Liza Mayer

Liza Mayer

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The jury is still out on whether land-based Atlantic salmon farming will deliver on its promise of profitability, but intense media attention and industry interest in 2018 have made it all seem like a tipping point has been reached.
The oyster industry in New Brunswick, Canada, faces a best-of-times, worst-of-times scenario as it moves into the next decade. The Canadian province aims to grow the industry by 10 per cent annually over the next five years but concedes it has limited options for ensuring spat supply.
A probiotic supplement that boosts the survival of oyster larvae exposed to pathogens is now ready for commercialization.
Efforts to culture ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) have reached a major milestone with the first spawning of the farmed fish in captivity.
A storm on March 22 has caused $3.2-million in damages on a state fish hatchery in the town of Moccasin in Tuolumne County, California.

The Moccasin Creek Hatchery was holding about 1.6 million fish at the time of the storm, which mostly died, reports The Union Democrat. Most of the fish were rainbow trout that were in various stages of development—from just-hatched eggs to fish weighing 1 to 2 lbs.

Operated by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the hatchery supplies trout to Central Valley and western Sierra Nevada reservoirs.

The hatchery is expected to resume operations sometime this fall but it could take as long as 18 months to two years for the hatchery to return to full production, says the state agency.

A hatchery in Minnesota that raises more than half of all the trout stocked statewide is in serious need of repair.

The Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery was established in 1925 to help maintain fishing recreation in Southeastern Minnesota streams where native brook trout populations have waned.

Aside from its age, its location near a creek and river which made it prone to flooding has weakened its structures. As recent as 2013, floodwaters overtook a rearing pond and wiped out 76,000 young trout, according to CBS Minnesota.

Repairs are expected to cost roughly $5 million, an amount now being requested from the state legislature. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr calls the hatchery repair a priority project.

Conservation groups said the repairs to the hatchery are vital to the trout fishery’s future. The rainbow and brown trout raised and released each year will add roughly $700 million to the state’s economy, said the report.
The outbreak of Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) virus at a chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) hatchery in Kitimat, British Columbia has forced the slaughter of nearly half the juvenile chum salmon in that site.

Kitimat River Hatchery, which maintains salmon populations for commercial, sport and First Nations fisheries, found the virus in a tank containing 879,000 chum fry on March 29, reported Terrace Standard.

The hatchery immediately removed the fry from the facility and had them destroyed to avoid the virus from spreading to an adjacent tank containing the rest of the breeding stock of 883,000 fry. There was no sign of the virus in the rest of the breeding stock, said the report.

IHN is an infectious viral disease of salmon and trout. Visible signs of the disease are lethargic fish showing occasional bouts of unusual, frenzied activity. Infected fish often exhibits swollen abdomen, protruding eyes and a pseudocast (a ribbonlike mucous thread) dangling from the vent.

The virus is common in Pacific salmon stocks and does not pose a risk to human health, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which continues to monitor the hatchery.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has rejected a businessman's proposal to build a salmon hatchery on Baranof Island in Alaska.
 
The rejection came following opposition from commercial fishing groups and the public. In a letter to Dale Young, the businessman behind the proposal, the agency said fishery stakeholders and public comment are given priority in the permitting process.

Baranof Island, known for its numerous hot springs and scenic waterfalls, is the 10th-largest island of the United States by area. Baranof Warm Springs is home to a small, seasonal community of about a dozen cabins. A petition opposing the hatchery garnered around 1,000 signatures, reported US News.
A village in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh will be the site of a world-class facility that will supply white-leg shrimp (L. vannamei) broodstock to hatcheries in the state. The facility will also serve as quarantine area for specific pathogen-free seeds that hatcheries import from the Oceanic Institute in Hawaii.

Andhra Pradesh is home to 391 L. vannamei hatcheries and ranks third in global shrimp production (0.3 million tonnes) and sixth in aquaculture production (1.57 million tonnes), according to The Hindu.

An existing facility at Mangamarripeta is not able to meet the growing demand for L. vannamei broodstock so the new facility, called Aquatic Quarantine Facility and Brood-stock Multiplication Centre, in Bangarammapeta village, is expected to fill that gap.

