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Finfish News

(incorporating Trout News) Number 9, Winter/Spring 2010

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010



(Incorporating Trout News)

Number 9 Winter/Spring 2010

Cefas is an Executive Agency of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

· `Finfish News' is produced and edited by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). · It is published twice yearly (Winter/Spring and Summer/Autumn) as a service to the British finfish farming industry. · Copies are available free, on request to the editor. Recent back copies can also be viewed and/ or downloaded as .pdf files from the Cefas web site ( finfish-news.aspx). · Articles, news and comment relating to finfish farming are welcomed and should be sent to the editor. The deadline for the next issue is Friday 1st October 2010. · The views expressed in this issue are those of the contributors and are not necessarily those of the editors, Cefas or Defra; and the reference to proprietary products should not be construed as an official endorsement of these products. The editors reserve the right to edit articles or other contributions.

Editor: Tim Ellis Cefas Weymouth Laboratory Barrack Road, The Nothe Weymouth Dorset DT4 8UB Tel: 01305 206706 Email: [email protected]

Assistant Editor: David Smith Cefas Weymouth Laboratory Barrack Road, The Nothe Weymouth Dorset DT4 8UB Tel: 01305 206741 Email: [email protected]

Printed in the UK, on material that contains a minimum of 75% recycled fibre. © Crown copyright, 2010

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


Articles Sustainable aquaculture workshop ....................................................................................... 4 An alternative view of UK Tilapia farming .......................................................................... 23 Tilapia workshop presentations .......................................................................................... 24 Registration of fisheries ..................................................................................................... 26 Predation at stillwater fisheries ........................................................................................... 27 An introduction to the European Fisheries Fund ­ Focus on Aquaculture ............................. 28 Announcements VMD report for 2008 ......................................................................................................... 31 Defra announcements ....................................................................................................... 31 Cefas announcements ....................................................................................................... 32 BTA announcements .......................................................................................................... 33 Seafish announcements ..................................................................................................... 34 Environment Agency announcements ................................................................................ 34 Troutlodge announcement ................................................................................................. 36 announcements ....................................................................................... 37 announcements ...................................................................................... 42 Skretting announcement ................................................................................................... 45 Tilapia Scotland ................................................................................................................. 46 New metabolomics facility ................................................................................................. 47 FAO call for CoP contributions ........................................................................................... 48 Production 2008 UK aquaculture production ........................................................................................ 50 2008 European finfish production ...................................................................................... 54 Research News ......................................................................................................................... 56 Finfish in the Press ................................................................................................................... 64 Information File Where to get help and advice ............................................................................................ 78 Useful publications ............................................................................................................ 79 Activities of Cefas Weymouth ............................................................................................ 81

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Report compiled by Tim Ellis, Keith Jeffery, Jason Weeks & Stephen Irving Cefas Weymouth Laboratory, Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8UB On 13th & 14th October 2009 the Cefas Weymouth Laboratory hosted a workshop to discuss "A Sustainable Finfish Aquaculture Industry for England". The two-day event was co-sponsored by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The aim was to bring together a range of stakeholders from the aquaculture industry ­ farmers, feed suppliers, universities, regulators and non-governmental organisations ­ to discuss sustainable fish farming in England. Whilst Scotland already has a strong aquaculture industry and Wales has a robust aquaculture strategy, policy and a strategy for sustainable English aquaculture are still emerging. The format of the workshop was a series of invited formal presentations, interspersed with question and answer sessions, followed by discussion groups on focussed topics. Lee then stressed the importance of consumers, that they are well informed about aquaculture as a secure source of fish products with advantages of affordability, traceability and safety. Consumers tend to be price-oriented and there are perceived and real issues around aquaculture that need to addressed, such as interactions with the environment. The Fisheries 2027 review concluded that "... significant amount of the fish we eat is farmed and the environmental impacts of aquaculture are acceptable": this message needs to be relayed to the consumer. Food security therefore needs to be viewed alongside sustainability. Lee finished by discussing whether an official strategy for English aquaculture is needed. She provided a series of questions relating to roles, opportunities and challenges. A key question was: why isn't fish farming already taking off in UK? She stressed that there is currently a window of opportunity for aquaculture because current interest in food security provides high political visibility. A wide ranging discussion with other attendees followed covering: the import of cheap fish products; labelling of products; decreasing wholesale fish prices; red-tape as a barrier to farm start-up; the exclusion of land animal by-products from fish feeds; tight financial margins, with a few pence per Kg determining the success or failure of businesses; mechanisms for government to converse and work with industry.

Aquaculture Policy

After the welcoming address from Stephen Irving, Head of the Cefas Weymouth Lab, the policy background to the workshop was presented by Lee McDonough (Deputy Director of Marine Programme, Defra) and Chris Preston (Defra) in a presentation "Food security and the challenges for aquaculture." After a brief resume of UK Aquaculture, Lee discussed the wider policy context. The UK population is predicted to increase to 71 million by 2035 which, when coupled to the Food Standards Agency recommendation of two portions of fish per week, means that the UK will need an extra 20 million fish portions per week. A UK food security assessment (August 2009) indicated that although overall food supply was secure, global fish stocks were classed as "very unfavourable" and showing no sign of improving. Government needs to understand the contribution that English aquaculture can make to meeting this shortfall and providing a secure, healthy protein source for future generations.

Review of Recirculation Aquaculture Systems

Dr Mark Burdass (Sparsholt College) then continued by discussing "The Potential for Recirculation Aquaculture". A recirculation aquaculture system (RAS) can be defined as a "system that recycles and renovates water for the culture of aquatic organisms". Historically, recirculation was thought of as recycling 95% of the water volume per circuit through the system (i.e. rearing tank and filter), with 5% new water added per circuit and many circuits per day. However, RAS are now described, not by water replacement per pass, but by replacement per day, e.g. 10% per day. RAS


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vary in design and water replacement, which affects production capacity. Although systems have evolved greatly, challenges still remain if replacement is < 5% per day.

· unrestricted location: RAS can be placed close to markets, thereby reducing food miles. · broader species choice: tropical fish (e.g. barramundi, tilapia, catfish) can be grown in the UK in RAS, as well as traditional species. To illustrate the difference in land and water use: a conventional intensive tilapia farm produces 17.4 tonnes/ha/year with a water use of 21 m3 / kg of production; a recirculation tilapia farm produces 1340 tonnes/ha/year (77 times greater) with a water use of 0.5 m3 / kg of production (24 times lower). However, RAS also present various challenges: · a high initial investment compared to other production methods. · difficulty in financing: due to the lack of a track record, high profile failures, and the requirement for fast returns to investors. · the technology is still evolving. · the intensive systems are a life-support system so an equipment or electrical supply failure means a very short response time to prevent stock loss. · currently limited production volumes (most sites <500 tonnes p.a.) mean that RAS cannot yet compete with larger scale, traditional systems which produce the volumes required by supermarket retailers. It is difficult to determine the causes of the high profile failures in commercial RAS sites in the UK and Europe. Contributing factors appear to include: poor design, labour intensive technology, too high running costs, inexperienced staff, poor management decisions and over-optimistic forecasts of product sales. Filtration technology has developed over the last 30 years, and is now reliable and efficient. Most recent failures are therefore due to mismanagement rather than system failures. Food and labour are the two main costs of RAS, just like traditional systems. However, initial capitalisation is typically much higher than conventional aquaculture. Heating and pumping often account for up to 25% of the running costs, and there is the possibility to reduce this if coupled to renewable energy supplies.


Large scale commercial RAS are succeeding in various locations worldwide: in the UK, Norway, Europe, US, Canada and Australia. In Scotland, salmon smolts are being produced in highly intensive RAS. RAS have a potential role in all areas of fish production: as hatchery, nursery or quarantine facilities; for advanced fingerling (larger, out of season) or grow-out production; near market holding and purging/depuration. RAS provide numerous advantages: · a highly controlled environment: temperature control allows optimisation of food conversion, less stressful conditions, and control of growth rate allowing year round production and predictable harvests · a closed environment, enabling biosecurity, exclusion of predators and other wildlife. · intensive production (a high production / unit area) enabling economies of scale and efficient use of infrastructure, e.g. handling equipment. · conservation of water (as it is reconditioned by filtration) and heat (through insulation) · environmental sustainability: RAS use up to 99% less water than conventional flow through systems, <1% of land area for the same production, and facilitate environmentally safe waste management and reuse (e.g. hydroponics).

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RAS have to grow fish rather than just hold them, so it is the amount of food that can be fed that is important, rather than the stocking density. The efficiency of RAS is determined by the ability to cope with the wastes derived from the feed, so food load is the main consideration when designing and predicting the capacity of a system. Filtration systems should remove solid wastes, convert ammonia and nitrite to nitrate, add oxygen, remove CO2, maintain an acceptable pH and control pathogens. Each stage of filtration systems must have sufficient capacity and not become overloaded, which can then impact downstream processes. CO2 removal is often overlooked as newer oxygenation systems (as opposed to older aeration systems) do not remove CO2. For every 1 Kg of oxygen used, 1.4 Kg of CO2 is produced and, if it accumulates in the water, can prevent oxygen transport within the fish. Modern RAS typically have various stages and components for renovating water during a cycle: · a top outlet from the culture tank to a drum filter to remove suspended solids · a bottom drain from the culture tank leading to a swirl separator to remove larger settleable solids (uneaten food, faeces) · a biofilter for ammonia and nitrate conversion · an air blower to remove CO2 · oxygen (and ozone) addition · an ultraviolet source to destroy the ozone · addition of make-up water before return to the culture tank The key water quality parameters in RAS are dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrite, pH, alkalinity, CO2 and nitrate. Systems typically include oxygen monitors which trigger an alarm if oxygen levels fall below preset values. RAS may be perceived by the naïve as overly complicated, prone to catastrophic failure, necessitating highly educated staff to run and only suitable for high value species: these misperceptions need to be challenged. Most success with commercial RAS has come from small units which have scaled up. Further keys to success can be summarised as:

· using only proven technology in system construction · ensuring effective monitoring systems are in place, back-up systems are built in to key processes, and staff are trained to operate the systems · using species with a track record in RAS, with a short production time to improve cash flow · being sure of the market and assume in the business plan that prices will drop once production starts · ensure the product is fit for the market Discussions that followed Mark's presentation covered: green energy sources to help manage costs and for marketing; water hardness changes over time and the need to replace 5% per day to maintain micronutrient concentrations in the water; the development of specific diets for RAS that increase digestibility, thereby reducing faecal production; inclusion of binders in diets that make faeces easier to remove by settlement; the false economy of cheap diets that reduce growth and result in more waste.


English Trout Production and Danish Model Farms

David Bassett (British Trout Association) presented "The Potential for an increase in English Trout Farm Production with reference to the Danish Model Farm System". He started by discussing the current size and value of trout farming in the UK. 50% of UK farmed table trout (6000 tonnes p.a.) is produced in England and Wales with a first sale value of £22M p.a. Table trout production is dominated by rainbow trout with a declining production of organic brown trout (200 tonnes p.a.). The first sale value of farmed trout for restocking (angling) is £10 million p.a., again comprised mainly of rainbow trout (3,100 tonnes) with a smaller production of brown trout (350 tonnes). Trout fisheries have been valued at £150 million p.a., making trout production in England and Wales worth around £200M overall, without including the additional value of processed products and associated angling activity.


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David then discussed "model farms" re-inventing trout farming in Denmark. Trout farms were historically highly concentrated on specific rivers, and the size of the industry was regulated by the authorities via the amount of food fed, rather than abstraction and discharge as in UK. A detrimental impact on the river environment was highlighted by environmental NGOs and it was recognised that the Danish trout farming industry had to change radically. To replace the traditional trout farm dependent on river water throughput and large land areas, two "models" for farm management were introduced making greater use of water recirculation. Type I model farms still use a river water supply, but this is filtered and recirculated within the farm. Type II model farms are supplied from groundwater and discharge back into groundwater, enabled by the sandy soil in Denmark. Conversion to the new farming models was encouraged by a carrot-andstick approach: the carrots were grants for conversion and an increase in the permitted quantity of food enabling increased production; the stick was that the farms should have no environmental impact on rivers. The investment was significant comprising 11M of European funding and 40M of industry funding and additional grants from the Danish environment agency equivalent. Now, 10 years on, Danish trout production has increased, but the number of farms has decreased. The strengths of model farms are that they do reduce environmental impact on rivers, use less land and water, and are more efficient due to a higher intensity. However model farms use 8-10 times more energy, location for Type II is dependent on groundwater supplies, flesh taint can be a problem, the systems are prone to pathogen build-up, treatment options (e.g. antibiotics) are reduced due to biofilters, nitrate levels in discharges can be elevated, and capital investment costs are high. Furthermore, model farms are unsuitable for restocking production due to poor fin quality. There is some potential for introduction of the Danish model farm to England, and recirculation technology may be increasingly used. However, it has to be recognised that the UK industry cannot universally switch over


Trout has several marketable qualities: · it has a much lower environmental impact than land animal production, and assessments indicate trout production is on a par with apples & honey. For example it has a low carbon footprint (1 kg CO2 / kg of trout compared to 17 kg CO2 / kg of beef) and requires less water for production than beef, lamb, poultry · it is a healthy and nutritious product (e.g. omega 3, selenium) · it is referenced in Government backed health and nutrition advice (e.g. FSA) However, whilst demand is increasing, UK trout production has remained stagnant with the shortfall being met by imported trout. Ex-farm prices have remained low and are close to the cost of production which is attributed, in part, to a lack of cooperation within the industry with producers undercutting each other. It is hoped that changes in ownership may lead to improvement. Although 80% of UK farmed trout is consumed in the southern half of England only half is farmed there, which bucks the trend for locally sourced produce. There appears to be stronger support for aquaculture in the devolved regions than in England. However, if aquaculture production was to be increased in England, it would be important to factor in requirements for downstream and upstream infrastructure, such as processors and feed manufacturers.

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due to the constraints of: unsuitable geology preventing groundwater use and discharge, the high capital start-up and running costs, where biosecurity cannot be assured, and if production is for restocking. Furthermore, in areas where river flows are large relative to production, e.g. Yorkshire, there is no pressure to switch away from current production systems. David concluded by stressing that the English trout market is strong and demand is increasing. Trout is an excellent product that fits with the Government messages of healthy and sustainable food. The Danish model cannot simply be transposed to the UK and alternative options to increase English trout production need to be examined which include: providing access to new freshwater sites (which is considered unlikely); intensification of existing farms and improving efficiency (e.g. by decreasing mortality); investment in broodstock selected for UK production; improved cooperation within the industry; increased access to funding; improved profitability to encourage increased production. Questions discussed: the UK trout industry needing to adopt a competitive but cooperative approach as in Denmark to prevent the selfdestructive undercutting of competitors; a possible future for small trout farms to form cooperatives to access economies of scale; the benefit of model farms breaking the proliferative kidney disease cycle in Denmark; the Water Framework Directive as a driver for change in water use by trout farms; the issue of water availability rather than water quality; the high number of farms on Danish rivers (up to 50 farms per river) driving the change in Denmark which is not so relevant to the UK.

it is tolerant of poor water quality; it is disease resistant, so antibiotics and pharmaceuticals are little used; it is easy to breed and fast growing; there is a wide demand for its flesh. So far there has been little selective breeding, but interest in genetics is likely to increase production greatly. Tilapia is being promoted by aid agencies and NGOs due to its environmentally-friendly attributes: it is a low trophic level feeder with in-situ produced algae, bacteria and detritus being important food sources. The prepared feeds used in intensive systems mainly comprise cereals and agricultural by-products rather than fish-meal. Global production of tilapia is 2.35 M tonnes (worth $5 billion in 2009) making it second only to carps in aquaculture production volume. Tilapia prefer temperatures of 28ºC and have been introduced into tropical areas worldwide for aquaculture, hence the coining of the term "aquatic chicken". Production is concentrated in Asia (>70%), with the remaining production from its native Africa and the Americas. Tilapia is a global commodity, with the US market considered to drive prices. Although not native to America, the US population have taken to it and consumption has increased markedly over the last decade so tilapia is now the 5th most popular US seafood (after shrimp, tuna, salmon and pollock). This huge increase in US demand has been met by imports rather than domestic production. In the US, domestic farms cannot compete with cheaper imports from Central and South America and therefore sell fresh fillets to niche markets. Commercial tilapia farming in the UK started in the early 80's with very small production from a single farm in Devon. In the late 80's, a much larger operation was set up in Derby utilising waste heat from a textile factory. In the early 90's several new high tech indoor RAS were set up, and the problems which were encountered are now being overcome. In the UK today there are 11 tilapia farms, one hatchery, 12 small buyers of tilapia fry for backyard operations or integrated aquaponics units, and 5 academic research facilities. Total production for the UK (under optimum conditions) should be 800 tonnes, but due to teething troubles, realised production is currently 300 tonnes. In Belgium

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Tilapia ­ the `aquatic chicken'

Eric Roderick (Fishgen Ltd) gave a talk entitled "Tilapia ­ a global commodity: the `aquatic chicken' comes of age". He started by describing Fishgen as a Swansea University spin-out company associated with genetically male tilapia, a product unique to Fishgen. After providing interesting snippets of information (tilapia farming is over 4000 years old; tilapia have been grown in space) he explained the qualities of tilapia as a farmed fish: it performs well in a variety of production systems (ponds, cages, raceways); it is hardy and adaptive, growing in water of 0-40 salinity;

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there has recently been a high-profile collapse of a large tilapia recirculation farm which was caused by massive disease problems when cheap, but infected, fry were imported from Thailand. UK farm gate prices range from £2.34 to £4.00 per Kg for whole round fish depending on the volume and purchaser. This compares to imported Chinese frozen fillets at £1.11 landed cost. Historically, Jamaica used to supply all the UK tilapia imports, but sourcing is now from a wider geographic spread. European markets are increasingly being targeted by traditional US suppliers due to higher prices. Eric concluded by stating that global tilapia production will exceed 3 M tonnes in 2010, and demand for tilapia, especially as frozen meals, is increasing in Europe, the US and Japan. This increasing demand is being accompanied by greater requirements for food safety, quality assurance, improved packaging, and environmental safeguards. Questions that followed discussed: tilapia imported to the UK may be methyl-testosterone treated, but no UK produced fish have undergone such hormone treatment; the sale of UK produced fish as a niche product; the availability of an economic model for tilapia farming on the internet (; the possibility that the slaughter method for tilapia may not be humane due to doubts about the assumed instantaneous anaesthetic effect of ice slurry; the nomenclature of "aquatic chicken" being an inappropriate tag due to poor welfare connotations; the value of marketing illustrated by uptake in the US; the unfamiliarity of the UK population with tilapia, and competition in the market place with 140 other fish species; Pangasius imports as a major threat to tilapia.


Charlie then discussed aquaponics, which is an ecosystem approach to food production integrating aquaculture with hydroponics. It is as much an ethos as a technique. Energy use and costs are minimized in aquaponics, and systems are based around managing the conversion of nutrients. Waste products are utilized as resources in an ecosystems approach resulting in low input, but high output. In aquaponics, high value fish or prawns are cultured as in any aquaculture system (and at the similar densities). They are fed either a complete pelleted diet, or with worms and plant off-cuts as supplementary feed. Their dissolved wastes provide a nutrient source for plants grown hydroponically which in turn cleanse the water for return to the fish. The ultimate goal is complete reuse of nutrients, although partial reuse is more pragmatic. The fish feeding rate is based on desired growth rates and plant surface area, and the key it is to balance fish and plant biomasses. Harvesting has to be driven by market demand and can be continuous or in batches. The hydroponic plant crops are typically high value herbs and salads with fast production cycles. Hydroponic systems typically achieve 3 to 18 times greater production than with the same crops in soil. Charlie then described three case studies, the first being the UK's ABLE community and educational project in Wakefield. The aquaponics system, located in climate controlled greenhouses, grows tilapia, sturgeon, carp and catfish. The system is composed of top filtration to remove large solids (which pass to worms), fine solids removal and a bio-filter, a degassing (H2S and CO2) unit, and the hydroponic beds producing a range of salad and herb crops. The system has sophisticated computer logging and control.


Charlie Price (AquaponicsUK, University of Stirling) spoke on "Aquaponics, energy efficiency, and an ecosystem approach to food production". He started by discussing the background drivers: global environmental issues and the need to produce more food per unit area, locally, using less water, energy and external inputs.

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The second case study was from the University of the Virgin Islands. This system has been running for 5 years and has demonstrated basil and okra production rates at 3 and 18 times greater than from soil respectively, on top of the 5 tonnes of tilapia production per modular unit. The third case study was S&S Aqua Farm in the US. Again a modular system design has demonstrated production of 45-70 kg of vegetable crops for each 1 kg of tilapia. The vegetables are grown in "fluidised bed reactors" which are alternately flooded and drained. The advantages of modular systems are that they enable simple scaling up, biosecurity, and growing of multiple crops. Researchers are looking into decoupling the direct link between fish and plant production to facilitate fish treatment. The prospects for aquaponics systems in the UK vary greatly in scale. There is interest in simple domestic systems based on a house roof, through educational and community based systems, to large scale commercial and agricultural diversification systems occupying several 100's of hectares. There is also global interest in aquaponics with ongoing projects in Europe, the US, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia.

As daily water exchange is decreased, the complexity of a RAS increases due to increasing requirements for aeration or oxygenation, solids separation and mechanical filtration, biological filtration, fine solids filtration, ultra-violet light treatment, degassing, pH buffering, protein skimming/ foam fractionation, denitrification and ozone treatment. Once the daily exchange is <50% per day, fine particulate filtration and UV sterilisation are needed. Solids removal prevents overloading of the bio-filter and build up of anoxic sludge. Solids >50 m can be removed with moving screens (drum or conveyor belt) or by sedimentation (e.g. vortex separators). Solids <50 m need to be removed by fixed media beds of sand or beads that require periodic backwashing. Oxygen monitoring and control systems are important components, and automated logging is valuable in the case of insurance claims. Prior to slaughter, RAS reared fish often need to be transferred to a clean water "purging" system for removal of off-flavour flesh taints. RAS theoretically allows total control of fish production, temperature, salinity and biosecurity and enables intensification. It allows flexibility in choice of species and location ­ fish can be produced where water is limited, close to markets thereby reducing food miles and improving freshness. RAS systems typically have a low visual impact, being contained in buildings similar to any other industrial and agricultural buildings. The main drawback of RAS is the high cost. Failures in commercial RAS have been due to either system design or economics. It is a mistake to think that one RAS design will fit all ­ each species and situation must be considered as unique. Factors that should be considered in the design of RAS include species, its temperature and salinity requirements, production capacity, the location of the site and availability of water and ability to discharge, biosecurity, and sales and financial issues. Finance is often key, and factors to consider include capital (loans, grants, own investment), costs (land, construction, production, borrowing) and sales. The candidate species for RAS are either lower value but high volume species (e.g. barramundi = Asian sea-bass, tilapia) or high value species

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Recirculation aquaculture systems in the UK

Mark Rigby (Llyn Aquaculture Ltd) then spoke on "Recirculation systems for fish and shrimp with integrated hydroponics (Aquaponics)". Aquaculture systems can be classified from their daily exchange and treatment of the water as flow-through, re-use or recirculation. RAS enables production from a fixed daily water supply to be increased, e.g. for a water replacement of 120 m3/day, a flow through system could produce 1 tonne p.a. whereas a RAS could produce 120 to 200 tonnes p.a..

