USSEC recently hosted a seminar in Egypt to introduce the principles of quality analysis in soybeans to the country’s aquafeed industry. A total of 60 participants attended the event, representing the top aquaculture feed mill and aqua produces.
Ronald Verdonk, Minster-Counselor, Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) Cairo inaugurated the seminar. In his opening speech, Mr. Verdonk stressed the importance of the agriculture and trade relationships between Egypt and the United States and the role that FAS plays in promoting U.S agriculture exports. He also applauded the developments that the Egyptian aquaculture industry has witnessed in the last decade, citing the rapid and continuous development of the sector.
USSEC consultant Dr. Jan van Eys, the keynote speaker at the event, commented, “It is a delight to come back to Egypt and see the progress being made in aqua production and the feed industry in general. Many challenges remain but there is a clear and discernable progress in the understanding of the key areas that contribute to efficient aqua and livestock production. This is very clear where it concerns the feed industry and the utilization of ingredients such as soy products. Control of ingredient quality and formulation have clearly become key components of improved feed production and thus of the livestock productivity of as a whole and aqua production in particular. USSEC has greatly contributed to this positive development and logically sees its efforts rewarded in a continuous increase in the use of U.S.-originated soy products.”
During the seminar, Professor Mohamed Fathy Osman delivered a presentation on fish nutrition and highlighted the difference between crude protein, digestible protein, and amino acid profile when formulating a least-cost diet. Professor Fathy also stressed the importance of cooking raw materials and extrusion technology as a method of improving digestibility and feed efficacy.
Guest speaker Dr. Alaa Badr, product manager at Skretting Nutreco, concluded the seminar by delivering a presentation on the importance of quality control in feed production. He stressed the impact of high quality raw material in the manufacturing process to guarantee high quality feed.
Dr. Badr also highlighted the importance of traceability of ingredients as well as the final product. Quality standards for different raw materials and the importance of controlling the inflow of raw material by using near infrared (NIR) as a method for accurate formulation and controlling the quality of received raw materials and final product, while minimizing the risk of mycotoxins by using rapid analysis method when receiving raw materials. This is a standard procedure conducted before manufacturing to protect the quality of the final product.
In the days following the seminar, the USSEC team conducted three one-on-one industry visits with aquafeed mills to provide the necessary support for the adoption of soy quality parameters in feed manufacturing.
The second SFERA conference “Fish 2017” (Fish processing and aquaculture technologies) took place during the first week of February, in Moscow, Russian Federation. The publishing house SFERA from St. Petersburg and the All-Russian Atlantic Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography were co-organizers of the event. Approximately 200 registered, national, and international scientists, nutritionists, and representatives of the feed industry attended the two-day conference. Speakers came from Russia and from several other European countries.
Besides the exchange of research, results, and scientific data, the conference aimed at exchanging and reviewing successful experiences of national and foreign companies in their establishment and further development in Russia. Representatives from the executive and legislative branches of the federal and regional governments were also present. Consequently, regulatory aspects of the aquaculture sector were discussed along with the various development programs for Russian regions. The aquaculture industry is clearly a priority for the Russian federal government and its regional governments. This is hardly surprising given the tremendous capacity and potential of aquaculture in Russia.
The papers presented at the conference addressed the characteristic issues associated with the rapid growth of a new industry from technical, marketing, and legal points of view. Animated discussions followed the presentations.
USSEC was a major sponsor of the conference and two USSEC consultants, Dr. Iani Chihaia and Dr. Jan van Eys, spoke at the event. Dr. van Eys presented a paper, “Innovations in the Area of Technologies and Feeding of Industrial Fish Production,” emphasizing the potential of soy products to replace fishmeal in aqua formulations. Dr. Chihaia presented a paper entitled “Optimization of the Use of Ingredients in Aquaculture Feeds; Nutritional, Biological, and Technological Properties for Proper Application, Balancing, and Manufacturing.” The main issues of the USSEC presentations were published in Russian language in corresponding articles in SFERA FISH magazine distributed during the conference and released on the SFERA website.
