USSEC’s aquaculture efforts in China were recently featured in Rural Life Today magazine.
Rural Life Today visited the USSEC team in China for a feature about aquaculture and demand for U.S. Soy in that country. The articles focus on USSEC’s endeavors to build demand for U.S. Soy in China and a visit to a Shanghai fish farm and conversation with USSEC Program Manager – Aquaculture Jim Zhang about the demand for U.S. Soy in aquaculture.
Rural Life Today provides farming and agriculture news and information in print and online for 66 counties in Ohio and surrounding states. The periodical is an agricultural publication offering its readers coverage of agricultural news, events, the market, and agriculturally related profiles, columns and features. This publication is direct-mailed to over 60,000 households every month.
Extrusion technology has been the key tool for Vietnamese feedmillers to manufacture quality pellet feed for the country’s aquafeed market. This technology helps solve the problems of uneven size pellets; sinking vs. floating feed; extruder screw configuration; and calculating the die opening area, which are major concerns for feedmill staff. USSEC Vietnam conducted a tailor-made seminar with questionnaires sent to participants one month prior to the seminar date. Following the feedmill’s response, the seminar content was set up to give a solution to specific questions raised.
USSEC consultant and director of Texas A & M University’s Food Protein R&D Center Mian Riaz was invited to be the key speaker and to interact with feedmill participants for two in-house seminars in Binh Duong and Dong Thap provinces, and one public seminar in Saigon.
At the in-house seminars, participants felt free to express their technical issues. At the public seminar, where the production and formulation staffs came from different companies, it was assumed that the ambiance would be sensitive; the interaction was truly open, however, since feedmill staff could get a chance to share experiences from each other regardless of the competitive situation on the aquafeed market.
Plant protein, especially from soy, was concluded to be a good replacement to fishmeal to contribute to the stability of the pellet, thanks to its good functional protein properties.
Furthermore, participants were impressed by U.S. Soy production’s approach through the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) certification and reacted positively to U.S. Soy’s video “This is Harvest.”
USSEC – SEA held its Aquaculture Feed Nutrition Workshop in Manila on March 16.
The conference was organized by USSEC Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Philippines Levy Manalac and USSEC Feedmill and Nutrition Consultant Mark Newman. Mr. Newman discussed what is new in fish and shrimp nutrition and how to utilize U.S. Soy products to reduce the amount of fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture feeds. USSEC Technical Consultant, Animal Utilization – Philippines Basilisa Reas talked about the amino acid and energy in soybean meal used in poultry and livestock as a model for aquaculture nutrition. Katherine Bentoy, Alltech Technical Sales-Aquaculture, presented her experience with low and zero fish meal diets in the Japanese Marine Aquaculture Industry.
The workshop was attended by 29 participants from different aquaculture feedmills, a feed additive supplier, feedmill machineries, and an aqua feed formulation software in Philippines.
USSEC recently provided technical service to Mexican shrimp producers.
USSEC consultants Jairo Amezquita and Dr. Eduardo Reyes travelled to Ciudad Obregon, Los Mochis and Mazatlan, Mexico to visit shrimp producers who are customers of Vimifos, an aqua feed mill co-operator of USSEC. They provided recommendations to overcome the challenge with growth rates of a new shrimp strain from Ecuador that has been used for the past two years to improve the survival and production per hectare.
The consultants visited three shrimp farms where they made inspections and met with technical staff, highlighting how the current management of this shrimp strain and corresponding aquaculture practices are not working and are reducing performance conditions. They also discussed opportunities and challenges to develop recirculating water systems, current farm situations, and guidelines to prevent or mitigate the possible entrance of pathogens that could affect not only the growth rates but also the survival of the shrimp.
Additionally, Mr. Amezquita and Dr. Reyes conducted seminars for shrimp producers in each of the three cities visited. More than 150 people attended these events and Dr. Reyes presented a lecture, “How to Manage the Ecuadorian Shrimp Strain Under Mexican Conditions.” He explained how to improve the water conditions for shrimp production, emphasizing best aquaculture practices.
Mr. Amezquita addressed “USSEC’s Role in the Development of Aquaculture in the World,” where he emphasized the current situation of the aquaculture industry in the world, Latin America and Mexico, and spoke about opportunities to prevent early mortality syndrome (EMS). He also presented statistics and trial results of the inclusion of soybean protein concentrate (SPC) and soybean protein isolate (IP) into the diets for aqua species.
