Aquaculture news

Vietnam - Loss from dead fish reaches US$241,000

Posted: 16.9.2015
Vietnam - Loss from dead fish reaches US$241,000
Fish breeding cages in Cha Va River. Total initial loss following a mass death
of fish five days ago in the river has amounted to VND5.3 billion (US$241,000).

Fifteen fish-breeding farms in the commune in Vung Tau City were discussing their losses with the southern province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to find a compensation rate.

Among the 15 farms affected by the loss of the fish, fisherman Duong Van Hung suffered the highest financial loss of VND1.5 billion.

The agriculture department's deputy director, Tran Van Cuong, said the financial loss was estimated, including the cost of fish fry, labourers and feed.

Fish started dying en masse in Cha Va River five days ago. Many fishermen believed the river was polluted by wastewater discharged by nearby seafood processing factories. — VNS

Source Vietnam News

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Australia - Salmon disease in Tasmania raises controversies

Posted: 9.9.2015
Australia - Salmon disease in Tasmania raises controversies

September 08, 2015

On the one hand, experts from the Department of Primary Industries point out the disease, called mycobacteriosis, has been linked to a degraded environment and warn the low oxygen levels and complex marine environment in the harbour increases the risk of disease spread among salmon, ABC Rural reported.

Senior Lecturer in veterinary pathology at the University of Adelaide and staff of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment (DPIPWE), Dr Stephen Pyecroft, explains in this regard: "You get an increased number of those bacteria if you have low dissolved oxygens, high levels of detritus, and you get into what we call an eutrophic environment (high amount of nutrients from fish waste).”

Besides, a DPIPWE spokesperson explained that mycobacteria is a common environment bacterium, found in soil and water and that it was uncommon for the disease to be found in Atlantic salmon.

"At this stage the incidence of its detection in samples from Macquarie Harbour is quite low, with seven of 79 submissions to the Animal Health Labs indicating its presence. The detection of this bacteria does not represent a disease outbreak, but rather that some fish have picked up this infection," the spokesperson stressed.

DPIPWE highlighted the disease is also commonly called "fish tuberculosis" and can spread between fish through contaminated water sources, consumption of contaminated feed, and cannibalism of infected or dead fish.

Fish can harbour the disease, which is not fatal in all cases, for long periods of time and it is possible for them to recover if the environmental conditions change.

In addition, DPIPWE experts ensure infection from fish to human is extremely rare and has been associated with infected cuts on hands or people with compromised immune systems.

On the other hand, referring to the data released by DPIPWE, Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson claimed: "It's just another piece of a jigsaw puzzle which suggests to us that unless we diffuse it Macquarie Harbour is a ticking time bomb for the salmon industry and for potentially the wider and broader eco-system."

For his part, Professor of Marine Ecology and Director of the Centre of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Technology in Sydney, Dr David Booth, said: "It's such a stratified estuary, the bottom layers of the water have incredibly low levels of oxygen, this means it's already a situation where it's almost at tipping point."

"If the salmon farms aren't correctly managed not only could they damage themselves but it could have a flow on effect to the environment," the professor added.

The companies Tassal, Huon Aquaculture, and Petuna have been expanding fish farming in Macquarie Harbour over the last five years.

Source: FIS News

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China - Zhangzidao Claims Losses from Typhoon that Hit Scallop Beds near Dalian

Posted: 16.8.2015
China - Zhangzidao Claims Losses from Typhoon that Hit Scallop Beds near Dalian

Aug 13, 2015

The damage was done on August 6th.  The announcement caused a stir because last year the company claimed a large unexpected loss of scallop inventory from changes in sea currents.  Ultimately, an investigation found that the company had not wilfully mistated its inventories. 

Zhangzidao said the damage consisted of three types.

First, houses and buildings on the site suffered wind damage.

Second, some damage was done to scallop seed, conch, and sea cucumbers and sea urchins.   These were mostly hanging mariculture.

Finally, the sea bed inventory may have been affected, and the company has asked for a further investigation, and will make a subsequent announcement.

Zhangzidao also said that it carried insurance for some of this damage, having purchased a 'mariculture and wind index' insurance policy. 

Official Chinese weather stations recorded winds as high as 85 mph during the storm. This triggers the policy, says Zhangzidao. 

In response to a reporter’s query, the company also said it was too early to determine whether the insurance claims will cover the full extent of the damages. 

Source: SeafoodNews

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Vietnam - Shrimps die en masse in Soc Trang

Posted: 9.7.2015
Vietnam - Shrimps die en masse in Soc Trang

3rd July

This shrimp season, the province continues to be the hot spot of diseases. There is a risk of a disease outbreak, which can spread to many areas in the province, an official said.

The effects of prolonged hot weather and changes in the environment during the pre-monsoon season have led to local shrimp farms in the province suffering heavy losses.

Pham Van Giet, a farmer in My Xuyen District's Hoa Tu commune, said his family bred prawn shrimp for two months and they grew well, but bad weather destroyed an entire shrimp farm of 6,000sq.m. killing 20,000 shrimps with it.

According to a report from a veterinary station, 70 per cent of shrimp in farms were affected by liver disease and 20 per cent by environmental changes, while the remaining ones died of other causes.

My Xuyen district and Vinh Chau town have suffered the heaviest damage.

Tran Quoc Quang, head of the Agriculture and Rural Development of My Xuyen District, said the local community has so far lost more than 2,500ha of shrimp farm due to bad weather and diseases, accounting for 20 per cent of the total shrimp farm area there.

The provincial veterinary department has reported that diseases can spread to larger areas.

Diseases are expected to rise during the first half of the rainy season and will be difficult to control due to changes in weather, an official of the department noted.

The department has also recommended farmers to suspend breeding baby shrimps in infected areas.

The province will also continue to implement disease prevention measures, especially in localities that have been seriously affected.

The province has bred shrimp in nearly 20,000ha of farms, accounting for 40 per cent of the plan for their cultivation. — VNS

Source: Vietnam News

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Australia - 270 tonnes salmon lost in storm

Posted: 24.5.2015
Australia - 270 tonnes salmon lost in storm

May 21, 2015

The fish were owned by Petuna Seafoods and were killed by low oxygen levels, brought on by storm surges earlier this month.

It is believed the storm activity prompted unusual salt levels inside Petuna’s fish pens on May 6.

The deaths have been described as the biggest single fish kill in Tasmania’s history.

Petuna Seafoods’ chief executive Mark Porter said 3.7per cent of the company’s total salmon stocks were lost.

‘‘It was a low-pressure system combined with high winds. We haven’t seen this since 2006,’’ he said.

‘‘It was a one-off event. No other company or lease was affected.’’

Petuna Seafoods will hold an investigation before week’s end to determine the exact number of fish killed in the incident.

Primary Industries and Water Minister Jeremy Rockliff said appropriate action had been taken by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment and the Environmental Protection Authority.

Environment Tasmania chief executive Charlie Sherwin believes the deaths could have been avoided, however.

‘‘It’s time for the salmon industry to shrink back to pre-expansion levels in Macquarie Harbour to give the fish and other marine life a break,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s not enough to just try and manage an over-expanded industry.’’

The Tasmanian Greens are expected to push on with their bid for a senate inquiry into Tasmanian salmon industry  following the deaths.

Petuna Seafood’s Macquarie Harbour operation has returned to normal.

Source: The Examiner

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Honduras - Shrimp farms experience heavy losses due to tidal waves

Posted: 10.5.2015
Honduras - Shrimp farms experience heavy losses due to tidal waves

May 07, 2015

While experts predict that the intensity will be less than in previous days, they do not rule out the wave height increases towards the end of this week as a result of subtropical storms in the southern hemisphere.

The Early Warning System (SAT) instructed port authorities to limit sailing of small and medium scale boats, especially during high tide, and called for restriction of water activities.

Tidal waves have caused extensive damage to shrimp farms, some of which have already suffered huge losses.

According to available data, several laboratories producing larvae were destroyed by the sea in Marcovia, Choluteca, El Heraldo reported.

So far, the companies that reported the occurrence of damage are Biomarsur, Oro Larva, Tropical and Granjas Marines.

According to Argentina Diaz, owner of Biomarsur laboratory, they lost four laboratories and a huge sum of money.

"I lost a whole laboratory where thankfully no [shrimp larvae] have been stocked yet, but the whole infrastructure was lost, which implies a millionaire loss," she regretted.

Shrimp is one of the main exported products from Honduras. Sales of Honduran shrimp abroad in 2014 generated a total of USD 252 million in revenue, representing a 9.1 per cent growth over 2013, according to official figures.

Undersecretary of Health Francis Contreras announced that the first scheduled actions include pesticide spraying to prevent mosquito spread, which can subsequently increase dengue and chikungunya conditions.

Source FISNews

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Chile - 2015 Coho Generation lost due to Calabuco Volcano – Loss insured!

Posted: 2.5.2015
Chile - 2015 Coho Generation lost due to Calabuco Volcano – Loss insured!

April 27, 2015

SalmonChile reports that 4% of the country's 200 fish farms were operating in the emergency zone.  Of the eight fish farms at risk four had severe or total damage; one with damage assessment has saved part of their fish; and the other three are all moving fish. Of these eight production facilities, only five have damage, representing 2.5% of the farms of the industry in freshwater phase.

Regarding the freshwater phase, "We can confirm severe damage to one of our fish farms breeding, housing the entire generation of coho production of 2015," said Cermaq, the salmon company owned by the Japanese giant Mitsubishi.

However, Cermaq explained that it holds replicas of the genetic program in other freshwater facilities, but considered the next generation of coho as lost.

"This is a very unfortunate situation, especially if we add the voluntary reduction of 20% in our planting coho we decided to do earlier this year. Today basically we lost completely the generation of eggs for the next cycle. This is a very challenging situation for our growing operations in Chile, but we are comforted knowing that all our colleagues and their families are safe and secure, "said  Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cermaq Group, Jon Hindar from Norway.

Pesquera Camancha informed the Superintendency of Securities and Insurance (SVS) for damages suffered due to the eruption of Calbuco volcano, which affected one of its fish farms that is located in the area of ??Petrohué, just 14 miles from the mountain.

In this regard, the fisheries-aquaculture firm explained that "at the time of the accident we had 14,400,000 fish at different stages. All personnel working in the plant was properly evacuated and are safe. "

"Because of road conditions, it was possible to enter the plant Thursday April 23 where it was found at first sight damage and the level of impact that the eruption caused, was significant, " the company said adding that" the above, biomass losses are added, which are being evaluated. Currently are being made every effort to ensure the survival of fish that are alive ".

Finally, the company said that they have insurance policies for both plant assets to biomass.

Salmon Chile says that In these eight hatcheries 25 million of a total of 300 million fish grown in all production points are raised. Ie 8.3% of the total production of fresh water.

 The emergency protocol activated by Sernapesca worked fully, providing special facilities for authorizing the movement of fish, under the conditions established biosafety.

The first phase of production is a growth stage that can be replaced and therefore possible losses, although they are not quantifiable in advance, should be bounded.

Source: SeafoodNews

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Norway - AquaGen CEO downplays Chile volcano industry Company’s loses of 17m coho eggs

Posted: 2.5.2015
Norway - AquaGen CEO downplays Chile volcano industry Company’s loses of 17m coho eggs

April 28, 2015

The volcano, which began erupting last week, wiped out 17 million eggs at the hatchery, as well as broodfish, the executive told Undercurrent News.

AquaGen doesn’t have the production capacity to replace the lost eggs with supplies from other hatcheries, as that production had already been sold, he said.

No other AquaGen facilities were damaged by the volcano, and the losses at Rio Sur were insured, he said. The company has a backup for the genetic material.

Last week, Chilean salmon producer Australis Seafoods said it had lost its supply of coho eggs for harvests in November 2016 and March 2017 that were to have been from AquaGen’s farm located within 20 kilometers of the volcano.

Australis said it had struck an agreement to secure eggs from another supplier.

For the Chilean salmon industry as a whole, Nordmo said he thinks the impact of the volcano will be low because less than 10% of the hatcheries have been affected.

He also expects AquaGen’s intensive breeding programs for disease resistance to boost survival rates in salmon hatched this year, contributing to increased production from the remaining broodstock.

The Calbuco eruption has it an area of southern Chile where salmon farmers raise young fish in freshwater farms before they are ready to live in saltwater, with the volcanic debris dealing a blow to the egg, fry and smolt populations of some companies and forcing the movement of millions of juvenile fish away from the area.

The eruption has left Chilean farmers to asses the impact on the industry, but the full extent of the damage to future salmon crops was only beginning to be quantified.

The losses raised questions about supply to the United States, where the South American nation last year sent around 132,000 metric tons of the salmon products worth more than $1.4 billion.

Sources tell Undercurrent whatever market impact on supply and prices there may be, it won’t be felt until at least next year, given the youth of the fish affected.

 Source: Undercurrent News

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Singapore - 600 Tons of Fish Lost to Algal Bloom

Posted: 15.3.2015
Singapore - 600 Tons of Fish Lost to Algal Bloom

March 6, 2015 

Issuing its first comments on the algal bloom since last Saturday, the authority said last year’s plankton bloom cost 53 farms about 500 tonnes of fish.

The AVA also said it would help the affected fish farmers - who operate off Pasir Ris in the East Johor Strait - to recover and restart their operations, and enhance their resilience to environmental challenges.

AVA’s media statement and replies to queries came after Minister of State for National Development Mohamad Maliki Osman visited two affected fish farms today. One of the farmers he visited, Mr Gary Chang, told TODAY via the phone that he managed to minimise his losses to just over a tonne - or 10 to 15 per cent of his fish - by moving half of his stocks to the farm of a good friend in Malaysia. He enveloped the remaining half in canvas bags and aerated the water in the bags, said Mr Chang, who rears grouper and sea bass.

Dr Maliki said farmers who suffered severe losses may not have taken measures early enough. “Plankton bloom occurrences are very difficult to prevent, but it is possible to reduce the impact. Whilst we provide assistance to help farmers tide over this difficult period, it is also important for farmers to do their part to take mitigating measures early,” he said. The AVA is looking to build up farmers’ resilience against these incidents, such as through robust contingency plans and contingency exercises. It will also ask farmers who have taken early action to share their experience with other farmers, Dr Maliki added.

Farmers reported the bulk of deaths to have occurred in the pre-dawn hours last Saturday, and many dead wild fish also washed up on Pasir Ris beach over the weekend. TODAY reported on Wednesday that a laboratory test had identified the algae species to belong to the Gymnodinium group, but AVA said its preliminary findings point to the Karlodinium veneficum species, which has been associated with fish kills worldwide.

According to website, the Karlodinium veneficum has been detected in places including France, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and is known to produce karlotoxin, an agent responsible for fish kills. According to Western Australia’s Swan River Trust, there is no evidence that this species is toxic to humans.

The AVA said the dead fish had gill damage caused by plankton. No marine biotixins have been detected in fish samples from affected farms and live fish harvested from the farms are safe for consumption, it added.

DHI Water & Environment, which did the laboratory test for TODAY, said that the seawater sample tested was examined at a magnification of 400 times. At that level, species of algae belonging to the Karlodinium and Gymnodinium groups would appear very similar. To be able to positively identify the algae species, a genetic test or a microscope with 1,500 to 2,000 times’ magnification would be needed, said Dr Hans Eikaas, head of environmental technology and chemistry at DHI, a not-for-profit offering consultancy and water-modelling services.

To his knowledge, no Karlodinium algae has been found in the East Johor Strait, although they have been found in the West Johor Strait, said Dr Eikaas.

Blogger and marine enthusiast Ria Tan reported seeing dead wild and farmed fish at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Extension, which is near the West Johor Strait, on Wednesday afternoon. But West Johor Strait farmer Malcolm Ong said there have been no fish deaths on his farm so far. His staff are on alert during this “dangerous period” and have pumps and aerators on standby, said Mr Ong, chief executive of Metropolitan Fishery Group, which is a major stakeholder in Singapore’s largest marine fish farm, off Lim Chu Kang.

On how it was dealing with plankton bloom in the longer term, the AVA said it has been working with the Tropical Marine Science Institute of the National University of Singapore on plankton bloom studies since last year’s episode. The studies, for the development of effective mitigating solutions, are ongoing, it said.

The AVA also called for proposals to design and develop a closed-containment aquaculture system for coastal fish farming last year. It recently awarded the tender to five companies, which will be working on a sustainable option for fish farms to minimise exposure to changes in the environment, such as plankton bloom, said the authority.

Source: SeafoodNews

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NZ King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne said warm sea temperatures at the company's Waihinau Bay farm, in Pelorus Sound, had contributed to the deaths. Rosewarne would not say for commercial reasons how many salmon had died, or how many fish were at the farm, but said the mortality rate was a "multimillion-dollar problem to solve".

Water temperatures at the Waihinau Bay farm had stayed above 18 degrees Celsius for three months, Rosewarne said.

"I don't think we've ever had it quite as bad as this year."

King salmon cannot regulate their body temperature. They function best when water temperatures are between 12C and 17C.

The increased salmon death rate in the Pelorus Sounds started in mid-February, Rosewarne said.

The water temperature dropped about half a degree last weekend after rain, but was still above 18C.

"We won't really see an improved situation until the temperature starts to drop," Rosewarne said.

"We're completely at the whim of the weather."

The Waihinau Bay farm is the only NZ King Salmon farm affected by higher than normal mortality rates.

No "primary pathogen" was pinpointed during investigations into what was causing the fish deaths, and there was no risk to human health, Rosewarne said.

Staff were "extremely disappointed" about the deaths and had done the best they could for their stock, he said.

"Within the constraints we've got, we have done everything possible to keep the stress low and give these fish the best chance possible of getting through the summer."

Losing fish in what was already a tight market had disappointing consequences for company growth, Rosewarne said.

"The losses at Waihinau Bay will impact our production in the short-term, however we have enough time to put a plan in place to avoid significant effect.

"Our longer-term production is not affected, although we will have to re-assess our site utilisation."

Lower flow water sites, such as the Waihinau Bay farm, were particularly at risk of sustained periods of high water temperatures.

Rosewarne said staff were unable to move the fish to another site because it would put further stress on them, and there were no suitable alternative sites for the fish.

The two-year-old salmon at the Waihinau Bay farm had been at sea for about nine months.

The temperature was not the only factor contributing to the large number of salmon deaths, Rosewarne said.

"It's never the sole reason. It's one of the more extreme things that can stress the fish out but there's other things that can affect it as well."

