April 27, 2015 – PANAMA CITY, Panama — Open-ocean tilapia producer Aquasense Panama, S. de R.L., an affiliate of the U.S. holding company Aquasense International Corp., has begun site preparation at its Gulf of Panamá ocean site in the Republic of Panamá, where the company plans to develop the seafood industry’s first-ever open-ocean project for farm-raised saltwater tilapia products for the USA market.
“Our project has been gaining traction since we announced it last year and, thanks to additional seed funding, pre-ops can start,” said James F. Reilly, president and CEO of Aquasense. According to Sjef van Eijs, chief operating officer of Aquasense, “We are excited about getting in the water for site preparation and we expect to do this work on time and on budget.”
In March, the company signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Miami-based Gamma Seafood Corporation, a division of the Alfa Gamma Group, to market and distribute products resulting from this innovative project.
Aquasense Panama is an early-stage aquaculture company with the mission of contributing to meeting the rising food needs of a growing world population in a sustainable manner. “We have developed a non-traditional farming method for tilapia based on our preliminary research,” said Reilly. “That research showed that, when tilapia are reared in the full salinity of the open ocean and given nutritious food, the result is a much-improved fish product in terms of both taste and texture. In 2007, we set out to change the paradigm of fish farming by bringing our operations to the pristine waters surrounding Panama.”
The project responds to predictions about world population growth and demands for seafood. “We see this project as a sustainable solution to a global problem,” said Reilly. “The U.S. Census Bureau is projecting that the global population will explode to 8 billion by the year 2020. The U.N. is projecting that the world will need an additional 40 million tons of seafood by the year 2030. With commercial fishing fleets unable to meet the growing demand, the only viable solution is aquaculture. Our mission is to contribute to meeting the rising food needs of a growing world population in a sustainable manner. We are very excited about taking the next step in bringing this important process to fruition.”
For more information about Aquasense and its projects, go to www.aquasense.com.
Aquasense International and Gamma Seafood Sign LOI to Distribute First Saltwater Farmed Tilapia Products
Aquasense International Corporation (“Aquasense”), the U.S. holding company of the affiliate aquaculture company, Aquasense Panamá, S. de R.L. (“Aquasense Panama”), signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Miami-based, Gamma Seafood Corporation (“Gamma Seafood”), a division of the Alfa Gamma Group, to market and distribute the seafood industry’s first ever farm-raised, saltwater red tilapia products in the USA market.
Under this LOI, Aquasense Panama will supply the Alfa Gamma Group, on an exclusive basis an estimated annual 500 tons of ocean farmed tilapia to be distributed to high-end U.S. retailers, gourmet chefs and cruise ships, starting as early as next year. By the end of the first project phase, it will supply an annual 6,000 tons. All product will consist of sustainably farm-raised red tilapia, grown in open-ocean and eco-friendly production systems, located in pristine waters off the Pacific coast of the Republic of Panama. The product will be offered only fresh, whole and filleted.
Aquasense Panama is an early stage aquaculture company with the mission to contribute to meeting the rising food needs of a growing world population in a sustainable manner. In 2007, it set out to change the paradigm of fish farming, by bringing their fish farming operations to the pristine waters surrounding Panama. Considered a non-traditional farming method for tilapia, their preliminary research showed that when tilapia are reared in the full salinity of the open ocean and fed nutritious feeds, the result is a very much improved fish product, in terms of taste and texture.
The Alfa Gamma Group owns and operates SQF and BRC certified facilities and fishing fleets in Panamá, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Suriname and Mexico. Alfa Gamma’s headquarters are located in Miami, FL within five miles of the Miami International Airport and 12 miles from the Port of Miami. Alfa Gamma’s 85,000 square foot headquarters include an SQF Level 3 modern processing facility that receives and processes 20 to 50 thousand pounds of fresh seafood per day, includes a 5 million pound freezer storage facility and is staffed with an experienced and dedicated sales and logistic force servicing customers in North America and abroad. For more about Alfa Gamma Group contact Santiago Alvarez at (305)888-6789.
