Category Archives: Aquaculture

Blue Ridge Aquaculture announces the opening of Blue Ridge Aquafeeds

Blue Ridge Aquaculture proudly announces the official opening of Blue Ridge Aquafeeds, an innovative feed mill that will supply the company’s internal feed demand as well as the growing aquaculture market. This is the first time that feed milling has been integrated into a successful recirculating aquaculture operation, and marks a milestone in the development of indoor aquaculture. By controlling its own feed supply, Blue Ridge Aquaculture can advance Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) to their full potential. Total capital investment for this project is approximately $5,000,000 and will create several new jobs to support the new operations. A celebration of this opening was held on Monday, July 31st at the site of the new mill.

There has been a void in the development of aquaculture in the US, resulting in a similar void in the domestic aqua feed industry. This new facility will incorporate several innovations that have allowed the feed industry to evolve in other regions.

The new Blue Ridge Aquafeeds facility is an innovative, industry leading aquafeed mill that will leverage the
advantages of closed system aquaculture to further develop the RAS industry. It incorporates innovations in the areas of facility design, system integration, product traceability, and local ingredient supply. The new milling facility will supply the company’s current tilapia production, and was scaled to support the company’s future growth plans. With singleness of purpose, the farm can collaboration directly with the feed mill, and develop diets that best meet the nutritional requirements of fish in these systems.

Blue Ridge Aquafeeds will also supply feeds to other customers with a focus on high quality diets. The new mill is well positioned with a strong value proposition that gives it a unique competitive advantage to develop these markets.

  • Blue Ridge Aquaculture is a farming operation, and understands the importance of a high quality feed service.
  • The company can drive feed innovation in a commercial setting, with a focus on improvements along the entire value chain.
  • Recirculating Aquaculture Systems are the next logical progression in aquaculture development, and this milling operation will specialize in feed for RAS and closed systems.
  • There has been a void in the development of aquaculture in the US, resulting in a similar void in the domestic aqua feed industry. This new facility will incorporate several innovations that have allowed the feed industry to evolve in other regions.

Blue Ridge Aquafeeds is grateful for the assistance and support it has received for this project, including grants from the Virginia Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industry Development Fund, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, and Henry County.

“Blue Ridge Aquaculture’s expansion is another step forward for Virginia as we solidify our standing as a key player in the nation’s seafood sector,” said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden. “Aquaculture production represents an opportunity for Virginia to capitalize on the need to feed a growing population with limited resources. We are lucky to have an innovative company like Blue Ridge Aquaculture as a member of the agriculture community in Virginia. I’m pleased we could match Henry County’s investment into their business through an AFID grant, and I look forward to their continued success.”

Blue Ridge Aquaculture, an employee owned company, is the global leader in commercial Recirculating Aquaculture Systems. Founded in 1993, the company has been in continuous operation for nearly twenty years, and has grown to produce over 4 million pounds of tilapia per year. Current infrastructure includes an indoor, 80,000 ft² production facility, hatchery and nursery, and a live-haul trucking company. Most importantly, the company acknowledges its key advantage is the dedicated staff and employees that have driven continuous improvements in all areas of operations. The company’s long-term vision is large-scale production of fisheries products using Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS). Integrating feed production into the company’s operations is key to the success of this plan.

Contact Information:

Blue Ridge Aquafeeds
Scott Farmer
Office Phone: 276-403-4375
Email: sfarmer@blueridgeaquafeeds.com

Solar for Aquaculture

Solar power is the becoming the power generation of choice for the Aquaculture industry. Due to farms usually being located in remote off grid locations solar is able to displace the use of expensive diesel power generation either partially or completely. The cost savings, surety and security of supply and knowing what your energy costs will be for the next 25 + years enables the operator to run their farm in an efficient and sustainable manner, while maximising the financial returns on their yields.

Floating Solar installation at Fish Farm

Floating Solar installation at Fish Farm

  • Delivers renewable energy into ANY Customer grid
  • Displaces current unsustainable, imported fossil fuel power generation with clean power source
  • Provides fixed power costs 20-25 year OpEx enabling accurate budgeting – lowest ongoing lifecycle cost to any alternative power generation solution
  • Able to be deployed very quickly
  • Removes risk of losing entire fish or shrimp stock due to sustained power outages caused by mechanical failure or fuel delivery issues.
  • Solar is highly flexible, modular, scalable to meet increasing demand
  • Promotes your product in a sustainable image like many world leading brands

Hybrid – Solar / Battery / Diesel

Hybrid storage systems can be designed and installed to provide power availability as needed.

