Aquaculture

EM6 20 AQ MemshrimpPioneering cultivation of a new species

This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 6 / 2020.

A company in Turkey is growing whiteleg shrimp from imported broodstock. The experience and knowledge gained will be used to catalyse the development of a shrimp industry in the country.

Turkish catches of wild shrimp are dominated by deep-water rose shrimp (Parapenaeus longirostris). This species accounted for three quarters of the catch of shrimp, prawn and lobster in 2019 or 3,850 tonnes. In addition, the country imported 2,150 tonnes of shrimp in various forms. Shrimp are popular in Turkey which is why it is surprising, that despite an 8,000 km long coastline and a hugely successful aquaculture sector, shrimp farming has never established itself.

EM6 20 AQ AAC GAAmbitious programme of work for 2021

This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 6 / 2020.

The annual general assembly of the Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC) in September this year was held online due to the pandemic. The virtual setting had, however, no impact on the level of debate which has characterised this organisation’s meetings. In his address, Virginius Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries, welcomed the advice and recommendations made by AAC for the Commission and the Member States to guide the development of sustainable aquaculture in Europe. He stressed that aquaculture as a low carbon source of high-quality protein plays a key role in meeting the objectives of EU strategies, including the European Green Deal, the Farm to Fork Strategy, and the Biodiversity Strategy.

EM5 20 AQIt is now over 200 years since the water carrier in Luigi Cherubini’s opera expressed for the first time that without water our world would be an ‘empty barrel’. But this has in the meantime become a serious problem. Climate change is increasing the pressure to use water even more sparingly. This affects aquaculture in particular for almost two-thirds of global output are currently produced in fresh water.

This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 5 / 2020.

EM4 20 BiotechConsumers need more information about the benefits offered by today’s technologies

This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2020.

Advances in biotechnology are opening up new opportunities that can benefit aquaculture, too, making it more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and more sustainable. The potential is enormous, but not all biotechnological methods and tools find acceptance in the public domain. Some consumers even reject genetic engineering outright. However, genetic engineering is only one of many opportunities that biotechnology offers us.

EM2 20 AQ aquafeed alternatives1Although aquafeed manufacturers still can’t do completely without fishmeal and fish oil they are in the meantime much less dependent on marine ingredients and are increasingly using alternative raw materials to meet the protein and nutrient requirements of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Modern processing methods today enable the use of numerous new resources.

This article featured in EUROFISH Magazine 2 2020.

According to the FAO an additional 27 million tonnes of seafood will have to be produced by 2030 in order to maintain the current supply level. This will be impossible without expanding aquaculture production, however, and will lead to an increased demand for aquafeed. That, in turn, poses enormous problems for the feed industry because the supply of fishmeal and fish oil cannot be increased at will without jeopardising the sustainability of industrial fishing. Traditionally, fishmeal has been the preferred source of protein for aquafeed due to its high protein content, well-balanced amino acid profile, and good digestibility. Global fishmeal production has been stagnating for more than 30 years, however, and might now even be on a decline. On average, the fishmeal industry uses about 20 million tonnes of raw materials a year for the production of approximately 5 million tonnes of fishmeal and 1 million tonnes of fish oil. Three quarters of this is processed to feed for aquaculture. Because the available quantities are not sufficient to meet demand the feed industry has to resort to alternative raw materials.

EM1 20 AlgaeMicroalgae are of fundamental importance for life in the oceans. With their photosynthesis they are the first link in the marine food chains upon which the existence of life in the oceans is based. Under certain conditions, however, uncontrolled mass development of the tiny algae can occur. The resulting algal blooms often have serious ecological and economic consequences and can even be toxic.

This article was featured in EM 1 / 2020.

EM6 19 AQ faqProgress must be better conveyed

From simple earth ponds to offshore net enclosures and computer-controlled RAS: no other area of food production has changed so rapidly in such a short time as aquaculture. The pace of development is overwhelming for many consumers and outside the industry there are enormous gaps in knowledge which often leads to misunderstandings and even raises fears. More explanation and elucidation will be necessary to enable a constructive dialogue.

The term aquaculture has had some quite different meanings throughout history. It first appeared in 1855 in a newspaper article in connection with the storage of ice for cooling purposes in the summer months, and later on it was also used for irrigation practices in agriculture. Since the end of the 19th century (around 1890), however, it has increasingly been understood as a collective term for the methods used for the cultivation of aquatic plants and the rearing of various aquatic animal species. These mainly include fish, molluscs and crustaceans, but also aquatic reptiles, amphibians and some invertebrates, including echinoderms such as sea cucumbers or sea urchins. To be successful, aquaculture requires precise knowledge about the biology of the organisms produced, their food requirements, and their daily needs. In contrast to capture fisheries, which exploit fish stocks as a common pool resource, the plants and animals produced in aquaculture are the property of the producer or company.

This article was featured in the EUROFISH Magazine 6/2019.

EM6 19 AQ Fiap stunFIAP profiwork fish stunner

When slaughtering fish in the EU, farmers or processors must apply the basic principle that governs the slaughter of terrestrial species, according to a report by the Aquaculture Advisory Council from 2017. This principle states that animals shall be spared any avoidable pain, distress or suffering during their killing and related operations. Fish should therefore be slaughtered using humane methods as far as possible. The report goes on to list systems with the potential to deliver humane slaughter, one of which is electrical stunning followed, if necessary, by a separate killing method.

This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 6/2019.

EM5 19 AQ animal welfareObjective evaluation criteria still lacking for many fish species

People keep animals for various reasons. Pets can be companions, they can play a part in hobbies or pastimes, or they can serve as test organisms in the laboratory. And of course – as farm animals – they are used for food purposes. In affluent countries, a change in values is currently taking place that is fundamentally questioning the right to use and exploit animals. Animal welfare is an increasingly significant aspect of successful marketing.

 

This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 5/2019.

EM4 19 AQ Verona conf DSC3203Aquaculture continues to grow faster than other major food production sectors reports the FAO’s State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018 (SOFIA). In the last few years this statement has become a motto for the European aquaculture sector to persuade local, regional, national and European regulators to develop consistent strategies and programmes to replicate global growth in the sector at the European level.

In 1956 only 1.2 million tonnes of farmed fish and seafood products were produced globally, a figure that climbed to 3.73m tonnes in 1976 (about 300%), and to 26.54 million tonnes (about 700%) over the next 20 years. Between 1996 and 2016 global aquaculture reached a peak of 80 million tonnes (about 300%) and is still growing, while growth in the European Union lags far behind. In this context the International Organisation for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Europe (EUROFISH) in collaboration with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the Italian Ministry for Agriculture, Food, Forestry Policies and Tourism, and the Italian Fish Farmers Association (API), organised an event to discuss the future of European aquaculture as seen by a wide range of stakeholders. The international conference “Aquaculture Today & Tomorrow. Unlock the Potential” was attended by more than 100 participants from 28 countries.

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