It is illegal to raise tilapia in Utah
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) has jurisdiction over the species of game fish one may posses in Utah. In other words, the UDWR must approve any species of game fish that a private operator may posses in Utah. Their “Collection, Importation and Possession of Zoological Animals” regulation has classified Tilapia as a nuisance species and it does not allow importation or possession of the species in Utah. Suzanne McMullin is the contact person for the UDWR at 801 538 4701. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has no jurisdiction in this regard. If I can be of further assistance please call me at 801 538 7046.
Mark Martin, Manager
Fish Health Program
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food
Topics Include Disease Trends in Asia, Sustainable Production and Health Management
MADISON, NEW JERSEY, March 26, 2015 – Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada) today announced a High Quality Tilapia Meeting to be held on April 4 during the Tilapia 2015 Congress, the 4th International Trade and Technical Conference and Exposition on Tilapia. Merck Animal Health is a Platinum Sponsor of the Congress, which will take place at the Palace of the Golden Horses hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from April 2-4.
“As demand for fish protein continues to rise, fish farmers need solutions that can help them ensure consistent and sustainable harvests,” said Norman Lim, Regional Technical Manager for Aquaculture in Asia. “Merck Animal Health has pioneered the development of tilapia vaccines in Asia, and we are pleased to expand our support through the High Quality Tilapia Meeting, to help fish farmers increase their productivity by taking an integrated approach to health management.”
The High Quality Tilapia Meeting will feature sessions led by industry experts and Merck Animal Health representatives on a variety of topics related to tilapia production, including disease trends in Asia, the role of diagnostics and genetics, and the benefits of an integrated approach to health management. Sessions and speakers include:
- Session Introduction – Chris Haacke, Merck Animal Health
- Tilapia Disease Trends in Asia – Dr. Chang Siow Foong, Merck Animal Health, R&D Site Lead, Singapore
- The Importance of Diagnostics in the Health Management Process – Dr. Diana Chee, Aquatic Veterinarian, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, Singapore
- The Role of Genetics in Animal Health and its Contribution to Sustainable Production – Dr. Jim McKay, Group Director, Science and Technology, Aviagen UK (EW Group)
- Quality Healthy Fingerlings – Dr. Prakan Chiarahkhongman , CPF (Thailand)
- Nutrition and Health Management – Dr. Minh Anh Pham, Aqua R&D Manager, InVivo NSA
- Integrated Approach to Tilapia Health Management – Norman Lim, Merck Animal Health
- Certification and Implications for Health Management – Michiel Fransen, Standards and Certification Coordinator, Aquaculture Stewardship Council
The introduction of vaccination in aquaculture has led to high levels of sustainability, productivity and improved performance in many major fish farming industries around the world. This approach to disease prevention has also allowed for investment in more efficient production methods and better feed utilization and formulations, driving sustainable production growth.
For more information about the High Quality Tilapia meeting, visit: http://highqualitycongress.com/# . To register for the Tilapia 2015 Congress, visit http://infofish.org/tilapia2015/index.php/programme .
Supporting Aquaculture in Asia and Beyond
In January 2000, Merck Animal Health opened a Research and Development Center in Singapore to develop high-quality aquaculture animal health products and application strategies for warm water fish-farming in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. In July 2012, Merck Animal Health obtained approval from Indonesian authorities to market the first vaccine for tilapia, AQUAVAC® Strep Sa for managing streptococcosis, a prevalent bacterial disease that can cause high levels of mortality and sharp decreases in fish performance. The availability of the tilapia vaccine continues to expand through product registrations in key tilapia-producing regions around the world. The company also runs a comprehensive technical and educational program known as ‘Strep Control Your Tilapia Health’ to support the implementation of vaccination programs and integrated health management on tilapia farms.
For more information about Merck Animal Health’s aquaculture business, visit http://aqua.merck-animal-health.com .
A 2014 report on aquaculture in Egypt presents some interesting information:
- Despite the pressure on water, Egypt has the largest aquaculture industry in Africa with a market value of over $1.3 billion.
- The industry now provides 65% of the country’s fish needs, with virtually all the output coming from small and medium-scale privately owned farms.
- The main farmed fish is Nile tilapia and Egypt is the world’s second largest producer of farmed tilapia after China. Grey mullet and carp are also farmed, sometimes in mixed ponds with tilapia.