  • Advance modular system, specifically designed for remote locations to deliver 100% of all power needs.
  • Provides total power requirements in all off grid situations or supplement on grid capacity
  • Modular design enables systems to be scaled up to any size to meet all future power requirements.
  • Highest quality equipment, robust design provides continuous operation & long life cycles in even the most hostile environments.
Power storage

Power storage

Power Technology ASEAN Ltd is a leading Renewable Energy company having provided innovative turnkey renewable energy solutions for over 30 years to both Government and private sectors globally. The company has its headquarters in Auckland New Zealand and offices in Jakarta, Indonesia and Toronto, Canada.

Power Technology is a full service company providing Renewable Energy consultancy, funding, design engineering, procurement, on site build and project management, commissioning and ongoing maintenance programs covering a systems entire life cycle. Our expertise is in displacing diesel power reliance with utility scale solar power generation solutions to the Aquaculture industry and commercial operations where power security and efficiency is required

For more information:

Lance Sheppard
Director. International Business Development
Phone: + 649 836 6744 (Ext 711) | Mobile: +64 21 279 0034
Email: lance.sheppard@powertech.co.nz
295 Lincoln Road, Auckland, New Zealand

Power Technology ASEAN
The Plaza Tower. 41st Floor
Jl. M.H.Thamrin Kav 28-30
Jakarta – 10350.  Indonesia

New software tool from Evonik improves tilapia aquaculture

Evonik launches new service AMINOTilapia® for aquaculture

Genetics roadmap to develop more resilient farmed fish

WorldFish will embark on new research to create more resilient fish with characteristics such as disease resistance and more effective feed utilization. Based on a roadmap developed with world experts at a WorldFish-hosted fish breeding workshop on 23–24 May at The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, the research will use advanced techniques such as genomic selection to introduce these characteristics into its improved tilapia strains.

Since 1988, WorldFish has used selective breeding to develop and manage the fast-growing Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) strain. The strain has been disseminated to at least 16 countries, mostly in the developing world, and is grown by millions of small-scale fish farmers for food, income and nutrition across the globe.

Harvested GIFT Tilapia (Credit: Worldfish)

Harvested GIFT Tilapia (Credit: Worldfish)

Use of genomic selection tools, which enable the selection of animals based on genetic markers, will allow WorldFish to expand its GIFT research beyond a growth-only focus and introduce selection for characteristics that are otherwise difficult to measure, such as resilience and feed efficiency. Genomic selection has enabled a step change in the rate of genetic improvement of terrestrial livestock, and has the potential to do the same in fish.

Expansion of GIFT research is a key part of the CGIAR Research Program on fish (FISH) and supports WorldFish efforts under its sustainable aquaculture program to increase the productivity of small-scale aquaculture to meet growing global demand for fish.

John Benzie, Program Leader, Sustainable Aquaculture, WorldFish: “Incorporating new traits in the breeding program for GIFT will help fish farmers prepare for future challenges such as climate change and increasing evidence of disease risks. This will particularly benefit farmers in Africa and Asia, where tilapia is critical for food security yet farmers often have limited access to improved fish breeds suited to local conditions.”

Ross Houston, Group Leader, The Roslin Institute: “Aquaculture production needs to increase by 40 percent by 2030 to meet global demands for fish. Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is arguably the world’s most important food fish, and plays a key role in tackling rural poverty in developing countries. The innovations in genetic improvement mapped out in this workshop are an important step toward achieving these ambitious goals.”

Attendees of the workshop included experts from WorldFish’s Malaysian and Egyptian bases, The Roslin Institute, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, The University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, the Earlham Institute, CIRAD and the Animal Breeding and Genetics group of Wageningen University and Research.

The roadmap will feed into a strategy for the genetic improvement and dissemination of GIFT seed in Africa, the further development of which will take place at the Genetics Network meeting being hosted by WorldFish at the World Aquaculture 2017 conference in Cape Town on 26–30 June.

