soybean field

USSEC SEA Conducts Successful Intensive Hatchery Training in Australia

USSEC Southeast Asia has conducted its first successful intensive hatchery training in Australia.  This training, funded by the Nebraska Qualified State Soybean Board (QSSB), took place at the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute (PSFI), marking the first time that USSEC has conducted intensive hatchery training in Australia.
According to USSEC Southeast Asia Technical Director - Aquaculture Lukas Manomaitis,aquaculture training in Australia has long been in the works.  The choice of Australia as a training ground was due to a host of reasons including:  the country’s advanced aquaculture industry; PSFI’s experience with Asia and Asians through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); the proximity of Australia to Asia; good facilities; its relatively easy visa approval process; and its proximity to Asia.
USSEC expects that marine fish aquaculture will continue to expand dramatically in the near future and that marine fish aquaculture in Southeast Asia in particular will need to move to a more industrial marine fish aquaculture approach, which is what has happened in countries such as Turkey and Norway.  The basis for an expansion into industrial marine fish cage aquaculture is having a consistent source of high quality marine fish fingerlings in large quantities.  Although that situation does not yet exist in Southeast Asia, it does in many other nations.
USSEC’s interest in working with hatcheries is part of its long-term vision for U.S. soy.  Mr. Manomaitis explains, “We see a bright future for aquaculture, and a need for much more aquaculture feed—particularly for growout.  Growout feeds will be needed in large volumes and soy will be a critical ingredient in those feeds.”
USSEC initially made initial efforts to move Southeast Asia’s hatchery industry forward as a whole, but decided to target just eight hatcheries, which participated in this training, by intensively working with them to help improve their operations.  USSEC’s goal is to let these target hatcheries serve as examples to the hatchery industry.  This approach also provides USSEC an opportunity to learn from each hatchery about their internal problems and how to overcome them, which allows USSEC to better target programs to benefit the entire industry.  By participating in this training, it is hoped that each hatchery realizes that the issues they face in their operations are fairly common in all operations, allowing an opportunity to not only learn ways to fix these issues but also to learn from each other and to share their experiences with others in their industry when they return home to their own nations.
USSEC expects to work with these hatcheries into FY15 and FY16 and to possibly invite the participants of this training to speak at USSEC hatchery-related events in the future.  USSEC will also contact all eight target hatcheries in the next few months to see how this training helped in reality.  Mr. Manomaitis says, “The lesson that I learned from my years of working with hatcheries is that the basics of hatchery work are much the same in technology and approach, we largely know how to make fish spawn when we want.  What makes a hatchery successful or not is both knowing and following the protocols and how the staffing works to make it a success by following the proper approaches and not cutting corners.”