- From small levels of production in the early 1990s fish farming has expanded rapidly while capture fishing has remained fairly constant, even declining somewhat after peaking at the beginning of the 21st century.
- Aquaculture is also important in providing employment to an estimated 100,000 people of whom 50% are youth.
- With the exception of Fayoum, aquaculture takes place in the Nile Delta region and mainly around the Northern Lakes area.
Citation: Mur, R. 2014. Development of the aquaculture value chain in Egypt: Report of the National Innovation Platform Workshop, Cairo, 19-20 February 2014. Cairo: WorldFish.
An Industry Assessment of Tilapia Farming in Egypt
Dr. Adel A. Shaheen, B.V.Sc., M.V.Sc., Ph.D.
Professor of fish diseases & management Head Department of fish diseases & management
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Benha University Moshtohor – Toukh – Egypt
2.5. Status of fish production in Egypt
Capture fisheries in Egypt are in decline due to; overfishing, pollution, illegal, unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU), relaxation in the implementation of laws and regulations, lack of interest in clearing Straits and waterways, poor sustainable management of fisheries and aquaculture, illegal fishing operations of fry. In addition to the building of Aswan High Dam (that reduced the annual flood cycle of the Nile), the application of partial pond flushing, aeration and sex reversal are the major steps that contributed to the expansion,
intensification and growth of total tilapia production in ponds in Egypt.
The General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD) planned two-sided strategy aims to increase the productivity of freshwater aquaculture operations, while encouraging investment in marine aquaculture.
A cooperation agreement between Egypt’s General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) inked in May sets a framework for joint fisheries development. The protocol encourages researchers, trainers and quality control technicians in the two countries to share data, and calls for exchange visits of fisheries and aquaculture officials
A series of high quality aquaculture training videos, designed to teach Egyptian fish farmers the industry’s best management practices, has recently been released.
Produced by WorldFish, an international nonprofit research organization, the ten short videos are being used to train local fish farmers in the most effective ways to boost the production and quality of farmed fish.
Available in Arabic with English subtitles, the videos cover all aspects of aquaculture from pond preparation and fish health care, to how to transport and handle live fish.
“These videos are good learning tool for fish farmers to show them the industry’s best management practices in a simplified way”, says Dr. Diaa Al-Kenawy, Research Scientist at WorldFish.
“Both the trainers and the farmers found the videos very useful because they explain all fish farming stages from site selection and pond design to harvest and post-harvest treatment”, he adds.
The videos are part of the Improving Employment and Income through the Development of Egypt’s Aquaculture Sector (IEIDEAS) project, which aims to strengthen and develop the country’s US$1.5 billion aquaculture industry and generate more employment in the sector.
The IEIDEAS project is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, which aims to increase the productivity of small-scale livestock and fish systems in sustainable ways, making meat, milk and fish more available and affordable to poor consumers across the developing world.
Strengthening the aquaculture industry in Egypt will help to secure the livelihoods of over 100,000 men and women employed in the sector, and ensure an affordable source of animal protein for the millions of poor who depend on fish.
While the videos are targeted at Egyptian fish farmers, they offer industry tips that will benefit pond-based aquaculture producers around the world.
Watch the videos. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_5s5CPGqCKQtv15flpx4UKDltm3JyEIM
WorldFish, a member of the CGIAR Consortium, is an international, nonprofit research organization committed to reducing poverty and hunger through fisheries and aquaculture.
CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.
For more information or to request an interview please contact:
Diane Shohet, Director, Communications and Marketing, WorldFish
Tel: +6017 474 8606
Luanda — The first National Centre for Tilapia Hatchery will be inaugurated on Friday in Massangano commune, Cambambe municipality, northern Cuanza Norte province, Angop learnt on Thursday.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Fisheries, the project, an investment estimated at 10 million US dollars, will have a juvenile fish production unit (newly hatched fish) Tilapia.
The First National Tilapia Hatchery Centre will have an installed capacity of an annual output of two million of juvenile fish of quality, to enhance the aquaculture sector, specifically in the promotion of freshwater fish culture.
In Angola, aquaculture is listed as one of the priority sub-sectors and can play an important role in the diversification of the economy, with the potential to intense development, turning the country into a major producing nation of fish.