For more information or to request an interview contact:

Toby Johnson, Head of Communications
Mobile Tel: +60 (0) 175 124 606
Email: t.johnson@cgiar.org
Web: worldfishcenter.org
Photography: flickr.com/photos/theworldfishcenter/

About WorldFish
WorldFish is an international, nonprofit research organization that harnesses the potential of fisheries and aquaculture to reduce hunger and poverty. Globally, more than one billion poor people obtain most of their animal protein from fish and 800 million depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. WorldFish is a member of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.

About CGIAR
CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partners.

FAO issues alert over lethal virus affecting popular tilapia fish

Though not a human health risk, Tilapia Lake Virus has large potential impact on global food security and nutrition

26 May 2017, Rome–A highly contagious disease is spreading among farmed and wild tilapia, one of the world’s most important fish for human consumption.

The outbreak should be treated with concern and countries importing tilapias should take appropriate risk-management measures – intensifying diagnostics testing, enforcing health certificates, deploying quarantine measures and developing contingency plans – according to a Special Alert released today by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warnings System.

Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) has now been reported in five countries on three continents: Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel and Thailand.

While the pathogen poses no public health concern, it can decimate infected populations. In 2015, world tilapia production, from both aquaculture and capture, amounted to 6.4 million tonnes, with an estimated value of USD 9.8 billion, and worldwide trade was valued at USD1.8 billion. The fish is a mainstay of global food security and nutrition, GIEWS said.

Joyce Makaka tends her FAO-assisted fish farm in western Kenya.

Joyce Makaka tends her FAO-assisted fish farm in western Kenya.

Tilapia producing countries need to be vigilant, and should follow aquatic animal-health code protocols of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) when trading tilapia. They should initiate an active surveillance programme to determine the presence or absence of TiLV, the geographic extent of the infection and identify risk factors that may help contain it.

Countries are encouraged also to launch public information campaigns to advise aquaculturists – many of them smallholders – of TiLV’s clinical signs and the economic and social risks it poses and the need to flag large-scale mortalities to biosecurity authorities.

Currently, actively TiLV surveillance is being conducted in China, India, Indonesia and it is planned to start in the Philippines. In Israel, an epidemiological retrospective survey is expected to determine factors influencing low survival rates and overall mortalities including relative importance of TiLV. In addition, a private company is currently working on the development of live attenuated vaccine for TiLV.

It is not currently known whether the disease can be transmitted via frozen tilapia products, but “it is likely that TiLV may have a wider distribution than is known today and its threat to tilapia farming at the global level is significant,” GIEWS said in its alert.

FAO will continue to monitor TiLV, work with governments and development partners and search for resources that can be explored in order to assist FAO member countries to deal with TiLV, as requested and as necessary.

The disease

There are many knowledge gaps linked to TiLV.

More research is required to determine whether TiLV is carried by non-tilapine species and other organisms such as piscivorous birds and mammals, and whether it can be transmitted through frozen tilapia products.

The disease shows highly variable mortality, with outbreaks in Thailand triggering the deaths of up to 90 percent of stocks. Infected fish often show loss of appetite, slow movements, dermal lesions and ulcers, ocular abnormalities, and opacity of lens.As a reliable diagnostic test for TiLV is available, it should be applied to rule out TiLV as the causal agent of unexplained mortalities.

TiLV belongs to the Orthomyxoviridae family of viruses, which is also the same family to which the Infectious Salmon Anaemia virus belongs, which wrought great damage on the salmon farming industry.

In May 2017, The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) released a TiLV Disease Advisory and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) released a Disease Card. The WorldFish Center also released a Factsheet: TiLV: what to know and do, this month.

The importance of tilapia

Tilapias are the second most important aquaculture species in volume termsproviding food, jobs and domestic and export earnings for millions of people, including many smallholders.

Their affordable price, omnivorous diet, tolerance to high-density farming methods and usually strong resistance to disease makes them an important protein source, especially in developing countries and for poorer consumers.

China, Indonesia and Egypt are the three leading aquaculture producers of tilapia, a fish deemed to have great potential for expansion in sub-Saharan Africa.

Contact

Christopher Emsden
FAO Media Relations (Rome)
(+39) 06 570 53291
christopher.emsden@fao.org