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Aqua blog: Global Salmon Initiative officially launched in Trondheim

The European Aquaculture Society and Aqua Nor come together in Trondheim, Norway. Follow this blog for our coverage of the events.

Thursday, August 15, 11.05 a.m. CET

GSI officially launches in Trondheim

CEOs of the global salmon farming industry officially launched the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) in Trondheim this morning, as reported by IntraFishearlier this week.

The 15 members, representing 70 percent of the global salmon industry, are aiming to address issues ranging from biosecurity, feed security and transparency, Alf-Helge Aarskog, CEO of Marine Harvest, told international media at a press conference.

"This will really make a change for the better," he said. "If we can get it right this can also be transferred to other species."

Jose Ramon Gutierrez, executive director of Chilean company Multiexports Foods said it's a "unique opportunity to raise the bar again."

Battling sea lice on a global -- and regional -- scale is one of the first projects the initiative tries to tackle. In addition, it has set the goal to have all its members Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)-certified by 2020, said Alfonso Marquez de la Plata, CEO of AquaChile.

When asked by IntraFish how this cooperation will influence price fluctuations and the cyclical nature of the salmon sector to bring more stable growth to the sector, Yngve Myhre, CEO of SalMar, said the main goal is to tackle the set objectives.

"But it will improve production growth and secure more supply, which will bring some balance to the market," he said. "This is a game changer."

GSI members include Acuinova Chile, Bakkafrost, Blumar, Cermaq, Compania Pesquera Camanchaca, AquaChile, Grieg Seafood, Leroy Seafood Group, Los Fiordos, Marine Harvest, Norway Royal Salmon, SalMar, Multiexport Foods, The Scottish Salmon Company, Scottish Sea Farms.

Together they represent farms in Chile, Canada, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Scotland. 

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Thursday, August 15, 7.41 a.m. CET

Norway, Russia saga: 'Moving slowly forward'

Discussions with Russia in the saga around the import ban of Norwegian salmon and trout are "moving slowly but slowly moving forward," Bjorn Rothe Knudtsen, regional director for the Norwegian Food Safety Authority's branch in Trondelag and More and Romsdal, told IntraFish, while catching up during Aqua Nor.

Both countries have acknowledged the Codex Alimentarius as the common ground to continue negotiations and are "carefully developing a discussion on the base of that."

Rothe Knudtsen heads the negotiations for the Norwegian delegation in the working group discussing fish trade between the two countries, and describes them as polite, based on "mutual respect" and "equivalent judgment."

Russia still wants temporary restrictions with certain suppliers but he doesn't believe in a full import ban, as widely reported in the media.

"Despite temporary setbacks we see that we still have many actors in the Russian market and imports continue to increase."

Norway sold only about 6,000 to 7,000 metric tons of salmon and trout to Russia in 2006, when first discussion between the two countries started. This has been upped to about 150,000 metric tons, a number far too big to for a total blockage, he said.

"It would have a huge impact, not only on importers but also third parties in Russia," he said, including logistics companies, distributors, supermarkets, foodservice and other trade-related firms. 

The main issue, he said, is that both countries come from a "totally different background," have different traditions and regulations. Russia "is expecting the Norwegian control system to operate along the same lines" as its own, Rothe Knudtsen said.

He is, however, confident that Norway's food safety regulations and controls are state-of-the-art. "We're quite confident the food safety issue is taken care of if I look at our relations with our 120 other trade markets."

It is still too early to say when a final outcome and a common solution can be expected. "It might take a very long time to reach a conclusion," he said.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Wednesday, August 14, 3.34 p.m. CET

Tackling the big ones

Nine fish farmers in Estonia have teamed up to build their own processing plant, ready to launch in January 2014, Peeter Poldaru, MD at Osel Harvest, told IntraFish.

“We wanted to create one central point for distribution, sales and quality control,” he said.

Fresh trout, sturgeon and common whitefish (coregonus lavaretus) will be the main species processed at the plant, which will run under fish farmers' union Ecofarm.