The issue of the use of soy products to replace fishmeal is of major concern and interest for Russian fish producers and since much of their current and future production concentrates on fresh water species, the potential for the use of soy products in fish feed is important. The superior quality of soy relative to other plant protein – even locally produced – is well recognized and appreciated.
USSEC visited different marine fish farms in the Philippines to provide technical support and suggestions to improve their efficiency and production. USSEC was able to discuss and show on site proper feed management using the satiation setting technique using extruded floating feed.
USSEC was able to provide additional knowledge and information in marine fish hatchery biosecurity and production improvement, and proper fish culture management and feeding management to marine fish cage operators in Luzon and Mindanao, Philippines.
When it comes to commercial aquaculture, a lot of people have some legitimate concerns – fish farms can introduce antibiotics, anti-algal chemicals, and concentrated fish waste into the ocean. Escaped fish can upset the local ecological balance, and wild fish still need to be caught in large numbers as a food source for some species of farmed fish. While there have been recent efforts to address the first two concerns, the fish-in-the-fish-food problem is now being taken on in two different research projects, which are aimed at replacing the fish content in fish feed with more sustainable ingredients. Scientists at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have spent the past ten years developing a feed additive that does away with those fishy ingredients, a diet of microbes for prawns.
Traditionally, farmed prawns have been fed pellets that contain some fishmeal and fish oil. These are included mainly to help the animals grow large quickly. The additive contains marine microorganisms that have been bred in captivity, and which have been shown to play a crucial role in prawns’ growth process. In a large-scale field test, the product was mixed with an existing commercial feed (taking the place of the usual fish meal and oil), then used in ponds at an Australian prawn farm. According to CSIRO, the additive-consuming black tiger prawns grew an average of 30 percent faster than their regular-food-eating counterparts, plus they were healthier.
Meanwhile, scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have developed an alternative feed that consists entirely of plant-based ingredients. Fishmeal and oil are commonly used in the pellets eaten by carnivorous fish such as sea bream and striped bass. Instead of fishmeal, the experimental new feed includes corn, wheat, and soy. Taking the place of fish oil is a combination of lipids (fatty acids) from algae, amino acid supplements, and soybean or canola oil. Not only have test fish apparently thrived on the feed, but their flesh reportedly also has polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and mercury levels that are a hundred times lower than those found in fish consuming regular pellets containing wild-caught fish. This would allow consumers to eat striped bass twice a week, as opposed to the once every two weeks currently recommended.
In 2015, Egypt’s aquaculture industry produced 1.3 million metric tons (MMT) of fish, consuming approximately 1 million tons of soybean meal. As the industry grows, the Egyptian economy faces new challenges.
In November 2016, the Egyptian pound, which was traditionally pegged to the U.S. dollar, was floated; that move has reduced the value of the pound by almost 50 percent, impacting the price of ingredients for the aqua industry and, consequently, the price of aqua feed.
To assist the Egyptian aqua industry, USSEC consultant Tim O’Keefe of Aqua-Food Technologies, traveled to Egypt to meet with top aquafeed producers to provide insights on least cost formulations as a means to control the soaring prices of feed.
USSEC Aquaculture Contractor – Egypt Salah Taher accompanied Mr. O’Keefe during his visit. The two met with representatives from Skretting, Aller Aqua, Cairo Poultry Group, and Koudjis Kapo.
Through these meetings, the team learned that the prices of fish have increased to meet the increasing cost production. The Egyptian aquaculture market is expected to continue growing at 8 to 10 percent each year as Egyptians continue to favor the consumption of fish over poultry and beef.
The Egyptian per capita consumption of fish in 2015 accounted for 21 kilograms (kg) per capita higher than the world average, which is approximately 19 kg per capita.
A second visit is scheduled in May 2017 to deliver training on least cost formulations for aqua feeds.
Despite a budget reduction that took effect in 2017, Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) has continued to support the development of offshore mariculture in Indonesia. In addition to rehabilitating 1,000 cages, the ministry, in cooperation with state-owned company Perindo Management, will build offshore marine cages operation in three different locations in Indonesia to promote the offshore mariculture system as well optimizing resources and improving seafood production, technology dissemination, and business diversifications (nursery), in addition to improving community income.