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(e.g. turbot, sole, tropical shrimp, sea-bass, eels, freshwater perch, Arctic charr). Examples of pilot and commercial scale RAS in the UK and Ireland included sea-bass, turbot, sole, perch, Arctic charr and shrimp. The advantages of sea-bass are that there is an existing market and they have a wide salinity tolerance. Arctic charr are suitable for RAS in the UK due to the optimum temp range (12-17ºC), wide salinity tolerance (0-37) and tolerance of high density (100 kg/m3). Turbot is considered a promising candidate for RAS in the UK: it is a high value fish, UK temperatures are ideal requiring little heating in winter and little cooling in summer, it is a very efficient food convertor due to low activity, and it lends itself to shallow stacked raceways as they do not need deep water. Tropical shrimp are also being grown for a niche market as a top quality product (super fresh, unfrozen, no preservatives) that do not compete with cheap, bulk frozen imports. Tropical tilapia obviously faces competition from cheap imports and needs similar differentiation as a niche quality product. Perch were being grown in Ireland for sale to a very niche Swiss market. Mark also briefly described a pilot UK aquaponics project where samphire (Salicornia), a high value salt marsh plant, was being grown in constructed wetlands within polytunnels using seawater RAS effluent. Ongoing work is looking at selecting appropriate samphire species and strains and optimising plant density.


Mark started with a case study of inshore salmon production by describing a large, state-of-the-art farm located in a Scottish Loch, comprising 14 circular 90 m cages, each holding 25,000 fish. The farm could hold up to 700 tonnes of salmon, and management can differ between cages to meet the production specifications required by different retailers. The farm is supported by an on-site service vessel equipped with cranes, silage, feed store and controls. Automated systems are in place for feeding and monitoring and husbandry staff carry out routine tasks including equipment checks and fish observation. Feed is delivered to the site by barge and a purpose built well-boat is used for harvesting. At harvest, the fish are pumped from the cages into the wells which are temperature and water quality controlled. The water can be chilled to 5°C so the salmon become quiescent during transport to the onshore processing unit. Upon arrival they are pumped onshore straight into an automated humane slaughter machine after which they are processed and filleted within 1 hour. So, if such large-scale, efficient inshore systems with an existing infrastructure work so well, what is the impetus to move offshore? The reasons generally put forward are threefold ­ to reduce environmental concerns, avoid inshore resource conflicts, and a deemed lack of suitable inshore sites for expansion. However, although the Scottish industry has shown some movement to more exposed locations, there is currently little commercial interest in developing "offshore" sites. Offshore production is viewed as incurring higher costs and greater risks, and the impetus is not clear-cut in Scotland. Many of the environmental concerns over inshore production have or are being addressed, resource

Offshore aquaculture

Mark James (FRM Ltd) spoke on "The potential for offshore aquaculture development in England". The talk was based upon two Defra/ Seafish commissioned reports he co-authored with Richard Slaski entitled "A strategic review of the potential for aquaculture to contribute to the future security of food and non-food products and services in the UK and specifically England" and "Appraisal of the opportunity for offshore aquaculture in UK waters". These reports are available on the Defra website ( documents/aquaculture-report0904.pdf; aspx?Document=FC0934_3856_FRP.pdf).

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conflicts are increasingly receiving more objective consideration by planners and politicians, and there is considered to be significant capacity at existing inshore sites. There is also little evidence to support claims that offshore production would reduce environmental impact, regulation, and disease, and allow very large farms with economies of scale. Mark then discussed differentiation of inshore, offshore and open-ocean aquaculture. Offshore aquaculture has been viewed as >1 nautical mile from shore, in areas regularly experiencing waves of 2-3m height, where access may be periodic so operations would need to be automated and remotely controlled. Exposure and wave action is a key issue as it causes wear and tear on cages, can cause physical damage (scale loss) to stock and exhaustion (through station holding), hampers operations such as routine husbandry, net changing and harvesting, as well as restricting access. Currents are another important consideration in offshore site selection, with optimal speeds for fish culture being < 1 m/s. It would be important to minimise fouling to reduce drag forces and maximise water circulation in cage. Current speeds tend to reduce with depth, and the combined effect of currents and waves means offshore cages may need to be submerged. Submergence may also provide additional benefits of avoidance of pollution, algal blooms, wide temperature variations, fouling and icing of cages. Mark then questioned the environmental benefits of moving production offshore. If cages need to be submerged, the height above the seabed may mean dispersion of waste is similar to inshore. Furthermore, the prevention of escapes may be more problematic in offshore systems. The notion that aquaculture will be subject to less regulation as it moves offshore is questionable. Existing legislation is probably adequate for aquaculture within 3 nm of the coast, but this may not be the case for developments further offshore. Current offshore environmental regulation is not transposable to aquaculture as it is designed around oil/gas and recent renewable energy generation schemes. Existing regulatory tools/models would need to be adapted for application to offshore aquaculture.

The economic viability of offshore aquaculture is probably the biggest barrier to development, due to high investment required in infrastructure and monitoring systems. Economic modelling has suggested that the unit cost of offshore production is similar to inshore production, so the internal rate of return would be 10-15% for cod and salmon, with sale price having the greatest impact on profitability. This return is too low for purely financial speculators, but might justify investment from companies already engaged in fish farming if the technology was proven (which is not yet the case). Mark provided some examples of the range of designs than have been proposed for offshore fish farming: submersible gravity cages, semi-submersible gravity cages, anchor tension cages, semi-rigid and rigid cages, and submersible platforms. However, he warned that none of these systems has yet been proven in commercial offshore finfish farming. Many of these systems only exist on paper and, often being designed by engineers rather than fish farmers, are not viable as they are too expensive, technically too complex, or do not consider operational requirements (such as harvesting/feeding/treating for disease). Mark then moved away from finfish, suggesting that shellfish may be more suited to offshore development as the need for regular attention is lower. Submerged and semi submerged long-line systems for mussels are an obvious option for a demonstration project which could be combined with an offshore renewable energy site. Mark also discussed aquaculture for biofuel production suggesting that "marifuels" (bioethanol, biodiesel and more complex alcohols e.g. biobutanol) produce 30 times more oil per hectare, are cleaner, more easily degraded, and more easily blended with mineral oils than current terrestrial biofuels. The EU target for 5.75% biofuel content for transport would require about 25% of EU arable land use, making marine production a realistic option. Mark suggested that marifuels should be a key area for strategic national investment for the UK, citing ExxonMobil's recent announcement of $600 million investment in development of biofuel from microalgae. Although this may sound a large sum, it is a fraction of the cost of finding and exploiting a new oil field.

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Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

Mark concluded by suggesting that an appropriate short to medium term (3-5 year) UK or national goal would be to conduct a pilot scale project within the 3nm limit to test existing long-line systems in appropriate exposed sites. He emphasised that such a project would need to be strongly grounded by industry, with appropriate assistance from the research community. Such a demonstration project would need to succeed to precipitate further developments. A possible long-term (15-20 year) vision is of large scale macroalgal cultivation based on submerged long lines, forming "natural" islands and harbours providing conditions suitable for fish and shellfish cultivation offshore. Synergies in multi-trophic aquaculture (nitrogenous waste from fish fertilising the algae; organic waste from the fish feeding the shellfish) and with renewable energy developments (infrastructure) could be exploited. Discussions that followed the talk covered: the potential to integrate aquaculture with offshore wind farms; the regulatory regime for offshore fish farming; capital investment costs for inshore cage systems being similar to RAS, but costs of production being lower; the need for salmonids to have access to air pockets in submerged cages to enable topping up of their open swim bladder; the inability of cod to cope with sudden depth changes due to their closed swim-bladder.


Jimmie then discussed organic aquaculture from his own experience producing organic carp. Global organic aquaculture production in 2008 was 54,400 tonnes, with most farmed in Europe (45%) and Asia (37%). However, organic production in Asia and Africa is increasing at a much faster rate than in Europe and other areas (America, Australasia). The UK is the leading organic producer in Europe, with certified salmon, trout, charr, bivalves and carp. Jimmie also raised the issue of lack of harmonisation between different sets of organic standards. Carp is considered to be a relatively easy species to farm sustainably for the whole production cycle, but there is a need to develop more modern practices. Issues that have arisen from personal experience are increasing the productivity of ponds (through cost effective protein supplements and control of oxygen levels), processing, markets and the economic viability of semi-intensive carp culture. Jimmie then finished by discussing backyard fish farming (BYFF). He pointed out that the UK is already a nation of fish keepers with 2 million garden ponds. Although aquaculture so far has been deemed the remit of professionals, there may be an opportunity for BYFF due to similarities in the systems used to culture ornamental and food fish. There are two potential models for BYFF: large ponds > 50 m2 (extensive) or small intensive recirculation systems ( 35 m3) requiring active filtration. Species which could be considered for growing in BYFF systems include carp, tilapia, sturgeon, grass carp, tench, catfish, trout, eel, perch and zander. Although BYFF will not fill the fish protein gap and has yet to be proven as a simple and reliable method for food fish production, it could be a valuable educational tool to raise awareness of issues.

Organic carp & backyard fish farming

Jimmie Hepburn (Aquavision) concluded the formal talks on the first day with an entertaining presentation on "The Aquavision concept of organic carp and backyard fish farming". He started by discussing the importance of networks and communicating in changing mindsets and achieving an impact. He suggested that sustainable aquaculture production needs to be integrated with ecosystem management and community processes outside the farm. He then compared intensive and extensive aquaculture (in terms of inputs, self-sufficiency, waste management, mono/poly-culture, energy input, market proximity and finances) and posed the question whether semi-intensive aquaculture provides an appropriate balance.

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010



Fish Health Regulations

Kevin Denham (Fish Health Inspectorate, Cefas) started the second day by discussing "The New Aquatic Animal Health Directive". He introduced the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) which is the competent authority for the diagnosis and control of notifiable diseases of fish and shellfish in England and Wales. Notifiable diseases are those which are generally untreatable, and are likely to have a significant economic impact on aquaculture, and/or wild fish populations. Historically, the Diseases of Fish Acts (1937 and 1983) introduced restrictions on fish imports and powers to control notifiable fish diseases. Then in 1991, an EC Directive (91/67: Concerning the animal health conditions governing the placing on the market of aquaculture animals and products) established fish health rules at the Community level for rational development of European aquaculture. The directive recognised that aquaculture animal health status is not the same throughout Europe, and that the internal market must not cause the spread of infectious disease.

The new directive covers fish, molluscan and crustacean health. The new features are: emphasis on disease prevention rather than control (hence Biosecurity Measures Plans); monitoring for disease is now risk based; disease listing now includes exotic and non-exotic diseases; a much wider range of businesses is covered; contingency plans are required for all exotic diseases. There are also new legislative powers for the FHI. Aquaculture production businesses (APB's) need to be authorised, and farms, dealers, importers, depuration sites, dispatch centres and processors of infected aquaculture animals are all now included. Conditions are attached to authorisations which include: keeping records in a prescribed format, recording movements of both live and dead fish (whether for food or disposal as waste), recording of places visited and mortalities during transport, notification of the FHI in advance of any changes to business practices (e.g. species held), and having an approved Biosecurity Measures Plan (BMP) in place. Guidance on BMPs has been provided to various industry sectors, and a template is available from the FHI. The objective of the BMP is to improve biosecurity and thereby improve aquatic animal health status across the country. The legislation allows application of enforcement notices and removal of authorisation should a business persistently breach conditions. Council Directive 2006/88/EC requires that "risk-based animal health surveillance should be applied". The FHI has scored finfish farms, using farm information on the numbers of fish movements on and off farms, for 1) the relative risk of contracting a disease and 2) the risk of spreading a disease. The two scores are then looked at in conjunction to rate farms as low, medium or high risk. These risk ratings will guide initial decisions on the level of surveillance of individual farms conducted by the FHI. Council Directive 2006/88/EC lists notifiable diseases that are exotic to the EU (i.e. epizootic haematopoietic necrosis and epizootic ulcerative syndrome for finfish) and non-exotic (viral haemorrhagic septicaemia, infectious haematopoietic necrosis, koi herpes virus, infectious salmon anaemia for finfish). The Directive also enables national control measures to limit the impact of diseases which are

However in 2006, a new Aquatic Animal Health Directive (Council Directive 2006/88/EC) was produced. It reflected a need to update regulations to address threats to the new cultivated species (marine fish and cyprinids, rather than just salmonids) and trade practices in the larger community (increased from 15 to 27 member states). Although the Directive is targeted at aquaculture, it also protects the health status of wild and fishery stocks. The Directive was in preparation for nearly 10 years, and was enacted into law through The Animal Health (England and Wales) Regulations 2009.


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

considered of high national importance, but not specifically listed in the Directive. The UK's existing National Control Measures for Spring Viraemia of Carp, Bacterial Kidney Disease and Gyrodactylus salaris will continue under the new Directive. The Directive enables the health status of geographical zones or compartments within countries to be categorised for disease status. Kevin concluded the talk by saying that in the short-term there was a need to consolidate and embed the legislation, and ensure the national approaches taken under the Directive were proportionate and fit for purpose. It was recognised that the legislative controls did need improving in some areas, e.g. for emerging diseases. Also with future budgetary constraints likely, the FHI would need to do more for less, and would need to work in partnership with stakeholders and other organisations. A question that followed the talk asked about the specific relevance of the new Directive to non-indigenous species.

kg of chicken. However, aquaculture can have various impacts, both social and environmental (e.g. mangrove loss, escape of exotic species, loss of biodiversity, unsustainable feed ingredients, antibiotic and chemical usage). WWF therefore initiated the Aquaculture Dialogues in 2004 to create credible and measureable social and environmental standards for the aquaculture industry. WWF has a track record in establishing such standards, previously being involved in the Forest Stewardship Council and Marine Stewardship Council. The WWF Aquaculture Dialogues are a global initiative involving 2000 participants and over 90 NGOs, and take the format of multi-stakeholder round tables. The Objectives of the dialogues are to develop environmental and social performance-based standards that measurably reduce the critical impacts of aquaculture and help strengthen the economic viability of aquaculture. Criteria for the standards are that they should be credible, effective and add value. The standards are science-based metrics that are created by a broad and diverse group of stakeholders through an open and transparent process. They address the key impacts related to the environment, society and the economy and will provide a consumer label that enables the market to recognize and reward sustainable production. The standards will be ISEAL (International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance) compliant, and will be the first aquaculture standards created that meet these strict and rigid guidelines. To illustrate how the standards will work in practice, Piers gave the example of addressing water pollution from tilapia. The Principle would be to conserve and protect water resources; the Criteria would focus on the use and release of nutrients; the Indicator would define the amount of phosphorous added and released per tonne of fish produced; and the Standards would define a performance level e.g. phosphorus input <27 kg P / tonne fish produced, and phosphorus loads released <20 kg P/ tonne fish produced. Levels would be reviewed periodically to ensure they are appropriate. The ultimate aim is that the consumer label will add value to products and market forces will precipitate real change at the farms. It is envisaged that continuous improvement will be encouraged through re-evaluation of the standards.


WWF consumer labelling

Piers Hart (Aquaculture Policy Officer at World Wildlife Fund, Scotland) spoke next on "Working towards a sustainable future for aquaculture: the WWF Aquaculture Dialogues". He started by describing WWF as a conservation organisation that believes farming should be good for people and nature, protect biodiversity, and contribute to "One Planet Food" where both people and nature thrive within their fair share of what's available. He suggested that in the UK, we are consuming three times our fair share of the planet's natural resources and are facing an `ecological overshoot' that will have severe consequences for both people and nature. Although advances in technology have increased production efficiency, these benefits have been swamped by ever-higher levels of consumption by affluent Western economies and the growing middle classes in the developing world. WWF is interested in aquaculture as it is the fastest growing animal farming sector. In 1990, farmed fish contributed 5% of the animal protein to human diets but by 2006 this had risen to 12%, almost equal to the contribution from wild fish. Aquaculture also has the most efficient food conversion in the animal farming sector: 1 tonne of feed can produce almost 1 tonne of fish but only 150 kg of beef, 300 kg of pork, or 500

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


Certification will initially cover 12 species including salmon, Pangasius, tilapia and freshwater trout. Although the standards will focus on environmental and social aspects, partnering with Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) will enable food safety aspects to be included, providing a one-stop-shop for certification, thereby reducing costs to producers and confusion of consumers. Piers finished by discussing administration of the accreditation scheme. The WWF Dialogues will set the standards for each species, facilitated by a steering group and a working group. The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) will be created (analogous to the Marine Stewardship Council) which will then hold the standards. Annual farm certification will be through accredited third-party Certification Bodies (CB). Firewalls will therefore exist between the standards-setting, standards-holding entity, and certification/auditing process. Philip Smith has been hired as the Development Director to develop the independent ASC which is likely to take 2 years. For further information or updates, please see or email [email protected] Questions that followed Piers' presentation covered: costs of accreditation; how the 12 initial species were chosen ­ on basis of volume of production and environmental and social impacts; the potential effect on small producers outside the accreditation scheme; the absence of fish welfare accreditation ­ something that could be added later similar to food safety; confusion caused by a number of different standard schemes, as illustrated by organic accreditation schemes.

In March 2004, a Government strategy group report entitled "Net benefits: a sustainable and profitable future for UK fishing" suggested that there were opportunities for large growth in the inshore/shellfish industry. A recommendation led to the development of an English Inshore Fisheries Working Group (EIFWG) which commissioned the 2006 Seafish/Defra report "Towards a National Development Strategy for Shellfish in England" authored by Colin Bannister. This report concluded that most shellfish species could increase in volume, all species could increase in value, and this was particularly true of the aquaculture industry. Seafish then commissioned a further report "English Shellfish Industry Development Strategy: securing the industry's future", produced by the SAGB, which identified 45 issues. This report was welcomed, but not officially endorsed, by Defra. Finally the UK Shellfish Industry Development Strategy (SIDS) was developed with Seafish funding and SAGB facilitation, with the aim of sustainably developing the UK shellfish industries ­ both cultivated and wild-caught. Defra recognised the strategy in their 2008/09 Marine Programme Plan as a "Priority Project" for achieving their 2027 Fisheries Vision. The strategy helped identify three key themes for action: · giving managers the ability to manage shellfisheries appropriately · raising the profile of UK shellfish · security of tenure The first is associated with wild fisheries and therefore not relevant to aquaculture. To raise the profile of UK shellfish, individual projects have investigated and promoted the health benefits of shellfish through posters (displaying nutritional "traffic lights"), enhanced accreditation of shellfish (through the Marine Stewardship Council and the Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme), explored markets for niche products, and produced guides and web-based films for consumers on preparation of shellfish. Under the theme of security of tenure, working groups have initiated local dialogues with agricultural farmers about the danger of E. coli contamination of shellfish from cows and muck spreaders, and addressed the classification of A and B quality shellfish waters and the apparent disparity with other European countries.

Articles 16

Shellfish Industry Strategy

Tom Pickerell (Shellfish Association of Great Britain) presented "The UK Shellfish Industry Development Strategy (SIDS) and an English aquaculture strategy". The aim of the talk was to demonstrate how the shellfish industry strategy had evolved, and what industry can (and cannot do) in terms of a strategy, which may be relevant to finfish aquaculture. After a brief introduction on the origins of the SAGB, the UK shellfish industry (English shellfish production represents 35% of the volume and 51% of the value of English aquaculture), and the continuum between farmed and wild bivalve fisheries, he discussed the origin of SIDS.

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

A 3 year goal of the strategy was to increase both the volume and value of shellfish sales by 10%. From 2006, there have been increases of 11 and 3.4% in volume and value respectively (in both wild-caught and cultivated). Future SIDS projects include production of ice labels displaying the nutritional traffic lights, dissemination of recipes, shellfish "speed-dating" to form new links in producerdistributor-restaurant chains, working with the Royal Yachting Association to raise awareness about toilet discharges from boats, and lobbying to change the attitudes of retailers and convince them that production from Grade B waters with depuration is equivalent to Grade A. Longer term plans for the shellfish industry include addressing climate change and ocean acidification (important due to the deposition of calcium carbonate in shells), lobbing the FSA for inclusion of shellfish in the "2 fish portions a week" recommendation, promoting shellfish in discussions of food security and the balance with environment preservation. Tom's "take home message" was that increasing shellfish production was not limited by technology but by over-zealous nature conservation organisations and water quality designations. He stressed that Government support was needed to assist the shellfish industry to realise its potential in England. Questions that followed the talk covered: the desire for official Defra statements of position to provide balance to discussions, for example on oysters; the need to consider finfish & shellfish together in a strategy; consumption of shellfish in UK being focussed on imported prawns rather than domestic production which is exported; the importance of publicity and the role of Seafish; the contrast between the need for generic promotion with the retailers' desire for specific promotion; reference to seafood rather than fish in generic promotions and the promotion of the health benefits as the best angle; the benefit of farming giving constancy of supply which aids retailing; the dwindling number of fishmongers in UK.

salmon sector but does have long established "traditional" sectors of trout (for the table and restocking recreational fisheries) and shellfish seabed cultivation. This traditional sector produces a relatively small volume and addressing Defra's food security agenda would require large volume production. The questions that should be asked to guide an English strategy therefore needed to address the species, technologies and locations to be developed, and funding systems to support developments.


In Wales, there has been a structured discussion between stakeholders and the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) over a decade which has involved producing several strategy documents. Sizeable public investments of EU money ­ Fisheries instruments and Objective 1 structural funding ­have been used to kick start new, regionally distinct, sustainable aquaculture developments in Wales. This investment has seen growth via companies engaged in system design and manufacture, land-based production of high value marine species, extensive cultivation of blue mussels, production of specialist aqua-feeds, breeding technologies for warm water finfish, and specialist consultancy services. This portfolio means that the Welsh aquaculture sector now has a strong international presence and Welsh RAS technology is being exported to meet the rising global interest in such systems. Marine RAS are acknowledged to be more difficult to operate than freshwater RAS which have a longer track record. The land-based marine finfish production in Wales uses recent advances in marine RAS and the expertise needed to establish these systems in Wales had

Welsh Aquaculture Strategy

Robin Shields (Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Research, CSAR) talked about the "Welsh Aquaculture Industry and Strategy". He started by pointing out that Wales, like England but unlike Scotland, has no marine

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


to be "re-imported" from the Mediterranean. After grant assistance for infrastructure, marine RAS in Wales now have a capacity of >1000 tonnes p.a., mainly of sea-bass. Market differentiation, using the selling points of local fresh Welsh production, is seen as key to the financial viability of the business. An important factor in success is that the company, through its pre-existing Mediterranean production, already had an established distribution network in UK. Another recent development in Wales is the land-based production of king ragworm. Although initially farmed as angling bait, there have been developments for food production: use in high value "aqua-feeds", and multi-trophic aquaculture co-culturing trout with ragworm. Other speciality aquaculture production in Wales includes genetically improved tilapia, ornamental fish (koi carp), medicinal leeches and microalgae for food/feeds and CO2 mitigation. Robin then gave a brief overview of ongoing work at CSAR, which provides a route for investment in aquaculture research and technology development. CSAR's work covers aquaculture water quality control, effluent management, bioremediation, sustainability of raw materials, algal biotechnology and aquaculture-environment interactions. Examples of projects were: the beneficial effects of water ozonation on turbot performance in RAS; fish faeces as a food for marine polychaete worm farming. Robin then described the evolution of the Welsh strategy for aquaculture. Aquaculture was given a prominent role within the Welsh fisheries strategy published in 2008. The implementation plan which will provide the drivers is being drafted. The key challenges to developing a marine finfish aquaculture sector in Wales are seen as the availability of suitable locations for farms, and the scale needed to achieve production efficiency. One opportunity identified is the possibility of "clustering" farms that would allow co-operative use of a processing unit and local hatchery production. One outcome of the Strategy process has been the establishment of a Welsh Aquaculture Producers' Association (WAPA), as a not-for-profit organisation to promote, represent and inform Welsh aquaculture locally, nationally and internationally.

