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Wisconsin-based Superior Fresh will be welcoming Steven Summerfelt to its team, as the former director at The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute takes on the new role as Superior Fresh's chief science officer.
Aquacare of Bellingham, Washington is marketing what it bills as a "new, energy-efficient recirculating aquaculture system."
It’s still not unknown for people in China to fall ill after eating the potentially poisonous fugu, also known as the puffer or blowfish. Fugu can be lethally poisonous owing to a potent neurotoxin that occurs naturally in its body. The fish must be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts and to avoid contaminating the meat.
Dalian Yifeng Sea Products, a major aquaculture producer in eastern China, recently said that it would provide up to Rub5 billion (US$90 million) to build a hatchery in the far eastern part of Russia. The announcement was made by the company’s President, Zhang Ganizing, during a meeting with regional authorities.
Spanish veterinary pharmaceutical firm HIPRA's injectable vaccine against Vibriosis and Pasteurellosis is now available in the Turkish aquaculture market, a company press release has announced.
Volunteers at the Kokish River Salmon Hatchery on British Columbia’s northern Vancouver Island are sleeping a little easier these days. Marine Harvest Canada donated the cost of installing an alarm system to alert volunteers if there is an interruption in the power.
Bamboo charcoal has the potential to be used as feed additive in the diets of juvenile common carp to improve health status and intestinal function.
South Africa will soon be home to a new large-scale, land-based fish production facility that is expected to produce an initial 1,800 tonnes of trout per year, according to Danish construction firm Gråkjær.
Despite opposition from environmental groups, a fish hatchery in Grayling, Michigan, has been granted permit for its planned fish hatchery expansion on the Au Sauble River, a local news outlet has reported.
The instructor’s vision at Onalaska High School is to provide students with a unique opportunity to learn advanced practices in aquaculture, develop a solid work ethic, and ensure future employability.


Early last fall, Kevin Hoffman, Instructor in Aquaculture at Onalaska High School in Onalaska, Washington, contacted Hatchery International to bring their aquaculture program to our attention. Onalaska has had a hatchery program for nearly 20 years, and is now making some important changes to it.

This is not just an academic program: it is based on a small fish hatchery owned and operated on school grounds by the Onalaska High School.Kevin, with an extensive eight-year background in commercial aquaculture, has been in charge of the program for two years. Students operate the hatchery under his direction with technical support from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and participate in all aspects of its daily routines, maintenance, and re-modelling. There is a cooperative agreement with the WDFW, which supplies the fish and feed, and additional operational support comes from the Chehalis Tribe and Cooke Aquaculture Pacific.  

Outdoor enthusiasts

The program is designed for students who enjoy being outdoors, who like to have their education linked to real-world projects, and who may be interested in future natural resource work or study. Students work collaboratively with their peers and aquaculture professionals throughout the course, gaining hands-on experience while learning about aquaculture and the resources involved. The hatchery program provides a paid position for one student throughout the summer for basic fish husbandry.

The hatchery and its instructional program are probably among the most advanced in the United States at the high school level, and according to Kevin, the educational experience that the students receive can be favourably compared to that provided by the two technical colleges in Washington State that offer aquaculture education programs. Nonetheless, the hatchery and the associated instructional program are under stress, and need some enhanced publicity to ensure their continued success.

Clean spring water

Water for the hatchery is sourced from a nearby spring and requires no treatment; the temperature is consistently around 50°F (10°C), and holds 8mg/l oxygen.The hatchery contains incubators and four tanks for fry and smolt. Students have recently modified the building to include rigid rather than wire mesh walls, thus enhancing security.

To achieve the planned changes, the students of the 2016-2017 school year upgraded the existing plumbing, created a better culturing environment for their steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), increased flow rates by adding pumps, incorporated counter-current degassers to increase oxygen concentrations, and installed a clarifier and biological filter to complete the RAS.

Security is further enhanced in that a power failure will automatically open the emergency oxygenation system. The fully recirculating system, when complete will reuse 95%-98% of the water. This refit is ongoing and is scheduled for completion later in the school year. The goal is to provide students with practical experience of the most up-to-date technology and hatchery practices.

RAS for trout

In the full recirculating system, students raise rainbow trout for a youth-oriented fishing event they host during the annual Onalaska Apple Harvest Festival. They supply 100 two- to three-pound trout for the community’s angling enjoyment.

In the partial recirculating system, 35,000 steelheadwere raised, for release into the Newaukum River. Students perform fish husbandry, fin-clipping operations to subsequently identify hatchery-raised fish, and then transport them to river.  

Besides maintaining and operating the hatchery, the program includes seasonal operations at Gheer Creek, located half a mile away,where every fall returning adult coho (O. kisutch) are trapped, counted and processed. The surplus adult coho carcasses, if in good condition, are given to the community through the local food bank. (Fish not acceptable for human consumption are returned to the stream for nutrient enhancement.)  