The locations selected for offshore mariculture farming are marine waters around Karimun Jawa in the Java Sea, marine waters around Cilacap and Pangandaran in the Indian Ocean, and Sabang Island in Aceh. The cages are expected to support the development of sea bass, pompano and cobia.
Each of the 6 cages, which are 50 meters in diameter, is expected to produce 500 metric tons (MT) per crop, thus targeting an additional 1500 MT in fish production from the three locations. Continued support from the government on mariculture development is in line with USSEC’s policy to support offshore mariculture. Mariculture production will increase the utilization of quality feed, including potential use of U.S. soybean meal in aquafeed.
Last August, USSEC and Cargill teamed up to conduct a seminar that introduced intensive pond aquaculture (IPA) technology to Cargill farm customers in Hưng Yên, a province of Vietnam. Based on the knowledge they gained from the seminar and with the support of Nguyen Huu Tho, Cargill technical manager, farmers started to construct IPA systems on their own land with equipment available locally.
Nguyễn Thị Thắm is among the first IPA adopters in northern Vietnam. She learned the IPA concept at the August seminar and constructed an IPA fixed floor raceway. She has a 3 ha farm, managed by her son, Vũ Duy Hào. At the same time, she ran a hub to collect fish from other farms to supply the market. After stocking tilapia for one month, she was very satisfied with the high survival rate compared to the same source of fingerlings stock to the traditional pond. She already plans to construct more raceways without waiting for the first IPA trial to finish.
There are currently six IPA sites in northern Vietnam: Mr. Phú in Bắc Giang, Mr. Trung in Bắc Ninh, Mr. Lừng in Hà Tây, Mr. Thao in Hà Tây, Mr. Hải in Hà Tây and Mr. Sơn in Thanh Hóa.
In November, USSEC Aquaculture Technical Director – Southeast Asia Lukas Manomaitis and USSEC Aquaculture Technical Manager – Vietnam Võ Hoàng Nguyên paid a visit to the IPA sites in Hưng Yên, Bắc Ninh and Thanh Hóa. They decided to conduct more visits to each IPA site and to organize training for farmers who are constructing and running IPAs by themselves in order to help them do it properly.
USSEC met with Chang Ku Yoon, president & CEO, CJ Philippines, Inc., and Ronaldo Cruz, aqua product manager, CJ Philippines, to present the USSEC Southeast Asia (SEA) and Philippines Soy in Aquaculture program and to discuss the Philippine Aquaculture Industry in CJ Phils Inc. Feedmill in San Rafael, Bulacan, Philippines.
USSEC discussed the ongoing programs in feedmill and nutrition where aquafeed nutritionists are guided in optimizing U.S. soybean meal in aquafeed formulation and other U.S. Soy products in a least cost formulation. The Low Volume High Density (LVHD) cage aquaculture and pond feed based technologies were also discussed to improve aquaculture production through sustainable and environmentally friendly practices using extruded floating feeds.
CJ Philippines Inc. is planning to revive their aquafeeds production and be present in the aquaculture feed industry. USSEC suggested that it is better for CJ Aqua Feeds to produce high quality feeds that will give farmers faster growth for fish and better feed conversion rates (FCR).
Myanmar is a growing market for America’s food and agricultural products. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. agricultural exports to Myanmar reached a record $15.3 million USD in FY14, up 24 percent from the previous year.
The opening of the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in August 2016 at the U.S embassy in Yangon helps build activities and services in Myanmar. USSEC Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Myanmar May Myat Noe Lwin says, “I believe that this will strengthen importing U.S. soybeans and soybean products to Myanmar as well.”
With the team effort of USSEC and various U.S. agriculture projects and programs, sales are expected to increase significantly. But there is still need of more input from the government body, and the opening of the FAS office with a permanent Agriculture Attaché will fill the gap, especially with the rules and regulations from the government bodies importing U.S. agriculture products.
USSEC’s aquaculture program will work with the FAS program to support the increase of sales of U.S. soybeans and soybean meal sales to Myanmar for its livestock and aquaculture industries.