Giving the fish a nutritious and easily digestible diet helped ease the stress on them, Rosewarne said.

The company had changed to a more expensive feed at its Waihinau Bay farm after a high mortality rate last year, but the feed had not been as successful as hoped.

There would be another review of feed after the high number of salmon deaths this summer, Rosewarne said.

Other strategies to limit the effect of high water temperatures included selecting and breeding fish that had survived high temperatures in the past, and reducing stress on fish by keeping seals at bay with a large gap between the fish pen nets and the outer predator nets.

The dead fish are barged out from the farm and transported to North Island company Kakariki Proteins.

Staff at Kakariki Proteins sterilise and dry out the fish, extracting the oils and protein, before turning the salmon into dried pet and animal food.

Kakariki Proteins does not make products for human consumption.

 Source: Marlborough Express

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Canada - Nova Scotia aquaculture fish killed by superchilled water

Posted: 4.3.2015
Canada - Nova Scotia aquaculture fish killed by superchilled water

March 03, 2015

Cooke Aquaculture's fish farm in Shelburne Harbour on Nova Scotia's South Shore is one of the sites where officials believe fish have died due to a so-called superchill. (The Canadian Press)

Fish at three aquaculture sites in Nova Scotia have died and a so-called superchill is suspected, the provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture said Tuesday.

Cooke Aquaculture's sites in the Annapolis Basin, Shelburne Harbour and Jordan Bay are reporting mortalities, officials said.

A fish health veterinarian visited the Annapolis Basin and Shelburne Harbour sites and is expected to visit the Jordan Bay site in the next few days to investigate the cause of death, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell said in a statement.

"Our provincial fish health veterinarians investigate mortality events to rule out diseases of concern," he said.

The department said a preliminary investigation has found a superchill happened, meaning sustained cold temperatures dropped the temperature of the water to the level that fish blood freezes — around –0.7 C.

Tides in late February and early March also tend to be high, the department said, contributing to to lowering temperatures in sea cages by flooding more shallow areas than usual. Low air temperatures cool the water and receding tides flush the cages with superchilled water.

The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture said superchill happens every five to seven years and the deaths do not pose a risk to the environment.

Source: CBC Nova Scotia

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Australia - Sea squirts threaten WA mussel, oyster and pearl industries.

Posted: 20.12.2014
Australia - Sea squirts threaten WA mussel, oyster and pearl industries.

A MARINE organism dubbed the “cane toad of the ocean” has invaded the WA coastline from Broome to Esperance and is threatening the state’s multimillion-dollar aquaculture industry.

The white sea squirt has already invaded Brazil, New Zealand, Scotland and the US, and nowhere have attempts to eradicate the underwater menace succeeded.

Now, after first turning up in the Swan River in 2010, the species — which attaches to boat hulls and fishing nets — has colonised most of WA’s coastline.

The animal looks like dripping wax, feels like leather and spreads like a marine carpet, multiplying sexually and asexually as it smothers reefs, artificial structures, nets and equipment used to farm mussels, oysters and pearls.

A Fisheries Department report warns the sea squirt is now so common it is only worth considering saving “high value” areas like marine parks and aquaculture farms.

A taskforce with officers from the Fisheries, Parks and Wildlife, Agriculture and Food, Transport and Environment departments has been formed to map the pest’s spread and research solutions.

But the State Opposition claims the Government’s efforts to fight the threat have been “woeful”.

“The sea squirt is the cane toad of the sea and a serious threat to WA. The alarm was raised years ago but the Barnett Government has been negligent,” Opposition environment spokesman Chris Tallentire said.

“Writing a report and setting up a working group that has met twice is a woeful response to this emergency.”

He said an education campaign should have been launched to stop boaties spreading the pest instead of “running up the white flag”.

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston would not respond to the allegations this week, saying it was an operational matter for his department to address.

Fisheries biosecurity team leader Victoria Aitken said: “Unfortunately it is very difficult to eradicate aquatic pests once they arrive unless caught very early. This pest is now in many locations so the department’s focus is on trialling control measures to protect high priority, high value or at risk assets.”

Glenn Dibbin, co-owner of Blue Lagoon Mussels in Cockburn Sound, said his operation was overrun by sea squirts in 2010 and the creatures remained, but in smaller numbers.

“We had a big issue but now it sits in the background unless conditions are ripe and the waters are warm,” he said.

Former WA Fishing Industry Council president and Augusta abalone operator Brad Adams said the sea squirt had not had a major impact on WA’s south coast due to colder waters.

Source: PerthNow

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UK - Loch Duart suffers 300,000 salmon loss due to jellyfish.

Posted: 20.12.2014
UK - Loch Duart suffers 300,000 salmon loss due to jellyfish.

December 15, 2014

A combination of the arrival of jellyfish and poor weather led to the severe losses, which the company has assured will not threaten its survival. A very good year up to this point had meant an excess biomass, which these losses have now eaten away.

“This sort of issue represents the challenge of farming in a wild environment. Agriculture has been around for a long time and has worked out how to deal with most of the major challenges that face it,” the company said.

“Aquaculture is new. Salmon farming is approaching its 50th birthday and we have learnt much but each year brings a new challenge and some new lessons. We will surmount this new challenge and move on. Our company has adapted to many challenges in its existence since 1999 when it was formed.”

On Nov. 19, 2014 a good year for the firm took a bad turn, as a jellyfish called pelagia noctiluca arrived in its Hebridean sites in Loch Maddy.

A small jellyfish about the size and shape of a gooseberry, with brown stinging filaments attached, the creature arrived in large numbers. “We have seen these jellyfish before but not in such large numbers and in each case, though the fish have been disturbed, they have survived the encounter.”

As the jellyfish are small enough to pass through the nets they were able to sting the fish.  Because there is little or no warning that these jellyfish are in the area, there was little or no protection that could be afforded. “We live, work and farm in a hostile environment,” the company noted.

“By the purest of coincidences, I had scheduled a visit to the site on the 21st, to see the fish that everyone in the company was raving about,” said current managing director Nick Joy, who will step down in spring 2015.

“Growth and all the health parameters were the best. When I arrived on site it was clear that the team were very concerned. On getting to the pens, it was clear that a serious event had occurred. The fish looked very distressed and were shoaling poorly and slowly.  It was also clear that some had died though at this stage, not a significant number.

“My immediate view was that though the fish had been sorely tried, the majority of them would survive as long as the weather gave them some peace to rest.”

Weather then turned against the farmer, a gale from the South East blowing up and trapping salmon unable to swim well. “A very significant number died. We have now removed almost all of the dead fish and only about half remain. Around 300,000 of our wonderful young salmon have died due to this event.”

Whilst the company absorbs and works out how to deal with this blow, its thoughts are with its employees who worked so hard to raise the salmon, it said.

“It is lucky that this generation of fish have had such a successful year prior to this as it means that the loss represents our excess numbers, grown to a higher average weight, added to the sort of losses we might have expected over most of next year. So the company’s survival is not in jeopardy.”

“Clearly we will have to focus closely on health and fish growth to ensure the best performance over the next year.”

A good year gone bad

Only threcentlyis morning it was reported on Loch Duart’sbreturn to profit in its most recent financial year.

The company reported turnover of £23.98 million, up 31.18% year-on-year, with operating profit of £1.27m, compared to a loss of £6.25m the previous year.

Loch Duart, which ended a joint venture in Mozambique in the year, reported net profit of £912,312, compared to a loss of £7.71m in the prior year.

The joint venture in Mozambique, to farm cob, had grown fish to the desired market size with good production metrics, such as feed conversion and survival rates, states the accounts.

The fish was also well accepted in the South African market. However, the collapse of the South African rand and the deterioration of the South African rand prevented the completion of a funding round required to expand on the pilot, states the company.

Source: Undercurrent News

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NORWAY - outbreak of infection with ostreid herpesvirus-1 microvariant has been detected in Brumunddal.

Posted: 13.12.2014
NORWAY - outbreak of infection with ostreid herpesvirus-1 microvariant has been detected in Brumunddal.

03 December 2014

The source of the outbreak is thought to be due to the horizontal spread through water and contact with wild species. An ostreid herpesvirus-1 microvariant outbreak was reported last month in Swedish waters.

About the virus:

Oyster Herpes Virus (OsHV-1) What Is It? Oyster herpesvirus is a virulent viral disease of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas (also known as the rock or cupped oyster). This is the only species of shellfish that is currently known to be susceptible to this virus.

The disease is temperature dependent only occurring when water temperatures exceed 16ºC. The highest mortalities occur in juvenile oysters, however all life stages are thought to be susceptible to infection.

Adult mortality varies between 10 - 30 per cent, however juvenile mortality is a lot higher, between 60 - 100 per cent. The cause of the virus is still unknown, although it has been suggested that there are a number of causative agents. One of these is varying climates and temperatures.

A French scientist, Tristan Renault, from the genetics and pathology lab at the IFREMER (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea), has suggested in recent publications that one of the contributing factors to the appearance of the disease could be global warming and a subsequent significant rise in the ocean’s temperature.

Where and When Might it Occur? Oyster herpesvirus has been found in many parts of the world including the USA, Europe, Japan and China where it occasionally causes a condition in Pacific oysters called summer mortality. However a new variant of oyster herpesvirus (OsHV-1 µvar) associated with very high levels of mortality was recognised in France causing exceptional mortality events in Pacific oysters in 2008 and 2009.

This disease has spread throughout the major oyster growing areas in France, including both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, and has also occurred in Jersey and in parts of Ireland. In 2010 the UK experienced the first outbreak of oyster herpesvirus at a shellfish farm in Whitstable, Kent.

Diagnosis High levels of mortality usually occurs in in water temperatures exceeding 16ºC (60.8ºF). Control/Treatment The most efficient method to prevent the spread of the disease is too minimise the movement of stock. However this is not always successful. In Whitstable, South England, a closed farming system was in place, however oysters were still found to be infected with the virus. Producers are advised not to re-water any oysters from infected areas. There is no cure currently available.

Source: TheFishSite

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China - Aquaculture farmers demand compensation over oil spill.

Posted: 13.12.2014
China - Aquaculture farmers demand compensation over oil spill.

10th Dec 2014

The Tianjin Maritime Court decided it would try to settle the case through mediation.

The fishermen filing the CNY 148.5 million (USD 24.2 million) lawsuit argue the multinational oil and gas producer ConocoPhillips China and the China National Offshore Oil Corp. are responsible for their loss of farmed sea cucumbers after about 700 barrels of oil and 2,500 barrels of slurry leaked from the jointly run Penglai 19-3 oilfield, South China Morning Post informed.

An official investigation that included the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) concluded that about 6,200 sq km of water was contaminated and classified the spills as "severe accidents".

A year after the spill, the two companies were made to pay CNY 1000 million (UAS 163 million) to the Ministry of Agriculture for compensation to affected residents and months later, the SOA levelled a CNY 1.68 billion (USD 273 million) penalty for the ecological damage and to fund environmental protection efforts.

Meanwhile, in their defense both accused firms had stated the farmers fell outside the 6,200 sq km area identified in the official investigation, and argued the local company that carried out the testing lacked necessary qualifications. Besides, the trial transcription read that the giants considered the fishermen could not prove the spill killed the cucumbers.

ConocoPhillips claimed it had immediately reported the incident to the SOA and had carried out clean-up work. In addition, CNOOC pointed out the fishermen have no right to seek compensation because the farms were illegal while some of the fishermen were not the registered owners of the farms, Global Times informed.

For his part, the Environmental Legal Service Centre under the government-backed All-China Environment Federation believes the hearings showed the difficulties pollution victims often faced when trying to seek compensation.

"Establishing the causal relationship between pollution and economic losses, and determining the actual amount of the losses in court have proved to be the major obstacles for pollution victims, some of whom are farmers or fishermen who do not even have the awareness to preserve the evidence - in some cases the dead fish," agency director Ma Yong commented.

Source: FIS News

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Acidifaction - Rising ocean acidity forcing BC's Island Scallops to use native scallop species.

Posted: 7.12.2014
Acidifaction - Rising ocean acidity forcing BC's Island Scallops to use native scallop species.

December 1, 2014 

Ocean acidity had eaten holes in the scallop shells and killed the larvae. On average, only five scallops survived in each cage.

"Our scallop hybrid is done," said Saunders. "It took us 25 years to develop and perfect it."

When employees first started seeing signs of high mortality rates among the Pacific scallops in the strait earlier in 2013, they introduced rock scallops, which are native to the eastern Pacific Ocean, in the dying scallops' cages to see what would happen.

The rock scallops survived. "They grow, reproduce and don't die. It's good news," Saunders said. "We put 11 million rock scallops this year in the water. We are hoping to get 50 per cent to harvest."

The only caveat is the rock scallops grow more slowly than the Pacific scallop, needing an additional year.

The company's first harvest of rock scallops won't occur until the end of 2016.

In the past month, 21 Island Scallops employees, half the company's workforce, have been laid off.

"We have a couple of very poor years ahead of us," Saunders said.

To prepare for the future, the company has partnered with the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia, the University of Prince Edward Island, Rutgers University and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' Genomic Lab for a multi-discipline, multi-year research project to identify the superior traits that allow coastal shellfish to survive in acidic oceans.

The group has applied to Genome Canada for funding through its 2014 Genomics and Feeding the Future large-scale applied research project competition.

"I've talked to a number of shellfish producers around the world and there is a feeling we can find the root cause," Saunders said.

"Once we know the cause, we can breed shellfish to survive in the ocean."

The research project is using data from an experiment that was done at Island Scallops three years ago. UBC zoology professor Chris Harley and his students grew scallops and oysters under different concentrations of carbon dioxide. The oceans act as a "sink" for CO2 but the absorption makes the water more acidic.


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Chile - Producers lose fish to algal bloom in Aysen, Magallanes.

Posted: 7.12.2014
Chile - Producers lose fish to algal bloom in Aysen, Magallanes.

December 5, 2014

Four Chilean producers last week reported high rates of mortality due to algal bloom in Aysen and Magallanes, reported the Chilean newspaper Pulso.

The news is a new blow to the industry, noted the newspaper, adding the regulator Sernapesca believes rising sea temperatures due to climate change will cause algae bloom episodes arise more frequently.

According to Pulso, four farms owned by Blumar, Friosur, Acuinova in northern Aysen and by Acuimag in Ultima Esperanza, in Magallanes, all reported high losses to algal bloom last week.

The incident in Magallanes saw farms lose 400,000 fish, with fish at some point dying at a rate of 5,000 to 6,000 per hour, said the newspaper, quoting a Sernapesca official.

Source: Undercurrent News

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Shrimp - Urgent appeal to control spread of the shrimp microsporidian parasite Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei.

Posted: 26.11.2014
Shrimp - Urgent appeal to control spread of the shrimp microsporidian parasite Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei.

Posted on 24/11/2014

What is EHP?

Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP) is a microsporidian parasite that was first characterized and named from the giant or black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon from Thailand in 2009 (Tourtip et al. 2009. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 102: 21-29). It was discovered in slow growing shrimp but was not statistically associated with slow growth at that time. EHP is confined to the shrimp hepatopancreas (HP) and morphologically resembles an unnamed microsporidian previously reported in the HP of Penaeus japonicas from Australia in 2001. Together, these studies suggest that EHP is not an exotic pathogen but that it is endemic to Australasia. Later, it was found that EHP could also infect exotic Penaeus vannamei imported for cultivation in Asia and that it could be transmitted directly from shrimp to shrimp by the oral route (Tangprasittipap et al. 2013. BMC Vet Res. 9:139). This differed from the most common microsporidian previously reported from cotton shrimp, where transmission required an intermediate fish host, allowing disruption of transmission by exclusion of fish from the production system.

Why is EHP important?

Although EHP does not appear to cause mortality, information from shrimp farmers indicates that it is associated with severe growth retardation in P. vannamei. Thus, we began to warn Asian farmers and hatchery operators after 2009 to monitor P. vannamei and P. mondon for EHP in broodstock and post larvae (PL). However, the warnings were not heeded because of the overwhelming focus on early mortality syndrome (EMS) or acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND). We feared that lack of interest in EHP would lead to its build up in production systems and that its spread would be masked by EMS/AHPND because it kills shrimp before the negative effects of EHP on growth are apparent. We feared that solution of the EMS/AHPND problem would probably lead to succeeding widespread problems with slow growth. Indeed, this seems to have happened in the past year or so. We now have information indicating that EHP outbreaks are occurring widely in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. Very recently, we have also received samples PCR-positive for EHP from slow growing shrimp in India. Thus, EHP is an emerging problem that is under urgent need of control.

How to control international spread of EHP

A nested PCR detection method and a LAMP method are available to check feces of broodstock and to check whole PL for the presence of EHP (Tangprasittipap et al. 2013. BMC Vet Res. 9:139; Suebsing et al. 2013. J Appl Microbiol 114: 1254-1263). The pathogen can also be detected by light microscopy using a 100 times objective with stained HP tissue sections or HP smears, but this is based on finding the characteristic spores that are extremely small (less than 1 micron in length) and are sometimes produced only in small numbers, even in heavily infected specimens. Thus, the PCR detection method is preferred.

We have data indicating that most SPF stocks of P. vannamei imported to Thailand are negative for EHP but that they often become contaminated in recipient maturation facilities and hatcheries because of poor biosecurity. One serious fault in biosecurity is the widespread practice of using live animals (e.g., polychaetes, clams etc.) from local sources or as imports to feed broodstock shrimp, despite our constant warnings against the practice. We have firm data that some live polychaetes from local and imported sources in Asia can give positive PCR test results for both AHPND bacteria and EHP. However, there is also a possibility that some imported stocks of P. vannamei labeled SPF may also be positive for EHP, since it is not on the OIE list that is used by many SPF suppliers or quarantine agencies responsible for confirming SPF status. This problem could be rectified by adding EHP to the SPF list of both suppliers and quarantine agencies. The feces of the broodstock can be tested for the presence of EHP by nested PCR.

The best approach for maturation and hatchery facilities to avoid EHP is to never use live animals (e.g., live polychaetes, clams, oysters, etc.) as feeds for broodstock. If this advice is ignored, at the very minimum, such feeds should be frozen before use since this would at least kill AHPND bacteria and EHP. Better would be pasteurization (heating at 70oC for 10 minutes) since it would also kill major shrimp viruses (which freezing would not). Another alternative would be to use gamma irradiation with frozen feeds.

How to control EHP in hatcheries

EHP and AHPND bacteria have both been found in broodstock from China, Vietnam and Thailand. Both have also been reported from living polychaete samples used to feed broodstock shrimp. EHP can be suspected if post larvae from any hatchery grow slower than would be expected.