The move was made in an effort to become more competitive with seafood importers.

“It’s very stressful for us at a price level,” said Poldaru. “Local producers can’t compete with prices of imported fish. Production is simply too small.”

According to him, Estonian domestic production accounts for only about 5 percent of all fish consumed in the country (10,000 metric tons – figures vary). Local production comes of trout and other fish is only about 500 metric tons.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Wednesday, August 14, 3.21 p.m. CET

First fake Marine Harvest store in China

Consumer branding was one of the topics at today’s IntraFish Salmon Summit in Trondheim.

Marine Harvest’s CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog shared a little anecdote, telling the audience the first fake Marine Harvest store just opened in China.

“It’s fantastic,” he said laughing. “We must have done something right.”

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Wednesday, August 14, 3.05 p.m.CET

Ready for copper?

The International Copper Association is armed with more data than ever about the benefits of copper alloy cages, and it’s ready to crow about it.

“We’re starting to put all this data online,” said Langley Gace, aquaculture applications development manager.

The association just launched a new web library -- cuaquaculture.org -- gathering together the mounting evidence that copper alloy cages can reduce escapes, resist wear, and weather inclement weather better than traditional netting.

“The difference now is we have quantifiable data,” Gace said of the library.

While the installation of copper-alloy cages has been “mature” in Chile for awhile, aquaculture producers in some sectors remain skeptical, making Gace’s job a lot about education.

“It’s not just farmers we’re reaching out to,” Gace said. “We’re doing a holistic approach: NGOs, regulators, trade associations.”

Several marquis names are already using copper installations, including Insung Korea, Greek sea bass and bream farmer Nireus, and Chilean salmon farmers Ventisquieros and Australis, among others.

The newest installations at Mainstream Canada and Marine Harvest Scotland will yield even more data on the effectiveness of copper alloy, Gace said, which will hopefully lead to wide-scale adoption.

--Drew Cherry

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Wednesday, August 14, 10.50 a.m. CET

GM feed debate heating up?

There is no question that one of the biggest issues in aquaculture is the limited access to fishmeal and fish oil for feed.

BioMar’s Group CEO Torben Svejgard at least sees the solution in GM technology, he said during a pit stop at the IntraFish booth.  

Rapeseeds and rapeseed oil are the option to go for, he said. But the controversial views around GM tech in feed are holding the sector back.

“We as the industry have an obligation to promote and educate consumers and supermarkets on GM technology,” he said. “I’m convinced it will come.”

On the protein side insects are an “exciting option,” Sveigard said. “I don’t know what the potential is but I guess the biggest issue is volume.”

BioMar is not actively researching insects in feed, he said, but if the volumes are right it would be an interesting option.

“The answer is still blowing in the wind. But everything big starts somewhere small.”

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Wednesday, August 14, 10:39 a.m. CET

‘Escape proof’ net pens?

Aquaculture net systems producer Aqualine’s CEO, Trond Lysklaett, admits that using the term “escape proof” is very bold, but he says the data backs the claim up.

“It’s a big promise indeed,” he said.

After testing in the renowned Marintek laboratory in Trondheim, Norway, where the company’s new chain-free cage system was tested at 9-meter wave heights with a 0.7 per second current, Lysklaett says companies have come knocking.

With current technology, sink tubes are held with chains, which chafe nets and ultimately lead to tears. Aqualine’s new system uses Dyneema rope to hold the sinker tube, so the ropes lay slack when the tube is down, but are easily hoisted up with an electric winch.

The system was a finalist for the AquaNor innovation prize.

--Drew Cherry

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Wednesday, August 14, 10.16 a.m. CET

From swimming pools to aquaculture

US-based $8 billion turnover company Pentair might be relatively new to the aquaculture sector – it has its roots in providing water management and treatment equipment for swimming pools – but it is “in it for the long haul,” Bob Miller, its vice president, aquaculture aquatic eco-systems, told IntraFish.