Aquaculture also aims to integrate its products in the supply chain of fisheries, aiming to reduce imports and create surpluses for exports.
The undertaking is the first of its kind infrastructure in the country, equipped with the latest technology and highly qualified professional teams and has a valence of research focused on training future researchers and others of the fisheries sector.
Investment combines the economic aspect of intensive production with the relevant scientific and social aspects, being generator of new job opportunities.
The larval reproduction stage includes reproduction tanks and breeders management incubator for hatching eggs, larvae management tanks and also breeding pre-tanks.
At its full operation, the centre will be able to especially encourage small aquaculture production of many families of Cuanza Norte province and other neighboring provinces.
For more information, see Ohio Aquaculture Industry Analysis
Some Ohio tilapia farms:
Ripple Rock Fish Farms
6805 Old Stagecoach Road,
Frazeysburg, Ohio, 43822
Sugar Creek Fishery
7799 Sugar Creek Rd
Lima, OH 45801
Regulatory Issues in Ohio Regarding Aquaculture
By: Laura Tiu, Aquaculture Specialist, OSU South Centers
Aquaculture is a form of agriculture in Ohio.
Ohio Revised Code 1.61. “Agriculture” defined.
As used in any statute except section 303.01 or 519.01 of the Revised Code, “agriculture” includes farming; ranching; aquaculture; apiculture and related apicultural activities, production of honey, beeswax, honeycomb, and other related products; horticulture; viticulture, winemaking, and related activities; animal husbandry, including, but not limited to, the care and raising of livestock, equine, and fur-bearing animals; poultry husbandry and the production of poultry and poultry products; dairy production; the production of field crops, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, nursery stock, ornamental shrubs, ornamental trees, flowers, sod, or mushrooms; timber; pasturage; any combination of the foregoing; the processing, drying, storage, and marketing of agricultural products when those activities are conducted in conjunction with, but are secondary to, such husbandry or production; and any additions or modifications to the foregoing made by the director of agriculture by rule adopted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
In a recent survey of State Aquaculture Coordinators, the 17 states that define aquaculture find it has a number of benefits:
- sales and use tax exemptions
- building code exemptions
- right-to-farm laws developed to create a legal buffer between farms and encroaching suburbanites
- allows for sovereign submerged land leases
- protects farmers who follow BMPs from environmental lawsuits
- provides for an ombudsman to resolve issues with regulatory agencies
- disaster assistance from USDA
- access to land, water appropriations, and discharge exemptions provided to agricultural operations
- provides a seat on the state’s Agricultural Commission and representation by Farm Bureau
- makes theft of farmed fish punishable
- allows exemption from wildlife regulations on take method, season, limit, and size
- allows producers to file for agricultural land tax rates
- provides for coordinated fish health monitoring efforts
Aquaculture permits in Ohio.
Fee: $50.00 – $100.00
Ohio Revised Code 1533.632. Aquaculture permits in Ohio.
Permitting for production of aquaculture species is provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.
The Aquaculture Law Digest is accessible on-line as ODNR Publication 61.
Permits are annual from January 1 – December 31.
Transportation and Baitfish permits information available on the same webpage.
Fish Importation into Ohio
Aquatic fish health is regulated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture
Find more information on this website: http://www.ncrac.org/Info/StateImportRegs/ohio.htm#Importation
Storm Water Discharge permits – Ohio EPA
Fee: $200.00 – $500.00
As of March 10, 2003, if your construction project disturbs 1 or more acres of ground, you must get a permit to discharge storm water from your site. If your project disturbs less than 1 acre but is part of a larger plan of development or sale, you also need a permit to discharge storm water from the site. This includes excavation of ponds.
For more information: http://www.epa.ohio.gov/dsw/storm/construction_index.aspx
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit
Specific language from Federal Register 40 CFR part 451, Vol. 68, No
162 August 24, 2004:
On June 30, 2001, EPA finalized a new rule establishing regulations for concentrated aquatic animal production (CAAP), or farm raised fish facilities. The regulation will apply to approximately 245 facilities that generate wastewater from their operations and discharge that wastewater directly into waters of the United States. This rule will help reduce discharges of conventional pollutants, primarily total suspended solids. The rule will also help reduce non-conventional pollutants such as nutrients. To a lesser extent, the rule will reduce drugs that are used to manage diseased fish, chemicals used to clean net pens, and toxic pollutants (metals and PCBs). The final rule applies to direct discharges of wastewater from existing and new facilities that produce at least 100,000 pounds of fish a year and discharge at least 30 days a year and facilities that produce at least 100,000 pounds of fish a year in net pens or submerged cages.
