NEWS

See all articles

GOAL 2014 blog: Recap on all the news here

The who's who of the aquaculture world descends on Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam for this year's GOAL conference. Check out IntraFish's blog for live coverage of the event.

Friday Oct. 10, 6.00 pm ICT

Lyons, Morrisons team with GAA, IFFO on feed pledge

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation (IFFO) , Lyons Seafoods and Wm Morrison Supermarkets have agreed to use their positions within the industry to address the use of slave labor and other social concerns related to aqua feed production.

The four organizations announced the agreement on the final day of GAA’s GOAL 2014 conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on  Oct. 10 .

The parties involved said they are committed to using their influence within aquaculture supply chains to promote the spread of good labor practices.

"It is essential that robust, comprehensive and socially responsible standards are implemented within aquaculture and its supply industries and that human rights are protected," read the statement.

The seafood organizations will support and promote Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) that incorporate social standards based on the key elements of the ILO Work in Fishing Convention (ILO 188) -- with a priority being the prevention of trafficked or bonded labor -- and those programs based on these, including fishing vessel standards such as Seafish’s Responsible Fishing Scheme.

---------------------------------

Friday Oct. 10, 13.02 pm ICT

See you in Vancouver!

Next year GOAL 2015 will be held in Vancouver, Canada, Travis Larkin,  president of Seafood Exchange, unveiled at the end of his closing remarks, rounding off the conference for another year.

We'll see you there!

GOAL2015_logo.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

-------------------------------

Friday Oct. 10, 12.45 pm ICT

Consumers still unaware where their fish comes from

There is still much to do in terms of educating consumers about seafood, according to the final retail panel at GOAL 2014 today.

Julian Mahieu, from Delhaize Belgium, said consumers don’t really seem to know anything about aquaculture and where the seafood they’re eating has come from.

“Most people think salmon and shrimp has been caught in the wild,” he said.

The other retailers on the panel, including Josanna Busby, from Delhaize America, Robert Fields from Sam’s Club and Charlotte Maddocks, Tesco, agreed that there was still much more education to be done.

Consumers also are still unsure how to cook fish, added Fields, while Busby said many people still question, “is it safe, how do I cook it?”

---------------------------------

Friday Oct. 10, 12.16 pm ICT

Walmart commits $1 billion to small and medium-sized farmers

Walmart has committed to selling $1 billion of goods sourced from one million small and medium-sized farmers in emerging markets by the end of 2015, according to Rob Fields, senior director of merchandising at Sam’s Club, a Walmart subsidiary.

And part of this will inevitably be directed at small and medium-sized shrimp farmers.

“We’ve focused our programmatic sourcing efforts in our produce purchasing, where we have the most direct relationship with farmers, and funded training programs for farmers in several other categories.”

The company hopes to train one million farmers and farm workers by the end of 2016.

This follows the news yesterday that major retailers are willing to give their support to small scale Vietnamese shrimp producers.

---------------------------------

Friday Oct. 10, 12.02 pm ICT

More work needs to be done to bring certification to China

China’s relaxed attitude to certification is “undermining” work being done elsewhere to encourage sustainable sourcing of seafood, according to retailers.

“Certification is important, and we need to figure out how we can bring it to China,” Jeff Sedacca of National Fish & Seafood told delegates on a retail panel at GOAL this morning.

Kathleen Mullen-Ley, from the sustainable seafood consultancy FishWise, said China was not yet taking a strong stance on sustainability, “which sometimes undermines the work we’re trying to do on sourcing sustainable seafood.”

As a result, Mullen-Ley wants to see Chinese companies “brought more into the conversation, so we can move forward together,” she said.

Sedacca said he advocating the use of eco-labels such as BAP in China, in a bid to turn the situation around.

“This can help clarify in people’s minds, where the true certification programs are, and make us more aware within our own sourcing policies who we need to nail our colors to.”

This retail panel, which also included Maisie Ganzler, from Bon Appetit Management Co./Compass Group, David Wier from Meijer and Laky Zervudachi, from Direct Seafood, also highlighted the issue of social welfare within the industry.

“Governments have an important role to play, said Zervudachi. “We have to be able to get through to the governments of those countries and express our despair and tell them that these issues can’t go on, it is completely unacceptable in this day and age.”

“The problem is fragmentation in the supply chain and transparency. We need to develop mechanisms to look back down the supply chain. The first step is to develop that transparency,” added Sedacca.

---------------------------------

Friday Oct. 10, 10.51 am ICT

'As long as it's safe, legal and made in a sane way'

Two major retailers have admitted they don't know enough about what goes into aquaculture feed.

Andrew Mallison, director general of IFFO, asked a retail panel: "Do you know what goes into feed? Do you care as long as safe and legal?"

His question was answered by Scott Williams, of B.J.’s Wholesale Club and Jackie Healing from Australian retailer Coles who both put their hands up and admitted they need to learn more about it.

"We don't know enough," said Healing,"but we need to or one day we’ll get caught out... consumers will ask. That is a very good reason to understanding it," she said.

Williams said while "there is only so far we can push back before it become a case of the old lady that swallowed a fly," B.J.’s Wholesale Club wants to make sure its suppliers are using feed that is "safe, legal and made in a sane way."

Bill DiMento of High Liner Foods,  Dawn Purchase of the Marine Conservation Society, and Marie Zhang of Long John Silver’s were also part of the retail panel which also focused on social welfare and how to prevent 'modern slavery' issues within the seafood industry.

“First and foremost we need to be aware of the risks we're facing,” said Healing. “You need to be aware. And then you need to take a whole chain approach. You need to be as honest and open as you can without fear of retribution.

"Understanding the situation is 80 percent of solution. Transparency is the most important thing – we're only looking to know what’s going on a not to punish.”

Zhang added that social issues will require more attention than environmental issues over the next two years.

----------------------------------

Friday Oct. 10, 10.15 am ICT

Retailers want to help small scale farmers, but there are still barriers

While retailers and foodservice providers want to engage small scale farmers they are still facing barriers from various governments, which might force them to move sourcing away from certain countries.

“We have seen developments,” said Mike Berthet of M & J Seafood.

“Unfortunately, some industries in some countries have not been able to move at the same pace that the market wants them to move, despite us working with the government. If they don’t comply with some third-party audit, eventually we will have to move away the country, and we've had to do that,” he said.

Ally Dingwall from Sainsbury’s said that while a company such as Sainsbury's naturally migrates towards larger scale farmers, to meet policy requirements, "this doesn't preclude small scale farmers if they meet our requirements."

 “The key is organization of the supply chain. Farmers can come together if there’s a structure in place... there is definitely a market willingness to move forward on this."