The company has built up a solid business in North America, but is now looking to push into the European market.

“Our goal is to get into Europe as full-system supporters” for aquaculture businesses, Miller said. It is concentrating on “smaller systems” such as hatcheries and smaller scale farms.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Wednesday, August 14, 09:46 a.m. CET

Feeding on feed

High finance has discovered the feed sector, and not just the Skrettings and Ewoses of the world.

“I get guys from Wall Street calling me up all the time,” said Joe Kearns, aquaculture process engineering manager at feed equipment producer Wenger. “They don’t know anything.”

But they clearly do see the growth in aquaculture, and how the feed industry will float on that, he said.

Wenger’s fortunes are lifted along with the aquaculture sector’s, and Asian shrimp is “still the king,” Kearns said.

“We’ve sold quite a few systems in Thailand and India the past year or so. This disease problem will slow them down, but they’ll bounce back.”

--Drew Cherry

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Wednesday, August 14, 9:45 a.m. CET

Small means ‘custom’

Norwegian fish feed producer Polarfeed is nowhere near the of the “Big Three” feed producers, but Managing Director Ole-Johnny Johansen said his company’s small size allows it to produce its products to exacting specifications.

“We can more or less tailor make the feed, so we work very closely with our customers to almost design the feed together,” he said.

Polarfeed boasts a lot of clients in the north of Norway, where the cold waters require specific feed profiles. In addition, Polarfeed focuses on high levels of fishmeal, as opposed to the general trend of replacing fish protein with soy.

Beyond the custom-made feed, clients also simply like an alternative to the selling power of the giants.

“They want feed at a competitive price,” he said.

--Drew Cherry

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Tuesday, August 13, 3:20 p.m. CET

Buy a night stand, get a certified fish

Furniture mega-giant Ikea is among the many companies silently committing to Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified fish, according to Karoline Andaur, head of the Marine Programme for WWF Norway.

Salmon farming companies have been making the commitments as well, in some cases as quietly as Ikea.

With ASC relatively new on the scene, “people are wary a little bit,” Andaur said.

Among the notable commitments are a 100-percent commitment to ASC by Marine Harvest, commitment to some farms by Leroy Seafood, and commitments from smaller businesses such as Bremnes Seashore.

Certification groups have already visited Leroy sites, making it likely the company will be the first salmon farming company in Norway to earn the stamp.

--Drew Cherry

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Tuesday, August 13, 3:15 p.m. CET

Don’t panic!

SalmonChile President Maria Eugenia Wagner said the recent dust-up over the alleged finding of crystal violet in a sample of Marine Harvest’s salmon shipped into the United States may have received more press than it deserved – primarily in Chile.

“It became an internal issue in the Chilean press, mainly because of what happened years ago with grapes,” Wagner said.

In 1989, a reported finding of cyanide on two grapes shipped to the US wreaked havoc on the farming sector. It became increasingly clear later that the findings were likely politically motivated.

“I think journalists looked back at that and thought we were looking at the same thing,” she said. “For the markets, it is not an issue. We don’t use it. Nobody has used it. It is prohibited.”

And while it now appears possible that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may have cross-contaminated the samples, “we have to wait and see,” Wagner said.

Wagner’s main focus right now is uniting the industry on the country’s new salmon-farming regulations, and fine-tuning the implementation of those regulations. The recent addition of AquaChile to the association helps the industry speak with one voice more than ever, she said.

“It’s very important that we are all working together,” she said.

--Drew Cherry

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Tuesday, August 13, 3.10 p.m. CET

Nylon, nylon over everything

Norwegian net producer Egersund will continue to develop and sell nylon nets, saying other materials will need more testing and “prove” they can withstand all weathers and seas.

“I think we will live with nylon for many, many years,” Geir Kare Tonnessen, sales manager at the company, said.

The company, which has a market share of 55 percent in Norway, just introduced a new net concept with one single weight, but tests into new materials such as copper have so far failed to show a big breakthrough.

