Aquaculture is living up to its reputation as the future of fisheries, able to feed more and more of the world's increasing population. According to FAO's GLOBEFISH, production from aquaculture continues to increase at a steady rate with a further 5% increase in total volume expected in 2016. The proportion of fish produced by the aquaculture sector for human consumption is forecast to reach 53% this year, a trend that is seen to go up in the foreseeable future.
Aquaculture marches on
Production from aquaculture continues to increase at a steady rate with a further 5% increase in total volume expected in 2016, driven by higher incomes and urbanization, and global consumption of fish, which is growing at a faster rate than global population, FAO's fish-trade site GLOBEFISH said.
It said per capita consumption of fish is rising each year by about 1%. In 2016, expected per capita consumption is 20.5 kg per year, compared with 20.3 kg in 2015 and 17.6 kg a decade ago in 2006.
Another worth nothing, according to GLOBEFISH, is the proportion of fish produced by the aquaculture sector for human consumption, forecast to reach 53% this year, a trend that is seen to go up in the foreseeable future.
Growth in overall global fish production is expected to slow slightly this year, driven primarily by lower catches of major wild species such as Alaska pollock and anchoveta.
The total value of world trade in seafood products is expected to bounce back this year after a drop in 2015, to US$140 billion, representing a 4.4% increase, which is still well below the 2014 total of US$148.4 billion. "This return to growth in value terms is partly due to a stabilisation of the US dollar after a sharp increase versus multiple currencies in 2015, but it is also a consequence of improved prices for a number of highly traded seafood commodities", GLOBEFISH said.
Salmon prices have particularly been reaching extreme peaks in 2016. Supply constraints have also been considered as part of the reason for the price gains, together with demand growth.
Norway, one the world's major seafood producers, continued to set the pace in export revenue growth, driven by high prices for the key species of cod, salmon, mackerel and herring.
Norway's seafood exports is expected to increase 15% in US dollar terms to $10.4 billion this year compared with 2015, though it is lower than the 2014 figure due to the significant weakening of the Norwegian currency versus the US dollar since that year.
On the market side, growth is being driven in 2016 by a recovering EU market and ongoing development of smaller markets in East and Southeast Asia as well as in the Near East, GLOBEFISH said. "The latter are absorbing increasingly larger volumes of seafood, pointing to income growth and expansion of the middle class".
GLOBEFISH noted that major exporters are increasingly targeting these emerging markets, which are already competing with the traditional large markets even for premium seafood items such as salmon and shrimp.
GLOBEFISH also said that low or stable supplies of many highly traded species can be expected to push global seafood prices up further in the medium term. Fish feed prices may also be driven up by the recent contraction of the anchoveta supply following the El Niño weather event. This, in turn, would increase costs for producers of farmed carnivorous species around the world, to be passed down the supply chain.
Other issues the seafood industry is keeping a close eye on, according to GLOBEFISH are:
-- The potential effects of Brexit on trade dynamics between the UK and the EU, as well as its implications for fisheries management policies. The nature of the impact would depend on the details of the deal that is eventually agreed upon.
-- Climate change and its impact on fish stocks, particularly with regard to the potential for changing water temperatures to prompt mass relocations of entire species.

India cements status as top shrimp exporter to US
India cemented its position as the No. 1 supplier of shrimp to the US as its exports to that country increased over 17% year-on-year to 16,409 tonnes in October.
The increase was the third month in a row, according to an Undercurrent News report, citing data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
A month earlier in September, shrimp exports from India to the US rose 15.4% year-on-year to 17,592 tonnes. In August the hike was a hefty 40%.
According to NOAA data, shrimp shipments to the US from major exporters Ecuador and China also grew, both by over 26% year-on-year in October from 5,424 tonnes to 6,845 tonnes in the case of the former, and from 2,273 tonnes to 2,873 tonnes in the case of the latter.
Other top shrimp exporters Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico suffered drops of 6.7%, 2.1% and 13.4%, respectively.