At Carlisle Lake (barely half a mile out of town) there are three net-pens, which are used for a few months each year to raise 50,000 each of early and late coho fry. These are subsequently released into Gheer Creek to help support local sport fisheries. Students also raise 9,000 rainbow troutfor sport fishermen, which are released in the spring. On season-opening weekend, the lake is usually crowded with sport fishermen targeting hatchery-raised rainbows planted by both WDFW and the school program. Students check the net pens daily to feed the fish and monitor their activity.

Planning hasn’t stopped

The long-range plan is to incorporatea large scale aquaponics system into the hatchery program. Growing fish produce nutrient-rich water, (before it is neutralized by the biological filter), and carbon dioxide as a by-product of fish respiration. These valuable resources will be used by diverting the water into a large greenhouse to grow vegetables for either the school lunch program or for the community. Raising catfish (Ictalurus sp.) for local consumption is also in the plan. The hope is to provide healthy, not-for-profit food, to increase community health and wellness.

Kevin’s vision is to provide students of Onalaska High School with a unique opportunity to learn the most advanced practices in aquaculture, to develop their work ethic and to ensure their future employability.

For more information contact Kevin at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


SIDEBAR

Comprehensive & Forward-Looking

Students at Onalaska High School develop a clear understanding of industry safety standards, and of hatchery operations. They learn about fish husbandry and hatchery maintenance, participate in day-to-day monitoring, feeding, cleaning tanks, repair and construction. They are able to identify northwest Pacific fish species, and learn about their biology, anatomy and reproduction.

They also learn about different career opportunities that may be available following graduation. They learn that work stops only when everything that the fish need has been done, not simply when the “end of school” bell sounds. And they are also learning some of the more technical sides of building and operating a hatchery, and under Kevin’s direction are re-configuring the system from simple flow-through to partial re-use and finally full recirculation.

A seasoned aquaculture scientist, engineer, entrepreneur, chief executive and investor makes his case for contained, land-based, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture. ….RAS on steroids.

According to the United Nations, another 2.9 billion people must be fed in the world by the year 2050. In addition, the rising middle class in developing countries is creating new demand for meat protein.

It is the conclusion of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management (University of California at Santa Barbara) that to produce this additional food, conventional terres­trial agriculture would generate unacceptable amounts of greenhouse gasses and would require more fresh water than is available. New land the size of South America would be necessary. For these reasons, terrestrial agriculture will not be able to provide the amounts of meat protein that will be demanded. What’s more, the world capture fisheries are at or above their sustainable limits.

Dean Steve Gaines of the Bren School reports that properly managed aquaculture produces meat protein with the least environmental impact of any other form of meat production. Scientists at Bren have also found that the amount of ocean surface required to produce sufficient amounts of farmed fish is not great, about equivalent to the area of Lake Michigan in the United States. Using conventional marine aquaculture, ocean space would not be a limitation.

Unfortunately, growth of conven­tional aquaculture now faces serious regulatory and capital constraints. There will also be limits on the amount of protein inputs necessary for this new production of meat protein. Where will the protein come from to feed all the additional fish that will be necessary to feed all the new people? And, where will the financial capital come from to build the facilities to produce this fish and shellfish?

The need for protein

Global consumption of meat protein is 63 kg per capita. At this level of consumption, we will need to produce 200 million metric tons more edible fish protein to feed the world population in just over thirty years. Assuming a 50% fillet yield from each fish, an annual production of 400 million metric tons more fish will be required. Present aquaculture systems are not efficient. With an average protein retention of 20% for many aquaculture species, two billion metric tons more plant protein will be needed to feed this amount of fish. Assuming 50% protein in these grain products, the new amount of plant protein required will be four billion metric tons more than is now produced.

If advances in fish and shellfish genetics and the science of fish nutrition were to allow grain to supply all necessary protein in fish feeds to fill this need, it is unlikely that terrestrial agriculture can produce sufficient amounts of grain. Global grain production in 2012 was 2.2 billion metric tons and production increases at an average rate of 1.3% per year. If this rate of growth continues over the next 32 years, world grain production would become 3.7 billion metric tons, or 1.5 billion metric tons more than now. Even with these favorable assumptions, we will fall far short of the required four billion metric tons of grain needed. These approximate calculations are likely to be optimistic.

To fill the global need for additional meat protein, aquaculture will have to:

•, Produce seafood protein from lower amounts of plant protein through improvements in overall nutrient retention,

• Lower costs of production so that consumer prices for seafood compete with other meats , and

• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions (including transportation) to acceptable levels.

The integrated solution

In recent years there has been considerable attention devoted to the concept of Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA). IMTA is where systems are designed so that metabolic products of species being cultured become nutrients for other species in the system. For example, dissolved ammonia and carbon dioxide released from metabolizing aquatic animals are consumed by aquatic plants located nearby. These plants then become commercial crops for sale, or become feed for aquatic animals within the system. This mimics nature.

In IMTA, nutrients are recycled in a system that contains multiple species of plants and animals. With nutrient recycling there is higher utilization of feed inputs. For example, mussels and macro-algae grown adjacent to salmon net pens capture suspended solids and dissolved nutrients to produce two more valuable crops.

Further refining this concept, multiple species of plants and animals are grown in a land-based contained system where the plants that produce protein are fed to fish and shellfish. Nutrients cycle back and forth. Protein retention then increases and a greater percentage of input nutrients are eventually exported from the system as valuable crops.