Therefore, the first issue is to ensure that broodstock maturation facilities and hatchery facilities are CLEAN! To achieve this goal, all shrimp must be removed from the hatchery and it should be washed followed by cleaning using 2.5% sodium hydroxide solution (25 gms NaOH/L fresh water) with the solution left on and washed off after 3 hours contact time. This treatment should include all equipment, filters, reservoirs and pipes. After washing to remove the NaOH, the hatchery should be dried for 7 days. Then it should be rinsed down with acidified chlorine (200 ppm chlorine solution at pH <4. 5="" p="">

The next issue is the broodstock. As indicated above some SPF shrimp broodstock gave positive PCR test results for EHP but none for AHPND bacteria. Thus, purported SPF broodstock should also be checked for EHP while in quarantine and before being admitted to a cleaned maturation and hatchery facility. Our work in Thailand revealed that locally pond-reared broodstock derived from imported SPF stocks initially free of EHP showed very high levels of prevalence for EHP infection. As stated above, broodstock feces may be checked for EHP by nested PCR using DNA extracts from feces as the template. Confirmation should be conducted on HP tissue after the usefulness of the broodstock has expired.

How to control EHP in farms

For farmers, there are two main issues to contend with. The first issue is to insure that the PL used to stock ponds are not infected with EHP. This can be done most easily by PCR testing. If DNA has already been extracted from the PL to check for AHPND bacteria by PCR, a portion of the same DNA extract can be used to test for EHP. A farmer should not use batches of PL positive for either of these pathogens for stocking ponds.

The second issue for farmer concerns appropriate preparation of ponds between cultivation cycles, especially when a cultivation pond has previously been affected by EHP. The spores of EHP have thick walls and are not easy to inactivate. Even high levels of chlorine alone are not effective. In addition, potential environmental carriers are currently unknown. Both may remain in a pond after harvest and it is important that both be inactivated before the next cultivation cycle.

To disinfect earthen ponds of EHP spores, apply CaO (quickl ime, burnt lime, unslaked lime or hot lime) at 6 Ton/ha. Plow the CaO into the dry pond sediment (10-12 cm) and then moisten the sediment to activate the lime. Then leave for 1 week before drying or filling. After application of CaO, the soil pH should rise to 12 or more for a couple of days and then fall back to the normal range as it absorbs carbon dioxide and becomes CaCO3.

A special warning for Mexico

There are rumors that the outbreaks of AHPND in Mexico originated from contaminated broodstock of P. vannamei illegally imported to Mexico from Asia for production of PL to stock rearing ponds. If these rumors are true, given the high prevalence of EHP in Asia, it is quite probable that the imported shrimp would also have been infected with EHP. Thus, it is urgent that the Mexican quarantine authorities check their current and archived DNA samples used to monitor for AHPND bacteria by PCR to also check for the presence of EHP target DNA by PCR. If they find it, it would support the hypothesis that AHPND bacteria were imported from Asia. It is also possible that timely preventative measures or continued surveillance of imported, living shrimp stocks could prevent the unfortunate introduction and establishment of what is probably an exotic parasite to Mexico and the rest of the Americas.

 Source: Network of Aquaculture Centres Asia-Pacific (NACA)

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China - Investors suspicious over Zhangzidao’s claim of $130m loss to natural disaster.

Posted: 8.11.2014
China - Investors suspicious over Zhangzidao’s claim of $130m loss to natural disaster.

November 3, 2014

Dalian-based Zhangzidao Group said on Saturday that a rare natural disaster — a cold water current that swept into the northern Yellow Sea from June to August — has wiped out its latest scallop stock in the sea, one of its key products, which had been reared for three years and was set to be harvested this year, reports the People’s Daily Online.

“The greater volatility of water temperature [brought by the cold water current] is the major reason for the losses,” said the company, which is holding an event at the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo on Wednesday to unveil its new corporate identity, Zoneco Group, in a statement filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The statement was intended as an explanation in response to investors’ doubts and inquiries after the company announced on Friday CNY 860.8 million worth of net losses attributable to its shareholders in the third quarter as a result of a write-off on falling inventory of its scallops.

The stunning development has given rise to some suspicion, reports People’s Daily Online.

The marine producer of scallops, sea cucumbers and abalones may have used the natural disaster as a cover for financial fraud, the Beijing News reported on Sunday, citing investors.

Other sea farming firms have not reported being affected by bad sea conditions in the same region.

“We are not affected,” Zhao Defa, a manager at a sea farm that breeds scallops in Changhai county, Dalian, North China’s Liaoning Province, told the Global Times on Sunday that there was no such cold water current.

Shandong Oriental Ocean and Shandong Homey Aquatic Development Co, two listed marine producers and rivals of Zhangzidao, also did not witness a cold water current in the Bohai Bay, the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea, Securities Times reported on Friday, citing the board secretaries of these two firms.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission was not immediately available for comments on this firm.

There have been several cases of financial fraud in A-share history, including Central China’s Hubei-based Lantian Aquaculture Development Co, Central China’s Hunan-based Wanfu Biotechnology, and Southwest China’s Yunnan Greenland Biological Technology Co.

Zhangzidao posted a net profit attributable to shareholders of CNY 48.46m for the first half of this year, which is in stark contrast to the heavy losses reported over the weekend.

Shares trading of Zhangzidao has been suspended since October 14, as it said it would conduct an inventory check on the seabed of its crops, which revealed the devastating result and prompted the firm to make the massive one-time write-off.

While it remains unknown as to when the firm’s stock trading will be resumed, many investors fear the share price of the company, which stood at CNY 15.46 per share on Oct. 13, will undergo a free fall after trading restarts.

China’s National Social Security Fund, the country’s largest pension fund that was worth CNY 1.24 trillion by the end of 2013, is a major institutional investor in Zhangzidao.

The fund currently owns a combined portfolio of about 26m shares in the firm, accounting for 3.82% of Zhangzidao’s total shares.

China Life Insurance Co, the country’s largest life insurer by premiums and another of Zhangzidao’s institutional investors, possesses 4.45m shares equal to a 0.63% stake in Zhangzidao.

“The climate change has had a great impact on fisheries and marine farming, but such a massive loss is very unusual,” Ma Wenfeng, an analyst at Beijing Orient Agri business Consultant, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The value of aquaculture products is often higher than land crops, therefore aquaculture companies such as Zhangzidao enjoy higher growth potential and that’s why social security funds invested in it, Ma said.

Extreme climate change could have been predicted, he said, noting the key is the financial credibility of the firm.

Source: Undercurrent News

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Norway - PD of SAV-2 strain confirmed in Nordfjord

Posted: 2.11.2014
Norway - PD of SAV-2 strain confirmed in Nordfjord

October 27, 2014

The SAV-2 variant of pancreas disease (PD) was confirmed at a salmon farm in Nordfjord, Norway.

This is the first time this strain is found south of More and Romsdal, said the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

The virus was found amid fish that were transferred to the sea this autumn.

Source: Undercurrent News

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Greece - New Epitheliocystis Agents in Sea Bream Investigated.

Posted: 26.10.2014
Greece - New Epitheliocystis Agents in Sea Bream Investigated.

16 October 2014

Epitheliocystis is a disease of fish which causes the skin and gills to be covered in cysts which can then lead to high mortality.

As part of her work, Ms Seth-Smith looked at the epitheliocystis chlamydiae in Sparus aurata (gilt head bream) and Diplodus puntazo (sharpsnout sea bream), and found that the major pathogen is completely new.

Not only that, Ms Seth-Smith also confirmed that the new pathogen in the Sparus is different to the one identified in the Diplodus.

It is therefore now clear that there are three different pathogens causing epitheliocystis.

No agents of epitheliocystis have been cultured yet, but Ms Seth-Smith did reveal that she has obtained draft genomes from micromanipulated tissue which illustrate the genuine diversity.

Going forward, Ms Seth-Smith said she would ideally like to culture the bacteria and figure out its source.

 Source: TheFishSite

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Norway - Cermaq destroys 180,000 smolts.

Posted: 26.9.2014
Norway - Cermaq destroys 180,000 smolts.

Cermaq has obtained permission to kill 180,000 salmon smolts at a facility in Finnmark  in northern Norway after the fish started ‘dying like flies’, reported the regional newspaper Altaposten.

Two-thirds of these smolts, 120,000, had died even before Cermaq started the operation, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority told the newspaper.

Cermaq is investigating what is causing the deaths, which comes just days after news of high mortality at a Grieg smolt facility in Oksfjorden, a bit further south from the affected Cermaq facility in Soroysundet.

The mortality at the Grieg site was blamed on the bacteria Tenacibaculum sp, and it is likely that the same bacteria is behind the deaths at the Cermaq site. Grieg has not specified how many smolts have died at its site.

Source: Undercurrent News

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USA - Texas. Shrimp farm owner in Arroyo City suspects poisoning in mass die-off .

Posted: 17.9.2014
USA - Texas. Shrimp farm owner in Arroyo City suspects poisoning in mass die-off .

Cheng's seafood product gets packed elsewhere and sold to seafood markets and grocery stores across the United States including Texas.

Photographs obtained by the sheriff’s department showed some of the alleged die-off.Sheriff Omar Lucio said Cheng filed a report in reference to a welfare concern at his shrimp farm on Monday. He's concerned that maybe somebody is out to get him or is jealous, the sheriff explained.

The owner estimated loses are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. I cannot find a reason why the shrimp are dying, Cheng said.  No disease.  The water quality is no problem.  Why did my shrimp die?

Cheng said a shrimp sample sent to the University of Arizona by Texas Parks and Wildlife tested negative for any poisonous chemicals. His suspicions were elevated over the weekend when he found a dead seagull near a shrimp pond. It was sent to a different lab for testing.

Why did a seagull eat a shrimp and die?Cheng asked.

Deputies said Cheng owns 26 out of the 85 ponds at the shrimp farm in Arroyo City. Investigators want to find out if any other pond owners experienced losses to the extent of Cheng’s.

Do you know of any other owners having a problem like you are?Action 4’s Ryan Wolf asked Cheng. Seems none like me, he responded. Cheng said all the shrimp farms in the area use the exact same water resource. He stated that he took a pond water sample to a Brownsville lab but was later notified that they could not test the water for the chemicals he was requesting.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is reportedly involved in the investigation, according to Cheng. Lab results on the dead seagull are pending from Texas A & M University and Cheng hopes to identify the source of the die-off soon. The next shrimp season for him begins in the Spring.


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Norway - Up to 15,000 fish could have escaped from Grieg farm.

Posted: 16.9.2014
Norway - Up to 15,000 fish could have escaped from Grieg farm.

September 15, 2014, 9:18 am

Grieg first reported that fish had escaped from its farm in Loppa, in western Finnmark, last week.

Hermod Larsen, regional director for the Fisheries Directorate in Finnmark, estimated that up to 15,000 fish, of 5-6 kilos each on average, could have escaped, according to Altaposten.

Some 300 fish had been recaptured by Thursday, he said.

Source: Undercurrent News

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France - Mussel catastrophe puts moules-frites at risk.

Posted: 17.8.2014
France - Mussel catastrophe puts moules-frites at risk.

16 Aug 2014

Mussel growers in western France have called for emergency state aid as they face an unprecedented squeeze following a 90-per-cent plunge in production of the shellfish blamed on bad weather and pollution.

With not nearly enough local supply to meet demand for the beloved delicacy, French restaurants are now being forced to rely on imports of Irish, Dutch and Italian moules to accompany their frites.

Producers in the Atlantic port of La Rochelle say the decline, which started six months ago, is catastrophic for the local economy. They have staged two protests in recent weeks, dumping piles of oyster shells and dead mussels outside the Préfecture to demand action over a crisis they attribute to seawater contamination.

Normally we would collect five to seven tonnes of mussels a day at this time of year, said Hugues Morin, a 46-year-old mussel producer. Now we’re only getting about 100 grammes (3.5 ounces). Mr Morin, who employs six workers, said he had collected almost no mussels to sell this season after producing 750 tonnes of the shellfish last year.

Mr Morin and other growers said they had never seen so few live adult mussels of a marketable size on the “bouchots” - wooden pilings in the sea with ropes wrapped around them where the mussels grow.

Scientists suggested that bacteria had killed most of the molluscs.

Storms and heavy rain last winter favoured the development of the bacterium Vibrio splendidus, according to Jean-Pierre Baud of the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER). “hese bacteria have always existed but they are now being found in larger quantities, which could explain the abnormally high death rate of mussels. However, growers are sceptical. “That’s what they want us to believe but I think it’s also because of the poor quality of the water and pesticides that pollute the rivers that feed water into the sea,” Mr Morin said. His father, Jean-Luc, 73, said he had never seen anything like it.

A spokesman for local shellfish producers, Benoît Duriveaud, said pollution was the main cause: The seabed around the harbours is cleared to allow boats to come in and out and all the sludge and sediment that’s scraped up is chucked into the sea.

Mussel growers estimate their losses at about €20 million (more than £16 million) or 10,000 tonnes of mussels, equivalent to about a fifth of national production. The worst-affected Charente-Maritime region is France’s third largest mussel producing area after Brittany and Normandy.

Even in a good year, the French eat more mussels than they produce, making up the shortfall with imports from other European countries.

Growers in Charrente-Maritime, who fear they could be driven out of business, are lobbying the government for emergency aid to help them survive the crisis. A spokesman for the Ministry of Transport and Fisheries said €1.5 million (£1.2 million) would “soon be made available”.

The collapse in production has led restaurants that specialise in moules-frites such as the Léon de Bruxelles chain and the renowned Chicorée in the northern city of Lille to turn to suppliers in the Netherlands, Italy and Ireland.

Organisers of Lille’s annual flea market, the Braderie, where up to 800 tonnes of mussels are eaten in only two days in September, are confident there will be no shortage of moules-frites this year - but only thanks to imports.

Oyster production has also been hit. A mysterious disease is believed to have caused the deaths of up to 80 per cent of adult oysters in farms around the French coast last year. Production has fallen by more than a third since a devastating virus struck in 2008.

 Source: The Sunday Telegraph, London.

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UK - Koi herpesvirus (KHV) disease confirmed in UK koi carp.

Posted: 13.8.2014
UK - Koi herpesvirus (KHV) disease confirmed in UK koi carp.

August 13, 2014

The Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) at Cefas, acting on behalf of Defra has issued a confirmed designation prohibiting the movement of fish to, from and within the fishery complex. Fishery equipment disinfection and movement control measures are also now in place and anglers must ensure that they comply with all biosecurity measures within the designated area.

The fishery owner voluntarily closed the affected water in advance of official controls and the problem was reported the problem for further investigation. KHV has no implications for human health. It is nonetheless, a serious viral disease of fish, and is notifiable in the United Kingdom. KHV affects all varieties of common and ornamental carp (Cyprinus carpio) including carp hybrids and can result in high rates of fish mortalities.

Clinical signs of KHV disease may include white or necrotic patches on the gills, rough patches on the skin, sloughing mucous and sunken eyes. These signs usually appear when water temperatures are between 16 and 28 degrees centigrade. Anyone noting deaths in carp or carp hybrids, with signs of disease similar to those above, or have suspicion of notifiable disease in any aquatic animal, should immediately contact the FHI. Anyone who imports, keeps, fishes for, or retails carp (common and ornamental) and carp hybrids should take precautions to prevent the spread of KHV.

Source: Cefas

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China - Major loss of shrimp seedlings caused by typhoon in Hainan, threatens August plantings.

Posted: 8.8.2014
China - Major loss of shrimp seedlings caused by typhoon in Hainan, threatens August plantings.

Aug 5, 2014

The situation is worse in Hainan this year because many farmers skipped the second planting due to poor results from their first crop.  As a result, seed stock will be expensive and not able to meet demand for the next month or two.

The reporter paid a visit to Wentian, the disaster area in Hainan hit by Typhoon Rammasun, on July 27. On the way to Wentian from Haikou, the reporter has found a large number of houses whose roofs were blown off and a lot of trees cut into half on both sides of the road, which was covered with fallen leaves. The power has not been restored here and the shrimp seedling facilities will be the last one in Wentian to have their power back because they are located at the remote seashore. 

Hainan Haiyuansheng Aquatic Seedling has its production facility built in Dakun village, Wentian town and this facility has four plants in total, according to Luo Guoqiang, the company’s general manager. The company has lost millions of cultivated shrimp seedlings and the loss of the destroyed seedlings along with infrastructure reaches around 600 thousand yuan. And there are another seven shrimp broodstock companies in the neighboring area. All of them have suffered great damage and it is estimated to take one month for these companies’ facilities to restore the power. Among these companies, five have shut down, while the remaining two continue their operation with the use of the generators and the small amount of shrimp seedlings rescued from the disaster. According to Luo’s estimation, the total loss of these seven facilities include around 500 million shrimp seedlings, 100 million of which have been cultivated successfully. And all these seedlings are worth about 2 million yuan.    

The capacity of the shrimp seedling facilities in Wentian makes up about 50% of Hainan’s total capacity.

Most facilities here have stopped their operation because of the cutting off of the electricity and these facilities are expected to restart their seedling cultivation one month later when the electricity is restored. And the companies are in no hurry to rebuild their damaged facilities because it is quite expensive to buy the building materials, hire the staff and use the power produced by the generator at present. About half of the local seedling facilities may not be able to restore their production this year owing to the sever damage, said Luo.

One of these victims is Hainan Lutai Aquatic Seedling’s facility in Datang village where the typhoon’s eyewall came ashore. According to Yun Hao, the company’s manager, the typhoon has cost the company over 1 thousand pairs of broodstocks as well as about 300 to 400 million seedlings and it has also damaged the facility’s infrastructure along with with the equipment. The total loss is more than 10 million yuan and the company will not restart the operation until next year.      

Hainan Haiyi Aquatic Seedling is in possession of five seedling facilities and four of them have been hit directly by Typhoon Rammasun. Now the company relies on the generator to get its electricity and it is in the process of rebuilding the facilities. The reporter paid a visit to its facility in Huxin village and found that the roofs of most houses had been blown off in this facility. Huang Ming is the company’s general manager and he has told the reporter that the company’s total loss consists of the typhoon’s destruction to the infrastructure worth around 5 million yuan, the loss of hundreds of pairs of parent shrimps, that of over 100 million shrimp seedlings as well as the damage to many shrimp larvae. And this is estimated to cost the company over 10 million yuan, which may takes a toll on the company’s future production. But the good news is that the company has succeeded in rescuing most of its broodstocks, which are fundamental to the company’s development. And the company has spent great efforts on the facility’s rebuilding and it can be back to the normal production before long.  