US starts programme to further curb illegal fishing, fraud
The US is initiating the Seafood Import Monitoring Programme to further curb illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices and to identify misrepresented seafood imports before they enter the US market, it was announced.
The programme, which will be administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), requires that importers report information and maintain records about the harvest, landing and chain of custody of imported fish and fish products for certain priority species identified as especially vulnerable to IUU fishing and seafood fraud. The programme will eventually expand to include all species.
"As a global leader in sustainable fisheries management and seafood consumption, the US has a responsibility to combat illegal practices that undermine the sustainability of our shared ocean resources", said Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA administrator. "We designed this programme to further ensure that imported seafood is legally harvested and truthfully represented, with minimal burden to our partners."
Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Catherine Novelli said this rule "sends an important message to the international seafood community that if you are open and transparent about the seafood you catch and sell across the supply chain, then the US markets are open for your business". 
The US will use the existing International Trade Data System to collect seafood catch and landing documentation for the priority seafood species. This data system is the US government's data portal for all imports and exports. Information collected through this programme is confidential and not available to consumers.
Most priority species must comply with the rule by Jan. 1, 2018, but due to gaps in the availability of information regarding US farmed shrimp and abalone, implementation for these species will be effective at a later date, according to NOAA.
This programme was crafted on the initiative of the Presidential Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud, which is co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State.
For more information about this programme, visit

           The US is initiating the Seafood Import Monitoring Programme to further curb illegal,
           unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices.  NOAA PHOTO

US largest shrimp market for Vietnam
The US emerged as the largest importer of Vietnamese shrimp in the first nine months, accounting for 23% of total Vietnamese shrimp exports during this period. In January-September, shrimp exports to the American market reached US$520.2 million, up 15.2% over the same period in 2015, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep) said.
During the period under review, it was only in June that Vietnamese shrimp exports to the US decreased, by 1.5%.
In the third quarter alone, shrimp exports to the US reached $221.3 million, up 51% compared with the previous quarter and up 17.2% from the same quarter last year.
The US is also the largest importer of whiteleg shrimp from Vietnam. In January-September, it imported 75% of Vietnam's total whiteleg shrimp exports.
Whiteleg shrimp surpassed black tiger shrimp in export value to the US for the first time in 2013. It was also during this year that the US became the biggest importer of Vietnamese whiteleg shrimp. "That year (2013), Vietnam shrimp sector recovered its production, set the target in development, especially whiteleg shrimp. In 2013, due to economic downturn, the US consumers shifted to buying more whiteleg shrimp and the trend remains…", Vasep said.
It expects Vietnamese shrimp exports to the US in the last quarter of the year to maintain the growth.

Shrimp products exports from Vietnam to US, Jan.-Sept. 2016


Value (US$)

  Processed whiteleg shrimp (HS 16)   252,670,797
  Canned other shrimp (HS 16)   187,037
  Processed other shrimp (HS 16)   13,174,386
  Processed black tiger shrimp (HS 16)   25,996,586
  Dried other shrimp (HS 03)   371,952
  Live/fresh/frozen whiteleg shrimp (HS 03)   137,995,342
  Live/fresh/frozen other shrimp (HS 03)   2,182,528
  Live/fresh/frozen black tiger shrimp (HS 03)   87,656,077
  Total   520,234,704

Danish aqua feed to have new managing director

Aqua feed maker GRAINTEC has announced the "release" of its managing director, Niels Pedersen, from his position as of Nov. 28.
The Danish firm said a new managing director is expected to take office during the first half of 2017. "Until then the job as managing director will be handled jointly by Manager for Technology & Business Development Benny Simonsen and Chief Financial Manager Kasper Holm".
GRAINTEC has recognized Pedersen's role in the transformation of the company as a global and world leading supplier of solutions for the international fish feed and pet food industry. During his 11-year stint with the company, Pedersen led in building up the GRAINTEC organisation and business systems to meet the key customers' needs and expectations, the company said.
"During these years, the company has completed significant consultancy and project supplies. As a result, GRAINTEC is today recognised as a global company with established companies in four continents", it said.
GRANTEC said the management changes would not influence the fundamental values, mission and vision of the company but that the organisation would be adjusted to meet the requirements and expectations of the future.
"GRAINTEC will continue striving to be the preferred supplier of consultancy and supply projects for the international fish feed and pet food industry", it said.
GRAINTEC is headquartered in Vejle, Denmark, and has subsidiaries in Chile, China and the US.