-------------------------------

Friday Oct. 10, 10.02 am ICT

UK retailers, food service could use buying power to help improve social welfare

Mike Berthet from M&J Seafoods, said that while combating things such as slavery on board fishing vessels is ultimately a job for the government, food service suppliers and retailers in the UK can put pressure on those countries to make changes by using their buying power.

"Following the news regarding slavery in Thailand on board vessels, in UK we had a meeting and the collective response across food service and retail was that we can bring a lot of pressure if need be in terms of buying power.

"We can’t police the high seas, that is a government job, but we can put pressure on these countries to make changes."

Companies could "ring fence supply base and protect themselves from the press," said Ally Dingwall from Sainsbury's "but that doesn’t solve it at ground level," he said.

It is more helpful to try to make changes by taking a stance, he said.

--------------------------------

Friday Oct. 10, 9.58 am ICT

M&J shifts to alternative products in wake of EMS

Lost sales on king prawns in the wake of the EMS crisis and the consequence high prices, forced foodservice provider M&J Seafoods to move into other products, according to Mike Berthet, director of fish and seafood at the company.

"We had to move into other products, and crab in particular benefited enormously," he said. The EMS situation also forced the company to look deeper into certification of its various products.

"Over the course of this year, we've had to remove quite a few aquaculture products, for not meeting necessary certification standards," said Berthet.

However, he added that at the end of this year at the beginning of next, M&J will launch 17 new BAP 4 star accredited king prawn products, which will make up 90 percent of the company's supply chain. This is a move that has been purely "market-led" he said.

Ally Dingwall, fisheries and aquaculture manager at Sainsburys, added that "shrimp’s a risky business" but thankfully the company was prepared for EMS when it struck.

"We recognized it before EMS and so did our supply base, so we are lucky enough to have a diverse geographical supply base in place." Retailers need to be prepared and ready to cope with anything that might effect the business in the future, he said.

"You need to be prepared for when something catastrophic happens like EMS, because what if something equally or more catastrophic happens in future," he said.

-------------------------------

Friday Oct. 10, 9.32 am ICT

How to break into China

With 1.3 billion consumers and a strong demand, how do seafood companies break down the barriers to accessing the market?

Opening the third and final day of GOAL 2014, Zhu Changliang, CEO of Wuhan Lanesync Supply Chain Management told delegates that “everyone knows China is a big market, but how do you tap it and enjoy sustainable growth?”

Zhu said companies need to understand the demand, what people in China really want and develop products that suit that market, but he also said branding was key.

“There is huge room to improve on consumption in China, the average consumption is only one third of that in western countries,” he said.

However the population in larger cities is larger than 300 million whose income levels are the same as western countries and there is a big trend of Chinese luxury shoppers.

“Well recognized brands are very appealing to the Chinese, so this is something to consider.”

Customers are losing confidence in the seafood produced in China with heavily polluted farm resources and feed additives from more than 30 years of rapid economic development.

As a result, theoretically, there will be an increase of billions of US dollars of imported seafood in the next three years, Zhu said.

The market however is hampered by price wars – especially for products that are border traded or smuggled – and importers tend to be more interested in making quick profits from the fluctuation of market prices.

“Please take a deep consideration of how do you get sustainable growth if you just follow price changes. “You need to improve service, establish brand and make it recognized in this market.”

Furthermore, companies should think long-term. “It is rarely found that companies have a long term plan for the Chinese market,” said Zhu.

They also have to understand the main barriers are cultural differences, different food habits, communication, and a conservative mentality of business which weaken the credibility for both sides.

In terms of what consumers want, food safety is the number one concern. “The consumers have to understand that you’re product is safe,” Zhu said.

Trustworthy brands, excellent communication and customer services, R&D and new product development, and stable supplies and prices, are also key considerations.

Seafood companies also have to find the right partner to accelerate growth in the Chinese market, Zhu added.

--------------------------------

Friday Oct. 10, 8.44 am ICT

The earliest birds get the biggest worms

Seafood companies should make use of the e-commerce boom in China to get their products into the market, says Zhu Changliang, Wuhan Lanesync Supply Chain Management Co. Ltd.

According to Zhu, e-commerce is restructuring the whole business landscape in China, “the earliest birds get the biggest worms.”

“If you want to be a success you need to grow and also you need to move online, Zhu said during the keynote speech on the final day of GOAL 2014.

Zhu said seafood companies should take advantage of the e-commerce sector, but should also make sure they have a mature, established cold chain logistic in place.

“The breakthrough will be to get your company online,” Zhu said.

----------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 5.00 pm ICT

Retailers throw their support behind small scale farmers

Some of the world’s major retailers and foodservice providers including Walmart,  Morrisons, Sam’s Club, Delhaize Belgium, Davigel, Direct Seafoods and BJ's Wholesale Club, have pledged their support for small scale shrimp farmers in Vietnam.

Standing up one by one at the GOAL conference, representatives from each of these companies said they would welcome the opportunity to work with small farmers across the country.

Morrisons’ fisheries and aquaculture manager Huw Thomas said he always welcomed the opportunity to work with small farmers, and was already investing heavily in the supply chain in Vietnam.

“The idea of establishing clusters or some sort of group certification is a great idea, a way of getting uncertified farms into certification schemes is critical,” he said.

Bob Fields, senior director of merchandising at Sam’s Club, the warehouse brand of Walmart, said not only did his company welcome small farmers, “we need small farmers." he said. Fields added that Walmart itself was committed to small farmers.

Scott Williams, from BJ's Wholesale Club, said that his company usually works with a lot of larger farmers, but wants to work with smaller farmers, "but we need to know where you are” in terms of certification.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re not certified but we need to know. It’s great to help people get certified and we are willing to help you ride out some of those waves, but you need to be honest with us from the start and not just tell us what you think we want to hear.

“We don’t expect you to be ready to go, just want to know where you are,” he said.

From the foodservice sector, Laky Zervudachi, director of sustainability at Direct Seafoods, said he strongly supported small scale farmers. “The concept of clusters is a breakthrough idea, we’re very happy to support it,” he said.

Concluding, Peter Redmond, from Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) told the small scale farmers in the audience: “There you go, you have a market place that wants to work with you, no matter what you hear, as long as you have the right mindset and no matter of your size.”

----------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 4.23 pm ICT

Vietnam has big plans for organic shrimp production

The Vietnamese province of Ca Mau is setting its sights on 20,000 hectares of organic shrimp production by 2020, the only problem is the region has limited links to international markets, according to Dang Cong Buu technical officer at the German International Cooperation (GIZ).