The shrimp seedling will be in short supply during the second half of this year. 

Typhoon Rammasun not only damages the shrimp broodstock companies but also exert great influence over the output of shrimp seedlings. And many broodstock companies have received a lot of customers’ calls to order seedlings. The beginning of August marks the second or third round of seedling stocking in the South China. Specifically speaking, the farmers in Hainan have given up the second round of seedling stocking and are getting prepared for the third round due to the low success rate in the first round.

The peak season in the second round of seedling stocking has come to such areas as Guangdong and Guangxi. There is estimated to be a very strong demand for the seedlings after August and the seedlings are in short supply due to the typhoon, so some broodstock companies are planning to increase their seedling prices, said Luo. 

In addition, the typhoon also causes great economic damage to the local shrimp farmers. For example, it has torn apart all the liners in the 50-Mu ponds above sea level (1 Mu ≈ 666.7 m2) owned by Chen Zhongyu in Dahe village, Wentian. And this results in the death of shrimps worth over 600 thousand yuan. Yun Ming is an important shrimp farmer in Fengbo town and has the ponds of 600 Mu which are above sea level. Due to the destruction of most liners in the ponds, the dead shrimps weigh about 100,000 kg, and they were worth around 8 million yuan. But the local farmers plan to finish the repairing of their damaged ponds within one month so as to get ready in time for the third round of seedling stocking when the seedlings may be in short supply. 

For Hainan's tilapia industry, the damage is much more limited.

The tilapia industry is much luckier because the disaster areas are not Hainan’s main production areas of tilapias. Liu Zhili is the sales director of Progift and he has not heard anything about the great losses of tilapia farmers which were caused by the typhoon so far. And regarding the facilities of Progift, although some damage has been done, there is little influence on the parent tilapias thanks to such infrastructure as shelters and now these facilities’s production are back to normal.

Genomar Supreme Hatchery China is located in Sanjiang town. Although the company’s infrastructure has been destroyed owing to the strong wind, the typhoon has little effect on the parent tilapias, said Wu Lizhi, the company’s sales manager. But it is still uncertain when the company will restart its operation due to the electricity’s cutting off in that area. 

Source: SeafoodNews

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Plankton bloom kills hundred thousand fish at Norway Royal Salmon site.

Posted: 1.8.2014
Plankton bloom kills hundred thousand fish at Norway Royal Salmon site.

July 28, 2014, 9:41 am

A poisonous algae bloom is thought to have caused the sudden death of several hundred thousand salmon at a farm belonging to Norway Royal Salmon in Kokelv in Finnmark, northern Norway.

On July 28, NRS said some 650 to 750 metric tons of salmon had suddenly died at the site.

The incident will cost the company approximately NOK 18 million to NOK 22m, which will be reflected in its third quarter results.

NRS said the fish weighed an average 2.4 kilos, suggesting some 270,000 to 312,500 fish died in the incident.

The cause is probably a poisonous algae blooming for the fish in this area,said the company in a notice to the Oslo stock exchange.

Mortality at the site is now almost back to normal levels, it said.

The fish were scheduled to be harvested at the end of 2014 and in early 2015.

This incident may decrease the harvest volume in this period by about 500 – 700 [metric tons] compared to prior estimated,said NRS.

Source: Undercurrent News

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China - Typhoon Rammasun. Shrimp farming report from Shrimp News.

Posted: 1.8.2014
China - Typhoon Rammasun. Shrimp farming report from Shrimp News.

Press Reports:

The New York Times: A powerful typhoon ripped across the Philippines on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, sending hundreds of thousands of coastal residents fleeing to evacuation centers and leaving several people dead, although officials said the toll could rise.

Typhoon Rammasun cut a path of destruction from the country’s east to its northwest edge, with 90-mile-an-hour winds that tore roofs off homes, felled trees that blocked roads and cut electricity to at least 4.5 million people.  It passed near the capital, Manila, but it appeared to have been spared the worst of its effects.

 On Wednesday afternoon, the storm crossed the northern Philippine island of Luzon and entered the South China Sea, moving on a path toward the Chinese island of Hainan.

 CNN World: In a two-and-a-half-minute video that contains some great graphics and satellite images of the eye of the typhoon, CNN’s Karen Maginnis reported “astounding” rain fall totals (331 millimeters, more than 12 inches) in Haikou, China).

 Along with the video, are the following notes: The strongest typhoon to hit southern China in four decades has killed at least 16 people in the region after leaving scores dead in the Philippines.

 Strong winds and rain from Typhoon Rammasun hit dozens of southern coastal cities in the provinces of Guangdong and Hainan and the region of Guangxi, affecting more than 3 million people.

The powerful storm made landfall on the island province of Hainan about 1:30 p.m. on Friday, July 18, 2014.

Planes were grounded in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi, stranding 1,300 passengers, and train service between Nanning and coastal cities was suspended.

After weakening during its passage across the Philippines, the storm gained strength again over the South China Sea, rising rapidly from a Category 1 storm to a Category 5, as it made its way to China. 

Eye witness reports from readers of Shrimp News:

 Corporate Quality Assurance Director at H&N Group in Vernon, California, USA, reports (July 20, 2014):

I was on Hainan Island the day before the storm and “escaped” to Beihai in Guangxi Province only to get hit by the typhoon there.  The coastal areas of Guangxi have some damage and electricity outages, but the damage doesn’t seem to be too bad.  Hainan was hit very hard with serious damage to ponds and infrastructure especially buildings.  I saw photographs of processing plants with no roofs and heard reports of crop loss and damage to the shrimp/tilapia ponds along the coast. 

A developer of large shrimp farms in Asia, reports (July 20, 2014):

I’m in Hainan now.  The situation is definitely not good for shrimp farms.  Farms in Wenchang and Haikou were completely devastated because they experienced 285 kilometer per hour winds.  Many farmers died and others were blown into the floods or the ocean.  Sandy beaches turned into rock and stone beaches.  Flooding occurred everywhere.  This was the worst typhoon in 40 years.  Cities are without water, the Internet and electricity.  One feed mill silo collapsed.  Many hatcheries lost their roofs and were flooded.

A hatchery owner on Hainan Island, China, reports (July 21, 2014):

I am busy rebuilding my hatchery now.  The damage is major.  Large hatcheries, including mine, and shrimp farms have been hit hard.

A hatchery owner on Hainan Island, reports (July 21, 2014): 

Yes, definitely a major disasters to coastal and inland fish and shrimp farms.  We lost 60% of our ready to sell fingerlings during the storm.  Most reports in the news are in Mandarin (Chinese) and need to be translated.  The whole of Hainan Island, especially the northeast region, looks like a war zone.  The typhoon has now moved past Hainan and on to Guangdong and Guangxi provinces on the China mainland.

A representative of theAquaculture Business Unit of Bayer Health Care in China reports (July 26, 2014): 

We have received the following messages about the storm's effect in China:

In Wenchang, Hainan, Xuwen, Zhanjiang, Guangdong, Beihai and Jiangxi, almost all shrimp hatcheries have been damaged by the typhoon, and billions of postlarvae have been lost.

Wenchang, Hainan, Xuwen, Zhangjiang, Guangdong and Donghai Island are the biggest producers of shrimp broodstock, producing more than 70% of China’s broodstock.  Every big hatchery—Haida, Yuehai, Haiyi, Blue Ocean, GuangTai and LuTai—lost broodstock.  After the typhoon, 65% of the broodstock was dead or gone with the wind and water.  It’s not possible to restock ponds this year with postlarvae from newly imported broodstock because of the five-month period from purchasing to spawning.  Postlarvae prices have already increased by 20-30%.

Source: Shrimp News

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ISA virus detected at Cermaq’s sea centre.

Posted: 6.7.2014
ISA virus detected at Cermaq’s sea centre.

Wednesday, June 25

ISA virus has been detected in two pens at the farming site Langøyhovden in Nordland, belonging to global farming firm Cermaq.

The detection was made through regular testing as a part of the firm’s preventive fish health strategy.

The virus was detected by Real Time PCR screening. The mortality at the site is low and there are no clinical signs of outbreak.

Cermaq Norway considers culling the fish in the two affected pens to prevent spread of infection to the remaining fish at the site.

Following ISA outbreak at other farming operators’ sites in the region, Cermaq has monitored its operations with regular testing and has informed the Food Authority about it.

The Langøyfjord site contains approximately 660,000 fish of an average live weight of 2.6 kg. Out of these, 173,000 fish (average weight 2 kg) will be culled.

The culling process is expected to have only limited financial impact.

The control of the fish at the site will continue and harvesting will be done in agreement with the Food Authority.

Source: FIS Newsletter

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California evacuating all fish from two hatcheries as drought combines with high temperatures

Posted: 21.6.2014
California evacuating all fish from two hatcheries as drought combines with high temperatures

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [NBC] By Kevin Truong - June 18, 2014 - 

Rainbow trout from the American River Hatchery, as well as salmon and steelhead from the Nimbus Hatchery, are expected to be moved out to lakes around the state by the end of this week. This is the first time the entire stocks of both hatcheries have had to be evacuated, according to a statement from the department.

The department estimates that water temperatures in the hatcheries will exceed 78 degrees this summer, making it too hot for the young fish to survive to maturity. While there are measures in place that could help lower water temperatures under normal circumstances, California’s massive drought has dried up their chances of working.

Normally in the face of high water temperatures, the hatcheries could pull cold water from the depths of the nearby Folsom Lake. This year though, the drought has rendered the lake too warm to draft water from.

While the fish are planned to be released in their normal locations, the timeframe for release has had to be pushed six months ahead of the normal schedule of February. This means the released fish could have more trouble surviving out in the wild.

We will track all changes involved in the evacuation and evaluate how fish react to being released early, said Dr. William Cox, CDFW State Hatchery Program Manager, in the statement. Ultimately we could develop new release strategies based on what we learn.

According to the statement, the remaining 20 state-managed hatcheries are expected to make it through the summer months and into the winter season without having to evacuate fish.

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NOAA ups risk of El Nino to 70%, as Peru fishmeal prices soar

Posted: 14.6.2014
NOAA ups risk of El Nino to 70%, as Peru fishmeal prices soar

June 11, 2014

Meanwhile, increased water temperatures have hit anchovy catches, which is affecting fishmeal prices in Peru, climbing further to $1,880 per metric ton this week.

In its latest report, dated June 5, NOAA’s center states there is now 70% likelihood of The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) — commonly known as El Nino — occurring during summer.

For fall and winter, NOAA has pinned the likelihood at 80%.

Back in May, NCEP increased its predicted risk of an El Nino hitting the waters off South America this year from 50% to more than 65%.

The prediction centre said now above-average sea surface temperatures expanded over the equatorial Pacific Ocean during May 2014, which confirms what oceanic scientific Luis Icochea, as well as several industry players, have already toldthe press last month.

Sources said at the time abnormalities of sea surface temperature in Peru could already be noticed in May.

The anchovy has almost disappeared from Chimbote to the north, Icochea said at the time.

This means anchovy has moved to the south part of Peru, near the shore, where catches are not allowed for the industrial fleet.

Poor catches, fishmeal prices soaring

Even when Peru’s anchovy season was brought forward to April due to the risk of El Nino, anchovy catches have been hit by warmer sea temperatures linked to the possible presence of the weather event.

Also, mini-bans, due to high juvenile levels, have affected catches’ volumes.

Catches total so far 890,000 metric tons, about 36% of [the first anchovy season] quota, a large Peruvian fishmeal player said.

The current catch is poor, considering the season – with a total allowable catch of 2.53 millon metric tons – finishes by end of July.

Usually in other years by this time, we have already caught around 50-60%,the source said.

Due to the low catches, fishmeal prices from Peru have firmed up.

According to a large Peruvian producer, prices out of Peru are this week at $1,880/t, FOB, for super prime fishmeal, a considerable increase from the $1,600/t – $1,620/t level reported at end of April. The target estimated is $1,900/t, the Peruvian producer said.

El Nino likely to emerge, but uncertain strength

According to its latest report, NOAA’s prediction centre remains confident that El Niño is likely to emerge. If El Niño forms, forecasters slightly favour a moderate-strength event during the fall or winter, the report reads.

However, NOAA said the strength of the event remains uncertain.

For its part, Icochea told reporters in April that abnormally high temperatures are reminiscent of 1997-98, the year of one of the strongest El Nino’s ever.

Source: Undercurrent News

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Camanchaca trout mortality rates hit 12.3% in Q4

Posted: 2.4.2014
Camanchaca trout mortality rates hit 12.3% in Q4

While Camanchaca saw the health of its farmed salmon improve in the second half of 2013, the mortality rates of its farmed trout soared in the fourth quarter of the year. The Chilean producer said it would temporarily suspend trout farming due to struggles to contain Piscirickettsia salmonis (SRS). Rival Blumar has made a similar announcement. 

The disease has seen mortality rates for trout spiral to 12.3% in the fourth quarter of the year, up from levels of 4.5%, 2.3% and 6.6% in the preceding quarters (see chart).

The mortality rate had been as low as 1.2% at the end of 2011.

In closed containment farms, the mortality rate is as high as 17.6%, said Camanchaca.

The development is in contrast to its salmon farms, which saw improved health in the second half of the year. The mortality rate for salmon was 1.6% by the end of last year, slightly down from a year ago, and more or less stable from the previous quarter.

The company harvested 33,478 metric tons of salmon in 2013, up 7.6% or 2,357t from the previous year.

In contrast, trout harvest was down by 37% or 2,861t to 4,827t.

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Up to 230,000 farmed fish lost in February storm.

Posted: 2.4.2014
Up to 230,000 farmed fish lost in February storm.

Mooring system and several cages at farm in Bantry Bay buckled under impact of swell. The Irish Farmers’ Associationsays that most of the caged salmon were suffocated in the crush. However, a group opposed to fish farm expansion claims it is Ireland’s “largest single salmon farm escape”.

Up to 230,000 farmed salmon may have been lost off the west Cork coast in one of the nine recent Atlantic storms.

The estimate by the Marine Institute and engineers from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,  follows a survey of the site run by Murphy’s Irish Seafood Ltd at Gearhies in Bantry Bay, Co Cork.

The storm on February 1st damaged the farm’s mooring system and several cages buckled under the impact of the swell.

The weather was so bad that a site inspection did not take place until February 18th.

The Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA) aquaculture division says that most of the caged salmon were suffocated in the crush. However, a group opposed to fish farm expansion in west Cork’s Bantry Bay claims it is Ireland’s “largest single salmon farm escape in history”.

The department said it could not comment on the outcome, but said the inspection took place “at the first available opportunity, as soon as weather conditions permitted”.

“The results of this preliminary examination suggest that the total number of salmon held on site in three cages immediately prior to the recent storm was in the order of 250,000,” it said yesterday.

“The number of live fish remaining after the storm event was in the order of 20,000.”

Dead fish
The Save Bantry Bay group claimed that no dead fish were retrieved in the survey, although it is a legal requirement that all mortalities are disposed of.

The group said it believed the event posed a “significant genetic risk to our native brood stock”.

However, IFA aquaculture chief executive Richie Flynn said the storm was so ferocious that there was nothing to retrieve.

“Every effort is made by our industry on an ongoing basis to minimise escapes but absolutely nothing could have prepared the country for the greatest meteorological battering on record.”


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Shrimp Farm Thefts Costing Honduras Millions.

Posted: 23.3.2014
Shrimp Farm Thefts Costing Honduras Millions.

About 12 bands of thieves or "raccoons" are operating in the extensive farms of Choluteca.

Due to the size of the farms in Choluteca Valley, the industry is vulnerarable to the theft of a large part of its production.

The Honduran aquaculture industry is under attack. It is not disease or pest that threatens the main economic activity of Choluteca and Valley, but the theft of shrimp from farms in the valleys. The names of the main leaders of the so-called "raccoons" or bands dedicated to this illicit activity are "The Piquillo Pepper", "Saliva", "The Pipe", "La Segua", "The guavina" ( "The Cachiro", "The Colocha", "The Renco", "The Andean" and "Ruby", among others.

As well as the heads of security of the five major shrimp companies operating in the area south of the country, those who are exposed this problem told the Herald of the steps they have taken to reduce losses due to theft.

There are at least 12 identified gangs of thieves. According to estimates by the National Aquaculture Association of Honduras (ANDAH), the volume of shrimp stolen ranges between 3.2 and 3.5 million pounds per year with a value of between $9 and $10 million.

Victor Wilson, president of the ANDAH, said that the theft of shrimp is worrying because many companies have closed down operations because of the situation, while other groups have had to double and triple their budgets to strengthen security on their farms. He adds that they expect the government of president Juan Orlando Hernandez to pay greater attention to this important economic sector, which generated $219.8 million dollars in terms of exports, in 2013, according to figures published by the Central Bank of Honduras (BCH).

According to the heads of security, who are mainly retired officers of the Armed Forces and National Police, the efforts to lower the theft have lacked the support of the government offices responsible for providing protection to private investment. Many times, people who are caught and against whom there is evidence, are released by the courts.

Wilson said that they expect the government to increase support to combat the bands of thieves of shrimp that cost the Honduran industry millions of dollars in losses. The help of the Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock, Jacobo Peace, has been sought, to promote the initiative and also get the government to support the aquaculture sector of Choluteca and Valley. However, the Government did not respond.

Peace, before being the head of the SAG, served as the chair of the ANDAH and was the manager of Grupo Granjas Marinas San Bernardo.

One of the main findings revealed by the heads of security of the shrimp farms, is that there are insiders in the farms, who are linked to the gangs that engage in theft. The heads added that, farms, as a first step, are hiring security personnel from other municipalities, and this has yielded positive results.

According to the testimony of one of the executives interviewed, a company may lose from 20% to 80% of its stock, and between three and four monthly income. The bands of thieves are part of organized networks, there are people who are responsible for the sale of the product, others are responsible for the purchase and marketing in the main cities of the country.

They argue that the shrimp farming activity is a vulnerable to theft because the farms are very large in area, ranging between 1 and 10 kilometres in length, making it almost impossible to apply effective security throughout the area of ponds. An example of this is that one of the largest companies in the aquaculture industry has a concession area of approximately 10,000 hectares, of which 6.700 are in production. To care for this extensive area, the company, Los Playones shrimp farming employs 330 persons, with every guard responsible for monitoring approximately 30 hectares. The Company estimates it loses approximately 5% of its output per year. Other firms have incorporated electronic surveillance through video cameras and sensors, however, the results have not been good because of a series of factors that limit the effectiveness of these systems.

