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Entries in Aquaculture Business (21)


Waiter, there's a fly in my fish...

Insect Meal Could be the Future of Animal Feed

This article appeared on The Fish Site on 27 October 2014


US - As demand for meat, milk and dairy products grows, the issue of what to feed livestock becomes more critical because of the limited availability of natural resources, ongoing climate change issues and competition between human food, animal feed and biofuel for land and water.

Insect meals may be part of the solution, according to a new FAO study published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Animal Feed Science and Technology.

Livestock production is resource hungry: It occupies 75 per cent of all agricultural land, including crop and pasture land, and consumes eight per cent of global human water use, mainly for the irrigation of feed crops.

FAO and the Association Française de Zootechnie in Paris have conducted a review of hundreds of scientific studies on the potential use of insects as animal feed, a field that is still in its infancy.

The review covers five major groups of insects – black solider fly, the house fly, mealworm beetles, locusts, grasshoppers and crickets, and silkworms – and their distribution, rearing, environmental impact, nutritional attributes, constraints and their potential use as alternate feed.

“A quest for new sources of feed for livestock is a must,” said the study’s lead author Harinder Makkar, Animal Production Officer in the FAO Animal Production and Health Division. “This review of the literature is valuable because it is expected to open new areas for research and new avenues for large-scale use of insect products as animal feed.”

“Insects have many advantages over other feeds,” he added. “They grow and reproduce easily, have high feed conversion efficiency since they are cold blooded and can be reared on bio-waste. One kilo of insect biomass can be produced from around 2 kilos of waste.”

Nutritional Content

The crude protein content of the insects studied is 42-63 per cent and oil content up to 36 per cent. Some of the literature shows that insect meals, when added to animal feed, can replace 25 to 100 per cent of soymeal or fishmeal in the feed, depending on the animal species.

Mr Makkar noted that fishmeal production is no longer rising as oceans reach their harvest limits, and that sources of soy for cattle feed are also limited.

Some insect meals do not contain all nutrients in sufficient amounts needed by the livestock, for example, calcium, which is needed by growing animals and laying hens. Essential amino acids such as lysine and methionine are also deficient in some insect meals. Such nutrients would have to be added to the feed. Alternatively an “ideal” protein meal for livestock diets can be prepared by mixing meals from different insect species.

Other issues such as the contamination of feed by pathogens, pesticides, mycotoxins or heavy metals such as lead in the insects will have to be addressed.

Tests have found that pigs, poultry and fish will eat feed that contains insect meal from the five insect groups mentioned above. The rest of the feed is composed of carbohydrates including grains or agroindustrial byproducts like cassava residue or molasses.

In the case of feed suitable for ruminants like cattle, the scientific literature appeared to have only studied silkworm meal, which it found contained valuable protein and amino acids.

There are economic spinoffs from insect-based feed production. For low-oil feed, the unwanted oil in the insect meal could be extracted and used for various applications including biodiesel.

- See more at: http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/24396/insect-meal-could-be-the-future-of-animal-feed#sthash.FyvrbItC.dpuf


Global Aquaculture: Australia’s Role in Meeting Industry Challenges

This article was published on the Future Directions International website here

It was written by Matthew Curry, Research Assistant, Global Food and Water Crisis Research Programme


Global Aquaculture: Australia’s Role in Meeting Industry Challenges

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Aquaculture is rapidly expanding and showing promise as a means of decreasing poverty rates and improving food security globally. Australia’s world-leading aquaculture companies have demonstrated their potential to pioneer the advancement of this important industry.


Aquaculture – the breeding and harvesting of aquatic organisms – has grown substantially in recent decades. Despite this, long-term mismanagement of the world’s fisheries has led to a decline in world fish stocks, placing increased pressure on aquaculture to meet global demand. Fish consumption has been linked to improved nutrition and poverty alleviation; thus, sustainably managing this expansion is essential. 