“At the moment I can’t see a replacement for nylon,” he said.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Tuesday, August 13, 2.46 p.m. CET

Weathering the storms with new technology

With farms getting bigger and moving further out to sea, aquaculture cage and software firm AKVA Group’s services are getting in more demand, according to Senior Marketing Coordinator Renate Hjornevik.

The larger farms AKVA is being asked to design require larger barges delivering larger volumes, the rougher weather exposes companies to all manner of potential monitoring challenges, and the difficulty accessing the deeper farms for work such as mort collection becomes more complex.

“It’s so important to have the full overview with these operations,” Hjornevik said.

AKVA works with partner suppliers on everything from project design to cage installation to complete turnkey operations – and a lot of its new effort and research is going into offshore projects.

The company is also seeing growth in land-based projects as well, where control over the processes is equally important – if not more so.

“If oxygen levels drop, you don’t have long to get emergency power back on and running,” Hjornevik notes.

--Drew Cherry

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Tuesday, August 13, 2.45 p.m. CET

GOAL lineup firms up

Marine Harvest Chairman Ole-Eirik Leroy will be the keynote speaker at the Global Aquaculture Alliance's GOAL Conference 2013 in Paris, France, the group announced today.

--IntraFish Media

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Tuesday, August 13, 2.42 p.m. CET

Mobile farming

Greek bass and bream producers are starting look at new ways to save on feed costs due to lower market prices throughout the year, Diogo Thomaz, CEO of London-based start-up Aquinetix, told IntraFish over lunch.

The company is now looking to test its mobile farm management technology with Greek farmers. The company originally planned to launch a beta-version of the application in March, however, had to postpone it to October this year due to “structural changes” in the company.

“We also want to make the application a bit more versatile in interaction with farmers,” Thomaz said.

The company is at the show to “check out the competition,” but is also looking for new investors.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Tuesday, August 13, 1.35 p.m. CET

Vietnamese panga gets its first vaccine ever

Pharmaq, the world biggest aquaculture pharma supplier, is pushing into Vietnam with the first-ever vaccine for pangasius.

“We recently got the license for the first vaccine for fish in Asia," Kjersti Gravningen, director at Pharmaq Asia, told IntraFish. “It’s a big step.”

The project started in 2006, but getting the regulatory permits was one issue prolonging the process, she said.  

But in the last few weeks the first batches arrived in Vietnam and the vaccine is now implemented at farms of several “key companies.

“But it’s going to be a long process from treatment to prevention,” Gravningen said.

The company’s new owner, private equity fund Permira, is supporting the move into Asia and sees major growth potential in the region, she said.

“This is very positive for us,” she said. Indonesia, China, Malaysia and Thailand are next on the company’s hit list.

“There is still a big job to do,” Gravningen told IntraFish.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Tuesday, August 13, 1.19 p.m. CET

BioMar appoints new commercial director Chile

Only one week into the job and already into the deep end: BioMar just appointed a new commercial director for its Chilean operations, who is attending his first show for the company here in Trondheim.

Andres Millan is a veterinarian at the Austral University of Chile and has a masters degree in aquaculture at the University of Stirling. With 20 years of background in the salmon industry he's the ideal man for the job.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Tuesday, August 13, 11:45 a.m. CET

Still believing in cod

Danish specialty feed supplier AllerAqua hasn't given up hope on farmed cod, according to Morten Risager Hansen, director of sales and marketing for the company.

"Cod has had its problems, but they've made progress on genetics and the time to market has been reduced," he said.

Still, Norway's once-promising sector hasn't died -- Havlandet Marin Yngel still provides fingerlings, and Seamatech, Gulen Marine Farm and Vest Marine Produksjon are still farming -- so AllerAqua still maintains a client base, and serves the turbot and halibut sector as well.

Outside of Norway, however, industries look much more promising. Hansen said the company is seeing big growth in its freshwater operations, and in particular Egypt, where the company has a production unit serving the tilapia sector.

--Drew Cherry

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Tuesday, August 13, 10.55 a.m. CET

Shortfall in fish supply?