USSEC conducted a cage aquaculture production cost management seminar for the Chinese staff and managers of Sahara Feeds Corp. Milkfish Cage Farm in Taal Lake, Talisay, Batangas, Philippines on December 7.
USSEC Philippines Technical Manager – Aquaculture Levy Manalac discussed how to manage and save on cage aquaculture production cost with the proper use of extruded floating feed and good feeding management with extruded floating feeds in cage culture, as USSEC Asia Marine Aquaculture Specialist Hsiang Pin Lan translated. USSEC also talked about proper feed storage and handling, the importance of sampling and proper recording, the use of quality fry/fingerlings and size grading, and proper fish health management that will help milkfish cage farmers to lower their production cost for better production and profitability.
Managing cage aquaculture production costs will also help improve water quality in the area by having lower feed conversion rates (FCR), thus helping continuous fish farming in the area. This will ensure continuous and possibly increasing demand in U.S. Soy products in local aquaculture feed manufacturing.
Thirteen area managers and technicians of Sahara Feeds Corp. Milkfish Cage Farm attended the seminar.
The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, through the Directorate General of Aquaculture of Indonesia, signed an agreement last month with the Norwegian government and a private Norwegian mariculture enterprise to develop a mariculture industry of Asian sea bass or barramundi (Lates calcarifer) in offshore floating cages in Aceh (Sumatra), West Java, Sulawesi, and Papua provinces in Indonesia.
The mariculture scenario will be based on Norway’s successful salmon industry. The offshore cage culture areas, however, will be only about 1 to 3 kilometers from the beach line using round cages with a diameter of 10 to 30 meters and a depth of 4 to 6 meters with full extruded slow-sinking (slinking) pellet feeds with initial production target of around 15,000 tons per year.
There are currently only four big barramundi aquaculture companies in Indonesia: PT. Indomarind (Batam, near Singapore); PT. Lucky Samudra (Seribu Islands, Jakarta Bay); PT. Phillips Seafoods Indonesia; and PT. Bali Barramundi (both are in North Bali) with an estimated production of less than 1,500 tons per year. A long-established barramundi aquaculture company of PT. Fega Mariculture (Seribu Islands, Jakarta Bay) recently collapsed in early 2016 and another newly-built large barramundi aquaculture company PT. Paramount Barramundi (North Bali) was terminated before it started last year due to insufficient cash flow.
While the market for filleted barramundi has been confirmed, more technical considerations have been raised to strengthen the industry, as Indonesia’s aquaculture industry is weak in the following areas. First, the genetics and selective breeding of the brooders in hatcheries need to supply premium seeds. Second, fish health (vaccination) is a must during the culture period (16 to 24 months to reach 1.8 to 2.2 kg fillet size) (currently vaccination is a “luxury” procedure in Indonesia’s aquaculture industry) and the last is to provide the industry with premium feeds (with premium ingredients) with the correct feeding method.
The USSEC Southeast Asian Aquaculture Team met in mid-November to summarize the FY16 project year and plan the FY17 and FY18 project approaches.
“We have a strong and long-term team that has been working on behalf of U.S. soybean farmers and the U.S. Soy industry in general to promote the use of U.S. Soy products in the Southeast Asian region,” states Lukas Manomaitis, USSEC Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA.
The focus for FY17 in particular is to move several initiatives to more advanced stages with continued work on the International Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database (IAFFD) and the marine fish program. Both of these initiatives are supported strongly by qualified state soybean boards (QSSB) with Nebraska, South Dakota, Michigan, and other QSSBs providing support to supplement United Soybean Board (USB), Market Access Program (MAP), and Foreign Market Development (FMD) funds.
“We are very thankful for the trust and support by the QSSBs particularly, as we meet with farmers from these areas on a regular basis,” says Mr. Manomaitis.
The USSEC SEA Aquaculture Program project year runs from November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017 with four primary target nations and several secondary target nations. There are three main SEA projects (with several activities in each) and there is also overlap with at least three other worldwide projects/activities. The SEA aquaculture team expects to continue to drive the message of the value, utility and quality of U.S. Soy to SEA’s aquaculture industry.