Seafood Intelligence – an independent international seafood market news and information service – has benchmarked Tasmanian salmon producer Tassal as the world’s top salmon farming company, based on corporate, social and environmental responsibility and sustainability. This report was accompanied by an Australian first: Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) accreditation for Tassal’s Macquarie Harbour farms. The award comes at a time of global growth in aquaculture, which is increasing the availability of fish as a safe and healthy food option.

Aquatic produce is a source of income and food security for more than 500 million people in developing states. Fish is high in protein and essential oils: vital components of a balanced diet. Low incomes restrict many people from accessing such essential sources of protein, however. Therefore aquaculture’s capacity to provide a source of protein and income for those living in poverty is invaluable to developing populations. That potential is complicated, however, by inherent sustainability issues.

Aquaculture, if poorly managed, can contribute to widespread environmental degradation. This includes reduced water quality, stock disease and damage to ocean ecosystems due to fish feed extraction. All of these negative effects must be addressed to ensure the successful expansion of aquaculture.

Although Australian aquaculture accounts for just 0.36% of global production, the high quality and sustainability of Australian products and production systems have made Australia an industry leader worldwide.

Developing alternative feed sources is vital to the expansion of agriculture. The Australian government and aquaculture industry leaders can assist in this area, through research and resource provisions. Aquaculture cultivates high value fish that are often carnivorous; they are fed smaller and lower value fish extracted from the oceans. This, however, can upset the ecosystems and food chains in the oceans. The Australian government is currently investing in a joint aquaculture research programme with Vietnam, to find alternative, sustainable feed sources. Solving this problem will require co-operation between all stakeholders, i.e. governments, policy makers, commercial farmers, smallholder farmers and subsistence farmers around the world. Programmes such as these are a step in the right direction for the industry’s future.

In developing countries, many aquaculture enterprises are only designed for subsistence farming. The strict food, health and safety standards required for exports, often bar smallholder farmers from gaining access to global markets, which limits their potential to improve their livelihoods. Australia’s extensive knowledge and expertise in health and safety standardisation could be applied to help develop these smallholder farms.

Aquaculture will continue to expand as the demand for fish increases; however, that growth will need to be sustainable. This is essential to uphold aquaculture’s promise in addressing food insecurity and poverty issues. Australia has the potential to contribute significantly to the sustainable development of global aquaculture, by assisting smallholder farmers in developing nations who lack the systems, skills and technology to gain broader market access. The collaboration of Australian firms with other countries and stakeholders can assist in achieving greater food security globally.




Hamour exploited 6-7 times over sustainable level

The following article was published on the gulfnews.com website on August 1, 2014. It was written by Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter


Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi backs aquaculture to restore dwindling fish species

Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Local Hamour fish at the Fish market at Lulu Hypermarket at Khalidia Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi: Hamour (orange-spotted grouper), the most sought after fish species in the region, is also the most overexploited one. The rate at which Hamour are caught is estimated to be six to seven times in excess of sustainable levels, according to the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD).

Surveys conducted in 2002 showed that the grouper in general had been depleted to 13 per cent, compared to the abundance in which it was found in the region in 1978. Although a stock assessment for Cobia has not been undertaken yet, there are very limited landings of about 30 tonnes a year.

As the population of Abu Dhabi has increased over the years, fisheries expanded to try and meet the rising demand for fresh fish.

Well-managed restocking initiatives including introducing hatchery-produced fish fingerlings of overexploited local species back into the wild can help replenish overexploited fisheries resources.

Sustainable aquaculture technologies can also be used to preserve biodiversity by boosting the numbers of threatened and endangered species. In addition, some types of aquaculture, such as pearl aquaculture (or those involving filter feeding species), require sites at sea with good water quality. In effect, the existence of these farms at these locations ends up protecting these pristine areas and further enhancing the water quality in the area, an EAD spokesperson said.