A conventional single animal aquaculture system with an assumed level of 20% protein retention will waste 80% of feed inputs to the environment. However, an IMTA system with 40% protein retention will waste only 60% of the feed inputs. As a result, the protein inputs to this new system will produce twice as much valuable meat as does the conventional system.

Likewise an IMTA system with 60% overall protein retention wastes only 40% of the feed inputs. For the same nutrient inputs as the conventional system, the IMTA system with 80% retention efficiency will further reduce waste. At this level of protein retention, the same amount of nutrient inputs into the system will produce four times as much meat protein.

If IMTA systems can be designed for 80% protein retention, the future global need for four billion metric tons of grain protein that is calculated earlier in this article can be reduced to one billion metric tons of grain. This is a profound difference of global importance.

Prices must fall

In order for consumers to afford this new amount of meat, total growing, processing and distribution costs for aquaculture products will have to decline to be close to other forms of meat protein such as beef, hogs and poultry. In most forms of aquaculture feed accounts for over half the cost of production. We cannot expect widespread consumption of aquaculture products with the present price and cost structure.

In another hypothetical case, assuming that feed accounts for 75% of total production costs in a conventional single species system, and the total cost to grow a fish is $2.00 per pound farm-gate, feed costs would be $1.50 per pound. All other growing costs would be $0.50 per pound. In contrast, with an IMTA system providing 80% protein retention, overall feed costs would decrease to $0.375 per pound of fish produced and total costs would decline to $0.875 per pound of meat produced. This is a major cost reduction.

The need for Capital

In my recent book, Aquaculture: Will it rise to its potential to feed the world?, I roughly estimate that the capital required to build aquaculture facilities, with associated feed milling, processing and other infrastructure, requires an average of $4.50 per kg of production capacity or $4,500 per metric ton. This capital cost may be higher or lower depending upon the species grown and the venue of the facility, but it is a useful assumption for this analysis.

For 400 million metric tons more annual fish production capacity estimated to be required, approximately $1.8 trillion of new capital will be required over the next 30 years. This is a rough approximation.

Over the next 30 years, this averages $60 billion each year. While this is a large amount of capital, it is a relatively small amount compared to the U.S. total domestic investment in plant and equipment that was $1.6 trillion in 2016. This number is for the U.S. economy and much of the capital required for new aquaculture likely will be financed in foreign economies. While large, this amount of capital is not overwhelming.



***

Integrated multi-trophic systems are the future of food. It is our best chance to feed our rapidly growing global populations on limited amounts of plant protein and to do this in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner. My major concern is acquiring the capital required to make this happen.

As discussed in my book, most investment pools, such as venture capital and private equity, are not good fits for aquaculture development. First, their short term view is not compatible with building transforming enterprises. Second, their financial engineering of investments is not appropriate for aquaculture. Thirdly, it is obvious to me that the managers of most pools, including those of large food-based corporations that publically state that they want to be the “Future of Food,” either lack the interest, or do not have the vision and ability to understand IMTA.

As a seasoned aquaculture scientist, engineer, entrepreneur, chief executive and investor my money is exclusively invested in contained, land based, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture. IMTA is positioned to grow manifold to fill global food needs since it: (1) minimizes limited feed inputs, (2) substantially lowers production costs, and (3) preserves our planet.


In my mind, single species aquaculture systems of all kinds have limited prospects while integrated multi-trophic aquaculture is the future of food. IMTA will bring a powerful change to aquaculture and for the world.


Over the past forty years, George Lockwood has been an aquaculture pioneer and industry leader. During this time he developed Ocean Farms of Hawaii where he grew abalone, oysters, salmon and sea urchins in an integrated multi-trophic aquaculture system.







Dutch company Cluster Farming Holdings (CFH) is putting cluster fish farming into practice in Ghana. By doing so, it hopes to address the country's seafood deficit and, potentially, transform its aquaculture industry.
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.

An innovative multidisciplinary aquaculture project led by Ireland’s NUI Galway and Athlone Institute of Technology is set to improve production efficiencies and management of farmed fish at several inland freshwater sites.

The project, named EcoAqua, has received €348,781 in funding under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF), administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara, through the Knowledge Gateway Scheme, on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

EcoAqua will address several critically important needs identified by industry and aquaculture stakeholders including:

  • Analysing the environmental and energy performance of three freshwater aquaculture sites by extensive sampling and remote online monitoring of water parameters.
  • Facilitating the re-use of the treated water, thereby reducing both the volumes of extracted and discharged waters.
  • Enabling the industry to meet stringent environmental regulation while increasing production in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.
  • Piloting technological innovations with industry to ensure the research is easily and rapidly transferrable to the aquaculture sector.
Alan Kennedy, EcoAqua project manager at NUI Galway, said: “This timely project will improve the water quality of freshwater farms through the incorporation of water treatment technologies and energy reduction interventions into existing flow-through farms that will also enable seamless transitions to next-generation production formats.”

For further information about the project contact Alan Kennedy, Project Manager, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



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.

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