The world’s largest wellboat, the Ronja Storm, was launched from the Cemre shipyard in Yalova, Turkey, where the 116 m long and 23 m wide vessel was constructed, and is now making its maiden voyage to Norway where it will be fitted out. Following this, the Ronja Storm will sail to Tasmania where it will join the Australian company Huon’s fleet. The vessel is to be used to transport and bathe salmon. Salmon are bathed in freshwater onboard the wellboat to treat them for amoebic gill disease. The freshwater causes the amoeba to drop off the gills of the fish. The vessel would be able to bathe an entire 240 m pen.The Ronja Storm is more than twice the size of the world’s previous biggest wellboat, and can hold over 12,000 cubic meters of water. In addition, it will contain technology that is at the cutting edge of salmon farming. The ship will have its own desalination plant, producing 700 tonnes of freshwater per hour. This will ensure efficient operations while reducing pressure on Tasmania’s freshwater supply. Peter and Frances Bender of Huon were recognised as the 2018 Australian Farmer of the Year and are currently the only salmon farmers in Australia to use wellboats in their operations. Image credit: Havyard
A positive outlook for rainbow trout and the insufficient use of available EMFF funds are among the observations in recent examinations of Spain’s aquaculture sector. A report from APROMAR says the situation after a 2016 judgement by Spain’s Supreme Court declaring that rainbow trout was an invasive species has been addressed by the Congress of Deputies. The report stated that APROMAR welcomed this as step in the right direction to return to normalize the cultivation of such an important species in Spain as rainbow trout. Rainbow trout enjoys a growing market in Europe, and several countries, from Turkey to Denmark, are leaders in its production. Spain’s expertise in aquaculture technology and marketing make rainbow trout a promising area for economic investment.
APROMAR also described the “disappointingly scarce use” of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The report stated that for practical purposes the development of aquaculture activities in Natura 2000 areas was very scarce and that applications to the EMFF continued to be insufficient and even reached historical lows when it was below 15%. There are even parts of the EMFF that have not yet been launched, such as the Financial Instrument, which is essential for large aquaculture companies to access support for fish processing and distribution.
Shrimp farmers in India are facing a double whammy this winter, as buyers in a glutted global market are offering prices that are below farmers’ production costs, and farms ravaged by Cyclone Titli in October now face disease outbreaks.
As reported by Undercurrent and Intrafish, the 2019 forecast for supply from India's shrimp producers is down, with one source estimating supply in the production year ending 31 March 2019, to be 620.000-650.000 tonnes, down from an initial estimate of 700.000 tonnes. This is attributed in part to below-cost prices offered by shrimp buyers in advance of the winter holidays, Easter, and other peak consumption periods, leading farmers to reduce their pond seeding levels. Farmers in some areas are being offered USD 6,50 per kilo, when their costs are as high as USD 7,00 per kilo.
The lower supply forecast is also due to collateral effects of the cyclone, including a series of disease outbreaks hitting shrimp farms especially in the hard-hit eastern Indian State of Odisha, as well as parts of northern Andhra Pradesh, and West and South Bengal. The spread of white spot virus is “very severe” in some areas, adding to the costs from damaged or destroyed farms and roads and other infrastructure. Odisha accounts for only 7% of India’s supply, so national production isn’t heavily affected by the cyclone, but locally the damage is great. On the positive side (for farmers), the forecast supply reduction means processors who must meet seasonal supply contracts with buyers will have to raise their prices offered to farmers.
Eurofish Magazine issue 6 2018 features the fishing and aquaculture sectors in Croatia. The technology section looks at the growing concern about plastic waste in the oceans while the poor image of aquaculture is discussed.