The region earned its first organic shrimp certification for 600 hectares of 145 small farms in 2002, but this has since expanded to more than 14,000 hectares in 2014, Buu said. The vision is for 20,000 hectares by 2020, he said.

There are three processing companies currently operating in the province: Camimex has been operating since 1999 and has 1,217 farms in a 6,329 hectare area; Seanamico has been farming since 2011 with 1,228 farms in a 5,400 hectare area, while most recently Minh Phu joined the party this year with 740 farms over a 2,800 hectare area.

This is a total of 14,529 hectares and 3,185 farms producing organic shrimp in the region so far, said Buu.

Camimex is certified by Naturland and Bio-Suisse, as is Seanamico. Minh Phu is  certified by Naturland, BAP and Global GAP.

However these companies are hitting obstacles, said Buu. Most notably limited links to international markets for organic shrimp products with higher prices than conventional shrimp.

“Not only is there limited communications between international buyers and processing companies in the province, but different types of certifications are being requested by buyers,” said Buu.

The Ca Mau province accounts for 25 percent of Vietnam’s shrimp production, and the region is most suitable for extensive organic shrimp farming, of which there is potential for expansion.

-----------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 2.15 pm ICT

Aquaculture won’t be able to grow without insurance

The aquaculture sector won’t be able to grow as it needs to without sufficient insurance systems in place, according to Cesar Real, from RMB Insurance Brokers.

Insurance offers continuity, growth and reimbursement and also offers mid and small-sized farmers the opportunity to join the global market and in turn help satisfy the global demand for seafood.

In particular, for farmers to invest insurance will be mandatory as finance is often needed and creditors and banks demand stock insurance, he said.

Certifications such as BAP are important because they offer a safer bet to the insurer. BAP would also “break the cherry picking vicious cycle” as all farmers under the BAP system are equal, despite size and resources.

According to Real, the insurance industry is like any other business in that it seeks clients, and it does not like losing money.

“But there are not enough accessible producers that meet insurer requirements… however insurance is an autonomous industry and ultimately they will insure whatever they like, regardless of certification,” Real said.

However at the moment, “large is important” for insurers.

-----------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 1.40 pm ICT

Water makes aquaculture difficult to insure

The main reason aquaculture industry is difficult to insure: water, according to Paddy Secretan, from Aquaculture Underwriting Management Services Ltd.

“A water industry is always going to be a high risk,” he said. “Water is an inconsistent environment to deal with even its most benign state.”

It can range from being completely absent when needed to being highly destructive when present. It is at the same time a life support system for aquatic creatures and plants; a carrier of disease and pollution,; highly temperature sensitive; prone to fluctuations in its chemical and biological constituents, and a constant difficulty as far as stock control is concerned.

“The fact that aquacultural crops are raise in water makes them difficult to observe, difficult to count, difficult to treat for disease, difficult to provide all year round protection to and thus very difficult to insure,” said Secretan.

---------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 1.00 pm ICT

Farmed fish dominate US top consumed species

In 2010, farmed fish made up three of the top five consumed species in the US, and this is likely to reach 4 out of five in the coming years, according to Steve Otwell, from the University of Florida.

There has been a change in seafood consumption trends in the US over the last decade, said Otwell, which has seen some wild species fall out of favor and be replaced by aquaculture species.

For example, by 2010 cod dropped out of the top five consumed fish species, while tuna has been replaced by shrimp as the most consumed. Pollock has also fallen down to fifth place while salmon has moved to third place.

Not only this, but species such as tilapia and pangasius have “exploded onto the scene,” said Otwell. Tilapia made it into the top five, while pangasius entered the top ten.

“Soon, 4 of the top 5 seafoods in  the US will all be farmed species,” he said.

Talking about food safety, Otwell said that the aquaculture industry does not have such a bad record and this should be better communicated.

In fact, as the aquaculture consumption has increased, recorded illnesses attributed to fish consumption has decreased by almost a half over the same period, said Otwell.

------------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 12.45 pm ICT

Chilean firm wins Global Aquaculture Innovation & Leadership Award

Rodrigo Prado, a civil engineer and director of USONIC in Puerto Montt, Chile, is the winner of the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Preferred Freezer Services Global Aquaculture Innovation & Leadership Award.

USONIC’s innovation involves the use of ultrasound to control Chilean sea lice infestations.

In numerous trials, the company showed that the application of ultrasound underwater, directly in fish pens, has a lethal effect on juvenile stages of lice.

At the same time, the application of ultrasound has no affect salmon or marine mammals due to the low power and frequencies used.

USONIC was established to help Chile’s farmed salmon industry control harmful organisms -- including sea lice larvae, microalgae and fouling -- in the water column. The company was co-financed by the Chilean National Agency of Economic Development (CORFO). The technology and its specific applications are in the process of being patented in Chile and other countries.

Accepting the award and giving a presentation on Prado’s behalf was Constanza Alvial, who works with Prado. Alvial was introduced by Dan Didonato, VP of sales and marketing at Preferred Freezer Services, and GAA President George Chamberlain, who presented her with a plaque and a $1,000 cash prize.

------------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 12.27 pm ICT

Retailers stick to shrimp supply chains despite EMS

Retailers protected themselves from any supply shortage caused by the outbreak of early mortality syndrome (EMS) because of their diverse global supply chains.

When asked whether the EMS situation had caused retailers to “spread their wings” and source product from other countries or areas, the majority of retailers said they did not need to because they already had diverse sourcing strategies in place.

In general all retailers on the panel – Wegmans, Lyons Seafood, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer, and Red Lobster Seafood – said they predominantly stuck with their same suppliers during the outbreak.

“It is not the first disease and won’t be the last,” said Estelle Brennan from Lyons Seafoods. “It’s always been important to having a global sourcing strategy for that reason,” she said.

Patrick Blow from M&S said that the EMS situation came at a time when M&S was reviewing its sourcing policy anyway. “So EMS was not the driver, but we are looking carefully how we source shrimp, that is what is driving change.”

In terms of the potential of turning to new suppliers or markets such as India or Malaysia, Blow said: “We are open minded about new countries, new supply chains, but we are a pretty small customer in the grand scheme of things.

“We have very long established supply chains, and our preference is to strengthen those, but where it is necessary to look at new supply change we are doing it,” he said.

Joe Zhou, Red Lobster Seafood Company, said that the EMS situation just reminded retailers and buyers that disease it a very real part of the business that they will always have to deal with.

“EMS, like other diseases, only reinforces understanding of the reality this is a part of our lives and we will have to deal with it when it comes up,” he said.

“We have always followed a strategy of diversification, and don’t change because of one disease or another, we wouldn’t keep up, in terms of EMS it was not that negative in terms of supply.”