According to a report called "Chain of shrimp", the area cultivated in Choluteca and Valley oscillates between 14.000 and 14.500 hectares. In the municipalities of Namasigue and Marcovia, in Choluteca, there are 156 farms, in which there are 1.204 ponds. In San Lorenzo, Nacaome, Alliance and Goascorán, in Valley, there are 99 registered farms with 411 ponds. The most extensive farms are located in San Bernardo, Namasigue, which is the area where the highest incidence of theft is reported, with smaller incidents in Nacaome. The heads of security provided another important fact: and is that initially the thieves stole shrimp that had reached a weight of five grams; now, when the species are as small ass between two and three grams, they are subject to theft.

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Power failure kills thousands of salmon in land-based farm.

Posted: 22.3.2014
Power failure kills thousands of salmon in land-based farm.

About 12,000 market-ready salmon, being raised in a temperature-controlled tank, died after an electrical system failure at a farming centre located in Burlington.

The event took place last weekend in an aquaculture farm belonging to the firm Sustainable Fish Farming Canada Ltd. The company ensures a new power supply had been installed as part of a planned expansion to their Red Bank Road facility, Truro Daily News informed.

On referring to the unforeseen event, Kirk Havercroft, the firm’s CEO, explained that every backup system in place was comprised, meaning emergency alarms failed to alert employees of the power loss.

And he added: “It’s clearly a significant loss in revenue as the salmon were doing exceptionally well and we had customers for all 30,000 kilograms when they were ready for delivery in April and May.”

Company’ sources informed that the salmon were part of a project the company was conducting to demonstrate that salmon can be grown on land.

It has been pointed out that the salmon in the farm’s hatchery were unaffected by the power shortage and that it still has about 10,000 juvenile salmon and 20,000 salmon eggs.

Havercroft remarked that data will be collected from the dead salmon during the extensive cleanup process, and that information will prove valuable as the company moves forward.

“There is a commercially viable industry here. We’ve seen that in the growth rates we’ve achieved and the data we’ve collected to date,” he said.

“We take great encouragement from that and our attitude will be this project has to continue, so that’s what we’ll be focused on,” he added.

Sustainable Fish Farming Canada Ltd. started building its land-based fish farm in West Hants in 2007. The company started growing fish commercially in 2009, beginning with European sea bass and bream and switching to Atlantic salmon production in 2013


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Pollution decimating shellfish harvest in Brazil.

Posted: 5.3.2014
Pollution decimating shellfish harvest in Brazil

This is not a problem that will clear up quickly, even if pollution was to be curbed immediately.


March 4, 2014, 4:10 pm

Activists and shellfish gatherers in Suape, Brazil, believe industrial pollution is ruining the shellfish population, reports the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

Shellfish gatherers who have done the job for decades, say fishing has become more difficult recently, due to a chemical in the water which kills everything. It is thought the pollution comes from the nearby port complex in the Pernambuco state of Brazil, touted as on the of the region’s main economic engines.

Workers say the mud makes them itch, because of the oil and because of the debris that is thrown in the sea. It is reported that it burns the skin of shellfish gatherers.

According to the state’s rural worker training program, women comprise 5,200 of the 8,700-strong local fishing community. They harvest shellfish standing in the water or meandering through mangrove forests on the shore.

It is reported that, fisherwomen, who used get 20 to 30 kilos of shellfish in a week, now take a whole week to get 2 or 3 kilos. Hundreds if not thousands of other women along the Pernambuco coast share this experience, reports the Guardian.

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ISA Outbreak Confirmed on Marine Harvest Farm.

Posted: 4.3.2014
ISA Outbreak Confirmed on Marine Harvest Farm.

NORWAY - An outbreak of Infectious salmon Anaemia (ISA) has been confirmed on a Marine Harvest farm in Lille Åsvær, Dønna, Nordland.

Of the 170,000 salmon susceptible, 1000 cases were reported.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority believes that this ISA outbreak at Dønna is a first occurrence at this site. ISA was present at another location 15 km away in July 2013.

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute uses genotyping to determine whether ISA outbreaks are an occurrence or a reoccurrence. The epidemiological survey relating to this ISA outbreak shows no genotypic association to the previous ISA outbreak at the other mentioned location. Therefore this event is reported as a first occurrence.

The ISA cases seem to be two separate outbreaks without any epidemiological correlation, although both of them belong to the same administrative region, Nordland.

The virus relating to the outbreak will be further characterized associated with the epidemiological studies.

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Routine samples of Faroese fish test positive for the infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus.

Posted: 11.2.2014
Routine samples of Faroese fish test positive for the infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus.

Created on Monday, 10 February 2014

THE biggest producer of farmed salmon in the Faroe Islands, Bakkafrost, has revealed that three routine samples of its fish have tested positive for the infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus, although it has not yet been confirmed whether the strain is pathogenic.

The company hastens to add that the detection of a possible pathogenic ISA-virus is not connected to any increase in mortality, and there is no impact on fish health or fish welfare.

Three of the routine surveillance samples for RT-PCR analyses taken at farm A80, Selatrað by the Veterinary authority, have been tested ISAV-positive.

Further sequencing of these three ISA-virus positive samples showed a deletion in the HPR-region in one sample. However, post-mortem examination of fish in the farm did not show any pathological signs of ISA.

Bakkafrost has decided to activate the ISA-contingency plan immediately and so has enforced slaughtering of the last cage on the farming site A-80 Selatrað. The farm will be empty within some days. The average weight per fish is estimated to be approximately 5kg.

PCR-analyses on new samples from the farm showed the same deletions in the HPR-region and hence a possibility of the presence of ISA.

The farming companies and the authorities have put a lot of work into maintaining the good biological status in the Faroe Islands. Regular surveillance tests for ISA-viruses have been performed at all farms during the last 10 years.

Bakkafrost will send out a stock announcement, when the final results are available from the site in Selatrað, confirming or denying the suspicion of the pathogen variants of the ISA-virus.


Source FushNewsEU

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Irish Minister questioned on escape of between 60,000 and 80,000 salmon.

Posted: 11.2.2014
Irish Minister questioned on escape of between 60,000 and 80,000 salmon.

IRELAND's Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Simon Coveney, is due to answer a written parliamentary question this week relating to the reported escape of between 60,000 and 80,000 salmon from a farm in Bantry Bay.

A statement issued by local group Save Bantry Bay yesterday confirmed the disaster occurred on 1 February, when a cage pulled its anchor and upended into another cage, allowing the fish to escape.

The local group, which said it had been monitoring the situation since the storm, issued a statement saying they were "surprised that the company has made no announcement" and expressed concerns because of the "very real likelihood of further escapees. The protective nets have been stripped by the gales and the seas are overtopping the cages, allowing salmon to escape and predators like seals to enter".

The written parliamentary question, tabled by TD Clare Daly on behalf of Friends of the Irish Environment last week, asked if Minister Coveney "will detail the damage to aquaculture operations during the recent stormy weather and in particular, the number of fish escaped as reported under the Licencing conditions for fin fish operations to his Department."

The question identifies the company in Bantry Bay and asks if the Minister can assure the Deputy "that he is satisfied that escapees from salmon farms have not and will not have an irreversible impact on the genetic integrity of native wild salmon stocks."

FIE Director Tony Lowes called the escape of farmed fish an "ecological disaster", adding "the number of maturing fish that escaped in Bantry Bay are twice the world wide total of escapes in 2012."

"Not only can farmed salmon pass contaminants, parasites and pathogens to wild salmon, but escaped farmed salmon threaten wild salmon because they compete for food and mates. Because farmed salmon are bigger and faster-growing, they often win out. And when farmed salmon succeed in mating with wild salmon, they are liable to produce genetically inferior offspring. The term "frankenfish" is not scaremongering," he continued.

Inland Fisheries Ireland reports that escapes "can lead to salmon extinction in their native rivers, particularly where wild stock numbers are low." Their 'Factsheet' reports that "In Norway, all classified wild salmon rivers have been negatively impacted by farmed salmon escapes. 8 salmon rivers have been critically threatened or have lost their native wild stocks."

The Minister's reply is due on Wednesday.

Source FishNewsEU

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Marine Harvest halts harvesting in Ireland

Posted: 10.2.2014
Marine Harvest halts harvesting in Ireland

February 7, 2014, 4:51 pm

Undercurrent News

Marine Harvest suspended all harvesting of salmon in Ireland in January after severe storms and disease outbreaks saw its Irish operations post large losses in the last quarter of 2013.

Harvesting will be halted as well in mid February, in a bid to let the fish grow, said the company in its fourth quarter report.

Despite being Marine Harvest’s smallest unit along with the Faroes, Ireland cost the world’s largest salmon producer NOK 55.2m (€6.6m) in ‘exceptional mortality’ causes during the year.

That is by far the highest cost of any unit, trumping costs of NOK 33.2m (€3.95m) in Norway, its largest region, and NOK 16.9m – NOK 18.5m in Scotland, Chile and Canada. Norway did book another NOK 154.1m in exceptional costs from sea-lice mitigation.

The challenges saw Marine Harvest make operating losses of NOK 36 million (€4.28m) on its Irish salmon in the quarter, representing negative earnings before interests and taxes (ebit) of NOK 36.76 per kilo — down from losses of NOK 3.55/kg a year before.

Prices were also affected by a lower share of superior salmon sales, while harvest volumes fell by half to 1,345 metric tons, gutted weight, said the group.

The quarter was very challenging for the operations in Ireland, said Marine Harvest. Severe storms affected feeding and the ability to treat for sea lice and amoebic gill disease (AGD). Pancreas disease (PD) severely affected two sites and AGD losses were recorded at one site, while high occurrences of jelly fish were reported across all regions, resulting in elevated mortality.

Marine Harvest Ireland will not harvest fish in January and half of February in an effort to grow the fish, the Company is reported to have said.

Marine Harvest accounts for 80% of Ireland’s farmed salmon, according to the NGO Friends of the Irish Environment.

Marine Harvest harvested only 1,345t in Ireland in the quarter, lower even than the Faroes (1,874t), and compared to more than 68,500t in Norway, 14,1300t in Chile, and more than 11,700t in Scotland. Total harvest in the quarter reached 103,378t.

A company spokesperson told the press that weather conditions this winter had been unprecedented in the company’s 35-year history in Ireland, making it difficult to access offshore sites.

The results are further evidence that along our coastal bays closed containment systems, which are now coming into production around the world, are the only way forward. By separating the farmed fish from the natural environment, disease and parasites can be controlled without adverse effects on other species and the effluent recycled rather than polluting local waters, said a spokesman for Friends of the Irish Environment.

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Meeting on Pancreas Disease of Salmon in Trondheim

Posted: 5.2.2014
Meeting on Pancreas Disease of Salmon in Trondheim

MSD Animal Health announced today that it will sponsor this year's TriNation meeting, the international initiative on pancreas disease (PD), which is being held in Trondheim on 4-5 February.

The Trination initiative was established in 2005 with the aims to integrate and focus the activities of academia and industry from Norway, Ireland, Scotland and more recently other salmon farming regions.

"PD can be devastating to fish farms because it can spread quickly through the farm, resulting in significant loss of fish and revenue," explains Johan Kvalheim, Managing Director, Norway, MSD Animal Health. "We understand the importance of keeping fish healthy and are proud to partner again with PD TriNation to bring important data and educational information to the market."

In addition to the sponsorship, the company will host three presentations to highlight the importance of PD control. The presentations are scheduled for 5 February and are:

• Cross-neutralization studies with SAV subtype 1-6 strains – results with sera from experimental studies and natural infections and analysis of a combination of experimental antisera and sera from field outbreaks caused by known SAV subtype isolates. Results that will be presented showed the antibodies produced in salmon against SAV isolate of one subtype also recognize and neutralize isolates belonging to other subtypes.

• Contribution from vaccination and genetics in PD control – a summary of results from an experimental study where the contribution from vaccination with multivalent vaccines with or without PD-specific antigens will be presented. Results from the study and their implications for PD control will be discussed.

• PD Monitor and differential diagnosis techniques for pancreas disease – PD Monitor is a four stage support programme for the salmon producers in Scotland and Ireland. Audits of the vaccination process, pre-transfer checks, mid-production and harvest assessments are conducted to assess the efficacy of the vaccine. Results from the PD Monitor programme will be presented and the range of diagnostic techniques available to the industry discussed.

Attendees who are interested in joining the lecture, can visit or contact their MSD Animal Health sales representative.

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Sea lice ‘threaten Scottish wild salmon’

Posted: 4.2.2014
Scotlands wild salmon could be threatened by the creatures.

Wild salmon will become as rare in Scotland as the giant pandas in Edinburgh Zoo because they are being threatened by sea lice, according to the UK magazine Country Life.

The magazine said the expansion of Scottish fish farms to meet the demand in China and elsewhere “threatens the future of the majestic wild fish”.

The Scottish Government plans to increase salmon farming production by 50 per cent by 2020, despite concerns that sea lice from fish farms are threatening the health of wild fish, including wild salmon.

The publication writes in its latest edition: “As the pesticides used by aquaculture to battle the sea lice grow ever stronger, wild salmon are exposed to infestations as their migratory routes take them through sea lochs bursting with farmed fish.

“Setting up more of these highly intensive farms is looking increasingly unsustainable as both wild and farmed fish will suffer in the attempt to meet China’s massive demand.

“If such blinkered thinking on this issue continues, we may see the wild salmon become as rare as the pandas in Edinburgh Zoo.”

At the end of last year, almost two-thirds of Scotland’s salmon farming companies publicly backed the new Aquaculture Steward Council’s “responsible farming” labelling scheme, and pledged to operate more sustainably and reduce their impacts on the environment.

Lang Banks, director of wildlife charity WWF Scotland, said the salmon farming industry in Scotland needed to focus on quality rather than quantity.

“It’s very hard to see how the rapid expansion in farmed salmon production being expected by ministers can realistically be met without the industry having to backtrack on their pledges, under the Aquaculture Stewardship Council scheme, to reduce their impact on the environment,” he said. “There is a real danger that this particular government target could drive Scotland’s salmon farmers to become less sustainable, not more.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “There are a number of influences on wild salmon numbers, such as management of local fishery activity and fishing in marine environment, river water quality and acidity levels, and impacts of climate change, as well as disease and parasite impacts.

“We are already taking action to improve sea lice control on marine fish farms including measures to require all operators to enter into Farm Management Agreements.

“These set out arrangements for managing fish health and parasites, and enhanced powers of sampling.

“Implementation of the act is overseen by the ministerial group for sustainable aquaculture, involving conservationists, scientists, regulators and the industry.

“In addition, the Scottish Government has provided £500,000 of funding – to be matched by the aquaculture industry – for research which includes a study to explore any impact of sea lice from fish farming in Scotland.”

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Super-tough glass based on mollusk shells

Posted: 30.1.2014
Another use of aquaculture product.

In the future, if you drop a glass on the floor and it doesn't break, thank a mollusk. Inspired by shellfish, scientists at Montreal's McGill University have devised a new process that drastically increases the toughness of glass. When dropped, items made using the technology would be more likely to deform than to shatter.

If you look at the inside surface of the shell of a mollusk such as an abalone, mussel or oyster, you'll see a shiny iridescent material. This is called nacre (also known as mother-of-pearl), and it's what gives the shell its strength – the outer surface of the shell is made almost entirely of calcium carbonate, and would be very brittle on its own.

A team led by Prof. François Barthelat studied the internal structure of nacre, which is comprised of individual microscopic "tablets" that interlock in a fashion similar to Lego blocks. The researchers noticed that the boundaries between the tablets aren't straight but instead are wavy, like the edges of jigsaw puzzle pieces.

The scientists replicated these boundaries in glass microscope slides, using lasers to engrave networks of wavy 3D "micro-cracks" within them. When the slides were subjected to an impact, the micro-cracks absorbed and dispersed the energy, keeping the glass from shattering. Altogether, the treated slides were reportedly 200 times tougher than slides which were not treated.

Barthelat believes that it would be relatively simple to scale the process up to larger sheets of glass, and is also planning on applying it to other brittle materials such as ceramics and polymers. A paper on the research was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

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Storm would not have damaged prospective salmon farm in Ireland.

Posted: 22.1.2014
Irish Farms Invest Wisely

Created on Tuesday, 21 January 2014

IRELAND's Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has labelled a claim that the recent storm that battered the west coast of Ireland would have damaged the structure of the huge salmon farm proposed for Galway Bay as being "speculative, misinformed and incorrect".

BIM has revealed that it knows the precise wave climate experienced at the location of the proposed fish farm as there was a measuring device on site during the storm.

The data buoy demonstrated that the wave conditions generated by the storm were well within the parameters of the scenarios suggested in our Environmental Impact Statement and would not have caused damage.

The organisation stresses that it has also been confirmed that no damage was suffered by similar fish farms at Clare Island or Deenish Island in Kerry, despite their being subjected to the same storm. Those sites have a similar exposure profile to our proposed Galway Bay site.

The unfortunate storm event has actually provided robust evidence that the proposed sites in Galway Bay are well suited as locations for a modern deep sea salmon farm, according to BIM.

IRELAND's salmon farmers have been praised for investing sufficiently in their infrastructure and training to ensure that their sites weathered the unrelenting storms that have battered the island over the last couple of months.

The Irish Salmon Growers' Association (ISGA) says its members report that no significant damage was caused to any of the 15 marine salmon farming sites from Donegal to west Cork during the period.

ISGA Executive, Richie Flynn, said: "While unprecedented damage was caused to coastal infrastructure, salmon farms stood up extremely well to the constant storm challenge".

Much of the credit for the security of the systems at sea must go to farm staff who worked throughout the holiday period. Mr Flynn said: "Farm companies, who have been denied any assistance from money available through legitimate EU grant schemes, have kept up with the latest technology and reinvested in their farms."

"Minister Coveney must support the commitment and expertise of the aquaculture sector. This is an industry ideally suited to coastal communities, sustainable and successful in every respect and deserving of a better deal from government by way of equal treatment with competitors in other EU countries and a licencing system capable of delivering for a professional, modern food industry."

Mr Flynn concluded: "Commercial aquaculture grant schemes for the finfish and shellfish industry are essential in ensuring that SMEs can keep abreast of international technological developments, continually modernise and improve their safety and environmental management systems and guarantee a year round supply of healthy seafood for the home and domestic markets."