Water Withdrawal Facilities Registration
The Water Withdrawal Facilities Registration Program, as established in H.B. 662 by the Ohio General Assembly in 1988, implements one of the objectives of the Great Lakes Charter in Ohio. Section 1521.16 of the Ohio Revised code requires any owner of a facility, or combination of facilities, with the capacity to withdraw water at a quantity greater than 100,000 gallons per day (GPD) to register such facilities with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Water. The Water Withdrawal Facility Registration (WWFR) Program will provide information of great importance to the citizens of the state. Water, one of our most basic and precious natural resources, needs to be studied more intensely and water resource planners need reliable information to plan for the future. The state’s economy depends on water and economic development will continue to place increased demands on this critical resource.
Water withdrawal forms: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Water/wwfr/default/tabid/4265/Default.aspx
Your aquaculture permit allows you to sell fish live or whole on ice. If you want to process your fish product, you fall under additional regulations.
On-farm retail: If it is 100% retail from the farm (no wholesaling), it does not fall under the federal or state seafood HACCP regulation, just the local health department.
Every “processor” must conduct a hazard analysis to determine whether they have likely food safety hazards that they must control. This processing falls under Federal HACCP regulations. For more information go to:
For HACCP questions in Ohio:
Diane R. McDaniel
Assistant to District Director
1600 Watermark Drive
Columbus, OH 43215
(614)487-1273 Ext 15
Engineering Design for Recirculating Aquaculture (RAS), Hydroponic, and Aquaponic Systems
This three day course (Tuesday – Thursday) reviews the basic engineering principles behind a successful recirculating system (RAS) design. The objective of this course is to provide sufficient information so that the participant will be able to design, construct, and manage their own RAS system. We also cover the basic principles of state-of-the-art hydroponic (plant) and aquaponic (fish and plants) techniques and cover the management of these systems. Several design options will be explored. Basic principles of business management for the small family farm will also be reviewed by guest speaker Michael Finnegan, CEO Continental Organics L.L.C.
The following topics will be addressed:
- Water quality monitoring and measurement
- Engineering design of individual unit processes
- System management
- Fish health management
- Economic and risk evaluation
- Indoor Shrimp
- Tours of local aquaculture/hydroponics facilities
A “distance” learning opportunity for aquaculture only is also offered.
At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will have the essential information necessary to design their own systems and have a fundamental knowledge of the principles influencing the numerous design options.
In addition, a Farm Tour will be made to Continental Organics Inc. (2 acres of hydroponics and a 100,000 lb/year tilapia system); see www.conorgnx.com for farm details (within 10 minutes of educational venue).
Location: Mount Saint Mary College
330 Powell Ave., Newburgh, NY 12550
Host Professor: Dr. Lynn Maelia, Chemistry
Dr. Michael B. Timmons
Aquaculture & Business Management
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Dr. James M. Eberling
Aquaculture Systems Technologies, New Orleans, LA
Michael Finnigan, CEO
Continental Organics LLCNew Windsor, NY
For more information, see http://fish.bee.cornell.edu/
Hot on the heels of the launch of the floating raft cage culture system in November and an awareness building event for locally produced tilapia targeted at restaurants and supermarkets two weeks ago, last week, Devant Maharaj, the Minister of Food Production in Trinidad unveiled three other initiatives.
In his unprecedented and unrelenting efforts to support the long neglected Aquaculture Sector, Minister Maharaj commissioned a refurbished facility originally established in the 1950’s and re-branding it as the Aquaculture Demonstration Centre.
At the same event, there was also the signing of a MoU among several of his Ministry agencies and the predominant farmers group for the purchase of farmed tilapia, processing of the fish and subsequent sale of the product under a newly created TT Tilapia brand. These are all bold and never before seen initiatives in the aquaculture industry anywhere in the world and many countries would do well to pay attention to this model for aquaculture support and development.