Morrisons did not alter its supply chain either in the wake of the disease. “We tried to maintain supply from the relationships that we have, tried not to change where possible,” said Morrisons’ fisheries and aquaculture manager Huw Thomas.

There have however been price increases passed on to products, he added, which has seen people switch from warmwater shrimp into other species.

“Retail prices have had to change to reflect the market,” he said. “For example, before they were switching to coldwater shrimp, but now prices are coming down again the reverse is happening, and people are switching back, he said.

“The elasticity is there.”

-----------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 11.57 am ICT

Retailers agree on need for unification of standards, certification schemes

Even the major retailers have conceded that there are too many sets of standards in the market place, which is becoming “a bit confusing”.

The many different audits, certification schemes, standards, required by retailers is a ‘headache’ for suppliers, and something needs to be done.

Patrick Blow, aquaculture consultant to UK retailer Marks and Spencers, said there should be a “unification of standards”.

“We are all in the same situation and it is becoming a bit confusing,” Blow said.

“There are different standards for different parts of the supply chain, and different standards for different parts of the world. It is important for those in the certification business, to start putting it all together, to harmonize those standards.

“It is important to have them, standards have a very important role, I just encourage that they be harmonized.”

Joe Zhou, Red Lobster Seafood Company, echoed this and said that while there is a lot of effort going on to unify standards, the “pace should pick up a bit more.”

“It is confusing and costly and does a disservice to the industry,” he said. “It needs to be sorted out.”

However, members of the audience, believe it is the responsibility of the retailers and foodservice sectors to agree on mutual recognition system or benchmark on social welfare and sustainability.

“Certification bodies cannot do it alone, it is only when retailers lead the initiative can something be done… or we’ll be here discussing this again in three years’ time,” said one delegate.

He cited models such as the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) which is generally considered a success, however the retailers said the seafood industry was much more complex than food safety.

“GSFI was a much simpler task because food safety tend to be black and white, said Huw Thomas from Morrisons. “There is a lot of debate going on around this, but what we’re talking about is much more complex,” he said.

Thomas said standards were however a "necessary evil" for establishing trust between buyers and suppliers.

----------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 11.42 am ICT

Retailers have a responsibility to promote different species

Who’s job is it to promote new species to consumers – the fishermen, suppliers, distributors, retailers? The general consensus is it is down to the retailers to do this.

“It is the responsibility of retailer to do that," said Carl Salamone of Wegmans Food Markets.“It can be costly, a lot of effort, but it has to be driven by the retailer.”

According to Estelle Brennan, from Lyons Seafoods, it is more a case of educating consumers, which is also down to the retailer, “but very difficult.”

Morrison’s Huw Thomas, agreed that “as a retailer we have a responsibility”, but he added the retailer already has 65 different species on offer in its stores, “we will look at new aquaculture species and will offer where can.”

-----------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 10.15 am ICT

Pangasius certification ‘close to tipping point’

The pangasius industry in Vietnam is “close to a tipping point” in terms of certification, according to Ted van der Put, from IDH,the sustainable trade initiative.

“There is no reason why certified pangasius products on the retail shelves will not be the norm in the near future,” he said.

Shrimp on the other hand is “the real big hairy problem when you are talking about large scale transition to sustainable practices.”

For pangasius, there are many relatively large producers, dominating large part of the market which can hook into rather large supply base, he said.

There has been a fast uptake of certification because most supply to countries which demand certification, said van der Put.

“It is in their commercial interest to improve image.” According to van der Put, the tipping point is considered as 25 percent of total production. To date, around 200,000 metric tons of Vietnamese pangasius it certified, he said, representing around 20 percent of exports.

On the other hand, for shrimp, there are many more small scale producers then large, which is the challenge, he said.

The IDH aims to increase responsible production of the European import of shrimp, tilapia and pangasius by 15 percent in 2015.

IDH is currently addressing these issues in two initiatives:

  • Farmers in Transition Fund (FIT Fund) to increase responsible production of shrimp and tilapia.
  • ASC Accelerator to boost ASC certification for pangasius

----------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 9.33 am ICT

Business as usual is the fastest way to go out of business

There are plenty of opportunities for investors to invest in the aquaculture industry, but first the industry must gain their trust, according to Øistein Thorsen, Benchmark Sustainability Science.

“Investors such as Root Capital are looking to build a climate smart, efficient business with a story,” Thorsen said. “But trends show that living in a fast changing world, business as usual the fastest way to go out of business,” he said.

The key to unlocking the trust of investors, is first demonstrate you know the concerns and passions of individual consumers. “Telling that story is crucial,” said Thorsen.

But also aquaculture companies must be resource efficient, do more with less; be climate smart, environmentally sound; and be transparent, embrace technology.

“Don’t be shy to tell your story, this builds trust and gives a social license to operate, investors will respect you for it,” said Thorsen.

Transparency in the digital revolution also offers huge opportunities for companies looking for investment. Technology gives the ability to demonstrate traceability in more meaningful and faster way, as it can connect consumers to farms and producers in more meaningful way.

“There is much room for improvement, do not be afraid embrace technology and use it for what it can do,” said Thorsen.

“It shows the industry you can tolerate public scrutiny, be upfront, don’t wait until everything is perfect to tell story, or wait till someone catches you out - investors will respect an honest story.”

---------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 8.54 am ICT

Certifying China, the ‘800 pound gorilla in the room’

There has been an “encouraging” increase in desire for feed certification in China, according to Andrew Mallison from IFFO.

“We’ve been encouraged by sea change in desire for certification in China, for traceability, and sourcing well managed raw materials,” Mallison said.

According to him, a number of Chinese companies are now entering assessment, using an inverse chain of custody approach, whereby a feed company becomes certified first to show it has systems in place and then the fishmeal supplier gets certified, just for the part it supplies within the chain of custody.

“There are a number of companies in the pipeline to be certified, this is helping Chinese companies, they want this assurance, they are moving from food safety towards genuine interest in sourcing responsible raw material.”

----------------------------------

Thursday Oct. 9, 8.42 am ICT

Non-GM feed will cost you 25-50% more

Day 2 of GOAL gets underway, and the first topic of the day: the use of genetically modified (GM) soy in aquaculture feed.

In a panel session on ‘Recommendations for responsible feed production’  Lukas Manomaitis, from the US Soybean Export Council, said he did not see this as being an issue in the future, despite the vast majority of soy being genetically modified.

“Soy tends to get singled out when it comes to GM,” he said. “But a lot of vegetable based ingredients are genetically modified - GM crops is how we are going to feed the world in the future,” he said.

