Turkeys aquaculture exports during this season reached $582.2 million, a 9 percent increase compared to the same period last year according to the Eastern Black Sea Exports Association. Some 118,954 tonnes of aquaculture products were exported between September 1 and April 15, 2019.The Netherlands, Japan and Italy were the leading export destinations for frozen fish fillets from Turkey
Hungary has revealed plans to build a new carbon-neutral greenhouse-filled farming city that will be powered by renewable energy sources. The farming city will include one of Europe’s largest indoor fish farming facilities. The €1 billion agricultural center will adjoin the border between Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. It will cover 330 hectares – equivalent to 500 football pitches.
Sursan Su Urunleri AS, a fish production company based in Turkey, became one of the first companies awarded Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ACS) certification for farmed seabass, seabream and meagre. The two farms operated by Sursan share this accomplishment with Nireus, a Greek farm which received ACS certification at the same time. The certification for all four farms were carried out by independent Conformity Assessment Body Acoura. The certification guarantees the products are produced in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner. Since receiving certification on June 5, 2019, producers of seabass and seabream have responded enthusiastically with a strong demand for ACS certified products. High demand for ACS certified products has driven more farms to schedule audits to the new standard. Farms in Turkey, Greece, Spain, Croatia and Albania have all undergone audits since Sursan received ACS certification.
The use of big data is becoming increasing accessible in aquaculture with systems like Manolin, XpertSea and Jala offering services that could revolutionize practices within the industry. These platforms aim to offer services that improve the management of farming activities. Within the production process for aquaculture, huge amounts of site and operation specific data is generated, and platforms like XpertSea offer services that streamline this data. Using Big data farmers can obtain health information on the animals they raise, monitor disease outbreaks and water quality and several other pertinent sources of information. Additionally, the use of artificial intelligence may also result in increased productivity with algorithms boosting feed conversion rates and methodologies that can detect when fish are experiencing increased biological stress.
Skretting, the world’s largest producer of feed for farmed fish, has committed to a deal with insect breeder Protix that could see up to 5.5 million servings of salmon containing insect meat brought to the market per year. Aquaculture production is expected to grow by 30 million tonnes in the near future. Sustaining this growth will require an additional 45 million tonnes of raw materials for feed, creating a potential ’protein’ gap between feed production capacity and demand for farm-raised fish. One potential way to bridge this gap is through insect protein. Not only could insects help bridge the protein gap, it will do so sustainably, contributing to a circular bio economy. A new Protix insect production facility in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands, breeds insects that convert vegetable residual flows into sustainable protein, contributing to a future-proof, circular bio economy.
Omega-3 fatty acids from microalgae instead of fish oil
Fish oil is not available in sufficient quantities to meet the growing needs of the aquaculture and nutraceutical industries. Although essential omega-3 fatty acids are also to be found in microalgae, production capacity has so far been low. That is now changing, however, and developments in this field are making rapid progress. The first feeds for aquaculture with omega-3 fatty acids from algae are now available on the market.
Human beings – like fish – have to consume a certain amount of essential, long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids with their food every day in order to stay healthy and develop "normally". The omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are particularly important. These are not produced in the body but must be obtained from food. Hundreds of scientific studies have revealed that EPA and DHA are of huge importance for the development and health of the brain, eyes and cardiovascular system.
With regard to their use in animal and aquaculture feed both of these fatty acids have up to now been obtained almost exclusively from marine fish oil sources. However, fish oil supply is limited because the available wild fish catches cannot be increased at will and they are also used more for direct human consumption. Global fish oil production is currently stagnant at around one million tonnes a year and is indeed tending to decline. This situation is already endangering the growth of aquaculture which uses almost three-quarters of worldwide fish oil production. Significant increases are not to be expected for the time being despite the fact that fish oil producers now also gain raw materials from previously unused reserves such as slaughterhouse waste and by-catches from the fishing sector which were previously discarded at sea immediately after the catch. It is estimated that 15 to 20 million tonnes more raw material could be taken from these sources each year. Hopes now also rest on the stocks of mesopelagic fish species which live in the oceans at depths of between 200 and 1,000 metres. Scientists have estimated their biomass at 10,000 million tonnes. If this is correct it would be by far the largest known fish resource. Access to these fish, however (they live at the upper limit of the deep sea) poses enormous risks to oceanic ecosystems because we still know far too little about the mesopelagic fish world to be able to use it sustainably.
Scientists and industry representatives from 16 countries gathered in Tromsø, Norway in the middle of June to launch a new EU-funded project, AquaVitae. The 36 project partners are from European countries as well as Brazil, South Africa, Namibia, and North America.
The International Conference “Aquaculture Today & Tomorrow” that took place in Verona on May 16-17 was organised by EUROFISH in collaboration with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forestry Policies and Tourism, and the Italian Fish Farmers Association (API). The conference hosted 22 speakers in 4 sessions covering the current status and challenges of the aquaculture sector and how to realize its potential. Sustainable aquaculture practices and innovative solutions were also presented along with how to expand the farmed seafood market. Over 100 participants from 28 countries visited the event which featured a visit to fish farm Agroittica Lombarda, the 3rd largest caviar producer in the world. The programme and presentations are available at: www.eurofish.dk/att.
Petrozavodsk, capital of the Republic of Karelia, the leading region for rainbow trout aquaculture in the Russian Federation, hosted the International Trout Forum “Modern Technologies. Security and legal regulation” on 12-13 March 2019. The event was organised by the Government of the Republic of Karelia, the Federal Agency for Fisheries of Russia, and the National Agency for Social Communication, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation. More than 350 representatives of Russian and international companies and organisations, research and educational institutions, federal and regional administration, local governments, as well as students of Petrozavodsk State University participated in the forum. Vasiliy Sokolov, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries of Russia, reported that aquaculture production in the country surpassed 238 000 tonnes in 2018, a three-fold increase since 2005. The North-Western Federal district, where the Forum was held, was the second largest district of Russia after the Southern district with 59 500 tonnes of aquaculture production in 2018. Vladimir Labinov, Deputy Prime Minister of the government of the Republic of Karelia and the Minister of agriculture and fisheries of the Republic of Karelia noted the need to reduce administrative barriers if the sector was to develop. The event also discussed the creation of a platform for the exchange of experience and dialogue between government, the scientific establishment, civil society, and industry. Buoyed by the response to the meeting the organisers have decided to hold the forum annually.
Eurofish Magazine issue 3 2019 features the fishing and aquaculture sectors in Estonia and Serbia. The Aquaculture section looks at new solutions to support sustainable growth in aquaculture.