the gap continues to widen, according to data from Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Global Meat News reported.
The ministry said Japan's per capita fish consumption has ebbed to its lowest level since the 1960s.
"To date, Japanese people have liked and eaten fish, and seafood has been cheaper and easier to get than meat. But there has been an increase in global demand [for fish] and rising prices, so the consumption of meat has increased", Teruko Kamimura, spokesperson for the Japan-based Agriculture & Livestock Industries Corp., was quoted as saying in the report.
As of 2011, meat constitutes 12% of the average Japanese's diet, with pork as the most eaten at 56 grammes per person, up 833% on the 1961 figure, according to a National Geographic study.
By 2015, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD), pork remained as the most popular meat among Japanese consumers at 15-kilogramme (kg) consumption per capita per annum, followed by poultry at 13.6 kg,
Pork consumption per capita is bound to increase by 2.8% and poultry consumption by 1.8% between 2015 and 2024, according to projections by the OECD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Vietnam seafood exporters oppose VietGap standard
Vietnamese seafood firms have expressed dissatisfaction with the imposition of the Vietnamese Good Agriculture Practice (VietGap) to qualify as product exporter, arguing it is not one of the importers' requirements.
According to a news report posted on, the standard was issued five years ago by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as preparation for the fisheries sector to penetrate the world market, mainly for three aquaculture species: tra fish, tiger prawn and white-leg shrimp.
Lê Văn Quang, chairman of the Minh Phú Seafood Joint Stock Corp., which has been processing and exporting shrimp for 35 years, claimed that the company had not met any customers who required products to be certified with VietGap, whose required criteria, according to him, were even more stringent than other certifications such as Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
He pointed out that they only needed certifications of the BAP, ASC and Global Gap.
"BAP certification is globally used and Vietnamese shrimp products are mainly sold abroad. So, why does Vietnam not use the certification to certify all stages of shrimp production?" Quang told a Vietnam News Agency correspondent.
He said the state should divert the money spent to help farmers achieve VietGap certification to helping them achieve BAP and ASC certifications to "reduce production costs and make Vietnamese shrimp products more competitive".

GAA partners with China groups to boost seafood safety 
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China (CNCA), China Entry Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA), and Seafood HACCP Alliance (SHA) for the establishment of the International Aquaculture Products Quality Safety and Certification Partnership Programme.
The MoU was inked at GAA's GOAL 2016 conference in Guangzhou, China, last September 20. The programme aims to build trust for aquaculture products that require less regulatory attention and instill confidence in buyers. It is also hoped that the programme will drive aquaculture operations to meet major seafood markets' food safety requirements.
"The safety of our food has become a growing concern around the world, which has led to laws like the Food Safety Modernization Act being passed in the United States. I am excited for this partnership with CNCA, CIQA and SHA as it will focus not only on improving food safety practices of aquaculture products in China, but also around the world through our Best Aquaculture Practices Certification programme", said Steven Hart, GAA's vice president of education and outreach.
Leaders from CNCA and CIQA expressed their willingness to work with GAA and its BAP certification to help Chinese aquaculture producers become compliant with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) as well as increase the impact of the BAP programme. The ultimate goal of this programme is to facilitate international seafood.
CNCA and GAA will work together to compare Chinese certification programmes—China HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) and China GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) and the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification system—to identify how the systems complement one another, and how they can improve in promoting this new, voluntary programme in international trade.
CIQA will partner with SHA and GAA to develop and deliver food-safety training courses to aquaculture companies throughout China. Training will focus on enhancing the quality of food-safety controls established by this new partnership to help facilities meet regulatory and market requirements, both in China and internationally.
Dr. Steve Otwell, director for the Seafood HACCP Alliance, said: "The agreement to include food safety education as part of this program is an essential part for the success of this historical partnership because the training provided will be designed to meet or exceed food safety requirements for international seafood trade."