To summarise, Robin emphasised that thanks to direct WAG support, genuine innovations and technical advances had been made which had boosted aquaculture production capacity and resulted in business growth. Development of aquaculture must be seen as a long term process and Wales is still in the initial phases after almost 10 yrs. Any strategic plans need to be specific, time-bound and incentivised. The Welsh aquaculture industry and institutions are willing to contribute to developing the finfish aquaculture sector in England. There is a danger that if UK aquaculture investments and expertise are not used within the UK, then the international community will benefit as it has done previously. Questions after Robin's talk covered: algae as source of omega 3; limits to EFF grants in Wales; the need to recognise the UK as a global leader in aquaculture, and the "multiplier" effect of developments due to global take-up; the need to prepare for future global changes 30-40 years hence; the need to target young children to change attitudes to fish consumption.


Feed sustainability

Paul Morris (Skretting) talked on "Feed sustainability ­ current status, future prospects and consumer attitudes". He started discussing the replacement of fish meal and fish oil in diets by suggesting adoption of the mantra "fish require nutrients not specific feed materials". Feed raw materials have been under continuous investigation since fish farming entered the "modern" age. Early feeds for salmonids had high proportions of slaughterhouse waste, but these were later replaced by fishmeal (FM) and fish oil (FO) which provide an excellent balance of nutrients. FM/FO proved very economic ingredients for fish feeds, but competition for this finite resource is now becoming fierce. Paul stressed that aquafeed manufacturers are in it for the long term, and so have a vested interest in ensuring sustainability. Sustainability is becoming an area of competition for fish retailers and therefore for feed production. FM/FO will remain highly desirable feed materials because of the relative cost-effectiveness, nutrient density, digestibility, and the omega-3 fatty acids. FM/ FO will therefore remain "strategic" feed materials, which will need to be used optimally to be of greatest benefit. The supply of FM/


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

FO has remained static for many years, with most fisheries supplying this market being fully exploited. The increase in requirement to support the increasing aquaculture production has so far been possible by redirection from terrestrial agri-feeds. In 2006, it was estimated that global aquaculture used 68 and 89% of the annual FM and FO production respectively. Studies have shown that complete replacement of FM/FO with vegetable derived alternatives is possible in some commonly farmed species. For example, Skretting have shown portionsized trout, can be grown effectively on feeds without any FM/FO, although growth and food conversion ratio (FCR) are slightly affected. Various projects have shown the potential for partial FM/FO substitution and enabled definition of acceptable substitution rates. There is now a wealth of evidence showing that salmon and trout productivity and quality (including healthy eating) need not be compromised through partial FM and FO replacement with vegetable products. Replacement of FM in diets with vegetable proteins is proceeding, subject to the minimum fishmeal content each feed manufacturer recommends. Similarly, partial replacement of FO with vegetable oils is proceeding, although the attitude in Scotland (and Ireland) has been more conservative than in other countries. Vegetable meals and oils are increasingly used to "spare" FM/FO in growing diets, and FM/FO can be reintroduced into finishing diets to produce a table fish meeting consumer requirements. However, vegetable products also need to be sourced from sustainable production, and feed conversion needs to remain efficient to maximise resource use and ensure that nutrient loss in effluents does not increase. A potential alternative source of nutrients is land animal by-products (LAP): inclusion in aqua-feeds represents a way of using these materials that are currently lost to the human food chain. In contrast to the rest of the world including mainland Europe, the UK (and Ireland and Norway) are strongly resisting the use of LAP as an alternative to FM and animal fats (e.g. poultry oil) to spare FO. Recent research on attitudes has indicated that recent food scares have instilled conservatism in sections of the production and retail chain where "naturalness" of fish feed is seen as protection from media

assault. However, the majority of consumers are likely to accept of a degree of responsible fish oil substitution; the remaining 20% could be supplied with a niche product fed a "natural", high fish diet. Paul then moved on to address the fish in: fish out controversy. The often quoted figure of 4.9 for salmon (i.e. nearly 5 tonnes of wild fish required to produce 1 tonne of farmed salmon) came from a 2008 publication by Tacon and Metian. This figure was put in doubt by a subsequent study (Jackson, 2009) which came up with a very different figure of 1.7, by making different assumptions in the calculations. There is also the theoretical possibility for salmon farming to become a net producer of fish (fish in: fish out ration < 1), by formulating diets with a different composition. Finfish aquaculture is fundamentally an efficient use of raw feed materials due to the low FCR achievable, the high edible yield of the flesh produced, and the high nutritional value of the processing by-products. Each incremental improvement in FCR saves the feed material resource and the energy involved in feed manufacture, handling and transportation. Feed manufacturers and farmers work closely on projects to optimise FCR and reduce the difference between the low biological FCRs achieved in laboratory feed trials and the higher economic FCRs observed on commercial farms. Optimising FCR is a tangible way for farmers to contribute to the sustainability of fish feed. Using the technique of Life Cycle Assessment, it has been shown that salmon farming has a low carbon footprint, similar to that of chicken, and substantially less than that of pork and beef. However, feed does account for approx 80% of the environmental impacts (global warming potential, energy use, acidification) of salmon farming, so there is still plenty for the feed industry to do improve its environmentalfriendliness. Paul summarised by stating that FM/FO are resources that will continue to be used, although they will used in a much smarter way, and will be sustainably sourced. He stressed that fish farming is fundamentally an efficient, relatively low impact form of animal protein production. In the future there is likely to be greater joining up of links in the production

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010



chain, i.e. hatchery-farmer-processor-retailer, with emphasis on "hatch-to-catch" (analogous to "farm-to-fork") to aid traceability, accreditation schemes and differentiation between sectors and niches.

The discussion groups prompted much lively and wide-ranging debate. Problems that were perceived to be hampering the development of English aquaculture were typically aired across all five groups. Attendees generally had a positive outlook and suggested action that could help a sustainable aquaculture industry to evolve and grow in England. Virtually all groups highlighted consumer education as a key issue so farming in water is accepted without question, just as farming on land is viewed as the norm. Consumers were considered to have an unfounded, outdated, negative view of aquaculture due to bad press focused on harmful environmental impacts of aquaculture (e.g. effluent causing eutrophication /algal blooms, escapes affecting genetics of wild stocks, establishment of nonnative species, farmed stocks acting as reservoir of disease, reliance on wild stocks for food and seed, predator control, habitat modifications and barriers to migration). However, such impacts are either perceived rather than proven, or are old-hat having been eliminated by technical developments. For example, normal practice is now for exclusion rather than shooting of predators, and examples were cited of netting to exclude seals and herons, and fencing to exclude otters. Furthermore, to help change public perception so that aquaculture is viewed positively, consumers need to be made aware of the environmental benefits of aquaculture (e.g. reduced pressure on wild fish, maximization of feed resources [the FCR of farmed fish will be far more efficient than for wild fish], a low carbon footprint, sequestering of carbon by shellfish, nutrient capture by shellfish, fish farms acting as "canaries" of environmental problems). Public acceptance of intensive farming also needs to be addressed which will be particularly relevant to RAS ­ rather than being viewed negatively as "factory farming", it could be presented positively as a highly efficient use of resources. Consumers also need to be more aware of the quality benefits of UK aquaculture products (e.g. freshness [very short time from slaughter to sale, not previously frozen], safety, consistency, reliability, price stability, greater provenance, improved welfare at slaughter) compared to wild capture fisheries and imports.


Questions that followed Paul's talk covered: the possibility of inclusion of GMOs in fish feeds; the demand for fish if omega-3 fatty acids can be derived from vegetable GMOs; vegetarian trout being hard to distinguish in taste tests; the possibility of FM/FO availability limiting fish production in the UK. The 13 presentations reported above are freely available to view:

Discussion groups

The workshop then proceeded with attendees dividing into 5 discussion groups to focus on key issues relating to a sustainable English Aquaculture Industry (Table 1). Although each group was provided with a list of issues as a prompt, the aim was to give attendees the opportunity to express their views and experience. Invited chairs were asked to facilitate discussions and rapporteurs were charged with capturing the conversations.

Table 1: Discussion Group topics and Chairs

Discussion Group Feed and processing Energy and carbon footprint Wildlife /Environmental impact disease Site location issues Marketing, finances and public image Invited Chair Paul Morris, Skretting Chris Preston, Defra Piers Hart, WWF Selina Stead, Newcastle University David Basset, BTA


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

The general view was that the public is largely unaware of food security issues and the health benefits of fish. The Food Standards Authority only make two dietary recommendations: the first is the 5-a-day (fruit and vegetable portions) message of which everyone is aware; the second is the 2-a-week (fish portions) message which, in contrast, has had much less impact. The government can play a role in education. The possibility of targeting schools and influencing the rising generation to embrace seafood was reiterated by several groups: children will have had less exposure to historical scare stories, and changing their eating habits provides a strong base for the future. Several groups pointed to celebrity chefs and the multiple retailers as key routes to changing public attitudes. Consumers lead busy lives, are after convenience, and seem happy to defer decisions to trusted sources. A Seafish survey found that the public trust supermarkets more than government and scientists, and the ongoing switch of banking from traditional institutions to supermarkets illustrates this faith. Although retailers may be part of the solution to increasing public acceptance of domestic aquaculture products, they were also seen as a barrier to financial sustainability and development of the industry. Supermarkets have a tight grip on the market, controlling sales price and squeezing profit margins which results in a lack of investment in expanding the industry. It was pointed out that this situation is not peculiar to aquaculture ­ dairy farmers also have difficulty achieving a sales price above the cost of production. Unfortunately, British consumers choose largely on price and are used to cheap food. This was seen as an issue for UK aquaculture production, due to competition from cheap, white fish imports, often previously frozen. This competition reiterates the need for marketing to raise awareness of the higher quality of fresh, local aquaculture products. With concerns on global food security rising, it is in the retailers own long-term interests to secure a local supply. Accreditation and consumer labelling schemes were recognised as a means of supporting local production, sustainable practices and adding value. There was also a call for better labelling (country of origin, sustainability) to be expanded to the catering / restaurant sector.

It was suggested that the industry itself has a poor track record in marketing and sales. The question was asked: is aquaculture production market-led, or does the industry try to lead the market to its products? It was suggested that regionality could be exploited to enable promotion and higher premiums (e.g. English / Hampshire trout), enabling competition with the large volume markets (e.g. Scottish salmon). Smart, local marketing of small volume, niche products for luxury markets was also suggested. History has shown that sale price falls markedly as production volume of a new aquaculture product increases. This was perceived as due to problems of small, fragmented producers competing with each other; improved organisation within sectors and clustering co-operatives of production units close to processors could help bargaining potential. Fish farmers were also seen as too focussed on technical production issues, and would benefit from business management training. It has to be acknowledged that the UK is limited in space. This imposes a constraint on increasing aquaculture production, exacerbated by a common NIMBY (not in my back yard) attitude. Assuring security of healthy seafood therefore needs to be balanced with other requirements for water, recreation and environmental preservation. An unfortunate fact is that a growing population requires more food but also requires more water and space ­ effectively pushing aquaculture and population apart. Options for growing English production include: increasing output from existing sites, developing new "virgin" sites, developing RAS on brown-field sites, and encouraging community-based initiatives. An additional possible opportunity for aquaculture is to use flooded coastal agricultural areas, a consequence of "coastal realignment". Many of the producers present argued that they were overregulated. Their view was that they had to deal with a multitude of different Government bodies, which were not joined up, and the result was akin to "death by a thousand cuts" from red-tape. Many regulations, although recognised as of underlying value, were seen as overly complicated in application, an example being the registration of novel feeds.

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Several groups independently suggested the need for top-down Governmental approval of aquaculture. The Scottish government was cited as a constructive facilitator in contrast to England where aquaculture was perceived to have a lower priority than environmental preservation. There was much enthusiasm for development of a Government led aquaculture strategy, pulling stakeholders together and drawing on experience from Scotland and Wales. There was encouragement to "think big and long term" and involve departments other than Defra. Suggestions for coverage included regulatory issues (achieving parity and a "level playing field" with other EU states was a common priority), fish health and welfare, grant aid, planning and statutory consultations, and linkage to renewable energy developments. Perhaps a strategy could even address fish consumption in schools, hospitals, prisons etc.It was emphasized that the existence of an official strategy would lend credibility to those seeking investment. A new Government "Aquaculture Tsar" to champion the strategy was also a common proposal. Such a role could provide coordination, consultation, help "debottleneck" regulations, aid stakeholder dialogue, facilitate access to grants and actively explore new opportunities. They could also continue the stakeholder dialogue started here.

A workshop on sustainable English aquaculture (Cefas Weymouth 13-14th October 2009) attended by aquaculture industry, scientists, retailers and policy makers reviewed different aspects of aquaculture and concluded that this area of food production would continue to increase in importance and deserved to be better supported. Various factors combine to make this an urgent and timely message. The increasing UK population, the fish consumption recommendations from the FSA and the need for food sustainability contrast with the decline in capture fisheries. The precarious nature of food security for finfish has been identified as "very unfavourable" leading to a greater consideration of local production as a means of securing future supply in a way which is carbon efficient and fits local economies. English aquaculture is perceived to have suffered from a lack of government support compared to Welsh and Scottish aquaculture. It is notable that UK finfish aquaculture production is concentrated in Scotland while consumption is focussed in England. The ability of English aquaculture to contribute to food security in a sustainable manner would be enhanced by clear support and a policy in this area. The industry will facilitate such dialogue with an English Aquaculture Producers Organisation (covering production of trout, carp, tilapia, shellfish, new species and novel applications). The workshop discussed surging interest in the areas of recirculation systems, aquaponics (a whole ecosystem approach to food production) and the need for greater consideration of "offshore" and "inshore" locations for all aquaculture production, including for biofuels (where production has a number of advantages over land based biofuel production). Increasing reliance on aquaculture production will decrease the pressure on wild capture fisheries which, if effectively managed, could allow stocks to recover and enhance marine biodiversity. Globally aquaculture is the fastest growing animal farming sector and, in comparison to other animal farming, represents the most efficient use of feed resources.

Articles 22


As an output from the formal talks and discussion groups, the following "statement" has been made:

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Martin Jaffa, Callander McDowell, 9 Haversham Court, Middleton Road, Manchester, M8 4JY Bananas are the top selling grocery item in the UK, worth over £600 million a year with only petrol and lottery tickets outselling them in terms of value which is why the UK currently imports 760,000 tonnes of bananas annually. At the beginning of 2010, Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, announced a new strategy to help secure Britain's food future. This sets out the challenges facing Britain in maintaining a secure food supply at a time of rapid global population growth and climate change. In a nutshell, Mr Benn said that we must produce more food and we need to do it in a more sustainable way. Yet, even though the aim is to increase food production, there is no suggestion that the UK should try to reduce imports of bananas by growing them locally. This is because bananas must be propagated from large rootstocks that are carefully transplanted in a suitable climate, namely the hot tropics, where the average temperature is a humid 27°C with a minimum of 75 mm of rainfall a month. Bananas are simply not suited to the British climate and any attempt to grow the fruit locally would not only be costly but also extremely wasteful of energy. The UK will have to remain dependent on banana imports unless there is drastic (and unlikely) change in the climate. Thus, if the UK is keen to increase its food security, it will not be of foods that are traditionally imported but rather of foods that will grow well in the UK climate. Banana production is therefore off the farming menu, yet this is not the case when it comes to aquaculture for the possibility of growing fish from tropical regions is being given serious consideration. At the recent Cefas workshop on sustainable finfish aquaculture there was enthusiasm for tilapia production in the UK. Tilapia is grown in 75 different countries and global production will reach 3 million tonnes this year making it the second most cultivated fish in the world. Yet, just because it is the second most cultivated fish in the world, why would tilapia culture be advocated for the UK? After all, UK farmers are unlikely to grow bananas due to their requirement of a temperature of 27°C, so why would those seeking to farm fish in England choose a species that requires a similarly high temperature? Closed recirculation systems are the most effective way of producing warm-water fish. However, this comes at a cost both in terms of the economics and energy usage. Maintaining water at a constant 27°C will not come cheaply even if most water is retained and not lost through evaporation and replenishment (5-10% a day). Tilapia Scotland have produced an information pack on tilapia culture ( which includes a guide to the economics of production. Electricity seems to amount to around 30% of the running costs. The new Food Strategy launched by Hilary Benn argues that energy usage should be reduced. Heating water to grow fish is not really in line with this new strategy. Tilapia's main selling point is that compared to other fish, they are herbivorous and can feed on algae, bacteria and detritus. Fish such as salmon and trout are carnivorous and when farmed are fed on high protein feeds usually made from fishmeal. Critics of aquaculture often cite this fishmeal usage as why consumers should avoid these fish. Unfortunately, growing tilapia in the UK is not necessarily the best answer to solving the issue of fishmeal in fish feeds. Tilapia may be herbivorous when grown in traditional extensive warm-water pond culture; however their high temperature requirement means that they will never be grown in the UK in such a way. Instead, advocates of UK tilapia culture recommend production in closed recirculation units. These are devoid of any natural food so the fish must receive a complete diet in the same way as other cultured fish. In order to encourage the fish to grow rapidly, the feed must contain a reasonable level and source of protein, of which fishmeal provides the most concentrated form. Tilapia Scotland's information pack states that fish can reach a market size of 500 g in

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six to eight months. However they also say that their "economic analysis ... is based on nutritionally complete commercial pellets" (up to 40% protein and costing £520 per tonne) "which can achieve high feed conversion ratios while minimising waste. The economic viability of diet formulations using on-farm or local plants sources requires further research." Thus this herbivorous fish doesn't quite live up to expectation at present. Whilst feed and temperature may be significant obstacles to the further development of tilapia culture in the UK, an even greater hurdle to overcome is the clear lack of market demand for tilapia. Although global demand for tilapia will increase, what about demand in the UK? Tilapia Scotland suggests that there are three potential niche markets for UK produced tilapia: ethnic groups, green consumers and gastropubs, as these may realise a better margin than if sold into traditional outlets. The problem is that whilst ethnic groups represent an existing market for tilapia, this is usually imported and relatively cheap. Whole fish of 600-700g can be bought for as little as £2 each in some local specialist markets. Green consumers, wanting a locally produced product, and gastro-pubs, with a unique premium offering, do not yet have an established demand and there is no guarantee that such a demand will ever develop. Tilapia sold through UK supermarkets is much more expensive with fillets priced at up to £16/ kg. This may look attractive as the basis for developing a price structure for fish farmed in the UK but the real issue is not the price but the volumes sold. Market researchers, Nielsen produces a regular report for Seafish in which the

volumes of all fish sold through the major retail outlets are listed. The latest report for the end of 2009 of fish in terms of sales volume lists tilapia in 35th position out of thirty five with a total volume of 69 tonnes. Clearly, tilapia is sold through other outlets in the UK but compared with salmon (no 1 position) with a volume of 31,881 tonnes, tilapia must be considered insignificant. One of the reasons why the UK does not seem to have taken to tilapia is that they have been advocated as an alternative to wild caught cod. Environmental groups warned that cod stocks were on the point of collapse, consumers should avoid cod and select more sustainable fish with tilapia being one of the species recommended. It is possible that tilapia might have become more popular, but there are now signs of a recovery in wild cod stocks. Consumers will have less incentive to change if cod is back on the menu and is also much cheaper than tilapia. Perhaps, if wild fish stocks were again to decline, fish such as tilapia may be a solution but with the increased awareness of sustainable labelling, wild stocks may now be safeguarded for the future. If bananas, despite their high market demand, are not considered viable as a crop in the UK, then why would potential farmers consider growing tilapia for which there is almost no demand? It is of course possible that by 2030 or even 2050, the market for tilapia could change. By then, tilapia may be not only the most popular fish in the word but also in the UK. In the meantime, tilapia do not seem suited to the UK's climate, they don't appear to deliver on their `green' herbivorous credentials, and the British public doesn't yet seem to want to buy them.



Cefas has made the presentations available from its Tilapia Workshop held on the 18 June 2009. The presentations can be found online at For your convenience the presentations are individually listed below with a summary. Cefas ran the workshop for the tilapia industry in England and Wales. It gave feedback to the industry about the Francisella outbreak on farms in 2008 and discussed its future implications to the industry. There was considerable interest for such a new sector of aquaculture. The final number of attendees grew to 65, with expert speakers travelling from as far as Scotland and France. The day was divided into three subject sessions; disease, production and technical/trade. Ten presentations were given, and the day ended with a discussion on any untouched subjects.


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Presentation overview "Biosecurity for the Tilapia industry" by Nick Stinton, Cefas.

This talk focused on biosecurity measures and their relevance to the tilapia industry. It explained that biosecurity was meant as a risk analysis method. Risks of disease introduction are identified, quantified and measures put in place to reduce this risk. Biosecurity measures are needed to reduce financial impacts, husbandry complications and welfare issues. The talk surmised that prevention was the key to recirculation system sites. Careful consideration is needed for stock sources and in the design and management of a system.

"Tilapia husbandry" by Dr Mark Burdass, Sparsholt college.

This presentation covered tilapia husbandry and farming techniques. It focused particularly on providing optimum conditions to grow tilapia. Although tilapia can tolerate a wide range of conditions, non-optimum conditions can compromise production, disease occurrence and profitability. The talk also covered how system design influences productivity and performance.


"Application of U.V. and Ozone in recirculation systems" by Didier Leclercq, ACUI-T.

The talk considered the application of disinfection techniques used in recirculation technology. It focused on the use of Ultra-Violet sterilization and ozone techniques. The need to disinfect water was explained (including the supply water) and different disinfection methods were discussed. Finally the advantages and disadvantages of each method were outlined, along with their limitations and costs.

"Tilapia farming in England and Wales and the occurrence of Francisella sp" by Keith Jeffery, Cefas.

This presentation covered the 2008 occurrence of Francisella orientallis in the UK tilapia industry. It discussed the symptoms, detection, problems and the impact it had on the industry. Many questions were raised ­ such as where had the disease originally come from- and discussed.

"Aquaponics and renewable energy" by Charlie Price, Aquaponics UK.

This was a short presentation on sustainable aquaculture and aquaponics. It focused on equipment that is able to save energy ­ such as air source heating pumps. The different methods and principles behind Aquaponics were explained. It was recognised that there is a high cost to producing a facility (greenhouse building). However, this can be outweighed by high cash crop production, a reduction in filtration equipment and the savings on energy costs.

