USSEC presented “Updates and Status of High Value Marine Fish Culture in SEA and Markets” during a November visit to Santeh Feeds Corporation in Quezon City, Philippines.
USSEC Asia Marine Aquaculture Specialist – Southeast Asia Hsiang Pin Lan discussed updates in aquaculture production in different hatchery sectors, grow out, aquaculture feed, and different levels of marketing to push for the sale of aquaculture products in different ways in the SEA Region. He also emphasized the importance of addressing fish health management issues to improve survival rates and growth efficiency and production of high value marine fish in the Philippines.
16 sales representatives and technical staff members of Santeh Feeds Corp attended the meeting.
A group of USSEC consultants recently traveled to Vietnam to work with fish farmers there.
USSEC Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA Lukas Manomaitis, together with several other USSEC contractors including Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Vietnam Vo Hoang Nguyen; USSEC Vietnam Aquaculture Technical Manager Nguyen Van Tien; and Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Philippines Levy Manalac visited the Thai Binh Province in northern Vietnam to discuss their experiences during the USSEC FY15 demonstration projects and to participate in the associated Farmers Field Day.
Prior to USSEC involvement in the area, all farmers were exclusively using trash fish to feed their fish and were having serious issues with poor water quality and disease. As a result of the work by USSEC, the farmers are now convinced that using high quality formulated feeds is the preferred approach for production of advanced juveniles.
At present, USSEC cannot continue to work with fish to market size, Mr. Manomaitis believes that USSEC can “declare victory” in this region in the first and most important stage for marine fish culture in ponds (fingerling to advanced juvenile). This also allows possibilities for farmers to produce high quality fingerlings for other uses, such as offshore cage culture.
USSEC Southeast Asia’s (SEA) aquaculture program is cooperating with Finfish Hatchery Inc., a subsidiary of the larger, vertically integrated Alsons Aquaculture Group, in the Philippines to improve fish seed quality.
The project’s perspective is that in order to build demand for U.S. Soy products as a key ingredient in feeds for marine fish production, growout farmers must have confidence that the fish coming into their systems will be of good quality and available in sufficient quantities. Only then will they invest in the quality feeds that would likely incorporate U.S. Soy products in order to maintain the consistent formulations that are needed to keep marine fish performing well.
USSEC SEA identified Finfish as a possible collaborator for the USSEC hatchery project because of its established position in the marine fish fingerling industry. Finfish, established in 1996, initiated milkfish reproduction in the Philippines. The USSEC SEA aquaculture program started to provide technical guidance and training to Finfish in selective breeding, hatching technology, larvae rearing, and fish health management, disease control and other key hatchery issues. Finfish has actively invested and improved their operational practices for marine fish fingerling production, and as a result, USSEC has also learned a great deal about the issues holding back SEA’s marine fish fingerling industry. This collaboration has also helped Finfish to become the leading marine fish fingerling supplier in the Philippines. Finfish’s fry and fingerlings are branded under the Sarangani Fry trademark, which provides more than 50 percent of milkfish fingerling to Philippines industry of 2.5 billion fish per year.
USSEC is partnering with several aquafeed manufacturers in Vietnam to create a demand for U.S. Soy in aquafeed there.
USSEC began its cooperation with market leader Proconco in 2013. As a market leader in the Pangasius (Vietnamese catfish) feed industry, Proconco had enjoyed its market leadership for a decade. Starting in 2008, however, Pangasius exports began facing trade barriers, with increases in feed costs and low growout survival rates. Proconco and many other feed companies started to consider marine fish feed as a potential niche market. Producing marine fish feed with high protein and fat content is not as simple as the relatively low protein and fat feeds used for Pangasius. Extruded marine pellet feeds needed a minimum starch level to float, which was now more difficult if protein and fat had to be increased as well. Furthermore, because the nutritional requirements for marine fish species are totally different from freshwater fish, a good experience with production and use of Pangasius feed didn’t necessarily mean success with marine fish feeds.
USSEC’s partnership with Proconco started with a feeding demonstration project using Asian sea bass. Through cooperation on this and the demonstrations that followed, USSEC was able to guide Proconco on the correct use of extrusion technology to produce marine fish floating feed with USSEC soy-optimized formulations. U.S. Soy products such as soy protein concentrate, soybean meal, and, in particular, soy lecithin, were applied to the diets. Additionally, Proconco now can use the USSEC-led Asian Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database (AAFFD) to formulate feed for other marine fish species as well. With the experience from the collaborative demonstrations, and having moved to practical commercial products, Proconco has started to sell 10 metric tons (MT) of marine fish feed per month as a first successful step into this new market.