In terms of the consumer and its wariness of anything GM -- in particular GM fish -- Manomaitis said “I don’t feel this will be a real issue in the future.”

“GM fish is a completely different thing – crops is one thing, live animals is quite another.”

It is possible to supply enough non-GM crops, but “are you going to pay for it?” At the moment, 93-95 percent of the  US soy crop is GM, it is possible for farmers to farm non GM crops, but this will cost 25-50% more, Manomaitis said

“In reality, the modern crop approach has to be GM."

------------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 5.25 pm ICT

Is this the next EMS?

Earlier today George Chamberlain, president of GAA, mentioned "new diseases emerging across Asia," which inevitably prompted questions from the afternoon’s breakout sessions, such as: “These new shrimp diseases – should we be worried, is it the next EMS?”

Since the diseases are very new and not yet understood, Chamberlain was unable to say how serious they could be, but he did voice concern over the Microsporidean parasite in particular.

“I think the most troubling one is the Microsporidean parasite because it is very tiny organism that doesn’t show up on histology examinations. Fortunately there is a PCR test, but it is widely distributed,” he said.

Furthermore, the parasite is known for causing slow growth in shrimp and in China at the moment, “slow grow is really a big problem, so this could be the reason,” Chamberlain said.

The disease is bound to be in Vietnam and Thailand already as well, where there is also slow growth at the moment, Chamberlain added.

“It’s going to be one of the next ones, but it is hard to say what its full impact will be," he said. "I’ve not yet heard of it in the Americas."

However, Tim Flegel, from the National Science and Technology Development Agency, said that the parasite needs a host in order to spread, so it should be relatively easy to contain.

-------------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 4.50 pm ICT

More funding should be made available for EMS research

Unlike in other aquaculture sectors -- such as salmon where huge amounts of cash has been spent on solving problems with disease -- barely any funding has been given towards research into early mortality syndrome (EMS) in shrimp, despite it being a “billion dollar problem’.

During the breakout sessions at GOAL today, the question was raised as to why there was no industry wide funding initiatives to allow researchers to look into serious diseases such as the EMS problem ‘properly”.

“It is a massive problem for our industry, so why does it seem like there is a lack of drive to do anything about it?” one audience member asked.

Some sort of funding model needs to be created whereby the collective industry and private companies put away some cash into a fund which can then be used for research when diseases such as EMS arise.

George Chamberlain, president of GAA, confirmed that when EMS first reared its head in 2010, “there was no investment in the beginning stages”.

Chamberlain said seven major shrimp companies in China were approached but they “were not interested”, claiming it was "a government problem".

Two years went by until in 2012, when EMS had already become a serious problem, the World Bank funded some research.

“We simply don’t have a mechanism or philosophy on how to preempt the spread of disease,” said Chamberlain. “When we first saw the disease it was only individual companies investing small amounts trying to solve the problem on their own.”

Even when funding was finally made available to Don Lightner and his team, it was not much, said Chamberlain – “maybe a few hundred thousand dollars at the most”.

“Where do we go to solve this?”he asked, “the industry needs a coordinated, collective effort.”

Tim Flegel, from the National Science and Technology Development Agency, suggested that GAA itself could be expanded to take on something like this.

“We would really benefit from something that gave  funding to the collective needs of the industry,” Flegel said. “GAA already exists, it could be somehow expanded to take this on, it would be great if it was managed and controlled by the industry itself.”

While keen on the idea, Chamberlain said that when anything like this is made mandatory it always becomes disruptive, and there will always be some who will “fight it to the death.”

“It’s a great idea but I just don’t know how to implement it,” he said.

-----------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 3.23 pm ICT

Trust, but also check

Seafood buyers should be more vigilant when it comes to their supply chains, as product recalls cost some companies as much as 20 percent of revenue, if they’re not careful.

On average food companies have had nine product recalls in the last five years, which can have a significant impact on revenue, warned Greg Brown, from NSF International and Chong Kok Yoong, from TÜV SÜD.

The two companies have teamed up to offer monitoring and audit services to seafood companies and their supply chains, through the Total Seafood Assurance Program.

In a recent survey on food safety, the companies discovered that on average product recalls cost companies 9 percent of their annual revenue, however, more than 10 percent of respondents estimated expenses hitting more than 20 percent of revenues.

To put this in perspective, the typical food producing industry gross margins are between 5 and 15 percent.

In terms of what is most important from the consumer point of view, 66 percent of respondents said price is the main concern, while freshness was 56 percent, however food safety came third at 34 percent. This was much higher than sustainability, incidentally, which was 6 percent.

Brown told seafood buyers to trust their supplier but to also verify products before purchasing to avoid any problems with food safety and product recalls.

------------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 2.14 pm ICT

Major changes needed in Vietnam’s shrimp sector

Vietnam’s shrimp industry is in need of a serious overhaul, according to Lee Van Quang, chairman of Minh Phu Seafood, Vietnam's largest shrimp producer.

According to Van Quang, the whole value chain needs major changes because its inadequacies are pushing up shrimp prices.

Factors such as disease, water pollution, a lack of adequate farming technology, unstable raw material volume, unstable quality, lack of financing and a lack of skillful workers all means shrimp prices ultimately increase, he said.

“Besides diseases, misuse and over use of chemicals and drugs also negatively impacts shrimp quality and costs,” said Quang.

At the same time shrimp processing companies have to spend a lot of time and resources on meeting too many different sets of certificates, said Quang.

Minh Phu Seafood has to spend 50 percent of its time for meeting aquaculture and processing standards, which is far too much, he said.

As a result, Quang called for a united set of standards accepted worldwide for hatcheries, farms, shrimp quality, production conditions and human welfare.

“There are too many different certification standards,” he said. “It is a waste of time and money, there needs to be set of standards for the whole chain to reduce production costs.”

Minh Phu is helping farmers through its sustainable shrimp supply chain program. Around 10,000 contract farmers are part of the program whereby Minh Phu helps them have a successful crop and then buys back whatever is produced.

--------------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 12.27 pm ICT

VASEP's Dzung picks up lifetime achievement award

Nguyen Huu Dzung, vice president of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), picked up his Lifetime Achievement Award at the GOAL 2014 conference in Ho Chi Minh City.

“For many, the face of the Vietnamese seafood industry is Dr. Dzung,” said Wally Stevens, executive director at GAA. “He has tirelessly advocated for farmed shrimp and pangasius exports to not only traditional markets, but also to new markets around the world. No country, to my knowledge, has such a devoted ‘salesperson.’ He is a truly special man.”