Aquaculture currently produces 62.17 billion metric tons of fish and seafood every year (annual value of $130 billion), but the growth rate declined in the last decade, Arni Mathiesen, assistant director general of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture said during the official opening ceremony of Aqua Nor 2013.

Should this continue the world could face a shortfall in fish supply by 2050, dropping to 50 billion tons, he said.

The "answer to the dilemma" is to reach growth through new technology, knowledge transfer and research and development.

"We have to make an intelligent and scientifically informed attempt" to cultivate the world's waters, he said. "We need to do more."

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Tuesday, August 13, 8.50 a.m. CET

Aqua Nor kicks off in Trondheim

Trondheim is undeniably the center for aquaculture farmers and execs from all over the world this week, with Aqua Nor about to kick off this morning.

The show is held biennially, with 400 exhibitors expected to attract 15,000 to 20,000 visitors from more than 50 nations.

As usual, hot topics this year will be current developments in the fields of aquaculture technology, fish feed, fish health, quality assurance, training, funding, fish farmer networks, grading, equipment, storage, processing, packaging, environmental protection and distribution.

Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, Norwegian fisheries minister, will officially open the show this morning. Check back regularly for the latest news and chat from the show floor.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Monday, August 12, 3.04 p.m. CET

Bringing academia and industry closer together

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences launched a website, called aquaCase 3.0, in an effort to bring the industry closer to students.

"Students have to acquire practical knowledge, and due to the internationalization of the seafood industry a much wider range of knowledge is needed," said Odd-Ivar Lekang. "But due to a lack of economical resources this option is often limited."

Aquacase tries to tackle that problem, offering multimedia learning resources, "including industry interactions." Students can take virtual tours of aquaculture facilities such as hatcheries, on-growing facilities and so on.

When asked by IntraFish, how companies react when they are approached for cooperation, Lekang said "the industry response is quite good as long as it's not about their economical [financial] results."

So far, Marine Harvest and SalMar are amongst the ones providing texts, photos and videos for the use on the website.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Monday, August 12 11.05 a.m. CET

Farmed fish? No thanks, say Portuguese consumers

Despite being one of the biggest fish consuming countries in Europe -- with an average of 55.3 kilograms per capita per year -- Portugal still shows an aversion to farmed fish.

While 94 percent of respondents of a recent study, conducted by the University of Technology Lisbon, knew what aquaculture is, only about 12 percent said they have tried farmed fish.

But about half of the respondents couldn't differentiate wild from farmed fish.

Their opinion is based on preconceived ideas, which, according to the researchers, could be clarified through promotions and marketing activities focusing on "advantages" such as quality control, market availability, health and safety standards.

The study was fittingly sponsored by ailing multinational Pescanova.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Sunday, August 11, 4.34 p.m. CET

Lagging safety standards at Vietnamese shrimp farms

Vietnamese vannamei farmers have "very limited" knowledge of the chemicals, probiotics and disinfectants they use to prevent and control shrimp diseases, a recent study at the University of Copenhagen found -- and is often a health hazard for the farmers themselves.

"Farmers often mix the antibiotics with pelleted feed with their bare hands," researcher Tran Minh Phu said. "The masks used are simple face masks used for protection against dust. Several farmers, for example in hatcheries, reported respiratory problems with irritation when handling chlorine and other compounds."

Other health effects reported included skin lesions, headaches and itching.

The practices are not only a concern for the farmers' health but also a food safety issue, he said.

Only about half of the almost 90 surveyed hatcheries and grow-out farmers kept written records on the total chemical amounts applied, but did not register date, type and dosages of the chemical applications.

Farmers also reported lacking support from veterinarians and other technical staff in diagnosing diseases and the use of chemicals.