Last year, Mexico produced more than 100,000 metric tons (MT) of shrimp, which represented more than 50,000 MT of U.S. Soy products, with an even higher forecast for FY16-17.
The USSEC aquaculture team recently visited an intensive shrimp farm in Indonesia.
USSEC Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA Lukas Manomaitis, together with other USSEC contractors and representatives of Matahari Sakti feedmill visited Yu-Shan Phillip’s intensive shrimp farm in Sidayu Gresik. This is an important visit because it is an indication of a possible move to better culture practices in the shrimp industry where shrimp production is currently conducted in isolated, covered ponds instead of open ponds. This technology has been perfected in Brazil, according to the Global Aquaculture Association (GAA), and it is encouraging to see this technology now being tested in Southeast Asia. High intensity systems such as this favor high quality feeds that minimize fishmeal, a good target for U.S. Soy and U.S. soy protein concentrate (SPC) products in particular. The aquaculture team also plans to conduct a U.S. Soy-optimized shrimp feeding demonstration with Matahari Sakti Feedmill in FY16
In 2013, USSEC shrimp production technology consultant Ken Corpron introduced the concept of Biofloc shrimp culture technology to China. The Biofloc shrimp culture technology uses biological control in water and generates the live microorganism to absorb the shrimp waste from the water.
In 2014, during a shrimp farming technical consulting service, Mr. Corpron provided details about Biofloc shrimp farming technology. The participants became very interested in this new method of shrimp production and asked for more information in order to try this new technology.
In October 2015, USSEC China’s aquaculture program organized an aqua study team to the U.S. and visited the RDM shrimp farm in Fowler, Indiana. Team members learned the operation’s techniques and RDM shared its experience. Two participants become “Biofloc pioneers” after returning to China and with technical help from USSEC, these pioneers finalized the operation procedure in the fall of 2015, doing a test run in the winter. Mr. Corpron came to China in March 2016 to visit three shrimp farms that had adopted and were very successful with the Bioflco shrimp culture technology, tripling their actual production.
Biofloc shrimp culture technology uses indoor facilities that provide quality water to the shrimp and increase production capacity significantly. Additionally, the indoor culture saves energy and allows winter shrimp production where traditional outdoor shrimp farming is not possible due to low water. The most important reason for USSEC to promote this technology is to increase the consumption of U.S. Soy as wintertime in China is the time when most U.S. Soy is acquired.
USSEC recently provided trade and technical services to fish producers in Colombia.
USSEC Technical Consultant – Aquaculture Gina Conroy provided technical servicing to address fish health management issues and help improve the survival rates, growth efficiency, and production of tilapia and trout in the Colombia market. Dr. Conroy visited fish producers who are customers of Solla, one of Colombia’s biggest aquafeed producers. The country’s current fish production is approximately 95,000 metric tons (MT) per year and about 4,000 MT of shrimp.
The tilapia production industry has been affected by low survival due to the possible presence of a virus killing fingerlings around the country. In general, the aquafeed mills have increased the uses of soy in aquafeed diets; this action is important because the farms that have been certified for BPA are required to decrease the use of fishmeal in the diets for fish and shrimp.
Dr. Conroy provided technical assistance about fish health programs, biosecurity, and aquaculture best practices that permit the improvement of tilapia production and increase the consumption of feeds containing U.S. Soy-based products. Seven one-on-one meetings occurred during the visit to tilapia and trout operations with recommendations given (increasing the temperature during sexual reversion; increasing the vitamin C in the feed; improving the water exchange, etc.). The fish producers need to check the chemical factors of the water regularly, and consider how to change the culture system when river water starts to decrease.
Finally, the USSEC consultant recommended that the producers continue with technical support through talks, workshops, or diagnoses inside the farms. The farmers also need to continue improving their management of the culture systems and check the health status of the fish continuously.
As a result of raw materials and export prices falling throughout 2015 due to overproduction, many Vietnamese aquaculture farms switched from pangasius to other species for the local market, which caused a severe shortage of the fish. Beginning in February 2016, pangasius material price increased rapidly, and so at this time, farm companies that have a proper long-term investment strategy can reap the greatest benefits. Unfortunately, these companies are few in quantity compared to the rest of the Vietnam’s fish industry.
According to business consultants, this is the first time in 10 years that the pangasius industry faces a severe shortage of material.