Pacific Trading Aquaculture of Dublin, Ireland recently announced that it has changed its name, re-branding as PT Aqua.
Group Dibaq, a Spanish producer of feed for pets and aquaculture, will be producing a new shrimp feed for Sea Farm Nutrition. The new product will be sold under the ProChaete brand, with the name Grow Pro.
Aquacare of Bellingham, Washington is marketing what it bills as a "new, energy-efficient recirculating aquaculture system."
Having a consistent and reliable source of seed remains ons of the biggest issues facing oyster producers in the US and Canada.

Even the region's largest grower is not immune to it.  Having a consistent and reliable source of seed is a perpetual problem, Bill Taylor, the president of Taylor Shellfish based in Washington State, told Hatchery International earlier.

In the Canadian west coast, farmers are faced with the same problem, according to  Keith Reid of Stellar Bay Shellfish.

“We don’t have enough production capacity here right now. We have several hatcheries that are expanding and I buy some product from every one of them to spread out the risk,” Reid says.
He plans to buy 60 million seeds this year. “I couldn’t risk the chance that one or two growers might run into a problem and couldn’t deliver.” For that same reason Reid says he wouldn’t build or rely on a hatchery of his own.  He says he is buying about 50 percent of his seeds from Chile.
Findings of infectious salmon anemia (ISAv) virus at two land-based salmon facilities in Nova Scotia, Canada has forced the culling of over 600,000 smolts in those farms.

The virus was detected in February after the fish-farm operators reported a concern to veterinarians who then conducted testing, according to a statement issued by the province.

Nova Scotia's Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Keith Colwell, told CBC on Thursday the facilities are located close to each other, but one company suffered an almost complete loss while the other lost only a portion of its stock.

Colwell said it’s highly unusual to have an outbreak of ISAv at a land-based facility. His department will be investigating how the smolts became infected.

Colwell did not name the farms or their location. But an owner of one of Nova Scotia’s land-based fish farms suspected that the outbreak must be at land-based hatcheries that produce smolts for companies that grow them to market size in net pens, not one of the two facilities in the province that raise salmon to market size in land-based operations. “There’s two (land-based) farms in Nova Scotia that are (raising salmon to market size) and we’ve never seen (infectious salmon anemia) or had any problems with that,” the fish farmer, Paul Merlin, told The Chronicle Herald.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), ISAv outbreaks are most common in susceptible farmed finfish reared in sea water. It added that there's no evidence the virus can be transmitted to humans.
West Virginia’s White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery expects to resume supplying rainbow trout eggs to hatcheries in 14 states in 2019.

Flood waters damaged the US Fish and Wildlife Service facility in June 2016. Most of the physical damage has been repaired; the hatch house has been cleaned out and disinfected. However, another year and a half remains before the hatchery can fully resume its primary mission of supplying eggs because the facility requires a full three years to come up to speed, reported the West Virginia Gazette Mail.

It has taken more than a little adjustment on the part of the hatchery’s staff to get over the effects of the flood — not just to oversee repairs to all the damage, but also to grow a brand-new population of trout, the paper reported.

“We won’t be completely back to normal until 2019, but we’re getting there,” Tyler Hern, White Sulphur’s lead fish biologist, was quoted as saying.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state will put $10.4 million into restoring shellfish populations around Long Island.
BioMar reports that it has consolidated a team of dedicated hatchery specialists in order to further develop the company’s hatchery feed products.
A collaborative effort between the Centre for Environment, Aquaculture and Fisheries Science (Cefas) and the University of Exeter was launched in late October by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove. The intent is to bring together world scientists “to ensure the key challenges facing sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry are better understood, both at home and internationally.”
The large-scale production of farmed fish along the Norwegian coastline results in large amounts of sludge each year. The sludge is a mixture of fish feed and faeces. Non-removal of the sludge can lead to toxic algal blooms and poor water quality for the fish. But the sludge also contains chemicals such as phosphorus, which can be used in fertilizer production for land-based farming, and can be converted into biogas for use at land-based hatcheries.
AquaGen recently reported that it has opened a Scottish office at Stirling University Innovation Park. The opening marks a strengthening of the market efforts and technical support for its customers in Scotland and Ireland.
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