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The spread of white spot disease in shrimp farms in Sonora has caused a "catastrophic drop in production", with a consequent negative impact on job creation, said the president of the Private Aquaculture Association in Sonora, Samuel Fraijo Flores.

In a cultivated area of about 25,000 hectares in 2013, about 12,000 tonnes of shrimp were produced, compared with 20,000 tonnes in the previous year, the sector leader pointed out to Dossier Politico.

Fraijo Flores said several senators in Sonora were informed through the Finance Minister Luis Vidagaray Caso, that the government would carry out an "adjustment to the budget of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa)" to provide Sonora with MXN 300 million (USD 22.8 million).

In this aspect, he expressed his hopes that at least a portion of this amount would be used to "introduce technology to the activity and make up for the damages and losses the crustacean viral disease caused to farms."

The Sonoran leader predicted that a shrimp production of between 35,000 to 40,000 tonnes is expected for this year.

He added that with regard to the health issue, protocols would be applied on farms. "Water entering from the sea will undergo sedimentation; an important space of the productive area will be lost in order to introduce more healthy water to the ponds, where shrimp are farmed.”

The production decline recorded in 2013 impacted on jobs: the 7,000 direct jobs the activity generated were down to less than a half, that is to say, 2,500 direct jobs.

As a side effect of the problems affecting the aquaculture sector, the fall in production of farmed shrimp has allowed the shore shrimp to keep a good price.

"Now we are above the MXN 300 (USD 22) per kilogram when the farmed one is worth about MXN 140 (USD 10), which is a large difference, but as there are no other options, the demand increases," he said.

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By Maricar Cinco
Inquirer Southern Luzon

SAN PEDRO CITY—At least 50 tons of cultured tilapia were lost as fish kill hit parts of  Taal Lake in Batangas province, a normal phenomenon that occurs during the cold months, according to experts.

Mario Balazon, spokesperson of Taal Lake Aquaculture Alliance Inc. (TLAAI), said the fish kill occurred on Saturday night off the villages of Aya, Quiling and Tumaway in Talisay town. He said 25 out of the 750 cages there were affected.
The phenomenon was caused by the lake’s “overturn” and a possible sulfur upwelling brought about by the northeast monsoon.

An overturn happens as cool water at the top of the lake becomes heavier and goes down, while warm water rises to the surface, explained Dr. Macrina Zafaralla, a scientist of the University of the Philippines Los Baños. This process causes sulfur and other organic matter on the lake bottom to rise and affect the fish in the cages, she said.

“But that’s not all,” Zafaralla said, citing other factors for the fish kill, such as the lake’s bottom topography, wind direction and oxygen level. The phenomenon is observed during the cold months, or from December to February.
The Inquirer on Monday tried to contact the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) but was told the director and all division chiefs were still in a meeting to discuss the fish kill.

Mostly affected were the fish in the cages, Balazon said in a phone interview on Monday. “The wild [fish] can swim away to the unaffected parts of the lake,” he said.

TLAAI, a group of fish cage operators, is working with Zafaralla, who has been conducting a study since 2012 on the lake phenomenon, so early warning measures can be drawn up.

His group was still monitoring other lake areas in Lipa City and Mataas na Kahoy town, as it warned other fish cage owners that the phenomenon is expected to reoccur anytime until the end of the cold season.
Balazon said the dead fishes were buried in compost pits on Sunday.

The number of affected fish cages this year was more than that last year, although it was still “relatively small,” considering that Taal Lake has a total of 6,000 fish cages, he said.
Some cage operators were able to harvest before the fish kill, he added.


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THE Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) will reveal evidence of human rights and labour abuses which take place in Bangladesh's shrimp industry, in a report and film launched on January 16.

The report will highlight that, although shrimp is one of the most valuable fisheries products in the world, Bangladesh is among the top ten exporters of shrimp and shrimp is its second largest foreign currency earner after the garment industry, workers face exploitative employment conditions.

Featuring testimonies recorded during investigations in 2012, 'Impossibly Cheap: Abuse and Injustice in Bangladesh's Shrimp Industry' documents examples of hazardous working conditions, the use of child labour, bonded labour, withholding of pay, excessively low wages, health and safety violations, restricted union activities, verbal abuse and excessive hours.

The report examines how global demand for a plentiful supply of cheap shrimp has caused rapid expansion of the industry and significant regulatory gaps. The majority of the sector is unregistered and informal and this, coupled with a lack of transparency in the supply chain, allows human rights and labour violations to occur unchecked.

There is a hidden human cost to shrimp imported from Bangladesh for distribution and sale in the EU and US, says the EJF. Current legal requirements for imports are concerned with food safety, hygiene and consumer health protection with little consideration of potential labour and human rights abuses in the supply chain of the producer country.

EJF is calling for the strategic and long-term commitment of all shrimp industry stakeholders to bring an end to human rights and labour abuses and foster the development of socially equitable and environmentally responsible shrimp farming.

Steve Trent, Executive Director of EJF, said: "It's outrageous than an industry generating such high levels of export revenue is failing to uphold the basic human rights of the workers that produce its products. Consumers in Europe and the US should be aware of the hidden cost to the impossibly cheap shrimp we consume that involves the brutal treatment of workers. In the 21st century, food produced by forced or bonded labour should not be on our plates.

"The problems are systemic but the importance of export markets to Bangladesh's shrimp industry offers an opportunity for retailers and consumers to use their power to stand up for the basic rights of those who provide our shrimp. Changes to the structure, management and regulations of the industry could protect those who are vulnerable and suffering from abuses and allow the people of Bangladesh to benefit from their natural resources."


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Francisella bacteria cause chronic granulomatous inflammation in the organs of infected cod. Credit: Rama Bangera, Nofima

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There may be entirely new vaccines in the offing for the aquaculture industry, if Monica Hongrø Solbakken can figure out cod's unconventional ways of resisting infection.

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Low prices for wild-caught cod have kept cod farming profits minimal up to now. The additional challenges of expensive feeds, destructive diseases and high mortality have also proven difficult to solve. On the disease front, Norwegian researchers showed in 2011 that the cod immune system is very unlike that of other production fish such as salmon.

Cod have no subgroup of T-cells, for instance, the white blood cells which in other higher animals are essential for producing the specific antibodies needed by the immune system to remember invading pathogens. Cod, in other words, do not employ the same defence mechanisms that scientists have successfully exploited in vaccine programmes for salmon.

Despite the cod's apparently incomplete immune system, however, it manages to ward off many diseases well. Ms Solbakken is focusing on the cod's unique immune system in her doctoral work at the University of Oslo.

"I am looking to find out whether cod employ alternative strategies in fighting off disease," summarises Ms Solbakken, who is employed by the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) at the University of Oslo.

Checking immune system response

Together with Marit Seppola and Helene Mikkelsen, both from the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima) in Tromsø, she is investigating how the cod immune system responds to the bacterial diseases francisellosis and vibriosis, both of which are problematic in cod farming. Vaccinating farmed cod against vibriosis has been shown to boost protection.

"It's fascinating to find out more about whether and how vaccination may affect cod," says Ms Solbakken, "since they lack the usual key components of the adaptive immune system that enable the body to customise its defence against diseases."

Finding ways to prevent disease

Ms Solbakken's work will shed light on the mechanisms underlying cod's resistance to disease. This knowledge will be valuable to the aquaculture industry in the future, among other things in helping to find new ways to prevent disease.

"If the conclusion is that cod cannot be vaccinated, then we need to implement other preventive measures and treatments," she explains. "At worst this could mean that cod production will remain difficult due to the high risk of infection from wild fish and bacteria found naturally in the ocean. The best case scenario is that cod will turn out to have an alternative system we can make use of in developing new, effective vaccines."

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Provided byThe Research Council of Norway

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The spread of white spot disease in shrimp farms in Sonora has caused a "catastrophic drop in production", with a consequent negative impact on job creation, said the president of the Private Aquaculture Association in Sonora, Samuel Fraijo Flores.
In a cultivated area of about 25,000 hectares in 2013, about 12,000 tonnes of shrimp were produced, compared with 20,000 tonnes in the previous year, the sector leader pointed out to Dossier Politico.
Fraijo Flores said several senators in Sonora were informed through the Finance Minister Luis Vidagaray Caso, that the government would carry out an "adjustment to the budget of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa)" to provide Sonora with MXN 300 million (USD 22.8 million).
In this aspect, he expressed his hopes that at least a portion of this amount would be used to "introduce technology to the activity and make up for the damages and losses the crustacean viral disease caused to farms."
The Sonoran leader predicted that a shrimp production of between 35,000 to 40,000 tonnes is expected for this year.
He added that with regard to the health issue, protocols would be applied on farms. "Water entering from the sea will undergo sedimentation; an important space of the productive area will be lost in order to introduce more healthy water to the ponds, where shrimp are farmed.”
The production decline recorded in 2013 impacted on jobs: the 7,000 direct jobs the activity generated were down to less than a half, that is to say, 2,500 direct jobs.
As a side effect of the problems affecting the aquaculture sector, the fall in production of farmed shrimp has allowed the shore shrimp to keep a good price.
"Now we are above the MXN 300 (USD 22) per kilogram when the farmed one is worth about MXN 140 (USD 10), which is a large difference, but as there are no other options, the demand increases," he said.

By Analia Murias


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About 1 million salmon destroyed

CBC News Posted: Jan 08, 2014 11:58 AM AT Last Updated: Jan 08, 2014 12:01 PM AT

Cooke Aquaculture has received $13 million in federal compensation after it was forced to slaughter a million salmon at a Nova Scotia fish-farming operation because of a virus outbreak, according to Canadian Freedom of Information documents.

The New Brunswick-based company got the money back in 2012 after an infectious salmon anemia (ISA) outbreak at the company's Coffin Island farm in Shelburne County.

Cooke received the money in June and December of 2012 but the amount was only made public recently within a Freedom of Information request to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The company wouldn't confirm the amount when contacted by CBC News, except to say it's no different than any other compensation farmers receive for damaged crops.

A spokesperson pointed to a $2.3-million aid package the provincial and federal governments have offered to strawberry farmers after a virus destroyed their crops.

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Some 68,000 salmon are estimated to have escaped from a Norway Royal Salmon farm in early December, said the company.
On Dec. 7, NRS reported that fish had escaped from one of its cages in Klungsholmen, near Espevaer (an island in southwestern Norway, located roughly half way between Stavanger and Bergen).
According to the company, the pen held 129,067 salmon with an average weight of 2.88 kilos before the incident.
A counting of the fish on Dec. 20 showed that some 68,009 salmon went missing from the pen, NRS said on Jan 2, 2014.
Only 347 fish were caught in re-capture efforts, it said.
“The general margin of error when counting fish with wellboats is 2-3%. Even when accounting for this, one can unfortunately conclude that a large escape has occurred,” said a regional director at Norway’s fisheries directorate, Vidar Ulriksen, in a statement.
NRS said it has started a full review of its equipment and internal routines to find out the cause of the incident and take potential corrective measures. The company, which has a zero-escape policy, said it has no new information on the cause for the event.
On its side, the Norwegian fisheries directorate said it suspected that the escape could have been caused by a breach in the aquaculture regulations, and said the police is therefore looking into the matter.
Undercurrent News

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The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) preemptively restricted the activity on a salmon centre of Macrozone 6, where positivity to the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus was detected.

Under the risk-based monitoring sanitary survey periodically performed by the authority, ISA presence was found in a cage belonging to the centre Arbolito, located in the ACS 18B, in the north of the Aysen region, near Melinka.

This centre belongs to the firm Southern Cross Seafood.

Given what is indicated in the ISA Monitoring and Control Programme, the centre was classified as being "undeterminably confirmed," pending sequencing. These data will be released within the next 72 hours.

Meanwhile, Sernapesca is conducting surveillance inspections in the affected centre and in the area.

After the 2007 crisis caused by ISA spread in several farms in the country, Sernapesca developed a contingency protocol in four main stages: early detection, outbreak containment, bio-safe harvesting and effective communication to all stakeholders, who are both internal and external to the industry.

From the industry they explain that the ISA virus can not be eradicated, "but it can be handled." And they make it clear that this case is not dangerous, as the farming centre is small: it only has about 180,000 fish, while an average centre currently has about 900,000 fish, Diario Financiero reported.

By Analia Murias

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Thousands of Farmed Salmon Are On the Loose Near Norway

Posted: 20.11.2013
by Kristina Chew

Possibly thousands of fish from Marine Harvest, the world’s largest producer of farmed salmon, escaped from their 127,000-fish cage over the weekend through a hole created by inclement weather and strong winds. Quite aware of the havoc the mass release of so many farmed salmon could cause on the environment, the company is offering a bounty of $90 per returned fish, each of which weighs about 40 pounds.

“We acknowledge that escapes can have a negative impact on wild salmon, and we have a goal of zero escapes,” as Marte Grindaker, a spokeswoman for Marine Harvest, told Al Jazeera.

“Negative impact” is a bit of an understatement. Farmed salmon are often bigger, and therefore faster, than fish in the wild. They are fed quantities of compounds such as astaxanthin and canthaxanthin – carotenoids that give them their pink color — that wild fish obtain naturally. Farmed fish will likely compete with endangered wild salmon for food and can pass on sea lice and viruses as well as contaminants, parasites and pathogens, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. Should the farmed and wild salmon breed with each other, genetically inferior offspring will likely result.

Escapes of Fish From Farms Not Uncommon

Grindaker cites the “quite harsh” weather conditions as a reason that Marine Harvest has yet to figure out how many farmed salmon escapees there are. Such escapes of large numbers of farmed fish are actually not uncommon. The Norwegian Fisheries Directorate says that, in 2006, 921,000 fish escaped from fish farms. The huge underwater cages where they are raised can be breached by strong winds and predators such as seals.

As Martin Krkosek, a biologist at the University of Toronto who studies aquaculture, recently noted, “the rate of escapees has declined dramatically.” In 2012, 38,000 of Marine Harvest’s farmed fish escaped though, just in October, the company, lost some 20,000 salmon to a jellyfish invasion of its farms off the Irish coast.

Safety of Farmed Fish for Human Consumption Still Debatable

The escape of so many farmed salmon casts yet another shadow on the aquaculture industry. A controversial 2004 study found that farm-raised fish contain higher rates of carcinogenic chemicals including PCBs and other toxic contaminants. These have been banned in most salmon-producing countries but are still in the environment and, in some cases, even the feed for farmed salmon.

The World Wildlife Fund, which established the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) to create sustainability standards for fish aquaculture worldwide, andothers say that, due to advances in aquaculture techniques, farmed salmon are now acceptable and even preferable to their wild counterparts. Some farmed salmon, like Verlasso from Chile, are now listed as acceptable as, should these escape, they are not at risk of breeding with wild salmon who are native to the northern hemisphere. But Marine Harvest’s are listed as a type to “avoid” on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Advisory.

In Europe and the United States, the consumption of farmed salmon now far exceeds that of wild salmon. This is not surprising considering that, while two billion pounds wild salmon are harvested per year, five billion pounds are now produced on fish farms. Wild salmon have become so rare that, says Al-Jazeera, “divided among the world’s population, … could provide only a single serving for each person per year.” But is it worth it to eat farmed fish?

Marine Harvest says that it has set out nets near the fish cage in an attempt to recapture the salmon. As of November 18, none have been returned and, as Grindaker says, it is unknown how many have escaped. Along with health concerns about farmed salmon, this latest escape of so many fish from farms leaves plenty of reason to question the safety and viability of the aquaculture industry, both for humans’ health and for that of marine ecosystems.


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The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) confirmed the existence of 26 centres farming Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) with a high spread of caligus (sea lice), one less compared to the previous week.
These data were provided by the authority under the Specific Caligidosis Sanitary Surveillance and Control Programme (PSVEC Caligidosis).
The 26 centres had an average weekly load greater than or equal to nine caligus parasite per fish, according to the latest report published on 12 November by Sernapesca.
Of all the centres reported as having high spread of sea lice (CAD), three were in the harvest phase while others were in the fattening period.
The centres in the harvest phase were Cuptana 7 and Cuptana 9 from Los Fiordos; and Huelden, from Marine Harvest.
Out of the 26 centres, two are farming rainbow trout, and the remaining ones are farming Atlantic salmon.

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As a result of the flooding and shrimp shortages caused by Cyclone Phailin in the state of Odisha, shrimp prices have surged by 200 percent.  Gorachand Mohanty, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India/Odisha, said, “The price of shrimp was $3.20 a kilogram...this time last year; it is now around $10.07 a kilogram.”  In the districts of Gopalpur, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Balasore, shrimp farmers estimate their losses at $56 million.  Over 2,000 hectares of ponds, capable of producing 3,000 metric tons of shrimp were lost, and 2,000-plus farmers, who produced mainly giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon), were affected.  Balasore District in northern Odisha accounts for about 80 percent of total shrimp production in Odisha.
Mohanty said, “Exporters are caught between the devil and the deep sea.  If they purchase, they will lose and if they abstain from buying, they have to bear the overhead expenses of factories.”

Source: Shrimp News

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In late October 2013, shrimp farms in the state of Andhra Pradesh were pelted with six days of heavy rain, affecting 30,000 acres of ponds.   As temperatures and salinity levels dropped in the ponds, mortalities rose.  Devisetti Suribab, who has 25 acres of shrimp ponds, said, “We were expecting very good yields this year, but the rains played havoc on shrimp culture this time, and we are going to lose almost 50 percent of the crop.

Source: Shrimp News

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Jellyfish ‘bloom’ kills thousands of farmed salmon off Co Mayo

Posted: 22.10.2013
Losses also reported at sites off Donegal

Jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca (mauve stingers), which have been abundant from Dingle to Donegal in recent weeks. Photograph: Declan Quigley

Writer:Lorna Siggins

Up to 20,000 farmed salmon have been lost due to a jellyfish “bloom” off Clare island, Co Mayo.

Aquaculture company Marine Harvest has said the losses occurred off Clare Island in the past few days, due to warmer sea temperatures which have seen similar occurrences at fish farms across Europe.

An “accelerated” harvest also occurred at its sea water sites in Donegal to try and avoid the impact of jellyfish blooms on the farmed stock.

The company could not confirm the numbers of fish lost off Clare Island, but said they were substantial.

The Norwegian company, which has 14 sea water aquaculture sites on the Irish west coast, has already been taking precautionary measures – feeding fish less to keep them less active, with gill covers closed – due to the marked rise in reporting strandings of jellyfish from Donegal to Kerry.