"Biosecurity ­ A foundational principle to poultry primary breeding" by Dr William Stanley, Aviagen.

This talk discussed biosecurity in the poultry sector. Due to similarities between poultry and tilapia farming many of these biosecurity principles can be applied. The poultry industry is considered to have a `gold' standard of biosecurity which is an example to all livestock industries. The talk involved biosecurity practices the poultry industry applies, including the design of production units and audit trails.

"Trade associations, who needs them?" by Nick Read, British Trout Association.

The talk discussed why a sector should be represented by a trade association, which voices the opinions of its member businesses to Government. It explained the formation and involvement of the BTA in shaping the UK trout industry, and the formation of a quality assurance scheme for the industry (Quality Trout UK). A quality scheme is vital if a business is to supply main retailers, and is thus essential in selling more product. Finally the talk covered the FEAP (Federation of European Aquaculture Producers) and explained what FEAP's objectives were. FEAP lobbies and has a direct involvement with the European government. This is vital, as many legislative decisions are made at this level.

"Tilapia research at the Institute of Aquaculture" by Dr Brendan McAndrew, Institute of Aquaculture.

The talk discussed the research of Stirling University and how this has helped develop the tilapia industry. In particular it covered sex manipulation techniques ­ mainly the methods of all male production. Although hormones are used to influence sex in parental stock, these fish do not enter the food chain. Finally it explained the research into light regimes which are shown to enhance tilapia production.

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Under the Aquatic Animal Health (England and Wales) Regulations 2009 it is now a legal requirement to register waters that are stocked or from which fish are removed. Since 2008 we have been running an advertising campaign to inform the industry of the legislative changes. This campaign included advertising in national papers, phoning all the fisheries on the Environment Agency's "Where to Go Fishing" register, and sending multiple mail shots to suppliers. However, some still have not heard of the change and are unaware of what needs to be done. Therefore people have applied for movement consents without being a registered site ­ in these cases the site owner is now performing an illegal act. In the last year the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) at Cefas have been busy registering all put-and-take fisheries. The total stands at 4,062 individual forms processed, culminating in roughly 8,500 individually registered waters. In handling the scale of this project, the FHI have taken on extra staff. Their priority is to ensure the smooth running of the registration process and prevent too great an impact on industry. For most registration applications, the following happens: 1. We receive your application form and send you a postcard to confirm receipt 2. Your application form is checked and input into our database, along with a map of your waters. This allows us to share the information with the Environment Agency for their Section 28s and 30s. 3. If you have non-native species, we check to see you hold an Import of Live Fish (England and Wales) Act 1980 (ILFA) licence. If you don't, we send you an ILFA application form. 4. Once input, the form is scanned and securely stored on our system. 5. Finally your registration documents are sent to you. As with any new legislation, problems occur and systems must adapt. Most of the problems we encounter are the result of incomplete or incorrectly completed forms. There are two types of forms which can be completed. An RW1 is for fisheries and an RW2 for stocking waters (also known as Aquatic Animal Holdings). Illegible and incomplete forms drastically slow the input process; we have to call applicants to clarify information, which takes time. However the biggest surprise has been the number of sites stating that they have non-native species. To hold a non-native species the applicant must have an ILFA licence. When applicants have non-native species on their sites, the FHI check to see if you hold an ILFA licence. From these we have followed up almost 200 applicants. Luckily the solution is simple; it requires the completion of an ILFA application form. This form is then returned to us and sent out for consultation. The FHI's most important goal is to ensure that Environment Agency consents, to introduce or remove fish, are not unduly affected by the new regulations. Under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975, the Environment Agency regulates the movement of fish within all inland waters in England and Wales. Before introducing or removing any fish the written consent of the Environment Agency must be obtained. This consent is usually a one-off "permission" issued for a specified date, site and consignment of fish. The FHI realise many rely on fish stocking and removal for income. By performing daily checks on stuck Environment Agency consents we can inform those affected and help resolve the issue to allow the consenting process to proceed. Often fish movements occur at short notice so to help all involved we developed a process to cater for urgent applications. These forms are prioritised and processed within 24 hours. We always try not to interrupt peoples' businesses as we understand how important the movements are to both suppliers and anglers. Looking forward, some estimate there could be around 45,000 fisheries complexes in England and Wales. Currently, we believe the figure for stocked fisheries is around 10,000. Therefore we have a long way to go. However we expect an application spike in February 2010. After this period the FHI will have a better grasp of the scale of this project and be able to plan accordingly for the future.


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Finally, the FHI would like to thank those that have applied or informed people about the need to register. Nevertheless, there are still those who don't know and any help you can provide spreading the message for us is

appreciated. has a section on registration giving a quick overview of the application process and outlining which form you need.



Gareth Parry, Conservation Ecology Research Team, Department of Pure and Applied Ecology, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP A pioneering new project is looking at stock predation by wild carnivores at freshwater recreational fisheries and fish farms in Wales. This is an issue that is a major challenge for the commercial aquaculture and leisure fishing sector in Wales. A partnership has been formed, which is being led by the Swansea University Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC) team and the Conservation Ecology Research Team Swansea (CERTS). Other partners include the Environment Agency and the South and West Wales Wildlife Trust. The main aims of this project are to provide scientifically supported education and management advice to enable businesses to prosper and reduce their stock losses, while strengthening their contribution to wildlife conservation. Achieving this will be challenging, and so the project will consists of several phases. After consultation with the Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Research (CSAR) located within Swansea University, an initial scoping questionnaire was dispatched to all freshwater recreational fisheries and fish farms in Wales during 2009. Forty three managers or owners responded with information about predation at their businesses, and this revealed a wide range of opinions on the perceived impact of wildlife (such as otters, mink, cormorant, herons etc) on fisheries. A report of this initial stage is being produced, which will be available to all businesses involved and the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) in the next few weeks. The second phase of the project will investigate the actual level of predation at fisheries using the expertise of CERTS and state of the art camera trap systems. A habitat analysis will also be undertaken to investigate the effect of other factors such as landscape management on predation. It is hoped that this will identify some realistic, practical and affordable measures that can be taken to reduce predation at fisheries. An MSc student from Swansea University will be used to do much of the survey work for phase two. This project presents a fantastic opportunity to use science to inform WAG policy and increase collaboration between those working in conservation and business managers. This project is striving to help protect the magnificent biodiversity of Wales, while recognising the importance of the fishery sector to the Welsh economy.

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Richard Slaski On 8 April 2009, the European Commission presented a communication to give new impetus to the sustainable development of aquaculture. While the EU aquaculture industry meets high EU standards, production has stagnated while continuing to grow in the rest of the world. This new impetus is strongly echoed by the UK Government and the devolved administrations. Targeted financial assistance from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) is one of the recommendations, and this article provides an overview of EFF for GB aquaculture producers ­ together with some `best practice' tips that emerged from an aquaculture workshop organised by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) in January of this year.

Scale and Purpose

A large range of scales of project can be supported by EFF, and we should not be put off by imagining that a project is either too small to be worthy, or too large to be acceptable. An examination of the EFF awards made to date (mainly for fisheries sectors other than aquaculture) shows that many different types of projects have been helped. There is a minimum, £400, and a maximum, £2 million. There may be several improvements you want to make to your aquaculture operation, including: · Expansion of production, or even a new farming venture. EFF can support this, but your proposal and application must provide firm evidence of a market need for the additional production · Increased efficiency or reduced environmental footprint. EFF strongly supports these sorts of initiative ­ reducing reliance on mains electricity by installing a renewable energy unit would be a good example

The Basics

In summary, the EFF can provide grants for capital investments in eligible aquaculture projects, provided that: · The project is inherently viable (and you have to present a `business case' to support that) · The project could not proceed, or might proceed more slowly or in a reduced form, without access to the EFF grant ­ perhaps because you simply cannot raise the full amount of investment funding you need For most of us in the industry, shellfish or finfish producers, the maximum amount of grant available is 40% of the fixed assets (equipment, etc) needed to complete the project. Whilst that does mean that you have to have your own funding available for the remaining 60% of the fixed assets, and all of the working capital you need, it is still an important and potentially vital part of an overall investment plan. EFF awards are transparently published by MMO, and you can find a note of the awards made so far on their website. Mike Ridgway of Ocean Fish presented delegates at the recent workshop with a very positive case study of how EFF helped his company with an innovative trout farming project in Cornwall.

Practical Guidance on EFF Applications

For many of us who are unfamiliar with making grant applications, there can be a natural sense of caution or even nervousness about embarking on the process. It's important to recognise that there is a lot of support available to us, all of it designed to make the application process as straightforward as it can be. · Consult the guidance documents contained on the MMO (or devolved administration) website · Speak to the MMO Business Relations Team (see the website for contact details), or their counterparts in the other administrations · Speak to your local EFF facilitator in England (see website) ­ their services are free, and whilst they can't actually write your application or business case for you, they can provide a good deal of practical guidance


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The workshop in January brought together a good mix of aquaculture business owners and managers, trade association representatives, other public sector experts, and, importantly, the MMO EFF team and all three of the EFF facilitators. It was an intensive day, with a great deal of exchange of knowledge and experience ­ in both directions. The workshop culminated in team working on mock EFF applications, which then had to be `sold' to a Dragon's Den style panel. Feedback at the end of the meeting and subsequently told us that all of the industry delegates thought they would be more likely to apply for an EFF grant as a result of attending the workshop, and that they felt much more confident about submitting a high quality of application.


Team working at the EFF Aquaculture Workshop ­ preparing for the `Dragon's Den' (Photo courtesy of Catherine Lax, MMO)

We collated some of the key guidance points and `tips' that delegates found useful or learned during the workshop, and these are summarised here in the Tables.

Table 1.1 Deciding Whether to Apply for EFF

Good Project Planning. Any project needs to be carefully considered and planned, well before thinking about whether or not an EFF grant would be available. On top of any market or efficiency planning, any complex project will require additional detailed technical and financial planning and research: what equipment will I need; what is available at best cost; etc. Develop a Strong Business Plan. At this stage, this means having your own internal business plan for the project, one that is sufficiently developed for you to feel that an EFF application is worthwhile. Secure Necessary Finance. Your own core business plan for the project will have a financing plan within it, and it is essential that you are confident you can raise the non-EFF portion of any fixed asset investment, and all the necessary working capital, before you consider applying for EFF. Note that EFF grants are claimed after the work has been done (or the equipment bought), and after the supplier has been paid. This means that a project budget must have a capability for cash-flow (consult MMO on normal grant-claim payment timescales).

Table 1.2 Making the EFF Application

Seek Early Advice. The facilitation service is free, and the EFF facilitators can advise you on many aspects of what is required. The Paperwork Should Not Deter. The workshop clearly demonstrated to delegates that the EFF application form is not as daunting as they might have first thought. Once your own internal business plan is firmly in place, actually completing an EFF application and preparing an accompanying business case file is relatively straightforward. Detailed Quotations. It is quite likely that up to the initial stage of deciding to apply for EFF, the project business plan would contain relatively simple fixed asset budgets, perhaps based on one quotation for an item of equipment, or even just on generic experience. This is not acceptable for an EFF application, and the budget will have to be detailed and based on specific quotations. For anything other than very minor items of equipment (consult facilitator or the MMO Business Relations Team), 3 separate quotations will need to be provided, in writing, for every item. The Business Case that Accompanies the Application. A `business case' must be made for all applications for EFF, and the chart below gives an indication of how these should be approached, depending upon the scale of your project. Size of Project Less than £20K £20K ­ £100K More than £100K, but less than £1 million > £1 million Documentation Several paragraphs (Section G of form) Two to three A4 pages on separate document Business case and investment appraisal of about 5 pages Developed business case of at least 10 pages and separate spreadsheet Refer to guidance Section 1 Section 1 in more detail and parts of Section 2 All of Section 2. Discounted cash flow All of Section 2. Detailed investment appraisal and discounted cash flow

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Further guidance on preparing a business case is available from MMO, and there was a good focus on this subject at the workshop. A good project will not only be beneficial to the applicant, but should also be seen to be beneficial to the sector and the country as a whole. The business case should present all these considerations, but it should remain factual and realistic about the wider benefits of the project. Note: MMO staff are willing to consider your Business Case file before you make the final formal application, and can offer you guidance on its suitability and any possible improvements. Consents and Permissions. In addition to having all additional finance available for a project, the EFF Grants Team will also need to see that all necessary consents and permissions for the project are in place. These could include planning permission, navigational safety permissions, or environmental discharging consents. Some of these permissions can take time to acquire, so forward planning is essential. Do Not Commence the Project Until EFF Award Letter is Received. This is an important rule of the scheme. Any invoices for equipment or work that date from before you receive the award letter will not be eligible for making a claim. Have a Contingency Plan. Not every eligible project will receive an offer of EFF grant support, for various unavoidable reasons (such as over-subscription or budget limitation). That does not mean the project is not a worthwhile aquaculture proposition. It is always sensible to have a `contingency plan' built into the original project business plan ­ an option for what could be done, perhaps on a reduced scale, if EFF is not available.

Further information

There is excellent information about all the above aspects of the EFF on the MMO's website ( fisheries/grants/index.htm) If you are based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you can also find links to your own EFF team's websites on the MMO site.

This article was prepared by: Richard Slaski, Epsilon Resource Management Limited, 15 Shielhill Park, Stanley, Perthshire PH1 4QT Tel/Fax: 01738 828170, Mobile: 07919 372241 Email: [email protected]


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


All samples of UK farmed fish analysed for residues of veterinary medicines as part of the government's 2008 surveillance programme were compliant with UK and European law on veterinary residues. This was conclusion of the 2008 Annual Report of the independent Veterinary Residues Committee (VRC) published in early September 2009. Each year, government tests farmed fish and other foods for residues of veterinary medicines, banned substances and some environmental contaminants. This work is overseen by the independent VRC. The results in recent years have shown a very high degree of compliance with the legislation on the use of veterinary medicines by UK fish farmers. This was continued in 2008, when no unacceptable residues at all were detected. Of particular note was the absence of any residues of the unauthorised substance malachite green. These had been detected some years ago, sometimes as a result of recommissioning old facilities within particular farms. The Chairman of the VRC said `The Committee were very pleased to see the excellent record of UK fish farming continue. We are pleased to be able to reassure consumers that likelihood of being exposed to unacceptable residues of veterinary medicines in domestically produced fish is very low indeed.' The VRC Annual Report is available to download from the `Reports' section of the VRC website ­ and also the VMD website ­ You can request hard copies from Stephanie Hunt on 01932 338329, e-mail: [email protected], or by writing to: Secretariat Veterinary Residues Committee Woodham Lane New Haw Addlestone Surrey KT15 3LS



Food 2030, the Government's new food strategy, is the first of its kind in over 50 years. In it we set out our vision of what we want the food system to look like in 2030, and how we can get there. What we want by 2030 · Consumers are informed, can choose, and afford, healthy, sustainable food. This demand is met by profitable, competitive, highly skilled and resilient farming, fishing and food businesses, supported by first class research and development. · Food is produced, processed and distributed to feed a growing global population in ways which: ­ use global natural resources sustainably, ­ enable the continuing provision of the benefits and services that a healthy natural environment provides, ­ promote high standards of animal health and welfare, ­ protect food safety, ­ make a significant contribution to rural communities, and ­ allow us to show global leadership on food sustainability. · Our food security is ensured through strong British agriculture and international trade links with EU and global partners, which support developing economies. · The UK has a low carbon food system which is efficient with resources ­ any waste is reused, recycled or used for energy generation. Food 2030 consultation In August 2009, we published an online consultation document and invited views from stakeholders and the public on the issues surrounding our food system. We have also had

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meetings with stakeholders from all parts of the food chain over the past year, which have helped us to formulate the Food 2030 strategy. Contact us For further information please see http://www. Or contact [email protected]

fish to be consented. As the keeping of fish is unregulated and other activities only partially so, the existing regulation fails to prevent/minimise the risk of inappropriate movements to and from inland waters and the fisheries and flora and fauna they support. Further Government intervention is required by replacing Section 30 and all current byelaw consents for removals with a new scheme that will regulate the movement of fish (including eggs and gametes) and to impose tighter controls as envisaged by the Marine Bill, while at the same time removing unnecessary burdens on the industry or the Environment Agency. The key policy objective is to minimise the risk posed by inappropriate and illegal fish movements in inland waters detrimental to fisheries and local and/or national biodiversity. The intended effect is to better protect local fisheries and biodiversity, while allowing low risk introductions that are beneficial to angling by significantly reducing regulatory burdens on both industry and the Environment Agency on low risk activities. A consultation is necessary in order to gain the views from stakeholders on proposals made for a new Live Fish Movement Scheme, so that Defra may get a fuller and more accurate understanding of these proposals on people and their business. All responses should be received by 10 March 2010. 14 October 2009

Organic Standards

The revised Defra and devolved administrations "Guidance Document" on The European Union Organic Standards legislation has been posted on the Defra website. It contains guidance on organic aquaculture and can be viewed at: organic/standards/pdf/guidance-documentjan2010.pdf

Consultation on measures to control the keeping, release and removal of live fish

The introduction of fish, whether native or alien, into inland waters can be detrimental to fisheries and to local and/ or national biodiversity through competition, predation, disease transfer and hybridisation, or through impacts on the aquatic habitat. The current system is unsatisfactory because, under section 30 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975, only the act of introduction is regulated, and enforcement is effectively confined to the river bank. Fish removal is partially regulated through various byelaws that require different methods of taking


"Christmas dinner" carp seized at Dover

UK Border Agency Officers at the Port of Dover, working in conjunction with the government's Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI), seized live carp destined for Christmas menus on two occasions prior to Christmas 2009. The Inspectorate, based at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, advises that it is illegal to import live coldwater fish unless from an EU "approved" zone and accompanied by a movement document issued by an authorised veterinary inspector. In both pre-Christmas incidents the carp were being transported by Eastern European nationals whose paperwork was not in order. On 16 December 2009 a white Ford Transit van was intercepted as it entered the Port, having travelled through France from the Czech Republic. Upon examination the vehicle was found to contain a quantity of foodstuffs, including four live carp. In a second incident, on 21 December, a white VW van entered the Port from France with a large container of fish. Upon closer examination that consignment was found to contain 130 live carp. The Eastern European occupants of both vehicles were interviewed


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

and stated that the fish were intended for the "Christmas table". Follow-up enquiries are continuing in each case with a view to pursuing prosecutions. The fish were confiscated and, in line with FHI/Defra policy, were subsequently destroyed to ensure that no disease is spread from their possible introduction into UK waters. Stuart Katon, the FHI's Enforcement and Investigations Officer said: "We have past experience of Eastern European nationals attempting to import live carp for the table in the run up to Christmas. Some cultures regard carp as a delicacy. Nevertheless, importing fish without the correct documentation remains an illegal act. In response to recent incidents we will now be engaging with Eastern European communities based here in the UK to ensure that they are fully aware of the law and their legal responsibilities." More information about the importation of live fish may be found by visiting www. Or contact the Fish Health Inspectorate directly on 01305 206700 / [email protected] Stuart Katon can be contacted on 01305 20681. All enquiries and any information supplied about potentially illegal movements of live fish will be dealt with in strict confidence. 20 January 2010

Stuart Katon, the Fish Health Inspectorate's (FHI) Enforcement and Investigations Officer, said: "Perhaps surprisingly given our recent statement regarding this issue I have again been contacted by respected representatives from the coarse fishing community who are still not entirely clear about the current legal position regarding fish imports. To avoid any further confusion I can verify on behalf of the Fish Health Inspectorate that we will not under any circumstances authorise the movement of fish from France into Great Britain." Recent media reports about the proposed importation of record-sized carp from a source in France to a fishery in England prompted the FHI ­ based at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) ­ to issue a news release and related information about carp importation rules. This can be seen at The FHI have now identified all the individuals involved in the proposed importation, which was the subject of news coverage in the angling press. These people have since been visited and advised by senior Inspectors from the FHI. Inspectors advised the fishery owner that, at present, it is illegal to import carp from France, irrespective of what any French supplier or potential UK importer may claim. Stuart Katon can be contacted on 01305 206811, or the FHI can be reached at 01305 206700. All enquiries and any information supplied will be dealt with in strict confidence. 8 October 2009


FHI re-confirm legal position surrounding French carp imports

Some in the coarse fishing community in England and Wales are still not entirely sure about the legal position surrounding the importation of French carp.


Patrick Smith, the new BTA Chairman

Professor Patrick Smith has had a long and valuable relationship with the BTA, including close cooperation on a number of research projects. He has had a distinguished career in fish disease research. From1977 to 1981 he was based at the Department of Bacteriology and Virology at the University of Manchester where he focused on research into fish immunology at the Fish Diseases Laboratory in Weymouth. He then moved to Norway for a year where he was a guest researcher at the University of Tromso. During his time there, he helped to establish a research group on fish diseases and immunology. In 1982 he set up Aquaculture Vaccines Ltd, which was the first company to develop commercial vaccines for fish. He is still the managing director and owner of this prestigious company. From 2002 to April 2009, Patrick was the Director of New Business Development for Schering-Plough Aquaculture,

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and he is currently a member of the Interim Working Group and Board of Directors of the European Technology Platform. Amongst the many awards he has received, he has an Honorary Professorship at HeriotWatt University for services to the aquaculture industry, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stirling, and is an Honorary Life Member of the European Association of Fish Pathologists.

Patrick Smith (left) with Nick Read


of Bergen. More recently he set up his own consultancy company, RSP Services Ltd. His expertise is mostly in the technical, financial and managerial aspects of hatchery and in the ongoing production of a variety of marine species such as turbot, sole, southern flounder, sea bass, sea bream, cod, snapper and cobia. "This appointment will enable us to build our knowledge in a variety of aspects of the aquaculture sector", said Dr Paul Williams, Research Director at Seafish. "We have restructured our aquaculture team following the departure of Sue Utting at the end of last year. We believe Richard's considerable experience and close ties with the supply and production industries will help us respond to developments in this growing sector of the seafood industry. This appointment also coincides with the development of a new Seafish forum. The Aquaculture Common Issues Group brings together interested parties to develop consensus positions on a range of issues affecting the finfish and shellfish aquaculture industry," said Dr Williams. 15 February 2010

Seafish develops aquaculture expertise

Seafish, the authority on seafood, announced today that it has appointed Richard Prickett in a consultancy capacity to advise on various aspects of marine finfish aquaculture. Richard's career in marine finfish aquaculture has spanned over 35 years. He has worked for several companies including Golden Sea Produce Ltd (later Norsk Hydro) in Scotland, Shearwater Fish Farming Ltd (BOC and later Seafarm AS) in the Isle of Man and Europe and the Oslo listed company Marine Farms ASA


Temperature rise could spell disaster for British wildlife

Southern rivers empty of trout and salmon, waterways choked with alien fast-growing plants and the decline of migratory birds could all be consequences of temperature rise in the UK. According to research by the Environment Agency, fish, invertebrates and other water species will be the first to feel the devastating effects of climate change as river temperatures rise, and more frequent flooding and drought change traditional river habitats.