USSEC – Philippines hosted the Myanmar aquaculture team led by USSEC Myanmar Technical Manager-Aquaculture May Myat Noe Lwin to observe and learn the Philippines’ aquaculture industry July 3-9.
Myanmar’s aquaculture team was able to learn and increase its knowledge on a feed-based culture system in tilapia culture and milkfish and pompano culture by visiting tilapia ponds and cage farms, milkfish cage farms, and a pompano cage farm.
The team also visited tilapia breeding stations and research facilities to learn about tilapia breeding practices and techniques. They visited the Freshwater Aquaculture Center – Central Luzon State University (FAC-CLSU), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center (BFAR-NFFTC), and GenoMar Supreme Philippines, Inc., all located in Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines.
The Myanmar aquaculture team was better able to understand the aquafeed industry through its visit to Santeh Feeds Corp. and other aquafeed distributors and aqua stores.
This learning will help Myanmar’s aquaculture industry to improve its aquaculture production, in particular, tilapia production. These increased productions will translate to an increase in demand for formulated feeds, which will in turn increase demand for U.S. Soy products.
USSEC hosted Filipino companies Finfish Hatcheries Inc. and Alsons Aquaculture Corp. on the Milkfish Hatcheries and High Value Marine Fish Hatcheries Study Tour in Gondol, Bali, Indonesia October 23 – 27.
The USSEC Milkfish Hatcheries and High Value Marine Fish Hatcheries Study Tour featured a presentation of Indonesia’s milkfish and high value marine fish industry and hatchery updates by the Institute for Mariculture Research and Development (IMRAD), and visits to different milkfish hatcheries and high value marine fish hatcheries in Indonesia.
The two companies from the Philippines were able to increase their knowledge and understanding of the Indonesian milkfish and high value marine fish hatcheries, including broodstock management; breeding techniques; larval rearing and production; natural food production, usage and application; and fry/fingerling production and management. They were also able to increase knowledge on the proper construction of hatchery structures.
The Philippines produced 384,425 metric tons (MT) of milkfish in 2015, with an estimated 900 million milkfish fry used. Finfish Hatcheries Inc. is hoping to increase its milkfish fry production after this trip. The estimated milkfish feed requirement is about 840,000 to 920,000 MT.
In Vietnam, there are large amount of renewable energy (RE) resources, which are distributed throughout the country. Energy from biogas is estimated of about 10 billion cubic meters (m³), with resources that can be collected from landfills, animal excrement, and agricultural residue. The ten largest Vietnamese pig producers, in 2015, can produce 308.789.465 kilowatts of electricity per day from 158,904 m³ of animal waste.
Biogas from fish farming is not yet technically feasible, because fishpond sludge can only be collected after harvest. With an Intensive Pond Aquaculture (IPA) system with a sludge collector set up at the quiescent zone, however, fish waste can be easily collected daily, even hourly, when the biomass became large in the raceway. These technical properties of IPA allow the consideration of producing biogas from fishpond culture.
Benefits from fish waste biogas include:
- Methane from fish waste biogas can be used to run the air blower in the IPA system, saving electricity cost
- Methane from fish waste biogas can be used to warm up water at the inlet of the raceway. This would greatly help farmers in Northern Vietnam, where there was six months of winter season of no culture due to low water temperature.
Today, Vietnam faces several natural resource issues (water, energy) as well as environmental issues in aquaculture (fish pond effluent treatment), which hold up development in the aquaculture industry. USSEC Vietnam is focusing on IPA with biogas technology to promote profitable and sustainable pond aquaculture production. The objectives are to push the use of commercial feed in high tech culture, which consequently increase the demand of soy in aquafeed, especially U.S. Soy products, to create an entire green value chain.
USSEC held the U.S. Soy in International Aquaculture Marketing Mission in Guayaquil, Ecuador from October 19-26.
14 participants, including U.S. grower leaders and USSEC aquaculture staff, took part in this mission in order to better understand the Ecuadorian aquaculture industry, particularly the shrimp industry, and the importance of this market for U.S. Soy. This trip took the team to much of the shrimp aquaculture production chain, including hatchery-growout-processing operations and feedmill operations, along with providing a chance to take part in the annual AquaExpo that brings the commercial industry together for discussions and a trade show.