Modern shrimp feed mill to rise in Ecuador
Project teams from Danish aqua feed maker GRAINTEC and commodities trader Cargill have completed the technical design of a state-of-the-art shrimp feed facility in Ecuador.
The modern facility incorporates the newest technology and sets high quality standards, according to a news post on GRAINTEC's website.
Earlier in mid-2015, Cargill Inc. formed a joint venture with Colombian fishing company Naturisa S.A. to build the $30-million facility, located near the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador. It is envisioned to produce 130,000 tonnes of shrimp feed (/search/?q=shrimp feed) annually.
"The challenge with shrimp food is the right density of the food to ensure that the feed keeps its quality when floating", said Cristian Toscano, Graintec's area sales manager for Latin America. "The production process requires the right pelletizers and extruding technology in order to receive the best feed conversion rate."
Besides its modern technology, the Ecuadorian facility will be earthquake-secured. It is expected to start commercial production before summer in 2018.


Chinese seafood firm signs deal for responsible farming

Chinese seafood firm Ocean Gala Marine Resources, which is known in China as Chang International, has signed a cooperation agreement with Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) in the promotion of responsible fish farming.
Ocean Gala Marine Resources is a leading seafood processor and supplier with facilities in Kirkland, Washington, USA, and Qingdao, China, exporting wild and farmed seafood products into the European, North American, Japanese and Chinese markets.
"In a recent survey of seafood buyers and consumers, Ocean Gala Marine Resources was recently recognised as one of the top seafood suppliers in China. We are encouraged by their initiative to work with Best Aquaculture Practices as they work toward supplying more responsibly produced seafood to Chinese consumers and take a role in addressing their food safety concerns by working with an international third-party certification that includes rigorous food safety requirements," said Steven Hart, vice president of GAA.
As part of the agreement, Chang will promote seafood products from Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)-certified facilities, encouraging Chinese retail and food-service buyers to source seafood from responsible sources.
In turn, GAA will help Chang International and its global buyers and supply chain to source seafood products from BAP-certified facilities.
"We are excited about partnering with GAA to start sourcing responsibly farmed products for the Chinese market. Food safety continues to be the No. 1 issue Chinese consumers are concerned about. By partnering with GAA to source BAP products for our customers, Ocean Gala Resources will be able to supply that safety assurance to our customers," said Jerry Chang, owner of Chang International.
The agreement involves a number of cross-promotional efforts including at events like the China Fisheries & Seafood Expo.
Chang International was founded in 1994. Ocean Gala Marine Recourses and its Ocean Gala brand have gained wide Chinese marketplace recognition.
GAA is an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture. Through its BAP certification standards, it has become the leading standards-setting organisation for aquaculture seafood.

Knut Ellekjær is new COO of Cermaq Norway

Cermaq Norway has appointed Knut Ellekjær as its new COO.
Ellekjær is new to the fish farming industry but brings a wealth of industry experience from other types of food industry. He was previously production director of Stabburet, the largest pizza company in Norway; managing director of Sætre, a Nordic biscuit company; and innovation director for Norwegian snacks and confectionary business of Orkla.
"I'm confident that Knut and Cermaq is a good match," CEO Geir Molvik said.
"I'm very excited about the salmon farming industry. It's a future-oriented way of producing healthy food in a sustainable way, and I am eager to bring my experience to this sector," Ellekjær said.

Aussie university offers new master's programme in aquaculture
The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), Australia, is launching a new two-year master's degree programme in Applied Genetics by Research (Aquaculture) for international and national students. The programme combines a coursework component with a research thesis.
This innovative hybrid structure is unique in Australia as it embeds the necessary advanced and hands-on discipline training integrated with tailored courses in quantitative and population genetics, reproductive biotechnologies, omics, applied statistics and bioinformatics, and analysis of breeding, genetic and genomic data.
According to the USC, the Master of Applied Genetics by Research (Aquaculture) will prepare one as a future leader in aquaculture breeding, genetics and reproduction, to tackle these complex issues. It says that this is the only programme in Australia in applied genetics and aquaculture breeding that emphasises industry-relevant training.
Career opportunities include roles in universities, research institutions, governments and industry in the fields of aquaculture breeding, genetics, and reproduction dealing.
Application for the first intake to start semester 1 (February), 2017, is now open, according to an announcement posted by Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific on its website.
More information about the programme structure, admission requirements and career perspectives can be found in this link (
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