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Iconic fish species such as Atlantic salmon and trout, which need cold water to thrive, may struggle to survive. As river temperatures have risen, there is evidence that they are already declining in the warmer estuaries and rivers in the south of England. Invertebrates, which form an integral part of the aquatic food chain, are also under threat, with numbers falling by around 20 per cent for every one degree rise in temperature in sensitive upland streams. While some native plants and animals decline with increasing temperatures, foreign species could spread rapidly, killing off native species and habitats, and even causing flooding. African Clawed Toads, which carry a fungus lethal to other amphibians and eat the fry of our native fish, already have small colonies in England and Wales. If temperatures continue to rise as predicted, this species could breed and spread easily throughout the UK. Fast growing plants such as South American water primrose could take over Britain's waterways helped by warmer temperatures, impeding water flow and increasing flooding. And without the colder temperatures that keep them in check, some alien fish species could become pests, crowding out other fish popular with anglers and even destroying habitat. Climate change is also causing sea levels to rise, destroying areas of salt marshes and mudflats that migrating birds such as redshank, plovers and wildfowl have used for centuries as a winter refuge. Lord Chris Smith, chairman at the Environment Agency said: "There is a danger that we think of climate change as something that is happening in other countries. But it's not just polar bears and rainforests that are at risk. "What we see in our rivers, gardens, seas and skies here in the UK is already changing and delays in reducing harmful green house gas emissions will lead to more severe impacts. There is an urgent need for all countries to limit their emissions to avoid the disastrous consequences of a four degree global temperature rise." Professor Steve Ormerod, of Cardiff University School of Biosciences said: "Rivers and streams, particularly in the cooler uplands of Britain, are

extremely sensitive to climate change because rising temperature and altered rainfall affect them directly. "Our own studies in Welsh streams show that temperatures have risen by almost two degrees over the last 25 years and these changes appear to have affected river insects, whose numbers have fallen by around 20% for every one degree rise. Knock-on effects are inevitable for the fish, birds and bats that use river insects as food." The Environment Agency continues to work to protect people and the environment from the effects of climate change. This year water quality improved for the nineteenth year in a row, supporting species vulnerable to climate change such as salmon, eels and sea trout. The Agency is also working to compensate for habitat loss due to sea level rise. Schemes such as the Alkborough Flats in the Humber estuary, which replaces more than 150 hectares of wetland habitat as part of a flood defence scheme, are being developed in response to the loss of salt marsh and mud flats. Eradication plans are in place for the invasive Water Primrose plant and the African clawed toad, to prevent the damage to wildlife and habitat these species could cause if left unchecked. When the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) comes into force and aviation is included in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), some 48 per cent of all UK carbon emissions will come from industries regulated by the Environment Agency. By running the EU ETS and CRC efficiently, and by promoting the use of low carbon technologies, renewable energy and carbon capture and storage, the Environment Agency will have a key role to play in making sure that the UK meets its ambitious carbon reduction targets by 2050. 14 December 2009


Environment Agency takes action to protect the beleaguered eel

The critically endangered European eel is being given a helping hand by the Environment Agency after Parliament stepped in to

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encourage the species' recovery. Under the new legislation, the Environment Agency can require eel passes and screens to be installed on all rivers and streams where barriers such as weirs or sluice gates prevent eels from moving upstream to grow or downstream to spawn. In the past 20 years, the eel has seen a dramatic decline across Europe. The number of baby eels entering our rivers has fallen by 95 per cent because of a range of factors including loss of habitat and barriers to migration. However other aquatic wildlife, such as salmon and otters, has thrived thanks to the Environment Agency's continuous work on water quality, which has improved for the 19th year in a row ­ the best it has been for over a century. Legislation introduced in January aims to increase European eel numbers across England and Wales after the International Union for the Conservation of Nature described the species as `critically endangered'. Starting at a couple of hundred pounds, eel passes can be cheap

to install and have already proved successful in giving the species access to new stretches of water. Plans to install over 100 eel passes across the country are already underway. Environment Agency eel expert Andy Don said: `We know that even one eel pass in the right location can have an instant effect. Two passes installed along a watercourse that flows into the River Parrett in Somerset saw 10,000 eels queuing up to use them on the first night, and both 2008 and 2009 saw around 40,000 eels using the passes each year. From now on we are able to stipulate that eel passes or screens must be fitted where there are barriers to migration, making our waterways much more eel friendly. Enabling eels to get access to habitats they would otherwise be deprived of gives them the best possible chance to grow and mature before making their incredible journey back to the Sargasso Sea.' Published: 08-Feb-10


Troutlodge sign lease agreement for a new hatchery facility on the Isle of Man

Troutlodge, Isle of Man and the Isle of Man Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (DAFF) signed a lease agreement today (February 2, 2010) that gives Troutlodge operational control of DAFF's Cornaa Fish Hatchery (Lag Vollagh Freshwater Hatchery). With this lease agreement, Troutlodge aims to immediately increase its egg production capacity on the Isle of Man by at least 40%, as demand for the company's products continues to grow throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Long-term, the company hopes to utilize the additional water and facility space provided by the Cornaa facility to double its annual egg production from the Isle of Man. Under the terms of the lease, Troutlodge will assume responsibility for the Cornaa hatchery's stocking program. This is an area of expertise for the company, which has a proven track record in the USA of providing the highest-quality stockable rainbow trout and proven methods of fish planting that promote good animal husbandry and welfare. In exchange, Troutlodge gains full control of the hatchery operations, and will produce eggs during the winter months, while planting fish during the months of March through October. With the agreement, Troutlodge is pleased to welcome Mr. John Ballard to the Troutlodge team. Mr. Ballard currently serves as the Cornaa Hatchery Manager. "We are extremely pleased to have the privilege to operate this facility, as it will enable us to expand our production capabilities and better meet the growing demand for Troutlodge products from the Isle of Man," states Roy Charsley, Managing Director, Troutlodge Isle of Man. "We are grateful for the hard work of those at DAFF to arrange this lease agreement, and for the trust they have in us to manage this cherished facility. We look forward to partnering with them and the Isle's angling clubs in continuing the Isle's rich trout fishery programs." The Cornaa hatchery operates on first-use spring water, and is a fully certified diseasefree facility. Eggs produced at Cornaa will be incubated at Troutlodge's new incubation and distribution building located at the company's


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

Glen Wyllin hatchery. This state-of-the-art building, construction of which was completed in June 2009, was designed with this potential

lease agreement in mind, as it has a capacity of ~100 million eggs per annum.



Marine Harvest plans residential fish farms

The salmon producer Marine Harvest is planning to create a number of offshore fish farms in the Western Isles workers would actually live on. Other possible areas includes coast around the Highlands and Argyll and Bute and there are plans for a shore base at Barra, one of the many islands under consideration. The "open sea" idea is not new, but they would be the first of their kind in Scotland or indeed the UK. The idea for teams of up to six people to live on and work from moored boats. These residential fish farms are already operated successfully in Norway and Canada. Alan Sutherland, Managing Director of Marine Harvest Scotland said: "We have been looking at the opportunities that exist and believe the future of fish farming lies further off-shore. This is possible if we use residential fish farms similar to the systems which we already use in Norway and British Columbia where I previously worked." The company hopes to take advantage of the growing demand for farmed Scottish salmon across Europe. Consumption of fish has been rising by between six and eight percent each year. Mr Sutherland added: "The time is right for the next generation of Scottish salmon farming. The demand for our product is there and we know the quality is there. This is the time and place for expansion." Marine Harvest confirmed that it had received permission from the Crown Estate, which owns the seabed, to place monitoring equipment in 12 sites around the Minch. 13 October, 2009

New benchmark for American aquaculture

The American aquaculture industry has been given a new sustainability benchmark. The Global Aquaculture Alliance ­ or GAA ­ has become the main aquaculture seafood's standards-setting organisation thanks to the creation of the Best Aquaculture Practices certification logo, set in partnership with the leading US distributor company Foodservice. This is the second sustainable seafood certification for Foodservice. In April 2008, the company became the first food distributor of sustainable wild-caught seafood certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). US Foodservice has said it will begin to certify its source of Harbor Banks private label catfish to BAP standards immediately, followed by shrimp and then tilapia. Jorge Hernandez, senior vice president for the company's food safety and quality assurance said: `Our customers expect and demand the most environmentally responsible foods ­

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010



The GAA certification of farm-raised seafood fills an important gap in seafood procurement processes and we are committed to continued partnership with the food industry.' GAA was founded in 1997 to promote responsible aquaculture development. It is now regarded as the premier standards-setting and advocacy organisation for aquaculture seafood. The Global Aquaculture Alliance is an international, non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture, recognising that fish farming is the only sustainable means of increasing seafood supply to meet the food needs of the world's growing population. US Foodservice is one of the North America's premier foodservice distributors, offering over 43,000 national, private label and signature brand items and various services to more than 250,000 customers. 11 November, 2009

had become an increasing problem. However, it was a few years before the full significance of such functional ingredients was explored." Dr Koppe adds: "In the 1990s our attention was focused on analysing the nutrient content of fish meal as a package of nutrients: fatty acids, amino acids, minerals and vitamins. Using this knowledge, we were able to bring fishmeal levels down to 25% while still delivering diets to support fast growing, robustly healthy fish. However, 25% seemed to be the limit. Then we turned our approach around and began to explore whether some nutrients had functionalities that we had not observed and that might depend on the form in which the nutrient is provided. For example, we have known for some time that the fatty acids EPA and DHA are essential nutrients for fish. But in fishmeal both are present as phospholipids whereas they are bound as triglycerides in fish oil. Triglycerides are absorbed and used mainly for energy generation and fat deposition. Phospholipids are known to influence digestive processes. Other functional ingredients we have identified support, for example, gut health and hepatic function. Others act as immuno stimulants and as antioxidants performing important functions within the fish body down to cellular level. The presence of antioxidants in the right form also improves uptake of pigmentation. "These functional ingredients deliver benefits in terms of performance and health and many are present as part of the nutritional package provided by fishmeal. This led us to ask whether added functional ingredients in the right form could help us take fishmeal contents in diets below the 25% that seemed to be the lower limit. We ran a series of low fishmeal feed trials with combinations of functional ingredients in a variety of forms. These led to the advances first announced in 2008 where we have entirely successful fish performance from feeds with fishmeal contents of 15%. It is clear that when replacing fishmeal it is essential to be accurate in terms of the form of functional ingredients and in covering the full range. If you only address the limiting factor, you will not progress far before finding the next limit. "We have recently made further progress with feeds containing significantly less fishmeal ­ close to 0%. In parallel, we are investigating the potential of other raw material sources,

Fishmeal-free salmon feeds says Skretting scientist

A growing list of functional feed ingredients is delivering potential for productivity, health promotion and sustainability in aquaculture. Skretting's Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) is giving increasing attention to feed ingredients that perform special functions. Wolfgang Koppe, leader of the ARC Fish Nutrition team explains: "As we developed a deeper understanding of fish nutrition over the past 20 years we realised there are some minor ingredients that have an important effect in addition to, or even without contributing to, conventional nutrition for growth. We refer to these compounds as functional ingredients. Probably the first and best known group are the beta-glucans, which stimulate the immune system of the fish," he continues. "However, research in recent years has revealed a much longer list of ingredients with a wide range of functions. These functional ingredients contribute to feed conversion and growth rate, fish health and welfare and, importantly for the future of aquaculture, to reducing dependence on high levels of fishmeal in the feeds. The arrival of beta-glucans in the early 1990s and their ability to boost immune systems provided an important tool in efforts to combat the effects of bacterial diseases such as furunculosis that


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

for example the by-products of other industries, to provide functional ingredients in the form required. There is another aspect of functional ingredients opening up as we explore and that is known as nutrigenomics. Nutrigenomics is the effect certain feed ingredients have on gene expression, switching the gene function on or off. "The original functional ingredients, beta-glucans, continue to provide health benefits and are now supported by other ingredients that our research has identified. We use various combinations in our health promoting diets such as the Protec diets being used for salmonids and marine species. In Protec diets, for example, the beta-glucans combine with a unique blend of organic acids and plant extracts that stimulate gut health and optimise gut micro-flora while antioxidants work on an intra-cellular level to mop up the free radicals generated by an immune system fighting an infection." Dr Koppe concludes: "There is no doubt that an understanding of functional ingredients has helped us make substantial progress in fish nutrition and in the supply of feeds that deliver performance and health benefits. Equally, there is no doubt that continuing exploration of functional ingredients will bring further advances in feed performance and will enable us to contribute to the sustainable expansion of aquaculture." 20 November, 2009

known, but a series of other key studies have shown that it not only dramatically reduces the risk of young people developing psychosis or schizophrenia, but it is also playing an important role in combating bowel and other cancers. It can even act as an anti-ageing aid. The mental illness discovery is brand new. Australian psychiatrist Paul Amminger from the University of Melbourne said the results of his research surprise him. He now believes doctors should now consider fish oil as a genuine alternative to expensive and more risky anti-psychotic drugs when a young patient is showing early signs of mental illness. And he believes the oil's omega-3 fatty acids might help prevent depression and drug abuse. In the study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal, 41 high-risk patients were given four fish oil capsules a day for three months. Only two of them developed a psychotic disorder, compared with 11 of another 40 who took a placebo. Meanwhile, the bowel cancer benefits were disclosed by Dr Sangmi Kim of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in North Carolina, who presented his findings to a cancer conference in Houston Texas. He said: "An increase in dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in the prevention of bowel cancer." Now a team in California has found that oily fish like salmon, herring and sardines can protect the cells that keep people from skin damage and delay ageing. The paper, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that compounds in these fatty acids may protect against ageing and the damage caused by heart disease. There are also other recent claims that fish oil can help with dental disease problems and further studies which strengthen the view that it really does help heart attack patients. 19 February, 2010


Wrasse Culture Project

Otter Ferry Seafish Ltd in partnership with Lakeland Marine Farms have successfully raised the finance for a project to establish the hatchery protocols for the culture of wrasse. The wrasse produced will be used as a biological control for sea lice in the local salmon farms. Sea lice is the biggest single health environment issue facing the salmon sector. It costs the Scottish industry an estimated £50 million per year. 16 February, 2010

Amazing claims on health benefits of oily fish

Some amazing claims have been made in the past few weeks about the health benefits of eating oily fish or fish oil ­ and all from serious and authoritative medical organisations. Its role in reducing heart attacks is already well

Spending threatens wild fish

The UK government was today begged by campaigners to end its careless approach to buying seafood. Currently, schools, hospitals and care homes, for example, can buy fish such as cod, haddock and wild salmon that experts warn are being over-exploited and now have

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seriously low stocks, or have been caught by destructive fishing methods. Campaigners are calling on government to support new legislation, proposed to Parliament today, to guarantee that only sustainable fish will be used in public institutions from now on. A majority of the estimated £40 million of taxpayers' money spent on seafood in public institutions each year is likely to have been spent on species and stocks classified as `fish to avoid' by conservation experts, or caught in a way that damages marine life. New research, by the Good Food for Our Money campaign, shows that only one out of 341 seafood options available to hospitals via the NHS's biggest catering supplier was certified as sustainable. David Drew, MP for Stroud, is today proposing new legislation to Parliament that would ensure all seafood purchased by public organisations is sustainable. A new law would stop our money being spent on seafood classified as `fish to avoid' by the Marine Conservation Society, and make sure all wild-caught fish meets Marine Stewardship Council standards. David Drew MP said: "The Seafood Procurement Bill I am introducing today would help safeguard the future of some our most loved fish species, and would provide the British taxpayer with some much needed peace of mind about the fish that their money is buying." Alex Jackson, Co-ordinator of the Good Food for Our Money campaign, said: "Having no sustainability rules for an issue as important as fish is nothing short of reckless. The only way to guarantee to the British taxpayer that their money is being spent on food that is healthy, good for the environment and conserves of some of the world's most endangered fish is to introduce legally binding standards for all food purchased with public money." Members of the public can show their support for the Seafood Procurement Bill by asking their MP to support the Bill, and by signing up as `fans' of David Drew MP's promotion of the Bill via the `Good Food for Our Money campaign' Facebook page. 5 March, 2010

support to Seafish following last week's shock High Court ruling on the fish levy. Defra also confirmed its intention to appeal the decision which ruled that British Seafood and, by implication every other seafood business, did not have to pay the levy on fish landed abroad and imported into the UK. Defra said last night: "Our immediate priority is to stabilise Seafish's position and we are actively exploring with them the support they need from Government so that they can continue to operate and meet legal obligations. We will be working very closely with Seafish to consider the long term implications for their operations." Defra, which said it was disappointed with the judgement, said it remained the Government's and Seafish's view that imported sea fish and sea fish products were intended by Parliament to be subject to the levy. Seafish Chief Executive John Rutherford responded by saying: "We share the Government's disappointment with the recent Court of Appeal judgement and are pleased that Government has decided to lead an appeal to the Supreme Court in this matter. With the Government, we remain convinced that imported sea fish and sea fish products were intended by Parliament to be subject to the levy and we applaud government's decision to seek leave to appeal. In the meanwhile, we are working closely with Government to determine how we should conduct ourselves while awaiting resolution from the highest court in the land.We are grateful to all of our Government partners for their continued support in this matter, and also for the many messages of support we have received from all sectors of the seafood industry since the Court of Appeal's decision was announced late last week." 24 March, 2010

Farms "Environmental Footprint" Analysed

Large fish farms may not have a bigger environmental impact on the seabed than their smaller counterparts, according to a University of Aberdeen study. Researchers examined how the size of a fish farm relates to the size of its `environmental footprint'. They analysed data from 50 Scottish fish farms and found that larger fish farms do not necessarily have a greater effect on the sea floor than smaller fish farms.

Defra pledges support to Seafish in levy battle

Defra- the Department For Environment Food and Rural Affairs ­ has pledged financial


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

Fish farms generate organic waste in the form of uneaten food and fish faeces. These sink to the seabed and can have detrimental effects on the organisms that live there if they are allowed to accumulate. Bigger fish farms hold more fish and can be more economical to run. Recent years have seen the consolidation of many smaller farms into fewer, larger and more competitive operations that can produce fish more cheaply. Scottish fish farmers are required annually to monitor the sediments beneath and adjacent to their farms and report back to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Lead researcher, Dr Daniel Mayor, from the University of Aberdeen's Oceanlab, said: "The environmental monitoring data collated by SEPA is an invaluable resource ­ it has allowed us to examine the effects of fish farming at far more sites than we would ever have been able to visit ourselves. Increasing the quantity of fish at a particular location requires more feed and generates more waste, so bigger farms might be expected to have a greater environmental impact. We have shown that this is not necessarily the case, because other factors, such as where the farm is situated, are also important." Their study found that impacts of Scottish fish farms consistently decrease with increasing distance from a farm, irrespective of their size. The effects of other factors ­ such as the speed of the seawater current, water depth and farm size ­ on the quantities of fish farm wastes reaching the seabed are less clear-cut. Dr Mayor added: "Our study joins the growing body of evidence that suggests that the environmental impact of a fish farm cannot be predicted by its size alone. The quantities of wastes generated at a particular site, and their subsequent fate in the environment, are affected by a diverse range of interacting processes that we don't yet fully understand.

The team's findings have important implications for the design and implementation of future fish farms in Scotland. Dr Martin Solan, coauthor of the research, said: "It is clear that fish farming provides one solution to the increasing global demand for food, but the real challenge is how to feed the world with fish without destroying our coastal environment. Our findings provide reassurance that Scotland's fish farming industry has found a way to achieve expansion in a responsible manner. I have no doubt that other countries around the world will follow Scotland's lead." All Scottish fish farms are licensed and regulated by SEPA. Their stringent environmental quality standards ensure that the impacts of fish farming are minimised and are recognised as a global benchmark. The quantity of fish permitted on a contemporary Scottish fish farm is determined using sophisticated mathematical modelling techniques to predict the maximum tonnage of fish that a particular location can sustainably support without breaching strict environmental quality criteria. Fish farming injects millions of pounds into the Scottish economy each year, providing thousands of jobs in rural areas. Global aquaculture efforts must double by 2050 if our current appetite for fish and seafood is to be sustained, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. The research was funded by the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum, a registered charity and an independent company whose main aim is to support research into aquaculture and related areas.The team's findings are published in the scientific journal Environmental Science and Technology. 25 March, 2010

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010





End of the line for Vitafish

Europe's most ambitious tilapia farming project, Vitafish, based in Muscron, Belgium will be emptied of its remaining fish over the next 50 days, according to reports in the Belgian media. The company was declared bankrupt last August when it lost the support of its main investors with its managing director Joost De Smedt blaming declining fish prices, in particular the low cost of cod from the Barents Sea and increased Icelandic and Norwegian quotas. Mr De Smedt was given time to identify new investors by the administrator however in the absence of a buyer, a clear-out plan for the remaining 530 tonnes of fish has been decided upon. The mayor of Mouscron, Alfred Sim, issued an order to proceed with the evacuation of the fish. To avoid any health risk, the municipality will fund the dismantling of VitaFish. Costs are estimated at some 300,000 euros. The city will recover this sum from the sale of the building. The 15 million euro tilapia farming project claimed to be the largest closed recirculation system in the world when it was launched in 2006 and planned to produce 3000 t/yr. 20 October 2009 Gjedrem played a central role in developing the breeding programme for Atlantic salmon. The work commenced in the 1970s under the auspices of Akvaforsk, which is now part of Nofima Marin. "Thanks to breeding programmes, it has been possible to halve the time it takes before salmon reach slaughter size, which means a dramatic cut in costs," says Gjedrem, adding: "We have also achieved vastly improved utilisation of feed. Breeding work has been the most important single factor for the increased productivity of salmon." The aim of the book is to present breeding work in an understandable manner and to promote the large potential. Its target group is students and people working in aquaculture. "There are increasingly more mouths to feed in the world," says Gjedrem. "Breeding work enables one to utilise the resources considerably better. This includes reduced use of amongst other things area, water and feed per kilo of food produced. Not being more active in this field is a misuse of resources." The book is called `Selective Breeding in Aquaculture: an Introduction'. 21 October 2009

Norwegian researchers want more breeding in aquaculture

Less than 10% of the world's aquaculture is based on fish improved through breeding programmes. Nofima wants to do something about this and has published a text book on breeding. Systematic breeding programmes involve the strict selection of the fish to be parents so that the characteristics of economic significance are improved in the next generation of fish. "The aquaculture industry has much to learn from agriculture, where almost all seeds and domestic animals are improved through breeding programmes. The fundamental theory is the same," says Trygve Gjedrem who co-authored the book with Scientist Matthew Baranski. In 2003, less than 5% of the world's aquaculture was based on fish improved through breeding programmes. Today, the figure has risen somewhat, but remains under 10%. More than 80% of the world's aquaculture takes place in Asia.

Marine Scotland to extend Torry site with new fish vet and aquaria building

Barr Construction has won an £11m contract to extend Marine Scotland's Torry site in Aberdeen, replacing the existing fish health building with a new state-of-the art fish research centre. The new Fish Veterinary and Aquaria (FVA) building designed by architects Architon LLP will be used by scientists to conduct research and diagnosis activities, to support the Scottish Government's aims of enabling a healthy and sustainable aquaculture industry and safeguarding the health of wild fish and shellfish stocks. The FVA will be located on the Victoria Road field adjacent to the existing reception block and the five storey building. Occupying two floors, it will provide approximately 3,000 m2 of modern laboratories, aquaria and office accommodation for around 60 members of staff. It is scheduled for completion in September 2010.