Participants included Belinda Burrier, United Soybean Board (USB) director; Jerry Bambauer, American Soybean Association (ASA) director; RJ Campbell, Nebraska Soybean Board; Tony Johanson, Nebraska Soybean Board; Diana Beitelspacher, North Dakota Soybean Council; Andy Tauer, Indiana Soybean Alliance; Tom Griffith, Indiana Soybean Alliance; Kary Claghorn, Iowa Soybean Association; Rolland Schnell, Iowa Soybean Association; USSEC Marketing Director – International Aquaculture and Customer Focus Colby Sutter; and USSEC Project Manager Aquaculture/ Customer Focus Dena Hensel.
During this trip, there was also an opportunity for Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA Lukas Manomaitis to discuss the updated International Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database (IAFFD) with the grower leaders to show them how USSEC is trying to directly influence the industry to use U.S. Soy.
In October, USSEC supported the implementation of an offshore mariculture industrial tour to Malta and Italy. The program is expected to allow participants from both government and industry to be exposed to the current status of mariculture in the Mediterranean.
Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Turkey, Italy and Malta are key producers of sea bream and sea bass for the EU market. Those producing countries have established offshore mariculture development for the last decade to improve sustainability.
The tour is expected to improve the policies and practices to support offshore mariculture development in Indonesia. Offshore mariculture would allow the establishment of industrial scale, consistent volume, and quality to meet global seafood market demand. More farmed seafoods would mean more quality aquafeed to produce.
In September, USSEC supported two national level seminars in Surabaya and Jakarta, Indonesia, which were aimed to support the development of a sustainable mariculture development roadmap and shrimp certification policies. The support is expected to guide Indonesian aquaculture industry development to be more competitive, productive, efficient, and sustainable.
The seminars involved the active participation of key stakeholder elements, including government senior officials, the Shrimp Club and shrimp producers, feed mills, and processors/packers, as well as relevant industry stakeholders. A task force will be established to work on improving Indonesia’s shrimp aquaculture industry.
Recent developments have shown that customers and buyers are becoming more aware of the importance of sustainability. Shrimp certification will lead to the use of certified feed and ingredients, which will be highly beneficial to USSEC’s commitment to the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP).
USSEC’s aquaculture program sponsored 17 participants to attend the Progressus Aquaculture Nutrition AgriSchool, a five-day intensive short course on aquaculture nutrition. Readers may recall that USSEC “declared victory” on the topic of basic training in aquaculture nutrition with Progressus’ decision to create a commercial training program on this topic.
This program allows USSEC to focus the limited time of its feed nutritionists on more intensive training of key U.S. Soy-using stakeholders. Additionally this event allowed Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA Lukas Manomaitis to introduce the USSEC-supported International Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database (IAFFD) to the participants, as well as allow them to use the database in a commercial feed formulation program (Bestmix).
It is hoped that a similar course to this, the Aquaculture Feedmilling AgriSchool, may further help USSEC to better use its time for focused events rather than general training of industry. The Aquaculture Feedmilling AgriSchool will be vetted in November of this year.
In support of the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program, USSEC Aquaculture Consultant – Americas Jairo Amezquita recently presented BAP certificates to Colombian small farmers selected to receive training and financial support.
Mr. Amezquita has been a key player in ensuring that Colombia’s farmers receive the training and financial support necessary to apply for the BAP certification to comply with local and international market requirements since USSEC and the Federación Colombiana De Acuicultores (FEDEACUA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) early this year.
The USSEC consultant presented a number of tilapia and trout producers with BAP certificates for attaining BAP certification at a celebration of responsible aquaculture organized by FEDEACUA in Bogota, Colombia, on October 11.
“The MoU signed by USSEC, FEDEACUA and GAA to train Colombia’s small farmers to achieve BAP certification represents an effective demonstration of responsible aquaculture in Latin America,” said Marcos Moya, manager of BAP supply development for GAA.