Minh Phu said a change needs to be made, not only to reduce health effects, but also to increase cost-effectiveness of the use of chemicals

"It seems likely that farmers can maintain and even increase farm productivity with less, but correct, use of chemicals, and at the same time this might decrease environmental, food safety and occupational health hazards associated with chemical use," he said.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Sunday, August 11, 3.11 p.m. CET

Danish pike perch project well underway

Construction at AquaPri's €7.5 million ($10 million) pike perch recirculation plant is set to start in February or March next year, Martin Vestergaard, production manager at the company, told IntraFish while catching up during the lunch break at the second day of the EAS conference.

"We have the plan, we have the money," he said, adding the only thing missing are the regulatory permits.

The company will build a 500 metric tons capacity recirculation facility in the first project phase. A broodstock and experimental facility will follow in a second phase.

Visualization

 

Production will take about one year, Vestergaard said, and the first fish are set to hit consumer markets in early 2015.

Moving quickly on the project is a must, he said. "With a running cost of abut €0.5 million ($667,000) a month a quick start is quite important," he said.

The fish is aimed to cater increasing demand in the EU market, for countries including Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Poland.

"France is also an interesting market," he said. "It's huge and they request pike perch."

Production at the new plant will be diversified: about 10 percent will go into sports fishing, while 90 percent is for the consumer markets.

Current market prices for pike perch range from about €8 ($10.7) to €10 ($13.3) per kilogram, apart from a few weeks a year when the price drops to €4 ($5.3) due to wild catch hitting the market.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Sunday, August 11, 13.58 p.m. CET

Calls for international standard for fish welfare

Following calls by NGOs and supermarkets for a certification scheme for fish welfare, a group of researchers at Dutch Wageningen Aquaculture, part of Wageningen University Research Center, developed a certification scheme in cooperation with a Dutch turbot farm.

The standard can be independently accredited, said Hans van de Vis, a scientist at the institute, even though control measures need to be adapted to individual species.

"We foresee our approach can be used in all chains in the aquaculture industry to optimize fish welfare and safeguard it," he said.

He hopes this application is a first step to design a new international standard -- and label -- for safeguarding fish welfare.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Sunday, August 11, 12.29 p.m. CET

Here comes the booze...for fish health

The use of grape pomace in feed could bring an end to the debate about anti-inflammatory effects of food components in livestock nutrition.

Researchers at alternative feed development firm Dr. Eckel in Germany believe red grape pomace -- a residue when producing wine -- can not only reduce oxidative stress and support vitamin E, but also inhibit inflammatory processes in the intestine of fish when used in commercial fish feed.

In an earlier presentation, Julio Traub, researcher at the Scottish Heriot-Watt University, suggested whiskey co-products could offer a sustainable supply of protein to the industry, which are nutritionally comparable to proteins currently used in commercial fish feed ingredients.

He suggested by-products from the whiskey produced in Scotland could be enough to cater to the feed requirements of the Scottish salmon farming industry.

In both cases more research is, however, needed. So let the boozing begin!

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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  Sunday, August 11, 10.42 a.m. CET

Moving shellfish offshore

One of the biggest future challenges for the shellfish industry is moving cultivation offshore, Doug McLeod of Glenelg Shellfish Aquaculture Consultants, said.

"You’re asking for trouble if you’re growing your oysters too close to the shore."

While it won't help escape algae bloom or other environmental issues, it's a definite way of escaping bad press, he said.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Sunday, August 11, 10.29 a.m. CET

Adding value throughout the supply chain

Adding value to seafood products is not simply a question of creating prepared products for consumers but is about raising quality, improving safety, enhancing freshness, and expanding consumers experience throughout the supply chain.

"Value can be improved at all stages," Doug McLeod of Glenelg Shellfish Aquaculture Consultants told the audience at the second day of the EAS conference.

This ranges from production, transportation, packaging and temperature control up until the final product presentation.

"The industry needs to recognize that it has many allies in the scientific, regulatory, environmental and political communities with which we interact -- and we need to build on those positives in order to add value throughout the supply chain," McLeod said.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Saturday, August 10, 4.08 p.m. CET

Southern Russia ups farmed caviar output

South Russia is planning to up its farmed caviar output to about 20,000 to 30,000 metric tons, Gennadiy Madishov, president at the Southern Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said.