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Marine Scotland say: "The Scottish National Reference Laboratory for fish health is based at the Marine Laboratory site in Torry, Aberdeen, and is responsible for providing surveillance and diagnosis of fish diseases and preparedness to combat fish health threats including controls to prevent the introduction of exotic diseases. To continue to conduct these functions and retain Marine Scotland at the leading edge of aquatic marine science, more modern specialist laboratories and aquaria are required. To this end, and to ensure continuity of service for existing scientific work, a new Fish Veterinary and Aquaria (FVA) will replace the existing fish health building currently sited on the boundary of St. Fittick's Road. The new developments present us with the opportunity to `design in' operational and energy efficiencies, compared with our older buildings." 03 November 2009

Monitoring is of fundamental importance to effective environmental management of aquaculture, and without which EIA itself is largely pointless. The main weakness identified was limited implementation of monitoring requirements as developed in EIA environmental management plans, and limited analysis, reporting and feedback of farm level and wider environmental monitoring programmes into management of individual farms and the sector as a whole. The key to more effective use of both EIA and monitoring procedures will be to nest them within a higher level strategic planning and management framework, including clear environmental objectives and quality standards. More rigorous risk analysis should be used to inform the focus of both EIA and monitoring. The report recommends that more emphasis needs to be placed on environmental management frameworks which can address the environmental issues associated with large numbers of small-scale developments ­ including strategic environmental assessment, risk analysis, management plans for waterbodies and/or groups of farms, monitoring and response procedures. The full report is available on the FAO website. 09 December 2009


FAO publish environmental impact and monitoring report on aquaculture

THE Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have recently published a review of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and monitoring in aquaculture as part of the FAO project "Towards sustainable aquaculture: selected issues and guidelines". The report `Environmental impact assessment and monitoring in aquaculture: Requirements, practices, effectiveness and improvements' (FAO Technical Paper 527), focuses on the relevant regulatory requirements, the practice, the effectiveness and suggestions for improvements. It includes four regional reviews on EIA and monitoring in aquaculture in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America. The report includes a special study by Averil Wilson, Shona Magill and Kenny Black of the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences on EIA as applied to salmon aquaculture. Several weaknesses were identified in the regional reviews, including lack of consistency in assessment; lack of appropriate standards; lack of integration between levels and divisions of government; inadequate or ineffective public consultation; lack of assessment skill and capacity; limited follow-up in terms of implementation and monitoring; and excessive bureaucracy and delays. There is also very little hard evidence on cost effectiveness.

Scottish fish farm survey shows increased jobs and production per head

A growing workforce and increased production per head have been highlighted in the 2008 Scottish Fish Farm Annual Production Survey of Scotland's fish farms. The promising results come as Marine Harvest announce further employment in the Western Isles, confirming aquaculture as one of Scotland's economic success stories. Marine Harvest will work with Job Centre Plus to fund and deliver pre-employment fish farm training to fill over 40 vacancies in the Western Isles once sites have been confirmed. Under the government led initiative, Local Employment Partnership, Job Centre Plus will help unemployed residents within the local community gain the necessary skills to apply for these jobs. Aquaculture continues to demonstrate a firm foundation for growth and development despite the economic backdrop. Atlantic salmon

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production for 2009 is projected to increase by over 3.4% and rainbow trout production is also set to increase. The aquaculture sector has also been instrumental in establishing a task force planning group to set the trend for a number of other sectors, securing opportunities for production growth, an expansion of new jobs and attracting more foreign investment into Scotland's economy. Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: "This is further proof that Scotland's aquaculture is in prime position to develop and grow even further. I welcome the partnership between Marine Harvest and Job Centre Plus and would urge more companies to consider this approach to keep local jobs local. I'm encouraged to see the fish farm production survey showing increased employment and diversification. While we can be satisfied in the strong, robust figures of 2008, we must not become complacent in safeguarding this valuable industry. Like all sectors, difficult times lie ahead, but through initiatives such as our European Fisheries Fund and Ministerial Group on Aquaculture, I can confidently say that this government is dedicated to working with the industry to ensure its mounting success." 18 December 2009


win over reluctant consumers by ensuring that its produce is of high quality, he explained. Input from this hearing on how Europe can promote aquaculture will inform Mr Milana's own-initiative report, which in turn should help clarify what kind of legislation could help the sector, he said. Aquaculture suffers from an often-justified negative image, but also from ignorance of fish farming, a relatively new economic activity. One of the key concerns is its environmental sustainability. Director of the Galician Turbot Producers Association Fernando Otero Lourido argued that fish farms can be fully sustainable, as is the case in Galicia, where one of the world's largest aquaculture sites is located right next to the Lira marine reserve. What the producers need is clear rules, a level playing field and political determination, argued Mr Otero, also noting that a trustworthy labelling system would help the sector. "There seems to be a proliferation of different marks" on labelling, observed Marco Greco of the Italian Association for Organic Agriculture. "Sustainable" and "eco-compatible" production has to be distinguished from "organic" products, as is done in agriculture, he said. Commenting on a remark by Mr Milana on Europe's imports of Asian pangasius, which consumers know only in the form of fillets, and have no clue as to its origins, Struan Stevenson, regretted the World Trade Organisation does not recognise the importance of animal welfare. "The only way we can deal with it, is to educate consumers", he said. MEPs also raised questions about the sustainability of the amounts of fish killed to feed farmed fish. Replying to Isabella Lövin (Greens/EFA, SE), about the possibility of using "vegetarian" fish, such as carp or tilapia, Dawn Purchase of the Marine Conservation Society said retailers find it hard to convince consumers to eat that fish, at least in the UK. However, inciting celebrity chefs to prepare it could stimulate demand, she added. Norway sells 97% of its aquaculture production abroad, unlike the EU, whose imports greatly exceed exports. Norwegian fish farmers also enjoy strong political support and an excellent geographical situation, said Petter Arnesen (Feed & Environment, Marine Harvest ASA, Norway). Norway has strict rules to ensure

European aquaculture quality can help conquer consumers

Fish farming can help to meet growing demand for fish products without harming the environment, but to succeed, it has to guarantee quality and also win political support. These were just a few of the messages that resulted from a public hearing by the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries in Brussels during its session `A Sustainable Future for Aquaculture' attended by MEPs and guest speakers on Tuesday. Fish farmers need political determination, clear rules, a level playing field, and a trustworthy labelling system, urged their representatives. Europe consumes over five million tonnes of aquaculture products a year, yet its production does not reach even one million tonnes, said Parliament's rapporteur on building a sustainable future for European aquaculture Guido Milana. But he was optimistic about aquaculture's potential. Even though Europe faces an aggressive international market, it can


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sustainability, and does its utmost to prevent infections, fish parasites and escapes and thus contamination of wild fish by farmed salmon. Its use of antibiotics has been reduced almost to zero, although they remain useful to fight parasites, he added. Mrs Lövin asked whether aquaculture can be associated with sustainability if high-quality fish such as mackerel or overfished species like blue whiting are turned into fishmeal for salmon. Icelandic mackerel has indeed been turned into fish feed, but it proved inadequate for salmon and ended up in chicken feed instead, replied Mr Arnesen, adding that "we do not want to be associated with hoovering the seas". Alain CADEC (EPP, FR) asked about salmon farming's carbon footprint and the sustainability of exporting Norwegian salmon to China and re-importing it to Europe as processed fish. Mr Arnesen replied that the CO2 impact of this practice was not very great, if the fish were frozen and transported in large quantities.

Most speakers stressed the need to use existing R&D funding more efficiently, so that research translates into action. Dr Peter Heffernan (Marine Institute, Galway) suggested that research topics under existing European programmes need to be better targeted. Mrs Purchase noted that much highquality research is already available, but said it needed to be put to more use. Mr Milana suggested that an "umbrella regulation" would ensure clarity and consistency, and also called for a single, specific, aquaculture fund to support the sector. However, "we are not yet at the point where we can draw up regulations", he stressed. The Milana report is to be put to a Fisheries Committee vote on 3 or 4 April and a plenary one at the June session. 25 February 2010



Coarse Fish Meeting

Thursday 3rd September 2009 was the occasion of the 4th annual Coarse Fish meeting held at Sparsholt College, Hampshire. It was organised jointly by Bernice Brewster of Aquatic Consultancy Services and Viv Shears from Sparsholt College. The meeting aims to bring together everyone involved or concerned with coarse fish, from fishery owners and farmers to members of Cefas and the Environmental Agency. The Event started on the preceding afternoon with a guided tour around the college fish rearing facilities. This was followed in the evening by a Skretting sponsored BBQ and a chance to meet up with old friends and for some informal discussions over a drink or two! Thursday saw the highest turnout to date with over 85 delegates gathered for the meeting in the Westley Conference Centre at the college. The meeting started with a presentation on dealing with cormorant predation and was followed by a fish health update from Cefas. Investigating the declining stocks of eels and possible causes rounded off the morning's topics. After a very good buffet lunch the subject of otters and their impact on fisheries was discussed, followed by presentations on disinfection and aquatic weed control. The afternoon session closed with a talk on the Angling Trust and how they are to represent all anglers in the future. The 4th Coarse Fish Meeting was a great success and a good opportunity to meet up with some of Skretting's Carp feed customers and potential customers and listen and discuss some of the issues surrounding the coarse fish industry. 03 November 2009

Skretting UK organises one-day meeting on Red Mark Syndrome in trout

Red Mark Syndrome (RMS) is a condition that is increasingly seen on trout farms throughout mainland UK. It first appeared in Scotland and the south of England in 2004 but now is virtually endemic. Skretting organised a one-day symposium for trout farmers in October to exchange information, hear of recent farm experiences

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and the latest research progress and control methods. Chaired by Hamish Rodger of Aqua-Vet International, an advisor to Skretting, the meeting included reports by trout farmers, academics and speakers from fish health companies. Robert Hughes, the Skretting Trout Sales Manager, gave the opening presentation. He comments, "Although the large red blotches are generally only skin deep, their presence leads to high rejection rates from processors, a problem that is compounded by the fact that the outbreaks usually occur among fish close to harvest weight. The farmer can wait until the fish recover naturally, which can take a few weeks, or treat with antibiotics, but then is faced with the statutory

withdrawal period, again of several weeks. Either way, the impact on farm income can be significant. It tends to be worse in cool summers and we have just had two in succession. RMS was possibly the most significant disease problem for trout farmers in 2009." Among the research reported was the work partially sponsored by Skretting at Stirling University. This indicates the causal organism is probably a flavobacterium. 03 November 2009


`Tilapia Scotland' aims to provide mentoring support to Scotland-based individuals or enterprises interested in diversifying into warmwater food-fish production in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). This will include advice on grants, third-party design options, operational issues (e.g. technical, husbandry and production scheduling) as well as marketing options. To enhance chances of success farmers will also be encouraged to share learning outcomes by various means including regular workshops and an online discussion forum. Funded by Scottish Enterprise for two years (Dec 2008 to Dec 2010) the project will be implemented by the Institute of Aquaculture, in cooperation with the Department of Marketing at the University of Stirling. The project builds on previous research work (RELU) which demonstrated potential for this novel type of enterprise as a diversification strategy for UK farmers. The services of this project will be available to existing or prospective aquaculture businesses within Scotland, with growth aspirations. The services of the project will be funded by Scottish Enterprise, but as part of the selection criteria, businesses must be able to demonstrate their ability to secure a contribution of funding towards the capital costs, associated with introducing new warm water production systems. Depending on individual criteria additional capital-grant support may be available through public-funding streams including the recently announced European Fisheries Fund (EFF ­ see funding page). If you wish to learn more please visit the website (

Tilapia on sale in Harrods


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One of the current challenges for environmental scientists is to find robust measures to describe the influence of external pressures, for example climate change, on plants and animals in the wild. Traditional approaches, such as counting individuals in their natural habitat, are often inadequate as they are insensitive to detecting sublethal stresses that can degrade the health and fitness of organisms. Furthermore, measures such as "alive" and "dead" cannot provide any insight into the underlying causes of the stress. Metabolomics describes the study of the entire composition of small molecule biochemicals (or metabolites) in a given cell, tissue, biofluid, or whole organism. Changes in the concentrations of these thousands of metabolites like glucose, cholesterol, urea, or ATP can be induced in response to a changing environment, for example by changes in water or air temperature, acidity, food supply, or by the influence of environmental pollutants. Traditionally, only certain subsets of the metabolome, like sugars or amino acids, or even single metabolites could be investigated in a targeted approach. Today it is possible to analyze a large proportion of the metabolome at once, in an untargeted approach, using sensitive, high-resolution techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and FT-ICR mass spectrometry (MS), shown opposite. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has recently funded a new metabolomics facility at the University of Birmingham to facilitate just this approach. The facility represents one of five nodes within the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF; We are using the University's world-class NMR and MS instrumentation as well as advanced computational approaches in order to obtain the high-quality datasets needed to identify the often subtle changes in the metabolome that are indicative of environmental stress. This "discovery driven" research can be used to generate novel hypothesis about the biochemical stress response mechanisms, which can be tested in subsequent targeted experiments. Environmental scientists from across the UK who are conducting research within the NERC scientific remit ( application/topics.asp) and who meet principal investigator status ( funding/available/researchgrants/eligibility.asp) are eligible to apply to NERC to gain access to this state-of-the-art metabolomics facility. Applications to conduct small-scale pilot projects are strongly encouraged. For more information, including how to apply, please visit our website at http://www.biosciences-labs. or contact the Facility Director, Dr Mark Viant ([email protected], or Facility Manager, Dr. Ulf Sommer ([email protected]). NERC Metabolomics Facility, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, United Kingdom Phone: +44-(0)121-414-8699

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Codes of Practice and Better Management Practices in Aquaculture ­ towards a worldwide overview of COP/BMP documents in aquaculture

The FAO Aquaculture Service calls for contributions to the development of a worldwide overview and databank of Codes of Practice, Codes of Conduct, Best (Better) Management Practices, Technical Guidelines, etc. in aquaculture. We would like to invite all those interested in the promotion of sustainable aquaculture development to advise FAO of the existence of COP/BMP documents in their countries or regions. In particular, all aquaculture producer associations and farmer organizations are encouraged to send to FAO their Codes of Practice, Codes of Conduct, Best (Better) Management Practices, Technical Guidelines, etc. COPs/BMPs in aquaculture, as available with national and international organizations, would also be important and should also be contributed. These documents could be sent to FAO in hard copy format or electronic format, or, if available online, by informing FAO of the relevant website, internet link or URL. For further information on the scope of this initiative, please see further below Background and Scope. Your collaboration and contributions to this initiative will be most appreciated, and your participation will be duly recognized and acknowledged. Jiansan Jia Chief Aquaculture Service Fisheries and Aquaculture Department Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

1 2 3 4 5 6

Direct contact: For all correspondence & information on this activity, please communicate with Mr Uwe Barg, Fishery Resources Officer (Aquaculture) via email: [email protected], or directly by phone: ++39-06-57053454.

Background and scope

In its efforts to promote improvements in aquaculture management and governance, the FAO Aquaculture Service (FIRA) has undertaken a range of initiatives, in line with the mandate and provisions given in the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF). Not only has FAO facilitated informed pertinent discussions at the FAO Aquaculture Sub-Committee during its 20061 and 20082 Sessions, but FIRA has developed an online compilation of National Aquaculture Legislation Overviews (NALOs3) in addition to National Aquaculture Sector Overviews (NASOs4). The FAO Aquaculture Sub-Committee in its first and second Sessions56 supported the FAO initiative of developing a data bank of national codes and other useful material produced by organizations, including NGOs, to be made available to all FAO member countries. The Sub-Committee recommended FAO to develop a web-based reference of aquaculture codes of practice as a means to facilitate information exchange.


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There has been an increasing trend in the development Codes of Practice (COPs) and Better Management Practices7 (BMPs) in aquaculture, in addition to related Codes of Conduct (COC), principles, guidelines, standards, and other such soft law instruments, which are most often voluntary in nature. These are often aiming at a range of targets, for example, improving farm management performance or sectoral governance measures, farmer capacity-building as well as self-regulation and self-policing, product quality assurance, or enhanced consumer communication and market shares. There are numerous initiatives at national and international levels8 as well as major players active in the development or review of soft law instruments in aquaculture, including, for example, WAS and regional chapters, FEAP, GAA, ACC, ISFA, NACA, NASCO, SEAFDEC, WWF, WorldFish Center, FAO and others. The present FAO initiative is focused on such soft law instruments in aquaculture and is designed to generate, review, organize and publish available information on COPs and BMPs in aquaculture worldwide. This activity provides the FAO with the opportunity to publish reviews on development, uses and trends of COPs, BMPs and related guidelines in aquaculture. This activity also provides the basis for developing an online resource, web-based compilation of available aquaculture COP & BMP documents and/or links to online sources (URLs) of such COP & BMP documents. Such a web-based compilation would complement the above mentioned compilation of NALOs and NASOs.

The present activity foresees that six regions and one major country (China) will be covered in the preparation of regional reviews and one country review on COP/BMPs in aquaculture. Each region/ country will be covered bv one author. In addition to China, the six regional reviews will cover: 1. Sub-Saharan Africa 2. South Asia and Central Asia 3. Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea (Democratic People's Republic), Korea (Republic of), and South Pacific 4. Near East and North Africa 5. Europe and North America 6. Latin America and Caribbean Any suggestions you may have, and every contribution you might be able to provide in support of this initiative will be most welcome and will also be duly acknowledged. February 2010 Contact & mailing address: Uwe Barg, Fishery Resources Officer (Aquaculture) Fisheries and Aquaculture Department Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome ITALY Email: [email protected] Phone: (++39-06) 570 53454 Fax: (++39-06) 570 53020


7 The term `better' is preferred rather than `best' because aquaculture practices are continuously improving (today's `best' is tomorrow's `norm') 8 In a CCRF survey in 2002 FAO Members indicated that they have some 140 codes or instruments with which to promote responsible aquaculture; whereby 53 were developed by governments, 33 by producers, 18 by suppliers, 17 by manufacturers and 19 by others (FAO, 2002). Y8370E.HTM

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R Allan Reese, Senior Statistician, Cefas Weymouth Lab, Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8UB Finfish News has previously reported on trout production in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The data used for these summaries were submitted to the European Statistical Office (Eurostat) and other international bodies. In 2009, new regulations were introduced by the European Union (EU) revising the data that member states (MS) will collect and submit (Regulations 762/2008 and 199/2008, replacing 788/96). The first data collection covered the calendar year 2008 and had to be submitted by the end of 2009. Also in 2009, the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), as the body now responsible for national and official statistics independent of the government, issued a Code of Practice for Official Statistics ( Sir Michael Scholar, chair of the UKSA, writes in the Foreword, "In a highly decentralised statistical service, the Code will serve to establish common standards and, by so doing, help to ensure a coherent and trustworthy service to the user of statistics." Users of official statistics ( have frequently complained about the difficulties of obtaining or reconciling statistics for the UK from the distinct publications of the regional administrations. The opportunity has therefore been taken to accept the principles of the Code of Practice and to prepare tables describing UK aquaculture that summarise the national data that will inform EU policies, with regional breakdowns to meet the national needs. While principles of data collection such as impartiality, objectivity, integrity and confidentiality have been applied previously through the Civil Service code, we see room for improvement in the accessibility, quality assurance and user engagement in applying the UKSA Code. Comments on either the content or presentation of this report will therefore be welcomed and can be sent to the author or via the FHI contact details (

1. Organisation of the national system for aquaculture statistics

Statistics for fisheries and aquaculture are collected separately by the regional governments within the UK. Statistics for: ­ England and Wales by the Cefas Fish Health Inspectorate, operating under the Aquatic Animal Health Regulations 2009. These require all producers to register and to be subject to inspections to protect animal and human health. FHI visits run on a rolling basis through the year. An inspector will collect the information from production records for the previous year; if they are not available during the visit then a follow-up telephone contact is made. The data are entered on the FHI database that is used for general administration of fish health surveillance. ­ Scotland by Marine Scotland Science (MSS, formerly Fisheries Research Services, FRS), a Directorate of the Scottish Government, operating under the Aquatic Animal Health Regulations 2009. MSS issues in January an annual production questionnaire to all registered Scottish fish farm sites. The questionnaire returns are summarised in the MSS online publication "SCOTTISH FISH FARMS: Annual Production Survey 2008" (available from ­ Northern Ireland by the Fisheries Division of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) under section 11(2) of the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966. DARD issues written postal requests for the statistical data to all licensed aquaculture producers at the start of January each year. Reminders are issued and appropriate follow up action initiated to ensure compliance with the condition in their fish culture licences. The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) operates a salmon hatchery on the River Bush to produce fry and smolts in support of the River Bush Salmon Research project and the Movanagher Fish Farm which produces brown and rainbow trout to supply the DCAL angling estate. DCAL


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provides DARD with statistical information in relation to the amount of fish produced at the Bush Salmon Station and Movanagher Fish Farm. All statistical information received is entered and stored on an electronic database maintained by DARD. MSS and DARD forward the regional returns to Cefas who collate these with the England and Wales return as UK totals. The UK return does not include the Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

(d) structure of the aquaculture sector (Tables 1 and 5). Capture-based aquaculture involves catching fish or eggs from wild stocks and growing them on to be harvested when there is demand. Statistics are now being collected so that the impact on the wild populations can be monitored. This is important as some of the species collected for this technique (eels, tuna) are declining in the wild. There are also concerns about maintaining the genetic diversity of wild stocks.


2. Quality

Data reporting for finfish approaches 100% of enterprises and cooperation is generally very amicable, with the producers and producer organizations recognising the value of the exercise. The largest volumes come from a small number of highly professional companies. Work is currently underway to align the registers of aquaculture businesses used by the FHI and the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) which will allow some triangulation. Some data fields for capture-based input are not yet fully aligned with the needs of 762/2008. This will be addressed in 2010. Typical "farm gate" values were obtained as Delphic estimates from the team of inspectors. These are certainly accurate to better than an order of magnitude. No volume measures have been estimated.

General description of the aquaculture sector

The total value of aquaculture to the UK economy was over £600 million in 2008, of which over £500 million derived from finfish production. The relative importance of the aquaculture sector varies around the UK. For example, nearly all of the UK farmed salmon is produced in Scotland. There were approximately 400 active fish and shellfish farming businesses in the UK in 2008, operating on more than 800 sites. They directly employed some 1,900 people with many more related jobs in processing and suppliers. Total finfish production was 144,000 tonnes in 2008, dominated by farmed salmon (129,000 tonnes) and rainbow trout (12,000 tonnes). There is limited production of other species on a niche or emerging basis, such as tilapia, arctic char, sea bass, halibut, and turbot. A large number of species of freshwater coarse fish (roughly 20 species) are raised in small quantities for restocking waterways. These, and batches identified as ornamental, are excluded from the totals. Table 1 summarizes information on the scale of all aquaculture (finfish and shellfish) in the UK. The number of enterprises is smaller than the number of sites reflecting an industry that includes large international concerns down to individual artisanal and part-time activity.