November / December 2018 EM 6
Country profile: Croatia, Romania
Technology: Growing concern about plastic waste in the oceans - Search for plastic-free packaging intensified
Aquaculture: Aquaculture has a poor image despite immense economic importance - Lack of knowledge nourishes prejudices
Species: Will eel soon be off the menu? - Europe struggling to save the eel population
September / October 2018 EM 5
Country profile: Latvia
Technology: Industry 4.0 conquers the fish processing sector - Automated processing lines take over from traditional manual work
Aquaculture: Algae and aquatic plants in global aquaculture
Events: Tuna 2018, WTO, Market Access. and Fish Trade
July / August 2018 EM 4
Country profiles: Spain and Romania
Fisheries: Chronic shortage of young people for Europe’s fishing industry - Less and less interest in joining the fishing profession
Aquaculture: Drones and robots for more efficiency in aquaculture - Offshore aquaculture requires intelligent technologies
Events: Review of the SEG show in Brussels
APROMAR, the Spanish aquaculture producers association, has published the 2018 edition of its annual report on the development of the aquaculture sector in Spain and Europe. The figures are the most current available to date and in addition to the information gathered by the association and its members, information has been used from the European Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA), the European Federation of Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Among its main conclusions, the following stand out:
- The harvest of aquaculture seabass in Spain in 2017 was 21.269 tonnes. The Region of Murcia has led the production with 6.990 tonnes, followed by Canarias (5.900 tonnes), Comunidad Valenciana (4.972 tonnes) Andalucía (3.261 tonnes) and Cataluña (146 tonnes).
- The production of rainbow trout in Spain in 2017 is estimated at 17.984 tonnes. The main producing regions are Castilla y León, Galicia, and Andalucía.
- The harvest of seabream from aquaculture in Spain in 2017 was 13.643 tonnes. Comunidad Valenciana has led the production with 5.590 tonnes, followed by Murcia (4.356 tonnes), Canarias (2.063 tonnes), Andalucía (980 tonnes), and Cataluña (654 tonnes).
- The harvest of turbot from aquaculture in Spain in 2017 was 8.546 tonnes. Galicia is the main autonomous producer of turbot in Spain (99%); the rest is produced in Cantabria.
- The production of croaker by aquaculture in Spain in 2017 was 1.932 tonnes. The bulk of Spanish croaker production comes from Comunidad Valenciana.
- In 2017, 129.200 tonnes of aquaculture feed were used in Spain. 83,1% of these were administered to marine fish and the remaining 16,9% to freshwater species.
- Employment in aquaculture in Spain in 2016 was 6.534 work-year units, although this figure was distributed among 17.811 people.
- In 2016, a total of 5.105 aquaculture establishments were in operation and producing in Spain. Of these, 4.782 were marine molluscs aquaculture farms, 200 were freshwater fish aquaculture farms, 82 farms were on the coast, beaches, intertidal zones and estuaries, and 41 were nurseries (cages) in the sea.
The report (in Spanish) can be viewed here:
May / June 2018 EM 3
Country profiles: Norway, Estonia, Slovenia
Fisheries: Multi-species models, more selective nets and more efficient fishing vessels
Aquaculture: Urban fish farming: A realistic model or unworldly utopia?
Events: Review of the SEG show in Brussels
One of every two fish sold on the world’s markets already comes from aquaculture and this share will continue to grow in the coming years. New farming projects are added almost every day. Not all of them succeed at the first attempt for aquaculture is very susceptible to disturbances and damages. So far, however, only very few companies are insured against losses. Too expensive, too complicated, or simply not interested?
Insurance companies don’t have a very good image. They are sometimes scorned for lending out umbrellas but immediately reclaiming them when the first drops of rain fall. Nearly everyone can relate examples of how skilfully insurance companies will evade their obligations when things get really tight for the insured party. Nevertheless, interest in insuring aquaculture projects has never been greater than it is today. The gap between this increase in demand and the available offers of aquaculture insurance is getting wider and wider. More than ten years ago FAO experts estimated the number of insurance policies taken out at around 8,000, and even if this number is likely to have increased by a few thousand since then it is still negligible compared to the total number of large and small aquaculture companies which amounts to several hundred thousand! It is striking that a large share of existing insurance policies is concluded in western industrialised countries while other regions, such as large parts of Asia, which accounts for around 80 per cent of global aquaculture production, are much less represented. What are the causes of this unsatisfactory situation? Do insurance companies simply shy away from the eff ort and cost of auditing farms or, in general, from the risks of fish farming? Or is it because fish farmers fear the costs of insurance and underestimate the benefits of insurance cover? Another noticeable feature of aquaculture insurance is that many insurers only offer products for a few species and production methods: mainly for salmon and shrimps. It is much more difficult to find useful offers for new species and innovative methods. This is understandable, because insurers need a broad database and industry-specific standards in order to realistically assess the risks of aquaculture production and calculate the resulting premiums. What has long been routine in car insurance, because there are detailed time series on the type, frequency and severity of possible damage that can even be grouped regionally and for specific car types, is still very difficult in aquaculture. The diversity of species and methods can hardly be forced into uniform, universally applicable standards.