A similar cooperation effort in Northern Vietnam between USSEC and Kinh Bac Feedmill, working with Asian sea bass demonstrations and marine soy-optimized feeds, has helped farmers in the Thai Binh province to switch from using so-called “trash fish” (ground-up bycatch) to formulated floating feed. Farmers learned that complete feed with U.S. Soy products helps them to maintain pond water quality with low mortality and less labor required for feed management.
USSEC projects funded by U.S. Soy growers have significantly promoted sustainable aquaculture in Vietnam. Fewer “trash fish” are being used and more U.S. Soy products were applied. Feedmills are recognizing U.S. Soy as a sustainable and responsible choice for feed applications.
The 5th International Symposium on Cage Aquaculture in Asia took place in November 2015 in Cochin, India.
USSEC Deputy Regional Director – Asia Subcontinent P.E. Vijay Anand and R. Umakanth, USSEC Aquaculture Consultant – India, participated in the symposium as special invitees and knowledge partners.
Dr. S. Ayyappan, director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi opened the symposium, addressing about 300 delegates from India and abroad. He recognized USSEC’s market research and forward strategy for aquaculture and stated that cage farming systems are still in their infancy, so India does not yet have much to showcase to the rest of Asia. He stated, however, that the Indian government is supportive of this sector and urged all stakeholders to speed up implementation so aquaculture production gets further augmented in India.
USSEC was given a key role in the three-day symposium, making lead presentations and participating in strategy discussions. Dr. Anand spoke on “The Indian Aqua Feed Industry and its Support to Cage Farming,” reflecting on the fact that USSEC has played a major role in transforming a significant part of the traditional farming practices into feed-based farming. As a result of this, India has developed the potential to supply 2.8 million tons (MT) of feed of which only 1.54 MT was actually marketed in 2015, relying on 400 thousand metric tons (TMT) of soybean meal. He stated that the capability of Indian feed mills to produce good feed is a ready tool for the development of cage culture in India and that USSEC has ready, tested cage technologies that can be adopted. In his presentation, Dr. Anand referenced USSEC’s Low Volume High Density (LVHD) and ocean cage aquaculture technologies (OCAT) technologies that are ready for use. Some effective models were calculated to project additional fish production that can be brought in if cage farming was to be adopted.
Dr. Anand and Mr. Umakanth also took the opportunity to suggest to the Indian government and the stakeholders that India faces some serious constraints in feed and soy such as lack of feed-consuming fish species; weakness in hatchery technology of new species; low fish consumption; lack of cold chain capabilities; and a lack of technology to produce high value species, still a sizeable farming segment that relies on nutritionally poor feeds and farming system diversification such as cage farming. They concluded by saying that the U.S. Soy industry has helped develop aquaculture technologies and worldwide aquaculture strategies that can be offered to developing countries to help transform their industries onto profitable and sustainable models.
USSEC’s International Soy in Aquaculture Program has announced the establishment of an Aquaculture Industry Advisory Council that will contribute valuable input to the development of long-term strategies for the program’s support of sustainable aquaculture development. The Advisory Council held its first meeting at the Global Outlook on Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference in Vancouver, on October 26.
“We are honored to have the participation of such visionary leaders in various aquaculture sectors, including feed, research and sustainability certification,” said Colby Sutter, USSEC marketing director of aquaculture/customer focus. “Their combined knowledge and insight of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today will help our program to best support the sustainable growth of global aquaculture.”
Dr. Michael Cremer, who recently retired after more than 30 years with USSEC’s aquaculture program, will serve on the council as an adviser. Last March, Dr. Cremer was honored by the United Soybean Board (USB) with the Outstanding Achievement Award for his dedicated work with moving global aquaculture to a largely feed-based, more efficient and sustainable industry.
Other Advisory Council members include researchers Dr. Rick Barrows, USDA/ARS, and Dr. Jesse Chappell, Auburn University; Dan Lee, Global Aquaculture Alliance’s (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practices program; Jose Villalon, Nutreco; Magdalena Wallhoff, Regal Springs; Jose Antonio Camposano, National Chamber of Aquaculture, Ecuador; Neil Sims, Kampachi Farms; and Sebastian Belle, Maine Aquaculture Association.
“The soy industry has done so much for aquaculture, and we have all benefited from their efforts,” said Mr. Belle. “Personally, I feel that it’s a privilege to be able to serve on the council and help them continue their work.”
“The first Advisory Council meeting surpassed our expectations for valuable input from these aquaculture industry leaders,” said USSEC CEO Jim Sutter. “We very much appreciate their participation, and that of soybean grower leaders Ron Moore and Jacob Parker, and feel that it will have a significant impact on our efforts gong forward.”