Strandings of thousands of Pelagia noctiluca or Mauve stinger occurred in Ballyferriter, Dingle in late August, and in Donegal early last month.

It was this species which inflicted losses worth over €1 million at a fish farm in Glenarm Bay, Co Antrim, in 2007 when some 120,000 fish died.

That same season of 2007, there was an “exceptional abundance” of jellyfish from the Porcupine Bank right up to Rockall, according to Dr Tom Doyle of University College Cork’s Coastal and Marine Resources Centre, who was at sea at the time.

Continuous plankton recording during marine research can detect jellyfish material, and it is hoped that some data may be collected during the Marine Institute’s autumn groundfish surveys off the west coast.

However, Dr Doyle has said it is very difficult to confirm if this year is exceptional. He also says that some 15 to 20 years of data would be required before one could conclude that it was a cyclical occurrence, or an increase due to warming temperatures and/or acidification of seas.

Dr Doyle curates the Big Jellyfish Hunt on Facebook, and was part of the EcoJel project, an EU-funded initiative involving UCC and Swansea University which noted a slight overall increase in biomass trends of jellyfish in the Irish Sea over 15 years.

Source:  The Irish Times

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Red tide off Portugal. Credit: SAMS

The first harmful algal bloom forecasting system could prevent fish deaths and prolonged closures of aquaculture areas due to toxic HAB events.

The Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Forecast is the first forecast system of its kind and is designed to combine information to provide a weekly alert for fish farmers and regulators in the Atlantic Europe area to warn them of the likelihood of a toxic or harmful event of target species in the following week.

Early warning of severe blooms will give fish and shellfish farmers time to adapt their culture and harvesting practices so as to reduce potential losses.

Led by Dr Julie Maguire from Daithi O'Murchu Marine Research Station in Ireland, the project brings together 11 institutes and SMEs from five European countries along Europe’s Atlantic coast. Each of the partner countries experience HAB problems with prolonged closures - up to 10 months - of aquaculture areas due to toxic HAB events with, in some cases, large losses of farmed fish.

Subject to funding, the system will be fully operationally tested in Shetland in 2014.

The HAB Forecast has been awarded the Best Service Challenge from Copernicus Masters, a European Earth monitoring competition that annually awards prizes to innovative solutions for business and society based on Earth observation data.

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Gray Aqua Group, whose operations contributed to tremendous economic gains and growth in the region, filed for bankruptcy owing $40 million

BY Food in Canada magazine staff ON September 04, 2013 12:18pm

Northampton, N.B. – An New Brunswick aquaculture company, with operations in Newfoundland, has filed for bankruptcy, owing creditors almost $40 million.
Gray Aqua Group, reports, filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 21.
Reports say the company dealt with three separate cases of infectious salmon anemia (ISA) over the past year and a half. Resulting culls, which the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) ordered, led to the loss of more than a million fish.
The director of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, Cyr Couturier, told, that the company lost three of its farm sites as a result of ISA. And while it did receive compensation, “it’s never enough to recover or hasn’t been for them.”
There are about a dozen creditors, reports, ranging from $24.9 million to bank HSBC to $323.29 owed to New Brunswick company Pennfield Hydraulics.
The reports that Gray Aqua also owes – and has been ordered by the courts to repay – Corey Nutrition just under $650,000 for fish feed.
Newfoundland and Labrador has a $3.8 million equity share in Gray Aqua. Derrick Dalley, minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, told the that it’s too soon to say what will happen to that investment. More details will be known once the company goes through the standard 30-day restructuring process.
Dalley also explained that while aquaculture companies are compensated for fish stock losses, the costs associated with growing the fish and the expected profits that would have been realized by selling them once they reached full maturity are not covered.
“A lot of the expense of growing the fish is on the front end,” Dalley told “And you don’t get covered on the front end unless fish are able to grow to full maturity.
“In this case they weren’t at full maturity in part of the depopulation, so as a result of that it ended up being a loss in the compensation.”

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According to a recent report by the Earth Policy Institute, global aquaculture production overtook beef production in 2011. Production of farmed seafood reached 66 million tons in 2012—three million tons more than beef.

It’s not just beef production that is being overtaken; it is projected that aquaculture yields will exceed edible seafood from wild fisheries in the next couple of years. This trend is not surprising, as most wild fishery stocks are either fully exploited or overexploited and cannot meet the rapidly rising global demand for seafood.

The rising costs of grains is also helping to propel aquaculture production. Most farmed fish require expensive feed, which contains grains like corn and soy or a mix of grains with fishmeal and fish oil. Despite the rising cost, however, it’s still more cost-effective to feed grains to fish than to terrestrial animals like pigs and cows, because fish convert food to flesh more efficiently.  (The current feed conversion ratio for farmed fish averages two pounds of feed per pound of product versus seven pounds of feed per pound for cattle raised in feedlots.) In addition to these factors, the environmental impacts of aquaculture are generally less harmful than intensive terrestrial animal production, and the public has become more aware of health benefits of seafood as a source of protein in comparison to red meat. This appears to be a positive trend—but not all types of aquaculture practices are environmentally sustainable and conducive to public health.

Aquaculture includes a variety of aquatic species and farming methods that have diverse impacts on the environment and public health. Generally, the farming of shellfish like oysters is more environmentally sustainable than the farming of large carnivorous fish like salmon, because shellfish do not require feed and actually remove waste and dissolved nitrogen from surrounding waters. On the other hand, the farming of large finfish like salmon requires large amounts of feed containing fishmeal or fish oil that are derived from smaller pelagic fish like anchovies, sardines, and mackerel, which are fished from increasingly depleted oceans. In addition to the ecological concerns of removing large amounts of these smaller fish to feed the larger ones, the fish feeds can contain persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals, which bioaccumulate in larger fish. Additionally, intensive aquaculture operations with many animals in crowded conditions often use large amounts of antibiotics that may contribute to a rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria.

As the industry continues to grow, tougher regulations will be needed to counteract the negative ecologi

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The Galician multinational firm Pescanova, which is in financial difficulties, has filed a lawsuit against the firm Sacyr, arguing that faults in the construction of the Portuguese aquaculture plant caused several accidents and losses exceeding 50 per cent of its production.
According to sources close to the firm, a failure of the dewatering system caused the death of the majority of the turbot juvenile specimens and huge economic losses.
Pescanova’s aquaculture plant in Portugal carried insurance in case of accidents, so that a portion of the losses of fish production would  likely have been covered.
The Pescanova plant, located in the town of Mira, received a total of EUR 45 million in grants from the Government of Portugal: EUR 40 million from the Ministry of Economy and Agriculture and EUR 5 million for tax credit.
This factory exports 99 per cent of its production to the European Union (EU), but has not yet fulfilled its goal of reaching 7,000 tonnes of the expected production yet. According to the available information, 2,880 tonnes was produced in 2010, 3,931 tonnes in 2011; and 4,397 tonnes in 2012.
Pescanova admits that the accidents cost about EUR 70 million and it is seeking damages from those it deems responsible for the loss.

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We are grateful to Mr Bob Rosenberry’s “Shrimp News”, for this very important story:

United States May 1, 2013

Arizona—Dr. Lightner Finds the Cause of EMS.

On May 1, 2013, the Global Aquaculture Alliance(GAA) reported that Dr. Donald Lightner, the well known shrimp pathologist at the University of Arizona, had found the cause of early mortality syndrome (EMS), a disease that is costing the shrimp farming industry a billion dollars a year. 

Lightner’s team found that EMS is caused by a unique strain of a relatively common bacterium,Vibrio parahaemolyticus,that is infected by a virus known as a phage, which causes it to release a potent toxin.  The bacterium is transmitted orally, colonizes the shrimp gastrointestinal tract and then produces a toxin that causes tissue destruction and dysfunction of the hepatopancreas, the shrimp’s digestive organ.

Research continues on the development of diagnostic tests for rapid detection of EMS that will enable improved management of hatcheries and ponds.  It will also enable a better evaluation of the risks associated with importation of frozen shrimp or other products from countries affected by EMS.

Some countries have implemented policies that restrict the importation of frozen shrimp or other products from EMS-affected countries.  Lightner said frozen shrimp likely pose a low risk for contamination of wild shrimp or the environment because EMS-infected shrimp are typically very small and do not enter international commerce.  Also, his repeated attempts to transmit the disease using frozen tissue were unsuccessful. 

In an effort to learn from past epidemics and improve future policy, the World Bank and the Responsible Aquaculture Foundation, a charitable education and training organization founded by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, initiated a case study on EMS in Vietnam in July 2012.  Its purpose is to investigate the introduction, transmission and impacts of EMS, and recommend management measures for the public and private sectors.

Information: Media Inquiries, Steven Hedlund, GAA Communications Manager (phone +1-207-831-0196, email; Technical Questions, George Chamberlain, GAA President (phone +1-314-607-8466, email 

Information: Donald V. Lightner, Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology, The University of Arizona, Building 90, Room 102,117 E. Lowell Street, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA (phone 1-520-621-4438, fax 1-520-621-4899, email, webpage

Source: 1. Global Aquaculture Alliance.  Press Release.  Cause of EMS Shrimp Disease Identified.  May 1, 2013. 

Bob Rosenberry

Shrimp News International
23500 Cristo Rey Drive, 402E
Cupertino, California 95014

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Kelly Cove Salmon pleaded guilty to 2 charges related to deaths of lobsters in Bay of Fundy

Source CBC News Canada.

Statement by CEO Glenn Cooke
(Note:CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)
Environment Canada found the dead lobsters had been exposed to cypermethrin, an agricultural pesticide that's illegal for marine use in Canada. (CBC)
A New Brunswick aquaculture company has been ordered to pay $500,000 after pleading guilty to two charges in connection with the deaths of hundreds of lobsters in the Bay of Fundy from an illegal pesticide about three years ago.
The penalty against Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. is the largest ever imposed in New Brunswick for environmental violations under the federal Fisheries Act, according to an Environment Canada official.
And "it's in the top three fines in Canada," said Robert Robichaud, regional operations manager for the environmental enforcement division in New Brunswick.
"We feel that it will definitely send strong message, not only to the aquaculture sector, but to other marine users, that the illegal use of pesticides is simply not tolerable."
Environment Canada had charged Kelly Cove Salmon and three company executives with 19 counts each of depositing a substance that's harmful to fish into fish-bearing water, under the Fisheries Act.
Kelly Cove Salmon, a division of Cooke Aquaculture, which is based in Blacks Harbour, pleaded guilty to two of the counts in St. Stephen provincial court on Friday morning.
The company, which is the largest independent aquaculture company in North America operating more than 100 aquaculture farms in Atlantic Canada, was fined $100,000
It was also ordered to pay $350,000 to the University of New Brunswick's environmental studies program and an additional $50,000 in trust to the environmental damages fund.
The charges against Cooke's CEO Glenn Cooke, vice-president Mike Szemerda, and Randall Griffin, the regional production manager for Kelly, were withdrawn.
In a statement on the company's website, Cooke said: "We made the difficult decision not to fight these charges even though we question the allegations."
"Our main reason for this decision was to relieve our people, our company and our customers from a lengthy and public court battle," he said. "We want to resolve this matter today and move on."
Matthew Abbott, Fundy Baykeeper with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, applauds the guilty plea and hopes the case makes the public think twice about what's going on at fish farms.
"We're seeing comparably toxic, or even more toxic chemicals approved for use or considered for future use, so I hope this gives pause in our future management of the sea lice problem," he said.
Used to combat sea lice 'infestations'
According to the agreed statement of facts presented to the court, Kelly Cove Salmon "acquired significant quantities of cypermethrin-based pesticide from a specialized supplier in 2009."
The company used the cypermethrin at 15 of its sites in six different communities between October 2009 and November 2010 "in an effort to control sea lice infestation and the associated losses to the company."
Cypermethrin is an agricultural pesticide that's illegal for marine use in Canada and toxic to lobsters. It's a fast-acting insecticide and has been used to kill sea lice in European fish farms.
Sea lice are a parasitic crustacean that feed on the flesh of farmed salmon until the salmon die or the sea lice are removed.
"For a number of years, the aquaculture industry in southwest New Brunswick was using an in-feed additive commonly known as 'Slice' to control sea lice infestations in farmed fish," the court documents state.
'We cannot stock these farms until the industry has access to a full suite of pest treatment and management tools. Unfortunately, this will have negative consequences for jobs and for the local economy.'—CEO Glenn Cooke
However, sea lice appeared to develop a resistance to the product and its efficacy decreased over time.
By the fall of 2009, there were "severe" sea lice infestations in the southwest Bay of Fundy salmon farms, according to the court documents.
The six communities where the cypermethrin was used included: Grand Manan, Deer Island, Seeley's Cove, Red Head, Maces Bay and Campobello, the courtroom heard.
The company will now "limit stocking" of the farms that experienced warmer water temperatures and higher sea lice levels in 2009-10, according to the CEO's statement.
"We cannot stock these farms until the industry has access to a full suite of pest treatment and management tools," said Cooke.
"Unfortunately, this will have negative consequences for jobs and for the local economy."
Meanwhile, the company continues to explore the benefits of using lice traps and the possibility of building sea lice resistance into its breeding program, Cooke said.
Tests showed 'significant concentration levels'
Hundreds of dead and dying lobsters were hauled up in traps in 2009 and 2010, an investigation by Environment Canada revealed.
In November 2009, four lobster fishermen discovered a large number of dead lobsters, officials said. Tests showed the lobsters had been exposed to cypermethrin, they said.
In December 2009, two commercial lobster fishermen had about 15 crates of lobster in Clam Cove, near Deer Island. Several hundred pounds of those lobsters were also dead and tests showed they too had been exposed to cypermethrin.
The following day, Environment Canada officials took samples from a site operated by Kelly Cove Salmon in Seal Cove, Grand Manan and found the presence of cypermethrin.
In 2010, Environment Canada conducted routine inspections at numerous aquaculture sites operating in the Bay of Fundy to monitor for compliance with the Fisheries Act.
"The test results registered the presence of cypermethrin in significant concentration levels in salmon samples collected from a number of aquaculture sites owned and operated by Kelly Cove Salmon," according to the court documents.
The maximum penalty for the charges is up to $1 million per charge and up to three years in prison.
Kelly Cove Salmon's annual sales are in excess of $165 million, according to court documents.
The company produces about 60 million pounds of Atlantic salmon and two million pounds of trout annually and employs more than 500 people, the documents state.

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Hobart, Tasmania – Sixty people have fallen ill after eating contaminated oysters. All oysters produced by Barilla Bay Seafoods have been recalled from the market after health authorities pinpointed the outbreak yesterday. People who ate the oysters were infected by norovirus, a common cause of gastroenteritis. None was hospitalised over the Easter weekend but some saw doctors and went to the Royal Hobart emergency department.

It is the second incidence of contaminated oysters in southern Tasmania in a week, but health authorities say the two cases are a coincidence.
They say the contamination is not related to shellfish from Pitt Water, which was closed last week because of a sewage spill. Oysters Tasmania spokesman Tom Lewis said the two recalls were a coincidence. "To our knowledge there is no connection," Dr Lewis said.

Barilla Bay Oysters general manager Justin Goc said the company was working closely with the Public Health Director Dr Roscoe Taylor.
"We apologise to the public for inconvenience caused and the public will be informed on developments," Mr Goc said. The public is asked to dispose of any Barilla Bay Oysters bought from its retail outlet on or before last Sunday or Mures Lower Deck between last Thursday and Saturday. No products from the award-winning oyster company have been sold by Mures Lower Deck since Saturday.

Dr Taylor said the Barilla Bay oysters were harvested at lease 113 in Dunalley on the Hobart side of the Denison Canal. He said a survey of the area would be done today in an attempt to find the source of the contamination. "If people still have Barilla Bay produce in their fridge they should discard it," he said. People should also not collect and eat wild shellfish.

Why shellfish can become deadly – an adult oyster filters and ... ... .

See the source ( for the full story.

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A number of fish at the aquaculture facility in Owl's Head, N.S., died because of a recent cold snap, says Snow Island Salmon Inc.

The company could not say how many fish died.

The fish deaths have sparked concerns among residents who live in the area, but company manager Robert Taylor said the fish died because of the stormy weather over the past few weeks.

"We've had a provincial veterinarian; she was out on the site on Thursday.
She took samples of the fish and it's consistent with what we reported. The fatalities are weather related. They will confirm it later this week," he said.

"[The fish] have cold water sores. They have net marks on them. When they touch the net and the water temperatures are cold it removes the protective layer and some of the fish continually bumped into the net and that caused their death."

Taylor said the dead fish were taken to a rendering plant.

Snow Island Salmon Inc., is the Canadian subsidiary of Scottish aquaculture company Loch Duart Ltd.

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PHILIPPINES - More or less 5,000 farmers and fishermen could make use of the insurance coverage offered by the provincial government of Northern Samar.
This insurance programme agreed on between the provincial government and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, provides for the insurance of rice, corn, high value commercial crops, livestock, fisheries, non-crop agricultural assets and the life and limbs of farmers and fishers.

This was revealed by Dr Jose Luis Acompaniado, provincial veterinarian, during the seminar-orientation conducted for farmers and fishermen on how they can apply and avail of the benefits for the said programme. Dr Acompaniado said that under the program, 90 per cent of the insurance premium will be shouldered by the provincial government and 10 per cent will be paid by the insured or fisherman.

To avail of the programme, the recipient of the insurance must be a member of a farmer/fishermen association registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Agriculture. Acompaniado said a recipient is also obliged to renew his/her membership at PCIC every year to continually avail of the programme.

The programme was conceived to assist the small farmers and fishermen augment their livelihood and protect them from loss and damages due to pest, disease infestation, and the impact of weather and climate change.

The memorandum of agreement for the implementation of this special comprehensive insurance program for agri-fishery projects/programs of the Northern Samar was signed on September 28, 2012 by Governor Paul Daza representing the provincial government and Atty. Jovy C. Bernabe, president, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation.

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CBC News - Salmon from a quarantined Nova Scotia aquaculture farm are now being moved to a fish plant in Blacks Harbour, N.B. for processing. Cooke Aquaculture is the first company to process fish with infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) under a new set of rules set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. There has been a heavy presence of CFIA inspectors at the Black's Harbour plant and also during the transfer process.

According to the CFIA, ISA poses no threat to humans and fish with the virus are safe to consume. About 240,000 salmon from Cooke Aquaculture's quarantined Coffin Island Farm near Liverpool, N'S. will be transported by tanker truck to New Brunswick in the coming weeks. The first shipments of fish were sent last week. There is no treatment for ISA, which is fatal to fish and easily spreads throughout a population. The CFIA has taken steps to prevent contamination.