3. Data

The data required under 762/2008 cover: (a) annual production (volume and unit value) of aquaculture (Table 2); (b) annual input (volume and unit value) to capture-based aquaculture (Table 3); (c) annual production of hatcheries and nurseries (Table 4);

Table 1: The UK aquaculture sector in 2008

Aquaculture sites in production 2008 Sites England and Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK total 315 394 100 809 Percent 39% 49% 12% 100%

Tonnes produced (fish and shellfish) Tonnes 24,891 144,079 10,872 179,842 Percent 14% 80% 6% 100%

Employment (full and part time) Employees 882 834 160 1900 Percent 46% 44% 8% 100%

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Under 962/2008, the registers of all licensed aquaculture production businesses are now publicly available: For England and Wales at; for Scotland at Uploads/Documents/FishSitesDec09.pdf; and for Northern Ireland at publications/pubs-dard-fisheries-farming-andfood/publications_fisheriespublic_register_of_ authorised_production_businesses.htm .

On or Off shore Fresh (FW) or Sea water (SW) Species common name FAO code Production systems England & Wales

Weight and type of production for the major species are summarized in Table 2. Coarse fish species reared almost certainly for restocking recreational fisheries (rather than for food) have been excluded, and the majority of carp fall into this category (some 170 tonnes).


Table 2: Production for table by species and production method other than from hatcheries

Scotland Northern Ireland Total Unit farm gate price £ /metric tonne 9,620 70.8 15.5 5.8 4.8 21.0 1,822 20 19.5 128,606 2,628 311 206 138 1,822 20 19.5 128,723 2,628 311 206 3,000 8,200 2,750 11,595 7,000 3,400 3,000 4,000 6,000 3,400 3,000 6,000 6,000 Total Total value

metric tonnes Onshore (ICES area R05) FW Rainbow trout Brown/ sea trout Nile Tilapia Brook trout Carp (all types) SW Atlantic salmon Cod Sea Bass Turbot Offshore (ICES area R27) SW Atlantic salmon Rainbow trout Brown/ sea trout Halibut TRR TRS TLN SVF various ASM COD BSS TUR ASM TRR TRS HAL ALL ALL ALL Tanks Ponds Tanks Tanks Tanks ALL Cages Cages Cages ALL 4,911 70.8 15.5 0.25 4.75 21 4,184 525 5.5

£ 28,860,000 580,560 42,625 67,251 33,600 71,400 5,466,000 92,800 117,000 437,658,200 7,884,000 1,866,000 1,236,000 £ 483,975,436

Table 3: Input to aquaculture from wild populations (eggs)

Species common name Atlantic salmon Brown/sea trout Number 2,400,000 7,200


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Table 4: Production from hatcheries (millions)

Species common name Atlantic salmon Atlantic salmon Rainbow trout Rainbow trout Brown trout Brown trout Carp (all types) Intended use* ENVC WILD ENVC WILD ENVC WILD ENVC 5.8 1.7 1.1 0.1 6 3 6 22 1.56 2.75 0 9 0 6 22 1 6 6 England & Wales Eggs 6.2 Juv 20.6 1.5 Scotland Eggs 75 Juv 20 56 Northern Ireland Eggs 2.64 Juv 0.15 2.25 UK total Eggs 84 0 Juv 41 60


*ENVC = Transferred to a controlled environment' and means the intentional release for further aquaculture practices; WILD = `Released to the wild' and means the intentional release for the restocking of rivers, lakes

Table 5: Description of aquaculture production units

Onshore/Off shore Onshore/ Fresh or Sea water FW Type of holding CAG PON PON RES TNK OTH SW Offshore SW TNK CAG Units m3 Ha m m m


and other waters other than for aquaculture purposes. These releases may then be available for capture by fishing operations.

England & Wales 11,084 215 1,011,644 1.0 136,490

Scotland 656,000 77,000

Northern Ireland 64 3,628 0.49

UK total 667,148 3,843 1,088,644 1.5 253,211 0 13,438 16,010,856



102,000 13,000 15,943,000

14,721 438 67,856




CAG are cages: open or covered enclosed structures constructed with net, mesh or any porous material allowing natural water interchange. These structures may be floating, suspended or fixed to the substrate but still permitting water interchange from below; PON are `Ponds': relatively shallow and usually small bodies of still water or water with a low refreshment rate, most frequently artificially formed, but can also apply to natural pools, tarns, meres or small lakes.

RES are `Recirculation systems': systems where the water is reused after some form of treatment (e.g. filtering) TNK are `Tanks and raceways': artificial units constructed above or below ground level capable of high rates of water interchange or with a high water turnover rate and highly controlled environment but without water recirculation; OTH is any other system.

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The Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) publishes finfish production figures for 24 European countries on its website en.asp). The data is provided to FEAP by the national trade associations, and the production figures (in tonnes) for all finfish for 2008 have been collated from the website (February 2010). This data may therefore differ from that collected by the national governments, and reliability is dependent upon the provision and accuracy of data and transcription.

European production (in metric tonnes, fresh whole (round) weight) of finfish in 2008. Please note figures for Ireland are for 2005.

Czech Republic Faroe Islands

Belgium/ Luxemburg






Tilapia African catfish Sturgeon ­ caviar Sturgeon ­ flesh Common carp Grass carp Silver carp Bighead carp European perch Tench Pike Pike-perch European eel European wels catfish Arctic charr Brook trout Brown trout ­ restocking Pink portion rainbow trout White portion rainbow trout Restocking rainbow trout Large rainbow trout Sea trout Atlantic salmon Seabass Gilthead seabream White seabream Silver seabream Turbot Halibut Sole Cod Meagre Northern bluefin tuna TOTAL % total Rank No. tropical species No. freshwater species No. marine species 2,632 0.2% 22 0 4 0 1,671 259 259 97 346

150 250 20 250 400 2,200 17,900 350 700 10 250 80 40 1,500 50 6,000 6 350 10,500

150 250 800

100 600

6,500 20,500 9,000 7,000 26,800 12,000

21,000 4,000 9,000 1,800 4,025 1,660

1,000 22,000 1,250

2,000 1,500

800 1,600

52,400 77,600


206 4,180 1,200 0.1% 23 2 2 0 10,930 0.6% 16 0 3 3 1,500 4,000 0.2% 21 0 1 3 19,980 1.2% 12 0 9 0 37,500 2.2% 8 0 2 1 33,800 2.0% 11 0 0 2 12,000 0.7% 15 0 0 1 48,435 2.8% 7 0 3 6 35,106 2.0% 10 0 3 1 130,000 7.6% 3 0 0 2


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010




European finfish farmers produced more than 1.7 M tonnes in 2008. Norway was the dominant producer (870,450 tonnes; 51% of European production), largely due to its salmon industry. The UK ranks 2nd among the European nations, with a combined finfish production of 161,367 tonnes, 24% more than the 3rd ranked nation,

Greece (130,000 tonnes). UK production was dominated by salmon (90%) and rainbow trout (9.8%). Please note that these figures do not cover other minor species that may be recorded in the national government statistics.












1,000 1,911 2 100 9.570 591 2,483 157 25 1.200 18,000 550 600 4,500 400 1 3 120

1,150 7,061 57 2,020 64,916 1,491 4,033 157 10 250

21 11 31 18 7 19 15 27 32 25 28 30 13 22 14 24

59 32 3,000 167 3,340 20 350 400 500 454 170

139 72 5,124 714 4,210 259

1,100 42 10 1,742 550 11.500

17,000 22,000 50 600 60,000 799,000 9,800 400 9,600 17,500


10,000 10,000 2,000 6,000 212 40

250 38,000 2,000

9,700 300 3,420 2,390 145,407

68,300 137,663 3,729 111,800 212 986,289 138,025 138,030 400 9,600

16 5 26 1 3 2 23 9 10 20 29 8 17 12

1,400 1,600

23,600 24,070

44,000 30,000

150 160 1,450


90 1,100


7,478 94

8,782 1,260 94 150 11,600 2,126 5,680

10,000 300 1,620

15,114 0.9% 13 1 8 0

6,852 0.4% 19 0 1 5

13,220 0.8% 14 0 2 3

60,925 3.6% 6 0 2 5

931 0.1% 24

8,640 0.5% 17 2 2 1

870,450 50.7% 1 0 1 4

37,451 2.2% 9 1 6 0

5,040 0.3% 20 0 1 3

79,439 4.6% 5 0 3 6

6,922 0.4% 18 0 2 3

114,250 6.7% 4 0 1 3

161,367 9.4% 2 0 1 3


Rank 6 4





Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


Research News


1. Mechanical control of whitespot

Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, more commonly known as `white spot' is recognised as one of the most pathogenic diseases of wild and cultured freshwater fish. In trout hatchery systems infections can quickly establish and result in high mortality if left unregulated. Current control centres around the use of regular formalin baths, but such treatments are labour intensive and not always effective. Environmentally safe, non-chemical alternatives are required. This paper describes the performance of a mechanical system developed to remove cysts from commercial trout raceways. The system consists of two parts: a specially designed suction head connected to a pump that is used to vacuum the bottom of hatchery raceways, and a low-adhesion polymer raceway lining preventing settlement of cysts. Over a period of three months, three lined raceways in a commercial rainbow trout hatchery were vacuumed on a daily basis. Three control raceways were maintained according to the farm's normal husbandry procedures. The mechanical system led to a significant reduction in the abundance of the parasite in test raceways compared with control raceways (mean of 2 v 362 parasites per fish, at the peak of infection). Additionally fish survival was significantly higher in test raceways than controls (85% v 71%).

Shinn, A.P., Picon-Camacho, S.M., Bawden, R., Taylor, N.G.H. (2009). Mechanical control of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis Fouquet, 1876 (Ciliophora) in a rainbow trout hatchery. Aquacultural Engineering, 41:152-157.

parasite load than all other groups at the beginning of the experiment, but the parasite multiplied faster in these strains resulting in an equal parasite load in all rainbow trout strains at 4 weeks. The results indicate a differential resistance to T. bryosalmonae between the rainbow trout strains investigated and between rainbow trout and brown trout.

Grabner, D.S., El-Matbouli, M. (2009). Comparison of the susceptibility of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and four rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) strains to the myxozoan Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, the causative agent of proliferative kidney disease (PKD). Veterinary Parasitology, 165: 200-206.

3. SVC review

The spring viremia of carp virus (SVCV) is an OIE-listed rhabodovirus historically responsible for losses of cultured fish in Europe. Acute disease is associated with high mortality, especially in common carp during their first spring season when water temperatures are 10-15°C. Mortality has been reported in other cyprinids and in the Wels catfish. The disease is characterized by hemorrhages on the skin and bloody mucus in the intestine, clinical signs shared by other diseases including bacterial infections. In 2002, SVCV was detected on a large koi farm in the USA. The USA isolate was 98% identical to isolates associated with koi and goldfish imported from China, but distantly related to European strains. In spring 2002, a major SVCV kill of common carp occurred in Cedar Lake, Wisconsin. This isolate was also of the Asian type, as were subsequent isolates from wild and cultured fish in several states. In the USA, all infected farmed populations were destroyed and no additional isolates have been detected since 2004. One of the most critical aspects of SVCV diagnosis is to differentiate the disease from the koi herpesvirus (KHV). The most obvious difference is that KHV generally occurs in temperatures of 20-28°C while SVCV disease occurs below 18°C and commonly at 10-15°C.

Goodwin, A.E. (2009). Spring viremia of carp virus (SVCV): Global status of outbreaks, diagnosis, surveillance, and research. Israeli Journal of Aquaculture ­ Bamidgeh 61:180-187.

2. Susceptibility of trout to PKD agent

Differences in susceptibility to the myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, the causative agent of proliferative kidney disease (PKD), between four strains of rainbow trout and brown trout were evaluated. Fish were exposed to water enzootic for the parasite in the field for 5 days and were subsequently transferred to the laboratory. Relative parasite load was determined at 2, 3 and 4 weeks post-exposure by quantitative real-time PCR of kidney samples. The highest amount of parasite DNA per equal amount of host tissue at all time points was measured in brown trout. Two of the rainbow trout strains showed lower relative


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

4. KHV review

Koi herpesvirus (KHV; Cyprinid herpesvirus 3) is a major threat to common carp and koi carp production worldwide. It is listed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and has been reported in 26 countries. KHV was designated a Specific Disease by Japanese law in 2003. Japan's National Research Institute of Aquaculture (NRIA) is a reference laboratory for the disease and conducts confirmatory diagnosis. The number of disease occurrences in Japan peaked in 2004, but has been gradually decreasing since then. The disease occurs mostly during spring and autumn when water temperatures are 16-28°C. In general, conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most useful method for diagnosing KHV due to its high sensitivity, high specificity, and rapidity. More recently, real time PCR, nested PCR, and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) were developed to diagnose the virus. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) targets mRNA of KHV to detect the replicating virus. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) detects anti-KHV antibodies in carp serum of surviving infected fish and is expected to be a tool for surveillance of KHV. However, cross reactions with anti-Cyprinid herpesvirus 1 antibodies in the ELISA need to be resolved. A systematic research project on development of diagnostic and prevention technologies for KHV disease was conducted in 2004-2006 by the NRIA in cooperation with Japanese universities and enterprises and SEAFDEC. The results of the project are included in this review.

Yuasa, K., Sano, M. (2009). Koi herpesvirus: Status of outbreaks, diagnosis, surveillance, and research. Israeli Journal of Aquaculture ­ Bamidgeh, 61:169-179.

present article is principally focused on the presence of environmental contaminants and medicinal substance residues in aquaculture products, fishery products and fish feed sampled in Belgium between 2004 and 2006. The analysis of the control results for environmental contaminants (dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, organochlorine pesticides and heavy metals) carried out by the Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain shows that the level of environmental contaminants found in the Belgian farmed trout are in compliance with the legislation and not of concern. However, certain prohibited drug residues have been found in a few aquaculture products, mainly in imported shrimps. Fish feed was generally in compliance with legislation, with a few exceptions for dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls.

Vromman, V., Rettigner, C., Huyghebaert, A., MaghuinRogister, G., Bossier, P., Delbare, D., Parmentier, K., (...), Pussemier, L. (2008). Aquaculture: production, feeding and presence of environmental contaminants and veterinary drug residues. Annales de Medecine Veterinaire, 152: 227-239.

Research News

6. Rainbow trout escapees

The potential for farmed fish that have escaped from open-cage aquaculture operations to affect native populations will depend on their survival and behaviour in the wild. We used standard commercial practices to rear 10 tonnes of rainbow trout in a 23 ha lake at the Experimental Lakes Area (Ontario, Canada). Each autumn (2003- 2005), we released farmed rainbow trout (escapees) into the study lake and monitored their movements using automated positioning telemetry. Rainbow trout experienced high annual mortality (~50%), with none surviving beyond 3 years. Farmed fish had narrowly defined pelagic distributions that comprised the upper few metres of the water column, even when at the cage site. Although released rainbow trout dispersed throughout the study lake, most spent significant portions of time at the cage site, especially during normal operation when commercial feed was available. Core use areas included the farm for half of the released fish. Surviving rainbow trout showed continued reliance upon the cage site in their second year. However, wide dispersal, high growth rate, and lack of reliance on the cage site by some escaped fish warrant further research to assess potential effects of

5. Assessing residues in Belgian aquaculture products

In response to the growing consumer demand for fish and the decline of wild capture fisheries, fish farming is expanding rapidly. In order to preserve natural fish stocks and to contribute to the development of a sustainable worldwide aquaculture, fishmeal as a source of proteins is increasing being replaced by vegetable crop products. These modifications in the field of aquafeeds productions can have repercussions on the sanitary and nutritional qualities of aquaculture products for consumers. The

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


Research News

open-cage aquaculture in the water bodies where the industry occurs.

Blanchfield, P.J., Tate, L.S., Podemski, C.L. (2009). Survival and behaviour of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) released from an experimental aquaculture operation. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 66: 1976-1988.

cage-rearing: cage-rearing is not permitted in the bays and fjords into which the most valuable salmon rivers drain. The zoning is provided as a compromise between opposing views. As experience is gained from salmon farming in designated areas, this information will be used to plan future development of the cage-rearing industry in Iceland.

Gudjónsson, S., Scarnecchia, D.L. (2009). "Even the evil need a place to live": Wild salmon, salmon farming, and zoning of the Icelandic coastline. Fisheries, 34: 477-486.

7. Effects of a cage trout farm on lake invertebrates

We examined the development of changes in the zoobenthos along a transect from an experimental rainbow trout farm in Lake 375, Experimental Lakes Area, northwestern Ontario, Canada. After 2 months, invertebrate abundance was reduced under the fish cage compared with samples collected 45 m away (2542 v 16137 individuals/m2). Taxa richness was also depressed, but changes in biomass were variable. Reductions in abundance and richness at high organic loading levels are consistent with earlier models developed for the marine environment of responses to organic loading in marine systems. After two production cycles, the significant principal components axis (explaining 76% of total variance in abundance) was correlated with distance from the cage and with chemical variables (pore-water ammonia; sediment Cu and Zn) recommended for freshwater aquaculture monitoring. The effects of farming were localized, dissipating within 15 m of the cage edge. Invertebrate abundance demonstrated the most potential for incorporation into monitoring schemes at new farms. At established farms, richness may be a valuable monitoring metric.

Rooney, R.C., Podemski, C.L. (2009). Effects of an experimental rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) farm on invertebrate community composition. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 66:1949-1964.

9. Consumers will pay a premium for environment- and welfare-friendly fish

In this study, a total of 115 Norwegian consumers were recruited for a choice experiment in which they had to choose between farmed salmon produced under three different production regimes: Freedom Food salmon (certified by an animal welfare organization), organic and conventional. Our results show that the average consumer preferred organic and Freedom Food salmon to the otherwise identical product from conventional salmon farms. Further, they are willing to pay a price premium of approximately 2 euros per kg (15%) for organic and Freedom Food salmon, compared with conventional salmon of the same colour. Owing to feed restrictions, the organic salmon were much paler then the conventional and Freedom Food salmon, which resulted in a mean willingness to pay (WTP) for the pale organic salmon significantly below that for conventional and Freedom Food salmon. Hence, it is very important for the success of organic salmon that organic feed manufacturers produce an organic feed with good pigmentation ability at an acceptable price. The results indicate that consumers are willing to pay to improve animal welfare and reduce undesirable environmental effects of fish farming. Consequently, eco-labelling of farmed seafood, such as animal welfare-labelled and organic certified salmon, might become an important differentiation strategy in the future. However, producers of alternatively labelled seafood products must consider the aesthetic properties of their products and that labelled products of inferior appearance are unlikely to achieve the necessary price premium.

Olesen, I., Alfnes, F., Røra, M.B., Kolstad, K. (2010). Eliciting consumers' willingness to pay for organic and welfare-labelled salmon in a non-hypothetical choice experiment. Livestock Science, 127: 218-226.

8. The Icelandic experience of zoning aquaculture

In this article, we provide an historical overview of Icelandic Atlantic salmon farming, wild stock management, and the often dichotomous philosophical bases for these activities. We then discuss how Iceland has sought to balance the benefits of salmon farming with the benefits of and risks to wild stock management, valuable recreational fisheries, and protection of native wild fish fauna. Under regulations enacted in 2001 and expanded in 2004, the coastline is zoned with respect to salmon


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

10. Critique of WWF certification

Public awareness of possible environmental impacts of seafood consumption is growing. The seafood industry and environmental pressure groups have begun to certify fish and other aquatic products produced to sustainable standards. Representations of sustainability advanced by both groups in relation to tilapia converge around limited definitions related primarily to technical parameters. Such an approach does not adequately represent the complexity of sustainable aquaculture and may be counterproductive. This is illustrated by comparing assumptions embedded in the text of the World Wide Fund for Nature's "tilapia aquaculture dialogue" with empirical findings from a study assessing the sustainability of tilapia farming systems in Central Thailand. Building on these findings, representations of sustainable tilapia aquaculture produced by the "tilapia aquaculture dialogue" are criticized, and it is argued that new approaches are required if sustainable aquaculture is to be meaningfully understood and implemented.

Belton, B., Little, D., Grady, K. (2009). Is responsible aquaculture sustainable aquaculture? WWF and the ecocertification of Tilapia. Society and Natural Resources, 22: 840-855.

Norman-López, A. (2009). Competition between different farmed and wild species: The US tilapia market. Marine Resource Economics, 24: 237-251.

Research News

12. Farmed fish in the seafood marketplace

Aquaculture production has increased rapidly during the last three decades. This is due to increased production of established species as well as a continuous introduction of new species. Productivity growth is the main engine for the increased production in aquaculture, and as the accumulated knowledge is applied to new species and in new regions, production is expected to continue to increase. Along with the production growth an increasing quantity of aquaculture products is being internationally traded. This is rapidly changing several segments of the global seafood market. While high value species such as salmon and shrimp were the first to be traded internationally, low cost species like tilapia and pangasius are currently transforming large parts of the whitefish market.

Asche, F., Roll, K.H., Trollvik, T. (2009). New aquaculture species ­the whitefish market. Aquaculture Economics and Management, 13: 76-93.

11. Market competition between fish fillets

This study investigates the degree of market integration between fresh farmed tilapia fillets and fresh fillets of farmed catfish, wild sea dab, wild blackback flounder, and wild whole fresh red snapper in the US market. The literature suggests farmed and wild fish of alternative species do not compete. However, this may be changing as new farmed species are introduced to new markets. The results indicate no relationship between prices of fresh tilapia and catfish. Hence, there is no evidence that fresh tilapia fillets compete in the same market as catfish fillets. Conversely, fresh farmed tilapia fillets compete with wild whole red snapper, wild fresh fillets of sea dab, and blackback flounder. The implications are important for managing these overexploited wild fish species, as prices will most likely decline with increased imports of fresh tilapia fillets. This could lead to lower investments in fishing fleets and a reduction in fishing effort over time.

13. Improving uptake of fish oil from feed

With the salmonid industry currently exploiting the vast majority of globally available fish oil, there is a need to optimise the transfer of the health-promoting long chain omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA) into the flesh of farmed fish. The aim of this study was to evaluate if dietary fatty acid deposition is affected by the time of feeding, and hence identify feeding strategies that would use dietary fish oil more efficiently. Over a period of 12 weeks, three diets with different lipid sources [canola oil (CO), fish oil (FO) or a 50/50 blend of the two oils (Mix)] were fed to rainbow trout, either continuously, to satiation, or a ration fed either am or pm. Fillet fatty acid profile was modified by associated feeding schedules and was generally reflective of dietary fatty acid profile. The results suggest the existence of cyclical circadian patterns in fatty acid deposition in rainbow trout.

Brown, T.D., Francis, D.S., Turchini, G.M. (2010). Can dietary lipid source circadian alternation improve omega-3 deposition in rainbow trout? Aquaculture, 300: 148-155.

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


Research News

14. Feeding tilapia recycled food wastes

A 70-day feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the suitability of recycled food wastes [food industry waste (FIW) and soy sauce waste (SSW)] as protein sources in the diet of tilapia fry. Diets D1 (0% recycled food waste), D2 (20% FIW), D3 (10% FIW and SSW, respectively), D4 (20% FIW and tryptophan), and D5 (22% SSW) were formulated. Although feed efficiency, net protein retention and protein efficiency did not differ between the diet treatments, fish fed D3 had a better growth performance than the controls (D1). Fish fed diet D4 (tryptophan supplement) had a higher final weight gain than those fed D2, in addition to the other growth parameters. D1 produced fish with higher carcass protein, while fish fed D3 had the highest lipid content. There was no significant difference between groups in terms of carcass moisture and ash contents. These findings show that the proper combination of recycled food waste is suitable for use in the production of fish feed and may ultimately result in reductions in the level of fishmeal.