As the first farm cooperator in Vietnam to apply In-Pond Raceway Technology (IPA), Tafishco, a farm and processing company that consults with USSEC, plans to improve its pangasius fingerling production. Tafishco began construction of the first IPA floating raceway at its farm in An Giang Province in February 2016. With this new technology, Tafishco expected to use fewer fingerlings (1.5 million with IPA compared to 7.5 million with traditional technique) to produce the same numbers of fish at harvest (300,000 pieces) from the same same pond size.
IPA is expected to help Tafishco eliminate fingerling shortage as well as produce enough raw materials for their processing factory from their own 30 hectares for pangasius production and other 70 hectares of contracted farms.
USSEC conducted marine fish hatchery technical servicing in the Philippines in February.
USSEC Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Philippines Levy Manalac, USSEC Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – Southeast Asia (SEA) Lukas Manomaitis, and USSEC Asia Marine Specialist, Aquaculture – SEA Hsiang Pin Lan provided technical servicing to address fish health management issues and to help improve the survival rates, growth efficiency, and production of red coral trout and mouse grouper at the Palawan Aquaculture Corporation in Coron, Palawan, Philippines.
USSEC Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA Lukas Manomaitis together with USSEC aquaculture consultants Pamudi, Sean Pin Lan and Levy Manalac, traveled to Indonesia and the Philippines to speak to key industry representatives who are looking at the expansion of aquaculture into offshore and industrial approaches. A marine fish culture industry using offshore approaches will be better able to showcase the value and utility of U.S. Soy, particularly U.S. soy protein concentrate (SPC) in the marine fish market.
It is anticipated that as the offshore cage culture of marine fish expands, high quality feeds, such as those using U.S. Soy and SPC in particular, will be required in large, consistent amounts.
USSEC was recognized for its valuable contributions to the advancement of responsible aquaculture on March 7 at the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) meeting during the Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts.
GAA showed immense gratitude toward the U.S. Soy industry for its support through the USSEC aquaculture program over the years.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was also signed between GAA and Federación Colombiana de Acuicultores (FEDEACUA) for the Best Aquaculture Practices certification to work with USSEC to help certify Colombian fish producers.
About the event, David Williams, United Soybean Board (USB) Director and Michigan soybean farmer, stated, “With the global demand for seafood quickly rising and the health considerations of eating less red meat, aquaculture is the next big thing for the U.S. soybean industry. I think aquaculture provides a rapidly expanding market for increased soybean usage.”
Since 1995, global aquaculture production has grown at an average annual rate of 10 to 11 percent and is projected to double in the next 30 years to help meet growing demand. With wild-caught fishmeal and fish oil sources already at capacity, soy has become a dominant protein ingredient in aquafeeds. And with U.S. Soy now making up nearly 40 percent of the soy used in these feeds, the U.S. has solidified its position as a dominant player in the global aquaculture market.
The International Soy in Aquaculture Program of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) has helped to guide the research program of the United Soybean Board by identifying critical industry research needs in fish nutrition, and through its commercial testing and demonstrations of diets for a wide variety of farmed species.
Htoo Thit, one of the largest aquafeed mills in Myanmar, has purchased 8,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybean meal since 2015 and has plans to purchase even more U.S. soybean meal this season. It values USSEC’s continuing support and has attributed the motivation for its recent feed mill expansion to USSEC’s training and feed demonstrations that have convinced the local fish farmers to convert to high quality, formulated floating feeds using U.S. soybean meal and soy oil as feed ingredients.
Last season, about 25,500 MT of U.S. soybean meal was imported into Myanmar for animal feed production and imports of U.S. soybean meal look to outpace last season’s volume.
USSEC launched its Myanmar aquaculture program in 2012 with a limited scope at the onset, but expanded its marketing efforts in 2013 and 2014. In 2012-2013, Indian soybean meal was the only option for Myanmar’s feed industry as its only trade relations were with the neighboring countries of China, India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Laos as the result of decades of political and economic isolation under the old political regime.
The USSEC aquaculture program, which promoted the use of soy-optimized feeds, started introducing information about U.S. Soy to the industry through its trade and technical activities to the local feed mills and farmers when the government began opening up to international organizations. U.S. soybeans and soybean meal were still new to Myanmar’s industry.
It took some time to convince the industry to try U.S. soybean meal because of the higher price and payment issues in Myanmar as a result of tight foreign exchange controls. USSEC persisted, providing regular technical support and organized workshops to explain the importance of using good quality feed ingredients and the value of U.S. soybean meal, and arranged meetings with U.S. suppliers.
The Htoo Thit Company became convinced of the quality and benefits of U.S. soybean products and, in the beginning, purchased small amounts to utilize in its diets. Today, it is one of the largest users of U.S. soybean meal in its feed formulations.