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) conducted a two day seminar in the Philippine municipalities of Anda and Bolinao, Pangasinan on September 25 and 26, 2014 targeting milkfish cage technicians, farmers, investors and local government units with the objective of sharing USSEC’s Low Volume High Density (LVHD) cage aquaculture technology along with the latest technologies and benefits of using extruded floating feeds in milkfish cage aquaculture in the Philippines and Southeast Asia (SEA). 67 participants representing milkfish cage technicians, farmers, investors and staff of local government units from Anda and Bolinao along with feedmill representatives attended the two-day forum. The seminar helped participants gain information on how to improve farmers’ production efficiency, transition to sustainable cage farming with the use of extruded floating feeds, proper feed and water quality management, profitability and the lowering of milkfish feed conversion ratio (FCR) in milkfish cage aquaculture. Milkfish farmers adopting technology and management practices discussed in the seminar will measure long-term success. Unless this particular market segment of the market is taught how to be sustainable, local farmers may underperform, dampening the growth of soybean meal (SBM) consumption in the area. Milkfish (Chanos chanos) is the most important fish species in the Philippines with an annual production of 401,070 metric tons (MT) in 2013. The province of Pangasinan produced about 100,682 MT in 2013, or about 25.1 percent of the Philippines’ total milkfish production, with an estimated feed requirement of 241,636 MT and estimated SBM usage of about 91,824 MT. In 2014, Pangasinan’s milkfish production rose to about 114,358 MT with an estimated feed requirement of 274,459 MT and estimated SBM usage of about 104,294 MT. Estimated SBM inclusion rate is at 38 percent. From 2002 to 2013, production of milkfish from aquaculture grew at an average rate of 3.62 percent. USSEC’s current aquaculture program in the Philippines is aimed at setting the foundation for a more sustainable and quality-oriented production base.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) followed up on feeding demonstrations with two cooperators in Mexico, the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) in Ensenada and the Feed and Research Center (CIAD) in Mazatlan. The demonstrations involved the evaluation of the inclusion of soy protein concentrate (SPC) from U.S. manufacturer Prairie Aquatech in a feed produced by a Guadalajara feed manufacturer. USSEC provided technical support by conducting one-on-one meetings with UABC and CIAD to discuss feeding protocols; checking which fish were used; inspecting feeds manufactured for the demonstrations; meeting with the managers of the feeding demonstrations; visiting the respective hatcheries; and discussing the current protocol, chiefly covering feeding practices and times for sampling. At CIAD, the feeding demonstration is being carried out with Lutjanus guttatus (spotted rose snapper) specie, while Totoaba macdonaldi (totoaba) specie is being used at the UABC. In the Mexican markets, working with red snapper and common snook offers a good opportunity to include SPC into the diets of these fish. These feeding demonstrations illustrate the benefits of using U.S. soy products in aqua feeds and provide an opportunity to boost the consumption of U.S. soy products in the Mexican aqua feed industry. USSEC also discussed opportunities to work with these cooperators in new research with other species of marine fish in the next fiscal year, offering greater opportunity for the import of U.S. soy. U.S. company Techmix, who will be providing the SPC for FY15 aqua feeding demonstrations, has informed USSEC that production capacity and supply for this year will be close to 100 metric tons a month.
USSEC and USSEC member Midwest Ag Enterprises are working together in Egypt to introduce soy protein concentrate (SPC) to a growing aquaculture market. USSEC organized an aquaculture seminar on optimized feed formulation for marine finfish and tilapia. A total of 95 participants attended the May 10, 2015 event, representing 40 of the top poultry and aqua feed producing companies and opinion leaders in Egypt’s aquaculture industry. The presentations’ main message emphasized the important potential of U.S. Soy in improving diet quality and performance, consequently providing an opportunity to increase returns for U.S. Soy farmers. USSEC consultant Sirri Kayhan concluded the conference by demonstrating the economic advantage of using SPC to replace fishmeal. Follow-up visits with feed manufacturers underlined the existing interest in marine feeds using SPC. All of the feed manufacturers visited have established projects to produce marine fish feed. Egypt’s aquaculture sector has been growing at more than 10 percent per year for the past 10 years. Today, the aquaculture sector produces approximately 1.1 million tons of fish, 40,000 tons of which are marine fish. This number is expected to double by 2017 as Egypt unveils plans to establish 2,400 hectares of marine fish farms along the Suez Canal waterline. The project is expected to produce 50,000 tons of fish annually and annual demand for marine feed is expected to reach 200,000 tons. Current marine feed production capacity is only 1000 tons, leaving great opportunity in terms of improving quantity as well as quality of marine aqua feed. FAS subsidizes two of USSEC’s representatives in the MENA region: Salah Taher, Egypt country representative, and Sirri Kayhan, USSEC’s country representative in Turkey, both have year-long contracts funded by FMD.