George Chamberlain, president of GAA said Dzung's "passion for aquaculture and his sincere, tireless, heartfelt approach has greatly advanced the image of Vietnam and of aquaculture in general. We’re thrilled to recognize Dr. Dzung with the Lifetime Achievement Award at GOAL 2014.”

Dzung’s career in seafood spans more than four decades. He is best known for his work with VASEP.

He became general secretary of VASEP upon its establishment in 1998 and currently acts as the organization’s vice president.

In that time, Vietnam’s aquaculture industry has grown tremendously. Last year, the country exported $6.72 billion of seafood, with shrimp and pangasius sent to a total of 91 and 148 countries, respectively.

Picking up the award Dzung said: "I haven't farmed any fish, my only contribution is I eat a lot of fish. So the award is not for me but for Vietnam's achievement in seafood development, and VASEP for it's leadership in international seafood," he said.

---------------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 11.52 pm ICT

Pangasius, barramundi, tilapia more than double in a decade

Global production of pangasius has grown 343 percent since 2004, according to Ragnar Tveteras, from the University of Stavanger.

Looking at which species had reached the ‘double in a decade’ target, barramundi production has also more than doubled its growth at 170 percent while tilapia has grown 151 percent in the last decade, said Tveteras.

Atlantic halibut, milkfish and  seabass and sea bream have also all passed the 100 percent growth market in the last 10 years.

Giving a brief overview on global finfish production data and analysis, Tveteras said that over the past decade disease outbreaks have limited growth in some areas.

Looking ahead, Tveteras said that feed costs are going to play an increasing role on growth rates in the future.

Species which did not reach the double target since 2004, include Atlantic salmon (77.3 percent), trout (58.4 percent) and turbot which grew 48 percent. Coho salmon production only grew 31.8 percent over the period.

"In summary, total production of 9 million metric tons in 1990 grew to 44 million metric tons in 2012 -- a five times increase," said Tveteras. "However the 10-year growth rate is declining," he said.

------------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 11.08 am ICT

Shrimp production to grow 8 percent annually between 2013-2016

Between 2006 and 2012 the average annual growth of shrimp production was around 4 percent, but this fell off with a 19 percent drop in 2013 as a result of EMS, according to James Anderson from the World Bank.

But growth is returning to the sector slowly with a projected annual growth rate of 7.9 percent between 2013 and 2016, he said, “as we head towards recovery.” By 2016 production should reach around 4 million metric tons, of which 70 percent will be vannamei.

Even still this will only return volumes back to 2012 levels and means the industry would have foregone 3 million metric tons of production as a result of EMS as they missed out on the 4 percent annual growth rate.

“It is the difference between where we are and where we could expect to have been if it weren’t for EMS,” said Anderson.

China, Thailand and Mexico reported the largest declines in production in 2013, but while China and Mexico are expected to recover slightly in 2014, further declines are expected in Thailand. That said, Thailand should be back to where it was within the next 3-4 years, said Anderson.

On the other hand countries such as Ecuador and India have benefited dramatically from the lack of supply in southeast Asia and China.

Production in India grew nearly 38 percent between 2009 and 2012, while the Americas region grew 7.10 percent over the period.

Ecuador is ramping up production as other countries falter. Production in 2016 is expected to be 28 percent higher than in 2013, said Anderson. Ecuador is expected to produce around 280,000 metric tons in 2013 which could increase to around 360,000 metric tons by 2016, he added.

China is expected to recover in 2014, while Thailand should begin recovery in 2016. Production increase are expected in all countries in the region by 2016, but Thailand will be displaced as the second largest producer to the fifth.

In 2013 harvest volumes will be 19 percent less than in 2012, said Anderson, however 2014 is expected to harvest 8 percent above 2013.

“There should be a recovery to 2012 levels by 2016,” said Anderson. “Disease is the biggest risk and a multi-billion dollar concern.”

“In 2015 most expect to see somewhat better global economic conditions, higher feed prices, and stronger shrimp markets.”

--------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 10.15 am ICT

Using tilapia to beat EMS

Some farmers in Vietnam have been adding tilapia to their ponds in a bid to combat early mortality syndrome (EMS).

According to Loc Tran, from Minh Phu Aquamekong  ShrimpVet Lab at Nong Lam University in Vietnam, the tilapia are put in the ponds with the shrimp after a month and are just hungry enough to eat the pathogens, thus cleaning the water and pond and reducing the threat of EMS.

One such company doing this is Minh Phu Seafood, Vietnam's largest shrimp producer, according to the company's chairman Lee Van Quang in his presentation.

As an added bonus, the company is now also exporting this tilapia which could reach volumes of 2,000 metric tons in 2014, said Quang.

---------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 10.02 am ICT

GAA and ASC look to create zone management standard

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) are working together to form a new zone management standard, in what they hope will be a ‘practical, feasible, and valuable' initiative.

The goal of the standard will be to complement existing standards and to help reduce the risk of disease outbreaks, which is the main obstacle to sustainable growth in the industry.

“The aim is not to provide prescriptive details of how different zones should be defined and managed, rather to define best practices with regards to their creation and with regard to industry, regulatory and other stakeholder engagement,” said Peter Marshall, RS Standards who is heading up the initiative.

This is because different zone management plans will emerge to suit specific conditions, species, and environmental constraints, he said.

So far a standards committee has been formed, and now the groups are seeking input and expert opinion to develop a draft standard for review and testing.

----------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 9.42 am ICT

New diseases emerging for shrimp

While the industry might just be getting its head around early mortality syndrome (EMS), new diseases are already starting to crop up across Asia, said George Chamberlain, president of GAA.

“We may be learning how to manage EMS, but already there are new diseases emerging,” he said. These include Microsporidean Parasite in Asia and the Covert Nodavirus in China.

“The journey of overcoming diseases will never really end, but we are developing better control and better resistance techniques and better practices,” he said.

Meanwhile “the battle against EMS is now shifting from guessing what to do, to implementing what works.”

This includes better surveillance with improved PCR tests, developing genetic resistance, implementing bio-secure hatchery techniques, strict management of ponds, and the use of feed additives to combat EMS.

“Demand for seafood is growing, yet aquaculture growth is slowing down primarily as a consequence of disease,” said Chamberlain. “We need to improve risk management, get better at preventing diseases rather than reacting to them.”

----------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 9.15 am ICT

The tide is turning for shrimp production

Shrimp production is still down but the tide is turning, according to George Chamberlain, president of GAA.

In fact with all the progress in disease management and prevention, specifically with EMS, Chamberlain believes shrimp production can double from 4 million metric tons today to 8 million metric tons in a decade.

Better management of EMS along with better practices in terms of hatcheries, ponds and more efficient feeding, will all help towards a turnaround in shrimp production in the next 10 years.