Bake, G.G., Endo, M., Akimoto, A., Takeuchi, T. (2009). Evaluation of recycled food waste as a partial replacement of fishmeal in diets for the initial feeding of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. Fisheries Science, 75: 1275-1283.

excess P affects survival, while P deficiency affects bone calcification. Calcium deficiency appears to exert some delay in ossification processes without affecting final bone mineralization.

Fontagné, S., Silva, N., Bazin, D., Ramos, A., Aguirre, P., Surget, A., Abrantes, A., (...), Power, D.M. (2009). Effects of dietary phosphorus and calcium level on growth and skeletal development in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fry. Aquaculture 297, 141-150.

16. The effects of CO2 on trout

Chronic exposure to elevated levels of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) has been linked to reduced growth, physiological disturbances and negative health outcomes in intensively reared fish. Although pumping to a degassing tower can lower concentrations of dissolved CO2 in recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS), pumping can be a significant cost for operators. A 6-month trial was conducted to compare the effects of high and low dissolved CO2 concentrations (24 v 8 mg/L; 8.79 v mm 2.91 mm Hg partial pressure) on rainbow trout performance and health in replicated RAS operated at low-exchange rates (0.26% of the total recirculating flow). Survival for both groups was high (>97%). No significant differences in growth or survival were observed between CO2 treatments. No nephrocalcinosis or related pathologies were noted. Skin and gill pathologies were common in both treatment groups, but none of the pathologies observed were substantive or likely to cause mortality. The results of this study indicate that raising rainbow trout to market size in RAS with CO2 concentrations of 24 mg/L does not significantly affect their overall health and performance.

Good, C., Davidson, J., Welsh, C., Snekvik, K., Summerfelt, S. (2010). The effects of carbon dioxide on performance and histopathology of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss in water recirculation aquaculture systems. Aquacultural Engineering, 42: 51-56.

15. Effects of dietary phosphorus and calcium on trout skeletal development

The effects of dietary levels of phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca) on skeletal development and mineral deposition in rainbow trout fry were studied. Six semi-purified diets were formulated with graded levels of P and Ca. The basal diet A contained only P supplied by casein at 0.5% of dry matter. Other diets B, C, D and E were supplemented with P resulting in 0.8, 1.2, 1.6 and 2.2% total P, respectively. These five diets were supplemented with 1% Ca whereas another diet F, supplemented with 0.8% P, was Ca-free. Each diet was fed 6 times a day to 3 tanks of 600 swim-up fry at a water temperature of 17 °C over a 12-week growth trial. There was no effect of dietary P (0 to 1.6%) or Ca (0 or 1%) supplementation on growth. Survival of fish fed with diet E containing a high level of P was reduced (10% vs. 65% survival respectively). Individuals fed diet A were less ossified compared to individuals from other dietary groups. In conclusion, both dietary deficiency and excess of P were detrimental to rainbow trout fry development:

17. The impacts of increasing temperature on salmonid reproduction

Fish reproduction is likely to be affected by increasing water temperatures arising from climate change. Normal changes in environmental temperature have the capacity to affect endocrine function and either advance or retard gametogenesis and maturation, but above-normal temperatures have deleterious effects on reproductive


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

processes. In Atlantic salmon exposure to elevated temperature during gametogenesis impairs both gonadal steroid synthesis and hepatic vitellogenin production, alters hepatic oestrogen receptor dynamics and ultimately results in reduced maternal investment and gamete viability. Exposure to high temperature during the maturational phase impairs gonadal steroidogenesis, delaying or inhibiting the preovulatory shift from androgen to maturation-inducing steroid production. There are also deleterious effects on reproductive development of female broodstock of rainbow trout and Arctic charr when they are exposed to elevated temperature. Less is known about temperature effects on male fishes but inhibition of spermiation has been observed. Among wild stocks, the response to elevated temperature will involve behavioural thermoregulation with consequent change in geographical ranges and the possibility of local extinctions in some regions. For domesticated stocks, containment in the culture environment precludes behavioural thermoregulation and aquaculturists will be required to develop adaptive strategies in order to maintain productivity. The most direct strategy is to manage the thermal environment using one or more of a range of developing aquaculture technologies. Alternatively, there is potential to mitigate the effects of elevated temperature on reproductive processes through endocrine therapies designed to augment or restore natural endocrine function.

Pankhurst, N.W., King, H.R. (2010). Temperature and salmonid reproduction: Implications for aquaculture. Journal of Fish Biology, 76: 69-85.

trout aquaculture production. This resource will also facilitate efforts to obtain and assemble a whole-genome reference sequence for this species. The production and validation of the first BAC physical map of the rainbow trout genome is described in this paper. The availability of an integrated physical and genetic map will enable detailed comparative genome analyses, fine mapping of QTL, positional cloning, selection of positional candidate genes for economically important traits and the incorporation of MAS into rainbow trout breeding programs.

Palti, Y., Luo, M.-C., Hu, Y., Genet, C., You, F.M., Vallejo, R.L., Thorgaard, G.H., (...), Rexroad III, C.E. (2009). A first generation BAC-based physical map of the rainbow trout genome. BMC Genomics 10, art. no. 1471, pp. 462.

Research News

19. Improving the external appearance of farmed salmonids

Skin colour is an important commercial trait in fish farming, given that this phenotype influences consumer acceptance, thereby determining the commercial value that fish can reach. This character is genetically determined, either by monogenetic or polygenetic control. Over the past few years, progress has been made in studies of quantitative genetic parameters for commercially important traits related to skin pigmentation and, in the molecular field, the mapping and cloning of some genes involved in fish colour determination. This study reviews information regarding the genetic determination of salmonid skin colour, along with different strategies to improve this character.

Colihueque, N. (2010). Genetics of salmonid skin pigmentation: clues and prospects for improving the external appearance of farmed salmonids. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 20: 71-86.

18. Mapping the rainbow trout genome

Rainbow trout are the most-widely cultivated cold freshwater fish in the world and an important model species for many research areas. Coupling great interest in this species as a research model with the need for genetic improvement of aquaculture production efficiency traits justifies the continued development of genomics research resources. Many quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been identified for production and life-history traits in rainbow trout. A bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) physical map is needed to facilitate fine mapping of QTL and the selection of positional candidate genes for incorporation in markerassisted selection (MAS) for improving rainbow

20. Mechanized harvesting of fish ponds

This paper describes the development of a prototype-mechanized fish harvesting system for carp from a rectangular shaped fishpond. The system consists of motorized trolleys on the longer dykes of a fishpond, rail, boom pipe, netting arrangement and ON/OFF arrangements. The trolleys move on the rail tracks at a constant speed of 3 m/min and take about 15 min to complete the harvesting operation. The overall mean harvest efficiency has been estimated to be around 80% per operation. The whole harvesting operation

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


Research News

is done mechanically except collection of harvested fishes at the end of operation, which requires 2 persons to get into the pond and lift out the fishes.

Sharma, K.K., Sarkar, B., Chand, S., Nayak, S.K. (2009). A mechanized harvest system for freshwater fishpond. Aquacultural Engineering, 41: 147-151.

21. Biological filter types compared

Three different commercially available biological filters were evaluated in triplicate on a 60 m3 tank-based Tilapia system under commercial warmwater growout conditions. The study was performed at the North Carolina State University Fish Barn-a commercial scale research and demonstration recirculating aquaculture facility operated by the department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Total ammoniacal nitrogen (TAN) removal rates were determined for the three types of biofilters for a range of concentrations ranging from 0.13 to 1.20 g TAN/m3. TAN concentrations were varied by feed rates and ammonium chloride additions, and limited by fish feeding response. Maximum feed rates were 65 kg feed /day using a 40% protein diet at a maximum biomass of 5500 kg. Average observed TAN removal rates (in g TAN / m3 of unexpanded media / day) were 267, 586 and 667 for the moving bed bioreactor, floating bead filter, and fluidized sand filter, respectively. These results are considerably lower than results previously published at the laboratory scale using artificial waste nutrients. This study highlights the need for future biofilter evaluations at the commercial scale using real aquaculture waste nutrients.

Guerdat, T.C., Losordo, T.M., Classen, J.J., Osborne, J.A., DeLong, D.P. (2010). An evaluation of commercially available biological filters for recirculating aquaculture systems. Aquacultural Engineering, 42: 38-49.

spiking events. Formaldehyde removal rates were positively correlated to the amount and frequency of formalin treatment. In systems with regularly low formalin dosage, the formaldehyde removal rate increased up to tenfold from 0.19 to 1.81 mg/(L h). Biofilter nitrification was not impaired in systems treated with formalin on a daily basis as compared to untreated systems. In systems intermittently treated with formalin, increased variation and minor reductions of ammonium and nitrite oxidation rates were observed. Low dose formalin in recirculated aquaculture systems proved to be a possible treatment strategy, as the effect on nitrification was minimal.

Pedersen, L.-F., Pedersen, P.B., Nielsen, J.L., Nielsen, P.H. (2010). Long term/low dose formalin exposure to smallscale recirculation aquaculture systems. Aquacultural Engineering, 42: 1-7.

23. Aquaponics trial in Canada

An aquaponic system was built, based on the University of Virgin Islands design, as a prototype for commercialization in Alberta, Canada in 2002. It consists of four fish rearing tanks (5 m3 each) and four raft hydroponic troughs (29 m2 each). To test commercial feasibility of aquaponics under the climatic conditions of Alberta the food fish tilapia was selected in combination with several conventional greenhouse plants (cucumber, tomato, etc.), herbs, medicinal plants, and nutraceutical plants. A protocol was developed for producing aquaponic crops in Alberta. More than 60 different crops and varieties were tested in a greenhouse. Based on this preliminary evaluation, 24 crops (five greenhouse vegetables and 19 herbs) were grown in trials to determine production levels. Yields of tomatoes and mini-cucumbers (20.7 and 33.4 kg/plant/year) exceeded average values of commercial greenhouses in Alberta that employ conventional hydroponic technology. During the 2-year study, the yield of Genovese basil increased from 13 to 42 kg/ m2/year as production and harvesting methods were refined. This study demonstrated the technical feasibility of the aquaponic technology in Alberta. Evaluation of the economic feasibility is underway.

Savidov, N.A., Hutchings, E., Rakocy, J.E. (2007). Fish and plant production in a recirculating aquaponic system: A new approach to sustainable agriculture in Canada. Acta Horticulturae, 742: 209-222.

22. Formalin use in recirculation systems

Repetitive long term formalin application at low dose was investigated to determine the effect on formaldehyde removal rate, biofilter nitrification and the microbial composition in small-scale recirculation aquaculture biofilters. Six pilotscale recirculation aquaculture systems holding rainbow trout were designated to formalin treatments (10 and 20 mg/L formaldehyde) on a daily or weekly basis. Formaldehyde removal rates were measured over 10 weeks, during which biofilter nitrification rates were also assessed using standardized NH4Cl


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

24. Uptake of UK tilapia farming

This paper is focused upon the emergent emphasis of environmentally friendly attributes in fish with particular regard to tilapia in the UK. The focus is upon the technical production issues, marketing implications, public health and adoption responses from a 3-year multidisciplinary Research Councils UK project, which examined the prospects for UK (agricultural) farmers to diversify into production of warmwater tilapia. The proposed production process and product characteristics abound with green credentials, consistent with emergent market demands. This combination might enable small-scale producers to access growing UK niche markets for fresh fish and to compete through upmarket positions with expanding EU tilapia imports. Having ascertained the wider market characteristics, primary research was undertaken through consumer focus groups and in-depth interviews with organizational channel members. The results supported the initial premise of niche markets existing for tilapia produced from local, smallscale environmentally friendly units. Three target groups in the UK were identified:

ethnic consumers, green consumers and discrete segments (gastro-pubs and upscale fish restaurants) within foodservice. Having established favourable market prospects the propensity of farmers to diversify into this novel area of activity was explored. Investigation of farmer entrepreneurship, undertaken in 2006 and 2007, explored perceived challenges in the new aquaculture venture. In-depth face to face and telephone interviews with agricultural farmers identified a number of factors that both encouraged and dissuaded them from diversification into tilapia. Despite the ongoing interests of some, and other emergent adopters, the majority seem disinclined to commercialize their interest. The paper concludes that a more holistic support perspective will be required to promote a more favourable reaction and reviews the prognosis for the success of local fish production.

Young, J.A., Little, D.C., Watterson, A., Murray, F., Boyd, K., Leschen, W., Kodithuwakku, S. (2010). Growing green: The emergent role of non-Tilapia attributes in marketing Tilapia. Aquaculture Economics and Management 14, 63-79.

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


Research News

In the Press


Fish Farming International, August 2009

Fish Farming International, September 2009


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

In the Press

Fish Farming International, September 2009

Fish Farming International, October 2009

Fish Farming International, October 2009

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


In the Press

Fish Farming International, October 2009

Fish Farmer, November 2009

Fish Farmer, November 2009

Fish Farmer, November 2009


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

In the Press

Fish Farming International, December 2009

Fish Farming International, December 2009 Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


In the Press

Fish Farming International, December 2009

Fish Farming International, December 2009


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

In the Press

Fish Farming International, December 2009

Fish Farming International, December 2009

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


In the Press

Fishing News International, January 2010

Fish Farmer, January 2010


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

In the Press

Fish Farmer, January 2010

Fish Farming International, January 2010 Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


In the Press

Fish Farmer, January 2010


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

In the Press

Fish Farmer, January 2010

Fish Farmer, January 2010

Fish Farming International, January 2010 Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


In the Press

Fish Farming International, February 2010

Fish Farming International, February 2010


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

In the Press

Fish Farmer International, March 2010

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


In the Press

Fish Farmer, March 2010

Fish Farming International, March 2010


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

In the Press

Fish Farmer, March 2010

Fish Farming International, March 2010

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


Info file


Policy Matters

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR (Switchboard tel: 020 7238 3000) (General fax: 020 7238 6591) Fish farming policy: Marine and Freshwater Biodiversity Division (MFB) Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR (Tel: 0207 238 4394) (Fax: 0207 238 4698) Finfish Health: Aquatic Animal Health unit, Area 5D, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR (Tel: 0207 238 5110) Grant Aid: Marine Management Organisation, PO Box 1275, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE99 5BN. (Tel: 0300 123 1032) (Fax: 0191 376 2681) Email: [email protected] http:/// Research and Development Programmes: Either contact Science Directorate at [email protected] or the relevant Defra science unit from the contact page at You can also visit the Defra website at The Welsh Assembly Government, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Department, Agricultural Policy Division 5, New Crown Buildings, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF1 3NQ (Tel: 02920 823567) (Fax: 02920 823562) Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department, Pentland House, 47 Robbs Loan, Edinburgh EH14 1TW (Tel: 0131 244 6224) (Fax: 0131 244 6313) Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland, Fisheries Division, Annexe 5, Castle Grounds, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3PW (Tel: 028 9052 3431) (Fax: 028 9052 2394)

Scientific and technical advice

Health regulations and disease control ­ England and Wales Cefas Weymouth Laboratory, Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB (Tel: 01305 206673/4) (Fax: 01305 206602) Email: [email protected] Advice is also available via the eFishBusiness web site ( This site has information on all the controls that apply to the import or movements of live fish, both nationally and internationally, together with supporting information, including detailed descriptions of the most serious fish diseases and lists of disease-free (approved) areas. All relevant application, registration and notification forms can be downloaded from the site. Pollutants and their effects ­ Cefas Burnham Laboratory, Remembrance Avenue, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex CMO 8HA (Tel: 01621 787200) (Fax: 01621 784989) You can also visit the Cefas website at Health regulations and disease control ­ Scotland Marine Scotland, Marine Laboratory, PO Box 101, Victoria Road, Aberdeen AB9 8DB (Tel: 01244 876544) (Fax: 01224 295511) Farm animal welfare ­ Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Animal Welfare Division, 6th Floor, 1A Page Street, London SW1P 4PQ Environmental issues ­ Environmental Agency, Rio House, Aztec West, Almondsbury, Bristol BS32 4UD (Tel: 01454 624400) (Fax: 01454 624033)


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

Veterinary medicines ­ The Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3LS (Tel: 01932 336911) (Fax: 01932 336618) Food hygiene ­ Food Standards Agency Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NH (Tel: 020 7276 8000)

(Tel: 01733 562626) (Fax: 01733 555948) English Nature, Northminster House, Peterborough PE1 1UA (Tel: 01733 455000) (Fax: 01733 568834) Countryside Council for Wales, Ffordd Penrhos, Bangor LL57 2LQ (Tel: 01248 385500) (Fax: 01248 355782) Scottish Natural Heritage Great Glen House, Leachkin Road, Inverness IV3 8NW (Tel: 0146 372 5000) (Fax: 0146 372 5067)

Info file

Advice on commercial activities

The British Trout Association, The Rural Centre, West Mains, Inglistone Mid-Lothian EH28 8NZ (Tel: 0131 472 4080) (Fax: 0131 472 4083) The Coarse Fish Traders Association Chairman: Ian Welby; Tel: 01664 859433 Email: [email protected] Secretary: Bernice Brewster Tel: 01622 815255 Email: [email protected] Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association Ltd. Wessex House, 40 Station Road, Westbury Wiltshire BA13 3JN (Tel: 08700 434013) (Fax: 01373 301236) Email: [email protected]

Other Useful Numbers

Co-ordinator for Defra ­ CARD R&D Dr Mark James, Fisheries Resource Management Ltd, Rowanbank, 7 Atholl Gardens, Dunkeld, Perthshire PH8 0AY Tel:/Fax: 01350 727484 Humane Slaughter Association The Old School, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead Herts AL4 8AN (Tel: 01582 831919) (Fax: 01582 831414) Email: [email protected]

Wildlife conservation

Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Monkstone House, City Road, Peterborough PE1 1JY


Previous issues of Finfish News and Trout News are available online ( Readers of Finfish News may be interested in the leaflets listed below. These are available by contacting the relevant Department/Agency or via the websites (see contact details in Where to get Help and Advice).


· A guide to importing fish · Combating fish disease · A guide to protecting freshwater fish stocks from gyrodactylosis and other serious fish diseases · A guide to protecting freshwater fish stocks from Spring Viraemia of Carp

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010


Info file


· The Fish Health Inspectorate and you: our code of practice and Customer Charter · Fish health and you: The Aquatic Animal Health (England & Wales) Regulations 2009. · Finfish and shellfish biosecurity book · Aquatic animal transport record book · Aquatic animal medicine record book · Finfish and shellfish movement record books

· · · · · · · · ·

Cefas/Environment Agency

· Controls on the keeping or release of nonnative fish in England and Wales · The Environment Agency and Fish Health Inspectorate: Working together

Protecting your fishery from cormorants Cormorants, the facts Goosanders and mergansers, the facts Coarse fish biology and management The construction and renovation of stillwater coarse fisheries De-oxygenation Desilting stillwaters Environments for Fish Stocking fish ­ a guide for fishery owners and anglers

Veterinary Medicines Directorate

· Code of practice on the responsible use of animal medicines on the farm · Veterinary Medicines Guidance Note 15: Controls on the administration of veterinary medicines · Veterinary Medicines Guidance Note 16: Record keeping requirements for veterinary medicinal products · Veterinary Medicines Guidance Note 21: Medicated feedingstuffs prescriptions SEERAD, Marine Scotland, Fisheries Research Services (Aberdeen and Pitlochry Laboratories) Information Leaflets · Marine viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV): characterisation and significance for aquaculture · How new diseases emerge · Predators at Scottish salmon farms · Identifying risk factors for infectious pancreatic necrosis · Supporting new aquaculture species in Scotland · New approaches to the management of fish waste · Gyrodactylus salaris · Notifiable diseases in fish · Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia · Red Vent Syndrome (RVS) in Wild Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) · Signal crayfish ­ an unwelcome addition to Scottish streams · Catch and release: a guide to best practice · What are freshwater lice? · Scotland's freshwater fish populations: stocking, genetics and broodstock management · Scotland's freshwater fish population: introductions and movements

Environment Agency

· "Buyer Beware": your guide to stocking fish

Cefas Technology Limited

· Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) testing services The following publications and books are available on the eFishBusiness website ( · Import of live coldwater fish from third countries: frequently asked questions · Controls on the keeping or release of nonnative crayfish in England and Wales · Information on all notifiable finfish diseases in England and Wales including: Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) Disease, Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA), Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHN), Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD), Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS), Spring Viraemia of Carp (SVC), etc. · Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) Disease: garden ponds and aquaria · A guide to the disinfection of angling equipment · Gyrodactylosis · Furunculosis in salmon · Lactococcosis · Category 2 parasites · Information on various species of non-native fish · Scientific references on various diseases of fish · Sustainable aquaculture presentations Available on the Environment Agency website (http://www.environmentagency.


Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

Humane Slaughter Association

· Factsheet: Harvesting of Farmed Fish · Guidance Note: Humane Harvesting of Salmon & Trout

· Technical Note: Transport of farmed fish · Technical Note: Electrical stunning of salmon · Technical Note: Humane harvesting of halibut

Info file


Cefas, an Executive Agency of Defra, provides internationally recognised multidisciplinary work, assisting organisations around the world to benefit from their aquatic resources. The Cefas Weymouth Laboratory focuses on fish and shellfish diseases, and is complemented by the Cefas Lowestoft Laboratory which covers fisheries resource management and marine environmental protection. Cefas Weymouth offers a comprehensive portfolio of consultancy, research and development in both freshwater and marine aquaculture covering: · Fish and Shellfish Health ­ Extensive disease diagnosis capability for finfish and shellfish (including crustaceans) and a wide range of resources for use in diagnostic testing and method development ­ State-of-the-art experimental aquarium facilities allowing the impact of any pathogen from anywhere in the world to be studied in safety. These facilities are operated under GLP and have full laboratory accreditation ­ Advice on a wide range of health and disease related issues in both farmed and wild fish and shellfish stocks · Disease Management ­ Disease control programmes for aquaculture operations ­ Practical implementation of aquatic disease regulations · Public health issues ensuring fish and shellfish are safe for human consumption. ­ Food poisoning microorganisms, human enteric viruses, bacteria, algal toxins, organic and inorganic contaminants ­ Regulation of aquaculture practices Our national and international standing in fields is reflected by designations as · National Reference Laboratory: for Fish and Shellfish Diseases; for monitoring bacteriological and viral contamination of bivalve molluscs · European Community Reference Laboratory: for monitoring bacteriological and viral contamination of bivalve molluscs; for crustacean diseases · OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) Collaborating Centre for aquatic animal diseases and OIE Designated Laboratory Spring Viraemia of Carp (SVC), Koi HerpesVirus (KHV) and crayfish plague. Cefas also offers a wide range of bespoke training on all aspects of fish and shellfish health and related subject areas. See our website for more detailed information on any of the above.

Weymouth Laboratory

RV Cefas Endeavour © M J Page

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010



Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010



Finfish News 9, Winter/Spring 2010

Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science Lowestoft Laboratory, Pakefield Road Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0HT UK Tel: +44 (0) 1502 562244 Fax: +44 (0) 1502 513865

ISSN 1749-0669



88 pages

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