The region has been crippled by depleting sturgeon fishing resources and had to look at alternative ways to "artificially reproduce" the stocks.

First steps to farm sturgeon were made in 2004, and in the following years several recirculation systems were put in place to breed various types of sturgeon.

"Our goal is to return Russia to its commercial production of caviar," said Madishov. He is seeing continuing demand in Europe, and increasingly also from China.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Saturday, August 10, 3.27 p.m. CET

Wild, farmed -- all the same?

About 20 percent of total wild-caught seabream in the southeast of Spain comes from nearby farms, research at the University of Alicante suggests.

In a three-month, January to March trial, researcher David Izquierdo, sampled fish at local markets, finding a surprisingly high amount of farmed bream at fish auctions.

Nevertheless, only about 10 percent of the income for the fishermen came from the escaped fish, due to the typically smaller size, he said.

He suggested the origin of the fish should be controlled at the fishmarkets, as the "quality of the product should agree with its prices," and one shouldn't mislead wholesalers, retailers and consumers.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Saturday, August 10, 12.18 p.m. CET

Big tanks, small tanks?

Land-based salmon farming is clearly a big topic at this year's EAS conference, with presentations on ongoing research projects running throughout the first two days.

Fish density and tank sizes are the two big issues addressed in recent Nofima research. Researcher Jelena Kolaveric found that tank size does matter, as swimming activity of Atlantic salmon increases accordingly with the size of the tank.

This is important for the experimental design of swimming activity studies, she said, especially because industrial projects have used larger rearing units, while research still predominantly takes place in smaller scale units.

Ramping up tank size, she said, might make research more relevant to the industry.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Saturday, August 10, 11.52 a.m. CET

EU-wide feed project to publish first major results in 2014

The EU-backed feed project Arraina -- which stands for Advanced Research Initiatives for Nutrition and Aquaculture -- is set to publish its first major results in a years time, Sadasivam Kaushik, project coordinator and director of research at INRA, France, said during his presentation at the EAS conference.

Launched in 2012, in cooperation with 10 scientific groups and 11 industry partners all over Europe -- one of which is Danish feed producer BioMar -- the project aims to produce integrative solutions to lessen the dependence on fishmeal and fish oil in feed.

Underlying goals are to define and provide o define and provide complete data on the quantitative nutrient requirements of the five European aquaculture species Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, common carp, gilthead seabream and European seabass, to develop sustainable alternative feeds tailored to the requirements of these species with reduced levels of fishmeal and fish oil, and to develop innovative vectors that deliver specific nutrients which will increase significantly the performance at all physiological stages thus improving overall efficiency of fish production.

In addition, it aims to undertake long-term studies with fish fed alternative feeds and ensure growth, health, reproductive performance, meat and environmental quality, to evaluate and tailor the potential of fish to use alternative feeds through nutritional programming and to design and deliver targeted training courses in fish nutrition and feed technology to increase research capacities and expertise, particularly in countries of the enlarged EU.

Different programs in work packages are well underway, said Kaushik, and INRA plans a special session at the 2014 EAS conference in Donostia, San Sebastian, Spain, to provide first results.

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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Saturday, August 10, 9.45 a.m. CET

Science, science, science

"Making Sense of Science" is the ambitious name of this year's European Aquaculture Society (EAS) conference in Trondheim.

Over the next three days Europe's scientific aquaculture community will propose solutions to tackle some of the sector's biggest challenges through science, new research and innovation.

Kicking off the conference this morning was Kjell Maroni, president of EAS, who said "aquaculture development is very much due to scientific results."

Aquaculture science is "important for the industry, important for society," he said.

"We need a lot of innovative minds," also said Elin Kjorsvik, professor at the Institute of Biology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, where the conference is taking place.

"We cannot proceed as we now are," she said. "What will be important tomorrow may not be invented today."

-- Elisabeth Fischer

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