“As shrimp farming matures it is steadily developing improved controls that help reduce disease risk, increase production and improve sustainability,” Chamberlain said.

Breeding is also becoming more sophisticated, said Chamberlain. For example, deep intensive ponds already used in Vietnam for pangasius are now being used in China for shrimp, and these ponds can produce high yields of 30-50 metric tons per year.

In a quick poll of the audience, more than 60 percent think there will be a complete rebound from EMS in the next 2-3 years.

-------------------------------

Wednesday Oct. 8, 8.33 am ICT

Health and disease still the burning issue in aquaculture

Nearly half the audience at the 2014 GOAL conference believe health and disease management is still the most important challenge limiting aquaculture. Based on a quick poll of the audience, 48 percent chose health and disease management as the main obstacle to growth.

Wally Stevens, chairman of GAA, kicked off the annual aquaculture conference referring to the delegates as a "symphony" whose collective job it is to take the industry forward. He added an additional topic to the conference this year; the question of consumer education.

"The prize for all of us is consumer education," said Stevens. "Collectively that’s the prize we need to strive for. Who is our symphony who is going to lead us?

"It is only through our work together will we provide the wonderful solutions that are necessary so we can feed future generations with wonderful products coming from aquaculture."

In the poll, 13 percent of the audience said consumer education was the limiting factor to aquaculture growth.

----------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 3.32 pm ICT

Fishmeal prices triple in 10 years

Since 2004, fishmeal prices have tripled from $600 per metric ton to $1,800 per metric tons, and this is a global problem that needs to be addressed, warned Francisco Olbrich, from H.J. Baker.

As aquaculture continues to grow it will exceed the world’s supply of fishmeal, however there are additional concerns about management of reduction fisheries in Asia and forced labor in Thailand’s fishing industry that have heightened interest in fishmeal alternatives, he said.

There are many potential alternatives to fishmeal: oil seed meals, protein concentrates, rendered animal proteins, feather meal, blood meal, and meat and bone meal, as well as novel ingredients such as insect meal and worm meal.

“But replacing fishmeal involves more than simply replace the crude protein, fishmeal is a complex feed ingredient,” said Olbrich. “It requires a multi-faceted approach that considers nutrient requirements, digestibility, leaching losses, attractants and health additives.”

H.J. Baker, is working on a new product, the Aqua Pak Precision Fishmeal Producer for shrimp, which it hopes to launch next year.

The product is a feed concentrate for shrimp that is in commercial development at the moment.

HJ Baker has a 50-year history of offering feed concentrates to terrestrial animals, it now wants to develop products for aquaculture.

-----------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2.46 pm ICT

Insect based meal will be ‘big scale’ in a couple of years

While at the moment there is no mass production of insect based feed products, this will become a reality within the next few years, according to Frank Ducharne from Entofood.

There have been “certain stumbling blocks,” said Ducharne. “We first need to get price, volume, and quality right. There is no point in addressing it if there is no volume and price is sky high, so we have attempted to find a solution to make it happen.”

And he believes his company has found the key – the black solider fly.

The black soldier fly fits all the criteria, and is present everywhere, said Ducharne. It has good fecundity, no disease, it is polyvoltine, has a short life cycle of 30-40 days, a wide feeding regime and a good nutritional profile.

Furthermore, Ducharne has worked out what is need to feed the flies, organic siude stream. This is also ideal as very large volumes are available, it is sustainable all year round, is cheap and is present worldwide.

With Ducharne’s method, he figures he can produce almost 100,000 metric tons of feed a year. The theoretical forecast, is based on 17,000 metric tons from Malaysia, 30,000 metric tons from Vietnam and 50,000 metric tons from India.

Also as it is a manufacture product, Ducharne reckons the price will be stable and is estimating a cost of around $1,200 per metric ton.

The company already has a pilot farm in Malaysia,  and is now actively looking for funding to take it to the next step, and “go commercial.”

----------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2.05 pm ICT

Insect meal closest alternative to fishmeal

Insect meal producer AquaFude has set its sights on the West China market, to sell its alternative feed and promote sustainability among “naive” farmers.

Ari Jadwin from AquaFude said the company sells its alternative proteins to trout, sturgeon and salmon farmers in the Chengdu, Sichuan region of China, which is the “ideal environment” for these species.

The company uses insect meal, specifically black soldier fly larvae, which it believes it the closet alternative to fishmeal, and which “has proven to be very efficient.”

The company sells it feed to the farmers in China and then buys back the fish before selling it on to top hotels across the globe, said Jadwin.

“These farmers have started from scratch, they don’t know what to do. We don’t explain to them sustainability, but we say we will buy your fish if you buy our feed and meet a list of requirements,” said Jadwin.

By supplying western China’s fish farmers with high quality feed and ensuring they implement best practices, "we can guarantee increased productivity, revenue and sales.

“The challenge we face is convincing, often naive, Chinese farmers to adopt more sustainable fish feed, which would allow future generations to be able to enjoy great fish for years to come.”

-------------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 12.50 p.m. ICT

Soy is no longer just an alternative

Soy can no longer be considered an alternative for fishmeal, because it is already the number one protein source in global aquafeed today, according to Steve Hart, from the Soy Aquaculture Alliance (SAA).

In fact there are already 13-15 million metric tons of soy going into the aqua feed, which is three times as much as fishmeal, he said.

“US soy has a competitive advantage over many other sources,” said Hart. Benefits include superior amino acid content and amino acid profile, higher sugar levels, lower fibre content, and improved amino acid digestibility, among others.

Meanwhile, the SAA is working on a selective breeding program to improve performance of soy feed among certain fish species. The organization is already at the commercial testing stages with trout, said Hart, and will soon roll out the project to shrimp and cobia.

--------------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 11.40 a.m. ICT

Soy proteins ‘ramping up’

As aquaculture grows, inevitably so will the need for products such as soy to replace fishmeal in fish feed, according to Lukas Manomaitis, from the United States Soybean Export Council.

“Aquaculture increasingly will move to vegetable-based ingredients, and soy can be used very effectively,” he said. While fishmeal will always be the ideal ingredient, depleting wild fish stocks and an increased demand for farmed fish, mean that alternatives are a necessity. And soy fills all the requirements, said Manomaitis.

For example, its amino acid profile is a good fit for most fish species, and it can also be combined with other ingredients to address specific nutritional gaps, he said. For example, corn gluten meal for methionine, and taurine to overcome anti-nutritional issues with marine species.

“Soy protein concentrate (SPC) is ramping up,” said Manomaitis, now 65 percent of protein SPC matches fishmeal protein density, while soy is also a dynamic crop.