Caribbean marine project partners meet on sustainable fisheries 
Key partners of the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems Project (UNDP/GEF CLME+ Project) recently met in Miami in Florida, USA, to discuss and plan coordinated action toward the sustainable management and use of living marine resources in the region. 
Pollution, habitat degradation and unsustainable fisheries and fishing practices have increasingly impacted ecosystem health in the CLME+ region. To address these issues, the region adopted a 10-year Strategic Action Programme (CLME+ SAP, 2015-2025), working toward the long-term vision of "a healthy marine environment that provides benefits and livelihoods for the well-being of its people".
The action programme, which to date has been politically endorsed by 24 countries, is being catalysed through a five-year project (CLME+ Project), implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The project, which is supported by the Global Environment Facility through a grant of US$12.5 million, initiated activities in 2015. 
It will facilitate ecosystem-based management and the implementation of an ecosystem approach to fisheries in the region. It gives special attention to key fisheries, such as spiny lobster, flying fish, shrimp and ground fish, as well as key marine and coastal habitats such as mangroves and coral reefs.
To support CLME+ Project and SAP implementation, a growing alliance of partner organisations is now under the making, including CLME+ countries, several UN bodies, inter-governmental organisations and non-governmental organisations native to the CLME+ region.
On September 6-7, the CLME+ Project executive group convened for its second session since the project´s start in 2015, with representatives from various Caribbean fisheries and economic agencies, the UNDP and the UN Office for Project Services. They examined current project progress, shared experiences through presentations and discussions, and reviewed the work plan for the coming year. 
The session followed up on the recommendations of the first meeting of the CLME+ steering committee, which was held earlier this year in Cartagena, Colombia. 
On September 8-9, representatives from inter-governmental organisations with a formal mandate for fisheries and environmental protection in the region convened to evaluate and further plan overall progress under the 10-year CLME+ Strategic Action Programme.
Forthcoming work expected under the CLME+ Project and SAP includes the initiation of the development of region-wide action plans to deal with illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, the protection and restoration of key marine habitats, the reduction of pollution from land-based sources, and the development of a collaborative effort to map and report on the state of the marine ecosystems in the region.

Cargill Animal Nutrition bares new appointments

In a move to align its technology and R&D expertise closer to its customers and commercial operations, Cargill Animal Nutrition has appointed Adel El-Mowafi as global aqua technology director. 
El-Mowafi will be based in Canada and relocate from Norway in the coming months. He has 29 years in aqua R&D and has served as both a senior scientist, managing director and R&D director during the last 15 years.
As part of this increased commercial focus, Daniel Barziza has been named global aqua R&D director. In his new role, Barziza will be responsible for developing and managing the R&D aqua organisation. He is a 15-year veteran in Cargill and has been a key member of the R&D and technology teams. He will continue to be based in Norway.
"We are very excited about this change," said Einar Wathne, president and group leader for Cargill Aqua Nutrition (CQN). "With Adel moving to the technology team, we are able to allocate the broadest expertise we have in aquaculture for practical application of science and technical competence in the CQN organisation. By naming Daniel R&D director, we are able to fully leverage his leadership and knowledge across the organisation. These moves allow us to better serve our customers and enable us to integrate our key R&D and technology insights across the organisation".

Thai Union shares best labour practices

Thai Union welcomed representatives from Asean CSR Network at its facilities in Samut Sakhon province in Thailand.
Chan Shue Chung, Thai Union's head of group human resources, hosted the briefing and shared the company's labor policies covering Thai Union's Business Ethics and Labor Code of Conduct and Ethical Migrant Worker Recruitment programme.
In addition, Chan introduced the formation of an elected welfare committee comprising Thai and migrant employee representatives focused on improving communication between employees and the company.
"It was an honor to have the Ministry of Labor select Thai Union as the site visit for a labor best practices study. It reflects that Thai Union's practices and conduct are on the right track and well accepted", Chan said.