USSEC recently visited a new cooperator feedmill in Vietnam.
USSEC Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA Lukas Manomaitis, together with Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Vietnam Vo Hoang Nguyen, traveled to Long An Province in southern Vietnam to meet with the Vietnam branch of the Chinese Techbank feedmill firm. This feedmill will help USSEC pioneer the first USSEC offshore cage farm demonstration using extruded, sinking, U.S. soy protein concentrate (SPC)-optimized feeds.
This is an important step in both the efforts by USSEC to guide the marine fish culture industry to offshore approaches and to showcase the value and utility of U.S. Soy, particularly U.S. SPC in the marine fish market. It is anticipated that as offshore cage culture of marine fish expands, high quality feeds, such as those using U.S. Soy and SPC in particular, will be needed in large, consistent amounts.
USSEC’s aquaculture program continues to show great success and was featured in the January 25 edition of the Global Aquaculture Advocate magazine.
In the interview, USSEC Southeast Asia Technical Director – Aquaculture Lukas Manomaitis discussed the reciprocal partnership that the soy industry has formed with fish farmers and the trends he sees in fish production. Mr. Manomaitis talked about the growth of the global aquaculture industry over the past decade and where it’s headed over the next ten years; aquafeed formulations; genetically modified soy and the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP); and increased soy production.
In 2015, approximately 13.5 million metric tons (MMT) of soy equaling roughly 620 million bushels was used in aquafeeds. At least 5 MMT or 230 million bushels of that was U.S. Soy, according to USSEC Marketing Director – International Aquaculture / Customer Focus Colby Sutter, which marks a significant increase from 2014. “To give you some perspective,” Ms. Sutter says, “between 2014 and 2015, soy demand in aqua feeds went from 478 million bushels to 620 million bushels.”
As USSEC’s aquaculture program continues to evolve, there is an ever-increasing focus on the sustainability and versatility of U.S. Soy in aquafeeds.
The Global Aquaculture Advocate is a trade magazine “focused on efficient and responsible aquaculture throughout the world” and features a range of articles containing both technical content and informative perspectives on various species. It is published by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, an international, non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture. The bi-monthly magazine is available in both print and electronic versions.
Read the interview here.
USSEC recently attended the eleventh anniversary meeting of the Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF), including the Myanmar Fish Farmers Association, Freshwater Fishermen Association and Feed Mail Association, additionally meeting with fish farmers at Yangon.
There are ten related associations in the MFF. At the meeting, attended by USSEC Technical Manager, Aquaculture – Myanmar Wai Wai Linn, members discussed five objectives and presented each association’s annual and financial report.
Members then proceeded to discuss current challenges on acquiring a sufficient volume of raw materials to produce fish feed; getting enough new fish species; attaining advance technology to produce highly valued new fish species with a short rearing period; recruiting skilled workers; preventing and curing fish diseases; and procuring investments with low interest rates.
In 2014-15, aquaculture earnings in Myanmar were less than $500 million USD and neighboring Vietnam earned 14 times that figure, and so members discussed the importance of improving the Myanmar aquaculture industry.
Participants discussed the magnitude of improving the economy of the state and fish farmers association. Members want to first consider covering daily local consumption and the increasing Myanmar population growth rate. Second, they talked about getting foreign exchange money from the export sector.
Members agreed to focus and continue learning about updated and advance technology to add value to their current practices; increasing acreage production rate; and increasing the volume of fish production and increasing fish species.
The MMF will try to implement holistic development of its fishery sector despite their many current challenges and recognized the need to cooperate and collaborate with relevant local, regional and international organizations and institutions in order to promote all-round development of Myanmar’s aquaculture sector.
USSEC Technical Manager, Aquaculture – Myanmar Wai Wai Linn met with Dr. Pe Tin, consultant to Htoo Thit, Co. Ltd. at the company’s factory to discuss their constraints, challenges and future plans.
Htoo Thit is in need of near infrared (NIR) equipment to ascertain moisture content and to cool down the temperature of the aquaculture feed that they produce. The organization has extended its facilities to increase production rates and can now produce 500 tons of feed per day with plans to produce 800 tons daily in the future. They currently face some issues about feed quality and despite external demand from Nepal and Malaysia, could not export feed because of a policy issue about its export license.
For now, the company has contracted in FY16 to import soy meal from India and Argentina, but plans to purchase U.S. soy meal in the future because of its high quality, especially in terms of growth and nutrition.
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.