The following article was published on the bqdoha.com website on July 23 2014. It was written by Dada Zecic Pivac

GCC adopting aquaculture

As the population in the GCC is growing, so is the demand for protein. Fishing, a traditionally important industry in the Gulf, cannot meet the demand due to sharp decline of fish stock, caused by overfishing and pollution. In search of solution, the region is turning to fish farming.


fishing, GCC, aquaculture

 In two years’ time the coast of Oman will become home to one of the biggest aquaculture facility in the region. The $80 million project will involve inland aquaculture, cage farming, and mariculture. Emirates Star Fisheries, presently in search of investors, announced their the aim to produce 13,000 tonnes of fish a year by 2018. The farm is expected to produce 3,000 tonnes of fish in 2016; 8,000 tonnes in 2017 and 13,000 tonnes in 2018. This includes 10,000 tonnes of shrimp and 3,000 tonnes of tuna, cobia and sea bream. This newest aquaculture project, announced in Dubai beginning of June, is expected to be supported by all GCC countries and reflects continuous effort to produce more food locally.

Fishing has always been an important industry in the Gulf, worth $272 million a year, but because of sharp decline of fish stock, due to overfishing and pollution, the region is turning to fish farming. It’s an attempt to meet the increasing demand for protein owing to the growing population. Fish consumption in the GCC is estimated at 10 kg per person per year, with UAE topping the regional rankings in the consumption of seafood with 33 kilograms per capita. Population growth and rising affluence means increasing demand for fish, and it is projected to grow at around eight percent a year up to 2030, reaching 900,000 tonnes by that year in the UAE. Experts predict that fish supply in GCC countries must increase 20 percent to meet the region’s current levels of consumption.

fishing, GCC, aquaculture

Spangled emperor fish – an increasingly depleted species.


Oceans running out of fish

 According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) May report, fish production in the Middle East has been gradually increasing since 1961 at a growth rate of 16 percent. Egypt is the biggest producer in both capture fisheries and aquaculture, supplying 40 percent of the total volume. In second place is Iran (21 percent), followed by Turkey (19 percent), Yemen (6 percent), and Oman (5 percent). Kuwait, Qatar, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan are the bottom of the producers list.

Decline of the fish stock in the region is alarming: according to some reports 70 percent of Saudi Arabia fish in the Red Sea have already vanished because of the pollution, while in Arabian Gulf some species (the popular orange-spotted grouper – known as hammour – the spangled emperor fish or shaari, and kingfish) are being depleted due to overfishing – most of the fish being caught before they have a chance to reproduce. It is estimated that 70 percent of the volume of fish, caught by commercial fishing boats, comes from species that are over-fished.

In 2002 UAE estimated their fish stocks at 1,735 kg per square kilometer. By 2011 the number dropped to 529 kg per square kilometer. In 1975, stocks were estimated at 9,100kg per square kilometer.

Aquaculture can be the answer to the problem, since fish farming imposes no strain on precious freshwater resources: the impact on the environment can be minimized by using seawater at onshore facilities and recycling it. According to FAO report, out of a total of 2.4 million tonnes of fish produced in the Middle East in 2001, 78.6 percent was supplied by capture fisheries while only 21.4 percent was supplied by aquaculture farming. In 2011, out of a total of 3.4 million tonnes, 56 percent was from capture fisheries while 44 percent was contributed by aquaculture. For GCC region, recent data shows aquaculture is the fastest growing food processing sector: farmed fish output across the region has grown five-fold in a ten year period, from 194,000 tonnes in 2002 to 1.1 million tonnes in 2012, with Oman and Saudi Arabia as leading investors in the industry.


Big investments

fishing, GCC, aquaculture

Sur fish market in Oman. Credit: Ji-Elle


In December the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Agriculture announced that it would inject an additional $10.6 billion into aquaculture projects to produce one million tons of fish in the next 16 years. The development, chanelled mainly through the state owned National Prawn Company, also includes USD 1 billion international investments in a 31,000 hectare aquaculture project in Mauritania.