There has been a heavy presence of CFIA inspectors at stages throughout the transfer process and also at the Blacks Harbour plant. Plant employees have had to wear special suits to avoid spreading contamination.

A spokesperson for Cooke Aquaculture, said it's a big job. "The plant has to be completely disinfected,". "The employees have to change gear and then the ISA fish are brought in and again - this is nothing to do with human health, the fish are perfectly safe to eat."
The spokesman added that the company is obligated to process and market the fish if possible because the government has to compensate salmon growers for fish that are culled because of disease. An outbreak of ISA at a Cooke facility in Shelburne in February resulted in the company destroying 700,000 fish.

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed on December 17, 2012 that an Infectious Salmon Anaemia virus (ISAv) was discovered at a commercial aquaculture site in the Coast of Bays. The confirmation was made following a series of internationally recognized test for ISA at a Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) laboratory in Moncton, New Brunswick.

A spokesperson of Aquatic Animal Health with the provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA), said that analysis conducted to date (December 19) did not point to this new case of ISA being related to the first presence of the virus in the COB last summer. It was stated that the virus is a normal risk associated with fish farming and DFA veterinarians and technicians perform regular testing and it is through such a proactive testing regime again that this second occurrence of ISA was found, it was advised. The new virus is said not to be due to a breach in biosecurity protocols put in place to protect the industry, as the isolates or samples taken and tested differed from the earlier virus identified in the summer.

"If the new samples at Pot Harbour were like those at Butter Cove I would tell you that biosecurity breaches must have occurred and that the virus travelled from one site to another, a distance of approximately 12 km.

"But because these new samples are distinct, then that's the evidence we use to say that this new case is definitely not due to a biosecurity breach - that this is something that has to be within the environment."

ISA poses no risk for humans but could be harmful to fish. How harmful, depends on the strain of virus found in any site. One type of ISA that doesn't pose any problems to fish. However, it is known that in some places there are 17 different types of ISA and some cases are more harmful than others. The type of ISA doesn't really matter in that the proven scientific way to stop the spread of the virus is to kill out a site and leave it to lie fallow for a period of time - at least a year or longer.

A spokesperson for the CFIA said on December 18 that the Agency will order the 300,000 to 350,000 salmon from the affected four cages to be humanely destroyed and disposed of. Pens, cages and equipment will be cleaned and disinfected. Once cleaning and disinfecting is complete, the Agency will evaluate the facility to determine when the quarantine may be removed.

 Quarantine was placed on the site on November 27 and remains in place to control movements of people, vessels, equipment and fish onto or off the site.

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Edinburgh, UK - The presence of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS) virus has been confirmed, in a group of 9,393 wrasse held in tanks, at the land based aquaculture research unit at the North Atlantic Fisheries College, Scalloway, Shetland. All the wrasse at the site have been culled voluntarily. Statutory controls to contain VHS have been placed on the college and fish farm sites linked by movements of wrasse. The controls have been placed to minimise the risk of disease spread.

VHS is a disease listed under the European Directive 2006/88 which concerns fish diseases. Atlantic salmon are not listed as a species susceptible to the disease under the European Directive 2006/88.

It does not affect humans and there is no risk to human health.

Marine Scotland's Fish Health Inspectors have been working in Shetland and in other parts of Scotland as part of the investigation and to advise industry on their operations under control arrangements. Marine Scotland has also been investigating the potential source and spread of VHS.

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A new case of ISA (infectious salmon anemia) has been reported by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) at a south coast Newfoundland aquaculture site.
The provincial government is monitoring the situation, according to a news release from the department of fisheries and aquaculture, and protocols are in place to limit the spread of the virus, which was discovered Monday.
The CFIA, which is receiving support from the Centre for Aquaculture Health and Development in St. Albans, put the site under quarantine today as a precaution.
“While ISA is not harmful to humans, if not managed properly it could cause further risk to other fish farms in the region,” Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Derrick Dalley said in the news release.
“Thus far, there is no sign of the virus spreading. However, in all cases where aquatic diseases are suspected or confirmed, the goal is to minimize exposure to infection and disruption to producers, while respecting obligations to take appropriate and prudent precautionary control measures. For that reason, CFIA had previously quarantined the infected site and our government will continue to provide any and all necessary support as the situation evolves and a depopulation order for the infected fish is issued.”

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Oslo, Norway – The aquaculture industry is facing significant environmental challenges, among other things in the form of high figures for escaped fish, salmon lice and extensive losses due to disease. The extent of these and other environmental challenges is so great that it is necessary to strengthen the management of aquaculture in order to ensure environmental sustainability and the possibility of future growth in the industry, says Auditor General Jørgen Kosmo.
The aquaculture industry in Norway has grown considerably for several years and it is an important industry and employer. The Office of the Auditor General's investigations shows that the strong growth also has a significant environmental impact, particularly in areas with extensive, high density aquaculture production. There is now a high proportion of escaped farmed fish among wild fish. This represents a threat to the wild fish's ability to survive, and in some areas it has also affected the genetic distinctiveness of wild salmon. The goal of reducing impacts that threaten the genetic diversity of salmon to a non-harmful level by 2010 has not been achieved.
There are substantial losses of farmed fish, particularly as a result of disease. The disease situation has not improved since 2000, and the extensive losses mean large financial losses for the industry and inefficient use of marine areas. The prevalence of lice remains at a high level along large parts of the coast. For farmed fish, this primarily means poorer fish welfare, and the ability to survive is also reduced, particularly for sea trout. Aquaculture contributes to discharges of large amounts of nutrient salts, organic material and chemicals in the areas around fish farms. The consequences of the total discharges from the aquaculture industry have yet to be clarified, but chemicals, primarily from the treatment of lice, are discharged untreated into the water, and such agents have been shown to harm nature.
The aquaculture industry is dependent on large quantities of wild fish for fish feed. The fishing pressure on some of these species has been great, and it is important that the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs continues its work of ensuring that all wild resources that are part of the feed for farmed fish come from sustainable fisheries. It is also important to ensure efficient utilisation of by-products from the production of fish for human consumption, says Auditor General Jørgen Kosmo.
The present use of policy instruments is not sufficiently adapted to the environmental challenges. An overall plan is lacking for the use of marine areas. When awarding licences to engage in fish farming and when regulating the aquaculture facilities, the main focus is on the individual site. However, several of the environmental challenges are related to the total environmental load from several aquaculture facilities in a wider area. It can be challenging for case officers to assess what is environmentally justifiable pursuant to the regulations when awarding licences. When the government administration assesses environmental aspects of applications for the operation of aquaculture facilities, the outcome of identical cases may differ. This applies to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority in particular. A number of environmental goals have been defined for the aquaculture industry. However, the investigation shows that the government administration has not developed and applied indicators to any great extent that could show whether the goal of a sustainable and environmentally sound aquaculture industry are achieved.
Breaches of the regulations are often uncovered during inspections of aquaculture facilities, and the use of sanctions varies at the regional and local levels in the Directorate of Fisheries and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. It is also pointed out that, in connection with inspections, there is a lack of sufficiently precise tools to gain an overview of the total amount of farmed fish in the fish farms. The Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs is responsible for setting the maximum amount of farmed fish that can be produced. The investigation shows that, in recent years, the ministries involved have placed greater emphasis on the environment when considering whether the production of farmed salmon can be increased.
According to the ministry, several of the issues mentioned will be considered in connection with the work on a new report to the towards the end of 2012. Following up the Office of the Auditor General's remarks will be a priority task in the time ahead.
[More information and documentation on the Office of the Auditor General’s investigation into the management of aquaculture, (Document 3:9, 2011-2012  - in Norwegian) is available at   ADS-Mod.]

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A source at the Ministry of Agriculture has said that one of the Kingdom’s shrimp farms has been hit by White Spot Syndrome (WSS), a viral infection of no harm to humans but which has in the past devastated shrimp populations across the world.
The source said that “all the necessary precautionary measures and quarantining steps have been taken to bring the illness under control and stop it spreading”, as the industry seeks to prevent potentially huge losses.
Jabir Al-Shehri, Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture for Fish Wealth Affairs, said that WSS causes high death rates of shrimps as they lose their appetite and eat minimal amounts of food or even abstain altogether.
“They start gathering close to the water surface, their color reddens, and white spots appear on the head and abdomen,” he said. “Sometimes, however, the signs of illness don’t appear at all.”
Al-Shehri said that WSS first appeared in 1992 in several Asian countries with shrimp farms such as Taiwan, Japan and Korea, followed the next year by China where it led to a near collapse of the shrimp farming industry. In 1999, the illness was registered in the south of the United States of America and soon spread to other states.
“The virus can affect most crustacean species such as lobsters and crabs,” he said. “The illness has an incubation period of between three and five days, and mortality rates are more or less 100 percent after between three and ten days following the appearance of the symptoms.”
He said that sharp changes in the environment, stress-factors and increases in soil density influence the appearance and exacerbation of WSS, but added that it cannot be passed on to humans and is of no harm to people.
– Okaz/Saudi Gazette

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Langfjorden, Norway – Mainstream Norway has confirmed PD (Pancreas Disease) at their site at Ytre Kloven in Langfjorden, Finnmark, Norway.
The Company alerted the Food Authority on 29th August about suspected PD at the site, but the it`s own tests results confirmed the  presence ofPD. The site contains 740,000 fish of average weight 0.7 kg.  Slaughter of stock will be started immediately, without waiting for the Food Authority`s official testing and resulting requirements to slaughter. The current book value of the biomass is approximately NOK 20 mill. The site was planned harvested in second half of 2013 delivering approximately 3.7 thousand tonnes gutted weight.
PD was last seen in Finnmark in 2008. As a part of Mainstream’s preventive fish health practice, fish in Ytre Kloven were screened for PD in July and found negative. Mainstream has two other sites in Langfjorden area. Tests for PD will be carried out at these sites as a part of the  monitoring of the situation.
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

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450,000 salmon to be destroyed after outbreak in Newfoundland and Labrador

Posted: 11.7.2012
450,000 salmon to be destroyed after outbreak in Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is dealing with its first outbreak of infectious salmon anemia at an aquaculture site near Conne River.

The province's aquaculture industry association executive director, Miranda Pryor, stated that the virus had been found in the wild before, but that this was the first time an aquaculture site had been hit.
The virus is being contained to one site, but Pryor said 450,000 salmon at the Gray Aqua Group site will be destroyed as a result. Pryor said the outbreak was first suspected two weeks ago, but the Canadian Food Inspection Agency only confirmed the virus on Friday.
A release says the tests are conclusive.

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Vancouver, Canada – In a further public update, it is now confirmed that independent tests on all active Atlantic salmon farm sites in BC have come back negative for the Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) virus. The independent tests were part of the immediate organised follow-up by farmers to a finding of the IHN virus on a farm north of Tofino in mid-May.

“Our farmers are still paying close attention to their fish and there continues to be additional testing – but these results are welcome news for our members who work hard each day to protect the health of their fish,” said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. IHN is an endemic virus found naturally in the Pacific Ocean. The virus can be carried by wild salmon, trout and herring, however studies have shown that because of their historical exposure to it, they have a natural resistance to it. Atlantic salmon can be highly susceptible to the virus and it can cause high mortalities on farm sites

In mid-May, Mainstream Canada found IHN in two pens of their Dixon Bay farm. The company responded swiftly, working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to quarantine the site and remove the fish as quickly as possible. “Mainstream has really been an exemplary leader in this situation – they quickly made the right decisions that likely helped in protecting all of the other farms, and they set a high bar when it comes to sharing their information with the public,” said Ms Walling.

A viral management plan developed by the BCSFA for its Atlantic-salmon growing members was enacted immediately and testing was done at all of their farm sites. Two weak positives were initially found on other farm sites (one Atlantic and one Coho), but further follow-up testing confirmed that they were negative. Sampling to date on other Pacific farm sites has also been negative, and testing is expected to be completed on the final few in the next month.

Follow-up work continues by BCSFA members, including cleaning and disinfection of farm equipment at the Dixon Bay site, continued testing on other sites, review of the BCSFA management plan and more.

The BCSFA advises that the public farm tour program remains on hold until further notice. There will also not be a report regarding sea lice levels for the five farms operating in Okisollo/Hoskyn channel as DFO advised that sampling could be postponed as farmers concentrated on resolving this issue. Regular sea lice sampling will resume shortly.

This will be the last regularly weekly posting on this topic, although the BCSFA will continue to provide updates as they arise.

See the source ( for the full story.

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Ocean currents head from Japan to the West Coast of the U.S. Bluefin tuna, which spawn off Japan, with many migrating across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast of USA, sometimes up to three times in 600 days, may well be exposed to radiation out in the ocean, and might then end up in U.S. waters.

It is not thought that there will be a significant risk within the next year. But as the plume of radioactivity from the Fukushima disaster spreads across the Pacific, and as bioaccumulation occurs (when small fish get eaten by bigger fish) testing of tuna catch needs to be carried out, and results may point to rising levels of contamination.

Reports say that in August 2011, five months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi Plant, 15 Bluefin tuna had tissue samples taken, all of which contained the reactor by-products cesium-134 and cesium-137, at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources.
Unlike some other compounds, radioactive Cesium does not quickly sink to the sea bottom but remains dispersed in the water column, from the surface to the ocean floor. Fish can swim through it, ingesting it through their gills, absorbing it in seawater, and absorbing it by eating organisms that are already contaminated.

If levels are low in these first samples, things are likely to get worse. The 15 fish that were tested were born about a year before the disaster, and it was anticipated that they would be unlikely to be affected by Cesium contamination, so it was a surprise to find they were contaminated. The results of samples taken from fish in future are going to be very interesting.

The situation will become clearer this summer, when researchers plan to test a much larger number of samples.  Bluefin tuna that migrated last year were exposed to radiation for about a month. Fish sampled in the new program will have been swimming in radioactive waters for a longer period and it is unknown how this will affect the concentrations of contaminants in their flesh.

The new fish targeted for sampling will start arriving in US West Coast waters very shortly, and will continue arriving in the coming months. They may well be carrying considerably more radioactivity and if that proves to be the case, they may possibly be determined as being a public health hazard.

Japanese and U.S. officials are reported as saying that the amount of radiation found in the Bluefin is safe.  However, the scientific consensus is that there is no safe level of radiation, and radiation eaten and thereby taken into the body is much more dangerous than background radiation.

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Author: Emmanuel Kenning
Source: Insurance Age | 28 May 2012

RSA has agreed to provide Global Aquaculture Insurance Consortium (GAIC) with capacity to underwrite aquaculture business on a global basis alongside an existing Lloyd’s panel.

GAIC, an underwriting facility administered by Lloyd's broker Alwen Hough Johnson, has specialised in insuring fish and shellfish farms for their stock mortality and other exposures.

The deal will see GAIC take a lead role in underwriting RSA's existing aquaculture portfolio and the business will begin to be transferred over immediately.

David Oldham, international marine manager at RSA, commented: "This deal represents a significant development for RSA, for GAIC and for the wider aquaculture insurance market."

"It underscores our commitment to this class of business and marks the start of a new and exciting mutually beneficial relationship."

"Our knowledge and experience of the aquaculture insurance market, combined with GAIC's specialised underwriting team, will, we believe, create a strong technical team with the ability to provide first class service."

"It will also fuel our mutual appetite to diversify into new areas, all of which will be of benefit to our customers."

Gary Masters, CEO of Lloyd's broker Alwen Hough Johnson, added: "We have been very pleased with the development of the GAIC facility in the three years since it began."

"We firmly believe that the contribution that RSA can make in this specialist class of insurance will benefit existing clients of GAIC and RSA, as well as potential new clients."

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A deadly virus that caused salmon farmers in British Columbia to kill large numbers of fish has shown up for the first time in a Washington state fish farm.

The farm, on Puget Sound’s Bainbridge Island, is slaughtering its fish after they were diagnosed with the IHN virus. which occurs naturally in wild salmon and does not cause massive die-offs. Farmed Atlantic salmon are very vulnerable to the disease.

Infected fish are safe for people to eat, and the farm is slaughtering and selling market-sized stock. The owners of the farm advise that the nets will be sanitized and the area left to lie fallow.

There is a significant volume of farmed salmon in Washington State.

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Vancouver, Canada: A British Columbia salmon farming company confirms the finding of the virus at a farm site on the West Coast of Vancouver Island- the first such diagnosis in B.C. since 2003. Despite the fact that the farm is experiencing very low mortality at this time and that it is the only Atlantic salmon farmer in the area, according to an industry-wide viral disease management plan.

Mainstream Canada may have to dispose of Atlantic salmon at the Dixon Bay farm site north of Tofino if the infection turns out to be widespread within the farm. Major losses were sustained to the farms in the area during the 2003 IHN episode, but surveillance programs have been greatly improved since then, as explained in a company statement issued late Tuesday.

During routine fish health tests May 14, Mainstream Canada’s Dixon Bay farm tested positive for the IHN (Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis) virus. Third-party lab PCR test results have shown the presence of the virus. Sequencing has confirmed the presence of IHN virus in these fish. The farm site has been isolated and is currently being prepared for depopulation, if deemed necessary upon completion of the investigation. The company is following strict protocols to limit the spread of the virus. The protocols are part of Mainstream Canada’s fish health management plan as well as an industry viral disease management plan.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been notified and is investigating the finding. Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s National Laboratory is conducting confirmatory testing. “We are very concerned about this fish health event and are taking every step to make sure it is contained and any risks minimized,” said Fernando Villarroel, Mainstream Canada’s managing director. “This shows our disease monitoring programs work. We were able to quickly detect IHN while in its early stages and react decisively. Early detection is crucial to minimizing the risk in any fish health situation.”

The IHN virus is naturally carried by Pacific salmon, trout and herring. Studies show wild Pacific salmon have a natural resistance to the virus and very rarely suffer ill effects from it. However, the virus causes Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis disease in farmed Atlantic salmon. Since Atlantic salmon are not native to the Pacific coast, they have not had hundreds of years to develop a natural immunity to the virus, like their Pacific cousins. The disease can cause high degrees of mortalities on Atlantic salmon farms if not quickly managed and contained.

“This is the first diagnosis of IHN among farmed Atlantic salmon in BC since 2003. Although IHN kills up to 100% of exposed Atlantic salmon, wild salmon in marine waters are very resistant to IHNV infection,” said … …

See the source for the full story.

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