-------------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 11.14 a.m. ICT

Squashing out forced labor

There are simple steps that can be taken along the seafood supply chain in response to allegations of forced labor in a product, said Katrina Nakamura, from the Labor Screen Safe and Sustainability Incubator.

Referring to the recent scandal in Thailand regarding slave labor on vessels supplying feed mills with trash fish, Nakamura said there are a number of basic strategies that can be adopted by companies.

Retailers can make it policy to buy seafood free of forced labor; importers should start a list of suppliers who show due diligence; exporters should identify all feed suppliers by vendor and source fishery, while it is up to the feed suppliers to identify vessels and owners, captains, labor chiefs, ports, markets, primary and secondary processors for all sources of feeds.

-------------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 11.00 a.m. ICT

Seafish RFS to go international in September 2015

UK trade body Seafish will launch a revamped, remodeled version of its Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) next June, which it hopes will be “more fit for purpose” than its predecessor.

Seafish’s RFS certification was originally launched in 2006, and so far around 400 vessels are currently certified, with 620 engaged in the process, according to Libby Woodhatch, head of advocacy at Seafish. However, with the new scheme, the hope is this will grow to 1,000 vessels in the next three years.

The modification of the current RFS standard has been developed in line with ISO 17065 accreditation requirements giving the certification program for these revised RFS standards additional transparency and credibility.

The new scheme launches officially in June 2015 in the UK and is expected to go international in September 2015, Woodhatch said.

-------------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 10.55 a.m. ICT

Time for accountability

More social components need to be ‘baked in’ to schemes such as Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPS), while there also needs to be broader support for vessel standards such as the Responsible Fishery Scheme (RFS), said GAA's Dan Lee.

Referring to recent events concerning alleged slavery in Thailand, Dan Lee from Best Aquaculture Practices  (BAP) said there is now a clear link between bad conditions and consumption in the west, and the industry must look at accountability. “The link is there and it would be sensible for the industry to do what it can to remedy the situation.”

The industry should move from responsible to sustainable aquaculture, Lee said, and there should be greater coverage of social welfare in various programs such as FIPs, he said.

While responsible aquaculture covers sustainable practices for what individuals control, sustainable aquaculture means practices covering the whole supply chain.

There should be four common requirements for sourcing fishmeal and fish oil – traceability to species and country of origin; no endangered species used for fishmeal; preference for feed manufacturers with evidence of responsible sourcing; and avoidance of IUU.

--------------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 10.30 a.m. ICT

Fishmeal levels dropping in feed

The inclusion of fishmeal in different aquaculture diets is dropping, according to IFFO’s Andrew Mallison.

In particular, in Norway producers have reduced the amount of fishmeal in salmon feed to just 10-12 percent in recent years, replacing the rest with plant material.

Likewise, the amount of fishmeal in tilapia feeds has been halved to just 5 percent between 2000 and 2012, Mallison said, while shrimp feed has seen fishmeal levels fall from around 32 percent to below 15 percent since over the same period, he said.

While the certification of marine ingredients is established and developing, and the IFFO RS scheme is a recognized option and includes an improver program, Mallison said the low hanging fruit had already been picked.

In 2013, the IFFO RS covered 42 percent of the world’s feed raw material, however while the scheme is dominant in the west of the globe it is severely ‘underrepresented’ in Asia and the east.

In particular, there is much more work to do with multi species trawls and standards, Mallison said.

--------------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 10.10 a.m. ICT

Asian feed fisheries at least 5 years away from certification

While mixed species feed fisheries in Asia have made steps towards more sustainable practices, they are still “at least five years away” from attaining certification, according to Anton Immink from the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP).

Over the past couple of years there has been a slight shift in dialog, and guidelines, but in reality there are more issues to deal with before these fisheries will attain full certification.

Because the fisheries supplying feed factories in Thailand and Vietnam are mixed fisheries it is not possible to qualify for certifications such as the MSC, said Immink, but they can get IFFO RS standard, he said.

“We will continue to work with IFFO to improve assessment for multi species fisheries,” he said.

The SFP is hoping various fishery improvement projects (FIPs) can improve the situation in Asia, and already the fisheries are significantly decreasing the mix of catches, he said.

Meanwhile the organization has launched a series of supplier roundtables (SR) with this goal in mind and has seen strong industry engagement particularly from the UK, where participants include, Aldi, Asda, The Co-op, Icelandic Seachill, Lyons Seafood, Morrissons, Sainsbury’s, but also Thai Union Feeds, and more recently Fleury Michon.

------------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 9.00 a.m. ICT

Waste not, want not

Getting aquaculture feed right is a major global challenge in food security, but the industry needs to find socially responsible, economically viable and environmentally friendly solutions, says Dawn Purchase, senior aquaculture officer at Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

Kicking off the first, and additional day to the GOAL conference -- a special day dedicated to aqua feed – Purchase outlined the social, economic and environmental challenges to solving future fish feed supply.

While fish meal and fish oil still has a vital role to play, alternatives are “vigorously emerging” she said. Adding that the industry must come together and work for a common goal, “everyone in the supply chain must contribute to help changes in the industry,” she said.

The alternative to fishmeal and fish oil, will likely be determined by market costs, availability or consumer acceptability, but whatever it is it must be produced sustainably, said Purchase.

Ultimately it is a case of waste not, want not, she said. “Let’s not waste the resources that we have, because we will only want more in the future.

“And when we do use them, make sure we use them efficiently, and maximize the benefit and reduce waste, but when we do have waste, let’s use that too,” she said.

------------------------------------

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 8.10 a.m. ICT

Good Morning Vietnam!

This year we're in Ho Chi Minh City for the thirteenth annual GOAL conference put on by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), where more than 400 professionals from the global aquaculture industry are expected to attend.

Returning to Ho Chi Minh for the first time since 2005, Vietnam is an ideal place to hold such a conference, mainly because it is a aquaculture powerhouse, exporting around $6.72 billion of seafood in 2013, led by shrimp and pangasius.

With the theme 'Celebrating Leadership', this year's conference will be predominantly held at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers, although, for the first time this year, it will also feature a day-long seminar on aqua feed sustainability at the Park Hyatt Saigon.

GOAL is attended by a cross-section of representatives from industry, retail and foodservice, government, academia, the investment community and the NGO community. The conference features three days of information and analysis on the farmed seafood value chain, and will cover numerous topics from disease risk management (including early mortality syndrome in shrimp), leadership and innovation, food safety, aqua feed sustainability, aquaculture insurance and risk management, and marketplace accessibility.

If you don't want to miss out, keep checking back here for all the latest coverage of the event.