In 2012, KSA imported nearly 175,000 tonnes of fish worth around $370 million. Saudi Arabia’s fish production was estimated at around 100,471 tonnes in 2012, and the demand is predicted to soar to an all-time high of around 286,000 tonnes in 2025 due to the population growth.

Oman, the country on the forefront of region’s fishing industry, is planning to invest USD 1.3 billion in fisheries’ development by 2020, with government granting aquaculture license to 19 projects worth $332 million, in 2014. Today, fishing industry sustains the livelihoods of some 40,000 Omanis. Government plans to produce 480,000 tonnes of fish and create 20,000 jobs by 2020, and officials estimate direct returns from fishing and fish processing activities to climb from $960 million today to $1.9 billion in 2020. Oman is exporting 50 percent of the catch, mainly to neighboring countries, while local consumption is currently 27 kg per person per year.

In Qatar investments in fish farming are also welcomed. Ministry of Environment (MoE) statistics for 2012 revealed that the local produce of fish fell short of the consumption needs by around 20 percent. Like in the neighboring countries over-fishing can put the natural reserves of fish at risk as the current local production is at the maximum level allowable for fresh fish. But aquaculture in Qatar is still in its infancy – according to FAO data, in 2010 reported aquaculture production in Qatar was meagre 35 tonnes, while fish consumption per capita is estimated at 20.8 kg a year.

UAE has many new aquaculture projects planned as well, including the production of high value seafood, such as Middle East’s first farm for sturgeon caviar and salmon.

With the population growth rate of 1.3 percent per year, the seafood industry is expected to have to double in the next 45 years if the present global seafood per capita consumption of 18.4 kg is to be maintained. Aquaculture is currently supplying nearly 50 percent of the global fish consumption, while global aquaculture market will reach USD 202.96 billion by 2020.



Global Aquaculture Market is Expected to Reach $15.90 Billion in 2019

Source: The Fish Site

According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research, the global aquaculture market was valued at $11.16 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $15.90 billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 5.2 per cent from 2013 to 2019.


Lack of adequate power infrastructure and increasing demand for reliable electricity delivery are the major driving forces of this market.

Volume of captured fish is fast depleting and is expected to be one of the primary factors driving global aquaculture production over the next few years.

In addition, increasing consumer awareness regarding health benefits associated with consumption of fish and fish products is expected to boost aquaculture production within the forecast period.

Aquaculture is expected to surpass captured fish industry as the major source for human consumption by the end of 2015. However, parameters such as adverse environmental conditions and lack of technology are expected to hamper the growth of the market. Increasing practice of rice and fish farming, which aims at increasing yields of rice grains as well as fishes is expected to open new opportunities for the growth of the market within the near future.

Aquaculture practiced in fresh water was the largest culture environment segment in 2012 accounting for over 60 per cent of the production. It is expected to be one of the fastest growing segments over the next few years on account of simulation of the culture environment in enclosed areas such as ponds, cages and concrete raceways. Aquaculture practiced in marine water is expected to grow at a CAGR 2.4 per cent from 2013 to 2019 on account of increased consumer demand for sea water fishes.

Carps were the biggest product segment within the market and accounted for over 35 per cent of the global production in 2012. Carps, particularly common carps, have been one of the majorly farmed aquatic species in the industry owing to their compatibility in less than ideal environmental conditions.

Mollusks such as clams and mussels have been an important food source and are expected to witness the fastest growth over the next few years. This segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.6 per cent from 2013 to 2019, owing to their increasingly use in poly culture systems such as rice and fish farming.

China dominated aquaculture production and accounted for over 60 per cent of the total share in 2012. In addition, this region is expected to witness the fastest growth within the forecast period.

Cheap labour, ease of availability of natural resources and induced conditions for aquaculture are some of the key factors which are expected to contribute significantly to the growth of the market in this region over the next few years.

- See more at: http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/23892/global-aquaculture-market-is-expected-to-reach-1590-billion-in-2019#sthash.TVsJ06eI.dpuf